There is no reason not to accept a connection request, regardless of whether you know the individual. Expanding your network will result in a larger network and more opportunities. You'll also appear more frequently.
On the flip-side, if you’re just connecting with very random people, and then posting content that none of these people care about or engage with, your post reach will decline over time, because LinkedIn will decide that no one wants to see what you post and share.
It’s a judgement call. If you don’t feel comfortable exposing your personal contact details, then there is absolutely no compulsion to do so.
If you accept a connection, or someone accepts your request to connect, send them a message. Something along the lines of:
“Thanks for connecting. As a ………., I’m really interested in your comments about/work on…….and look forward to hearing more”
Add Valuable Content
Increasingly, LinkedIn users are posting about personal situations and events, which we believe is to be welcomed to some extent. We’re all human after all, and family and social situations often shape our and influence our working lives. However, it is the most professional platform, so the majority of your posts should be related to your business or industry.
You’re won’t appeal to all of the people all of the time. There’s no point in trying. Stick to talking about what you know and believe in, and are genuinely interested in, and make sure you can back it up if necessary. You’ll build a more loyal and engaged group of connections this way.
Be pleasant, thoughtful and helpful, just as you would in your physical place of work.
Post Regularly During The Busiest Hours
LinkedIn’s busiest days are Monday to Friday. According to very recent research from HubSpot, these are the optimum times:
- Wednesdays at 12 pm. While Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are largely considered the best days to post on LinkedIn, Wednesday at 12 pm is one of the days and times that multiple studies target.
- Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 8 am–10 am. After the craziness of Mondays, people tend to check LinkedIn as they're getting their days started on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
- Thursdays at 9 am. Thursday is a higher-traffic day on LinkedIn, likely because people are winding down (mentally) and gearing up for the weekend.
- Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 8 am–5 pm. The middle of the week is a great time to post on LinkedIn since it's after the catching up usually taking place on Mondays but before Fridays when people are thinking more about the weekend than work.
- Fridays at 9 am. Fridays aren't particularly high-traffic days on LinkedIn, but if you're going to post, try to post early before people check out for the weekend.
Try to become a regular feature on people’s newsfeeds, without appearing annoying. Don’t post more than twice a day, but try to post at least once a week.
Engagement is crucial, and asking questions is a very simple way to make people engage. By asking questions, you’re immediately prompting and challenging your followers to leave a comment. The best posts on the professional network tend to be ones that spark debate among commenters. Could you ask provocative questions? Maybe you could ask for advice or guidance? This may depend on whether you have to follow brand guidelines, of course.
Use Images And Links In Your Posts
As is the case with other social networks, visual content will almost always get more engagement. Images immediately draw the user’s eye when they’re scrolling on the newsfeed, whether that’s on a desktop or mobile device.
Posts with links tend to receive higher engagement, as links add credibility. Try to direct people to interesting and insightful updates in your respective industry, both from your own website as well as external sources.
Try to find and connect with those who have a heavy influence in your industry. You probably no who these people are.
Share their content to your followers to showcase your knowledge and expertise in the field. Add your personal thoughts to it, whilst complementing them on their content, even if you don’t 100% agree with it.
Make The Most Of Trending Content
The best way to promote yourself as current and knowledgeable is to post about relevant (to you) news and topics currently trending on LinkedIn. Whether that’s through blog posts, articles, links or regular posts is entirely up to you and what your audience finds most engaging.
If a particular news item or topic is suddenly one of the most talked-about things on the platform, make the most of it. If the trending content isn’t directly related to you or your industry, is there a link? If not, don’t try too hard to manipulate it.
Engage In Groups And Discussions
If you want your name to appear in all the right places, look for groups and discussions in which you can add your valuable insight. Find people talking about the needs you fulfill and promote yourself to them, without appearing too salesy, of course.
LinkedIn Groups are a great way for like-minded professionals to “share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts.”
The best way to perfect your marketing is to keep a keen eye on the performance of your previous content using analytics.
Experiment with varying topics within your industry and see which ones tend to receive the most engagement in terms of likes, comments, and clicks.
Don’t forget to test different timings and days too. It might be that the majority of your followers are active in the mornings but not the afternoon, for example. Remember, engagement is key – the more people that comment and like your posts, the more likely it is that they’ll appear in new audiences’ newsfeeds.