Social networking sites are a great place to raise your profile or, if you’ve already managed to make a name for yourself, boost it even further. At first glance, LinkedIn, with its focus on professional networking, seems to be different.
But LinkedIn is much more than glorified résumé repository. One really great new feature that allows you to boost your profile on LinkedIn is the ability to publish long-form posts on the website.
Until recently, if you did this you would’ve been in great company. LinkedIn previously only allowed 500 or so hand-picked individuals called LinkedIn Influencers to publish posts.
We’re talking about high-profile, hugely influential figures, the likes of Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington, and Richard Branson. When these people write about recruitment, leadership, or business tactics, most people would do well to listen – and it’s likely many of the website’s 300 million registered users did so.
But now, this opportunity has become available for virtually anybody, as LinkedIn is allowing users to create their own content, thus creating a whole new dynamic for everybody involved.
Users can now share their experience and influence people in their field or others, while also drawing attention to their professional profile and make new meaningful connections. If used right, these posts could be as valuable to your profile as certifications, test scores, honors, and awards.
OK, this new feature sounds great, but how exactly do you use it?
First of all, it’s important to understand that, while simply writing a post isn’t all that difficult, creating valuable, interesting content that will draw the attention of thousands or even millions of viewers is an entirely different story.
It goes without saying that you should create high-quality content related to interesting issues, with LinkedIn being particularly interested in authentic voices, concrete advice, focused writing, and unique insights into various fields. Opinion pieces are also well received, but the style has to remain clean and professional.
Bringing yet another dimension to the level of interaction between users, LinkedIn also encourages joining groups and participating in discussions.
To create a new post, you will need a 698 x 400 pixel image that will serve as the featured picture. It goes without saying that you’ll also have to think about giving the piece an eye-catching title as well.
To enhance the content, you can also add images (that are at most 10 Mb in size), and also embed video links from trusted sources. It’s good practice to add the appropriate tags so your content can reach as many people as possible. Finally, keep in mind that LinkedIn doesn’t provide any editors, so it’s up to you to edit your posts as you see fit.
After you’ve published your post, wait to see what the reaction is. Though indeed unlikely, there’s always the possibility that your article will become viral.
If you don’t like it you can always leave a linkedin group.
Another thing that could happen is getting it featured on LinkedIn Plus, a news and insight app acquired by LinkedIn back in 2013, which regularly features content from luminaries like LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, as well as content from leading brands like CNN. The app is available on both Android and iOS, and can also be viewed on HTML5 browsers.
If you’re really successful and gain a significant enough following, LinkedIn might eventually choose to invite you to become an Influencer yourself – the only way you can achieve this prestigious status right now.