For many of us, 2020 was a year of transformation (both good and bad). The same is true for many businesses whose decision makers got a chance to step back and reflect on the way they operate.
I don’t know whether the makers of LinkedIn were among those who took the time to reflect, but they are definitely one of those that used the restrictions brought about by the pandemic to their advantage.
When 2020 began, LinkedIn was still largely viewed as a fancy job hunting platform.
However, during the year, LinkedIn not only added more than 30 million new users, the company also secured a completely new brand positioning for itself, and it did this remarkably well.
LinkedIn was able to hold on to its brand image as an excellent place to find jobs and candidates (employees sourced from LinkedIn are 40% less likely to quit within 6 months), while also positioning itself as one of the best platforms for lead generation and social selling.
Studies and surveys conducted by LinkedIn claim that 40% of B2B marketers view the platform as the most effective channel for generating quality leads. In these studies, 43% of marketers (mix of B2B and B2C) claim that they have found at least one paying customer on the platform.
Whether your objective on LinkedIn is to attract the right kind of candidates or opportunities, or it is to make more sales, producing quality content and ensuring the right people see it is critical to ensuring long-term success.
Thankfully, a lot of the grunt work involved in attaining this kind of visibility is currently being done by the LinkedIn algorithms. Unlike the algorithms operating other social media platforms (glaring at you, Facebook).
If you find yourself struggling to get more eyeballs on your content, or if you simply want to boost its visibility, then the chances are that this is not the first article you are reading on the matter.
While there is some truly great stuff about marketing yourself on LinkedIn available all over the web, lately it felt like the advice was getting more and more repetitive. Optimize your profile, use visuals, publish videos, be consistent, engage with others in groups, and similar advice is currently widely available on the web. Here’s a great article that talks about all these things.
In this article, however, we are going to talk about tips that are not-so-well-known. This isn’t to say that these tips are more impactful or better than other LinkedIn visibility optimization tips that you may have read before. It just means that these tips are different.
Most of these are derived from my own experience on LinkedIn and when implemented correctly, the following tips will surely help:
Make Commenting A Priority
Believe it or not, commenting is actually at the heart of a lot of success stories on LinkedIn. This is because commenting on other people’s posts leads to a number of benefits:
– When you post a lot of comments you become visible multiple times in your connections’ feeds. Every time you post a comment, you are potentially creating a chance for yourself to become visible (once again) to everyone in your feed. This may not deliver any tangible results overnight but in the long-term, this kind of repeated and reinforced visibility can do wonders to improve the brand recall value of your brand or personal brand on LinkedIn.
– Commenting and delivering value in your comments also enables you to position yourself an expert in your field in front of everyone that reads the comment. To put things in perspective, almost every time you drop an interesting and insightful comment, it is read by people in your feed, the author of the post, and the people in the author’s feed. If someone likes your comment or replies to it, your comment will get additional visibility.
– Dropping insightful comments also makes people interested in checking out the actual content that you are producing on your LinkedIn. The right comments on the right posts can potentially increase your profile views and as a result of the same, the views on your content. The incredible thing is that once a completely new profile interacts with your content and adds you to their network, your content and activity is much more likely to be visible on their LinkedIn feed.
All these benefits of commenting will surely improve the overall reach of the content you publish or post on LinkedIn regularly. However, in order to enjoy these benefits, you must first perfect your commenting strategy. You must ensure you are adding value with your comments while also ensuring you are commenting on enough unique posts.
One of the most commonly quoted challenges related to commenting on LinkedIn is “I don’t have any content worth commenting on my feed”. Before we get into discussing the quick solution of this problem, let’s talk about the long-term solution.
The long-term solution of this problem is to start being more careful about the people you are adding to your LinkedIn connections.
Until the time you collect enough such connections, you can use the LinkedIn search to find more content that is not only ‘comment-worthy’, but also enjoys incredible visibility. All you need to do is open up LinkedIn and search for the topic(s) that fall under your expertise.
Once the results appear, LinkedIn will also show filters. Here, you can filter by “Posts” and then further filter out posts that are older than a week. Here’s what the results look like when I search with the terms “content marketing”:
As you can see, LinkedIn is showing me 696 results. Keep in mind that these are posts that are published by my 1st connections on LinkedIn. However, these are also the posts that may or may not be appearing on my feed.
With this trick, if you use all the search terms that are relevant to your niche and expertise, you should be able to drop at least 10 unique comments on 10 different and highly visible posts.
When writing your comment, it pays to remember that even comments are a form of content that you are producing on LinkedIn. This content will be used to discover you and your brand, and it will contribute to the initial image that a prospect or connection forms of your brand.
For these reasons, it is crucial to drop insightful and valuable comments that genuinely help your audience. At the same time, it is important to stay relevant to the conversation started by the post under which you are commenting.
Deliver Value In Posts, And In Direct Messages
Commenting is a great way to boost the visibility of your content on LinkedIn. However, if you want the profile visitors generated as a result of your commenting strategy to turn into loyal followers, you must consistently publish quality content on LinkedIn.
Now, in most cases, quality content can mean a lot of things. From delivering actionable tips and tricks to simply entertaining the audience, quality content comes in different forms and can be used to generate different kinds of engagement. However, on LinkedIn, it is best to stick to delivering value in the form of advice.
Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn users have professional objectives associated with the efforts and time they are investing in LinkedIn. In other words, when LinkedIn users are online, they are rarely looking for entertainment. With that said, you don’t always have to publish valuable content. Doing so can potentially take away the ‘human’ element from your content and your brand perception.
Instead of only thinking about publishing tips, tricks, guides, and other forms of expert advice, think about the different ways you can package your advice. For instance, one form of advice can be direct advice and another form can be advice inspired from a real-life event.
When you are, however, publishing expert advice, make sure it isn’t generic. In fact, my recommendation is to publish extremely specific advice with real world examples.
To take this strategy a step further and use your content to generate additional visibility, engagement, and possibly conversations, deliver additional value in the form of DMs. For instance, if you are an SEO expert, you can write a post about the benefits of SEO audit and ask your audience to comment in order to get the link to a free SEO audit tool.
Here’s a real-world example of such a post:
This particular example generated over 600 comments and 600 likes. It isn’t difficult to imagine the incredible number of conversations that this post must have started for the author. Why did this post perform so well? A few reasons are:
– It uses a real-world example
– It gives actionable and in-depth advice
– It prompts the audience to ask questions about the advice shared in the post
– It prompts the audience to reach out to the author, essentially adding more people to their audience
– It creates intrigue about the upcoming posts by the author, giving their audience to keep looking forward to their content
Publishing this kind of content can be a challenging process, even if you are only sticking to the subjects and concepts relevant to your expertise. Thankfully, the LinkedIn algorithms value engagement and consistency over frequency. This means, it is okay to produce fewer pieces of content as long as you are consistent and your content is generating engagement. Also, instead of just posting updates, make sure you supplement your activity with LinkedIn InMails and direct messages, as this will help you personalize your content better.”
Post Case Studies (And Create Information Gaps)
As you may have realised by now, LinkedIn audiences love proof. When you publish a guide or a tactic, it is good practice to accompany it with an example of how the advice has worked for a real individual or brand.
However, you cannot always stick to publishing advice. You will need other forms of content and case studies have all the qualities that are found in high performing posts on LinkedIn. They are literal real world examples and show others that your advice actually works.
However, you may be wondering how any of this will help improve the visibility of your content.
The answer is, by creating engagement.
See, the LinkedIn algorithms are designed to reward engagement with additional visibility. Whenever a user likes your post or drops a comment, your content shows up in the feed of the people that engage with their content.
If your content is truly valuable, chances are that individuals that are a part of your audiences’ audience may also find it valuable and interact with it. When that happens, your post gets additional visibility in the feeds of your third connections.
One challenge associated with leveraging this advantage of the LinkedIn algorithm is that a lot of users on LinkedIn simply consume content and rarely engage with it. An information gap can provide additional encouragement for such users to engage with your post. Let’s understand this with an example.
Take a look at this classic case study post:
The post talks about an interesting subject (passive income) that almost anyone would want to know more about. The author, being an SEO expert, may be targeting other digital marketing services and small businesses, people that can all benefit from a passive source of income. it also does a great job of expressing the expertise of the author of the post.
However, you may have noticed that this case study does not outline the exact process or even the rough outline of the exact process that the author followed to achieve the feat mentioned in the case study.
The result? Take a look:
The audience was prompted to ask questions in the comment section. These people may or may not have liked the post but were intrigued by it.
As a result, the post also became visible to the followers of everyone that commented and liked it.
Engage In Collaborations On LinkedIn
Collaborations are perhaps the oldest way to boost the visibility of your brand and your content, regardless of the platform. Collaborations on LinkedIn work just as beautifully as they do on websites or on other platforms like Instagram.
Collaborating with other content creators and experts on LinkedIn is like a visibility swap. Both involved parties get exposure to the audience of the other. From collaborating on creating long form LinkedIn posts to tagging others (and getting tagged by them) in your posts, LinkedIn collaborations can take many forms.
In fact, you can utilise your collaborations on other platforms (including websites) to gain additional visibility on LinkedIn. For instance, if you have collaborated with someone and published a video on your website, make sure you also post about the same on LinkedIn. Similarly, also make sure that your collaboration partner(s) also share the video through their own LinkedIn accounts.
Utilise The Live Feature
LinkedIn may have been a little late in adding the live streaming feature to their platform, but it still works incredibly well, especially when it comes to boosting visibility of your profile (and in turn, your content). Live streams can be used to fulfill a number of objectives including (but not limited to) hosting virtual events, establishing thought leadership, announcing a new product, or partnership, or collaboration, and showcasing expertise.
That’s perhaps why LinkedIn Live gained incredible popularity in a relatively short period of time. In 2020, LinkedIn Live streams increased 158% between February and April. With so many users using this feature, LinkedIn Live streams must have great potential to generate visibility and engagement.
However, if that social proof isn’t enough, LinkedIn claims that live streams on their platform generate 7 times more reactions and 24 times more comments than native video published by the same creators.
And as mentioned earlier, more engagement on LinkedIn only leads to more visibility.
In summary, the best way to improve the visibility of your profile and your content on LinkedIn is to focus on creating more engagement. Engagement tells LinkedIn algorithms that other LinkedIn users are enjoying your content and prompts them to expose it to even more people that may like and engage with it.
Did I miss out on mentioning a strategy that has worked particularly well for you? Share it with me and everyone reading this article in the comment section below.