Getting the Most Out of Your LinkedIn Blogs

Not too many companies can boast a customer base of more than half a billion people spread out over 200 countries, but LinkedIn is a rare breed. Its social media cache comes from the fact that it is remarkably effective. More than 90 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to find the ideal job candidates. For many, it has become their onlytool for filling positions.

But LinkedIn has evolved beyond just a job seeking site. It is now a highly effective network for executives seeking to flex their thought leadership muscles. Everyone with a LinkedIn account can post stories, making it the ideal place to write opinion pieces and have them potentially seen by a large swath of that massive user base.

But writing and posting a story is one thing; getting that story noticed and driving engagement with your followers is something else. For a better chance of success, here are a few things to keep in mind when developing an article for LinkedIn.

Focus on career advice and industry trends

At its heart, LinkedIn is still a social media site for job seekers. Therefore, it’s no surprise that users crave stories that focus on career advice. A recent survey conducted by LinkedIn indicated “Jobs/Skills” as a topic of interest by 79 percent of respondents.

Even more people — 89 percent — noted “Industry Trends/News” as something they appreciate reading about. This is great news for executives who want to establish themselves as leading voices on a particular topic. If you have a unique perspective on something relevant to your industry and your customers, LinkedIn is a fantastic outlet for getting your message across, especially if it can be tied into a current news trend.

Regardless of the subject matter, keeping it personal and informal tends to drive more engagement. LinkedIn users like to identify with the people they’re following. Personal anecdotes, including examples of successes and failures and inspirational stories, resonate really well with the LinkedIn readership.

Create a catchy headline

As with any type of article, a LinkedIn headline can make or break whether or not a person chooses to click on your story. Make your title stand out by keeping it short (40 to 49 characters seems to be the sweet spot) and catchy. Some examples of phrases that tend to work well on LinkedIn include:

“How to…”

“You Need to…”

“Why You Should…”

“The Future of…”

“How to Learn from…”

Interestingly, numbered lists appear to have fallen out of favor on LinkedIn. Often people use these as a crutch to easily grab readers’ attentions (I’m guilty of this myself), but LinkedIn users appear turned off by them. Try to stay away from using them in your headlines.

Use images, but not at the expense of words

LinkedIn users tend to appreciate images (including infographics), though not videos, in their LinkedIn posts. As with all blogs, pictures help illustrate the story and complement the point that the writer is trying to make.

But shy away from posting stories that are predominantly image-based; LinkedIn users still appreciate a good, in-depth and thoughtful piece. In fact, the most successful LinkedIn blog posts tend to be about 1,900 to 2,000 words long. It seems that LinkedIn is following the overall trend favoring longer articles.

If you’d like to learn more about how to make LinkedIn work for you, I recommend you take a look at this post by Katie Hanusik. Katie highlights some tips on how to create a killer LinkedIn profile, and offers some additional insights on how to get your articles noticed. It’s a great read that’s well worth your time.

One of the things Katie mentions is the benefits of cross-posting LinkedIn content on Medium — which, ironically, is the site that I will be focusing on in next month’s blog post. I’ll outline some tips and tricks on how to get the most out of Medium, and why it remains a relevant content publishing platform. Be on the lookout for that post in a few weeks.

Let’s talk.