Aishwarya Ramesh

Leveraging LinkedIn...

At the third annual edition of Digipub World recntly, one of the sessions focused on LinkedIn. Adith Charlie, the India managing editor at LinkedIn, had some insights on how publishers can create impactful content on LinkedIn and leverage the platform. He began by saying that in the course of his own career as a journalist, he had had help from LinkedIn in different ways.

Charlie told the audience that he believed everyone sitting in the hall had the capability to be a publisher thanks to LinkedIn Insights. He called his own departure from the website VC Circle an entry into “social journalism” — a specialised branch of journalism, that permitted employees to gain visibility.

“Our editorial mission at LinkedIn is to provide readers with views and news that they need to talk about – things that matter,” he said. The LinkedIn daily rundown consists of five news pieces delivered (via push notifications) in a snackable, easy to consume format (80-90 words) so that a busy professional can get a gist of what’s happening in the world of work. The idea is to share the top headlines from different publications, in one place. Apart from the daily rundown, we also have this concept called ‘idea of the day’ where LinkedIn reshares an insight that’s been shared by a user, with a wider audience.

Currently, LinkedIn employs over 60 news editors, and this approach is what sets it apart from the other platforms because it enables them to have a ‘human-first’ approach to news. Charlie divulged that all the editors are journalists who have previously worked with publications such as Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. “Human editors make it possible to oversee what users see on their feed. You may not be interested in politics or business development and, left to an algorithm, you wouldn’t see it on your feed. But you need human intervention to tell users, ‘If you step into a meeting without reading this news, you may look stupid,'" he explained.

“Our two main focus areas are high quality content and high quality people,” he told the audience.

Why should a publisher use LinkedIn?

1. Real users with real identities — everything done on LinkedIn becomes part of a professional identity.

2. High quality conversations — since the content you post on LinkedIn is a reflection of a professional conversation.

“One point that I would like to make is that a lot of our users tell us that whenever they create content on LinkedIn, there is a tangible business impact. So one of the influencers that we work very closely with told us that every time he posts something on LinkedIn he sees a rise in web traffic across all their digital properties. He's the CEO of a company. Millennials love to work with companies that are shepherded by CEOs who have social capital and who take a stance on things. It helps attract more talent,” he told the audience.

Charlie pointed out that people who create content on LinkedIn are always on a hiring manager’s radar. "You may have certifications, you may have amassed a wealth of experience with an employer, but hiring managers also want to know if you are able to bring a wider world view, and what your position is on certain things,” he said.

“If you look at what LinkedIn is trying to do, it's like a product company trying to understand the media side of business whereas a lot of newsrooms today are approaching it from the other direction. They're trying to understand the product side, the tech side and the distribution” Charlie added.

Three avenues in which a user can publish content on LinkedIn are — short form updates, such as status updates (which stick to their profile and show up on your connections feed), long form articles, and lastly, videos.

In the case of short form posts, content really matters. “This needs to be either something that starts a conversation or joins a conversation. If there's an existing trending conversation, weigh in with your perspective — this actually helps in the creation of an active community around what you're trying to do,” he explained.

Articles also need to be about the news cycle. “Whenever it's about the news cycle, there will be greater interest from both, the editors at LinkedIn as well as the general member community to pick it up and comment on it,” he pointed out. Charlie also told the audience that LinkedIn encourages people to publish videos that are between 30 - 120 seconds long. “If you are at a conference, and you see something interesting, you could record it, put it up on your LinkedIn feed, let your network know where you are, use a hashtag, because then tracking becomes easy. Try to shoot vertically, because a lot of devices don't support horizontal shooting,” he signed off while listing a few best practices.

Watch the full session below: