Episode 95: Five Ways to Drive Traffic to Your LinkedIn Content
Our hosts Brynne Tillman and Bob Woods talk about driving traffic to your LinkedIn content in five ways. Learn about hashtags and the number that works best with LinkedIn algorithms. Find out the proper way and time to mention someone or a company on a post.
You’ll also discover how you can get a particular content to your prospects’ LinkedIn messaging inboxes as well as share additional content with those who bring up specific topics within conversations.
Bob Woods 00:00
Greetings and welcome to Making Sales Social Live! My name is Bob Woods. I’m here today as always with Brynne Tillman. Brynne, what’s going on? And how warm is it there today? It’s warm here.
Brynne Tillman 00:11
Hey, Bob, actually, yesterday was 95, and today’s 63. So (Bob: Wow.) it’s just all over the place.
Bob Woods 00:18
Getting your audience and prospects to read your content is a lot like fishing. So hear me out on this.
Welcome to Making Sales Social Live! As we share LinkedIn and social selling training strategies and tips that will have an immediate impact on your business. Join Brynne Tillman, and me, Bob Woods, every week, Making Sales Social Live!
Bob Woods 00:45
If you share a piece of content on LinkedIn and then do absolutely nothing else, you’re depending on just the LinkedIn algorithm to push it out to your audience. Now, that’s like throwing an unbaited hook into the water and letting nature take its course. Guess what? Nature really ain’t all that interested in helping you catch fish, you have to do more than just bait a simple hook to have your content not just noticed, but consumed by the right people for it to really succeed.
So let’s talk about five different and effective ways to get your content in front of not only your prospects but even your current clients and other people obviously. So we’re going to begin with something that started on Twitter and then migrated over to LinkedIn and that’s using hashtags and not just using hashtags, using them properly.
Brynne Tillman 01:35
Wait, wait wait wait…Before we go into number one, I want to, I just want to share some of my thoughts before we jump in. (Bill: Yeah, let’s do that.) Here’s what I hear all the time from our clients, from our members, “I post content and no one shows up. Why am I bothering spending time putting out content when no one is showing up?” And here’s the thing, it is a myth. If you build it, they will come, we need to invite them, we need to get it in front of them. And it is absolutely vital that we don’t post and ghost. We don’t just put it out there and leave. So we’re going to share five things now go into that, we’re going to share five things that you can do to drive traffic to that content. So now let’s go back to your first one. Number one.
Bob Woods 02:25
We’re going to go back to the list here but I do think it’s important to point out that when it comes to, you know, just putting content out there. LinkedIn, and this is just from my personal experience, LinkedIn is probably the most difficult to just put things out there and have people notice it because of the algorithm that’s there. So that’s why it’s really important that you follow these five things that we’re going to be telling you about because LinkedIn’s algorithm — it’s not like TikTok’s algorithm that actively wants to push things out. It’s not like that LinkedIn is overly restrictive, it just works in a different way. And doing these five things is definitely going to help (crosstalk) you gain a lot more exposure. So let’s talk about using hashtags and using them properly.
Brynne Tillman 03:10
Alright, so number one, using hashtags in your post. There are so many people out there following hashtags, that means they’re interested in a particular topic. So if you can use hashtags in your posts, between three and five hashtags, you are going to be seen by people that are interested in those topics. Do a little research first. Take a look at hashtags, look them up, see how many followers the hashtags have.
Now, the other thing when you’re doing hashtags, don’t just look at how many followers, look at how many people are using the hashtag and how frequently. So for example, one of the biggest hashtags used is “banking industry.” It’s got over a million followers. So lots of people are following it, but when you look at the frequency of posts, there’s only one every three to five minutes. What does that mean? You have a better shot of being seen than if there was one every minute. So percentage-wise, right, if you have a great hashtag that you’ve got a lot of followers and not as many posts using it, your statistics go up of who sees that hashtag.
So don’t just throw in hashtags and don’t just use the hashtags that LinkedIn recommends. Spend some time and do your research and really look at the hashtags that your target audience is following.
Bob Woods 04:37
And that’s very important because we had a case come up recently with one of our clients, I think, where they were using a hashtag that the people in their same industry we’re using and not necessarily the people who this person wanted to reach, which is clients essentially. So person was getting all kinds of comments and likes and things like that but they’re from the same people in his industry. So make sure that the hashtags you use are also focused on your audience and the people who are attracted to you.
Brynne Tillman 05:09
Yeah. And I’ll just fill in the gap there right now, it was a financial advisor. (Bob: That’s, that’s right.) Right, who was sharing MarketWatch and was getting a ton of engagement from other financial advisors, not in his target market. So ultimately, he wanted to reach business owners and partners, so he had to do some research to figure out what is the content they care about. I may be jumping ahead with because we’re talking about hashtags but a big piece of this — and maybe I’m jumping ahead — is that we’ve got to share the content that our buyers want to consume, not necessarily what we want to share.
Bob Woods 05:45
Right! Yep, and then so just a couple of real quick mechanics behind it, behind hashtags, minimum of three, maximum of five, that’s what works best with the LinkedIn algorithm. If you use fewer than three, the algorithm is going to drop down the post, same thing with more than five.
Brynne Tillman 06:04
One last thing on hashtags. LinkedIn is only indexing the first three from a link perspective. So four or five, number four or five hashtags should be your own personal hashtag that you use on every post, because we have #SSLinsights. We don’t have a million followers following #SSLinsights but if you click through it, you’ll see all the content that Bob shares, that Brynne shares, that Social Sales Link as a company page shares, all in one stream. So if someone is enjoying your content, and they click through your hashtag — make sure no one else is using it — and they click through your hashtag, they’ll see all of your content and you’ll get a lot more exposure from that.
Bob Woods 06:49
And that’s also important, like Brynne said, because those hashtags actually become part of the URL for that specific piece of content and as LinkedIn starts pushing, or I should say, as Google starts listing out, start (Brynne: Indexing.) more and more of the actual posts, your post can actually show up in a LinkedIn search for someone who is searching for exactly what you’re writing about.
Brynne Tillman 07:12
That’s a great point. Yeah, because Google is starting to index posts.
Bob Woods 07:17
It’s just starting, though. I mean, I think that they’re gradually rolling it out because as we all know, you know (crosstalk)
(Brynne: I’m seeing it in my Google search)
I am now starting to see it as well. So yeah, that’s perfect.
Brynne Tillman 07:29
What’s number two?
Bob Woods 07:30
Number two is mentioning people and companies. Again, appropriately.
Brynne Tillman 07:37
Oh! This is important. So number one, do not mention someone for the sake of getting them to engage. It’s a little spammy but here’s when to mention people. If you have curated a great piece of content, mention the author, mention the publication, right, mention the company the author is with. That’s the appropriate way, because you’re giving them credit for the content that you curated. And this is for podcasts, for blog posts, for videos, any content that you’re curating, mention those companies, mention the author, all appropriately.
There are times where I will mention Bob and I’ll mention @Social Sales Link, it’s our company, right? It’s, I’m reaching out. So if this is your company and you mentioned people internally that you want to engage, mention your company name, if you want to engage, make sure it’s just appropriate to do that. There are other ways to get content to people, which I think we’re going to share in a little bit.
Bob Woods 08:47
Yeah, so we’re going to talk about that in a moment. Yeah.
Brynne Tillman 08:51
Number four will come out… so I’m not going to say it but so there are…. I’ll hold off till we get to number four. There are better ways to get someone to your content than just mentioning a bunch of people.
Bob Woods 09:05
Yeah. 100% on that. And then just from a mechanic’s standpoint, when we’re talking about mentioning, that’s when in a post you type in the @ symbol, and then you start typing in either someone’s name, and then the drop-down box comes down below and you could select it and it’s the same with companies that have LinkedIn pages on there as well.
So when we talk about mentions, it’s, you know, @ mentions, or @s, it’s been called several different things but that’s the mechanics behind what we’re talking about there.
(Brynne: Number three.) Number three, ask a question of your audience, which is huge because it encourages engagement.
Brynne Tillman 09:47
Yeah. And so when you ask a question, which could show up as a question with the link to content, it could show up as a question in a poll format. It could just be a text question but this will encourage engagement. And then number four, we’ll talk about how do we push to that but asking people their point of view is acknowledging that they matter.
A lot of times, we just want to talk about our stuff and we want them to see us as thought leaders and us as subject matter experts but often the best way to get engagement and to drive traffic to your content is just to simply ask them their thoughts around the topic.
Bob Woods 10:30
Everyone has an opinion, a lot of people like to share it. You know, this, as Brynne said, this acknowledges that you recognize that other people have opinions about it and just by being open to other people’s opinion. And in my opinion, you’re actually being seen as a thought leader because you get to comment them on their opinions, and maybe even bring other things out into the forefront that the person who left the original comment might not have even thought of, and that’s going to drive engagement and drive the conversation even further as well. And there’s nothing hotter in my opinion, than having one thread within a broader conversation or a (Brynne: Sub-conversation.) comment conversation has several things going on there. Yeah, that’s just great when that happens.
Brynne Tillman 11:22
So I guess what I’m hearing you say, just to clarify, is you ask a question, and then say, “We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments,” right. So that’s going to encour — I love that I don’t do that enough. So that encourages comments. And then the second piece, which I love, is when they have these mini conversations that you’re talking about, these inside of comments. So someone says something and then instead of speaking directly to you as an author, they’re now having a conversation about this topic with each other. That is proof that that was a great question that really created compelling moments.
Now recognize you need to engage with each of those. Make sure your liking and you’re commenting on those likes and those comments. Because, you know, you need to continue to be engaged in those conversations and that’s real, and then they come back for more.
Bob Woods 12:18
And they come back for more and if you don’t do that, it just goes back to my analogy at the very beginning, where you’re just plopping a hook in there and letting mother nature take its course. Guess what, it ain’t gonna happen. You have to be very active in your comments. Otherwise, you know, one of our favorite braces around here is post and ghost and you definitely don’t want to do that.
Brynne Tillman 12:38
I think you said that a long time ago, and that has just become, just a way… (crosstalk)
Bob Woods 12:42
Yeah, it’s just another t-shirt. We need to do t-shirts. I’m telling you.
Brynne Tillman 12:46
I know, we have so many…
Bob Woods 12:49
Merch baby, “Merch link in bio” as they say on TikTok, I mean. Number four, do we want to go to number four? Do you have something else?
(Brynne: Yeah! Finally, because I’ve been dying to talk about this!)
This one is probably the biggest one and also, it kind of funnels everything that we’ve said so far into probably the biggest thing and that’s getting your content into their LinkedIn messaging inboxes.
Brynne Tillman 13:14
Yes. So when you post anything on LinkedIn, at the bottom, there is a Share button that allows you to share that content directly into the inbox of someone whether it’s a poll or a piece of content. So if I reach out and let’s say I share something on recruiting, now, I want Steven Farber to engage on that because he’s someone that, you know, plays in that space when it comes to identifying the right personality type for a job.
So I will reach out and send a message to Steven and say, “Hey, Steven, just posted on this topic. I’d love your thoughts in comments,” right. And so then, and I picked him because he has a little he started with, gave us a nice comment earlier today as we are live. So if you’re listening to this in replay, we’re just showing some comments of people that are here today.
So the inbox is a great way to target the audience that you want to engage. So take inventory of your first degree connections, whether you export your connections, or search your first degree to connections, and every time you post, identify 10, 20, 30 people that you would love to engage with and use the content to start those conversations.
Bob Woods 14:37
Exactly. You can only do that with first-degree connections, so keep that in mind but still, it’s huge to get that ball rolling. So once you get the ball rolling, and especially when you’re participating and helping push the ball rolling with your own comments, it could snowball into a fiesta as we used to say in college, which makes no sense yet everyone knows what I’m talking about when I say that.
Brynne Tillman 15:00
So Carrie asks, “Can you do this?” Everything we’re talking about today is in the free version. (Bob: Yes. Yep, everything is in the free version.) She asks, “Can you do this in the free version?” Okay, awesome. So and Steven asked a question around hashtags, “How do you find hashtags?” and we’ll go to number five in a second, the first thing I do is, I go to my ideal clients and prospects and I look at the content that they’re engaging on and look at the hashtags there, then I click through and I do a little analysis on whether those are good hashtags to use.
There are a lot of other ways to do it but that’s like, in my opinion, the simplest way to go ahead and look at hashtags the other way, which, and I don’t know 100% that this is going to work but look at the hashtags companies are following. You can, companies can follow three hashtags at a time and that’s public. So you can go in and look at what your prospects’ companies are following in those may be good hashtags to follow. [unintelligible] inbox in messages, 10 years ago, it was called the inbox. And I can’t like, it’s just, [unintelligible] it’s definitely the message box.
Bob Woods 16:09
Right, yeah. So I usually say the LinkedIn messages or messaging inbox or something like that because we all have inboxes through email, and there’s some confusion there. So thank you for letting us clarify that Carrie, definitely.
Brynne Tillman 16:24
Can I also share one more thing? (Bob: Yeah.) If someone is in creator mode, they will have picked five hashtags that they’re known for, or that they want to be known for. So that’s a good way, because they’ll look at that hashtag as relevant to them. So that’s another way. If they’re in creator mode and you go to their profile, if there are hashtags, you’ll know they’re in creator mode and that’s another way to find hashtags. I’m just kind of winging it. On the fly.
Bob Woods 16:52
Yep. So now we’re to our final point and this is something that we haven’t really talked about a lot but it’s a great idea. We’re obviously going to start talking about it more, I think from this point out, but it’s offering additional content to people who bring up specific contents within the commenting threads, essentially. So…
Brynne Tillman 17:17
Well, I think it could go in a lot of directions. So I think, ultimately, it’s when people are talking about topics. So let’s say you’ve identified the hashtags that you want to use and you want people… those are the right people that are showing up. It doesn’t even have to be your content. In fact, in this particular case, I almost recommend, find influencer content or other people that are sharing topics that you have content that aligns well. So here’s Brene Brown and she’s talking about all these great things and you see someone says something about authenticity. And so I say, “Ooh, we have a blog post on how to show up on LinkedIn with being authentic.”
So I’ll reach out to you, “I see you follow Brene Brown, I’ve got content around this, if you’re interested, let me know.” Maybe I was on a podcast right or, so we could drive traffic to or we could ask for their opinion on a post. So every one of our posts, we talked about the send button. If you click on the three dots, there’s a copy link, so you can actually drive someone to that question or that poll. “Really loved your insights. Would love your one-click vote on our poll. would love…” So find them somewhere else and bring them back to that content.
Bob Woods 18:34
Exactly. That’s great. So we did have some other ones.
Brynne Tillman 18:38
Yeah, “So how do we see hashtags people are following?” So you can’t specifically see hashtags that people are following. To the best of my knowledge, what you can see is if they are in creator mode, you will see five hashtags at the top of their profile, then I would search those hashtags, and make sure there are people that are actually following those, right, like, those are good hashtags to use, number one.
You can see what hashtags companies are following. So if you click through to that person’s company, their LinkedIn page, you can see on the right-hand side, the three hashtags, they’re following.
“What’s a good amount of followers for hashtags?”
So that’s a great question. Ultimately, I want to see probably hundreds, if not 1000s, in order for enough people to see your stuff, but it’s more about the ratio than the number. So the ratio is how many people are following to how many pieces of content and how frequent that content is being shared because if something is being shared, every minute or two, your stuff will get buried. If you find someone there’s 500 people following a hashtag, but there’s only the content that’s being shared once every three days, you have a high chance of being seen by those people. So it’s a little bit of a ratio there.
Bob Woods 19:57
Yeah, there’s one, no magic number except If it’s like a huge, you know, if it has like hundreds of 1000s, or millions or whatever of followers, and there’s something being published within that hashtag, like every minute or two, like Brynne said earlier, you may not want to use that specific one, because it’s just gonna be because your post posted just going to get lost in the noise at that point.
Brynne Tillman 20:18
I love that and Heather asked, “How do you create your own hashtag?” So you pick a phrase, not too long, and you search and if no one’s using it, grab it, like you could do #Skillman, right? Or you could do #HeatherSkillman, if you want, it’s a little long, but if no one’s using it, then just start using it. That’s great.
Bob Woods 20:39
Yep, I knew this one was going to be hot and I’m glad that everyone got so much out of this. And thanks again for joining us here in Making Sales Social live! If you’re with us live on LinkedIn right now, which a lot of you are judging by the questions that we’ve got, we do this every week. So keep an eye out for those live sessions.
Now if you’re listening to the rebroadcast or restream, or whatever they call it on our podcast and you haven’t subscribed already, go ahead and smash that follow or subscribe button to do that. We have two shows each week, this one and our Making Sales Social Live interviews where we talk with all sorts of leaders in business and sales.
If you want more information, go to socialsaleslink.com/podcasts. Also, be sure to drop a like and a rating. We’d appreciate that and unless we… the comments are still coming in.
Brynne Tillman 21:33
I know, they are, wait let’s just close out with… (unintelligible) “…hashtags in comments?” So you can use hashtags and comments. Currently, I’m not sure that they’re being indexed by LinkedIn, I believe they are not being indexed. However, if you use your own hashtag, and someone clicks through that because they like your stuff, that could be valuable, I believe. (Bob: Yup.) Great tips. Thank you everyone. I had so much fun today, we do need to end this but…
Bob Woods 22:08
This was a blast. These are always a blast and today’s was especially so, so that’s why when you’re out and about, make sure that you’re making your sales… (Brynne: Social!) Exactly. Thanks, everyone. Have a great day. Bye bye.
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