It might feel like a mystery to craft the perfect LinkedIn post that resonates with your ideal customer, that reaches the right people and that inspires them to comment, like and share.
There’s both, an art and science involved when it comes to creating updates on LinkedIn that work!
In this post, you’ll find a simple formula you can use to hone your LinkedIn writing skills…
Start strong 💥
and keep the headline short!
A strong headline is a key to a well-performing LinkedIn post.
Posts with opening lines “long” between 40 and 49 characters tend to perform the best!
The point of a post headline is to engage your audience and give them a taste of what is to come.
Social media marketing is a game for people’s attention and the main job of the opening line of each post is to stop people scrolling and compel them to read more.
Think of a newspaper headline, they are there to grab your attention and compel you to read more!
Use your headline to share something worth knowing, something shocking, something unexpected or something meaningful to your target audience.
Perfect your opening lines!
Once you grabbed their attention with the headline, the next couple of lines are your chance to give them enough to hook them into wanting more!
Initially, people will only see the first 3-5 lines of each post before the text will be cut off and hidden under “see more”. The goal is to capture their attention for them to want to click to see more and read more!
Your opening lines can include:
➡️ A question – as something that will make your target audience stop and think
➡️ A bold statement – controversial (or simply strong) opinions are a great post type on LinkedIn that compel more people to engage
➡️ A fact – similar to a strong statement, you can start with a specific fact to get people curious about more
➡️ A list with a number – we love lists, we’re curious to know what those x points you’re hinting at will be (and often competing with ourselves whether or not we can guess all of them). Even better, try an odd or unexpected number (4.5 tips, 2 and ¾ ideas…) to peak people’s interest!
➡️ A quote – be it yours or maybe feedback from a client
➡️ A story – we’re drawn to stories
➡️ Something unexpected – be it a single word, an emoji or a symbol
Those first three to five lines need to grab people’s attention, they need to stop people scrolling and hook them into wanting to click “see more”.
Make it memorable, make it relevant and personal to your ideal customers!
Break down the text
There are a few ways you can make your LinkedIn post easier to read and ultimately more engaging:
➡️ USE CAPS TO CREATE SUBHEADINGS
➡️ Use emojis to create bullet points and lists for quicker navigation through the copy
➡️ Add fun & emotions by using emojis in your copy
➡️ Use shorter sentences and simple language – posts that are “easy” to read (readable for an 11-year-old and corresponding to 80-89 score at the Flesch–Kincaid readability test) get more views, likes and comments!
➡️ Allow plenty of white space in between paragraphs to make the post copy easy on the eyes.
Experiment with post length
You have 3000 characters (~520 words) to play with in your LinkedIn posts.
That is a lot of space to say something meaningful (and give people enough information within your posts to avoid sending them away via a link). Remember, LinkedIn with a link (be it a URL to an external website or even a link to a LinkedIn Article) will by default reach fewer people.
(Even though LinkedIn claims that it no longer “punishes” posts with links, from my experience and observations, posts with links do tend to perform worse than text or text + photo type of posts.
Make sure your posts are at least 3 lines long to get the “see more” link to show up. People clicking on it will send positive signals to the LinkedIn algorithm.
The LinkedIn algorithm noticed “dwell time” – meaning how long people spend reading your posts and longer posts obviously get longer “on screen time”, but you should never write long posts just for the sake of it.
So, feel free to use LinkedIn posts as a micro-blogging platform, but get to the point as quickly as you can! You don’t want to be using all 3000 characters just because you can.
Your posts should be as long/short as necessary for you to get your point across!
End with a clear call to action
Every post should have one clear call to action (CTA).
It’s important to tell people what you expect them to do. A CTA can be a link to your website (even though I wouldn’t recommend using links in your LinkedIn posts too much), it can be a question and encouragement for people to comment, it can be a nudge for people to react to the post, share it or DM you with questions.
The best way to end a post is with a question!
When you end with a question or a statement to encourage comments, you have a much better chance of actually getting more comments. Go figure!
Remember that comments are essential for your content to be seen by your connections and discovered by new people!
Other important bits to remember
Put them first!
Yes, marketing is about promoting you, your business and your services, it’s done in a way that puts THEM first. Ultimately any kind of promotion is about your ideal customers and their needs/problems that you are solving.
Keep this in mind when writing your next LinkedIn post. Try using YOU language and pointing out the benefits of your offering that matter to your target audience. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask yourself “What’s in it for them?”
Think about your hashtags
Use max 3-5 hashtags and focus on specific, long-form keywords and phrases over generic ones. And leave your hashtags for the bottom of your post unless you can use them naturally within a sentence.
For example, use #MarketingTips instead of just #Marketing or #MentalHealthTips instead of simply #MentalHealth.
Don’t use links
Don’t share links directly in your posts – as mentioned above, LinkedIn is not a fan of posts with links. You can try adding them to the comments instead if necessary or encourage people to get in touch via DM if they want the link.
The point is to provide as much information, insights and support ON PLATFORM and take people away only when they’re a “warm lead” ready to take the next step on their customer journey.
And don’t share!
Even though LinkedIn might encourage you to share someone’s post or even share a comment as a new post, it rarely gives such post anywhere near as much read as it gives to original updates from personal profiles. It’s been getting a little better lately with more shared posts appearing in people’s timelines, but on average these posts still receive less engagement, which means also lower reach!
To show your support and appreciation of someone else’s post, the best thing you can do for them is to comment. You can add a like/reaction too and for extra brownie points, you can tag a few of your connections who might find the particular posts interesting.
Keep comments going
Always respond to all comments in a timely manner – ideally within an hour, but no longer than within 24 hours. Longer comments that also mention the person you’re responding to, will increase your chances of getting a response back – creating a meaningful back and forth conversation!
Tag (@mention) people only if the post is super relevant to them (for example if it’s a testimonial from them or you talk about a book they wrote) and not as a “hack” to get more engagement.
Even though this blog post is focusing on helping you to craft the perfect LinkedIn post and talks about your outbound activity, you should never forget to be proactive with engagement. That means regularly commenting on other people’s posts, searching for interesting posts and being part of conversations in the comments!
Be consistent, but pace yourself
Post regularly, if you can manage post at least 3 times per week, something interesting, meaningful and helpful to your target audience.
Make sure you leave enough space in between individual posts. Every post you share will not only compete with all the other updates from other people and companies but also with each other. If you’re already posting once a day and want to increase your posting frequency, allow at least 3-5 hours between individual posts!
Keep it simple and natural
Don’t worry about fancy video or visual stuff, text-only posts work really well on LinkedIn.
And remember, all these tips are here to guide you, but they are not as important and speaking from the heart, providing genuinely interesting information and sharing your unique wisdom!
Check out this blog post from the amazing LinkedIn expert John Espirian or this post for further LinkedIn posting tips!