I’ll be hon­est. I con­sid­er LinkedIn a nec­es­sary evil. I don’t have my push noti­fi­ca­tions on and I don’t check out what’s going on in there even half as often as Twit­ter (which, for me, is about 1/10th as often as Face­book.) How­ev­er, the plat­form made some sig­nif­i­cant improve­ments in 2018. In fact, I’m actu­al­ly look­ing for­ward to using it more in 2019. Crazy, I know!

LinkedIn has made huge updates to Groups, rolled out native video func­tion­al­i­ty for com­pa­ny pages, launched a Vimeo inte­gra­tion, and have even start­ed dip­ping their toes into Sto­ries. So, with all that in mind, I want­ed to build a strat­e­gy for my 2019 LinkedIn mar­ket­ing. I asked some of my friends to whom I look for LinkedIn advice for some tips because I know they get great engage­ment on their posts. Below are six of the main com­po­nents of my 2019 LinkedIn strat­e­gy based on my research com­bined with what these great LinkedIn mar­keters had to say. The first four are cen­tered around how to con­struct the per­fect LinkedIn post.

1. Write more!

You have 1,300 char­ac­ters avail­able to you on a per­son­al LinkedIn post. It turns out, at least in this case, longer is bet­ter. In fact, some peo­ple have report­ed their long-form updates receive 10 times more vis­i­bil­i­ty than a short post or link to an arti­cle. If you are going to link to an arti­cle Mark Rogers, mar­ket­ing direc­tor at Car­ney, sug­gests doing two things:

If you’re post­ing a link to a blog post on LinkedIn, do two things:
1) Pro­vide val­ue direct­ly in the post itself. Before the link, write con­text about what it is and why peo­ple might want to read it. Write this in a way that tells a sto­ry and engages with your read­er. If you keep them read­ing the post, they’ll be more like­ly to click through.
2) Lose the link pre­view. When you post a link, LinkedIn gives you the option to remove the pre­view. Do that. Peo­ple see so many links on LinkedIn that they tend to ignore typ­i­cal link posts. Remov­ing the link pre­view is a bit coun­ter­in­tu­itive, but it works to catch atten­tion. Peo­ple see that it’s not a tra­di­tion­al, bor­ing link post and they’ll take a sec­ond to read what you wrote (as long as you fol­low step 1 above). You can also replace the link pre­view with an image or video.” — Mark Rogers, mar­ket­ing direc­tor at Car­ney

It’s also rec­om­mend­ed that you post the link to your con­tent in the first com­ment, as shown above, instead of with­in the post. If you do this, remind your read­ers to check out the link in the com­ments so they don’t for­get to look there.

This is because, like oth­er social net­works, the LinkedIn algo­rithm wants to keep peo­ple on LinkedIn (of course they do) for as long as pos­si­ble.  Every time you pub­lish a post on LinkedIn the algo­rithm deter­mines whether your con­tent shows up in the feed and how far of an audi­ence it reach­es.

By not includ­ing a link that would take users off of the plat­form, your con­tent is more like­ly to be shown in your fol­low­ers’ feeds. Con­tent you post on LinkedIn should be opti­mized for engage­ment and not just to get peo­ple to click the link to con­tent on your own web­site.

The key here is to just do some­thing dif­fer­ent and more valu­able than every­one else.”- Mark Rogers, mar­ket­ing direc­tor at Car­ney

2. Tag people in LinkedIn posts

Once you’ve for­mat­ted the per­fect post that pro­vides val­ue to your read­ers it’s time to tag peo­ple! When you tag some­one in a LinkedIn post, their con­nec­tions and peo­ple who fol­low them will also see that con­tent. Once a few peo­ple engage with the post it’s also seen by those people’s fol­low­ers and con­nec­tions.

All the mon­ey is to be made in the rela­tion­ships you build on LinkedIn.”
- Yis­rael Frieden­berg, lin­guis­tic engi­neer and chief brand­ing offi­cer at Expir­it.

This doesn’t mean you can just tag any­one in your post, though. Stick to tag­ging peo­ple you’ve quot­ed or ref­er­enced in the con­tent you are shar­ing. Then, if there’s some­one you’ve been talk­ing to recent­ly who you think would find the arti­cle par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ing, you can tag them as well. Tread light­ly with this though — not every­one will appre­ci­ate being tagged in this way. You may want to start by send­ing a post direct­ly to them with a mes­sage about why they’ll find it inter­est­ing and then if they’re recep­tive to this, con­tin­ue help­ing them by tag­ging them in the next piece of con­tent you share if it’s relat­ed to their inter­ests.

In fact, Yis­rael Frieden­berg, lin­guis­tic engi­neer and chief brand­ing offi­cer at Expir­it, rec­om­mends doing exact­ly this.

What makes LinkedIn the most pow­er­ful net­work­ing tool of all time is not that you can go viral. Vital­i­ty is use­less for most peo­ple on LinkedIn, because they will not make one sin­gle soli­tary dol­lar off of that atten­tion. All the mon­ey is to be made in the rela­tion­ships you build on LinkedIn. They’ll become the clients and refer­ral sources you need because they’ll actu­al­ly know and like and trust you, which you can’t achieve by going viral once and get­ting a thou­sand likes on a post. So instead of putting all of your atten­tion on writ­ing the post which will make you famous, focus on choos­ing peo­ple to build rela­tion­ships with. Engage active­ly with their con­tent. DM them. Sched­ule calls and mee­tups. [This is] how you take LinkedIn from being a pop­u­lar­i­ty con­test and turn it into a cash-gen­er­at­ing machine.” — Yis­rael Frieden­berg, lin­guis­tic engi­neer and chief brand­ing offi­cer at Expir­it.

3. Use hashtags to get discovered

Use hashtags to get discovered

LinkedIn users can fol­low a hash­tag to get con­tent on that top­ic in their feed even if they don’t fol­low spe­cif­ic influ­encers for that top­ic. You may have noticed LinkedIn now auto-sug­gests hash­tags when you post an update. At first glance, their rec­om­men­da­tion engine leaves a lot to be desired. I tend to see hash­tags sug­gest­ed by LinkedIn that are very broad or have very lit­tle, if any­thing, to do with what my post is about. How­ev­er, the sug­gest­ed hash­tags can give you some inspi­ra­tion for what to include. If you’re unsure which ver­sion of a hash­tag to include, do a quick search for that top­ic in LinkedIn and you’ll be able to see the num­ber of fol­low­ers on that hash­tag.

4. Upload native video

In case you’ve been strand­ed on a desert­ed island for the past year, allow me to remind you: video is vital. Like most oth­er social plat­forms that want to keep you on their net­work for as long as pos­si­ble, LinkedIn favors native video over links to exter­nal videos. Native video means upload­ing a video file direct­ly to the plat­form as opposed to sim­ply shar­ing the link to a video which is host­ed some­where else, such as YouTube.

Here are a few great ways to include native video in your 2019 LinkedIn mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy:

  1. Record a short video giv­ing an overview of the con­tent you’re shar­ing.
  2. Review a book or oth­er piece of con­tent and share your review.
  3. Share videos of client tes­ti­mo­ni­als.
  4. Do an overview of a prod­uct or plat­form and share a few tips or tricks.
  5. Cre­ate a teas­er or trail­er to a longer video or episode of a series.

5. Build company influencers — not just your company profile

When LinkedIn com­pa­ny pages show up in search, Google pre­views up to 156 char­ac­ters from your com­pa­ny descrip­tion. While hav­ing a ful­ly-opti­mized com­pa­ny pro­file page is impor­tant, you have to go beyond just post­ing as your orga­ni­za­tion to be suc­cess­ful. Peo­ple want to fol­low and con­nect with oth­er peo­ple — not just brands.

6. Stay up to date with new LinkedIn changes

Stay up to date with new LinkedIn changes

With all the changes that have already come to LinkedIn in the past year, there is a lot to keep up with. I make sure to dive into each LinkedIn update and learn about it as much as I can. I also fol­low peo­ple like those men­tioned in this arti­cle to see what they’re doing on LinkedIn and learn from them.

One per­son I love to keep an eye on and from whom I draw inspi­ra­tion is Christo­pher Penn, co-founder and chief inno­va­tor at Trust Insights. Apps that have fea­tures like sign­ing in with LinkedIn and shar­ing on LinkedIn will need to make this update. Plat­forms that allow users to man­age LinkedIn com­pa­ny pages should pay close atten­tion because access will be restrict­ed to those par­tic­i­pat­ing in the LinkedIn Mar­ket­ing Devel­op­er Pro­gram. While this isn’t some­thing most mar­keters need to tack­le them­selves if you are using a third-par­ty app to pub­lish to LinkedIn, adver­tise on LinkedIn, or man­age your com­pa­ny page, you’ll want to make sure the plat­form you’re using makes the nec­es­sary changes to be added to the Mar­ket­ing Devel­op­er Pro­gram.

Sound a lit­tle over­whelm­ing? I thought so too so I asked Christop­er what steps mar­keters should take.

Steps for mar­keters to take: get bet­ter at tag­ging and attri­bu­tion, and focus on the data you do get  — traf­fic from LinkedIn to your owned media prop­er­ties, mea­sured with your web ana­lyt­ics soft­ware.” — Christo­pher Penn, co-founder and chief inno­va­tor at Trust Insights.

So, make sure you’re mea­sur­ing traf­fic from LinkedIn to your own site and use track­ing URLs when nec­es­sary. If you’re using a third-par­ty tool to pub­lish to LinkedIn, it may be worth reach­ing out to con­firm they are plan­ning to main­tain their tool’s func­tion­al­i­ty. Oth­er­wise, it might be time to search for a new social pub­lish­ing tool.

Build your 2020 LinkedIn strategy

Now you’re informed about all the recent LinkedIn updates. You’re armed with tips to cre­ate the per­fect LinkedIn post, incor­po­rate video into your post, opti­mize it for dis­cov­er­abil­i­ty, and get it in front of the right peo­ple. It’s time to go forth and cre­ate your 2020 LinkedIn mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy!