The Dos and Don’ts of Sharing Content on LinkedIn

Gone are the days when buyers had to approach salespeople to research a company’s products and services. Now, buyers do most of their research online, and with more information at their fingertips than ever before, buyers are annoyed by pushy salespeople and their constant pitches.

To adapt, sales reps have had to change their approach. Instead of being cold pitchers, they’ve had to become teachers. As a result, the first chapter in the modern playbook involves educating through content. Not sure how to do that? No problem. Here’s a short list of dos and don’ts for sharing content on LinkedIn.

DO align your content to your audience

To be effective, you have to think about your audience. Your posts will have more impact – if and only if your posts matter to your prospects and customers. Before posting anything, ask yourself, Will my buyers and current customers find this post interesting?

DON’T turn your posts into press releases or advertisements

As a salesperson, you instinctively want to talk about your product and services. Fight that instinct with all your heart, soul, and mind.

An easy way to do that is by following best practices. Social selling experts recommend that 80% of your content should come from third parties, while only 20% of your content should come from your company.

Why’s that? If you share only your company’s content, you lose credibility with your buyers. You come across as biased. By sharing other people’s content, you project expertise, not just blind loyalty to your company.

DON’T link your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts

LinkedIn users have the option of linking their Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Whenever they post to LinkedIn, they automatically post to Twitter. It sounds like a real time saver, but it can make for some disappointing tweets.

For example, when you just post a URL to LinkedIn without any commentary, this is what people see on Twitter:

No one wants to click on that link because no one knows what it’s about.

Or if your LinkedIn update contains more than 140 characters (the maximum length of a tweet), your thoughts are cut off on Twitter:

How you write for LinkedIn is different from how you write for Twitter. So, it’s best to write separate updates for each network.

DO read the article before you post it

It sounds like a “no duh” rule. But in the rush to update their social profiles, sales reps sometimes share things a little too quickly. A good headline doesn’t mean a good article. Heck, it doesn’t even mean a relevant article. That’s why it’s important to take the time to read the entire article before sharing it.

DO share content that most people have not seen before

For your content to have an impact, you need to stand out from the pablum. If you’re sharing only the most popular stories from Twitter or the most read articles from the New York Times, your updates won’t stand out. Your prospects and customers will just ignore your updates because they’ve already seen what you’re sharing.

To become a trusted advisor for your prospects and customers, you need to show your expertise, which means that you need to have a point of view. When writing a LinkedIn update, include your opinion, ask a question to your followers, highlight an important quote, or summarize key takeaways. Go beyond saying, “Great read!”

Bonus Tip: If you want to make sure someone sees a piece of content, tag them using the @ mention feature:

Sure, you want to add value to your prospects and customers. But you don’t to annoy them. Be warned: If you flood your connections’ feeds with post, they may unfollow. So, best practices say that you should post between one and three times per day.

LinkedIn is a professional network. Your buyers hold you to professional standards. Take the time to proofread what you write.

Sharing content is one of the key plays in a modern seller’s playbook. But for content to be effective, sales reps need to share it correctly. Use the dos and don’ts above to get started.

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