Are you ready to post to LinkedIn?
Posting content on LinkedIn can provide many benefits. It can make you more visible (to hiring managers, to current and potential clients, to current and potential employees, etc.) It can also be a way of exploring your own thought leadership and giving back to your professional community. Maybe it’s a test to see if you have a book in you!
Who sees what I post?
When you post anything on LinkedIn, it only goes into the newsfeed of approximately ten percent of all of your connections, and then they only see it if they happen to be looking at their newsfeed at that time. You might want to complain about the LinkedIn algorithm, but the algorithm is just learning from members’ behavior. You’d drown if you got everything in your newsfeed if you have a reasonably large network and much of what you see is of probably of no interest to you anyway.
There are ways to increase visibility to closer to 25%. The primary way is by what I will loosely classify under “engagement.” You like, comment or share someone’s post, and you teach the LI algorithm that you like that person’s content, and you’ll then see more of it. If they then respond to your comment, they will then see more of your content in their newsfeed.
If you use a service that pushes content out every day and no one is liking, commenting, or sharing, don’t be surprised if you’re teaching the algorithm that no one is interested in your content so it will appear in the newsfeed of even fewer people. It would be better to put out less content and engage more (e.g., like, comment, and share other people’s content.)
There are other techniques/tricks to getting your content seen by more people, but I’m not going to get into that. This post is intended more for those of you who want to get started on posting content on LinkedIn.
What can you post?
There are many different types of posts suitable for LinkedIn.
- Links to articles or videos of interest
- Short posts (up to 1300 characters)
- Short posts with images
- Native videos (upload MP4 videos directly to LI)
- Documents (e.g. a mini slideshow)
- Original content – an article you’ve written
What works best?
There are all kinds of articles written about what works best. I suggest you try a few and see what works best for you. In general, links that take you away from LinkedIn don’t get a lot of visibility. Native videos work well, especially if they have subtitles so that people don’t have to have the sound on (here’s an example.)
- Short posts work very well, as long as they engage people in conversation (here’s an example.)
- External links
Did you read an article that you think would be great to share with your network on LinkedIn? By all means, add that into your mix of sharing. Just don’t expect a lot of people to like, comment, or share it. Part of the reason is that the LI algorithm learns from people’s behavior and most of them don’t want to click and go to an external site. If it’s a fascinating article and you add a few sentences about why you think it’s compelling, you might encourage more readership.
- Pictures on LinkedIn
If you post a picture on LinkedIn – perhaps a motivational image or something else like a picture of a person, people may like it, but it’s unlikely to get much if any, engagement so it won’t spread as far. If you write some interesting content about why you’ve shared it, and then they share the image, it is only the image that’s shared, not the content you wrote, so it loses its impact. If you do post a picture, try to have text written right on the image.
If sharing images is a part of your brand and marketing mix, then, by all means, include them periodically and then see how they do as compared to your other types of posts.
- Documents on LinkedIn.
You could always upload a PowerPoint presentation to your profile page, but now you can post them to your newsfeed. People can click to move through the slides. You can add any multipage document but it’s not very attractive nor is it easy to read when you have a dense page of text. It came out in 2019 and many people still don’t know about it/use it but it can be great if used wisely. I added this one recently on how to send video messages on LinkedIn. You can both see each page by using the arrow on the page to move through it or click on the bottom right to make it full size. When it’s in full-size mode, you can also click on the top right to download it as a pdf.
This could be good to do as an instructional piece that promotes your expertise or your business offerings. You might already have something you could repurpose (part of a presentation you’ve done perhaps?)
Like other posts, it’s likely to be short-lived so you might want to consider also “featuring” it in the new Featured section on LinkedIn.
- Poll (new on LinkedIn May 2020)
You now can add a poll on LinkedIn. The limit is 4 questions of your choice. This might be interesting to try for some of you. This example is from a colleague. I haven’t tested it out yet.
- Original content (article or blog you’ve written)
If you are already writing content for your blog, by all means, you should also add it to LinkedIn. It’s hard to get people to read long articles on LinkedIn, so I wouldn’t recommend starting to write just for that purpose, but repurposing existing content is a great idea. Contact me if this is something you want to do and I’ll talk you through the pros and cons and best practices.
What can I do to increase visibility?
There are things you can do to increase visibility as you can see from my comments above about engagement.
Hashtags are words that people might use to find content about that topic – e.g., #blockchain. So it’s definitely worth adding a few. How many? Be careful here. If I see too many hashtags, I’m inclined to think someone is trying too hard or doesn’t know their target area. Three or four are perfectly fine. @mentions can be useful to bring someone into the conversation and notify them that you’ve mentioned them. If they don’t participate in the discussion, I have heard that the LinkedIn algorithm considers that lack of interest as potential spamming and a reason to show your content to fewer people.
How often should I post?
I recommend posting two or three times a week. On other days you should still be active on LI in different ways. I know people who post content every day, but when you look at how many likes or comments each post has, it’s often none or maybe a couple of likes. If no one is commenting or liking, you are teaching the LI algorithm that people aren’t interested in your content so it will show up even less. Don’t get too excited when you see a number like “245 views of your post”. That just means it appeared in the newsfeed of 245 people and they might have seen it if they happened to be looking at their newsfeed at that time. Realistically only those who liked it or commented can be counted as people who saw your post.
There are so many complexities to posting effectively on LinkedIn. I encourage you to try it out without worrying too much about every detail.
I would love to talk with you about the benefits to you of being more active by sharing content on LinkedIn and how I could help you with your professional goals. Please schedule a free 20-minute strategy consultation to see how I might be able to assist you.