Much like Twitter and Facebook, the LinkedIn social media platform has long been about brevity. Links, images, short status updates, and back-and-forth comments are the primary activities on LinkedIn. But the largest business-oriented social network in the world has recently announced a welcome expansion for marketers.
In late 2012, the network launched LinkedIn Influencer, a long-form platform that features posts by the top voices in business. Influencers are chosen by LinkedIn, and include known names like Bill Gates, Suze Orman, and Martha Stewart.
Now, LinkedIn is rolling out the capability to post and share long-form content to all members of the social media platform.
How LinkedIn's publishing platform works
The new long-form option on LinkedIn is structured like an integrated blog. Members can create original content that includes text, images, and links, and when you publish your content to LinkedIn:
LinkedIn still maintains a distinction between members and Influencers (who are designated by invitation only), but the features of the long-form content are the same for both categories.
Getting started with long-form content on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has extended the new publishing platform to around 25,000 members so far, but anticipates rolling out to all members in all languages over the coming weeks and months. For professionals looking to start now who don't yet have the option, you can apply for early access (you'll need to provide samples of professional content you've written elsewhere online).
The ability to publish long-form content on LinkedIn offers great potential to marketers. As a business-oriented platform, the ability to increase your influence on LinkedIn can help you expand your professional network, grow your customer base, and strengthen your online brand.
Because the content of the new publishing platform is searchable outside of LinkedIn, you can also use this new channel to increase your general online visibility. However, for this reason it's also important to keep in mind that Google penalizes duplicate content--so the most efficient use of LinkedIn posts is to write original content that doesn't already appear on your business blog or another site.
For marketers in any industry, LinkedIn is poised to become an important part of an effective online marketing strategy. It's time to revisit LinkedIn as a marketing tool and discover the benefits of using this social network for your company.
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