This is part of a series on social media best practices for libraries in 2022. These posts include best practices for the following platforms:
These are the top platforms used by libraries according to a survey I conducted.
LinkedIn for libraries
Recently, I counted the number of libraries with LinkedIn accounts. I thought it would take me a good chunk of time.
I was finished counting in less than five minutes. Worldwide, there are less than 180 academic, public, and private libraries on the platform.
I firmly believe this is a missed opportunity.
There is a rich target audience on LinkedIn for many of the services your library provides. In fact, if your library has to choose between creating a TikTok account and creating an account on LinkedIn, you should choose LinkedIn.
The most profound argument I can make to convince your library to post on LinkedIn is this: According to a study by Econsultancy, LinkedIn drives than 50 percent of all social media traffic to websites and blogs. You can’t do that on TikTok unless you purchase ad placement.Tweet
If that’s not enough to convince you, here are four more strong reasons for posting library content on LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn is one of the fastest-growing platforms. Its total number of users rose nearly nine percentage points in 2021. Most of those users are in the U.S. and India, but the United Kingdom and Canada are both in the top ten for LinkedIn users globally.
- 81.6 percent of LinkedIn users are between the ages of 18 and 34 according to Data Portal.
- 40 percent of LinkedIn users visit the platform daily.
- And LinkedIn members are 56 percent more likely than the average internet user to donate to charities. If your library is trying to raise money or get volunteers, you need to post on LinkedIn.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, LinkedIn is rated as the most trusted social media platform. If you saw my Facebook rant you know how I feel about the library’s role in protecting the safety and well-being of our community members.
Just this weekend, cosmetics giant Lush announced they’ll quit posting on four social media platforms due to concerns over the mental health of their customers. Where did I first see that announcement? On one of the platforms where they will continue to post–LinkedIn.
The LinkedIn algorithm for 2022
Here are the ranking signals LinkedIn uses to decide who sees your posts.
- Whether your post is high-quality and relevant. The platform will show your post to more people, both followers and non-followers, if it believes your content is of interest to them.
- How long a person spends interacting with your post, which the platform calls “dwell time.”
- How many times your followers have interacted with your posts in the past. This last point is why I really, really, really want your library to start posting on LinkedIn this year. You’ll want to get people to interact with your posts to secure future success on the platform.
Here are four ways to get the best organic reach for your library’s LinkedIn posts in 2022.
Post hyper-relevant content in very specific formats.
LinkedIn is best for posting news and job opportunities, both at your library and at partner organizations. But it’s also a great place to share tips, collection items, services, and events offered by your library that will help people to grow their businesses, enhance their education, or advance their careers.
These are all big initiatives at most libraries. No doubt, your library has plenty of content it can share on LinkedIn.
Once you decide on the specific type of content you’ll share, you’ll want to post to LinkedIn using one of three post formats. These are the formats that get the most engagement on LinkedIn, according to a study released in October 2021 by Richard van der Bloom. Here is what he discovered.
- LinkedIn posts with polls get an average of 450 percent more reach.
- LinkedIn posts with either a PDF or a slide deck get 250 percent more reach.
- LinkedIn posts with multiple photos in a carousel and a longer amount of text get 150 percent more reach.
Here are some examples of libraries posting relevant content on LinkedIn.
- Arlington Heights Memorial Library got great engagement on a post with multiple photos.
- Qatar National Library also saw a huge boost in engagement on a post with multiple photos.
- Indianapolis Public Library regularly shares related and relevant content and gets high engagement.
- Monroe County Public Library promoted their Bookmobile in a creative way using a carousel of photos and got great engagement.
According to van der Bloom’s report, reach for video on LinkedIn has declined by 20 percent. So, it may be smart for time-strapped libraries to skip the video and focus on polls, documents, and carousel-text posts on LinkedIn.
If you do want to experiment with video posts to LinkedIn, keep it short, between 45 and 60 seconds. They need to be captioned and uploaded natively to LinkedIn.
Complete your page.
LinkedIn says that pages with complete information get 30 percent more weekly views and show up more often in search.
A completed page will earn your library “All-Star Profile Strength” status. To do that, you’ll need to make sure your profile has:
- A profile picture, preferably your library’s logo.
- Your industry (library, obviously) and type (most libraries choose “government agency”)
- Your location
- Your total number of employees
- Your founding date
- Your specialties or areas of expertise
- Your branch locations if you have more than one branch
Strategically format your posts to include the “See More” call-to-action.
For any post you create on LinkedIn, separate the first three sentences with a space. This will cause your LinkedIn post to include the automatic call to action “See More.” LinkedIn says these two magic words are the most powerful drivers of engagement on their platform.
After those first three sentences, you can type in normal paragraphs.
According to the van der Bloom report, text posts with fewer than six lines of text get less engagement! So, your posts on LinkedIn can and should be much longer than posts on other platforms.
Of course, you’ll always include a link at the end of your post to drive followers to your website or catalog.
Engage with other LinkedIn accounts.
If you want more engagement on your posts, you’ve got to comment and react to other related accounts.
Spend some time finding like-minded organizations, influencers, and industry leaders in your geographic area on LinkedIn. Follow their accounts and then make it a point to check out their content and engage with it on the days that you post on LinkedIn.
The van der Bloom report backs this up with some data – more engagement with your network results in up to 10 percent more engagement on your own posts.
How often and when to post on LinkedIn
The van der Bloom report recommends your library post about three times a week on LinkedIn. Any more frequently and you’ll risk diluting engagement on your posts.
The best days to post are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The best time to post is in the morning.
How much text should be in a LinkedIn post?
The most text the better for LinkedIn posts. According to the van der Bloom report, posts with 1200-2000 characters have the optimal reach.
Interestingly, the report also found that bolding certain words or including emojis had no positive impact on reach. If you want to add hashtags, use no more than three.
LinkedIn image best practices
LinkedIn recommends image size for posts of 1200 x 627 pixels or 1:91:1 aspect ratio.
Measuring success on LinkedIn
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 their interests.
LinkedIn shows you the insights for individual posts including reach and engagement. You can also compare your page to that of your competitors as well as see how what the employees of your library are engaging with on LinkedIn.
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.
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