How LinkedIn Saved a Dying Blog

linkedin-motivation

I have always been interested in social media, and how it can be used to spread awareness of different public health initiatives. So when my company was looking for a person to head their social media efforts, I quickly jumped at the opportunity. The idea was to create a company blog that will feature information regarding key public health initiatives, the company’s contribution to them, and links to any additional information that could be useful to the reader. We started out with a few blogs per month, but quickly found that we have enough information to blog multiple times per week. However, the problem that we were running into was that we didn’t have a lot of blog followers, and thus our message wasn’t getting across in a way that we had hoped. Majority of our followers were already aware of the issues that were blogged about; however, the goal for our blog was to reach “newer” audiences, who may not be aware of the issues. After brainstorming several ideas, we decided to post a link to our blog on the company’s LinkedIn page, as well as begin posting links on our personal LinkedIn pages. BOOM! Within a few days, we noticed an increase in number of followers, our blog was starting to get more traction, and eventually we started reaching our target audience.

LinkedIn is widely used by professionals everywhere to make important connections in their professional and academic careers. According to Forbes, if one was to invest in only one personal branding tool, then LinkedIn is the way to go (http://www.forbes.com/sites/williamarruda/2014/06/10/why-linkedin-is-the-only-personal-branding-resource-you-need/). It can help you build your personal portfolio, connect with colleagues, view information regarding potential employers, and join professional networking and educational groups. Furthermore, unlike many other social networking sites, LinkedIn provides the user with more control over who his/hers connections are and what type of information can be publicly accessible. Since LinkedIn is not the place to post pictures from your friend’s Bachelor party, there is a bit more comfort in knowing that your potential employer will only see the information that you want to share.

The key feature that I found to be useful when using LinkedIn is the ability to connect with relevant groups and trade association. For example, a lot of our blogs are focused on health and safety, so joining the Health and Safety group on LinkedIn has proven to be very valuable. We were able to share our work with professionals in the field and get very useful and important feedback. We were also able to recruit young professionals who saw our blogs and became interested in the work that our company does.

In conclusion, I learned that LinkedIn is not only useful in bringing much needed attention to a blog, but is also important for recruiting and personal career growth. In my opinion, the key to its success is the user’s ability to control the audience and strategically expand his/hers connections.

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5 thoughts on “How LinkedIn Saved a Dying Blog

  1. Interesting how all the media requires the other media outlets. In order for your blog to work, you needed an online presence. It makes sense to exploit your LinkedIn profile as your online presence. I guess the same could be done with one’s Facebook profile, Twitter, etc. I wonder if you would have had a different result if you did use Facebook or Twitter. You comment on the similar groups being linked on LinkedIn and that may have helped increase your traffic. If you had used your Facebook account, your friends might not be interested in visiting this blog so it might not help as much, but maybe for a different project, it would make more sense to link to your Facebook. Audience is key it seems!

    • Thanks for your comment! We did consider Facebook, but because of the nature of our work, as well as some “legal issues”, it wasn’t the best venue. We are starting to use Twitter now and are finding out that it is useful, although not as useful as LinkedIn.

  2. You example here is great, it really helps me relate to what you are trying to do with LinkedIn. It’s also nice that you talk about how an organization can use LinkedIn; most of the other discussions of LinkedIn are for individuals.

    It’s also interesting to learn how you can use LinkedIn to make organization-to-organization connections, and not just individual-to-individual connections.

  3. I found it very interesting how you used your Linked In account. Up until now, Linked in has been the only social media site I have used. My company encourages the use of Linked In. They send out e-mails with suggestions of articles by other people in my company and then we can add those to our Linked In account with the share button. Another useful tool of Linked In is using it in combination with Evernote. I take a picture of a business card and it automatically populates it to my contacts. It then looks to find that persons picture on linked in and adds the picture and a link to their profile to my contacts.

  4. Wow this is an interesting post Luda! I like how you shared your personal experience with LinkedIn which differs from most – so far I’ve only heard about how individuals use LinkedIn to find jobs but I like how you’ve explained how your company used this social media tool to attract new audiences (within professional networks) and introduce them to an online platform in which they can discuss new public health initiatives. This is a great way to make new public health initiatives more salient within specific social networks as well. On the contrary, when I interviewed the social media and communications lead at my company, he mentioned that social media tools (especially Twitter) were being used to target current stakeholders because our company was aware of the fact that conversations about Canadian health system performance were occurring and our company wanted to be a part of it. So this was a way to create a common spot for stakeholders to have these discussions in a way in which our company could be a participant as well as a facilitator.

    Thanks again for a great post. I liked that you focused on LinkedIn as I feel that more light needs to be shed on this social media tool which doesn’t get as much attention as the others.

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