People communicating
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The different LinkedIn strategies we use

LinkedIn is, by far, my favorite social networking platform when it comes to building professional relationships, providing value to others and marketing my business and services.

I am always looking at the different ways people act, engage, talk and post on the platform. I am always learning from what others are doing. Over time I identified different strategies people employ to try and achieve their personal objectives.

I will briefly name each of these and provide my perspective and opinion.

Objectives we want to achieve

Each of us has our own reason for being on a social networking platform like LinkedIn. Each trying to achieve a specific outcome or goal that will benefit us or our business in the end. And that is perfectly fine. Every human being has the inherent need to advance. We are built this way. If this was not true, we would still be living in the stone-age.

So what are we trying to achieve on LinkedIn? In other words, what do we want to have at the end of the day as a result of our activities on LinkedIn.

  • Leads and prospects we can sell to
  • Become well known
  • Be headhunted
  • Become employed
  • Be seen as an expert
  • Become a thought leader in our field or industry

The list is not exhaustive, but these are the main outcomes people are looking for through their activities on LinkedIn.

We get so concerned with achieving our own goal(s), that we forget about the person on the other end of the post, the video, the message or the comment. We employ strategies that we believe will further our cause and help us achieve what we want. It is really the age-old adage, isn’t it?

Strategy 1 – Motivate

We only post motivational pictures and videos. Which we often find on other social networks, download and then post natively on LinkedIn. Who doesn’t like motivational content? We all do. Right?

But. Does it add value? Why use someone else’s creations? If we decide on the motivation strategy, we must at least take the time and put in the effort to come up with our own motivational messages in the form of images, video and text.

Strategy 2 – Hi-jack

The hi-jack strategy has taken on different forms in recent times. Originally it was a comment that promotes ourselves in someone else’s post. Many times these posts were not even related to the topic.

These days we also add pictures or we talk about our articles, books, and videos in someone else’s post. So it has become more subtle. But it is still the hi-jacking strategy.

It is very hard to distinguish if the hi-jacker truly means well and if his or her intent is sincere, if they are doing it on purpose as a strategy or if they are just oblivious to what they are doing.

Strategy 3 – Be everywhere

We like and comment on every post we can. Just to be seen.

“Well done, John!”, “Congratulations, John!”, “Keep it up, John”, “Amazing, John”.

A simple rule we can use, is to ask ourselves: “Am I commenting to be seen, or do I want to add to the conversation?”. If it is the former, then rather like, but don’t comment. Or better yet, just scroll on.

Strategy 4 – Relentless Selling

Every post is an ad or an attempted sale. And multiple posts of this kind on the same day, every day.

Selling is part of what we all do. We have to sell. Whether it is an idea, our brand, a product or service, advice, raising money or influencing behavior. We sell all day, every day. Like it or not. There is no business or charity that exists today, that does not sell.

With all of that said, not everyone is in the market to buy or change their behavior at a specific point in time. In a perfect market where everyone is looking to buy what we are selling, a Relentless Selling strategy would be the ultimate strategy to follow. Alas, most people run from people trying to sell them something all the time and that they don’t need or want.

We must be careful not to use LinkedIn like the classifieds in our local newspaper.

Strategy 5 – Sharing is caring

We share every article we can find on the internet and social media and that relates to our industry. Of all the strategies up to now, this is by far the most valuable. It demonstrates that we are keeping pace with the latest news in our industry (assuming that we actually read the article before we shared it), we provide valuable information that is relevant to others who may have missed the article and it keeps us active on the network.

What I would like to see us do, is to write more original content or giving opinions on these articles. That will create even more value. Don’t just share an article without adding your own perspective or reason for sharing.

Strategy 6 – Serve

With the serve strategy, we forget about ourselves. We focus on others and what we can do to help them. To be of value to them. And this has nothing to do with doing work for free. This has to do with being thoughtful about everything we post and share, about every comment we write and about every article and video we make.

Always asking the question: “How does this help my network?” or “How will this help John?”.

This is personally my favorite strategy. I have many examples in my network of people that employ this strategy, whether consciously or unconsciously. It works.

Final thoughts

It is clear that some strategies are more successful than others. We must always consider the other person when deciding on a strategy. Remember, that we are that other person to someone else’s post or message. We must ask ourselves: “If I am at the receiving end of my strategy, will it move me? Will it make me care? Will I respond? Will I engage?”.

I am keen to hear your stories and views, so please join the conversation in the comments and share which strategies you find work best and which ones annoy you the most.


  • Francois du Toit, CFP®

    Francois du Toit, CFP® holds a B. Com degree in Risk Management as well as the Post-Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning. He is an avid miniature figure painter with a passion for helping others succeed and for professionalising the Financial Services Industry. He holds the certification of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® or CFP® in good standing with the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa as well as being a registered Tax Practitioner with them and SARS. Francois offers a unique and powerful proposition to businesses employing Financial Advisers and Broker Consultants that leads to significant improvement in production and reduced advice risk. His practical experience, success, technical knowledge and understanding the challenges and opportunities in this field, ensure immediate practical application in the target market. Francois has designed and created very successful online courses for the Financial Planning Institute and has trained hundreds of financial planners, advisers and other trainers for among others Old Mutual, PPS, Liberty, Iress and atWork. His ability to answer questions that relate to practical on-the-ground issues is what sets him apart from traditional trainers who may not have been in practice.

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