As the co-founder of an early-stage startup, I am always on the lookout for affordable ways to build our product’s subscriber base. In fact, it is very common for new product makers to fall prey to the commonly used and highly expensive paid marketing campaigns.
An interesting concept we came across during our usual search, was the concept of ‘engagement’ posts on social media platforms like Linkedin and Facebook. This seemed like a great way of leveraging such platforms to increase awareness of your offering and ultimately boost sign-ups.
However, we realized that we need to formulate a well thought out strategy to go about executing the engagement post and ended up learning quite a few tricks along the way. We managed to boost our subscriber base by 300 in a matter of a few hours! This article revolves around what one should do to get such results from a Linkedin engagement post.
What Was The Idea?
To give context, our product was a repository of handpicked tools for remote teams. During the launch of the product, we curated a list of useful resources that we thought the remote working community might be interested to read about.
Instead of only providing it on our website, we decided to also offer a PDF version, making it easier for interested people to read it offline as well. We realized that in order to significantly augment our subscriber base, we needed to garner audience outside of the traffic that already visits our website and the best way to do this was engaging the right way on social media platforms.
What is an engagement post?
This could be a story of an inspiring individual that you recently met, or a description of an incident that happened in your office, that you feel might be motivating to people in your network, or simply a shout to your network about an interesting resource that you have, asking them to leave a comment or alike to know more about it.
The more engaging your post is, LinkedIn/Facebook algorithms pick up your post and more people outside your network will now see and comment. How exactly this algorithm works, is detailed later in this article.
There are two types of engagement posts:
1. Pure-engagement Posts
These are the posts that aim to get some noise and get you more friends and connections. For example, you could ask a question as shown below:
2. Lead Magnet LinkedIn Engagement Posts
These posts work very similarly to a lead magnet squeeze page, except you don’t ask people to go to a page.
You ask them to leave a comment under your post, thereby indicating interest in the resource that you are offering. Then, you can message them privately and ask for their email and send them the resource directly.
Why Should This Work?
Firstly, you are allowing users to sign-up for your content by providing the path of least resistance, as they don’t have to visit a different page to complete their action. No contact details need to be requested either, on the first touchpoint.
Further, when you use a platform like Linkedin, it’s personal. Having the opportunity to interact with the creator is exciting for people, and this is exactly what we did. Instead of posting using our official Linkedin profile, the post was made by one of our founders, and this made all the difference.
The clincher is, however, that the post triggers a powerful network effect. As the action expected from the audience is to make a comment on the post (and not mail you), it automatically results in all their connections also being notified of the post. This cycle keeps continuing progressively.
Further, as more number of people comment on your post, this proof itself becomes a strong sell to newer people interacting with the post, encouraging them to also participate in the frenzy. It creates a sense of not wanting to miss out (popularly known as FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out).
How to Get Started?
However, good results can only be ensured if the post is made by someone with a fairly strong presence on social media. So if you are starting from scratch, building a good profile is what you need to focus on first.
We already had a fair number of connections, but definitely were looking to grow our network further before posting on Linkedin.
For those who are starting from zero, I would suggest following the following steps religiously until you have built a decently big network:
- Post 3-4 times a week
- Add people from relevant Linkedin groups
- Connect your Gmail accounts with LinkedIn and import your current email list
- Identify your target audience and then build a list of people. This would include relevant people who would be interested to read about/ sign up to your website.
The Anatomy of A Good Linkedin Engagement Post
If you break down every successful engagement post, the following three-pointers are ones that are common in all of them:
This is where you convince your viewers to read on. Describe effectively, what your product is about, the purpose of the engagement post and what they are going to gain from reading your post, the first chance you get.
Considering the top and the bottom of your post will have maximum visibility, it is best to include your CTA(Call to action) here. This could be something like “If you’d like to explore more, or want to know how we achieved this, leave a “Yes” on the comment thread and I will get in touch with you!” Some people ask for the email ID directly, but we felt this wouldn’t work as efficiently as there might be many who are unwilling to share their personal mail ID’s on a public platform.
3. Social Proof
You definitely have to show the people viewing your post who you are, and what you’ve done. This builds a sense of trust and creates an impression. It will encourage them to go ahead and read your post and respond to the CTA that you are providing.
How to Build Your Email List?
- Publish the LinkedIn engagement post and describe your offer
- Get people to show interest in your lead magnet by asking them to comment on the post
- Like and reply to comments as soon as possible
- Send them a personal message asking for their email and if you are asked why you require their email ID, be honest. Assure them it is only to share the resource (lead magnet) with them and also to send valuable content that your website will have to offer in the future. Also, mention that they are always free to unsubscribe and make sure you make the process for this easy.
From our experience, only 1% of those who we mailed, unsubscribed, and this is a pretty decent rate to work with.
- Once they send you their email thank them, collect their emails and send them a well-drafted email with a link to your resource!
How to Promote Your Post?
It would help a lot if you understand how exactly the Linkedin engagement algorithm works, which Steve O’Dell elaborates as well:
- The algorithm classifies your text/image/video into Spam, Low Quality or Clear
- If your post gets through to ‘Clear’, it will be sent to a small segment of your network in order to predict how engaging it will be
- Your post’s popularity is decided by the likes, comments, and shares that it is able to garner. It will be assigned a score as well, with a ‘share’ having the highest weight and a ‘like’ having the least.
- If your post seems to be doing well, it will be sent for review at Linkedin HQ, and further will start showing up in third-degree feeds as well. This works as a viral loop, the more popular it gets, the more Linkedin will promote it and it will finally make it to the ‘Trending’ list!
What Should Your Email Look Like?
Your goal should be 5-fold:
- Introduce yourself
- Get as many leads to open the email: The subject line plays a significant role here, as this is the only deciding factor for them before opening your email..
- Maximize the number of leads who download/see the content: You can ensure this by sharing the resource upfront, probably a link to the resource in the second or third line itself. Save them the trouble of reading the entire email before getting to the valuable content that you are sharing.
- Get as few unsubscribers as possible.
- Drop a hint that you’re going to email them in the future.
These were the goals we kept in mind while drafting our mail. To help you with a template, I have included a screenshot of it below:
Get Started With Your First Engagement Post!
Our journey taught us how to hack lead generation using a simple Linkedin post and the process won us 300 subscribers in just a day! If you have a resource similar to ours, or any tool/useful information that you think your target audience will appreciate, then make sure that you do not miss out on leveraging this excellent way of garnering subscribers!
Karthik Sridharan is the Co-founder & CEO at Flexiple, an exclusive network of the best freelance developers & designers. A big believer of remote working, he is building Remote.tools for the remote community.
Feature Image Credit: Design vector created by www.freepik.com