Creating LinkedIn Content That Draws A CrowdAug 24, 2021
If you’ve ever watched a street performer in a big city, you’ve probably experienced a strange phenomenon. What begins as a small audience of passersby grows almost instantly into a massive crowd. It’s funny how that happens. People hate to miss out. When they see others gathering, they tend to stop, too, to figure out what all the fuss is about.
Often, a similar effect happens with LinkedIn content. When a critical mass of people forms around a post, suddenly it gains momentum very quickly. More and more people react and comment on content when they see that many others have, too. Engagement breeds engagement, and a few dozen reactions and comments grow to several hundred.
I consider myself a student of these sorts of posts. I’m always looking to see what I can learn from content that has gained massive traction on LinkedIn. Of course, unlike that street performer in the square, not all LinkedIn traction is organic. We know that some content gets boosted by the platform. Unfortunately, LinkedIn is very hush-hush about its algorithm, so we cannot predict exactly what will take off. Still, there’s a lot you can learn from high-engagement content, and I want to share with you a few key things I’ve gathered from studying this type of content on LinkedIn.
Use a tried and true format.
The most popular content on LinkedIn tends to do one of the following:
Tell a story
Share a surprising insight
Spark an intriguing conversation
If you don’t know where to start, try one of these familiar formats and make them your own. Perhaps you have an interesting anecdote to share from work you’ve done with clients. What changed as a result of their working with you? You don’t need fancy graphics and photos to draw a reader into your story. Set the scene and paint a picture with words.
An affirmation or encouraging note also stands out in the sea of updates and promotions. When it comes from your unique perspective, a thoughtful word of encouragement can help humanize your voice and make you more relatable. Plus, I’ve found that positive posts are likely to be shared and spread across the platform.
If you’re an expert in a particular topic or field, share an insight or a common misconception. Do you have insider information that contradicts a popular belief? Things that aren’t as they seem naturally pique our interest.
Lastly, try posing a simple thought-provoking contentious question to your network. Ask for input to garner a diversity of perspectives. People are usually more than willing to volunteer their opinions. When the discussion remains civil and professional, offering up a thoughtful question can actually generate useful food for thought to your network.
I recently had a client who asked me if he could update his headline to include “Proud dad to 5 daughters.” My answer? Of course! There’s nothing wrong with embracing who you are, both at home and at work. In fact, when you show up as your full, authentic self, you’re so much more likely to resonate with people. Authenticity breeds trust and connection!
This same client began engaging his network through regular content and has quickly cultivated a strong LinkedIn following. He consistently shares a mix of personal and professional content that comes across as authentic to who he is and what he values. Find a mix that feels right for you. What is it that you care about most? Your passion and interests will shine through in the content you create, and that energy is invaluable for attracting others to the conversation.
Prompt an action.
In general, good content is relevant and actionable. Educational content that can be implemented immediately often travels the furthest, fastest, so when possible, share helpful “nuggets” that prompt your audience to try something new in real life.
In the same way, content that invites a response can be a great way to fuel engagement. For example, you might ask readers to share a similar experience or react to a perspective in the comments. When you specify how you want your audience to engage, they may be less likely to keep scrolling past your content.
Similar to other online platforms, LinkedIn will reward you by your engagement with other people's content. Remember, LinkedIn is a platform to share not only your thoughts and expertise but also to acknowledge other people's content too. Your involvement with your network's content shows that you are an inclusive professional who cares about using the tool as a true online community, not just a billboard for yourself.
Pro Tip: Respond to every comment you receive on your post! This encourages people to continue to engage with your content in the future.
Want more tips for standing out on LinkedIn? I love equipping teams and groups with practical tools to make LinkedIn work for their business goals. Whether you’re looking for your next keynote or a guest on your podcast, I would love to share my knowledge with you. To learn more about my speaking opportunities and to download my speaker kit, visit my website.