How to conduct a LinkedIn audit that brings your brand to life
While your 2022 New Year’s resolution probably wasn’t “do a LinkedIn audit,” now is a great time to say “new year, new me” with your company profile.
It may be the world’s largest professional network, but LinkedIn is much more than a place to post jobs. LinkedIn reports having 830 million members, with another 130 signing up every minute. It’s an increasingly important hub for employee advocacy, brand awareness, lead generation and more.
LinkedIn is keeping up with the times—follow these tips to conduct a Linkedin audit that helps you get the most out of this ever-evolving platform:
1. Polish your profile
2. Get to know your audience
3. Clean up your content
4. Evaluate your paid campaigns
5. Analyze competitor performance
Polish your profile
Completing your company Page is more than making it look nice. According to LinkedIn, complete profiles see a 30% increase in weekly pageviews.
Your profile is a key place to communicate your brand identity and make a good first impression with new followers, job seekers, investors, customers and more. Here are the top items to complete, improve or add to your Page:
Step 1: Complete your profile
If you haven’t completed your company profile, you probably recognize this handy Page completion meter.
Kicking off your LinkedIn profile audit here is a no-brainer. And if you have completed these items, ensure they’re all up to date.
These are the basic details needed for a profile to be considered complete:
- Company size
- Website URL
- Street address
- Custom button
- Your first post
Pro tip: Don’t forget about your call-to-action button and your tagline. While this 120-character line isn’t required, it’s a great place to feature your slogan, info about your company and to show that you’ve put in extra effort.
Step 2: Is your page SEO-friendly?
Your Page’s “About” section is the best place for you to describe your company’s story and mission.
And at 2,000 characters or less, it’s also a great place to boost your Page’s SEO—both for searches in LinkedIn and in search engines, which will preview the first 156 characters of this section.
Grammarly puts the focus on their product and the human element behind it.
Allbirds highlights their commitment to sustainability.
Lead with relevant, varied keywords to help searchers and search engines understand what you’re all about. Then, get creative—LinkedIn recommends including your vision, mission, values, positioning, tagline and products/services.
Step 3: Highlight your remote work and vaccination policy
Knowing whether a company offers remote or hybrid work has become an important part of the job search. Recent data shows employees want more flexibility, with 52% preferring a flexible work model post-pandemic vs. just 30% pre-pandemic.
Use the new Workplace module to be upfront with job seekers about your remote work and vaccine policies right away.
Step 4: Audit your images
Looks can be deceiving—you could have the best company in the world, but a fuzzy logo and missing cover image don’t project that quality to the world.
A logo and cover image consistent with the branding of your website and other social platforms make you instantly recognizable to those looking for you on LinkedIn.
Does your logo reflect your current branding? Is it appropriately sized? Does it appear crisp and legible?
Make sure your logo is within the recommended size of 300 x 300 pixels and in JPG, PNG or GIF format.
At a recommended size of 1128 x 191, your cover image is additional real estate where you can bring your brand to life by:
- Emphasizing branding
- Showing off your products
- Highlighting what your company does
- Visualizing company culture
- Promoting upcoming events
- Supporting causes and communicating your values
For B2C companies like Adidas, it’s a great place to highlight your breadth of product offerings.
Microsoft uses their cover image to inject their brand colors, logo and stunning imagery.
Duolingo’s TikTok-famous owl mascot dances across their cover image and extends their brand color beyond their logo.
Adjusting your images is easy, too. Use free photo editing apps like Canva and Sprout Social’s image resizing tool.
Step 5: Are you limiting the power of your profile?
From nurturing employee advocacy to generating qualified leads, using different kinds of Pages within your profile can support your business beyond marketing.
Here are a few to consider:
- My Company Page—Celebrate employee wins and find trending employee content
- Product Pages—Feature up to 10 different products and generate leads with call-to-action buttons
- Showcase Pages—Valuable if you have multiple brands in your organization, separate business units or initiatives focused on distinct target audiences
- Events—Share in-person or external events, or apply to use LinkedIn Live.
- Career Pages—The Life, What We Do and Jobs tabs can help you build community, connect you with top candidates faster and build an even sleeker profile
Get to know your LinkedIn audience
Knowing who follows you can help you reach your target audience and guide Page edits, content creation and paid campaigns. An audience of high-level executives, for example, will have different needs than a beginner-level crowd.
So how do you get to know your audience? One way is by using LinkedIn’s analytics to see who is engaging with your ads and visiting your website.
The other is by using Sprout Social’s LinkedIn Pages Report to get an in-depth look at your followers.
This report can help paint a picture of your followers by looking at what job functions your audience has and where they are in their career.
Clean up your content
While other social channels are about memes and trending dances, LinkedIn is more buttoned up…perhaps with the exception of “Broetry.”
With six out of 10 users actively looking for industry insights on LinkedIn, refining your content strategy is an important part of building trust and your reputation as a thought leader.
And considering employees are 14x more likely to share from their company’s page vs other brands, you have a share-ready audience waiting for you.
Here are some tips on conducting your content audit:
Step 1: Gather your post data
If the thought of scrolling through all of your posts to tally engagement gives you nightmares, don’t worry—there are plenty of ways to gather data quickly.
Using Sprout Social’s Post Performance Report empowers you to look at your highest and lowest performing posts in one place. Here’s how:
- From your Dashboard, navigate to Reports
- Under Cross-Network Reports, select Post Performance
- In the “Sources” section, select your LinkedIn Page(s)
- Set the time frame you want to analyze posts from
- Download the data as a PDF or CSV
Downloading your data as a CSV makes it easier for you to analyze.
Step 2. Look at what’s working, and what isn’t
With the most recent LinkedIn algorithm prioritizing relevant content in the newsfeed, it’s important to know what resonates with your audience.
In the Sprout CSV you pulled, you can look at key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine what pieces of content did well for you, and what didn’t. Here are some top KPIs to track:
- Engagement rate
- Total reactions
- Types of reactions (Likes, Love, etc.)
There are many different content types you can publish on LinkedIn—articles, text posts, PDFs and slides, photos, polls and live videos. Knowing which of these posts perform the best can help guide every part of your content strategy.
Step 3. Audit content quality
What content underperformed, and what affected its quality? How were the visuals? Did it come off as spammy?
There are a number of factors that can get your post flagged as spam to the LinkedIn algorithm. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to avoid this:
- Don’t beg for Likes and Follows
- Do limit yourself to 3-5 relevant hashtags
- Do research topics that are trending with and interesting to your audience
- Do find quality content by using LinkedIn’s Content Suggestions tool
Step 4. Analyze your posting times
Timing is everything—make sure you’re identifying the best times to post on social media to reach your audience. Look at your most successful posts to see if there is a pattern when it comes to when you published them.
Sprout’s patented Optimal Send Times technology can also identify peak posting times as you publish.
Similarly, take a look at how much you’re posting. With companies who post weekly seeing a 2x lift in content engagement, staying active is crucial, but there’s a fine line between keeping up with your audience and spamming them.
Pro tip: Social media is a conversation, and responsiveness is golden. According to the Sprout Social Index™, 46% of consumers say brands that engage with their audience are best in class. Take time to respond to comments and interact.
Evaluate your paid campaigns
Given that the cost-per-click of LinkedIn ads is higher than that of Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter as of late 2021, you want to make sure you’re spending smarter. Analyze your campaigns to understand what to cut, what to replicate and what to adjust.
To do this, you need a clear picture of how all of your campaigns are performing.
With Sprout’s LinkedIn Paid Performance Report, you can sort by the KPIs that matter most to you to assess whether or not you’re achieving your goals.
This can help you understand what ads perform well, or underperform, and why—are you hitting the right audience? Is your ad engaging? Is your audience too limited, or too broad?
If you’re not sure you’re connecting with the right audience, revisit your audience research and refine your targets.
When it comes to audience size for brand awareness, for example, LinkedIn provides a few helpful tips:
Finally, testing ad formats that you haven’t tried before and A/B testing ads with different imagery or content can help you maximize your ad spend. The objective of your ad will determine what visuals you can choose from.
Analyze competitor performance
Looking at how your competitors’ Pages are performing can help you understand how you stack up, find inspiration and identify opportunities to differentiate your strategy.
Is their thought leadership lacking? That’s a gap you could fill. Do they not yet have Product Pages? Get one step ahead of them.
In late 2021, LinkedIn rolled out customizable competitor analytics in your LinkedIn Page Analytics tab. Choose up to nine of your top competitors to get an in-depth look at how their followers and analytics compare to yours, and how you can adjust your strategy to remain competitive. With more features to come, like engagement rate, it’s a good tool to start using now.
You’re ready to conduct a LinkedIn audit that works
LinkedIn has had quite the glow up. Yes, it is a great place to post your job openings. But beefing up your profile can help build trust, engagement and even business leads.
It’s time to give your profile the attention it deserves. Follow this guide to get your LinkedIn audit started, then download our LinkedIn for Business checklist to guide your long-term profile objectives and strategy.
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