Being a “thought leader” on LinkedIn

Being a “thought leader” on LinkedIn

When you read “thought leadership” content on LinkedIn, does it often fall short? Does it make you want to roll your eyes? 

I get that. In fact, a recent study with LinkedIn and Edelman found that 71% of respondents said that “less than half of the thought leadership they consume gives them valuable insights.” 

That same study showed that when asked why this thought leadership fails to connect, 46% said it was too focused on selling, 40% said it was unoriginal or lacked new ideas, 31% said it was authored by non-experts, and 31% said it was too corporate. 

So, what do people on LinkedIn want to see? Real people posting authentic content. They don’t want corporate-speak by a generic brand. Even though it’s not as casual as Instagram, posts on LinkedIn should have a human voice and express real thoughts. 

If you have access to interesting data (such as leasing velocity, if you work in commercial real estate) or a valuable anecdote to add to an ongoing discussion in your space, sharing your thoughts on LinkedIn can help you establish a strong online presence and personal brand and also keep you top of mind for the next off-market deal. 

First, what is thought leadership, and how can you use utilize it on LinkedIn? Google says it “is the delivery of authentic and genuine content that uses the expertise, insight, and experience of the author, with the goal of sharing that wisdom with others.” Thought leaders are proactive and innovative, and they consistently contribute valuable insights. Being a thought leader on LinkedIn is nothing new, but we have seen clients recently make a larger impact through their posts. 

One client’s blog, which we wrote with their input, had nearly 200 engagements, more than 8,000 impressions and over 1,100 views. We also write posts for clients’ feeds. During a big announcement, we suggested and wrote a post for the CEO. The client was thrilled we thought to plan a LinkedIn post ahead of time and then said, “Chills. This is great!” when he read it. The post ended up getting nearly 3,000 likes/claps/hearts, 102 reposts and 230 comments. 

Another client for whom we “ghost-post” has received similar acclaim. By simply resharing posts and content that we’ve created for his company’s LinkedIn, and adding a few words, he is receiving nearly 300 engagements on posts and solidifying his position as a thought leader in Atlanta. He is also amplifying his company and its projects, thereby further elevating exposure to his personal network. 

One thing we don’t do when posting for clients: post the same message and content on every leader’s personal LinkedIn. Just as each platform is different, each client and client’s team member is different, so why would they post the same thing? 

The personal network of LinkedIn is the true value. When posting, we encourage clients and Wilbertonians to be authentic with their posts and think about what will resonate most with their target audience. If it’s not natural for you to share consistently on LinkedIn, try what our clients above did: reshare posts from your company or brands you admire and add your thoughts. Leveraging insightful content, such as articles, videos or data, on your personal LinkedIn will help your connections – and hopefully prospective clients and tenants – engage with your feed. 

To wrap this up, I wanted to share my three favorite things about posting on LinkedIn:

  1. Staying connected with peers and friends that I may not work with every day 
  2. Celebrating the wins of those people (congrats on the new job/promotion!)
  3. At Wilbert, we’re all metrics nerds. I love to see which posts of my clients and mine are doing the best. 

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