I recently told you about some really great benefits that you can reap from using LinkedIn's long-form publishing platform, and ways that you can use it to advance your career, sales, or influence. That's all well and good, but just like any writing - blog, article, press release, etc. - you need to make it impactful, relevant, and worth reading in order for it to be fruitful.
Content Always Comes First
Mom always said not to say anything unless you had something nice to say. In this case, make sure you have something helpful or important to say. Writing a post just to have something written is useless and a waste of time, and can do more harm to your reputation than good.
Your posts should be relevant, timely, and full of useful and helpful information. Perhaps most importantly, they shouldn't be sales pitches. The sales pitch comes further in the process, once you have readers hooked with something they want to know about. Lead them to your website, blog, or squeeze page by making them interested in you or your expertise. The sales will come (if that's what you're after).
Just like a blog post, use keywords appropriately and discreetly. Tell them something they don't know, but should. Give them an interesting new angle on a topic. Share best practices. Make them want to read more when you write more. Shoot for one post each week, give or take. Don't be absent, but don't flood them either.
Make it Visually Appealing
The formatting tools on the platform are similar to any blogging software, but a bit easier than Wordpress (which isn't that difficult anyway). Using headings, sub headings, lists and bullet points are always a good idea. Use short paragraphs. Use bold and italics when appropriate, and include links to other sources including your own blog or website.
Images can and should also be embedded as well as videos. Because this is on LinkedIn, a professional's site, I highly recommend using SlideShare presentations when possible - something you should be taking advantage of anyway. Eyeballs are eyeballs, and what is visually appealing on a blog or website is going to be visually appealing here as well.
Get the Word Out
Don't write a post on LinkedIn and leave it to sit. Share the post on your Facebook page, on Twitter, on G+, and on any other social sites you use. Link to it from your blog and/or website. Make sure that people who may have missed it on LinkedIn (or who aren't on LinkedIn) still have the opportunity to gather the pearls of wisdom you cast.
If you aren't maximizing your reach and number of readers, why would you be writing a post in the first place? You can send along information through an email to your buddy otherwise.
Just because LinkedIn is a professional network doesn't mean that the social aspect isn't important. You need to be involved on the site. Join groups in your field and contribute through posts, comments, and questions. When you post a long-form piece, make sure you follow up and respond to any comments - this is basic social media 101.
You also need to follow others in your field and read their posts. Then comment on them. It's all about creating a community through conversation, and the more you talk to people the more they will be willing to talk to you. And follow you. And share your content when something strikes them as worthy of sharing. Which, of course, leads to more followers. Hey, whaddya know? You're networking socially!
Socialty is a full-service social media marketing and social recruiting agency in Chicago. We create content, websites, blog posts, email marketing and strategic marketing plans for small and medium size businesses. Our social recruiting team helps you attract talented candidates via social media outlets. Socialty connects you to your audience and potential employees. We'll keep you social while you carry on with your business. Keep Social and Carry On!