More than any other social media platform, LinkedIn is about business, so keeping content professional is important, but how do you also make it interesting?
LinkedIn is great for business-to-business (B2B) social networking. It focuses on professional networking opportunities, hosts a great deal of useful content and connects people with opportunities. There are more than 700 million active users on the platform, and of those, 45% make more than US$75,000 annually.
According to the platform, in March, professionals watched more than 4 million hours of LinkedIn Learning content. People who are engaging with content on LinkedIn are professionals, job seekers and decision-makers, so your content needs to take into consideration not only the promotion of your B2B but also the brand image that you are projecting.
While some social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, offers a relaxed and casual place for discussion, LinkedIn is more formal. People engaging on LinkedIn are thinking about work. So what should you post on LinkedIn and what should you avoid?
What to Share
Industry News and Research
Sharing research-based case studies, reports, and whitepapers on LinkedIn is a great way to connect with others in your industry, as well as generate leads.
One of the easiest ways to become an industry leader is by using LinkedIn to talk to others in your field. Sharing your knowledge, findings and forecasts (within reason) helps you to establish an image of transparency, which generates trust.
Blog posts help to increase your reach, build brand awareness and encourage engagement.
Your blog needs to:
- Have a though-provoking title, but avoids asking a question.
- Introduce the topic in a relatable way.
- Have a shortened URL.
- Include an eye-catching thumbnail.
Simple posts that offer advice or inspiration do well on LinkedIn. Professionals skimming for content will often engage with a list of ‘top tips’, such as how to optimise your time or a quote from a thought leader.
Bullet style posts or glossy images are a great way to get people to stop scrolling and engage with your post.
‘How To’ Posts
According to a recent study, LinkedIn posts between 1,900 and 2,000 words in length perform best on LinkedIn and gain the greatest number of views, likes, comments, and shares.
The same study found that how-to and list-style posts receive the most attention.
Make them easy to read by formatting them with plenty of bullet points, caption boxes and graphs to break up the content.
Photos are a great way of adding personality and humanity to your brand. Professional headshots or photos of your teams working together are a great way to inject some life into your brand.
As mentioned, video content that is aimed at sharing knowledge with your audience is the most consumed content type on the platform.
To get an idea of what types of video content you should be creating, search for content posted by your competitors or industry partners and fill in the gaps of what you think is missing on the subjects covered.
What Not to Share
While the type of content that is suitable for sharing on social media evolves with time (such as vlogs, podcasts, whitepapers, photos, etc), it is the content of your content that needs to be adjusted to ensure that you are engaging with people in ways that are relevant.
LinkedIn is about relationships, not selling. B2B partnerships are also about creating lasting relationships, so its best to focus on transparency, trust, knowledge sharing and networking over sales pitches that are likely to be ignored.
LinkedIn is not the place for polarizing discussion. Treat it like you would a boardroom meeting, and consider what you want to say, and how you want to say it. While having an opinion is fine, remember, posting it on a professional network as a business means giving your brand a personality. Your personality should be neutral, accepting and in vogue with current affairs. If you don’t have anything nice to say, LinkedIn is not the place to say it!
Political or Religious Posts
Religion and politics tend to be topics that people feel strongly about. As LinkedIn is a platform for professionals to express their views about business, it is not the best place to enter into more refined subjects that require personal mutual respect, deep understanding of issues and transparent discussion.
Some subjects that are political and do tend to feature on the platform are workplace equality, women in business, racial issues and economic issues. If you intend on entering into these discussions, be certain that you understand the issues, can be respectful of others and willing to engage even if you feel polarised.
People on LinkedIn are not interested in your breakfast (nor is anyone really, so can we stop with the smoothie posts?), but they are interested in your professional journey.
Telling stories about how your business has grown, a team member who has done an exceptional job, or your plans to educate 5 trainees are of interest to your LinkedIn audience. These stories are not personal, they are relatable, and can be inspiring. Just don’t tell people your entire life story, including the names of your 3 childhood cats – no one cares, sorry.
Remember, LinkedIn is about professionals connecting with other professionals. The posts tend to be focused on inspiring stories, industry updates and lots of back-patting. When you use LinkedIn, you are aiming to attract positive attention, so keep things professional and remember your audience.