By Chris Paradiso
CLOSING THE GAP WITH LINKEDIN
Implement these tips for publishing on the platform
Last year, LinkedIn gave every member in the United States the ability to publish posts on the platform (yes, every single person can become a writer), and the response was swift and enthusiastic. In fact, LinkedIn reached more than one million posts in a very short time, all thanks to giving you and me the ability to publish.
Since LinkedIn wants each one of its more than 330 million members to be able to share their insights with other professionals across the globe, they’ve taken another big step toward that goal, as they expand the ability to publish to all members in English-speaking countries.
Becoming a publisher on LinkedIn can and will be a powerful way to reach your niche or target market and generate new opportunities for your agency.
Becoming a publisher on LinkedIn can and will be a powerful way to reach your niche or target market and generate new opportunities for your agency. This platform promises to match the blog’s topic with users who share similar interests in that particular vertical, which is key to making connections.
This will also give you and your agency greater exposure to your current network, because every blog or article you post is distributed to your connection’s newsfeed and displayed within their notification settings located at the very top of their LinkedIn profile. That is how powerful publishing is—have I convinced you yet?
If your connections like the article and then decide to share it on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, and/or Twitter, this will create a greater exposure not only for you and your agency, but for those who aren’t connected with you. They may like your work/article/blog so much that they end up “following” you and/or your agency to receive future posts. The result is obvious: It helps you create a following of raving fans for months or even years to come!
The first thing to do is see if you’re approved by LinkedIn to publish. Simply open up your account and look at the top of the page. If you see a grey pencil icon on the status box, you’re good to go. If not, no worries—it simply means they have not rolled out the publishing feature to your account. Email their customer service team and put in a request for an upgrade to your profile so you can start publishing.
Publishing is simple
Once you see that the function is live, hover over the pencil icon and you’ll see “create a post.” Click the link and you’ll be redirected to a page with a blank article/blog post ready for you to populate with your headline and main copy.
Your first thought should be your headline—it should be interesting and compelling enough to reach out and grab a reader’s attention immediately. Don’t be afraid to get creative. Make sure it’s short. Once you have your headline figured out, go ahead and start to write. A general rule-of-thumb is between 600 and 750 words.
Remember that any and all content you publish on LinkedIn is going to be associated with your LinkedIn profile (and will be very visible to your network). You want to ensure that the content you publish is of the highest quality because it is a B2B social platform; keep it professional. Your LinkedIn profile, after all, is your professional online brand identity. That means your reputation is at stake. Don’t just publish anything so you can “put out content in the LinkedIn world;” that could jeopardize and/or harm your reputation.
Quality content and compelling headlines may even get enough likes to get you featured on one of the categories within LinkedIn’s “Pulse” network. Better yet, you may get featured on the homepage, giving you visibility to over 300-plus million members worldwide.
Useful tips to implement
When creating articles or blogs for LinkedIn, keep in mind the following:
- Research and track your results to find out the best dates and times to post. For me, I’ve found that Sunday and Monday morning between 7:00 a.m.and 8:00 a.m. is best. I think it’s because the social world has calmed down from the craziness of Friday and Saturday. Note that these times are based on Connecticut, where I live, and are Eastern Time.
- Quality is key! Quality content is key to having publishing success. Make sure you are writing what your audience wants. You’ll know by tracking the results of your posts.
- Always (always, always!) previewyour content before publishing your article. This will allow you to see whether your text is aligned with any pictures and/or videos you have inserted into your article, and if the heading is properly spaced out, if your article is properly laid out, etc.
- The world has gone visual, so always include videos and images. It’s good practice to break up your text with images and videos so that people don’t get information overload when they first visit your article or blog. Another good practice is to include tips or provide a how-to guide within a section of your article or blog. Most people in today’s ever-busy social world will only skim through an article, so this is a great way to slow people down to read more of your blog.
- Ask questions in your article. Doing this demonstrates your genuine interest in wanting feedback. It also makes SEO sense because it drives more likes and comments, helping your agency in search results. Google and other search engines love participation, comments and shares. Sometimes it’s as simple as, “Do you agree or not? Or, “Have you ever tried this and had success?” These are simple call-to-action questions that can start the ball rolling.
- Analytics matter, so always check and review your numbers. LinkedIn gives you amazing analytics to show you the success of your article or blog. This gives you a great opportunity to pay attention to which types of blogs and articles are getting the most views, likes, comments, and social shares. There is nothing you have to do other than review what LinkedIn gives you, because their tracking is excellent, even reminding you of the analytics by placing it right in front of you. Pay attention to the numbers, because they matter.
Now that you know what steps are required to start publishing on LinkedIn, hopefully you are inspired to get working on getting a blog or article out there for the whole LinkedIn world to read.
You never know—your post may start that conversation with your next prospect or business partner; it may get you noticed by others in your agency or industry, or within your niche industry. It might help enhance your brand/reputation as a thought leader. But most of all, it may simply help others.
Whether you’ve just written your first blog or have a few under your belt, keep looking to improve your content along with your visuals, and LinkedIn will pay off—I promise you.
Chris Paradiso is president of Paradiso Financial & Insurance Services, headquartered in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. His agency won PIA National’s Excellence in Social Media Award in 2013. He also heads up Paradiso Presents, LLC, which provides social media consulting, seminars and workshops to help agencies thrive in the online marketing world. Contact Chris via email at email@example.com.