2021 has seen a lot of exciting changes released by LinkedIn. The platform, which turned 18 this year, currently has more than 756 million active members and usage on the site continues to increase.
If you are a business or individual seeking to increase your professional exposure, LinkedIn is for you. Take a look at just some of the 12 most recent changes and additions so you can best utilise the platform for your specific aspirations.
1) LinkedIn creator mode
The online world is all about content creation and this new mode has been designed to directly support that. The aim of creator mode is to help you grow your audience, but what is the main difference to the existing option?
Firstly, the new setting will allow users to post hashtags high on their profile of the subjects they most frequently write about—likely encouraging others to follow them based on their interests. Secondly, your recent activity section will be expanded. Instead of 3 recent posts, your page will now display 6. Finally, the way in which you engage with other users will change from ‘connect’ to ‘follow’.
2) Additional titles
In the title section, new items such as ‘Stay-at-home Mum’, ‘Stay-at-home Dad’, ‘Stay-at-home Parent’ and ‘Homemaker have been added to cover people who may be taking some time away from the formal workforce. There is also now the option to select your gender pronouns and have them displayed on your profile.
3) A place to showcase your services
This function is a bit like a mini business page inside of your LinkedIn profile. It has been designed for freelancers and consultants, who can now display their services on their LinkedIn page. By activating these services they will become visible through searches on LinkedIn Marketplace, a new feature reported to be launched later this year.
4) Improved stories
Until now, the LinkedIn story feature has been quite limited. The latest improvements mean users can better engage with stories through the addition of ‘swipe ups’. If you are unfamiliar with the swipe up feature that is commonly used on platforms like Instagram, it allows somebody to add a relevant link to their story so other users can simply swipe up and be taken directly to a specific page.
This is particularly useful if you want to direct your audience to something like a blog or fundraising page. To utilise this function on LinkedIn, you will need a minimum of 5000 connections or followers. You will also need to be using the ‘follow’ option as your primary way of engaging with people as opposed to ‘connect’.
5) Cover stories
Traditionally, every LinkedIn page has had the option for a standard image banner. With the new cover story feature, this banner can now become a 30 second video. Users who navigate to your page can click on this item and it will open to the full video complete with audio – a pretty engaging way to share key messages! This feature is likely to become really valuable in terms of branding, although we encourage all users to think strategically and spend some time considering how they can best use it.
6) Limited connection requests
LinkedIn has introduced a limit on weekly connections. It is now only possible to connect with a total of 100 new users each week.
The idea is that users should be focusing on quality over quantity when it comes to connections, although this will present a problem for people who play the numbers game on the social media platform.
7) New audio feature ** Currently In Development **
It has been reported in Tech Crunch that LinkedIn will be adding a new audio networking feature. The function will allow people to voice chat in private virtual rooms within the LinkedIn platform.
It’s not a bad move by LinkedIn, as it’s likely to keep people on the site rather than utilising other options like Skype or Clubhouse.
8) Ability to publish articles under company page
In the past it has only been possible to publish an article as an individual, but now you can post this type of content as a company. This is great news for organisations who want to build their brand by directly posting articles, rather than having to share articles from employees. In order to use this function, you must be a Super Admin or Content Admin for a LinkedIn company page.
9) New contact options
There is now a dedicated ‘contact us’ page outlining the easiest ways to get in touch with LinkedIn if you are experiencing difficulties or need guidance. Contacting LinkedIn has been notoriously difficult with many hoops to jump through, so having some more direct contact options is a welcome addition. Here is the link.
10) Admin roles on a company page
The latest change to company pages is a feature that allows you to assign admins. This includes the role of ‘Super Admin’, a user who has the ability to edit and manage all parts of the page. Given that Super Admin can do everything, we recommend having two people with this level of access.
11) Changes to events
There has been a number of changes to events including restricting to event inviting options (you can only manually invite by name), adding a Post to an Event and then sending a Notification to all people who are currently registered to attend, once every 7 days.
12) Boosting LinkedIn Posts
This allows you to boost your Posts on your Company Page, similar to the Boost Post feature on Facebook. Depending on your strategy, LinkedIn paid ads targeting feature may be the most appropriate.
As you can see, LinkedIn has been quite busy improving their services for an everchanging market. Make sure you check out some of the new features to see if they can help with your online engagement. If you have any questions or would like to discuss these changes and additions further, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are more than happy to help you navigate them.
Kylie Chown is a LinkedIn Coach and Trainer. She was named #2 LinkedIn Expert in the Asia Pacific in 2019 as well as a 2019 Finalist in the Best Use of LinkedIn for the Social Media Marketing Institute Awards across two campaigns.