It’s soul destroying, pouring your creative energy into writing LinkedIn posts that no-one reads.
This is what was happening to a new client who recently engaged me to help him drive stronger engagement on LinkedIn. We’ll call him Mike (not his real name, for privacy reasons).
Mike had been on LinkedIn for a couple of years, initially in a very passive way, with a decent profile but not much activity. A couple of months ago he’d read an article pointing out that the algorithm is ‘friendlier’ to active contributors.
That made sense, so he started sharing other people’s posts and even creating some of his own. He was posting a couple of times a week but his viewer stats stayed stubbornly low.
He was almost on the point of giving up on LinkedIn as a business development tool when he was referred to me by another business owner who’d been in one of my programs for a while and was doing really well.
We took a look at his personal profile and made some adjustments but overall it was already in pretty good shape. We then reviewed a large sample of the content he’d been sharing and posting and that’s where we started to see what was going wrong.
The content itself was good. It was articulate, relevant to his target audience and there weren’t any obvious grammatical errors and typos. So, quality wasn’t the problem and he was posting consistently enough to show up in his network’s newsfeed.
But he was making two basic mistakes with nearly every post. Can you guess what they were?
The first big mistake
The first mistake is one that every copywriter has to learn if they want to get people reading their material. For bloggers and journalists it’s all in the headline or title of the piece.
On LinkedIn the first two lines of the post are what counts. Next to those first two lines is a tiny but vital ‘button’ that says “…see more”. You want people to click on that every time. You can see it just below my first two lines in the image below.
It was clear that for most of Mike’s posts, the first two lines were too generic and bland to get many people keen to “see more”. They were not clicking that button and instead just kept scrolling to the next item in the feed. Good copy that wasn’t being seen.
The first two lines must contain some sort of ‘hook’ that engages the reader’s curiosity or touches a sore point that they can identify with and want to see the solution you offer in your post.
You’re still reading this so the headline I used for this blog must have done a decent job 😉
Historically, some of the words and phrases that have performed well include these:
- How to
- You need to
- Why you should
- How NOT to
- Want to…..?
- X Ways to (X = the number of tips given in the post)
Words and phrases get overused and tired so while keeping to the principle of prompting your reader to want more, get creative with the wording and keep things fresh.
The second big mistake
After helping Mike to craft a sensational hook in the first two lines so that his audience couldn’t help but click through to read the body of the post he was over the first hurdle, but there’s another.
I read through many of his posts and found he was consistently making the second big mistake.
He’d got his audience to read the content but that’s where engagement was stalling. He was getting a few likes on most posts but hardly any comments and sharing was rare to non-existent.
LinkedIn’s algorithm loves content that is getting a reaction so Mike’s posts were not being promoted in his audience’s newsfeed. And there was a simple solution.
The content was well written – no problem there. But each one seemed to leave the reader hanging and thinking “So what?”.
All Mike needed to do was to make sure he ended each post with a provocative question designed to elicit a response and occasionally openly prompt his reader to leave comments.
Once Mike was writing stronger openings and building in a clear CTA (call to action) in every post he soon started to see his viewing numbers rising nicely. That in turn got his content promoted more which led to steadily increasing reach and engagement.
Best of all he was able to engage 1:1 with the people who were commenting and develop these contacts into offline conversations and warm leads.
Want to find out how you can get the same sort of results?
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