How You Can Get The Most Out of LinkedIn's New Features

LinkedIn is Evolving. How You Can Get The Most Out of LinkedIn’s New Features

Recently LinkedIn got the major redesign. Let’s look into LinkedIn’s New Features.

LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that connects the world’s professionals. With more than 450 million members, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet. The LinkedIn community includes specialists with different levels of experience and career ambitions, from University graduates to executives from every Fortune 500 company. The LinkedIn company was founded in 2003, and has a diversified business model providing Talent Solutions, Marketing Solutions, and Premium Subscriptions products.

LinkedIn claims its mission as:

Connecting the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.

In spring 2015 LinkedIn bought Lynda.com – online education portal, that helps anyone learn business, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals.

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In 2016 LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft. There were many strategic reasons for this buy. Here are some of the most obvious ones:

  1. Integrating LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator tool for sales representatives into Microsoft’s customer-relationship-management tool, Dynamics.
  2. Integrating LinkedIn notifications into Windows and integrating LinkedIn’s identity system into the Office 365 suite so people are able to see and use LinkedIn information in their workflow.
  3. Developing a “business news desk” across MSN to extend the reach of sponsored content – presumably allowing MSN advertisers to buy space on LinkedIn.

Microsoft sets a list of goals for its integration with LinkedIn and this photo goes around all news and media platforms. (Photo credit microsoft.com)

LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft

Here’s a full email on acquisition, sent to employees of LinkedIn by Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft.

Satya Nadella email to employees on acquisition of LinkedIn

In January 2017 LinkedIn’s website gets its biggest redesign since it was founded nearly 15 years ago. Some online influencers say it became to look a lot like Facebook, others say that now it is more clear and user-friendly. This is what LinkedIn shared with the readers of its blog on January 19, 2017.

In addition to the interface update, LinkedIn introduced other new features designed to help users attract customers, generate leads, build your personal brand and professional reputation or find a new job.

We will walk you through 10 enhancements we think you’ll enjoy most. After reading this article, you will know how you can get the most out of LinkedIn’s new features.

Start with the Basics: Photo, Name & Professional Headline

There is no need to say that you have to use your full real name on Linked In profile. It is also important to have a good profile photo. It helps people connect with you on a deeper more emotional level. To ensure your profile photo has the biggest impact, it must look professional. A good tip is to take a photos when you are facing forward, making virtual “eye contact” with the reader (especially since the new LinkedIn interface displays your profile image and your content as centered and justified). Soon LinkedIn rolls out a new feature – Photo Filters. It will let you to correct the quality of the photo right in the app.

A truly unique and “branded” professional headline will increase the impact of your LinkedIn profile. Write something that will catch attention of the readers and make them remember you.

Do you need advanced tips on how to generate leads with LinkedIn? Read 5 SMART WAYS TO USE LINKEDIN FOR B2B MARKETING

Fill Out Summary section

Make sure you fill out Summary section of your LinkedIn profile. Choose what information is most important and place it at the top of the summary. When someone is looking at your profile, the About Section will be collapsed. Only the top two lines will be visible. Write there something that will trigger people to open About Me section and read further. Or it can be your contact details: telephone, website, etc.

Settings & Privacy on your Account

Go to Settings & Privacy on your Account. Review the selections you have made. There might be new fields since the time you have visited for the last time. Disable feature “people also viewed.”

By default, your LinkedIn profile has a section that displays similar profiles. This list often contains profiles of your competitors, employees and customers. I can’t see the value in it for you. You are just introducing your viewer to more people. This only distracts the visitor of your profile, and offers him an option to go to the profile of your competitor. Disable this feature and keep your visitors focused.

Tip: 20 MOST EFFECTIVE TACTICS FOR GETTING FOLLOWERS ON EVERY SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL

Be Aware of Your Groups

Be Aware of Your Groups & Following (News & Companies). You’ve always had the chance to hide specific Groups that you are a member of from displaying on your profile, but now LinkedIn has added those news categories that you follow on LinkedIn Today as well as any Companies that you follow to your profile. Ensure that you are comfortable with the images that are appearing and make changes if you feel they might take away from your branding.

Customize Invite

With the invite feature at LinkedIn you can grow your network. At his presentation a the Day of Freelancer event, the Country Manager of Benelux Marcel Molenaar stressed out the importance of a Customized Invite.

“One of the biggest mistakes I still see people making on LinkedIn is not taking the time to send a personalized invitation. Just using the generic “I’d like to add you to my professional network” LinkedIn invites is very ineffective, and can be used only in cases when you are connecting with someone while having a conversation person!”- said Marcel Molenaar.

Marcel Molenaar speaking about LinkedIn's New Features

So when you send an invite always mention, where you know that person from and try adding some personal details.

One of the new useful features of LinkedIn’s new redesign is the ability to include a URL in the invitations. You can add a link to your website, event or any landing page you want a prospect to visit. Always add text explaining what is in the link so your message does not look like spam.

Use Publishing Tools

LinkedIn has taken huge steps to become an original content platform. So you should consider LinkedIn as another platform to publish your content, articles and tutorials. Anything what can be of interest to your potential clients and bring value to them.

Use it to post articles, share all your blogs and drive connections and followers back to other platforms. Your followers will get an update that you have published a post, so they can go and read it right away.

Encourage Your Employees Post Content

Let the employees post the content on your company’s profile, which in turn will allow you to reach more people. The more informative content you publish the more people you will reach. This will also make your employees feel as if they are an important part of the company.

Use Sponsored Updates

If you have a great content to share with people you can use Sponsored Updates. Choose to pay per 1000 impressions or per click. Then, select your targeting options. You can even target by industry, job function, company size, job title, and skill. This is an excellent way to reach people in your industry when you want to make sure that your information reaches not only your contacts and followers but also people outside of your network.

Explore LinkedIn Advertising Options

LinkedIn’s new account-targeting option lets businesses upload lists of companies they do business with or want to do business with, and LinkedIn will cross-reference those lists with its own list of more than eight million company pages and show ads to its users who work for those companies.

Adjust to the Changes In LinkedIn Search In Free Edition

Previously we had 7 types of Searches: People, Jobs, Companies, Groups, Universities, Posts and Inbox. “Inbox” was eliminated, but the other six remain. You can search your messages in your message center now.

We used to have these filters: Keywords, Title, Relationship, First name, Last Name, Location, Current Company, Past Company, Industry, School, Location, Profile, Language, Non Profit Interests

With the new search, aside from whatever your original search term was, all of your filters are applied after you hit “search”.

This is how the new search looks like.

LinkedIn New Features Search

“Relationship” is now “Connections” as you now can only choose among 1st, 2nd and 3rd. No fellow group members.

“Groups” was part of the “Relationship” filter along with 1st, 2nd and 3rd level connections. The Relationship filter is now the “Connections” filter and allows filtering by 1st, 2nd and 3rd level connections only.

“Keywords” now includes sub-fields for first name, last name, title, company and school.  The old search had only one field for “Keywords” and another specifically for “Title”.

“Industries” has changed by adding a few new industries: Investment Management, Construction, Outsourcing/Offshoring and Music.

“Location” by zip or postal code, Location by proximity (number of miles or kilometers) is gone.

You should be able to have three Saved Searches. (Some people have reported not seeing Saved Search. It is a Bug that is being fixed by LinkedIN).

Although it is disappointing that some of the old features that we used are cancelled with the recent redesign of LinkedIn, let’s try to see it as new opportunities.

LinkedIn cancels LinkedIn Events. You can plan your events in Eventbrite. Or start using Facebook Events or Google Plus Events more often.

LinkedIn cancels LinkedIn Answers. Time to move on to Quora.

You can also start asking more questions in status updates throughout social media.

As part of the new design, the ability to add Notes, Tags, and Reminders to your connections is no longer available. If you want to download your existing Notes and Tags, you’ll have the option to do so through May 31, 2017. If you are looking for similar functionalities, consider LinkedIn Sales Navigator or Recruiter Lite products that allow you to transfer and view your existing notes and tags.

As you can see, LinkedIn has been adding quite a few new features lately. Use these tips to transform your LinkedIn account to an effective sales tool and leads magnet.

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What Social Media Channels do you use for your business the most? Share with us in the comments.

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