On February 19, 2014, LinkedIn, the professional social media network, opened up their platform for long form publishing. This meant that LinkedIn users could now publish full length articles, insights, and posts on the LinkedIn network.
At first, the early adopters (like me) were just posting content and hoping other people would see it. Now, we have the benefit of research that enables us to make the most of our LinkedIn posts.
[Click here to see the original post on OkDork.]
Here is a summary of the most important findings:
First, write about what you know. Use an authentic voice, and focus your content topics on career and business.
Second, write to about an 11 year old reading level. This might be surprising, but most of the web reads at this level.
Third, write long form content- articles of 1900-2000 words perform the best on LinkedIn. One idea would be to write a shorter post for your blog, and then extend it for your LinkedIn audience. I haven’t done this yet, but it’s something I’m going to consider.
Fourth, include headings and images. In text of 1900-2000 words, you still have to consider white space and scannability. So break up your paragraphs with subheadings and also use images to keep the reader engaged and reading through your entire content. About 5 subheadings and 8 images is the optimal number.
Fifth, titles of about 40-49 characters long seem to work best. Learn to say it short and sweet (and powerfully.) State your headline directly, rather than as a question. So: The Best Marketing Strategy Ever rather than Is This the Best Marketing Strategy Ever?
Sixth, “How to” and “How” content, along with list posts, tends to perform the best. This ties into the desire of LinkedIn users to achieve and perform- they want to know how to accomplish goals and achieve desirable outcomes.
Seventh, neutral language works better than biased language in terms of garnering likes, shares and comments. The more likes, shares, and comments you get, the greater your chances of having your content featured on LinkedIn Pulse. You can assist this by also sharing your content to other social networks.
Taken together, it seems that LinkedIn users respond best to content which is thoughtful, expanded, helpful, relevant, and easy to read.
I expect these tips will help me create more effective content for LinkedIn. I hope they benefit your content publishing as well.