Achieving Superstardom on LinkedIn
By Allison Howen, Associate Editor
In pop culture, there are some stars that have staying power and some that clearly do not. The same can be said of social networks.
Although we will not know how the Web’s most popular social networks will ultimately fare for another decade or so, there is one network in particular that is better positioned for long-term success – and we are not talking about Facebook.
For many Internet professionals, LinkedIn is the social network with the most potential. Not only does the social network already have a large user base of more than 313 million members, but it also doesn’t have much direct competition. This is because LinkedIn specifically targets business professionals rather than the general public. Perhaps the biggest challenge the social network faces, however, is that many professionals are not leveraging some of the most valuable tools LinkedIn offers to both individual and enterprise users. That changes today.
LinkedIn began rolling out its own publishing platform in 2014, enabling members to publish content directly on the social network. This feature can help professionals build their authority on the social network, because any content a member posts on the publishing platform is searchable on LinkedIn, showcased on the writer’s profile and shared with their network.
To create a post on the publishing platform that generates buzz, it is important to leverage some general best writing practices during composition, such as implementing keywords and using compelling titles. Discover five elements of a buzz-worthy blog post at wsm.co/5bworthy.
The Groups feature on LinkedIn is another valuable tool for both individuals and businesses. Groups enables professionals with similar interests to share content, post and view job opportunities, make professional connections and increase their authority within an industry.
While individuals can participate in groups relevant to their interests and professional experience, businesses should create their own groups for audiences within their specific niche. Doing so can help create a sense of community on LinkedIn and build relationships with prospective clients. Take a look at three brands nailing it with LinkedIn Groups at wsm.co/3ligroups.
LinkedIn takes the traditional social business page a step further with its Showcase Page feature, which was launched in Nov. 2013. This feature is an extension of the traditional business page, and enables brands to spotlight a specific business unit or campaign and
share updates regarding that initiative with a more targeted community.
Before creating a Showcase Page, brand managers should identify an area of their company that would benefit from this feature. For example, Microsoft offers showcase Pages for Outlook.com, Bing Ads, Office 365 and more.
Content Marketing Score and Trending Content
Launched in April of this year, the Content Marketing Score and Trending Content features can be effective when leveraged together and independently. The Content Marketing Score is an analytics package that gives businesses insight into the impact of their paid advertising and content marketing distributed on the social network. The score is calculated by measuring the amount of engagement (likes, comments, shares) a company receives on content like Sponsored Updates, company and employee updates, LinkedIn Groups, etc., and then dividing that number by the company’s total audience. Conversely, the Trending Content feature provides brands with a ranking of topics that resonate most with their target audience.
Used together, brands can leverage the Trending Content feature to discover the interests of their target audience and create content accordingly, which will likely increase their Content Marketing Score.
Connecting In the Future
LinkedIn has definitely carved out a place for itself on the social Web (as well as within the business world), but its future success will depend greatly on its ability to offer an approachable and user-friendly platform. In the meantime, Web professionals and brands are wise to stay connected by establishing and maintaining a presence on the social network with the many features already available.