Backstory:

When I first started out in my business back in 2013, providing soft skills enrichment programs for schools, I knew in the back of my mind that I had to be active on social media. I didn’t see it as an urgent step, but I knew it was an essential one. I even set up Facebook pages as a first step. I even scheduled a few posts on that page, although no one probably even saw it. Because back then, I knew nothing about the world of social media – the do’s & the don’ts, the algorithm, my strengths, and the strategy that needs to go behind it.

In the dynamic landscape of personal branding, the choice of social media platforms can make all the difference. As someone deeply invested in cultivating a meaningful online presence, I embarked on a significant shift early on, around 2017, transitioning from Facebook to LinkedIn. This decision wasn’t merely about changing platforms; it was a strategic move to elevate my personal brand to new heights. The online platforms we choose become the canvas on which we paint our professional narratives.

Here’s why I switched from Facebook to LinkedIn.

1. Red Ocean V/S Blue Ocean

One of the reasons I stopped posting actively on Facebook is because it became too crowded – too crowded with trainers, speakers, coaches, consultants sharing their stories about business. Being part of the community, we naturally connect with others in the industry but it also means that your feed is full of their posts. I know of some insurance leaders who put up posts on Facebook and are supported by others in their industry.

All of that informs the algorithm that you enjoy engaging with content from business professionals within your industry and the algorithm then serves you more of such content and suggestions to connect with them as Facebook friends. So the chances of your content appearing in front of your “ideal” audience gets slimmer and slimmer by the day.

Would you rather be in front of 10 of your ideal clients or 100 of your friends, family, and connections?

Was there an alternative? Yes – I could have made the choice to remove all of my trainer, speaker, coach, consultant friends etc and carefully curate my friend connections. But Facebook was always about connecting with friends and family, so I decided to leave it as it is. Plus, I’m bombarded with ads on Facebook that I find it annoying. It seems like Instagram and TikTok are also headed towards becoming a red ocean with too many players in it.

LinkedIn currently has more than 1 billion members in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide and an exceptional search system to find the exact person you are looking for. The best part is less than 1% are active users – most of them are purely looking to connect with people without posting much on the platform. This is great for business owners that want to build their personal brand – more visibility and less competition!

2. Baby Boomer kampung (village)

Over time, some of my friends started to move over from Facebook to Instagram. It’s where most Millennials and Gen Zs spend time, along with TikTok. Some of them even made the decision to keep Facebook for family, and Instagram purely for friends and business. This happened gradually over the years, and Facebook slowly started getting the notion of being the ‘Baby Boomer’ kampung. It’s where the mothers, fathers, uncles and aunties hang out with one another – to stay in touch with their friends. Facebook feels more like a distant relative that we visit once in a while to stay in touch. Among my own friend circle, I have one friend who sends me reels on Facebook Messenger that he finds funny (it’s his love language) and we call him Boomer uncle because none of us in the friend circle send reels to each other on Facebook Messenger. On the other hand, almost 60% of LinkedIn’s users are between 25 and 34 years old. I’m not surprised that more than half of LinkedIn users are in the age group that are starting or growing their careers/businesses because LinkedIn is a professional social network but keep an eye out for the 18-24 crowd that is going to be leaving Tiktok and joining LinkedIn very soon. It’s powerful to see the wave coming.

3. You don’t have to go viral to get business!

I see a lot of creators chasing the elusive virality for their posts. Everything they do, is optimised to get their posts to be served to bigger audiences through virality. I feel bad for them, because of the amount of effort it takes to do something that is completely out of their hands. No one can predict virality on their posts, and it’s waste of time trying to get your content to go viral. Luckily for me, I didn’t need to go viral to get business as well as media enquiries from LinkedIn. All I had to do was connect with the right people and post content consistently. I’ve been fairly consistent since 2017. In 2023, I posted 188 times throughout the year i.e. roughly 3-4 times a week (I don’t post on weekends).

As I transitioned from school to corporate audience for my work with Millennials, I started investing more time on LinkedIn as my main platform. This is because the people I aim to reach, the HR professionals, the Learning & Development (L&D) professionals or the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) professionals are all active on LinkedIn. It is much easier for me to reach out to them via LinkedIn than it is for me to find them on Facebook. Hoping they come across my posts on Facebook is a bit – as my Gen Z colleagues would say – delulu (delusional). Incidentally, it is also easier for my prospects to find me on LinkedIn than it is for them to find me via Facebook. All they have to search for is Millennial Speaker Singapore or Multigenerational Workforce Trainer Singapore on Google or LinkedIn!

See my Linkedin profile pop out as the 2nd result when you search my name

4. LinkedIn is Google Optimised

When someone searches your name to see what they can find out about you on Google, your LinkedIn profile is sure to turn up in the first few results. That is because search engines like Google periodically review the LinkedIn Member directory for new and updated public profile information to show in their search results. This is good news for those who you who have an optimised LinkedIn profile page. If you have not optimised your LinkedIn profile, here’s a guide that can help you do that: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-give-your-linkedin-profile-complete-makeover-vivek-iyyani/

5. LinkedIn is like your landing page

My link: LinkedIn Mastery Quiz

Landing pages have 1 objective: To convert i.e. Get your name / email address in exchange for something special that you want.

One of my favourite things about LinkedIn is how it shows the viewer almost everything they need to decide if they want to work with you or not. When you activate your creator profile, you can have a link in your profile (if you want them to sign up for something or check out your website). Of course, you must have a proper call-to-action if you want them sign up for something and it must be valuable enough for them to want it. A lead magnet is something that helps your prospect attain a quick win, without having to dive in spend too much time on it. For instance, if you are a career coach, it could be scripts and email templates to use when discussing a salary negotiation – high in demand and simple to action upon. Once you’ve activated your creator profile and added your link in the bio, then your focus can be on getting the right people to view your profile. I talk about the 8 types of content you need to create in order for the right people to view your profile in my book, Marketing to Millennials

6. Playing to my strengths

If you know my story, you know I failed my A’ level subjects – Physics, Maths, and Computing. But if there’s one subject I passed, it was this: English (General Paper). I didn’t think much of it back then, but over time, I’ve realised that language comes easily to me than others. Writing is an activity I enjoy. So even for social media, I focus 80% of my efforts on sharpening my copywriting skills. I geek out about writing better. And therefore, I spend more time on LinkedIn because it allows me to write articles and feature them. I can’t do that on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok. Doing videos are like a dozen steps extra for me to get the same message out. That’s probably why I find it easier to write than to put videos out there. Putting out thought leadership articles is one of the best ways for service businesses and entrepreneurs to build traffic and establish their authority in this space.

7. Being professional doesn’t mean you’re serious all the time

Most people associate being a business professional with being serious.

What rubbish!

You can be a business professional and still be the funniest person in the room. Most people have a misconception that LinkedIn is only for serious content. Some unkind people even comment “This isn’t Facebook” on some posts, which is even more ridiculous. Don’t let anybody tell you your content doesn’t belong on LinkedIn. If they don’t like it, they can unfollow you. It’s better to be holistic and showcase other aspects of your life and how it impacts you. Only share what you feel like sharing and talking about but understand that everything contributes to your personal brand. Talking about personal brand, LinkedIn is also the place to showcase your Employer Brand (Why should candidates join your company) as well as the place to showcase your Corporate Brand (What you do as a company).

Different Strokes for Different Folks

LinkedIn works for me, and that’s why I continue to use it every year. It might not be the same for you. If you’re more skilled with videos, perhaps TikTok or YouTube is the place to be. If you prefer more of pictures and videos, then consider Instagram. At the end of the day, it’s different strokes for different folks as well as how much you can drop quality, engaging content on the platform. I wish you all the success you can get through any of these platforms, especially LinkedIn.

P.S – If you are looking to grow on LinkedIn and would like some help around it, check out this article and we can get on a call to see if we are a right fit!

P.P.S – Are you making the most out of LinkedIn? Do this short quiz to find out

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About the Author Vivek Iyyani
Vivek Iyyani is the Founder of Millennial Minds, a content marketing agency that is specialised in marketing to Millennials & Gen Zs. He is the author of Engaging Millennials (Singapore Book Awards Best Professional Title Top 5 Nominee 2022), The Millennial Leader (Winner of Singapore Book Awards Best Professional Title 2023) and Marketing to Millennials. He has been invited to share on top news channels such as CNBC, Channel NewsAsia, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Vasantham and Tamil Murasu on the topic of Millennials & Multi-generational Workforce.
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