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No Longer the Underdog, LinkedIn’s Time is Now
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No Longer the Underdog, LinkedIn’s Time is Now

By Knight Stivender

There are 10.4 million open positions in the U.S. right now.1 Chances are good you’re an employer working to fill one of them or a job candidate vying for one. And chances are you’re more than aware of LinkedIn as a recruitment tool. 

A few stats on why LinkedIn is worth your time:

  • LinkedIn is the most established social media platform. It’s also the most trusted.2
  • More than 60 million senior-level people use LinkedIn regularly, making it an excellent way for companies to cultivate their reputation and collaborate with peers.
  • Four of five people on LinkedIn are in a position to make business decisions, making it a great place for sourcing vendors and suppliers.
  • People are more confident that LinkedIn will protect their data and privacy, making it a perceived safe place to share ideas.
  • Content creation on LinkedIn increased by 60% in 2020 and continues to grow.
Social Media PlatformFoundedUsersTrust
LinkedIn2003740 million73%
Pinterest2009454 million66%
YouTube20052 billion63%
Instagram2010 1 billion63%
Twitter2006206 million60%
TikTok20161 billion57%
Facebook20042.89 billion53%

Ten Best Practices for Effective LinkedIn Use

Showcase employees. Highlight employees when talking about company culture. Tag or use the “notify employees” button in posts about job openings on LinkedIn. Include images of employees with their testimonials.

Be conversational. “Professional platform” doesn’t have to mean stilted and forced. Blend polish and professionalism with personality and warmth to stand out in a LinkedIn feed.

A picture or video is worth more than a thousand words. LinkedIn prioritizes multimedia content. Research from HubSpot indicates posts that include an image or video receive 94% more views than those that do not. Bonus: Be sure to upload directly to the platform rather than link off-site to YouTube and other social media sites. On LinkedIn, external links are not your friend.

Be a storyteller. LinkedIn wants you to spend more time on LinkedIn. So if you write long posts, that’s great – as long as you have a great story to tell. An example we love is Stephanie Stuckey, who has been documenting in detail the revival of her family business.

Optimize for search. LinkedIn is one of the top five sites regularly indexed by Google.3 That means your company’s LinkedIn page and posts should take SEO into consideration. To do this, use keywords people would likely use in searching for you on Google in your organization’s and your individual profile pages. Do the same when writing posts. And be sure to name your photos and videos something searchable (not just LinkedIn photo), since those, too, are crawlable by search engines.

Share insights. Think of LinkedIn as a crowd-sourced business magazine. If your company has access to unique data, research, studies or published reports, you’re in a position to share that knowledge on LinkedIn as an expert in your field. Vary your formats, including images and video. It doesn’t have to be fancy. This CVS post gets viewers into a report simply by placing a few lines of text on a red background. The red is on-brand and stands out in a feed more than text would.

Solicit engagement. LinkedIn is a social network, and social networks want their users to have conversations with each other. Prompt conversation in your posts by asking questions, evoking memories and making it easy for folks to respond.

Individuals > companies. Since 2019, personal brands have received at least 1.5 times more engagement than company brands on LinkedIn.4 That means your employees have a better chance of recruiting your next great hire than your company does. Arm them well with up-to-date banner images, company logos and information to help make the most of the platform.

First impressions matter. LinkedIn tests content for the first 30 minutes to an hour after it’s posted. If people aren’t reacting to it, LinkedIn will decide it isn’t performing and will hide it from the feed to make way for stickier content. The takeaway here – other than to craft compelling content – is to post at a time of day when people are most likely to see what you’ve posted. To reach students and job seekers, data from HubSpot shows the best times to post are between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. To reach business influencers and potential partners, try posting outside of the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday.

Don’t be an attention hog. Like all social media sites – and like life in general – no one enjoys being around someone who’s sucking up all the energy in the room. For every one post you publish to your business or personal account, try engaging with at least five of someone else’s. Sharing is caring.

  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, Oct. 12, 2021
  2. Business Insider Intelligence, “U.S. Digital Trust Survey,” June 2020
  3. In addition to LinkedIn, Google also regularly indexes YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook and Twitter.
  4. Blake Morgan for Forbes