Linkedin Updates – Everything you need to know

LinkedIn has long been the key social network for professional service firms and with nearly 700 million active users in 2020 it’s easy to see why. As we all found ourselves in the precarious position of lockdown, the platform responded quickly and delivered a number of new features to help us navigate the ‘new normal’. These have been released alongside some expected updates, designed to improve users’ experience of the channel.

Features such as LinkedIn Live and LinkedIn Events have proven to be a blessing for many consultancies who are forced to take services such as training and development programmes online. The platform has also proved an important resource to the many people who are sadly seeking jobs during this time, by introducing new features such as the ‘Support’ reaction and ‘Open To Work’ function.

How up to date are you with all of the recent Linkedin developments? With so many new features in recent months, we thought we’d compile a list of the changes that we think will most benefit professional services marketers…

LinkedIn Live

This has taken a while to happen, especially compared to platforms like Facebook, but it’s here – ish. Unfortunately it’s not immediately available to everyone, but it’s coming and it’s well worth getting ahead of the field and applying for access, whilst thinking about how live streaming could work within your digital strategy.

LinkedIn Live allows your audience to ask questions, and the host is able to answer them, live. What’s more, you can even bring your audience onto the live video as guests. This human to human live communication speaks to the vulnerable and authentic relationships audiences are craving right now.

LinkedIn Live offers a super high-quality video, in our opinion far superior to Facebook Live. This is ideal for sharing more detailed presentations and slides with text, but don’t feel limited to hosting presentations. You could try presenting thought leadership videos discussing key trends, or create a live stream dedicated to interviewing industry professionals and experts. The platform could also work well for recruitment drives – why not show off your workplace culture, introduce your team members, and answer questions from your audience?

We’ve found video sees much higher engagement on LinkedIn than general blog posts, and with the added bonus of real-time interactions, users are seeing 7 times more reactions and 24 times more comments versus standard video posts on LinkedIn. Numbers that really do speak for themselves.

A key rule of thumb: don’t talk about the services you sell, but the problems you solve.

LinkedIn Events

LinkedIn Events is now available for all company pages as part of its efforts to assist brands dealing with the impacts of COVID-19. They have also fast tracked the integration of LinkedIn Events and LinkedIn Live, turning these two products into a new virtual events solution. Designed originally for in-person and online events, the feature is of course now heavily being used for the latter, and this integration with LinkedIn Live promises more opportunity to reach your network and a wider audience.

Support Reaction

LinkedIn reactions launched last year, providing another way for users to engage with LinkedIn posts. The new addition is the Support Reaction, a little like the Care Reaction Facebook launched a few months back. The change also underlines the popularity of Reactions as a response tool and shows an alignment with social media beast Facebook.

Invite Connections

It used to be challenging to grow your company LinkedIn following without forking out on a paid ad campaign, luckily the platform has made it easier to make those crucial connections. You can now invite your connections to follow your page, which is a much easier way to gain followers rather than relying on organic growth.

Polls

This is an exciting new feature. Polls are available in all areas of LinkedIn, from your individual Profile, Company Page, Showcase Page, Group or even inside a LinkedIn event. Both the creator of the poll and anyone viewing the post can see how many people have responded.

There are a myriad of ways to engage with this new feature, from determining the type of content your audience likes, collecting data for your thought leadership campaigns, to qualifying prospects or even gathering feedback on your services.

Open To Work

Microsoft (who own LinkedIn) revealed that the number of people logging onto the platform in the second quarter of 2020 rose by 26%, likely connected to the increase in job seekers. LinkedIn has made it easier to find jobs, by adding some new display options for both job hunters and professionals looking to lend a hand. The new Open To Work feature enables users to display that they’re available for offers and opportunities. Once enabled, an Open To Work photo frame will be added to users profile picture, demonstrating that they are open to new opportunities. A worthwhile addition for any colleague or friends who might be having to job hunt.

Bonus Tip – Peak Engagement Times Have Changed

Since lockdown started, there’s been a real shift in how the world is using LinkedIn, and recent data from Sprout social suggests the times that users are most active on LinkedIn has really changed in recent weeks too.

Before Covid-19, 8-9am was a great time to post across Wednesday – Friday, but since everyone has stopped commuting, users aren’t engaging with LinkedIn content as early as before. Similarly, lunchtime engagement has dropped. Users are now most active on LinkedIn around 11am and 3pm.

Now, take this with a pinch of salt as the data is from April and doesn’t take into account factors like industry, location and target audience, all of which will impact what time of day is best to post for your firm. To get more insight into your audience, why not utilise one of LinkedIn’s new features and run a poll? Ask how their habits have changed during the pandemic, and use this data to inform your strategy.

We hope you find some of these new features useful, we certainly have. If you need advice or support with scaling up your LinkedIn efforts for the new world we live in, just get in touch with us here at South Thames Marketing