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Creating a LinkedIn Strategy for Your New Magazine

LinkedIn can be a highly effective tool for disseminating your content and growing your subscriber base. But, as with all social media, writes Amanda MacArthur, you first need to come up with a strategy and a plan… and then you need to follow it through.

By Amanda MacArthur

LinkedIn is one of the most underutilised social networks that magazine publishers have at their disposal, and sometimes for good reason. If you're a consumer magazine, what business do you have on a business-to-business (B2B) social network anyway, right?

Well, you might argue that everyone is a consumer, so even a B2B network like LinkedIn can be used to market a consumer magazine or digital subscription product.

That's certainly true, but when choosing where to focus your effort, you may find that Facebook is best for general consumers; Twitter is best for tech, marketing, and general consumer (in that order); and LinkedIn users are typically professionals in the mindset of either job hunting, making sales, or networking for one or the other. If you keep that in mind before marketing on LinkedIn, then you'll be more successful in getting your content shared.

To confirm, a study last year by the Content Marketing Institute showed 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content, and 63% of B2B marketers agree that LinkedIn is the most effective social media marketing channel for them.

Why People Share Content on LinkedIn

Before you can develop a LinkedIn strategy, get familiar with why people use the network and the psychology behind why they share what they do. There's one common thread on social networks when it comes to sharing: nobody shares what they don't want people to see. Therefore, if someone is going to share your content, it's because they feel it says something about themselves when published on their LinkedIn news feed.

Professionals may share individual articles as a show of thought leadership, even though they are not the authors of the articles. This can be helpful for people who are job hunting and also for those who have sales leads in their network.

The published articles that will get the most shares on LinkedIn include:

* Articles based on analysis, numbers, and stats that show new findings or research.

* Articles that are long, 3500 - 4500 words, as a happy medium, according to research performed by KissMetrics.

* Articles that present a clear problem and explain how to fix it, typically job-related, such as how to do your job better, how to make your company more money, or how to improve your business in other ways.

* Articles on marketing, productivity, and entrepreneurship.

You may find that the articles that get the most clicks are those on how to get hired, do your job better, or get a raise, whereas the articles that promote thought leadership will get more shares.

How to Share Content that Gets Shared on LinkedIn

Although you might think of Facebook as being a personal social network, LinkedIn is even more of a closed system because most interaction is based on personal profiles. Although LinkedIn has brand pages, they're not as attractive or usable as Facebook pages. On the plus side, there are several different ways to publish content and reach your network:


If you can get your editorial staff in on the jig, that is where you'll see most traffic for your content. Since LinkedIn revolves around your personal network, every time a writer shares her own content, it gets shared with everyone in her network. Staff members may be hesitant to share marketing messages on their personal profiles, so you may need to reserve those promotions for your business page or write them in an advertorial style, using an article to sell the product, whether it's a subscription, a new handbook, a membership website, or an event.


LinkedIn has gone back and forth on the functionality and purpose of a business page, but at the time of this writing, it allows you to use a business page as a portal that explains what your publishing organisation is, who works there (based on who says you are their employer), and what you publish.


Within your business page, you can also create showcase pages, where you would create one for every magazine your organisation publishes. These showcase pages would be managed by the audience development team for each magazine. Think of it as a fan page for your magazine. Your main business page highlights your organisation, but your showcase pages highlight your product and give you your own newsfeed for each product. LinkedIn users can follow each of those publications individually.

If you only have one magazine, where it would not make sense to create a separate showcase page, you could use showcase pages for different topic categories. Alternatively, if you have a regular contributor list, you could create showcase pages for each of your main contributors and publish their articles on those pages.

The most obvious way to utilise a showcase page is to consider it the portal to your content, even if you have a paywall. Updating your showcase page with new content, whether it's free articles on your magazine website or paid links to your new subscriber-only content, is one way to keep followers up to date on your latest content for that one particular magazine.

If you publish all your magazine content on the showcase page, then what do you post on your business page, right? You can use it as a highlight reel for your best content across all of your magazines.


One way B2B publications are gaining traction on LinkedIn is by leveraging LinkedIn's user-generated business blogging platform, LinkedIn Pulse. When you post an article on LinkedIn Pulse, the content shows up in your personal feed, and higher engagement rates through comments and shares have been reported compared with other content shared on LinkedIn.

If you want to use LinkedIn Pulse, many businesses and publishers will re-publish some of their blockbuster content in its entirety. Google doesn't penalise you for duplicate content in this instance, and you have an opportunity to turn the articles you publish here into advertorials. Businesses have reported conversion rates on LinkedIn Pulse higher than on any other social network.

When repurposing content for LinkedIn Pulse, here are a few tips:

* Change the title of the article to something new. Since it's not for SEO purposes, you can make it even catchier.

* Include within the content at least three contextual links to other articles on your website.

* At the bottom of the page, add at least three related articles that are behind your paywall and label them as such.

* Loop in the art department to create a unique and appropriately sized image (698px x 400px) for your LinkedIn Pulse post.


If you decided that your LinkedIn strategy would focus on sending messages to all of the influencers you want to read your magazine, you would, unfortunately, be just a peep in the inboxes of your LinkedIn network.

One drag of LinkedIn is that it is heavily used for self-promotion and marketing, and inboxes fill up quickly.

As a magazine publisher, you can best use InMail to connect with advertisers. Typically, you cannot message a user who is not in your network, but if you pay a monthly fee for an allotted number of InMail mailings, you can use these credits to message your most valuable leads. Keep your InMails short and to the point, like any sales email you'd send.


LinkedIn suggests that you "invest in followers" by using their highly targeted Follow Ads. This will allow you to say exactly who, in what position, and from where, you'd like to attract to your business page. The luxury of these ads comes from the fact that, when someone follows your page, his or her entire network gets a notification, which can increase the organic reach of your page.

Seven Things to Do Today on LinkedIn to Promote Your Magazine

LinkedIn is a great platform to publish content that can convert visitors into subscribers of your magazine.

A few years ago, the content marketing platform Hubspot reported LinkedIn generated a visitor-to-lead conversion rate of 2.74%, almost three times higher than Twitter and Facebook. This was for both consumers and B2B markets.

However, you are not the only business distributing content on LinkedIn. Demand Metric says content marketing generates three times as many leads for businesses than other types of marketing but costs 62% less. This attracts every kind of business, which will encroach on your space if they haven't already.

If you want to leverage LinkedIn to market your magazine, here are seven things you can do today:

1. Update the company page of your organisation with your current background information and ethos then ask your employees to follow your page and to list you as their employer if they haven't already.

2. Create showcase pages for each of your magazines. If your organisation is simply your magazine, create showcase pages for other products, such as annual events or anything that is regularly updated that a user would want to "follow". You may also use these for regular columns in your magazine.

3. Create a social media plan for regularly updating your company page and showcase pages. Ask employees to follow all pages, then assign roles to make sure featured content is shared in the right places. Determine if you'll share paywalled content during this process.

4. Ask your writers to begin sharing the content they write on LinkedIn on their personal profile pages. It's beneficial for them to display their work, and helpful to you for the views, shares, and traffic.

5. Find your top 3-5 influential employees on LinkedIn with large networks and ask them to start sharing their favourite content once a week.

6. Work with your editorial team to build a content recycling calendar specifically for LinkedIn Pulse, with a content checklist that includes several inbound links to other articles and a call to action to subscribe.

7. LinkedIn lets you edit the image, title, and description snippet of your article before you post. Improve your posts by creating attractive visuals as your featured image, and use the opportunity to build click-worthy headlines. Make every post count.