2012 was a whirlwind year for the professional networking website LinkedIn. With changes through 2012 and 2013, LinkedIn has revamped almost every aspect of their service to improve the user experience and meet the needs of its 200 million business users.
Here are the key changes LinkedIn has made this year and what this means for business:
Addition of ‘Recommend’ Button
Although LinkedIn could always be added to company websites in other ways, such as using a ‘share’ button or ‘follow’ button for company pages, LinkedIn have created their most innovative button yet, the ‘recommend’ button. This allows a client on your website to click the button and directly add a recommendation for your company’s services and/or products from the comfort of your website, rather than having to go slightly out of their way to praise your efforts.
Adding the ‘recommend’ button to your company website (like the one above) could improve the amount of recommendations you receive for your products and services, and could also improve your following on LinkedIn as it gives you another opportunity to let people know you are on the networking site.
However, we think few people will click the recommend/. It’s been a challenge getting users to move from recommending individuals to recommending products and services, the entire ‘recommend a company’ could be a button too far.
LinkedIn Events removed
The events function on LinkedIn was useful to see what was on, post your own events and see what others were attending. Clearly there weren’t many people using this function, so like many of the functions in the ‘more ‘area of the LinkedIn toolbar, it has been removed.
Google+ has added events, taking it one stage further so that you can list an event and invite the public or all your circles on one go. It does more; sending invites, asking those invited if they’re attending or not. The Google+ events element encourages engagement where LinkedIn failed. Check out my events here.
Retirement of LinkedIn Answers
Due to “limited engagement” according to a LinkedIn representative, the networking site’s question and answer feature was laid to rest at the end of January 2013. There was much uproar from professionals who claim LinkedIn Answers was a valuable resource and one of the best features of the website.
Not only was the feature useful to those seeking information from trustworthy authorities on topics, it was a also a great tool for displaying knowledge and expertise in your own field of business, something many professionals using LinkedIn found useful for adding credibility to their work and for lead generation as a result of this. LinkedIn however did not feel this was a strong enough argument in favour of keeping the feature and went ahead with the retirement as planned.
If you miss LinkedIn questions, check out Quora
Revamped Design for Company Pages
The LinkedIn company pages underwent a much needed makeover, making them overall more attractive to both the companies who use them and the visitors who view them.
- They are easier to navigate
- The addition of a large ‘header’ image reminiscent of the Facebook and Google+ cover image allows companies to brighten up their page with more imagery.
- There is a sidebar on the right hand side of the page in which products/services are featured, giving more exposure to these which were once hidden away in their own tab.
- You can also feature groups related to your company in the right hand side bar to encourage new joiners.
- And they display all employees on LinkedIn so people can connect further with the company.
Make the most of the changes to LinkedIn company pages by following these 6 steps:
1. Add all services and products your company offers.
2. Include detailed descriptions including your keywords.
3. Ensure the company name is spelled in a consistent format as LinkedIn will recognise ABC Co, ABC Company and A.B.C. Company as three separate businesses.
4. Encourage employees on LinkedIn to link with the page so people can see the people behind the brand as people prefer to connect with people rather than brands and companies.
5. Make the most of the large header image feature by using it to showcase graphics pertaining to your company’s services, products or strengths
6. Refresh the cover image regularly so people returning to the page after being drawn in by an interesting company update have something new to catch their eye.
There are more changes made throughout LinkedIn including changes to the way we view the homepage and personal profiles. What do you think are the best and worst changes LinkedIn have made? And if you could change anything, what would it be? Tell me @annmariehanlon