How to format a LinkedIn Share

There is a formula many influencers use to get their shares noticed. In this post, I teach you how to get people to stop scrolling and start engaging with your content.

Vin Vashishta | Originally Published: May 5th, 2021

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The format of your social shares is as important as the content. You have an audience who your post needs to draw in and engage. What does that mean?

Your post sits in a feed, an endless scroller of content. Step 1 is to get people to stop scrolling long enough to look at your post. Your profile image can help. I am wearing red in my picture. Think of colors that stand out and put them into your image. Avoid having a blurry picture or low image quality.

Think about using an interesting background that can be seen in a small image. I have trees and a building because most people have a bland or single-color background. I have natural sunlight prominently featured so you can almost feel the warmth on one side of my face.

My image is not just a headshot. There is more space available for colors because my head is not the focus. That allows me to use background and colors more effectively. A/B test your profile photo to see which one stands out the most.

Some ideas I have seen work…pets in the photo, images of you speaking in front of an audience, black and white or other contrast types, and interesting architecture in the background.

Grabbing Attention

The next key to getting people to stop is your first line. You have a few seconds of attention once someone has stopped. How much of your post can be read in a second? Time yourself to see how far you can get and that is how long you have to capture someone’s interest.

Images work. Uploading videos to LinkedIn works. Both can stop someone for long enough to generate interest. However, your first line or two becomes the critical component to get attention.

Starting with a clear call to action and reason why they should do it works well. For your project share post, “See my implementation of … here. I explain how you can…” Clear call to action starts with an imperative, See, Read, Click, Check Out, Challenge Yourself, Join, Learn To… Next explain the benefits. Will they learn, enjoy, something else?

Words Matter

Be a relentless editor, a word assassin. Chop the first few lines down to be as short as possible. People read short sentences and are pushed away by longer text walls. Take out every unnecessary word. I see phrases like “This is one of my biggest…” Change it to “My most significant…” Instead of “I am speaking at…” change it to “Thrilled to be joining…”

Add in juicy words. Instead of well written, call a tutorial you share exceptionally written. Use strong language to draw in readers.

Once you have people’s interest, realize you will probably lose it after the first paragraph. Make sure everything that is important for them to read is in there. You can expand on and support points further down but do not bury the important points under the first paragraph.

Where To Get Examples

Read PR posts and ads from companies in your feed. Larger companies with mature marketing teams will use this format and you can get a few tangible examples that will help solidify these concepts. Look at other peoples’ posts and think about how you would reduce their first 2 lines. What words can you take out? It is easier to learn to edit someone else’s work because you do not have the same attachment to it.

When you share someone’s content, tag and thank them. It is important to attribute the source, so people do not think it is your work. It also improves your post’s visibility. If your project is inspired by someone else’s work, again attribute the source and thank them. If you are working on a team, same deal.

That is the recipe for an effective share on LinkedIn.