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How to Promote Your Blog on LinkedIn and Still Wear a White Hat

By John McTigueAug 30, 2010

The problem with LinkedIn discussions and blog posts

For some time now I have been barking at LinkedIn about their decision to merge "News" items with "Discussions" in Groups. I'm sure the purpose was to make the user experience simpler and to encourage discussions. The net effect was to create confusion and angst. People who wished to post their blog updates to a relevant Group were forced to post them as a Discussion. Group participants (and many Managers) saw this as a sudden and overwhelming infusion of spam into their favorite discussion forums. Members were encouraged to flag these "commercial" posts as inappropriate and in some cases kick the offenders out of the group altogether.

The "fix" by LinkedIn

tips for sharing your blog post on linkedinWell, finally LinkedIn has done something about it. Now there is a new tab called "Promotions" in most Groups, and if you share your blog to LinkedIn, you will often find that a Manager has moved it there. Fine. We'll play by the rules - at least we have a place to share our content. Oh by the way, this content can (and should) be helpful and informative, so it really doesn't necessarily deserve to be treated as a "promotion" or "spam", but it seems the purists will have their way. One more note to Group Managers and Members, let's not be totally hypocritical here. Your Groups and Events and many of your Discussions and Questions and Answers, in fact your membership in LinkedIn itself, are all designed to promote your personal brand and/or your company's status. Now suddenly, you're saying that's wrong. Hmmm.

My strategy for sharing on LinkedIn

OK, enough venting - here's my recommended procedure for sharing your blog posts (and other content) on LinkedIn:

  1. When you use a LinkedIn Share button, by all means post it as a personal LinkedIn update and to relevant individual connections who will benefit from it.
  2. DON'T use the Post to Groups option. This will automatically create a discussion and you will incur the wrath of the Troglodytes.
  3. Instead, go to each group and post it as a new Promotion, -OR-
  4. Post it as part of a discussion, i.e. post the central theme of your blog post as a question or comment and include the link to your blog post in the comments you make.

Now that we're all agreeing to play nice, let's see how well this works. Do we still get visitors to our blogs from LinkedIn? If so, no worries. If the tap gets shut off, then we have real data to go complain to LinkedIn about.

Please share your experiences with LinkedIn Group Promotions here. If necessary, I will volunteer to become an even more public advocate on the side of bloggers in LinkedIn.

Bloggers, there is a group that welcomes you and your posts! Please join us at the Cleveland Inbound Marketing Group on LinkedIn. You don't have to be from Cleveland, and your posts are welcome as discussions. Please try to stick to the main topics - inbound marketing, social media, blogging, SEO, and lead generation. I hope to see you there!

Thanks for your support! Comments welcome as always.

Photo credit: Superfantastic

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The Author

John McTigue

With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.
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