For those who know how to find them, LinkedIn has many opportunities to reach some of the most important members of professional audiences. As one of the more unique social networks, working with LinkedIn can occasionally be counterintuitive. Below you’ll discover four simple tips you can use to optimize your publishing on LinkedIn, and how you can get more people to see your content on this distinct platform.
While most popular social networks divide their content with the use of hashtags, LinkedIn is a little bit different. LinkedIn uses a feature called channels, which are essentially categories that people can use to find articles and other types of content related to their interests. Many of these channels have a great deal of followers, such as the Customer Experience channel, which has over 1 million registered users.
One of the easiest ways for your content to gain traction on LinkedIn is to get it featured through one of these channels. Anytime one of your articles is featured on channel, it will prominently appear in that channel’s sidebar slider. More importantly, it will show up in the news feed for anyone who follows that channel. If you manage to get featured on a channel with thousands or even hundreds of thousands of followers, it’s easy to see how valuable that can be.
One thing to keep in mind about promoting your articles on a channel is that you can only have one featured article at a time. If you publish an article and it becomes featured on Monday, an article you publish on Friday has no chance of being featured if it’s posted to the same channel. However, if you wrote on a different topic for that second article and posted it to a different channel, you could end up featured on both.
Because of these promotional rules, one of the best LinkedIn publishing tactics is publishing topics on many different days of the week, which will maximize your chance of being featured on several channels at the same time. If you have extensive expertise, you might consider setting up a system where you use Monday to publish about one topic, Tuesday to publish about another, and so on. On the other hand, if you tend to stick to one type of topic, be sure to spread out the days that you publish your content, and spend a few extra minutes promoting each article individually. For people who are unable to publish on multiple topics, it may be worth considering LinkedIn’s sponsored updates promotional tool.
Researching Winning Topics
Because LinkedIn is made up of a mostly professional user base, readers tend to prefer practical, data-driven content. Some of the most popular topics on this network include management, customer service, marketing, and industry-specific content.
A recent study by social media scientist Justin Mares evaluated thousands of the most popular articles on LinkedIn, looking for clues to what kind of content was most successful. What Mares found is that content oriented around self-improvement tended to get far more shares, views, and likes than any other type of content. This included content oriented around self-improvement keywords, like success, better, mistakes and leaders.
One way you can pair this information with your own niche is with BuzzSumo. Just provide BuzzSumo a topic and domain name, and it will dig up the most popular content on that site for that term. Best of all, the content BuzzSumo presents to you is ranked by its total number of social shares. For example, if you wanted to publish something on customer service, you could search for “LinkedIn.com” and “customer service improvements” to find all the most popular articles about that topic.
Apart from showing you what kind of content works, this is also a good way to identify some of the most important influencers within your industry, allowing you to connect with and to learn from them. You can use these results to find trends, figure out what readers are attracted to, and then write similar articles or tweak your existing content to cater to those findings.
Concluding With a Call to Action
Before publishing, you should always spend a few moments to ask yourself what you want your reader to do after they’ve finished reading your article. Once you have that figured out, include it in a call to action (CTA) at the end of your article. It’s easy to write a fairly compelling CTA. Just keep your message succinct, direct, and be sure to emphasize the personal value that someone can find by answering your call.
Many people close their LinkedIn articles by attempting to plug half a dozen different social media platforms where they have pages, but this is the last thing you should do. It comes off as desperate, and it provides your readers with so many choices that you may invoke analysis paralysis. If you do provide a link at the end of your content, try to restrict yourself to two links or less, and be sure that your links lead the reader to a relevant and compelling landing page.
Scheduling Your Publishing Times
A considerable amount of research has been done on the most effective times to post to Facebook, to write a tweet, or to publish on just about any social network. However, not much has been said about the perfect time for posting on LinkedIn. This means it’s particularly important to perform A/B testing to figure out when the ideal time for reaching your audience is.
There are a few things that can be said for certain. One is that because LinkedIn is mostly composed of working professionals, the best hours to post likely include anytime there’s downtime in the office, such as during lunch breaks (around noon), and just as people are preparing to leave work around 4pm. Another thing to keep in mind is that unlike many social media sites, LinkedIn more or less closes down during the weekend. That means you’re better off sticking to publishing Monday through Friday and worse off posting your content when your readers are busy enjoying a break from work.
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