As the self-proclaimed “world’s largest professional network”, LinkedIn currently boasts a total of over 660 million members in more than 200 countries and territories across the globe. And, according to LinkedIn, more than 50 million organisations globally rely on LinkedIn Pages to engage with potential customers, prospects and employees - impressive, right?
To help facilitate further engagement and growth, LinkedIn has introduced a series of updates and features to Pages. Most recently, the social network implemented an Invite to Follow option, LinkedIn Live, and new posting options. Here we’ll discuss the updates and how your business can leverage each.
LinkedIn first launched LinkedIn Pages in November 2018. This was welcome news to both consumers and businesses alike; consumers could now discover more about a particular organisation, and companies had a new way to connect with audiences. Today, Pages continue to offer a unique opportunity for businesses to grow brand awareness and be discovered by and engage with potential customers.
If your business doesn’t have its own Page or activity on the Page is dormant, you’re missing out on a prime opportunity for growth. By running an active Page with interesting, consistent content, you can increase your connections and followers, and in turn, boost customers and even employees.
With a Page, you can add another level of visibility for your business on social media. Given that 62% of people trust a brand’s social media accounts and activity more than its advertising, maximising your visibility on social is crucial. In doing so, you’ll establish a business presence on a new platform with a new audience, as well as expanding your brand trust and awareness.
Invite to Follow
When it comes to followers, many businesses struggle with developing a strong following on their LinkedIn Page. So, LinkedIn has re-introduced the option to invite your connections to follow a LinkedIn Page. The premise of Invite to Follow is simple - Page Admins can send requests to people to follow their Page direct to their target audience inboxes.
Pages are a great asset to utilise to increase brand awareness. It’s a quick win for businesses to boost their followers and increase engagement, especially for smaller organisations who tend to struggle with gaining connections. Generally, businesses rely upon their employees to act as the foundation for following and engagement on Pages; however, for companies with fewer employees, this is problematic. With Invite to Follow, organizations can boost their follower numbers irrespective of company size.
In terms of increasing Page following, the new addition is certainly a bonus. But, once you attract a following, you need to be creating the right kind of content that your audience will engage with. The aim of the game is to create content that will leave your followers wanting more and as a result, visit your Page regularly. As a side note - it’s important to remember that you can only invite a person to your Page once so make your efforts worthwhile by sharing a couple of engaging posts ahead of sending the invites. LinkedIn has shared some useful insight into Best Practices to help you maximise the potential of your business Page.
Currently, for Page admins with large networks, this feature has been paused temporarily for improvements. LinkedIn has, however, stated that access will be restored as soon as possible. It’s also worth mentioning that opt-out options are available, so LinkedIn users can choose not to receive the Invite to Follow requests.
LinkedIn has noted video as the fastest-growing content on the platform, with the medium 5x more likely to generate conversations with members and 20x more likely to be re-shared. Given these statistics, it’s unsurprising that in 2019, a new video feature landed on the platform, in the form of LinkedIn Live. LinkedIn Live has recently been rolled out to Pages to allow businesses to take full advantage of the feature.
Thanks to LinkedIn Live, members and businesses can now stream live video to their network in real-time. Since its launch, countless comparisons have been made between the new broadcast feature and Facebook Live. The two are very similar; however, the key thing to remember is the difference in the audience on the two platforms. LinkedIn members join the platform to be a part of a professional network and to discover, learn and engage. With this said, there’s a lot of scope for businesses to utilise LinkedIn Live.
In terms of what works, LinkedIn has shared that the most effective Live videos are timely or interactive. Viewers can like and comment in real-time and organisations can simultaneously reply to and moderate the conversations. This provides a unique opportunity to interact with your audience directly and to further showcase your products and services in a new, appealing way.
Live broadcasting company events is another powerful way to engage your network through LinkedIn Live, especially if you’re running an event with notable keynote speakers with lots of interesting ideas to share. Live video streaming adds a whole new global dimension to your business, enabling you to reach and engage with audiences across the world instantly. With Live's streaming services, events are no longer limited to a single time and place, people across the world can find, discover and participate in real-time.
To read more tips and advice from LinkedIn, check out their Best Practices guide.
Page and Member Posting
The potential for increased engagement doesn’t stop there. LinkedIn has also announced the option to post as an individual or an organisation. Whether you’re sharing text, photo, video or other types of content on your Page, you can directly interact with Page followers from either your personal LinkedIn profile or your LinkedIn company page.
Obviously from an engagement perspective, this feature is extremely useful, but what’s more, you can generate conversations with potential customers and employees to build a rapport that helps you to showcase your business as reputable and trustworthy. Personability resonates with consumers. So, the ability to post as an individual or an organisation and communicate on a person-to-person basis offers a simple yet highly effective means to engage with your community.
In terms of managing the posting options, it couldn’t be any easier. With the simple click of a switch on the homepage, Page admins can choose how they would like to post and engage on the platform. This places the power in your hands - you can share updates about your business when and how you would like.
After testing throughout April, this feature was officially launched earlier this month. It might appear new, but group polls were on LinkedIn until 2014 when LinkedIn took them out. The latest poll feature is, however, better and easier to use.
To create a poll, a user creates a post then clicks on "Create Poll." The post creator can then add a question and a maximum of four options and publish the post. The entire process is quite straightforward, taking not more than 30 seconds. After publishing, polls remain online for a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of two weeks.
While data on polls' effectiveness hasn't been made publicly available, there is no doubt they will help keep the engagement between business and market alive. You can ask anything on polls, provided it is within LinkedIn's Do's and Don't's.
Events have been around on LinkedIn since October 2019, but they now have two revamps.
First off, the new rollout has the "Create Event" option available on every company page. Earlier on, only select company pages had the feature. Secondly, Virtual Events rolled out a few days ago. Ajay Datta, LinkedIn's director of product development, characterized this feature as a fusion of LinkedIn Live and LinkedIn Events.
With Virtual Events, businesses can host live events, eliminating the need for their audiences to be physically present. To demonstrate its power, a company filmed a live fashion show and uploaded the clips to LinkedIn.
The effectiveness of LinkedIn's Live already exists. Live videos receive 23 times and six times more comments and reactions, respectively. That said, if your business is having a difficult time keeping its audience engaged due to social distancing rules, Virtual Events will prove useful.
This feature will list all videos shared by a user, including those broadcasted live. According to LinkedIn, the tab will appear on a page, regardless of whether the user has uploaded videos or not.
Presently, the Video Tab isn't doing much more than displaying videos chronologically, even for admins. However, LinkedIn hints that in the future, more functionality such as video editing may come in. In its current state, editing a video using Video Tab includes making changes offline, deleting an old upload, and replacing it with the new clip.
All in all, this feature will go a long way to helping businesses' online audiences sample videos on company pages.
LinkedIn’s latest round of updates highlights the importance of building relationships with potential leads and employees through engaging content and direct interactions. And, as technology and the world of professional networking evolves, LinkedIn will undoubtedly adapt its features to align with new trends and member feedback to ensure that LinkedIn’s marketing offer for businesses continues to grow.
When used effectively, LinkedIn Pages and their features are a hugely powerful tool for organisations to boost brand awareness and business growth.
If you’re in growing your business, obtaining higher quality leads and really driving B2B then Digital Stand, can help you achieve your business growth goals. Get in touch to find out how.