But why LinkedIn?
Some people say that timing is everything.
Perhaps they’re right. I can’t confirm or deny such a belief. But when it comes to marketing initiatives, timing is extremely important.
This is part of the reason that trends become, well, trends.
However, we have to make sure that we aren’t simply chasing the next trend. Shiny object syndrome will leave us jumping from one idea to the next without much progress to show for it.
The best time to “get in” is before everyone knows just how much potential exists. Often, there is a lot of risk at this point as well.
We’re in a unique position when it comes to LinkedIn. First off, everyone already knows it exists.
It’s not some crazy new social media app that just launched. In fact, it’s been 14 years since LinkedIn was first founded.
It’s also come to be known as the place people go to share company articles and complain about recruiters. Ehhhh kinda boring, isn’t it? Especially when we compare it to the likes of Facebook or Instagram.
But herein lies the opportunity. Everyone has been sleeping on LinkedIn, and suddenly there has been a tremendous uptick in both user growth and engagement on the platform.
What we may refer to as “normal” people, are doing tremendously well on LinkedIn. They’re sharing content, building a following, and even generating leads.
My biggest fear is that this opportunity will slip away before we have the chance to capitalize on it. This tends to happen on social platforms.
Consider this: In 2014, Instagram posts had an average engagement rate of 4.3%, whereas in 2017 the average engagement rate per post is just 2.3%.
This means that in 3 years the engagement rate dropped nearly 50%. Don’t you wish you hopped on the train before it got so crowded?
Because that’s typically the problem for any digital marketing channel. Banner ads no longer get clicks, it’s more difficult than ever to get into email inboxes, and it’s seemingly impossible to grow a large following on social without spending money.
People see opportunities, jump on them, and eventually, they’re abused to the point that it’s difficult to generate ROI.
LinkedIn may not be a powerhouse yet. Hack, you may barely associate it with social media, especially if you’re in B2C.
Regardless, the potential is evident and the best way to take advantage is by jumping in before everyone else does.
Here’s my case on LinkedIn in 2018.
LinkedIn has been growing steadily for a long time now, but member numbers have jumped significantly in just the past few years. LinkedIn now has a user base of over 500 million professionals worldwide.
I can’t guarantee that it will continue at such a high growth rate, but there most certainly is an upward trend here.
People are flooding to the platform, and if there’s more and more attention, that means the opportunity is growing as well.
However, growth is two-fold. The more people that are on the platform, the more attention there is. And us marketers love attention!
But with more people on the platform, there’s more competition, and there tends to be lower levels of engagement overall.
The growth is good, but don’t wait for LinkedIn to get bigger before you start building your following. The longer you wait, the lower your chances are of standing out.
The Content is More Human than Ever
People are starting to complain that much of the content on LinkedIn is better suited for a place like Facebook.
The reason for this is that many people are starting to open up about their personal and professional lives. They’re sharing stories, documenting successes and failures, and being more honest about their problems.
This is best exemplified in the #LetsGetHonest campaign that recently was trending on the platform.
You may be wondering what is the benefit here. It’s a combination of many things.
First off, it’s a lot easier to win trust from others when you’re honest. By opening up to others, you have the opportunity to win them over as connections and build your influence.
And it’s easier to open up and share your more personal side when the platform is accepting of it.
Furthermore, since LinkedIn has become more accepting of content variation, you can use creativity to increase engagement.
This means pictures, videos, stories, interviews, and just about anything else.
Whereas some individuals specialize in a particular area, such as String Nguyen with video and Oleg Vishnepolsky with career lessons, others leverage all sorts of features to stay original and keep their followers interested.
Your content strategy on LinkedIn doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, the authenticity of your content may mean small mistakes here and there such as grainy videos and quickly written posts during a conference.
You Don’t Have to be Famous
Love this one.
It’s a lot easier to build a following if you already have a following.
Luckily, LinkedIn presents an opportunity regardless of your social status, number of fans, or current position.
I’ve seen what I would consider to be “normal people” with thousands and thousands of engaged followers.
These aren’t celebrities. They’re simply honest people who create content that resonates with others. They may share information that everyone is looking for in a particular industry, or tell stories that entertain and inspire.
Really, it’s a matter of you understanding what you’re good at and how you can use it to serve others in the best way possible.
Depth and Accuracy of Information
B2B marketers love to advertise on LinkedIn.
Part of the reason is that these folks serve other businesses and LinkedIn is made up of business professionals. But the important part is the accuracy and depth of information available.
LinkedIn truly is a goldmine of data. Not only can you create super-specific targeting for your ads, but you can also gather a load of data about the performance of your ads, such as who they resonated with most.
What I love about LinkedIn is that a lot of the data is available to individuals too, rather than just marketers and advertisers.
For example, even those with a free account can make searches every month using a range of filters.
Are you In for LinkedIn?
There’s no magic sauce, growth hack, or cheat here.
All that exists is an opportunity to build leverage. Based on the traction of LinkedIn, it’s going to grow a lot more in 2018 and if you wait too long, you’ll be stuck in an overly crowded space.
Build your following before all the other content creators figure out the potential LinkedIn offers. It will make your life so much easier.
Best of luck!