Make your personal LinkedIn posts come to life by posting great content that will be commented on, liked and shared.

When you sit down to write an article or a blog, do you think about who will read it, where and when? Do you research your topic and your audience to find and help them solve a problem, and then tap into your expertise or network of experts to present a plausible solution?

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

This is one of the formulas you can employ to generate reach and engagement with your audience on social media. Instead of, “If you write it, they will read it,” try: “If you listen to what they need, and you write it to fulfill that particular need, they will read it.” And yes, the post creation is part of that process.

A headline shouldn’t suffice as the copy for a post on social media – unless it has the words “Game of Thrones” on it, but that’s for another blog post. This is because readers are no longer being passive in their content consumption. Content distribution channels have changed dramatically. Technology has made it possible for us to go from consuming “pushed content” to now deciding what type of content we want to consume, whenever we please, and through whichever distribution channel we choose to read it.

And great content doesn’t just stay motionless, withering deep in the URLs of websites. It springs to life by being shared, commented on and liked, thus reaching new and larger audiences that weren’t there before. Readers then go on to become part of that content. Movie or song parodies and fan fiction are excellent examples of readers becoming part of the content.

It’s because all social networks are not created equal that you have to know your content distribution channel inside and out. You have to know your current audience or following for that particular social network, and you have to research the potential audiences you would like to target.

Each social network has its own quirks. Take Twitter, for example: Twitter is more conversational, fun or “risqué” than Facebook, which is serious in tone because some users are careful about what they post for fear that their aunt or cousins might read it.

Then there’s LinkedIn, where you’re connected to your personal professional network, people who you know and people who are in your same field who you might not personally know, but still follow because they are thought leaders in their industries or you’ve connected with them at events. LinkedIn is all about networking and connections.

Do you know Arianna Huffington or Sir Richard Branson in real life? Probably not, but I bet these are some of the thought leaders that you follow on LinkedIn for their interesting insights. (If you do know them, can you introduce me? Kidding!)

That’s one of the reasons that LinkedIn is completely different from other social networks: It is all about your expertise, who you’re connected to professionally, your network and how you have to position yourself as an expert in your field.

Boosting the presence of your personal LinkedIn account can help you be viewed as an expert in your field. With all this in mind, follow these steps or answer these questions to improve your LinkedIn presence:

  • Log in to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Peruse your network connections (My Network and then click on “Connections”.)
    • Which industries are predominantly represented?
    • What titles do they fall mostly under?
    • What demographics do your connections align under?
    • Are they all within a particular geographical area?
  • Pick a few experts in fields that you’re curious about, but are not an expert yourself. Or be brave and check out the competition.
    • Go into their profile (Spoiler alert: If you’re already connected or not, they will be alerted that you have looked at their profile, if they have their LinkedIn profile set up this way. LinkedIn keeps track of who goes into which profiles and when each profile was viewed.)
    • Some people might have a tab called “Activity” if you scroll a little bit down on their profile page. Click on this “see all” in this box and it will take you to posts that they have liked, commented, shared, written and their “articles.” This is your idea mine!
  • View their “activity” and see how others have reacted to these posts.
  • Peruse their articles and take note of who has liked, commented and shared them. Why was a particular article more popular than others?
  • Go back to their profile page and click on “see connections” – Go back to step No. 2 on this list.

Note: This approach works best for boosting the presence and success of your personal LinkedIn account; however, it might not work if you’re posting to your magazine’s page or a group page.

The level of success for engagement and reach on LinkedIn is directly tied to how you’ve built your own professional network, how you have positioned yourself on the social network and in real life as a thought leader or industry expert, and what type of language you are using to craft your own professional voice. Remember: Knowing your current and potential audiences will help you craft that post.

Lynette Gil is a social media specialist and marketing specialist in the Denver area.