A mild summer breeze blows on the lonely terrace. Apart from my customer and me, no one is here. We toast with our wine glasses, because we have received another prestigious award that evening. We look back, talk about what we have achieved together over the past years. We have been able to write a great success story since the beginning of our cooperation, achieved many media publications and positioned the company purposefully. Actually, starting with glass number three, business should no longer be an issue. But then came LinkedIn. We both knew the platform. We both knew it existed, but also sensed opportunities and speculated that the platform would soon be a “really really hot thing.” For me, this exchange was a departure into new territory. I’ve been trying out social media privately on and off, “managing” three Facebook pages, regularly starting new Instagram accounts, and am a master at letting them slowly go to sleep again.
With LinkedIn, everything is different now. For almost a year, I have been dealing with the platform, the algorithm, the functions and the community. Especially in the last few months, I have learned and implemented a lot. Therefore, here is my experience report:
“All beginnings are not fair”
I’ve been posting regularly since the end of last year, about once a week at that time. Mostly links from media releases of my clients, wordlessly and without mentioning any reference. What happened? Nothing. I could count my post views on a few hands. While numerous posts on my feed were flooded with comments, a maximum of two to three people responded with a like thumb. “All beginnings are not fair,” I thought to myself. But unlike my previous grandiose social media ideas, I kept at it.
Julian, Ritchie, Björn, Ilkay and Natalia – My LinkedIn Mentors
What I noticed was that “trial and error” didn’t work, or rather, my attempts always resulted in the output “error” for long enough. So I got inspired by experts, listened to podcasts, read countless white papers and took part in workshops. I gained more and more insight into how the algorithm works, what users respond to, and how I could boost interactions. My personal top LinkedIn influencers include Natalia Wiechowski, Ilkay Özkisaoglu, Ritchie Pettauer, Björn Tantau and Julian Heck. Each of the aforementioned has their own views. It helped me enormously to be inspired by the different opinions.
B2B Influencers – My Top 5 LinkedIn Inspiration Sources:
- Natalia Wiechowski – Personal Branding with LinkedIn: The Think Natalia Method
- Ilkay Özkisaoglu – LinkedIn Tips “ilkays365linkedintips”
- Ritchie Pettauer – datenschmutz.net
- Björn Tantau – The Internet Marketing Podcast
- Julian Heck – Success factor personality – Personal Branding Podcast
What LinkedIn is, wants and can do!
“It’s exactly the same as Xing”, when I hear this sentence, my fingernails start to roll up. No, no and again NO! Xing has a much stronger recruiting character for me. For me, LinkedIn is a networking and content platform for B2B decision-makers. It has never been easier to get in touch with CEOs or business leaders or to get their insights. These industry insights are exactly what makes the platform so special for me and motivate me enormously to share my experiences in the field of PR. The buzzwords “personal branding” and “social selling” often come up, especially in connection with LinkedIn. Social media wants to support this and can thus generate leads if the strategy is targeted precisely. Because – and this sentence shapes me not only through my sources of inspiration – people buy from people, not from companies.
My achievements: 20,000 views and the LinkedIn News editorial team recommends
I have tried out many things in the past months and optimized my activity. I now write four to five posts a week, experiment with formats such as surveys, photos, videos or documents, and regularly comment on other posts.
One of the highlights was sharing a post by my colleague Lea:
Almost 20,000 views were a new level for me, too. In addition, there was an exciting exchange about gender-appropriate language.
My activity also rewarded the newsroom recently:
In addition, there are many high-reach posts and exciting discussions. In the beginning, it was a bit of trial and error until I started to see noticeable success. In the meantime, I have developed a system of how my postings work best. With success – my reach has at least tripled in the past months and I receive many exciting requests, most recently regarding a guest post.
Content, Interactions and Spontaneity – My Top 5 LinkedIn Learnings:
- Pauses are penalized – continuity is crucial to success in order to keep reach sustainably high
- Publish posts and articles with a clear focus on “sales”, “visibility”, and “personal branding”
- Set call-to-actions to motivate users to engage and interact with the topic.
- Don’t plan everything in advance – allow time for a spontaneous post as well
- Be active and respond with comments and likes to posts within your feed or search for thematically matching posts independently
I talked a lot about reach. That is also important in order to become visible to future business partners. But it also requires a targeted content strategy to position yourself and build your own personal brand. The big challenge is to initiate and successfully implement this process. The last few months have provided me with a lot of insights that I can build on.
Need help positioning yourself on the B2B platform? We’re here to help you build your personal brand and succeed on LinkedIn.