11 years in recruitment and three children later, Claire Smith then decided to upskill with Digital Mums. She’s now a social media guru who understands inside-out the huge impact of a decent online presence on sales and growth; not to mention, the overwhelming nature of it for companies that don’t have the time or inclination. Here, TPW chats to Claire to get her valuable insight into how LinkedIn can boost business – and bottom line.
TPW: LinkedIn can be a challenge for busy businesses. What are your top strategies?
Claire Smith: It can be a minefield, but it is also an incredible tool when enticing new clients or customers. Here are my top three tips:
KEEP IT SIMPLE: It’s a common LinkedIn mistake to overcomplicate content and use a writing style that doesn’t encourage engagement. Try to follow my CHAIR rule, to ensure you’re ticking off at least one (preferably more) of the below:
Challenge: encourage debate and be thought provoking
Help: post educational content that offers advice or top tips
Amuse: Linkedin is definitely a place for fun and humour!
Interest: spark conversation
Relevance: is your content of use to your audience and reflective of current times?
BE CONSISTENT: We all know this, but we rarely adhere to it. But all social platforms, to be effective, need regular posting targets. Quality once or twice a week posting, consistently over time, is much better than average content posted every day – your audiences and algorithms won’t like the latter.
AUDIENCE FIRST: This is why thought leadership content does well on LinkedIn. This last year has also seen an increase in video content and LinkedIn Lives – both of which have great results for engagement. I would recommend experimenting with different content forms e.g. short posts, long-form content, articles, video and see which works best for your brand/business. However, always be consistent with your brand colours and identity. The holy grail is to stop the scroll…
TPW: What’s the key to good blog post titles on LinkedIn?
Claire Smith: Short headlines that include relevant keywords are best. In the last 6-9 months Google has started to index short headlines (so these are now searchable). Also, try to be provocative and attention-grabbing to spark curiosity from your reader.
TPW: What are businesses NOT doing on LinkedIn that they should do more of?
Claire Smith: Video, without a doubt. Since video was introduced in 2017, it’s grown and grown. I recommend a run time of 30 seconds to 2 minutes; evidence shows this has the best engagement rate. It’s great for letting your audience know more about you and showing your business’ personality. Once you’ve broadcasted, it’s also essential to engage with other uses and interact with their posts – in the hope they’ll do the same with yours.
TPW: And finally, are there any clever ‘tricks of the trade’ that we should do more?
Claire Smith: LinkedIn Stories is a great new feature (October 2020). Similar to Instagram Stories, it’s a quick and engaging way to share 24-hour updates on the platform. You can add text overlays, mention accounts and share a question of the day.
Once published, stories appear in tappable bubbles at the top of a user’s LinkedIn feed on mobile. From here, viewers can send a story via direct message, making quick and casual conversations easier on the platform. It’s excellent for giving people behind the scenes insights.
Finally, I always recommend users of the platform to take advantage of the LinkedIn social selling index tool (SSI). This is a scoring tool that tells you how well you are establishing your brand on the platform – and provides recommendations for improvements. The target score is 70: linkedin.com/sales/ssi. Check it out now! It’s a gamechanger.