Last week I decided to give LinkedIn’s long form posts a try. The process was simple. Click on the pencil in my status update box then start writing (or copy/paste), review and publish. One thing you can’t do is select in which channel you want the post to appear. LinkedIn will use an algorithm to determine that.
My post ended up in the Real Estate channel, one with a relatively low subscriber base (62K compared to millions in channels like Technology or Social Media – but not as low as others. These channels are part of LinkedIn Pulse, the network’s content distribution system. Users can subscribe to any of the channels so that recent posts appear in their home stream. But it’s easy to browse any channel by selecting Interests then Pulse from the LinkedIn menu.
Once on the channel page, you’ll see two tabs – Top and Most Recent. LinkedIn is giving user generated content preference in the Top section with Most Recent displaying content from any source including major publications. That means your long form post won’t have to compete against real estate posts from the WSJ.
The first thing you’ll notice is that there’s not a lot of real estate user generated content. Even some low subscriber channels had more. Most of the Top posts were SlideShare presentations that had little to do with real estate and were probably tagged for every channel. They were likely in the Real Estate channel because users with an interest in real estate were reading them.
View counts were low except for posts from “influencers” – those with thousands of followers (those who follow you in groups or public content you post) or connections (invitation only). But real estate influencers’ view counts are nowhere near those of influencers in other, larger channels. My post did pretty well considering I’m not an influencer nor have I reached the “mystery” number of connections (500+). In the first day, there were over 380 views – about double what other user generated posts from non-influencers had (and thanks to everyone for viewing!). Four days later, it’s over 500.
I also noticed an uptick in Twitter followers in the days following publication. Next time around, I’ll put a footer at the end of the post with links to my social accounts and blog. While readers could click my profile to get the same information, I’d like to see if putting it nearby makes a difference.
There’s a great opportunity right now for real estate agents or brokerages interested in enhancing their reputation within the real estate community with these posts. Consider “how-to” type posts with a real estate focus, which are likely to be stickier, or a trending issues which can get a burst of readership at the start.
If you want to target other industries, write specifically for that industry and make sure you include enough industry keyword references (like I’ve done here with the generous use of “real estate”) within the post so that LinkedIn’s algorithm will place the post in the appropriate channel(s).
A readers’ interests are also part of the algorithm that LinkedIn uses to determine channel relevance. Target readers in that industry by sharing your post in relevant groups. And when promoting your post – easy to do thanks to built-in sharing tools when you publish – use appropriate industry hashtags and keywords in your tweet/comment/title so those following those content areas in other networks can find your post.
My next test is this post which I’m posting here and on LinkedIn. So if you think you’ve read this before, maybe you did.