If you are publishing content on LinkedIn Pulse with the purpose of promoting your product or company, take a look at the number of views and engagement levels of your pieces. Chances are the numbers are low. This is because LinkedIn Pulse was not designed to be an advertising platform. It was designed for people to get personalized news and information from worthy sources.
When LinkedIn purchased the Pulse app from Alphonso Labs in 2013, SVP Deep Nishar had stated on LinkedIn’s blog that Pulse was the “perfect compliment” to LinkedIn’s vision of being the definitive professional publishing platform. Specifically he stated:
“Pulse’s core value proposition is to help foster informed discussions that spark the decisions shaping the world around us through news and information.”
To be clear, here is LinkedIn’s vision for itself in Deep’s words:
“We believe we can help all professionals make smarter and more informed business decisions leveraging all the great business knowledge flowing through LinkedIn in the form of news, Influencer posts, industry updates, discussions, comments and more.”
Your Pulse pieces about job openings at your company, free product demos, and opinion articles about how awesome your company is are a classic case of “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”
While the original Pulse app for iPad developed by Alphonso Labs was designed to aggregate and personalize content for iPad users, LinkedIn expanded on this idea by permitting only select verified “Influencers” to publish content. This was terrific because it allowed LinkedIn users to discover and consumer thoughtful and useful information from well established and respected thinkers around the world.
But now that every LinkedIn user has the capability of publishing whatever they want, users have to sort through the noise to consume the information and ideas we truly want and need.
If you are looking for ways to get the word out on LinkedIn about your product or company, here are some suggestions for how you can utilize LinkedIn features designed for that purpose.
Publish to Your Company Page and Personal Profile
Your personal profile is at the core of everything you do on LinkedIn. When you publish an update to your profile you have the option to share the update publicly or with your connections only. You can include up to 2,288 characters in your post which is more than enough to get your promotion or special offer articulated. You can also include an image which helps catch the attention of users and you can link to an external website. LinkedIn will share this update with users based on their engagement levels and interests.
A company page is also useful. Here you can publish updates as well which will be shared automatically with everyone following your company page. You can include up to 2,261 characters, attach an image, and link to an external website or page. In the likely event you want this update to reach more people than are following your company page you can pay to reach more people with what is called a Sponsored Update (read below).
Reach Targeted Users with Paid Advertising
A tremendously useful feature on LinkedIn are the paid advertising features of LinkedIn Ads where you have two primary advertising options: 1) Create an Ad or 2) Sponsor Content.
When creating ads you can reach a targeted audience with text, images, and video. Ads you create appear on various pages when people are using LinkedIn, giving you exposure and if done effectively creating action. Each ad can be targeted to users based on a variety of criteria such as geographic location, industry, title, job function, to name a few. You have the option to pay per 1,000 impressions or per click, both a cost per that you specify.
When sponsoring content, you are helping updates published to your company page reach a wider audience as I alluded to earlier. Here again you can pay per 1,000 impressions or per click at a cost per that you specify, competing only with other advertisers on the network.
Job Opening at Your Company?
LinkedIn has a section designed specifically for job seekers and employers called of all things LinkedIn Jobs. Here you are able to post one or multiple job openings, for a fee, where you can specify industry, title, function, experience level, location, and of course a job description. You can also specify how you want to receive inquiries, either via email or by directing applicants to an external site. Once posted you can then share on your Company page and on your personal profile for all of your followers to see.
Why Not Use Pulse to Promote?
As stated initially, Pulse was not designed to be an advertising tool. It was designed to bring people personalized news and information. When you publish promotional content on Pulse you will not get the response you need because people will begin tuning you out and LinkedIn will not give you any love. This will work against you in the long run because when you do take the time to produce thoughtful, useful, and influential information you want the possibility of it reaching hundreds if not thousands of users organically.