There is a lot to gain from using LinkedIn more.
I think it’s overlooked in the world of social media.
Some of the negativity is warranted. There can certainly be a lot of spam. You know the messages. The ones trying to sell SEO and outbound lead services.
And it can seem that LinkedIn isn’t really a network in the sense that you connect with your friends. It’s more about connecting in the professional world. And who has time for that when you have to keep up with all the other social media these days…
But I’ve gotten a lot of value over the years from LinkedIn and recently the positives have been increasing.
Here are a few tips for getting better engagement on LinkedIn.
1. Share More Offsite Content
All the networks seem to favor native content. That would be content that lives on their platform and doesn’t link to something off the site. Like a blog post or podcast or video on YouTube or something like that.
But most of the networks still allow for offsite content. Links. And LinkedIn can lead to pretty good engagement if you share a regular stream of offsite content.
I’ve bounced around from 12-24 pieces of content a day. It’s never seemed like too much. It leads to some good traffic, followers and connections.
I share my own blog posts, but also other blog posts and content I find interesting.
One thing I notice is that content seems to stand out more on LinkedIn. People don’t seem to follow a lot of accounts so they see your content all the time.
2. Create More Onsite Content
Offsite content is great, but like I said, the networks love when you create content that lives on their platform. Full-length articles can work well on LinkedIn. But they also allow video and possibly in the future maybe even audio.
And you can always create just a simple text update, thought or comment. Just like on Facebook and Twitter. These can do really well because they stand out among all the other posts that have links.
The first thing people see when they logon to LinkedIn is their content feed. It might as well be your content that they’re seeing.
3. Use Hashtags
My engagement has gone up drastically since I’ve been using hashtags on LinkedIn. And the network has seemed to really push the use of them recently. They make suggestions. They encourage users to follow them.
I use up to ten per post when I share on the network. It works great and there has been little to no negative feedback.
4. Optimize Your Profile(s) For Search
LinkedIn really does just about all they can to help you fill out your profile. That would be your own personal profile, but it also includes your business profile if you have a business.
Optimize in this instance just means using the most appropriate title for your job. Not the cute one that your company has, but the one that people are most likely to search for. It also means having a description of what you do and who you are. Again, in the language that people are most likely to search for.
If you want people to find you and contact you to potentially buy something from you (it does happen fairly often) then you need to use their language.
Think of LinkedIn as Google in this case. You want to show up for what people search for.
5. Connect With Current Clients & Colleagues
It can lead to business with their connections. The moment you bring a new client on board reach out and connect on LinkedIn. Chances are they are connected with people just like them. People that fit your customer demographic. It’s worth two seconds to connect and can certainly lead to business.
I’ve had people search for blogging services and stumble on my LinkedIn profile and then they see that we’re 2nd degree connections because of a client that I connected with earlier than they know as well.
Anyone you do business with is a potential connection. This may be the most important way to use LinkedIn for engagement (and sales).
6. Connect Using Job Titles
This one is a little more of the outbound sales variety. If you’re looking to use LinkedIn to meet potential clients then one of the ways to do that is to search for people via Job Title.
Look at your current clients. Identify the common job titles. Maybe it’s Owner or Marketing Coordinator or Direct Of Product. Whatever it is, identify it and then start searching for people by their title. Or identify a company you want to work with and search within that company for a specific job title. Like the Director of Product and Stripe.
I wouldn’t recommend reaching out right away with a pitch. Figure out another way to connect that is more like what would happen in person. Maybe you have a shared connection. You could mention that. Maybe you saw them speak at a conference. Maybe you read an article they wrote. Or maybe you found them on Instagram and liked a few of their recent photos.
7. Follow Hashtags
LinkedIn now allows you to follow hashtags. I definitely recommend doing this. I’ve been using it to follow #podcast. I’ve discovered some great new podcasts and have even been a guest on a few. That’s all led to more engagement on the platform for me.
8. Comment On Posts
One thing following hashtags has allowed me to do is to leave more comments on posts. Especially with people outside of my network. The more I’ve left comments the more engagement I’ve had. My own posts are seen more often by more people. And it’s led to more connections.
9. Leave Recommendations
Give without expecting anything in return. Just do something nice for someone. Clients, colleagues. Anyone that you’ve worked with that was a joy to work with. You would love to receive a great recommendation. You can make others feel good by making it a habit to leave them regularly. Set a calendar item to do it once a month for an hour.
10. Connect Via Professional Networks
I’m not huge on LinkedIn Groups right now. There is a lot of spam. Not a lot of discussion. And those forums and chat group situations can be tricky and difficult to build.
But I do like joining professional networks. This would be something as simple as the university you went to. Or an industry association. Things like that.
I’ve had situations where we got a new client because someone saw we went to the same university. Not during the same time, but it’s a connection that can lead to familiarity.
LinkedIn is a great platform for those in the business world. There is all kinds of useful information and ways to connect with potential clients, partners and employees. I also think it’s underused. That means it’s an opportunity if you’re willing to put in the time.