LinkedIn is all about building relationships — with your peers, your mentors, your audience, and your potential clients.
But a profile alone isn’t enough to build relationships, no matter how well-optimized it is. You have to engage with people. And, one of the most beneficial ways to do that is by creating useful posts for your target audience.
Writing engaging LinkedIn posts isn’t that different from writing other types of copy. You need to research your target audience carefully, and then write a good hook, valuable content, and a call to action.
Basically, just like writing an email, right?
Even well-written, compelling copy can go awry on a social-media platform, if you don’t follow the guidelines below.
LinkedIn is full of shrewd professionals who can spot a fake story or poorly veiled sales pitch a mile out… and they’ll dismiss you as a hack, should you post one. And, if you have the temerity to try a bait and switch maneuver in your hook? They’ll eat you alive in the comments before dismissing you as a hack.
To avoid the temptation to create a little white lie in the name of maintaining your posting schedule, make sure to: a) set aside time, daily or weekly, to brainstorm original and honest post ideas; and b) always be prepared to capture a good idea, whenever the muse throws one your way. I use the Notes and Voice Memo apps on my phone to make sure I catch my ideas when they’re fresh.
Share Professional Expertise and Perspectives
LinkedIn’s latest algorithm update promised creators, “more reach when the content is focused on sharing knowledge and insights.” More reach means more potential engagement, and more engagement means more reach. That’s a positive feedback loop that leads to more clients finding you!
Remember though, original content — as opposed to reposts — is best. Share your professional expertise (or the latest copywriting lesson you’ve learned) in a concise, easy-to-follow post. However, if you’ve come across an amazing post you can’t resist sharing, make sure to add your own spin or insightful commentary.
Avoid Including External Links In the Body of the Post
LinkedIn doesn’t want its users leaving the site, so its algorithm does not like posts containing outbound links. If you’re trying to cite a source or encourage folks to visit your personal site, save those links for the comments — just don’t forget to tell folks to check those comments!
Schedule Posts Regularly and At the “Right” Time
It won’t matter how honest, insightful, and educational your posts are, if no one sees them. Your LinkedIn strategy will work best when it’s based on regular posting of engaging content. What constitutes “regular” is up to you. However, pages that post weekly boast 5.6x more followers and 7x faster growth than ones that post monthly.
If weekly posting feels overwhelming, you can start with something easier, like every other week or even monthly. Just because weekly is the sweet spot doesn’t mean you can’t build your way up to it! Some marketing folks on LinkedIn even recommend daily posting during the week (but apparently, more than once a day can be harmful).
The best days and times to post regularly on LinkedIn vary according to source, but Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. (in whichever time zone you’re targeting) tends to fall within all recommendations. More generally speaking, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from about 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. are good posting windows.
LinkedIn tries to make creating and maintaining a posting schedule easier by allowing you to schedule posts in advance. But, if their scheduler isn’t robust enough for your needs, a quick Google search will lead you to many third-party offerings.
Pay Attention to What Works
Perhaps the most important step you can take when learning how to create engaging content regularly is to study and learn from those who already do.
Hopefully, you’re already following and connecting with successful copywriters you admire on LinkedIn. Every time you spot a post of theirs that seems to be really popular (lots of comments, likes, or reposts are good indicators of this), save it and dissect it. Note its structure, tone, topic, length, complexity, hashtags, content type(s), and quality.
Also, study how the author responds to comments. The final step in creating an effective post is engaging with commenters — the sooner, the better. A word of caution, though. Sometimes posts are popular solely because they’re controversial, and these are not useful study material.
Don’t forget to study the posts of the most important copywriter in your world — YOU.
First of all, turn on creator mode; you should do this for the analytics alone, but the mode offers lots of other benefits, as well. And if, for some reason, you don’t like it, you can easily turn it off.
Note which of your posts have the most views. Which have the most comments? Which have gotten you the specific attention you want (like comments from potential clients or useful feedback from industry peers)? Which posts have created additional conversations in the comments section? Again, bring out your dissection tools and get to work.
Poorly performing posts are worthy of dissection, as well — especially ones you expected to do well. Learn from your mistakes. Knowing what went wrong is just as important as knowing what went right.
Above all, don’t be afraid TO post. You can’t get useful data and refine your strategy, if you don’t start somewhere!