To ask the question is to answer it, according to Anke van Oosterhout. “Of course you have to be there. LinkedIn is so much more than a channel to find staff and introduce yourself to potential employers. You can use it to look after your personal brand, strengthen your reputation, read interesting articles and opinions, network etc. It would be a shame to miss out on all that.”
LinkedIn is an essential part of every company’s 'digital footprint’, says Anke. And you don’t have to be big to have a big digital footprint. So it is important to have not only a personal page, but a company page as well. “You need both. The company page is the ideal place to present your business and explain what you do. You can use the human, personal side of your own page to grow your company page. Cross-fertilization between the two is great!”
If you take the trouble to prepare these pages, make sure you do so fully and properly, Anke advises. “The headline, the summary, your experience, endorsements, etc. Make sure everything is as complete as possible. In the headline, the sentence under your name, you have to be sure to use enough relevant keywords for SEO. The summary is more about what you stand for, what you want, not about what you do. This is where you can tell your 'story’."
"Don’t be afraid to expand your network. Talk to everyone you know, right from your school days. Just because you haven’t seen someone for ten years is no reason not to link up. I’d go further – I don’t think you even really have to know someone. If a person has a logical connection with your company, go ahead and invite them. At the same time, of course, you have to be open to connections yourself. In Belgium that can sometimes be a little difficult, I’ve found as a Dutch woman.” (laughs).
A lot of people find it hard to share and prepare their own content, but it’s a very good way of quickly making a name for yourself. “Sharing content really is important,” Anke says. “If you see anything interesting, share it with your followers. Do you have a strong opinion about something? Then write an article yourself. A lot of people think: “I can’t do that,” but you don’t have to be an experienced journalist to be able to make good content. Is writing an article like this really not for you? Then if necessary, hire a good copywriter.”
After a career with USG People, in 2015 Anke van Oosterhout started CMoore, a Moore Stephens Belgium brand. She assists companies like Hilti, the VRT and Tiense Suiker with their digital strategy. Many SMEs wrestling with their digital findability, social selling, content strategy and employer branding call on her expertise, as well.
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