LinkedIn invites you to the club extraordinaire : Be an ‘Influencer’!


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Written by Pooja Mehra
on February 26, 2014

Now LinkedIn intends to catapult all the followers’ into the league of followed, by letting them share the platform with opinion makers like Barrack Obama, Bill Gates, Meg Whitman, Sir Richard Branson, etc.

Simply put, LinkedIn is extending the access of its publishing platform to all its existing users.

Having approx. 227 million users (and growing), with 2 new members joining every second, covering a Geographical reach of 200 nations and territories, available in 20 languageswhat LinkedIn’s witnessed is no short of a big bang, in just over a decade’s existence.

And this announcement comes as a defining moment in its evolution.

The Beginnings!

On 29th April, 2010, LinkedIn allowed its users to follow companies’ profiles and receive real-time alerts on their activities; a close replica of following someone on Twitter or becoming someone’s fan on Facebook.

After approximately two years of this, a major development surfaced.

At a time when Google was going hammer and tongs about original content production, admonishing malpractices, imposing penalties on spammers for hoodwinking the average Internet user; LinkedIn cracked the code to a path breaking invention. It got the most renowned thought leaders of the world on its Network to share their ideas and thoughts through long form content, and allowed all the LinkedIn members to follow their posts.

The announcement was made on 2ndOct, 2012 and included the likes of none other than, President Barack Obama, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Arianna Huffington, Richard Branson, Governor Mitt RomneyDavid Cameron, Bill Gates, etc.This elite category of contributors was christened‘Influencers’.These Influencers then began sharing their exceptional knowledge and insights with LinkedIn members. Initially they were 150 in strength, later on they became 500.

The ANNOUNCEMENT  Now

The phenomenal success of the Influencer program saw an average post receive 80-plus comments, 250 likes and 31,000 views; which egged on LinkedIn to extend the service to 25,000 members for now. It would be extended to all its members in the following weeks and months.

The idea is to disseminate the valuable experiences, knowledge and expertise of all its users that haven’t been captured as yet.

Moreover,  if a member publishes a post on LinkedIn, their unique content would be considered as a part of their professional profile and would be shared within their network.

Likewise, members will receive content according to their interests, profile and their network.

Members will also be allowed to follow those who are not in their network as well as create their own group of followers. This will include, sharing images, posts, videos on Slideshare too.

Ryan Roslansky, the Head of Content Products at LinkedIn told USA Today that,”We want LinkedIn to be a place members come to be more effective and successful, not just when they are looking for a job or looking for people. We believe that content is a way to do that.” 

Yes, there are advantages, Something for EVERYONE

The long form content has been around for quite some time to target niche audiences and drive a high level of engagement.

Google’s Indepth Articles is a case in point. It stresses on the creation of elaborate, content on broader topics.

LinkedIn’s publishing platform is also to do with knowledge sharing, but it has a  different perspective.

1)     Everyone gets to share the stage– By putting a pen in everyone’s hand, LinkedIn has truly empowered all its users to contribute, discuss, share their views on a serious platform (unlike Facebook or Twitter). Here’s an overview to LinkedIn’s Publishing platform.

2)     A shot in the arm for the HR – This one goes without saying. LinkendIn draws 55% of its revenue formTalent solutions. HR leaders throughout the globe can now scrutinize the content produced by their prospective employees’ to comprehend them better. As for LinkedIn, it’ll greatly help in growing its revenue.

3)     A surefire way to reach out – Many a times even after producing the right content, things go awry at the publishing stage, as it fails to reach the right audience.With LinkedIn’s stepping in, serving up the content to the right audience gets addressed due to its various distribution channels.

4)     Access to the Analytics – Move over Google’s analytics, Linkedin’s analytics shows you everything (in the form of charts, graphs, etc.) about your followers, on parameters of industries, seniority, regions et. al. This way you’ll able to see how your content is communicating with your audience, to guide you in the right direction.

Final Thoughts

Having started by roping in the big guns, LinkedIn has undoubtedly positioned itself as a niche content contributor on the web. The content running so far on LinkedIn has got rave reviews primarily because it comes from the crème de la crème, heading Industries (and nations).

On the other hand, there are apprehensions about dilution of this rich quality due to an influx of less useful, low quality, self promotional content; an issue Google is still grappling with. To think that all its 277 million users would provide value sure seems like wishful thinking.

But, LinkedIn seems to have one thing going for itsince the produced content would be attached to the professional identity of every user, it’d inspire the members to bring the best out of them.

“When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain.”

—Shakespeare (Richard II)

This entry was posted in Social Media.
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