Because most (if not all) LinkedIn users are careful and considerate with their profiles (because their LinkedIn activity is a direct reflection of their professional reputation), engagement on this platform is intentional, genuine, collaborative, and smart (seldom spammy, irrelevant, or negative).
LinkedIn made its publishing platform, Pulse, open to everyone back in 2014. Now, anyone is welcome to write and share content here—no worries if your name hasn’t graced the cover of a big publication just yet. LinkedIn articles give a user the opportunity to display unique expertise and personality while becoming a recognized influencer and industry thought leader on LinkedIn. Posts can serve to enhance your own personal-yet-professional brand (e.g., make new connections), while also promoting your company’s communications strategy (e.g., meet new potential clients).
If you’re new to LinkedIn or looking to liven up your posting strategy, here are a few tips for creating LinkedIn articles that will get you noticed:
Planning and Strategy
- Check to see who is using this platform. Don’t waste time publishing your ideas on LinkedIn if your desired audiences don’t spend time here. LinkedIn attracts the business professional—25 percent of online adults use it, and it’s the only platform where usage rates are higher among 30- to 49-year-olds than among 18- to 29-year-olds (source).
- Maneuver around LinkedIn's publishing platform. Before you start brainstorming, check out common topics and themes being discussed. Start following authors who inspire you and who write about the world you live and work in.
- Plan to cover one topic in each post. Don’t try to do too much. Write well about one thing you know deeply, and make sure it excites you. Allow time for outlining your post, research and fact checking, multiple drafts (read your final one out loud to identify spots that need editing), and a review by a trusted and respected writer friend.
- Click “Publish a Post” from your profile page in the main navigation to get started.
- Use the platform’s editing features—they’re pretty intuitive. Remember, you can write, save your draft, and come back to it later to publish.
- Curate an intriguing featured image (at least 700x400 pixels).
- Take advantage of formatting options. Bold section headers, short paragraphs, and lists will break up long blocks of text and make the post easier to digest. Also, don’t forget the magic of using white space—it’s aesthetically pleasing and makes text less intimidating to consume.
- Create an eye-catching title. When your connections log into LinkedIn, they will be notified of your newest post with only your name and the title—make it worthy of a click! (Get inspired by titles you love already published on LinkedIn.)
- Include additional images (if applicable) within the body of the post.
- Add a CTA (call to action) at the bottom of your post. Give readers more—if they’ve made it to the end of your post, they’re invested in you and your ideas. Encourage them to connect with you, visit your website, or comment with a response.
- Give credit to sources referenced within your post and link back to them when appropriate. This helps connect you with other industry leaders while, at the same time, demonstrating to readers that you’re well versed in your content topic.
- Label your post with suitable tags. These tags will help to get your post in front of the right readers.
Publishing and Promotion
- Experiment with publishing times to see when your connections are using the platform. Avoid publishing first thing Monday morning and on Friday afternoons. On Mondays, people are busy conquering full inboxes, and on Friday, most folks are distracted as they enter weekend mode.
- Devote more time than you think you should to promoting your post. Some experts suggest using 20 percent of your time creating and 80 percent promoting (source).
- Contact your coworkers to notify them of your newest post. Include a quote or reason why the post might speak to them and their interests.
- Dedicate time to reading and commenting on posts by other LinkedIn users. Don’t forget to respond to user comments on your newest post.
- Move over to other social channels and use the post’s LinkedIn link to promote it to other platform audiences.