September 23, 2014

3 Ways To Leverage LinkedIn’s Magic Pencil

linkedin's magic pencil

Did you get your magic pencil yet? If so, you know the thrill of logging on and seeing it there – the power of LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform. There it is, right next to your paperclip in the upper right corner of your update share box.

That unassuming little pencil just waiting for you to click on it and open up a fresh LinkedIn page that simply encourages you to write your thoughts – for all the world to see and share. It may very well be the most popular pencil in history.

What’s that? You don’t have a pencil in your LinkedIn Share an update box?

Well, if you are not one of the lucky ones bestowed with the magic pencil by LinkedIn’s massive publishing platform open rollout, take heart. Your pencil will one day appear. If you are one of the lucky ones gifted with this open door to LinkedIn publishing, make sure you are leveraging it for every precious post you can muster.

If you are waiting for your very own magic pencil, relax. It takes time to open the publishing gates to more than 300 million registered users worldwide. LinkedIn made 25,000 English language members very happy in late February when it began rolling out its massive publishing project. Eventually, the platform will be open to all LinkedIn users, giving millions the opportunity to write and share posts.

3 Ways To Leverage LinkedIn’s Magic Pencil

Click On It

As soon as you see the magic pencil, you will also see the welcome notifications that accompany your inaugural moments as an activated LinkedIn publisher. Take a few moments to appreciate the power, and then jump in.

Extremely user friendly, the publishing platform’s front door is the magic pencil, which is displayed next to your old friend, the magic paperclip, on your LinkedIn homepage in your Share an Update box. It’s light grey and so subtle you might miss it if you are not paying attention. Just hover over the pencil and LinkedIn will display Create a Post to guide you. Now, click.

You are now seeing your very own LinkedIn publishing page – blank, begging for a title and beseeching you to Write your Thoughts. And it’s not just LinkedIn users set to see your posts. Each post you create can be shared via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ as well as LinkedIn – so the social share potential is robust.

Start Writing

Introduced in February, the LinkedIn Publishing Platform is a systematic rollout designed to give all users the ability to increase their brand awareness, professional expertise and thought leadership. Yes, this is a very big deal – and a great opportunity for content marketing. However, the responsibility of leveraging this opportunity rests firmly on your shoulders.

You have to write. Organize your expertise into categories. Start keeping notes of great topics that will allow you to convey strategies, tips, observations or cautionary wisdom – all the while solidifying your expert status in your field. Consider creating an editorial calendar to keep you on track of publishing frequency and themes. By delivering consistent, informative content, you can share real-time expertise with LinkedIn members – 24/7.

You can share blogs you have posted on your own blog for starters, but your content needs to be insightful. That means, simply, share your best stuff. You can also write original posts, unique to your LinkedIn publishing platform, and increase your overall content strategy.

Social It Up

Once you begin publishing, start supporting your LinkedIn posts with social shares. Remember, posting your expertise with solid content reinforces your professional credibility. You want to share that same energy on your other social platforms and, if applicable, your website.

LinkedIn will even give you access to analytics to provide demographics of the people reading your content the most – broken into executive seniority, industries and regions. If you are active on LinkedIn, and have more than 500 connections, you are in great shape to social up your LinkedIn posts. If you have less than 500 connections, try to make an effort to grow your connections, thereby growing your potential pool of readers and sharers.

The more energy you give to your social platforms, in support of your very own LinkedIn publishing campaign, the better your content will thrive.

LinkedIn Photo via Shutterstock

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Marie Alonso


Marie Alonso Marie Alonso is a content strategist and social media expert at Miles Technologies, an award-winning firm in Moorestown, New Jersey. A former newspaper reporter and magazine editor, Marie works with businesses to implement creative content strategies and social media campaigns to fuel online marketing and business branding. She contributes regularly to the Philadelphia Business Journal, sharing expertise in social media and content marketing.

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