20th July, 2022 - Webinar replay
The 10 simple things you can do today to ensure LinkedIn’s algorithm loves you
Phil Bray 0:03
Good morning everybody and welcome to today’s webinar. I hope everyone’s a little bit cooler today than they were yesterday. And certainly our office was very warm yesterday, so hopefully you’re keeping cool. So what are we talking about today? It’s all about LinkedIn and the 10 simple things you can do today, and every day after, to ensure that LinkedIn’s algorithm loves you and you get better results from the platform. Time on tradition though, we’re going to start by handing over to Dan, who will go through a bit of housekeeping and introduce Abi, who is on the call, showing herself for the first time today. So Dan, over to you first.
Dan Campbell 0:43
Brilliant. Thanks, Phil. So hi, I’m Dan. I’m the Head of Branding and Design here at Yardstick and today, I’m going to be Phil’s extremely unglamorous assistant. Which generally means I’ll be doing two things. So the first is making sure that everything’s running smoothly, and to keep us on track and on time. So if our sound cuts out, or Phil catches fire, let us know in the chat. And speaking of which, Zoom has changed a few of the default webinar settings. So if people could just pop a message in the chat now to test that it’s working, that will be very much appreciated, because otherwise, we’re confined to the Q&A box. There we go. Thank you, Tabitha. Thank you, Stephanie. Thanks, Jake. Brilliant. Okay. Look at that, technical issue number one: overcome. We’re doing good. So the second thing that I’ll be doing is reading out your questions so that Phil can answer them. If you’re a webinar regular, and looking at the list of attendees here, some of you indeed are, you’ll know that these sessions work well with plenty of input. So don’t be afraid to get stuck in, we’re absolutely not afraid to be challenged. And frankly, we all like a good chat with you guys. So if you agree, disagree, are confused or not understand what Phil’s saying, let us know your thoughts. And there are two ways you can do that, and now we know the chat box is working, that’s one of them so thanks for that. The second is the Q&A box too. I’ll be monitoring both of them and throughout the session, we’ll be answering the questions, and then we’ll sweep any remaining ones up at the end. And it’s absolutely a safe space, there are no silly questions, I promise. I guarantee if you’re thinking it, so is somebody else so be brave and ask the question. A question we usually get asked right at the start is “will I get a recording of this afterwards?”. And as Phil alluded to couple of minutes ago, who better to answer that question and explain all the behind the scenes magic that goes into these webinars than our very own Marketing Executive, Abi Robinson. So she’s been with us since the start of the year, and while we’re a marketing agency ourselves, you can probably appreciate the analogy of cobblers shoes. Abi helps us with our own marketing and social media efforts and plays a huge part in our Yardstick Engage offering. So over to you Abi, what does the next hour look like for you?
Abi Robinson 2:58
Thanks, Dan. Hi, I’m Abi and while Dan’s dealing with Phil’s setting on fire and sound issues and all the rest of it, I’ll be keeping my eye on the chat and the Q&A as well and picking up any technical questions. I can’t send a message to everyone in the chat but I can respond in the Q&A, so again, like Dan said, strange Zoom issues with the heat, but I’ll be keeping an eye on that. I’ll be managing the follow up email that anybody who’s been with us before knows will come this afternoon. Usually with all the tips and tricks that Phil has mentioned, the presentation slides, the recording of the video. So feel free to just sit back, relax, ask questions, you don’t need to be making tons of notes as that’ll be my role for the next 55 minutes or so.
Phil Bray 3:46
Thanks, Abi. I’ve just actually changed it, I’ve actually learned something technical, which is not usual for me. I’ve changed that so you should be able to respond now, Abi, to get to people in the chat and you should as well, Dan. So without further ado, let’s explain what we’re going to talk about today. It’s all about LinkedIn today, the second webinar this year we’ve done on LinkedIn. And we’re going to talk about the 10 simple things you can do with your next post, your next LinkedIn interaction, to get more engagement and to make sure that the algorithm loves you. We’re going to talk about the golden hour and why that’s important. And then talk about the difference between like, share, react and comment and which is more powerful. How to wake up the LinkedIn algorithm before you start posting. The right way to share posts on your network and maybe get your team to share posts. And then we’re going to finish with some of the key measurements of success. And as Dan says, do question, comment, feedback. Otherwise, you’ve just got me talking for the next hour and nobody wants that, least of all, me. So do please question, comment and feedback. Probably more so today than any other session because I’m guessing everybody on here uses LinkedIn to some degree and therefore, you’ve all got your own experiences. You’re all working out what works for you, what’s increasing engagement for you. So please do question, comment and feedback, because you’ll have those experiences and those experiences will be really valuable to everybody else on the call. And of course, we don’t have, sadly, all the answers. So we may be coming to you for some of the answers and we’ve certainly got some questions for you as we go through. But I thought we’d start by just setting the scene a little bit, a bit of history about LinkedIn, and why people, as advisors, planners and business owners, should be taking it seriously. So LinkedIn is 20 years old this year. It’s got 33 million users in the UK so that’s nearly half the UK adult population who has a LinkedIn profile. Now, of course, not everybody uses it. Not everybody uses it on a regular basis, but less than half does have their LinkedIn profile. And one of things we’ve got to remember, of course, is that your LinkedIn profile is indexable by Google. So if someone Googles “Dan Campbell, The Yardstick Agency”, Dan’s LinkedIn profile will come up. So in that way, it’s almost like a little website for Dan. And if it reflects what Dan does, sells his services well, or Yardstick’s services well, then that’s going to be a tick, that’s going to be positive. But of course, the alternative is also true. And then just to put it into a bit of context, there’s 51 million users on Facebook in the UK, and 90 million on Twitter. So LinkedIn is sitting in the middle of those two. And in terms of breakdown of users, there is about a quarter of the users are 35 to 54. So starting to get into that territory, where financial advisors and planners get quite interested, generally speaking, with that age demographic, a big chunk is slightly younger. If you’ve got a proposition there for accumulators, if you’re a mortgage broker, then again, another reason to be using LinkedIn. And it is really, really important that you use the social media platform where your target audience hangs out. We had a conversation with a financial planner early on in the week, who is targeting people in their 60s with at least a million pounds of investable assets. And we were debating which platform was right for him, he got a preference towards Instagram and we had a debate as to whether actually that is the right platform. So that’s the breakdown of the users. The other thing that’s interesting is that half of all users on LinkedIn earn above £48,000 a year. So they’re high earners and professional people. And if that’s your target market, then LinkedIn is potentially a place to hang out. And we think there’s five reasons really, to take LinkedIn seriously. The first is new inquiry generation. So developing new inquiries from potential clients. When we talk to advisors and planners, that seems to be the reason that most want to use LinkedIn. Second reason alludes to what I’ve said earlier, about the fact that it indexes your profile. So if somebody searches for you online, maybe someone that’s been recommended to you, always the best type of new inquiry. So maybe someone who’s been recommended to, they search for you online, they might find your website, and a lot of them will do, especially if they do a search for your business. If they do a search for your individual name, they search for your individual name, your LinkedIn profile is going to come up, there’s a chance that they’ll click it and therefore it needs to be as impressive as possible. And that leads to number three, prospects might use it to check you out. That’s because some will search for you online on Google. And as I say, Google will return your LinkedIn profile and the results. But also we have some people, I’ve spoken to some consumers who, when they want to check out an advisor or planner, they haven’t actually gone to Google, they’ve gone to LinkedIn. So they bypass Google and gone to LinkedIn, and they’re checking out the advisor or planner there via that method. And of course, they’re checking out the advisor or planner to understand whether they’re the right person to solve their problems to deal with their trigger. And so that’s the third reason, recruitment. LinkedIn is tremendously useful for recruitment. There’s all sorts of ways of using LinkedIn to recruit prospect. And in fact, we did a webinar about that earlier on in the year. And Abi, perhaps we can put a link to that webinar in the follow up notes. But I was chatting to one planner late last week, who after that webinar, did one thing that we recommended, and from there, they have a new paraplanner joining. So LinkedIn can be tremendously useful for recruitment. And then of course, interacting with existing clients. If you’re connected with existing clients on LinkedIn, they will see your posts, they will see what you’re putting out and it’s a really useful way of interacting with them. And the reverse is also true. You will see their posts, and you can interact with their posts, learn more about what’s going on their lives, help them out by sharing some of that content. So those are five reasons to take LinkedIn seriously. Now, I’ve got a question for everybody here that’s attended today. What’s the key reason? Just give me the first reason, the key reason why you are using LinkedIn. Why you are here on this webinar? What do you want to get out of this webinar? And why are you using LinkedIn? So just put some notes in the chat if you would. And I’m just going to take a sip of tea, just put a few notes in the chat as to what your main aim is on LinkedIn, what you want to get out of LinkedIn, and what you want to get out of this webinar. Dan, what have we got? And I see there’s a question in the Q&A as well.
Dan Campbell 11:35
Yeah, so it looks as though it’s split down the middle between lead generation and general brand awareness. Raising profile online. Visibility is a word that keeps coming up, expanding the network, engaging with prospective clients. Sharing ideas is an interesting one from Carla, that doesn’t generally come into those two brackets. So just from a knowledge and development point of view.
Phil Bray 12:09
So it’s lead gen brand awareness. Okay. Just flicking through the answers now. Lead gen brand awareness with a bit of showing ideas in there as well. Has anybody mentioned recruitment on there?
Dan Campbell 12:22
I don’t think they have.
Phil Bray 12:26
Okay, interesting. So that could be of course, reflective of the audience and the people who are on this call, and whether they’re actually recruiting now or not. So those are the five reasons to take LinkedIn seriously, it sounds as though the first one is the most important to the majority of people on this call. So if that’s important, so is LinkedIn’s algorithm. LinkedIn’s algorithm decides what content you see when you’re scrolling down your feed. And also the reach of your content, how many other people see your content. And that pretty obviously means we need to understand how it works, and then adapt our behaviour. So that we can essentially behave in a way that the algorithm will find favourable and will like. So how does the algorithm work? Well, there’s three steps. The first, when you put your post up on LinkedIn, you go to the box at the top of the screen, and you start writing your post, or you copy and paste it in if you’ve written in Word beforehand or somewhere else. Your post is placed by the algorithm in one of three categories. Clear, which means it’s good to go. Spam, which is the opposite and that is something we really do want to avoid. Or low quality, so sat between clear and spam, and the algorithm is deciding that. Then the algorithm will send your post to a small proportion of your audience to test how popular it is, to test the engagement levels. And that means the fate of your post is in the hands of the people that LinkedIn share it with. You can’t control who LinkedIn shares it with, it’s all done in the background by LinkedIn. But it will send your posts providing it’s either clear or low quality. It will send your post through to a small proportion of your audience and how they react and how those small proportion of people who see it, how they react dictates the fate of your post. And if it’s popular, if people are engaging with it, by liking it, sharing, but most importantly, commenting on it, the post will then be assessed by a human. And if it passes that test, then that human will share it with a wider network of your audience, but also people outside of your network. One of the ways of telling that a post has been successful and is being read by a wider audience, shared with a wider audience, is that you get people commenting on there who you aren’t already connected to. So if someone who has a second or third degree connection on LinkedIn comments on one of your posts and likes it or interacts with it, it’s a sign that it’s been shared with a wider audience. So we’ve got those three stages, an initial filter, where it is marked as clear spam or low quality, an initial testing period, where your post is given to a small proportion. If they react positively, if they start engaging with it, sharing, liking, commenting, then you move on to the next stage. If they don’t react to it, it goes to the LinkedIn post graveyard. And no, not many people will see it from there. So I hope that just explains at a high level, how the LinkedIn algorithm works. And it’s all based on engagement. It’s all based on how people engage with your posts. So the 10 good ideas that we’ve got coming up next are mostly around engagement. Dan, I’ve just seen something in the chat, is there anything we need to deal with?
Dan Campbell 16:44
It’s a good question from Adrian, who asks, “do you know how long that testing period actually is?”
Phil Bray 16:52
I don’t know exactly, but one of the things we’ll talk about in a bit is the golden hour, and it’s really important. I’ll put it another way, posts that do get shared wider, and that get more engagement, and that get engagement from second and third connections are those that get more engagement in that first hour. That golden hour, that first hour is incredibly important. So I think we can probably surmise, Adrian, that actually it’s a relatively short period of time of about an hour. Anything else Dan?
Dan Campbell 17:33
Carl is asking the million dollar question, “do we know what qualifies as clear versus spam?”
Phil Bray 17:42
I’ll maybe come to Abi on this in a minute. But spam, you would avoid swearing. That’s not gonna do you any favours with the LinkedIn algorithm, I’d avoid that. Abi, what can you think of in terms of spam? I’d avoid selling, overtly selling. That’s important.
Abi Robinson 18:04
The spam filters look for really poor spelling as well and elements of coding in the post and bad formatting, when people tag or hashtag as many as they possibly can. It’s not something that you necessarily are going to fall into a trap of if you’re intelligent about the way you post because it is common sense. And if people report your content as spam as well, that’ll push you up in their estimations.
Phil Bray 18:35
Avoid swearing, avoid grammatical errors and significant typos, avoid tagging in lots of people, huge numbers of people, and of course, making it relevant. And that’s the first thing we’re going to come across in a minute. Because the more relevant you are, the less likely somebody is to mark it as spam. Any other questions Dan?
Dan Campbell 19:06
Great question from Kerry, who asks, “does it make a difference if someone just comments with an emoji?”
Phil Bray 19:14
I don’t know actually. I’ve not seen anywhere ever, that says LinkedIn views long comments, more preferably than short comments. Maybe I’ve just not come across that, but I personally have never seen that. Have you seen anything there, Abi?
Abi Robinson 19:36
Not in terms of algorithmically but I think if somebody is just commenting with an emoji, is that going to encourage say, other people to leave a comment and share their views? It’s not a particularly useful strategy if you’re trying to get a conversation going in the comments. So while I don’t think LinkedIn will push you down the rankings for that, it’s not going to push you higher because it doesn’t encourage engagement from others, I’d say.
Phil Bray 20:05
I would agree with that. If you can post in a way that your comments, whether it’s a question, controversial opinion that encourages more comments, I think that will then help add more comments to the post, which we know feeds the algorithm.
Abi Robinson 20:30
A quick Google has suggested that long meaty comments are better, not massively, but comments of up to 1250 characters are allowed. So apparently, meatier ones are the way forward if you’re gonna take it that seriously, but it makes a really small difference.
Phil Bray 20:50
Thanks, Abi. Dan, what have we got?
Dan Campbell 20:51
A couple of questions about spam, that seems to be quite an interesting topic people want to talk about. So two questions. The first one is, “will you know your post has been marked as spam by somebody else?”. And then another question by Adrian, who asks, “when we post we tag our staff, seven of them and the company account. Is this likely to trigger the spam filter if they always do it that way?”
Phil Bray 21:18
As far as I’m aware, no, you don’t get to find out if your post has been marked as spam. I don’t see why LinkedIn would do that but I’m not aware that you get to know that your post has been marked by anybody as spam. Abi, what are your thoughts on tagging six or seven people that work at the business? I see some financial planners tagging lots and lots of different people, maybe 10-15 people? What are your thoughts on that, Abi?
Abi Robinson 21:48
That’s fine. I think as you say, the critical thing there is the relationship. I think, if you’re tagging in people who you already have that connection, whether you work with or are likely to be your first or second connection, LinkedIn isn’t gonna have an issue with that. Whereas if you’re tagging people who are consistently third connections, people who your network aren’t engaged with at all, and it’s quite clearly just trying to push it out to as many people as possible, that’s what causes the issue. So six or seven relevant people I think is a good strategy.
Phil Bray 22:19
One of the things we’ll talk about in a bit is getting your team to comment and engage. So let’s move on. We’ll come and do some more questions in a few minutes, if that’s okay. I feel as though we might answer some of these questions as we work through.
Dan Campbell 22:31
I think you’re right.
Phil Bray 22:31
So key thing, be relevant. Now, this is true with any content that you produce. Blog content in a newsletter is a prime example. It needs to be relevant and interesting and engaging for the audience that it’s sent to. But it’s incredibly important on LinkedIn, because relevancy drives interactions. So the more your content is relevant to the people you’re connected to, the more it will drive interactions, likes, comments, and shares and those interactions drive more interactions. So it’s like a snowball, the more relevant you can be, the better. And there’s a few ways you can improve relevancy. So for me, it’s about deciding on the type of people you want to connect with, and connect to more of those. So mentally, I’ve got a few boxes of people that I personally, on LinkedIn, want to be connected to. And that’s financial advisors and planners who might be existing clients or potential clients, potential employees or existing employees, because we use LinkedIn a lot for recruitment. And then the third group is people that I learned from. I forgot who said it earlier, but they talked about using LinkedIn as a learning resource. So I think that’s massively important as well, it’s a two way street. So I’ve decided that those are the three types of people that I want to be connected to, and work hard to connect with more of those types of people. And because their niches, especially the first to an audience, those audiences that I’m broadcasting to advisers, planners and potential recruits. That means I can tailor my content more specifically to them. So spend a bit of time thinking about who you want to be connected to, just general groups, then connect to more of those. Personally, I would then remove connections that aren’t in those groups. Because the algorithm is going to favour the fact that your content is getting higher engagement because it’s only being shown to those people that it is relevant for. And then it’s just usual marketing of understanding your audience. Understanding what keeps them awake at night apart from the heat, what keeps them awake at night, what gets them out of bed in the morning, and then start talking about that. Post about their problems, their anxieties, and their aspirations. So for me when it comes to relevancy, so important that you are relevant, and make it easier to be relevant by having tight niches on LinkedIn of people that you can then talk to. So that’s relevant. Second, going back to talking about how long you’ve got, it was Adrian, who talked about how long you’ve got, how long the the algorithm will look at your post for, remember that golden hour. And the fact that the golden hour really does seem to dictate the success or failure of your post. And that means that you need to post when people are online. One of the mistakes I used to make with LinkedIn, I tend to get up and work quite early, rather than working late into the evening, as I know some other people favour. And that meant I might have been posting on LinkedIn at 5 or 5:30 in the morning. And you know what? There’s not that many people around for the next hour. And that meant that some of my posts, unfortunately, went to the LinkedIn graveyard and didn’t get the love that they deserved, or at least I thought they deserved. Nobody else did, but didn’t get the love that I thought they deserved. So you’ve got to be posting when other people are online. And what we would say here is experiment and find out what works for you based on your niche, your connections. But if I was starting out, the time I would start to be posting is between 7 and 9 in the morning. And if you can’t post every day, big fan of posting every day, you know, maybe even twice a day, if you can be relevant and add enough value. But if you can’t post every day, then Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, between seven and nine is genuinely thought to be the optimal time for posting on LinkedIn and grabbing that golden hour. What I would say there is don’t dismiss Saturday morning. Saturday morning can be a great time for getting engagement on posts. We’ve seen that, for example, when firms have been announcing and things like the VouchedFor Top Rated Guide that gets published on a Saturday morning. I’ve seen firms posting about that and getting really good engagement on a Saturday morning,. I’ll always make sure I put something up on a Saturday morning, might be a bit more personal, might be a bit more fun, bit less serious, but it does get good engagement. So don’t dismiss Saturday mornings. Abi, would you add anything about time and posting and that sort of stuff?
Abi Robinson 27:50
I think everything you’ve said is spot on. I think keep it consistent is another good one, you want people to expect your posts. You’re in a good position if somebody wakes up after a few months of you posting and is used to seeing your content go out to 7am and it’s not there, and they’ve missed that. It’s hard for people to miss something that they’re not familiar with. So try different things. I’ve seen a message in the chat from Shabar saying that the end of the day works well, 5:30pm. I post for some clients at 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Try different things and then stick with it for at least a few months is really the only thing I’d add.
Phil Bray 28:29
Thanks, Abi. Dan, any comments or questions we need to be covering on?
Dan Campbell 28:35
Great question from Danny, who says “golden hour, what do you recommend if you’re an international company? So when awake in one country, others will be asleep”
Phil Bray 28:44
That’s a really good question, and I did nearly put something on the slide from that. Abi, I don’t know about you, but I think I would be using scheduling software to schedule the posts so that they appear at the appropriate local time. Let’s say you are posting in the States or Australia, so you’re scheduling software to make sure that the post appears at the correct local time in Australia or the US in that example. What would you say, Abi?
Abi Robinson 29:21
I think one thing I would say is don’t overthink it. We’ve got a client in Singapore and I post for three members of their team, one of them goes out 8:15, another one goes out at 12:30 and another one goes out at 14:15 our time. And I’m noticing good engagement across the board, it doesn’t seem to make a huge difference that I’m using our time as opposed to theirs. So again, it’s still trial and error see what posting at your time, what posting at their time does for engagement and just let the data drive you. It’s a good question, but don’t overthink it too much.
Phil Bray 29:56
Dan, couple more questions and then we’ll continue.
Dan Campbell 29:59
Brilliant. Okay, which ones to choose? We’ve got so many. Okay, going back to the algorithm, putting your content out to just a few people. So Adam asked a great question earlier, “do we know if it’s a proportion of your network that it’s shared with or a specific number, i.e. if you’ve got more connections, so they have a wider initial reach?”
Phil Bray 30:21
I don’t know the answer to that. And I was always told to admit when you didn’t know the answer to something, so I don’t know the answer to that. Abi, do you know the answer? If not, we’ll look it up.
Abi Robinson 30:32
I suspect it’s a lot more complicated than that. But I will certainly look into it and then put something in the follow up email if we find something useful and legit.
Phil Bray 30:42
One thing I would say, of course, is the wider that your audience is of relevant people, the better. So one of the things we help, we have a service called Yardstick Engage where we manage advisor and planner’s social media accounts. And we don’t just focus on posting, there’s a lot of things that we do in there, but we absolutely don’t just focus on posting, we give equal attention to building audiences. There’s not much point in rehearsing your play, until it’s perfect if there’s nobody sat in the audience. So really important we post good quality stuff, and everybody on this webinar posts good quality stuff. But also that your audience is as big as it possibly can be of people that you want to be talking to. So the bigger your audience, the better. So I’m gonna move on and we’ll do a few more, Dan, and then it might cover off some of the questions that we’ve we’ve got.
Dan Campbell 31:39
Phil Bray 31:41
So number three: comments. Do everything you can to encourage comments. I think it’s fairly well known now that there is a variety of different interactions, you can like, you can add an emotion, you can share, or you can add a comment. But I think it’s fairly well known now that LinkedIn favours comments. It gives more weight in the algorithm to comments than it does other things. And therefore, posts without comments will often suffer quite a really quick death back to sharing with a proportion, and then dying a bit of a death if it doesn’t have comments. So one of the things we always recommend that we try and do ourselves is encourage more comments, there’s a few things you can do there. Ask questions in your post, that’s always a really useful way of doing it. If you can ask questions in your post and start the conversation going, that’s a good thing. Tagging people. You’re tagging people in the hope that they come see the post, get engaged by it, and then add their comment. Now, there’s a few different categories of people you could tag. Those would include people whose content you’re sharing. So let’s say I was quoting Dominic Hiatt from Newspage, I’ll sometimes be talking about PR on LinkedIn, and often mention Newspage as a service that advisers and planners use, and I’ll tag Dom in there. So if you’re sharing somebody else’s comment, posts or content, tag them in, tag people who will be interested. I did a post about podcasts recently, and I tagged a few people in whose podcasts I listen to and enjoy, and a few of those came and added comments. And then also tag people in that you want to nudge, this works really well. If you are waiting for a client to come back to you about something, or potentially it’s a prospect that has been a bit quiet, tagging them in a post is a really good way of just getting back on their radar, it really does work. You can also tag your team, and then ask your team to comment so you’ve got to alert your team that the post is there. One of the ways of doing that is tagging them, as Adrian suggested earlier, but most of us have gotten some internal communications now in Slack, Teams, even WhatsApp. So get your link to the post, put it in your internal messaging, and ask them to go and comment. What else have we got? This is about the size of your audience. Making sure that you’re connected to as many of your clients and professional connections as possible, making sure your relevant audience is as big as possible, that will encourage comments as well. And then finally, replying as quickly as you can with comments to keep the conversation going. So ideally in that golden hour, if your audience are online and you’re online, that’s a win win. That’s the best of all worlds. Because you can look at their comments, and then go and reply yourself to keep the conversation going either by asking a question, offering an opinion, but keep the conversation going. And you can often quite quickly get to a thread of 10, 15, 20 comments, which of course, LinkedIn will love. So a few things that you can do to encourage comments. And you also should be sharing in the right way. Now LinkedIn makes it really easy to share. There’s a button that you can press, click share, you can write a quick note, and then post it to your audience. But actually, slightly strangely, LinkedIn’s algorithm prefers someone to natively write a post, write an original post, and then share the link to the original post in there. Not the easiest thing to explain, but the best way of explaining it, I think, Abi, and you can come in if I’ve explained this poorly. But the best way of doing it is don’t click the share button to share, write a brand new post, and then pop the link, because it’s an internal link within LinkedIn. Put the link in there. Is that fair, Abi? Is that a decent way to describe it?
Abi Robinson 36:22
Phil Bray 36:23
Slightly strange, but don’t click the share button, just write a new post. That’s probably the simplest way. And then as well, this one’s strange. I’ve only heard this one this year. I think it was Abi who suggested this, and it’s that LinkedIn’s algorithm favours posts that haven’t been changed, that haven’t been edited. So if you can avoid editing your posts, even if it’s a simple typo, try and avoid it. And there’s a few ways of doing that. Get it right in the first place, and that means editing and proofreading. Really difficult to proofread your own work, though. And if you’re writing your post at 7, 8 in the morning to harness that golden hour, it’s probably quite difficult to get another member of your team to proofread it. So one of the solutions would be to write the posts in a batch, get someone to proofread them, and then put them up. That’s one solution. But if you don’t have that, and obviously you spellcheck, but one of the things that our content team do, and I do, and I’m sure Abi and Dan do, is if you’re writing your posts in Microsoft Word, get Word to read your post back to you. It is phenomenal how that improves your writing, having somebody, or in this case, Microsoft Word read the post back to you, and you follow it on the screen as it’s being read back to you. It helps you really tighten the writing. It helps you edit it, and it helps you proof it. It’s just phenomenal how useful that small trick is. Give it a go the next time you write something use the Microsoft Read Aloud feature, it does make a difference. And of course, if you still do all those things, and you still find a typo generally speaking, it appears glaringly obvious, just as you’ve clicked post, and you spot something, delete it, and repost or just add a little comment in there, “apologies for the typo”, etc. But if you can, avoid editing your posts. Six, this is a bit of a controversial one, but most people seem to agree. There’s a few dissenters, and we’re going to go back and look at this. But most people agree that if you’re adding links to sites which are not LinkedIn, so external links generally to your website. For example, if you’re promoting a blog, add links in the comments. So there’s two places links could go, could go in the main post, or it can go in the comments. And there’s a logical reason why LinkedIn as a platform doesn’t want third party links being added to posts. It’s because LinkedIn, as a business want to keep people on their platform, pretty obviously. And therefore the algorithm seems to give priority to posts without outbound links. Of course, if you want to drive people to your website, perhaps read a blog, that’s not particularly helpful. The way to solve it, right now, and things change, is you put your post up, and here’s an example. So that’s, that’s my post and then link in the comments. I’ve added the image, and you have to do that manually. Link in the comments and you can see there’s the comment, so the comment was added immediately after the post had gone live. So the next thing I did after putting a post up was to put the link in the comments. And we’ve tested this, we went through a spell of putting exactly the same post up at exactly the same time. First one with the link in the post, second one with the link in the comments. And what you can see there is 376% to 58%, those are the increased engagement rates for the posts where we had links in the comments. It was the increase in impressions, the number of people who saw it. So the first post that went up, 376% more people saw the post with the link in the comments compared to the link in the post. A couple of things to remember, that method doesn’t work with all scheduling tools. Abi, we use a scheduling tool, don’t we? What’s it called? Because it does work with a link in the comments.
Abi Robinson 41:07
It’s called SmarterQueue.
Phil Bray 41:11
SmarterQueue, cheers. And the other thing to remember is it won’t automatically pull through the images. So here for example, with the image of the Yardstick, we needed to add that manually to the post rather than it pulling through automatically from the blog. So a couple of things to remember there. Dan, any questions?
Dan Campbell 41:37
Adrian asks a great question, “I have never tagged a client in a post, can you expand on this and maybe help remove the fear?”
Phil Bray 41:50
I’m gonna ask you a question back, Adrian, if that’s okay, what are you fearful of? So maybe while Dan comes to the next question, you can just put a little note in there about what you’re fearful of and then we’ll circle back to that. But I’d be interested to know what you’re fearful of Adrian.
Dan Campbell 42:07
While we wait for Adrian’s reply, Abi has been answering many of the questions that have appeared in the chat in the Q&A. One thing that has come through, a little comment for you, Phil. Carla mentions that they expect your Costa post on a Saturday. So you’re absolutely right, people do learn to expect that. So no pressure, but you need to be at Costa on Saturday.
Phil Bray 42:30
I’ve got a hierarchy of coffee shops. Nero first for me, then Costa, then Starbucks. I don’t know if other people agree but it would be interesting. What’s your hierarchy of coffee shops, I would go Nero, Costa then Starbucks.
Dan Campbell 42:44
A few people mentioning that they feel quite delighted that they managed to stay on your list of connections, as you mentioned that you’ve got very specific requirements. Okay, so Adrian’s replied. They’ve said, “I wouldn’t want the client to be turned off as their network would potentially see they’re talking to us about financial advice, and maybe their existing advisor will see”
Phil Bray 43:10
That’s interesting, because if you’re tagging a client, it probably means they don’t already have a financial adviser, or another financial adviser, you are their financial planner. And so that’s probably not a problem. If you are tagging in an existing client, and you’re worried that they just don’t want to be tagged in, I would give it a go. And you could also maybe start looking at some of their profiles and seeing how they use LinkedIn. If the client uses LinkedIn on a regular basis, posting frequently, they’re probably the sort of people who will understand the benefit of being tagged in. And of course, you should only be tagging people in who the post is relevant for. We don’t want to tag the wrong people in. We don’t want to tag people into things that are not relevant to them, but I would be tagging people who are relevant, and I will be looking at how they use LinkedIn. And if they are reasonably prolific users, I’d be more inclined to tag someone like that in than someone who hasn’t posted at all in the past six months, partly because they’ll be more interested but frankly, because they’re more likely to come and engage. Right, we’ll do a few more and then we’ll probably answer a few questions Dan, if that’s okay.
Dan Campbell 44:36
Yeah, go for it.
Phil Bray 44:37
So really important that you use media on your posts. So I’m gonna explain the photos and videos and Abi, I’ll get you to do the documents if that’s okay, because you’ve been doing more with this. So, posts with images get double the engagement than posts without. Always, always, always add an image to your post. Whether you get it from Shutterstock or Unsplash or somewhere else, always, always, always add an image. Don’t go to Google Images and rip something off there when you don’t have the copyright. That’s a recipe for getting into trouble and writing out quite a large check. So always add an image to your posts, because it’s proven to get double the engagement. Make it relevant and make it eye catching. You want this to be the sort of image where people, when they’re scrolling down their feed, it pops at them. They pause and they see it. And then videos get five times the engagement. So videos are a tremendously useful way of mixing up your posts from written into a different medium. Catching people’s eye, but you do need to make them short. We’ve analysed some of the videos that I’ve done, and the ones that are less than a minute, more people see them, more people get to the end of them, therefore more people comment on them, therefore they get shared more. If you can, add subtitles. If you can, batch your videos, record them in a batch, add subtitles, and then drip them out, and remember to drip them out more than once. Just because you posted it once doesn’t mean you can’t post it again. And then you can add subtitles. Again, that gets more people watching, it gets more comments which we know LinkedIn likes. But you can also add documents. So Abi, do you want to take this slide and just explain a bit more about how that works? And then I’ll go on to the little demo.This is something that has been around for perhaps a couple of years now, but only really recently started picking up some traction. Some big names on LinkedIn have started to use carousel posts. It will make more sense when Phil shows you the demo, but it basically means uploading a Word document or a PowerPoint, or my personal preference is a PDF file. And the way that that appears, is in the same box that you would expect a photo or a video to show in. But it almost offers an Instagram style scrollable experience, which I think looks really smart. I’ll include a link in the follow up email, but one LinkedIn user, he noticed that he’d increased his post visibility 10 times. So this is what it looks like. You can still set a caption, and then you can put this nice carousel post in that will allow for that scrollable display style. And it’s really good for lists. This one was taken from a guide that we wrote a few years ago, about 10 ways or however many ways to be a better you, and it’s good for things like that. 10 simple but effective ways to create a better you. It’s really good for lists, really good for sharing statistics, and just offer some kind of visual diversity that most people haven’t got on their platform at the moment. So this is definitely something that I’d recommend if you aren’t already doing it. One thing that I think is really powerful about this, your LinkedIn feed is vertical, this goes horizontal. And it does break things up really, really effectively. So that’s using media, really, really important. Number eight, again, this is one that we’ve added into our practices recently. And that’s before you post, just to wake up LinkedIn’s algorithm and show LinkedIn that you are online, you’re a good networker. And then you’re not just taking from the platform, but you’re active and you’re engaging with people. So one of the things I’ll do and we’ll do as an agency is before posting, we will pop onto the timeline, like and comment on a few other people’s posts. Like Abi said earlier, we don’t overcomplicate it, three or four likes, three or four little comments or slightly longer comments if we’re really engaged and wake up the algorithm. Knows you’re around them, knows you’re a good networker and then go and post yourself. Number nine, polls. One thing we’ve noticed is that polls get significantly more impressions. And often a bunch more comments, maybe fewer likes, but significantly more impressions and significantly more comments than other forms of posts. And I guess that’s to be expected. Because polls encourage interaction, don’t they? They encourage debate, it’s a question. And they work really well, they’re easily shared. And you can leave them open for different time periods. But then they can lead up to follow up posts, because you’re then announcing the results, that then encourages further comments. And of course, you could use your poll results for lots of other things. You could put the results on one of Abi’s carousels that she talked about. You could write a blog post, to follow up displaying the results. But we’ve had some real success on behalf of ourselves and other clients with polls. They get significantly more engagement than other forms of posts. Abi, would you add anything when it comes to polls?
Abi Robinson 50:52
I think everything you’ve said is spot on. But I think you need to do one on Saturday. Coffee shops, everyone’s favourite coffee shops.
Phil Bray 51:00
You know what I was going to do? I was going to do a poll on how often you should buy a coffee or buy a drink or some sort of other beverage, and how many you should buy per hour. How many should buy per sitting in a coffee shop? What’s the ratio, should you be buying one drink per hour, one drink every two hours? What’s the right ratio?
Abi Robinson 51:21
LinkedIn influencer by Sunday, that’s a good call.
Phil Bray 51:24
As someone once told me: you’re not buying coffee, you’re paying rent, which I thought was an interesting way of looking at it. So number 10, make your posts easy to read. The first objective that you’ve got with your posts is to get people to click the See More button. So any post that has more than 200 characters, not words. LinkedIn will then put a little See More button. So your first objective for posts with more than 200 characters, is to get LinkedIn users to click that See More button. So you’ve got to see the first 200 characters as your headline. Anybody who knows us will know that we’re happy to quote David Ogilvy really often about the power of headlines. So treat those first 200 characters as your headline. If you’re writing a headline, the ideal way to do it is to write a list of headlines. So you might write a headline 5, 10, 15 times on top of each other in a list, and iterate it and slightly change every time until it’s as tight and as compelling as it can be. Because people aren’t going to click that See More button. Any characters past those 200 are completely wasted that you write, because the only way they’re gonna see them is if they click that See More button. Spend a lot of time writing your headline. 5, 10, 15 headlines, stack them in a list, then we will suggest using a bit of AI. We’ve recommended this to a few people that I know are on the webinar today, and we use something called Headline Studio. And what that allows you to do, you’ve got a list of your 15, copy and paste it in to Headline Studio and gives it a score out of 100. So your headline might be 67 out of 100, then you change a few things. You change it and it gives you another score. And there’ll be other things available as well. But your first objective is to get that headline, get those first 200 characters to be as compelling as possible so people click See More. Then your second objective is to get them to interact with the post, which means they need to read it, and therefore you need to make it as easy as possible to read. So break it up with subheadings, if people just see those sub headings and only read the sub headings, they get the key messages. Nick Parkhouse, who’s our Head of Content, wrote a brilliant blog and we’ll put it in the follow up. But the blog title was “This blog is 528 words, you’ll get the main point by just reading 13 of them”. And that’s because the main points are all in the subheadings. Too often, people’s subheadings are questions, you learn nothing about reading that question, you have to read the body content afterwards. Whereas if your sub headings are your powerful key points, that works really, really well. And then practically, from a visual perspective, you can break up those sub headings and people can scan it with a bit of bold text, you can’t form that inside LinkedIn. So you need to get your bold text from something like YayText, that will turn it into a rich text format that you can copy and paste in. And then use graphics to break things up. We use Emojipedia to get little graphics. So headline in bold, and some little tick graphics, no particular long sentences, long paragraphs there, link in the comment with a little graphic. Not saying it’s perfect, but it is broken up so avoid those long paragraphs of information. People read differently online, and they read differently on different screens and different platforms so you probably read differently on LinkedIn to where you would do website copy. So a few links there for people on the call to break things up a bit. So those are 10 ways. You can use them this afternoon, you can use them on your next LinkedIn post to harness the power of the algorithm and help more people see it. But we should finish by thinking about, well, how do we measure success on LinkedIn? And this was a really, really hard slide to write. Because as the top of the slide says, there are so many different options, so many different ways of measuring success. But for me, start with the end in mind, think about what you want to achieve. And everything else is just a stepping stone on the way to achieving that ultimate aim. Examples of key metrics that we measure on behalf of clients and on behalf of ourselves. This is a good one, Abi added this into the slide for me, but your own consistency and patience. For me, Abi talked about it earlier, being consistent online is really important. So one of your key metrics doesn’t come from the platform at all, it’s just how often you post and if your aim is to post three times a week on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, are you actually doing it? You could then also be monitoring for example, consistency of your team. You could be monitoring, John’s great at it but Brenda’s not so good. Is there anything we can do to make Brenda’s life easier? High level impressions, and start looking at how many impressions your posts get, which is essentially how many eyeballs have hit your post and be looking at the the average you get per post, the average you get per number, and start comparing your ongoing run rate with posts that do really well and posts that do really badly and start to draw conclusions there. Number of comments. We know comments feed the algorithm so start looking at how many comments are you getting and what type of posts are people commenting on, what behaviours led to you getting more comments. Website traffic, Yardstick’s own marketing KPI dashboard, one of the things we measure is how much traffic we get from social media platforms. And that’s particularly important of course, if you’re posting your blog content, etc. on LinkedIn. Audience size, this is often really overlooked, but is incredibly important. Too many people think LinkedIn and other social channels is just about posting, just about being on broadcast mode all the time. And clearly posting is vitally important and adding value, demonstrating knowledge, making yourself a go to person. But of course, if you can do that to 500 connections rather than 100 connections, you can have an extra 400 people seeing your posts. So working hard on your audience size, and measuring growth in your audience size, really, really important. And then finally, specific actions. If you’ve got specific things you want people to do, measure it. To give you a good example to finish off because we were out of our hour, we had a client relatively recently implement a strategy that we produce for them, and that was reaching out to solicitors to increase the audience size, and they reached out with a really, really valuable piece of content that had a really novel approach to a problem that the solicitors had got. And they increased their solicitor audience by 600-700, it was a chunk of people. And then they popped a webinar invite into the solicitor’s direct messages, and they had 35 solicitors register on a webinar that took place about a week ago. And a year ago, they didn’t have these connections. Since then they’ve got the connections, they’ve added value to them and 35 of them have pitched up to a webinar and they can now pick the phone up to those solicitors and arrange individual meetings. So a prime example of where we should be measuring the success of specific actions. Final slide before we do some questions. Three ways we can help, we’ll continue to do webinars on LinkedIn. We’re going to be rolling out later on in the year, some paid for workshops on LinkedIn. And we now have our Yardstick Engage service, which is where we will manage the social media accounts of financial advisors, planners, and their businesses. We’ve got a little introductory video to that and Abi recorded about 10 days ago. So if you’d like a copy of that video to learn more about Yardstick Engage, just pop your name in the chat and we’ll send you that after today’s webinar. But it helps you learn a little bit more about the Yardstick Engage service, and whether it might be right for you as an alternative to doing this yourself. Usual slide to stay in touch with us, but I suspect most people know where we are right now. If you want to pop on LinkedIn and send me a connection request, I’d be very happy to accept that, I’m sure Abi and Dan would as well. And if you want to learn more about what we do, go and visit our website. Dan, any questions to finish off with, we’re a minute over but happy to hang around. I’m sure you guys are as well, so any questions?
Dan Campbell 1:01:09
Well, we’re one minute over and we’ve got one question. So that’s just about right, isn’t it? A great question from Carla who asks, “posting personal stuff, it seems to be miles more popular, any underlying reasons for this to do with algorithms? Or is it just that people find your non business stuff more interesting?”
Phil Bray 1:01:29
I’ll answer that. Actually Abi, you go first then I’ll answer.
Abi Robinson 1:01:34
From an algorithmic standpoint, no. Other than the fact that we know that people engage with people posting about something that’s personally happening, an award win or chartered status or something like that. It just has that emotive factor that posting about climate investing isn’t probably going to be able to draw from someone. And the more people that comment will push you up the algorithm. I’ve found that even posting a selfie on work related content is very powerful. It could be anything, but I’ve often found that a picture of the advisor in question makes a massive difference, even if the content itself isn’t personal. So short answer, no from an algorithmic point of view. Yes from a human standpoint.
Phil Bray 1:02:19
I completely agree with that. I think the only thing I would add, I can see the questions from Carla, I think a lot of the stuff you post, Carla, is just fantastically engaging. The images you post, the post themselves, fantastically engaging and really add a lot of value to your audience. So I think the only thing I would add is just how personal do you want to get on LinkedIn? Where’s the boundary? And for me, posting about award wins, things that are going into the office. We’ve got a team day at Yardstick on Friday, we’ll be posting about that, that’s absolutely right for LinkedIn. I’m not sure personally I would post my holiday snaps on LinkedIn. I probably save that for something else. But that’s only my personal opinion. But don’t be afraid, as Abi said, to get personal because it does get more engagement. Right, Dan, have we go anything else?
Dan Campbell 1:03:14
No, that’s everything. And for anybody who was wondering, Caffè Nero came out on top for the people that voted for their favourite chain coffee shop.
Phil Bray 1:03:24
A fine choice. Thank you everybody for the engagement today, it’s made it a really enjoyable hour. Hope it has been incredibly useful for you. Thanks to Dan, thanks to Abi for joining us today and I look forward to seeing you both in the the next webinar. Everybody else, go and enjoy the sunshine and I look forward to seeing your LinkedIn posts over the next few days and weeks. Cheers all, bye.
Dan Campbell 1:03:52
Thanks, guys. Bye.
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