The ‘Facebookisation’ of LinkedIn continues … are you taking advantage of the opportunity?

If you haven’t checked out LinkedIn in a while, I urge you to take a closer look.

Years ago, LinkedIn used to be a pretty stiff and conservative network. I was going to write ‘social’ network, but it was anything but social.

It seemed to me for many years that once someone donned a suit, they lost their personality and ability to engage in public conversation. As I said, stiff and conservative.

Heck, I remember signing up for LinkedIn in 2005. In those early years, if you invited someone to connect with you, they thought you were stalking them!

But things have changed dramatically in recent times, for the better I might add.

Professional community

It’s taken the powers-that-be a long time to adapt fully to the social age, but they finally have.

Conservatism has been kicked to the kerb. This is a good thing for those in the business community keen to build a thought leadership positioning for their personal brand.

LinkedIn has finally become a social ‘beast’, almost to the point where it really does feel like ‘Facebook for suits’ (as it was originally dubbed, but the experience certainly didn’t live up to the tagline).

All that said, I’m a huge advocate for LinkedIn as a cornerstone social network for an individual’s leadership communications efforts.

Let’s be clear, not LinkedIn as in “Oh, I have an account”, but LinkedIn “I have an account and I interact with my network daily, plus I post heaps of original content”.

This latter scenario is when you will give yourself a better chance to build professional visibility, influence and trust.

Obviously, how you interact with your network, engage with individuals and the quality of the content you post – in aggregate – is what is going to count in the long run. But if you do it consistently, with passion and purpose, I think you’ll find LinkedIn will be a solid contributor to your social and content efforts.

What am I seeing?

As someone who is active on LinkedIn (and has clients who are doing likewise), there are a few things I’m seeing that I like:

  • People are posting more interesting stuff than they did years ago.
  • People are interacting in the comments a lot more (probably because the content posted is more interesting).
  • More interactions – likes/comments/shares – leading to increased reach.
  • People can now follow individuals without having to connect with them.
  • Uploading (native) video is a game-changer!

Publishing to LinkedIn’s blogging platform used to generate solid views, but I’m finding now that posting interesting and relevant micro-stories directly to the LinkedIn feed (max. 1300 characters), along with an eye-catching image, is far more effective.

People are less inclined these days to click off the platform to an article on another website, but are obviously happy to scroll through a post on the feed. Thus, sharing links, while still a good strategy, in all likelihood won’t attract as big an audience as publishing a micro-story. Food for thought!

Why is this happening?

I’m not sure we can put it down to any one thing, but more like a series of tweaks that have made a difference i.e. the decision to (finally) allow users to upload a video directly to the feed.

Changes to the LinkedIn algorithm have also been critical. We are now being served up content that potentially we are more interested in.

Therefore if people interact with your content regularly, you’re more likely to have that content served up to them on a more regular basis.

That’s what I have found anyway. What about you?

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G'day, my name's Trevor Young. Subscribe to the PR Warrior blog today and receive regular updates from me on all things PR, social media, content marketing and thought leader branding.

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