How to Get More Followers on LinkedIn

Over the past few years, LinkedIn has evolved into a dominant social powerhouse for professionals. In case you’ve forgotten, LinkedIn has a user base of 450 million professionals—that’s huge. After acquiring Pulse in 2013, LinkedIn cemented itself as a destination for peer-to-peer content sharing on topics ranging from personal productivity to how to scale a growing business. Beyond personal branding and thought-leadership opportunities, LinkedIn is a home for every brand aspiring to flag the attention of professionals, beyond recruiting.

Due to the professional nature of the LinkedIn platform and the various types of content shared within the network, brands that aim to succeed on LinkedIn are challenged to be more thoughtful in the content they produce and share on the network. That’s why in the latest Smart Social Report: Volume 6, we decided to take look at a year’s worth of data to bring you the latest best practices. Don’t forget to download the report for comprehensive data. If you’re laser-focused on growing your following, read on.

LinkedIn’s Edge

Unlike other networks, LinkedIn’s newsfeed algorithm favors the liking activity of your connections. This difference means a big opportunity around earned impressions for your brand’s organic posts, which is why engagement is vital to cheaply growing your LinkedIn following. Indeed, on LinkedIn, content sees 7x more engagement than job postings do. If you don’t prioritize engagement, then you’ll have a harder and more expensive experience growing your following.

In addition, the algorithm favors recency—and not necessarily paying to play. This is why LinkedIn users are motivated to click follow on a brand’s page, since they will be more likely to see any updates from the company.

LinkedIn conducted a survey with US professionals on why they follow companies on LinkedIn:

  • 76% said they are looking to stay informed on the industry
  • 63% want to stay up-to-date on the latest news from the company
  • 58% are interested in working for the company (and 49% used to work there)

They’re not only interested in what the brands had to offer, they’re also interested in learning more about the company’s products and/or services.

76% of brand followers on LinkedIn want to stay informed on the industry.

On the sponsored side, LinkedIn’s targeting is extremely precise — this is especially advantageous for B2B. But for you B2C companies out there, don’t write this off. There’s low competition in the B2C world on LinkedIn, and if you have a high price-point, this can be favorable. Targeting includes: job function, industry, specific job titles, location, years of experience, company size, and groups.

Lastly, remember that the type of content LinkedIn’s audience favors is likely to be more about your brand than about your product. This is typically the type of content that people tune out on other networks, so use LinkedIn to your advantage, showcasing your very best company moments.

How to Take Your Brand’s LinkedIn to the Next Level

Editor’s note: In the Smart Social Report: Volume 6, we tracked follower growth of various industries to summarize which industries you might want to reference for inspiration. Download the report for the fascinating insights.

Drive Some Serious Engagement

As mentioned earlier, the key to growing your following for free is capitalizing on earned impressions. To do that, you need some serious engagement on your content. How to make that happen?

  • Ask insightful questions and drive conversation.
  • Offer up some insights or tips within the ad copy. Make the ad itself a resource to your audience.
  • Update and analyze the news. Make it clear to your audience why it’s important to them.

On LinkedIn, make the ad itself a resource to your audience.

Distinguish yourself on the news feed

Video:

Slideshare, YouTube, and Vimeo play natively within the LinkedIn newsfeed. Finding instructions for this was super-tricky for me—so I’m happy to share my secrets with you. Here are some detailed instructions on how to upload video in Sponsored Updates:

  • First Copy/Paste in the video URL link to the URL box
  • Edit post as you would like in regards to copy
  • In front of the video link, place in your desired landing page link
  • Delete the video link — the result will be that the video will play, but the link will take the reader straight to the landing page. And as a final note, just remember that the 'preview' within the dashboard will not show the video with play capabilities but the video will play on click within the feed environment.

Rich media:

Not so long ago, LinkedIn introduced rich media posts. Although you can’t publish GIFs or videos natively, you have more flexibility on the post’s image size. My recommendation: use unique image specs, such as images that are longer vertically than the normal landscape images you typically see on your LinkedIn newsfeed.

High color contrast:

LinkedIn’s feed utilizes very muted colors – try using colorful imagery to catch your audience’s attention. This can help you breakaway from overused business stock photography.

Don’t Forget about Pulse

Employee Advocacy

Get brand awareness by writing content for Pulse that will help professionals better understand the power of your product or services.

Thought-leadership

Encourage individuals within your organization to frequently post on Pulse and grow their following. What’s good for them is also good for you.

Want more? Read our blog post recap of a webinar we had with LinkedIn, Level 3 Communications, and Highmark Health—the link to the webinar is at the end.

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Ary Esfahani's picture

Ary Esfahani

Safaryary
Ary Esfahani is a Digital Marketer, leading the execution of email, social, and search campaigns at Spredfast. Her free time is spent amateur blogging for her fashion blog (http://Safary.Style) and dreaming about Chipotle.