LinkedIn Lesson Number 3: Using Content to Achieve Thought Leadership on LinkedIn
How do you choose the right content to post on LinkedIn for your company? Determining that is a multi-step process. First, decide who your company is trying to “talk to” on LinkedIn. Is the audience prospective employees? Potential customers or investors? Peers in the industry? Legislators or regulators?
Now, think about how you wish to affect the opinions and behavior of these people. If you can determine where your audience’s challenges — and your solutions — converge, you’ve got the starting point for LinkedIn content.
You may already have research data or anecdotal evidence that will help you decide which big-picture themes to explore with and for your audiences.
If not, then gather your thought leaders together to “white-board” the following exercises:
- What issues and problems concern the people you want to reach on LinkedIn? How can your company help?
- What do your audiences value? How can your organization provide that value?
- Now, what might these audiences not know that they need to know? How can your organization teach them?
The answers to these questions will point you to your main content themes, and ultimately, the topics on which you should focus. Using the “content suggestions” feature on your company’s LinkedIn page may help you narrow down your choices.
But social content is not only what you talk about, but also, how you talk about it. Part of becoming a thought leader on LinkedIn is sharing ideas in ways that catch the attention of the people you want to influence.
Change Up Your Format
To do that, you’ll need to appeal to the many ways people prefer to consume social content. Some of us devour articles and e-books. Some of us crunch data from charts and graphs. And most of us like video. In fact, LinkedIn research shows that videos attract five times the engagement of other content.
So your LinkedIn content can and should be delivered using as many different storytelling methods as possible to reach as many different “content consumers” as you can, in the most engaging way.Your LinkedIn content should be delivered in as many different storytelling methods as possible to reach as many different content consumers as you can, in the most engaging way. Click To Tweet
30-60-10 Success Formula
While original content is best, it isn’t feasible for most companies to create all their own content and post frequently enough to gain a following.
And here’s a secret–it’s also not entirely necessary! Part of the role of a thought leader is to be a curator of information for others. LinkedIn users follow companies that share relevant content from reputable sources (such as customer websites, news organizations, and research firms) as well as those who provide comments and insights on that content.
And what if your product or service can solve a known or unknown problem? Can you promote it on LinkedIn through your company page? Yes, but be careful. Blatant social selling is almost never acceptable. But there’s nothing wrong with posting a compelling customer story, an invitation to an event, or legitimate company news, especially when it’s framed as a human-to-human message.
Gabe Bevilaqua, a senior vice president at Viacom, came up with this sensible social content guideline you can apply to your company’s LinkedIn page:
- 30 percent original
- 60 percent curated
- 10 percent promotional
In our next LinkedIn lesson, we’ll explore whether sponsored content has a place in your marketing mix.
Do you have a LinkedIn thought leadership success story? Post it in the comments. Or better still, send us your story and we’ll consider publishing it on our blog.
Clients ask us questions about LinkedIn all the time. Questions like ‘How do we get more engagement? What’s the right posting schedule? How do we improve our company page?’
So, we decided to create a series of LinkedIn lessons. Our hope is that these will guide you toward better a better LinkedIn presence. We hope you’ll follow along.
Here’s the lineup of lessons:
- Make #Hashtags a #Habit
- When – and How Often – to Post?
- Using Content to Achieve Thought Leadership
- Sponsored Content–A Trusted Tool
- The Best Practices of LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman
- Does Your LinkedIn Page ‘Work’ for Your Company?