Best Practices for Sharing Content on LinkedIn

Posted by LinkedSelling in Uncategorized

LinkedIn-Group-Influencers

If you develop content with a business leaning, LinkedIn is a great place to dramatically increase exposure to your site, content and message.

What do I mean by content?

I'm talking about articles (blog posts), videos, podcasts, webinars, white papers, reports, etc.

Sharing content on LinkedIn can be achieved with groups, status updates, answers, company pages, and through direct messages.

Having run many LinkedIn marketing campaigns, and simply spending  a ton of time on LinkedIn since 2006, I've seen what works and what doesn't.

Most people spin their wheels, trying to push content out but getting very small results. Sure, some of them just don't have good stuff to share.

But for most, it's a matter of not having a clear distribution strategy.

If you don't have any content to share, you NEED to get started on developing some or having somebody else do it for you.  If you HAVE content, and are struggling to get traction with it, here are 5 things you can start doing immediately to get better results.

1. Utilize the LinkedIn Share Button

If you're already aware of the LinkedIn share button, skip to #2.

With the LinkedIn share button installed on your site, you can easily and quickly share content in a number of ways:

  1. To every group you are a member of.LinkedIn-Share-Button
  2. As a status update.
  3. Cross-post to your twitter account.
  4. Send the content to specific individuals that you're connected to.
  5. Send the content via email to anybody you want.
If you are manually adding links to groups, please stop.  

Using the LinkedIn share button will save you a ton of time and spread your message far wider.

2. Only Share Content in Relevant Groups

LinkedIn share makes it ridiculously easy to blast your content all over LinkedIn, in all the groups you are a member of.  But, unless you want to really start making enemies, you have to be tactful in your approach.

Not every group you are a member of is going to be interested in everything you're saying.

Post your content in groups that are relevant to the content.  If your writing is focused on helping a particular niche or industry, probably best to share this content only in those groups that also cater to the same space.

If you have a great new research report on how the local real estate market is really starting to pick up, don't share it with the entire world.  Keep it focused to the groups that are dedicated to the geographic area that your report is focused on.

Sharing all of your content in every group is a good way to quickly draw the attention of group moderators, who could eventually ban you from the group if they determine that you are sharing completely irrelevant posts.

3. Keep the promotion to a minimum.

Among others, I run a top 25 small business group on LinkedIn, Small Biz Forum.  If the group is overrun with promotions, it will quickly turn into a worthless group.  None of the members will be interested in a bunch of promotional messages.

As such, I spend time every single day moderating discussions and ensuring that the content being shared by members is actually of value to the other members.

Most good groups take a similar approach.  If your messages are nothing but promotional messages, providing very thin content and value, you won't stand a chance.

People see through it, and your results will really suffer.

But here's the other side of the coin.  If you are a consistent presence, and known for sharing very valuable content on a regular basis, the group management will view you as a real asset to the group.

At this point, they'll be more inclined to let the occasional promotion slide through.  In a sense, you've earned it.

4. Share other people's stuff more than your own.

If you really want to be seen as a valuable resource, share other people's stuff WAY more than your own.

LinkedIn-Group-InfluencersSet up your RSS reader with a ton of blogs and sites that you follow and rely on for great content.  This will really cut down on the time needed to constantly be looking for content.

As it pertains to group postings and status updates, I think you can get away with a 10:1 ratio.  For every 10 pieces of other people's content you share, you can share one of your own.

This is how you set yourself apart.

And DEFINITELY don't post your own content every single day in the same groups.  Pick your battles.

5. Don't Use Hootsuite to post links.

If you want engagement, traffic and positive brand recognition…using Hootsuite to post links to groups is a bad idea.  The best way to illustrate this is with an example.

The top post was generated from Hootsuite.  The bottom was either manually posted or distributed via the LinkedIn share button.

hootsuite-group-post-linkedin

First, let me say that I love Hootsuite.  It's great for a ton of stuff, just not posting to LinkedIn groups.  Hootsuite posts to LinkedIn groups show up looking like a pile of garbage.

You'll see that in the first post, the title, link and description effectively form a big, long, messy run-on sentence.  And there is no capability to add a picture.

People who know how Hootsuite works might be a bit forgiving of this.  But the vast majority of people will not, and they will simply conclude that you don't know how to use a computer.

So what's next?

1. Have good content.  If you don't, start.

2. Join all 50 groups that LinkedIn allows, and make sure they are RELEVANT to your business goals and content.

3. Install the LinkedIn share button.

4. Start sharing, but don't be overly promotional and be sure to share in groups that are relevant to the content.

5. Absolutely reply to all comments your posts/discussions get.

6. Don't use Hootsuite for posting to groups.

7. Aggregate awesome content from other people, and share it much more often than your own stuff.

What did I miss? What would you add?

Leave a comment below and let me know what you've found to be most effective in sharing content on LinkedIn. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • There are good practical tips in this article. As for third-party posting tools, I’ve found that Buffer does an excellent job of allowing you to craft your post so it appears properly in LinkedIn. The only limitation is that it only allows you to post status updates, not directly into groups (but the user base is lobbying the Buffer development team to add this).

    Buffer does let you choose from among all the available article images, modify the article meta information, and add a few lines of custom content above the article. As a bonus, the formatting and content you do for LinkedIn also works great in Facebook, which saves time if you are posting in both channels via Buffer.

    • Great stuff Martin! I have used Hootsuite for status updates, but have not tried out Buffer. Thanks for heads up!

  • Hi Josh,

    I’ve enjoyed seeing your activity all over LinkedIn. Thanks for doing such a good job and providing such valuable content. I appreciate the plan of action you’ve presented here. I’m just beginning to really use LinkedIn as the tool it is and am already seeing results.

    Thanks!
    Erin

    • That’s awesome Erin! Great to hear from you, and that is terrific that you’re getting results already!

  • Josh:

    My client, Swip Systems wants to take their business to the next level. They want to emphasisze their software development skills, but find that the audience for this is hard to find. e Value Prop for them is to take on projects using reasonably sourced skills, a good work ethic that can deliver a project on time and under budget… Located in the Midwest, we would like to say that we are a “right-shore” or “in-shore” type of company.

    Would you have ideas or recommendations on promoting our company via linkedIn to this marketplace? What groups should we be members of to begin with?

    Call or email me. Thanks.

    Terry McHugh
    314-324-3358
    mchugh.marketing.leader@gmail.com

  • Josh – great article. I especially like the selective group sharing guidelines. I therefore look forward to reading your thoughts on the other ways to share content you referred to [i.e. status updates, answers, company pages [incl. targeted audiences], and through direct messages].

    • Thanks Daniel, glad you enjoyed it. We’ll be sure to follow up on those other items in some recent posts.