Best Practices for Writing, Sharing and Posting on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is much more than a résumé builder or place to endorse your friends. Build your authority with these tips
Chip Cutter, managing editor at LinkedIn, offered some advice on how to post on the social website — and he’s begging us: Limit the posts filled with tips and tricks on productivity.
Q: How often do you recommend users post on LinkedIn?
A: We recommend posting and sharing consistently — the more you do, the more your words and ideas are likely to be discovered. That doesn’t mean you need to share something multiple times per day or even once a day, but we recommend posting a few times per week. This can take many forms: perhaps a short-form update with your thoughts on breaking news, a quick video about a project you’re working on or an article with your take on a trend in your industry.
Q: Should the content that users post relate directly to their career or can it be a wide swath of topics that interest them?
A: The content you post doesn’t need to be directly related to your career. Professionals come to LinkedIn to have conversations with others on the topics they care about in the working world. This can mean sharing your thoughts on trending news in your industry, posting pictures of your team-building activity, recording a video with your tips on work-life balance or asking for advice about a project you’re working on. It can be a wide variety of topics under a professional umbrella.
Q: Is there a recommended mix of content? Should there be a smattering of original articles, news posts and reposts from others?
A: What you post and the format you use depends on the topic and who you’re trying to reach. When you’re looking to go deep on a topic, an article will likely be your best bet. But if you want to show a demo of a product you’re working on or give a behind-the-scenes peek at a conference you’re attending, you may want to post a video or short-form post. When sharing content from others, make sure to add your perspective to start a conversation — ask questions, mention people you want to hear from and use hashtags so others quickly know what you’re talking about and can discover your post. Short-form posts and videos can be just as engaging as articles, so switch it up and see what works for you.
Q: What topics do you recommend users write about? Should original articles be evergreen, or do you suggest timely subjects (i.e., if there’s an upheaval in the user’s industry, should they comment on it)?
A: Our top conversations on LinkedIn are usually in response to timely topics and trending news. Professionals have had massive debates on the evolution of work, the future of retail and immigration reform, for example. Focus your articles on relevant conversations happening in your professional world that you can speak to and share unique insights on. Evergreen topics also work well if you’re trying to build your thought leadership platform on a certain topic or industry, but try to mix in posts on conversations happening now.
Q: What are some of the biggest mistakes people make when writing original articles on LinkedIn?
A: It’s tough anywhere to cut through the noise. Bland articles that feel written by committee rarely gain traction. (Please, no more stories on the seven ways to be more productive before 7 a.m.!) Another mistake: failing to properly entice people to your article with a compelling headline. Headlines matter a great deal in determining whether someone will read and share your piece. Be clear and specific. A bit of drama without tricking your reader is always good. We also recommend including images and videos in your articles to keep your readers engaged. Use hashtags to help your article be found and mention people who you want to see it.
Q: Any other tips for utilizing LinkedIn posts or articles?
A: Whether you’re publishing an article, short-form post or video, being authentic and sharing what you know is most important. Don’t be afraid to show your personality — if you’re enthusiastic and outgoing, let that shine through in your posts.
Reaching the right community of professionals matters more than the number of views your posts receive. Focus on the conversations happening on your posts and take the time to respond to comments; this can be a great way to connect with new people and could lead to new opportunities.
About the Author | Sarah Steimer
Sarah Steimer is a staff writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. She may be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @sarah_steimer.