As originally seen on Forbes
Sometimes it’s hard to feel like your LinkedIn posts are doing anything. You put something up and it gets a couple likes, maybe one comment, but it doesn’t go anywhere. You’ve heard stories about regular peoples posts going viral, but why doesn’t it happen to you?
The people going viral aren’t just getting lucky. While luck does play a part, there are three simple steps you can take to increase how many people see your posts and give yourself a better chance of going viral.
Comments and Hashtags
The whole point of social media is to be social, and LinkedIn wants to encourage this behavior so they have designed their algorithm to reward good behavior. You have to add commentary that people encourages interaction. If you don’t add a comment to your post, all that people are seeing is some random link or photo with no context.
Adding a comment to your post not only increases your visibility, but encourages people to comment back. If you notice, posts that go viral have thousands of comments and that’s because the original poster encouraged feedback. When you add a comment, leave it open-ended to get people to respond.
Once people start to comment, you need to keep the conversation going. If people are commenting on your post, reply to every comment, lean into the social side of social media. If you can get a conversation going, you have a surefire way of getting your post seen by dramatically more people.
In addition to comments, hashtags are another great way to increase visibility. Hashtags allow your post to be searchable, whether it be online or on the platform, by people who are interested in the topic you are posting about.
Adding a hashtag will bring in experts, as well as potential clients who are looking into the information you are speaking about.
There are a lot of tools online that can help you choose the right hashtag. I would recommend hashtagify.me, a site that tracks the top trending hashtags and will recommend the hashtags that are performing the best in your area of expertise.
Text or Image Only Post
Everything comes back to the LinkedIn algorithm; whether it be adding a comment or a hashtag to your post that increases engagement, or sharing on a consistent basis, LinkedIn will prioritize posts that will be best for LinkedIn. By that, I mean posts that will keep users scrolling.
LinkedIn, although a free service, makes money by selling ads, so the entire goal, the reason they have the LinkedIn Algorithm (learn more about that here), is to keep people on their site or app.
Because of that, a link based post will never perform better than an image or text based post. Sharing company content is important, but you need to realize that it just won’t be prioritized by the LinkedIn Algorithm like a photo will because it pulls people away from LinkedIn. Why would LinkedIn encourage people to do that?
The best thing to do is to mix link based posts in with image and text based posts, that way you can balance people going to your company’s site, as well as just viewing content on LinkedIn itself.
Here is a recent example on LinkedIn of post of mine that went viral. You may notice it checks a bunch of boxes: image only (no link), relatable content, and tags multiple people in an authentic, not attention grabbing way. I also get to subtly, not so subtly share with you all my big news.
The bottom line is, image and text posts have the potential on LinkedIn to perform dramatically better because they keep people on the platform rather than clicking on links and leaving LinkedIn.
When to Share
Being precise on when you share is the best way to increase the amount of people that see your posts. If you share at midnight on a Tuesday, your post is going to get buried by all of the posts coming out in the morning.
At Clearview Social, an employee advocacy software, we have studied which times bring the most impressions (see graph below).
If you notice, the peak times are 9 am to noon, 2 pm to 4:30 pm, and 6 pm to 7 pm, all times that coordinate with major stepping stones in the work day, whether it be the morning or evening commute or a lunch break.
Sharing at these times will increase the eyes on your post tenfold, simply because the eyes are there. If you go with the midnight on a Tuesday route, people just aren’t there to see it, no matter how good or well-written the post is.
In addition to when to post, the other question is ‘how often?’ And I’m happy to tell you, there’s an easy answer for that. You want to be sharing twenty times a month, or once every work day.
Yes, you can have weekends off.
On LinkedIn, only 3% of users share on a weekly basis, so if you share once every workday, at each of these peak times, your posts will bring engagement that you haven’t seen before.
Doing all three of these things when you post may seem like too much trouble, but as marketing has moved more and more to the digital space, the trouble is worth it.
You will bring in the eyes of potential clients, as well as colleagues; all by doing things that will take you about five minutes a day. And if that’s too much for you, there’s a myriad of social media software that make it easier: Clearview Social, Smarp, and Bambu, to name a few.
And, of course, if you have any questions or want to go more in-depth on this, feel free to shoot me a message on LinkedIn or tweet me @adriandayton.
As originally seen on Forbes