Communication & Listening
Welcome to another LinkedInformed. This week I want to focus on how we communicate on LinkedIn.
There are lots of ways to communicate with others on LinkedIn and I will cover them all but the overriding principle of effective communication is that it needs to be a two-way process.
More of that later…
Richard Van Der Blom has published his latest research on the algorithm, this time highlighting the differences with mobile.
This makes interesting reading, although not especially surprising. Mobile feeds have always been different but it is interesting to observe the detail on what things are different.
I can’t relate to seeing more polls and less doc posts on mobile but the key thing to remember is that the algorithm adjusts to your specific behaviour so we will all see different things in our feed.
The most surprising conclusion is on page 6 of the document where it is claimed that accepting an invitation on mobile means that persons posts will only show up on mobile until you have engaged with their content. This intuitively feels wrong to me but I can’t say I have ever taken the time to observe it. I will be keeping a close eye on that from now.
The conclusions on dwell time are worrying. LinkedIn appear to give more credit to quick reactions and less of a penalty to speedy engagement. If this is true this is nuts! Dwell time is dwell time, it shouldn’t matter one jot which platform it happens on.
Microsoft results Q2 results show that LinkedIn has recovered well from a difficult 2020 showing a 23% increase in revenue, mainly down to improved advertising sales.
Update from the last edition of LinkedInformed
Podcast listener Rachel Kanarowski got in touch to say that she had spent some time culling connections that are no longer relevant. She did this on the mobile app and much to her dismay noticed that the disconnect wasn’t actually effective!
I have checked this myself as well and she is right. If you disconnect with someone on the mobile app, they still appear as a connection, even when you wait 24 hours!
A writing process (you can steal) for 33.038M impressions on LinkedIn.
I saw this excellent 3 step writing process from Justin Welsh this week which breaks down his very successful post writing style. In summary the 3 steps are;
– Step 1: Start with the information. What are you teaching or suggesting?
– Step 2: Create your trailer. Does each line get the reader to the next? Is the hook compelling?
– Step 3: Make it easy to engage. Leave them with a short summary
You can read his full blog post here
Stories gets a bit better!
LinkedIn stories are gradually improving and I was pleased to see this week that they are providing more options for text now.
There are now 4 options with the addition of Headline which is large italic caps plus Retro which is, well…a bit weird as you can see below
It’s not exactly the array of choices we expect but it’s double than we had before…Rome wasn’t built in a day folks!
New ‘mute’ option for those you don’t follow
This is a good move by LinkedIn as we often see posts that are in our feed because someone we follow has engaged with it but we really don’t wish our feed to be clogged up with rubbish that we haven’t asked to see.
Traditionally the only options available to us were to hide the post (ineffective as another person we follow could engage with it), unfollow the person that engaged or block the author.
Now you can mute (from the 3 dot menu) the author so that their posts will no longer appear in your feed. The term ‘mute’ suggests a temporary situation but there is no suggestion of that so mute is effectively blocking someones content permanently until you decide to follow or connect with them.
In addition, when you see content that is in your feed from someone you follow but it appears because someone you follow has engaged with the post, you now have the option to unfollow either of them.
Both are really good additions – well done LinkedIn!
Communicating & Listening on LinkedIn
We communicate on LinkedIn in a variety of different ways;
- Posts and replies to comments
- Comments on others posts
- Our profile, including video or presentations in the ‘featured’ section
- Invitations to connect
- Replies to invitations to connect
- Direct messages
I was taught many years ago that the art of good communication is about recognising that we have two ears and one mouth! In other words, we should listen twice as much as we talk…and whilst we don’t use our ears and mouths on LinkedIn, the principle still stands true.
The purpose of communication is to build relationships, break down barriers and educate/inform and listening is key to achieving this.
So how do we ‘listen’ on LinkedIn?
- Look for questions being asked by people in your network and target community. This is hard to do on LinkedIn (but keep an eye open) but you can use sites like Reddit, Quora and Answer the public to search keywords relevant to your target community. Use this in your posts – ask the questions yourself or provide tips.
- Observe the content in your feed that attracts engagement. What are people interested in commenting about. Jump into these conversations and note which opinions are most common.
- Take careful notice of how someone responds to a DM and use what they write to reflect back and keep the conversation flowing.
- Mirror communication techniques in DM’s – If they send you a voice message, respond with the same. If they use Emoji’s, do the same.
- When someone doesn’t respond to a DM – learn from this, don’t persist, and find another way to engage with them (such as in the feed)
- Spend time viewing the comments your target audience post on LinkedIn, this will reveal much about their opinions, questions, and style of communication.
- Read someones profile before and then personalise your invitations to connect and never use ‘canned’ generic messages.
- Encourage conversation in posts, articles, and stories. Ask simple questions and/or feature polarising topics.
- Keep on top of your posts by regularly checking for new comments and reply or at minimum ‘react’ to everyone. Don’t rely on notifications as they are patchy at best. I posted a short video about this recently;
Direct messages with your connections are one of the most effective ways to build relationships and are also the most powerful signals to the algorithm that you have relevance to each other, this will improve the chances of that individual seeing your content and finding you in a search.
The challenge is that the messages app on LinkedIn has it’s limitations. It can be difficult to respond to all the messages you get and how do you remind yourself to follow-up with someone when the communication is via a DM rather than email?
I recently came across a new 3rd party tool which seems to be a great solution to these challenges.
Piwaa is still in beta and currently free. It is a Chrome extension that allows you to organise your inbox with features such as tagging. It also allows you to create saved replies for those messages that you find yourself writing time and time again. You can also schedule a message to be sent in the future and snooze a message thread to remind you to follow up.
It’s basically what LinkedIn messages should be! Here’s my walkthrough video of Piwaa.
A word of warning. LinkedIn officially don’t allow the use of any Chrome extensions so you will be operating outside of the user agreement with Piwaa.
I have had no contact with Piwaa, as a company they also sell automation products that I’m strongly against but I think Piwaa is actually harmless. The issue with automation is that it allows you to contact people (inc invitations) at scale and that is bad news for the network and LinkedIn community.
This tool is not designed to send one message to multiple recipients, it merely does a better job of ‘suggested responses’ by allowing you to create and save your own. The scheduled DM feature is not one I would use but it’s pretty harmless as it is just one message to one connection. The snooze facility has no impact on anyone else other than being helpful to you to keep on top of follow-up messages.
Piwaa is in beta and I have noticed some bugs in the week or so I have been using it but on the whole, I like it and believe it can be a very useful tool.
Post of The Week
As I missed a week, I have two posts to show you this week.
Olly Magnus posted this inspirational image post and it clearly resonated with his audience and beyond. The text is long achieving good dwell time but most importantly it’s a personal story of hope and positivity – both factors that always go down well on LinkedIn.
This weeks winner is from Andreas Jonsson from Shield, the Linkedin post analytics company. What is interesting is that it’s a very short text only post with no ‘see more’ and a short dwell time which would suggest it shouldn’t do as well as it has. Andreas will have access to lots of data of successful posts and I’ve noticed the engagement on his posts has been getting better and better over the last 6 months so he must have some insight that he is utilising effectively! Andreas has agreed to come on the podcast next month so look out for that one!
That is all for this week. I hope you found it interesting and helpful. Please get in touch if you have any comments or questions about LinkedIn.