Like all social networks, LinkedIn updates its platform from time to time to add features and improve user experience. LinkedIn recently revealed several changes to its business and individual pages that merit a second look. If your company has not yet updated its LinkedIn business page, now is a good time to refresh its appearance and review your overall strategy on this professional networking site.
LinkedIn is a social networking site that focuses on B2B and professional relationships. Although no network is completely free of marketing shills and fake profiles, LinkedIn has always discouraged adding people to your network that you do not actually know. This has created an extensive professional network through which you can trace your connection to other professionals via your contacts.
Today, LinkedIn may not have the nearly universal reach that Facebook enjoys, but for many seeking to expand their professional contacts, LinkedIn is a trusted source of new connections they can verify through the contacts they already have. Recruiters use LinkedIn to find professionals with specific skill sets, job seekers use it to solicit introductions to coveted employers, and businesses of all sizes use it to review the credentials of new contacts.
Business Pages Gain Added Features with LinkedIn Updates
LinkedIn business pages received a makeover along the lines of the new layouts we saw earlier this year with Facebook timelines and more recently with Twitter profiles. These LinkedIn updates should allow businesses to highlight important information and make it easier for viewers to learn about networking opportunities.
LinkedIn Updates Cover Photo
First and foremost, LinkedIn has updated business pages to feature a cover photo at the top of the page. This allows for a clear branding image that draws a viewer’s eye and sets the tone your company strives to portray. Cover photos are 646 pixels wide by 220 pixels high and must be under 2MB.
LinkedIn Updates Special Features
LinkedIn has added special features to the right sidebar–in PC browser view–so companies can draw attention to important information like career opportunities, employee information and company products and services. These listings can include images to increase visibility and branding identification.
LinkedIn Updates Status Feed to Permit Highlighting
Sometimes your company will want to keep a particular status at the top of the stream despite the fact that you are adding new updates periodically. The new LinkedIn updates will allow you to elevate a status to the top of your page and stick it there so everyone visiting the company page sees that status first. This is a great way to highlight launches and other important events without having to send the same message several times.
LinkedIn Updates Mobile Apps
LinkedIn has also updated its mobile apps to ensure that business pages appear on smartphones and tablets. With nearly half of all browsing now occurring on mobile devices, this upgrade is key to keeping your LinkedIn business page visible to all who might seek to connect with your company.
Thought Leaders Highlighted in New LinkedIn Updates
Linked has added a new feature that allows you to follow thought leaders, a group of 150 influential professionals who will share their updates publicly and will offer lengthier posts from time to time. President Barack Obama, Governor Mitt Romney, Richard Branson and Tony Robbins are among those included in this elite group at this time. If you have influential principals in your organization, you may want to have them apply to become part of the thought leader group to extend your company’s reach across this platform.
LinkedIn Updates Include One-Click Endorsements
LinkedIn recently added an endorsement feature to its site, allowing users to publicly recommend each other for a particular skill with just a click. This expands the recommendations feature on LinkedIn that allows a user to leave a written testimonial on another user’s profile. You can now simply click on skills listed to endorse them, and you can add more skills if you do not see those you would like to endorse.
How Should LinkedIn Updates Affect Your Strategy?
All these changes over the past month or so make it likely your LinkedIn strategy should be reviewed to ensure your company is making the most of its presence on this network. Take a look at the following areas to see where you should make adjustments to accommodate these LinkedIn updates.
- Add a new cover photo to your business page.
- Choose features to highlight in your business page’s sidebar.
- Consider who in your organization could be a thought leader.
- Evaluate your employees’ LinkedIn profiles to see if they could be improved.
Do Key Employees Need LinkedIn Updates?
Your organization may wish to support executives and other key employees in taking advantage of LinkedIn updates to improve their presence on the network, particularly with regard to endorsements.
- Give to receive endorsements. Encourage your staff to endorse professional contacts because many will endorse back and this will look less needy than requesting endorsements.
- Ask permission to publish recommendations. When your company receives written thank yous and endorsements of particular employees, consider asking to have them placed publicly on their LinkedIn profiles to increase the number of public recommendations demonstrating your staff’s abilities.
- Help employees flesh out their profiles and skill sets with keywords that reflect your organization’s strengths. Not everyone is savvy about social media, and a little support can help ensure your staff ranks higher than your competitor’s on keyword searches.
Keeping Up with LinkedIn Updates
Social media is constantly evolving, and your company cannot afford to hesitate when it comes to implementing new strategies based on the latest features. In addition to all you do to maintain your social media presence, you need to assign someone the task of watching social media news so when a network like LinkedIn updates its platform, your company is able to respond and make the most of the new capabilities.