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How Linkedin is Creating More Personalized and Authentic Professional Networks

Marketing

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“No matter your background, experience, or where you are in your career, the power of community remains consistent in creating opportunity.” — Joann Wu, Sr. Director of Product Design, LinkedIn

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Year-over-year LinkedIn has seen a 50 percent increase in the amount of content shared on its platform. Today, at 706 million members worldwide, the company is taking a hard look at its community and the needs presented by this prescient moment in our industry. Through a redesign and several new features, including its own version of Stories, the platform is eager to help marketers stay informed, connected, and reskill themselves to meet the continued demands of the virtual workforce.

Here’s how LinkedIn is ensuring community remains consistent in creating opportunities and supporting marketers with more ways to bring the human touch to their professional networks.

Personalized and streamlined search experiences

Search is a vital element to the LinkedIn experience and the platform reports it has experienced a 15 percent increase in global searches over the last six months as people browse job opportunities, explore online learning courses, and engage in virtual events.

From adding new filters to organizing search results by criteria including people, jobs, groups, courses, companies, posts, and events, the platform is incorporating more of its functions into search matches for improved discovery and accurate results. In short, a blended search experience. Personalization is also top of mind, catered to displaying results from your connections more often.

Paired with a holistic search experience are several physical redesign changes to the platform including a warmer color palette with blue and green accents and illustrations that showcase people with different abilities, diverse backgrounds and ethnicities, and a wide range of jobs and industries. “Our site redesign comes at a crucial tipping point, as we see record numbers of members turning to the platform to share their stories, get support, and help others,” shared CEO Ryan Roslansky.

Introducing Stories

In the same vein of providing a more human way to connect, LinkedIn also introduced a widely anticipated feature: Stories. Similarly to what we’re accustomed to seeing on other platforms, LinkedIn Stories are full-screen posts including images, video, or text, available for 24 hours, and can be responded to via a private message. To help spark creativity there are two unique features to Linkedin Stories including “Question of the Day” and localized stickers.

“No, Stories aren’t new in the industry, but we took the time to understand how this format fits in the professional context that defines everything we do and what happens on LinkedIn,” stated Roslansky.

During a time where we must rely on platforms and tools like Zoom to stay connected, finding opportunities is a challenge and conveying our personal brand without face-to-face interaction can feel daunting. These more casual ways to learn, inspire, and connect are a nod to the need to humanize work culture and the prioritization of community and conversations in the marketing space. For marketers and brands particularly, they can utilize the Stories feature to share insights on timely breaking news or company announcements, walk through a product demo, recruit employees, or help others master new skills in quick, snackable posts.

Messaging

The amount of private messages sent between LinkedIn members has more than quadrupled over the past five years. Compared to last year alone, the platform saw a 25 percent increase in messages sent.

Beyond making it easier to sift through and edit your InMail messages, LinkedIn is bringing more opportunities for new ways to connect in these intimate spaces. This includes emoji reactions and the ability to switch the conversation from chat to-face-to-face through Microsoft Teams, BlueJeans, or Zoom with the tap of an icon.

A whopping 92 percent of the online population uses emojis daily and in recent months Zoom has become synonymous with virtual meetings boasting more than 300 million daily meeting participants. Whether we feel indifferent about these new mediums of communicating or not, they’re here to stay and undoubtedly ingrained in our modern practices and habits. They’ve shown us ways to express ourselves better, be a genuine support for someone in need, and fill the gap when words simply don’t cut it.

There has never been a more critical time to build instant trust, put a face to your brand, and have personal interactions at scale. By giving marketers a sense of freedom to share their lives and their daily activities more authentically, the human experience of building a brand and establishing a professional network can be shared even during a pandemic.

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