The recently launched 10-week Creator Accelerator Program will offer 200 shortlisted individuals additional resources and guidance from LinkedIn mentors.
Most would remember joining LinkedIn to hunt for a job or when they started their first job. But the definition of the global professional networking site has evolved, and it has come to mean more than just that to employers, employees and corporate India, over the years.
So, what makes it different from other social media platforms that influencers use today? Ahmed Aftab Naqvi, CEO and co-founder, GOZOOP, says that the organic reach of LinkedIn is three times that of other platforms.
“This is extremely encouraging for creators. Unlike other social media channels, the content on LinkedIn is knowledge-driven, draws upon the real experiences of a creator and has the potential to add value to people’s life,” Naqvi tells afaqs!.
LinkedIn, which supports multiple formats like short-form content, images, gifs, carousels, videos, audio, etc., is possibly one of the few platforms where long-form content is still appreciated.
For Pooja Chhabria, APAC head of creator management, LinkedIn, “Creation on LinkedIn is about being committed to building active communities, fostering connections and sparking meaningful conversations. This is essentially why each of our over 88 million members in India can be a creator on our platform, as long as they have a story to tell and a passion to build communities through the content they create.”
The Creator Accelerator Program
LinkedIn recently shortlisted 200 individuals for the first class of its Creator Accelerator Program in India. These creators will get access to a 10-week incubator program, and additional resources and guidance from LinkedIn mentors to help them grow their communities and create content on the platform.
Sumanto Chattopadhyay, chairman and CCO, 82.5 Communications, who is a leading LinkedIn creator, mentions that he became one by accident.
Chattopadhyay is famously known on social media as The English Nut. He is passionate about the English language and allergic to wrong grammar. The adman provides tips to avoid misuse and mispronunciation of English words, as a part of his video series.
“I started The English Nut on the usual social media channels like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. But one of my videos got a great response on LinkedIn. The English Nut content might not be the typical content for the platform, but because it was getting a good response, I kept posting it,” shares Chattopadhyay.
On LinkedIn, the creators get access to trending topics and assistance with content creation. They can also bring their post to the platform’s notice. The post can later be highlighted by the platform.
The mentor support
The 200 participants will receive guidance from four LinkedIn creators serving as program mentors: Nearbuy.com’s founder Ankur Warikoo, Nas Academy’s CEO Nuseir Yassin, Le15 Patisserie’s founder and CEO Pooja Dhingra, and Edelweiss AMC’s MD & CEO Radhika Gupta.
These mentors will draw on their own journeys and experiences with content creation to share expert advice with the creators at each step of the program.
Talking about how LinkedIn’s content is dramatically different from YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, Warikoo, who has over 1.6 million followers on the platform, states that LinkedIn largely comprises working professionals. Also, people on LinkedIn are not looking for entertainment, but for content, career advice and opportunities.
As someone who has spent 12 years building a business, Dhingra of Le15 Patisserie feels that LinkedIn helps her to share her personal experiences and learnings. For her, it’s a platform that can be used to connect with like-minded audiences.
While metrics such as engagement, viewership and follower count are typically perceived as the definition of success for content creators today, on LinkedIn, smaller communities tend to have greater impact. Warikoo says that it is important to create a niche community.
LinkedIn is unlike other social networking sites. On Instagram, for instance, you get paid for promotions and sponsored content posts. One reason for this is that most creators on LinkedIn are not independent of the organisations that they represent. They have to be cognizant of restrictions before promoting another brand’s product or service, especially on a professional networking site like LinkedIn.
However, Naqvi of GOZOOP reveals that over the last year or so, the interest for paid promotions on LinkedIn has grown about five times. “Earlier, only B2B brands were keen to use LinkedIn. But over the last 12 months, many B2C brands have adopted the platform for paid promotions, as well.”
Nikhil Narayanan, head of creative (internal communication & social media), TCS, informs that many B2B brands are doing sponsored content on the platform.
“When it comes to brand collaborations, LinkedIn has not evolved into a B2C platform, as yet. While some B2C brands have started using it for branded posts, it is still minuscule as compared to other platforms,” adds Nikhil.
The reason why more B2B brands are using the platform for paid promotions, Nikhil believes, is because their content needs to be firmly rooted in credibility. It is something a platform like LinkedIn is able to provide due to its professional nature.
(hero image courtesy: Sumanto Chattopadhyay's LinkedIn post)