Like Facebook, LinkedIn has the structure of when YOU post to YOUR timeline, I see it in MY newsfeed. And when I post to MY timeline YOU see it in YOUR newsfeed.In this video, I’ll explain how to share “posts” to LinkedIn as well as how to create “articles” on Pulse, LinkedIn’s internal blogging platform. Let’s get started!
Watch ‘How to Share Posts and To ‘Pulse’ on LinkedIn‘ on YouTube!
Posts & Articles: You Share. They See.
First, you need to understand how sharing works on LinkedIn. Let’s assume that I (Jason McDonald) am connected to Gloria (Gloria McNabb) on LinkedIn. We’ve ‘accepted’ the connection between us, which makes us 1st level connections. Thus, when I share a “post” to LinkedIn, Gloria can see this when she logs in. My “post” shows in her “news feed” and vice-versa. From a marketing perspective, therefore, I want to stay top of mind (reminding Gloria of how important I am, what a helpful expert I am, etc.). Similarly, you and your marketing team want to constantly stay ‘top of mind’ with your customers. Here, make a distinction between two basic items that can be shared on LinkedIn:
- A post – this is when I share something external to LinkedIn. For example, when I write something interesting on my external blog and share it as a “post” on LinkedIn, or when I find something nifty on someone else’s blog, like the New York Times and share that. A “post” is a share of something external.
- An article – this is when I go to the trouble to write something on LinkedIn’s Pulse platform, which is its internal blogging platform. Once I create this, LinkedIn will prompt me to share this “article” with my followers. This can also appear not only to people who are connected to me or already follow me, but LinkedIn will spontaneously suggest it to other people (with whom I am NOT connected) in their news feed. In this way an article to Pulse is a powerful way to reach NEW people.
Note as well as that a Profile (i.e., a real person) can share either a post or an article, but a LinkedIn Page (i.e., a company) and ONLY share posts not article. That is a LinkedIn Page can NOT write an article for Pulse. Sharing posts and/or articles is a great way to stay top of mind with your connections, because as you post to LinkedIn, they can see this in their news feed. You stay top of mind, and – by sharing INTERESTING stuff – you position yourself as a ‘helpful expert’ on LinkedIn.
The Information Creation Process
Let’s look at posts first; posts were originally called updates, but now LinkedIn is using the same terminology as Facebook. So a “post” is essentially when you share a thought to LinkedIn, and often an external link to your blog or some article that you read somewhere.
‘Posts’ typically are either your own content (e.g., your own blog post) or the content of others that you’ve found using a service like Feedly or Buzzsumo, or just by monitoring blogs and publications in your industry. In these scenarios, the steps are:
- Identify something interesting to share, using Feedly or some other content aggregator. OR, identify something useful as on your own blog, a YouTube video you produced, etc.
- Use a shortener like Bit.ly or Tinyurl.com to shorten that URL.
- Login to LinkedIn, and post the item with a summary. LinkedIn will automatically show this to your network assuming that they log in, and view their news feed (and your item stands out amongst the cluttered newsfeed). You can also use a tool like Hootsuite to schedule your posts out into the future.
Your goal here is to be a “helpful” expert by curating content in your field of interest. So, for example, I identify interesting and useful articles on SEO, Social Media Marketing, and AdWords by constantly monitoring the industry. I then share the “best” articles to LinkedIn. I go through all the noise, so that people who follow me get just the best stuff – “Helpful Expert.”
Articles to Pulse
Secondarily, LinkedIn has Pulse, which is its internal blogging platform. While posts typically are seen ONLY by people with whom you are connected, articles to Pulse are seen by those people as well as have the chance to be seen by total strangers. Think of a “article” to “Pulse” as 100% “public” vs. an “post” as not really private, but really shared only between you and your connections.
In this way, Pulse allows you to reach people you do NOT know, and who may be so impressed with you, that they decide to reach out and connect to you. Pulse is very exciting for this reason, and is a great opportunity to display “thought leadership” as a “helpful expert” and grow your LinkedIn connections.
The steps are:
- Identify an interesting topic, and write something useful about it. I often write something on my blog and then copy / paste it into Pulse.
- Login to LinkedIn, and go to “Write an Article.”
- Copy / paste your article into Pulse (or write it directly), and be sure to “tag” it accordingly.
LinkedIn will automatically share both updates and posts to your network. If something is exciting enough on Pulse, and it catches the attention of either the LinkedIn algorithm and/or its editors, it can “go viral” and reach literally thousands of people.
View Your Interactivity Data
You can also see data on how your posts and/or articles did inside of LinkedIn. To do that click on ME > POSTS AND ACTIVITY and then click into any post and/or article to view its stats.
Throughout, remember that in terms of marketing, your goals by posting either updates or to Pulse are –
- Stay “top of mind” with your connections, so that when they login to LinkedIn they see you and are reminded of you as a possible business connection.
- Position yourself as a “helpful expert” by sharing interesting, informative content that helps your personal brand.
Also, if you are a marketing manager or business owner, remember to think of LinkedIn as a “team sport.” You want EVERYONE on your team – your “outward facing” employees – to participate on LinkedIn, including posting frequent updates or posts so that your clients see your “team” as one of “helpful experts.”