Audiobooks are a recent discovery for me, and they’ve been the gateway to get into Podcast listening. I recently got wind of the Marketing Millennials Podcast through following them on LinkedIn. Daniel Murray with the Marketing Millennials has built an impressive following there, over 700k, and an 86k+ email database where he shares knowledge twice a week via newsletters. His guest on the podcast I listened to was Dave Gerhardt, a top marketing mind in the country, founder of Exit Five, an author and brand builder. Dave shared some great insights on how to get the most out of your LinkedIn account and it really opened my eyes to the organic potential of the platform. Let me share those with you here.

We all know that selling your content is half of the work in succeeding on social media. Let’s take a look at those steps:

    • Step one: Getting LinkedIn followers is the first step to increasing consumer numbers on your other platforms…your website, your email database, your SMS database, etc.
    • Step two: Prove the consumer would sign up for your company’s product.
    • Step three: Proving that the consumer would use your company’s product.
    • Step four: Prove the consumer would pay for your company’s product.

With these highly important steps, you can see that you can’t approach LinkedIn casually or haphazardly. You need a thoughtful plan and strategy laid out. Start with asking yourself these questions:

    • Why do I want to build a following here?
    • What can I post regularly about and create compelling content around?
    • Is there a particular topic I can build an audience from?

 Creating Content

In your life, what makes you want to get to know a person (or a business)? Myself, I enjoy spending my personal time around people who are interesting to me; have similar goals and make me smarter by listening to them share their wisdom. And yes, I like people who can make me laugh. Gerhardt says in the podcast that all we learn in getting to know a person or a business makes amazing content we can use to attract people to our page. It’s not really personal branding, it’s about thought leadership. Let’s face it…we spend a LOT of our lives thinking about our work…we live and breathe it every day. We talk to like-minded industry people all the time. We study what’s happening in our industry, our market and within our own business overall. That’s our point of view, and that’s how we plant, cultivate and grow our thought leadership subject matter. People will gravitate to you for your shared knowledge and experiences.

Gerhardt does caution though, that LinkedIn audience building only works if you actually have something to say. You can’t just take a cookie-cutter template and randomly post a quote here and image there and say, ‘meh, good enough’. You need to have interesting experiences and things to share consistently. The core of thought leadership is to have a strong point of view.

Setting Content Goals

The first metric that you want to build is your follower number. You need followers to get engaged with your content. Gerhardt says that in the first 6 months, just focus on putting out relevant content in your area of expertise. Educational, entertaining material works well to get this in motion, but keep the mix going. Don’t always focus on just one topic, dig deeper and be broad in your thought leadership until you discover what’s clicking with followers (and what isn’t). If you have a following after this time frame, but aren’t seeing new clients from it, evaluate your topics and shift your focus material. The next question you may ask is ‘How do I build my reach?’ Glad you asked…

Building Your Reach

The more you post, the quicker you learn. If you post every day for two weeks, you have two weeks of data to analyze. Which post got the most engagement? Which got the least? What are the comments? Who commented, and what did they say? Take it week by week and you’ll see what’s working and what isn’t. You’ll see a lot of data that can help guide your way.

The next step in building your LinkedIn following is liking and commenting on other people’s content to increase the reach of your own page. Gerhardt recommended making a list of 100 people meaningful in your industry and following them, as well as commenting on their posts. Then, request people to follow your company page. Now that you’re posting regularly, there’s a reason for people to follow your page. I can tell you that this strategy works, because it worked on me…I started following the Marketing Millennials LinkedIn page because I saw them commenting on another page I followed. Finally, tell people about your LinkedIn page. Note it in your company’s automated emails and update your footer/email signature to include something encouraging people to join you, like ‘Follow me on LinkedIn’.

LinkedIn may seem like just another social media platform among many, and your current strategy may be cookie cutter, posting the same material you post on other social platforms. If you take some time to craft your content to your LinkedIn audience of followers, you can grow it to create new followers you can groom into being customers, clients and raving fans of your company and brand. CMOco can help you build your content and a long-term growth strategy to broaden your following on LinkedIn. Contact us today!  

– Bruce Thiem, CMOco Director of Integrated Media