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LinkedIn Publishing: How Data Can Help You Plan Your Posts

Last week, I tried my hand at publishing an article on LinkedIn. I’ve heard its a great tool for content and social marketers to reach their target audience, and I wanted to see first-hand how well it worked (admittedly, a little late to the party).

I was blown away at how well it did. I posted it, shared once on Twitter, and then sat back and waited…I didn’t have to wait long.

The network has introduced some pretty cool features that allow you to connect and share content with members of your industry. For example,  LinkedIn aided in the promotion in a couple of ways:

1. LinkedIn’s integration with Pulse automatically placed my article in the “Marketing and Advertising” Feed. LinkedIn adds relevant content to specific feeds, based on the publisher’s interests, and keywords from the content itself.

2. LinkedIn allows your content to appear in the feeds of users who would find it relevant. For example, my post was focused on content marketing, so LinkedIn shared it as recommended content for users who include content marketing in their bio.

I was pretty amazed how well the post performed. I have just under 400 LinkedIn connections, and until recently, haven’t spent a TON of time there. Not a huge audience, but with the improvements to the content platform that LinkedIn has made over the last several months, it’s been harder and harder to ignore.

With limited promotional effort on my part, it racked up over 1,100 views and 200+ shares in under a week.

Screenshot 2014-06-10 09.48.12

This makes me an expert, right?

Okay, probably not. But what it did was force me to focus on how I view the network. I’m not looking for a job, but I’m always looking to connect with people in my industry, and as a marketer, I always have an agenda and position that I’m looking to share. LinkedIn publishing provides a great way to do that. And there are some great ways to hone your strategy by using (you guessed it) data.

3 Types of Analysis For LinkedIn Publishing

1. Bucket Your Connections:

LinkedIn is a paradise for B2B marketers, because the data you can get about your audience is unparalleled. For example, a large number of my connections work in the software industry, but the average audience size of my connections in the “Marketing and Advertising” industry is higher. As you build out your thought leadership on the network, those will be important differences to note.

Screenshot 2014-06-09 13.25.34 2. Research Group Activity:
Focusing on those keywords and concepts as I develop content to publish on LinkedIn will help my content reach more people that I’m not connected to.

LinkedIn groups are a great way to connect with other leaders and users interested in your space. Understanding which groups are the most relevant and active can help you engage more meaningfully with its members.

Screenshot 2014-06-09 15.06.41 In addition to understanding the types of conversations happening, it’s important to take a look at when they’re happening. With so much content out there on a daily basis, it can be easy to get lost in the noise, and timing is everything. Find out when the most active times for comments are within a given group, and use that to plan your promotion.

Screenshot 2014-06-09 13.29.583. Analyze With a Wide Lens
While most of your activity on LinkedIn will be as an individual contributor, there are still many cues you can take from your brand profile and even better, your competitors’ brand profiles.

Dig into a competitive set of brands on LinkedIn. Analyze the tactics they’re using to find success with their posts. In general, your content will be in a similar vein, so this can be a great indicator of how to make it successful.
Screenshot 2014-06-10 10.36.32

Time to Plan…

Armed with a solid understanding of the ways your industry uses LinkedIn, you can begin to develop your own content strategy on the network. Trust me…I’ve posted once, so like I said; I’m an expert now. While I may be new to LinkedIn publishing, I’m an old hat when it comes to digital publishing, and these keys to data-driven development are the basis for any solid strategy.

Looking to analalyze your own LinkedIn network? Our set of LinkedIn reports allows you to get a look at your profile, groups, and company pages in a number of contexts. Click the link below to learn more.

LinkedIn Analytics

Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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