Do you want to create more content for your LinkedIn page? Wondering which new features can help?
To explore creating content for LinkedIn pages, I interview Michaela Alexis.
Michaela is a LinkedIn expert and LinkedIn creator who helps businesses master their LinkedIn presence. She has a course called Building Your Empire on LinkedIn and is the co-author of Think Video: Smart Video Marketing and Influencing.
Michaela shares a strategy for developing video content for LinkedIn pages. You'll also discover features that will give you more visibility on LinkedIn.
Read a summary of the interview below. To listen to the interview, scroll to the end of this article.
Getting Started With LinkedIn
Michaela has been working in social media marketing for the past decade. In winter 2016, she was laid off from a tech startup. She was a month away from her 30th birthday and no closer to achieving her career goals despite working as hard as she could. She knew something in her life had to change and that it had to happen from within.
The day after getting laid off, Michaela reached out to her marketing idol, Scott Stratten, and asked him for career advice. To her surprise, he not only responded, but also sent her a huge box of marketing and writing books.
Empowered by this incredible kindness from a stranger, she set off to read the books, search Indeed and Monster.com for job postings, and send out resumes. One day, something clicked and she realized that she would never propose this kind of reactive strategy to a client. So why was she just sitting around sending out a bazillion resumes and hoping for the best?
Landing a Dream Job in 2 Weeks on LinkedIn
She announced on LinkedIn that instead of sending out more resumes, she would entirely rely on the power of community to find her next great gig. Having nothing to lose, she simply shared her qualifications and values on LinkedIn. Overnight, her inbox was flooded with invitations for interviews.
Within 2 weeks, she turned down four job offers and landed her dream job. A year later, she partnered with her then-boss to create an agency, which was eventually acquired. So it became a dream that turned into a bigger dream.
Despite LinkedIn's reputation as a stuffy, conservative online space, Michaela found a huge opportunity and hunger for real conversations around authentic experiences on the platform. Completely overwhelmed and impressed by the kindness and strength of the LinkedIn community, Michaela shared her experience in an article called How I Landed My Dream Job in Two Weeks on LinkedIn. The post went massively viral.
While others may have found success prior to using LinkedIn, Michaela's story shows that you can have nothing when you start on LinkedIn and reliably build a community there. The power of these connections compelled her to stay active on LinkedIn and declare it her social media home. She now works solo, traveling the world, sharing her story, and teaching people how to use LinkedIn.
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Pioneering Video on LinkedIn
I met Michaela at VidCon 2018, where she was on a video influencer panel with Goldie Chan. She said her first experience with LinkedIn video was actually terrifying because she considers herself a writer first. The idea of posting videos on LinkedIn triggered nervous hives up to her earlobes. Turns out, her nerves endeared her to her audience and it wasn't long before she learned to love video on LinkedIn.
Michaela created a concept called #LetsGetHonest, which encourages people to just get on camera and share a challenge or vulnerability that they've had to overcome in their career. This initiative has gone viral on LinkedIn and reached over 26 million users.
Video brings the human self to the professional world and brings you much closer to your audience. LinkedIn video is an opportunity to inject your personality and experiences into real issues within the business world.
Why LinkedIn Matters
It's a common misperception that LinkedIn is only for job seekers. While LinkedIn's primary focus was initially recruiting, so much about its culture and path toward innovation has changed since it was acquired by Microsoft. Michaela points to two features that particularly stand out on LinkedIn: LinkedIn video and LinkedIn pages.
Drive Branding With LinkedIn Pages
LinkedIn pages focus on the brand, not the individuals within the brand. This allows your brand to have a heartbeat, presence, and identity separate from any one person within the organization, who could leave the company at any time and take a big part of your brand identity with them. LinkedIn pages also offer more enduring visibility and easier access for your content than LinkedIn personal profiles.
According to LinkedIn, 40% of users check LinkedIn daily. Assuming you've optimized your content by adding video or photos, hashtags, tagging, and so forth, anything posted to your personal LinkedIn profile will only be accessible in the feed for about 24–72 hours, unless it goes viral.
After this, your content remains hidden in the Activities section of your personal profile, or as Michaela calls it, “the attic of your LinkedIn profile.” The Activities section of personal profiles is difficult to find, rarely accessed, and largely goes unnoticed.
LinkedIn pages prominently show content in the Updates tab, which is featured front and center. LinkedIn reports that companies who post 20 times per month reach 60% of their audience. This should sound pretty delightful to anybody who has dealt with declining reach on other platforms like Facebook.
Use LinkedIn Pages as a Sales Funnel
The process that brings a prospect to your LinkedIn page is essentially a funnel so your branding every step along the way matters.
Let's say someone consumes a piece of content you've shared and is intrigued enough to search for you on LinkedIn. They find your page, see your experience, and read your company description. If they like what they see and are interested in learning more about your products or services, they click to follow you.
Capture B2C Audiences on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is typically associated with B2B brands but it works just as well for B2C brands, particularly if their ideal audience is made up of professionals. Michaela identifies meal kit delivery services, business travel or luggage brands, and hotels as ideal B2C brands for LinkedIn. However, every type of company should absolutely experiment with marketing on LinkedIn.
Michaela has partnered with the hotel brand Crowne Plaza on an innovative LinkedIn project that focuses on event planners and travel entrepreneurs.
She has also worked with luxury handbag company Lux and Nyx on a B2B hashtag campaign on LinkedIn. They invited female influencers on LinkedIn to share videos of what their workweeks look like using the hashtag #InTheBag. The campaign has been so successful that it kicked off 6 months ago and continues running to this day.
Creating Video Content for LinkedIn
People expect companies to provide value and education but creating content for LinkedIn doesn't have to be overwhelming. Start small by posting a few times a week. Test and figure out what works, weigh your results, and grow from there.
Developing a Video Content Strategy for LinkedIn Pages
It's possible to make a big impact on LinkedIn even if you don't have a huge budget. One way is to repurpose content used in other places and apply the same content practices for a company persona as you would for a personal brand.
To visualize this, you can chop up 30-minute videos for your website into bite-sized videos for posting on your LinkedIn page. Although LinkedIn allows videos up to 10 minutes long, Michaela recommends that videos be between 1 and 2 minutes long. Her only exceptions to this rule are training videos, listicles, or a series of interviews. In these instances, add the timestamp in your copy so your audiences know what to expect and can jump ahead to the places that interest them.
You can shoot video in a square, vertical, or horizontal format for LinkedIn. While square video is easier to shoot and watch on a mobile device, the format of the video doesn't make as huge a difference on LinkedIn as it does on other platforms.
The value of the content and quality of the lighting and sound matter more than the actual format of your video. A video can be beautifully styled but it simply will be overlooked if the content is useless.
Uploading Video to LinkedIn
Video is still a relatively new feature on LinkedIn and the algorithm purposely pushes native content over content that kicks traffic away from the platform. So post video natively instead of using YouTube links.
Video uploaded and shared on a page doesn't have to be perfectly branded or stylized like something a bigger company with a bigger budget could produce. It should, however, be uploaded as an MP4 rather than a MOV file. Uploading MP4 files on LinkedIn allows you to include a title, custom thumbnail, and SRT file for your video, which optimizes the post for success.
Videos are muted by default on LinkedIn so always add captions to your videos with SRT files. Michaela recommends using an app or a transcription service like Rev to generate an SRT file for your videos, especially if you're just getting started with video.
LinkedIn Video Metrics
LinkedIn's pages offer some meager metrics and data around video, but they're currently lacking compared to the likes of Facebook and other social media platforms. LinkedIn is partnering with or looking to acquire a couple of data companies and adding new features to help boost their video analytics. Hopefully, LinkedIn will be able to deliver more in the future.
More LinkedIn Content Ideas
When it comes to pages, don't be boring and stick to posting only one type of content. Mix it up with videos, PDFs, links, text posts, and anything that makes it appear like a magazine.
There are other ways to create highly engaging content for LinkedIn beyond video. One way is to ask questions and tackle issues in your posts.
Ask Questions and Keep the Tone Conversational
Michaela runs a series on her LinkedIn page called LinkedIn Controversy Corner, where she has open conversations with her audience about LinkedIn-specific topics. It does well because people like adding their two cents.
Gong.io executes incredibly well on this same idea by posing questions like “The best salespeople respond to objections with questions before answering. What's your favorite objection-handling tip?” Their audience can't resist responding to topics like this. As a result, the company has a great following on LinkedIn and has successfully made its followers feel like a community.
Keeping your tone conversational encourages more comments and interactions without having to say, “Comment below” or ask “What do you think?” Write or present yourself as if you're talking one-on-one with an individual, not necessarily as a company marketing to prospects.
Share Links and Images
LinkedIn has a reputation for not being a visual platform, but that has proven to be untrue for Michaela. She's consistently shared photos with text on LinkedIn since 2016. She has also heard there are issues with sharing external links in posts, but she hasn't had an issue with that either. In fact, she has found that sharing photos and links works really well for LinkedIn audiences.
Ultimately, people want to buy from people. Use photos that are authentic and in line with your brand rather than stock images. Really show what your company is all about.
She uses New York-based insurance agency Lemonade as a prime example of how this works. They make a point of sharing casual, candid photos of their employees. They add some light branding and share their story in the description directly on LinkedIn.
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Don't complicate the experience for people. If someone happens to be checking out your page or profile on a coffee break, they don't want to open a bunch of tabs to get to your story or your pitch. Meet people where they are and share as much value as possible in your posts on the platform. If you want to close or convert lurkers to leads, you can do it on LinkedIn.
If you share a link, do so in a way that gives a solid summary or shares one major insight from the article or site. Provide something more in-depth and useful than just “Here are five ways to…” or allowing LinkedIn to populate the data. Give the reader the option to either glean some value from the LinkedIn post or click on the link to read more.
Michaela uses the example of sharing an article she wrote for Social Media Examiner. She posted an image and gives one tip from the article.
Whole Foods is another good example to follow on this. They love to share their employees' stories on their website and social media. On LinkedIn, Whole Foods features an image of the employee and a summary of what makes this person outstanding. You don't necessarily have to leave LinkedIn to learn more.
Upload PDFs, PowerPoints, and Other Documents
LinkedIn recently introduced the option to upload PDFs, PowerPoints, and other documents to organic posts from your home page, company page, or group. People love this feature, along with checklists, cheat sheets, and anything else that helps a busy professional feel like they're getting things done.
Michaela shares that Gary Vaynerchuk switched his position on LinkedIn. He has been particularly focused on experimenting with PowerPoint presentations on the platform.
Getting More Visibility on LinkedIn
While giveaways are popular and powerful on Instagram, many companies aren't currently doing them on LinkedIn. Michaela highly recommends this tactic as a fun and unique way to build community and suggests using the same approach on LinkedIn.
She runs a giveaway once every quarter and always makes sure to tie the prize back to her content and business goals. To illustrate, she gave away a Rode mic that she mentioned in a video about upgrading your iPhone for LinkedIn video.
Part of the purpose of the giveaway is to make sure that entrants are following both her personal brand and company pages. Then they're asked to comment below the post or tag another LinkedIn video creator they admire.
I caution that you should check with LinkedIn's Terms of Service before running giveaways on the site to make sure you don't violate any rules or policies.
Boost Content From LinkedIn Pages
There are a number of ways to boost content from pages. One effective way to get more visibility for your brand is to share content from your company page to your personal profile. Then encourage your employees to do the same and comment and interact with those posts.
LinkedIn reports that employees have an average of 10 times more first-degree connections than a company has followers. It makes sense to leverage these networks if the content is relevant and you can get your employees to engage with the post. This is especially key since LinkedIn members see posts in their feeds when their friends comment on them, even if there's no prior connection between you or the company sharing the information.
Another way is to use LinkedIn's publishing platform to amplify interesting articles or company blog posts with a call to action to follow your company page. You can simply repurpose content from your site. Format it using LinkedIn's drag-and-drop templates and publish it to LinkedIn.
Support From LinkedIn
The product team for LinkedIn pages stated that their focus for 2019 is to help small- to medium-sized businesses gain organic traction for LinkedIn pages. The company wants to help marketers learn what to post, how to post it, and so forth on the site.
In general, LinkedIn tends to favor newer creators. This is called the Robin Hood Algorithm for LinkedIn and explains why a lot of people tend to be really excited about LinkedIn when they first start posting and get a lot of traction.
LinkedIn is essentially measuring how valuable this engagement would be for a more experienced LinkedIn creator and lending this very real advantage to people who would appreciate that extra boost of engagement. The idea is that this will encourage them to continue posting and sharing on LinkedIn.
New LinkedIn Page Features
In November 2018, LinkedIn announced a major overhaul of pages. The primary change was that this feature went from being called LinkedIn company page to simply LinkedIn page. While renaming might seem like a minor update, it shows there can be flexibility and overlap in how profiles and pages are used on the site.
You can have both a company page and a personal page, even if you're a solopreneur. Or you can have one or the other depending on how each is set up and how you plan to use the platform. Michaela highly recommends having both as a way to highlight the different facets of your career, run different projects and training, and capture your entire audience.
Over the past few months, LinkedIn introduced and announced a number of new features for pages, with more expected to roll out in the future. LinkedIn product teams confirmed plans to develop many of the features that have worked really well on other platforms. These include the ability to tie a group to a page like on Facebook and a blog within LinkedIn pages so that users can subscribe and read content without leaving the LinkedIn platform.
Here's what has currently been rolled out or announced.
Custom Call-to-Action Buttons
LinkedIn offers custom call-to-action buttons for your page. These include Contact Us, Learn More, Register, Sign Up, or Visit Website. Similar to call-to-action buttons on Facebook, LinkedIn page owners can select a button and add the appropriate link to direct followers to any of these steps.
On a personal profile, there's a Headline field where you can add your current position or a note that you're looking for new employment opportunities. There's a similar feature for pages called Tagline.
With the option to add a tagline to your LinkedIn page, you can share a mission statement, a value proposition, or details on what to expect from your page. This is a spot that captures who you are, whom you serve, and how you serve them as a company.
LinkedIn says companies that have optimized profiles see at least 30% more weekly views than those that don't. Little things—like ensuring every section is accurately filled out, adding important keywords in the tagline and About section, and maintaining relevant hashtags—are important. Steer clear of getting too cutesy with your tagline because it highly affects your page's visibility and SEO.
Including hashtags on your page is another way to gain visibility and traction for your content. You can associate up to three hashtags with your page.
Descriptions in Different Languages
Another new feature on pages is the ability to share multiple About Us descriptions in different languages.
Post to a Page via Mobile
Before this option was widely made available, it was a struggle to maintain pages on the go. Only being able to edit and post via desktop was a huge challenge for page owners and managers. Being able to post photos, videos, and updates on mobile was a highly sought-after update from LinkedIn.
Clicking on the Content Suggestions tab on a page populates content topics and ideas that LinkedIn believes the page's audience would be interested in. Content Suggestions pulls anything that your audience in aggregate is already interacting with, along with the engagement rate for each topic. LinkedIn then presents this list to the page admin.
This is a great feature for anyone tasked with curating and sharing content for their LinkedIn audience and who has maintained a presence on LinkedIn for a while. Having an established presence means having a good sample size of the types of people who would be interested in your products and services. The topics will, therefore, be better refined to suit your specific audience.
Someone just starting to build a page and a LinkedIn audience may not find Content Suggestions as helpful. Rather than relying on the Content Suggests automatically populated by LinkedIn, choose followers that include all LinkedIn members. Then select your target audience by industry, company size, position, area, and other filters. This allows you to post content based on your ideal audience.
Invite LinkedIn Connections to Follow Your Page
The ability to invite all of your connections to follow your page is an upcoming feature that probably should have been introduced long ago. Given the troubles and headaches recently encountered by Facebook, LinkedIn has opted to be extra-cautious about adding new features and rolling out updates.
The ability to invite your connections to follow your page will only be available once a quarter to limit spamming on the site.
Subscribe to Page Updates
Employees will soon be able to subscribe to their company's LinkedIn updates, which they can like, comment on, and share with their network.
Discovery of the Week
Emojim is a free browser-based app that helps you search and discover the right emoji for your social media updates, blog posts, marketing materials, and more. This tool features a beautifully responsive design that's clickable on desktop and tappable on mobile devices.
There are several ways to search for emojis on Emojim. You can either scroll through the site until you find the perfect way to express yourself or use the search feature to type a description of the emoji or feelings you're looking to convey. As you type within the search bar, Emojim will refine and eliminate options until you find a suitable emoji. You can also search by category, skin color, or theme.
Listen to the show to hear more about Emojim.
Key Takeaways From This Episode
- Visit Michaela on her website.
- Follow Michaela on her personal brand page and company page on LinkedIn.
- Join Michaela's free webinar: LinkedIn Pages Training for Businesses.
- Check out Emojim.
- Register for the Video Marketing Summit.
- Tune into The Journey, our video documentary.
- Watch our weekly Social Media Marketing Talk Show on Fridays at 10 AM Pacific on Crowdcast or tune in on Facebook Live.
Listen to the Interview Now
The Social Media Marketing podcast is designed to help busy marketers, business owners, and creators discover what works with social media marketing.
What do you think? What are your thoughts on developing content for your LinkedIn page? Please share your comments below.
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