LinkedIn is now giving its users the chance to impart their wisdom on others.
Starting this week, the online social networking site for professionals is opening up its publishing platform to its members, giving them a new way to build their professional brands. No longer imposing word count restrictions on posts, the LinkedIn publishing platform will now allow members to write longer essays and blog posts about their expertise and professional interests.
LinkedIn says its publishing platform is a great way for members to write about challenges they've faced, opportunities they've seized or important trends in their industry. Content could include members' most memorable work experiences or any lessons they learned along the way.
"Our members have extremely valuable and varied experiences. However, their knowledge and expertise has not yet been captured and shared," Ryan Roslansky, director of product management at LinkedIn, wrote on the company's blog. "Every professional has valuable experience to share."
Once a member publishes a post on LinkedIn, it will be added to that member's profile and shared with his or her connections and followers. Additionally, member posts have the potential to reach a broader audience through interactions, such as likes, comments and shares.
LinkedIn said that the site may also independently distribute a post to professionals outside the member's network as part of aggregated LinkedIn content, such as "Best of LinkedIn." Depending on the post's popularity, it may also be shared beyond LinkedIn to some of the company's trusted partner sites, like The Wall Street Journal and Business Insider.
This will give members the opportunity to build their professional brands by publishing content that is tied to their professional identity, LinkedIn said.
By opening up its publishing platform to all members, Roslansky said LinkedIn is giving members access to the business knowledge they need in order to be great at what they do.
"To put that simply, we are making a commitment to our members: the time you spend on LinkedIn will make you better at your job today," Roslansky wrote.
In addition to longer-form pieces, LinkedIn members can continue to share their expertise by posting photos, images, videos and their original presentations on SlideShare.
The publishing platform is initially being rolled out to 25,000 members, with plans to expand to additional users in multiple languages in the coming weeks and months.
Besides giving members a chance to hear from their peers, LinkedIn is also expanding its roster of "Influencers." Started in 2012, LinkedIn Influencer features well-known voices in business — like Richard Branson, Martha Stewart and Bill Gates — sharing their insights and experiences directly with LinkedIn members.
Roslansky said the expertise these individuals have shared through their Influencer posts has resonated in a meaningful way with LinkedIn members, and is fueling business conversations.
"The average Influencer post drives more an 31,000 views and receives more than 250 likes and 80 comments," he wrote on his blog. "By any measure, this is a remarkably high level of engagement for digital content."
LinkedIn is adding a set of Influencers, including Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, CEO of AOL Brand Group Susan Lyne and financial expert and CNBC host Suze Orman. Moving forward, LinkedIn plans to regularly evaluate its roster of Influencers and include only the most engaged, prolific and thoughtful contributors, ensuring that their expertise matches up with LinkedIn members' interests.
For more information on how to use the publishing platform, LinkedIn members are encouraged to visit the site's member help center.
Originally published on Business News Daily.