LinkedIn is not just a useful social media platform for networking and finding your next job, it can also be a place where news content can flourish, according to Katie Carroll, managing editor, Daily News, Americas & UK at LinkedIn, speaking at Hacks/Hackers this week (24 July 2019).
Now a platform with around 630 million members in more than 200 countries, LinkedIn started its editorial operations in 2011 as a way to help professionals stay on top of the latest, emerging trends and talking points.
However, many people have used the platform to build huge followings and have achieved consistent engagement with content published there. Take for example, Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO, VaynerMedia, who posts engaging video content on market trends, or Oleg Vishnepolsky, CTO, Mail Online, who is a regular commentator on workplace culture.
But can newsrooms and journalists replicate the likes of Vaynerchuk and Vishnepolsky? Some news professionals, like Mary-Katharine Phillips, media innovation analyst, Twipe, take to posting LinkedIn articles as a way to boost their presence on the platform and make content go further.
Carroll said there are some key tried-and-tested ways of boosting engagement of native content and driving referral traffic.
Share your perspective
Far from pumping out links and hoping for the best, LinkedIn is designed to foster professional conversations as opposed to being a platform for hollow amplification.
What you will notice about the big influential voices on LinkedIn, Carroll indicates, is that they are putting across a hot take on a current topic.
"If you can get people talking, that can make sure you are tapping into all the right viral effects on the site, show up in other feeds and build up a following," she said.
This is true across any social platform, but Carroll also said that establishing consistent posts that audiences can expect on a regular basis is also hugely decisive. This is why other journalists use LinkedIn to post newsletters too.
"It matters to be bubbling up in feeds and keep people seeing you. Stay on top of trends and the more timely you are, the better," she said.
"What we’re constantly thinking about as editors is what is going to get people talking, what has gotten people talking and what are the best perspectives on whatever that story is."
Like Vaynerchuk, what Wired editor Nick Thomson does, Carroll points out, is post informal content about interesting developments in his field.
"It’s super casual, it doesn’t need to be this polished thing. It’s great commentary and that’s the goal," she explained.
Get featured by LinkedIn
Through LinkedIn Daily Rundowns, regional editorial teams compile the thoughts from the professionals leading and shaping conversations. But Carroll said they are always looking for new voices to feature and there are some effective ways to be heard.
A first-person, analytical writing style adds an individual take on the story, which is key. Linking to content is fine, so long as it is not the primary purpose of the post.
Taking advantage of discoverability tools like '@ mentions' and hashtags also helps as it invites discussion, but you can even go one further.
"One thing we do is '@ mention' experts in our network to say ‘What do you think about this story?' People love to be asked," Carroll explained.
"We do definitely see people adding hashtags to their own posts, but also going through and following the various topics that are tied to those hashtags as that can surface in their feeds."
And finally, add an open question at the end the post so that the conversation goes beyond the 'post' button.
Want to build your following beyond subscriptions? Find out how at our Newsrewired conference taking place on 27 November at Reuters, London. Head to newsrewired.com for the full agenda and tickets.
Free daily newsletter
- Digital News Report 2020: covid-19 accelerates digital shifts in the media industry
- The Bristol Cable launches new tool to engage readers with local journalism
- Here is why local journalism matters so much to UK communities
- From gloom to boom: leveraging the 'coronabump' subscription surge
- Covering covid-19 with a solutions lens: six insights from The Guardian