LinkedIn Today launched in March 2011. But despite taking its first breath nearly two years ago, LinkedIn Today deserves your attention now. Today.
What is it?
Basically what LinkedIn is doing with LinkedIn Today is looking at the content people on the industry networking site are commenting on, sharing and reading, then collating that content, rearranging it, and passing it on to LinkedIn users via a headlines-based news feed.
Get business news first
Sign up to SmartCompany’s daily newsletter
What this means is that particular content can be tailored to particular people. If a story is doing well with health professionals, for example, LinkedIn looks at the types of networks those users have and make sure that story appears on the LinkedIn Today pages of all the doctors, nurses and dentists with similar networks. Neat, huh?
But this is nothing new. What’s exciting is LinkedIn’s approach to the potential problem with algorithm-based content distribution: the world-shrinking effect of the filter bubble.
Refreshingly, LinkedIn has a dedicated editorial team responsible for finding and delivering content that (despite its algorithm deciding you’re not interested in) they feel is relevant to you. And it has also built in some tools to allow you to subscribe to feeds from specific publishers – meaning that you can override the algorithm.
This all combines to make LinkedIn not only a place that connects people with people, but somewhere to connect people with ideas.
How are people using it?
What’s exciting, from a business perspective, is that not only does LinkedIn Today provide you with relevant news from your industry, it also offers publishers (and brand publishers) the opportunity to have their content featured on the site, which then effectively acts as a distribution channel for that content. If someone sees one of your articles in their feed they can click through to your dedicated LinkedIn Today channel and consume more of your content.
TechCrunch, Engadget, the LA Times and loads of others are all on LinkedIn Today too, reaching thousands of people who are specifically interested in what they have to say.
The opportunity to host your content on LinkedIn is too good to miss. As long as you’re consistently adding value by publishing great content, then you’re going to build your network, your reputation and your influence. Every serious employee and business owner is on LinkedIn making it one of the most effective avenues for connecting with people and companies.
Getting featured is possible for any business and it’s as easy as:
- Including a share button on your site
- Reaching out to LinkedIn’s Business Development team at [email protected]
- Sharing your content with your LinkedIn connections
But is it any good?
LinkedIn Today is actually so good at what it does that it’s up there with my RSS Reader, Flipboard and Twitter for relevant business information – and substantially more than alternatives like Summly (LinkedIn Today doesn’t have a standalone app yet, but you can access it via the news sections of the LinkedIn app).
It’s become my go-to destination because it combines algorithm-driven, social and preference-based curation of content – a bit like a combination of Twitter, Flipboard, Google and an RSS feed. It’s a powerful tool to stay informed about your sector AND increase your visibility online.
When I’m wearing my consumer hat I love it because it means I can check the latest news relevant to my sector first thing in the morning and throughout the day. And as a content marketer it’s another opportunity (and a particularly good one) to connect with people in a meaningful and engaging way.
LinkedIn has never been as cool as its classmates Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Indeed, while the three of them sat at the back of the room fooling around, LinkedIn was sitting quietly, studiously taking notes, and it’s paid off.
While it might not have the ‘coolness factor’ going for it, it’s getting harder and harder to write LinkedIn off as nothing but a stuffy tool for suits to schmooze each other.
LinkedIn is steadily becoming not only the best way to make connections with industry professionals, but it’s now positioned as one of the strongest platforms for content and news consumption online – if you want to filter out pictures of your friends’ babies, LOL cats and videos of goats that sound like humans.
Do yourself a favour and get linked in today to LinkedIn Today.
Richard Parker is the head of digital at strategic content agency Edge, where he has experience working with leading brands including Woolworths, St George and Foxtel. He previously spent 12 years in the UK, first at Story Worldwide then as the co-owner and strategic director of marketing agency Better Things.