When the gear selector rod cup popped off its ball joint in my old Corsa (try saying that after a few wines), I crawled home in third gear and thanked my RAC-shaped stars when a nice mechanic turned up an hour or so later.
When he popped Connie’s bonnet (yes, Connie the Corsa) and started ferreting around, I didn’t say “ooh, wouldn’t have done it like that, mate” or “should have gone with Green Flag”. I made him a tea, stood there quietly, and learnt a thing or two.
Good job really. It went again as I was passing junction 33 of the M1.
I had to use the emergency pull-in just before Meadowhall and fix it by myself in the rain. Connie had a blown head gasket too, bless her, so she spat quite a lot of oil at me in the process. A few choice words and quite a while later, I was back behind the wheel to tentatively complete my journey to Leeds.
We’ve got a Polo now. He’s called Perez.
I’ll cut to the chase
I learnt three things that morning:
- If I had my time again, I’d love to retrain as a mechanic
- If you have a Corsa, for the love of God, fit a metal gear selector rod
- If an expert is trying to tell you something you don’t have experience in, listen.
Most of us wouldn’t dream of trying to tell a mechanic, or a doctor, or a rocket scientist how to do their job. We lack the knowledge and experience to even try.
But, when it comes to social media, the barrier to entry is far lower. It takes two minutes to make yourself a LinkedIn account, call yourself a “social media guru” (please don’t), and start posting.
But, if you want to use LinkedIn more effectively in 2023, there’s a handful of general myths that we can bust right here, right now.
1. LinkedIn is only useful if I’m looking for a job
I’m hoping this is pretty outdated thinking these days, but it’s still worth mentioning.
It is true that eight people are hired through the platform every minute. But it’s also true that 93% of B2B content marketers use LinkedIn for organic social media marketing, outpacing Facebook (80%) and Twitter (71%).
If you’re not marketing yourself and your business on LinkedIn, you’re missing a trick.
2. All of my connections will see all of my content
When you post on LinkedIn, a bot immediately categorises it as either spam, low-quality, or clear. We’re aiming for clear. This will push your post into the testing phase where it’s shown to a small portion of your audience. From there, depending on how well it’s received, there’s a few more phases it can pass through that help to determine the end reach of your post.
You can see the potential journey here:
Now, when I asked them, LinkedIn refused to give me a ballpark idea of what the actual viewing figures in the key phases look like. Thankfully, LinkedIn legend Richard van der Blom helped me out.
“Abi, don’t get me wrong, but there are so many articles about algorithm and reach, so many different ways to test, that nobody can tell you what is right or wrong.
Your test panel will be between 6 to 8%. Average reach of your post in your network will be around 18%. That’s what we have found.”
Where impressions are the number of times your post is displayed in someone’s feed, reach is best defined as the amount of people who see your content. So, if you have 1,000 connections, you can expect around 180 people to see your post. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but never all.
3. A company channel is my most valuable asset
There’s a reason why Bill Gates has 36,085,158 LinkedIn followers but Microsoft only has a paltry 18,562,258 – 51% less.
People buy from people. We like to know that there is a human at the other end of our little screens, not a faceless brand. If you don’t believe me, try posting something, anything, with no picture attached. The week after, post the same message but, this time, with a picture of you. Watch those likes flood in.
The best social media marketing strategies make use of a company account AND the personal profile of someone prominent within the business. Drop me a line if you want to know what that might look like for you and your firm.
4. I shouldn’t repurpose my content
I must have this debate with a client or prospective client every week. We even ran a webinar about it last month.
Producing content can be a challenge. You pour your time and energy into writing a bit of something that will educate your clients. It’s a quality piece of work that you’re proud of and, if evergreen, will continue to be relevant for the foreseeable future. Why oh why would you only promote it once?
As I said in my last blog, learning to say one thing 1,000 ways is a great way to produce powerful and effective social media content that your audience will remember. So why make life more difficult for yourself?
I’m not suggesting a copy and paste job (at least not for a few months anyway). But this one blog, for example, could be turned into:
- A standard text post with the introduction as the caption plus the banner image
- A PDF uploaded as a carousel document with one myth on each page
- A video of me taking a deeper dive into one of the myths
- A poll asking which of the myths my audience believe.
There’s no better way to get demotivated with socials than feeling like it’s a constant uphill struggle to produce new content. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be!
5. I’m guaranteed to get new clients
If you sign up for one of our social media packages, I’d LOVE to be able to promise you X amount of new clients within the year. If it worked like that, we’d all be very happy bunnies.
Posting high-quality content designed to help your audience and position you as a go-to expert in your field is great. Essential, in fact. Building a meaningful network with personalised connection requests is a good plan too. And you should be engaging with others in your feed to establish online relationships and place yourself within a wider community of experts.
If you’re doing all of these things right, your DMs should be looking a little busier.
But, if they’re not, that could be for many reasons, including:
- You’re not posting relevant or interesting content
- Your audience don’t hang out on LinkedIn
- You’re not being proactive with prospects.
Social media marketing is a humbling game. Don’t fall into the sunk cost fallacy… if things aren’t working then review the data, get some expert advice, and fix it.
New year, new approach
If outsourcing your social media strategy and not having to worry about all of this sounds like a weight off your shoulders, you know where we are.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 0115 8965 300, or jump on live chat using that pop-up on the bottom right of your screen.