How to Use LinkedIn Like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
February 11, 2018
A version of this post originally appeared on LinkedIn. All information in this post is publicly accessible and does not use any private or confidential data. Opinions and views expressed are Ms. Urbanski's and do not necessarily represent LinkedIn Corporation.
Recently, Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau surpassed 2 million followers on LinkedIn — a year after becoming an official Influencer and two months after being named as one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in 2017. The engagement he’s garnered with LinkedIn’s members proves that content related to the economy, government news/info, and politics all has a place on our platform, in our newsfeed and with our members.
But as savvy as Trudeau’s social team was, they were new to using LinkedIn and experienced the same learning curve that any of us do when we first start using a new platform. This post shares what I have learned working with Trudeau’s team over the past year and how you can make the most out of using LinkedIn’s platform.
We saw the most success during times that Trudeau was posting every few days. Having a couple weeks pass in between each update limits momentum and your ability to stay top-of-mind with your network. Social media channels have algorithms that reward high engagement so you always want your voice to be circulating throughout your network through a mix of posts, comments, questions, likes, and shares.
Tag people or companies that you mention
We saw the biggest spike in followers and engagement when Trudeau promoted his meeting with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in May 2017 where he tagged both him and Brad Smith in the post. We saw the same affect on his most recent post about meeting with Satya at the World Economic Forum. This tagging helps members discover who other people are and notifies the member that you mentioned them, thus increasing the chance that they will engage with it and be seen by their network (as was the case when both LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and Satya Nadella liked and commented on Trudeau's posts and thus being exposed to their 7 million and 3 million followers, respectively).
Trudeau’s team loves to use relevant hashtags to promote their work on important issues or associate themselves with world events. Using hashtags makes your content discoverable and helps you to join popular conversations. Some great examples are #WEF18, #GEW2017, #GoNorth17 and #CPTPP.
Take the time to find strong images
Posting rich media and photographs perform better than generic images. In the early days of posting on LinkedIn, Trudeau would shares links from his official press releases which pull in a generic image of Canada’s coat of arms. You can see a significant difference in engagement with these posts versus the high quality images of him meeting with world leaders, speaking at an event or showcasing the cities he visits across Canada.
Use LinkedIn’s native video feature
People love video. They love to see who you truly are, what you’re doing and how you sound. It makes them feel like they are part of the moment or getting a sneak peak behind-the-scenes. Prime Minister Trudeau was officially the first world leader to use LinkedIn’s native video feature which was released in May 2017 and the engagement was off the charts. In his video he spoke directly to his LinkedIn followers — thanking them for their engagement and asking what they want to hear more of. The team then used the feedback they received to guide some of the content they posted moving forward — related to the comments left by members and the topics they are most interested in.
Posting content on a professional platform like LinkedIn doesn't mean you have to be a robot. We see a huge difference in interest and engagement when Trudeau posts with an authentic voice — using our native video feature or showcasing his meetings across Canada and the world — versus scripted long-form posts like his official PMO Press Releases. For most members, you don't have the same intense public pressure weighing on your shoulders like our PM, so you have an even greater opportunity to showcase yourself as an individual. I know this part can sometimes be scary but don't worry, your network will do a great job of supporting you and making you feel good. Just try and see!
Customize your URL
Ever noticed the weird mix of numbers and letters following your name in your LinkedIn URL? You can easily edit this on the right-hand rail of your LinkedIn profile under the "Contact and Personal Info" section. Creating a custom URL allows your content to easily be found in online search tools and can be included in your email signature, on business cards or other resources to increase traffic to your LinkedIn page.
But, let's take things to the next level!
The success Trudeau and his team has seen in using LinkedIn has been amazing! The climb to more than 2 million followers has been fun to watch. But there are a few things that Prime Minister Trudeau could be doing more of (and maybe you can too!)
Engagement with other people’s content
Engaging with other people's content by liking, sharing or commenting helps to expand the conversation and the relationships you have with your network. It also helps to grow your professional brand and increase your followers. Engagement actions help to bring an idea or topic to life and that's when the real energy of networking happens. You'd be amazed at how many new contacts I’ve made on LinkedIn by commenting on their posts or sharing their content.
Add all your business contacts
As you can tell through his updates, our Prime Minister has a very busy travel schedule where he meets with tons of world and business leaders. After these meetings, he should use LinkedIn to connect with these contacts and easily maintain their working relationship. Adding these connections to your network allows you to communicate news and updates at scale – which is a great efficiency tip for those who are as busy as the PM! (and even those who aren’t).
Follow other thought leaders
While Trudeau is one of the most followed world leaders on LinkedIn, there are many others who are posting great content related to some of today’s most important issues. Trudeau has a great opportunity to learn from what other thoughts leaders are doing, the type of content they’re posting, and the engagement results they see on various topics. Some of my favourite government thought-leaders include Australian Prime Minister, Malcom Turnbull; President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron; CIO for the Government of Canada, Alex Benay; Canada's Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains; India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi; Ontario Premier, Kathleen Wynne; and Mississauga's Mayor, Bonnie Crombie.
As a Canadian, I am grateful to have a Prime Minister who uses modern techniques to connect with people across our country and openly share news and information. I believe that we can all benefit in using a similar strategy to be better professionals, more effective leaders, advance our careers, achieve our goals, and collaborate with our peers.
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