The Fundamentals to Consistently Writing Amazing LinkedIn Status Updates

December 15, 2015

Whether it be for your company page or for your own personal page, ruling LinkedIn means consistently writing great status updates.

The better your updates are, the more people will like, comment on, share, and even start following you or your company. And that’s good for recruiters, as a follower is 81 percent more likely to open your InMail than a non-follower and 70 percent of people following a company are interested in working there.

But here’s the thing: Writing a great status update isn’t like changing the oil in your car. There are no clear instructions on exactly what to do, meaning that every time you post, you are questioning yourself on whether it is really a good update or not.

Well, question no further. While part of mastering LinkedIn will always be trusting your own creative instincts, here are five fundamentals for consistently writing great LinkedIn status updates.

1. Change your mindset from what your followers can do for you, to what you can do for your followers

A quick story. When I started in content marketing, I wrote a bunch of pieces touting the features of the product my company sold, with the hope that people would read it and be convinced to buy our product.

Well, these pieces got almost no traction. So, a few months into my job and facing termination for not getting any leads, I decided to start writing about subjects on LinkedIn that would be interesting to our audience. Half of the time, their relationship to our product was tangential, at best. They were just good reads that I could see myself reading if I were in my audience’s shoes.

And the popularity took off. Within six months, I had over 20,000 followers on LinkedIn, had written more than 10 blog posts on LinkedIn that got over 100,000 views, and one post that got over one million. More importantly, so many leads were coming in, our sales team couldn’t keep up with them.

The point is, if you really want to be popular on LinkedIn, or any social media site, you can’t think about how you or your company is going to benefit. Instead, first and foremost you have to think about how you can serve your audience, as that will ultimately reward you as well.

2. Make your status updates more than just text

Basically, every stat we have at LinkedIn suggests that adding more than just text to a status update makes it more engaging. That means:

  • Adding a link to your update. Updates with links drive two times more engagement than updates without a link.
  • Adding a photo to your update. Updates with images generally result in a 98 percent higher comment rate than updates without images.
  • Adding a YouTube video to your update. Updates with a YouTube video in them usually result in a 75 percent higher share rate.

Expert tip: if you are going to post a link, add an image with the link, instead of just using the small photo that comes from the link. Here’s an example of what I mean:

Just the link:

  • linkedin status update

The link and an image:

  • linkedin status update

3. Find ways to engage with your audience

You shouldn’t view your LinkedIn page as a one-way conversation from you to your audience. Instead, you’ll create a much more compelling feed if you find ways to interact with your audience and foster conversations.

How do you do that, exactly? Two tried-and-true methods:

  • Ask your audience questions about things they either have expert knowledge of or strong opinions about. This is a great way to start a conversation and you can also use their answers to create new pieces of content.
  • Respond to comments on your feed. If someone writes a thoughtful comment on one of your updates or asks a question, respond. Not only will the commenter appreciate your response, you’ll again begin to foster a sense of community on your page.

4. Let the news be your friend

You want to have an editorial calendar, so you are working off a plan. In fact, here’s a free ebook that describes exactly how to build one. But, whatever you do, don’t let your calendar prevent you from taking advantage of what people are already talking about.

Let’s say, for instance, your company has a strong stance on net neutrality, and net neutrality is the dominant story of the day. That’s the perfect opportunity to share that opinion, when people are already thinking about it.

Want a specific example? The day after Walmart announced it would pay all of its American workers at least $10 an hour, I wrote a piece on LinkedIn about how it was a smart business move. Thanks largely because it was topical, that piece garnered more than 175,000 views, 900 likes and 500 comments:

  • linkedin status update

5. Test, test and test some more

Here’s the truth: You are going to do some things better than others. And your audience is going to prefer some updates over others.

The good news is LinkedIn gives you metrics on every one of your posts, from overall times seen to click-through rate. Those metrics are your best source of truth on your audience.

Every month or so, you should take a hard look at the numbers and figure out why some posts did great and others flopped. From there, you can constantly fine-tune your strategy, and consistently write updates that your audience will love.

Tying it all together

There’s no one way to master LinkedIn and there’s no one right way to write great status updates. Many people using many different styles have been successful, with the one constant that they were true to themselves.

The five previous tips all form the foundation for consistently writing great LinkedIn status updates. But that leaves the rest of the house up to you to build. So, find the voice you are most comfortable with, take a deep breath, believe in yourself and post boldly.

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