LinkedIn isn’t social media, it’s online networking.
That means, in many ways, you should treat it as a physical networking event:
- Show up consistently
- Add value
- Be supportive and helpful to your fellow networkers.
There are four key ways to be helpful and supportive of your connections’ content and posts on LinkedIn while also boosting your own profile:
- Liking it (Or using one of the new reactions: Celebrate, Support, Love, Insightful, or Curious)
- Sharing it
- Commenting on it
- Posting it natively (marketing speak for writing a brand-new post).
But, there’s a problem.
LinkedIn actively encourages users to share their connections’ posts. That means many people believe that clicking the “share” button is the most effective way of sharing content with their connections.
Sure, clicking “share” is quick and easy.
However, LinkedIn works differently from social media platforms. It means shared posts get comparatively fewer views than natively written posts or those with comments.
LinkedIn’s algorithm prefers comments to likes or shares.
It sees comments as a measure of value, popularity, and interest. After all, it only takes a split second to “react” or “share” but far longer to write a valuable comment.
LinkedIn also knows that comments feed a discussion, keeping people on the platform.
So, the more comments a post gets, the more valuable LinkedIn thinks it is, and the more it will promote it.
To cut to the chase:
- Comments beat reactions and shares
- Reactions beat shares.
That means if you want more people to see the content you are sharing, and you want to be useful to the person who posted it in the first place, there are two better ways to go about it:
- Write a new post
- Comment on the original.
Hold on though.
Why would you want to promote other people’s content on LinkedIn? Surely, you should be promoting your own?
It’s a fair question, so let’s take a quick detour to answer it.
Be useful and be seen as a go-to expert by adding comments
Sharing other people’s content by writing a new post and/or commenting on their original post is helpful to both them and your network.
It’s also extremely beneficial to you:
- Writing a new post shows that you are willing to share and that you’re a good networker. It also adds value to your connections.
- Well-written comments demonstrate your knowledge, add value to people who read it and position you as a go-to expert.
- Your comment will also feed LinkedIn’s algorithm, which will help the content reach a wider audience, something the original poster will be grateful for.
- Finally, commenting means that you aren’t always on broadcast mode, promoting your own stuff, and disregarding other people’s.
So, now you understand:
- Why commenting beats reacting and sharing
- Why it’s important to engage with other people’s content.
Let’s consider two final questions:
- What does this mean for you and your business?
- What makes the perfect comment?
Most businesses need to change how they use LinkedIn
Many businesses who use LinkedIn to drive brand awareness, generate leads and aid recruitment, adopt a similar model to posting and sharing on LinkedIn:
- Post from the company/business page
- Ask team members to click “share”.
The practice is so common that research from Hootsuite shows 30% of all engagement on posts from company/business pages come from employees.
Here’s the problem though; there are far more effective ways to boost engagement than simply hitting the “share” button.
So, if that’s your model, it’s time to think again.
Instead of sharing, get your team to:
- Do a ”reaction/comment” one-two (react, then add a comment)
- Write a new post, including a link (in the comments) to the original post.
Yes, these take more time.
But you will be rewarded with increased engagement.
6 things to include in the perfect comment
We’re all guilty of writing short comments and sometimes it’s the right thing to do.
But while “great post!” might make the author feel good, it won’t add much value to anyone.
Well-constructed comments demonstrate your knowledge, add value, and position you as a go-to expert.
Plus, if LinkedIn’s algorithm believes your comment is valuable, it’ll put it at the top of the list, increasing the number of people who see it.
So, here are six things you and your team should include in your comments:
- Add your opinion but be constructive, move the debate on, and stick to the topic while avoiding straw-man arguments
- Add evidence or experiences to support your opinion
- Include images or even a video to bring your comment to life and distinguish it from others
- Consider tagging other people whose opinion on the topic would be useful
- Break up the comment with short sentences and paragraphs
- Consider using emojis for increased visual appeal
- Ask questions to encourage other people to comment.
Comment, react, don’t share
Sharing is easy.
One click and you’re done.
However, if your aim is to use LinkedIn as a networking tool it’s as ineffective as it is easy.
Like most things in life, you get out of LinkedIn what you put in. So, concentrate on fewer, higher-quality interactions. And encourage your team to do the same.
We’d love to hear more about your LinkedIn experiences and your thoughts on this blog.