6 ways to make people engage with your posts on LinkedIn
There are thousands of posts published on LinkedIn every minute. Some of it is gold, but most of it is garbage.
But just because it’s garbage, that doesn’t mean people won’t engage with it.
One of the most annoying formats I keep encountering on social media, (especially TikTok) is a post which starts off with a hook that makes it sound like a juicy story. And then nothing much happens for the entire video, but at the end, the creator says ‘Stay tuned for part 2’. Minutes of my life I will never get back.
LinkedIn posts with high levels of engagement are often similarly long and rambling. They say a lot, while saying nothing at all. I hate them. I think most sane people do.
So knowing that formula works, if you want to increase engagement on your LinkedIn posts, how do you achieve this without people finding you really annoying?
Getting your message heard amongst the noise can be difficult, especially when you, or your company page, has a small number of connections or followers. And that’s not helped by LinkedIn’s algorithm.
The LinkedIn algorithm
The algorithm determines what is shown at the top of users’ feeds.
In general, users will see posts from people/company pages/groups that they have engaged with previously, or have indicated they have an interest in (whether they follow them or not).
However, they are also likely to see popular posts from their network (i.e. liked or commented on by a connection), even if they have not interacted or expressed a particular interest in that topic themselves.
- Content that follows its recommendations, which includes making the post easy to read with a clearly defined topic, using a few hashtags, tagging relevant people, and encouraging engagement (such as by posing a question)
- Content that keeps users on the LinkedIn platform is prioritised over posts that link out. This means more impressions, giving that content a better chance of being seen - and therefore interacted with
Posts are also likely to be throttled if they are too frequent (more than once every few hours) and if they tag a load of people (anything more than five can be seen as spammy).
Quality is important, so posts with poor grammar, loads of links, and certain hashtags that attempt to game the system (#follow, #like, #comment) are typically going to be flagged as low quality.
LinkedIn provided a few tips on how to increase engagement. They are very vague.
- Talk about stuff that is happening
- Vary your content types
- Reply to comments
- Use hashtags
I think it’s fair to say that following LinkedIn's groundbreaking tips on how to increase engagement doesn’t guarantee success.
LinkedIn posts that perform well
Fear not. There is a bit of a formula for success.
As I’ve already mentioned, I’m sorry to say rather than being gold, a lot of the posts that do well are in fact garbage, where people give themselves a big pat on the back for ‘bossing it’ with over-the-top daily schedules to make the rest of us feel inadequate.
A big part of why those types of posts work well is because they are so extreme. And they divide opinion. And everyone loves arguing on the internet.
Don’t encourage that, please.
You can add far more value with:
- Lists – especially those that share tips/insights
- Posts that open/close with a question
- Posts with strong opinions
- Posts that share personal news/achievements, and thank or celebrate other people
- Posts asking for feedback, opinions, or comments, including polls
- Carousel/slider posts for a better way of presenting long-form content
- Short, non-promotional video content (bonus points if you add captions for accessibility)
Here are six great ideas (you can steal) to make people engage with your LinkedIn posts.
1. Slide on into people’s feed
Carousel posts (AKA slideshows, AKA sliders) admittedly do require a bit of creative flair. But even a novice like me can knock up something that looks half decent with a free design tool like Canva.
In the example below, the post is instantly eye-catching. The cover image and theme is great, the intro copy got my attention, and the content remained strong throughout the entire deck.
And would you look at that? They’ve used that ‘trick’ I HATE by posting content in multiple parts.
But guess what? The first lot of content was so good, I will actually look at part two.
OK, but what if you really do struggle with the creative side of things?
Pick a topic you know people are interested in, and share your knowledge.
2. Be generous
Who doesn’t love free stuff?
This example starts with a simple tip that anyone can follow, and goes on to share more advanced suggestions. Perfect.
The next post is admittedly a bit long (and borderline spammy) for my liking. But you know what? They’ve clearly put a lot of time and effort into creating this content. So I can’t even be mad.
It utilises pretty much every trick in the book to increase engagement. It’s broken down into skimmable content, includes some emoji to jazz things up a bit, and brazenly asks people to comment to get the content for free. And LinkedIn loves comments. Smart move, buddy.
3. Share the knowledge, share the love
In this example, the topic is pretty niche. It explains a solution to a problem that many marketers might not have even been aware of.
But it’s not just that.
They’ve chosen to tag a couple of experts they look up to, and have thanked others at their company for the support, which encourages those people to interact and share with their own networks. For extra bonus points, they’ve used the right number of relevant hashtags to help increase their reach.
4. Keep it real
Whether you are posting yourself, or on behalf of your brand, you should be adding a touch of personality. Or, a lot of it.
The vast majority of recruitment posts I see on LinkedIn are very boring and very dry.
This one wasn’t.
It’s cheeky, while still remaining bang-on-brand. Chef’s kiss.
If you, or your brand, would get in trouble for being 100% authentic on LinkedIn, sharing how proud of the hard work you do still goes a long way.
Don’t be afraid to make noise about achievements and company milestones - it is a professional social media platform, after all.
Also, say thank you. Be kind, and give a shout-out to those you appreciate.
This post is great because it comes across as being very genuine, especially with the addition of nice photos of everyone enjoying themselves.
Plus, research suggests that LinkedIn’s algorithm favours pictures of human faces - so this could be a good way of gaining more impressions.
5. Ask questions
It’s good to ask questions.
Not only does LinkedIn like it (because questions mean comments), but it’s a good way to capture data that you can also use for future posts. Smart.
I’m not talking about those rambling posts that say ‘Agree?’ or ‘Thoughts?’ at the end. I hate those. Again, yes, I know that unfortunately, they can still work. But do you really want to be that person?
Instead, ask a question that’s likely to start a meaningful conversation.
In this example, people are not just going to respond ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the question posed. They are going to want to explain their reasoning. And that helps to keep the conversation going.
Polls have been dwindling in popularity recently as users complained they were seeing too many in their feeds. But if you want to capture some data quickly, one or two choices are best - with an option for ‘Other - share below’ to encourage comments.
6. Have an opinion
I really like this post for a number of reasons.
- It’s relatable, sharing an honest opinion about something that a lot of people in PR and marketing have encountered (a brand changing its logo and expecting this to be exciting news for the entire universe)
- It’s a simple video format that requires no budget to produce
- The post intro copy made me want to watch the video to find out their views
Now, I can see why a post like this may be deemed offensive by clients or prospects. But she’s saying what a lot of people in the industry aren’t bold enough to say.
Having strong opinions on social media can ruffle feathers. And I think it goes without saying, unless you really want to spend an entire day having an argument, it’s best to avoid posting anything too polarising, especially concerning politics and religion.
- Be patient. Like any social media platform, you have to put in the effort to grow your audience. If you don’t have hundreds, or thousands, of connections, it can be difficult to get your posts to show up in the LinkedIn feed of other users.
- Be picky about who you connect with. If the quality of your connections is poor (i.e. you’re not speaking to your target audience), your engagement will be lower as a result.
- Don’t slack off. Posting frequently is important, as it allows you to test out different topics and content types to determine what your audience is more likely to engage with.
- Don’t be all ‘me, me, me’. Nobody cares what you had for breakfast or what time you got to the office.
- Don’t be an idiot. Don’t rip off other people’s posts. Don’t make shit up. Don’t post photos of vulnerable people you’re ‘helping’ for clout. Don’t repost a clearly inaccurate story or quote about or by a billionaire. And for the love of God, don’t post a picture of your very expensive car pretending you’re only doing it to offer a disadvantaged teen a lift to prom.
- Dogs. You can’t go wrong by jazzing up what would usually be a bland work post by including a cute dog.