BrandingHomegrown: How to build LinkedIn influence

Homegrown: How to build LinkedIn influence

Taking leadership lessons onto social media

The most influential leaders in the world today have one thing in common. Consistency.

It’s no different in the virtual world. When you apply influence to a broader spectrum beyond your organisation and onto social media, you can take guidance from traditional leadership principles to harness an audience.

Firstly, ask yourself what type of influential leader do you want to be? Inspirational, educational, controversial or even entertaining?

Leadership influence is the ability a person has to change values, beliefs or attitudes. On LinkedIn the most influential leaders are passionate about their topic and then build a community around it.

Stephen Bartlett has built a community around entrepreneurship secretsharing, whilst Ariana Huffington specialises in burnout and Rachel Botsman talks about #trust, #humility, #rethinking, and #uncertainty.

Trending topics on LinkedIn today are:

  • Marketing and advertising
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance and investment
  • Leadership and management

However, dig a little deeper and you’ll find the niche topics drive the most engagement. Across LinkedIn there are influencers with engaged followings in the fields of neuro-diversity, sustainability or even regulatory compliance!

Ready to get started? Here are our tips on building your LinkedIn-fluence!

1. Brush up your profile

Take a look at the most influential commentators in your sector and how they have structured their profile. You will note they have a punchy bio visible at the get-go – nowadays often peppered with emojis. Anything to grab attention is key – even your avatar picture can be recorded as a short intro video.

Make sure your career history and experience is bang up to date and you have listed your interests, and have shared up to date content.

2. Create great content

The trick is to start with research, know your audience and what topics they are interested in.

The LinkedIn algorithm knows if the content isn’t quality or driving engagement.

Think about the format – do you want to share a long-form article packed with insights and data, or do you want to share your thoughts over a podcast conversation?

Be aware of trending formats and use a mix of text, images, podcasts and videos to make your posts more engaging.

Drill deeper on your topic.

Work in HR? What is the topic that you find comes up again and again and you are most passionate about. Honing in on a niche subject such as performance management or D&I can make your content resonate more with your target audience.

Want to share your entrepreneurial journey? What is the biggest mistake you have ever made and how has it shaped you? Narrowing your topic into something uniquely personal yet with enough legs to look at it from different angles can help you stand out.

3. Follow our 4 engagement steps to building a community
  1. Ask questions – just like in real organisations the best leaders are interested in their people, and ask questions to build trust and rapport.
  2. Listen – your LinkedIn community is a two-way place. Take as much time as you do crafting a piece of content to listen to feedback, show empathy and use it to inform your next post.
  3. Share your vision – being vulnerable and showing emotion is key in the real world, and the same applies to social media. Taking your community on a journey is just like leading your team – without a bigger picture they will get lost along the way.
  4. Praise – everyone likes a leader that takes time out to comment on their work, say thank you or acknowledge them. Be like you would normally be in a conversation and give praise to your followers when they post something great, or place a comment-worthy comment on your post.

Leadership influence is the ability a person has to change values, beliefs or attitudes.

4. Understand the LinkedIn algorithm

The LinkedIn algorithm decides what posts you see on your feed, be it from other people, companies and brands, or topics of interest.

According to Hootsuite ‘LinkedIn will sort your content into one of three categories: spam, low-quality or high-quality.’

Here’s how LinkedIn determines where your post belongs:

  • Spam: You might get flagged as being spam if you use bad grammar or include multiple links in your post.
    Avoid posting too frequently (more than every three hours), and don’t tag too many people (more than five).
    Hashtags such as #comment, #like, or #follow can flag the system, too.
  • Low-quality: These posts aren’t spam, but they aren’t following best practices for content, either. If you can’t make your post engaging, the algorithm considers it low quality.
  • High-quality: These are posts that follow all LinkedIn content recommendations:
    • The post is easy to read
    • Encourages responses with a question
    • Uses three or fewer hashtags
    • Incorporates strong keywords
    • Only tags people who are likely to actually respond (that means no spamming Oprah, OK?)

Source: Hootsuite

5. Keep it real

The best LinkedIn influencers are also influential IRL. Become an active community member in digital and in-person events and share the content across your social platform to connect the dots.

6. Be active in groups

Joining groups your audience is already in and contributing to conversations, sharing relevant content or commenting on others’ posts is a great way to build your influence.

‘Top voices’

Finally, for inspiration on LinkedIn check out the ‘Top Voices’ in your field.

Top Voices is an invitation-only program featuring a global group of experts on LinkedIn covering a range of topics across the professional world, helping members uncover valuable knowledge relevant to them.

To find the Top Voices based on your specialism, go to the Interests section of your LinkedIn Profile and click on the Top Voices button to check out their feed for popular content formats, hashtags and other people to follow.

The best LinkedIn influencers are also influential IRL. Become an active community member in digital and in-person events and share the content across your social platform to connect the dots.

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