Linkedin LogoFor the past 3-4 years I have participated and grown in the use of social media and in particular LinkedIn. I am not an expert in any of this, as in reality no one could every be an expert in social media. The best that I can be is an “Explorer” always investigating and learning while social media continues to evolve and change. Still people have come to me regarding how I benefit from using LinkedIn.  

I can’t take credit for the term social media “explorer” as I picked that up from a connection years ago when I heard Tom Martin speak at a 2009 AMA chapter meeting in Omaha. I have learned a lot from Tom’s blog postings on his web site Converse Digital and I encourage anyone that wants to learn more, visit his web site.  He wrote two posts on his older Positive Disruption blog on this subject called, “Hire Explorers not Experts” and “Hire Explorers Not Experts (part II)” that also has a video from that 2009 AMA Hot Topics Summit.


LinkedIn Groups

I am part of several LinkedIn Groups; marketing related and for personal interests. It always amazes me, but I should not be surprised, at the titles group members place on Discussions they start. They just don’t evoke any reason for me to READ ON and by the looks of the lack of comments and participation in the discussion, no one else is either.  So why are YOU spending time to create a discussion that no one will read???

Here a just a few real Discussion titles I have run across:

  • Great News!
  • Consider this…
  • Funny Goodbye
  • Spring Tradeshows
  • Dream Inspiration: Taxes
  • Knowledge is Power
  • Because Small Business is Big Business
  • Free Webinar
  • Check This Out

OK all are real short and all fail at conveying a reason for me to click on the link to read the discussion.

Short is not bad.  I have seen some real short discussion titles that are really good:

  • Are Twitter Followers Useless?
  • Facebook Marketing Secrets
  • 9 ways to promote Webinars

And one of my favorites “These infographics are amazing…”  now if it stopped there I would say “who cares”, but is further adds “…for a few reasons.”  Now I want to find out “what those reasons.”

Placing a number in the title is a little trick that Al Ries and Jack Trout learned when they published their 1994 marketing best seller “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.”

The Point Is

So what is my point?  I know LinkedIn members are not all marketers, journalists, or copywriters.  Still when you are “publishing” a discussion topic or sharing information on a LInkedIn Group (really not just LinkedIn, but any social web site), think about what you are writing. If you are taking the time to write something, do you not want someone to read it? The Title and Content needs to be focused on the reader’s WII-FM; “What’s In It For ME!”  …that he or she should take time, which is a precious non-renewable resource, to read what you have to say.

A headline is to grab attention and in a way connect with the reader on a more personal level. What may be interesting to you will not be interesting to everyone, but at least write a headline that will say something that will cause the reader to want to read on. Then make sure you add some additional content about what you are going to share, which helps when the reader will see the discussion in the Group.

The BIG Three

Remember the BIG THREE ingredients to writing a headline and content: 

  1. AROUSE INTEREST – it has to arouse interest in the reader. Like a Stop sign, it needs to cause the reader to stop and read it.
  2. CREATE DESIRE – the headline needs to evoke something that will cause the reader to desire more information, which brings us to ingredient three…
  3. MOTIVATE ACTION – having them click to link so they will read everything you are trying to share.

The Information Age

This is the age of information overload, and the flow of information certainly will not decrease anytime soon.  Be sure what you share is actually read by crafting a good title or headline and then content that goes with it.  Don’t assume someone will want to read what you wrote with a poorly written headline, just because you find the subject interesting.

This little blog post will not cause everyone on LinkedIn to write better Discussion Titles and content, but perhaps a few will now stop and think about what they are writing and how it will be perceived by the reader.

I would like to know what your thoughts are on the subject.  Leave a Comment.  Thanks