Engagement on LinkedIn has been steadily rising in recent years, and the platform regularly announces ‘record levels of engagement’, which is shared in Microsoft’s quarterly results.
With that in mind, it’s worth considering the potential of LinkedIn interaction for your brand, and how you can use the platform to connect with relevant audiences and encourage a professional community in the app.
It won’t be all, of course, and you need to measure the value of reaching the right people for your business in relation to the amount of time spent. But staying in touch with the latest niche trends and understanding the evolving LinkedIn discussion can play a role in improving brand performance and building your wider digital presence.
So how do you do that – what are the best ways to take advantage of LinkedIn’s engagement growth for your business?
We recently spoke with Ting Ba, the group’s product marketing manager for LinkedIn Organic & Paid Marketing Solutions, to gain more insight into how brands can make the most of the platform.
Q: LinkedIn is recording a two-year continuous growth in user engagement. What are some of the key trends you’ve noticed that have caused more interaction among LinkedIn members?
TB: With different regions of the world at different stages of a pandemic, one thing is constant – everyone desperately wants a community.
People want to talk about challenges, lessons learned and share tips with each other. We are in the middle of one of the biggest conversations about the world of work, discussing the “big change” and what it means for the approaches to the work we do on a daily basis.
Conversations like this and many other change movements are causing even more interaction among LinkedIn members.
Q: LinkedIn groups remain a seemingly underutilized resource – do you have any tips on how brands can use LinkedIn groups for best performance?
TB: It is important to build a reliable space for thoughtful conversations and meaningful relationships in your group.
Where possible, you need to empower members to ask questions, share knowledge and create opportunities.
Keep these things in mind as you grow your LinkedIn group:
- Welcome new members – Welcome new members and ask them to introduce themselves. Make sure their first contribution gets a friendly, positive response wherever you can.
- Confirm the effort – Thank members for their contributions through “likes” or comments, and encouraging original posters to do the same.
- Give an example – Identify top members; share your story and describe how they add value to the group.
- Identify the experts – @mention members you know can add value to the conversation and ask them to weigh their knowledge and insights.
- Ask for feedback – Ask your members what topics of conversation they find relevant and valuable; ask them what goals they have for the group and check with them regularly how you can improve your group.
- Share and keep clear guidelines – Define group rules in advance and communicate directly with any perpetrator before taking further action. Avoid breaking your own rules.
- Keep your group free of spam – Spam is the main reason why people leave groups. Report and remove spam when you encounter it or get in touch with it.
Q: What are your key tips for deepening engagement within LinkedIn communities?
TB: There are several ways to deepen engagement, but our three main tips include: consistency, adding value, and encouraging two-way dialogue.
- Consistency – One of the most tried and true community building strategies is to keep appearing in a way that is predictable to your members and signals ongoing investments by the organizers. You can do this by posting daily or weekly at the same time or date and sharing a wide range of topics.
- Add value – A strong community has never been built on a brand that is being promoted. There is room for promotional content, but to a much lesser extent than value-based posts. Follow the 3-2-1 model — for each promotional content, share two engagement opportunities (questions, feedback, surveys, beta, content requirements) and three thought leadership pieces.
- Encourage two-way dialogue – The best reward for starting a conversation is if someone responds, and that reward only deepens when the answer turns into a thoughtful dialogue between the members of the group. When members of your community feel rewarded, they will stay and continue to engage – and if you start a conversation or join it, the worst thing you can do is leave someone hanging after they respond. Always do your best to continue the conversation.
Q: What are some examples of brands / individuals that you think are succeeding in building a community on LinkedIn?
TB: Building a sense of community has never been more important, and we’ve seen a 35% increase in public conversations on LinkedIn in Q4FY21 compared to Q4FY20, with brands engaging with their audiences in a variety of ways, including images and live broadcasts.
From The Female Lead, a small London-based nonprofit that sparked more than 6,800 reactions and over 180 comments when they shared a powerful image showing women standing together to make the world a better place for all women, to NASA’s live broadcast of their launch, which led to over 7,000 comments and more than 14,000 reactions.
Q: If you were to start with a company page, what would be your main focus elements for starting the brand building process?
TB: Our “Getting Started” formula is simple: complete your page, invite followers (until you reach 150), and start posting and engaging on a daily basis.
This is a recipe for starting the success of your site and its organic growth. We have a built-in ‘completion meter’ for site administrators who are just starting to monitor and make sure their site is optimized. From there, you’ll want to start delving into your analytics to understand what resonates with your audience and try different ways to engage your audience, whether it’s stories, polls, articles, or live events, to name a few.
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