LinkedIn Tells All: How Businesses Engage Users And Build A Following

Share This

This is the third of a six-part series called “The Social Wave.” This series examines how social media is changing the advertising landscape. “The Social Wave” is sponsored by ShareThis.

Lana KhavinsonSenior product marketing manager Lana Khavinson

Photo: LinkedIn / Khavinson

Businesses have started burnishing their identities by creating their own content on LinkedIn.¬†The professional network hit its 200 million member milestone recently, and companies naturally want a slice of that massive audience’s interest.

While brands have started to get a hang of what kind of posts work on Facebook, optimising user engagement on LinkedIn remains uncharted territory for many companies.

Company pages launched approximately five years ago, senior product marketing manager Lana Khavinson told BI. And it started primarily as a home base where companies could showcase themselves with basic features and descriptions.

It was October 2011 when companies started posting their own content and, Khavinson said, “that’s frankly when the gamed changed. We were¬†finding that [companies] were excited and eager to engage with our members, and members were very eager to be communicating with them on LinkedIn.”

Khavinson, who specialises in creating strategy and marketing programs for small and medium businesses, said that what a company posts to optimise its chances of getting shared doesn’t so much have to do with its size, but rather by industry.

“On LinkedIn, context matters,” she said. “When [people] follow a company, they are raising their hands and saying, Company we want to hear from you.” And that message has to be in line with its image and message.

Khavinson told us what works and what doesn’t.

Post what your audience is interested in.

It isn't all about the numbers.

Khavinson noted that LinkedIn post likes have 'lower volume, higher quality.'

For example, even though Google is the company that got the most likes for a single post, that number still didn't break the 500 mark. A successful small business post likely wouldn't make it to more than 100 likes. But that's not the point.

'It's a quality play,' she said. 'We aren't about getting millions and millions and billions and likes, but those likes and comments you're getting, those are really rich links. Those are potential customers and advocates.'

Khavinson continued, 'we are trying hard to teach companies that we aren't comparing Facebook to LinkedIn.'

Users want news and imagery.

When people first hear about a company, Khavinson said that one of the first things they'll do is go to that company's LinkedIn page to learn more.

'Presence is key,' she said.

The goal is to gain followers and then build a community -- and that's done through posting information and updates that will interest and engage its audience. Khavinson said that research shows that followers aren't only looking to find a job at a certain company, but that the vast majority wants to see industry news.

This means diverse, industry-related posts with a strong image and an interesting title.

Remember, this isn't Facebook.

Companies need to know that its experience on Facebook will be very different from LinkedIn.

'With certain social networks, people go there to really kind of spend time engaging with families and friends, doing fun activities,' Khavinson said. 'LinkedIn is a very professional setting: How do I improve my career? What's going on in my industry? How will I become more successful?'

Brands have learned that a key to getting Facebook likes sometimes isn't about posting enriching content, but rather silly animals and other ephemeral information.

The Facebook post to the right, by Walmart, got the 5th most likes of any brand post in January.

This stuff does NOT work on LinkedIn.

Now let's take a look at the small businesses that got the most likes on LinkedIn in Q4 2012. No.5 was the Wounded Warriors Project.

No.3. Insead Executive Education got good responses for posting a video that gives career advice.

No.1. Jolla's simple status update about product news was the most-liked post from a small business on LinkedIn. That goes to show the diversity of what works on the site.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.