In a previous post I showed you how to use Linkedin as a sales prospecting tool to generate new leads. The primary technique revolved around locating your target customers, finding their email address either on Linkedin or with another tool, and then contacting them either via an email campaign or by messaging them directly on Linkedin.
I also mentioned that you can use Linkedin to expand your network and extend your reach through organic posting, sharing and commenting. In this post I want to dive deeper into this topic and tell you exactly how to actually do it.
Linkedin is fundamentally a social media platform, meaning that it’s designed to allow people to share status updates, original posts and other published posts. Therefore, you’d assume that if you post and share interesting content, you’ll have a good chance of getting noticed by people in your own network and beyond. Unfortunately, you’d be making a wrong assumption.
The truth is that the chances that more than a few people will end up seeing the stuff you post or share are pretty slim. The reason for that is because Linkedin’s algorithms decide who will see your posts, and they are much more inclined to display posts that they feel will get lots of engagement and that will keep users on the platform.
So users who are already getting lots of engagement on their posts, like influencers, are more likely to get love from Linkedin while the overwhelming majority of users get to hear the sound of crickets. In addition, posts linking out to external websites are less likely to be displayed than posts without links, because Linkedin wants to keep its users on the platform.
The only way to ensure that people will see your posts (the “right” people) is to pay for that privilege, which is exactly what Linkedin would prefer that you do. That’s how they make a good chunk of their revenue: advertising.
But this post is about using Linkedin for your business organically — without paying for advertising. And although that’s become increasing very difficult, there are still things you can do to give yourself a fighting chance at getting yourself or your business noticed on Linkedin.
Comment on other people’s posts.
This is what they mean by engaging. Take part in conversations on posts by influencers in your industry, but try your best to add some value and sound intelligent.
Asking relevant questions is a great way to get involved and show people in your industry that you exist. They’ll start checking out your profile and maybe even reach out to connect. You can do the same. In this way you’ll slowly expand your network and start positioning yourself as a thought leader.
Write interesting posts without including links
You don’t always have to be promoting an article or blog post. Just operate within the Linkedin platform. Add value to it by writing stuff that people will actually find interesting, and Linkedin might just reward you with some exposure.
The more time people spend on Linkedin, the more money it can make, so if you can help them do that by creating content that people want to read and engage with, then they will love you for it. Maybe not right away, but eventually, as they see you getting more engagement.
Share content written by influencers and tag them in your post.
Everyone loves recognition and even popular influencers like having their content shared. If you tag them in your post, they might share that post with their own audience. I’ve done this before with success. It does work. No, not every time or even most of the time. But I’ll take once in while.
Sharing Links with CTA’s
If you really want to share an article that you think will provide value to your followers (and beyond), then get some extra benefits by sharing it with a tool like Snip.ly. What this tool does is it embeds the content you’re sharing in an iframe and allows you to overlay your own call to action on top of it.
For example, if you “snip” a NYTimes article and share it, the person reading it (from the snip.ly link) will see your face with a message slide out from the corner of the page with a CTA linking to your landing page. There are different ways to design the actions and look of your snip.ly CTA, but the end result is the same: you share other people’s content but get readers to click through to your page. Cool deal!
Now there’s no guarantee that the reader will click on your CTA, but at least you’ve got a fighting chance. The content provider still gets the page hit and the benefits of getting a new visitor that you sent them, so it’s not like you’re stealing. But some content providers block being included in iframes, so it won’t work on every page (but it does work on almost every page :).
It’s Tough out There
Like any other massive social media platform, getting noticed on Linkedin is a tough game to play, and even tougher to win. You need to spend a huge amount of time in a very persistent manner. Gary Vaynerchuk, social media and marketing guru, recommends spending 10-12 hours a day for at least 5 days a week, for years, to build a brand.
Here’s a very long video in which Gary V teaches how to promote your business in 2019:
Investing your time and resources in organic Linkedin or any other major social media platforms, without spending money on advertising, is a long, hard journey that might or might not pay off. It really depends on what your objectives are.
If you’re looking to build your thought leadership, then it’s a journey you must take.
If you’re looking to pick up new clients, then you should probably be spending the bulk of your energy on other things like direct cold outreach.