This is the fifth in a six-part series on social media best practices for libraries in 2021. Learn about Facebook here and get the guide for Twitter here. Find out how to make Instagram work for your library here and get the guide to YouTube success here.  And here’s the latest research on Pinterest.

LinkedIn for libraries

I don’t have to tell you that communication between your library and your community is incredibly important, especially during a pandemic. That’s why I believe one of the best social media platforms for libraries is LinkedIn.

I know people think I’m nuts. Here’s my case.

Libraries often lament the fact that our content gets lost amid an avalanche of posts on other platforms. On LinkedIn, there’s no such competition. The content feed isn’t crammed. Posts by libraries are seen!

LinkedIn is a great place to showcase your services, upcoming events, blog posts, renovations, advocacy messages, and job openings. People who follow your library on LinkedIn will be doing so because they want to learn more about you.

And LinkedIn analytics are different from other platforms. Their insights give you more information about the people in your audience, which can help you create posts that are relevant to those followers, which will make your account succeed!

The stats are there to support a LinkedIn social media strategy for libraries. According to Omnicore, 24 percent of millennials use LinkedIn. 6 out of 10 LinkedIn users say they are looking for insights into specific industries.

And here’s the big advantage: According to Ominicore, as of November 2020, LinkedIn is driving more than 50 percent of all social media traffic to websites and blogs. That’s a powerful argument for spending some time each week sharing library posts on LinkedIn.

As I was researching this blog, I saw a comment from a fellow marketer that I want to share with you. “I’m amazed at how LinkedIn has become valuable. It used to be the annoying network that no one understood and barely used. Now it’s a thriving place to connect and read great info.” I couldn’t agree more. I think this is a platform libraries should really use to their advantage.

The LinkedIn algorithm for 2021

LinkedIn uses the same ranking signals as most other social media platforms. Your content will be shown to more people if it gets a lot of engagement, especially if that engagement comes in a short amount of time.

Likes, shares, reactions, and comments all count as LinkedIn engagement. Here are four easy ways to boost engagement of your library’s LinkedIn posts in 2021.

The Orange County Library got great engagement on this post about their BizKids Club.
The Orange County Library got great engagement on this post about their BizKids Club, which is a subject LinkedIn users love.

Add hashtags to your posts.

Adding hashtags will make sure your followers will see your library’s updates in their feed.

You can decide which hashtags to use in your LinkedIn posts by entering potential hashtags in the Search bar at the top of the page. Clicking on a hashtag will take you to the hashtag’s feed where you can see how popular it is, and how much engagement the content creators currently using the hashtag are getting.

LinkedIn recommends using three to five hashtags per post. They advise a location hashtag, a library-specific hashtag, and a personal or campaign-specific hashtag combination. But you can always try adding more hashtags to see how your audience will react.

Screenshot of LinkedIn post from Handley Regional Library using hashtags.

Promote your events on LinkedIn.

This year, LinkedIn rolled out a new “Events” tab to help people find your upcoming programs, including your virtual programs. The tab appears on the left-hand navigation of your brand’s Page, making it easy for your followers to register and attend.

New York Public Library promotes its online book club on Linkedin.

Encourage employees to participate.

Employees can help boost organic reach of your library LinkedIn posts by sharing, commenting, and reacting to your library’s posts. The more enthusiastic employees you have, the better your reach will be. It’s an easy way for library staff to show their support of their organization.

Network with partner organizations.

You can show your library’s generous spirit and find great content to share in your own feed by seeking out like-minded pages or the pages of partner organizations. Then, show the love by giving them some engagement!

Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library tagged a partner, Cincinnati Works, on this post.
Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library tagged a partner, Cincinnati Works, on this post.

You can simply react to their post, ask a question in the comments, congratulate them on their good work, or share their post with your library followers. In turn, the partner organization and its followers will see your library page and will likely follow you and start engaging with your content!  

How often and when to post on LinkedIn

The latest research shows us that libraries should post about three times a week on LinkedIn. The best times to post are during daytime work week hours (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The worst time to post is on weekends or outside of business hours.  

How much text should be in a LinkedIn post?

As is the case with other social media platforms, less text is better on LinkedIn. The ideal length for a LinkedIn status is around 100 characters. The “See More” button cuts off text at about 140 characters.

LinkedIn image best practices

LinkedIn recommends image size for posts of 1200 x 628 pixels or 1:91:1 aspect ratio.

Measuring success on LinkedIn

On the left-hand side of your LinkedIn home page on the desktop, you’ll find analytics for your library’s LinkedIn page under the “Analytics” tab. You can export all metrics from LinkedIn.

You can see how many people visited your page, as well as how many clicked on links posted to your page. You can also see the job functions of your visitors, which can help you to create content that’s relevant to them, their work, and interests.

LinkedIn shows you the insights for individual posts including reach and engagement.

And there are follower metrics, including a list of the people who follow your account and the ability to see their profiles. Again, this can help you create content that’s relevant to the people who follow your library.

A screenshot example of what LinkedIn analytics looks like.

You may also like these posts

Unlock the Truth About LinkedIn and Library Marketing

Five BIG Reasons Why Your Library Needs a Targeted Social Media Strategy

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