Creating organic content takes time and effort and what ROI (return on investment) it delivers can be questionable. We outline here how it can help your reputation as an expert and strengthen your brand. As importantly, after social distancing and lockdown, your digital marketing efforts are what is needed to get your customers to return after the return to the new normal. Rest assured, the competition is fierce.

Advertising and COVID-19

During recession or a crisis such as the coronavirus, advertising and marketing costs get cut to the bone. This is understandable – when my hairdresser has to close shop, cash becomes priority number one. After all, he has to pay rent at the end of the month.

But if you have the time, energy, and cash you should continue to spend on marketing and advertising. Similarly, staying active on social networks is a smart move. It helps you create visibility and build your personal as well as corporate brand further, as the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) suggests.

IPA zieht Rückschlüsse aus einer Stichprobe welche nicht repräsentativ ist.
Even though IPA UK uses a convenience sample to communicate its point, the point is still pretty interesting.

In addition to spending money on advertising, therefore, you should use organic content to further improve your reputation as an expert, i.e. building your brand equity. It also helps increase your visibility while strengthening both the personal and the corporate brand. For instance, during the coronavirus lockdown, homeworkers ditch deodorant, wash their hair less often and put off shaving, according to Unilever. Hence, sales of personal hygiene products have slumped during COVID-19, Unilever is trying to use advertising, organic content and social media to turn things around.

Organic content on social media: Building brand on LinkedIn and Twitter

While working from the home office or remotely, people consume vastly more organic content than befroe the crisis.

When others go quiet
your voice gets louder on social media


During recession or a crisis, organic content on LinkedIn, Twitter or any other network that your target audience frequents, can help. Start before the lockdown is over or continue posting organic content if you have not already :-)

LinkedIn is a professional network, that was founded 2002-12-28 and launched 2003-05-03. I am one of Linkedin’s first 60,000 members. As with all networks, how many contacts on LinkedIn or Twitter you should strive for is a difficult question. But the theory of Dunbar’s number can help. He suggests that we can only really maintain about 150 connections at once. But 150 alone doesn’t tell the whole story. Other numbers are nested within the theory by successive layers of:

  • 5 (loved ones)
  • 15 (good friends),
  • 50 (friends),
  • 150 (meaningful contacts),
  • 500 (acquaintances), and
  • 1500 (people you can recognise).

People migrate in and out of these layers, but the idea is that space has to be carved out for a new member to join. Dunbar and his colleagues’ work suggests that we can only ever have 150 meaningful connections at most.

So, if you have 500 or 1,000 contacts on LinkedIn or followers on Twitter, few of these will belong to your group of 150. Sometimes it can happen that somebody says hello to you at an event and you do not even recognise the person’s face from their LinkedIn photo. Nevertheless, you are connected with them on LinkedIn or Facebook. But being connected on such a platform is no indication of whether:

  • your organic content is of interest to your “followers”, or
  • you can build your visibility and personal brand.

P.S. Besides LinkedIn or Twitter, CEOs use corporate blogs to actively market themselves as experts in their industry or chosen field. In today’s digital age:

personal brands are becoming the vehicle by which larger brands are being seen.

Using organic content to strengthen your personal brand.
Using organic content to strengthen your personal brand.

10-point guide for using organic content to strengthen your personal brand = building brand equity

Below we give you a short list of tips for how to spread your quality organic content on LinkedIn or Twitter to strengthen your personal brand while building your reputation as an expert.

  1. Why we use it. Among other things, LinkedIn is today’s Rolodex. If people change jobs, you can still contact them through LinkedIn. So, be sure your contact details allow people to phone or at least email you.
    Twitter is more of a news network that allows you to get links to interesting material. Politicians including President Trump and Prime Minister Johnson love to broadcast their “news” through Twitter.
  2. Connect and follow, maybe. If somebody follows you on Twitter you do not have to follow them back unless you find their content adds value for you. P.S. People whose content seems to matter / provides added value, or are very social, have many more followers than people they follow back.
    If you do not know somebody personally or have talked to them before, I am not sure if it is advisable to connect on LinkedIn… unless it is somebody you just want to connect with.
  3. Follow conversational receptiveness. You have to be willing to engage with another person’s views on LinkedIn or Twitter, even if you disagree with them. Please be polite and always ask yourself, what would my loved ones think if they saw this post / tweet down the road? If they think it’s rude, tacky or uncalled for, it probably is, especially if somebody shares your work out of context later on. Don’t be a bull in a china shop.
  4. Social strokes. People love to be mentioned, have their posts liked or re-shared / retweeted. Remember it is all about Give > Receive. So if you mention somebody such as @Lumendi (@drkpi) on LinkedIn or @Lumendi_USA (@drkpicom) on Twitter those people may share / like one of your future posts / tweets, but don’t expect an even exchange of one for one.
    P.S. When you mention people either on LinkedIn or Twitter, they will get a notice about it, so they will probably read that content, and hopefully comment on / like it.
    P.P.S. Please comment on other people’s LinkdeIn posts as well, it helps.
  5. Hashtags. Develop your set of hashtags, such as the brand (#drkpi) or terms related to your business (i.e. #digitalmarketing #contentmarketing). Use about 3 to 5 in the text itself if appropriate, or just 1 or 2 at the end. These help people find your content if they search for or follow a particular hashtag.
    P.S. Do not think that the hashtag you created will go viral and be used by everybody. We have tried with #metrics2watch #trends2watch and in both cases it flopped (i.e. besides us, barely anybody else uses it). We have had limited success with the hashtag #BlogRank or #brandbuzz.
  6. Visuals. People in a picture works better than 2 screwdrivers or wrenches in an image, so strive for something that adds more than just color. Please never use pictures that could negatively impact your personal brand, for example you holding a glass while attending a reception. It could be misconstrued, unfortunately.
  7. Frequency. There is no ideal number of LinkedIn posts or tweets on Twitter. But remember, if you post an average of more than 7 times a week… it takes time to do that well. Also, your followers or friends may be very busy people, so they will not necessarily have plenty of time on their hands to read all your stuff. Accordingly, sometimes posting less but of greater quality (3 times a week on LinkedIn or Twitter) might serve you and your fans better than overloading them.
  8. Ideal posting times. If you want to reach people on LinkedIn it is probably better to do so from Monday to Friday during office hours.
  9. Time management. Set some time aside for your social media activities. If you want to manage Twitter and LinkedIn from your computer or mobile, check out an app called Franz to save time (you can schedule your tweets, for instance). But please, avoid spending more than 20 minutes each work day on social media… Getting a customer to place an order thanks to your telephone conversation still matters more than a social media update!
  10. Show me the numbers. KPIs (key performance indicators) are increasingly important. Engagement on LinkedIn is a KPI. Use post likes, comments, and views, with the most valuable form of engagement being comments. In our time-pressured world, leaving a comment that takes 25+ seconds to type means that person is genuinely interested in the organic content you are sharing.
    Content shared by employees has 2 times the engagement than what gets shared by a company page. When we think about this it makes sense, since people want to interact with your sales reps; their online voice helps a great deal.
    P.S. Salespeople benefit from posting organic content – if they post regularly, LinkedIn claims they are 45% more likely to exceed quota.
    P.P.S. A social media audit (light) will help. Download the checklist.

Conclusion: What is the ROI for publishing organic social media content?

You cannot really quantify the ROI of organic social content that you post on LinkedIn or Twitter. The primary reason being that it is very random. To illustrate, it is not direct response marketing because you are not driving installs of your product. People might see your LinkedIn post, then a journalist gets in touch with you or a conference organiser wants you to give a speech and so on.

But the ROI of organic content is all about indirect benefits. These range from job opportunities, speaking engagements, and even media inquiries or building your visibility and reputation as an expert in your field. Selling medical, manufacturing or household technology requires that your buyer has confidence in, and trusts you. Being an acknowledged expert surely helps. Therefore, posting content on LinkedIn or Twitter and writing white papers helps get you recognised for knowing your stuff.

LinkedIn is very generous with its algorithm, giving you a chance to see second- or third-degree connections with many video views. LinkedIn serves up content to users at a really good clip. Facebook is stingier because it has to make room for ads every four posts.

What are your most successful posts on LinkedIn or Twitter? Tell us below in a comment! If you want more about brand equity, click this link.

2 replies
  1. Roberto Miller
    Roberto Miller says:

    Hi Urs

    Interesting entry, especially the brand equity angle with LinkedIn and Twitter.

    What we see in our business currently is that with many of our clients, engagement is dropping drastically. People look at things on LinkedIn – because surfing during one’s lockdown in the home office is very popular – with some of the staff. However, they tend not to visit the corporate website that often…. any longer… no time, attentiona span too short and so forth.
    Nevertheless, I wonder if they really learn anything on LinkedIn or if it just flashes by….

    • Urs E. Gattiker
      Urs E. Gattiker says:

      Thanks Roberto for your comment

      Yes I wonder as well, traffic is up but how much of this is just a spike due to the Home Office boom and people being on paid or unpaid leave or “Kurzarbeit” (short work = reduced working hours, difference is being paid by government insurance schemes) also use social media more.

      What we do know is that they stream music and videos/movies/TV shows more even during the work day.

      Special times means things are different than they might be in another 2 months. But organic content that serves a clear purpose such as a guide or tipps… how to, etc. will continue to attract traffic from one’s target audience. That is what most people want to possibly find another customer or keep the current ones happy.

      Have a great weekend and tomorrow we have a day off during our Labor Day = May 1, 2020.


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