LinkedIn is the cornerstone of your digital personal brand. While optimizing your profile and growing your network strategically are key foundations, to take LinkedIn visibility to the next level, engage with professionally relevant, high-quality content.
Shares, posts, likes and comments help position you as an expert, resource and thought leader. Content engagement also enhances relationships and sparks opportunities, introductions and network growth. This holds true so long as you interact with content that aligns with your personal brand and relates to who you are professionally (for most, cat memes and brain teasers are not appropriate… unless your industry or role somehow relates to them).
Before you next like, post or comment on LinkedIn, here are 10 best content engagement practices to get noticed and make positive impressions:
1. Share with perspective and expertise.
Don’t just share an article, event announcement, picture etc. without thought — add value with insight, endorsement or viewpoint. Beyond, “Check out this piece,” or, “Great event coming up,” tell people why it’s noteworthy, helpful, resonates with you, is (or isn’t) spot on etc. Share a key counterpoint or call out specifics, when appropriate. Since most people share without adding perspective, the act of doing so will set you apart.
2. Comment to drive exposure.
Commenting and contributing to conversation on a post is a great way to reach new people and promote further dialogue. If there are comments already, read them first and add a new angle or build on ideas when possible. Like and comment on previous comments too. People like to reciprocate, so the more you do this, the more you’ll find others engaging with what you post and share.
3. Vary what you post.
By varying both content focus (events, articles, information about your company, your accomplishments) and post type (text, picture, video), others are more likely to appreciate what you share, develop trust in your expertise, pay attention to your posts and ultimately interact with them.
When posting about yourself, there’s nothing wrong with sharing accomplishments or good news (speaking engagements, awards, media mentions etc.), but watch the tone to avoid coming across as, “Look how great I am!” Subtleties in language are often the difference in whether or not a post sounds too self-promotional.
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4. Click through links and read articles before interacting.
Anytime you attach yourself to content on social media, others see it as an endorsement (unless you explicitly disagree), not to mention a reflection of your personal brand, so vet articles carefully. Headlines, infographics and research findings can seem great at first glance, but after you click through, reveal something questionable. Scrutinize source content for overall quality, information accuracy and editorial bias. Check publication dates too, which can impact real-time relevance.
5. Pay attention to the first few lines.
When originating a post or sharing content with any introductory thought/comment, others will only see the first 3 lines of text in their feed (after that, a link will be displayed to “see more”). Following, make sure the beginning has enough impact to entice people to click and read more (much like how you approach the About section of your profile). Write concisely and keep the message interesting and informative whenever possible. Don’t bury key information at the end.
6. Tag people & companies.
Instead of simply listing a person’s name and/or a company when interacting with a post, use an @-mention to tag and highlight them. Doing so creates an active link to the person’s profile (or the company page, if an organization) and they receive notification of the tag. You don’t have to be a 1st-degree connection of someone or follow a company page to @-mention them. In fact, it’s a highly effective way to call attention to someone and get noticed in return.
7. Include hashtags.
Hashtags can amplify content. Look up options in the search bar to identify those with the most followers and relevance to post scope (e.g., topic, audience). Research is important because slight variations (e.g., #personalbranding vs. #personalbrand) can make a dramatic difference in the number of followers – and therefore in potential added visibility (in this example, almost 10.6M followers vs. only 2,500+). Best practice is to use no more than 3 hashtags per post, unlike Instagram where it’s beneficial to use many hashtags.
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8. Respond when others engage with your content.
Promote dialogue and further engagement by responding to those who amplify your posts. If someone shares your post, for example, like it and/or comment in return. Similarly, if someone comments on your post, respond to their comment and/or like it. Be careful when responding not to say the same thing to each person. Instead of, “Thanks,” and/or liking every comment, vary responses to promote further dialogue.
9. Be consistent.
Driving visibility on LinkedIn requires a consistent, reliable presence. It’s pretty challenging to establish yourself as an expert or go-to resource if you like 3 posts and share 2 more in one sitting, but then go inactive for 3 weeks. Endeavor to interact with content at least a few times per week. The mobile app is a great way to stay connected so you can monitor and respond to activity regularly.
10. Go beyond 1st degree connections.
To increase your visibility and continue to grow your network, interact with content shared by those beyond direct connections. Look at content engagement in your feed by those who respond to your connections’ posts, as well as those who engage with content that aligns with your areas of influence and expertise — they’re more likely to reciprocate interaction with you too.
To take your LinkedIn visibility to the next level, start to engage with content or increase the frequency that you do so. Building a noticeable presence takes time, so make a consistent effort. Review past post performance (your own and others’) to determine what receives the most interaction and optimize future posts in a similar manner whenever possible to gain traction.
Beyond building better professional visibility, content engagement fuels relationship development and creates opportunities that can further your business and career.