LinkedIn Tips: Marketing to Promote Yourself and Your Business

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Many digital marketing and public relations professionals, especially those in B2B niches, turn to LinkedIn to post content and promote their businesses.

Business professionals on LinkedIn can publish articles on the network and distribute the posts to their connections. If enough people read, share, and like their posts, LinkedIn’s publishing platform, LinkedIn Pulse, will distribute the articles more widely. Human editors also work to select the top posts across a range of categories. If they choose to feature your posts, you could vastly increase your reach and become a leading influencer.

LinkedIn publishes over 50,000 content posts every week, so how do you rise above the blogging masses and gain attention and influence? How do you win more views, likes and shares?

To answer those questions, Glenn Leibowitz, head of communications at McKinsey Greater China, went straight to the source and interviewed LinkedIn Senior Editor Isabelle Roughol for his Write With Impact blog.

Marketing and PR writers may be able apply her advice to blogging for other outlets and writing in general. Here’s summary of some of her main points.

Start with a bang. The headline and first paragraph are crucial. If you don’t interest readers with your introduction, it doesn’t matter what’s in the rest of the post. Roughol advises spending up to half your time on the headline and first paragraph.

Be original. LinkedIn editors like unique perspectives on timely topics. Reading about current events can provide ideas for your own commentary and analysis.

Sound like a human. The best writing does not feel stilted or read like a corporate press release full of jargon.

Don’t go too long. A good length for LinkedIn posts is between 500 and 900 words. Viewers won’t finish reading posts that are too long. Those using mobile devices are especially leery of long articles. Roughol recommends using the list format only occasionally, if ever, as the format is overused. [Editor’s Note: Longer articles in the range of 2,000 words usually rank higher in Google search results.]

Images help. Distinctive images give articles an edge in attracting views. You can use find quality photos from Wikimedia Commons and Flickr as long as you verify they are free to reuse and you include proper attribution. But don’t pick the worn-out stock image of people shaking hands. There’s no reason to add text to images since it won’t be legible when the image is reduced to LinkedIn’s thumbnail size.

Engage readers. Responding to comments engages readers and keeps the post popular for a longer time. Sharing the post on your network, such as your LinkedIn groups and social media networks, helps promote the post.

More LinkedIn Posting Tips

These are some other recommendations for gaining attention on LinkedIn.

Write as if you’re writing for one person. Writing for a large audience will give your post a generic tone, while writing as if you’re talking to a friend tends to produce more engaging content. If a post entertains or educates one person, it can do the same for many others.

Consider people’s interests and views. Post articles people will want to share. People generally share articles that support their viewpoints and articles they believe will help their contacts. If you write about what you feel strongly about, others who agree with you will share the content. Helpful, educational content is also more likely to be shared.

Analyze it. LinkedIn’s new analytics tool provides data and insights into your posts and readers. The tool shows statistics on views, likes, comments and shares, and insights into your audience demographics, such as geographic location and industry sectors. That information can yield ideas for topics to write about, what audiences to target, as well as who to befriend on the network.

Find your niche. LinkedIn matches posts to specific channels. Focused posts are more likely to appear on a relevant channel. Consistently posting quality posts to particular channels is the best route to building a reputation as an expert.

Get help from influencers. Persuading LinkedIn influencers to share your posts can quickly increase the number of your readers. One technique is to ask influencers to contribute a quote to an upcoming post, and then give them credit. After you publish the post, they may share it with their contacts.

Bottom Line: LinkedIn is a worthwhile marketing channel to promote yourself and your business. Since LinkedIn’s publishing platform is now open to all members, theoretically anyone can become a leading influencer. Following these tips from experts will put you on the road to becoming a leading commentator in your niche.

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