LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools in the business world and reaches more than 300 million professionals worldwide. This focus on the professional life is what differentiates it from Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform allows you to post content (they call it long-form posts), position yourself as an authority, build a following, boost your brand and expose your work to potential clients, future employers and key decision makers in your industry. You never know who might be reading your content there.
LinkedIn has stated that “the average Influencer post drives more than 31,000 views and receives more than 250 likes and 80 comments“. Influencer posts do get a promotional boost by the platform but the numbers show that there is a great potential for driving engagement and visitors for average users too. I am the proof. The second post I published there was featured in three channels with a combined follower count being more than five million people. My post was listed right next to an article from Richard Branson of Virgin. Within a day of publishing the post got 10,000+ views, 800+ likes, 65+ comments and 1,900+ social shares.
Comparing this to the low organic reach on Facebook, it is clear that LinkedIn should become an important part of your content marketing routine. Especially if you are in business, marketing, content, media, careers, recruitment and other professional fields. This guide shows you how to get started and what steps you need to take in order to give your content a better chance of reaching more people.
Getting started and publishing your first LinkedIn post
In the “Share an update” field on your LinkedIn homepage, click on the pencil icon on the right hand side. This takes you to the LinkedIn post editor.
Note that if you don’t see the pencil it means that this feature has not been enabled on your account. You can request access by going here. Fill in the simple form. Include links to two examples of professional content you have published online. I recommend you include links to the best performing content that you have published and aim to have links from two different sites, with preferably at least one of them being a well-known site. A guest post that you have published on a bigger site is a good option for this. To submit the form click on “Apply”.
You may not get an email when your access to LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform has been granted, so keep an eye on the pencil icon showing up in your “Share an update” field and the pop-up that says “You are invited to publish on LinkedIn”. Clicking on the pencil takes you to the post editor. The post editor is very simple but has everything you need to create an immersive piece of content. See my example of what can be done:
Publishing content on LinkedIn gives you access to simple analytics that are publicly available (View Count, Like Count and Comment Count) but it also provides you demographic insights into people that follow you including seniority, industries and regions. This is how my report looks like:
10 steps to getting more views to your LinkedIn posts
With your first post published, it all becomes a question of what you can do to get more exposure to your content. These are the steps to take to give yourself a better chance of reaching more people:
- Engagement has a say in virality potential. You should publish content that resonates with your audience to get a broader natural distribution by the community. Content is organically distributed beyond your immediate network thanks to engagement such as views, likes, comments and link shares.
- Getting tagged and featured by LinkedIn is where the real opportunity to reach a large audience is. Just like the Google search algorithm, the LinkedIn tagging algorithm is secret but the above mentioned engagement actions are also some of the metrics that the algorithm takes into account when determining which posts to included on the homepage, in the Top Posts section or which to feature in one of the channels within Pulse. Note that the tagging algorithm evaluates the content itself and doesn’t consider the information on your profile. The other important metric is the quality and relevance of your content. Keep reading.
- Publishing content that is timely, relevant and that educates, thrills and delights is the only way to get engagement, followers and to get the algorithm to take notice. Share your professional expertise, display your passion and insights by publishing quality posts that resonate with your audience. This cannot be stressed enough. Don’t publish sales pitches and other overly promotional content as that will not result in any engagement and organic reach. My post was about The New York Times Innovation Report leak that people were talking about and I added value by creating a post that focused on the takeaways from the report. If you didn’t have enough time to go through the long report you could just take a look at my quick and practical bulletpoints. LinkedIn also recommends you focus your content on:
Challenges that you have faced
Opportunities that you have seized
Important current trends and possible future trends in your industry
Your most memorable work experiences
Lessons you have learned along the way
Advice you would give to someone hoping to enter your field
Advice you would give for career advancement in your function
How you started in the field and what you would do if you had to start all over again
Challenges for the future of your function
- Link internally within your LinkedIn posts to your main site. This is important in order to get visitors from LinkedIn to your main site so do not neglect it. You do this best by including relevant links within your posts to other quality content you have published on your site. Exactly the same as you would do when linking internally on your own posts on your site.
- Follow channels and cover topics that are relevant to the popular channels of your expertise. Some of the most followed channels with more than one million followers each are “Leadership & Management”, “Entrepreneurship & Small Business”, “Marketing Strategies”, “Professional Women”, “Big Ideas & Innovation”, “Social Media”, “Recruiting And Hiring”, “Best Advice”, “Economy”, “Education”, “Healthcare”, “Technology”, “Customer Experience” and “Your Career”.
- Syndicate your existing content through LinkedIn. You don’t necessary have to publish brand new content on LinkedIn. Instead you can use Linked publishing to syndicate your existing content that worked well on other platforms in the past and get your timeless pieces in front of a new audience.
- Get more LinkedIn connections. The content that you publish automatically becomes part of your LinkedIn profile and is shared with your trusted network of connections. This is why you should work on building a large number of connections. One way to do this is to send LinkedIn connect invites to people you have been in contact with. You do this in “Network” in the top navigation by choosing “Add Connections”.
- Get more followers. As a LinkedIn content publisher people can also follow you even though they don’t know you and are not part of your trusted network. It works like Twitter and any other social media so the more people that follow you the greater the potential reach of your content is.
- Engage with other long-form posts on the platform. Explore, like, share and comment on other articles to make connections and get more attention to yourself. You can follow the same approach as when writing comments on relevant sites.
- Join relevant LinkedIn groups. Engage with other contributors to build your connections and share your own quality content when relevant in order to drive views.