A few weeks ago I discovered on my LinkedIn news feed a new kind of status that raised my attention. I got used to the various publications on LinkedIn: likes, (sponsored) shares, comments or Pulse publications. But this one was different, it was not something my contact actively did, but something in which they have been passive. They were ‘mentioned in the news‘.

Ann Smarty - Founder at MyBlogU - Was mentioned in the News

This post is a balanced piece between research and explanation of this new visibility tool. My main point is to convince you that this feature can boost your exposure really better than you ever experienced before.

[Edit] Some pieces of text are written in blue. They have been added afterward, after comments or new discoveries.

29/01/16: As I suspected, this post was not taken as a piece of “news” and therefore, the people cited here did not receive the mention. I’m a bit disappointed since it means one still has to discover what is ‘a piece of news’ for LinkedIn.

The ‘Mentioned in the News’  History

The first reference to the new citation tool has been out there since at least late November 2015.  It was surfaced by Craig Burton, Managing Director at School Branding Matters :

LinkedIn officially documented the ‘mention in the news’ feature in its FAQ, and explains how to disable the automatic email that is sent to your connections (more about that later).

It’s therefore pretty new, but seems to have been under cover for a while. They probably were running tests to optimize their algorithm.

On January 13th 2016  I was surprised to received my first ‘mentioned in the news’ email about one of my LinkedIn contact. I thought it was just a test too, but the email frequency increased and I found two of them in my inbox today.

News about Ann Smarty in the news Linkedin

Since I’m not US-based, I have the feeling that the feature has somehow been officially deployed around recently. You might have received the same kind of emails recently (or you will soon).

How to get mentioned in the news from LinkedIn viewpoint ?

Later in this post I will talk about the pros and cons of this new visibility technique, but first, I wanted to explain a little how to get this pretty enormous exposure. My goal is to find how publishers manage to get featured by LinkedIn for influencers.

I could not really do a great job since LinkedIn does not feature many articles yet. My current example set contains 6 articles (list available at the end of the post).

Assumptions :

  1. In your article, use named entities that match LinkedIn. The easiest is to copy/paste the Name and Position and Company of your linkedin target. This is the most important parameter… but you it’s not compulsory :
    • In most cases (see Giacomo Summa case) it’s not even necessary to include the position. Only the name and company are enough.
    • Pay attention to the capitalization of your named entities. This is a widely used trigger for extractors. Capitalize the first letter of names (people, position, company)
  2. Mentions seems to be extracted from English articles only.
  3. Mentions now appear on non-English accounts too. Early January, it was only available to English language. It has changed and I have seen mentions :
    • en Français : “Le nom de Mark Traphagen a été mentionné dans l’actualité
    • en Español : “Se ha mencionado a John Hingley en las noticias
    • … probably all languages are supported now
  4. Open Graph tags are important, especially the type one. On all the articles I studied, 100% had OG markup. I think LinkedIn consider a news preferentially if it has the the “article type” , I found this in all articles except in one :

    [Edit] 29/01/16: I have discovered a recent example with neither og graph markup nor twitter card metadata

  5. No problem to talk about yourself on your company’s website. See Mark Traphagen case :
    • ” Mark: Hi, I’m Mark Traphagen, Senior Director of Online Marketing at Stone Temple Consulting. ” (published on Stone Temple Website)
  6. Your target doesn’t need to publish on Pulse. I was wondering for a while if only certain people (those who publish on Pulse) where mentioned. I checked, and that’s not the case for several people listed at the end of the post.
  7. The link needs to be shared on LinkedIn at some point. Only one share is enough.

Reflections :

I guess that the LinkedIn’s algorithm extracts named entities from a page (if you want to try yourself, give a try to Alchemy API). Once it has them, it probably compute a distance score to see which entities lies close together. When <name> and <company> are close enough, it tries to match them with its database.

My main question so far is : how does Linkedin decide if a link shared is a News source or not ? I will share this blog post on LinkedIn, but I’m pretty sure this won’t be accepted as a regular news source.

Another uncertainty for me is about the way the post should be shared. Does mentioning people (with @ mentions) on Linkedin share helps ? I have no clue about that. If you know, please drop a comment.

Pros and Cons of this visibility hack

Pros:

If your article got detected, you’ll dramatically expand your reach : you’ll first receive exposure on the LinkedIn wall of the persons you mentioned. Then if lucky, all these contacts might receive an email where your article is showcased.

For B2B businesses, it’s probably better than your own updated email list. If you managed to cite influencers with a massive following, your reach could be amazing.

The hack is rather new, so few people have tried to use it yet. The emails are sent to the all the contacts of the influencer you are citing. First, the “mentioned in the news” broadcast is enable by default (so all your contact might receive news about you). Second, the Connections in the news is set as a daily email by default.

LinkedIn Mentioned in the news broadcast

Your news mention broadcast

Linkedin Email Frequency for News and Updates

Email frequency when receiving contacts mentioned in the news

Cons:

These mentions don’t appear on the regular LinkedIn profile ! You can’t use them as a press book for instance (which would have been great).

Wrong or inaccurate news about you can ruin your reputation. See this early post about the feature which gets straight to the point : “Mentioned in the new” can mean bad publicity for you.

Emails are really intrusive generally. Here, Linkedin is pushing content written by people you don’t event know into your mailbox. Sure, the name of one of your contact is in there, but how many people will use this hack to receive exposure ? I did it in this post, so I guess many other can cross the line, with worst intentions than I had.

The lifetime of this hack seems pretty limited to me. People will quickly get spammed with it.

Mentioned in the News examples

List of news articles which got extracted by LinkedIn and where named entities where mentioned :

1/ Laurel Haak:

LinkinedIn Profile : https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurellhaak

Extract from LinkedIn Profile : “Executive Director at ORCID”

News url http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-01/o-ptr010416.php

Extract from news : “Laure Haak, Executive Director of ORCID, also  […]”

2/ John Hingley

John Hingley , CEO Dasheroo, Linkedin News Mention

LinkedIn Profile : https://www.linkedin.com/in/hingley

Extract from LinkedIn Profile : “Co-founder at Dasheroo”

News url : http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/01/prweb13181270.htm

Extract from news : “[…] said John Hingley, CEO of Dasheroo”

3/Ann Smarty

ann_smarty_mentioned_in_the_news_linkedin

LinkedIn Profile : https://www.linkedin.com/in/annsmarty

Extract from LinkedIn Profile : “Community and Brand Manager Internet Marketing Ninjas

News url : http://www.pubcon.com/sfima-content-marketing-track

Extract from news : “Ann Smarty, community and branding manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas”

4-5/ Mark Traphagen

Mark Traphagen Mentioned in the News LinkedIn

LinkedIn Profile : https://www.linkedin.com/in/marktraphagen

Extract from LinkedIn Profile : “Senior Director of Online Marketing at Stone Temple Consulting”

News url 1 : http://marketingland.com/social-media-scheduling-use-buffer-hootsuite-tandem-158985

Extract from news 1: “Mark Traphagen is Senior Director of Online Marketing for Stone Temple Consulting”

News url 2 : https://www.stonetemple.com/heres-why-digital-marketing-will-never-be-the-same/

Extract from news 2: “Hi, I’m Mark Traphagen, Senior Director of Online Marketing at Stone Temple Consulting.”

6/ Nicole Williams

Nicole Williams Mentioned in the News LinkedIn

LinkedIn Profile : https://www.linkedin.com/in/worksbynicolewilliams

Extract from LinkedIn Profile : “LinkedIn’s Official Career Expert LinkedIn”

News url : http://vitamintalent.com/vitabites/how-to-create-a-great-linkedin-profile-for-designers

Extract from news : “[…] says LinkedIn’s career expert Nicole Williams

 7/ Giacomo Summa

LinkedIn Profile : https://www.linkedin.com/in/giacomosumma

Extract from LinkedIn Profile : “CEO & Co-founder at Stylect”

News url : http://www.forbes.com/sites/edmundingham/2015/08/12/heres-whats-so-frustrating-about-facebook-vs-youtube-and-heres-how-your-brand-can-take-advantage/#37221e3fce33

Extract from news : “Just ask Giacomo Summa at Stylect.”

 

Conclusion

This powerful hack seems pretty dangerous to me, and really open to spammers. I would really prefer if the emails were turned OFF by default. However, I hope that you are clever and kind enough to use this hack in a positive way.

This article is the first of a collection of visibility hacks I will try to collect on G+ and on this blog. If you want to get alerted when a new article comes out, you can follow the G+ collection or subscribe to our newsletter (form is available in the footer section)

Founder of Elokenz , I did a PhD in nanosciences, I take care of a reef tank, I used to windsurf a lot... and yes, you can call me Jice instead of Jean-Christophe