By Emma Fitzpatrick
It’s been a tough year for banks’ (and all businesses’) organic content on Facebook. Because of that, many are looking to diversify and find new places to reach their audiences. Surprisingly, LinkedIn is proving itself to be a breath of fresh air.
Of course, LinkedIn isn’t a new platform. The company recently turned 15 and celebrated by reaching 575 million members worldwide. But, the levels of engagement are unprecedented.
A LinkedIn spokesperson recently told DigiDay that comments, likes, and shares in 2018 are up 60 percent compared to last year. That echoes other data. An analysis of LinkedIn’s top 100 articles found that shares have quadrupled over the past two years.
LinkedIn is no longer just the place you go when you need a new hire. If your bank focuses on B2B accounts, it’s essential. Fifty-nine percent of marketers generate B2B leads on LinkedIn, compared to 26 percent on other social networks.
But what’s causing this uptick?
Back in June of 2016, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, which jumpstarted LinkedIn’s new direction. Since then, the company has been rolling out seemingly never-ending updates. While you may have lost some features or functionality along the way, it’s important to be aware of what you have gained.
To better navigate LinkedIn, read up on new features you can take advantage of.
LinkedIn’s updated features in 2018.
- Groups – Like Facebook, LinkedIn has been emphasizing groups, which means you can now access groups on the LinkedIn website and app (no more standalone “groups app”). Plus, you can now post multimedia content in groups—and you’ll get a notification if someone replies to you. Groups provide a great place to have targeted discussions with members of your industry.
- Videos – Did you know that until last year you couldn’t add native videos on LinkedIn? But as more content options make their debut on LinkedIn, surprising data has emerged. An AgroPulse content scientist found that views on text-only posts have increased 1,069 percent since the network added video. Don’t write video off just yet, though. It’s still new, and LinkedIn users are notoriously slow to pick up on trends. Instead, be sure to add captions to your video to overcome that hurdle. After uploading a video, click the edit button in the top right and upload a SubRip Subtitle file.
- Messaging – You can now share attachments in a message using LinkedIn’s app, solving a huge headache for recruiters and job hunters. Also, Microsoft added some of its machine learning to enable “smart replies” on LinkedIn—which crafts personalized (but automated) responses. And who ever said LinkedIn isn’t fun? You can also add GIFs, emojis and images to your messages, which may boost your likability. In a Facebook survey, people who used visuals were 1.59 times more likely to say they had “great conversations” compared to those who used text exclusively.
- Ads that generate more leads – LinkedIn has revamped its campaign manager to help you mine new insights, improve personalization and select from all the new ad formats. The most exciting new option is the dynamic ads that allow you to personalize the ad copy using info from users’ profiles. According to LinkedIn metrics, this can double your click-through rate. Carousel ads that display up to 10 pictures have also been shown to boost engagement and clicks. Finally, LinkedIn also added bid-optimization and better lead management to its lead generation forms. As a result, an estimated nine out of 10 customers reduced their cost per lead.
- Better sharing: Generate conversation by highlighting a quote you find in a LinkedIn post and clicking share. Just like that, it’s in your feed. If your followers have a different native language than you, they can now click “See translation” on your post and have it automatically translated. That’s increasingly important as 6 percent of U.S. residents older than five years old speak a language other than English at home.
Emma Fitzpatrick is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and marketer, whose specialties include content marketing, social media marketing and short, snappy writing. Pick her brain at firstname.lastname@example.org.