We write a lot about Twitter tips and Facebook tips and less so about other places like LinkedIn. Part of it is that we’re still keen to figure out our best strategy here. And we thought, in the midst of our figuring things out, it’d be great to share with you what we’ve found so far!

I’m grateful to refer to a lot of amazing info that’s been shared online and on the Buffer blog in months past, some cool tips about LinkedIn marketing best practices and more. Here’s a rundown of the best LinkedIn marketing strategies we’ve found.

LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn Marketing Guide

LinkedIn Marketing: Best Practices

  • Schedule 1 post per weekday
  • Create posts that are ~25 words
  • Post morning to midday, Monday through Friday
  • Write updates that contain industry insights
  • Share listicles or “Top” content

LinkedIn marketing tips

The type of content that does best on LinkedIn

Like any social network, it’s great to customize your message for your specific audience. On LinkedIn in particular, there is some really great advice on what a successful post might look like.

Here’s what I’ve been able to dig up:

1. The most in-demand content is industry insights

According to numbers from LinkedIn, 6 out of every 10 LinkedIn users are interested in industry insights—the most-demanded type of content among LinkedIn members. Insights, in general, are quite popular among users. Here’s the complete breakdown of the top three types of LinkedIn content:

  • 60% of members are interested in industry insights
  • 53% are interested in company news
  • 43% are interested in new products and services

2. Experiment with “Top” content and list posts

LinkedIn Update Stats

A LinkedIn study of company updates found that those updates that included the word “top” (e.g., “Top Social Media Strategies”) or the numbers 3, 5, 10, 25, 30, 50, or 100 got almost 40 percent more amplification than those without.

3. Link posts get higher engagement

In the same report as above, LinkedIn shared that updates containing links get up to 45 percent higher follower engagement than updates without links.

4. Want more comments? Try questions or images

On average, status updates that contain questions receive almost 50 percent more comments and images lead to 98% higher comment rate.

5. Share videos for double the amplification

More research from LinkedIn pointed to YouTube videos as a great source of engagement, in some cases twice as many amplification actions (likes, shares, and comments) and a 75% higher share rate.

The best posting frequency, length, and time

Once we have a good sense for the content of a post, what we like to experiment with next is the frequency, length, and time: how often should we post, how long should our updates be, and when should we schedule them. 

Here’s a bit about what we’ve found and where we might start our tests:

1. Post once per day, at least 20 times per month

LinkedIn has found that 20 posts per month can help you reach 60 percent of your unique audience.

For those with the time, resources, and content to experiment with more than 20 per month, there’s this interesting nugget: LinkedIn’s best-in-class marketers post 3-4 updates per day, which would make for 80 posts per month.

Overall LinkedIn’s best advice on posting frequency is this:

Post as many status updates as your content supports.

2. Write updates of ~ 25 words

Best practices for length depend on your type of industry: Do you target businesses or consumers with your content?

One of the few studies on LinkedIn length—a 2012 report from Compendium—pulled statistics for each type of business: B2B and B2C. Here’s what they found.

linkedin-optimal-length

According to Compendium, these lengths seemed to get the most clickthroughs compared to other updates.

3. Post during the work day. Avoid evenings, late afternoons, and weekends.

One popular way to sort out scheduling is to post when the largest number of people are online and logged on.

LinkedIn has found their busiest times to be morning and midday, Monday through Friday.

Business hours, in general, have the largest maximum reach, so it could be great to experiment with different times during the work day. Test and see what performs best for you.

How to set up LinkedIn with Buffer

If you’re brand new to Buffer, you can sign up for free with your LinkedIn account and schedule your first post in seconds. From the main Buffer homepage, click “Sign in with LinkedIn” to begin.

Buffer home page

 

Alternately, if you’re already logged in at Buffer, you can click the “Connect More” link in the left sidebar of your Buffer dashboard to add a new LinkedIn page or profile.

Buffer connect a social network screen

After you click to connect a new page/profile, you’ll be guided through the authentication flow from LinkedIn, where you can simply choose “allow” and then select the page or profile that you’d like to connect:

LinkedIn login credentials

And that’s it, you’re all set!

You can fill your LinkedIn queue with content by using the Buffer browser extension, iOS app or Android app. And you can arrange and customize your schedule to suit what works best for you, adjusting things in the Schedule tab as often as you’d like.

Once added to your queue, it’ll sit there ready to go out at the optimal timing. You can of course choose any format for posting, including images, links, videos or simple status updates.

Connect a Linkedin Company PageStart posting and get full analytics for each update posted

Of course, anything that you post to LinkedIn Buffer will track for you and show you how much engagement you’ve received on each post. That includes, comments, likes, reach, reshares and clicks.

All you have to do is hit the “analytics” tab in your Buffer dashboard and you’re good to go.

LinkedIn Analytics in Buffer

You should be all set now and ready to keep your LinkedIn Company page up to date. I hope this makes it easier to keep all your partners, employees and fans in the loop on what you’re up to with your company.

Are you experimenting with LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Pulse?

We’ve been really interested to think deeper about LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Pulse to see how we might best use these to connect with folks on LinkedIn.

Have you had a chance to experiment much? How has it gone for you?

LinkedIn Groups seems like a cool way to connect directly with those who’ve opted in to hear from you, just like a Facebook group or, in another way, like an email newsletter. Email, in fact, plays a big role in LinkedIn Groups as group members automatically receive group updates via email. Here’s a sample email, which is quite like a sort of email newsletter.

LinkedIn email

LinkedIn Pulse is intriguing also. It’s LinkedIn’s publishing platform, meaning that it allows users to publish articles on LinkedIn, complete with comments and social sharing, like a blog or a Medium built right into LinkedIn. We’re keen to see what type of response we might get here and how we can best balance LinkedIn Pulse between Buffer the company and individual folks on our team like Joel, Leo, Courtney, and me.

Should you be on LinkedIn?

One of our favorite bits of social media advice is that you don’t need to join every network. Pick and choose the networks that are best for you, that are where your audience hangs out.

There’re a few different methods to determine which networks are best for you. One way is to look at the stats. Here are a few of the most interesting ones I’ve found for LinkedIn, if it might be helpful as you decide.

1. LinkedIn sends nearly four times more people to your homepage than Twitter and Facebook

Econsultancy reported this gap based on a two-year research study involving 2 million monthly visits to 60 corporate websites. LinkedIn’s referrals, which accounted for nearly two-thirds of all social referrals to corporate homepages, nearly quadrupled the second-place Facebook.

  • LinkedIn: 64% of social referrals to corporate homepage
  • Facebook: 17%
  • Twitter: 14%

2. A single status update reaches 20 percent of your followers

You typically reach 20 percent of your followers with a single post.

On other social networks, the percentage is often much lower. (On Facebook, we reach 2 percent of followers of our Buffer account, and on Twitter, we reach 4 percent.)

3. Only 57% of companies have a LinkedIn page

Forbes reported that company page usage jumped from 24% to 57% in 2014—which means a growing but still relatively small number of companies are reaping benefits here.

4. Company Page updates see an average engagement rate of .054%

social media interaction rates

Forrester analyzed the top 50 global brands’ activities across social media platforms to determine that LinkedIn has an engagement rate of 0.054%. (Engagement rate is users’ interactions with a brands’ posts as a percentage of a brands’ followers)

5. LinkedIn generates social media’s highest lead conversion rate

In a study of more than 5,000 businesses, HubSpot found that traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%—277% higher than Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%).

Social conversion LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s conversion rate also outranked social media as a channel overall—meaning that of all the traffic to these business’ websites via social media, .98% of that traffic converted into leads, compared to LinkedIn’s 2.74%.

6. Users are spending more time on LinkedIn

One stat I uncovered researching this article is that users spend an average of17 minutes on LinkedIn per month.

Then I discovered that more than 50% percent of LinkedIn users spent more than two hours a week on the site in 2014–a figure that’s up about 10% from the previous year.

Over to you

What have you found works best for you on LinkedIn?

Are there any hurdles you’ve found to getting fully involved with your LinkedIn marketing?

It’d be great to hear your experience. We’re experimenting lots with things here at Buffer, too, and we’d love to know what you’ve been working through. Happy to chat through things in the comments!

Image sources: Pablo, Unsplash, IconFinder

 

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Written by Kevan Lee

Director of marketing at Buffer, the social media publishing tool for brands, agencies, and marketers. We’ve got a new podcast! 🍟

  • Great gathering of stats and how to for LinkedIn. It’s certainly a platform many aren’t overly familiar with when it comes to social promotion but one that offers huge opportunities. Lots of great stuff here to help inform a sweet social strategy.

    With over 1 million people now publishing monthly on LinkedIn Publisher, it’s certainly seeing good use. Lots of opportunity there. The new Pulse app (requires a new download of it rather than just an update) does a far better job at allowing you to see the type of content you’d like from your feed. Hopefully those settings will then sync with your desktop feed at some point.

    Our LinkedIn reps gave a presentation on the types of content that sees the greatest success a few months ago when we were looking to up our game. It helped us again be named one of the top 10 tech companies on the platform. Here’s one of the slides showing what non-followers want to see most. They provided some great ideas for content types that perform the best, such as what your industry will look like in 1-5-10 years, things you wish you would have known before getting into your field, and more. Generally it isn’t the “Buy my product!” type of stuff most companies are pushing, which makes it hard for many to see great performance from the stuff they post. If that’s the type of stuff you’re publishing and the results aren’t great, it may be time to your LinkedIn (and all other social channel) strategy for better returns. Remember, if you wouldn’t read it, why would your followers.

    Awesome job as always putting this together Kevan.

  • Albert Freeman

    We have been using Buffer with our LinkedIn company page for a few months. We’ve had one daily scheduled time, mid afternoon on weekdays. We’ve had a varying degree of success. Based on your findings, I’m going to try switching the time to mid morning instead.

    Having just one scheduled time per day means it would be extremely useful if Buffer offered a ‘randomise’ function. For instance, if our daily LinkedIn time is 10am, I would like it if Buffer could offer to publish those posts anything up to 15 minutes earlier/later, or anything up to 30 minutes earlier/later.

  • Hi Kevan, great post. You rounded up some interesting stats. I did some research last month on which types of status updates are getting greater visibility in the LinkedIn News Feed (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-increase-your-linkedin-news-feed-visibility-stephanie-sammons ). I don’t know if the 20 updates per month is still getting 60% visibility…but what I do know is that being consistently active with at least one status update daily is working well.

    • Beatriz Arantes Magalhães

      I do Social Media Management for a B2B firm of recruitment software, we share about 3 posts a day. It has increased a lot our reach and interaction. We have clients in Spain and in LATAM, which is tricky to reach people in the morning, but as linkedin timelines are not in real time, afternoons, posting more than once a day help us reach all our audiences.

  • Cathy Mayhue

    Very interesting read Kevan! Its not very often I come across a post on expanding wings on LinkedIn. Your suggestion of timing the posts appeared interesting and logical. So far I had been posting on Facebook, twitter and tumblr and going by the expert’s advice, I always scheduled the posts on 9 AM because that is the time when most of the people start their computers and are most receptive to any interesting idea.

    I did not understood why you advocate to not to post on weekends? because that is the time most of the people are free and hang-around in social media.

    Cathy,OzmentMedia.com

    • Hi Cathy,

      My guess would be because LinkedIn is more of a business-oriented social network, most people just probably wouldn’t be active on it over the weekend. This is just speculation though; Kevan might have some research to back me up. 🙂

  • no one

    Love thsi men

  • I’ve found an interesting insight regarding LinkedIn Pulse that may be worth exploring. When I write short content 300-500 words that are very opinionated, my engagement is awesome. When I syndicate authoritative content that I’ve written for Entrepreneur or another marketing site, the engagement is poor.

    Short form content or perhaps a series of short content may be the sweet spot for LinkedIn Pulse. This is actually a relief for those trying to publish content everyday, since short articles can generally be written well in less time. I’ll continue to explore.

    Great insights Kevan!

    • That’s some pretty awesome insight; I’ve been hearing a lot about LinkedIn Pulse lately and wasn’t aware that short-form content performed so well. Have you also experimented with long-form content?

      • I’ve discovered that people tend to go elsewhere for long-form content. Most of my long posts that do well on Entrepreneur or Percolate, perform poorly on LinkedIn. But If I write a brief 300-500 word though on Pulse, it gets shared more often.

  • Jamesrsabo

    1000 Dollars Only Few Hours With bbuuff .. See More

  • Dave P

    Hi Kevan,
    Great Read!
    I am taking a marketing class and am trying to help an HVAC company reach as many potential clients as possible. They do not have much $ or experience in marketing and I would like to, with a bit of guidance, help them achieve some increased visibility. While LinkedIn is a great source, I am wondering if you have any alternative ideas for reaching a target audience of residential customers. Thanks!
    Dave

    • Beatriz Arantes Magalhães

      Hi Dave, I’m pretty sure many residential costumers are on Linkedin. Maybe you could try some social ads on Facebook and see what happens 🙂

  • antoinettewreeves

    xcnxc

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  • Cua Tui
  • Nicole Delorme

    I’ve tried writing blog posts on LinkedIn, and with each post I’ve gained more followers, mentions and ultimately traffic to our company website, which I’ve mentioned in each of my posts. You can view my most recent one here: http://linkd.in/1h08aW0

    I agree with your statement on when’s best to post. I check my LinkedIn every morning!

  • esthermcampbell

    Jennifer
    Fast day…. gooogle online

    ====================

  • Brenna

    Hi Kevan! I really love the ability to schedule my posts for LinkedIn, and you’ve shared some great tips here. However, I have noticed one flaw with using LinkedIn and Buffer. When I attempt to attach images to my posts on LinkedIn via buffer, they appear very odd. It’s a thumbnail of the image and to the right of the thumbnail, the attachment name is listed. This is not the look we are going for when attaching images. Seems like doing it straight via LinkedIn is better. Here’s a screenshot of what I am describing. Any advice? Thanks!

  • Brian Peel

    Hi, I am trying to post an article in Linkedin pulse which has a Gif within it. I am trying to use Buffer to scehdule the post so that the Gif will play in Linkedin. The problem I am having is specifying the area of Linkedin where the content will be posted. I want an article created within Pulse, not just a status update with my article/gif/image etc.

    Is there a solution?

    Thank you.

  • AgnesLP

    One difficulty I have with posting to LinkedIn is that it does not seem to be able to pick up my “feature image” from wordpress. When I post from Buffer, it does, but only to a company pages. I wish I could post to groups with buffer too, it would ease things..

  • i joined linkedin i built my brand upto 10k they then decided in jan 2017 they dont like clubclick as a google cloud developer i went to the linkedin experts to check i was right they agreed my case so i submitted a brand request to linkedin that was a month ago still no reply
    and no response from every part of linkedin even though im right and agreed by there own experts