In a recent blog post entitled “3 Strategies to Increase Your Social Media Followers” I also discussed and shared some information on how to take advantage of the LinkedIn Long-Form Publishing Platform. This post hit a nerve since I received several emails from people who read the article and some of them even asking me if I could write a specific article about LinkedIn Long-Form Publishing best practices and tips; so here goes:
If you’re a business owner, marketing professional, consultant, business professional, etc. or have any interest in e-networking on the most powerful professional social media platform, then you need to be on LinkedIn. It’s no secret, I absolutely love LinkedIn and use it on a daily basis to grow and nurture my professional network. I recently teamed up with Lori Ruff and Mike O’Neil (aka the LinkedIn “Rockstars”) of Integrated Alliances as we co-hosted a webinar entitled “LinkedIn Optimization, SEO and Branding” and I’m thrilled to be part of their upcoming “Integrate Social – The Digital Marketing and Social Selling Program” training program in Denver this December 1st and 2nd.
LinkedIn has a ton of features that will help you build your brand online, generate leads, make new business connections etc. In this article, I’ll entirely focus on the LinkedIn Long-form Publishing platform as it now allows all registered members to publish long–form posts. Even though not a new invention, this publishing capability was initially available only to a select group of influential people in the LinkedIn community. Ideally, long–form posts on LinkedIn feature personal expertise, challenges faced and opportunities seized or even important trends in one’s area of specialization.
Conversely, the biggest challenge to most LinkedIn users is finding a suitable way to publish engaging posts to other members across the platform. Here is a quick rundown of some best practices for LinkedIn long–form publishing.
Guiding Tips to Producing Great Content
It’s certainly ok having a call-to-action in your posts but avoid publishing salesy content. Maintain an authentic voice through all your posts and corporate messaging should be kept to a minimum if necessary since readers might not be interested in reading about your company. Follow these tips for producing great content:
- Engage in focused writing and avoid covering several wide topics in a single long–form post.
- Concentrate your writing to topics you are experienced in or have much expertise. Such topics do not require much time for research. Your posts should also be timely and cover regular topics such as holidays, awards, events or any topic that could attract the attention of the audience.
- Do not fear to express your opinion in the most desirable way. However, ensure your entire long–form posts remain relevant to your LinkedIn audience. Avoid submitting long–form posts with shocking, obscene, intimidating, hateful and unprofessional information. Check through existing editorial posts to gain an insight over the angle you should take.
- Currently, there are no restrictions over the word count of your posts but try to avoid posting very short post (less than 100 words).
- Spice up your content with videos, pictures, documents and presentations. Such additional forms of communication relatively highlight good examples of your experience and bring more insights to life.
- Involve your friends, colleagues and family members in reviewing and editing your posts. Currently, LinkedIn does not provide editors to proofread the posts. If the post contains discusses company specific information, make sure to let a senior member of your company review the content first before posting it to LinkedIn.
When Should You Publish on LinkedIn?
Consider publishing posts only when you think you have valuable information to share to other members. Generally, publishing more appropriate long–form posts builds your credibility and strengthens your professional profile. Less is sometimes more; right?
Develop and maintain an active profile. For instance, you can consider publishing long–form posts at least once every week. Moreover, you can also remain active by sharing or commenting on other posts written by admirable and influential people.
Possible Ways of Creating Long–Form Posts
Identify a common problem in your area of expertise and provide a suitable solution to it. Such a post can eventually turn into a series of posts highlighting different solutions to the same problem.
Give advice to other professionals in your area of expertise. Write such a post in a conversational manner and encourage comments and questions. This interaction can help you gain followers by demonstrating your expertise and professionalism which will increase the reach of your profile.
Consider discussing best practices in your area of specialization; address the challenges faced in your profession and offer advice on how best to overcome them.
I hope that you find this article useful and that the tactics outlined above will help you produce high-quality posts that can reach thousands of professionals on LinkedIn and online in general (LinkedIn Long-form Post are indexed by Google and may show up in search results). Developing and maintaining an active and high-quality LinkedIn profile will greatly assist in developing a strong personal brand. I encourage you to treat your LinkedIn long-form posts with the same care and attention that you would treat any piece of content that will get printed 1000s of times.
About the Author
Chris Raulf is founder of Boulder SEO Marketing, a boutique SEO training and consulting agency located in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. Chris and his team assist local, national as well as international clients with all of their SEO, social media and content marketing needs.
Chris has 15+ years of digital marketing expertise under his belt and The Online Marketing Institute recently added him to their “Top 40+ Digital Strategists in Marketing for 2014” list.