Love it or loathe, it LinkedIn is the proverbial kitchen of the B2B house party.
We used to end that sentence or similar ones with, ‘right now…’, but that would be a gross injustice to LinkedIn, as I really think it’s here to stay for a quite a while.
And that’s a great thing! LinkedIn is an incredible place to learn, share, win business, raise brand awareness, promote your personal brand, test new ideas, connect with peers and all of that wonderful social media stuff.
However, the kitchen is a little crowded these days.
This means that, inevitably, the quality of the posts isn’t always great, the engagement on posts can be abysmal, and the majority of LinkedIn content is unimaginative, unremarkable and frankly, like the kitchen conversations after half a bottle of tequila: completely forgettable. I’ll quit this house party analogy now.
So how do we remedy this?
Well, I have no silver bullet. Instead, I can offer you 5 smart ways to increase your LinkedIn engagement. My hope is that by following these 5 rules, you’ll also make LinkedIn a more enjoyable experience for all of us; it’s mutually beneficial.
Let’s get into it…
1) Set your themes
I wanted to start really high level; I want to talk about themes and the themes of your posts.
You see, one of the biggest reasons posts don’t get engagement on LinkedIn is because they feel very sporadic. One minute it’s a dog walking photo, the next it’s a business update, then it’s a motivational quote etc.
The problem is, it’s actually quite hard to continually think of new content for LinkedIn. This leads to pretty mindless posting, leading to posts that don’t say much – or worse, posts that say exactly what everyone expected you to say – and the result is a piece of content which no one really cares for.
The solution to this is to think of a number of themes, anywhere between 3 and 5. Then create regular posts based around those themes. I’ll give you some examples:
- Championing others
- Topical insights
There’s a myriad of other themes you can choose and create. Once you have 3-5, you can then create a number of posts under these themes. The themes should complement (or, in fact, be) your core messages as a business AND as a human being in sales (Linkedn is all sales, but that’s a separate blog post…).
This use of themes will also add a level of consistency in your messaging, which will increase the resonance of your posts. People will ‘get it’… just maybe after the 7th, 8th, or 29th time.
2) Life through your lens
Life through your lens is all about your personal perspective. Your LinkedIn audience don’t want to hear scripted, predictable, cliche messages! They want authentic, raw and real comments from you.
Of course, YOU STILL NEED TO STAY ON BRAND. I can’t believe I’ve written that, but someone is always bound to forget…
So yes, stay on brand, but write in the same way you would speak. Talk about your personal experience in the business world, in your industry, in society in general. The number 1 rule of LinkedIn is “you’re talking to humans”. Stop thinking of them as ‘readers’, an ‘audience’ or anything else that detaches them from the fact they are real-life human beings with emotions and personalities.
By sharing your experiences and speaking from your unique perspective on life, you will win over the humans.
3) Create video for LinkedIn
Using video on LinkedIn is really crucial if you want to drive up your engagement.
Some blogs will tell you that text only posts are the best, but that’s not strictly true. Whilst your text-only post may get more views, in my experience, when you divide the number of engagements (comments, reactions and shares) by the number of views, you get a much higher number on video posts compared with text-only posts (ie. people are more likely to feel compelled to engage with a video on LinkedIn than a text post).
The key is to combine long-form text posts with a compelling video; then you get best of both worlds, and create something really powerful.
When it comes to using video on LinkedIn, there are two key elements to be aware of: energy and content.
Keep your energy positive and upbeat. No one will watch a drab, dreary, slow and monotonous video on social media.
Keep your content varied, interesting, insightful and, as before, use your own personal experiences to shape the content and say something new!
Video is great for educating your audience and giving them a whole new experience. These are two things which text-only posts really struggle to do successfully.
Finally, ensure that the first 5 seconds of your video are really powerful. You only have a short window of opportunity to capture attention, so don’t squander it!
4) Make headlines
Speaking of short windows of opportunity… headlines!
Of course your post won’t have a headline in the traditional sense, but you can leverage the powerful of headlines to ensure you write compelling copy at the start of your post.
Write something that stands out, breaks the norm, and catches the eye of the scroller. This could be a bold statement, a question, a fact, breaking news, dispelling a myth or any of the traditional headline formats that always work so well.
Your opening line should sum up your content in an authentic way, while also enticing people to stop scrolling and hit that ‘read more’ button. It’s an art that will come more easily with practice!
5) Engage, engage, engage
Finally, engage with your audience. Prioritise replying to comments, asking questions and facilitating discussion.
In doing so, you’ll naturally create more engagement and you’ll see your post start to snowball. This will have the added benefit of LinkedIn pushing your content up the feed for the people who actively engage in your posts, thus generating more engagement.
It also shows people that you’re open to comments, making them feel more welcome to engage with your posts by effectively ‘thanking’ people for their comments.
It’s a positive cycle which, when nurtured, can provide great rewards. It’s nice to be nice!
And one big thing NOT to do
LinkedIn pods. Leave them alone. For those of you that don’t know, LinkedIn pods are when a group of people get together and conspire to like and comment on each others posts.
They typically post all at the same time, and then everyone in that ‘pod’ will engage with the posts of their fellow members. This is an awful and shady practice that should be avoided at all costs.
These types of tactics never have long-term benefits, and ultimately, what’s the point? So you can falsify engagement stats to feel better about yourself and your supposed marketing prowess?
How will you learn what content works? How will you actually get real life leads?
It’s all very superficial and not something you should partake in. Just write good content. You know your stuff, so trust yourself.
I’m sure there’s plenty of other ‘hacks’ for LinkedIn, but these 5 are pretty timeless. Trust yourself, be authentic and stay consistent.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, or more content like this, you can check out my latest LinkedIn posts here.