Seeking to do even more for the professionals utilizing its services, LinkedIn has recently rolled out its new publishing platform.
While long articles may be new to LinkedIn, it won’t take long for users to discover the best ways to utilize the new platform for improved networking and business promotion. To help shorten that learning period, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you begin to utilize this new tool:
The Same Rules Apply
Following general advice and best practices for posting articles online (or engaging through other social media outlets) is a helpful and proven way to start when publishing on LinkedIn. There are certain tricks you need to learn and certain information you need whether posting on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn.
You need to learn when to post. Not all post times are created equal. What time is best to post? What day? Each social media site has its own ebb and flow of traffic and engagement; discover LinkedIn’s.
Learn how to title your post to grab readers’ attention. Do certain words (like “why” or “how to”) garner more attention? Are readers more attracted to the promise of a list, the promise of a question answered or both? These tips and pointers often tend to cross platforms.
Learn how to structure your post for readability, and learn how long or short to make it so readers stay engaged. How should you divide your post? How long should your paragraphs be? How long is too long for a LinkedIn post? If readers decide your posts are too long, pretty soon they won’t even start, let alone finish, your articles.
Different Rules Apply
LinkedIn is a social site, true, but its primary function is professional networking. Personal posts about your social life, current angst and odes to your pet of choice might not be the content your audience is looking for.
Stick to content that is relevant to your field and showcases your expertise. For example, a company like Cleveland Brothers is less likely to draw those interested in or needing heavy machinery by posting tips on container gardening or craft projects. Instead, thoughtful and balanced reviews of equipment or articles explaining (in layman’s terms) how to pick the right machine for the job will help grow its reputation as a knowledgeable business with a desire to meet customer needs.
Don’t Forget to Embrace the Social in Social Media
Successful social media endeavors spark conversation and reach out to others. Whether you’re looking to use LinkedIn’s publishing platform to reach new clients, network with other experts or build new partnerships, engagement is key.
Reach out to others in your field to collaborate on an article or series of articles. Not only are you strengthening that professional relationship, you’re also expanding your sphere of influence by doubling (or tripling or more, if you collaborate with multiple individuals on a post) your potential audience. Since anyone can read your post – not just those in your network – collaborative articles instantly draw the attention of those not already following you.
Engage old and new followers by inviting conversation. Pose questions, take a stand on a controversial issue or simply ask readers to chime in with their own thoughts. Face-to-face conversations are much more interesting when they’re not one-sided; wouldn’t you think the same would hold true online?
Remember to Evaluate and Adjust
You can’t predict success. The posts that get the most views may not be the posts you expect. The key is to evaluate your audience’s needs and react to their reactions.
If your pet topic not garnering as many views as that pithy how-to piece you wrote during a busy week, just to ensure you had a post? It might be time to let go of what you wanted to write about, and instead write about what others want to read.
LinkedIn’s publishing platform may be relatively new, but it has the potential to be a great asset for users willing to put forth a little effort. It may require a little work and a little research, but by learning the best publishing practices and seeking to engage your audience, you may soon find your posts yielding greater and greater networking returns.