Sahail Ashraf posted on 10 December 2020
LinkedIn has released it’s Top Voices list for 2020. Who is on it, and why? And can brands learn lessons here?
LinkedIn keeps surprising us. It has still stayed relevant and important over the past few years, even as younger, hipper platforms go from strength to strength and capture the attention of the media. LinkedIn is becoming more accessible while still maintaining it’s professional image. It’s doing well.
Owned by Microsoft, LinkedIn has steadfastly refused to shrug off it’s professional feel. And it has a lot of input and content from some very influential people. It has also just released its ‘Top Voices’ list for 2020. These are the users who are, essentially making huge strides in influence on the platform. It’s a huge list, broken down into industries and regions. We thought we would take a look at it and see if the list itself could teach marketers any lessons about how to generate and grow influence on the platform.
LinkedIn has basically taken a look at itself and worked out which users are the ‘movers and shakers’ on the platform. These people have been picked to be part of the ‘Top Voices’ list because they satisfy the following criteria and types of behaviour:
1. Engagement, including reactions and shares as well as comments across all of the content that the Top Voice shares
2. Posting cadence. You may not find any ‘20 posts an hour’ people here on the list, but you will find people who post regularly and reliably
3. Follower growth. This is a key indicator of influence, and an obvious marker for Top Voices
There is obviously a deeper process at play here. LinkedIn says it then takes a look at the body of work for the year. How is the member using the platform? Are they staying away from self-promotion? Perhaps one of the biggest indicators is that self-promotion thing. LinkedIn has been plagued in recent times by users who simply don’t get the platform. These users spend most of their time populating their account with brazen self-promotion. LinkedIn thinks it’s Top Voices simply shouldn’t do that.
As a final point, LinkedIn says it was looking for people who were reflecting the world in the last twelve months.
It’s difficult to gain a full understanding of the complete roster without seeing it for yourself. It covers a huge variety of industries though, which means that the insights delivered by the Voices can cover marketing and branding in a wide range of contexts.
That’s useful. But the real meat comes with diving in deep and digesting the content the Voices share. Spending just a few minutes on the Top Voices in your industry really shows how they have developed a voice, a style and an approach to the content that they know their audiences need.
We’ve taken a good long look at the list and all of the people we have seen so far, while accomplished, are certainly not stars in the media. They’ve just put the time in to serve their audience and make sure that they give value.
Stick at it, basically. From the point of view of maintaining marketing on LinkedIn, the idea seems to be that brands (personal and otherwise)would do well to be consistent in posting. It has to be a regular thing.
On top of that, honesty and authenticity is key. LinkedIn (and it’s audience) appreciates not being sold to. The more human a brand can be, the better. And the more involved in a conversation, the better.
Finally, and perhaps this is the trickiest part, if a brand wanted to gain even a small part of the influence these users have, it’s important to focus on the world around you. A Top Voice Does not exist in a bubble. A Top Voice user is as likely to be talking about Covid, the weather or the last muffin they ate as they are their latest product.
And that’s something for all brands to work on.
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