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Why LinkedIn Published Posts Should Add Value

content marketing linkedin social media May 17, 2015

While most will agree there can be a great benefit in publishing on LinkedIn, I would like to expand on how business owners should utilize this tool most effectively.

First, a review of some observations and what could be done instead.

Overly Promotional Published Posts

Okay, okay.  I get you want your posts to reach people.  I get that you have a product or service to sell.  I also get that you want to use the resources you have that are free – especially since your Facebook Business Page reach has declined.  However,

"LinkedIn published posts are NOT the place to push your products and services."
Since LinkedIn has enabled published posts, I have received more than a few notifications for published posts that ended up being a sales pitch when I clicked on them. When you publish a post on LinkedIn that has no value and the only objective is to sell your product or service, you look desperate.  There, I said it.   It looks like a desperate cry for attention and it is SPAM!  Yes, SPAM!  You are sending an unsolicited and unwanted notification to sell and benefit yourself!  Nothing is more annoying than clicking on what appears to be an article I may want to read only to be met with a sales pitch.  It makes your business look bad. Period.

What you should do instead is write an article about a problem and give some relatable information that helps people with that problem.  I have no problem if you sell the solution and include a link to your website or somewhere else for more information, but please do not try to sell me directly on LinkedIn!  Pushing a product or service down people’s throats does not sell them, it annoys them!  Give them a choice!  If you provide a link to learn more after you have earned that click by adding value, people will be more likely to respect your business and buy from you.  If all you do is ask people to buy without proving yourself to them, you are like a spoiled child who has not grown up and not learned the rules.

That being said, if you first add value and show your knowledge and credibility, then you have earned the respect of potential clients.  People buy from those they know like and trust.  Get to know your audience, allow them to get to know you and like you, and earn their trust.

Published Posts that Should have been Regular Update

Again, I understand you want to be heard.  You also want people to remember you.  But that does not mean it is okay to publish a one or two line post.  That should have been a regular update.

When I get a notification of a published post, I expect to read a post that is thorough and well-thought-out.  The publish feature was rolled out for long-form posting, essentially a blog-type post.  Short posts should be posted as they always have on LinkedIn.  Yes, I know, you still want to be heard.  Okay, then write something that will be worth your contacts time to read!  Put all those thoughts into written format.  You have to put the work in to get the benefit.  If you publish one or two lines, it makes you look lazy.  It looks like your contacts were not worth your time and effort to put in the work to provide them with the value they expect from a published post.

The takeaway here is that if you only have a line or two, just use the regular post format.  If you have a long-form post that provides value to your readers, please publish!

Using Published Posts for Broadcasting Events, Menus, Etc.

I understand you want people to know about your events, your menu and other things pertaining to your business.  However, publishing this information in LinkedIn published posts is not the way to go about it.  Why?  While you may reach more people, you are creating an annoying notification for everyone, most of which will have no interest in that type of post.  Readers expect a blog-style post, not an event notification.  Again, this is another way you can and will annoy some people.  Why risk your good reputation and relationship you have built with them, and risk losing a potentially otherwise good connection?  It is not worth it.  Send those things to your email list or your groups or events on Facebook.  It does not add value.

Reaping the Benefits of Adding Value

So, you’re not posting any of the “problem” items listed above?  Are you adding value?  Be sure you are and you will start to reap the benefits of a good solid published LinkedIn post.  The key to getting read is a great headline.  You get one chance to grab their attention when they get the notification, and it is the headline that will do that. When they see your headline, they will either click or not click the notification.  It is worth your time and effort to give some serious thought to the headline in order to grab as much readership as you can from your published posts.

Once you start to publish valuable content on LinkedIn you will start to gain new followers.  They will look forward to your posts and start to interact with you more.  They will start to see you as an expert in your field, and you will gain well-deserved respect from them.  This, of course, takes time.  There is no magic bullet that will make you an overnight success.  Of course, if you have one of your top-notch posts picked up by Pulse, you may have an explosion of activity, which is one other reason you should make sure to put the time in to create great content on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a professional social platform and should be treated as such.  If you provide value, respond to comments and questions in an intelligent way, publish consistently, and refrain from trying to sell everyone, you are on your way to being seen as a professional and expert in your field through your content on LinkedIn.  Be sure to value the connections you make through your published posts and connect personally with the ones you feel you will be able to work with or partner with.  Above all, be sure your published posts provide value in some way for your audience.  This is your chance to shine and show off what you know!


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