Social media has become inevitable in our lives.
Some of us spend hours scrolling on Facebook. Others post daily tweets. Professionals on LinkedIn constantly look for ways to growing their online presence and tap into new engagement opportunities.
Regardless of what social media platform you use, knowing how to leverage your social network can be lucrative for both your business and personal life.
This article will introduce five tips to help you scale your online connections and maximise the LinkedIn engagement you receive.
Why are people not engaging with your LinkedIn posts?
A question that many business owners and marketers have asked themselves at one point or another is, “Why doesn’t anyone engage with my posts?”
Well, the answer might be in some common pitfalls that may limit your reach.
After you post content on LinkedIn, it will appear in the newsfeeds of your first-level connections. After that, your post should begin to pick up steam and gain traction organically once your connections start engaging with it.
However, if they don’t like, comment, and share your post, it will receive limited exposure. Consequently, only those who already follow and have connected with you can view your LinkedIn post.
One of LinkedIn’s most prominent features is that it allows professionals to share their content.
So, why is it that few seem to care when you publish something on the platform? The answer may lie with how you’re posting.
Are you using the right hashtags?
Hashtags help increase brand awareness, create a sense of community and boost content exposure. They also make finding content on a particular topic easier.
You might have used generic hashtags such as #marketing or #sales because many people follow them but found that they don’t provide the intended effect you desired.
And the reason for that is because followers of these hashtags would see hundreds, if not thousands, of posts on their newsfeeds every day. Subsequently, it reduces your chances of standing out of the crowd. That being said, you don’t necessarily need to avoid using broad hashtags altogether.
Before using any hashtag on your LinkedIn posts, have a think on whether they fulfil the following criteria:
1) Are they balanced?
Building on the previous point, you can use generic hashtags like #marketing. The key is to mix it up with more niche or specific hashtags, where your target audience is more likely to be involved.
There are numerous LinkedIn hashtag directories on the web that you can peruse for great insights on the most popular hashtags on LinkedIn. However, for niche hashtags, you’ll need LinkedIn Hashtag Analytics. This free Chrome extension lets you check follower counts of all hashtags on LinkedIn directly on your LinkedIn page.
2) Do they look natural on your post?
Using too many hashtags negatively affects engagement as the LinkedIn community considers them spammy.
As a rule of thumb, LinkedIn recommends using no more than 3 hashtags within a post.
3) Are they relevant to your niche?
Greater relevancy to viewers increases the chance of click-throughs into your LinkedIn profile.
4) Are they distracting your readers?
Consider placing them at the end of your post so that they do not distract your readers from the message you are conveying.
Did you miss the Golden Hour?
LinkedIn’s algorithm considers many different factors when deciding which post to boost on its platform. The amount of engagement that a user generates for a specific post is one of these factors.
The “Golden Hour” on LinkedIn refers to the two-hour period after you published a post. If you don’t receive enough engagement (likes and comments) at this stage, it’s most likely you won’t see much later either.
There are specific times when people share their best content, and that’s because they know that these are prime times when they’re more likely to receive engagement.
If you want to maximise engagement, plan your publishing schedule strategically. Try sharing your posts when engagement rates are at their highest.
Based on the heatmap below, the best days to post on LinkedIn are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, between 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Source: Sprout Social
Once you’ve published a post, pay close attention to your notifications. The moment someone comments on your post during the Golden Hour, be sure to go back and reply as soon as possible. Try to keep the conversation going and add more value to your original post. If the commenter expresses disagreement, be open-minded and express interest in hearing what they have to say.
LinkedIn’s algorithm will begin boosting your post in the newsfeed of users beyond your connections when they see your first-level connections actively engaging on your post, eventually leading to a greater number of engagements. So, make sure to seize the Golden Hour!
Do you write text-only posts?
When you write a text-only post, you are more likely to maximise your exposure as the LinkedIn algorithm prioritises content with text-only format. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should never post photos or videos.
However, bear in mind that these posts tend to receive less engagement than their text-based counterparts as the LinkedIn algorithm favours the latter.
LinkedIn has updated its character limit to 3000 characters per post. That’s about 462-600 words (including spaces) worth of content. Nevertheless, the key is to keep your message concise and mobile-friendly.
Additionally, since there’s no title option for LinkedIn posts, your post’s first one or two sentences work as a headline. Therefore, they should be eye-catching. You can achieve this by starting your post with a thought-provoking question that you know your readers have. Alternatively, you may begin your post by stating a pain point that your target audience shares.
Is your content share-worthy?
A crucial step to engaging with members and maximising exposure through social media is choosing the right type of posts to share. In general, people prefer reading inspiring, helpful, or interesting works as opposed to promotional content.
Since most LinkedIn users are looking for information instead of service providers or vendors, creating a salesy post might lower engagement. If you want your posts to be shared, keep your target audience’s best interest in mind.
When you write a post, think of something about your industry or business that is interesting, answers a question, or solves a pain point for your target audience. This way, instead of just promoting what you offer, you are subtly offering insights and solutions to their problems. Compared to a pure sales pitch, this type of content will be more valuable and authentic to your target audience.
Nevertheless, your posts need to have an intended outcome. Before you choose a topic and craft your content, decide if your end goal is:
- Driving traffic back to your company/personal website
- Creating brand awareness
- Expanding your LinkedIn network/connections
- Demonstrating thought leadership
- Acquiring new leads
- Generating sales
- Educating your target audience
- Getting your target audience’s feedback and opinions
- Nurturing relationships
- Priming them for a webinar, video, or other upcoming event or content
The above are just a few possibilities. It is also entirely possible to have a combination of goals within one post. So, consider the above list when deciding how you want your LinkedIn posts to benefit your company or personal brand.
Are you telling a story?
Facts are important, but a story takes a fact-based message and makes it more compelling. Stories are personal, memorable, and leaves a lasting impression, and people love connecting with people and brands they feel understand them.
So, how do you incorporate the element of storytelling but still keep your content well within the scope of your niche or industry?
Here are some creative ideas to you get you started:
- Provide context to your post using personal experiences or answering the why’s on top of providing the facts.
- Using relatable analogies, similes, and metaphors to help your audience fully understand what you’re explaining.
- Including relevant quotes from industry experts to add more perspective and authority on the topic of your post. People are naturally drawn to those they perceive as credible sources.
Bonus tip: Tagging (@) experts or influencers on LinkedIn will make post views tank if they don’t respond or engage with your post. Even if your content is amazing, they might have notifications turned off and wouldn’t know when you tag them. As such, you either forgo tagging and simply mention their name. Alternatively, reach out to them and ask for their cooperation beforehand.
The bottom line
While you may be tempted to post about your latest product or service offering, people are more likely to respond when they see an interesting and relevant post. Remember that LinkedIn users are looking for information, so make sure the content of your posts provides value in one way or another.
Then, think about how you can use your content to create a two-way dialogue with your audience. By starting or joining in on conversations on LinkedIn, you can increase engagement and establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
Last but not least, remember that your posts should reflect the objective you have set for them, whether it is driving traffic to your company website, establishing brand awareness, or something else. When done correctly, these steps will help you improve your LinkedIn engagement.
Sally is Head of Marketing for FILT Pod, a community of business owners who are committed to driving each other’s brand forward on LinkedIn. She enjoys creating content for business owners who are looking to grow their brand visibility and reach.