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Content creators have become the backbone and main attraction of many social media platforms.
The phrase from YouTube started out as a more elegant description of people who uploaded videos but has spread to Instagram, TikTok, and now LinkedIn. But unlike the other three platforms, LinkedIn has no noticeable video or visual element, and features they took from other social media sites like their Stories feature have been turned off.
So what makes a Linkedin content creator? What do they uniquely contribute to the platform and attract other users to follow and interact with them? According to LinkedIn itself, a creator is someone who empowers and educates their professional community by using LinkedIn tools to improve their profile, target their audience and adhere to LinkedIn’s defined content best practices.
If we delve into the best practices, we can get a better idea of how LinkedIn defines “creators”:
Each post should be treated as an opportunity to start a conversation – not an opportunity to promote oneself or the brand.
They should have a diverse content mix of articles, videos, polls and more – and post frequently, up to 4 times a week.
They should be a source of ideas and thought leadership. The content creator on LinkedIn doesn’t separate the news, but rather gives his or her unique perspective on it.
Finally, they should treat LinkedIn as a bridge to their brand by ending each post with a path for more content like long blogs or videos.
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Given these four guidelines that LinkedIn puts in place, this tracks what platform and platform users expect from content creators. Sales-centric content and rude self-promotion are unattractive to both social media users and the sites themselves, which is why platforms like TikTok have special accounts for creators who are not heavily promoted by their algorithms.
Consumers are becoming more attuned and tired of selling tactics – they can spot them from a distance and will do their best to avoid interacting with salespeople on social media and brand promoters. In exchange for following someone online, they want something in return – the product that LinkedIn content creators can offer is their expertise. The truth is, if you’re an expert, you don’t need to be a salesperson, because your expertise will sell for you.
One of the things that LinkedIn and other sites that rely heavily on creators don’t have is the ability to post diverse content. Video may be the future, but some creators may feel trapped by the limits of Instagram and TikTok format. On LinkedIn, words matter and the ability to start a conversation within the scope of a single post is what defines a successful content creator.
But now, to the more important question: Does being a content creator on LinkedIn actually mean anything?
On TikTok and YouTube, creators have a financial incentive to succeed – both platforms have started to pay creators who reach a certain following or subscriber limit. LinkedIn has no equivalent to this – probably because the LinkedIn content creator concept is so new that the platform doesn’t have enough data to monetize it.
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LinkedIn is in flux, but they handle it better than most adaptive platforms. They’ve shown a willingness to try anything but never feel stuck in commitment to an idea that doesn’t work (like LinkedIn Stories.) Resources in it so the feature can expand and develop.
As of now, though, being labeled a LinkedIn creator is more of a LinkedIn status symbol than it is for users. LinkedIn prides itself on having you on its platform – before you fully dive into your space there, it might suit you to wonder “what exactly am I going to get out of this?”
If you are a thought leader on LinkedIn, you will likely have a stable job and a thought leader in other elements of your life, whether that be through a website, blog, podcast, or other medium of content. If this is the case, it begs the question: Who is the creator status on LinkedIn really for?
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