Mark: You see various people have tried different things. We’re still learning with publishing, I think, because it’s still fairly new. I think that the wrong thing to do is to do an intro, i.e. a one-paragraph post that basically is the first paragraph of a blog post on your own blog. I think the problem with that is the people just look at that and go, that’s just disappointing. There’s no content there.
So yes, in theory, the idea is they start reading it and they go, this looks good, click on to read more. But in practice, they don’t like it because they expect to see a full article. So I don’t think that works and not a direct copy either, because Google doesn’t like that, so just completely copy and pasting a blog post is probably not the right thing either.
But I think the right answer is sort of a hybrid. It is repurposed a bit. It’s changed a bit and also I would say there’s not going to be as much detail as there would be in your blog post, on your website. Either that or you refer to specific things that they need to go to your website to download or read. You might refer to a specific piece that talks about that in more detail or like a lead magnet that says ‘Click here in order to get this report’, that type of thing. You can put links in and that’s the way to do it.
It’s a sort of hybrid between the two. Make sure there is good content. You certainly won’t get into a channel unless there’s good content because they are read by people and they do look at that. It’s getting into a channel that makes a difference.
Kenny: Is it purely text or can you upload videos and audios?
Mark: You can. You can’t upload audio. You can upload video and you can upload pictures. Video doesn’t seem to work very well. When I say work very well, I don’t mean that it doesn’t work. I mean that it typically hasn’t proved to be – a lot of people have done an analysis on where people are getting reads and typically, they’re not getting a lot of views if they put video in it. But the pictures are really important, as they are for any type of post on social media, so good pictures definitely make a difference.
Let me tell you a quick story actually. It’s a bit of an extreme story, to be honest, but it just shows you what can be possible. This is someone called Professor Diana Derval and she’s an expert in Neuromarketing. She’s based in China and she did a couple of posts. Back at the end of last year, she started doing posts. She did one in September of last year and it got 670 views, 13 likes, 4 comments, nothing special really. She did another one in October and similar kind of level of success, nothing to get too excited about.
Then something happened that was nothing to do with her, but you may remember the blue/black dress versus white/gold dress thing that went completely viral, which was all about colors and how we see colors. It was a bit bizarre. What happened is that’s her subject, she has analyzed this from a neuromarketing perspective. She understands this. She’s done a lot of research in it.
So she, just because it’s something that is relevant to her, published an article on LinkedIn about that. She put it out on Twitter and got a few retweets, but nothing major on Twitter. But on LinkedIn, and this is only a third post, she got, now it’s just short of 4 million views.
Kenny: Wow. That’s phenomenal, isn’t it?
Mark: It’s just unbelievable, isn’t it? It’s the second most viewed post ever on LinkedIn. So full disclosure, this is an extreme example. Don’t expect anything like the same. But that was done in February of this year and it’s an interesting story because when you think about it, it’s quite phenomenal that you can have that kind of reach.
Now there are a number of things that’s she’s done right with that article. One of them is asking a question and using pictures. So pictures are very important. There’s a big colorful picture there. When you go into the article, she asks you how many colors you see, so people are therefore answering the question in the comments section, which helps to spread it.
But there’s only 1,237 comments. That’s a lot of comments, for sure, but when you compare that to 4 million views, it’s just an unbelievably high figure, really impressive. That just shows the potential.
Interestingly, she hasn’t managed to maintain that level of success. In fact, the next article that she did, which wasn’t until June of this year, and it got 316 views. So talk about sort of dropping off at the edge of the cliff. She goes from 4 million to 300 in a few months.
But you can imagine, she actually had links in that article to her website. Just imagine, you can potentially crash your servers doing that, but it’s a nice problem to have, I suppose.
Mark: I know it’s an extreme example, but it just shows the potential. Now let’s be clear here, Diana Derval is not an influencer, nor does she have a massive network. She has 5,000 followers now, but at the time, she had a lot less followers than that. So she’s not somebody particularly that has massive reach. She doesn’t have that unfair advantage of being an influencer on LinkedIn either. She just wrote a good article that kind of hit the right track. It also ended up in a channel as well, which obviously is an important factor.
Kenny: Yeah, timing.
Mark: I mentioned about channels a couple of times. Let me just explain channels because it’s quite important too because I think if you’re going to write a post, if you’re going to write something for LinekdIn, you need to think about which channel you want to get it into.
The way you get to that is you literally, on your homepage, you’ll see the right-hand of the menus at the top. It’s called Interests. The third item down in that list is Pulse. If you then click on that, it takes you through to a page that looks like this and you’ve got on the left-hand side where it says Pulse, 3 black lines just on the left of where it says Pulse.
They just look like a bit of design, don’t they, but actually they’re quite important because if you click on those, then that opens up a list of the channels. Now what it’ll do is it will show you your channels, the ones that you are following. But right at the bottom of that list, there’s in blue, you’ll see it says ‘Discover more’. If you click on that, then it shows you all the channels. It also shows you all the influencers and various other bits and bobs. But you will see the channels in there.
What you want to do is think about what is my subject and then look for the most appropriate channel, and then look at the articles in that channel that are getting high numbers. There will be articles in there that aren’t getting high numbers, but aim for the ones that get in the decent numbers. And then think to yourself, okay so if I was an editor for this channel, what kind of stuff am I looking for? What is the evidence of the kind of stuff that we think, as the editor of this channel, is appropriate to the followers of this channel? Also look at the words used, especially in the headline, and also look at the tags used at the bottom. You see 3 tags at the bottom.
You need to look and do a bit of research. You need to look at a few to give yourself an idea of what you need to do in your published posts in order to position it to get into a channel. You cannot do anything other than that.
There is a Twitter, and I can’t remember it off the top of my head. I’ll give you the information so you can put it in the show notes. There is a Twitter handle you can use to identify your article to someone on LinkedIn. It’s been quite widely spread and I’m a bit dubious as to how it works. I think it works very well to start with, but I think they’ve been overwhelmed. It’s worth you knowing about.
Other than that, it’s just about the words that you use, the subject appropriate to the channel and the tags you put on it.
And then you just have to hope that it gets in and to be honest with you, I’ve worked with a lot of people and we’ve been trying to get our stuff into channels and some have been successful and some haven’t. It doesn’t appear, I think because human beings are involved in the decision, there’s no great science to it unfortunately. It’s just one of those things.
Kenny: So building links to it is probably not going to have any effect?
Mark: Obviously it has an effect on how much it’s been read, how many views you get, and that might influence an editor. They might look at that and go, alright, obviously it’s popular. It’s getting likes. It’s getting comments already and it’s not even in the channel yet, and we want stuff in our channel that people are going to like.
Except I would say yes, building those links to it and pushing people towards it yourself will definitely help. It’s a human being making decisions. Some editors might be more influenced by others on that. So it’s certainly worth doing. You want people to view it anyway, so it’s all going to work. It’s all going to help.
Another way of using it though – so there I’m talking about content. Don’t sell anything in your content. You’re just putting out good, quality content, relevant to your audience in order to build credibility with your audience. That’s what blogging is and that’s certainly what publishing is.
However, there is another way of doing it and I’m showing you my profile now to show you my 3 last posts. On the left-hand side of those, you can see it looks like a kind of lead magnet there. So what I’ve done there is that is not particularly content marketing. All I’ve done is I’ve created a picture, just a picture of a sign-up form and put that in as a published post, which is in effect to me, a bit like having a lead magnet in my profile.
Now if people click on that, that’s going to take you through to the published post. But then that picture appears again in the published post and you have potentially a number of pictures, but you have one picture at the top that’s like the main picture. That can’t be linked. You can’t put a link in that. But right at the top of that article, you’ll see this picture is repeated and that is a link. So they click on it and then they’re through to the sign-up form.
You could potentially – I mean I wouldn’t do that much, but maybe just one, but because it sits in your profile, it does give you that opportunity to effectively put a lead magnet into your LinkedIn profile. That’s just another way that you can use published posts. Not the main way, but also another option available to you.
Kenny: And if you’re listening on the podcast and you’re wondering what we’re talking about here, just go to uk.linkedin.com/in/mrlinkedin and you’ll be able to see that there on the left-hand side.
Kenny: Thanks for that.
Mark: That’s alright. Okay, now obviously there’s only so much we can cover in an episode like this, so I have actually got a cheat sheet, top tips sheet on publishing on LinkedIn which you might be interested in. You can have that for free. I will put a link to it in the show notes.
But basically, I’ve done a bit of research, spoken to a lot of people, pulled up some hard evidence and there are 2 to 3 pages there of tips to take you through all the elements that are used to make a post work.
But I have to say, one of those is luck because of the reasons that I’ve said, really. You’re not always going to hit gold, I’m afraid, with it, but it’s certainly worth persisting and I do know people that have struggled and got 200 views, 300 views and have contacted me and said this is a waste of time, I’m getting nothing with this.
But sometimes it just takes time for people to start to understand that you’ve got something interesting to say and provide you keep producing good quality content, eventually people will start to think that actually, this person is worth following and they share it, and then they start commenting on it. Then you start getting the numbers.
So you will get there but sometimes you just have to be a little bit patient with it.
Kenny: It’s a little bit like blogging, isn’t it? You’ve got to build that relationship with people in order to build that know, like and trust before they take the next step, whatever that may be, whether that’s signing up for one of your lead magnets or picking up the phone and giving you a call to book an appointment.
Mark: Yeah, absolutely right. Now of course you want to publicize your published post. You want to get it out there, so you’re going to put it out on social media, on all the social media that you use, anything where you’ve got a following. Get it out there and get people to it.
Interestingly, on published posts, they’ve just removed the Google+ share link. There are all kinds of rumors that Google+ is on its way out and maybe LinkedIn knows more than the rest of us because they just removed the share link.
Mark: But you can still link to Google+ yourself, obviously, but there’s not a share link actually in the article itself.
Certainly one of the best ways of publicizing it would be through a status update. Status updates on LinkedIn are interesting because this is the traditional way of putting out information and sharing your blog. I still think it’s as relevant as it ever has been and possibly even more so.
So out of those 3 options now, instead of publish a post on the right, I’m talking about sharing an update or uploading a photo, which frankly to be honest, are just the same things, really.
Kenny: I’ve abruptly cut off Mark there. He doesn’t know his thing cut off because he’s currently rambling on and talking about status updates, but that will be in the next show. That’ll be the third in this LinkedIn series that has been really widely appreciated by the community. He’s been giving us some really good golden tips here.
So that next show, if you want to find out when that next show is, just go to findtheedge.com and sign up to any of our opt-in forms there. You will get updates or you can subscribe to us on iTunes, which is a good way and then it’ll automatically upload to your preferred device. Or you can sign up to one of our RSS feeds. Either way, you will get updated.
So until the next time, this is Kenny Goodman, signing off on findtheedge.com. Speak to you soon.
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What are your thoughts on Linkedin Posts? Worth your time or not? Let me know in the comments below