Most of us use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on a daily basis to post photos, update our friends and share important articles with the digital world. While these sites are the most popular when it comes to social media, they may not be the most effective way to get your message to the masses.
Yes, sheer numbers matter. Exposure matters. Reach matters. But as our digital world continues to be infused with noise, reaching the right audience is key. That’s why it’s important to market your content on a variety of social media platforms, including a very powerful and influential site, Linked In.
Deemed the “social media site for professionals,” Linked In has been gaining steam in recent years, growing and developing as a titan of its own – particularly in the business world. According to the Pew Research Center, roughly 29% of online adults use the site, and overall engagement on the platform is beginning to rival, or even surpass, that of Facebook.
So, check out these tips on how you can start tailoring your content to reach this growing professional, business-savvy community that may get more attention than other social media sites.
1. Learn the Algorithm
Just like the big social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, Linked In uses a secret formula to elevate certain posts in a user’s feed. It’s called the “FollowFeed”, and not only does it promote good content, it also punishes posts that might be deemed spammy or irrelevant. According to social media marketing firm Green Umbrella, the content posted to Linked In goes through four different sets of “filters” before showing up in your feed:
- Initial Filter – This first filter takes content and divides it into one of three areas: spam, low-quality, or clear. Obviously, this means the higher quality and original your content, the better it will do.
- Test Audience Process – Your content is then sent to a small number of your connections to see how well it does organically. If it doesn’t get much action, there’s a chance this filter could slow your content down quite a bit. So, a catchy headline could go a long way.
- Scoring System – This third filter is similar to most of the algorithms we see in Facebook or Instagram. In this step, your content is evaluated based on how much engagement it gets. Each interaction is weighed differently; “likes” or comments may be on the lower end of the point spectrum, while shares would award more points to your content. So, the more shareable and generally relatable your content, the better.
- Real People Assessment – Finally, actual human editors jump in to have a final say in where your Linked In content goes. According to a blog post earlier this year, the social media site stated, “We have heavily invested in our platforms to allow for a spectrum of treatments, including: demoting content in the feed ranking; restricting content to the immediate neighborhood of the poster; limiting places where content can surface; making it undiscoverable on the whole site; and, in extreme cases, also disabling the poster.” These editors are best able to detect whether or not your content is worthy of your followers’ attention, and it’s the social network’s last line of defense in detecting spam or irrelevant content. To see this process in action, check out the chart below:
2. Provide Quality Content
As you can see, the “FollowFeed” elevates posts with clear, relatable and relevant content. So, it’s important to make sure your posts and articles are of utmost quality. Whether you’re a writer, videographer or photographer, put your content through the ringer before posting to make it as strong as it can be. Be sure all spelling mistakes are gone. Delete any redundant words or phrases. Most of all, create content that your readers will genuinely find valuable.
Because the overriding demographic of the platform is business professionals, content should be long form and meaningful. In a 2016 survey, over 3 million long form were posts written on LinkedIn, with over 1 million professional post publishers. So, consider how your company or business can be a thought leader using your own experiences, war stories and providing advice for others.
Aside from articles, it’s important to interact with others. According to Be the Square, “Because LinkedIn is rooted in social, the most important element of the platform is engagement. You must engage with other people to improve your ranking on LinkedIn. Liking and commenting on others’ blog posts and status updates will improve your ranking on the platform.”
3. Connect with Other Businesses
Don’t think of other businesses as “competitors” on Linked In. The more connections you can make, the more reach and influence you will have. According to MediaShift, “For some business-focused sites such as Forbes and Inc.com, LinkedIn engagement is beginning to rival, or even surpass, their shares on Facebook.” In other words, this site isn’t just a place to scroll through news; it’s a highly engaging platform for businesses to connect with each other in meaningful ways.
So, find and follow your competitors. Befriend salespeople from other industries. Learn from one another, and share each other’s content. You never know where those newfound connections will take you, and your brand value will skyrocket.