New to 2020: Recent LinkedIn features that you should know about
LinkedIn has had an incredibly busy year, that’s for sure. With new features rolled out across the platform nearly every other week throughout 2020, LinkedIn has continued to evolve to become a channel B2B marketers simply cannot live without.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a significant transformation towards H2H (human-to-human) or B2H (business-to-human) practices as opposed to the traditional straight-laced, formal world of B2B; which LinkedIn adapted to instantly.
In this article, I have highlighted some of Velo’s favourite new features on LinkedIn that we have seen so far in 2020 that all B2B marketers should know about.
From increasing awareness and engagement with your brand to driving new business, sales prospecting to internal communications and employee advocacy, there are lots of recent additions to get under the skin of.
Feel free to skip to whichever new LinkedIn features may interest you most, based on your objective, or sit tight and have a browse through them all.
Drive Engagement & Brand Awareness with these new LinkedIn Features
1. LinkedIn Polls
Create a dialogue with your followers with LinkedIn Polls
After retiring the feature in 2014, LinkedIn has recently resurrected its Poll feature for organic posts. In hindsight, it is clear to see LinkedIn Polls were way ahead of their time, with every other major social network following suit and adopting such a feature in the years since.
This organic post feature allows users and company pages to ask their followers questions who are then able to respond by voting on a single multiple-choice answer.
LinkedIn Polls are a sure-fire way to boost your engagement and get important insights directly from your audience.
2. LinkedIn Stories
Give your followers unmissable daily doses of your brand
Similar to the long-standing Instagram and Facebook stories, LinkedIn has finally introduced the greatly anticipated story feature to their platform.
LinkedIn Stories allow users and company pages to share raw content in real-time that is present on their profile and at the top of their followers’ feeds for 24 hours.
Initially intended to recreate ‘water cooler moments’ while so many people are working from home, LinkedIn Stories also add personality to your favourite profiles and offer ‘behind the scenes’ insight to your brands.
3. LinkedIn Live
Broadcast live video content to your followers in real-time
LinkedIn Live is a new feature that allows individuals and company pages to share live video footage to their network. A notification will appear for all of your followers to see when you go live which is a fantastic engagement driver!
Compared to native feed content, LinkedIn Live can help you receive 7 times more reactions and 24 times your usual comments. Key analytics are available for all of your Live recordings, so you can measure the success of each piece of content.
You can even save Live recordings to your profile for on-demand video content. We recommend B2B marketers to use LinkedIn Live for sharing company announcements, product launches, behind the scenes, thought leadership content and storytelling.
All-new LinkedIn Demand Generation features
4. LinkedIn Events
Create and join professional events, even in real-time
It wouldn’t be right for LinkedIn to sail through 2020 (of all years) without developing a virtual event space for us B2B marketers to enjoy.
LinkedIn Events are designed to give B2B marketers a way to host targeted, engagement-focused online events with their community. These events can be made open to the public or remain a private invite-only affair.
Each Event is given a landing page which you can customise and upload content as you wish. You can stream live to your event using LinkedIn Live or other compatible streaming providers.
We have found this feature great for events with multiple sessions, seminars, product demos, talent branding events, Q&As, guest panels, industry events… the list goes on!
5. Conversations Ads
The lovechild of InMail ads and chatbots. Conversation Ads.
Branching off the concept of InMail ads, LinkedIn Conversation Ads allow you to send direct messages to your target audience’s inbox.
However, users can then respond and interact with the ad using a selection of CTAs in a choose-your-own-path format – like a chatbot. This becomes a quality experience as your audience can now engage with the options they are most interested in.
You can lead users to specific webpages, sign up forms, whitepapers, videos – you name it. LinkedIn allows 2-5 layers of conversation so marketers have the opportunity to loop back and offer different routes wherever they need to.
This advertising option is particularly effective for driving brand consideration (linking to blog posts, pre-recorded webinars, or whitepapers) as well as generating leads for events, tutorials, and more.
Top Sales Enablement Tools on LinkedIn
6. Follower Analytics
Granular level data on the people who matter
Of course, Follower Analytics has been around for a while on LinkedIn, but let’s face it – it has never been a showstopping feature. LinkedIn’s new analytics feature allows B2B marketers to understand their followers on a far more granular level (#BigData, we love it).
We can now view each follower’s profile, with followers listed in order of recency and stamped with when they started following as well as whether they arrived through organic or sponsored activity.
Alongside all the usual demographic data, these features enable us to identify new opportunities from unexpected audiences, refine our paid media targeting and create meaningful conversations in our content strategy that relate to our followers.
7. Video Call via Messaging
To round up the year of video calls – we wouldn’t expect any less!
Along with its various major feature rollouts, this has to be a personal favourite of mine. LinkedIn has introduced the ability to start a video call over Teams, BlueJeans or Zoom directly from a LinkedIn message thread.
With little opportunity for face to face communication in the B2B world, users are increasingly relying on LinkedIn to introduce themselves, network and chase online opportunities – now more than ever.
LinkedIn’s Video Call feature allows users to connect with prospects, current clients and employees instantly. Gone are the days of scheduling and re-scheduling calls on Zoom for a week’s time which can easily be put off or forgotten about.
Video calls also have the added benefit of a more meaningful experience than simply phoning or emailing a lead. LinkedIn, how very 2020 of you…
A word on LinkedIn’s Employee Advocacy tools…
Now if you’re a die-hard LinkedIn fan, you may be aware of its previous attempt at building an employee advocacy tool – Elevate.
However, Elevate, the soon to be redundant paid platform, didn’t quite ‘take off’ as they had hoped (see what I did there?). It had some great features and components but the platform itself was too great an investment, so LinkedIn is pulling it from the market later this year.
BUT instead of seeing the platform go to waste, LinkedIn has already integrated some of its most successful features into company pages which are either paid for or free on a feature-by-feature basis.
You may have spotted some already, let’s take a look at what we have identified so far…
8. My Company page
Recreate watercooler moments and celebrate achievements
My Company page is a space designated for employees where everyone can engage with each other, celebrate accomplishments, and remain connected.
Only available to company’s listed as having 201 employees, the feature is in its early stages of development – but we already see plenty of potential.
Acting almost as a discussion board, the feature allows employees to celebrate each other by highlighting key milestones such as birthdays, promotions, anniversaries and new hires.
It promotes trending content from co-workers, suggests who you should connect with at your company and allows a sense of community and company culture to be built virtually.
A few other notable free employee advocacy features include:
Notify Employees button
This appears whenever you post organically on a company page. Press the button and all the employees registered at your company will receive a notification that your page has published a new post, prompting them to interact and share it to their network. Free organic promotion – a rarity these days in B2B!
Employee Activity flags
Whenever an employee interacts with content their company page posts, a notification will appear in the company page notifications flagging which employees have been engaging with what content. Enabling us to measure who are the top advocates (and who we should be keeping extra happy).
LinkedIn Content Suggestions
LinkedIn has given company pages the ability to discover trending content and share it with their own audiences. This feature is also available for employee posts, whereby company pages can now share these too.
People are 8 times more likely to engage with content shared by employees than content shared by brands. So, by sharing employee content you can generate authenticity and trust among the company page’s own followers.
9. Career Pages
Give an insight into your company life with Career Pages
LinkedIn has defined Career Pages as a self-proclaimed ‘powerful employer branding tool that raises awareness, drives interest in your company, and builds a pipeline of candidates for your open roles’.
This paid feature allows you to provide an insight of life at your organisation through photos, testimonials, employee-written content and more, to attract top candidates to your company.
It allows you to publish job opportunities while also highlighting its culture to reach and appeal to the right candidates for the job.
We are sure this is going to be an incredibly powerful tool in the coming years as workplace culture becomes an increasingly important factor for job searchers.
LinkedIn is simply owning B2B as an engagement, networking AND advertising platform. The features have evolved to the point that it will be almost impossible for emerging platforms and channels to compete.
If you can’t find the perfect B2B marketing feature for you on the platform just yet – fear not – LinkedIn is probably already thinking about it!