If you’ve been on LinkedIn in the last week, you might have noticed that things look a bit different. This is because the platform is currently rolling out a series of changes in an attempt to improve user experience. If the changes haven’t made their way to your profile yet, don’t worry, you can expect to see them soon.
New features always spark a whole range of questions from users. So in its usual fashion, LinkedIn has produced a helpful video which takes you though the new interface which you can see here. But the question still remains; how will the changes affect those of us who use the platform as part of company social media strategy? Here are our top 3 things you should be aware of:
Algorithms are altered
LinkedIn is changing the way its newsfeed works, combining reworked algorithms and editorial staff to produce its new ‘Interest Feed’. It has also removed the option to order posts on the feed by most recent, meaning that users now have no choice but to see the content that the platform deems ‘most interesting’ first.
As always, it will take a bit of experimentation to work out exactly what content LinkedIn is likely to prioritise on the newsfeed. A good starting point, though, is to encourage interaction from your colleagues on anything your company posts. Asking those people you work with to like, comment and share will not only make your posts more interesting to viewers, but this activity is likely to make the post appear more ‘interesting’ to LinkedIn algorithms.
It is also worth determining key words that you can include in your posts, to reach the right audience. As the platform is now moving towards an interests-based feed, it’s likely they’ll be scanning content for key words as a way to establish the focus or topic of the post. For example, if you want to get your content in front of marketing managers, it’s a good idea to include some keywords they’re likely to notice and then engage with.
Company admin experience
Anyone who’s an admin for a company will have experienced how difficult it was to comment on company posts from their personal account using the old LinkedIn interface. Previously, when an admin was on their company page, anything they interacted with would appear as a like or comment from the company itself. To comment, like or share from their personal account they had to hunt down the relevant post in their newsfeed – which wasn’t always easy!
Happily, the new interface allows admins to visit their company page, but interact with posts from their personal profile. Clicking on ‘manage page’ takes them through to the admin experience, where they can comment and like as the company itself. This new feature alone has caused some excitement for the LinkedIn nerds in the office.
Becoming more ‘social’
LinkedIn’s sleek new interface, with the home button in the top left, notifications in the top right and an instant messenger bottom right, is reminiscent of Facebook’s current set up. This is perhaps part of its mission to encourage interaction and make the platform more ‘social’ in general.
Along with introducing the instant messaging feature, company pages on the new interface show visitors a list of their connections who work there, along with a short cut button to message them.
The big picture
LinkedIn is clearly trying to encourage users to make the platform their go-to way to quickly and efficiently communicate with other businesspeople. This is great news for building connections, but bad news if your company spokespeople and employees take days or even weeks to respond to messages.
And this comes back round to the golden rule of any social network. To get the most out of it, you need to be active and engage with other people and pages. Shouting into the void doesn’t benefit anyone. So, get experimenting with the new LinkedIn experience and learn as you go. Practice makes perfect, after all.
Lizzie is an Associate Director in the Manchester team