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, 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 on LinkedIn. The average article reaches 21 industries in 9 countries. Some 45% of readers are in upper ranks of companies in positions such as CEO, VP and manager.
My post got 20,000+ views, 950+ likes & 2,000+ social shares
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 from the platform, but the numbers show that there is a great potential for driving engagement and visitors for regular 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. My post got 20,000+ views, 950+ likes, 75+ comments and 2,000+ social shares.
Comparing this to the low organic reach on Facebook, it’s clear that LinkedIn should become an important part of your content marketing routine. Especially if you are creating content about business, marketing, 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
On the top of your LinkedIn homepage, click on “Write an article”. This takes you to the LinkedIn post editor.
The post editor is very simple but has everything you need to create an immersive piece of content. The way you write in the editor is the way the reader will read the published post. This is how the post editor looks like:
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 who follow you including seniority, industries and regions. This is how my report looks like:
17 steps to getting more views to your LinkedIn posts
More than one million professionals have already posted on the platform and there are more than 130,000 new posts every week. This means that there is a lot of noise and it’s difficult to stand out. So what can you do to get more exposure to your content? These are the steps to take to give yourself a better chance of reaching more people:
Getting featured by LinkedIn tagging algorithm is the pinnacle
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 (human editors are involved too).
The above mentioned engagement actions are also some of the metrics that the team 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.
Tell the Pulse team about your great post
Tell LinkedIn Pulse team about your post. LinkedIn is inviting you to notify them of your posts in hope of getting them to feature you. This is how you do it. Publish a quality post considering everything you’ve read in this article. Then tweet the link to your post with “tip @LinkedInPulse” and include a short description of what your article is about.
If you’ve done a good job, the LinkedIn team may notice you, and this could help your post getting featured in one of the popular channels.
Create content for busy professionals
LinkedIn is populated by busy professionals such as executives and entrepreneurs and they want to learn and get better and smarter every day. Keep your content focused on professional topics such as career advice, self-improvement and business advice. 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
Top 24 most popular topics on LinkedIn
Follow popular channels and explore posts and topics that work and have many views and engagements on the platform. In your writing aim to cover topics that are relevant to the channels of your expertise. Top 24 of the most followed topics and channels with more than one million followers each are (numbers as of September 2015):
- “Leadership & Management” – 12.9 million
- “Big Ideas & Innovation” – 11.1 million
- “Technology” – 9.5 million
- “Entrepreneurship” – 7.7 million
- “Social Media” – 7.2 million
- “Economy” – 7.0 million
- “Professional Women” – 6.8 million
- “Marketing & Advertising” – 6.4 million
- “Green Business” – 3.6 million
- “Banking & Finance” – 3.6 million
- “Best Advice” – 3.3 million
- “Education” – 3.0 million
- “Customer Experience” – 2.7 million
- “Healthcare” – 2.6 million
- “Recruiting And Hiring” – 2.6 million
- “Big Data” – 2.3 million
- “Your Career” – 2.2 million
- “Software Engineering” – 1.9 million
- “Business Travel” – 1.6 million
- “Law & Government” – 1.6 million
- “Careers: Getting Started” – 1.5 million
- “What Inspires Me” – 1.1 million
- “Retail & E-Commerce” – 1.1 million
- “Accounting” – 1.0 million
Post timely content that educates and delights
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.
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 bullet points.
Stay away from sales pitches and promotions
Don’t publish sales pitches, job postings, event promotions and other overly promotional content as that will not result in any engagement and organic reach. Similar to what Google does with search engine results LinkedIn uses Unified Content Filtering system to sort out spam and low quality content. This system makes sure that only high quality and relevant content gets seen and spread.
Write attractive post headlines
Create attractive headlines. Like everywhere also your headline is one of the key features of your post that will decide if someone will click on it or not. People may stumble upon your post in their feeds, in their notifications or emails and in the majority of cases they will only see your headline.
Make that headline so strong and attractive that it will make them so curious that they have to click on it. Here are my formulas for writing irresistible post headlines.
Add stunning imagery to your posts
Add stunning imagery. LinkedIn post editor allows you to add a cover photo to the top of your post. The recommended size is 698 x 400 pixels. Make sure to add a cover photo to each and every one of your posts. According to LinkedIn users are 14 times more likely to click on a post with an image. Don’t know where to get compelling photos? Here’s my guide to finding great imagery.
Write for the web on LinkedIn too
Follow the “write for the web” best practices on LinkedIn too. Keep your post short and to the point. Split your text into short paragraphs. Split the paragraphs by adding descriptive subheadings.
Include bullet points and numbered lists where it makes sense to make it easier to scan and understand. Where possible tell your story by using imagery such as infographics. Learn these elements of style and implement them in the way you present your content.
Link to your main website
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.
Consider ending your article with a special call-to-action to subscribe to your newsletter in order to get more in-depth advice and information on the specific topic of your post.
Use LinkedIn to syndicate your existing content
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 people to engage for a boost in organic distribution
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 viral engagement such as views, likes, comments and link shares. This also leads to more people following you.
LinkedIn actively promotes your content too
Network distribution. LinkedIn actively promotes your content to connections and followers. For example all new posts are pushed through the “member published” feed notifications. Also they send out regular “Pulse” emails to members with relevant content which will help you reach even more people.
Part of the email is the “Published by your network” section which contains articles published by those that you are connected to or that you are following. This is why you should grow your connections and followers. Here’s more.
Work on getting more connections and followers
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 too. 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 who follow you the greater the potential reach of your content is.
Engage with other content and join relevant groups
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.