Posting on LinkedIn is a good way to maintain “top-of-mind awareness” with your professional contacts. It also provides evidence that your profile is current when recruiters and others view it. The WHY of LinkedIn posting is fairly clear, but WHAT to post is a bit more complex. Here are the five types of posts I recommend including in your repertoire.
1) Share your perspective on an article related to your career field or industry.
This is easy; you don’t have to go to the effort of writing an entire article yourself.
Instead, if you find an article of interest in an online trade publication for your profession or industry, you can share the article on LinkedIn and write 3-5 paragraphs with your reaction to it. Did the author miss an angle? Is it spot on? Do you disagree with points the article makes?
You could close your post by asking others for their thoughts on the premise of the article or the aspect you discussed in your paragraphs.
What not to do: Don’t be that guy who shares an article without saying anything about it, or who just says “Good read” or “Interesting article.” If you have no insight of your own, don’t bother. People care about what YOU have to say, which is why they’re connected with you on LinkedIn.
2) Show your gratitude and appreciation for others.
This is the kind of post that shows you’re not someone who’s just trying to promote yourself on LinkedIn.
Instead of talking about yourself, create a post that mentions other people you want to recognize. When mentioning someone, tag them by typing the @ followed by their name.
Here are some ways you can showcase others in a post:
- Welcome a new team member to the team you lead. Say how excited you are to have this talented leader or professional joining your team. Mention what their new role is and briefly describe why they’re a rock star. The person will probably be flattered, but it’s probably best to run it by them first (“You don’t mind if I announce your hire on LinkedIn, do you?”).
- Thank all of your team members or specific team members for doing a great job on a project, a product launch, a successful event, an award received, the quarter that just ended, the year that just ended, or whatever else is relevant. Make sure you’re not revealing anything your employer might want to keep confidential.
- Congratulate someone on an award they’ve received if they’ve been too shy to post about it. Similarly, if you’ve recently received an honor or award along with others in your company or industry, you could mention them in your post. “I’m so honored and humbled to be recognized in the Acme Company All-Star Awards alongside Jon Smith and Jane Jones…”
- Thank someone for helping in you some way. Do you want to recognize your mentor, or someone who always goes above and beyond? If you’re active in a professional association, maybe you want to thank the hard-working volunteers and board members who make all the events a success.
3) Be a cheerleader for your company and share their news.
If your employer is posting company news on LinkedIn, it doesn’t get much easier. Just share their post and say something about it. The more it pertains to the work you do, the better. If you’re in the C-suite, this is a no-brainer.
Showcasing your company through some of your posts is a way to combat the perception of LinkedIn activity being about job-hunting.
Needless to say, make sure anything you’re saying won’t get you in trouble (no confidential information).
4) Turn your post into a mini-article.
Did you know that you can use up to 3,000 characters (about 500 or so words) in a LinkedIn post?
That’s plenty of space for a short article to showcase pretty much anything you’d like to write about, such as:
- Lessons about leadership you’ve learned in your career.
- The formula you’ve developed for achieving favorable business results.
- Your perspective on a trend in your industry.
- Your reaction to a business book or biography you’ve recently read.
If you see others posting entire articles using the “publish” feature on LinkedIn, don’t think you need to follow their example.
A thoughtful post will get more attention than an article with precisely the same content word-for-word—the post will get more eyeballs, more love from the algorithm, and more engagement from other users.
The reason is quite simple: people are in a hurry and they don’t want to click through to read an article; it seems like it will take too long. But if they can stay on the same page and simply click “see more” to read your full post, that’s quick and easy, and then they can go about the rest of their day.
5) Talk about your latest activity or piece of news.
Your LinkedIn connections are interested in what you’re up to, so don’t leave them in the dark. Let them know about the interesting things happening in your professional life!
- Attending a conference? Post a picture of yourself at the conference and mention some of the great insights you gained. You can even tag some of the speakers to praise them for the wisdom they shared.
- Received an award? Time for a humble brag. Perhaps tag and thank the judges or whoever nominated you, or congratulate the other honorees by tagging them.
- Mentioned in the media? Share a link to the article and thank (and tag) the journalist who wrote the article. You could share more of your perspective on the topic beyond your quotes in the article, which probably represent just a fraction of what you said in the interview.
- Earned a certification? Humble brag time. Post a picture of yourself holding the certificate and talk about what you learned from the certification process. Perhaps tag anyone else who did the certification with you, or thank and tag your instructor.
Extra credit: this tip is for nerds only!
Here’s a pro tip only for those of you who care about maximizing performance of your posts (don’t worry about this if you’re just getting started with LinkedIn).
LinkedIn’s algorithm doesn’t favor external links since they prefer to keep people on their platform for as long as possible—pretty much the M.O. of every social media platform!
Here’s an end-run around this for when you want to link to an article you’re talking about:
- Instead of putting the link to the article in your post, simply do your post and mention in it that you’ll include the link to the full article in the comments below.
- Make a comment on your own post (in the comments section) with the link.
- Voila! Your post will get more eyeballs than it would otherwise.
This article first appeared on KellyDonovan.com