According to Hootsuite, LinkedIn has 740 million monthly users. 80% of LinkedIn users “drive business decisions”. 55 million companies are on LinkedIn and a single ad can reach 13% of the world’s population. These are only a few of many statistical numbers that show what a powerful tool LinkedIn has become.
And yet, there are still many professionals (incl. managers & executives) who need help not only in creating, but also in managing their LinkedIn profile and activity. And the word “managing” refers to “actively using” the platform to support one’s professional goal.
There are 4 main steps to follow.
Step 1: Define your goal and call to action
Before you even begin to think about what to put on your profile, you need to plan it well and ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the purpose of your LinkedIn profile?
- Who should find it attractive / interesting?
- What action do you want them to take once they’ve read it?
- What language is important to your target group? English or local?
Let’s have a look at some examples.
Person A = Job Seeker
Goal: find a new job (important: well-defined function & industry)
Target group: recruiters, headhunters
Desired call to action: have them ask for CV (maybe even interviews)
Person B = Looking for Clients
Goal: find new clients (important: well-defined target group)
Target group: depending on the industry
Desired call to action: have them request offers
Person C = Expert
Goal: position themselves as an expert (important: well-defined field)
Target group: anyone interested in their field of expertise
Desired call to action: get requests for articles, comments, speaking engagements
Only after you have answered these fundamental questions, it’s time to prepare your profile.
Step 2: Prepare a flawless profile
Here are some materials to help you (read & apply all of them):
- LinkedIn for Job Seekers: how do you use LinkedIn when looking for a job? Or, what better ways exist than using the tag line by publishing anything from “I’m looking for a job” to “open to new opportunities”?
- How recruiters use LinkedIn: how to make your perfectly composed, flawless profile, findable for recruiters?
- Creating a Perfect LinkedIn Profile: tips and know-how on creating a well-thought through, professional profile
Step 3: Prepare & execute an activity strategy
1. Choose min. 10 companies that fit your strategy and produce good content relatively regularly, e.g. 10 companies that:
- you would like to work for
- will help you position yourself as an expert
- you would like to partner with
- are market leaders and produce valuable content
2. Follow those companies.
Tip: choose the most relevant decision makers within those companies and follow them too.
LinkedIn Activity Guidelines
Choose 1-2 pieces of content per week to share (with a break of 1-2 days) with a meaningful comment tagging the company and – if possible – the author. Sometimes the content is not shared by the companies via LinkedIn, but on their websites. Use that too!
Important: do NOT share content more than once a day.
Important #2: make sure that tagged people / companies will react to your post, otherwise your post might be interpreted as SPAM (if less than 25% engage = spam; result: -20-30% reach)
Important #3: do not click the “Share” button under the post published by the company, but “re-share” it: create your own post from scratch, adding the link to the company’s post and tagging them
Don’t forget to engage
React to comments your published content receives. Authors need to engage within 24 hours on comments to have a positive effect!
Tip: thank people personally via message for sharing your content, especially if you are not yet connected to them.
Other important tips:
- double-check that you are tagging (with an @) the right people & the right company. If you are not connected to them, use the tagging as a pretext for a contact request saying, “Dear XXX, I hope you don’t mind I’ve tagged you in my most recent post + link”. Why? The LinkedIn algorithm might pick up that you are tagging too many people you are not linked to and might interpret that as spam. Make sure (as mentioned before) that min. 50% of tagged people / companies react to your content.
- add appropriate hashtags. Popular hashtags (the best with 100 000+ followers) have more algorithm influence than unloved (low-follower count) hashtags. Followers of hashtags are deemed more important than your own followers. The ideal number of hashtags: 3-9
- choose & quote fragments of the shared content to get your audience interested in reading it & to show that you yourself have read it
- you can use all 1300 characters to comment on the content. If you run out of space, considering turning the publication into a proper LinkedIn article.
Even more tips:
- when commenting (both below a post & when re-sharing content) use the following assessment:
◦ is it valuable? → publish the comment
◦ is it too controversial / inappropriate → don’t publish
◦ does it fit the strategy? → publish the comment
◦ is it interesting, but outside your strategy / goal? → don’t publish
◦ is it a “thank you” or “congratulations”? → send it in a personal message instead
- proofread the comment prior to posting, especially the longer ones
- if you are working on an expert branding → write an article on LinkedIn publishing
More practical tips for your activity
1. Reactions of your audience will only ever have 50% of the impact on the algorithm in comparison to its comments.
- reacting within the first 2 h after publication → triggers the algorithm to monitor the content
- reacting to a comment within 24 h → maximizes the positive effect for the algorithm
- “support” reaction → +10% views
Important: comments get 2x more views than likes & 8x more views than a re-share.
2. How your content type influences the audience
Posts with videos
- posts with videos → +20-40% in reach
- ideal duration → 30-60 secs
- ideal format → square (more screen space)
- 1-3 mins video → -20% engagement
- 3-6 mins video → -45% engagement
- 7-10 mins video → -75% engagement
- 10+ mins video → -90% engagement
- 50% of videos are watched without sound → subtitles = must
Format of posts
- text / text + picture → +25-40% reach
- text + doc → +40-60% reach
- native video (or through Vimeo) → +20-40% reach
- ready made options → -25-50% reach
- polls → -10-30% reach (compared to posts)
- YT video → -30-55% reach
- external links (in post body) → -10-30% reach
- articles (long-form content) → -70-90% reach
Dwell time = how long do people read your content
- posts with documents → +40-60% reach
- video → +20-40% reach
- posts with urls → +15-30% reach
- short text posts → -20% reach
Tip: Some LinkedIn experts claim that the best results are obtained by adding external link to the post body after publishing it. Test it yourself!
Step 4: Prior to starting
1. Commit to a minimum of 90 days.
2. Choose 1 or 2 fixed days per week for posting & stick to it.
3. Prepare a table with:
- # of contacts
- # of followers
- # of calls to action in the last 90 days
- average # of posts per month
- average # of articles per month
and fill it in on Day 1 and Day 90.
The sources of the above data are: our own from Career Angels, Andy Foote, Richard van der Blom, John Espirian.
LinkedIn Activity – review your strategy
After three months you should see measurable results. If you don’t, review your profile and whether what you are publishing is attractive to your target group.
If you are an experienced manager with at least 10 years of experience who needs an objective review of their LinkedIn profile, feel free to request it for free. Should you want to discuss your strategy during a complimentary conversation, fill out the form to schedule it or send an email to Bichl.Sandra@CareerAngels.eu. Subject: LinkedIn.