About this time last night I surveyed the progress I had made on the new LinkedIn publishing platform. As you're about to read, I was quite pleased with it. Perhaps faster than any post I've ever written, I penned one for the LinkedIn publishing platform and about it.
True to form, it caught on quickly and was viewed around 3,000 times throughout the day. The story got lots of comments. I was called to do an interview about the platform. And then around dinner time, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner did a LinkedIn update on it and tweeted it too.
It seems the boss likes the word I coined, "LinkedInitis." It'll be fun for me to follow this one and see what develops.
Here's the story, which on LinkedIn, I titled,
I'm a sick man. I suddenly have LinkedInitis. I'm there more times per day than I'm willing to admit. Here's why.
The network has become an interaction magnet.
For me, LinkedIn used to be just a thing, a resume thing. In fact, in the early days, I found it to be kind of an annoyance. Sort of a damned-if-I-don't pain in the arse.
Maybe it was more of a place than a thing. A place to be present, like the chamber of commerce (yaawwwn). A place to be recommended in a lightweight kind of way, and then later, endorsed in an even lighter-weight kind of way.
I was keen on "Answers," but LinkedIn pulled the plug. They never even asked if I was okay with that.
"Groups" began to intrigue me and certainly made short spurts of time on LinkedIn more interesting. I belong to 55 of them, the max, but engage regularly on maybe 5, or 4, okay, 1. Groups aren't automatically interesting. They require leadership and forthcoming members who show up to opine and exchange ideas. Groups are a good idea, but they've never derailed my day.
Then came the LinkedIn invasion of the content publishing space.
Clearly LinkedIn's not screwing around with this. They bought SlideShare. This meant little to me because I'm all over SlideShare anyway. It did mean easier sharing and a bigger audience.
Then they developed LinkedIn Today, a personalized mag. I liked it. I didn't love it. Mostly solid stuff, but not amazingly original. I found an email in my inbox each day regarding new content and did tend to get sucked in. It worked.
Then they anted up for Pulse. LinkedIn Today is now Pulse. I was never sure what that actually meant except for LinkedIn means business in the content space, which I've mentioned already.
They next invited gurus, leaders and experts in popular fields to become regular contributors under the name of [IN]fluencers. Get it? I liked knowing I'd find proven smarties on Pulse. I didn't like that I wasn't one of them. But I became a fairly regular reader. The content is good. The price is right.
Then came the LinkedIn publishing platform for the public. Sort of.
The news broke. All 227-million LinkedIn users can publish on LinkedIn. Not Twitter style teasers. Articles. CMS style. Images, the whole nine yards.
First, my response was... Yikes! Isn't LinkedIn spammy enough? Now any bozo can blah-biddy-blah to their heart's content in the name of content.
Second, my response was... LinkedIn has a lot of users, but that doesn't make them writers. Me, I write. I better give this a try.
Not so fast. You have to be invited. 25K members or so would be allowed to play with the platform in the sandbox stage. The other 226,975,000 members must wait until the kinks get worked out.
I thought I'd have a shot at kinking things up, so I applied and promised to play nice. The email came. I'm IN-not [IN]fluential, but IN. A pencil appeared on my profile page.
I began publishing at LinkedIn.
This platform rawkkks. Here's why:
- It's easy-Like Apple easy. No platform is easier. Not WordPress. Not Tumblr. It's 95% intuitive. With previously published content, the formatting even remains in tact. I accidentally discovered you can resize photos by dragging the corners. Eat your heart out WordPress. The posts look tasty.
- Huge reach-I've put up five posts counting this one. Over 20K views so far. Shares, especially on LinkedIn, are huge. One post, "The Most Effective Content Marketing Tip Ever," (which previously ran here) quickly landed on Pulse and has been viewed over 10K times and shared over 1K times.
- User engagement-The readers are writing. I've received more comments than I've ever got elsewhere. Love that.
- Analytics-The platform is reporting views (fairly uncommon), likes, comments, and get this, followers. Following is an all-new feature. I have over 500 followers after just five days.
- Traffic-I'm including calls to action that offer eBooks downloadable from my website and the traffic and conversions are off the hook. LinkedIn used to float around #10 or so for inbound traffic for me. It's climbed near the top.
- Search-LinkedIn ranks 6 for Alexa rankings. They have clout and obviously, millions of reasons to get indexed daily. The articles appear on Google very soon after they debut.
- Connections-More people are seeing my work. More people are asking me to connect. The LinkedIn charter is being realized in a major way.
Are you with me?
You're going to want to give the platform a try. Granted, if you're new to blogging, you'll need to learn how it's done. But you won't find an easier tool to get the job done, nor will you find an audience of this size elsewhere.
If you already have a sizable network of connections on LinkedIn, you're in good shape to begin with. Then, your audience multiplies by leaps and bounds when your connections share your posts.
LinkedIn publishing presents a huge opportunity to deliver your message to a large and highly targeted social network. Now, understand, the roll-out plan is slightly ambiguous. For now, you must apply.
The network offers an application for early access here.
On that page, it states, "While we'll be steadily expanding the capability to all members in multiple languages over the next few weeks and months to come."
I'm curious to hear your thoughts and equally curious to see how this shakes out not only on LinkedIn, but across the social sphere.
You can say good things or bad about LinkedIn or any social network. You can agree or deny social media is changing marketing, communications, work and play (you should agree). But you can't deny the game's changing fast and furiously.
What else is new?
Barry Feldman operates Feldman Creative and provides clients content marketing strategies that rock and creative that rolls. Barry has recently been named a Top 40 Digital Strategist by Online Marketing Institute and one of 25 Social Media Marketing Experts You Need to Know by LinkedIn.