What’s New in LinkedIn & Why Companies Should Care

LinkedIn is one of my favorite networks because, so far, it’s generally stayed true to its audience. It’s meant to be a professional site, not a Facebook, not a Twitter. But the head honchos know that borrowing ideas from those two networks and other social media sites can be a good thing. Staying true to its audience is especially important because LinkedIn is a valuable tool for B2B marketers, and it needs to stay that way.

Here are some of the most recent LinkedIn updates to help companies thrive on the site:

Company Page Analytics

Sample reach & engagement analytics chart from LinkedIn

Sample reach & engagement analytics chart from LinkedIn

LinkedIn has been consistently working to offer companies more features to improve their presence and engage with the site’s members. The new LinkedIn analytics updates allow you to:

  • Identify the company status updates you post that drive the greatest engagement
  • Filter engagement trends by type and time period
  • Get more detailed demographic data about your followers
  • See the growth of your follower base and benchmark it against similar brands

What does all this mean? It means you can tell what efforts of yours are working and which ones are not. Find out if there are better times to post and what types of information are a hit with your audience. You can see who’s more engaged and get an idea of who to try and target more effectively, possibly by choosing to use Sponsored Updates—another new feature.

Sponsored Updates

LinkedIn Sponsored Updates screenshot

Screenshot of actual LinkedIn Sponsored Update. Note the 104 likes.

As of July 30, 2013, Sponsored Updates became available to all LinkedIn advertisers and Company Page administrators. Basically, this is a status update that you promote on a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) basis, with an advertising budget of any size.

It’s completely self-serve and a multiplatform feature, meaning it will be shown in users’ LinkedIn feed on computers, smartphones, and tablets—not just desktop only. You can select how you want to target your audience (by location, industry, job function, etc.) and reach professionals in up to 20 languages across more than 200 countries and territories.

This feature gives you a targeted way to start and build relationships with people and companies, beyond just those who follow you.

A Smarter Way to Search

LinkedIn Search Tool Step 1 ScreenshotSearch has also been upgraded within LinkedIn, and their advanced search options were already pretty good to begin with. Now, searching straight from the standard search box has gotten better.

If you’re a LinkedIn member already, you probably got an email inviting you to tour the new feature. Do so. When you search, the results show you matches for your search in the most relevant order, personalized for you. They even add in related results you might be interested in. You can then filter results by clicking on categories in the left sidebar.

I imagine some of this personalized filtering might be a bit bumpy at first, but this will be something LinkedIn will refine consistently down the road.

LinkedIn Search Tool Step 3 screenshot

Brand New: University Pages

University pages were just released this week, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about them. So, if you work for a university, read up on LinkedIn’s blog and discover the new ways you can reach potential students. Prospective (and current) students can:

  • Read your updates, ask questions and engage with the campus community and alumni
  • Check out the careers of notable alumni from your university
  • View sample paths from majors to careers, using real-life examples

This new feature also has benefits for companies around the world. Potential talent will now be joining LinkedIn at an earlier age and will most likely start following companies they’re interested in starting a career with someday.

Take Advantage of These Tools

If you’re not sure how to use these tools, check out LinkedIn’s extensive “best practices” section or ask us for help. We offer LinkedIn training and consultation as part of our services.

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