Love it or hate it, LinkedIn is a proven platform for just about any business-related activity.
Want to build your company brand? LinkedIn is a good place to start.
Wanna promote some content and engage in discussions about the latest tactics? Look no further.
But most people get LinkedIn wrong, and therefore, most LinkedIn content sucks. Horribly.
Seriously, I’d pay you good money if you could develop a Chrome extension that blocks any timeline post containing “millennial keynote speaker” or “growth hacking influencer” in it.
Serious inquiries only, please.
Most LinkedIn content is either boring (merely pasting your latest blog link) or outrageously cheesy attempts at being the next Tai Lopez (ridiculous vlogs), neither of which people want to consume on the platform.
Here’s how to generate high engagement on LinkedIn.
1. Quick + Informative Native Videos Grab Attention on LinkedIn
When it comes to hours spent on social media, most people are spending a ton of time on platforms.
Per day, people spend almost an hour on YouTube, more than 30 minutes on Facebook, and comparable amounts of time on both Snapchat and Instagram. It adds up to nearly six years of social browsing in a given lifetime.
But LinkedIn just isn’t the same.
People barely used LinkedIn in terms of time on the platform when compared to other social media. The majority are using less than two hours a week, with a large portion at zero minutes.
That’s only 24 minutes a day in a 5-day work week with a generous calculation. Yikes.
People browse fast and efficiently on LinkedIn, so posting your latest blog post link and expecting 100 link clicks, and a dozen shares just aren’t realistic.
Nobody cares about your blog content if it’s a pasted link with a featured image.
Video content is dominating LinkedIn because it’s often short and concise.
Short, easily digestible videos are great for conveying a ton of information in less time and effort than reading a long post or clicking to a blog.
Native video on LinkedIn can last anywhere from three seconds to 10 minutes, depending on what you want to share.
Short bits of information? Check.
Longer discussions or topic dives? Check.
Allen Gannett, CEO at TrackMaven, uses native video to connect with his audience in short bursts:
These ~30-second long videos with subtitles are recorded on his phone and posted directly to LinkedIn. This series of videos are all labeled under the “#AllenAsks” hashtag and are all under one minute in length.
Interviewing high-level performers in the marketing space, he asks them a single question to get some insight without taking up too much time from viewers.
Judging by the engagement he receives on each post, it’s working like a charm.
While interviewing high-level industry experts isn’t feasible for everyone, you get the point:
Fun, knowledge packed, short native videos capture attention on LinkedIn. They provide more value than links to new content.
Try spicing up your LinkedIn content with a video series that is short and informative.
2. Keep it Simple Stupid: Text-Only = Big Wins
Like LinkedIn, Twitter is another one of those less used social platforms that people either love or hate.
When you ask someone what their favorite social network is, Twitter isn’t always at the top of the list. Giants like Instagram or Facebook usually take the cake.
But the fact is, Twitter has something right about their platform: It’s simple, mostly text-based posting that got it off the ground.
In a world filled with noise in the form of advertisements, self-promotion, and content, Twitter stuck out like a sore thumb and gave ordinary people the chance to post random, witty bits of content in a simple fashion.
Simply put, Twitter got it right with basic text posts.
As it turns out, basic text posts on most platforms aren’t the norm anymore. But that’s good. You don’t want to keep doing what everyone else is doing.
It’s why you’re here right now: that stuff doesn’t work.
In marketing, they taught us that images, visuals, and anything but plain text is key to engagement.
But that leads to over saturation. Essentially, it’s a new form of banner blindness. It’s probably a contributing factor to the latest studies showing social engagement is down by 50 percent in just the last few years.
Meanwhile, basic text posts are generating more likes, comments, and views than any other form of content on LinkedIn.
For instance, John Espirian dominates LinkedIn content by using eye-catching emojis and mostly text-based content:
Why? It breaks the noise of shameless content promotion that is LinkedIn.
It gets people to actually stop and read – and as a bonus, it gets them to engage with you in a discussion, producing more comments and expanding your reach.
Next time you go to LinkedIn to build engagement, keep it simple.
3. Stop Using LinkedIn as a One-Way Street
Social media is a joke nowadays in the marketing space.
Because every single marketer has the same strategy:
Spam promotions and then leave.
Heck, I am guilty of it, too.
We see social media as this tool to reach the masses with our content. And sure, people engage with it. But we often don’t engage back. We just assume that people will click, comment, and engage.
The cycle looks something like this for most marketers and companies:
Create new blog post -> publish live -> load into Buffer -> repeat.
See what’s missing? Actual engagement and effort.
But if there isn’t reciprocity, you can’t expect continued engagement.
Comment on your post. Spark discussions on a blog post. Ask for feedback. Actually respond to comments.
Don’t just post, leave, and expect unlimited traffic.
Better yet: genuinely ask people to give their opinion on subjects that you want to learn more about. Seek other ideas and open the discussion to anyone.
Rand Fishkin is a prime example of directly engaging his audience instead of treating it as a one-way promotional release:
Posting his thoughts on different tactics, he ends his posts by asking a question to his readers.
Why? He really wants feedback, different viewpoints, and more information from multiple sources.
Start treating your LinkedIn audience like real people. Talk to them. Explore their thoughts on your niche or tactical ideas.
Humans love real conversations. Shocker, right?
4. Write Better Content Directly on LinkedIn
Most people use social media for one overarching reason: to drive traffic somewhere.
But when it comes to LinkedIn, keeping people on the platform itself can often produce better engagement.
While it’s nice to have some clicks on your latest post, it likely isn’t your cash cow tactic.
Want real engagement?
Stop sharing links that 99 percent of your audience is ignoring. It ain’t worth it.
Instead, take advantage of LinkedIn’s fantastic native content system and produce short stories that hook your audience in without forcing them off the platform or disrupting their session.
While this won’t drive direct traffic to your site, you’re going to be focusing on the long game. Hooking people and branding yourself at the same time.
Good content wins people over every single time. And you don’t need to win them over on your own site at first.
Aaron Orendorf, editor-in-chief of Shopify Plus, is a master when it comes to this tactic. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better execution of it.
Using the “Write an article” feature on LinkedIn, he posts short blurbs that focus on storytelling and continue on his branded hashtag: #LetsGetRejected.
With just a few hundred words and a few minutes of time from his day, he produces content that grabs attention, generating hundreds of likes, multiple dozen comments, and 50+ shares.
Typical posts on your LinkedIn timeline probably have far less engagement unless it’s coming directly from a company with millions of followers.
Using the native article feature on LinkedIn, every time you publish a piece your connections get a notification, giving you that extra chance to get more engagement than organically posting on your feed.
The mistake that many make with this feature is trying to link out and drive traffic away. But that won’t do much for you.
People clicked because they were interested, not because they wanted to be directed back to your blog to consume a 10,000-word ebook with their morning coffee.
They want a short, interesting read to break up the monotony.
So give it to them.
LinkedIn is an endless, vast, dark cesspool of shameless, annoying, self-promotional content.
You log in for a few minutes a day to see posts sharing the same old crap: XX Tips for SEO! Joy.
We’ve seen it before. Every day. Since LinkedIn was created.
To stand out on LinkedIn and actually produce engagement on your posts, produce native videos that have direct calls to the discussion in the comments below and then initiate it yourself.
Keep it simple: write quick text-based posts that grab attention and drive engagement.
Stop using LinkedIn as a one-way street. It’s a give-and-take. Post and then respond and engage with others who like your post to keep them in the loop.
Lastly, take advantage of LinkedIn’s native content abilities to write short blurbs and pieces that you normally wouldn’t post on your blog.
People fill LinkedIn with good content that they promote poorly. Divert from the norm, and you’ll find much higher levels of sustained engagement.
More LinkedIn Marketing Resources:
- 11 LinkedIn Experts Share Their Best Unusual LinkedIn Marketing Hack
- How to Get the Most from Those High LinkedIn CPCs
- How Influencers Outperform Competitors Through Extreme Productivity
Featured Image: Pixabay
All screenshots taken by author, September 2018
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