December 28, 2020
0 min read
LinkedIn 2021: What you should use to level up your business communication
by Hanna Koval
LinkedIn 2021
LinkedIn is growing at a rapid pace with over 660 million members in more than 200 countries all over the world. To boost engagement further, the platform has introduced a number of new features, and let’s be honest, they can be a game-changer when it comes to building your company’s business profile.
P.S. We’ve also got some LinkedIn trends for the desserts, so make sure to read to the end. You won’t regret it.

Introduce your business with new LinkedIn Profile features

There have been some major changes to both personal and business profiles in 2020. You’ve probably noticed LinkedIn is becoming a powerful mix of professional insights and personal experience. That’s exactly what can get your prospects hooked and eager to follow and engage with your profile. Let’s see which of these features you should try out.

Why keeping your business LinkedIn profile active is important.

According to statistics, the number of platform members has increased from 660 million to 772 million in 2020. Your prospects or potential partners are already there and they want to connect via the platform that suits them best. Apart from it, LinkedIn is a perfect place to get in touch with your target audience: 63 million decision-makers and 10 million C-level executives actively use this social channel.
Linkedin members
How do you use this? Simple. The more you give, the more you get. Trust our experience, your comments, likes, shares won’t go by unnoticed. Either it’s live communication or social media people value active listeners. They don’t connect with business, they connect with people within it. By actively participating in a conversation you raise the possibility to connect with the right audience. Live alone the fact that adds up to your professional credibility. Would you connect with someone who’s liked your post 5 years ago and is now reaching out to you for cooperation? That’s right and neither would they.
Listen, interact, ask questions, and give answers.
  • Page and member posting
Did you want a more personal approach to your page? LinkedIn’s got it covered. Now you can post as an individual and as an organization. It works the same way with interaction. You can engage with people from both your personal profile and company page. People like to know who stands behind the content and the conversation, so this could really add to your page reputation. Share your activity, interests, etc., and see how people interact with it. By adding a personal touch you create common ground with your connections and allow them to fall in love with your brand.
  • Pinned posts
This is extremely useful for users who post a large number of LinkedIn updates. Plus, it’s a great way to create a professional portfolio in just one click. This kind of navigation can save a lot of time for page visitors who, at a glance, can find important information about you, your company, or its offers.
Not only does it show you care for your prospects’ comfort, but also allows you to create the sequence of things you want them to know about your business. That “Pin” button is a quick step for you to organize your content.
  • Name pronunciation
Probably some of us had their names mispronounced at least once. We at Respect.Studio work with companies from all over the world, so yeah, we face it a lot. It hasn’t been only once or twice that partners referred to our CEO Iurii as Lurii. But who can blame them, there are so many names to remember, right?
Even though that may not be a deal-breaker, it can be quite embarrassing, especially when you’re approaching new people. Let’s be honest, nobody wants to cause that awkward feeling when connecting with colleagues, partners, or clients. So how can we prevent that? Here is when the name pronunciation feature by LinkedIn comes in handy. Just open a person’s profile and you’ll see an icon right next to their name. Click on it and voila, you’ve got the answer. Not only does this little update help to avoid confusion, but also provides inclusion in professional interactions.

Interact: the new and improved LinkedIn newsfeed

It’s not only your business profile that matters to prospects. What you post, comment on, and share also adds to your credibility. These days LinkedIn drives more traffic to blogs and websites than any other social media channel. When it comes to effectiveness LinkedIn is a number one platform driving 80% percent of all social media B2B leads. Want to get a share of that? Interacting with your audience and talking about what matters to both of you is the key.
Linkedin stats numbers
Source: Kinsta
Let’s be honest you’ve probably been spending a lot more time scrolling through the LinkedIn newsfeed since the redesign was launched. And we absolutely get you here. But it’s not the only change this year. As your potential prospects and partners spend more time online and on social media you also get to use some new functionalities to start conversations with them.
  • Redesign
Like many transformations this year, LinkedIn’s transformation started in September with a focus on a platform redesign.
This is the first visual LinkedIn redesign in 5 years where developers aimed for a more modern look.
LinkedIn infused a warm color palette with foundational blue and green accents to signal action and selection. For a softer user experience, they added more round shapes. The new design has less of that traditional “LinkedIn blue” with emphasis on members and their experience. Now there’s more white space, which makes the app look simpler and sleeker. But wait a minute, LinkedIn announced that it is planning to introduce a dark mode soon. So if you get tired of those blank white spaces, there will be a way out for you.
Just Like Facebook has broadened its audience from students to basically every living person, LinkedIn has grown from an HRs-only channel to a rock-solid B2C and B2B platform. While before users had to adapt to the interface, now they are able to shape it. If you enjoy what you see and use, you’re definitely going to spend more time in the app. Basically, this redesign encourages you and your prospects to dive deeper, get to know you via business profile and content, develop a personal connection.
  • Stories
LinkedIn is a platform for professionals and building professional relationships. But it’s always good to add a bit of personal touch to doing business. With that purpose, LinkedIn introduced Stories, as, according to them, a more human way to share information. We’ve all seen how this small, yet major update changed the game for Instagram and Facebook. LinkedIn Stories allows members to share images and short videos of their professional life. Stories are shared for 24 hours and people can receive private feedback. Viewers can send a story via direct message, starting quick and casual conversations.
Let’s put it this way: are you more likely to scroll your feed to the end or check stories right at the top? That’s how the majority of people go through social media. Those short updates are the quickest route for your connections and followers to keep up with you. In addition, it humanizes your business. 2021 is approaching pretty fast and it’s no longer about Business to Business. It’s about Human to Human. “Nothing personal, it’s business”-approach doesn’t work anymore. Your brand thrives as long as it’s personal (read “relatable”).
  • Invite to follow
We all know that credibility on social media platforms is often connected with the number of followers. Meanwhile, it can be quite hard to engage users to subscribe to your page, especially if you’re a new company launching your brand. For that reason, LinkedIn has empowered users with a useful feature: the Invite to follow. Now you can, not only invite users to your personal network but also invite your connections to follow your page. One more important tip here is that you can only invite a person once, so make your invites count.
Same thing applies to an event invite. It allows you to target specific people with whom your content and themed events resonate the most. Advertising presentations, training, etc. may feel a bit old school in terms of getting people to attend. You know your connections and what can be interesting to them, so why not invite them directly. Sure, your audience may be smaller this way, but it would consist of the right people for your event or even the circle of followers.
  • Polls
This feature has definitely been long awaited by a lot of people. We can agree polls are perfect solutions to engage with your audience, as well as gather some useful insights. It’s worth mentioning that you can add up to four options at the moment, just the right amount for users not to get overloaded with choices.
Want to get your readers’ perspective on things, but feel like questionnaires take too long for you to create and for them to fill out? We totally get it. The poll is a perfect solution in this case. Plus, you can reach out to more people on a social channel than via a newsletter for example.
  • Post Reactions
Keeping up with social media trends, LinkedIn has followed Facebook’s steps by adding post reactions. Not only can you like updates in your feed, but also react to them with different emojis. How often do you see posts that are controversial or contain info that isn’t exactly applicable for like? Now you can react to it in the way that you feel is right.

Engagement: Reaching prospects has never been easier

Even though what you say is a key to generating leads, how you say it is becoming another success factor. As LinkedIn switches to a more personalized approach there’s no need to write endless offer messages. You can easily invite a person for a call, answer with a quick reaction, or send an “away message”. Let’s see how it works.
  • Reactions within Messages
Recently Linkedin informed about an increase in 25% of messages sent since last year. To make it easier for people to communicate and express their emotions, they added new features inside chat messages: reactions and the ability to kick off a video meeting directly in a message thread.
Developers add the ability to switch the conversation from chat to face-to-face using Microsoft Teams, BlueJeans by Verizon, or Zoom directly in the LinkedIn messages.
  • Edit and delete messages
I guess all of us have had that moment when you haven’t finished the sentence, but accidentally taped the “Send” button. Well, it’s not an issue anymore. Now LinkedIn users can edit or delete sent messages. We all make mistakes and sometimes a typo slips out, especially when you have multiple conversations at a time.
  • An away message
Linkedin also prepared some presents for Premium users. If you’re one of them, now you can send an away message.
Away messages are a good way to stay in touch with people who contact you while you’re away from your profile and cannot respond.
A feature like this allows you to keep conversations and connections alive and active even if you’re not able to respond immediately.
  • Invite Limit
Besides providing users with additional features, LinkedIn has also come up with some restrictions to keep your connections safe from spamming. What does it mean? Well, if you send a large number of invites within a short period your account may face restrictions. It works in a similar way if the invites you’ve sent are ignored by the recipient. That’s why it’s so crucial to consult with a LinkedIn leadgen professional before starting any kind of campaign. You definitely don’t want your business profile to test positive for restriction violation.

Closing Thoughts

Although it might seem to be a bit overwhelming, we think that using these features is a great way to build awareness of your brand and build a strong community around it. Of course, there’s no rush to use all these updates at once. You can always test them one day at a time and check what works best for you.
Just make sure you are always present and consistent to gain the trust of your LinkedIn followers.
Want to know which LinkedIn features are the most popular among our team? Check out our Lead Gen Manager Oleksii’s feedback.

What was the most significant change on LinkedIn in 2020?

First of all, I would like to highlight LinkedIn redesign. I’ve been working with this platform for more than 5 years, I’ve seen a lot of changes. But the current LinkedIn redesign stands out the most to me. Even though it may seem as if there’s no additional value in it, it definitely brings up a user-oriented approach.
As for my work experience with LinkedIn, not much has changed, but a few features actually impacted the quality of LinkedIn lead generation. But, I have to warn you, it’s not the same for every profile as updates vary depending on your region.
  • Message editing
I think it’s the most significant and crucial update this year. If you’ve used social media for business purposes you know for sure how important it is to send the right message (sounds simple, but it’s not always like that).
At Respect.Studio customized approach is what we value the most. That’s why every single message is important in communication with prospects. Yet, we all make mistakes, don’t we? Well, now we can edit those within 60 minutes after sending the message (also without reading by a person on the opposite side).
  • List Building + Saving
The first important stage of lead generation is targeting. With that in mind, Sales Navigator is a big part of my work. But as you might know, it doesn’t always perform exactly as we need it. For example, in one search only 5-6 prospects out of 25 are relevant (based on target audience). Now we can mark those who fit our prospect profile and create a separate list. It really helps to save time that you spend on the list building. I believe such updates help list builders (freelancer) a great deal. Another suitable LinkedIn feature is that now you can share saved lists with other people.
  • History of your experience in the same company
Now, you can showcase all your experience within one company, to be precise, you can add a couple of positions. That means that people reviewing your profile could see your growth within this company. It gives a better perspective on your experience at each stage. Previously you had to create a separate segment to show that you had changed your role in the company.
Here is a sample of what I’m talking about.

In your opinion what’s coming next year?

For 2021 I expect LinkedIn to improve the business side of the platform. Hopefully, the next year will be a year of Sales Navigator (and the metal ox year for everyone outside LinkedIn), so we’ll see some positive changes in search results. I believe that LinkedIn developers will work on this part pretty soon and we will be able to provide more suitable prospects for our clients.
The main trend we see here is that Linkedin is transforming into being a social platform with a focus on human connection. The line between professional and personal is not that clear, especially with the current WFH situation. But did we ever need this line anyways?
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