- Gail Malcolm
2018 in review: LinkedIn
If you think LinkedIn is a dull place to be on social media, think again!
The social network has been in need of a little TLC recently and Microsoft have been working on it, bringing us much desired feature updates, new functionalities and more. And with the platform reaching 575 million users in August it’s only set to get much better.
Here are some of the biggest and best updates from LinkedIn over the last year:
LinkedIn turned 15 years old this year. Can you believe it!? To celebrate it released this infographic that reminds us of all the things that have happened since it’s launch.
We have already outlined some of these changes in a previous blog but to re-cap, LinkedIn has made profiles easier to view by changing the position of profile pictures in order to give header images more space and more display space for summary text.
Another simple change that has been added is the ability to change the “Connect” button to a “Follow” button. This was already available to users who are part of the influencer Programme. The feature brings a number of benefits such as your posts having a better reach and engagement as your followers are more likely to see your content and to actively participate in conversation.
New Messaging Functionality
As LinkedIn is the place for professionals, new features that help us communicate more efficiently with our connection have been rolled out to us, including a location sharing option within it’s messenger functionality.
This feature allows users to share their location or another location nearby. This makes it easier to arrange face to face meetings with connections, eliminating the need to open other apps. To send a location, simply tap the pin icon in the message box, search the meeting place and hit send.
A small change to say the least but a convenient one. You can now expand the message compose box, giving you more space to view and compose your messages.
Attachments and File Sharing
Why this wasn’t a feature on LinkedIn years ago baffles us. Given the professional nature of social network as a place to recruit and send business propositions, being able to attach PDF, DOC, XLS and PPT files allows users to eliminate the need to send these files via a separate email app. It came as no surprise to us when LinkedIn stated that this is one of their most requested updates!
Similar to uploading files to a message, a new copy and paste feature for desktop was added, enabling users to copy and paste images from the web into messages.
Much like the file sharing feature that has been added to LinkedIn this year, we can see how group messaging could become a valuable feature of the platform. Group messaging will make collaboration and team discussion much easier.
When creating a group message, you will be presented with suggestions for your group based on where you work, where you went to school or people you have recently messaged.
Group messaging aside, LinkedIn have also added an @mention feature in 1-to-1 message conversations, allowing users to share profiles. This will make it easier to make new connections, make referrals and compose recommendations.
You can now record audio messages within messenger too! The advantages that come with this include: elimination of the language barrier as many users may find it easier to speak another language that read or type it and by being able to build even more personal connection by further humanising your messages with your own voice.
Everyone loves a GIF for those moments when words just won’t cut it. With the GIF library and an expanded emoji library to boot, LinkedIn messaging is now a much more fun place to be. But does is it fit for purpose? Depending on what you use LinkedIn for, it very well could be!
LinkedIn Groups are about to get good again. Earlier this year, LinkedIn re-vamped the group experience by making changes to some of its functions such as a new notification structure that minimises spam and the ability to add new content formats such as video.
But it’s not done yet! Just a few weeks ago, the LinkedIn Engineering blog explained the functionality of the way groups work as parts of a separate infrastructure. It also points out that LinkedIn Groups have improved the relevance of the posts, how spam will be filtered and that it is now more mobile friendly.
We have a feeling that LinkedIn isn’t quite done with it’s Group updates. We think this is one to watch in 2019!
It’s not just LinkedIn Groups that got a shiny new revamp this year - Company Pages got one too! Updates to Pages include fully integrated Page posting and management functionalities for mobile, new social listening features such as associating your Page with certain hashtags so that admins can participate in conversations relevant to their brand, and content suggestions, a feature that presents your page with content that your audience may be most interested in.
All three of these new features make it possible for Page admins to keep on top of the latest news and conversations that are happening within the industry, allowing the brand to be more reactive and relevant to its audience.
It doesn’t stop there! While LinkedIn messenger has a new file sharing functionality, so does Pages! Admins are now able to share PowerPoint presentations, Word Documents and PDFs - in other words, whitepapers, reports and other announcements.
LinkedIn is also working on a feature that allows Pages to respond to and share any posts where the Page is mentioned, providing ways to encourage interest and engagement.
The update to Campaign Manager brings a new range of tools that better serve our advertising purposes, including new streamline interface and data options, insights and data display options.
A more recent change to come to LinkedIn is that of it’s Campaign Manager. These changes have been put in place in order to help generate better quality clicks on your ads and improved ROI on Sponsored Content.
While this is initially a welcome change to the platform, there does seem to be a catch - a decrease in click-through rate and an increase in cost per click. However, while this may be true, these changes have been made to improve ROI. In other words, your ads will now be served to people who intend to click through or engage with your content more.
Another change that comes with this update is the way LinkedIn charges for Sponsored Content. For example, ads that have long-form copy, clicks on “see more” will now expand the text instead of sending people to your landing page, in effect making this action free. This means that advertisers will only be charged when a user clicks through to your website. It also means better informed, more invested leads and click-throughs!
Another welcome update to Sponsored Advertising is the new Automated Bidding function. Automated bidding has been available on other networks for a while now so it’s great to see LinkedIn beginning to catch up! The feature is now available for website visits, awareness, lead form submissions, website conversions and video views.
We were delighted with a further update to Sponsored Content by being able to sponsor video content this year for the first time! With video being an ever more prominent content format, this was a most welcome update.
A new integration with Google Campaign Manager will enable marketers to compare and manage their LinkedIn ad performance in comparison to their other advertising activity within a single dashboard. This gives marketers a better insight to their ad performance across different platforms, allowing us to decipher more accurate ad performance.
Another integration with Vimeo has also been announced. This integration offers subscribers a way to publish Vimeo content to a Company Page. This is an excellent new development considering Company Page video is 5x more likely to start a conversation among members.
Taking a leaf out of Facebook’s book, LinkedIn introduced carousel ads this year.
A Sponsored Content feature only, user are able to create a image or video carousel of up to 10 cards.
Dynamic ads have been around for a while but this year they have been made more available to LinkedIn Company Pages.This has been a fantastic addition to Campaign Manager as it enables advertisers to create more personalised ads, using each individual users profile details to generate more attention grabbing ads on desktop.
LinkedIn updates its algorithm in order to generate more engagement after it found that users weren’t posting as often because there was too much of an emphasis on content from top creators. Therefore, the algorithm was changed to distribute posts more evenly, allowing your updates greater reach and engagement.
In addition to the algorithm update, Microsoft installed its machine learning tools in order to detect and remove inappropriate content.
The most recent update to come from LinkedIn is that it is introducing its own version of Stories to students in the US in order to help them connect with each other better.
Doesn’t LinkedIn seem like an exciting place to be these days? We certainly think so! With all these updates and with Microsoft reporting that the social network is seeing record levels of engagement, you should definitely consider including LinkedIn in your 2019 marketing plan.
Want to know more about changes in social media? Check out our round-ups of 2018 on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest.