More than half of the world’s population now use social media. More than 4.1 billion people regularly use social media networks around the globe, which means that these platforms offer a huge opportunity to those looking to grow their profile or business, but also means they are the most competitive places on earth.
Making sure that you are heard above the noise is a difficult task, with each network using its own algorithm to try and highlight the best and most relevant content to you. However, the one consistent amongst them all is the importance of engagement, and so by leveraging this metric you can help your content go viral and grow your influence. In this guide we’re going to focus on the business network LinkedIn to explain various strategies marketers use to improve the engagement on their posts from how to find the right topics that are relevant to your target audience to the effectiveness of Pod LinkedIn techniques.
Whilst the likes of Facebook and Instagram may have much higher user numbers, volume is not everything and LinkedIn users are a very specific user demographic – business people. LinkedIn no longer publishes monthly active user figures (MAUs), which make the platform somewhat difficult to compare against other social networks in terms of scale, but you can be certain that whilst its overall numbers may be lower than the likes of Facebook or TikTok, if you are looking to generate business-to-business (B2B) leads, then LinkeIn is the platform of choice.
According to LinkedIn’s own statistics 79% of B2B marketers believe social media is an effective marketing channel and critically 80% of B2B leads come via the platform, with 46% of traffic going to company websites coming directly from LinkedIn.
All these stats demonstrate that LinkedIn is a great platform for B2B lead generation, and a source of massive potential growth. However, if you put all your effort into creating unique and engaging content but if that content only gets a few dozen views, then you are missing out on many potential leads. So how can you improve your viewing numbers, with LinkedIn hiding the vast majority of content behind its algorithms and filters? Great content and a focus on driving engagement.
How to produce great content
1. Know your audience
There are millions of people on LinekdIn, all with different goals and histories. Before you start writing you content, work out exactly who you are trying to attract with this content to generate leads. Are you targeting the startup crowd or executives from established companies? What sort of problem does your business solve? How old are the types of people you want to target? Answer these questions and then you will know the voice, tone, and possibly style your posts should be.
2. Vary the content type
When most people discuss content marketing they mean text-based content, but images and videos can also do well on social media and a variation of all three can be more exciting and engaging to your audience. Images (whether infographics or editorial) also give you a way to highlight your brand – your logo, and colours to remind people who you are.
3. Write about your expertise
Content is engaging when it is written by someone with knowledge to share. Everyone has different expertise and different personal stories to tell, so make the most of yours and become a thought leader in your industry.
How to improve engagement
Engagement is one of the main metrics with which LinkedIn determines whether to show your content to users outside your direct network. If people you are connected with are liking or commenting on your posts, then that tells the algorithm that your content is interesting and so it shows it in more people’s feeds, and if they also engage with your content then you can quickly get thousands of views and that means thousands of new potential leads. Here are some ways you can improve engagement:
1. Share as a person instead of a company
People are more likely to engage with content shared by another human being than via a company as the content is generally written form a more personal perspective and does not feel like it has been spun through the whole PR team by the time it is published. Going personal instead of corporate when sharing content can see engagement rates improve by up to 16 per cent according to some sources.
2. Find like-minded people
As LinkedIn uses engagement as a metric to find which posts it should show to more people, one way people try to et their posts noticed is to work in groups or “pods” where people work together and comment and like on each others’ posts to push engagement. These groups have been around as long as social media has used algorithms and they work to varying effects. Those that try and game the system too much may get discovered, but on a small scale working together in small groups can have a significant impact. If your posts without a pod get just a couple of likes and one comment, but with a pod get10 likes and 8 comments then LinekdIn will see that as a more engaging post and should increase the distribution of your post, but as ever caveat emptor.
3. Repost, repost, repost
Other social networks don’t always respond well to reposting the same content, but the freshness metric on LinkedIn’s Pulse algorithm means that the only way to get more people to see your content after a certain amount of time (generally a few hours) is to re-share it multiple times. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson is particularly good at this, sharing the same article up to three times in the same day with different intro text to make sure that he has appealed to everyone who may be interested in the content.
4. Schedule your content and automate reposts
Not all automation is useful, as you want real engagement with your content, but there are various parts of content marketing that you can automate to save you time that you can then focus on writing and improving your other content. Schedule your posts in advance to make sure that you can regularly post new content at a time of day when your target market is most likely to be browsing LinkedIn. If you are targeting US-based business people, then it makes sense to publish during their work day rather than at 9am GMT when you have finished the piece. You can schedule content with any number of social media tools these days from Buffer to HootSuite and everything in-between.
Image by Gerd Altmann