We write a lot about Twitter tips and Facebook tips and less so about other places like LinkedIn. Part of it is that we’re still keen to figure out our best strategy here. And we thought, in the midst of our figuring things out, it’d be great to share with you what we’ve found so far!
I’m grateful to refer to a lot of amazing info that’s been shared online and on the Buffer blog in months past, some cool tips about LinkedIn marketing best practices and more. Here’s a rundown of the best LinkedIn marketing strategies we’ve found.
LinkedIn Marketing: Best Practices
- Schedule 1 post per weekday
- Create posts that are ~25 words
- Post morning to midday, Monday through Friday
- Write updates that contain industry insights
- Share listicles or “Top” content
The type of content that does best on LinkedIn
Like any social network, it’s great to customize your message for your specific audience. On LinkedIn in particular, there is some really great advice on what a successful post might look like.
Here’s what I’ve been able to dig up:
1. The most in-demand content is industry insights
According to numbers from LinkedIn, 6 out of every 10 LinkedIn users are interested in industry insights—the most-demanded type of content among LinkedIn members. Insights, in general, are quite popular among users. Here’s the complete breakdown of the top three types of LinkedIn content:
- 60% of members are interested in industry insights
- 53% are interested in company news
- 43% are interested in new products and services
2. Experiment with “Top” content and list posts
A LinkedIn study of company updates found that those updates that included the word “top” (e.g., “Top Social Media Strategies”) or the numbers 3, 5, 10, 25, 30, 50, or 100 got almost 40 percent more amplification than those without.
3. Link posts get higher engagement
In the same report as above, LinkedIn shared that updates containing links get up to 45 percent higher follower engagement than updates without links.
4. Want more comments? Try questions or images
On average, status updates that contain questions receive almost 50 percent more comments and images lead to 98% higher comment rate.
5. Share videos for double the amplification
More research from LinkedIn pointed to YouTube videos as a great source of engagement, in some cases twice as many amplification actions (likes, shares, and comments) and a 75% higher share rate.
The best posting frequency, length, and time
Once we have a good sense for the content of a post, what we like to experiment with next is the frequency, length, and time: how often should we post, how long should our updates be, and when should we schedule them.
Here’s a bit about what we’ve found and where we might start our tests:
1. Post once per day, at least 20 times per month
LinkedIn has found that 20 posts per month can help you reach 60 percent of your unique audience.
For those with the time, resources, and content to experiment with more than 20 per month, there’s this interesting nugget: LinkedIn’s best-in-class marketers post 3-4 updates per day, which would make for 80 posts per month.
Overall LinkedIn’s best advice on posting frequency is this:
Post as many status updates as your content supports.
2. Write updates of ~ 25 words
Best practices for length depend on your type of industry: Do you target businesses or consumers with your content?
One of the few studies on LinkedIn length—a 2012 report from Compendium—pulled statistics for each type of business: B2B and B2C. Here’s what they found.
According to Compendium, these lengths seemed to get the most clickthroughs compared to other updates.
3. Post during the work day. Avoid evenings, late afternoons, and weekends.
One popular way to sort out scheduling is to post when the largest number of people are online and logged on.
LinkedIn has found their busiest times to be morning and midday, Monday through Friday.
Business hours, in general, have the largest maximum reach, so it could be great to experiment with different times during the work day. Test and see what performs best for you.
How to set up LinkedIn with Buffer
If you’re brand new to Buffer, you can sign up for free with your LinkedIn account and schedule your first post in seconds. From the main Buffer homepage, click “Sign in with LinkedIn” to begin.
Alternately, if you’re already logged in at Buffer, you can click the “Connect More” link in the left sidebar of your Buffer dashboard to add a new LinkedIn page or profile.
After you click to connect a new page/profile, you’ll be guided through the authentication flow from LinkedIn, where you can simply choose “allow” and then select the page or profile that you’d like to connect:
And that’s it, you’re all set!
You can fill your LinkedIn queue with content by using the Buffer browser extension, iOS app or Android app. And you can arrange and customize your schedule to suit what works best for you, adjusting things in the Schedule tab as often as you’d like.
Once added to your queue, it’ll sit there ready to go out at the optimal timing. You can of course choose any format for posting, including images, links, videos or simple status updates.
Start posting and get full analytics for each update posted
Of course, anything that you post to LinkedIn Buffer will track for you and show you how much engagement you’ve received on each post. That includes, comments, likes, reach, reshares and clicks.
All you have to do is hit the “analytics” tab in your Buffer dashboard and you’re good to go.
You should be all set now and ready to keep your LinkedIn Company page up to date. I hope this makes it easier to keep all your partners, employees and fans in the loop on what you’re up to with your company.
Are you experimenting with LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Pulse?
We’ve been really interested to think deeper about LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Pulse to see how we might best use these to connect with folks on LinkedIn.
Have you had a chance to experiment much? How has it gone for you?
LinkedIn Groups seems like a cool way to connect directly with those who’ve opted in to hear from you, just like a Facebook group or, in another way, like an email newsletter. Email, in fact, plays a big role in LinkedIn Groups as group members automatically receive group updates via email. Here’s a sample email, which is quite like a sort of email newsletter.
LinkedIn Pulse is intriguing also. It’s LinkedIn’s publishing platform, meaning that it allows users to publish articles on LinkedIn, complete with comments and social sharing, like a blog or a Medium built right into LinkedIn. We’re keen to see what type of response we might get here and how we can best balance LinkedIn Pulse between Buffer the company and individual folks on our team like Joel, Leo, Courtney, and me.
Should you be on LinkedIn?
One of our favorite bits of social media advice is that you don’t need to join every network. Pick and choose the networks that are best for you, that are where your audience hangs out.
There’re a few different methods to determine which networks are best for you. One way is to look at the stats. Here are a few of the most interesting ones I’ve found for LinkedIn, if it might be helpful as you decide.
1. LinkedIn sends nearly four times more people to your homepage than Twitter and Facebook
Econsultancy reported this gap based on a two-year research study involving 2 million monthly visits to 60 corporate websites. LinkedIn’s referrals, which accounted for nearly two-thirds of all social referrals to corporate homepages, nearly quadrupled the second-place Facebook.
- LinkedIn: 64% of social referrals to corporate homepage
- Facebook: 17%
- Twitter: 14%
2. A single status update reaches 20 percent of your followers
You typically reach 20 percent of your followers with a single post.
On other social networks, the percentage is often much lower. (On Facebook, we reach 2 percent of followers of our Buffer account, and on Twitter, we reach 4 percent.)
3. Only 57% of companies have a LinkedIn page
Forbes reported that company page usage jumped from 24% to 57% in 2014—which means a growing but still relatively small number of companies are reaping benefits here.
4. Company Page updates see an average engagement rate of .054%
Forrester analyzed the top 50 global brands’ activities across social media platforms to determine that LinkedIn has an engagement rate of 0.054%. (Engagement rate is users’ interactions with a brands’ posts as a percentage of a brands’ followers)
5. LinkedIn generates social media’s highest lead conversion rate
In a study of more than 5,000 businesses, HubSpot found that traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%—277% higher than Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%).
LinkedIn’s conversion rate also outranked social media as a channel overall—meaning that of all the traffic to these business’ websites via social media, .98% of that traffic converted into leads, compared to LinkedIn’s 2.74%.
6. Users are spending more time on LinkedIn
One stat I uncovered researching this article is that users spend an average of17 minutes on LinkedIn per month.
Then I discovered that more than 50% percent of LinkedIn users spent more than two hours a week on the site in 2014–a figure that’s up about 10% from the previous year.