The answer, of course, is that It Depends. It depends on what your purpose and expectations for the post are.
If you’re hoping to get engagement and exposure via the LinkedIn Pulse algorithm, I think you’ll find that syndicating your previously published content to LinkedIn will not be of great benefit. It simply won’t perform as well as the original post.
If, on the other hand, you just want to make sure that as many eyeballs as possible saw your post, then every little bit helps.
For instance, some time ago, we published to sitesell.com/blog a summary of the 4 incredible HOAs we had scheduled for that month with Guy Kawasaki, Mia Voss, Kenneth Manesse Sr., Demian Farnworth, Kevan Lee, Jeff Sieh, Rebekah Radice, Dustin W. Stout, Martin Shervington, David Amerland and Mark Traphagen. Because the purpose of the content was to educate and link to the events – not necessarily to drive traffic or leads to SiteSell – I syndicated the same content to my personal blog, to LinkedIn, and to Medium. Like this:
- Original Post
- Syndicated Post to The Social Media Hat
- Syndicated Post to LinkedIn
- Syndicated Post to Medium
On each syndicated post, there’s a link to the originally published post that simply says, “Original post published on SiteSell Blog.“
This ensures that as many people as possible, including my LinkedIn connections who get a post notification, see the event schedule and event links.
Now, from Google’s perspective, this is all duplicate, syndicated content. While there’s no “penalty” for that, there should, of course, be no expectation for ranking or indexing either. I cannot expect to gain anything from an SEO perspective from the additional posts.
But this is certainly a great use of LinkedIn, and the same can be said of Medium or Facebook Notes. In fact, renowned author and marketing expert Mark Schaefer has now made it a practice to syndicate virtually all of his content to those other platforms to ensure maximum coverage.
Should you follow in Mark’s footsteps? Again, that depends. It depends on the content that you’re creating, and the audience that you’re building.
We talked about purpose and expectations already, but what about the content itself? Is it an intellectual Thought Leadership style post, or a How To? Will this piece of content, now housed on someone else’s platform, serve you equally as well? And, as Mark suggests in his article, how will you even know? Most of these platforms offer few, if any metrics.
But I think the most important question of all has to do with your audience. Will they appreciate seeing the same article on all your channels?
Generally speaking, audiences on LinkedIn and other ‘outposts’ will tend to expect new, original content. So while it’s probably OK with your audience if you occasionally syndicate posts, you should make sure that the majority of your posts are unique. Or at least test.
LinkedIn is certainly a good choice for the experiment, since you’ll be able to see all of your Posts side-by-side and gauge which ones achieved the most views, likes, comments and shares.
Also, when you’re publishing on LinkedIn, be sure to include links to your own site and articles, of course. And when you do, use the clever trick of including UTM parameters within a shortened link so that you can clearly track how much traffic comes to you from that specific post.
So by all means, give LinkedIn Syndication a try. Also try publishing unique content. Put a post solely on LinkedIn. Or create a microblog and publish it every but your own blog, like I did earlier. I found a nice quote and talked about it, along with a nice graphic, and then published it to Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Medium and Facebook Note.
By doing little tests like that, over time, not only will you have a greater variety of content and engagement across all of your platforms, you’ll begin to get a much better sense for what your audience is looking for and appreciates across the board.
If you’re going to cross-promote content across multiple platforms like that, I do recommend setting up a Google Sheet so that you can go back and compare performance across all platforms simultaneously. Most posts have a normal lifespan of a few days, so after a week, put in the title of the post in the first column, and add additional columns for each platform you want to measure. You can compare views, likes, comments, shares or even referral traffic – whatever makes sense and is available. Do that for each post and you’ll get a clear picture of how the content performs.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes for you!
Next, head over to the Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile so that you make sure that profile you’re publishing to now looks awesome.