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Use LinkedIn to build your brand

Find your audience by sprucing up your profile

Social media management often consists of conversations on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok. But what about LinkedIn? As a social media platform unique with its approach to content creation for professionals, it is also a way to build the profile of your personal brand, or that of your department or unit.

Earlier this semester, Elma Clarke, senior customer success manager at LinkedIn, shared tips with the Social Media Working Group in Duke's University Communications office. Clarke explained how to strengthen LinkedIn profiles to attract the most attention. Here are four ways to get started. 

Screenshot of Official Duke University LinkedIn Page

1). Create your profile

To build your department or unit's brand, you first need to create your own personal profile. Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn requires that a profile dedicated to a department or unit be linked to a personal account.

As you build your own profile, consider how you can be an advocate for your department or unit. This would include identifying key pieces of information such as the industry you work in, current and previous work experiences, and examples of professional work. These key components offer viewers an insight into your professional story.

“Your profile is going to be the dynamic digital portfolio that helps build your professional presence,” Clarke said.

As you build a LinkedIn profile, consider activating Creator Mode, a profile setting that increases reach and influence on LinkedIn by giving you access to additional tools and features to create content, establish your voice and get discovered.


2). Personalize your profile

When creating your department or unit profile, including a photo can get you 21 times more profile clicks, meaning that integrating a visual element is something to consider. Though, make sure that the photo is of professional quality and appearance.

A cover story helps convey to audience members the unique background, expertise and goals of your department or unit. Crafting a compelling cover story will keep audience members reading, but Clarke recommends keeping this section to approximately 40 words or less.


3). Network with colleagues and other professionals far and wide

LinkedIn is a large, global community with more than 60 million companies, 120 thousand schools and 800 million members from over 200 countries.

“It shows the depth of the community and how you can build out your professional network on the platform,” Clarke said.

One of the values of LinkedIn is that it provides access to powerful tools people can leverage to network. For example, Audrey Fenske, social media coordinator of alumni engagement and development, finds LinkedIn’s Groups function useful in connecting with others.

“You can find groups based on your alma mater, your professional interests, and even your goals/future skills you'd like to learn,” Fenske said. “There are experts in every group ready to answer questions, make connections, and create conversation.”


4). Build thought leadership

More than 443 billion articles, posts and other content have been shared through LinkedIn. Clarke recommends you make your voice heard by building “thought leadership,” or generate and share your own content that contributes to the conversations happening on the platform. Now more than ever, LinkedIn members are consuming more content than ever.

“More professionals are coming to LinkedIn with a purpose,” Clarke said. “People are engaging in unique ways and coming to find high quality content that is driven by aspirational pursuits.”

LinkedIn has seen a 60 percent increase in feed views since last year. With more than 9 billion content impressions per week and approximately 15 times more content as compared to job postings, Clarke recommends taking advantage of tools from long-form publishing to LinkedIn Live to host events and talks.

To keep track of engagement, Kelly Wright, director of communications for the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, makes use of the analytics sidebar LinkedIn provides.

“It helps me see which type of posts performs better and to see those impressions even though people may not actually like, comment, or click on something,” Wright said.

Ready to make the most of LinkedIn for your group? Visit LinkedIn Learning to learn more about building your LinkedIn brand.

By Lesa Bressanelli, OIT Communications Intern