If you want to make sure your published articles are ranked high on the Pulse Network, you won’t want to miss this second episode of our three-part series.
This episode is brought to you by StudioPress Sites.
In this episode, Gericke Potgieter — author of How To Feature on LinkedIn Pulse — shares the results of his research in analyzing more the 560 posts on LinkedIn across 48 channels.
From his work, you’ll learn details on how the LinkedIn algorithm determines your post’s sharability and what you can do to make sure it gets the most traffic.
Plus Mica and I share a few tips of our own on how to use LinkedIn Analytics to grow your connections, and once and for all confirm the “geography” bias for LinkedIn Pulse.
In this episode, Gericke shares with Mica and me a tremendous amount of detail on the factors that will help you get featured on LinkedIn Pulse, including:
- The massive importance of using the right keywords for your post
- Why engagement metrics matter in getting ranked higher in LinkedIn
- Why there is a geographic bias on posts
- Tips for expanding your influencer reach
- And Gericke’s #1 tip for LinkedIn users
Listen to The Missing Link below ...
The Show Notes
- We highly recommend you purchase this book How to Feature On LinkedIn Pulse: The Definitive Guide to Publishing Successful Long-form Posts on LinkedIn written by Gericke Potgieter (today’s guest) and Amore Potgieter
- Artifex Knowledge Engineering
- Connect with Gericke Potgieter on LinkedIn
How to Effectively Publish on LinkedIn, Part 2
Voieover: This is The Missing Link with your host, the insufferable, but never boring, Sean Jackson.
Sean Jackson: Hello everyone. It’s Sean Jackson, your host. I’m joined, as always, by the illuminating, Mica Gadhia. Mica, how are you today?
Mica Gadhia: I am awesome Sean. How are you?
Sean Jackson: You know what, I am doing very much better. Let me explain why. The last episode we did — let’s just be honest, my audio was horrible. I’m going to explain to my audience what the heck happened, because it’s actually a pretty funny story. I am on trips right now — traveling a little bit. When I have to do this podcast it’s always a little difficult, because I don’t have my sound booth back in Dallas.
On my trip I decided I would buy one of those headsets that have a microphone, because I figured that would be an easy way to do it. I won’t have to worry about all the noise around me, because they have a noise-canceling mics. So I bought this mic, and I had it shipped to me — overnighted. I put it on and I recorded a show with Mica. It was terrible. So bad that our engineer said, “You’re going to have to redo the show Sean.” It was like, “Okay.” Do you remember when Steve Martin did standup? He had that whole routine about the googlephonic stereo and the moonrock needle? You remember that Mica?
Mica Gadhia: I don’t.
Sean Jackson: You don’t?
Mica Gadhia: Actually I don’t, sorry.
Sean Jackson: Oh my God, it was hilarious. It was about how he was trying to get this stereo fixed up. For anyone over the age of 40, I guess, you will know what the heck I’m talking about. Okay fine, Mica. Let me go through this. I get this thing and I’m putting it on. It’s terrible, so we have to re-record. I’m like, “I’m not going to let that happen again.” So I go buy another headphone-microphone combination set. A better one. A more expensive one. They send it to me, and we record the show. I listened to the live version. I was like, “God, this sounds terrible too.” I was getting frustrated.
Then I run over to Walmart. I go and buy some cardboard, some glue, and some seat cushions. I build a little sound box. I put it into where I’m staying, and I start to do some test recording. I’m like, “This still sounds like crap too.” I was like, “Maybe it’s the room I’m recording in.” I could not find any decent place. I say, “You know what? I’m going to go to the hotel front desk. I’m going to see if they could help me.” I walk down to the hotel front desk — with my microphone, my cardboard box with seat cushions — went up to the front desk guy and say, “Excuse me, do you have a private room I could use for maybe an hour?” The look on his face was priceless.
Mica Gadhia: That’s so awesome.
Sean Jackson: Luckily, I was able to find a place. Even though as embarrassing as it was to walk around with my box and microphone and looking for a ‘private place,’ I do it because of this, Mica. I love our audience so much that I want to give them our very best. Don’t you agree Mica?
Mica Gadhia: Yeah. You are so dedicated.
Sean Jackson: It’s because of them. We’re on this journey together. I’m learning just like they’re learning. We’re doing it together. I will tell you, this series that we’re doing about publishing on LinkedIn I think is so important. I do want to give a shoutout to Jeff and to Rob who took the Mica Challenge from last week. Who published some posts and allowed us to come through and provide some insight to them. Jeff and Rob — totally appreciate you doing that, by the way, because that really helped us. It gave us a good starting point in this overall journey. Those members in our group — like Bonnie who helped initiate this whole conversation — all those group members, I cannot thank you enough. Yes, it is worth me walking around with a box and a microphone to a front desk —
Mica Gadhia: It is!
Sean Jackson: — and ask for a little privacy, because you guys are absolutely worth it. Mica, I bet you there’s somebody listening that has no clue what we’re talking about.
Mica Gadhia: Oh, maybe they don’t. Let’s teach them.
Sean Jackson: Yes, let’s illuminate them.
Mica Gadhia: Let’s illuminate them. We’re going to invite you to our super-secret Missing Link LinkedIn group, which is amazing. Full of promotions — that I’ve just added two more yesterday, as well, to help with publishing posts. If you’re in the continental United States, you’re going to go ahead and take out your mobile device and text us at 41411. The keyword in there will be ‘mylink’ — ‘mylink’ without the space. Again, that’s 41411 text, and ‘mylink’ is the keyword. Now, if you’re outside of the continental United States, we want you to join us as well. You can do that through an email at MissingLink@Rainmaker.FM.
Sean Jackson: It’s super simple. It’s super easy. And I encourage everyone to do it. Here’s why. Mica is like a fiend in that group, posting tons of resources. You were posting something about Canva, was that it, that you were just putting in there?
Mica Gadhia: Yeah, I just made my LinkedIn image on Canva. It was very easy, and I did it for free.
Sean Jackson: You did it for free. If you need images for posting, then, by all means — we have all these resources in that group, so make sure you’re in there. Again, some of the great discussions that are going on. Especially a big shoutout to Jeff and Rob for participating in the Mica Challenge and letting us take a look at it. Again, I think you owe it to yourself to get in.
All right. That’s enough of the group. I want to give a preview of the episode because we have a very special guest all the way from South Africa. He has written a book on LinkedIn, and not just any book. He is actually a data scientist. He has done a huge amount of research on publishing to LinkedIn, what works, what doesn’t.
When we get back from the break, our very special guest is going to talk about information that you must know if you are going to publish on LinkedIn. I don’t want to spoil it because I know you want to hear it directly from the source. So stay tuned. When we come back, we are going to deep-dive into LinkedIn publishing.
Mica Gadhia: The Missing Link is brought to you by the Rainmaker Platform, the complete website solution for content marketers and online entrepreneurs. Find out more and take a free, 14-day test drive at Rainmaker.FM/Platform.
Sean Jackson: Welcome back from the break everyone. It’s Sean Jackson and Mica Gadhia. I promised you we were going to go deep-diving into LinkedIn Pulse and LinkedIn publishing. To do that, we have a very special guest. Our first international guest, actually, Mica, right? All the way from —
Mica Gadhia: That’s right.
Sean Jackson: Yeah, I’m pretty impressed. It was late for him but it’s early for us. Without further ado, I would like to introduce him. I’m going to mess this name up, so everyone forgive me. Gericke Point — Oh heck. Gericke I’m going to let you do it because we’re just going to mangle it. I want you to introduce yourself and then I want to tell everybody about how we met.
Hi, Sean. Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it. I know that we’re going to learn a lot about LinkedIn publishing today. My name is Gericke Potgieter, but I don’t really expect people across the world to be able to pronounce that. I often joke and say I’ve probably got the most unmarketable name in the industry, so that’s why a lot of people sometimes just call me Eric or G.
Sean Jackson: Ah, there, now you tell me.
Gericke: Put you out.
Sean Jackson: I want to tell everyone how we got together. When I first started this show, you sent me an email and you said, “Look, I really enjoy your show. I wrote this book, and I think you will find it hugely valuable. Can I give you a free copy?” Just that was it. Of course, I get the book, and I’m like, “Oh, whatever.” Then about a couple of weeks ago I’m like, “You know, I want to do a show on LinkedIn Pulse. Who was that guy again with the crazy-sounding name that sent me that free book?” I got it. I read it. I was blown away.
I highly recommend — everyone has to buy this book. Because, one, it’s on Amazon. B, it’s very inexpensive — it’s less than five bucks. It is chock full of information. Literally, I was reading this thing and I was going, “Oh my gosh! This guy, does he have a job? How did he do?” — forever because it covers everything in it. I want you to tell our audience a little bit of the background on how you created “How to Feature on LinkedIn Pulse,” the book that you wrote. The research you did. Some of the conclusions that you have. Because I am going to pepper you with a ton of questions.
Gericke: Perfect. To give you some background, we wrote the book — ‘we’ would be my wife and I. We actually work together at Artifex Knowledge Engineering. Our company focuses on the automation of business processes. Specifically if you have Excel spreadsheets, that kind of thing. We automate all of those things. In our efforts to market our own company, we decided to publish on LinkedIn Pulse, or rather, on the LinkedIn publisher platform to see what happens from there. Not much happened initially, to be honest. I personally wrote a lot of articles and published them, and would get maybe a couple of views, one or two comments.
One day, I decided to write about big data. For some reason that we didn’t understand initially, the big data article just went through the roof in terms of views. That really piqued my interest. So what I did, is I looked a little bit deeper and found that the article was actually featured in the big data channel on LinkedIn Pulse. I looked to my partner and I said, “You know what? Let’s see if we can repeat the success. And let’s figure out what we did in order to get this article to feature.” That’s what we did. I wrote a second article, also in the big data field. That article also went through the roof in terms of views. That prompted us to ask the question, “But what are we doing right?”
Sean Jackson: Yeah. Is it pure luck, or was there really some science behind it?
Gericke: Precisely. Digging a little deeper, we found out that there’s a very interesting algorithm at the back working its magic that allowed us to pull into the Pulse channels. We went about — it took us about two and a half to three weeks to perform the study. We did take some care to look at other studies that was performed specifically by people like Paul Shapiro, for example, and to see what they did and how we can do it differently. So that we can really dig into this algorithm and understand what it does. Because if you can repeat success, why not?
Sean Jackson: Right, exactly.
Gericke: Yeah. What we did is we — because it’s very difficult to use scraping software on something like LinkedIn. They made sure that that’s not something that people can do easily. We had to manually go through a variety of posts. Essentially what we did is we analyzed a total 561 posts across 48 Pulse channels.
Sean Jackson: Holy cow! 561 posts.
Sean Jackson: Across multiple channels. Got it.
Gericke: Yeah, 48 channels. What we really aimed for was to understand — at a maximum of 15 posts, the 15 top posts in each channel. What did they look like in terms of their views, the number of comments, and the shares that they each have? That would determine success. Because when we did some preliminary research, we found that LinkedIn uses those things as a basis to determine how articles are managed in the Pulse platform.
Sean Jackson: Okay. Let me go ahead and interject, because you’ve set it up. You went through all of these different articles, 500-plus. You had 48-plus channels that you would look through. You were analyzing them. Obviously, if you’re writing about big data, you obviously have some data science behind you. Let’s cut to the chase, and let’s talk about what you found were some of the most important things that our audience probably is not aware of when it comes to that LinkedIn algorithm, when it actually comes to publishing. What are some of the things, when they’re actually publishing, that they need to be aware of?
Why Engagement Metrics Matter in Getting Ranked Higher in LinkedIn
Gericke: The number-one thing that they need to know — once again, we’ve derived this. Whether it’s the actual way that things are being done is still a question, but what we derived is that the algorithm is probably triggered by the velocity at which an article is distributed across the system. Which means that when an article is shared, and not just by yourself, but by your friends and people in groups — and it generates a number of views (and that’s over a certain period), the speed at which that happens seems to trigger the algorithm to pick up on it in the first place.
Sean Jackson: Okay. Let me clarify. The more engagement it has, the more shares, the more views — comments? Would that be part of it?
Gericke: Yeah. Comments is very critical.
Sean Jackson: Okay. When we look at the engagement metrics. When an article is first published. And I believe in your research you were saying days of the week — maybe like a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. I think you had Wednesday —
Gericke: Wednesday, right.
Sean Jackson: Right. Is that when you first put it out there, that initial spike, if it’s getting people that are sharing it, are liking it, are putting comments on it, that’s going to improve the velocity by which the algorithm is picking it up in the index to share with everybody out there. Got it. Okay.
Gericke: Indeed. That’s the first thing that they need to know. The second thing is that once the algorithm notices this article and the speed at which it’s distributed, it will start looking at where it fits into the Pulse platform in terms of the channels that it might align with. The way that we deduced it does that is first by looking at titles and seeing if it picks up on certain keywords, and then analyzing the content to see if the content aligns with the title.
What we assume is happening based on some of the reading that we’ve done and some of the technical explanations that’s been offered by LinkedIn as well, is that it seems that they’re working with a tag cloud. Which gives you a nice contextual way of analyzing the articles. If your article has a specific title that is nondescript, then the algorithm will probably just kick it out. If there are keywords that the algorithm knows and can attach to certain tag clouds, it has an easier time of putting it into a specific channel.
The Massive Importance of Using the Right Keywords for Your Post
Sean Jackson: All right, let’s stop for one there. This is, I think — being an old SEO guy, you’re speaking my language about keywords. In publisher, when you publish, you’re given the option of adding three tags to your post. In doing so, it provides an auto-suggest list of tags that it would recommend based on if you’re typing. If you’re writing the word “content,” it may suggest “content marketing.” Are you seeing that those auto-suggest tags — if they are appearing in the results when you are putting in tags — those probably are some keywords that you should have in your title? Since that is part of what LinkedIn is seeing as the tag cloud? Is that an accurate statement?
Gericke: That would be very accurate. The addition of the tags is a very new feature to the editor itself. Initially, that wasn’t available. When we did the study you didn’t have the capacity to actually add tags to your article. At that stage, the algorithm would just figure it out on its own. I think what they wanted to do is to give people a chance to describe their articles better by adding their own tags. As you rightly said, the moment the auto-suggest tags pop up, you need to take cognizant of that and add it to your title or just shape your article so that it aligns better. That’ll give you a better chance of featuring in a channel.
Sean Jackson: This goes to something that I have always been passionate about, is how do you optimize content for discovery? When optimizing content for discovery, they do need keywords. They need it frequently, but not too frequently. They obviously want them in prominent places, like the title, like the beginning, and of course, in the case of LinkedIn, with its tags. Does the order of tags matter at all? I know it wasn’t part of your study, but do you think there is any issue with the order of tags, or it’s just the inclusion of tags?
Gericke: No, I don’t think the order makes any difference, to be honest. Based on what we found is that it’s more about tag contexts, which is why a tag cloud makes sense. One of the examples I use in the book is if we have the tag “cow,” you can have related tags, which is “milk” and “bull” and “calf.” If you have the keyword “cow” in your article five times, and it’s related to “bulls” and “calves” and “milk” and “cheese,” then LinkedIn would have a better way of understanding where it fits into.
Sean Jackson: The context.
Gericke: Yeah, the context. If we had a Pulse channel that was related to cows or dairy, then that article would much likely feature there based on the context within which keywords were used.
Sean Jackson: Okay. Let’s summate at this point. We’ve talked already about the fact that, in your research, that you are looking at the velocity of a post insofar as the more engagement it gets then the more likely it will be featured in Pulse, the wider it’s sharing, etc. We talked about the structure of content — using keywords in the title, in the body copy, and in the tags. Using tags as a way to reinforce those keywords by making sure that whatever LinkedIn is suggesting — maybe you include them in your title and in your copy, etc. I want to move on past this, but what other ideas that a writer — an editor should be thinking of inside of that actual post that they are creating?
Gericke: Yes. What we did is — as part of our own analysis, as well as some of the work done by the other researchers, helped us understand what an almost-perfect post would look like. Some of the key points — I’m not going to mention all of them, because it’s quite a long list. I’ve actually added a nice cheat sheet in the book that people can refer to.
Something interesting, for example, is the title needs to be about 40 to 49 characters. If it’s longer than that, then the title gets cut off. The structure needs to be divided in about five sections using HTML heading formats. Content should preferably be around 500 to 1,500 words. Shorter and longer doesn’t seem to fit well. Simple and clear language is very critical. It’s very good if you can use pictures — good-quality pictures that are descriptive and relevant. Interestingly enough, Paul Shapiro’s research showed that having eight pictures in your body actually makes a huge difference for some odd reason. We don’t know why, but eight pictures does make a difference.
Sean Jackson: I’ll be.
Gericke: Not five. Not six. Eight.
Sean Jackson: Okay. Hey, if it’s “picture’s worth a thousand words,” you just added 8,000 words to it.
Gericke: Precisely. Those are some of the things. Obviously, as we mentioned, publishing on either Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday could create some benefit for you, as well.
Sean Jackson: Again, everyone, I’m going to put a link to the book. He is absolutely right. It is chock full of information, and I absolutely encourage everyone to get it. We’ll put it in the show notes. I want people to buy this book, because Gericke, Eric –.
Sean Jackson: G, how’s that? I’ll mangle your name, but I’ll promote your book. I’m telling you now guys, this book is totally worth it. Because he’s right. There are way too many things. I was blown away by some of the things in there. Highly recommend you get it. Let’s move on from that.
If they have structured up the post. If they followed the advice based on the research that you have done, and start to put these structurally sound together, if you will — sound as far as following all the principles that you’ve been talking about. Let’s talk about the next aspect, which is how to get people to read this thing.
Every content marketer, especially when you’re starting out, is like, “Okay, I wrote it. Is anyone out there?” Talk to us a little bit about some of the things that you found for getting people to read that post. Obviously the time of the week that you publish is important. And structurally for the algorithm to make it easy for the system to find and put out there. What are some other things that people should be doing to get people engaged — read with these posts, to help that velocity, if you will?
Tips For Expanding Your Influencer Reach
Gericke: The best way to get people to view your article is to participate in groups and draw a loyal audience from those groups. The trick with LinkedIn — and this is a very critical trick as a stat — LinkedIn is all about value-adding activities. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve written the best article on earth. If you haven’t added value to people across the LinkedIn platform — in groups and in direct contact — then you won’t be able to build loyalty.
Your first port of call is to carefully select the groups which you join. I’ve got a Pareto principle there, the 80/20 rule of 20 percent peers and 80 percent clients. Then participate in those groups. Make sure that, over time, you develop a loyalty amongst the people within those groups and show them that you’re active. So that the moment that you publish your article and you share it with groups people will pick up on it and start reading it.
Sean Jackson: Let me go into a couple other ideas with you just to get your opinion. As you know, there’s the update feature. You can send out updates, etc. I believe when you publish it will notify your connections that you published out there. What about using LinkedIn’s update feature throughout the course of a week to remind people that this article is out there? Good idea, or is LinkedIn going to come and shut you down?
Gericke: No, they won’t shut you down. I think the key is to not do it too often. In the book, I propose that one can maybe remind your direct connections maybe three times a day. I wouldn’t recommend more than that for the first couple of days. The big thing is that LinkedIn also does that for you. Recently, they would show you that person ‘X’ has published a new article, and it’ll pop up in your notifications. There’s a lot of the work is being done by LinkedIn as well to avoid people swarming in with the system and sort of pushing it to the limits and creating a problem for themselves.
Why There Is a Geographic Bias on Posts
Sean Jackson: Okay. One of the people that we have in our group had asked this question. Let me tell you what she started seeing. She’s published about 50 articles. She was from, I believe, the Carolinas here in the States. She moved to Manhattan. Then she has seen that her posts now are being picked up in a different geography because she changed her location in her profile. The question that I have, is geography playing a role in who sees the post that you have created?
Gericke: Increasingly so, yes.
Sean Jackson: Oh, wow. That’s big news to me. I’m just telling you right now, that is big news. Because before this conversation, I would have been very skeptical of it. She saw it. I had somebody in the UK see it. Now you have confirmed it. Talk about geographic positioning.
Gericke: Just to be clear, we haven’t covered that in the book because it’s not something that was very clear from the research that we did. What we need to remember is just that LinkedIn is trying their utmost best to put the relevant information in front of audience. One way of doing so is to use geolocation as a way to specify specific articles for specific people. It’s something that they’ve been working into the system for quite a while now. I think in 2013 or 2014, they added geolocation as a feature in the advertising platform. You can do so with your company page as well. You can specify certain posts to go to certain geographic areas.
It makes 100 percent sense that they are automating that side because of their focus on Pulse as a mobile application. That is one of the key reasons why they’re doing it. They want people to read things that is relevant to where they are at. The best way to figure out where they are at is to geolocate them using their cell phones.
Sean Jackson: Mica, do you know what this means? This is groundbreaking, I’m telling you. We’ve seen it from our audience. I was initially skeptical about it. But Bonnie, God bless her, kept on pushing on it. We had someone from the UK confirm it. Now, Gericke, you have basically confirmed and given the rationale why there would be geolocation. I’ll tell you what Bonnie’s trying to do. She may be moving to LA, and then she may be moving over to Chicago.
It’s funny, because if that is the case, then it makes sense that they are trying to, for the Pulse network, show relevant information to you not only based on the channel — I kept on calling it “topic.” It’s actually called a channel — but also the channel and the geographic designation. If you’re in Chicago, maybe it would show more interesting things from Chicago posts than it would, let’s say, from Miami. Man. Oh, wow. That is big news. Boy, this is why I love this show, quite frankly, is because I get to learn along with the audience. It’s just awesome.
All right, we’re coming towards the end of the segment. I do want you to give us one thing that you think is super important that we haven’t covered yet. Because I am — again, I can’t repeat it enough everyone. It’s less than five dollars. Go buy his book! I’m telling you, it is important, because you will want to read it. It’s not that long, but it is chock full of information. I’m going to try it again. You ready? Gericke? Gericke?
Gericke: Yes. Perfect.
Sean Jackson: Thank you. Tell our audience the one thing that they really need to think about, be concerned with, or they need to know before we go ahead and end this interview.
Gericke’s #1 Tip for LinkedIn Users
Gericke: It’s something that I mentioned in the book as well, and I think is incredibly critical to understand where this feature of LinkedIn fits into a bigger strategy. What I tell people is that success on LinkedIn, or rather, using the publishing platform on LinkedIn, is like using rented land to build a business. At any point in time, the owner can shut down the land and close your business.
If you are using the publishing platform to whatever degree of success, your goal is not to have success on LinkedIn, per se. It is to draw people from LinkedIn towards your own website or your own mailing list so that you can successfully market them from that point. Where you can control your own audience.
I think it’s something that I wanted to push through in the book, as well. Is that, yes, there is a way to feature on the Pulse platform. Sometimes it’s easier. Sometimes it’s more difficult. Yes, there are better ways of writing articles. We cover that in the book, as well. The critical thing for me is that you should always remember that you need to own your audience. You cannot do so on rented land.
Sean Jackson: That is exactly the Copyblogger’s philosophy about digital sharecropping. You said it brilliantly. And, of course, it was much better because you have a great accent too.
Sean Jackson: I want you to tell everybody. Where are you recording from right now?
Gericke: Cape Town.
Sean Jackson: Cape Town, South Africa. See, our first international. We had to go all the way across the globe, but it was absolutely worth it. Gericke, I cannot thank you enough for writing that book. We are going to absolutely have our audience at least take a look at it and better buy the thing. Cannot thank you enough. We’re going to bring you back on the show. Please, any time you have any new research, any ideas, etc., feel free to join us over in our LinkedIn group. Or if you got something you want me to talk about, email me directly, because you have been a phenomenal guest. Right, Mica?
Mica Gadhia: Absolutely.
Sean Jackson: God, I learned so much.
Gericke: Thanks, guys. I really appreciate it. Thanks for having me on the show, as well. It’s great to be able to share the information with people who really care.
Sean Jackson: Thank you. Thank you.
Mica Gadhia: Yes. Yes. We do.
Sean Jackson: Holy cow, Mica. I am blown away. Are you?
Mica Gadhia: Yep. Absolutely.
Sean Jackson: I was just sitting there. I was on pins and needles every time he would say something. He has that great South African accent.
Mica Gadhia: I know. It was good to listen to him.
Sean Jackson: Here’s a couple of things. I want to go through and build on some other ways to draw attention. As I promised the audience, we’re going to talk about how to really amp this thing up. Of course, we don’t want to forget about analytics. I want to give the audience a couple of tips and ideas that may actually help them along the way.
First off, I think that one of the important parts that he mentioned is not only reaching out to your groups and putting the article that you wrote out there, but also reaching out to the influencers in those groups, the people that are participating the most, and asking for their opinion. You could even do this by going in into whatever channel that you published in, and basically reach out to the top authors there and ask for their opinion. Costs nothing to ask someone.
At worst, they’ll probably ignore it. At best, they’ll say yes, and God forbid, maybe they share it. I do think that it’s not just about hitting the “publish” button and wiping your hands. You probably have to go out — not probably. You do have to go out and be proactive in the groups. You have to be proactive into the influencers. You have to be proactive into maybe your own audience and say, “Hey, I wrote this story because I was thinking of you.” Guarantee you somebody’s going to pick that up.
That’s on the top of my mind when it comes to getting that velocity that he mentioned. Is the ability to go in and you have to proactively reach out to people. Hopefully you’ve done your groundwork, and you’ve got good groups you belong to, and you’ve got some relationships. You’ve got to really go out there sometimes and ask people to do what you want them to do, which is to read. Usually, it’s with a dose of flattery like, “I really value your opinion.”
Mica Gadhia: Yeah. Sometimes that’s hard. It’s hard. If you have an article, it is sometimes really difficult to say, “Okay, I’m going to post it in these three groups.”
Sean Jackson: Yeah, especially. I think that this was fantastic. We’ve got the mechanics down, I think. And a good amount of the detail around the publishing side of it. Again, Gericke’s book — boy, I’m going to get that right one day, Mica — we’re going to make sure people get that book.
Also, we need to talk about analytics, because there’s some other interesting things about analytics that I also want to point out. As you know, when you go into your LinkedIn profile, you can go in and there’s an option to see who has viewed your profile. For narcissistic people like me, I love the thing. Okay. In that is the middle tab that goes through, and it shows you all of the stats on the posts that you have.
When you go in to “who’s viewed your profile,” you’re going to see who’s viewed your posts. That’ll give you a timeline showing you your posts. It’ll also talk about the top industries, the job titles, the locations. What we have confirmed is that locations do play a role in this — totally took me by surprise — where the sources of traffic are coming. But there’s one more thing, and I think this is actually a neat little trick, too, because the analytics are the analytics. You go in, you take a look at them.
I want you to go ahead, and where it says ‘show more,’ it’s going to show you the people that liked and shared your post. Follow along with me. You’re going to see who is liking and sharing your post. Sometimes those are going to be direct connections. Sometimes they will not be. Here’s another thing that you should be doing. Why don’t you send them a nice little InMail and say, “Thank you for sharing or liking my post”? Why? Because it’s about relationships.
If you can go in — if somebody really liked it and you’re not directly connected to them, it’s a great entrée into have a conversation with them. Analytics is not just telling you the who, where, what, if you will. It’s also telling you that these are people who like and share your information. And gives you the opportunity to reach out to them with a message to say nothing more than, “Thank you. Appreciate it. Can I be of any help to you?”
Mica Gadhia: That’s completely legitimate. It’s completely in kind —
Sean Jackson: Exactly. That’s why — back to what Tim Ash and Eric were talking about — reaching out to people who are viewing profiles, you should do that on a regular basis. If your post was published on Tuesday, then on Wednesday — heck, on Tuesday, on Wednesday, on Thursday, Friday, you’re always checking those analytics. If you see somebody new in there, it’s a great way to build a relationship.
Who knows? Maybe it’s a potential client. Who knows? Maybe it’s a potential customer. Who knows? Maybe it’s a key influencer that you can build a relationship with so every time you write up something, they’ll share it. You see what I’m getting at, Mica?
Mica Gadhia: Absolutely.
Sean Jackson: I think that with this, the analytics are obviously hugely important. We’ve confirmed that geography does play a role, hence it is a part of the analytics. Bonnie, congratulations on your move to LA, Chicago, and wherever else you’re going to be going next. I do think that your analytics is giving you some great valuable insight.
I think the more deeper information is in who is sharing and liking those posts. And you taking the next step, which is reaching out to them. If you want to get into them, just go up to the menu and click ‘profile,’ click on ‘who’s viewed your profile,’ and then the middle option there is ‘who’s viewed your posts.’ Mica, I think that’s the end of part two of our publishing to LinkedIn. Pretty powerful episode, huh?
Mica Gadhia: Very. Very.
Sean Jackson: Yeah. Man, I was so glad he sent me that book. God. Again —
Mica Gadhia: I read it. Yeah. I did read it, and it was very good and just chock full of helpful information.
Sean Jackson: Yes. Again, I really appreciate our audience, and certainly everyone who has really help facilitated this whole conversation about publishing to Pulse. Next week, because this is three parts — this was the second part. Next week is our very special guest, Mica.
Mica Gadhia: I know.
Sean Jackson: She’s another international person who actually works for LinkedIn on the Pulse network. I can’t wait to pepper her with about a thousand questions as well. That’s it for this week everyone. Next week we will be talking to a LinkedIn representative of Pulse. Super-secret. I won’t share the name yet. We’ll continue on our journey of publishing to LinkedIn Pulse. You have a great week everyone.
Mica Gadhia: Thank you, everybody.
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