LinkedIn is a fantastic business tool that all serious B2B focused companies should be involved with. Far more than the ‘Facebook for business’ it is often described as, LinkedIn brings to bear the potentially global reach of a platform such as Twitter with the networking clout of a Chamber of Commerce - all at little or no cost!
However, how successfully a business is able to use their LinkedIn profile to generate leads and nurture clients, depends on how they manage their content. The key to better returns from LinkedIn is to know what to post and when. This is the subject of this article.
What content to post on LinkedIn
Is there a secret formula for creating the perfect content for LinkedIn? Well, no – just as with other social networks, the best strategy involves posting a wide range of varied content to engage your followers in different ways. Bear in mind though that the purpose of LinkedIn content is to generate ‘click throughs’ to your website – something the platform is very good at. So you should focus on original content that establishes you as an authoritative voice in your industry. If you gain a reputation for publishing free, non-promotional insights that offer real value for your readers, then they are more likely to approach you about your professional services. The following are the top three types of content, according to LinkedIn’s own figures:
1) Industry Insights
By far the most popular content on LinkedIn are industry insights. 65% of LinkedIn users said they appreciated this type of post the most, something that is borne out by the high click through levels associated with these posts. Followers appreciate users who are open, free and generous with their industry expertise, helping to enrich their sector with their knowledge, and not always out to push their own services. These posts are also the most likely to be shared, whether on LinkedIn or through other social networks.
2) Company News
More than half of LinkedIn users (53%) responded positively to posts dealing with company news. This includes updates on new hires, expanded office premises, staff activities, business milestones, new contracts etc. This gives a human face to your business and encourages followers to relate to you on a personal and empathic level. Note that this type of post still does not have a sales agenda – it is simply a neutral update, the equivalent to what you might post personally on Facebook.
3) New Products or Services
There is no taboo on LinkedIn against promoting new products and services, so long as you do it tastefully. It is, after all, a business networking tool. Announcements of new offerings were the third most popular type of content in generating click through. When promoting your business on LinkedIn, it helps to do so in a non-pushy, personal way. Don’t simply post adverts or copy and paste content from a promotional email or web page.
What NOT to post
There are a few ‘don’ts’ when it comes to LinkedIn content that are likely to set eyes rolling and discourage engagement from your followers.
The first is personal content. LinkedIn is not Facebook. Avoid personal updates altogether, including non-business related photos. Your LinkedIn followers don’t want to see a video of you dancing at your daughter’s wedding or know when you’ve been walking your dog. Save this for other platforms and keep your updates entirely professional.
Secondly, take care not to spam your followers with second-hand content, YouTube videos and ‘memes’. One of the appeals of LinkedIn over Facebook is its reputation as a ‘cleaner’ forum for people to conduct business. Followers will very quickly be turned off by any content they perceive as spam.
Getting the timing right
Is there an optimum time to schedule your LinkedIn posts? A rule of thumb is to stick within traditional office hours, restricting your posts to the 8am to 6pm window. Within this, morning and early afternoon posts tend to have the most click throughs, as many people check their social media feeds before starting work in the morning, or at lunchtime. The quietest times for LinkedIn posts are late afternoons, when people are frequently very busy, and evenings and weekends, when most offices are closed.
LinkedIn is a very powerful tool in your marketing arsenal if used correctly. It can engage existing customers, increase your industry profile and generate new leads in your target market. For more information, get in touch with one of our social media experts today.