As LinkedIn’s network continues to grow worldwide, there is a captive audience of professionals that many businesses want to get in front of. Posting content is the fastest way to demonstrate your thought leadership, credibility, and build trust, but how do you get your network to engage with your posts?
That is the question that eludes many so in this post I am sharing my best tips for crafting a great post that is strategic and designed to get engagement. Of course, you need to do some testing yourself and measure the results of your post to see what is resonating with your network, these steps are a guide to getting started in a more strategic way.
First, how can you sound less salesy and more human?
Whether your B2B or B2C doesn’t matter because we are all in the P2P (People to People) business. We all need content to build trust, but we also need connection and that’s what the LinkedIn platform is really great at offering.
Social media in general is shifting away from the constant push for more followers and connections and moving toward engagement and building genuine relationships. This is why showing you’re human to another human is what leads to opportunities that drive revenue.
There are many posting styles, I am offering a format for those that are struggling with getting engagement and those that may be new to a content strategy for LinkedIn.
Build a post format
The first three lines of a post will make or break the post in terms of hooking the viewer in. The goal is to intrigue the reader enough to click on the see more… and keep reading.
Start with a question – something that your ideal customer would struggle with.
(Example: how do you get your network to engage with your posts?)
(Example 2: you could start with a compelling statement including data…did you know type)
Offer a second follow on question – (optional but really gets the reader interested)
(Example: and how do you get them to leave more than a thumbs up?)
Introduce a solution – here is where you are offering your expertise by offering valuable solutions
(Example: Here are 5 tips you can use today to engage your readers)
Call to action – here is where you can write a sentence about how you can help them. There are many ways to leave your CTA, relate back to the content of your post.
(Example 1: Do you use these advanced search techniques? Please share your experience in the comment below letting others know how this has worked for you.)
(Example 2: Need a coaching call to get on track? Schedule a free call with me firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hashtags – LinkedIn encourages the use of hashtags to identify what the topic is about. Ideally you want to add 3-5 hashtags that you have researched and have a minimum of 100K followers. You want your post to identify with the largest audience. There are those who can’t find hashtags that apply to their industry and thus you may use hashtags with far less followers.
Here is a blog post on How to Effectively Use Hashtags for more detailed information.
Footer of your post
Think of this as your signature at the bottom of your post.
(Example: If you found this helpful? Click on the bell 🔔 at the top of my profile to see more of my posts for #linkedintips #linkedin #personalbranding #contentstrategy #business)
LinkedIn post formats
There are many different styles of posts you can create on LinkedIn, with that said you still want to follow the post format to ensure you are drawing readers in and you are showing your personality along with your expertise.
- Document PDF/carousel style slides (multiple pages best because it keeps people on your post longer which the algorithm favors. Use 7 slides max and few words per slide + image)
- Text & single Image- results about the same results depending on topic & format, good images may rank 1% better
- Polls – best performing polls have 2 answer response, duration 1 week
- Video – Keep it short, square, 1-3 minutes and add captions, upload native video NOT YouTube link
- Text only
- Outbound link to curated content – never been effective
- Write an article – this would be evergreen content that demonstrates authority in the niche & is housed on your profile. This can be worth focusing quarterly.
Notice in this example I use a photo of myself in the graphic because it humanizes my brand showing people who I am
Best times & day to post
Just as I mentioned earlier in this post you will want to test your own audience data and see what days of the week your posts tend to get the most impressions and of course comments. As a rule of thumb to get started, I would suggest you post:
Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and between 8:00am – 10:00am your time. You could fluctuate that by an hour either way and see if it makes a difference.
Engagement on your LinkedIn posts are more than a thumbs up reaction. You want to encourage or train people to actually leave a comment. Comments are what LinkedIn wants and they reward your post by showing it to more people because they think a comment has more value than a reaction.
People use the reactions because they are in a hurry, so that’s why drawing them in with that opening question is the hook you want combined with a call to action that asks the reader to ‘Leave a comment’ or something that gets them to take an action.
This obviously doesn’t work all the time, so there may be a post where you want to @tag someone’s name that you want to refer to in your post, not to intentionally get them to comment because that feels spammy and I’ve had people do that to me. Rather, if you can refer to someone who perhaps does something well or is an expert in the topic of your post, bring them in because they can start the comment process.
Crafting the right content that engages your network requires strategic thinking. Stop being at the mercy of the algorithm on LinkedIn because this is ever changing. In time if you track your posts data you will discover what people in your network react to. Of course, you may want to always take into consideration who is in your network? Have you invited the people who you want to influence and network with?
This post is designed to guide you to get started. Relationship marketing combined with content marketing does take time and effort. I assure you if your goal is to drive leads and sales you can reach those goals by developing good content, positioning your expertise and building relationships that keep you top of mind.