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Excellent thought leadership content has the potential to reach a big audience on LinkedIn if you master the art of promoting posts. This post will address how to compose a good LinkedIn post for the two key audiences, the humans you want to reach and the algorithms between your assets and your audience.
Balance two audiences – humans and algorithms
A fundamental reality on LinkedIn is to navigate the landscape of human audiences and the algorithms in play to reach them. I suggest you consider both as distinct targets and aim to serve both well.
Humans are the people you want to reach with your stories and messages. With a good LinkedIn post, you can aspire to reach the following:
- All in your own LinkedIn network
- All second connections to people in your network.
You reach the latter indirectly when your first contacts like or comment on a post you have written, making it visible to their contacts.
You have better chances when understanding algorithms in play on LinkedIn
- Initially, your post will only be visible to a portion of your connections.
- After generating traction with likes and comments, your whole network can see your post.
- Reaching networks of your contacts accelerate reach even further.
Algorithms define how your posts become visible to these three human audiences. Most posts get stuck at the first audience.
First three rows – create a hook for your audience
The first row of your post is your opportunity to develop initial engagement. Your mission at this stage of the interaction is to make your audience click to get access to the whole post.
Social media professionals master the art of crafting excitement triggers. Typical recipes here are to build around a hot topic, offer a unique perspective, or present new facts. They were ideally striking in one or at most two of the three options.
Objective: get your audience to click to expand to see your whole post.
A meaty section – making your audience read on
Your take on the piece of content you want to promote is essential. Which points resonate with you and why? Articulate statements with insights you found and describe why others should care.
Objective: Here, you want to maximize dwell time for your post, one of the measures for engagement.
A call to action
An excellent post end with a question or a call for action. Ideally, your reflections resonate with your audience, and some are ready to interact with you. All you need to do is to trigger their efforts with a question they can address or a call to action where they share an experience on the topic you raised.
Objective: The audience engages with your post through likes or comments.
Applicable hashtags for your post
You can extend the reach of a post beyond first or second-degree contact with relevant hashtags. Hashtags already established in the market and/or new ones you want to build up. A bit of research with social listening tools determines a few good hashtags to use.
Objective: To reach audiences subscribing to specific topics you are trying to influence
Accelerators increasing the impact of your post
The icing on the cake comes from the people you mention in your post. Kudos to the authors of an excellent paper. A shout-out to internal and external influencers with digital networks you want to reach. Pick the names carefully, as algorithms favor posts where the linked experts engage early. Spend time building relationships with external accelerators before you need them, so that mentions feeling authentic and genuine. No one wants to see their name linked if they don’t know you or subscribe to the idea that you are promoting.