Show Your Expertise Through Content Marketing.

LinkedIn as a vehicle for getting your ideas to your network (Part 1)

Some people see LinkedIn as their online resume. Others see it as a way to find new talent. For me, it’s a way for business professionals to get their ideas and insights in front of the people they need to reach. And increasingly, it’s a way to publish your ideas to a wider world.

In her article in Issue #35 of this newsletter, “How should your company be represented on LinkedIn?” Rebecca drilled down into how business professionals in their own firms can build an effective LinkedIn company page.

In this issue, we’ll talk about how LinkedIn personal profiles are becoming a better way to distribute content. Some of these ideas were presented by Todd Wheatland (@toddwheatland), who gave a session on “LinkedIn Hacks” at Content Marketing World 2014. I took a lot of notes on his presentation, and will be reviewing his session recording online, so I’ll likely be babbling about what’s new with LinkedIn, for one or two more issues. Yes, I’m a LinkedIn fan.

Todd pointed out that LinkedIn is moving towards becoming a content publisher, as shown in the nature of four of its most recent acquisitions: SlideShare, Pulse, Newsle and Bizo. My thoughts on each of these, using the example of a business professional who consults on environmentally-friendly transportation:

SlideShare: amazing demographics

This platform began as the slide show answer to YouTube, as a way to present informative slide shows, generally done in PowerPoint. It has now expanded into other formats such as info-graphics and video as well. It also boasts amazing audience demographics -- of business people looking for information from people such as you (rather than people looking to be amazed/amused by cute-cat videos).

As a way to show your understanding of the issues, you could publish slide shows on SlideShare that would include virtual tours of “green” installations such as bicycle parking spaces (the image at the top shows a bike storage facility outside Union Station in Washington DC -- which includes a bike repair shop).

Pulse: staying in touch with trends in your world

News from Pulse started showing up on my LinkedIn home page recently -- as it probably has on yours. The information Pulse gathers for me is mostly tailored to my interests, based on my connections, employment, education, groups and other factors. Your feed from Pulse will be likewise tailored to what LinkedIn thinks you’d be interested in. This makes news from Pulse more relevant to your world, than un-tailored publications like Huffington Post, or Slate.

This makes Pulse articles worth a closer look during your daily look through the Net. If Pulse knows you’re particularly interested in green transportation infrastructure based on your Group comments, the titles of your published content and the titles of the speeches you’ve listed on your profile, you’ll start to get more news relevant to you, on your LinkedIn home page.

Newsle: Keeping you in touch with news about your connections

Newsle is also a news resource tailored to you according to the way you appear to LinkedIn, but from another direction -- it brigs stories to your attention when they mention or quote people in your network. This helps keep you up to date on news affecting people you know, so that you can congratulate them on good news, and commiserate with them about  something not-so-good.

It’s that artificial “human” touch that the Internet makes possible, but you can make any reaching-out you do, more effective by making your response to the news highly personal: “Lisa, congratulations on getting that speaking gig at the public transportation conference last week. I know you’ve been working on that for a long time -- we talked about it last time we met.”

Bizco: tailor your ads in a narrow way

Nineteenth-century retail magnate John Wannamaker is one of many retailers credited with first saying, “I know that half of my advertising is wasted. I just don’t know which half.”

Bizco aims to be part answer to Wannamaker’s dilemma -- by helping target your B2B advertising more accurately. When I say ‘your’ advertising I’m not including myself in that number, yet. I’ve traditionally relied on repeat business, word-of-mouth, speeches and content marketing to keep new clients coming my way. But if Bizco turns out to be able to meet its promise, Global Reach may start to spring for some advertising spending that way.

So ask yourself:

  • Given SlideShare’s high demand and great demographics, are you doing as much as you could to reach prospects using this tool? I know that I’m not, and that’s going to change.
  • Do you make a concerted effort to follow developments in your network, that
  • Newsle digs up for you?
  • Do you treat Pulse as a serious way to stay up to date on trends and developments in your field -- and if not, how will you incorporate Pulse-derived content into your professional development program?
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