LinkedIn Influencers vs. Members
In 2012, LinkedIn rolled out an “Influencer” program, in which 500 leading professionals (think Arianna Huffington and Barack Obama) got the opportunity to post longer, blog-type LinkedIn updates on their profile to share industry news and insights. Other LinkedIn members that were not deemed “Influencers” had the ability to follow individuals in this group of experts, even if not directly connected to them. Over the past two years, LinkedIn has constantly kept this group updated to ensure its members are the leaders in their fields and are sharing valuable information.
Now, LinkedIn is gradually rolling out their long-form post program to everyday LinkedIn members, which will allow us “non-influencers” to post the same type of long-form content that Influencers have been. When you are granted access, you’ll receive a notification on your LinkedIn homepage. Also to note, just because we will all have the ability to publish these types of posts, does not mean LinkedIn is considering us all Influencers now.
What is a Long-Form Post?
Typically, when sharing an update on LinkedIn, you have a maximum of 600 characters to express your thoughts and ideas. With the publishing tool, there are no longer limits on character count. Writing a long-form post is similar to creating a blog post in that you can include different types of content from hyperlinks to videos to images. The most valuable part of this new feature is that the posts you create become a part of your professional profile, further strengthening your presence on LinkedIn.
Best Practices for Long-Form Posts on LinkedIn
What exactly should you be sharing in your long-form posts? Take a look back at your professional experience to come up with ideas, including lessons learned, challenges overcome, industry expertise and helpful advice you wish you would have known ten years ago. Mix up the format of your content to see what resonates best with your audience, whether it’s a list, a video or bullet points that get your point across.
There are also rules structured around long-form posts. Generally, you should not post something that isn’t yours. Remember to cite sources and give credit when necessary. Another important point to note is that LinkedIn will not allow posts that are advertising a business, cause or organization. Keep your posts thoughtful and educational, not sales focused. You can access the full list of LinkedIn rights and responsibilities here.
Once you’ve created a great piece of content, share away! Publish your post on LinkedIn and your connections, followers and the public will have access to it. Take advantage of other social media outlets as well, such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+, to spread your message and drive traffic to your post.
After you have a few pieces of content published, it’s important to analyze how your posts performed. LinkedIn provides an email report containing page views, likes, followers and comments, so you can see which posts drove the most engagement and were found to be the most valuable to your audience. Analyzing these results will also help determine which types of content you should continue to post and which you should consider taking in another direction.
What To Know About Publishing on LinkedIn
A few key takeaways to know about long-form posting before you get started:
- Publishing a long-form post does not make you an “Influencer”
- Your long-form posts will be searchable both on and off of LinkedIn
- There are rules and responsibilities that are important to follow as a LinkedIn member (again, read them here)
- Your long form posts will be shared with your connections and will remain a part of your profile
The roll out of long-form publishing to all LinkedIn members is beneficial for your professional profile, for you followers and also for current and potential employers. Adding more space to share views, insights and ideas will engage others and continue to spark meaningful discussions in the LinkedIn community. For tips on creating content for your own long-form posts, read our recent blog post with content creation tips for the web or download our checklist for a perfect blog post below.