Have you logged into LinkedIn lately? Probably not. Though the platform is the world’s largest professional networking platform, and boasts over 467 million members, at the end of 2016 only 23 percent of those members visited a minimum of once a month. In an effort to have their members visiting more often, LinkedIn has ditched the busy pages of the past and debuted a slick new interface that more closely mirrors its mobile apps. Between the new homepage feed, better search options, and more new features, traffic on the platform might soon see an increase.
New Homepage Feed
LinkedIn seems to have taken a cue from Facebook when it came to redesigning their homepage feed. Users now have the opportunity to update feed preferences and create a personalized feed with more relevant content. To start users will see more content and fewer status updates in their homepage feed.
Users will be able to customize their feed through setting preferences, which allows a member to follow people and companies without connecting to them. Users can also unfollow a person without losing that connection. LinkedIn users will be able to hide posts that they don’t find relevant or flag inappropriate content. And members will also be able to sort updates by recent updates or top updates.
And good news for advertisers? Users will notice their feed suggesting organic, sponsored, and native advertising content that they might be interested in reading. The new feed will also help users follow trending stories.
LinkedIn users and companies are both getting more analytics about how users are interacting with the content they share. Users can view analytics on shared posts and published articles to see the impact they are making within their network. That includes the amount of views, audience demographics, vitality, and additional suggested articles to share. Users will be able to see who likes their content and which companies those likes come from.
Company page analytics are split up into three sections: Updates, Followers, and Visitors. Companies can see follower trends, follower demographics, and how your company compares to other companies. Between the Followers and Visitors sections you can get a good idea of what current, and potential, customers like about your brand. And the demographics information can includes information like seniority, industry, function, and company size. By analyzing the updates section, and seeing what content is doing well, you can replicate that success.
Search for people, jobs, and companies all from a unified search engine. No more toggling between categories to find all the information that you need. And advanced search options let you specify query terms for specific fields. Rather than search for anyone who has ever worked at Vende Social, you can click the “current position only” check box to only find current employees.
Other new search features include sticky filters, saved searches, and search by post. Additional Advanced Search filters are available through the Sales Navigator tier of LinkedIn Premium including “years of experience,” “function,” and “seniority level.”
Another update that feels similar to Facebook is the new messaging changes. Rather than functioning like email and having to navigate to another window, InMail will be more like a direct chat that you can send without leaving the LinkedIn homepage feed.
Changing the location and functionality of InMail makes it more likely that users will utilize the service. And will hopefully keep users engaged on the site longer.
LinkedIn might not be referring to them as chatbots, but everyone else is. The main purpose for LinkedIn’s chatbots will be to break the ice, and it will do this in a couple of different ways. Firstly, the chatbot will suggest things to talk about to literally ‘break the ice’ with people. It will also suggest people you can chat with at companies you might be interested in networking with.
Once you’re talking the chatbot can help set a date on the calendar for a meeting. The chatbot will look at two connections’ calendars and find and set times for them to meet, all within LinkedIn’s new messenger platform.
Previously users had to navigate to LinkedIn Pulse to write a blog post through the platform. LinkedIn’s new blog publishing platform is now just one click away. The new interface focuses on the design with more formatting and text options. Multimedia can be adding by dragging and dropping, and inline videos, slides, and podcasts are supported. Hashtags can be added to posts to make the content more searchable.
Consumption on LinkedIn has increased over the last few years. Articles with less than 2,000 words perform the best. And topics like salary negotiation get more engagement that lists and clickbait. Marketers and business-based bloggers should consider LinkedIn as a platform for reproducing or creating original content.
Marketers know that it’s important to keep up to date with where their audience is spending time. An increase in active monthly users for LinkedIn could signal to marketers that it’s time to start investing more in the platform. With Microsoft now owning LinkedIn, these likely aren’t the last updates for the professional networking platform.