This is the second installment in a two-part series focused on improving engagement for company pages on LinkedIn. Click here to read the first part of the series.
By now, you’ve got a solid understanding of LinkedIn’s picky algorithm and you’re laying the groundwork for a robust employee advocacy plan. But if you want to become a true LinkedIn master, you need to understand how to optimize your content on the platform.
Written content needs to capture your followers’ attention to “stop the scroll”
When most people are using social media, including LinkedIn, they are unconsciously filtering through the bulk of the content that doesn’t grab their attention. It might be because it’s irrelevant to their job or personal interests, it’s a blatant or subversive ad, or because the content is bland, dull and boring.
LinkedIn hosts a massive wealth of information, which means you need top-tier content to compete. And even if a post offers a unique perspective or useful content for free, if it’s not presented in an entertaining and attention-grabbing package, it’s not going to bring in decent engagement numbers.
Here are some strategies you can use to create scroll-stopping written content to take your company’s LinkedIn page to the next level.
Publish blog posts and articles directly to LinkedIn
Instagram and TikTok are visually oriented, using images and videos as the bread and butter to capture the fleeting attention spans of users, while Twitter’s character limit requires posts to be short and sweet. Facebook contains a healthy mixture of media, but sensational memes and news stories that sow controversy in the comments section tend to garner the most engagement on the platform.
But LinkedIn is one of the few social media platforms that rewards long-form text content. In fact, the LinkedIn Publishing Platform allows members and admins to write, edit and post full-length articles directly to LinkedIn.
You can think of your LinkedIn page as a “mini blog” platform where informative posts in the ballpark of 500 words or less can help create a loyal audience. Written thought leadership blogs and articles can be posted in their entirety (as long as they aren’t exceedingly long) directly to the platform, and you don’t even need to link to an external webpage for readers to finish the article.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t link to an external page if you’re posting an excerpt of a piece or you need to credit an outside source, but linking outside the platform isn’t necessary for every written post.
Additionally, many users are hesitant to follow external links as they are scrolling through their feeds. While the average LinkedIn user’s attention span isn’t as notoriously fleeting as a TikToker’s, posting a whole piece of long-form content directly to the platform can help capture those that don’t want to be taken on a journey through the internet — they just want to stay on their feed. Use that hesitance to your advantage.
Providing free intellectual property to your audience can show the value that your law firm could provide should they choose to spend their money with you. In other words, it’s a way of showcasing the quality and relevance of your offerings.
Don’t forget to include an eye-catching image to include with your post. Even when the emphasis is on your meaty prose, it needs a good image to stand out and get your followers to stop their scroll.
#Don’t #overdo #the #hashtags
#Nothing is more #annoying than when #someone #hashtags every #other word in a #sentence. Writing that was painful. Reading it is laborious. The cadence of the sentence feels choppy and interrupted.
Sorry to put you through that, but I had to make a #point.
Don’t get me wrong — hashtags are an incredibly useful tool that can widen your reach and bring new eyes to your page. However, too many hashtags can lead the algorithm to penalize your reach. Dropping them throughout a cohesive sentence destroys its readability. Hashtagging completely random words that have nothing to do with the post shows the content to the wrong people. The list goes on.
On LinkedIn, you should place your hashtags at the end of your posts to keep things readable.
You should also be selective and intentional about the words you hashtag. According to LinkedIn, hashtags should be limited to a maximum of three per post. The hashtags you use should include two broad, far-reaching hashtags and one niched down or identifying hashtag.
For example, if you’re writing a post about legal marketing, you could include #LegalMarketing and #Marketing as the broad tags to be shown to some of the thousands of profiles that follow these tags. Your niche tag could be #YourCompanyName or a #RegionSpecificIssue you speak about in the post. The #RegionSpecificIssue tag focuses on a more specific demographic that would most likely be interested in the issue in the post. The #YourCompanyName tag caters to those who follow your company, while also aggregating all posts that include #YourCompanyName in one place on the platform.
To figure out what the best hashtags are for your posts, all you need to do is enter them into LinkedIn’s search bar. #LegalMarketing has 2,416 followers, while #Marketing has more than 20 million followers. It’s a good idea to play around with different variations of hashtags to find the best version with the widest reach on the platform. However, even if a hashtag has 500 million followers, if it’s not relevant to your post, it’s not worth including.
Additionally, the Bureau of Internet Accessibility recommends capitalizing the first letter of separate words within hashtags to improve the accessibility of your posts. Some users may be able to easily distinguish the words all smashed together, but people with dyslexia or cognitive disabilities may have difficulty understanding their meaning. For visually impaired people who rely on synthesized speech screen readers, the capital letters are necessary for the software to recognize separate words.
Plus, it could help avoid a potentially embarrassing gaffe. The least inappropriate example I could find was when former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher passed away. Twitter users were (mistakenly) saddened to learn that Cher, the pop star, was dead when they encountered the #nowthatchersdead hashtag. The capital letters in #NowThatchersDead would have avoided creating any confusion from the start. There are many hilarious — and mostly not safe for work — examples of #HashtagFails that you can Google with caution. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Strong hooks catch video views
When LinkedIn debuted its native video in 2018, the algorithm prioritized video posts over text and image posts to encourage users to adopt the new feature. However, video posts don’t get the automatic boosts they used to enjoy now that LinkedIn native video has been around for three years. If you want your videos to shoot to the top of the feed, they need to be quick, compelling and include a variety of visuals.
To make the most out of your posts that include video, you need to quickly captivate viewers to stop them from scrolling past your content. Your videos should have a “hook” within the first 1 to 5 seconds to capture their attention and keep them interested.
Research published by LinkedIn found that video viewers’ attention spans typically drop off after the 10-second mark. That’s backed up by Facebook findings, which show 65 percent of people who watch the first three seconds of a Facebook video will watch for at least 10 seconds, while only 45 percent will watch for 30 seconds.
In other words, your video content needs to put its best foot forward and hold the least attention-grabbing information until the back end of the clip. The structure in your video should be similar to the inverted pyramid writing style, which is ubiquitous among journalists and PR professionals. The video should start with the hook to reel viewers in. Necessary, but less attention-grabbing information comes next, with formalities and nonessential information in the end.
That means introductions don’t come first! Unless you are posting a video of a high-profile, well-known speaker, most people don’t care who’s talking. They care what they are talking about. So skip the intro and get right to the point. You can explain who’s talking in the text accompanying the video.