The last eight months on the LinkedIn highway have been fast and furious. The platform has seen a 26 per cent member and engagement growth, as reported in Social Media Today and various reports.
The current crisis has clearly driven this swing and simultaneously there has been many new features rolled out. Some are brilliant, others lacklustre.
LinkedIn updates and features mostly come as a surprise, with little forewarning if any. They are part of the LinkedIn norm with roll outs being staggered globally and without any rhyme or designated batching of release.
Here is a list of new features rated as Hot or Not based on feedback and observations:
Updates – Hot
- Polls: great tool to gain top line sentiments and feedback on business topics and opinions. Really valuable when used strategically and using results for business and sector value add.
- Name Pronunciation: 10 seconds to record a voice message next to your name field. Pronounce your name along with a zappy personal introduction to what you do. Brilliant feature to show personality and open a connection.
- Company Page Followers: you can now see exactly who is following company pages. Whilst there is debate on the value of pages, they are essential for credibility. Knowing who is following your page is useful for marketing outreach campaigns.
- Reactions to comments: rolling out slowly and give 6 different options other than a Like (same as reactions to posts and articles).
- About section: there are now 2500 characters to write your profile summary – an increase of 500, which is great news to capture your business message and personal brand value.
- LinkedIn Virtual Events: integrated company page and event feature to host and promote events. This will fly as the Zoom virtual conference world prevails.
- Featured: high-profile real estate after the About section to showcase your best content of videos, media, website links via a large-linked carousel.
Updates – Not
- Stories: 24 hour sound bites like stories on Instagram & Snapchat. Only available on mobile and, given LinkedIn usage, this means circa 58 per cent of mobile users, 42 per cent of desktop users and 48 per cent of members are logging in a several times a week, resulting in minimal cut through. Feedback is of low interest despite the bluster on introduction when rolled out to in Australia. Time will tell…
- Open to Work: Green photo frame with Open to Work emblazoned. Opinions quite divided re brand perception. It’s being used by business owners, freelancers and job seekers. Understand the need but better ways to build attraction.
- Company Page Invitations: sending direct invitations to follow company pages has been re-introduced. A bit between hot and not but worth testing and adding carefully.
- LinkedIn Live: this has some potential but execution low quality pretty lousy and clunky. Hasn’t really taken off as expected.
Videos continue to decline in views and PDF documents are capturing well. As the whole WFHM and here in Victoria, lockdown has changed the timing and options for using the platform, there is growing content shock and a scramble for eyeballs.
There have been some wonderful examples of platform support for those struggling and many new conversations and topics taken to a greater audience. But as many businesses really struggled, LinkedIn had come to the party and offered a range of online courses for free. No doubt there will be further updates before years end and some re-evaluation. But as ever the more SMEs put into connecting, engaging and contributing the greater the benefits.
Sue Parker, Founder, DARE Group Australia
DARE Group Australia is a valued content partner of Inside Small Business