Here's a little list of light bulbs that went off in my head as I've gained my sea legs with the LinkedIn Publisher platform in the early days, endeavoring to leverage it in building a platform of my own, as Michael Hyatt would encourage. These truths still apply today:
- Reciprocity rules. I like, share and comment on others posts at a rate of 10 to 1. Why? Because I am curious and it pays to pay it forward. I do my best to take the time to personally like and comment anytime someone ever interacts with me in any way. I realize this is not scalable but it pays dividends accelerating the speed and quality of the platform I am building here as an author and speaker. It's manageable because I can batch process this returning to it in scheduled intervals.
- The network effects on LinkedIn are sensational and exponential compared with any other platform I've personally used, especially when one nails a great story line.
- It's possible to grow an entire social media footprint just by focusing on writing great content on LinkedIn. Making this the core of my strategy was risky but has paid off rapidly. Publisher has been the hub and the other networks like Google+ and Twitter are spokes playing key roles in the supporting cast. Twitter is the best amplification strategy, hundreds of retweets yield massive likes, comments and shares. I always thank people when they add commentary.
- The perfect length of a post is 1,600 words or approximately 7 minute read, data has been analyzed on this (some studies say 1,900). It's shocking how many professionals love long form content. A frequent response I get on the longest ones that I share is ironically, "Great concise read." Moral of the story: readers are leaders so there are some incredible readers out there and writers who will reply with incredibly profound comments. They even take the time to research the story and add incredible intrinsic value.
- Quality still trumps quantity: When I invest significant time on a weekend to craft just one post, I do notice that effort pays off dramatically. Super high quality content is given wings on LinkedIn. Variety is the spice of life so switch it up a great deal and experiment. As soon as you're sure you've cracked the content code, a post will fall flat. Formulaic posts can create consistency but there is little rhyme or reason beyond this maxim, "If it truly inspires you, your true audience will find you and be inspired." So write from the heart with passion about what you know!
- Don't be shy to contact powerful people you admire and engage in relevant and meaningful conversations. The time to start doing that is now, don't wait another minute. When you tweet at bestselling authors or thought leaders, they often will Tweet right back, impressively within minutes, even seconds. Yes, they're that good and always on. They practice what they preach: #socialselling
- Leadership seems to be at the core of a great deal of the problems in business right now, maybe even the world. My readers wish that more people in any position of power operated with greater integrity. It's been gratifying to evolve the content from a sales discussion to a greater leadership discussion and realize in many ways, it's one and the same.
- Remarkably, readers on LinkedIn seem to enjoy overwhelmingly positive, inspiring posts as opposed to conflict and controversy which is typically not what the internet is known for, particularly in social media. It's been my experience that dry B2B brochure-like content typically falls flat. Astonishingly, if you truly put yourself out there, almost no one hates on you (OK, maybe a couple). This too is remarkable when thousands of new people cruise past your profile to learn more about who is writing and many write in.
- BONUS, I had to add one more as a runner-up because I haven't seen many people mentioning this word lately but it's still a key arrow in your quiver. Mash-ups are here to stay. Comparing sales to Cricket or piloting an aircraft to being a brand ambassador, taking a bunch of wildly disparate elements and finding things in common while mashing them up, tends to create enormous hybrid synergy and remarkable, Power-of-Wow, Purple Cow content. Mash-ups are also a great way to source content from evergreen and recent topics. There are millions of human systems that one could draw inspiration from by comparing them to situations in business. There are unlimited lessons from history, art, music, philosophy, science, sports and especially walking in nature that apply to sales, marketing and leadership excellence. Perhaps that's why Steve Jobs loved to take meetings while he strolled...Cross train, get away from the computer (yes, your smartphone is a computer!), experience life and bring your own unique perspective back to the fray. Being uniquely you is the strongest card that you can play. Social media isn't going away anytime soon so you can make your mark and perhaps a little bit of magic by infusing insights from your life experience.
If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website: www.TonyHughes.com.au.
Main Image Photo by: Eva Peris