Nowadays, as I am sure you have noticed, the internet is full of news sources, e-sources and so much information at the tips of your fingers that allow you to stay up to date with current events. You can visit the big news sites such as CNN.com, BBC, NBC, and all the other big ones. Even web browsers will give you news as soon as you log in. Places like AllTop.com and Mashable.com allow you to search for news that is specific to your industry. But if you really want to get specific, and not have to search for articles that are relevant to you and your industry. Also check out LinkedIn Today as this is the place to go. For those in the business community, LinkedIn Today is the new kid on the block. LinkedIn Today allows news that you choose to come straight to you. No more searching the web for news that is out of date and likely irrelevant. LinkedIn Today lets you choose the genre you are interested in and sends the most current events straight to your page. It also allows you to look at the most shared news stories, peoples’ comments and much more. LinkedIn describes it as a way to “discover what the world’s professionals are reading, sharing AND tweeting.” Basically, LinkedIn Today is a news source for a professional that, if used correctly, allows one to expand their influence in the social media world.
Industry Specific News
What makes LinkedIn Today different from other e-sources is the fact that the entire platform is powered by people, specifically LinkedIn members. What does that mean? It means all the articles that show up at the top of the list are the ones that have been most shared by professionals in a multitude of industries. LinkedIn Today truly gives power of the press to the people.
But that is not all! LinkedIn Today also allows people to comment on articles. So not only can one view, at a glance, the top stories in specific industries fueled by people who are actually interested and know what they are talking about, one can also read comments left by other readers! What possible value could that have? Not all articles are most read because they are good. Some news goes viral because it is controversial, inaccurate, or because it was terribly written. Comments are helpful because they show how people react to stories—their true, gut reaction. Listening to what people have to say can save a poster from becoming very unpopular due to posting articles that will make people angry the rest of the day. Also, never forget to include your comments on all articles that you share to add more value to your post.
On every headline, LinkedIn Today shows how many times the article has been shared, and when clicked on, it shows who has shared. It is even possible to view sharers by company, industry and location if one is interested in seeing specific shares and/or comments. Is this not a great tool?
Which Articles Come Out on Top?
As mentioned before, the power behind LinkedIn Today is that is displays headlines based on the amount of times they have been shared or commented on by LinkedIn members. The articles are organized by industry and original source and the industry of those people who have shared them so you know exactly what topics and articles are valuable to people and their industries. LinkedIn Today really knows how to get specific!
The most important part is that LinkedIn Today will show recent articles that have been shared by members from a variety of disciplines—articles that are not only relevant to those interested in social media or design, for example, but relevant to anyone and everyone. It also shows articles that your own connections on LinkedIn have shared, as well as industry articles from places like StumbleUpon.
Tips for Using LinkedIn Today to Build Social Media Clout
LinkedIn makes it easy to build relationships with your connections, and offers many ways to do it. One great way to do that, and grow your influence, is to share relevant, current content on a regular basis. Consistently keeping up with your current events means that your connections will come to you first for all their need-to-know information.
Because the web floods people with tsunamis of “news worthy” content, everyone seems to know a little about a lot of things, but have no real knowledge, so to speak. For example, it might be fun to read about an orangutan who befriended a dog, but does that actually teach or inform? No. It may be fun to know, but is completely irrelevant…unless you are a primatologist, in which case I apologize.
What you need to do is figure out your niche, subscribe to news sources in that niche, and then become the person who is always “in the know”, and a go to source for valuable content.
- Make LinkedIn Today Your Own
Step one is simple: tell LinkedIn Today what your industry is, and organize your news pages to show you the most popular articles within your niche. You do not have to limit yourself, either. You can choose to get articles relevant to all your interests, not just one.
Obviously you should follow your industry. Anyone who is connected to you on LinkedIn is most likely there as a business connection, so do not go overboard with personal interests. However, as was mentioned before, you can have interests in more than one area. For example, my business is trade show marketing. But I also dabble quite a bit in social media, SEO and internet marketing, so, naturally, I subscribe to sources in those areas as well. The bottom line is to create a gumbo of content that is relevant to your industry and to your connections.
*Follow relevant industries, sources and interests to see applicable articles.
You can also subscribe to particular news sources that you may really like. Everyone has their favorite source that they want to keep up with, and LinkedIn Today lets you subscribe to those as well. Now, not only are you getting news relevant to your industry and other areas of expertise, but you get to view your favorite sources and pass them on to others.
2. Scan Headlines at a Glance
LinkedIn Today allows you the option of getting daily email updates—take it! The last thing you want is to be lagging behind in the news world. If you get news updates once a week, you are likely to be a little behind the times considering how quickly news travels online. If you want to be influential in your LinkedIn circle, get those daily updates. They allow you to quickly scan all the new headlines so you can see which articles are interesting and relevant, share what is, and just ignore the rest or go back to them later.
So, remember to update the email setting so you are receiving daily emails from LinkedIn Today, and at the same time, keep checking LinkedIn Today throughout the day just to make sure you do not miss anything important. Never forget how quickly news moves through the internet, so to be that influencer, you must stay current.
3. Sharing is Caring!
Just as in all aspects of social media, LinkedIn Today is not something you can just repost, leave alone, and still expect to get something out of it. You must engage! Share, comment, comment back—utilize all of your other social media engagement tools.
In the bottom right hand corner of every article on LinkedIn Today, there in a small symbol with a little person and a number next to it (below). This tells you how many people have shared this article. Click on it and it will show you the most recent shares and comments.
Even if the article has 50 shares, if it is relevant to you and your audience, share it again anyway! And remember to always include your own comments, this is part of engaging and can be a great way to start a discussion.
*Share the article with your followers and filter the most recent shares.
Although there is currently no way to retweet or reply to a comment straight from the most recent post, you can still go to members’ profiles if you are connected to them and reply or comment on what they shared recently. Not only that, but you can look at articles shared in your industry and go visit the profiles of those who shared them. That way you are able to see if you have common interests or connections, and maybe make a few new ones yourself.
As long as you comment on and share articles from LinkedIn Today with your connections on LinkedIn and Twitter, you will remain consistently visible, and as long as the articles you share are relevant and informative, you will remain valuable, especially if you add your own comments and insights. That is what it is all about, after all. When building clout in the social media world, being CONSISTENTLYvisible and valuable is what counts.
Let us do a quick review and recap what lessons have been learned as far as using LinkedIn Today to gain social influence:
First, you customize LinkedIn Today page to give you articles that are relevant to you industry and areas of expertise. Just as a side note, do your best not to share articles about religion, politics, or any of those other sensitive topics—you never know how people will react so you want to stay as neutral as possible.
Secondly, pick articles that are valuable to you and your connections, then share! Share on Twitter and LinkedIn often enough to remain visible and not get lost in the jumbled world of social media postings.
Thirdly, and maybe most importantly, comment. Commenting is what takes your post to the next level. Anyone can sit around and press the share button and regurgitate information, but a lot of the value of your post comes from sharing your insights. Let your connections know what you think, ask them what they think…engage, start discussions! This will also help add to your visibility, which, coupled with value, grows influence.
The tools that LinkedIn provides as shown below help you connect to professionals in your industry and maybe farther. If these tools are used properly, your social influence will grow. If you maintain consistent value and visibility, you may even show up on the LinkedIn Today front page! But do not just take my word, go in and do a little research about what all LinkedIn Today can offer.
1. Link your Banner Images through your Website.
2. LinkedIn has support for Videos.
4. Display Recommendations on your Page.*Add a video to each service page for exposure.
5. There is a “Follow us” Button to add to your LinkedIn Page.
6. You can Feed Blog Posts and Tweets to Your Overview Page.
*Your blog posts and tweets feed into the “overview” of your company page.
*An example of some of your analytics information that you can access.
7. You can get Client Recommendations Without Visiting Linked In.
*Make sure you display your buttons on your website.
8. Check out the New Group Functions.
9. Check out the LinkedIn Share Button.
Now, in the spirit of applying what we have learned, please tell me what YOU think—about LinkedIn Today, this blog, maybe some helpful hints that were not mentioned. I welcome any comments and feedback.
DJ Heckes, CEO & Author
EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts
Full BRAIN Marketing