So I got asked a few times now why I can post on LinkedIn and they can’t. Well, ladies and gents, strap yourself in, I am about to tell you.
Although I am not near Jeff’s number of followers I have finally rolled over my first thousand. How did I get there?
In February of 2014, LinkedIn opened up its publishing platform to it’s members, meaning anyone can apply to publish articles on LinkedIn. It feels like much longer time ago but believe it or not it has not even been a year.
On the side note, LinkedIn isn’t particularly the quickest social media channel – it took them a few years to finally add a possibility to publish images on LinkedIn using a mobile phone and they have recently introduced cover images which I personally a big fan of. Well done, guys, better later than never.
Since the unleashed publishing function I have posted 17 posts, unknowingly accumulated 1023 followers, gained 4211 views (as for today 29.10.14) all up, a dozen of comments and likes generating additional 500 connections. I cannot say I’ve cracked the code but I’ve been observing my patterns as well as the influencers’ and other LinkedIn members working out how to get a little closer to becoming an ultimate Influencer on LinkedIn.
To star with, WHY do we (or some of us) want to be an Influencer on LinkedIn or join the Pulse “cult”? Well posts on LinkedIn’s influencer network receive an average of 30,000 each. This is some impressive number for anyone working on developing their brand.
Many businesses are active in blogging and social media to improve overall brand awareness and thought leadership. Pulse posts boost an individual’s reputation, which can indirectly benefit that individual’s company brand.
So when I noticed that LinkedIn designed its own publishing platform I got super excited. As a writer and a marketer, this was goldmine for me. I wasn’t sure how do you become “the chosen one” so I went on to research. The best place to look was LinkedIn settings. At the time, LinkedIn had no information on the publishing platform but a few paragraphs on how to become a Pulse representative or an Influencer which, at the time, involved an application-like process. So I applied. I never heard back…
Let me take you back a little. I first started using LinkedIn about 2-3 years ago not really paying much attention or putting effort into it. I started my insentive journey on LinkedIn around a year ago when I decided to spend a few hours browsing around learning and understanding the channel. I picked up the value quickly and started to expand. I decided to treat LinkedIn like a challenge, eager to reach 500+ connections, attach many exciting projects and publish as many publications as I could.
I strategically planned my work and got my first 501 connections in less than a year. I got hooked up! I started to actively participate in Groups and their discussions, write more articles and cooperate with more publications, I talked to people on LinkedIn, commented on their work, endorsed when appropriate and recommended when was happy with. A few weeks into my LinkedIn “invasion” and I received an e-mail inviting me to post on LinkedIn.
While researching the LinkedIn publishing platform I bumped into a few interesting things I am eager to share with you.
In order to actually “be chosen” to be a publisher on LinkedIn you need to do “well”. What does it mean? One of the most important things you will need to do to perform well on LinkedIn is choose the right topic. Accordingly, it’s important to remember that LinkedIn’s audience is composed of business minded professionals and career oriented individuals who are interested in networking and finding new opportunities. Play by the rules and you will “win” this game!
In order to climb the “LinkedIn ladder” you need to be specialising in a few favourable by LinkedIn areas:
Careers – this is self explanatory, I believe. It includes topics like interviewing, resumes and career advancement.
Business – it includes a few popular topics withing the category such as entrepreneurship, big businesses and business advice.
Self Improvement – it of course includes themes like how-to be more successful, improve happiness, and improving creativity.
There are a few other areas LinkedIn likes us to engage in such as technology, sales & marketing, current events and productivity.
Write along these lines and you are one step closer to becoming popular like Mik Jagger, or perhaps Jeff Weiner. Do not forget that LinkedIn is a social media channel and it is constantly evolving as well so check their topics out to make sure you are informed of what’s hot and what’s not.
I cannot stress this much enough, use images! Yes, LinkedIn is your professional space and your Grumpy Cat memes might not always work; however it doesn’t mean that you cannot use images. According to the study, over 70% of posts contain stock images or images that were republished from other websites. Some people also used personal photos, screenshots, quotes and illustrations. *I am currently working on my article on the importance of visuals on social media channels so stay tuned and watch the space.
Please note that LinkedIn decides who gets labeled an influencer. “I’ve seen some non-influencers with over 20,000 followers. The Pulse appears to feature a good mix of influencer and non-influencer content.” says Brian Lang.
Interestingly, LinkedIn recommends writing shorter posts more often. Many studies have been done to show that longer blog posts perform better than shorter blog posts when it comes to traffic, social shares and links. Personally, I’ve noticed that my longer article received over a thousand views; however my shorter ones on average get just over 60. At the same time, I’ve also noticed that LinkedIn values good quality content and headlines no matter how long or short the piece is. Although my longer articles clearly got better exposure I saw other people’s shorter but valuable pieces getting even more views and comments.
I usually blog throughout the week, drafting a few new ideas on the weekends. From time to time I also write during the weekends but often save it for the Monday publish. Posts do get less social shares on the weekends on average, but competition from other writers is probably lower too. Publishing during the weekend could be a great opportunity to get noticed while influencers are taking time off.
I’ve also noticed that blogging about LinkedIn or timely events can also help with your exposure. LinkedIn seems to like to be featured. Timely events and news have always been of high value.
So pour yourself a cup of coffee or a green smoothie and start typing away – you are now one step closer to becoming an influecner.
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