LinkedIn is described as the world’s largest professional network with over 500Millionpeople with a ‘profile’. It’s very much the professional’s social media.
A much smaller number of people are posting articles, sharing pictures, writing blogs and commentary which provides something for all of us to read, look at, laugh at and, most importantly, learn from. I’m grateful for these people being so actively involved in helping all of us learn. However, experience says most people have it wrong and, as a result, they aren’t getting anywhere near the engagement that they deserve.
If you’re going to all the effort to post on LinkedIn, to write articles and be active, I say, at least make it worth your while.
As you should know by now, my strategy here on LinkedIn is to drive engagement through excellent social media activity. I want to have conversations with people, typically senior salespeople, about their businesses. Hopefully about their sales challenges. I’m not trying to have 100,000 connections or even write 1,000 articles, I could not keep up with the level activity that would create.
I see lots of people, here on LinkedIn, wasting their time by posting the wrong things. (Remember my goal is to drive engagement).
- In short; People are posting too much content that I call ‘advertising’ or ‘self-business promotion’ and not enough shareable knowledge, tips, skills, thoughts or their views and as a result, instead of building their brand they are eroding it.
Specifically, the 6 regular mistakes I see made on LinkedIn in relation to content are:
- Marketing; STOP telling your sales teams what to post. Sellers should have control of their own accounts and post relevant material for their customers and prospects based on what they see in the marketplace and in their competitive landscape. This is called sharing insights. They are NOT just another distribution channel for the company newsletter or recent tax-accounting report. This is the equivalent of corporate SOCIAL MEDIA SPAM. STOP IT! Not every seller is capable of regular social activity, that’s fine. But I believe bad social activity IS worse than no social activity. And sellers, if you’re not able to have conversations deeper than what’s in the marketing brochure, either on social or in real life, then let me give you the news right here… The robots are coming and you’re going to be the first out the door.
- Posting a picture of a finished or partially finished project, building site, equipment on pallets, race cars etc without people in the image. Social media activity is all about people, not about products or services such as your last equipment sale or your last house listing. If you want to post that you’ve won a new project or sold a new house, that’s cool. But how about including the new owners of the house or the people who are going to get the ‘bone-crushing value’ from your recent sale. It’s social, not a product presentation or gloat-fest. Humanise posts.
- Not providing anything more than what we would find in a standard brochure or website. How about a 30sec look under the ‘hood’ shown with video taken from your phone with your commentary? Give us something that we don’t get to see in the catalogues or manufacturers websites. There has to be some extra value in order for me to click on the link or the picture. Provide us with a stronger insight, your insight, some additional value. As a professional, that’s your job.
- Humanise all your activities. People want to see people, we want to see what people are doing, again this is the social aspect of the term ‘social media’. I find these posts rate the best for me by far. A picture of people at a training event. People in hard hats at a site inspection. Remember it’s social, people are social.
- Just reposting the latest report from marketing or compliance or the latest RBA rate notice… Yawn! You need to provide some good quality commentary around why we should be looking at, reading or taking notice of the article or report. If you just re-post marketings activity it provides no extra value and neither do you. – Harsh, but true. Chris Bates (wealth advisor) is one of the best at this strategy. He comments on popular activity/ news and how it impacts on people’s wealth from his point of view. Well played Chris. (Connect with him here).
- Companies paying for advertising on LinkedIn. If I see your banking advertisement or executive recruitment ad or whatever. I’m skimming past it. I’m interested in what my connections are talking about. When was the last time you clicked on a promoted link and bought something?
So there are the 6 things I think you should avoid when posting content. I used to struggle with the term ‘social media’ when I thought of LinkedIn. I thought it was best described as a “professional media” and it IS predominantly professionally orientated, but the social aspect is really the key to driving engagement and I see lots of you are missing this opportunity in both your posts and articles. I once had a boss who was excellent at marketing and promotion he really understood that it was always about the people. Who was where and who were they with and what were they doing?
So next time you go to post something on LinkedIn ask yourself these questions to try to secure stronger engagement.
A: What am I showing my connections beyond what they already know? #video #commentary #yourpointofview
B: How can I humanise this post as much as possible. #tags #mentions #pictures #people
C: How much of my personality can I place in here? Am I building my personal brand? Or do I simply look like part of the marketing machine?
Then, once you’ve started to gather those likes, connections, shares and comments, that’s when the fun really starts. More on that another day.
If you found this to be useful please share amongst your connections, like or comment. It’s how the social media thingy works. If we are all only passive viewers, eventually the content will stop. I know I’d hate that.
As well as being a sales execution coach and trainer to Australia’s corporate sector. Mark is the #1 ranked Linkedin Social Seller in Australia. Contact Markvia Inmail message or firstname.lastname@example.org for a discussion around sales growth, coaching, social media, golf, cycling, AFL and sales effectiveness.
Twitter: Mark McInnes @mamcinnes