Over the past few months, we’ve seen an enhanced sense of creativity across marketing and communications strategies and service offerings, from a number of brands and industries. Social media brands are certainly no exception, with LinkedIn having recently developed a number of features for the professional network.
It’s clear to see that social media platforms have been taking stock, investing, and testing new features for their channels. Since Coronavirus first arose, we’ve seen numerous updates from the likes of Facebook, with their news app and added messaging features to help us stay connected, as well as Twitter, with further vetting and reviewing processes for COVID-19 messages and any false statements made by users. Let’s not forget Instagram, who made it easier for business owners to share and sell their products to the online community.
But we’re here to take you through some of the many updates that the biggest professional networking site has brought to us – yes, it’s no other than LinkedIn.
We’ve seen a number of updates creep up, not only in test format, but also those rolled out to all 610 million members. LinkedIn employees look like they’ve certainly been busy. Here’s a round-up of the latest features:
For us avid social media users, ‘Stories’ aren’t anything new. But, for those of you who aren’t familiar, these are short videos or images, posted by yourself, that are available to view by your followers, and other users if permitted, for a period of 24 hours.
We saw Snapchat introduce them back in 2013. Following suit was Instagram in 2016. We remember the days where Instagram Stories were practically frowned upon, and we all thought Snapchat would reign triumphant… little did we know that Instagram users would soar above Snapchat. Today, we see over 500 million Instagrammers use Stories daily and compared to Snapchat’s 67 million daily users… we can clearly see who has come out on top. Next was Facebook, who also jumped on the bandwagon, launching their feature in 2017. With the tool already featured across 3 of the strongest and most popular social media platforms, is it a little too late for LinkedIn? Is the platform even the right place for this tool? Some say the feature isn’t relevant for a professional network, but platforms must move with the times, and reflect the needs and wants of the generations joining the platform.
In May this year, LinkedIn was seen rolling out the Stories feature to users in Brazil, the Netherlands, and the UAE. Their Stories bar appears similar to that found on our other social platforms, and also allows stickers to be added, amongst other tools. You can read more about their Stories feature on their help pages, so it’s certainly on its way to us all by the looks of it.
Possibly one a little more important for brands and companies is the investment in new link preview options. It’s been revealed that LinkedIn is testing new formats for how links are displayed on the feed, which could have big implications for the visuals used.
Generally, marketing and creative teams work towards a template for their link previews, allowing all the visual to be displayed clearly. However, some of the new options use adaptive colouring or overlaid text… could this be a creative nightmare on the horizon? With no solid answers, we can’t be too sure how LinkedIn will play this one out – only time will tell.
Back in April, we were teased with a possible roll out of a polls feature. We’ve sat at our home desks, eagerly awaiting the feature to appear on our own, and clients’ accounts. After an arduous few weeks, the day has finally arrived, and the feature has been made accessible to all!
Not only are the polls a great way to gain insight, but it also helps maintain engagement with your connections and followers. It makes your audience and network feel valued and that their opinion really means something. It can help you as a brand understand market trends, and furthermore help support product and service development. The polls can be made available for up to two weeks, which is a lot longer than social media rivals Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Whilst many in-person events continue to be cancelled and on pause as a result of coronavirus, LinkedIn has stepped up to the plate and offered a way for companies to continue to engage and support these new-found virtual conferences, with LinkedIn Live! Finally, after releasing the feature to selected individuals, companies can now use the video tool. Not only will this allow companies to continue communicating with their audience remotely, but it also adds more opportunities for engagement on their social channels. Brands generally see higher levels of engagement through live videos, as opposed to a standard video post. In fact, users are 20 times more likely to share a live stream over any other type of post. Combined with LinkedIn Events, the social media platform is paving the way for virtual conferences.
Some sources have found that LinkedIn is testing the addition of temporary statuses to user profiles. This feature will allow users to add an update, similar to the early days of Facebook, in a post around about Tweet length. Content is entirely up to the user, but we think there will certainly be some blurred lines as to what is affected here, and what warrants a regular update.
LinkedIn content performs well when it’s paired with media. Did you know that posts with media are twice as likely to be engaged with? We do wonder if this feature will be one of the more effective additions to the platform.
In addition to all these tools, LinkedIn has added many other features, such as allowing users to invite their first-degree connections to like company pages, and notifications from campaign manager.
Not only that, but where you would go to publish a post, the ‘More’ option has some exciting new options, in addition to polls as already mentioned:
You can now ‘celebrate an occasion’, ‘share a profile’, ‘find an expert’ and ‘offer help’. Again, it seems many of these features have been implemented to support those who may be seeking work under the current circumstances as a result of COVID-19.
Find an expert lets you seek out individuals who may be able to help with a specific task. You can refine it by area and provide a description of what you’re looking for. LinkedIn provides some example of what to write to help you get started. On the other side, you can offer help, providing support to connections during the challenging time of the pandemic. Examples include career coaching, resume reviews, or volunteer work.
Celebrate an occasion allows you to welcome someone to the team, give kudos, celebrate a work anniversary, announce a project launch, or a new position.
Curious about or got any questions on any of the above features? Maybe you’ve come across some exciting new features on your LinkedIn profile? Let us know on LinkedIn or Tweet us @brandformula_uk.
As we all find ourselves with an abundance of time, the majority of which we are spending online, now is a great time to get to grips with LinkedIn. Whether you’re a novice user, or a fully-fledged poster, we’ve got a bunch of top tips and steps to guide you through setting up your profile, posting content, and engaging with those that matter the most. Get in touch with the team if you would like to hear more about our LinkedIn training services.