Why should dealerships take interest in LinkedIn profile pages? Personal profile pages are the solid foundation for building small and medium sized businesses’ reach, credibility and professionalism. LinkedIn has over 277 million users throughout the world; about 34 percent (93 million) of them are in the United States and 7 million are in Canada. LinkedIn’s influence will only grow stronger as it has an unstoppable growth rate of two new members per second. In order to maximize the reach and tools that LinkedIn provides, your dealership’s owners, co-owners, management and staff should invest in creating their own personal accounts. This will be the bedrock for building a company page for the dealership, which will be discussed in a following blog post.
BUILD & TRAIN
Start with a free account which allows you to use LinkedIn’s most popular tools. If the communication options seem too limited try the free trial for the premium account. The first step is to collect your resumes, cover letters, portfolios, old income tax files and/or handwritten docs noting your past employment. If you have had multiple responsibilities choose the most timely or relevant to the dealership. This is the time to beef up the profile page with all the skill-sets you have attained in the workforce.
A couple of items to list aside from workforce experience are…
— Education: Graduations, certificates, diplomas, degrees, GEDs
— Organizations: Volunteer work at local or national nonprofits, participation in chapters/organizations
— Accolades: Awards, certifications, honors, licenses
— Interests and hobbies
As you write your descriptions for these experiences (work and non-work related), speak in first person. This creates a conversational tone, which invites engagement. The profile’s presentation will have an effect on engagement as well. Your profile picture should be professional, clean and of YOU! Your cover photo should be a positive, friendly and fun-themed graphic with high resolution. Most importantly add content, graphics and keywords to your profile. Any supporting evidence in the form of a word document, photo, video or link will make your profile robust and SEO friendly. The more information and supporting content you can showcase, the more views and interaction you will see on your LinkedIn account.
Sadly, 49.5 percent of LinkedIn profiles are not completed. Profiles that are incomplete will not show up in LinkedIn searches and if they are found, there is a slim chance for engagement. LinkedIn works like any other social media platform and needs attention to stay current and searchable. Also, your professional life and interests evolve, so should your profile.
There are two ways that other LinkedIn users can support your profile; recommendations and endorsements. Recommendations are written testimonials about you. They praise your strengths and abilities and sometimes include examples of how you made their lives just a little bit easier. Endorsements are clickable “likes” for your talents and skills. You create a master list of your skills, talents, abilities and LinkedIn users like to endorse what they think you are proficient at. Your LinkedIn experience does not start with the dealership, but with you and the employees. Your dealership is different because of the people that work and support it. Any dealer can sell a motorcycle, ATV or boat, but customers want to find a dealership that will treat them well. Now that you are building your profile and helping your employees do the same, we will move onto how to build an effective company page in the next blog post.