LinkedIn has not been successfully integrated into the social media strategies of digital publishing companies.
In fact, most publishers are either unaware of LinkedIn’s shareable functionality altogether or don’t actively proliferate their content on LinkedIn.
That’s a mistake.
LinkedIn is growing, however slowly. More importantly, LinkedIn Today, a content aggregation and distribution system, may be primed for a surge. With a new mobile app and international expansion, LinkedIn is poised to assume a position of prominence in business, finance, and editorial/opinion, tech, and even entertainment content delivery.
Even Google Plus is outcompeting LinkedIn on traffic flow. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. Two main content inputs: LinkedIn has two main channels through which content gets piped. First, users have the opportunity to “share an update” from the home page. External content can get packaged into an update, just like a Facebook status. Unless a user has thousands of connections, however, this content channel is not especially valuable. Second, users can join groups, some of which have thousands of highly engaged members. From groups, users can start “discussions,” which can include external content. As industry groups increase in popularity, groups will be an important engagement space for content generators.
2. Influencers: Like Twitter, and to some extent Facebook, LinkedIn has its circles of exceptionally well-connected users who push content out over their social networks. These influencers or content curators expose content to their trusting followers. To promote content on LinkedIn, it’s helpful to leverage relationships with influencers.
3. Business and Tech: Business and tech content performs the best on LinkedIn. No need to explain why. End of story.
4. Social Network Integration: Skilled LinkedIn users integrate their social media feeds and filter content accordingly. LinkedIn content distribution strategies need to account for the pros and cons of redundant content exposure.
5. LinkedIn Today: I won’t lie, there’s no out-of-the-box, one-size-fits-all, insert jargon strategy for LinkedIn Today. The interface is quite complex and busy. Users can customize what content they receive from the page and share content from the page onto their other social networks. How do you get content on LinkedIn Today? The procedure is opaque. You need to be full of win to get on LinkedIn Today…but to be full of win you need to get on LinkedIn Today? Not exactly. Content generators who are successful at 1-4 are more likely to get on LinkedIn Today, because surfacing on LinkedIn Today requires strong performance elsewhere on LinkedIn.
If LinkedIn is the weakest link in your social strategy, never fear. There’s little to lose and a whole lot to gain by experimenting with LinkedIn.