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Is posting and/or sharing content on LinkedIn worth the effort?

I'm frequently asked this question during my LinkedIn presentations and also when working with individuals in one-on-one LinkedIn consulting sessions.

Most questions I can answer with a confident "yes" or "no," but this one requires a "maybe" or "it depends" answer. I need to ask some follow-up questions to determine if it's worth it for someone to post and share on LinkedIn.

I define "worth it" to be likes, shares, and comments that lead to conversations with people in your LinkedIn target audience.

NOTE: My comments and strategies are specifically focused on personal sharing and posting rather than posting or sharing on company pages, but some of the strategies apply to company pages as well.
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Predicting how well your posting and/or sharing will perform

If you can answer "yes" to most or all of these questions, then dedicating time to posting and sharing should result in a good return on your investment.
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  • Is one of your current LinkedIn objectives to increase the number of profile views you receive?
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  • Do you have a good follow-up sequence once the right people view your profile?
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  • Are you connected with or being followed by a large number of people in your target audience?
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  • Do you or your company have well-thought-out, targeted content that's helpful to people in your target audience?
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  • Do you have adequate time to allocate to not only posting/sharing but also to follow-up with the people who engage with you?
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  • Is there a group of like-minded people you can call on to proactively engage with your posted and/or shared content (to like, share or comment on your content)?
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Strategies for improving the performance of your posts and shares

If you now believe that posting and sharing can help you achieve your professional goals, let's address the tactics that will get you tangible results.

These tactics come from LinkedIn's latest FREE ebook, Publisher's Pocket Guide: How to Spark Meaningful Conversations and Measure Success, as well as my conversations with fellow LinkedIn enthusiasts and research I've done. Get your copy of the ebook by clicking here.

How often should you post or share? More often is definitely better because LinkedIn has a feed algorithm, and thus not everything you post and/or share goes to everyone in your network.

What type of content should you write or share? Your content should resonate with and help your target audience and also show that you're a smart, thoughtful person who cares about them. Be sure to always add your own comments and thoughts when sharing an article so YOUR audience gets some of YOU.

In light of the current feed algorithm, what type of content performs better? Organic video is currently doing far better than all other content. Organic means that you either upload it directly on LinkedIn or use the camera on your phone or computer versus sharing a link to other web addresses like YouTube, Vimeo, or your own website. Longform articles are not performing very well lately, unlike when they first became available a few years ago, but they still display thought leadership in a big way when people visit the Activity box on your profile.

Is it better to like, comment or share when engaging with someone else's content? The latest research says that a "like" with a comment will perform better than a share, especially if that comment includes a tag of an individual (the author or someone else whose attention you'd like to grab regarding the article) or a company. Click here for an article on how tagging works.

How should you manage comments on the content you're sharing? Engaging with people who comment definitely improves the performance of your content—and research shows the sooner you engage, the better. It's also helpful if you include a tag.

To tag someone, simply type the @ sign, begin typing the person's name, and a drop-down will appear. Choose his or her name from the drop-down, and then the person will be notified and a live link to his or her LinkedIn profile will be created in your comment.

Your comment could be as simple as, "I really appreciate that you shared this with your network @wayne breitbarth" or "Thanks so much for suggesting other resources on this topic @wayne breitbarth." 

Is it good to use hashtags in my posts and comments? Yes and yes, especially if the hashtags are strategically selected. Hashtags are LinkedIn's way of filing content so that your content gets included in the list of important posts relating to that topic. LinkedIn will suggest hashtags to use, but be sure to use your own, including your industry, names of your products/services, and even your company name. Click here for details on how to use hashtags on LinkedIn.

What LinkedIn metric should you be looking at to see how your content performs? I don't trust views since it simply means someone scrolled past your article. I would track comments, likes and shares, because they are tied to a specific person. In each case you can decide if you want to engage regarding the content, but it may also be in your best interest to send a direct message or invite the person to become part of your LinkedIn network. If you really want to take the relationship to the next level, call the person on the phone or send an email. Ka-ching!

Should you re-share an article you wrote a while back? You bet! If the content is still relevant, get it out there again. Don't worry about people getting it too many times. That rarely happens, because I think the algorithm picks up on that. And if enough time has passed and they're like me, they probably won't remember reading it or applying the wisdom you shared back then.

Now you can probably understand why there's no simple answer when people ask if posting and sharing on LinkedIn is worth it. But if you consistently put the tips I've shared into practice, you should see some real results from the time you invest.

If you'd like to have an individualized LinkedIn strategy session with me to discuss your posting and/or sharing activities, along with loads of advice for amping up your LinkedIn ROI, sign up for a one-on-one session with me by clicking here.

This consultation includes a full profile critique and takes place via phone and screen sharing. I typically have time for only four to six of these $197 sessions each week, and there are some weeknight and Saturday time slots. So check out the details and book your session here.