In case you missed the news, LinkedIn is now opening up their publishing platform to the entire network. What used to be an exclusive program called “LInkedIn Influencers” with notable folks like President Obama, Richard Branson, Jack Welch, Guy Kawasaki and many others will now be available to everyone. Over the next few months, they will slowly be adding users with a LinkedIn profile to blog within the platform.
Why is this is important?
Not only is this a smart move for LinkedIn by making the network more sticky, it now gives brands an opportunity to deliver thought leadership within a professional environment. For brands that are considering employee advocacy or brand journalism programs, this could very well be the right channel to have those conversations about technology, IT, healthcare, digital health, etc.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, the content itself is indexed by Google so the shelf life of LinkedIn content can potentially live on forever versus just a few minutes in the other networks. LinkedIn has created an algorithm that will push the content to certain users within their feeds based on the keywords in the blog post and users’ profiles.
What brands need to know?
As much as this is a great opportunity there are also challenges to consider. Brands must be prepared to manage potential issues once their teams/employees are granted access to publish. There may be issues where some employees are:
- Not qualified to talk about the brand
- Not trained on how to do it effectively
- Are disgruntled and openly criticizing the brand (employees or previous employees)
Whether or not brands are going to leverage the LinkedIn platform to deliver thought leadership, employee advocacy of brand journalism, here are some next steps to think about:
- Update the social media policy to include LinkedIn
- Create an escalation workflow in case employees (or previous employees share competitive or protected information)
- Deliver a training program/curriculum that covers both the challenges and opportunities of LinkedIn
- Create a “LinkedIn Best Practices” guide for employees so they can blog effectively