Updated: Feb 14, 2022
For companies and brands using LinkedIn, navigating the ins and outs of this platform can really vary from other social media networks. Unlike Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, or Snapchat, LinkedIn is there to connect peers in a professional manner with the expectation that LinkedIn users conduct themselves as experts, and not as annoying salesmen trying to push their products or services. You have to walk the fine line between being too casual and friendly on LinkedIn and being too pushy with prospective customers. The goal is to reel them in by utilizing LinkedIn’s marketing tools to your advantage. Let’s look at some new features LinkedIn has to offer, what marketing tools you can quickly learn to use, and best practices for the future of LinkedIn marketing.
In 2021 LinkedIn began offering their Certified LinkedIn Marketing Labs so users can show off their LinkedIn marketing expertise to impress employers and clients. This free certification program can help LinkedIn members highlight something they’re particularly good at, and these days being highly skilled in digital marketing is extremely sought after, especially if you’re proficient on a platform like LinkedIn. To learn more about LinkedIn’s certification lab and courses, the value it holds, and how it can benefit you please see the link above to get started.
Tools to take advantage of
LinkedIn announced that it would be doing away with its stories feature by September 30th, 2021and replacing it with more permanent video features instead. The purpose of stories is often to showcase personal or casual content like behind-the-scenes at the office and product sneak peeks to bring forth the authenticity of your brand while connecting with your followers. While this feature works well to connect with your audience on other social media platforms, it doesn’t suit LinkedIn professionalism, and users want more permanence in their content. Soon the option to post videos to tell your brand’s story, show off your personality, and get closer with your network will be an option. Liz Li Senior Product Director of LinkedIn mentioned how the stories feature offered creative tools like stickers and emojis that users really enjoyed, so the plan is to provide those creative features in the upcoming video launch.
Being active in groups shows you care about establishing relationships with those in your industry, rather than just being a voiceless presence on the app. You’ll be participating on your page, other peoples’ pages, and acting as an active voice in discussions and contributing to the overall community on LinkedIn. To learn more about LinkedIn groups and best practices for LinkedIn please see our 15 Ways to Get More LinkedIn Followers article to grow your network.
What to expect and how to use LinkedIn moving forward
Launched in 2020, LinkedIn has begun offering video profiles in creator mode, known as ‘Video Cover Story’, as an introductory video that users can make about themselves. It’s unclear how popular these will become and if businesses and brands will take them seriously, but they offer an interesting new way to get to know a user or brand right away. It can also add a touch of personality and interest to a brand that just a stagnant profile picture might not.
Video Cover Stories are also a great way to make your page more personalized and customized to you. They add authenticity and sincerity to your profile because you have the freedom to introduce yourself however you wish. Currently, you can only add a video cover story on the LinkedIn mobile app. To do this click on the plus sign that appears over your profile image, and the option to upload a 30-second video will come up. You can record a video of yourself or upload one from your phone’s camera roll. The video will not replace your profile image but instead, an orange circle will appear around your profile picture indicating you have a video cover story that others can watch. Your video should be recorded in portrait style and cannot exceed 30-seconds.
You may have noticed the new tab on the right-hand side of your LinkedIn that says Similar Products or LinkedIn Products. The product pages are an ideal tool for any company, business, or brand on LinkedIn trying to sell not only services but also solutions. These products will be shown to users based on their needs. This will also be a far less pushy way to showcase what you have to offer, providing benefits to users who may be looking for exactly what you’re selling. Product pages also add credibility to your company and generate new leads with target consumers.
LinkedIn has provided a PDF manual to explain in-depth how to set up product pages, but first, you must Create a LinkedIn Page to get started. Much like setting up a Facebook page this is styled similarly and gives you an array of functions. You can easily share PowerPoints, PDFs, and Word Docs on your Page, as well as host virtual events to connect with your followers, view your analytics and implement specific calls-to-action. This can all be done from either your desktop or mobile device.
LinkedIn is also taking a stab at a Clubhouse imitation that showcases speakers interacting live with audience members for a real-time discussion. This feature can help bring together industry experts to establish new connections and spread insights to others. This Clubhouse replica is still in its early stages but we can expect to see this new feature on LinkedIn in the near future. LinkedIn still has not announced when it will launch this new feature, but in the spring of 2021 they said they were doing “early tests”, and no other news has been reported since.
Virtual events have significantly grown in popularity since 2020, and even as we return to real-life events yet again, they still serve a purpose. Hosting webinars, live streams, sales, discussions, Q&As, and more online are valuable for both businesses and their audience. It allows for connections between people separated by distance who are able to build relationships and get to know one another in a virtual setting.
Hosting LinkedIn Events are easy to do right on the platform using LinkedIn Live or dropping in the link from an outside source like Zoom, Facebook Live, or YouTube Live. So, if you’re already comfortable with one of the other options you don’t have to learn a new one. To understand more about hosting LinkedIn Events, see this helpful guide on getting started!
A new feature LinkedIn has introduced is Creator Mode. Which changes how you interact with your audience from “connecting” with them to “following” them. Creator Mode is designed to get users more followers and make better connections. It also allows for your posts to be highlighted so your voice is heard, rather than having your work experience be the main focus. Another interesting aspect of Creator Mode is the ability to add hashtags related to your brand or topics you post about often, right on your profile so that when users see your profile, they’ll know what you’re about right away and can follow you based on common interests.
The Creator Mode really focuses on content, so when creators turn on this feature their content is highlighted for others to see. This gives creators a chance to talk about their expertise and showcase their accomplishments. One of the main goals here is to “grow your following” and “establish your voice” according to LinkedIn’s Product Manager Margaret Rose Taormina. Another purpose of Creator Mode is to get discovered because it allows you to be more searchable.
When a user turns on Creator Mode they have the option to add five topics that can be displayed on their dashboard. These topics tell other users what this creator specializes in and what they frequently post about, again this is to establish more connections among users and increase one’s following.
With Creator Mode, members will also have access to LinkedIn best practices tips.
Digital marketing has evolved a lot in recent years to be more personable and authentic so you can build lasting relationships with your clients. With that in mind, social media platforms like LinkedIn are offering a slew of new and upcoming features to make establishing and nurturing those relationships all that much easier. These new features also help with creating and sharing more meaningful content that provides value to your audience while garnering far more engagement for your page than just posting pushy salesman tactics. Now we can connect with people on a more personal level, sharing behind-the-scenes videos in our stories, creating introductory videos of our brands, and posting the most cherished milestones that we can all celebrate. LinkedIn isn’t about making sales anymore; it’s about making connections.
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