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As far as social media updates go, this one has come out to relative quiet – compared with any miniscule changes Facebook makes on a month-to-month basis, which tend to create a big hoo-haa. But for those in the business world the gradual roll-out of LinkedIn Publishing is big news.

LinkedIn has been providing a publishing platform for 100 global influencers since 2012, which was called LinkedIn Influencer, and included content from the likes of Richard Branson, Martha Stewart and Bill Gates.

In February 2014, it was announced it was opening this service up to another 25,000 members and, over the last few months, they have been gradually increasing the numbers with access to LinkedIn Publishing, in a staged approach.

As a creator of content this is great news. Before, you could do little updates and share news and content from other sites. But this is much more like your own business blog to share with all your connections.

In a launch article LinkedIn’s Ryan Roslansky, said: “LinkedIn is opening up our publishing platform to our members, giving them a powerful new way to build their professional brand.

When a member publishes a post on LinkedIn, their original content becomes part of their professional profile, is shared with their trusted network and has the ability to reach the largest group of professionals ever assembled.

Now members have the ability to follow other members that are not in their network and build their own group of followers. Members can continue to share their expertise by posting photos, images, videos and their original presentations on SlideShare.”

This all begs the question….why should we be bothered? And how should we use this new social media tool?

As with all content creation (many of you may already have company blogs, or email newsletters for example) it’s another opportunity to put your thoughts and expertise in front of a potential audience of millions.

WHY?

  • Your Linkedin profile is a professional asset and, by posting regular informed comment, you will increase your credibility with your connections on LinkedIn and the wider business community.
  • You’ll increase traffic to your website or blog by linking to some of your other online content.
  • It gives people a reason to visit your profile page, to follow and to connect with you.

HOW?

  • The rules here are the same as for any content, be that on your website, blog or other marketing material. It needs to be quality content, otherwise don’t bother. With LinkedIn rolling this out over the next few months, you can be sure they’ll be some naff and pointless content being uploaded – don’t let yours be any of it.
  • Make it relevant to your audience, tailor your content to their needs and offer them something tangible in return for deciding to spend their time reading it. If you’re are a property law expert, that might mean a monthly bulletin from the industry or insightful comment pieces of recent deals etc.
  • Don’t use excerpts or simply a link to your blog – for it to work on LinkedIn Publishing it really needs to be new, full length content (although you could re-work old blog posts that are relevant and post to LinkedIn).
  • Share your content through other social media platforms, Twitter is great for this.

HAVE I GOT PUBLISHING?

Some people will have this function enabled already. If you do when you go to your LinkedIn homepage (not profile page) you will see the ‘Share an update box’ and it will have a pencil symbol next to the paperclip.

If you hover over the symbol it will reveal the text “create a post“. Then you click on that and it will take you to a page ready to put your title in, write a new post or paste an article from your blog.

If you don’t have this on your account already and are keen to get going now (go you!) then you can request it by visiting this page and filling out the form http://specialedition.linkedin.com/publishing/

So go forth and start publishing! We’d love to hear your views on this new LinkedIn update. Tweet is at @ElephantCreate.

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