In a recent post, I introduced the reasons why LinkedIn Publisher & Pulse should be a part of your 2015 content marketing strategy. Once you’ve got great content and you’ve decided to leverage LinkedIn Publisher, though, you need a few rules of the road to help get maximum impact. Because who wants to spend all that time on a great article, if no one sees it?
10 LinkedIn Publisher Best Practices for Maximum Impact:
- Take it personally. Brands can’t publish posts for a reason. It’s about individuals and individual expertise and influence. So, if you’re developing a content plan for a brand, consider who would be the best social advocates to set up to use LinkedIn Publisher on the brand’s behalf. It’s a win/win situation, because it’s extra exposure for the individual and the company. But this means that every post must have a personality that’s authentic to the individual. And the content posted should make sense for his or her own unique experience. The more personal the post, the more it will resonate. People can see through BS, so you (or your social advocates) must stand behind each article, as much you stand behind the experience listed in your LinkedIn profile.
- Tailored Approach. You know your LinkedIn network better than anyone else. Are you connected with mostly B2B PR professionals? CEO’s? Up & coming professionals? Maximize the relevancy & share-worthiness of your posts by staying on top of what the majority of your network is interested in, and giving it to them. And, if you’re re-posting something you wrote for your corporate blog, be sure to tailor it for your network (if it differs).
- Responding. Insert “preach-it” mode here. The reason social networks are called social networks is because they’re networks made for being social. Nothing you ever post should be with a set-it-and-forget-it mentality. The whole purpose is to interact. Every time you publish an article on LinkedIn, there’s another opportunity to make a real connection with someone based on their comments or questions on your post. Respond like you’re having an actual live conversation, use the other person’s name, and pretend to look in their eyes if you have to. Avoid, at all costs, canned responses which defeat the purpose of a response in the first place. If the answer is longer than a few sentences, suggest getting together or having a phone call to discuss. Who knows how helping someone out today could come back to you tomorrow…maybe in a new biz lead!
- Legit Content. As mentioned above, this is a professional network. This doesn’t mean you have to be bland – there’s certainly room to be quirky, funny, spirited and passionate. But, if you want people to take you seriously, you need to provide value in the form of real, legitimate information, insight and opinions that make sense in today’s world. And, proofread. Grammar and spelling errors are a huge turnoff.
- Post Frequently. Post often. The more you post, the more engaged your network will become in your content. And, the more you post, the higher your profile will rank in LinkedIn’s search results. So maximize viewership by simply being consistent.
- Think about Timing. Practically half of our Boston office comes in from outside of the city, so we find that posting on LinkedIn Publisher in the mornings and early evenings is the best time to engage with our audience – commuters are literally looking for content to keep them busy.
- Imagery. Images make your post come to life and attract eyeballs, and LinkedIn Publisher allows you to insert videos, charts, images and infographics into the body of your post, as well as in a header image. Think outside of the box when choosing an image, too. The more it stands out for being a little unusual, the more likely you are to get views. I recently posted a blog about Facebook with a picture of a bear. Yes, a grizzly bear. It’s been my best performing post to date.
- Links. Where the magic happens. Use LinkedIn as a referrer to your company blog or website. And I don’t mean by posting a short-form version of the blog and making readers leave LinkedIn to read it somewhere else. You can do that, but it provides an annoying user experience! Give users an opportunity to check out your site for additional information or other blog posts about the topic, or provide your contact information at the bottom of the post. These are ways to easily prove the worth of what you’re doing. But believe me, when your exec sees that your LinkedIn article made it to the front page of LinkedIn Pulse, you’ve got all the proof you need.
- Branding. If you’re posting on behalf of your company in some fashion, consider including some sort of branded element, either on your LinkedIn profile or your post itself (or both). Including an email signature-type image at the bottom of your post with a link back to your company blog or website is a great way to accomplish this. Or you can add your brand’s logo to the header image of your post. The goal is to associate your expertise with your company’s expertise.
- Share It. Okay this might be obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many people create amazing content and then forget to share it with people. Obviously using your other channels (like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn status update) is a great way to get extra eyeballs. But have you considered emailing current or prospective clients, coworkers, etc.? If you’re not excited about your post, no one else will be. For instance, we’ve had a few clients ask us about LinkedIn Pulse before. Wouldn’t we be remiss if we didn’t email them and say, “hey – remember that convo we had about LinkedIn Pulse? <Insert Blog Here> Thought you’d find this helpful! Reach out with any questions.”
With these best practices in your back pocket you’re ready to starting LinkedIn Publishing!!
Quick How-to on actually publishing your first LinkedIn article:
Then, click on the little yellow box in the top right corner that reads “Write New Post.”
Once you’ve create one post, you can then view, edit and create more posts on your LinkedIn Profile page, they’ll appear right underneath your contact information.
When you click on the “Write New Post” button, you’ll be taken to a page where you can write a new one, edit an old one, etc.