Everyone in social media is trying to create relevant and meaningful content for an audience. Whether through a blog post or a tweet, we all want our voices to stand out and reach our targets. Establishing yourself and your company as an industry thought leader is a common goal among professionals, and LinkedIn wants to help.
Today the company announced that it is opening up its publishing platform to members, giving you a powerful new way to build you professional brand. When you publish something on LinkedIn, your original content becomes part of your professional profile, is shared with your network, and has the ability to reach the largest group of professionals online.
While the publishing platform has been available since 2012, only a select group of Influencers like Richard Branson and Deepak Chopra were able to use it to publish their thoughts as long-form blog posts. The number of Influencers has grown over time. In fact, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, CEO of AOL Brand Group Susan Lyne, and Financial Expert and CNBC host Suze Orman are some of the most recent additions.
But more than just adding new voices, LinkedIn is making the publishing platform available to the rest of its 227 million monthly active users. Starting today, 25,000 members will have the ability to publish long-form content on LinkedIn. The company will expand the capability to all members in multiple languages over the next “few weeks and months.”
When granted publishing power you’ll see a small pencil icon to the right of your Share Box. Clicking it will open up a compose screen where you can edit things like font and size, or add links and titles. Once published, your article will be available as part of your public profile. LinkedIn will also push some of the higher quality content to relevant audiences.
You’re probably thinking, “Why wouldn’t I just link to existing articles on my blog?” You could do that. LinkedIn has been known to drive a respectable amount of referral traffic to offsite destinations, but you’d miss out on a significant amount of engagement from a highly targeted audience. According to the company’s Head of Content Products, Influencer posts drive more than 31,000 views and receive more than 250 likes and 80 comments, on average.
What type of content should you share on LinkedIn?
Share anything that will get your audience to stop and think. Don’t cleverly mask a sales pitch as a thought leadership article. Decide on a unique and powerful idea that will help to differentiate yourself from the thousands of other professionals out there working toward the same goal. It won’t be easy and it’ll force you think outside of your comfort zone a bit, but it’ll be worth it.
You’ll also want to keep in mind that LinkedIn’s user base is different from that of Twitter or Facebook. The use case for the social network is very different and so is the atmosphere. This is not the place to kick off a marketing stunt in hopes of it going viral. Launching a new product? Use the publishing platform to showcase how you and your company are innovating and experimenting.
You’ve built your profile and Company Page for a very specific purpose and audience, which includes recruiters, media, competitors, job seekers, and industry colleagues. Yes, customers will find you on LinkedIn, but they do so expecting to see a much more professional perspective from your team. Take a holistic approach with LinkedIn’s publishing platform. Build awareness for your product, your team, your customers, and your industry.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.