Using Content and Thought Leadership to Become a LinkedIn Pro

Last Thursday, we had the pleasure of gaining first-hand tips from Dan Horowitz, director of advocacy and campaigns at LinkedIn. Dan offered us many valuable tips and advice for using LinkedIn as a B2B marketing, advocacy, and thought leadership platform.

The Data Spells It Out

With 414 million members, LinkedIn is the largest global community of business professionals. Out of those, 120 million are in the U.S., and there are 6.4 million national opinion leaders, 6 million C-Level execs, and 450,000 D.C. opinion leaders. Audiences get broken down by industry, experience, region, etc. According to National Journal, 50% more policy professionals report using LinkedIn than Facebook for their work, and it’s not just for networking. Professionals are increasingly turning to linked in for news, content, and engaging with their networks. In short, the audience is there.

 LinkedIn: Not Just for Networking

Besides being one of the world’s largest social media networking platforms, LinkedIn is also a great content distribution tool. Users can effectively use LinkedIn to cultivate a following and engage with other members.

Dan talked about how executives can use LinkedIn to create, share and promote content to the right professional audiences. They can use the platform to position themselves as thought leaders within their industries and use this stature to ultimately attract business leads. Most professionals are attracted to individuals who share their wealth of knowledge, and LinkedIn is the perfect platform for creating and sharing this type content.

In fact, LinkedIn is #1 in thought leadership, discussion and news.

Business Insider recently topped 1 million followers on LinkedIn, and it counts LinkedIn among its top five traffic drivers.

5 Tips for Creating Compelling LinkedIn Content

How does one acquire a following, you may ask? Well, it’s simple. They first need to publish a long form piece of compelling content. Here are five tips to get started:

  1. Make it personal
  2. Challenge widely held beliefs
  3. Follow breaking news
  4. Share your passions
  5. Boutique approach- select a smaller niche topic and be good at it, as opposed to focusing on a broad scale

The published content becomes part of the user’s profile and all of their connections will see it. This content is also searchable on LinkedIn once published. LinkedIn users have the option to “follow” the author so they can stay up-to-date on new posts.

Becoming a LinkedIn Influencer

LinkedIn has a vigilant editorial team, responsible for editing the content published on LinkedIn and selecting Influencers – those considered to be highly influential based on a number of factors.

There is no publicly known “checklist” or requirements for being named a LinkedIn Influencer; it’s really all up to the editors. They prefer original content, but Op Eds or other notable pieces are also encouraged. The team curates and promotes the content in LinkedIn’s Pulse channels if the post is good enough and has displayed “social velocity” – a significant amount of engagement, including likes and shares. While the odds of becoming a LinkedIn Influencer are slim, those who start publishing now stand a better chance of growing a strong and powerful network of like-minded professionals.

Dan shared many other insights into LinkedIn, such as using campaigns to promote business, content measurement and metrics, and more. You can find the presentation from this lunch and learn here.