You carefully craft this great post and…it bombs. Nothing. No likes, shares, comments. What happened? The issue could be that you are sharing the wrong kind of content for the social media channel. Audiences go to social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube with different needs and expectations. To capture their attention and engagement, your posts need to meet those needs.
Let’s tackle LinkedIn! Who visits LinkedIn and what are they looking to experience? What kind of posts do best? We’ll start with a bit of information about the platform overall.
LinkedIn: The Go-To Platform for B2B
LinkedIn usage isn’t as widespread as some of the other social media platforms. About 300 Million users are active on a monthly basis. A little more than a quarter of US adults say they ever use the platform, raking 5th in usage behind other social platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.
That said, it has more than 675 million users worldwide. That’s more than double the population of the United States! If your target audience is worldwide, LinkedIn might be for you.
What it doesn’t have in size, it makes up for in engagement, especially if you are trying to reach a B2B audience. LinkedIn’s “The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn” shares these convincing statistics.
LinkedIn not only encompasses business-minded individuals, but companies do business on the platform as well. There are over 30 million company pages. An average of twenty million open jobs are posted on LinkedIn at any given time.
As with all things digital today, mobile users are a growing percentage. Roughly 57% of LinkedIn traffic is from mobile devices.
Organic Posting vs Paid Advertising
Actually, the section title is a bit misleading. The best engagement comes from the synergy created by doing both. Unfortunately, engagement with “organic” social media posts has been trending down – this is true for most platforms including LinkedIn, but is more pronounced on Facebook. There are many potential causes, but the truth of the matter is that simply posting will not get you the engagement it did in past years. Marketers are using paid advertising to fill in.
LinkedIn has several different options briefly described below. In comparison to Facebook, LinkedIn’s advertising costs more, but their smaller, more targeted, and engaged audience may make it the right choice for your business.
- Sponsored Content Ads – they appear to be “boosted” posts from a company’s feed.
- Text Ads – closest to Google search ads on this platform. Operate on a pay per click or impression and featured in the sidebar.
- Sponsored InMail – Messages sent to user’s inbox.
- Programmatic Display Ads– target your audience using intent or personas. Buy through open or private auctions.
- Dynamic Ads – the most personalized. Choose to promote jobs, content, page or website traffic via spotlight ads that appear on the newsfeed.
LinkedIn’s Audience and Motivations
You probably have an instinctive feel for this already. Say you are trying to interest businesses and individuals in grammar education. Which post is going to “work” on LinkedIn?
You guessed it – the one with professionals in the image that provides facts. LinkedIn is the home of businesses and business-minded professionals. LinkedIn users tend to be:
- Middle Aged
- Well Educated – 51% have college+
- High-income - 44% of users
- Upper management - 45% of users
- Equally men & women in the US
Why are they on LinkedIn?
- Networking –The business form of “connection.” Instead of the friends and family of Facebook, LinkedIn users are interested in connecting to other users that can help them do a better job and expand their career.
- Learning – Users want to improve the way they work or to find ways to make their job easier.
- Trends – Staying on top of industry and business trends is another motivation.
- Inspiration – LinkedIn users are looking for people and stories that inspire them.
- Entertainment – While not the top priority, LinkedIn users DO reach out for this platform to assuage boredom and be entertained.
- Self-presentation – This is the psychology term for wanting to see and be seen. An important element to most social media posting is the desire to be noticed in a positive way.
Content That Engages
What does this mean for your content on LinkedIn? Here are four tips to creating LinkedIn content that gets attention.
Be Informative and Share your Industry Knowledge
Users go to LinkedIn to learn so create posts that are rich in information. Don’t be shy or stingy – share your expertise so that people learn to see you as an expert. The side benefit is that sharing information and expertise builds trust – a required step in the sales process.
Posts with images are 2 times more likely to be engaged with. When you post your industry trends, always accompany them with a visual aid. For instance, combine information, industry trends, and visuals into one post by sharing a PDF.
LinkedIn only allows four images per post. However, you can load as many PDFs as you like. LinkedIn also has a feature that plays four PDFs in a carousel. You can use this to create visually appealing PDFs and infographics to support a webinar or blog post. The added engagement of clicking through your images counts towards LinkedIn’s engagement algorithm meaning you could end up with your post being offered more often.
We all know that video is increasingly important. According to LinkedIn, images lead to a 2x higher comment rate than plain text and videos are 5x more likely to start a conversation. If you really want to engage, live video a behind the scenes tour, a how-to session, or even a short interview. LinkedIn users are 24 times more likely to engage with live video than recorded video!
LinkedIn recommends that you create short 1-2 minute videos with proper subtitles. Make sure the videos are authentic and reflect the vision of your brand in an appropriate manner.
Follow Best Practice for Ads
If you are thinking about utilizing LinkedIn ads or are currently using them, consider these best practices that drive engagement.
- Keep your headlines under 150 characters
- Embed larger images as opposed to thumbnails as content with larger visuals get almost a 40% higher click-through rate
- Make sure that your CTA is clear so the audience knows where the next action will take them
Focus on targeting your ad campaign. Depending on your business, you can target by location, industry, company size, titles, roles, and even interests.
LinkedIn – the cheat sheet
You have choices of where and what to share on social media. What works on LinkedIn?
Choose a social media platform that attracts your target audience. B2B professionals
Engage your audience by offering content that matches their motivations. Inform and Inspire
Choose content and formats that are proven to perform well for that channel. Informative, but still visual
If you’re struggling with your content marketing efforts, try signing up for our Content Strategy Sessions where you’ll leave with 20 post ideas and 6 blog post ideas in only 30 minutes. Click here for more information!