LinkedIn is a social networking site often misunderstood, overlooked, and ignored. This is probably due to the fact that a lot of online marketers aren't exactly sure what to do with it, oftentimes underutilizing most of the features and quirks that makes the site different from other "traditional" social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
If you want to learn how to boost engagement on LinkedIn the right way, better read on.
Rely on Text-Only Posts
Text works best on LinkedIn. This might sound a bit counter-intuitive to the conventional tactic of using video or graphics-heavy content for marketing and brand building, but in the LinkedIn context, it makes a lot of sense.
For one, LinkedIn isn't too hot on the idea of people moving away from the platform. Inserting images with links into your posts might do just that (i.e. send your readers to third-party sites), which would decrease the site's revenue from ads or its chances to upsell its own LinkedIn Premium paid service. The site is less likely to give prominence to posts with images linked to other sites (or just links to any location outside the platform, in general).
Text-only posts is the way-to-go then. LinkedIn allows users up to 1300 characters per post, which is roughly equivalent to 250 words. That provides enough space for anyone to write an informative, yet short, article or blog posting.
Here are a few tips on how to write text content for LinkedIn:
*KISS (Keep It Short and Sweet)
Two hundred and fifty words is long enough for you to get your point across, and short enough not to be boring for readers. It's also important to note that LinkedIn "cuts" off your content after five lines (three lines on the desktop version) while the rest of the post can only be accessed by clicking on the "See More" link. This means that your hook should instantly grab your readers' attention from the get-go.
*Stay Away From Controversial Topics
Politics, religion- these are just some of the issues that can readily inflame people's tempers in an instant. It doesn't matter what form it takes- sensationalist rhetoric, controversial opinions, long-winded rants- if you're veering too close to these emotion-laden subjects, people will be turned off and start to feel alienated. Your brand's credibility will take a direct hit. Keep your content focused on safe subjects that you are 100% knowledgeable about.
*If You Must Take a Stand, Be Clear About It
There will be times, of course, that you will be compelled to post your opinion about something (preferably, a topic in your own field) especially if you're setting yourself up as a thoughtleader. If you must take a stand about an issue, be clear and firm about it. Make sure that your reasoning is backed up with solid reasoning, clear evidence, and undebatable data.
How can you elicit responses from your audience if you don't have questions for them? The more you ask, the better your chances for for building engagement.
Use LinkedIn's Native Video Service
LinkedIn's mobile app has a video recording feature that allows you to record and upload directly from the app. It's still a bit of a novelty at this point in time, but by using it as an early adopter of the service, you'll be able to stand out from your competitors who don't use video. Compared to videos hosted on third-party sites, LinkedIn will be more likely to favor your videos uploaded through its native video service.
If you want to fully utilize video in your content marketing strategy (and if you have a bit of extra time on your hands), try adding captions to your video. Like Facebook, LinkedIn autoplays video as you scroll through your feed, but it does so on mute. Having captions on them can make your videos more accessible (and less annoying or obtrusive). Unfortunately, the LinkedIn app can't add captions for you, so you would have to write/edit them in using a third party video editing tool like Apple Clips or Overvideo.
Like Your Own Comments
It sounds so... simple, but it actually works. While liking your own posts might seem a bit narcissistic, it really isn't. Posts with activity (even activity that were initiated by the poster himself like "self-likes") have higher levels of audience engagement. It's pretty similar to why people often shun empty restaurants and flock to establishments with lots of diners and/or waiting lines. It's human nature- we like to party only if there are other people already on the dance floor. We don't want to be the first one jumping in.
An added bonus for liking your own content is that all of those who have commented previously on the post itself will receive a notification whenever someone likes or writes a comment on it. This might encourage them to add or contribute more to the discussion.
Engage Your Commenters
Being shy and quiet on social media is a huge no-no. It runs contrary to the idea of being on social media in the first place. If people are taking precious time out of their day to read and go through your content, you should take it upon yourself to be thankful and continue the discussion when you can. As much as possible, don't ignore the people who reacts to your likes, comments, or reacts to your posts.
Publicize Your Updates
Put yourself out there! LinkedIn now allows your status updates to be visible to the public. You just need to tweak a few settings:
-First, click on the Me icon on your LinkedIn homepage, go to Settings and Privacy, then click on the Privacy tab.
-Head on over to the Blocking and Hiding section, choose Followers, and set it to Everyone on LinkedIn on the drop down list.
-Finally, on the left sidebar, click on the Profile Privacy section. An Edit Your Public Profile option will pop up, then click on the Change list. You'll be able to see a variety of settings on the right. Choose "Make my public profile visible to everyone" and check the "Posts and Activities" box.
-Now, that you've got your privacy settings right, you'll be able to publicize your posts and activities whenever, wherever, and however you want it to.
When you post, just click on the drop down list on the bottom of the text box and choose Public. Alternatively, you can have your post only viewable by your connections OR you can make it public to both LinkedIn and Twitter.
LinkedIn isn't the social networking mystery that people picture it to be. With the simple rules mentioned above, you'll be able to keep your audience engagement going at tiptop shape, and build the brand and image that you want.