It’s been over a week since Social Day 2018 and we’re still bursting with insights from the three-day event. This week we have turned our attention to LinkedIn and how it can help build brands. When it comes to social media marketing, it’s often overlooked, and businesses struggle to understand how it can fit into their overall strategy.
Mark Williams, a LinkedIn trainer, was at Social Day to tell us where people have been getting it right (or wrong) and what you can do to improve the engagement on the channel. We must admit we may have committed some of the ‘don’ts’ before but hey, we were there to learn.
Here are the 10 tips that stuck with us:
- Who should post?
An age-old question: Should the content come from company stakeholders or the company itself? Well, it’s both. Your LinkedIn profile – and the profiles of everyone else at the company – are the peaks that come together to form the mountain range that is your brand.
- The algorithm is the gatekeeper to the news feed
Like other social channels, the platform uses an algorithm to distribute your content to users and you should consider the algorithm as the almighty ‘gatekeeper’ to the news feed. Being an algorithm, there are things it likes and things it doesn’t and learning these preferences is a quick win to help you reach and engage more users.
- Comments are the most important KPI
Reach will always be important an important metric; the more users you reach, the more people see your message, you know how it is. However, LinkedIn is still a social channel with the mission to build connections, so how can we evaluate success by solely looking at reach?
As Mark said, the most important key performance indicator (KPI) when it comes to LinkedIn is the number of comments on posts. If people are commenting on your post they are connecting with you or your company. If a post generates a lot of engagement, it will be shown to more users, because, you know… algorithm. This means the content you post is critical.
Would my audience find this useful/interesting/insightful enough to comment? That’s the first thing you need to be thinking about,
- Text posts always perform better
We are still shocked to our very core on this one. Although the platform does respond well to images and video, due to the space they take up in the news feed, the algorithm will limit the number it displays and therefore text posts will always have an advantage.
- External links aren’t encouraged
LinkedIn wants to keep its users on the platform and therefore external links are a no-no. LinkedIn has blog functionality and this should be utilised instead of sending users to your own blog. Not only is this a nicer journey for users but also the algorithm will love you so much more for it.
If you do include external links your content will still be distributed, but the number of users it’s shown to will be limited. Hands up – we have done this… A lot. Time to practise what we preach.
Quick win alert: You can still post and then go back and add your link in later. By this point the algorithm will have determined how to distribute your post and therefore the link goes without being noticed. However, in best practise terms you should be sharing this knowledge within your posts, making it easier for users to digest and join the conversation.
- Avoid promotional words
Another algorithm ‘turn off’ is promotional words. It comes as no surprise that the platform is flooded by recruiters and LinkedIn want to avoid the platform being a place for job ads only. Words that are frequently used by job ads, such as ‘opportunity’, may affect who sees your post.
- The longer, the better
Where other social networks favour shorter content (due declining attention spans), LinkedIn sees longer content receiving more engagement. Posts should be a minimum of 3 lines and the opening content should be designed to reel people in, driving them to ‘see more’. This button can provide insights into what your audience is interested in.
- Long does not mean long-form
Although long posts can generate more engagement, long-form content isn’t necessarily the case. It’s important to share your insights in posts and spark conversations, rather than hiding everything away in blogs. Blogs can feel like one-way information, rather than a two-way conversation, which is always preferred. We like to think this blog is pretty conversational though, don’t you agree?
- Ask for opinions
If engagement is the aim of the game, then think: Why do people comment on LinkedIn posts?
Have a look at your competitors and see what they’re talking about. Which posts are getting the best engagements? Mark showed us some great examples that generated a lot of comments and most of them asked users for their opinions; What do you think? Do you agree? Anyone else notice this? These are all invites to start the conversation and build those connections.
- Don’t forget to tag
Tagging influencers means you are inviting them to join the conversation and encourage others to join, too. Just make sure the influencers are relevant to the post and that you use tags sparingly, otherwise it can look like you’re a little too desperate for that extra reach.
In the mood to link in with some interesting people in your industry? We hear you. Join the conversation with us and make sure that we’re following the insightful 10 tips above…