The definitive guide to LinkedIn Pulse
LinkedIn Pulse offers much more than another way to interact with your followers. Play your cards right and your long-form post could be featured at the top of just about everyone’s newsfeed, which means increased exposure for your business. Plus, you could qualify as an influencer on LinkedIn, where the average influencer post gets more than 31,000 views, 250 likes, and 80 comments. Here’s what it takes to get discovered on LinkedIn Pulse.
How do you get your Pulse post featured at the top?
Make sure you target a specific channel by focusing your content on the channel to increase your chances of being featured there. (Hint: you can see a list of channels if your scroll down the Discover page to the channels section.) For example, you could write a post about recycling tips for the workplace to reach a Green Business channel. You could also tag the post Green Business. While tagging is important, it doesn’t necessarily lead to increased views. LinkedIn says, “The number of views on your long-form posts depends on the quality and relevance of your content, as determined by your connections, followers, and other LinkedIn members.”
Here are a few more things you can do:
- Draw on your personal insights to make connections with readers. Odds are someone, somewhere has had the same idea as you and is about to publish a similar article on Pulse, so instead of letting your work go down the drain, use your personal experiences with the topic and tell some engaging stories
- This one may seem obvious, but it must be said: have a lot of followers. People with more followers simply get more views. So spend time growing your following with people who would be interested in what you write
- Tweet a link to your post with the words “Tip @LinkedInPulse,” so a LinkedIn editor sees it. Katie Carroll, the Social Media Editor at LinkedIn, recommends tweeting posts that would do well with a wide audience. Now the editors are not the only ones pushing content to the top of LinkedIn pulse, the algorithm surfaces content as well. More on that next….
Keep in mind the Pulse algorithm
How posts get featured at the top of LinkedIn pulse is a bit of a mystery: LinkedIn doesn’t say how many are chosen by editors reviewing them versus how many bubble to the surface with help from an algorithm. However, an analysis of several hundred featured posts spread across 48 Pulse channels revealed some interesting facts about the algorithm:
- There are two important elements: the tag cloud that shows the most popular words used in posts; and the amount of audience interaction with a post
- There’s a strong correlation between the number of people viewing a post and the percentage of them liking and sharing it, as well as commenting on it. That means, if one posts receives thousands of views but no comments and only a few likes, and another post receives fewer views but dozens of likes and comments, the latter one stands a much better chance of being featured by LinkedIn’s editors
- A featured post with good correlation between views and interactivity can be boosted from the top of a channel to the top of LinkedIn Pulse if that correlation is stronger than top posts from other channels
How do you attract more readers with your headline?
Catchy headlines are good, as long as they’re not clickbait. It has happened to all of us: we see a compelling headline somewhere online, we click it, and we instantly regret our choice, because the content doesn’t offer “one simple trick (or hack)” to do anything. Don’t be that writer. Along with following general best practices for creating headlines, here are some important ones to follow for Pulse:
- Remember that, on average five times as many people read the headline than the body of a post, so make the headline count and engage those people who are looking for something good to read
- Titles that are 40-49 characters receive the greatest number of views overall, according to a study of 3,000 of the most successful posts
- Be specific with the headline’s details, but don’t give in to hyperbole. You may be a great rattlesnake handler, but an article about business negotiation tactics learned via rattlesnake handling doesn’t need a headline proclaiming you’re the best rattlesnake handler in the world. Be straightforward with your title and trust that readers will already find the basic facts of your profession a compelling entry point into your article
How do you make your content compelling?
LinkedIn gives some good advice for creating a long-form post that will engage readers:
- Ask yourself some basic questions that could provide inspiration: how has your industry changed, and what will it look like in the coming decade? If you were starting your business all over again, what would you do differently?
- Pictures, videos, presentations, and documents are all welcome additions to your post, as they enliven your content and support the points you’re making
- The best long-form posts are at least three paragraphs. (When writing a long-form post, the sweet spot is somewhere between 500 and 1,000 words)
Other ways to get the most out of your content, include:
- Try to target popular categories: unsurprisingly, career-related topics are the most popular posts on Pulse, followed by general business matters and self-improvement tips.
- Publish often: as with a blog, a steady stream of content equates to more engaged readers and an increase in followers. You also get a better chance of being featured, since more followers equals more engagement, which helps your standing with LinkedIn’s algorithm.
- Avoid aggressive self-promotion: sure, you want everyone to know that you’re great at what you do, but LinkedIn’s filter is finely tuned to weed out posts that seem spammy. Put the focus on your experiences, and don’t be afraid to throw in a dose of humility and talk about lessons learned from mistakes.
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