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LinkedIn’s Evolution: New Tools for the PR Toolbox?

LinkedIn, the “business” social network, continues to evolve, adding bells and whistles and functionality that can make a business communicator’s little heart pound. Its most recent additions, LinkedIn publishing and Direct Sponsored Content, have particular value for PR professionals.

LinkedIn Direct Sponsored Content

You remember LinkedIn? The social network that boasts approximately 84 million members in the United States and 227 million worldwide. The user base tends to attract people who are degreed and are earning in excess of $75,000. LinkedIn also a large population of decision makers in upper management as well as older users—making it particularly useful for B2B communications.

Direct Sponsored Content

Direct Sponsored Content - LinkedIn

In wandering around the web recently, I stumbled across Shelly Demotte Kramer’s post about Linkedin Direct Sponsored Content and what it means for marketers. It piqued my interest. Why? Because Direct Sponsored Content makes it possible for a brand to identify and target a specific audience and pay to promote content specifically to that audience.

The power behind this? As Shelly points out, “When it comes to consuming content, most people will agree on two fundamentals: there’s too much noise and not enough time.” So being able to not only target specific audiences but to test that content has real value for public relations campaigns.

LinkedIn has just opened the door to a new paid media channel. How it performs remains to be seen, but it looks very promising. However, as Shelly Kramer points, to be able to use it you need to be a current LinkedIn Marketing Solutions customer, and have budget to support a Direct Sponsored Content campaign.

LinkedIn’s new-ish publishing function is another tool that shows promise for PR pros. Use it to position yourself or your client as a thought leader, comment on industry trends or take a stand on best practices.

Caution: take care not to be too promotional or to simply republish content you’ve created for other channels.

Let’s face it. We’re all (some of us reluctant) publishers today. That fact has dialed up the volume online and the noise is deafening. Being heard becomes more and more challenging. So how does one use LinkedIn publishing to create and share standout content?

Break through the noise barrier

LinkedIn PR Tools

In a post for Lewis PR 360, Nicole Hyslop offers some tips for creating posts for LinkedIn. She recommends keeping your topics timely, showcasing your experience and staying active. Topics for LinkedIn publishing can include dicussions of industry best practices, identifying a problem in the marketplace and suggesting a solution, and simply offering professional advice.

Public relations professionals have been using LinkedIn successfully for a long time. In a post for PR Daily, Toby Walsh writes about how LinkedIn also provides a platform for his clients. He uses it to find media opportunities for his clients, amplify their media coverage and as a source for industry insights.

Savvy communicators have already tweaked their personal profiles to include the keywords that will make them easy to find. They’re using LinkedIn Inmails to communicate with media, bloggers and online influencers; LinkedIn groups to showcase expertise and make professional connections.

Are you using LinkedIn as part of your public relations work? Check out the Vocus cheat sheet “How to Use LinkedIn for Marketing and PR.”

Allen Mireles is a strategist with an affinity for technology who lives/works at the intersection of social media and traditional marketing/public relations. Want to read more from Allen? Click here!

Image: Nan PalmeroValert Kenski, SuxsieQ (Creative Commons)

About Allen Mireles

Allen Mireles is a strategist and wordsmith with an affinity for technology. She lives at the intersection of social media and traditional marketing and public relations and never gets enough time in the garden. Find her on Twitter @allenmireles.

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