LinkedIn is an amazing tool for business social networking. Many people are using LinkedIn effectively to expand their sphere of influence and create new career opportunities. Others are getting lost in the growing crowd of users. So, how do you make yourself standout? I recommend implementing an effective content strategy.
Here are 10 content strategies that have worked for me, and many others in my network that I have coached on social networking, plus one bonus tip.
- Start a blog. Then share the content on LinkedIn and other social sites. Blogging is a very effective way to stand out as a thought leader in your industry. It can also be a highly effective tool to draw visitors to your website. Blogging has done amazing things for my own career!
- Join the maximum number of groups allowed on LinkedIn. (Check LinkedIn Help for the current number allowed.) Put out your posts on as many groups as possible that are a good fit for your material. However, don’t let it be a one-sided relationship. Make sure to comment, like, and share others’ content in your groups. This will grow your exposure within the group. Other members are more willing to share your content if you engage with them on their own content.
- Use strategically placed hashtags in your posts to emphasize key words. Hashtags along with key words increase the distribution to a broader audience, which will exponentially increase the number of views on your content.
- We live in a very visual world. For successful content on social media, you need to have strong visuals. Use a catchy picture to draw in readers, include YouTube videos, or other media in your content. The cover picture is many times the bait that gets people to click on your post.
- Network with others are in your industry who are putting out their own content. I have hundreds of other writers who are putting out great material, have a large network of followers, and are looking to engage in mutually beneficial relationships with other bloggers. Once you have seen the value in each other’s work, begin sharing their content across your network, and have them do same with your content.
- Distribute your content at work. If the post is work related, it is absolutely appropriate to distribute it there. If your material can be a value add to a specific team or project, not only will they help with distribution by sharing it, you will gain exposure to other areas of the company. Word of mouth can be a powerful marketing tool. I picked up a significant lift in the viewership of my posts from my co-workers sharing it across their networks. When your coworkers endorse your work, it adds substantial credibility.
- If there are people in your LinkedIn network that could benefit from a piece of your content, send it to them directly. When sharing your content there is an option to share with your network, groups, and individuals. Make sure to do all three.Include a brief professional message stating what the content is that you are sharing with them, and what value they should expect to gain from reading it. This is a great way to stay top of mind with your network and expand relationships with those that you would like to be doing business with that you are not currently. Occasionally, sending valuable content will help you stay front of mind and increase your credibility with your prospective customers.
- Interact with your audience. When you are lucky enough to get a comment on your post, do your best to engage with them by responding to as many of them as you can. I have learned a tremendous amount from interacting with the readers in the comment section. In one of my articles a reader aptly pointed out a typo in the article. I took advantage of the little edit button and changed it. So what, the first 5,000 viewers saw the typo. The next 495,000 never knew it was there! Boom, take that print media! Interacting with your audience shows them that you appreciate the time they spent reading your post. This builds a relationship with your audience and increases the chances that they will continue to read your subsequent posts and share your content with their own network.
- Put out quality content that your target audience will relate to and take value from—easier said than done. Once you begin blogging, you will become more expert in your own fields from the research you put in writing articles. The quality of your content will improve over time.
- Follow up with people who view your profile. Profile views are like a warm lead. If the person that views your profile can add value to your network, add them as a connection. Do not send them a generic stock message. Make sure your message is customized, “Thank you for taking a few minutes out of your busy day to view my profile. I would be honored to be a part of your LinkedIn network. Please consider adding me so that we can collaborate professionally at some point in the future.” This is a great way to grow your network and follow up on potentially valuable leads. The other choice is to not contact the people that view your profile, and ignore the opportunity knocking.
And finally, the bonus tip: If you have a global network, make sure to repost your content late at night to accommodate different time zones.
Follow Beth at LinkedIn.com/in/marybkelzer