In our previous discussions on LinkedIn engagement, you’ve learned how to introduce your company to new connections and to create a great content mix. The next step in your engagement building strategy is to hone in on the quality of your interactions on LinkedIn.
Understanding the importance of quality is critical on LinkedIn. You will still see the occasional spammer peppering their feed with automated posts, though these seem fewer and farther between than on other social sites, like Twitter.
On LinkedIn, you are networking with other business professionals. It’s far better to make economical use of words and focus on messages that really resonate with your network, rather than to aim for generating as much content as you can.
Paul Gillen, author of The New Influencers and co-author of Social Marketing to the Business Customer, advocates for LinkedIn as a competitive intelligence and prospecting tool.
He recommends using a number of little-known LinkedIn tools to find topics in real-time that other members find most interesting. Gillen explains how to use LinkedIn Signals: “Buried under the news tab is this powerful feature that lets you search status updates of everyone on LinkedIn. Even better is that you can filter searches by industry, company, geography, group membership, proximity to you, and a host of other criteria.”
Check out the status updates of your customers, connections, and influencers in your industry. What are they talking about today? What value can you offer in those conversations?
LinkedIn Today is another of the tools Gillen uses to find quality topics to discuss on his profile and in Groups. “Think of this as a newspaper curated by your contacts,” he wrote in a recent blog post for The CMO Site. “LinkedIn collects all the links shared by its members, both on the site and via Twitter, and organizes them into a custom news page based upon the topics that it believes interest you. Articles recommended by your primary connections get higher placement, as do those with a large number of recommendations.”
The key to quality content on LinkedIn is in offering unique value to readers. Gillen’s strategy is successful because he takes the time to listen first, using free tools within the platform to learn what it is people want to hear about.
Don’t dilute your insightful, helpful messages with filler content. Regular, timely posts or comments that readers enjoy are worth far more than a stream of links or irrelevant posts with the odd gem thrown in here and there.
There is no one-size-fits-all formula for LinkedIn quality; much of your success will come from trying out different posting frequencies, posting at different times, trying multimedia formats, and measuring your success with your own audience.
Here are a few best practices to get you started:
- Post regularly, but only as often as you need to in order to offer valuable information or insight with each new post.
- Use a variety of post formats, including images, video, links and plain text.
- Tell LinkedIn connections how they can engage with the post. Are you trying to start a conversation? Ask them to leave a comment!
- Think about the language people would use if they were looking for information on the topic of your post, then incorporate those words into your update. This will help you connect with new people through LinkedIn search.
Are you making the distinction between vanity and actionable metrics in your own LinkedIn strategy? Let us know which metrics matter to you and how you use them to drive engagement in the comments!