LinkedIn is the most business-oriented of the prominent social media platforms. While it’s not a party like Facebook, an overload of thoughts, jokes and good information like Twitter, or a bastion of visually stunning how-to guides like Pinterest, LinkedIn serves a critical function. LinkedIn doesn’t hide its role as a driver of business and future employment. And that’s why it has become vastly popular among business professionals and is an emerging platform for marketers.
Like all platforms, LinkedIn is not without its nuances. Since the LinkedIn platform is dominated by business professionals, the strategy you use for posting content is critical. Because Facebook and Twitter or more social in nature, there’s more freedom to post general, conversational, or irreverent topics on those platforms (think fun Vine videos and memes.) LinkedIn has a much different tone. LinkedIn users are seeking content that will help them further their career or grow their business. And if you are a content provider on LinkedIn, you are judged by your ability to perform those tasks by your connections.
Below are tips that, when incorporated into your LinkedIn status posts, will help you establish you or your company as an engaging thought leader within your chosen field. If you question the power of having an individual or a company presence on LinkedIn, consider this, 20 percent of your followers are reached when you send a status update (according to LinkedIn’s marketing guide.) That’s several times more than are reached with an un-boosted Facebook post. Also, LinkedIn sends nearly four times more people to company websites than Twitter and Facebook.
- What to share on LinkedIn: LinkedIn is dominated by people looking to connect with others and increase their knowledge of best practices. The best way to get the attention of your followers, whether they are potential clients or employers, is to post information that’s helpful to them. According to LinkedIn, 60 percent of users are interested in insights about their own industry. Blog posts, white papers and infographics achieve a great deal of success. The study from LinkedIn goes on to say that company news and information about new products and services ranks second and third at 53 and 43 percent, respectively. For individual LinkedIn users, joining industry groups and participating in their discussions is a great way to establish your knowledge of insights and best practices.
- How often you should post and when: Since LinkedIn is the domain of working professionals, it’s critical to post when they are most likely to access your content. No mystery here. The best time to post is between 10 a.m. -4 p.m. on Monday through Friday. According to LinkedIn, creating 20 posts per month can help you reach 60 percent of your unique audience. If you post every workday, you will reach 20 posts per month.
- Use Photos and Videos in your post: This is becoming a recurring theme in all of our articles about effective posting. Our picture-oriented society is drawn to images, especially if they are captivating or speak to us in some way. According to a study from QuickSprout, posting images results in a 98 percent higher comment rate. And posting videos leads to a 75 percent higher share rate.
- Keep it Brief: Another emerging trend in social media posting is the idea of shorter posts. Our society is not only visually-driven, they have shorter attention spans than ever. With LinkedIn, you are given 250 characters. For maximum effectiveness, try using about half of that, including your url. Tools such as bit.ly and goo.gl can help shortened your url.
- Post about events that you will be attending: Most people on LinkedIn have a strong desire to be in the know about events that can further their careers. As a matter of fact, career and business advancements fuel interaction on LinkedIn. Letting people know about an event you are attending will either draw curiosity from your followers or a connection because they may be attending the same event. Either way, it’s a win for you.
- Mention one of your followers in your post: In speaking of connecting, it’s great to give a shout out to someone in your network from time to time. It builds a connection with that person and, hopefully, they will reciprocate it in the future. To do this, simply use the @ sign and start typing in their name. This will allow the reader to click the name to see the person’s profile. Also, when you comment on someone’s post you expose them to your audience and, of course, build a connection.
- Focus on Employees: According to LinkedIn, employees are 70 percent more likely to engage with their employer’s posts than non-employees. For employers, it’s important to send notifications to your employees whenever you post. It’s also important to post information that’s useful or engaging to them. Information that makes them better at their jobs is great as well as company updates, but posts that celebrate their accomplishments will get the most traction.
- Add a little humor to your posts: Because the business-focused nature of LinkedIn, this is an underused strategy, which makes it all the more effective. Obviously, humor has to be work-appropriate. Essentially, if you wouldn’t say it within earshot of your boss, don’t say it on LinkedIn. However, like many of the suggestions here, humor builds a connection to others.
While LinkedIn is primarily focused on business, it’s still filled with people looking to connect. Always remember to be human in all your interactions on LinkedIn. Treat others as you want to be treated. Give the type of information and attention that you’d want to receive. In doing that, you will make LinkedIn a powerful tool for boosting your career or business.
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