Why You Should Edit the Headlines in Your LinkedIn Discussions

LinkedIn Discussion HeadlinesA fellow blogger wrote to me a while ago asking how she could edit the headline when she shared her latest post as an update on her LinkedIn profile or in a Group discussion.

There’s a good reason why you should edit your headlines, which I’ll explain in a minute.

Most bloggers I know use the “share” button under their post or the LinkedIn icon in Digg Digg, the floating share bar that enables your social media icons to ride alongside your content when a visitor scrolls through your site (see left).

Remove “Blog Post”

When you automatically post to LinkedIn the discussion headline will read “Blog post.” There is nothing inherently wrong in distributing your posts to Groups – most of the time. But there have been very heated discussions in a number of LinkedIn Groups about what constitutes a discussion and what is mere self-promotion.

One Group owner went so far as to call blog posts “blogadvertorials,” which offended me, to say the least. He threatened to boot anyone who posted a blog to a discussion so I dropped out. On the other hand, another Group owner responded to my inquiry:

Well, we are not as crazy as that other group. I say sell! We all just need to give and take from the community, which is really what I hope we are creating. All of those groups that say no selling at all are indeed silly, because they are doing exactly what happened to you, pushing people away…the people with the real-world answers. In any case, it sounds like you are right on track, you give information, resources, tools as your way to let people know you are there and can help them, which is fantastic. In return, you should expect to be able to take from the group in the form of leads, pointing people to your site, etc.

So, back to changing your headline. If the mere term “Blog post” is a turnoff to certain of the purists in Groups, then you can edit your headline before you distribute your posts to LinkedIn.

It’s easy. Here is an example of a recent guest post on my site about branding. When I hit the Digg Digg icon to share the post in LinkedIn, this is what I saw:

Personal branding

Then I hit the “Edit” link at the end of the excerpt and saw this:

LinkedIn personal branding

 I edited and saved the headline so that it now reads:

personal branding LinkedIn

Only Send the Good Stuff

Be sure your content adds value. That’s the key. Is it information people can use to help them in their careers?

But “Blog post” is like a red light. It stops readers from getting to the headline that will draw them into the content. I admit I haven’t always edited every headline, but I will from now on. I don’t consider this gaming the system. If I have valuable information to share, I think I’m entitled to post it to appropriate Groups. That’s what LinkedIn membership is about: helping each other.

Of course, don’t be a pest and distribute every post you write to every Group you belong to. Be selective and only post content that relates to a Group’s purpose. Otherwise, it’s just spam.

There is no point in getting booted from a Group when a Group owner sees “Blog post” and goes into a tizzy and warns you that the next time you do it you’re out.

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Comments

  1. I have always change to title when posting to LinkedIn and any groups I might share a post. I find it does two things remove, as you say, a red flag but it helps to clarify what it’s about. I am also pretty selective as to what I share and where on LinkedIn groups except for my general stream. 🙂

    • Susan — I also am selective about what I share and to which Groups. Otherwise, you’re likely to get flagged as spam. For example, I didn’t distribute this post to any Groups for obvious reasons!

  2. Thanks Jeannette – you must have been reading my mind.

    I was wondering about the best way to do this. I have been using Hootsuite with Twitter which doesn’t seem to have the “edit” function.

    How do you handle distributing the same post to multiple groups?

    • ck — I just looked and you have the LinkedIn icon on top of your posts. Click on that icon and you will see the option “Post to Groups.” Just type in the names of the Groups you belong to where you want to distribute your post. You can type a single list of Groups and then click on “Share.” Viola. Sent to all the Groups.

  3. Strange Jeannette, when I post a discussion on my Linkedin updates or in groups it doesn’t say blog post, like on yours. Doesn’t matter if I post them directly on Linkedin or through Shareaholic.

    Not sure why that happens to you.

    Occured to me that it was because your blog is not the homepage of your web site. But I can post any page from my sites without that kind of thing happening. Maybe something needs to be changed in the HTML? Or the theme?

    • Catarina — I use the ShareThis plugin. I just looked up Shareaholic, which I didn’t know about and will check more closely. That might solve the problem of “Blog Post.” Thanks for the tip. However, I will sometimes use the meta description as my excerpt, which still requires editing the headline and description. I don’t know if that gets points with Google or not.

  4. Jeannette- Except for Bloggers Helping Bloggers, most of the LinkedIn groups you have to leave your blog as a discussion which makes no sense to me. I go into each group and leave my post. I haven’t tried Digg Digg.

    If you are writing a post you are selling something even if it is not in your face, so the promotion thing I don’t get. Do you think your blog is seen if you put it under promotions?

    • Arleen — as I told Susan, I don’t think most people read Promotions. However, don’t give up on all groups as many still allow posts in Discussions. You just have to be selective about the Groups. Not easy, I admit.

  5. Good tips here Jeannette. I have to say I am spending less time on LinkedIn as it seems less discussions going on. What I find simpler is to go through the feed and comment or like those that you follow as well as posting your own articles. Also and maybe I have not spent enough time but I find the changes LinkedIn has made is more difficult to navigate. For example finding groups is harder and when you click I couldn’t find the tab that used to give you stats.

    • Susan — I agree that the change in LinkedIn navigation is not for the better. Didn’t someone tell them that drop-down menus are not in style? I agree that commenting in your feed is a good idea and I do that. I also re-post a lot of articles and blog posts that I read outside of LinkedIn and they go into my feed.

  6. When I first started blogging, I would share posts with LI groups, but then I stopped doing so because every group reacted in different ways. I need to start sharing pertinent posts in my groups again. Right now, HootSuite only sends my post to the main LI feed, which I admit I hardly ever check. Too many feeds, so little time!

    • Jeri — It’s gotten difficult because each LinkedIn Group has different rules, as you saw by most post. A number of groups now require you to post to Promotions. I think that is probably a waste of time because I don’t think many people read those posts. Maybe it helps in search.

  7. Dan — each social network is different. HubSpot lists “blog post” as one of the top 10 words/phrases that get retweeted on Twitter.

  8. Jeannette,
    I just came over here from your 2013 recap post. This was the first of the posts that you included and I was surprised that I had missed it the first time around. I’m so glad that I saw it! I’m guilty of not editing the “Blog post” most of the time but I’ll certainly be more diligent about doing so in the future! Thanks for the gentle nudge.