In the second part of this series, we’re going to explore how you can build your professional brand by being an active member of LinkedIn.
It’s not just about posting and hoping everyone will see it. You need to be active in the places where your audience hang out.
Then, get the right types of content in front of them at the right time.
Here are some ways you can do just that.
Join LinkedIn Groups
Search for groups that are relevant to your field and see which ones are the most active. Make sure you consider the quantity and quality of discussions, and its members. The best practice is to join at least three groups and make sure you join in with discussions.
Remember to avoid self-promotion. Instead, focus on creating discussions and consider what question you’re asking before you post.
Use Smart Links
You can use Smart Links in Sales Navigator to curate and package content such as:
- Event-specific materials (pre- or post-event)
- Answer frequently asked questions in a range of formats (e.g. product videos or tutorials)
- Assets to increase your expert level and deepen relationships such as industry articles
We recommend sharing at least five pieces of content a week.
You can find industry trends via industry-specific publications, Google Alerts, or sites like Flipboard. Sharing information on market trends further boosts your thought leadership, especially if you add your own thoughts alongside the link you’ve shared.
Consider sharing two pieces of industry-related content to everyone one piece of content related to the business, whether that’s thought leadership or promotional.
This 2:1 ratio will mean you come across as less spammy and more helpful while still raising the brand’s profile.
You also want to share thought leadership content directly related to the business, such as a LinkedIn showcase page post, a link to the business’s LinkedIn group (if it has one), and re-sharing posts from your colleagues.
Personal posts are for advanced social sellers only, but these include expert blogs/vlogs, live event videos, and pictures from live events.
And finally, there are promotional posts – event posts and campaigns, product content such as videos and webinars, and brand awareness posts.
How To Post On LinkedIn
Posting regularly on LinkedIn keeps you front of mind with your network, reminding them of your specialist topics.
Post no more than twice a day on LinkedIn, but be consistent, don’t spam, and focus on sharing content that adds value to your network.
Found an article you want to share? Copy and paste the URL into the box at the top of your timeline which says Start a post. It will automatically pull through the image and a preview of the article. Now delete the URL and add your commentary. Why are you sharing it? What are your thoughts on it?
When you’re posting, make sure to add your own commentary/comment, but keep it short. Why are you sharing this? What’s interesting to you about it? You could also ask a question at the end to invite discussions.
Mentioning colleagues or customers who may find this content useful notifies them via email and draws their attention to your post. You could also tag the author of the content if they’re a part of your network.
Be sure to add 3-5 relevant hashtags at the end of your update, too. Weaving them into your update can make it difficult to read.
Make sure you include an eye-catching image, too! If you’re sharing an article, the image should be automatically pulled through when you paste the link into LinkedIn.
Always include some text/a call to action to your post, and only use images that are relevant. Be cautious when linking to articles that don’t include full images. Posts with these mistakes will stand out for all the wrong reasons and lead to less engagement on your post.
Sharing Posts Vs Publishing Blogs
Blogs are a type of long-form content that provides value, builds your thought leadership, shares your opinions, and does not promote the business. You can publish them directly on LinkedIn by clicking Write article underneath the Start a post option.
Posts, on the other hand, are generally short. They’re great for sharing articles and adding a commentary. It helps to include @mentions and #hashtags to increase its reach as much as possible.
If the company has a social hub or intranet, you could submit the post there to allow others to share and comment on it, further amplifying the reach of your post.
Writing Blog Posts
Before you start, consider the type of post you want to write. Is it a how-to guide? A list of reasons why someone should/shouldn’t do something? An explanation of what something is?
Make sure you leave lots of white space and use short paragraphs. Ideally, paragraphs should be no more than three sentences.
And keep it to one point per sentence! This will make your post more readable for people on mobile, with short attention spans, or who struggle with reading.
You can also search online for royalty-free images that best represent your core topic. Include that at the top as a cover image.
Including more images throughout the post will break up the text and give the reader’s eyes a break, too. This can aid in readability and engagement.
Remember to publish consistently. If you decide on once a month, stick to that schedule. Your followers will expect a set frequency from you.
BDM/MDMs are well positioned to write thought-leadership content relating to their area of specialism. Work with marketing to understand how to optimise your content with imagery, keywords, and action-related links.
Make sure you follow the business’s LinkedIn page and regularly share content from it that’s relevant to your audience. This could include key events, webinars, or the latest innovations.
These could include live posts during events, thoughts to open a conversation, sharing key learnings from conferences or innovations, or just some light humour.
There’s always a place for humour on LinkedIn – this will bring out your personality and help your content to stand out.
In the final part of this series, we’ll look at ways you can use Sales Navigator to connect with prospects, and how to create a daily LinkedIn habit during your morning coffee.