Roll up! Roll up!  Brands that are already investing heavily in LinkedIn will be licking their lips at the prospect of the new publishing power about to be at their finger tips (see the full article on the LinkedIn blog).

LinkedIn influencers, launched in 2012, saw powerful leaders such as Richard Branson, David Cameron & Barack Obama share their expertise in long form blog style articles. Of course there were the usual suspects of social media fame Pete Cashmore (Mashable), Ryan Holmes (Hootsuite) and Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn). And this prestigious status has been mightily sought after by brands – a little bit of research and de-constructing of a few bit.ly links will show you that these articles can drive BIG TRAFFIC. Recent stats released by LinkedIn show that the average Influencer post drives more than 31,000 views and receives more than 250 likes and 80 comments.

Now, let’s not get too carried away here. These influencers and the organisations they represent have been hand picked by the platform (in theory) because they have highly useful, relevant content to share with the LinkedIn user base. One of my favourite phrases at the moment springs to mind, derived from a fantastic presentation courtesy of Velocity Partners CEO Doug Kessler, “deluge of crap content“. Whilst at the moment LinkedIn are slowly rolling out publisher privileges (25,000 additional members in the last 2 days), the full roll-out sees this capability to all of the 220+ million user base and this could spell potential problems flooding the platform with variable quality content… Let’s hope LinkedIn are happy with their content algorithm!

However, that said, the potential for users to build a professional following (outside of their connections) through the proliferation of blog style content which can include photos, images, videos and Slideshare presentations is VERY EXCITING. It is a big opportunity for brands to deploy their “subject matter experts” and “thought leaders” to carry unique content on behalf of the brand and for individuals themselves to build their own personal brand.

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