The professional social network has expanded its Influencer program to the general public to create excellent content marketing opportunities, particular for B2Bs that thought social media was a stretch.

Sharing content on social media is all about spreading high quality content through targeted channels so your core audience has a chance to see it. Some publication routes are better than others, depending on your industry, the types of products and services you provide or if you operate in the B2B or B2C space. Those distinctions might become a little less important now, thanks to LinkedIn’s update to its Influencer posts.

LinkedIn rewards influence

Influencer posts, as Brafton reported, are engaging pieces written by thought leaders and published on LinkedIn. They were originally only open to a select few professionals who were considered universal Influencers, such as Bill Gates or Maria Shriver. However, LinkedIn must have realized how useful this content was and decided to let it grow.

The plan is to eventually allow all LinkedIn users to contribute, but for the time being, only 25,000 people have been given access. According to a blog post by LinkedIn Director of Product Management Ryan Roslansky, that number will grow over the coming months. The delay might be frustrating, but it at least gives businesses a chance to plan the content they’ll eventually share as Influencers.

Take charge of conversations in your niche

The LinkedIn community is nothing to sneeze at – by 2013, it already boasted over 200 million members. However, what’s more important about the network’s reach are the connections it offers to professionals and their businesses. When you make an Influencer post, it becomes part of your company’s or personal profile.

This is an excellent opportunity to go beyond simply sharing links to blog posts. That has always been available to LinkedIn users, but now content marketing professionals can be sure their writing lives on LinkedIn and is tailored to that community. In time, LinkedIn influence will become an important part of many online engagement strategies.

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.