LinkedIn seems to be one of those platforms that people, especially business owners, just forget about. You either don't have one, or you made one 15 years go whilst in university searching for corporate positions, and haven't updated it since! But contrary to these things, LinkedIn can be a wonderful channel to build your personal brand, and even establish yourself as an influential thought leader within your niche. But in order to maximize the benefits of the platform, you need to understand how it works, what generates the best response, and how you can utilize its various tools to optimal effect.
To help with this, in this post, we'll go over 10 things that you can do to become more influential and maximise your reach on LinkedIn, including how much you should be posting, when to post, what to post, and so much more!
1. Post regularly but not too much.
Maintaining a consistent posting process is important on LinkedIn - but posting too much can actually hurt your presence. It is actually been found that influencers who post more than 50 times per month to LinkedIn reported having an average of 26 engagements per post, which is compared to those who post between 30-50 times per month, who saw an average of 56 engagements per post. Those who posted less than 30 times saw even more engagement, on average.
We recommend posting at least 2-3 times a week - but no more than 30 times a month for optimal engagement. When you post is also significant - try to post in the mornings, perhaps on your way into work. Then you can revisit those posts later in the day/evening, to reply to any comments you’ve had and boost your engagement.
2. Share Visual and Video Content.
Research shows that articles with images get 94% more total views. It’s not just including images though, you can also add videos, slides, or podcasts to a post - or even documents, which LinkedIn added back in 2019.
Documents can actually be turned into carousel posts on LinkedIn - if you upload a series of visuals as a document, LinkedIn will display that as a carousel which users can side-swipe through.
When adding content, it is worth noting that LinkedIn prefers users to upload their content directly to their platform, rather than posting a link to another site that hosts it. For example, if you're posting a video, it's better to upload it to LinkedIn, rather than posting a YouTube link
3. Don't just share your own content.
It's super important to share a mix of your own content, and content shared by others. The 4-1-1 Rule was coined by TippingPoint Labs and Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute. While it was originally created with Twitter in mind, it can also be applied to LinkedIn. The rule states that:
“For every one self-serving post, you should repost one relevant post and most importantly share four pieces of relevant content written by others.”
By following this rule, you're not just sharing your own content, but you're also providing helpful insights relevant to your audience written by others. This can be industry thought leader content, news, and trends.
At the same time, it’s also important to add your opinion. Many people just like or share posts that they've read, or sometimes without even reading them. You can set yourself apart by adding your own opinions, questions, or other commentary within the comments.
Tell people what you think about the points being made in the article, and don’t be afraid to respectfully disagree with something and suggest a different point of view. This can start a debate, and you’ll find that the post gets a lot more engagement.
4. Don't be salesy.
Although you're obviously looking to market yourself and your business, it's best to avoid being too pushy on this within your LinkedIn posts. For example, try not to post directly about your product, as it can feel like an advert and turn people away. It‘s better to engage in thought leadership-style conversations, and if people like what you're saying, they'll go and check out your website and product offering.
At this stage, it is more about building and nurturing relationships and making new contacts.
5. Create LinkedIn-specific content.
When you create a post, there's a temptation to upload it everywhere - on your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook Pages, etc. However, keep in mind that you will have several of the same followers on each of those channels, and they're going to see the same post from you wherever they go, which can quickly become repetitive and boring.
It’s much better to create original posts for each platform.
6. Use Hashtags.
Adding hashtags to your posts will help your content get discovered, as well as help LinkedIn to categorize your posts and differentiate them from other content. It’s important to always add relevant hashtags, not just popular ones. When hashtags are used well it enables others to more easily find your content in their searches. Using hashtags will also ensure that when members are looking for information on a certain topic, your article will come up as one of the options.
Try clicking on 'Discover more' under 'Followed Hashtags' at the bottom of the left of your LinkedIn homepage to see a recommended list of popular hashtags related to the hashtags you follow. You can also access this by clicking on the hashtags you follow and then click the 3 dots and then 'Discover new hashtags'.
LinkedIn continues to grow and is likely to become an increasingly influential platform as we move beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, and into a new period of economic re-building. That will lead to new opportunities - and those that start on building their platform presence now will stand the best chance of capitalizing on this, and maximizing their potential on the platform.