With the wealth of content out there, it’s not that easy to stand out from the crowd. If you do use LinkedIn to build a strong online brand for yourself or your organization, you need to do it thoroughly. We asked our team of thought leadership content marketers for some advice. What do they recommend, based on their experience?
“Use visuals to catch the scroller’s eye and grab their attention with a snappy first sentence - questions usually work. Know that you’re not obliged to use the image that goes with the original article you’re sharing – so feel free to replace it with a more personal or less staged image. Authenticity will make your posts stand out in a feed filled with carefully curated content.”
“For me, the most challenging thing about connecting with your LinkedIn network is coming up with a good attention-grabber in your posts. That’s why I try to make my posts into small personal stories that reflect my view on the topics I’m experienced in. Start with an “I”-statement or a direct quote from the content you want to share and strike up an immediate bond with your audience.”
“To discipline yourself to a regular follow-up on LinkedIn, my personal tip is to look at your typical weekly agenda and to find a 1h timeslot that you book for LinkedIn. My LinkedIn moment is on Wednesday from 9 to 10 a.m. Usually, I have slightly fewer customer calls on a Wednesday but there is an even better reason for that choice: research shows that Wednesday from 8–10 a.m. is one of the best moments to post on LinkedIn. The other best moments are Thursday at 9 a.m. and 1–2 p.m. or Friday at 9 a.m. Also good to know: not really a surprise, but the least social media engagement per day occurs on Sunday and the least popular times to post are every day from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.”
“It’s definitely OK to make quick, personal remarks in between and comment on topical posts. But being serious about social media also means you need to deliberately plan for it. What works well for me, is to have a social media plan available for a few to several weeks. Especially when working on a marketing campaign or the promotion of a long copy content asset, you usually have the means to plan well ahead."
"You can also easily schedule these posts ahead of time through automated tools like Hootsuite. As such, you’re sure your posts will go through without you or someone else on the team having to post everything manually on the right day, for the right account.”
“What takes most time, is getting to know your network. What content goes down well with them? You will probably have some ready-to-share content coming from your marketing or sales team, but do you really want to toot your own (company’s) horn the whole time?"
"Writing your own content can be very time-consuming too. You can keep the conversation with your network going by sharing articles or videos coming from other sources. The best way to do that is to start following influencers and business magazines online. Don’t be afraid to be original: definitely add your own personal views before you click that ‘publish’ button! And of course, if you don’t have time to share an article, you can always comment on someone else’s too.”
“When you write a personal message of a few lines to go with the article or video you’re sharing, get the most out of it. You can do that by either @-mentioning the source you are taking the article from, or the author – if it’s an influencer or one of your colleagues or customers. It will increase your chances of someone else sharing your message. Feel free to throw some emojis into the mix – but don’t exaggerate. And I also advise you to add up to three relevant hashtags.”
Did you know that brands and companies that cultivate a culture of Thought Leadership reap greater reputation and sales impact than those that do not? And that 89% of decision-makers say that Thought Leadership can be effective in enhancing their perception of an organization? These are just a few of the interesting findings in the ‛2020 Annual Report on B2B Thought Leadership’ by Edelman Business Marketing and LinkedIn – a must-read, by the way, for anyone about to launch their business or executives in the social media universe.
The survey results probably won’t come as a surprise to those of you actively using LinkedIn. When LinkedIn started its activities in 2003, it was meant to be a professional networking platform where employees, employers and recruiters could meet each other. In the last few years, it has also evolved into a place where likeminded professionals can share their knowledge, expertise, experience and great (thought leadership) content with the people in their network – and even much further.
Posting on LinkedIn is a double-edged sword. The Edelman & LinkedIn survey also taught us that “38% of decision-makers say that sometimes, after reading its Thought Leadership, their respect and admiration for an organization has decreased”.
Are you considering launching a LinkedIn or social media thought leadership program for your executive team or employees? Feel free to contact us for strategic advice, practical support or even social media trainings.