Pepperdine University graciously asked me to contribute an article on the new LinkedIn.
Gone are the days of LinkedIn being perceived as just a “job-networking” platform. It’s now dominated by a new generation of content creators who desire to “connect” at a much deeper level beyond the profile. This is further evident by people meeting offline at Linkedinlocal (soon to be Local X) events in 500+ cities around the globe.
Having been on LinkedIn for 14 years, I have seen the ebbs and flows of the social platform, and this recent version is by far the most exciting.
Here are 3 reasons why you should be active daily:
In comparison to other social platforms, LinkedIn is creating the highest level of engagement. This is not just metric-based engagement (i.e., #of likes, comments, shares) but authentic, meaningful engagement that drives a real-life relationship. It’s all about the HUMAN connection and helping each other become the best versions of ourselves.
As my friend Dr. Natalia Wiechowski says, “The art lies in listening, helping, caring and asking the right questions, and then commenting back.”
Personally, I have found by pausing to reflect on what I feel the writer of the post is trying to convey before responding, it helps me write a more thoughtful response. In turn, this creates a stronger, ongoing conversation which helps build trust over time… and trust is key in engagement.
When posting, the goal should always be to inspire, educate or inform. Anything else is likely going to be a waste of time, especially if you are focused on developing your personal brand.
The greater the storyteller you are, and the more vulnerability you show, the greater the likelihood of an audience engaging in your content…but it all starts with great content.
Another important aspect is engaging with highly ranked individuals (influencers with 1M+ followers) as the algorithm favors engagement with these people, especially when they comment back to you.
Here’s an example, whereby Oleg Vishnopolsky (1.4 million followers) engaged on my post and bolstered its reach to over 233k views, with 1689 likes and 185 comments.
Depending on the subject or whether it’s a short-form post or video, my posts will garner anywhere from 4k-50k views, 20-200 likes, 15-190 comments; based on 10,302 followers.
In comparison, a friend who has 95,922 followers, gets around 3793 likes, 358 comments and 90,317 views on average (after 2 weeks) and some posts I’ve seen reach over 1million views in 3 days.
What’s important to understand is that the algorithm is going to test your content by sampling it to a random selection of your audience, and validate that the content is worthy and open it up to more of your audience to see. Your reach is tied to your engagement within that first few hours, and I would highly encourage you to drive as much conversation within the first hour as you can. This is also why it is critical to optimize the time you post so that it fits best with your target audience. Living in California, I feel that the optimal time is 7:00 a.m.—9:00 a.m.
Another important point is how LinkedIn favors specific types of content such as short-form posts (1 to 3 sentences or a quote) and native video posts (original content uploaded directly to LinkedIn) over long-form posts (i.e., articles). Photos are okay (especially those with eye-catching, scroll-stopping imagery), but avoid links to other websites, as LinkedIn wants their audience staying on their site.
As nearly 60% of LinkedIn users access the network from their phones, prime your posts for mobile viewing by keeping them short, and use auto-captioning for your videos.
Pro tips: Connect with the top 10 influencer accounts in your industry and immerse yourself in their content engaging consistently with intelligent dialogue. Tag at least 10 people in the comment field that could benefit from your post or have a call to action whereby you are requesting their input on your post because they are perceived experts. Join a pod.
Who doesn’t love the sense of community? Especially, a positive one. The vibe, the energy…is nothing short of amazing. I see wonderful examples every single day of people picking others up and shining a light for them to see a brighter future.
Unlike other social platforms, where it appears to be more about “ME,” LinkedIn’s community is all about the “WE”…with a heavy dose of empathy, compassion, and care.
The community is there to help those who truly need it, whether it’s another set of eyes on a resume, how to handle stress or a difficult boss, help finding a new job, new client or vendor, sharing industry insights, etc.
In just the last month, I have seen extensive efforts by individuals to help those seeking employment, and here’s an article with 6 different contributors from around the world: https://www.LinkedIn.com/pulse/geoff-can-you-help-me-find-job-free-resources-geoff-koboldt/
With the evolution of video on the platform, more and more people are coming out of their shells and putting out their first video. The community is right there acknowledging their courage, giving virtual high fives and hugs, rooting for them to continue, etc. The beauty of it is that in a few short months you literally see people go from terrified to sheer confidence.
I have been fortunate to meet many of my LinkedIn connections offline at various networking events, as well as meeting them when I’m in their city for business: Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle, to name a few.
“Community is what helps you through the tough times. It bridges human disconnect.”—Tofe Evans
One of the most amazing displays of “community” was when my Australian friend Tofe Evans, best-selling author of “Everyone has a plan until Sh!t hits the fan” ran a 214-mile ultramarathon through Scotland, ending at 174 miles in 3 days. The global community inspired by his resiliency came together and took turns running a mile each on video to make the up the 40 miles—see video here.
Pro tips: Start local and attend a LinkedInLocal or LocalX event near you. Connect with micro-influencers online and engage with their content daily. Give 3 times for every 1 time you take/need something.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, you are the CEO of Company YOU. You are a brand. Therefore, it is imperative in today’s business world, to ensure you are standing out against the masses and making a name for yourself or your business.
I’m always in awe of the brilliance of some people in how they convey their personal brand, whether it’s being identified with a certain big black hat like Quentin (Q) Allums (22k followers), green hair like Goldie Chan (40k followers), a coffee cup with Michaela Alexis (128k followers) or people like Kristin Olson-Kott (34k followers) who convey their messaging through pure wit while sprucing up a commodity product.
The point is that people are actively building their brands and creatively crafting their messages, and you don’t want to be left out. Social media isn’t a fad. Personal branding isn’t a fad. It’s the new ticket to get you in the door.
LinkedIn is almost like the wild-wild-west right now, and there’s plenty of gold or opportunity. Will you get a piece of yours before it’s too late?
Pro tips: Choose a color palette across all your social media that best represents you. Set up your own branded logo and website. Hire a branding coach.
See the full article at the Graziadio Business Review.