LinkedIn has made a lot of improvements and changes to its functionality recently, not least to the ‘Publish’ function.
For those who missed it, last year LinkedIn rolled out the ability to publish blog posts directly on the platform.
It was a smart move, allowing the platform to crowdsource a deluge of user-created content, and if you’re careful about the way you do it, you can now vastly increase the reach of your content within the LinkedIn ecosystem.
Let’s start by looking at how to publish there, and then we’ll look at how a bit of collaboration can drive some results.
Before we get too far, a caveat: This is mainly useful for teams, rather than individuals, but it’s worth thinking about anyway!
How to publish on LinkedIn
The interface itself is extremely simple.
Get started by heading to your profile, and click the little pencil icon in your update bar:
You’ll be presented with a simple WYSIWYG editor:
The nice thing about this is that you can copy and paste directly into the box, so if you want to share something you’ve written on your own blog, it’s a snap.
LinkedIn even preserves links you’ve added.
You’ll notice that images are also preserved, but don’t be fooled! When you hit ‘publish’, any images you’ve pasted will vanish.
Instead, you’ll need to go through, delete each in turn, and replace with an image that you have directly uploaded to the editor:
And that’s all there is to it. Add a headline and a nice cover header image and you’re ready to roll. Hit publish to share the post with your connections.
Using posts to increase reach
Now for the interesting bit.
I’ve published a few of my Econsultancy posts on LinkedIn, but I’ve usually only added half of each post, with a nice big ‘Read the rest on the Econsultancy blog’ CTA at the bottom.
LinkedIn provides some top level figures on views for you, and these seemed to average about 300 per post for me. Not huge numbers, but certainly worth the effort.
Now, if I can do this with my posts, why can’t the rest of the team?
Wouldn’t it be nice if I got everyone at Econsultancy to cherry pick posts from our blog and pop them up on their own profiles (With a little by-line added so that our writers don’t get overlooked of course).
A bit of planning is all that’s required here. No one wants to see the same post from 50 of their connections, and we’ve always worked hard to avoid spamming people with irrelevant stuff.
There will probably be a significant amount of audience crossover, so think clearly about which content would benefit those people, and which content might benefit from a few fresh sets of eyeballs.
This works best if you’ve employed an evergreen content strategy, and planning shouldn’t be too difficult. Here’s how it goes:
- Choose your content:
Delve into your analytics, or use a tool like Buzzsumo to identify high-performing content you’d like to share.
- Set up a simple sharing spreadsheet:
We used a Google Doc internally. Put the content title, and a Bitly link to include in your CTA.
- Track it:
Make sure you use consistent UTM code on each post so that you can view results as a campaign. Something like:
- Fire your guns:
We tried this as a small experiment, but it resulted in a small but noticeable rise in referral traffic from LinkedIn:
As always, remember that tracking code is far from perfect, so this probably won’t be all the traffic you generate.
Have a look for corresponding peaks in Direct traffic, Other Channels etc etc.
Finally, in order to get people interested, remember to incentivise.
Try adding staff names to your tracking code, and set up a simple leaderboard (maybe throw in an Amazon voucher or a bottle of plonk as a monthly prize).
It’s a fun way to identify the influencers in your team that you might have missed.
There are as few simple rules for success here:
- Don’t demand staff do this, it should be their choice, and they should be choosing content that they like, not blindly posting for the sake of it.
- Don’t all post the same content, make sure your posting reflects the diversity of your content.
It’s a simple way to increase reach, and give prospective customers a deeper look at your content without having to leave LinkedIn for your site (although that is obviously the ultimate goal).
For more on this topic, read our post on three content marketing tips from LinkedIn on reaching its audience.