As LinkedIn strategists, we’re often — very often — asked: When is the best time to post to LinkedIn?
While this is a legitimate question, there’s a bigger idea that many people miss: It’s the “what to share” angle that’s more important than the time at which they should share. Before we get to the “what,” let’s tackle the “when.”
When to Share on LinkedIn
Sprout Social recently published its latest survey on when to post on various social networking sites. In this survey, though, it looked at times in our new COVID world. For LinkedIn, it found:
- Best times: Wednesday from 8–10 a.m. and noon, Thursday at 9 a.m. and 1–2 p.m., and Friday at 9 a.m.
- Best day: Wednesday and Thursday
- Worst day: Sunday
Here’s a heat(ish) map of what it found to be the best times:
While not knowing this for sure, I bet that this only has to do with the number of potential overall eyeballs that are online to view any particular post. The old adage “your mileage may vary” works in here, as there are a lot of factors that I’m sure do not come into account — the size of your network, type of share (video, article, document post, etc.), and so on.
The thing is, if you’re sharing quality content consistently, you can pretty much toss out all of the above. By “quality,” I mean the types of posts that will resonate with and educate your audience and give your audience members a reason to comment on them.
You not only need to post that quality content, but you should also answer any comments that come into the Comments section. Doing this is very important because you’re not only acknowledging your audience member’s contribution, you’re being presented with an opportunity to share your thoughts even further.
All of that said, I personally forego posting on Sundays. But you may find you get a lot of engagement on Sundays, so your mileage may vary.
What to Share on LinkedIn
Now that you know the when and when isn’t as important as you might think, let’s talk about the “what.” For this, I interviewed our own LinkedIn Whisperer Brynne Tillman on the “what to share” angle, and she had some great points I wanted to, um, share with you.
- First, check your mindset. You must be prepared to share insights beyond what you are used to doing. This is not a time to pitch; it’s the time to teach. If your goal is to start more conversations with your content (and for most business development professionals it is), then the job of your content is to earn you the right to have a conversation.
- The content you share must lead to your solution, not with your solution. When you lead to your solution you are providing insights and value that isn’t about your product; instead, you build curiosity and get them to think differently about the solution your product provides and the pain it fixes. Know this distinction and don’t cross the line. Your buyers know if the content was a bait and switch, meaning that the goal of your content is to sell, not to provide value.
- Before you share content on LinkedIn, understand what your target audience cares about. Search your clients and prospects on LinkedIn, look at their activity feeds, and get a good idea about what content they are consuming.
- Content comes from two places: curation, and creation. To be successful, you need to know how to leverage both.
What to share:
- A great place to find content is to curate it from the same or similar content producers your audience is engaging with. This way, you already know they are interested in what they’re sharing. We often get stuck in sharing content we want to share, instead of really thinking about what they want to read. Thinking like this effectively puts up a barrier between you and your audience in terms of engagement.
- Use free sites like feedly.com or GetPocket.com to house your curated content. It makes it so much easier when technology helps you quickly find relevant content to share.
- Use #hashtags that your audience uses or that are present in the content they are engaging with. Look up content that is being shared using those #hashtags and filter by your network, dates published, and more.
- Consider using google.com/alerts to be notified on specific topics, people or companies in the news. Even better, if you have Sales Navigator, be sure to save your leads and they will feed you real-time content alerts right in your feed.
- Create content that attracts, teaches, and engages your audience. While blogs are still important, especially for search engines, it is no longer the best content for social media, including LinkedIn. Videos, images, PDFs, and other documents are great ways to share insights without having to write a 500+ word essay that few people will ever get through.
- Videos are best served on LinkedIn when uploaded directly to there as a native video. These videos max out at 10 minutes, but perform well with both LinkedIn’s algorithm and your audience. There are many ways to create a video, but for the novice, using Zoom or mobile selfie video works just fine. Whether it is a 30-second tip or a 9:59 interview, people love video. For the more experienced user, consider editing with captions and some branding.
- Images are powerful, especially when they tell a story (which can be guided by the text that accompanies the image). Consider sites like Canva.com that provide easy to use templates that make you look very professional!
- While I am not typically a fan of sharing big PDFs, I do love a good eBook in PDF form. A simple PowerPoint presentation with one idea per slide is a great way to share your subject matter expertise in bite-sized pieces.
- And lastly, capture your own magic. Yes, every single day that you talk with your clients, prospects, vendors, and co-workers, you say magic things that other people will care about. WRITE THESE NUGGETS DOWN! We at SSL have our clients record one great thing that they say every single day. You, my friend, are a content producer – you just haven’t corralled it yet. Start a Google doc or shared file that you can access from everywhere. Start recording your Zoom calls, and when you have a great idea, write down the time you said it so you can go back and grab it. Your creative juices are flowing – make sure you have a cup ready to catch it!
So now you know when to share content and what to share. You no longer have any excuses for not putting out great content that helps to engage your audience on a consistent basis. Now go forth and share those great conversation starters!
How do you convert those to conversations? Join us for our complimentary Webinar, Converting Connections and Content to Conversations, on Sept 10 at 1:00 PM EDT!