Get Your Pulse Racing on LinkedIn
This time last year, LinkedIn announced it had 15 million registered UK users (2.3 million of which are in London), meaning the social network grew by 5 million users in just two years. Considering LinkedIn reported UK user figures at just 2 million in 2010, this B2B focused platform, is still a major player for professionals and organisations around the world. The industries represented include 375,000 engineers, 50,000 solicitors, 12,500 journalists and 5 mermaids. LinkedIn’s communications manager Darain Faraz described the value of this social site beautifully, when he said “a LinkedIn profile is that CV that never sleeps.”.
LinkedIn has introduced many new features in the last two years, working hard to maintain its position as a major social networking player – new users joining now would struggle to recognise the site from the design, layout and functionality of 2009 when I joined.
One such new addition is the publishing platform called Pulse where a growing number of hearts are racing to read and write in this blog-come-magazine style section. From my experiments and observations so far, I can see how it could be a valuable element to a B2B social media strategy – you might have spotted articles published on Pulse are now featured at the top of the personal profile pages of the authors (have a look at my profile should you wish).
If you are not lucky enough to be a professional mermaid, then I invite you to read my 5 top tips for using Pulse to strengthen your profile on LinkedIn:
Craft your posts.
Small yet perfectly formed are best. The top performing Pulse posts are over 500 words but less than 1000 – the optimum is said to be 600, but most important is you write easy-to-digest, interesting, informative, valuable articles from the area of your expertise – this is where you can build your industry profile.
Pulse works like a blog, so make sure you optimise your post – apply all your SEO learnings to this space: make sure you have a strong image, title and that you tag (only three per post allowed) before you publish. Use all the buttons possible – use H1 and H2 to format headings, use the quote button to make a statement and embed other media and photos within the post too – the richer the better.
LinkedIn distributes your Pulse posts to your 1st connections and based an algorithm, potentially to others within your extended network and industry / area of interest. To be a featured publisher – there are two hacks you need to know: you MUST have a InShare widget installed on your website AND you should consistently use your LinkedIn Company Page and build Followers.
Win Early Engagement.
Share your post across your own social networks. Recommend using the share buttons provided by LinkedIn which show at the foot of your post as soon as you publish. Call upon your supporters, colleagues and friends to make the first round of Likes, Shares & Comments on your Pulse post. It is the early engagement stats which influence whether your post gets featured.
Make sure your header / cover photo at the top of your Pulse post is 698 pixels wide by 400 pixels tall and has the area of focus in the middle. This image gets cropped by LinkedIn around the edges, so the very middle of the picture will be what is displayed in the smaller thumbnails and if you are aiming to be featured by Pulse…
Final thought: Pulse could be used as a place to publish a teaser or introduction to a longer piece of content / special offer / or such on your own website – think about how you can use Pulse as a way to drive traffic to where you want it to be and what you want it to do.