If there’s one social media platform that I encourage my business-to-business clients to get involved with above all others, it’s LinkedIn. But I’m wondering if LinkedIn has lost its way?
The platform was originally launched in 2003 (nine months before Facebook), making it the oldest major social network still in use today. As of this writing, they boast over 850 million members in 200 countries.
The site has traditionally been THE online place to network and talk about skills, promotions, job changes and work accomplishments. But recently, I’ve noticed an increase in the number of personal posts being made on the platform: Pictures of kids, pets and people’s lunches, inspirational quotes, etc., are creeping more frequently into my feed.
Personally, I’m not a big fan; I dislike this kind of oversharing on what’s meant to be a professional platform (plus I’m British, and therefore will always be more reserved!), so I appreciate I have some bias. I’m not the only one who feels this way, however, as evidenced by the recent backlash over a viral post by the ‘crying CEO’.
LinkedIn will continue to remain a powerful platform for networking and business, but with over 2 million videos and posts to compete with each day, it seems that even without crying, people are going further than they used to, to get attention.
The challenge is, how do we cut through and still maintain the right balance between personal and professional in terms of shared content?
What does get noticed – in a good way?
I assist several clients with social media content creation and management, and based on years of posting and tracking outcomes, I can tell you which types of posts almost always get the best results in terms of reach, overall interest and sharing:
- Posts with photos of employees doing things – attending work events, achieving things at work, celebrating milestones, socialising with their colleagues
- Posts with photos on employees actively taking part in the community, such as participating in charity or volunteer events
- Video or photo updates on project progress (relevant for manufacturing and construction-related in particular)
- Success stories about a company’s clients (again, with photos or interviews)
- Posts that provide information of value, such as ‘how to’s’ on ways to use a product or service to their advantage and links to useful articles with some thought leadership incorporated in the resharing.
In short, the posts that do well feature people, stories and/or useful information, but in a way that engages or interests viewers rather than directly selling to, shocking, enraging or annoying them.
LinkedIn posts to avoid
As for posts to avoid, in addition to ‘oversharing’ personal information, most people know not to post opinions on controversial matters such as politics or religion, but it’s also good to remember not to do the opposite of the things mentioned above.
For example, avoid posting generic quotes (that might not be accurately attributed anyway) or things that are just copied and pasted in a hurry and aren’t valuable or relevant for people in the first place.
And if you’re really interested in learning more about what NOT to do – and having a good laugh in the process – I highly recommend checking out LinkedIn Lunatics on Reddit. (Special thanks to Adelaide research agency Square Holes for introducing me to it!)
Need help with your social media presence on LinkedIn or other platforms? Contact Breathe Marketing today.