THE JUNCTION BOX: A NOD IS AS GOOD AS A LINKEDIN


In his 172nd column, exclusive to Connectivity, Richard Stone, the founder of Stone Junction - the first PR agency for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, explains how to write an article for the LinkedIn Publishing Platform. 

“Rule number one: Never use a pun in your headline,” explained Stone to his avid class of future LinkedIn experts. “LinkedIn is, at its heart, a search engine and, while the primary signal you can give it is content freshness, relevance is also important.

 

“For instance, if you were writing an article about how to write for LinkedIn, you should call it something like, ‘Seven ways to write for the LinkedIn Publishing Platform’. If you lack taste and credibility, you might want to append the phrase, ‘Number 7 will amaze you!’ However, if you do so, I urge caution,” opined Stone, the vegan-leather elbows on his tweet jacket atremble.

Jones: “So, ‘A nod is as good as LinkedIn’ would be an awful title then Sir?”

“Yes Jones. Yes, it would. It would be dreadful.”

 

The sensible bit of the article

The LinkedIn Publishing Platform, which was called Pulse until 2017, is a genuinely powerful way of reaching your audience with written content about your business. As long as you have put the effort into building a set of contacts who are genuinely beneficial to your organisation, either as potential or existing customers or other stakeholders, your perfect audience is sitting right there, waiting to hear from you.

But there are secrets to its use, and they aren’t as simple as just writing a good headline, although that is part of the process.

Your article title can be up to 150 characters long and, when your piece is first published, the headline, and accompanying image, will be all that’s visible in your follower’s feeds. So, make that real estate count by using all 150 characters in your headline or subdeck.

The header image, or article banner, you use to illustrate your content should be bespoke. The simplest way to create it would be to use an online graphics tool, like Canva, to design it. That way you will be certain of getting something with the correct dimensions. Like all social platforms, LinkedIn changes the specifications for image size regularly.  

A pro-tip is to ensure that the middle third of your article banner works by itself, because that is the only bit of the image that will viewable in a feed and will need to entice the reader in by itself.  So that’s where the text and the most compelling part of your image should be.   

 

Did you say LinkedIn was a search engine?

As I mentioned in my hilarious introduction, LinkedIn is a search engine and the people, jobs, content, schools, groups and events on the site that you search for are presented in order — just like the content on a Search Engine Results Page (SERPs). You can influence this search, just like you can influence Google, by communicating very clearly. 

My brilliantly satirical headline, for instance, would be less findable, if you were searching for an article about writing for LinkedIn, than my ‘Seven ways to write for…” version.

But there are other ways you can make content more clearly searchable on LinkedIn as well. You can use bold, italics, underline and block quotes to emphasise the keywords in your content, providing you remember that you are writing for a person, not a robot. So, keyword stuffing is out of the question.  

 

“Block quotes, which look like this on LinkedIn, are a great place to put the phrases you want to be found for. Imagine you are speaking to a person. If you raise your voice, they understand that you want to be heard. The visual equivalents of this for a search engine make it obvious that the text you’ve put in block quotes, or make italic for instance, is important and the subject of the article — so it should be found for those phrases.”

 

Similarly, your choice of subheadings, or H2 and H3 text as we call them in fancy digital marketing circles, will also influence where your article appears in search. 

 

Want to read more? Of course, you do! Read the rest of the article here on the Connectivity website. 

Richard Stone is the founder of Stone Junction, a specialist technical PR agency delivering international and digital PR and marketing services for scientific, engineering and technology companies. Email richards@stonejunction.co.uk if you fancy a chat about how Liverpool are premier league champions... or about PR, either or. 

 

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