How to get more LinkedIn Followers
Welcome to your latest dose of LinkedIn news, tips and discussion. This week I’m returning to the subject of Followers, in many respects these people are the key to our success on LinkedIn so I want to look more deeply into how we attract more of them.
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
It look like LinkedIn are experimenting with adding a pronoun field to profiles.
I’ve seen a lot of people adding she/her to their name field, so I guess it’s better to have it as an optional feature although I do wonder why they don’t clamp down on people adding annoying keywords in their name fields if they were so bothered about it!
LinkedIn will stop iOS apps’ collection of IDFA data. In short, this means that an upcoming feature of iOS14 that warns users that their activity will be tracked across other companies’ apps and websites will be bypassed by LinkedIn. Is this another indication that LinkedIn are becoming more advertising-driven rather than a subscription-based monetisation model? Apple is unusual in that they have a product based monetisation model unlike other tech giants hence why they introduce such features for their users. LinkedIn clearly don’t want us to know that they are tracking!
A follower is someone who receives your posts, articles, and shares in their LinkedIn homepage feed.
Anyone that is a connection is automatically a follower although they can chose to unfollow you at any time. Connections also see your comments and reactions in their feed.
Just because a follower receives your content, it doesn’t mean that they will see it. This depends on how ‘relevant’ the algorithm thinks you are to them. This means that our actions, and those of our followers matter with regard to the visibility of our content.
Why do we need followers?
- Followers can be influenced by our content
- When they engage with our content they distribute it to their followers, this is called organic reach.
- The number of followers we have significantly impacts the visibility of our content.
- The more followers we have the greater influence we have on LinkedIn – both real and perceived. If LinkedIn publicly showed how many of our followers were not connections then this perceived influence would be greater.
- Organic reach plus relevance mean that the number of followers does not guarantee the content will be widely viewed. Posts have gone viral despite the author having very few followers. Despite that, the more followers you have, the more likely it is that your content will widely seen.
How to gain more followers
This should happen in stages. If you have less than 5000 followers then the best way to get to that initial milestone is to grow primarily by connecting to more people. This allows you to get momentum without having to attract followers through your content. In theory, you could keep growing this way up to the max of 30,000 connections but that means you experience the downsides of having too many irrelevant and unfiltered connections (spam, a messy homepage feed, and an endorsement of others that could put your trusted connections at risk). Most people should be able to acquire 5000 relevant and screened connections without too much trouble.
Try to connect to relevant people only. These can be found by;
- Checking the connections list of other 1st tier (2nd tier)
- Relevant groups
- Keyword people searching
- Keyword content searching to find people posting and commenting on relevant posts.
Try to mostly connect with relevant people who are active (see their ‘all activity’ section) and have a decent sized following themselves.
Whilst connecting you should be especially vigilant about unfollowing people in your feed. It’s likely that some of your new connections will be posting content that detracts from the quality of your feed. When you see poor content in your feed, click on the 3 dots top right and unfollow the author. It works best if you are fairly brutal with this!
As you approach 5000 connections it is likely that you will start to see some people following you without connecting, especially if you are consistently posting content.
How to find your connection and follower numbers
The difference between the two numbers (assuming followers are higher) is your true followers and a clear indication of progress.
Once you have reached 5000 it is time to start building followers primarily through content. You will still invite people to connect and accept some invitations but your main focus now is to increase followers by increasing your influence, credibility and visibility. At this point it is wise to set some targets – I would suggest aiming for 500 new followers a month initially.
This is also the right time to change the primary action button on your profile from ‘Connect’ to ‘Follow’. You can do this in your settings.
I have found this settings hugely beneficial in growing my followers.
Engage more with others
Override the algorithm and bookmark the ‘posts’ page of those content authors with large followings (10k+) that you know consistently produce engaging content. These bookmarks mean that you no longer have to rely on the algorithm to serve up great content in your feed. Go to the bookmarks every day and comment, comment, comment until your fingers hurt!
Throughout this journey you will have been posting content and, provided you take note of what works and what doesn’t, you should be improving the engagement on your posts – this increases the visibility of your content which will result in more followers. Keep posting 2-3 times a week but don’t let the quality of your content drop – the argument I see often is that you should maintain consistency and whilst this is sensible to a point, it can be destructive. I advise posting when you have something to say – never force a post out to maintain consistency.
You can find some great tips on content here
Other things you can do to increase followers;
- Create a LinkedIn Newsletter – this is a limited access feature at the moment but if you have it, use it! Your articles will attract significantly more views.
- Search for relevant LinkedIn users who are posting Live video on LinkedIn and approach them with a suggested subject you could talk about.
- The same goes for podcasts. Find a relevant show and approach them with an interesting topic. By interesting I mean interesting to the audience of that show!
- If you can find a relevant, active and engaged group then make sure you are posting and actively commenting in it.
By actively focussing on your topic – reading, learning, engaging and debating with others you will grow as a professional and become an influencer. This will improve your content and your following will continue to grow.
Post of the Week
I was actually going to give post of the week to this brilliant video I saw from Craig but the above post beats it for engagement and it also contains an important message about we should all be ‘selling’ these days.
Craig is a past winner and I’m loving seeing his content get better and better, he rarely sees less than 100 comments on a post, he varies his content type and subject and all this from a double glazing guy, not a content expert or professional writer.
That’s all for this week, please reach out to me if you have any questions about the above subjects or want me to cover any other LinkedIn related topics.