Thought Leadership on LinkedIn and opportunities for your Brand

Linkedin Mountain View

LinkedIn recently took Thought Leadership on the platform up a notch by introducing a blogging platform for Influencers on the website. Thought Leaders publish content on trends and topics influencing particular industry.

Already, it was possible to establish thought leadership on LinkedIn in a number of ways but LinkedIn has added a new feature that could evolve to become a very important feature on the website. In the past, the tools on LinkedIn for producing and sharing content included Status Updates in the personal profile, LinkedIn Group Updates, LinkedIn Company Updates and the LinkedIn Apps.

One can also participate in Group Discussions, Answer Questions in LinkedIn Answers. LinkedIn professionals could follow news by sources, industry, companies, and groups. The common constraint for sharing content on LinkedIn using these tools was that there was limited space for this or a good deal of content was coming from outside LinkedIn. With the blogging platform change, now it’s possible to follow professionals on LinkedIn.

Blogging is a very powerful content marketing tool already on its own and adding it to LinkedIn presents great opportunities for brands. An Influencer blogging on LinkedIn gets followers the same way as one would on Twitter. Influencers who are already blogging on LinkedIn include Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and Richard Branson to name a few, whose posts have garnered thousands of likes and comments. All the recent changes that LinkedIn has made on the site over the past few months are persuading enough for professionals to spend more time on the platform. LinkedIn is more visual and intuitive than before. The blogging feature thus seems like a logical addition.

At the time of writing, the blogging platform on LinkedIn was only open to a few selective people. But now it’s open to those who can demonstrate an ability to produce valuable content for professionals. All interested ones can apply to be the part of ‘Thought Leaders’ platform via the LinkedIn Influence Program. Please visit this link for further direction:

LinkedIn’s Influencer program enables top Thought Leaders in business, non-profit, or the public sector to gain a following among 175+ million professionals worldwide by writing and sharing great content on LinkedIn. Universally-recognized ‘Thought Leaders’ across LinkedIn and also industry-specific movers and shakers stand a good chance of becoming ‘Influencers’ on LinkedIn. To stand a good chance of being accepted into the program professionals need to demonstrate an ability to write engaging original posts and share links to relevant, thought-provoking presentations, articles, polls, SlideShare, videos, infographics, and more.

To stand a good chance of being selected to blog on LinkedIn, an individual should already have some quality content which they have written. If not, there is time to start writing quality content that can be used as part of the application process. LinkedIn has indicated that over next few months, the platform will expand the list of ‘Influencers’ which professionals can follow.

1. What can brands do to take advantage of this recent innovation by LinkedIn?
Establish which area of Thought Leadership is the business active in? Many companies have key insights to share about their industries and experiences. Companies will probably have a good deal of content internally that would be of great value to customers. With a focussed content plan and strategy, content can be repackaged regularly on the LinkedIn blog platform.

2. Is there a mover and shaker in the business?
Having a mover and shaker in the company can improve the prospects of having an Influencer blogging on LinkedIn. The movers and shakers can enhance the perception of the brand. However, they have to be willing to blog on LinkedIn in their personal capacity.

3. Apply to become an influencer on LinkedIn
It is a very simple process. LinkedIn commits to give feedback within a week, following your application.

The following information will be needed by LinkedIn:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • LinkedIn Public Profile url or link
  • Email address
  • Which industries do you think you’d be most influential in? (Select up to 4)
  • Examples of professional content you have written (2 Blog articles)
  • Sample topics you’d like to write about (750 Characters Maximum)
  • What are two great headlines / SlideShare / videos worth sharing today on LinkedIn?

4. After selection, one can start addressing a wider audience through the LinkedIn Blog. To follow an Influencer or Thought Leader on LinkedIn, you do not have to be connect to them.

5. Make sure the content you provide on LinkedIn is new creation. It should not be a re-hash of content already found elsewhere on the internet.

So, what do you think of the LinkedIn Blogging Platform?

Is Apple dropping the ball?

Apple_Maps_App

Is Apple starting to drop the ball? One thing that Apple has been known for is the incredible attention to detail and the dedication to customer experience. Apple has generally put its customers first. When an Apple product came out you could be sure that it would gave rave reviews. It is one of the reasons why customers are prepared to pay a premium for Apple products.

Apple does not have multiple product lines whether you look at the iPhone, iPad, iPod and its Macs. It has just a few product lines but enough to dominate not just the tech space but the world.

You will hear many people say that a Mac is simply better than a PC. Working in a Marketing Agency I am surrounded by Macs and the designers will not work with any other machine. All Apple product releases are eagerly awaited by new and old customers alike. There is incredible speculation in the run-up to product releases as many people try to predict the features and specs of the upcoming releases.

It does come as a great surprise that Apple has compromised as far as the MAPS App is concerned. In the latest iOS 6 update, Apple replaced the Google App with its own.

From the comments and articles I have seen so far, some users are not impressed at all especially those who use the public transit system in the US. Apple’s latest iOS system comes with over 200 features according to the website so by and large it is a very big improvement over the previous system.

It is also fair to say that I have come across excellent reviews for Apple MAPS App for those who do not use the public transit systems. It seems the Turn-by-Turn instructions are very handy. By and large however, MAPS was not like anything that we have come to expect from a company like Apple. One wonders if Apple is starting to slacken on the very things that have made it such a big success as a company and brand. Apple is now the most valuable company and its shares are at all-time high. These are good times indeed.

One must consider that Apple has been making a lot of investments in the Mapping space and they are relatively a newcomer compared to Google and even Nokia. However, it was still a big gamble on their part to drop a Google App that was superior in a number of respects in favour of a product that still seems to be in beta and will inconvenience a number of users.

Is Apple prepared to risk it all with its customers as it goes on an all-out-war with Google? Is this the Thermo-nuclear war as promised by the late Steve Jobs and clearly articulated in his biography. The war will come at any cost. We have already seen what this could meant from all the patent cases at the courts.

Apple is one of the most successful companies, not just technology companies but companies in general. It recently won a court case against Samsung regarding copyright infringement for its mobile devices. It seems things could not be better for the company.

Siri’s performance in the recent months has also come under huge criticism and hopefully Apple will have improved the tool to address those concerns. When one looks at how great companies lost their dominance, arrogance and anticompetitive practices are just some of the reasons.

When a company reaches such a standard as Apple has with its products that should become the watermark and it should never lower the benchmark for any reason but it seems Apple has done this. It remains to be seen if there will be further compromises by Apple going forward. Sometimes it does not take the big decisions to lose our way. It can start with small missteps until we have completely lost our way. I am sure the team at Cupertino will know better than to let things ever get to that level.

UPDATE

Apple has since apologised to its customers and even suggested that they try rival applications. This action by Apple, an apology and recommending rival products is unprecedented. Google is still to provide its own App. It will very interesting to see how things pan out.

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