GUEST POST: Three ways to re-purpose your content and grow your public sector LinkedIn page

LinkedIn is sometimes a tough nut to crack. But it can be a positive channel as Connor McLoughlin of Wokingham Borough Council says.

LinkedIn? Shouldn’t we give control to HR? That’s where people go to find a new job right?’ 

Sure, it can be used for recruitment, it’s where people go to talk about work after all.

But LinkedIn is a legitimate news feed. And it’s one where we can adjust our messages to help reach more even more of our residents and partners.

Since we opened our account at Wokingham Borough Council two and a half years ago, we’ve more than doubled our followers by repurposing content with the right emphasis. 

As this has grown, we’ve found that more people who see our content each month has trended upwards (see graph below). 

Chart, line chart

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You don’t start with a NextDoor-sized following (those generous people giving us five-figure audiences), but you’ll probably have a few thousand. We started at 2,500.

We’ll top 400,000 impressions in 2021 and that’s the kind of awareness which I’m sure all public bodies want to tap into.  

Easier to repurpose

The Ofcom Online Nation 2021 report says 27 per cent of adults aged 16 or older use LinkedIn, making it the sixth most popular social media platform. 

But crucially it’s the third most popular where the content is arguably not video-led, like Instagram (second), YouTube (third), Snapchat (fifth), and TikTok (eighth).

Your Facebook and Twitter content is more easily put onto LinkedIn than any other channel. 

If you’re lucky enough to have one of those social media scheduling tools, you might just need to tick an extra box and make a few changes to your copy.

A simple change to emphasis, or bringing something else to the fore, maximises engagement for LinkedIn. Things we find which always work are:

  • Shout about great news for your area
  • Leverage your partners on shared projects
  • Celebrate your colleagues and their successes

Example: Safe place for successes

For example, this post about the borough being a healthy place to live here.

And this post about investment.

We find LinkedIn is a place where our great news for our business and our area are celebrated by our audiences. 

New film studios in our area and our borough coming top of the ONS health index (see above) are two examples of this in 2021. Both had more impressions (6,000+) than we have followers (less than 4,500 at the time of posting).

On Facebook these items were dampened with pessimism from a few residents, the type all local authorities deal with on that channel.

But on LinkedIn we only see positivity and it helps us to higher engagement rates. Colleagues, residents and partners amplify this with their networks and help us celebrate the success.

We are always happy to be the hook people work from to promote something themselves.

Example: Celebrating teamwork

Here’s another example this time also involving video.

And also this post here.

In the public sector partnership working is essential. It’s also essential it’s celebrated. 

We find when we draw these partnerships out in our LinkedIn posts, tagging our partners in, they always perform better. 

The companies/businesses, and sometimes their staff, we work alongside want to mark these too. People are proud to work with us and bring benefits to our residents.

We’re fortunate to have several large construction projects taking place across the area, linked to additional housing in our borough in recent years.

There’s also a chance to share content, hence some of the excellent video content we’ve been able to promote in the last 12 months.

Put your colleagues at the front of the story

Our work is done by great people. LinkedIn is the right place to talk about them and what they do for us.

Look at your stories. It might work better on LinkedIn if instead of talking about the thing, we talk about the person who did the thing. 

Or we make sure we factor the people who were involved into the wording of a post in a way we wouldn’t on another channel.

We’ve all had to re-nose a news story or press release, apply the same to your social content for LinkedIn and you’ll see the engagements jump up.

And if you are using LinkedIn for recruitment, no potential staff member is going to be deterred by a workplace that shouts about the great work of its colleagues. 

But what does the data tell us?

These points of focus have helped us more than double our following in two years, with consistent growth in the number of people who see our content and engage with it. 

In the last year, we’ve seen total engagements alongside audiences of local authorities with followings five times ours (see table below). LinkedIn provides this data for ‘competitors’ in its native analytics if you’re interested. 

There’s no competition for audience but it helps to know if what we’re doing is resonating and providing value to those who do see our content relative to similar organisations.

CouncilFollowersPostsEngagementsAverage engagements per postEngagements to followers ratio
Wokingham Borough Council5,6402888,39329.141.4881
County council 126,1112168,54339.550.3272
County council 226,6741958,77745.010.3290
New, large unitary4,9834887,01614.381.4080
Similar sized unitary6,5362412,84811.820.4357

Data correct as of 13 December 2021

Make it work for you

If it’s a channel you’re already using or one you’re looking to unlock, these are a great place to start with adapting some of your content from other channels. 

Lift and shift. Repurpose with purpose. It won’t involve a 9:16 video. 

You could bring lots more eyeballs on some of your biggest projects and get to highlight your perfect partnerships or celebrate your colleagues. After the last few years, we could all do with a bit of the latter. 

Connor McLoughlin is senior communication, engagement and marketing specialist at Wokingham Borough Council.

PRO VIDEO : How to get the most out of LinkedIn video

linkedin vid

At last, LinkedIn has joined the race to encourage people to consume video on the channel.

The long-predicted move sees the platform for professionals allow you to upload directly to the site.

How you can upload video to LinkedIn

Easy. You can do this by adding a video when you are adding an update from your own profile from a PC. There is a video button as part of the range of options. You can also shoot video from your phone or add a video from your camera roll.

linkedin video

At the moment, this is limited to updates in your own name. You can’t do this yet from the company page. For me, this isn’t a huge loss. People connect to people on LinkedIn and let’s face it, the company page is a pretty dull place.

So, cat memes on LinkedIn now is it?

What this does is add some extra dimension to the field. This is unlikely to see an explosion of cat memes on LinkedIn. This isn’t Facebook. But it does mean that when you are looking to communicate a new field has opened-up.

How you can use LinkedIn video

LinkedIn themselves have published a short guide to using video on their platform. This is going to be a bit trial and error, I suspect. You can read LinkedIn’s own advice here.

In short, LinkedIn think:

  • Something work related.
  • Less than five minutes in duration.
  • Tips, a talk or a how-to guide they are keen to share

Interestingly, they are after candid, not-overly produced and over-selling, too. This should pave the way for in-house video that doesn’t cost the earth.

At the moment, they don’t have a live broadcast functionality but I can see that changing.

Five ways to use LinkedIn video

Consultation. If the audience is more professional than other channels, that’s fine. This is where business people and others are. So if you need to get their feedback try here. A short video may work as part of the mix.

Recruitment. If your HR team are looking to recruit a short video may help.

How to guides. There are a range of things that professional people need. Advice on how to complete a planning application, take on an apprentice and many other things present themselves.

Professional opinion. Best practice guides or vlogging could lend itself well to the platform.

Experiment. The field is clear. Dip a toe in the water.

 

 

 

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