Using images in LinkedIn and other social media has always been really important. Having a great image to accompany a post on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or any of the other social networks has always been important, simply because people respond to visuals. And despite what you may have been told, you posts are aimed at people not search engines, bots or algorithms.
But why are images on LinkedIn suddenly so important?
Images on posts aren’t new news, that’s true. The reason I’m stressing the point now is all down to the updated LinkedIn design, which has moved all the elements of the site around, to much consternation to its millions of users who are trying to make a living using it.
One large element of the site which has suffered is the main feed in the centre of the page. Where the old layout, which some users still seem to have, gave you at least three lines of copy before it showed the read more tag. The new LinkedIn layout now shows only 2 lines of copy, and if you make the error of adding a return after your first line just one.
If you are posting a link which isn’t pulling through a structured link, with an image and description, then your post is going to look pretty awful, which of course means it’s less likely to get clicks and shares.
Make your two lines a headline!
At the moment, February 2017, LinkedIn is a bit of a mess with bit of the new and old system all mixed together, so I’m not expecting the 2 line issue to be changed anytime soon, if at all.
So for the moment, you’ll have to work within LinkedIn constraints.
The great thing about the two-line constraint on posts, is in that constraint. You know how much space you’ll have so use it wisely.
Write your copy like a headline. Keep in short and snappy with the promise of great information for the people who click the link. That’s not to say you should fall into click bait territory, that’s for Facebook!
Don’t worry if you need to write more than two lines of copy, LinkedIn will still show it once the rad more link is clicked, but if your headline doesn’t grab attention no one will read the rest of your carefully crafted copy.
Back to LinkedIn images
Getting back to the use of images. Using a great image in tandem with your new found headline writing skills, will make your posts stand out in the new LinkedIn feed. Think of your updates as newspapers lined up on the station forecourt vying for attention. A killer headline and a great photo will nail it every time.
But where do you get great images?
Ideally the great photos will be your own, taken with care and espousing you and your brand values as well as the fabulous story. But in reality, you’re unlikely to have that many shots to use which will have the desired impact.
I’ll let you into a little secret, you don’t need to spend a fortune of exclusive photos, though you should have a decent library of your own. The secret is stock shots, that’s right stock shots.
Stock shots had a bad reputation for a very long time for awful staged board meetings and people shakings hands, if you want that it’s still out there. There are now a raft of great free stock sites which give will give a constant supply of amazing professional quality images.
My favourite is Unsplash, the images are stunning.