Do you find that your posts are only getting a handful of comments and likes ? You have spent time with your team crafting the messaging and coming up with the perfect image only to find that once you post there is no real engagement. It can be literally akin to dropping a small pebble in an ocean, with no ripple effect.

What most people do not know is that engagement is not just important so that you feel better about your handy artwork. Engagement on LinkedIn actually means that your posts will have more visibility and more people will see your content. Crucially, engagement in the form of likes, comments and shares ensures that your post stays longer in the feed. This is an important part of the LinkedIn algorithm that marketers need to make the most of.

Engagement is important too as it places us where we want to be, in that circle of thought leadership at the centre of the conversation.Think of it like shopping for a restaurant. If the restaurant is full you will more than likely assume it is good and then give it a try. Similarly,  if the engagement is high on LinkedIn you will automatically assume (rightly or wrongly) that the author of the post is a person of authority and thought leadership. Not only that but when your second and third degree connections spot their connections commenting on your post, they may then head over to your profile to check you out. If they find your content engaging they will want to reach out and connect with you and thus you have successfully used engagement to lever conversations with a far wider range of connections on LinkedIn. You have levered a broader circle of customers and successfully engaged them without directly selling to them. Do not underestimate the power of this technique.

So lets say we know all that, we know that engagement drives visibility and we know how important it is to gain a wider pool and reach for our messaging. That still does not solve how to garner engagement. Here’s a couple of tips and thought starters that you can use that will have a direct impact on achieving engagement with your LinkedIn posts:

1. It will be no surprise that posts and articles that use ‘storytelling’ receive higher engagement on LinkedIn. These posts are authentic, well-written and start with a well construed hook to lead the reader into the story. At times they are value adding posts too with the purpose of the story centred around helping the users overcome a problem . Know also when to write an article versus a post.  When your message is short and you are sharing or commenting on third party content this is when you write a ‘post’ and include the link to the content you are commenting on. ‘Articles’ are for longer form posts that are like blogs and contain your own original thoughts. (like this article I am writing now!)

2. To receive engagement you need to get people to comment and talk about your post – one tactic to employ is to ask a direct question in the post that encourages readers to respond. You need to put some thought into this though as there is an art in getting people to respond. The recommendation from experts is to ask a specific a question as possible – one that requires a yes/no answer so that you can ensure you make it easy for people to respond. Or give readers a specific set of options to chose from. By doing this you are removing one extra step for the reader and thus increasing your chances of an appropriate response.

3. Another tactic to earn comments is to share a ‘grenade post’. These post purposely try and disrupt by projecting strong opinions and thought leadership and may even ruffle a few feathers. This is clearly not a strategy suited to all and will need to be approached cautiously. But you can see how it encourages comments! There may be differing opinions on the recent Gillette campaign but boy did it garner reactions and comments….an engagement rate that means it is still in the feeds on LinkedIn.

4. Lastly but not least get the basics right. Use an image that is compelling and sized for LinkedIn or use video and make sure you have an attractive thumbnail for that video. Tagging people in the post can alert readers to the post and encourage prompt action in terms of comments and overall engagement. Use hashtags to create signposts for the type of content you are posting and ensure that it can be discovered on LinkedIn.

5. Then sit back and look at your metrics, how many views did your article and where did the views come from? Learn from the metrics and benchmark for success with your next post.

Creating engagement takes trial and error and the route to success is most certainly not linear. Perhaps the ultimate test would be to place yourself in your reader’s shoes and ask yourself whether you would find the post compelling or would just keep on scrolling?

Drury Porter Novelli Digital team are helping companies daily maximise their engagement on LinkedIn.  We are creating content strategies on behalf of our clients and building out content plans employing premium content and stories that are aligned to their brand and corporate objectives. + 353 (1) 2605000.