Podcast

Episode: 527 |
Justin Nassiri:
Justin Nassiri Shares Tips to Optimize Your LinkedIn Posts:
Episode
527

HOW TO THRIVE AS AN
INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL

Justin Nassiri

Justin Nassiri Shares Tips to Optimize Your LinkedIn Posts

Show Notes

LinkedIn has become a powerful platform for professionals to connect, share insights, and build their personal brand. But how can executives effectively leverage LinkedIn to maximize their content strategy? To answer this question, Will Bachman talks to Justin Nassiri, founder of Executive Presence, who conducted a comprehensive analysis of client posts on LinkedIn. Justin talks about software his company uses for data analytics to see valuable data on engagement and trends and how to use it. 

 

The Power of the Hook

One of the most significant insights from Justin’s analysis is the importance of the hook in LinkedIn posts. The hook refers to the first line of a post, which aims to capture the reader’s attention and entice them to engage further. Nassiri emphasizes the need for a bold and provocative hook, stating, “The first line of a post really determines its success.” By taking an extreme stance or making a surprising statement, executives can stop the scroll and compel readers to delve deeper into their content.

Justin  advises executives to avoid generic and overused hooks, such as “I’m humbled to be featured by Forbes.” Instead, he suggests crafting hooks that are concrete, surprising, and contrary to common beliefs and offers a few examples. Furthermore, Nassiri highlights the importance of formatting the post to make the hook stand out. By using line breaks and creating distinct lines, executives can make their hooks more visually appealing and increase the chances of capturing readers’ attention.

 

The Visual Advantage

Another key finding from Nassiri’s analysis is the significant impact of visuals in LinkedIn posts. According to the study, posts with photos receive 115% more views than those without any visual content. Graphics, on the other hand, result in a 28% increase in views. He emphasizes the need for original and relevant visuals. Stock images are not effective in capturing readers’ attention and should be avoided. Instead, executives should use their own photos or graphics that directly relate to the content of their posts. For example, if the post discusses leadership, including a photo of a team or a relevant graphic can enhance the post’s impact. Justin also offers a few tips on how to generate ideas for visual content. 

 

The Power of Data Analysis

Beyond the specific findings, Justin highlights the broader value of LinkedIn as a tool for data analysis, and how executives can use LinkedIn to gain insights into the topics and ideas that resonate with their audience. By analyzing the performance of their posts, executives can identify their “zone of genius” and focus on topics that generate the most engagement. He encourages executives to view LinkedIn as a platform for testing and refining their content strategy. LinkedIn provides a data-driven approach to understanding what content is valuable and to whom. This data-driven approach allows executives to refine their messaging and focus on topics that truly resonate with their audience.

The insights from Justin’s analysis have significant implications for executives looking to enhance their presence on LinkedIn. Looking ahead, it is essential for executives to continue evolving their content strategy on LinkedIn. While certain tactics may become overused or lose their effectiveness over time, the fundamental principles of effective writing and storytelling remain timeless. Executives should strive to provide valuable insights, educate their audience, and create engaging content that resonates with their target audience.

 

Frequency of Posting on LinkedIn

Another important aspect of LinkedIn thought leadership is the frequency of posting , the type of post, and the audience.  Justin explains how the post is displayed, breaks this down line-by-line, and emphasizes the need to post consistently and frequently, recommending two to five posts per week. He highlights the significant impact of increasing the frequency of posts, with a three and a half times increase in monthly views and a 3.7 times increase in monthly likes when going from two to three posts per week to five posts per week. He also suggests posting at 7am local time, as this allows for maximum visibility and engagement.

 

Content Development Tips

In terms of content, Justin advises against using articles, links, and reposts. Outbound links and reshared content tend to receive significantly fewer views compared to original posts. However, Nassiri provides two workarounds for including links in your posts. One option is to publish the link as the first comment in the post, while the other is to add the link after the first hour of the post. He talks about how short-term fads can be exploited but should not be relied on as evergreen content. Justin recommends ending your posts with a statement rather than a question. According to his analysis, posts that end with a question perform 30% worse than those that end with a statement. This suggests that people may be fatigued by the overuse of questions to drive interaction. Instead, focusing on authoritative content with clear takeaways and actions can lead to better engagement. Justin shares pros and cons on the types of content commonly created.

In conclusion, optimizing your LinkedIn thought leadership requires a strategic approach. By using visuals effectively, posting frequently, avoiding articles and links, and ending with statements, you can enhance your visibility and engagement on the platform. As LinkedIn continues to evolve, it is crucial to stay informed about algorithm changes and adapt your content strategy accordingly. By following these insights from Justin Nassiri, you can position yourself as a thought leader on LinkedIn and maximize your impact in the professional community.

 

Timestamps:

01:19 Methodology and scope of the study using Shield App.ai

02:09 Insights from the study: Best practices in posts

04:39 Importance of the first line and the need for bold and provocative statements

09:40 Tips for creating a strong hook and the importance of distinct lines

10:14 Factors affecting the visibility of the post and the need to entice viewers to click “See more”

14:07 Importance of using original and relevant photos in posts

17:35 Selfies may not perform as well after algorithm change.

19:11 The best time and frequency to post

26:28 What to avoid in LinkedIn posts.

32:12 How to end a LinkedIn post

 

Links:

Website: ExecutivePresence.io

 

CONTACT INFO:

Justin@executivepresence.io

 

 

One weekly email with bonus materials and summaries of each new episode:

SPEAKERS

Will Bachman, Justin Nassiri

 

Will Bachman  00:01

Hello, and welcome to Unleashed. I’m Will Bachman. And I’m here today with Justin Asiri, who is the founder of executive presence. It’s a firm that helps executives run their content strategy on LinkedIn and other social networks. Justin, welcome to the show.

 

Justin Nassiri  00:19

Thank you so much for having me. Well,

 

Will Bachman  00:21

So Justin, I saw that you had done some research, some study, analyzing a bunch of your clients posts, and came up with some interesting findings, really on LinkedIn. So I was grateful that you agreed to come on the show to share those, you know, learnings with us.

 

Justin Nassiri  00:42

I appreciate the opportunity. I love talking about it. And I personally have found that there is a really big dearth of data on LinkedIn. And we’re trying to solve that problem. And we’re committed to doing monthly reports where we look at different data to see what people can apply that the tactics like they can learn from the data we’re seeing. And so really excited to go deep with you today. All

 

Will Bachman  01:04

right, fantastic. So let’s money just quickly give us a understanding of the methodology used and the scope of it. So we understand kind of the basis behind your recommendations.

 

Justin Nassiri  01:19

Yes. So what we did is we looked at May 2023. And we look at 1015 of our client posts on LinkedIn, we use an analytics platform called shield app.ai, which the native LinkedIn analytics are quite poor. And so shield app allows us to go a couple levels deep, deeper, we took that data, which was used for the bulk of the observations. But then we also used our internal team to add some qualitative factors, which we’ll get into. So we had to enhance the data data that we received, we then looked at it and it just happened that there were 10 things that stood out to us. And we tried to make that as tactical as possible, so that we could apply that to our clients and people who want to do this on their own could put it to use as well.

 

Will Bachman  02:09

Tell us a little bit about this tooled tool shield app, tell us about how does that work? Do you have to give it like login to your account? What does it do? What’s the benefit? What’s the cost?

 

Justin Nassiri  02:20

Yes, speaking speaking, candidly, I have issues with it as a platform, I think it has a lot left to be desired. But I think it is often the best tool that I found there, shield out.ai, I’m gonna just pull them up just to make sure I don’t butcher their pricing. But their pricing is $8 a month for individuals $20 a month per account for teams. So we’re using the $20 a month version, it used to be more expensive, surprisingly, I think used to be $100 a month. And all you have to do is just give them you know, you’ll give them the LinkedIn credentials when you log in, and then it runs pretty seamlessly. And the way that I perceive it is mainly the value that they’re adding, isn’t it? A lot of the data that LinkedIn does not really store their story net, which allows you then to kind of slice the data in a variety of ways and see longer term trends. And a lot of LinkedIn data looks at like past seven days past 30 days, which is valuable. But if you’re really wanting to look at like month over month performance and things like that, it’s fairly limited.

 

Will Bachman  03:26

So what does it tell you? Does it tell you sort of how many views? How many comments? How many? Does it give you any insights into who those people are? Like, what kind of stuff do you actually get out of it?

 

Justin Nassiri  03:38

Yeah, they, they give you as much as you could hope for and so impressions, likes, comments, shares, engagement, rates, follower change, over time, average per post on all of those, you can filter to see your best posts over a given period of time for each post. Right now, a lot of some of the data is post specific, not aggregate, but for each post, they can give you insight into the company’s the breakdown of company responding that occupation. So is it salesperson, software developer founder who’s looking at the post, the region of the world? Is it San Francisco? Is it New York, so it’s very valuable from that standpoint. So for example, if you did a post about AI, and you see that everyone responding to it is in Austin, that might give you get intel for, you know, where to reach out to. So yeah, that’s kind of a high level profile views and things like that as well.

 

Will Bachman  04:39

Okay, well, that sounds something that I actually personally think we’ll look into. Sounds pretty valuable. Okay, so you did this analysis. 1100 or so post? What did you find?

 

Justin Nassiri  04:51

Let me let me just add one quick thing on what you said. I think that one of the biggest things that people underestimate from LinkedIn, is it as a tool for data analysis. CES. And so you know, the way that I view this with with our clients is, each month, we want to be able to say, look, this month you talked about topics A, B, and C, and people loved it. You talked about topics, XY and Z and no one cared. And why that’s important is that if you go on to a podcast, if you go to a conference, if you’re doing a data report, you really want to have that data that like lip topics, A, B, and C are my zone of genius, I want to focus on that. And what I feel like we’re displacing is, you know, a lot of our clients give keynotes and they get people in the audience nodding their hands, or clapping or laughing, that is the only feedback they have on what they’re saying is valuable. But what LinkedIn allows you to do is to atomize your message to get discrete data on what is working and with whom it’s working. And that’s really priceless when it comes to CEOs and executives who are speaking or being interviewed or other things. So I just wanted to highlight that’s one of the reasons we like a tool like shield app is most of the time executives are flying blind on where their insights are valued, valued. And I feel like that’s the next evolution we have, as executives is really understanding our zone of genius when it comes to speaking and presenting.

 

Will Bachman  06:13

Yeah, and LinkedIn is a nice testing ground, it’s always there’s always the issue of there can be a lot of other factors at play, like the time of day you posted, and how good was your post? And, you know, what day of the week you posted on and just did people, you know, like the was it a text post a video post? So you couldn’t only just say, well, the posts on, you know, AI did really well on the posts on web three did not do well or something. You’d have to try to try to keep those other things constant as much as possible. Right. But yes, at least it gives you something of what,

 

Justin Nassiri  06:52

exactly, exactly, yeah, so Well, you know, well, here’s what I’ll do, I’ll just kind of all start with what I thought was the most powerful takeaways, and we’ll just kind of go in descending order. And that way, you just kind of keep us on track for time, we can dig deeper and deeper, and we’ll cover as many of these as we can. So the very first thing and I think this is probably the biggest one, the first insight we had is to focus on the hook. And for those of you unfamiliar, look, especially for LinkedIn is the very first line, the first line, the goal of that line is to arrest the feed to get people to stop scrolling. And what we found is, the first line of a post really determines its success. So what we did, this is the qualitative component, we went through all of these 1015 posts, and we ranked them on a scale of one to five, about how bold and provocative the statement was. So if if if someone started to post with something like I’m humbled to be featured by Forbes, we would give that a one out of five, that’s a pretty weak hook, it’s it’s overused, it doesn’t really capture attention. But if someone did one, this is actually one of my posts, I invest $75,000 per year in becoming a better CEO. That’s, that would be a four or five, it’s a number, which usually works well on LinkedIn. It’s surprising. It’s concrete. You know, another one that we featured in this report, the first line was harsh truth, most people don’t really care about you. That’s contrary and it’s surprising, it’s going to stop the scroll. And so what we what we have found is and this is kind of that going into more detail here, you really benefit from taking an extreme and bold stance in that hook. And you can back off of that in the body of the post, you know, so you might say like most people don’t really care about you, or every venture capitalist on Earth is an asshole, you can say something like very, very extreme. And then in the post, you can kind of back off and say like, of course, here’s five VCs that I love, and they’re not all bad. But when it comes to that first line, you don’t want nuance, you really want to go to an extreme. And so that was the first takeaway focus on the hook, make it bold and provocative. And one other copywriting note. Most people mess up, they do like a paragraph of text, you really want those lines to be distinct. So when I said I invest $75,000 per year becoming a better CEO, full stop. That’s the first sentence you have a line break to make it stand out. And so I’ll pause there, but there’s a lot deeper we can go but that was the very first thing that stood out to us.

 

Will Bachman  09:40

Okay, I love that. Now, this is a nerd question. Sometimes it seems like when I’m scrolling on my LinkedIn feed that you will see just one line of somebody’s text post. But sometimes I think you see more than that. So what what so that we can have this hook and make people want to click see more? What are the rules around? When does it show just one line? When does it show three lines or five lines? Like maybe it’s different if there’s a image attached?

 

Justin Nassiri  10:14

Yeah, there are, there are. There are two factors on this. The first factor is the type of content that you post. And the second factor is, where is someone where is someone viewing the content. So let’s start with the first one, if someone is posting text, they will very likely see the first three lines. And that’s three lines, even if you have a line break in between them. So three distinct lines. And someone on LinkedIn who I recommend everyone follow Justin Welsh key, you know, he has kind of broken that into a science where the first line is stopping people from scrolling. The third line is from is trying to get people to click on See more, if they click See More, there’s a huge algorithmic benefit. So that’s kind of the standard is three lines. Generally, if you post a video, if you post an article, if you post a photo, that’s going to be limited to only two lines in so you get less content visible. And then the other way to view this is how someone viewing it, if they’re viewing it on desktop, they’ll always see the three lines, if they’re viewed on mobile, they may just see the first line. And so all of that, you know, just to simplify this is focus on the very first line, that’s the only one that you can guarantee people are going to say, see, so make it something arresting, make it something that provokes and and you know, one other framework here, we often talk about provoke, entice, educate and close, the first thing we got to do is provoke someone to stop scrolling. The next thing we need to do is entice someone to click see more and cliffhangers work well for that the bulk of the text, you want to be educating people, and then you want to close and we can talk about that and go in more detail. But long answer to a short question.

 

Will Bachman  12:12

All right, fantastic. And I will, I will toss off a prediction, which is this may not be 100% evergreen episode, because at some point, yeah, everybody’s gonna be doing like these provoking kind of questions, and people will get sick of it. And then there’ll be something else that you need to do. Right.

 

Justin Nassiri  12:30

Well, it’s interesting, though, to go deeper on this. I feel like there are two categories of these tactics on LinkedIn. One is one is short term. And so like, I would consider polls, polls were really big on LinkedIn for a while they got fatigue. And now it’s not really as effective. carousels are still doing well. carousels are those slideshows you see a lot. Those are, in my view, overused now. And I think pretty soon those are going to be less valuable that they fill doing pretty well. So there are definitely things that are short term fads. And you’ll kind of like exploit them until everyone exploits them, and then you’ll never use them again. However, I do think that there are some things where we’re seeing an evolution to what people prefer. And this will play into the second point we’re going to talk about here in a second. But I think that there are things that are just general best practices for good writing, and good copywriting. And so I actually view that thing around like a strong provoking line. I think that that’s universal. You see that on TV, you see that in movies, you see that in like every storytelling medium. So I’m actually excited because I think that people are becoming better writers and better storytellers. And I don’t think that will actually go away. I think it’s just kind of like people are evolving to understand how to better do that. And we all benefit if the content is less, I’m humbled to be featured by and more actually teaching things.

 

Will Bachman  13:56

Yeah, I agree with that. It’s more of a headline, a catchy headline. And that’s, that’s going to be you know, that’s not going away. Okay, exactly. That’s tip number one, use a catchy headline.

 

Justin Nassiri  14:07

So tip number two is to use visuals. And there’s gonna be a caveat on this. But we view the visual as one of two things. It’s either a photo, or if it’s a graphic, and so we broke down our analysis by that. We found that if you use a photo, you get 115% more views than a post without a photo. It’s the largest. But you know, the largest thing we saw that you could do to get more visibility. 115% is pretty exceptional. A graphic gets 28% more views than a post without a visual. So both graphics and photos work well. In our report that’s free to download. We’ll give like examples so you can see that but the most common graphic we’re seeing right now are kind of sketches that take a calm complex idea and continue to create simplicity simply, now, the caveat that I referenced is the photo has to be what we would call original and relevant by original. I mean, don’t use the stock image, use in actual photo stock image is not going to help it. And I’ll come back there because I have a tip for you on this. But the second thing is it has to be relevant, it has to be directly related to the post, the post content. And so if I were to, you know, if I were to write a post about leadership, and I have a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s not really relevant, that doesn’t help it. So make sure your photo is original and relevant. But if it is, always add a photo. And so one quick hack, and I learned this from a friend, Dave Juan, he said, and I started to do this, he said, like, you know, what I do is I go through on my phone, I just scroll through my photos. And like when I find a good photo, and I think of an idea of how this ties into business, I’ll write a post about it. So that’s one way that people could do it. It’s almost like reverse engineering from the photo that you have. And then a second way to do it is to, you know, a lot of times, if we’re having our clients talk about their team, we’re always encouraging them to, you know, take a photo with you and this person, so when you talk about them that you can share that photo. So again, I’ll take a pause there, but that second point is use visuals. It is, you know, it definitely makes your content stand out.

 

Will Bachman  16:33

Okay, great. So use visuals. And I’ve heard that using a selfie or a picture of yourself actually does pretty well.

 

Justin Nassiri  16:42

So there is some debate here. Our next report that will release at the end of July start of August is going to be looking at LinkedIn, most recent algorithm change, which happened at the end of June. There are some theories that selfies are going to start not doing as well. And we do we haven’t done the data for this. But anecdotally, we’ve seen that that selfies work better for female posters than males, which which makes sense intuitively. And I think that selfies fall in the category of overuse. However, I would agree under the sense that it’s a photo that is original and relevant. I would think I think that selfies do work well. But our hypothesis is that they will start to do less well. But I don’t have data to back

 

Will Bachman  17:35

that up yet. All right, maybe makes one in once in a while. Now, it’s interesting what you say about the graphics, adding an image. I’d heard sort of mixed things about this. There’s this other group, as I’m sure that you’re familiar with them. I think it’s Richard Vander blondes group, he also does this analysis. And I’ve heard from them that sometimes adding adding an image like a photo or an image can hurt your post on average. So I imagine it depends on the quality and the relevance of the of the image that you’re posting.

 

Justin Nassiri  18:08

Yeah, I most often when I see that true, it’s stock image. And I think that we as a human race have evolved to have a strong aversion to stock images of you know, people choosing their coffee mugs around or whatever the stupid images. So I would imagine that, I think that listeners will likely know what I’m talking about with these graphics where, you know, it’s just kind of like, it looks like a sketch, there’s kind of a trend right now, there’s a whole ecosystem of people who will create these simple graphics for you. That’s that works well. But then the you know, the photos if it’s especially if it’s like a real, you know, like I did a post on my 43rd birthday recently, like 43 things I learned and I had a photo of myself picking that up, you know, Kenyatta when I was like nine years old, like killed, it did really well. But that’s like a really good photo too. It’s interesting and authentic. So that authenticity piece, I think is what we miss when we use stock photography.

 

Will Bachman  19:08

Alright, cool. All right. Let’s go on to point number three.

 

Justin Nassiri  19:11

Yep. So point number three is post often. And let me let me back up and give you kind of what I often tell when I’m talking to a potential client. So what we have found is, let’s let’s actually back up a little bit further with some LinkedIn theory here. In our view, the first goal of LinkedIn if you’re starting to post is to activate your network, your network, or people who know you, they like you, they trust you. But they probably think that you’re at the job you were at three jobs ago, like they’re just not current. And so what we try to drive for is Top of Mind relevance. We want your network to have you top of mind for referrals and things like that. And then that beyond that, we We think about thought leadership and growing an audience and how to gain followers. From both of those vantage points, we have found that you have to post two to five times per week, in order to cut through the noise. And that is a huge, huge shift a lot of our clients, when we first start talking to them, they’re posting two to five times per year. So So getting them comfortable posting two to five times per week. It’s, it’s, it’s one, it’s a workload problem. But to in more importantly, it’s a mindset problem that’s like, they’re like, Oh, I’m talking too much, people are gonna tune me out, people are gonna tell me I’m full of hot air, which is not true if you’re adding value in your content is good. So so this, this kind of the data that was the lead into the data on this, when we work with clients, we have one package where we post 10 times per month, that’s two to three times per week. And we have another package where we post five times per week, that’s 20 posts per month. So what we started looking at, oftentimes, we start at two to three, and then a client will upsell into the five posts per week. So we looked at that distinction, what happens when you go from posting two to three times per week, to five times per week. And what we found is that led to a three and a half times increase in monthly views, and a 3.7 times increase in monthly likes. And the key there, it’s disproportionate, right at most, we’re doubling the amount of content, but we’re nearly quadrupling the impact. And as a business owner, anytime I see that sort of disproportionate return, I get excited. And so that’s where that insight was coming from. And I would I would kind of simplify this to a statement to say that as long as your content crosses a quality threshold, so as long as your content is good, there is no downside to posting more often. And and I’ll give you two quick rules there. One is we recommend you don’t post within eight hours of your first post, then it starts to cannibalize the likes and views of each other you kind of like both posts get blunted by that. So give it give it eight hours. But the second thing is I have recently switched to posting two times per day on weekdays. So I post at 7am. And then I post again at 3pm. And I am seeing incredible returns from that. So I’m not saying this to intimidate your average listener, if you’re listening, and you’re like I’m not posting at all, I don’t want you to not become active on LinkedIn, because you feel like you have to post a million times a week. But just know that there is an advantage to posting consistently and frequently and more often. And it’s probably the best thing you can do to get more visibility is to post more frequently.

 

Will Bachman  23:11

Okay, so post more frequently. And I don’t know if this was on your list, but I asked you offline, and you told me what is your recommendation on the best time of day and best day of the week to post let’s say you’re only going to do three posts. When should you when should you post them?

 

Justin Nassiri  23:27

So my this is this is anecdotal, I don’t have a strong we did this, maybe four or five months ago. And there I believe that consensus was Wednesday was the worst day Tuesday was the best day and Saturday was like the second best day. But I really wouldn’t worry about that as much. I will tell you for myself. When I scheduled my content about a week out. When I schedule my posts for Monday, I post my best post I would ever post I think is my strongest I put on a Monday because I tend to see the most traction for myself on a Monday. If I have a post where I’m like, this is I’m not sure if this is gonna land this is a little bit more experimental. I’ll put it on a Friday, because Fridays are kind of hit misses. And so I’m kind of more willing to take a chance on a Friday. But I would say like don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good here. If you’re going to start posting don’t worry too much about that. The other thing is, I would say in general post at 7am. local time. If you have a sense, you know, if you’re based in New York and you most of your network is in California, maybe you post for 7am Pacific time, because that’s where your quote unquote audience is. But in general for our clients, we default to 7am local. There’s some reasoning behind that but one of them is most creators are active in the morning but you’ll get more engagement from them and that Second thing is you really want your post to, quote unquote, live for as long as possible and posting it in the day in the morning allows a lot of people to see it. Usually in the evening, people are not as active on LinkedIn. And so I always cringe when I see friends who post like a great post, and it’s like seven o’clock at night, and I’m like, oh, man, no one’s really gonna see that. And the other thing to know here is that, as far as we can tell, with the algorithm, the first hour of a post makes or breaks the performance. If I post and in the first five minutes, the first hour, I get a lot of likes and comments, a lot more people are going to see it. And if in the first hours, I don’t get a lot of likes and comments, it’s unlikely I’m going to go much further. And so if that first hour is eight o’clock at night, when most people are not active on LinkedIn, it’s unlikely you’re really going to, you know, make a big mark.

 

Will Bachman  25:54

Okay. And that guidance is different than some other people give, which is that some people say posts like between, you know, either they’re sort of assuming or guessing that most people are checking LinkedIn around 9am, perhaps, and they’re starting work or around noon, and it’s lunchtime, local time. And I’ve seen suggestions to post around those times. So you get all sorts of suggestions. Okay, so So you’ve got your advices 7am. works best. Exactly. All right. Cool. All right. So what I forget where we are, I think we’re third or fourth, yeah, what’s the next one.

 

Justin Nassiri  26:28

So all, I’m looking at our deck here, I’m going to actually go out of order, I’m going to go to number five, which I’ll say is our number four, because I think it’s more important than that than the one we have in this presentation. So that the fourth one for us is use original content. And specifically, avoid articles, avoid links, and avoid reposts. And I’ll share the data here, but I just want to like just before we even get into the numbers. Anecdotally, if I share a link on LinkedIn, if I say a link to a New York Times article or a link to my blog post, when someone clicks on that link, they go to the New York Times, they go to my blog, and LinkedIn does not want that there is no world in which they want people leaving the newsfeed, they want to keep all people in the newsfeed or a YouTube video is another great example. So anecdotally, you can imagine there’s gonna be an algorithmic penalty, if I’m driving traffic away from LinkedIn platform. And the data absolutely supports that. If you do an outbound link on LinkedIn, you get 1/3 of the views of a post or data link 30% of the views, it’s significantly less, and reshares are even worse, I get a quarter of the views. If I reshare content and resharing is it’s just a button on LinkedIn. It’s the you know, my judgmental view, the laziest thing you can do, because you’re literally clicking a button it reposts it, there’s no explanation, there’s no content out it is literally just like my audience Look at this. And it’s just kind of like it doesn’t perform well. Now, as always, there’s a couple workarounds here, there’s two things you can do on the link front. What I do is I publish the link as the first comment in the post. So if I’m referencing something like like, here’s what I’m going to do when will publishes this podcast, I’m not going to say I’m so humbled that will have me on his podcast, I’m probably going to say thanks well for having me on the podcast, here are three things that I learned in our conversation, and I’m going to add value in the post. And then at the very end, I’m going to say, if you want to listen to the episode, I’ll link to it in the comments. And then the very first comment is check it out here. The comments do not hurt you with a link it’s only if it’s in the post. So that’s the first workaround. The second workaround is there is some anecdotal evidence that after the first hour of a post, it doesn’t matter if there’s a link so some people will edit their posts after an hour add in the link and then it doesn’t seem to hurt their performance for me I’m just you know busy during the day I don’t have the time to go back and do that. So I find that comments one works a little bit easier.

 

Will Bachman  29:30

Okay. And so no links no articles now actually I have a slight on the Repost. I would say if you are going to repost it, like don’t repost it with comment, at least as a as a creator myself, I find that people think they might be being helpful with that. But that breaks the chain where if you just simply repost someone else’s post, then any already who then comments on it? It will be integrated with all of the comments from the original post, right? And the original poster will see those like in the same thing, but if you repost it with common it breaks that chain. So now it’s a separate unique post on its own and comments on your thing will will only show up on your repost. Yeah, that’s a good point. So I mean, repost I think are not necessarily a great way to like, if you’re, you know, in terms of building an audience, but if there is a post out there that you think was good and that your connections would benefit from, I’d say it’s, it’s okay to repost it. You’re not necessarily adding a ton of value, but you’re helping your your connections to see it. And it certainly helps the original poster. Because I think a lot of you know, post it gets a lot of repost, it does tell the algorithm Oh, this is valuable content. Yep. 100% of a percent. So it’s more of not so much helping yourself by reposting it. But you are helping the original creator of that. Get more visibility. Yeah. So okay, what’s I’ve lost track and they were important for

 

Justin Nassiri  31:05

  1. Yeah. And I had to skip around on this report. But number five for our conversation is don’t end with a question. In the post with a statement, not a question. This for me was, you know, this is the best cocktail fart fodder probably from the whole report. I thought this was so interesting. We don’t the person who did this particular analysis, I give them props for even thinking to look at this. But they said that, we found that when a post ends with a question, it does 30% Worse than a post that ends with a statement. And our hypothesis here is that people are using questions. They are overusing questions to try to drive interaction. What do you think? What would you add to the list? What’s your story? I think that that’s where we’re seeing fatigue around this. And in general, people are looking for more authoritative content content, where people are making an observation, having a clear takeaway, having a clear action. And so that was that one was was surprising, you know, don’t don’t end with a question.

 

Will Bachman  32:09

Okay, so I’m definitely guilty of that one. Given that,

 

Justin Nassiri  32:12

I’ve done that, too, because I’ve done I’ve done that, too.

 

Will Bachman  32:15

Yeah. Because what I had seen was you’re trying to, you know, what you’re really trying to get, as someone who’s posting is trying to get comments, and maybe you’ll talk about this, but like getting a comment on your post is a far more powerful signal to the LinkedIn algorithm again, just getting a like, so you’re really trying, like, almost throw away likes, they almost don’t do any good. But comments are really what drives the, the engagement on it and the visibility. So you know, ask your question, you’re hoping the person would answer it. But what you’re saying is people are sick of that. And so

 

Justin Nassiri  32:47

I think so. But I you know, I agree with what you’re saying on comments. And the one thing that I would say, is the one way, in my view, there’s a couple of ways to drive more comments. One is, you know, anytime someone comments, I am very, very quick to like their comment and respond to it right away. And I think that that builds that relationship, I think that it rewards people to comment. And I think that it’s also can lead to conversation. And again, our one of our theories with comments is that LinkedIn rewards, comment interactions. And so there can be a way to ask questions in the comments. So if I posted and well said, like, Oh, this is great, and what about XY and Z? And I said, Oh, I didn’t think about XYZ, oh, well, what do you think about a, b, and c? And he responds, and I respond, and he responds, that back and forth? is LinkedIn gold? It seems like that sort of interaction signals to the algorithm like, oh, people are having a discussion here. So you know, we should we should say this to more people. So that’s, that’s one thing. The other thing is that I do think that there’s a certain amount of reciprocity. So if you know, I try to make time every day to comment on other people’s content, there’s a strategy there because it kind of gets my name and title out to other people. But the other part of that is, you know, it also leads to people reciprocating and you know, I scratch your back, you scratch mine. So a little bit more thoughts on comments there, but they’re really, really valuable.

 

Will Bachman  34:13

Now, I have a comment and a question. So what what I’ve heard from the Richard Bandler, blonde stuff is that if you get a comment on your post, that what I used to do would be I’d like it, and then I reply to it. But what he says is that their analysis says that LinkedIn only looks at the very first interaction that you have with it. And since a comment or reply is more valuable than a like if you’d like it first, and then you reply is not going to give you credit for that reply. So I’ve heard

 

Justin Nassiri  34:45

Oh, that’s interesting. I haven’t heard that. But that’s I’ll have to look into that. That’s because I usually like that comment. So that’s actually interesting.

 

Will Bachman  34:51

Yeah, so you may want to if this is true, or at least you guys can test it as well. Is reply first. And then like it

 

Justin Nassiri  34:59

interesting, I I like that. Okay. I mean, even even if that’s superstitious, I’ll go with that superstition,

 

Will Bachman  35:04

you know, it’s possible. Who knows? Anyway. So that’s superstition. Now, one question I have for you about commenting on other people’s things. This is definitely advice that you see all over the place is that LinkedIn algorithm favors people who are generous, and I’ve heard things that you should do at least three to five comments for every post that you do. Now, do you just rely on looking through your feed for that, or some people I’ve heard have identified some content creators that they’re particularly want to always reply to their stuff on and like focus on it rather than just relying on the feed to bring you whatever random stuff? Do you try to be targeted in who you comment on? And you have designate, you know, identified some people or how do you approach that?

 

Justin Nassiri  35:49

So I think Justin, well, sure I referenced earlier kind of popularized this. And he shows he has a video course that I recommend to anyone to LinkedIn operating system, he shows his system, where he’s bookmarked it with the person’s name and the time at which they post because most heavy hitter content creators post the same time every day. And so you know, his his theory, which I agree with is, you want to be one of the first people to comment on a post because then you get more visibility. And so you know, he has a system where he knows Joe Smith posts every morning at 605. And so he’ll bookmark that 605 Joe Smith, he clicks on that at 605. He’s one of the first commenters and then he gets a lot of visibility and kind of gains followers in that way. So there’s certainly a strategy there. The way that I have kind of evolved to do this is I have three groups of people that I try to comment on. The first is people with a large audience that is a similar audience that I’m going after. So as a business, I’m going after CEOs. One of the people on my list is Ray Dalio, a lot of people love his books. A lot of business owners I admire admire Ray Dalio. And so I aim to try to comment on Ray’s posts, because if I do, his audience is more likely to see it. And and quick sidenote, I actually gotten the sale. And this way I literally, you know, when I have a sales call, I say, How did hear about us? And he says, oh, yeah, I know, John, and you commented on his post, I thought it was a really insightful comment. I looked at your title, and I clicked on your profile, and now we’re meeting and then any signed up that that same day, so it can be effective. And other quick side note there, it’s really important that your title on LinkedIn is descriptive. So like mine is CEO and executive presence. I help CEOs be active on social media. So you know that that title goes with me when I comment. So it gives people a reason to reach out to me, a lot of people waste that when it’s just like CEO of Acme, and no description. I don’t know what acne is, I don’t know why I’ve worked with them. Some people are like father of two. And it’s like, Okay, that’s great. But I’m not going to reach out to you for that reason. So you want to, you know, with this commenting strategy, you want to have a comment. That’s, or a title. That’s descriptive. But But back to my point. The first one is people with a large audience who have similar audiences that I want to comment on. The second is just people I like, and so that people I like to try to interact with and engage with, they might not have a big following, but I’m just trying to support them. And I generally liked their content. And then the third is our clients, I’ll try to comment on some of our clients posts each week to kind of help them out. So that’s, that’s another way to do it. Some people engage in things called pods, which we can talk about, but I’m aware we’re running out of time. So I’ll defer to you. Well, I’m where you want to take things. Well, I’ve

 

Will Bachman  38:32

heard that pods are something to stay away from because if you get kind of detected by the algorithm, it’s gonna punish you.

 

Justin Nassiri  38:40

Yeah, I you know, there’s, there’s something called limb paw that’s like automated pods, which definitely don’t do, it’ll get you visibility for like a day, and then it absolutely destroys you. There are people who engage in pods and it might work for them. I you know, I spend enough time on LinkedIn that I can usually tell because you see the same people commenting on the same people. So that’s, you know, not great, I would recommend if you really want to go down the rabbit hole on this fine, you know, three to five people with an audience about your size or slightly greater who talk about similar things. And I almost do it more for accountability than for algorithmic benefit. But you know, there’s some people I do this with, we’re each day we try to like, comment on each other’s stuff. And it does help me post more regularly because I’m like, in a group of people who are who are posting regularly so I don’t know if it’s an algorithmic benefit, but it’s certainly an accountability benefit. And I agree, I think if you go for a larger skill pot, I’m sure LinkedIn kind of see through that. So I, it just feels disingenuous to so I’ve generally avoided that.

 

Will Bachman  39:43

Yeah. What and by the way, we should we should just say it for you know, the My understanding is a pod is basically a group of people who will agree that they will all comment on each other’s posts. And so someone might say, Okay, I’m publishing it at 10am and then at 10. am everybody the other 39 people on your 40? Person pod goes in comments right away. So you get that first hour boost. And then everybody does that for each other. Right? Exactly. But what’s your thought about? Sometimes people ask me, like, send me like, Hey, I just posted this, here’s a link, would you mind adding a comment? Do you think that LinkedIn kind of detects that someone is coming in through a link and commenting? And is that a positive or negative? Or is it just as good as if someone saw it in their feed and commented of, you know, just directing people to your posts and asking them to engage?

 

Justin Nassiri  40:35

I, you know, just Justin Welsh, who I meet with occasionally, he is, you know, pointed out, if you look at the link that LinkedIn gives you, when you when you click on Copy Link, it does have the UTM code at the end. So he’s, you know, always advised me to delete that. So it’s not clear, you know, like, he has thought was that LinkedIn, we’ll see that everyone is coming from a certain link, and then it gets discounted as a result. So I think there’s probably some truth there. I view that as kind of like, it’s an unsustainable strategy, right? It’s like, one, if someone does that to me, you know, if I can, I’ll do it once. But if they do that, to me twice, I’m kind of like, do too many things going on to like, like, your stuff. So I feel like that’s, you know, if there’s some major milestone, you probably, maybe you want to do that and put an oak behind it. But I think we’re all, you know, conditioned to see through automated messaging. And so if it’s like, I just did I just posted this, I appreciate you liking, commenting, like, oh, yeah, he’s probably sent this to 1000 people, so I’m not gonna give it too much credence. So that’s just my anecdotal view. But I think it’s probably effective one time, but you can’t really do that every day and maintain a group of friends.

 

Will Bachman  41:47

All right. Very understanding friends. All right. Okay, so I don’t know where we’re at. But what’s the next boat? And any any other points you want to add? We do have some time.

 

Justin Nassiri  41:57

Okay, great. So um, this one was funny for me to one of our points was avoid hashtags that posts with hashtags receive less use. This was very counterintuitive. It’s based on 1015 posts, which is relatively small amounts of data. But you know, in other terms, pretty big amount of data. But we found that posts with hashtags do 50% Worse than posts without hashtags. And our hypothesis was that it makes a post seem less personal and more like a marketing gimmick. Like if I’m like, oh, you know, I love being a father. And this is what I learned hashtag father, it just kind of like breaks the emotional tenor of the post. And so I don’t know, I think I would love to look at this with a bigger data set to understand if that’s true, because the conventional wisdom is you add two to three hashtags. And in theory, people, it gets more exposure. Again, not to overweight my experience, but I very rarely I’m searching off of hashtags. So I don’t know who these people are, who are really looking for, you know, hashtag dad life and looking for content about that. But our data suggests that hashtags don’t help and might even hurt your post.

 

Will Bachman  43:08

Hashtag I hashtag agree, hashtag with hashtag that. I am. I totally agree. I had seen that guidance. Oh, you should do like the optimum is three hashtags. But I’d find them like, I never searched on a hashtag. I tried it once. Okay, like, let me just see what is an if you search on a hashtag, like I tried independent consulting and trade management, consulting, it’s just super, like, awful stuff. Like, I can’t imagine anybody would be going through like searching that way for content.

 

Justin Nassiri  43:41

And it’s like groups, it’s like groups are the same way. I’m like, every time I visit a group, I’m like, Oh, my God, this is this is like the underbelly of LinkedIn. Why would anyone be here?

 

Will Bachman  43:50

Yeah. And then and it always just, it’s so it doesn’t really add any value to the post, if you’ve just read about it. And it’s about being a father, you know, it’s about like, hashtag father, you don’t need to see that the bot Yep. So maybe it’s better on Twitter, it kind of maybe people do search on hashtags there or follow a hashtag or something. But I think on LinkedIn, I would just say, take all your hashtags off and just set them aside.

 

Justin Nassiri  44:12

I think that’s good advice. Yeah.

 

Will Bachman  44:14

And oh, you know, you didn’t mention this one, but don’t go and like, at spam, like 50 people, I’ve seen some people do that. Occasionally, I’ll get, you know, added at, you know, at something were you, you know, at someone so that they’re all hyperlinked on your posts, like they’re trying to get me to comment or pay attention to it or something. But that I’ve heard is bad because if a low percentage of those people actually comment on it, it makes your post do a lot worse. So you should definitely not not do that.

 

Justin Nassiri  44:44

That’s what I heard that matches what I would expect, which is the if I tag will and will responds that algorithmically helps me but if he doesn’t, it hurts me. And so yeah, I am annoyed with that too, when it’s like do you just tagging need for visibility? But if it’s if it is, you know, genuine, I think it’s great to do that, because it’s likely the person who will respond to that will help your post. Yeah, I

 

Will Bachman  45:08

mean, it’s super relevant. If I tag one person, I’m like, I do something about LinkedIn visibility, and I tag at Justin, what do you think about this? You know, because this, you know, does this align with your recent research? That’s one thing, right? But not if you tag 15 people, please. You know, 30 people, oh, I just spoke at this conference. And it’s done. So don’t tag a bunch of people like that. Yep. Okay, what’s next on your list?

 

Justin Nassiri  45:31

So the next one isn’t, isn’t strictly data one. But one thing that we include in this report is that videos are good for brand building, that they require more time, but drive more meaningful engagement. And so there is a lot there, it’s kind of a hot topic right now is the value of video. Our thesis is that video works really great for communicating emotion. And it’s a differentiator because people can see you and hear your voice and it creates more brand affinity for you as a person. However, if you’re measuring it strictly by views, likes, comments and shares, they tend to not get enough views, likes and shares to justify the investment of time. So one school of thought is, if frequency and consistency matter most, and it’s easiest to create text posts, just focus on text, add a photo where possible, and that’s the best return on investment for your time. My stance is that I actually am trying to invest in more video. LinkedIn has an accelerator program for creators, and anyone who gets into this program, they require them to do one video per week, which makes me think that they’re wanting video to be part of their strategy. But anecdotally, we found that when our clients do video, it is very well received from a brand building standpoint, even if the numbers don’t justify the investment.

 

Will Bachman  47:02

And are these is it important to have good production value? Or is it sometimes you’d see these you know, selfies in the car like people driving or walking along in the park or something? Tell me

 

Justin Nassiri  47:18

so we actually have classified this in four different categories. One we call the casual creator and that’s the person you know, shooting on a mobile device, sometimes walking which is my least favorite video, but it’s kind of like it’s the casual creator they’re very clearly doing a selfie video,

 

Will Bachman  47:36

think about those like, what you are so busy that you have to afford it while you’re

 

Justin Nassiri  47:41

I just I hate I’m sure it works, but whatever I see it I’m like Get over yourself.

 

Will Bachman  47:46

Or while you’re driving, I mean, come on, pay attention to the road, I’m not worried about a guy’s gonna crash. Well,

 

Justin Nassiri  47:51

that’s the same might. That’s also my thing. My thing too, when when people have photos of themselves, like working like you realize, like, we all know that you hired somebody to take a photo of you looking like you’re working. And I’m like, this is like the most inauthentic thing possible, but I guess it works. The second type of video is the one that I do. We call it the minimalist, there’s no branding, there’s no headline, there’s just captions. And the person is looking directly into the webcam or video camera. So I like that that’s the one that I tend to do. I use D script for editing and it’s a great tool that you can use to quickly edit your video and add subtitles. But that’s the minimalist. The next one we call the influencer and you’ll see these it usually has like a branded upper third, how to fix your b2b attribution problems, things like that. So it’s like clearly produced lots of jump cuts, header color branding. And then the last one is professional and that’s when it’s got like the logo and it’s just like even more branded. We don’t have research on this yet. But our anecdotal evidence is that the influencer professional these like more branded ones, people tend to tune it out as propaganda, but the in the casual creator, the minimalist are just like they see more authentic, more real, more impromptu and get a better response.

 

Will Bachman  49:14

Okay, so do you last to get more? Yes, yes, yes. Amazing. Okay, any parting thoughts?

 

Justin Nassiri  49:23

Um, you know, I really have enjoyed the conversation. For those of you we didn’t get to all of them. But if you go to executive presence.io, go to our resources section, the whole deck is free. Keep an eye out. Every month, we’re going to be releasing our new report. The next one will compare 30 days after the algorithm changed to 30 days before. We’re going to see what trends emerge from that. And, you know, definitely look me up on LinkedIn. Justin at executive presence.io We’d love to chat with anyone who wants to go deeper on this stuff.

 

Will Bachman  49:53

Fantastic. Justin, this has been a fantastic discussion. I learned a ton. It’s going to influence my own posting And she’d expect to see some more 7am posts scheduled we will include your links in the show notes so follow Justin people and comment on his stuff it’s good stuff thanks a lot for joining

 

50:14

yeah thank you

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