LinkedIn Stories: How to use it and why you should

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Did you hear the latest news?!

LinkedIn released LinkedIn Stories to all U.S. users last Thursday, and the content marketers among my connections geeked out. Everybody else pretty much lurked but didn’t post anything (or hasn’t touched the app since their college professor once made them sign up).

LinkedIn cites stories as a “more human way” to connect, and I couldn’t agree more.

Of course, there was a whole line of haters too, mocking the social media site for trying to be like Instagram and Facebook.

Users not a fan of LinkedIn Stories

You should try LinkedIn Stories

I’d like to argue that you should become one of the frequent users of LinkedIn Stories if you are in the business of needing to network, get more clients and build your audience (yes, please!). Besides, LinkedIn–where politics is still a little taboo–is also a great distraction from following the nail-biting news over the next five weeks.

When you are an early user on any new feature on any social media app, the algorithm usually works in your favor. Take one look at your Instagram feed of Reels to know this is true. LinkedIn Stories show up prominently at the top of every user’s phone, so if you’re among the first in your network to use it, you’ll appear there.

 How LinkedIn Stories appear on your phone

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re a small businesses service provider, an LLC–AKA a one-woman show, and you’re busy running every part of the business. And now you have ANOTHER thing to add to your list? No, thanks.

But before you turn up your nose, consider this: LinkedIn has over 500 million users, and only half of them are monthly users. Of that half, only 3 million are posting content every week. There are no stats yet about LinkedIn’s newest stories feature, but you can bet that only a fraction of users are making use of this new tool.

Here’s why spending time on LinkedIn Stories can pay off

In a market that’s completely flooded with content from other service providers, showing up consistently in the spaces where your audience is hanging out gives your target audience a sense of who you are and what it’s like to work with you.

Still, though, a flood of content means it’s hard to get noticed even when you follow all the good content etiquette and rules (trust me, I know this firsthand). A new space that’s not diluted with content is rare. If you post to LinkedIn Stories, you’ll pop up at the top of the app for loads of people in your network (read: free advertising).

When you consistently use images and language that resonate with your target audience, they can feel like you are talking directly to them. Sharing your knowledge and supporting your community helps you build trust and stand out.

My LinkedIn content typically performs better when it’s just plain text, and I’ve heard this from others as well. I’ve posted loads of images and videos in my content updates. None of them perform as well as my plain text posts. If you’re someone who is good at writing, this is perfect. But not everyone shines in writing. Plus, video lets your audience more easily know, like and trust you. LinkedIn Stories is a great space for your network to get to know you and see what it is like to work with you.

On LinkedIn, and really any social media channel, the money is in the direct messages. When you can have an exchange with actual people in the messages, you can directly exchange value. Every time you post to LinkedIn Stories, a message bubble appears at the bottom. You can even add an arrow sticker asking people to message you with a response or a question to your story topic. When they do, start a conversation and see where it leads (pun intended).

You can also see in the bottom left corner of your stories who has viewed it so far. Click on that and of those viewers, go ahead and connect to any 2nd person connections and message anyone there with a follow up.

How to post to LinkedIn Stories

Here’s the fun part. I promise, it’s not so hard to figure out LinkedIn Stories. And since the feature is still new, there are only some bare minimum features in there. This means you don’t have to get tied up trying to figure out a bunch of new features, like on Instagram Reels.

Here’s a quick video on how to post to LinkedIn Stories.

What should you post on LinkedIn Stories?

There are loads of ways to post to Stories, and as you use it, you’ll come up with more ideas. Here are a few to get you started. You can also download my Content Marketing Ideas Kit to get 50 ideas for posts and stories👇

  • The easiest way to start with LinkedIn Stories is to answer the prompt in the stickers. There’s been a question there every day since last week, and it’s an easy introduction to the feature. Questions are about productivity, behind the scenes in your office (um…4 kids and 2 dogs in mine!) and what are you working on today. Simply post a video answering the question and add the sticker. Done!
  • A great way to come up with LinkedIn Stories content is to use content from your posts. If you suggest tips in a post today (or any day!), you can explain that in a video. You can pull content from your blogs, newsletters or other business social media pages and make quick videos to share it.
  • Highlight something that you’re working on.
  • Share lessons learned or what you’re struggling to still figure out. Ask for input.
  • Ask your network what they prefer and show them two options of something you’re creating.
  • Ask a question for market research or to start a conversation. Encourage viewers to respond in the comments.
  • Answer a frequently asked question.
  • Highlight or thank someone in your network with a shoutout.

4 hacks for easily making LinkedIn Stories

Stories don’t have to take a lot of time, and you don’t even have to make selfie videos. Here are three ways to save time and make stories quickly.

  1. Use Canva templates: You can make a few backgrounds in Canva to use for stories. You can add this after you add a video introduction or instead of making a video. In fact, if you’re committed to absolutely never making a selfie video, more power to you. You can still post stories by creating a few templates in Canva and then laying text over it, like a question or a tip. You can add each image slide as a separate story, with or without a video.

Get your Canva video tutorial and workbook here to learn how to easily make a few of these to store on your phone:

2. Make your story in Instagram: LinkedIn Stories are still new, so it’s a lot easier to make a story on Instagram and download it. You’ll get all the fun gifs, stickers, fonts, music and features of Instagram that you can then post on LinkedIn Stories. Plus, you can obviously post it to Instagram as well if your content suits the channel. Just be sure when you’re creating content for LinkedIn on Instagram that you have your business audience in mind. Once you download a video from Instagram (or anywhere, you can upload it to LinkedIn Stories.

3. Batch your content all at once: Stories, like all social media content, can be a total time suck if you let it. You can avoid this by batching content at once. Spend a little time upfront and make content for a week or a month at a time. You can store this on your phone and upload it when you’re ready to post. Read more about content batching here.

4. Repurpose content: If you regularly post to LinkedIn Stories from Canva posts or Instagram downloads, you’ll end up with a lot of clips on your phone. Don’t assume that everyone in your network follows what you post. Put it up this month and then use it again next month. You can add a different twist or update to the content, but you don’t have to always be coming up with something new.

4 big LinkedIn Stories mistakes to avoid

You can easily delete or remove Stories, like all social media, and they only last 24 hours. So, don’t get too uptight about getting this wrong or right. You’ll get better at making Stories with time. Here are a few mistakes to avoid, though.

  1. Don’t hold your phone at weird angles and in bad lighting: There are plenty of users on LInkedIn that are comfortable taking selfie videos on other channels, like Instagram. I’m guessing you’re not one of them if you’re reading this far. Over this past week, I saw some pretty bad angles and awkward lighting in videos. Take a minute to find a space with good light (hint: face the light or window, don’t have it behind you). And get used to holding your camera straight in front of you so that we’re not starring down at your head or up your nose 😬 Click here for tips on getting started with videos
  2. Don’t post inappropriate content for business: LinkedIn is a business networking channel, and as much as it borrows features from other social media channels, there’s still a general sense of keeping it business casual. I like to think of it as the casual cocktail party at a business conference. You don’t have to be stuffy, but this is not the space to be dancing like you’re on Instagram. If you wouldn’t bring up a topic at a casual business networking event, don’t bring it up on LinkedIn.
  3. Don’t post without adding value: LinkedIn is about adding value. Share tips, industry news or trends, bounce business ideas around and network. Be sure you’re always adding value with any stories you post and make it about your audience. It helps to think of your most favorite client, who you wish you could clone. Consider what she needs to hear today. Now, go from there.
  4. Don’t be a perfectionist: LinkedIn Stories only show up for 24 hours. This is not a space where you want to spend an hour of your business day. The first one will take you more time, but after that, you can get these up pretty quickly. I posted one yesterday that took me under five minutes to make.

Intrigued? Go ahead and jump on the bandwagon. Send me a message on LinkedIn once you do.

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