LinkedIn - Do you give more than you take?
A guest blog by social media expert Laura-Anne Williams, Get Social
At a recent #BusComm meeting, the themed question was focused around business development, and the wonderful Trudie Avery (#logolady) mentioned how important LinkedIn was as a lead generation tool for her business.
This then segued nicely (almost as if we planned it!) into a social media Q&A session, and strangely enough most of the Qs centred around LinkedIn. So I thought I’d share some of the answers with you here, you lucky humans..
Question 1 - How do I get people to engage with my LinkedIn posts?
I feel your pain here - you spend ages crafting the perfect post, and then you get nothing but tumbleweeds. No comments, no likes, no shares… Why did you even bother?
I’ll share a little secret with you here: in order to get engagement on any of your posts, you first need to engage with your followers and connections.
Now, I know that sounds like a load of marketing waffle, so I’ll simplify it further: talk to other people first.
You wouldn’t walk into a party, manned with a megaphone, barge your way into the middle of the room, and start shouting about yourself and what you’ve been up to this week.
(Pssst - the correct answer here is no, of course you wouldn’t!).
As a general rule, we don’t like people who only ever talk about themselves. It’s hella boring.
We like it when people ask about us. We *love* it when someone says “Oh, I really want to talk to you about <insert topic here>. I’d love to know your thoughts!”.
That makes us feel important, and it’s very flattering. It also makes us want to return the favour: we want more of that positive attention you’ve given us, and the way to get that is to continue speaking with you.
And BOOM - this could be the beginning of a beautiful (professional!) relationship.
It’s the old “Givers Gain” mentality, and it WORKS. Give people a reason to interact with you that goes beyond “because I need more likes”.
Question 2 - How do I avoid crossing the line between professional and personal on LinkedIn?
I’ve genuinely lost count of the number of “This is LinkedIn, not Facebook,” comments that I’ve seen over the past few months. And while it’s not a nice comment to leave, I can understand the frustration that leads to it.
It is true that LinkedIn and Facebook are completely different platforms, designed to be used in different ways.
Facebook is for keeping track of your “friends” - even that person you met at that party ten years ago, who you can’t really remember…
LinkedIn was originally a digital CV platform - a checklist, if you will. It was a fast way to see who ticked which skill box.
But the platform has certainly evolved over the years: now, we use it as a lead generation tool, as a way to connect with like-minded business people, to find industry thought leaders, as a “shop window” for our offerings…
It is still first and foremost a business platform. So, how can you showcase your personality without irritating everyone around you?
Firstly, it is not about you.
Your content is for your followers/connections. Whether you find your topic fascinating or not is really neither here nor there. Serve your audience!
Secondly, is it interesting, educational, or entertaining?
If the answer is none of the above, then keep it to yourself!
Give the people what they want!
Do your followers need to see a picture of your salad?
If you’re in the health, fitness and wellbeing industries, sure - you could legitimately link this to your business and your offerings.
But if you’re an interior designer, then why would your audience care if you had a salad for lunch?! That’s not what they follow you for.
Stay in your lane.
Avoid “I wouldn’t usually post this” like the PLAGUE
I *hate* this kind of post, for many reasons.
Firstly, you’re telling us in the first line of your caption that what you’re about to say isn’t interesting to us.
Secondly, it makes your post all about you, which again is not serving your audience.
Thirdly, you’re asking people to validate you and your opinion. Your followers are not your therapist.
Finally, it’s actually very manipulative - you’re basically backing everyone into a corner where they have to agree with you or they’ll look mean/unsupportive.
It’s a low blow, and one that you don’t need to make.
In conclusion, your honour - serve your audience over your ego!
That’s how you crack social media.
Here endeth the lesson...
Laura-Anne specialises in putting the fun back into social media and making it accessible and understandable for businesses looking to make the most of their online presence. She takes a practical approach to helping her clients use social media to raise their profile and brand awareness online; as well as ensuring they don't fall into the many mistakes and pitfalls that a lot of businesses make. Social media can be a mystery for lots of people, Laura-Anne is able to demystify the various platforms and make your experience more enjoyable.
For a free, initial consultation to find out how Laura-Anne can enhance your social media presence - get in touch: get-social.media