LinkedIn: A publishing platform not just a social network

I was reading a newspaper interview earlier this week with LinkedIn boss Jeff Weiner.

It seems LinkedIn has proved to be a real hit with investors. It’s a tech company on the up. It’s share price has risen from $45 after going public in 2001 up to $199 as of last week. In the same period, its member numbers have risen from 33m to 225m.

If you’re reading this article you’re probably the sort of person who has a LinkedIn profile but what are you doing with it?

Are you making your LinkedIn profile work for you or is it just there existing without doing anything?

When LinkedIn first started to gain popularity it was easy to update your career details to create an online CV. The question was though, what else could you do with LinkedIn once you’d done this?

LinkedIn had to become more than just somewhere to post your career details if it was to grow and survive as a Social Network platform. It’s still about networking and connecting talent but its continuing success has been more than this.

Weiner thinks the site has become a ‘personalised trade magazine’ one where users can choose to receive news relevant to their job or industry.

I find this quote interesting as it shows that LinkedIn is now beginning to operate as a publishing platform.

What does this mean for content creators?

It means you can use LinkedIn to publish interesting, relevant and useful content about you, your business and the industry you work in.

LinkedIn’s got its update status, its equivalent of Twitter. Just like Twitter you can use the update to make short comments, opinions and insight into areas of interest. You can also use the status update to includes URL links to your website, blog or articles from around the web.

Unlike Twitter, LinkedIn does allow your provide content in more detail and depth. I regularly receive LinkedIn Today updates, which acts as a news channel providing information and content of interest to me.

You can pick different channels to follow such as Law & Government, Marketing strategies or Leadership and Management – anything which relates to your interests and industry.

You can create written articles or blog posts specifically targeted for the audience of a particular channel. Because you know you’re writing for a certain channel, you know there’s an audience that wants to receive the sort of information you’re providing.

The same applies with LinkedIn Groups which are communities of like minded individuals with the same interests from the same industries. Again, LinkedIn groups are a great opportunity to create interesting and relevant content for members of your group.

Just remember to think like a publisher and provide content of interest and value rather than overly promoting yourself. By doing so you should hopefully build your influence and gain more connections on LinkedIn.