Last week Ryan Holmes, Hootsuite's CEO, published "What’s (Really) Behind Gender Imbalance in Tech Careers" in the LinkedIn Publishing Platform. He also published an earlier version titled, "Culture or Nurture? Getting to the Bottom of Tech’s Gender Imbalance," on the Hootsuite Blog.
So far, Ryan's LinkedIn post earned:
- 33,000+ Views
- 620+ Likes
- 270+ Comments
Wow! I'd love to drive traffic and engagement levels for my own LinkedIn content!
The Power and Status of Personal Brand
Yes, Ryan holds LinkedIn INfluencer status. On a daily basis, he cultivates and promotes a prominent and trusted personal brand. He's CEO of services utilized by scores of digital marketing practitioners (including myself).
Paraphrasing another media influencer, Ryan Holmes is kind of a big deal.
All of Us Can Create Remarkable LinkedIn Posts (Even If We're Not a Big Deal)
I'm not a big deal. I suspect most self-publishers in LinkedIn's 313 million membership base aren't either. But, LinkedIn inFluencers aren't the only members with valuable writing, thoughts, and experiences to contribute to the LinkedIn Community.
Through disciplined practice and study, we can learn how to create great content (just like inFluencers like Ryan Holmes). Let's examine Ryan's post for clues on what to "steal." In the words of Pablo Picasso ...
1. Write a Crisp, Eye-Catching, Headline
Easier said then done. I changed my headline 20+ times. It's an iterative process. Here are the headlines Ryan published for the Hootsuite blog and LinkedIn:
Notice the tight precision of both headlines. In Ryan's LinkedIn post, "(Really)" caught my attention and caused me to click on his post. The Hootsuite blog example poses a question. If we want to learn Ryan's conclusions, I have to read the post. Great link bait.
Check out the efficient number of characters (with spaces):
- Hootsuite Blog Post: 68 characters
- LinkedIn Post: 55 characters
See how both headlines are Twitter-optimitized. Each leaves lots of room for retweets (RTs) and additional comments for Ryan's ~52,000 followers.
Bonus: Buffer's articles for writing compelling headlines:
- Buffer: 30+ Ultimate Headline Formulas for Tweets, Posts, Articles, and Emails
- Buffer: Make Your Content More Shareable With These 5 Simple Tricks, Backed By Research
- Fast Company: A SCIENTIFIC GUIDE TO WRITING POPULAR—AND SHAREABLE—HEADLINES FOR TWITTER, FACEBOOK, AND YOUR BLOG
2. Support Your Argument with a Picture Painting the Story
The picture Ryan selected and credited cuts straight to his argument. It's ironic, humorous, and to-the-point. An unforgettable lead-in to initiate an important discussion.
Bonus: flickr's Creative Commons Photo Galleries. Talented, generous photographers share their art in return for proper attribution. When using their photos, do the right thing and link back to their flickr gallery.
3. Newsjack Breaking News to Your Competitive Advantage
The gender imbalance issue in tech gained news momentum in late May 2014 when Google released its workforce diversity numbers and accelerated when Facebook released its workforce diversity data in late June 2014:
Workforce diversity in tech is an important, high traction news subject. Ryan re-framed this situation by opportunistically:
- Turning the top-of-mind, news tide to Hootsuite's advantage
- Providing Hootsuite's workforce diversity data
- Introducing his perspective on the current and future state of workforce diversity at Hootsuite and the global tech industry
His leadership in understanding of this particular situation is a case study in top-down, CEO-driven, real-time communications and newsjacking (the art of introducing your ideas into breaking news stories). It's 21st century, CEO media savvy and tactics at its finest.
Pay attention to breaking news events. They may inspire your creativity for your next post.
4. Acknowledge the Situation and Propose Measurable Solutions
Ryan distinguishes his communication by writing a first-hand account acknowledging gender imbalance in both Hootsuite and the technology industry. His Hoosuite Blog and LinkedIn Publishing Platform posts cite his company's diversity numbers among 600 employees:
- 40 percent are women
- 23 percent work in tech roles
- 38 percent hold leadership positions
In his words:
"This comes out a bit better—but certainly not much—than at the other companies**. What exactly are we doing differently and, more importantly, what we can we do better?"
**Note: "other companies" refers to Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Intel, and Twitter (mentioned in Ryan's previous paragraph).
He follows his acknowledgement by proposing solutions at both industry and company levels:
- Industry: Reshma Saujani's Girls Who Code, Ladies Learning Code, and Google's Made with Code Initiative
- Company: Meredith J. Powell and Hootsuite's The Next Big Thing
5. State the Call-to-Action (CTA)
Ryan concludes his Hootsuite Blog post with an inspiring CTA: Help Us Change Tech's Gender Imbalance. Wow.
I understand why he wrote a different CTA in his LinkedIn Post. But, I believe he earned the right to publish that CTA in both posts.
Reid Hoffman founded LinkedIn on the promise of network intelligence mutually benefiting a community at mass scale. We have to put ourselves out there and be vulnerable. Holding our knowledge, ideas, and writing hostage benefits no one.
Ryan Holmes does all of the above (and more).
More importantly, publishing his LinkedIn post and stating his call-to-action on the Hootsuite Blog may positively impact ONE woman's professional career prospects (maybe her entire life).
Making a difference in one person's professional life doesn't require 33,000+ views. It takes ONE VIEW of ONE POST.
That post could be yours ...
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Tony Faustino is a marketing and corporate strategist. He writes about how The Internet reinvents marketing strategy for organizations and individuals in his marketing strategy blog, Social Media ReInvention. Follow his tweets @tonyfaustino or circle him on Google+.