You can be a very interesting person in real life, but if your posts are boring – you are most likely not getting noticed online. That is the harsh reality of social media. We asked LinkedIn-expert Sonia Bains from Startuplab to rescue us from SoMe-invisibility.
Text: Anne-Marie Korseberg Stokke, Oslotech
Photo: Sigurd Reistad Klæva, Oslotech
- Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your post will automatically show up in the feeds of all your LinkedIn connections. LinkedIn actually “tests” your post with 10% of your network first, before it gives it any more reach. Remember: LinkedIn is trying to be as relevant as possible, and as sexy as possible to people. They want people to read and engage, says Sonia. She’s an active LinkedIn user with over 2000 followers and shares both personal and professional stories, as well as engaging with other people regularly.
Sonia Bains talking about the benefits and pitfalls of LinkedIn at Oslo Science Parks lecture-series Matnyttig.
The algorithm of LinkedIn, and all the other social platforms is changing constantly, so you can never be absolutely sure of what works or not. But nevertheless, the experienced manager at Startuplab has a few tips for us:
- Use images! The more, and more relevant, the better.
- Use 3-5 #hashtags. More than 5 can harm your reach.
- How much reach your post gets in the first 90 minutes is key, so make sure to post at the right time of day. Prime time is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 08:00-11:00.
- Videos should be in a square format, with subtitles.
- When you share a video, share the original file – not just reshare a video post. A video that is reshared does not auto-play, and very few people are going to bother to click on it.
- Only tag profiles that are likely to respond. Tags that are met with silence signal “not interesting content” to LinkedIn and your post will be punished.
Business or pleasure?
A lot of companies have their own LinkedIn profile, and many managers and marketers prefer to use this account instead of their own for company-related messages. Sonia thinks having a company profile is a good idea, but that the employees are the company’s best ambassadors when it comes to content.
- People are more likely to trust a person than a logo. Your personal brand should support your company, not the other way around. And don’t think that just sharing a company post gets the job done.
The free lunch event took place in Parken Bakeri, with delicious sandwiches included.
But what if you feel like you have nothing to say?
- Try to find your niche. It can be tips that you share from your day-to-day work or anything you are passionate about. You can talk about a lot of different things, but it’s probably a good idea to decide on a few main topics and stick to them for a while. One could be stories about your company, a second could be stuff about you as a person and the third could be a sharing from your field of expertise.
Tell a story
In Sonia’s experience, stories are golden. Her advice is to share your, or your employee’s personal story instead of pushing a corporate message.
- Passion sells! Instead of just sharing a link for an interesting article, tell me why you find it interesting. If you have been to a conference, tell us what you learned and what you experienced, and pair it with an image from your trip. You don’t need to be private, but make sure you allow people to get to know you and your values.
Sonia Bains is not afraid to share things from her own life, including her wedding. She used that opportunity to talk about culture and what defines her values.
The more time people spend on your post, the more LinkedIn will boost it. The algorithm prefers that you stay on the platform instead of clicking on external links, so Sonia’s advice is to include the main message in your post and then add a “read more”-link in the actual text for those who are interested.
- If you have a really long text, you should opt for the LinkedIn-article option, instead of sharing an external link.
Mistakes are ok
There is a lot of do’s and dont’s in the world of social media, but Sonia emphasizes that no one can create a perfect post every time.
- It’s a little bit complicated with all the rules, but don’t worry, you can share links, tag, repost – break all the rules - just don’t do it all the time, she laughs.
- You are going to make mistakes. But if you take the time to try out different things, practice your copywriting and evaluate as you go along, you will improve.
Sonia Bains shared her tips at the free lunch-event Matnyttig at Oslo Science Park. Check out our event calendar or subscribe to our newsletter for invitations to future Matnyttig-talks and other events.