All you need to know about LinkedIn for business in 2019

LinkedIn 2019 statistics for business use

Although included in the top social networking sites in 2019, LinkedIn is possibly the most under-used and misunderstood of all the social media platforms. Most people know about it, a lot of people are registered users, but so many people only dip into this site when they are actively job-seeking – if this is you, you could be missing out on getting some great reach on your content and making valuable business connections and leads.

There are over 27 million UK account holders and it has the oldest social media demographic with 65% of users aged 35 and over and 66% of its users are male. LinkedIn is still primarily a social network for the business community, used for professional networking, job seeking, sharing industry knowledge and insight and accessing professional content. It is the only social platform where people mostly present their ‘professional’ face but it has seen some of the biggest changes in terms of how the platform is beginning to be used.

lady working at laptop

Not just a job site

It is no longer a static CV/job-search platform. LinkedIn content now gets 14x as many views as LinkedIn jobs. It is now a place to find, share and discuss content in your niche/field. Users are beginning to respond more to personal/light content rather than just business content which adds to the ‘know, like, trust’ factor people are looking for. Audiences are now looking for an emotional connection and want to work with businesses that share their values, so open up just enough to demonstrate what you stand for and what’s important to you.

LinkedIn also allows you to join industry specific networking groups where professionals in the same field can share articles and ideas and engage in discussion and debate. Many of these groups have grown so huge that they have lost credibility and have become full of spam sales posts but LinkedIn is working on revamping groups and we can expect to see changes to how they are managed coming soon.

Business to business marketing

As a business network, it is a great channel for B2B marketing and 94% of B2B marketers say they rely on it. It has a 3x higher conversion rate for leads than Twitter and Facebook.It is, of course, also used for B2C sales in recruitment, life-coaching, career management etc. If used properly, it can be great for building B2B relationships. It allows the user to demonstrate their credibility in their industry or sector and business leaders can position themselves or their brand as a serious contender and thought leader in a certain space. It is a great way to share high quality industry knowledge with your business connections.

Get stalking!

With the right LinkedIn account, you can find out a lot of information about a person or company before you meet or engage with them. It tells you their professional history, any mutual connections, what groups they are members of, what professional interests they have. It is great for doing research on a person or organisation before you meet or do business with them.

Content

LinkedIn content used to be quite dry, right? Jobs, maybe some professional blogs, not much chat. This is no longer the case on this platform. It is slowly evolving into a much more ‘sociable’ space where, like all the other social networks, engagement and conversation between users is key.

Scroll through your news feed now and you’ll still see the usual business blogs and company updates but you’ll also see lots of videos, posts encouraging discussion on a topic and personal updates. It still comes down on the side of professional content but these days, you can be a lot more open and flexible in what you share on LinkedIn.

Things to consider:

Quantity

1-4 times a day, 7 days per week is optimum.

At least 4-5 times per week advisable, preferably Monday to Friday but  don’t forget to test content on Sunday evenings as this can often be when people are browsing online.

Quality

DO NOT share anything you haven’t read!

Read content allied to your marketplace and that is relevant to your audience and post something along with a view or comment on the piece rather than simply linking to an article. Remember that the main aim is to start a conversation with your audience so have an opinion and encourage your audience to share theirs.

Where to find content

LinkedIn articles/influencers – LinkedIn’s inbuilt publishing feature is gaining popularity as somewhere industry professionals can publish original thought pieces to strengthen their professional reputation.

Hashtags are searchable on LinkedIn although not widely used….yet!

General curated content aggregators such as feedly and nuzzel or google alerts

How you post

LinkedIn doesn’t have it’s own inbuilt scheduling tool so you can either post directly on the platform at the time you want to post, or you can post from a scheduler – there is no evidence that using a scheduling tool affects reach so you can take time each week to load up some content for the week ahead.

Engagement

Commenting on posts can kickstart relationships and is the main driver when it comes to LinkedIn’s algorithm. Start conversations, join conversations and encourage conversations and reply to everyone who comments on your posts!

Encourage engagement on your posts by tagging/@mentioning anyone that is mentioned in your post or whose opinion you would like to hear (don’t spam people with this, these should be people you have an existing relationship with and who you know has opinions on the topic you are posting about!)

Clicking ‘See More’ counts as engagement on a post so think of the ‘three-line-rule’ when writing copy to encourage readers to click through. Make sure the first three lines of your post as engaging and eye-catching.

Try commenting on 3-5 posts from people whose content you have never engaged with before. This doesn’t have to be work related, could be an inspirational leader or personal development or a local issue or generic business post.

Post Types

Text only – great for reach, these posts still get the most response and reach on LinkedIn and are usually more conversational in tone

Articles – long-form posts/blogs

Links – the algorithm prefers you to remain on the LinkedIn platform so posting external links is not favoured well in terms of reach

Video Posts – try to post these natively rather than via a scheduler. Favoured highly by the algorithm, especially Live video

Image Posts – Mix up your text posts by adding images where applicable to grab attention

The downside?

Inflexible content

LinkedIn is slightly more inflexible than other networks in terms of the type of content that is suitable and how you can interact so it’s not necessarily the right place for every business. You can’t interact as a company page so it’s challenging for brands to reach individuals. Sales promotions and offers don’t go down so well on LinkedIn and it’s not the platform to run competitions or freebie giveaways.

Resource Intensive

Company pages are limited in how they can engage, you can’t interact or comment on posts from a company page so in order to be ‘seen’ on LinkedIn, your company page content must be shared by as many of your staff as possible on their personal profiles.

LinkedIn requires a lot more original/created content that many other platforms. Original published content (blogs, articles, video etc.) always performs better than linking to a curated piece.

If you want to advertise on LinkedIn, You’ll need significant financial resource as advertising is expensive on this platform.

Slow burn

It has always been an incredibly slow burn to build an engaged network but this is beginning to happen more easily now – the trick to building your community faster is to get engaged!

Many users on LinkedIn are not active unless they are looking for work

Keep expectations in check on what you will achieve on a LinkedIn company page – most interaction still takes place on personal profiles. One of the only real advantages to having a company page is that you have to have one to use LinkedIn advertising

Top tips LinkedIn

LinkedIn Tips!

Show Up! Be active and consistent

Plan your resources and commit to the platform requirements (as much original content as possible)

Wherever possible, @mention/tag people in your posts – you should tag people who feature in what you are talking about, but you can also tag people you know would be interested in/have an opinion on what you are talking about and ask for their thoughts

Do your research. Look at the ‘recent activity’ of influential people in your niche to learn and study the content that gets the most engagement & views on LinkedIn. Create your own posts, using similar formats, content themes etc. Use your own business tone of voice to personalise

Review your analytics to see which posts get the most engagement & views. Try to find patterns and do more of what works.

If you see a post that interests you, click on the three dots in the top right and go to ‘Improve My Feed’ to see more suggestions on accounts/people to follow

And finally!

mistake

What are some of the biggest mistakes people make on LinkedIn?

  • Poor quality profiles: profile photo, headline, summary banner image
  • Promiscuous connecting: Only connect with relevant people! It doesn’t add to your visibility to have big connection numbers, it simply confuses the algorithm and can expose your connections to scammers
  • Inactivity: 25% of users only log-in once a month. Don’t be passive, you will miss opportunities and you can learn from people on the platform. Just get stuck in!
  • Direct selling: Sometimes this is obvious blatant spam but more commonly it will be direct sales posts or DMs – Don’t do this! It’s inappropriate, particularly if there has been no attempt to engage with the person or get to know them first.
  • Lazy networking: Using short, impersonal messages or only ever ‘liking’ posts. Make sure you personalise every connection request you send.
Designed & Developed by Adrian Barylski