Why a LinkedIn content strategy is a mistake

I’ve heard LinkedIn is the only business network, I need a content strategy for LinkedIn now!!! I listened in rapt silence while he rattled on. He wasn’t getting leads from LinkedIn. It wasn’t driving traffic to his website. Obviously I couldn’t say no directly, but how could I explain it to him?

So what was the objective of being on LinkedIn, I asked? Since business users are there we’ll get new leads. Hmm I said and I proceeded to draw and explain the following.

The walled garden of LinkedIn

The typical business user today, when he’s looking for information on a topic usually goes to a search engine like Google, or Bing and that’s where the problem of your content on Social Networks begins.

Walled Garden of LinkedIn

 

Most content on social networks is in a walled garden and doesn’t come up when searched for. Most groups on LinkedIn for example where valuable discussions might be happening are typically closed groups (to prevent spam) and when a typical search is done the results from there don’t appear.

Where does content reside on LinkedIn?

Company page, Groups and Status Updates, are the 3 locations for most people, unless you’re a celebrity who can blog on LinkedIn. (Recently LinkedIn began to open this to members, this might be a game changer).

How do you locate content on LinkedIn

Search tool within LinkedIn, if you’ve used it you will realise how pathetic it is. The same is the case of Facebook. One rarely goes to research information on a social network, one typically begins with a search engine.

The problem with Reach on LinkedIn

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When you share content via a status update, LinkedIn shows you some statistics as  Who’s Viewed Your Updates. Unfortunately this is total garbage.

 

SNAGHTML2bcc2340The way you verify this is by viewing the destination. So for e.g. I shared a link to a blog post I had made, and LinkedIn merrily reported on how many people viewed this update. However, the problem is that doesn’t translate or tell you how many people clicked the link and visited the link destination.

 

So I’m guessing this is just a number which talks about on how many peoples pages this update is appearing, i.e. for e.g. if you’ve scrolled thru the updates on your page, they’re estimating that the post has been viewed by you. This gives an incorrect picture.

 

So what do you do?

Do you not post content on LinkedIn? Post for sure, whether it’s going to drive traffic to your website or primary content location (e.g. Blog) is what you need to watch and see. Be willing to experiment and see if it works for you.  Who knows it just might work for you and your brand.

The one good thing is it helps you showcase your expertise on your profile to those who might see your share. Heck I’m sharing this on LinkedIn myself 🙂

However, for it to work you really need a following out there on LinkedIn. The other option is to create a focus group for your customers encouraging people to ask questions around your industry or product etc. However, here I find the group, forum functions in LinkedIn are extremely limited and low tech. Moreover quite a few groups are overrun with massive spam.

For now, I’ve found LinkedIn mostly useful to locate and connect with people. Is it a great content destination? Not for now, not for me. It could be different for you and heck it could change.

However, the challenges within the walled city of LinkedIn are quite similar to the other networks as well. Are there exceptions to this rule? I would love to know of them, so please do share via the comments below.


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