Written by Markie Reeds and Joe Gannon, Shifties Contributors

The Rise of LinkedIn

The Rise of LinkedIn

LinkedIn…remember that? LinkedIn used to only be used as an online CV. It was clunky, unappealing and did not really do a lot except serve as a way for CEOs to get headhunted for a bigger payday.

Recently however, it has gone through a revolution.

When Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in 2016, the platform evolved. The ability to post video was introduced, followed by the features of polls, to use ‘reactions’ and now, most recently, Stories.

LinkedIn has been reborn as a content platform.

Organic reach

When platforms start to grow, the reach is vast. LinkedIn now has over 700+ million users and is in a high-growth stage where it is extremely easy to have your posts seen by people outside of your network, as the algorithm is set-up to encourage users to post.

From receiving a comment on your content, your posts will be shown to that user’s network. This is a great opportunity as the organic reach on LinkedIn now is like what Facebook had back in 2012, when business owners could create content for free and generate inbound leads.

Organic reach is the ability for your content to be distributed to people outside of your network for free.

LinkedIn – the best B2B platform

People buy from people.

Businesses are run by people.

LinkedIn is no longer a stuffy place (although bragging and headhunting still does take place!). As a content platform, LinkedIn is now the perfect opportunity for business owners and professionals to create their own content. Regardless of the size of your ‘network’, your content can easily rack up thousands of views.

This is the ideal opportunity for businesses and brands to promote the work that they do through their employees.

Business owners can share their thoughts on the latest industry news, senior teams can share their most recent insights and interns can reveal what it is really like to work for companies, large and small.

This organic movement on LinkedIn is knocking down all prior stereotypes and is creating a platform of a community of individuals who want to better themselves.

Set your intention

As with every social media platform it is important to start with some basic goals and intentions for your time.

Your customers are looking for you, so what do they need to know?

You can set-up your profile as if it was your shop window. Use your content to tell your story and showcase your business and bring in warm leads.

Connect with your ideal clients (not just anyone), or people who you can learn from or collaborate with. But remember you are a person first, so do not make it all about your product, make it about the customer.

The 80/20 rule

If you’re looking to create content to drive business, we would advise an 80-20 split of personal and business content. All content should provide value and you should look to educate your audience around what it is that you do. That way, your posts will never come across as promotional or too salesy.

If you can post high volumes of content, for every 4 pieces of content that are educational, helpful and personal you can post 1 piece of content that is more direct about your business. This could be telling people about your website, blog or pushing your other social media platforms.

Markie’s personal story

I joined LinkedIn back in 2014. Like others I just used it as a CV. But in the last couple of years, it has evolved. I connect with, learn from and network with peers, customers and potential new clients.

Like any network you need to build it, grow it and nurture it. You are going to get out what you put in, so I consistently post content, personal stories work a lot better than just sales posts. I leave comments every single day and I have seen this effort compound over time. This helps you drive traffic to your website, bring in leads and you become the go-to person.

You get to know the players in your industry, as they seem the most visible. You get to be part of something bigger, without having to be in a select group (LinkedIn groups are terrible in my view!). Link with Markie 

Joe’s personal story

After university, my first full-time job was working in Cambridge University’s social media team. I saw first-hand the organic reach on LinkedIn and wanted to put myself out there on the platform to reach out to and learn from experts in the marketing industry.

Posting content on LinkedIn has changed my life.

I have built up an engaged audience of like-minded people, I am connected to experts across industries who I have met on and offline. My first marketing internship when I was 17 originated from a LinkedIn direct message and so did my last full-time job working for a video production company.

Fast forward to today, 18 months after my first LinkedIn video, I am now self-employed working with incredible business owners and entrepreneurs who I learn from every single day.

The people I have met on LinkedIn will change my life and the platform will change yours, too. There are so many opportunities up for the taking and you are just one message away from connecting with anyone. In my eyes, LinkedIn is the most underrated social media platform to post content on to meet your personal and business objectives. Link with Joe

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