By Tia Nowack, Content Strategist
October 28, 2014
Most professional organizations are on LinkedIn, but many grapple with exactly how to use it. How frequently should you post? What should you post? Does it matter who’s doing the posting?
With so many social media platforms, it’s hard to be a master of all of them. But we want to be. And who better to help us than an executive of LinkedIn?
Recently, I attended the PR + Social Media Summit in Milwaukee along with hundreds of other marketing and PR professionals. It was a productive day, with high profile speakers from Reddit, Facebook, Bon-Ton and more. But the presentation that I was most excited about (and it didn’t disappoint) was from Yumi Wilson, Director of Corporate Communications at LinkedIn.
As Usual, Content is King on LinkedIn
LinkedIn currently has 313 million members, adding an average of two new members per second. Of those members, 100 million are from the U.S.
LinkedIn stands apart from other social platforms because it’s a professional network, not personal. And this difference matters. In personal social networks, users go there to waste time—browsing cat pictures, creeping on friends from high school and the like. On LinkedIn, however, people go there to invest time—staying updated on brands, following interesting trends, researching career information, etc.
In fact, most users aren’t just going to LinkedIn to look for jobs. According to Wilson, members are 7 times more likely to engage with content than job postings. As we’ve been saying, content is king and you need to take it seriously to be successful.
Recently, LinkedIn expanded its long-form publishing feature from an influencer-only feature to one that’s available to all users. This content can be used in groups and is visible on the Pulse (like a more targeted version of Facebook’s newsfeed).
Raise Brand Awareness Through LinkedIn Engagement
Like for most social outlets, to be successful you need to share engaging content and engage with other users. Doing so on LinkedIn, however, is unique. According to Wilson, here’s what to do.
Your Personal Page
If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, go do that now. Now that that’s taken care of, follow these best practices for optimal engagement:
- Use groups: strong, active participation in groups can help you become a top contributor (the mecca of LinkedIn participation)
- Fun Fact: individuals who engage in groups get 4x more page views than those who don’t.
- Post as a person, share as a company: from your personal page, post status updates, publish insights and then broadcast via your company page
- Fun Fact: there are 3 million company pages on LinkedIn. To amplify your message, use your company page to pick up statuses from your employees (not just the other way around).
- Share status updates: bonus—you can now view stats for your personal status updates as well as your company page
- Pro Tip: According to Wilson, when you share company news or updates, have your team share and like that post at around the same time—you’ll see a big boost in traction and are more likely to stick on the What’s Trending page.
Company Page Follower Engagement
Company pages are controlled through personal pages and have some quirks of their own. To best engage your followers (professionals who have opted-in to a relationship with your company):
- Build a direct communication channel to those most interested in your business.
- Recruit more through paid, owned and earned channels.
- Ensure follower quality through advanced targeting.
- Employees are your biggest fans: use them! Create a social media policy for your team that outlines expected social media engagement practices for all members of your company.
- Fun Fact: employees are 70 times more likely to share your updates than the average user.
Company Page Content
What you share is just as important as who you’re sharing it with. Here’s what works on LinkedIn:
- Include a link: posts with links average 2 times more engagement
- Images are a must: Comment rates are 98% higher when they’re included
- Lights, camera, action: Updates with videos directly embedded into them have a 75% higher share rate
- Share content that works: According to Wilson, the best performing content on LinkedIn includes inside looks into a company, career opportunities, tips and best practices, and fun facts and quotes.
- Don’t promote: when participating in groups, make thoughtful comments that contribute, not promotional statements
- Pro Tip: Ask questions! “Here’s what we’ve tried, what are you doing?” is a great model.