For content marketing professionals looking to target high-ranking decision–makers on social media, it’s no contest.
Data from the latest Fortune Social Register showed 70 percent of CEOs use only one social media network. Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn is the clear winner – it’s the platform of choice for a majority of executives.
LinkedIn even surpassed Facebook as the social platform of choice among B2B marketers in 2015, according to last year’s Social Media Marketing Industry report from Social Media Examiner. While 30 percent of B2B marketing pros cited Facebook as most important to their work, 41 percent opted for LinkedIn. What’s more, 21 percent of B2C marketers said the same.
So the question is less where you should promote your content than how. More to the point: Should you publish articles on LinkedIn itself or share links to your official website?
Updates vs. articles
As evidenced by the sheer number of posts on LinkedIn explaining the differences between sharing updates and publishing articles, it’s clear many users have failed to understand the distinction.
Put simply, sharing links through an update on your LinkedIn page is similar to posting links on other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. While you’re allowed to include images with your updates, this tactic is best used for short messages and trying to direct traffic back to your website through your network connections.
Updates are also handy for sharing third-party content you want to comment on or respond to. Plus, since updates work in a similar fashion to other social posts, you can easily repurpose them to share on other platforms.
On the other hand, publishing an article is essentially writing a blog on LinkedIn Pulse, a platform solely for posting and reading long(er)-form content. LinkedIn renamed “posts” as “articles” fairly recently in an attempt to clear up confusion.
Published articles are attributed to individuals, so it’s vital to align these posts with updates from your company page. This is where articles and updates work best together.
In addition to sharing your article with your network, this option means a notification will be sent to connections informing them of your piece. Along with the ability to include a title and images, you can embed videos.
“By using both these functions, you’ll create a strong presence for personal and company pages.”
One thing to keep in mind is that choosing the wrong option will work against you. Publishing an article when you’re only including a sentence or two will be seen as a waste of time to people reading through Pulse (not to mention an unnecessary use of notifications). No one wants to click on a post expecting a story and instead find nothing but a URL.
“Publishing an article on LinkedIn is a great way to show your thought leadership in a certain industry,” said Brafton social team associate manager Erin Hancock. “These posts are usually longer and dive deep into a certain topic. As these posts are done through a personal LinkedIn page, it’s important to still share links through your company’s page. This is where you can share any assets you have on your website, company updates and job postings. By using both of these functions, you will create a strong presence on LinkedIn for both your personal and company page.”
Publishing articles is worth your time
If you’re already devoting significant amounts of time and effort to perfecting your official blog, you may be wary of adding another item to your to-do list via LinkedIn Pulse articles. However, as with other content marketing strategies, the return is worth the investment.
Regardless of your goal, whether it’s building brand awareness, demonstrating thought leadership or generating leads, LinkedIn is where you’ll find the majority of business leaders and influencers. Establishing value and relevance with this audience through articles is much more likely to get them to click away from LinkedIn and onto your website than simply sharing updates. Remember that strong credibility as an individual will translate to your business.
Publishing great content on LinkedIn can do more for your business than exchanging numbers at a mixer.
Make the most of existing content
If you go about it strategically, there’s nothing stopping you from repurposing existing content on LinkedIn Pulse. Adding a disclaimer telling readers where they can find the original posting is an excellent way to drive traffic back to your official website.
Google does not necessarily look at duplicate content as spam. However, copying and pasting everything from your blog into LinkedIn Pulse articles could cause problems if you’re not careful.
Keep time in mind
First, space out when you republish blog content on LinkedIn Pulse from the original publication dates on your blog. It’s important to allow search engines enough time to index existing content and determine which pieces are originals and deserve to be ranked higher on search engine results pages. A minimum of two weeks is recommended.
Adapt content for the platform
Next, tailor existing content to be more suitable for LinkedIn Pulse. In addition to changing headlines and switching up images or videos to better fit the platform, consider the audience on LinkedIn compared to someone finding your blog through Google. Chances are your content may need to be recalibrated for a higher-level tone and style. It’s also a good idea to remove parts of content that may be viewed as extraneous by this audience. The last thing you want to do is waste a prospective client’s time.
In short, articles offer a more in-depth avenue for audience engagement over LinkedIn. However, sharing updates is still an important piece of the puzzle, and can help you better align articles with your brand. Each option has its uses – just be sure you understand when and how to employ them.