If you are a B2B marketer, you cannot afford to avoid LinkedIn. But LinkedIn doesn’t work like the other social media networks. In order to boost your LinkedIn engagement, you will need to create a specialized content strategy for this platform.
This guide will help you develop content that’s practical for your industry and motivating for people to read and talk about. Since LinkedIn is a professional networking hub, this will automatically improve your LinkedIn engagement.
Starting out, it’s essential to rewire the way we think about engagement. Every industry has an “influencer,” or a couple thousand of them.
Do they know how to get people chatting? Sure. Are many of them also kind of annoying and probably not adding much to the real business conversation? Yes.
This is because many people on LinkedIn are out there to get as many likes and comments as possible. They’ve been known to do this by utilizing clickbait, writing controversial headlines, and massaging our emotions with psychological marketing tactics and social proof (if everyone else is liking this, I must like it too).
Get rid of this mentality. Some of these influencers provide value, but many are toxic to the social and business world conversations, especially when it comes to small businesses.
Here’s a healthier, people-first approach to LinkedIn (and all social media) when viewing engagement:
Overall, LinkedIn is very much like other social networks, where expectations must be set. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself feeling constantly behind and failing to get those thousands of likes.
Do yourself a favor and unfollow those big dogs and create your own “closed community” of business leaders you actually do business with. Richard Branson has some interesting ideas, but he’s in no way going to help your business. If anything, you’ll try to model his LinkedIn approach and see very limited results.
The first area of business involves what type of content you should choose to regularly post. Is there a right answer to this question? Should you only consider one or two types or is it best to have a mix of images, video, text posts, and the others?
Based on several studies and testing, here are the content types to use to boost your LinkedIn engagement, ranked from most important to least important:
Of course, what’s in the image matters. But after testing, image posts generate a 98% higher rate of comments on their posts.
Links are also important, although copying and pasting links from other people often doesn’t have the same effect as a well thought out original article.
Links bring in around 200% more engagement to your posts, so we recommend pairing your images with links to articles or more information about the image. For instance, a real estate agent may post images from an open house, but people also want to see the full listing online.
Videos are the kings of shares on LinkedIn. The default method for posting a video is uploading a local file from your computer.
This is bound to improve engagement, but it makes sense to pair this with a link. This way, connections are sent to a familiar platform, where they can read comments, share the link with others, and see more information in the description, like going to a YouTube page.
But I’m a small business owner, you say. I don’t have the time or resources to design my own images or write lengthy articles. Especially when there’s no guarantee that it’ll help my business at all!
Many business owners are in this situation. Although we encourage you to utilize your smartphone cameras for insider photos and take some time for thoughtful post descriptions, the more “professional” content, like infographics and detailed articles, aren’t always reasonable for small businesses.
That’s why it’s important to learn how to research and locate relevant articles to share with other professionals in your field. Just keep in mind that you must repurpose this content to make it more shareable on your end.
As long as you’ve cleaned up your LinkedIn connections to only include industry associates and experts, scrolling through your feed is a goldmine of shareable content.
Avoid posts that focus on employment opportunities or information that’s too specific to one company.
Otherwise, it only takes a few minutes to locate interesting posts.
For instance, the following connection I have does a great job of sharing finished home improvement projects. Many industry professionals could use this, from real estate agents to hardware store owners.
The following post is from an artificial intelligence company featuring new technology. It’s a wonderful new development for those in the industry!
A simple keyword search provides the opportunity to look for content outside of your immediate network.
Type in a relevant keyword in the LinkedIn search bar, then click on the Content button to filter out items like people and jobs.
It all depends on the type of posts that go along with your brand, but I typed in “civil engineering” to see what popped up. Most of the content was for job listings, but I found a post that highlights women in the field. Engineering is traditionally a male-dominated industry, but that has changed a bit over the past years.
If your brand wants to promote equal opportunities and highlight women in your company, this is a great picture to repost and ask your own question.
After typing in “freelancer,” I stumbled upon a video for making more money as a freelancer. If your network is primarily freelancers, or your business caters to freelancers, this is valuable information they might enjoy.
Going directly to user profiles is an excellent way to locate content for repurposing. Also, sometimes you find that one or two, or a handful of people, are all you need as your sources.
Type in any relevant keyword in the LinkedIn search bar, like “web design.” Then, click on the People button to search for folks who’re active on LinkedIn and post high-quality content. Follow them. Connect with them if needed, and see what they do on social media that makes them successful.
It’s also wise to use the Groups tab to join and interact in groups with like-minded professionals. This often leads to future business relationships and more content ideas.
It’s typically not enough to simply reshare a post. Sure, it may get some likes and comments, but how has that portrayed your company culture in any way? How has that created a conversation with likeminded workers?
Once you’ve found interesting videos, pictures, and articles, it’s your job to repurpose the content to fit your brand and engage your connections.
The good news is that this typically only takes a few minutes, as you’ll focus on typing up a new description and maybe asking some questions.
Here are ways to repurpose without spending much time:
We’ve all seen them on social media: impossibly long story posts designed to either make you buy into a “make money quick scheme” or a sad story asking for contributions. Some are bad, some are good, but the point is that they produce results by touching on emotions. And they’re easy for people to identify with when the stories are useful.
An incredible option for repurposing content is to repost an article or view from an expert, then share your own story on the matter.
The following example is from a career website founder who takes an opposing position from a connection’s post about networking being unfair. Whether you agree with it or not, it’s a nice look into his experience in the business world, and it’s bound to generate comments about what other people think.
One of the easiest ways to repurpose content and generate conversation behind that content is to ask a simple question. Sometimes this involves writing a paragraph or two, but other times all you have to do is ask a quick question of what people think of an article or if they agree.
Hoards of people try to rile up followers with controversial, often political, articles with questions about their views. It’s best to avoid that on all social media, especially LinkedIn.
A great example of sharing quality content is the following post, where the person republishes an original post from a business owner, asking a question to promote comments and discussion.
You could also consider resharing photos and videos, then adding a multiple-choice question or maybe a poll. With this method, your connections don’t have to think much. The options are provided for them. It’s then their choice to elaborate.
Have you noticed posts about products, events, or people who you have experience with? Repost that content and write a little story or somewhat of a testimonial about your experience.
The following project engineer reshared images from a construction event held in Atlanta. He talks about who he spoke with at the event, what was learned, and how he contributed to the success of that event.
Don’t forget to give a little push to encourage connections to engage with your posts on LinkedIn.
Your original or repurposed image or video may offer great value to constituents, but it’s not always human nature to click on the Like button or write a comment.
From my own experience, I typically read articles I find interesting on social media and completely skip any interaction whatsoever.
But, a small “push” is often the answer to getting more likes and comments and shares.
Here are our final suggestions to boost your LinkedIn engagement:
Joe is a Chicago-based writer who dabbles in social media, WordPress, and eCommerce tools. When not riding his bike in Chicago he's camping in Wisconsin.
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