Aug 10, 201711:24 AM#SocialBiz
with Spencer X. Smith
These 5 lessons will make you rethink how you use LinkedIn
(page 1 of 2)
If you’re interested in using social media to engage with your customers, you’ve probably spent some time memorizing rules about when to post on each social network. Maybe you’ve studied a chart like this one:
For LinkedIn, the traditional wisdom says 7a.m., noon, and 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday are the best times to post.
As much as I like these charts, they don’t apply to everyone. Instead, I’m a big fan of sharing what I’ve proven to be true with my own data, so here it goes:
1. The timing of your post on LinkedIn is WAY less important than the content of your post.
Because of the volume of content, and the behavior of users on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, timing is more important on those networks than on LinkedIn. The shelf life of a Tweet seems to decrease every time someone writes about it. A few years ago, the shelf life was a day or so. Now? We’re talking less than three hours.
The beauty of posting on LinkedIn is that high-quality content has a long shelf life. The cleverest Tweet will be forgotten within a day at absolute best. But an original article or a thoughtful post on LinkedIn will still spark conversation and engagement for weeks after you post it. I noticed this week that I had notifications of likes, comments, or shares on posts from a day ago, three days ago, and 14 days ago. My best content is still generating conversation weeks after I post it.
Why is that? I’m not an expert in LinkedIn’s algorithm, but I think it relates to the behavior of users on LinkedIn. For the most part, LinkedIn users don’t get on the platform looking to waste time. They go on with a purpose — they want to connect with people in their industry and gain business insights by reading articles and posts from business people they admire.
2. Don’t take engagement for granted.
Unlike on Facebook, where we often feel obligated to like certain posts — your cousin’s engagement announcement, your niece’s first birthday party, etc. — there’s no obligation within your business relationships. The likes, comments, and shares that you earn tend to be much more meaningful. Savvy LinkedIn users are looking for content that will enrich their lives and enrich the lives of their followers, so if they like, comment, or share your content, you can be sure it’s not an idle gesture.
If you’ve only got a few minutes available to devote to your social media effort, spend that time on LinkedIn. The longer shelf life of your posts and articles means you’ll get the best bang for your buck by sharing relevant content with LinkedIn’s business-savvy audience. When someone in your network engages with your content, read it as a hat tip, a sincere thank you, and an opportunity to start a one-on-one conversation with him or her.
3. Share content that will remain relevant weeks from now.
Since content on LinkedIn tends to stick around, it’s important to share evergreen content. A user might login to LinkedIn twice a month and catch up on all of the most interesting news from her network from the past two weeks. If that includes your post, you want to make sure it’s still relevant two weeks later. In fact, you probably want to make sure it’s still relevant six months later. If someone looks up your profile and takes an interest in your latest post, she might click through to your older posts to see what other insight you’ve shared.