According to Hootsuite, Demand Sage, and LinkedIn, the platform has 875 million users worldwide, out of which over 310 million are monthly active users. 80% of LinkedIn users “drive business decisions”. On average, 8 people are hired via LinkedIn each minute, 58 million companies are listed here and a single ad can reach 14.6% of the world’s population. That’s only a snippet of data that shows what powerful a tool LinkedIn has become.
And yet, there are still many professionals (incl. managers & executives) who need help not only in creating but also in managing their LinkedIn profiles and activity. And the word “managing” refers to “actively using” the platform to support one’s professional goal.
There are 4 main steps to follow.
Step 1: Define your goal and call to action
Before you even begin to think about what to put in your profile, you need to plan it well and ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the purpose of your LinkedIn profile?
- Who should find it attractive / interesting?
- What action do you want them to take once they’ve read it?
- Which language is important to your target group? English or local?
Let’s have a look at some examples.
Person A = Job Seeker
Goal: find a new job (important: well-defined function & industry)
Target group: recruiters, headhunters
Desired call to action: have them ask for CV (maybe even interviews)
Person B = Looking for Clients
Goal: find new clients (important: well-defined target group)
Target group: depending on the industry
Desired call to action: have them request offers
Person C = Expert
Goal: position themselves as an expert (important: well-defined field)
Target group: anyone interested in their field of expertise
Desired call to action: get requests for articles, comments, speaking engagements
Only after you have answered these fundamental questions is it time to prepare your profile.
Step 2: Prepare a flawless profile
Here are some materials to help you (read & apply all of them):
- LinkedIn for Job Seekers: how do you use LinkedIn when looking for a job? Or what better ways exist to using the tagline and publishing anything from “I’m looking for a job” to “open to new opportunities”
- How recruiters use LinkedIn: how to make your perfectly-composed, flawless profile, findable for recruiters?
- Creating a Perfect LinkedIn Profile: tips and know-how on creating a well-thought-through, professional profile
Step 3: Prepare & execute an activity strategy
1) Choose min. 10 companies that fit your strategy and produce good content relatively regularly, e.g. 10 companies that:
- you would like to work for
- will help you position yourself as an expert
- you would like to partner with
- are market leaders and produce valuable content
2) Follow those companies.
Tip: choose the most relevant decision-makers within those companies and follow them too.
LinkedIn Activity Guidelines
Choose 1-2 pieces of content per week (with a break of 1-2 days) to share with a meaningful comment tagging the company and – if possible – the author. Sometimes the content is not shared by the companies via LinkedIn, but on their websites. Use that too!
Important: do NOT share content more than once per 18 hours.
Important #2: make sure that tagged people / companies react to your post, otherwise your post might be interpreted as SPAM. Any tagged person or company that fails to engage significantly slows down the growth of your post.
Important #3: if you want to share somebody’s content, choose the option “Repost with your thoughts”. Add at least 100 words of comment and 3-5 hashtags that were not used in the original post. Tag the other person and make sure they react to it.
Don’t forget to engage
React to comments your published content receives. To kick-start their posts, authors need to engage and comment on all received comments within 1 hour after publishing to achieve the most positive effect (+20% more growth!).
Tip: thank people personally via a message for sharing your content, especially if you are not yet connected to them.
Other important tips:
- double-check that you are tagging (with an @) the right people & the right company. If you are not connected to them, use the tagging as a pretext for a contact request, saying, “Dear XXX, I hope you don’t mind I’ve tagged you in my most recent post”+ link. Why? The LinkedIn algorithm might pick up that you are tagging too many people you are not linked to and might interpret that as spam. Make sure (as mentioned before) that every tagged person / company reacts to your content.
- add unique hashtags (not the same as in the original post). Previously, popular hashtags (at best with 100 000+ followers) had more algorithm influence than unloved hashtags (low-follower count). Nowadays, the best combination when using hashtags is combining the unique ones (with fewer followers) with those who have high follower numbers. The ideal number of hashtags: 3-5
- choose & quote fragments of the shared content to get your audience interested in reading it & to show that you yourself have read it
- you can use all 3000 characters to comment on the shared content. If you run out of space, consider turning the publication into a proper LinkedIn article.
Even more tips:
- when commenting (both below a post & when re-sharing content) use the following assessment:
◦ is it valuable? → publish the comment
◦ is it too controversial / inappropriate → don’t publish
◦ does it fit the strategy? → publish the comment
◦ is it interesting, but outside your strategy / goal? → don’t publish
◦ is it a “thank you” or “congratulations”? → send it in a personal message instead
- proofread the comment prior to posting, especially the longer ones (we love grammarly.com)
More practical tips for your activity
1) Reactions of your audience will have a lesser impact on the algorithm than their comments.
- reacting within the first 2 h after publication → triggers the algorithm to monitor the content
- reacting to a comment within 1 h → maximizes the positive effect for the algorithm
Important: A “Like” would provide you with 1 additional view, people clicking on “See more” results in 4 additional views, a “Share” results in 7 additional views, and a “Comment” results in 12 additional views on LinkedIn.
2) How the type of your content influences the audience:
Format of posts and reach compared to a Text Post with 1 image
- document post (pdf, slide deck) → 2.2 to 3.4x more reach
- poll → 2.1 to 2.9x more reach
- new: carousel post → 1.8 to 2.3x more reach
- multiple picture text post → 1.2 to 1.6x more reach
- video post → 0.5 to 0.8x of average reach
- post with 1 external link → 0.4 to 0.5x of average reach
- post with >1 external link → 0.2 to 0.4x of average reach
- celebrate an occasion → 0.3 to 0.6x of average reach
- newsletter → 0.2 to 0.9 x of average reach
- ready-made option → 0.4x of average reach
- article (long-form content) → 0.1 to 0.2x of average reach
Dwell time = how long people read your content
Until April 2022, Dwell Time was the most dominant part of the algorithm, but its importance has since diminished, especially with special format posts.
Dwell time still seems to be very important when sharing text posts. According to research from Richard van der Blom, posts between 1,200 – 1,600 characters perform about 2.4x better in reach and engagement than posts with less than 1,000 characters.
Tip: don’t edit your post in the first 10 minutes. This results in a 10% reduction in reach (and possibly as much as 40%)!
Step 4: Prior to starting
1) Commit to a minimum of 90 days.
2) Choose 1 or 2 fixed days per week for posting & stick to it.
3) Prepare a table with:
- # of contacts
- # of followers
- # of calls to action in the last 90 days
- average # of posts per month
- average # of articles per month
and fill it in on Day 1 and Day 90.
The sources of the above data are: our own from Career Angels, Andy Foote, Richard van der Blom, John Espirian.
LinkedIn Activity – review your strategy
After three months you should see measurable results. If you don’t, review your profile and assess whether what you are publishing is attractive to your target group.
Do you have a professional, flawless profile? Not sure? If you are an experienced manager with at least 10 years of experience, feel free to request a LinkedIn Report with feedback on all your sections, or a complimentary Career Consultation to discuss your strategy by sending an email to Bichl.Sandra@CareerAngels.eu. Subject: selected service(s) / Blog