I feel I've learned a few things on LinkedIn, which you might find thought provoking if you use LinkedIn as a sales strategy for your business.
I stepped up my game posting on LinkedIn earlier this year, with the intent of becoming more visible. Having pivoted in my career I wanted my current connections to realise this, to build new connections along the way, and ultimately grow my coaching practice.
According to Shield analytics I have posted 319 times (including 100 videos) and had 850k views since March 2019, so I write with some level of experience, although there are others out there with significantly more, for example Michael David Chapman.
The idea behind this article was to express my learnings on LinkedIn and share those with you, but as I wrote I started to realise that my posting learnings marry with key leadership traits I believe to be effective in extraordinary leadership:
Show your true self, not your social media self. More on my musings about authenticity here: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6553162609091325952
This applies to your message and who you are - make sure it is rooted in your personal mission and purpose. Be consistent in your target audience, and endeavour to show consistency in your behaviour both on and off line. The LinkedIn algorithm (not that I am an expert) seems to like consistency in posting and engaging, and frankly I think we all do. From a leadership point of view, check my previous post on consistency: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/julesroberts_consistency-business-leadership-activity-6534100255376584704-KY-F
We need a ‘sustainable actionable strategy’. This is about ensuring you can commit to the time you want to devote to LinkedIn, making sure it is sustainable since LinkedIn is all about the long game. For example, you can only commit to posting 4 times a week, and engaging on LinkedIn for 20 minutes a day – that is ok if you can keep that up. Don’t decide you are going to post 4 times a day and engage for 1 hour a day, and only manage to sustain this for 4 days... Be realistic in your strategy of time commitment and also the return you will receive from your investment - you can always review and dial up accordingly.
In leadership being present and visible is important on every level. On LinkedIn this is about posting content in different forms - it is good to mix up the style of delivery. The mix I think is dependent upon you and your service along with your target audience. Examples include text posts, photos, and videos; with articles and documents when you want to go deeper and show more expertise. If you do use videos I would recommend subtitles as often people have the volume switched off. See my post on being a visible leader: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/julesroberts_leadership-ceos-business-activity-6560806607587020800-Zn10
People love engaging and accessible leaders, and we also love engaging others on LinkedIn. There are many ways to connect with people's hearts and minds, including the style you adopt - do you ask a question, or do you show some content that is inspiring and insightful? Is it helpful? Sharing experiences of your life and business, and how you overcame a challenge and ultimately learnt. You may not have won or had the success you hoped for, but you learnt, and so others can benefit from your story.
Reply to those who have expressed an opinion or added to the conversation, just like you would do if they were right in front of you. It shows a level of respect for someone and appreciation that they have bothered to comment on your post. It is not always possible to this quickly, especially if you have a post go viral, but at least click the like. I am also aware that you don’t always get notified, especially if you have a lot of activity, but at least have the intent – we are a forgiving people!
The other side of engagement is to comment on other people’s posts. Add your expertise, be respectful, be honouring and don’t get into any arguments. This is another opportunity to build relationships. I have met many through engaging in their posts.
Two significant people that I met on LinkedIn, having first engaged on their posts, were Antoni Tzavelas & Istvan Barath. We took it off line and had a number of zoom calls, and I have also met many at networking events face to face, where you can really dial up the engagement, like with Madeeha Khan Yousafzai.
Have clarity on your audience, your message and what you hope to get out of your time on LinkedIn.
Have a content strategy. What are you trying to achieve specifically (objective) and how are you going to do it (strategy)? There are many LinkedIn experts who will be able to help you more specifically, for example Lacey Abbacchi. My suggestions are to have SMART objectives, e.g. appropriate metrics like Views, Reactions, Engagement %, Connections, Followers, Clients etc. Then adopt specific strategies to deliver upon them, e.g. post 3 times a week sharing client success, insight into my industry/expertise etc. You could have a thought of the day, and use differing deliveries e.g. video/text/articles. Make sure you measure and adapt as you follow the tactical plan.
And finally, be kind, and enjoy LinkedIn for what it is!