The business social network offers user experience enhancements while bolstering tools to help amplify company brands
By Ed Pierce, Fleet Industry Marketer
According to a recent article by writer, editor, and marketer Kyle Harper, LinkedIn began rolling out a new, updated interface for its business-oriented platform in January, and it just beginning to gain the attention of B2B marketers and sales people.
Specifically, marketers and sales people now have access to expanded tools for improving their skills. For example, LinkedIn is conducting new research and making it available to members. Better yet, articles and posts coming through one’s news feed are easier to navigate.
A More Rewarding User Experience
Harper reports that LinkedIn has been subtly tweaked to make it more rewarding for users to share their thoughts and experiences. For example, tips for a profile offer quick descriptions of ways one can augment his or her profile (and, in some cases, explain how certain actions will help get more views, connections, and messages), while the content one shares is now given a prominent counter right next to the number of visits to the user profile. It’s clear that LinkedIn is interested in engaging more actively with the individuals on their platform, not just the companies they represent.
Industry insights have been enhanced, too. LinkedIn Premium members now have access to a slew of new tools that let them look at industry trends, relevant skills, and even pay data for companies they interact with. All this, combined with what a company publishes itself, comes together to form a second story for a brand that people are more interested in interacting with in off hours. It’s the story of working for a brand, or with that brand, as opposed to the story of what work the brand does.
With the new tools LinkedIn gives users to research companies, the brand’s working environment becomes a matter of interest to anyone who interacts with the company’s content. Consider mixing in content about the company’s industry, company philosophies, and accomplishments alongside regular product-oriented material.
Rather than relying heavily on basic link sharing, consider having members of the sales and marketing team write LinkedIn articles that add to ongoing industry conversations. The native content gets a nice bump in visibility from the platform, while the authority a crowd of employees can secure for a brand beyond one’s company page proves invaluable as a marketer continually defines brand narrative.
Overall, LinkedIn’s new look is about encouraging businesses (and users) to put a more human face on shared experiences. After all, it is people who comprise B2B brands’ cultures, tell their stories, and spread the word about the great work they do.
Harper concludes that as new research and features continue to be rolled out over the coming months, there will certainly be more opportunities for professionals to reach out to each other in new ways. But, B2B marketers need to take the spotlight off their products and focus on personality and trust, which have always been the heart of social media in the first place.