Joost de Valk

Founder & Chief Product Officer

Purna Virji

Senior Content Solutions Evangelist at LinkedIn

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In this episode

Great engagement and strong brand recognition sometimes look like to be reserved for the big names on this planet. In this podcast, Purna Virji (Senior Content Solutions Evangelist at LinkedIn) will prove the opposite by providing you with helpful insights and practical tips for building a strong brand on LinkedIn.

From journalism and PR via SEO at AOL to SEA at Microsoft and currently working at social media platform LinkedIn, Purna has seen a lot of aspects of online marketing in her career so far. Let her experience be your guide towards reaching your branding and engagement goals. Purna will tell you how to combine the best of these worlds. Think of improving your organic traffic by running SEA experiments. Or creating brand awareness by leveraging your key employees’ personal LinkedIn profiles. Sounds crazy? Purna will help you understand by providing practical advice and inspirational examples.

These topics will be covered in this episode:

  • How SEA results can help to improve your SEO
  • Identifying your white space as a company
  • The value of key employees on LinkedIn
  • How to grow engagement 
  • LinkedIn advertising
  • Other forms of content on LinkedIn to start using

Transcript of this episode

Joost: Hey everyone, welcome back to the Yoast SEO podcast! Where we talk to my friends and people from the SEO industry and other industries around it, to see what they have to say and what we can learn from them. Today we brought a long-time industry friend Purna Virji. I’m usually relatively good with names, but this name I never get truly right. She works for LinkedIn now, but she has a long history. So welcome and thank you for being here Purna!

Purna: Hi, thank you for having me Joost. It’s very exciting to be here.

Joost: Very good. As I said, you have a long history in the industry. Can you take us along a bit in what you’ve done in the search industry over the years? 

Purna: Yes, absolutely. I’ve been here like almost two decades at this point. Started off as a journalist for Virgin TV and then made the move over to a PR agency. Which was sort of okay. I quickly realized that traditional PR is not that exciting for me. Luckily my best friend in London was working for AOL at the time and they were super huge. She was telling me about this thing called SEO. Long story short: I created a sort of business plan and went to my CEO at the time, telling him we should do this thing called SEO and we should do this thing called AdWords. 

Luckily he listened to me because, you know, when you’re in your early twenties and you’re young and stupid, and then they say sure I’ll go do this insane thing. But, I did it, I learned, I loved it. I followed people like yourself, like Rand. I love this industry. I fell in love with the people of the industry. This is home, this is what I want to be. Since then I’ve worked on the agency side, I’ve worked in-house, I’ve worked for a search engine and now I’m working for a social media network. 

Joost: You have literally had them all! You’ve also worked on both sides of the field. You’ve done both paid search and SEO. Whereas usual most people do one or the other, right?

Purna: I know! When I started out, I always joked by saying I was bisearchual. Because it was so easy comparatively to how it is now to do both. There were far less layers of complexity and everything that we could do. So when I started at the agency by default I had to do both, I had to do this. AdWords was the only one, Microsoft Ads didn’t exist at that time. So I started off with AdWords and SEO. At the time that you could submit to DMOZ, you could throw in a few keywords and optimize your title tag and you’re like good,  this is excellent! So it was easier. 

I try to do both because I still have a passion for both. My content, the psychology and understanding what makes people tick. That’s what lights my bones on fire and makes me really happy. I could do that in both SEO and PPC. But then once I started at Microsoft, I literally had to choose and I went down the PPC path.

Joost: Yeah, we lost you for the SEO world. That’s a bit sad in many ways.

Purna: But now I am back!

Joost: Now you’re back, yeah. SEOs, all-time SEOs especially, joke about PPC a lot because we call it checkbook SEO and things like that. Because it is so much easier in many ways to get a spot. It’s also a lot costlier in the long run usually, but there are a lot of things I think that the SEO world can still learn from the PPC world and that we don’t do very well. So I think it was you that talked about trying headlines in PPC and then using them for SEO. 

Purna: Exactly, there’s so much we can learn from each other and I think we’re so much more alike than people think. Having done both, I can honestly say it and keeping a little fortune in both as well. With paid it’s almost guaranteed, like you said. You pay enough, you’ll get the spot. You can choose your keywords. You have more autonomy. With SEO you have more reach, you can sort of tend to the seeds and it’s free. But yeah, I love this.

If you want to test out different ideas for your title tags – cause ultimately the title tags are for humans, it’s to encourage click-throughs – put them in PPC cause you can have a guaranteed timeline. You can boost your own impressions, get to statistical significance on your own terms and then do that there. 

By the same token, if you have created some amazing content for some of your outreach efforts for SEO, give it to paid. We can drive traffic back through remarketing campaigns. We can see that we can get more eyeballs on it quickly. There’s so much cohesion and I want more people to do work together. 

Joost: It is very funny because in the end it’s always about what people search for. It ties back to keywords. You have to do keyword research for both. One of the things that strikes me is that I think actually on the PPC side they do a lot more keyword research than people do on the SEO side. On the SEO side you do it once and then you don’t do it any more for like five years. Then a new agency comes in and does it again. Whereas on the PPC side, it’s much more of a continuous process.

Purna: It has to be because of levels of competition shifts. Both Google AdWords and Microsoft Ads have something called auction insights report that you can see which advertisers are coming in and going out. I always recommend SEOs look at that report as well. Cause it’s very interesting to see how the landscape is shifting. I think because you’re paying for every single click, sometimes table stakes are higher and you want to prove that you’re still putting money in the right direction. 

Joost: Yeah. So you just joined LinkedIn. What are you doing there? 

Purna: I’m barely three months into LinkedIn and I’m so happy to be here. It’s an amazing company. And I feel really fortunate to be here. Well, my role is actually like my dream job. I get to sit and understand what makes people tick. How can we create content and overall content strategies that not just cuts through the clutter, but can really connect and engage with humans? Because that’s the whole point of all of that.

I get to do a lot of research into that, I create advice and I go and conduct workshops for some of our key clients and empower others to discover this power that content has across everything. Whether it’s organic, paid social, content. You need to have a holistic strategy and then your advertising as a subset, your SEO is a subset, but how do they all work together? 

Joost: And are there any tips you can already give us? Is there stuff on LinkedIn that nobody’s doing that we should be doing? 

Purna: Well, there’s lots of really good things that can work. I would say the number one thing is, do identify your white space: where can you stand out? Very often you’ll talk to a company and wonder what makes you different or special? They’re like: oh, we are this pioneer in IT. I’m like: great, what do you want to talk about in terms of content? What’s your key zone? If we want to talk about IT solutions, that’s so crowded. Everyone is talking about this. How would you go and find your niche? How do you find the subset? It’s finding that balance where there’s enough volume, but there’s not that much noise so you can stand out. Just like keyword research, isn’t it? So find that first and come up with your overall strategy. 

Creating an overall editorial calendar is something I feel like people don’t do enough. You want to start by thinking, what are your big heavyweight efforts that you’re going to put in in a year? And then put them in a different format and reuse them for your smaller campaigns. And then, how are you always on? Very often I think of a mistake especially paid people make, we tend to think about campaigns and these small bars we’ll do. Here’s a three-month campaign or here’s like something for two months and then we’ll switch. What research has found is that having something that’s ongoing gives you far more higher overall click-through rates and clicks than just something smaller. So I would say, think about always on and leverage different formats. Look at videos, look at lives, engage in groups, use hashtags. All of these things can help amplify your efforts.

Joost: Cool! And how do you measure that? How would you measure the effectiveness of such a campaign or when you’re doing that on LinkedIn? 

Purna:  It really varies at the stage of the funnel. Yes of course you want to get your engagement, your clicks, impressions, all of that, but also try to look at your share of voice. Are you dominating? Are you able to trend in certain areas that you are in? What is your engagement rate on your posts? How many are you driving, like post click conversion? What do those cost per lead or cost per acquisition? All of your usual engagement metrics would be there, but you also want to tie in your share voice to that as well.

Joost: One of the things we always find is that if we look at email – I think it goes for a lot of the different online ways of approaching people – that you basically are always under-reporting. Because if you don’t do the email, we see a lot less transactions and only some of those transactions are actually tied to the email. I think that goes for literally every campaign I’ve ever seen. So it’s one of the things that I struggle with. In all of digital marketing, we think that we can report on everything. At the same time, we’re always under-reporting. Have you ever found a way of dealing with that or at least selling it properly to your boss?

Purna: You know, that is like the multi-billion dollar question. Everyone’s looking at proper attribution. It is not as linear as we like to think it is. They did a search on Bing, then they visited LinkedIn, then they did a Facebook search, they saw it. It’s like this plate of spaghetti. There is research actually from Google and Forrester that says that people will consume like 13 pieces of content, before they even reach out to a company. They do a lot of the research beforehand. So are you putting out the right content that spans the multiple points of view that people have as where they are in their decision journey?

Whether they are in the awareness or consideration stage or anything like that, people are consuming loads of content every single day. So get there and get connected because people will find you whether it is through social media or any other place. You need to have it regardless. It’s not a question of, should I just do email or should I stop doing email in this? You do have to be in the few key places, but of course concentrate your investments on the places where you do receive those good returns. Within your mix, you’ll sort of find out that when you add in X, it actually lifts everything. And if I take it away and it doesn’t make a difference, then don’t.

Joost: Does that mean that the always on that you just talked about you have to build your brand and  just be there and have people remember you all the time? Isn’t that part of why that always on works? 

Purna: Yes, a hundred percent. Here’s the stat that blew my mind. Only 4% of marketers will track their campaigns beyond six months. But most of the biggest lifts that come from a brand focus campaign take place after the six month mark. If we are not measuring that or most of the optimizations happen in like the first two or three weeks, we’re missing out so much. The ideal balance is about 50/50. Which is your lower funnel like activation, demand gen type content. The other about 50% roughly would be brand focused content. You need both. It’s so important. 

I find like we are held to quarters. We are held to performance. We have to do a quarterly report back, half report or something in the fiscal that it’s too easy to fall into the trap of let me just get the short-term thing done. But if you don’t pay attention to the longer term, you’re leaving so much money on the table as well as those bigger opportunities like brand activation. A stronger brand can have more leeway with pricing, they can attract better talent, they can lead to the longest term sales cycle at all of this is there. In fact, the better known your brand is, the more likely somebody even thinks of you. 

If I was looking for a cloud product right now, Microsoft, Amazon, those would be the companies that come to mind if I’m thinking about cloud. If I’m thinking about a cool plugin for WordPress, Yoast would come to mind, you know? That brand name availability, how do you get there? That is through brand, so thank you first for saying that. 

Joost: Branding is one of the things at Yoast that we always really like. Within the first few people we hired we had our illustrator who we still employ, Erwin, who makes all of our avatars and Mijke does all of our branding. They’re actually a couple as well. So it’s a really good thing. They work together very well, so it’s awesome. And the funny thing is that’s just even the visual side of it because it’s obviously a lot more. I had this discussion a while ago where someone said: yeah but branding campaigns that’s for really big companies only. And I’m like: is it that? Or do only companies that do branding campaigns become really big? Honestly, the more I think about that, the more I look at that, there might be more into that than I’ve actually thought when I said it. 

Purna: Yeah that’s very profound. 

Joost: It is weird to look at it that way. But if you look at the companies in the last decade and well you’ve been around I think even longer than I have, as you said, two decades almost. I’ve been in the search industry for like 15 years. If you look at companies that stuck, it’s the companies that build a brand. It’s almost nobody who chose a keyword domain and stuck around.

Purna: Yeah branding is so important and you don’t have to be like a fortune 500 company to focus on your branding efforts. Ultimately, I don’t think there’s any company that is the only one who does what they do. How do you make yourself stand out? Whether I am a local mom and pop down the street, competing with two other local mom and pop stores, you still need to stand out to earn as much business.

By branding people automatically think about those big TV commercials, you know, billboards, all of that. Sure, that helps them. That’s great for like the really big brands, but there’s smaller things that anybody can do regardless of size. I love looking at startups like Moz is such a great example. They were a startup, they were a new small company in a new industry. Rand founded it more to build websites and then diversified into this. But they built such a strong brand by engaging the community, by putting out blog posts, by just offering help and advice for free. They became one of the strongest names. If you think about WordPress plugins I can’t think of any other name honestly apart from Yoast, because you’ve got such a strong brand. That’s the reason why you’re there. So many big companies came out in the last 10 years and they became these big household names because they put in that time and the effort.

Think about branding in two ways. One is like individuals. Whether it is employees or executives at your brand who go out there and speak. Satya Nadella is somebody who comes to mind when you think of Microsoft. Cause he’s such a big presence on his own. Jeff Bezos, you think about him and Amazon, they both have really big brands. The same thing with any company, you’ll have some figureheads and then you will have brand marketing. So for the company on that side, you put out your research, your points of view with the individuals. They’re sharing opinions, their thoughts, it’s like executive thought leadership.

Those would be different strategies to put out and it can be something really simple like I love this tactic and yes it’s from the president of IBM. So there’s a big company, but what he does is what anyone could do. He posts videos a couple of times a week, short videos on LinkedIn, where he talks about amazing leadership lessons that he’s learned. Whether he’s sharing tips on how you earn credibility or project planning tips, and mistakes to avoid, it’s a few minutes long. It’s so helpful. It’s so aspirational. People will go in and follow him and now they’ll think differently about IBM too from watching that. 

Joost: So that is combining a personal page on LinkedIn with a company profile in a way. Are there tricks there that everybody could do other than posting? Because he posts on his personal profile or on the IBM page?

Purna: It’s on his personal profile. You can have a company page on LinkedIn. So only a company can have a page. For personal use you have your own profile and you can choose that. But the admin of the page can choose to bring in some of the content from key employees around the company that they’re putting it in. So yeah, whoever is working on the page, if they’re seeing some of those posts they can put it in there. And the cool thing with the posts on the company pages, even the organic posts, you can really target and tailor.

The best tip is, especially if you’re multi-region, multi-country, multi-language, is to just have one page for your company, because then for every post you can control the settings. So if I want to publish something that is going to be in French for the French market, that I can target it only to people in France or who speak French and things like that. So everything’s kept cohesive in one place and you can build that. The big thing I would say is consistency. Normally, we recommend posting a couple of times a week, that can really help build up that engagement and momentum. 

Joost: That’s actually probably the same for almost every social network, right? I know it’s the same for blogs in many ways too. If you don’t write regularly, people don’t expect new content to be there, so they don’t come as often. But at the same time, it can be very hard to write content all the time and to actually say something new. So how do you deal with that? Is there a good way of coming up with new stuff all the time? 

Purna: Firstly, it’s not just about creation, because you can also curate. There’s interesting stuff you read. I always say social media is in a way a form of currency. You come there because you want to learn, but you also want to be seen as helping others or being seen as intelligent, based on what you share or what you post. You also want to build value for your followers or your friends and yourself in the bargain. What’s going to make people engage and share? Think about those in the first place. So what’s really valuable? Who’s my audience? What are they looking for? Who are the different personas? And I don’t mean persona’s like: this is Mary, age 30 who lives in London. I don’t agree with that. I think that’s a bit of nonsense, cause like you are making it up yourself. But what is their role? What are they dealing with? Almost like an empathy map to understand like this is the senior executive she’s very busy choosing from these. Something quick, snappy might resonate. 

So I would say, think about that first, then look at the format. It doesn’t have to be big heavyweight, deep content all the time. Pull snippets, share something like I read this book, this appealed to me, I learned this, I saw this. A really cool thing to do is don’t just share a news article, but your point of view, create the conversation. You’re not CNN or BBC. Take an article from there, but put your point of view in it, ask for the discussion, think about the format. There are really fun, clever ways that you can use social media to be social with people.

One of my former colleagues, Jason Miller, did something so clever with Ann Handley who is the queen of content. He invited her to the series ‘asking for a friend’. It’s so funny because everyone wants to ask those tough questions, but they don’t want to be seen asking it themselves. They were like: hey Ann, asking for a friend, how would you convince a reluctant CEO to do X, Y, Z? It’s funny, right? It stood out from the noise. It’s the same format as an AMA, but it was in a different way.

Joost: Yeah, it is what you’re saying, it doesn’t have to be long. It’s probably also one of the things that I’d like everyone to listen to. Because if we all stopped writing 1500 word pieces to actually only convey one point, you would make my life a lot easier. There is so much content out there that’s drawn out to be long, because people think that’s good for SEO or something, but it doesn’t always work like that.

Purna: Same thing with those white papers, especially in the B2B industry, every brand is like: here’s my very well researched, 35-page long white paper. Then there’s a lead gen form behind it. Take snippets from it, share some of the key highlights, break it up. That also is a really cool way of having more content to fill it. Pull something out, even if you’re an investment banking company, doing in-depth research on how investing is changing over the last decade, pull a stat from it. This is so interesting. Gartner tried to do that and they saw a big win when they just posted some of the snippets of free research online, even before the paywall. They saw a really big lift in engagement.  

Joost: Cool! On LinkedIn, does that even get indexed? I don’t know. I’ve not played enough with LinkedIn honestly, to actually game it. But can you find the posts that you share on LinkedIn in the search engines? You can in Bing, right? 

Purna: Oh my gosh, that’s such a good question. I believe you can, but I haven’t actually tested it out. So I don’t want to give you a wrong answer.

Joost: I can test this myself of course, because I have search in front of me.

Purna: Genuinely, use Bing because I haven’t tested it in Google, but I’ve seen it when I have done it in Bing. But I also have a company search. Bing has that feature, right? It shows you stuff from within your company as well. So that’s why I’m like: I don’t know if this is just my unique point of view if I find stuff. So that’s why I caveat my answer.

Joost: That is funny in many ways. Talking about branding, by the way, Bing is now Microsoft Bing. They changed that just before you left, I think. Or was that around at the same time? I don’t know. 

Purna: It was like a week or so before I left.

Joost: Did that feel bad? You were always on the Microsoft advertising side of course, so not really on the search side. 

Purna: Exactly, I was on the other side. They’re completely different orgs within the Microsoft umbrella. Bing or Microsoft Bing now is a completely different org. So I don’t know, I am not privy to some of their decisions. I’m still a part of Microsoft. At LinkedIn, I am a very proud Microsoft user. Yes, I shout it to the world that we’re not just any search engine, we are Microsoft’s search engine. That carries the weight of everything behind it. I drink the Kool-Aid, Joost, so I’m sorry. 

Joost: I’ve met a lot of Microsofties over the years and I can’t say this without coming across a bit too nice, but you’re all too nice. Most of them drink the Kool-Aid. There are a lot more Microsofties that drink the Kool-Aid than Googlers who drink the Kool-Aid usually. So you must be doing something right. 

Purna: Well they’re already a wonderful company and you feel so inspired to get to work in a company that has done so many amazing things. I love the commitment to customers, the trust, all of that. I could go on for an hour and you don’t want to hear that!

Joost: Well maybe we do, but that’s another podcast. But it is funny because actually you can have an entire career within Microsoft and move from paid search to a search engine to a social network and you’re all still within Microsoft. So that is cool. The only thing I’m just realizing is that you probably should be working towards the Xbox side at some point as well because that’s what’s missing. 

Purna: That is true. Right now my son is 14, to him, I am the most embarrassing person on the planet. That’s will be awesome. Maybe, I’ll score some good cool points if I ever work for Xbox in the future. 

Joost: Yeah, I think that would work. My oldest is 14 years old as well, so I know the feeling. The thing is we don’t get to walk outside right now. So I think right now he’d loved to walk outside beside me because he just wants to do fun stuff again. But no, otherwise I totally hear what you’re saying. 

So we’ve talked about strategy. We’ve talked about how people should be planning their content for some time ahead. Would you say that everything you add, everything you write anywhere, should you post that to your LinkedIn profile or should you be more specific? 

Purna: You should! Why not? If you are putting time and effort into creating something, share it on LinkedIn. Just as you would share it on Twitter or Facebook or any social network. Put it on there. The LinkedIn audience, what sets them apart is this business professional network where people come because they want to learn. They want to better themselves. LinkedIn members tend to be more employed compared to other social networks. They tend to have higher levels of income. They tend to have more career mobility. They are more likely to want to seek out promotions, new career goals. So if you can share content that can help them in that, that’s automatically going to be a big win.

Really new thinking about LinkedIn, putting yourself in the mind of the member. They’re there to find new perspectives. They’re there to look for guidance on how to solve things that they may be dealing with. They’re looking for a new way of approaching a situation that they may not have considered before. Hitting that is great and it is also still a social network. So don’t shy away from personal stuff too. I find that has been a misconception, to just be like suit and tie and formal. That’s not the case either. We are humans and especially in the last year with this whole blurring of work and home and life it’s mashed together more than ever. People want to see your whole self.

If you are a CEO of a company, people don’t just want to hear about you and what you’re doing at the company. They want to hear about you, your goals, your aspirations, how did you get to where you are? Like what are you reading? What are you learning? What bugs you? What are those lessons that you learned? Are you being vulnerable? Where are you coming from? Like all of these things resonate really well, too. So don’t be afraid to balance that out. 

Joost: And balance is key here, right? Because if you share too many baby pictures, you’ll lose your business followers, I guess.

Purna: Yes, of course, exactly. You just know what people tend to look for. Of course, people want to celebrate if you’ve had a new baby, adopt a new puppy. If you’ve had a big milestone in your life, don’t hesitate from posting it. But also, yes you are right, if everything you’re posting is just baby pictures, you never know it could appeal to a smaller segment. But if you’re looking for a broader reach and appeal, do that. 

Joost: Assuming you’re not selling baby clothing, because then it might actually be very appropriate.

Purna: Yes, exactly. If you sell baby clothing, that would be a good use. I’m so glad you talked about that too because people assume that LinkedIn is just B2B, but it’s not. B2C is also a really good use of LinkedIn too. 

Joost: There’s a lot of people on there. What I’m noticing more and more is that the engagement that we get on LinkedIn is actually on some posts, better than on other social networks, which is something that surprised me honestly. In the past, it didn’t usually get that much engagement for us, but it seems to be doing fairly well in a lot of ways. Is that because of COVID? Have you seen a lot of growth because of that? Or was it always this effective and were we just doing it wrong?

Purna: No. We have definitely seen growth and I would really attribute it just to the quality of the audience that we have. We’re over 700 million members. They all tend to be professional like I was saying. They have those stats that they’re looking for and they want to engage, they want to show themselves in a certain way, they want to learn. It comes down to that quality of the audience that helps make it resonate.

But yeah, of course during COVID the time on social networks has increased overall. The last year LinkedIn has seen a good amount of growth, which I really attributed to proving to marketers where they are getting their money’s worth? Last year especially strained budgets, it strained people’s time, teams were cut down. I always say don’t ask me or you is it going well? Let’s just look at those numbers and the story that they tell. People moved around ad dollars. LinkedIn was a big place that people chose to invest money in because it works.

Joost: And because when money’s tight you tend to want to optimize a bit more where you’re spending it and want to target a bit better. I’ve honestly not played with advertising on LinkedIn, myself. We have someone in the company who does that. Luckily, I don’t look at it myself anymore. Is there something that you say if you’re going to start with LinkedIn advertising, this is the first thing you should try? 

Purna: I would say that the biggest hits that most members and customers of LinkedIn really gravitate towards and see success with, comes down to two things: the sponsored content like your posts and then the audiences. That sets LinkedIn apart. You can do a lot of your account-based targeting or account-based marketing on LinkedIn. You can reach people who work in a certain company, companies over a certain size, certain revenue plus your normal geographical location, age, all of that.

If I was a bespoke suit maker then I could target people who worked in industries that tend to wear a lot of suits like finance or legal or HR. It’s all of that. It makes it so much easier to tie down right to the correct person. Based on whether or not they have a job, what their title is, all of that.

Those two would be the number one, but there are lots of other different ad formats. There’s the video, it has seen a lot of growth on LinkedIn too, a lot of engagement as well. People spend three times more time on video ads than they do consuming static content. They also tend to see more comments and engagement with the video ads too. There are different formats that you can play with.

Joost: Cool. One of the things I really like about LinkedIn when I’m looking at it, is you tell people to do the stuff that works but that other networks often don’t tell you. So the ‘notify employees’ button when you’re on your page. You’ve posted something and there will be a button there that says: notify employees. So you can get more impressions on your post because your employees are looking at it. 

The fact that you are not ashamed of saying: hey if you do this, you’ll get more views and it’ll do better. I love it. A network that’s so open about how stuff works in many ways. It’s one of the things that we see with Bing. Bing is always very open about how their search engine works. A lot more than Google, who tries to keep it a bit more secret in many ways. Is that a Microsoft thing or is that just being the smaller network of all the things out there and trying to do another approach? What’s the reason behind doing that? Do you know? 

Purna: I would say that are decisions that were made way above my pay grade. But if you think about the core philosophy and we are the biggest professional network, LinkedIn is. The reason that we’ve grown is just the focus on the member experience and the trust and the connection that we want to have. If you look at the values of LinkedIn like members first, collaboration, connection, we live that. And when you see the products, everything ties back to that. 

Joost: I can go in so many directions, but what I keep thinking is when I look at this is I should probably play with LinkedIn so much more than we do. If you as a company go to do LinkedIn, Facebook, maybe Twitter, it depends a bit on your audience I guess – is there anything where you say you have to spend time on all of these, or would you focus more on one or two or does that really depend on who you are?

Purna: I think it’s literally a case of your mileage may vary depending on your goals and what you’re looking at. Plus your spend levels, all of that. It really depends on you. Even if you’re just doing an organic presence, it’s still worthwhile to do that. There’s a lot of things that are common across social media networks. So if you build a high-level content strategy, you can really then decide I’ll throw this here and I’ll throw this year. Or this is something I can push on multiple different areas. 

Think about something like stories. Every social network has stories and you can use them for work-appropriate ways. If you think about it on LinkedIn, for example, sometimes you’re like: I really don’t have a really big point to make a whole new post about, I just want to share something quickly. I am sitting at a quick event, maybe I will share some quick behind the scenes. Or I’ll share something I learned like I listened to the Yoast podcast and now I’ve learned like these two cool things. Let me go and post a quick story. Because it is fleeting, it’s there for a while. It’s temporary, but it’s still engaging. It’s a different format.

Joost: So I just made a screenshots, so I could share this in my story. I actually thought that might actually be a good idea. 

Purna: It is! I’m so happy you did that. You can also do LinkedIn live. Since the lockdown events have been hit so hard, the in-person events, but a lot more people are turning into virtual events and you can meet them really interesting. Again, live is a format that exists across different social media platforms. If you want to invest the time once, you can scale it across. 

One of my favorite examples of a company that did use lives really well is from Johnson and Johnson. Most of us, if you think about live, it would be used like this: we’re going to go online, do an interview, and then we’re going to be done. It’s one-off. But what they did was so clever. They created almost like a ‘TV documentary series’ called Road to the vaccine. Quote unquote because it was episodic style content that they put up with a live. Then what they did was right before each episode and right after each episode, they would do a lot of engagement. So before they would remind people that they’re going live, this is coming up, here’s what we’re talking about. Then right after they’d send a recap, they’d send a follow-up. So it felt like a really well-produced marketing campaign that just leverages a simple free format that anyone can use. It’s so clever.

This is what makes me really excited. In this time of terrible things happening, greatness and creativity will really thrive and come out of these really difficult times. I love seeing that. So that was a good example of creativity.

Joost: And actually low budget, high impact in a way as well, which is I think one of the things that people do. I say that sitting here with my way too expensive setup to record a simple audio podcast. But yeah, it is very good to start on that low budget thing and work your way up from there. People always think that they need everything that the big guys have and the big companies have, but you don’t. You really don’t need all that stuff.

We’re reaching the end of the time we have to record all this. So I’m going to have to thank you Purna for being here and I’m going to ask you to come back again in a year or so, and discuss how you’re doing at LinkedIn and what you’ve learned. Is that a good idea? 

Purna: I would love that I would love to come back at any single time!

Joost: Awesome! Well, thanks for being here and talk to you soon. For everyone listening you’ve been listening to the Yoast SEO podcast, subscribe to us on any of your favorite podcasts platforms and see you next time!

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