Engagement on LinkedIn has been steadily rising over the past few years, with the platform regularly posting ‘record levels of engagement’, as shared in parent company Microsoft’s quarterly results.
Given this, it’s worth considering the potential of LinkedIn interaction for your brand, and how you can use the platform to connect with relevant audiences, and fuel professional community in the app.
It won’t be everyone, of course, and you do have to measure the value of reaching the right people for your business versus the amount of time spent. But staying in touch with the latest niche trends, and understanding the evolving LinkedIn discussion, can play a role in boosting your branding performance, and building your broader digital presence.
So how do you do it – what are the best ways to tap into LinkedIn’s engagement growth for your business?
We recently spoke to Ting Ba, the Group Product Marketing Manager for LinkedIn Organic & Paid Marketing Solutions, to get some more insights into how brands can make best use of the platform.
Q: LinkedIn has seen two years of ongoing growth in user engagement. What are some of the key trends you’ve noted that have sparked more interaction among LinkedIn members?
TB: With different regions of the world in different phases in the pandemic, one thing is constant - everyone is desperate for community.
People are looking to have conversations about challenges, lessons learned, and to share advice with one another. We’re in the midst of having one of the greatest conversations about the world of work, discussing the “Great Reshuffle” and what it means for the ways we approach the work we do each day.
Conversations like this, and so many other movements for change, are sparking even greater interaction among LinkedIn members.
Q: LinkedIn groups remain a seemingly underused resource – do you have any tips on how brands can utilize LinkedIn groups to best effect?
TB: It’s important to build a trusted space for thoughtful conversations, and meaningful relationships in your group.
Where possible, you need to empower members to ask questions, exchange knowledge, and create opportunities.
Keep these things in mind as you grow your LinkedIn group:
- Welcome new members - Welcome new members, and ask them for introductions. Ensure that their first contribution gets a friendly, positive response where you can.
- Acknowledge the effort – Thank members for their contributions through a “like” or a comment, and encouraging original posters to do the same.
- Set an example - Recognize top members; share their story and describe how they add value to the group.
- Recognize the experts - @mention members who you know can add value to the conversation, and ask them to weigh in with their knowledge and insights.
- Solicit feedback – Ask your members what topics of conversation they find relevant and valuable; ask them what goals they have for the group and regularly check with them on how you can make your group better.
- Share and maintain clear guidelines - Provide the rules of the group upfront and directly communicate with any offenders before taking further action. Avoid breaking your own rules.
- Keep your group spam-free - Spam is the top reason people leave groups. Report and remove spam as you come across it or as it is reported to you.
Q: What are your key tips for deepening engagement within LinkedIn communities?
TB: There are several ways to deepen engagement, but three of our top tips include: consistency, add value, and encourage a two-way dialogue.
- Consistency - One of the most tried and true strategies for building a community is to continue showing up in a way that’s predictable to your members, and signals ongoing investment on the part of the organizer. You can do this by posting daily or weekly at the same time or date, and sharing across a broad range of topics.
- Add value - No strong community was ever built on a brand promoting themselves. There’s room for promotional content, but to a far lesser degree than value-based posts. Follow the 3-2-1 model - for every one promotional piece of content, share two engagement opportunities (questions, feedback, poll, betas, requests for content) and three thought leadership pieces.
- Encourage two-way dialogue - The best reward for starting a conversation is someone responding, and that reward is only deepened when a response turns into a thoughtful back and forth dialogue between members of the group. When your community members feel rewarded, they’ll stick around and keep engaging - and if you start a conversation or join one, the worst thing you can do is leave someone hanging after they respond. Always do your best to keep the conversation going.
Q: What are some examples of brands/individuals that are succeeding, in your opinion, at community building on LinkedIn?
TB: Building a sense of community has never been more important, and we saw a 35% increase in public conversations happening on LinkedIn in Q4FY21 vs Q4FY20 with brands engaging with their audiences in various ways, including images and live streams.
From The Female Lead, a small London-based nonprofit, that generated more than 6,800 reactions and over 180 comments when they shared a powerful image depicting women standing together to better the world for all women, to NASA’s live stream of their launch, which led to over 7,000 comments and more than 14,000 reactions.
Q: If you were starting out with a company Page, what would be your top focus elements to begin your brand-building process?
TB: Our ‘Getting started’ formula is simple: complete your Page, invite followers (until you reach 150), and start posting and engaging daily.
This is the recipe for kick-starting the success of your Page, and getting it to grow organically. We have a built-in ‘Completion meter’ for Page admins just starting out to follow and make sure their Page is optimized. From there, you’ll want to start diving into your analytics to understand what’s resonating with your audience, and test different ways of engaging your audience, whether with Stories, Polls, Articles, or Live Events, to name a few.