Including the perspective from a recruiter on how job seekers can share content of their own.
What constitutes success when creating content to share on LinkedIn? One measure of success is getting many people to react and comment on your posts, videos, articles, podcasts, etc.
Some contributors say that educating their audience—e.g. on how to find a job—is the ultimate definition of success. This is an altruistic view and, some would argue, should be the goal of everyone who creates content to share on LinkedIn.
I think we can also agree that commenting on what others share is important, as it shows we value the content they share. We get outside ourselves and show selflessness. I’m not talking about two-word comments like, “Great post.” This is akin to giving a like or other reaction.
Doing all of the above is achieving success.
Am I one who achieves success? I wouldn’t proclaim my own success, leaving my posterior flapping in the wind; rather I’ll leave that up to others who are more objective than me to credit me with success. I will say one thing about me. I’m consistent and employ a strategy.
In 2020 I posted a poll on Mondays, released an article on Tuesdays, shared a long post on Wednesdays or Thursdays, and religiously ran, “Blast from the past Saturday.” Every day in between I commented on others’ posts. I’ll continue doing all of this unless I have nothing to add. I won’t mail in long posts or articles.
As I said, sharing content that benefits my audience (job seekers) is definitely one of the goals. If I accomplish this, the reactions and comments will follow. However, If I tell you I feel no pride in getting plenty of reactions and comments, I’d be a big fat liar. The truth is that the numbers do matter, no matter what anyone tells you.
But this is just me talking. I decided to ask five very successful LinkedIn content creators what leads to their success, one of whom is a recruiter and very successful in his own right. I wanted to know what he advises job seekers to do in terms of engaging on LinkedIn.
For me, the most significant ROI for raising visibility on the site has boiled down to being present on the site on a consistent and regular basis, sharing a variety of supportive and helpful content while also engaging frequently on other posts.
I primarily measure success on the site by the feedback I receive from others. People who tell me that my posts are insightful, useful, or made a difference in their job search prove my efforts worthwhile.
My site strategy is simple. I visit the site daily, post when I have something to share, and even if I do not post, I read my feed and comment/engage on posts of interest. I am a big believer that you can raise your visibility on the site by actively engaging with others, even if you do not share content of your own.
I encourage professionals to comment more on posts versus simply liking posts, which is a bit too passive, to better control the types of content displayed in your feed and spotlight insights.
If you are new to LinkedIn or looking to get more active on the site, start with a simple commitment to visit the site each day. I like to pop onto the site at intervals during the day, engaging when time allows. Start by visiting for just 10 minutes a day and work your way up from there.
If you do not feel ready to share content, comment on other people’s posts, adding personal insights and thought leadership. Focus on posts and topics related to your area of expertise and strive to connect with like-minded people. Consider the site a place to build rapport and relationships. Stretch yourself to provide professional, quality comments and connect with people of interest.
When ready, challenge yourself to share your own content and consider a variety of posting options. Try sharing documents, videos, and/or photos or creating newsletters, polls, or articles. Different content can resonate with different users.
To support success, employ trial and error. What works for one LinkedIn user may not work the same for another user. Focus on quality engagement and start measuring the response.
Perhaps you commit to posting three times a week for the next month. After the month is complete, go back and analyze your activity. Which posts received the most reactions, ignited the most conversation (comments), or had the most views? Use these statistics to guide future posting decisions.
A final way to measure success on the site may be with profile views and follower growth. After a period of consistent engagement, you should see both profile views and followers increase. Let these increases motivate you to remain consistent on the site!
When it comes to creating content on LinkedIn, I like to mix things up and leverage different formats to make my posts more engaging. Video, text, infographics and other visuals – there’s quite a bit of room for creativity.
Whichever format you’re going for, make sure your posts are genuine and touch on subjects your target audience cares about.
Content that is 100% self-serving isn’t going to strengthen your personal brand, and will only make it harder to cultivate the atmosphere of community and win-win mutual support.
To me, the most successful LinkedIn post is the one where the discussion in the comment section is more valuable than my post itself. This means I was able to not only engage people who are curious about the topic, but I also prompted them to chime in, share a new perspective, ask insightful questions, or even learn something new.
I’ve gotten the best results on LinkedIn by mixing the types of content I share so that my readers don’t tire of any one type of post.
I’ve found that posts dispelling common myths tend to do well (for example, I wrote a post about why I don’t think you always need a cover letter when applying for jobs, even though many experts say you do).
Controversial topics do well, too. My post about cover letters was controversial as well, so it drew additional comments because of that. When people comment on your post, their network sees your post, too, and that helps you get more views and engagement.
Also, brief how-to posts with actionable tips do well for me. For example, I wrote a post about how to tailor your resume for a job step-by-step and it got a lot of engagement and comments.
Whatever type of post I write, one key tactic I implement is to write short sentences and only 2-3 sentences per paragraph.
People on social networks, including LinkedIn, don’t want to read long, bulky paragraphs.
Finally, I’ve noticed that posts with a positive sentiment tend to perform well, so I sometimes mix in a post that’s meant to be uplifting and motivating for my audience.
One additional way to boost comments and engagement on any type of post is to include a “call to action” at the end where you ask for people’s feedback.
By simply asking what people think, you’ll find that more people leave a comment, which then helps your post get seen by a wider audience on LinkedIn.
So, I often conclude posts with phrases like:
- “Do you agree? Let me know in the comments.”
- “Do you agree with this?”
If the goal of a LinkedIn post was to bring new website visitors, then I look primarily at clicks and website visits (measured in Google Analytics) to determine whether it was a success. Google Analytics allows you to see a breakdown of website visitors by source.
If a post doesn’t have links and wasn’t written with the goal of driving traffic to my website, then I look at comments and engagement. This gives me a sense of whether the topic resonated with my audience, and therefore whether I should share similar posts in the future.
In the longer-term, I look at my follower count and the general trend of whether my posts seem to be getting more engagement and views over time, or less. That tells me whether my broad strategy and the overall types of content I’m sharing are working.
First, my purpose for sharing anything on LinkedIn is to be helpful.
I know my audience. The people I am trying to help are those that find themselves looking for a new job after years of being employed and not having to look for a new job.
I know what their challenges are, what their fears are and I know the common mistakes they are making.
Every post I write and share on LinkedIn is focused on helping solve their problems, offering insight, and sharing trends in the job search universe. I want to up-level their knowledge and understanding of the job search process. And it’s important to be relevant to what is happening in the moment and to mix the topics up.
Sometimes I share my own work and ideas, but other times, I share articles written by other experts I respect. And sometimes I ask colleagues to collaborate or share their best tips.
Because I have been writing about job search for over 10 years, I have a lot of articles I can repurpose or extract from and post on LinkedIn. Last year, I made an effort to post longer posts (excerpts from past articles).
I usually begin my post with a question or a sentence I know addresses the concerns of job seekers. It’s a headline of sorts. I also try to include a visual with every post because those tend to get more views and shares. (I use Canva to create my images).
Whatever I create, I want it to be useful to job seekers so that they might download it or save it for later.
I’ve never been obsessed with likes, shares or other metrics, but I do review the numbers and data to evaluate how the post performs. It’s sometimes surprising what gets a lot of reactions or shares. As for followers and connections, I have amassed a very large following (over 100,000). I chalk it up to luck – being in the right place at the right time.
I also watch what other people in my industry (and even outside my industry) are posting, how they are posting and what is working well for them. I often get ideas from seeing what others have posted on LinkedIn and adapt it to my own voice and knowledge.
I’ve cautiously and purposely revealed personal information in my posts and try to write/speak in a way that is true to the person I am. I think that’s also something that allows people to feel connected to what I am saying.
At the end of the day, I know I’ve been successful when people add comments or re-share my thoughts. I realize that the majority of LinkedIn users/job seekers are lurkers and WILL NOT comment or re-share. So my measure of success comes when people in my own industry (career and job search coaches) let me know my information has been helpful.
How job seekers should engage on LinkedIn, from a recruiter’s perspective
Most job seekers I come across either don’t see the need for engagement or are reluctant to. I’ll always remember a director of communications who told me that because he was out of work, he had not right to share content on LinkedIn.
Jack Kelly is a recruiter who feels otherwise (as do the folks above) and shares his views on job seeker engagement.
If you want to find a new job or advance at your current company, you must make yourself known. It’s especially mission critical to gain the attention of recruiters.
You can be the best at what you do, but if no one is aware of you, nothing will happen. Cultivating an online presence is of vital importance now that the traditional methods of face-to-face interactions aren’t possible.
The key is to showcase your skills, ability, knowledge and achievements. You also need to broadcast what you are looking to do next, so people are aware of how they can help you. Ensure that your LinkedIn profile clearly and concisely sets forth your experience, background and achievements, as well as signaling what you’re looking to do next.
Recruiters are paid by companies to find the best, most appropriate people for their open job requisites. They are on a mission. Recruiters want to find the right candidate before their competition. If your LinkedIn profile is lackluster or hard to understand, they’ll quickly move onto another potential candidate. You want the recruiter to stop dead in their tracks when they see your profile or notice your online activities.
With millions of people in between jobs, you have to to stand out. Think of what specific, unique experiences, skills, talents, education and character traits you have to offer. These will be the building blocks of defining your brand and you need to broadcast it to the world.
Think of your online presence and postings as a way to burnish your brand and sell yourself. You want recruiters, hiring managers and human resource professionals to take notice of how great you are. You want them to keep you in mind when a job or new opportunity opens up.
This can be accomplished via commenting, sharing, writing posts and articles on LinkedIn. The content should focus on your area of expertise. Feel free to share your knowledge.
Strategically align yourself in a mutually benefiting way with people on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These people should include recruiters, potential hiring managers, human resources and talent acquisition professionals at the companies you’d like to work with. Get involved in their conversations to amplify your own voice. Associate with leaders in your space. Don’t get involved with third-rail topics, such as politics, as you can be viewed as a potential problem.
Make sure that you find and connect with top-tier recruiters who are known experts in your field. Ask your former co-workers and current colleagues what recruiters they used. If they were satisfied with the results, ask them to make an introduction. Recruiters love pre-approved leads for their jobs.
Post regularly, so people get to know you. They’ll become interested in what you have to say. You’ll build an audience by continually marketing yourself. People will feel like they know you and would gladly help you out with job leads.
Share some recent wins, accomplishments and achievements. Write about exciting projects that you’re working on. If you are an expert in your field, seek out online conferences and networking events. Try to become a speaker. This spotlight will make you known to a wider audience and you’ll be viewed as an expert and a leader in your space.
Be open about your goal of finding a new job. Let people know that you’re in the job market and what specifically you want to do next. If no one knows that you’re on the job hunt, they won’t reach out to you with opportunities.
To share content or comment on what others’ share with purpose can mean different things to different people. It’s all good, as they say, if what you contribute causes an impact on your LinkedIn tribe. Biron Clark says he likes to stir it up a little, cause some controversy.
As a job seeker, causing controversy isn’t probably the best way to go, but as Jack Kelly has clearly stated, you want to be present on LinkedIn. You want to be noticed. And the best way to do this is by contributing; by sharing your opinions and demonstrating your expertise. I’ve seen it be done by job seekers. But not enough. Be bold. Be present.
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