What has 500 million users and has increased user engagement over the past two years? That would be the professional networking social media platform LinkedIn. After being bought by Microsoft Corp in 2016, LinkedIn has rolled out a variety of enhancements throughout 2017, from website and smartphone app updates to better analytics reporting and sponsored InMail opportunities. While LinkedIn might have roots as a job-hunting service, its new features are making it a powerhouse in the B2B community. With all of the movement happening at LinkedIn we’ve got 5 LinkedIn business trends to watch for in 2018.
The number of engaged users at LinkedIn has grown over the past two years, and that’s a trend they would like to see gain even more traction. One way LinkedIn plans to keep users on its site is to launch a section on its network dedicated to business news. LinkedIn’s Trending Storyline section will have a stream of links to outside news sources mixed with related posts written by LinkedIn users. A team of LinkedIn editors will choose which stories to highlight.
LinkedIn hopes that people will start their day on their website, tuning in to get the news they need. LinkedIn wouldn’t be the first platform that showcases news stories, something that Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat have previously added. Unlike the other social media platforms, the LinkedIn feed will be limited to topics about professions and business. LinkedIn is looking to provide information that would be useful in work meetings.
LinkedIn has seen exponential growth in users posting long-form posts over the last three years. In 2014, LinkedIn granted all users publishing access. Throughout 2015, users published more than 80,000 articles. During 2016, users published 130,000 articles. And 2017 is on pace for users to publish 377,000 articles. Users aren’t just publishing more, they are sharing more content as well. From 2015 to 2016, shares of content published on LinkedIn nearly doubled from 31 million to almost 73 million. In 2016, LinkedIn surpassed both Facebook and Twitter for social shares of B2B content in many areas, making LinkedIn the primary social discovery vehicle for topics like leadership and SEO marketing. The average number of shares per post has increased by 43 percent.
While most people publish short articles, less than 1000 words, the most shared content is 1000-3000 words long. And how-to posts were the most shared content on LinkedIn. Users are going to LinkedIn for articles that will help them move forward along their business journey. If you want to publish successful content you need to be creating content that is practical, professional, and personal. Demonstrate in your content a path for others to follow and share peak experiences. However, one thing to watch out for is that content published on LinkedIn gets few referral or backlinks.
Account-based marketing has become easier than ever thanks to newer technology and more powerful CRMs. And LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator makes prospecting and funnel building for sales teams highly efficient. LinkedIn’s powerful search tools make it easy to both find key individuals within organizations and communicate with targeted accounts. Once a prospect is found, marketers can send them customized messages with InMail messages directly through the platform.
Targeting users through Sponsored InMail is both an efficient and cost-effective method of reaching your B2B audience. CMOs are making more data-driven decisions than ever before, and LinkedIn has the analytics to help make those decisions even better.
LinkedIn might have been the last of the social media platforms to offer native video, but now that it’s here early adopters are seeing fantastic reach on their videos. And for B2B, LinkedIn is likely to become the best place for them to reach their ideal audience through video. The personality of your business can be crucial in marketing and sales, and video creates a personal connection and gives people a better sense of who you are. Videos can build trust, reinforce your brand, and showcase your knowledge and expertise. The ability to reach a B2B audience through video will be a game changer for marketers. CMOs should encourage the thought leaders within their companies to make videos on LinkedIn.
CMOs and CEOs are finding out that their personal brand can drive exposure for their company and extend the reach of campaigns. But it isn’t just executive level employees who can help extend reach. When you can get employees to strategically share content with their peers and connections you can increase word-of mouth-exposures from trusted sources. Today’s buyers rely on peers and influences for third-party validation. When you implement employee amplification, you can gain more reach, more engagement, and more revenue. And Vende Social can handle your employee amplification for you. Our technology and services provide a complete solution to get employees involved, which means we handle all the work for you. Strategic content is created, employees receive and approve the messaging via your own app, and then the posts appear on social media sites like LinkedIn.
With 500 million users LinkedIn is becoming a powerhouse in the B2B community. And you don’t have to wait to start seeing results for your B2B company. These 5 LinkedIn business trends to watch for in 2018 are ones that you can start implementing today.