Thought Leadership on LinkedIn and opportunities for your Brand

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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?