Events

The Dos and Don’ts of Connecting and Selling on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the top social media platform used for business networking and social selling, helping companies secure leads at a fraction of the cost with a greater return on investment. According to The Social Media and Sales Quota Survey, 72% of salespeople who participate in social selling outperformed their peers, exceeding quotas 23% more frequently.

So, why doesn’t everyone take advantage of LinkedIn to reach their business goals?

According to that same survey, the top reason 21% of salespeople forgo social selling is because they didn’t understand how to use social platforms — which may not come as a surprise considering 75% of sales reps report never receiving social media training.

At the Austin Technology Council’s recent Sales Leadership Roundtable, CEO Thom Singer shared leading research by Richard Bliss and Richard van der Blom, experts in selling and marketing on LinkedIn. Below are some insights into their advised best practices, with statistics from van der Blom’s recent LinkedIn Algorithm Research report:

DOS:

  • Create high-quality content by sharing your original thoughts and media. External links, while useful in driving people to your website, are not favored by the platform’s algorithm
  • Encourage “dwell time” with long-form text, slide decks or video. The “see more” button is the most important CTA on your feed, so be sure people click it.
  • Comment. A comment is four times more powerful than a “like” and seven times more powerful if posted within the first two hours.
  • Limit your hashtags. Choose three-to-five relevant hashtags
  • Drive engagement within the first two hours. Your initial post will be visible to a test group (8-10%) of connections. They are responsible for the success of your post.
  • Engage with other content. The more you interact with others across the platform the more eyes and action you’ll receive on your own.
  • Post on weekday mornings. Unlike other social medias, people are most active on LinkedIn during the week.

DON’TS

  • Automate your posts. The LinkedIn algorithm favors organically posted content. Plus, it can come off a bit spammy.
  • Tag people unrelated to posts. If the people you tag do not engage with your post it can hurt your chances of the post being seen by others.
  • Edit your post. If edited within the first hour, you may reduce its reach by up to 25%.
  • Be the first comment. Being the first person to comment your post reduces reach by up to 15%.
  • Post multiple times in a day. LinkedIn will divide your reach across posts.
  • Publish too much or too little. Posting more than eight times a week or less than once a week can reduce the reach of every post by up to 30%.
  • Turn your comment into a post. While sharing the original post to your feed will boost engagement for the creator, utilizing this feature results in up to 85% fewer views on your post than a regular post.

Overall, LinkedIn’s algorithm favors interaction. Long-from text posts, as well as comments are powerful because they offer original thought and drive conversation. While tagging people in irrelevant content or spamming new connections with automated or templated messages may come off as ingenuine.

“I tend to just think of LinkedIn as the professional outlet, so it was insightful to learn that adding a personal touch actually increases the engagement and impressions your profile and posts receive,” said Heather Trumpfeller, delivery manager at TEKsystems and president of Austin Women in Technology.

“The roundtable conversation was such a good reminder that LinkedIn was made for people-to-people connection. I’m going to be way more strategic now with my LinkedIn usage versus just taking the shortcuts like share and like,” she added.

For more information on this research, check out the Just Connecting LinkedIn Algorithm Research report, or read Bliss’s original post, 10 Dumb Things to Stop Doing on LinkedIn.

Party Like It’s 1992

In 1992 I was preparing to graduate high school, getting ready to start college, and anxiously awaiting the moment I would become an aunt. I was also plotting how to get to Lollapalooza, trying to convince my parents that my ’77 Ford Thunderbird needed to be replaced, figuring out last minute summer plans with friends, and of course memorizing every Pearl Jam and Soundgarden song.

Ambers Graduation Shot

ATC CEO Amber Gunst (left) poses with her grandma Cora after celebrating high school graduation in 1992.

In the burgeoning tech town of Austin, Texas a group of local technology pioneers were launching a new business council out of the Austin Technology Incubator. Austin Software Council came into being with the goal to grow software companies in Austin to meet the growth of hardware companies already here. They not only saw the future, they created it.

Our council has weathered every storm, from the tech bust in the early 2000’s where we reimagined ourselves into the Austin Technology Council to encompass all technologies, to the past two years when a global pandemic encouraged ATC to truly define what it means to be a community. We have seen and survived it all.

This year we will celebrate what it means to be a 30-year-old organization that is solely focused on supporting and promoting the growth of tech in Austin.

Battle for Austin Tech will serve as our 30th Anniversary Party, but as ATC has proven to break the mold over these past 30 years, this will not be a black-tie party. Instead, we’re bringing back a member favorite, Battle of the Tech Bands, but with a little twist. Your team members will still battle it out for who has the best band, but your companies will also battle it out over who is building the best tech.

Apply before June 17.

So, consider this your official Save the Date for September 22 and we will see you at The Moody Theater where we’ll party like it’s 1992.

Break out that flannel that is fashionable again and join us in celebrating our community!

Get to Know Lafayette Square: May 19 at Easy Tiger

Last fall, Lafayette Square joined ATC with hopes of getting to know local thought leaders and to help companies attract and retain top talent. This month, they’ll put those hopes into action by hosting a happy hour at the local watering hole, Easy Tiger South, on Thursday, May 19, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

RSVP HERE

“We’re hoping to connect with local members of the community that are passionate about diverse people and unique places,” said Britt Stackhouse, Managing Director at Lafayette Square. “We want to meet people who are curious about how they can grow their businesses and attract and reward talent, as well as those who share our vision for change.”

To learn more about Lafayette Square and why they’ve chosen to expand to Austin, read our Q&A with Stackhouse below. And don’t forget to RSVP to have a drink with him, his colleagues, and other local execs, professionals, and thought leaders on May 19. 

Britt Stackhouse, Managing Director at Lafayette Square.

Tell us about your company. 

Lafayette Square is an impact investment firm providing non-dilutive capital (in the form of loans) to founder and employee-owned companies. We pair that capital with curated services designed to empower companies to attract, develop, and retain employees.

Who do you serve? 

People first, always. Essentially, we are a lender to middle market companies, thereby serving the owners/shareholders, employees, customers, vendors, industry partners, and their greater communities. Service to all people especially those that have been historically underserved or overlooked is a big element of what social impact means to me.

What is one thing you wish more people knew about Lafayette Square? 

As an impact investor, combining the capital we lend to companies, paired with the worker solutions we offer to their employees and families, can be a tremendous benefit to corporate sustainability and growth. Lending has never been done like this before.

Why do you enjoy working for Lafayette Square? 

After a long run in finance offering the same, old lending options, I am invigorated by the impact our financings and worker solutions are intentionally designed to have on companies and their employees. Contributing to something beyond traditional financing makes me proud as a father and as a person.  We are striving to build a better American economy for my children.

Why has Lafayette Square chosen to expand to Austin? 

Austin is a magnet for diverse people from diverse places. People make companies great, and companies across the country are looking at Austin’s “weird” and wonderful vibe as something they’d like to replicate in rural areas and areas with less staggering growth and capital influx.

What excites you most about your visit to Austin in a couple of weeks?  

C’mon what’s not exciting about visiting Austin? For me, meeting old friends and new friends is the most exciting thing. Sprinkle in good music, spicy food, and warm sunshine and I’m in heaven. Now, I just need to make sure I can fit it all in…

What are your other plans for your visit? 

My buddy from UGA who calls Austin home booked a reservation at Hestia, and it sounds awesome. I’m also a believer that burritos and breakfast tacos are near perfect food vessels, and I love Zilker too. I will try to get up early, run along the river, and throw the frisbee a bit with friends, kids, and pets. Other than that, I want to meet as many people as possible.

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