The Only Question You Need To Answer To Market Successfully On LinkedIn

This applies to every post, article, or company page update you publish on LinkedIn.
Ask yourself, “what’s in it for them?”
What do your ideal customers want? Why are they here on LinkedIn? What questions are they asking? What information do they need?
And then one final question,  “How can I give it to them?”
What I find many companies do is they say they are answering that question, but when you look at what they have published, it’s “what’s in it for our company?”
You get interviews with the company brass, press releases on new equipment they have purchased, list of their capabilities, and supposed benefits customers receive from working with them.
I had a client just the other week where they were putting together a piece of content on one special type of work they could do. They put together two mock pages, one with the special capabilities at the top and one with a blurb about how the company had been in business for forty years, and the other one with the company and capabilities reversed. They canvased the company management for their opinion. Here was my opinion:
“When your ideal customer is searching LinkedIn for answers, which is the burning question their engineers and manufacturing people are looking for answers to?”
a) “Is there anyone out there that can build this special requirement we have?”
b) “I wonder if there are companies out there that have been around for forty years?”
My opinion prevailed.
If you perpetually drive yourself to ask “what do they want? What’s in it for them?” you will come up with better content and get a much better response to it on LinkedIn.
And they will come back for more.

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Homepage Feed – part 2 – fine tuning

Three micro settings to fine tune your homepage feed.

All of these changes pertain to individual people and posts you come across in your feed. The first do are done through the three little dots menu at the top right of any post. 

Here is what you can do when different problems arise: 

When you are sick of a post reappearing at the top of your screen

Solution: choose “Hide this post” 

Sometimes LinkedIn’s algorithm will decide I really should see a post and it keeps showing up at the top of my feed. Sorry, time to go. Roll your mouse over the three dots at the top right of the post in question. A drop down menu will appear. Choose “Hide this post”     

Note that this only hides this particular post as posted by this one particular person. If someone else in your network posts the same content, it will show up again.

Note that there is also a selection at the top right of the feed that you can change from “Top” where LinkedIn selects the post it thinks you want to see and “Recent” where whatever is the newest post among the people / topics / companies will come first. If you do change it to “Recent”, this selection is not very sticky and will revert back to “Top” after a day or two. 

When a connection is a serial bad poster            

Solution: unfollow them

I call this “connection jail.” If I find someone who just keeps posting content that I find no value in, I put them in connection jail by unfollowing them. The unfollow command is in the same drop down menu as the “hide this particular” update command.

Note that you can’t “partially unfollow” someone. I have had several people ask me about this. They like what the person writes but don’t want to see his or her likes and comments on other people’s posts. I am sorry, it’s either everything from that person or nothing. And I am really sorry if the person you are asking about is actually me. 

When a connection goes sour                

Solution: sever the connection

This is a favorite of mine for a couple of reasons. The first is we all make mistakes. We connect with someone and find that it was not one of our better decisions. To remedy this problem, go to their LinkedIn profile and click on the More button. Then just choose “Remove this connection”

Now, here’s the other part I like: LinkedIn keeps it quiet. The other person is not notified that you have disconnected from them. It’s all very discrete. They will never know unless they view your profile and see you are now a “2”.  

Don’t spend your time on LinkedIn with updates or people that aggravate you or don’t provide value. Your time is more important than that.

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Homepage Feed

Seeing what you want and getting rid of the stuff you don’t want.
Ah, your homepage feed on LinkedIn. What most users don’t realize is that you have options to tune your homepage feed and make it more useful. In this post I will show you some macro settings to optimize what you are seeing.
The place we want to go is “Settings and Privacy.” It’s accessed through a drop down menu under your avatar. Under the Account column you will find…
Autoplay Videos.
Choose whether you want videos to start playing when you scroll to them, or if you want to hit play yourself. I always have this set to “off.” I am not a fan of scrolling down and having a video come to life with some vidiot yelling at me to buy his guaranteed solution. If there is a video I think I want to watch, it is not exactly onerous to hit “Play”.
Feed preferences will take you to a whole new screen. Here there will be “Follow Fresh Perspectives,” the number of people you are following and the people that are following you. Let’s take then one by one:
Follow Fresh Perspectives
You will be given a ton of choices here: Hashtags, Companies, Influencers, Magazines and Websites. You are telling LinkedIn what content you want to see in your homepage feed. Note that as I mentioned in this newsletter a couple months ago, electing to follow someone or something in the case of a hashtag or company does not guarantee you will see all of that content.
Following will be preceded by a number, which is your number of connections. By default when you connect with someone you follow each other. You can choose which connections you no longer wish to follow here. Don’t worry about getting it right the first time, as you can unfollow people on an as needed basis from your homepage feed anytime. This page is a really useful one as it will dawn on you after a moment that your connections are listed by how often they post every week. This is your opportunity to get rid of the serial posters that clog up your feed and appear there over and over again. As I reviewed my list while I was writing this post, despite the fact I review this page every few months I had managed to get a couple new people who post over a hundred times a week!
Note that there are also slider filters at the top right of this people chart and you can do the same for out of network people you are following like Bill Gates and other influencers, plus companies and hashtags you are following. You may be surprised at some of the people and topics you are following that you had forgotten about.
Followers – again preceded by a number – are all the people following you on LinkedIn. Before you get all big headed about this number, realize that it is just your connections plus anyone who has decided they want to follow you. For most people this number will be very close or exactly the same as their number of connections. People that amass large numbers of true followers usually fall into one of three categories:
  • they are legitimate influencers like the aforementioned Mr Gates
  • they are decision makers at their companies and get lots of sales people following them
  • they publish a lot on LinkedIn and attract followers over time
I fit in the latter category. I have a little over five thousand connections and another three thousand followers. Note that three thousand followers sounds great until you realize that I have probably published around six hundred posts and articles on LinkedIn so my average published content gains me five – count ‘em five – new followers.
Okay, this gives you some good info to work with. Go give your homepage feed a (late) spring cleaning and next post I will show you how to fine tune your feed on the fly.