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How LinkedIn is Fueling Virtual Engagement

Marketing

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The platform is launching a native poll feature and combining its LinkedIn Events and Live offerings to better support virtual events.

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One of the biggest adjustments businesses have made as a result of COVID-19 is in the way that they foster community. While in-person events remain on pause and the vast majority of the workforce continues to operate remotely with the exception of essential workers, the binding question becomes how to keep our professional communities engaged.

We are experiencing a fundamental shift in human behavior and technology adoption and leading platforms are taking notice by playing their part in contributing to the solutions that enable us to navigate these unprecedented times.

Doubling Down on Virtual Engagement

LinkedIn, for example, is doubling down on how it can promote virtual engagement through the launch of a new Polls feature for users to canvas opinions and get feedback; and a new “LinkedIn Virtual Events” tool that lets people create and broadcast video events via its platform.

Global pandemic or not, real-time interactions are the heart and soul of relationships, and now more than ever these relationships are critical to long-term success and cutting through the clutter. For this reason, “…We decided to bring you a tighter integration between LinkedIn Events and LinkedIn Live, turning these two products into a new virtual events solution that enables you to stay connected to your communities and meet your customers wherever they are,” Ajay Datta, Head of Product, India at LinkedIn shared in the official blog post.

The Merge: LinkedIn Live and LinkedIn Events

At a high level, the integration helps brands in four core areas: host events in safe, trustworthy online environments, attract the right professional audience, drive buzz, and ensure longevity by keeping the conversation going.

Using LinkedIn Live, opt to live stream your Page followers or Event attendees so you’re able to reach them where they’re already connecting. An added perk? Admins can tap into third-party broadcasting partners such as Restream, Wirecast, Streamyard and Socialive.

To streamline the process of getting the word out, the new update also make its simpler to share your event to your Page followers and tee up direct invites to your first-degree connections. To further drive hype, post an update to your Page or Event feed and share recommending key posts for attendees to peruse.

Finally, when the event is over keep conversation going by archiving your content in the the Video tab — a dedicated hub for a Page’s organic video content that can be accessed by all members of your community.

The big takeaway: with elements like direct invites, companies can cater their virtual events only to those who have chosen to attend, or their page followers, and maintain the related event discussion and any additional content on the one dedicated page When trying to connect intentionally and authentically in an age of social distancing, cohesiveness and personalization will go a long way in growing your audience.

Polls

After it was spotted in testing last month, LinkedIn has now officially launched its new native polls option, providing another way to gather feedback, and boost engagement on the platform.

Here’s a video illustrating the offering:

As depicted, polls can be created with up to four answer options. You can choose to keep your poll live for 24 hours or up to two weeks depending on your specific need. Polls can be shared with your connections or specific groups — the latter, the platform notes, could stand to be particularly useful depending on the quality of engagement and membership.

Two important distinctions to note that separate LInkedIn’s polls from those found in other platforms: Delivering an important ingredient of customization, those who are polled can also include comments and reactions with their responses. Second, you, as the poll creator, can also add a personal touch by writing an accompanying introductory note including hashtags for SEO purposes.

As far as metrics are concerned, you can track results in real-time and assess key insights including the winning option, percentage of votes for each option, and total vote count. “Curious why someone voted in a certain way? Message them from directly within the poll. It’s a great way to get deeper insights and to stay in touch with your connections,” Howie Fung, Product Manager explained in the announcement. This could also shape your segmentation or future targeting strategy.

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