February 27, 2013 1 Comment
With more than 200 million members now on LinkedIn, millions are wasting opportunities to be noticed…liked…shared by others, by ignoring one simple practice.
What is the Practice?
The practice, is simply doing what newspapers have known and done for years. Newspapers begin with the headline, followed by a compelling opening sentence/paragraph, with further details provided later in the story for those interested.
What is the Problem?
The problem lies in the preamble setting up what your post or update is aiming to teach. Consider this post for example. I could have opened like countless people do, which in this case would be to emphasize who LinkedIn is, what they are known for or have now become (i.e., “LinkedIn has become the largest B2B…). You know how it sounds.
If I did so, not only would that be redundant with what most already know [INSERT YAWN HERE], but worse, I would squander the opportunity to elicit reader’s interest for what they may learn by reading my post.
Target your Openers
Instead, I aimed my opening at a specific profile (i.e., Those that post updates on LinkedIn and comments in groups, but rarely get shares, responses or likes). By targeting specific people with a concise message, when my post gets placed in LinkedIn’s updates, potential readers are seeing at a glance, what I want them to see…wasting opportunities on LinkedIn, because they hadn’t thought of this way before.
This principle of targeting your opening sentence also holds true for comments in LinkedIn Groups.
For example, in a group, someone posts a provocative topic or question. You respond with your unique point of view or contribution. If you are not getting likes or responses to your contributions, the two likely scenarios are 1.) Your comment wasn’t as unique or as contributory as you thought, or 2.) Your opening comments offered no compelling reason to read further.
Remember, when you comment in a group, not only is an update posted to the homepage with your opening sentence [or two], but that same opener is put into a reduced digest that goes out to the group’s subscribers. LinkedIn is doing everything it can to get you noticed. Don’t fight them. They are aiming to help you.
“In a ‘warp speed’ world, content-consumers spend their clicks conservatively”
Don’t just take my word…
If you take a cursory glance at the ‘Home’ tab of your LinkedIn page and scan the updates, take note of your behavior when scanning the countless updates for items of interest. What grabs your attention? If typical trends prevail, it is likely the photo or headline, followed by the description of the post.
While it is true that a good headline alone can draw eyes to the story, in a ‘warp speed’ world, content-consumers spend their clicks conservatively. Will they spend it on your post or somewhere else? Rest assured, they will spend it somewhere.
Applying I.P.R. filters to LinkedIn
Since the aim of this blog is to always look for behaviors that contribute to Intentional, Predictable and Repeatable (I.P.R.) results, lets summarize as follows:
- Intentional – Make the first sentence of your update, comment or post intentionally engaging
- Predictable – Evidence of a compelling description predictably results in more shares, views and likes
- Repeatable – Intentional modifications to behaviors that produce predictable outcomes are repeatable
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