Are You Finding that No One is Listening to You on LinkedIn?

By Wayne Breitbarth, Andersen Alumnus and CEO-Power Formula LLC (Author of “The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success: Kick-Start Your Business, Brand and Job Search’)

"Lately I seem to have a much lower level of engagement (views, likes, comments or shares) on the articles I'm writing and the things I'm posting on LinkedIn."

I hear this frequently from my consulting clients as well as people in my LinkedIn network. They want to know why this is happening and how they can get back to "the good old days."

First, more people are writing and sharing than ever before on LinkedIn, so the news feed is getting more crowded. Secondly, because LinkedIn has set up an algorithm to decide what information goes into people's feeds, not everything you share goes into every one of your connections' feeds. Check out this article to get more details about how the algorithm works.

Because fewer people are receiving your articles and status updates, it's more important than ever to share the type of information your network is most likely to find useful and thus share, like or comment on—or, better yet, directly engage with you.

Because I understand that might be easier said than done, here are some ideas and resources that have worked for me and my clients and may help you, too, get the amount of engagement you got "back in the day."

Strategies to increase engagement with your LinkedIn posts

In addition to the suggestions below, feel free to check out LinkedIn's helpful guide Sharing Content on LinkedIn–Best Practices.

Make sure your content is relevant and interesting to your target audience. The topics or questions you've discussed with your clients and professional associates this week are probably on the minds of your network as well. Therefore, this is the type of helpful information you should be sharing. Personally, this is how I choose the topics for my weekly LinkedIn email and blog.

Be sure your post is visually interesting and appealing. When you share something on LinkedIn, make sure you post an image—or if you're sharing a link, be sure the visual that is populated from the web page is interesting. Also, LinkedIn seems to be giving feed algorithm preference to video right now; so sharing any form of video will typically result in higher engagement than simple text.

Take advantage of hashtags. Hashtags are like a filing system for all content shared on LinkedIn. Thus, if you don't include them, your content may not be included in the mix. Be sure to include several relevant keyword hashtags at the end of your comments or weave a few into the comments themselves. LinkedIn will also suggest hashtags you could select that may apply to the topic of your post.

You can find more details about the use of hashtags here.

Draw individuals to the post by mentioning them. LinkedIn now allows you to tag or mention (using the "@" operator) individuals or companies that may be mentioned in the article or video you're sharing or that you want to be sure see your post. Because the individual or company is notified when you use the Mentions feature, they may be inclined to engage with your post.

You can get more information on the specifics of LinkedIn's Mentions feature by clicking here.

Respond to their engagement when it is your turn to do so. If you get notified that someone commented on or shared your posts, be sure to "like" their comment or share and thank them for doing so. Don't just type "Thanks for sharing, Wayne" but use the Mentions feature, and grab their name as part of the thank you by adding the "@" sign ahead of their name. Then when their name shows up on the drop-down list, click it, and LinkedIn will populate their name in the comment. In addition, that populated name is now a hyperlink to their profile, and they'll be notified that you mentioned them.

Ask a question or elicit an opinion. That sounds pretty simple, but I've found that if you ask people their opinion on something you've shared, you'll get responses from some of the people in your audience.

Sharing is caring. If the information you are sharing is something that comes with a very high value at a low or no cost (e.g., a free webinar, download, etc.), then why not simply ask readers to hit the Share button and share it with their network—and don't be surprised when they do.

Implement these strategies and watch engagement with your posts increase—and hopefully it will result in lots of calls, meetings, and productive email exchanges like in the "good old days."