3 New(er) LinkedIn Features You Need to Know About

Posted by Ben Kniffen in LinkedIn Marketing Insights

LinkedIn has been around longer than most people realize - and it’s changed. Some people still think of it as a platform to help people hire employees or to help you find a job. It can do that, sure, but the truth is…

Now more than ever, especially with the new LinkedIn features and updates, it’s a B2B goldmine and it only continues to grow. It’s not just that it has over 600 million users and a goal to reach 3 billion, the real beauty of LinkedIn is that it provides you a way to directly connect with the exact people you want to get in front of.

It’s not just the numbers though. Over the past year, LinkedIn has made some major updates and improvements for content sharing, groups, advertising and more. In fact, it’s ramped up its game so much so that influencers like Gary Vaynerchuk have been pushing LinkedIn precisely because LinkedIn has positioned itself as a major powerhouse for businesses with it’s organic reach.

In this post, we are going to break down what’s new to LinkedIn and how you can start using it to cement your authority, build better relationships and drive sales opportunities for your business.

Target Your Prospects by Interest

If you’re familiar with the LinkedSelling business philosophy, you know that we aren’t out to just “get leads.” We’re here to help businesses get the RIGHT leads. A big part of how we do that is focused on adding value to very targeted prospects in order to become THE go-to authority in your industry and to attract targeted prospects to you.

It all starts with knowing who you want to target, what they are interested in, and what they need and want. Once you know that, you can make yourself relevant to them.

LinkedIn has updated their targeting capabilities for advertising campaigns, allowing you to target your prospects by interest. So, instead of just targeting them using the go-to demographics (like title, company, etc), now you can connect with and grab your ideal prospect’s attention by knowing what they’re actually interested in. This will allow you to supercharge your conversations, build strategic relationships even faster, improve the results of your campaign, and increase the quality of your leads.

There are over 200 interests you can target (you’ll see you can get pretty granular). They are divided into 7 categories:

  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Business and Management
  • Finance and Economy
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Politics and Law
  • Sales and Retail
  • Science and Environment
  • Society and Culture
  • Technology

We have an entire post on the specifics of interest-based targeting on LinkedIn, check it out here.

Recommend Posts to Your Group Members

In the past, LinkedIn groups have had kind of a ghost-town feel where instead of becoming platforms that foster connection, networking, and engagement, they were a den of self-promotion.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, we’ve advocated for LinkedIn groups for years now and we are happy to see that LinkedIn has heard its users and is making strides to improve the group experience.

That’s exactly what LinkedIn stated in its Groups update,

“We've heard from many of you over the past year that boosting engagement and enabling vibrant discussions in your groups is important, so we've prioritized features that support this.”

LinkedIn has now built a team dedicated to groups and has revamped its features almost completely, integrating groups into the full LinkedIn experience, turning it into part of the LinkedIn entree rather than looking at it like a side of forgotten veggies.

Now it’s easier to access LinkedIn Groups from the homepage and group conversations now have increased visibility in the main LinkedIn feed and with notifications.

That is something very important to take note of as LinkedIn Groups used to allow group owners to deliver announcements to all group members. For the time being, group members will now be informed of group updates and conversations via LinkedIn notifications. But as a group owner you have the ability to control which posts are promoted to your members.

LinkedIn explains their reasoning for this, stating they have “seen a significant lift in engagement to Groups coming from notifications and believe that notifications will be an effective way for you to communicate with your members.”

At LinkedSelling, we are very excited about the new group features and believe more than ever that LinkedIn Groups are an amazing tool for any business to leverage the low-hanging fruit on LinkedIn and keep you and your business top-of-mind. Plus, with these new updates, it’s easy for anyone to run a successful LinkedIn group.

Groups are a great tool to have, especially if you want to use them to position yourself as an authority and influencer in your industry (not to mention, it’s a fantastic way to build a very targeted pool of ideal clients that you can tap into at anytime). If you’d like to see how one of our clients has built a large part of his business with LinkedIn groups, check out how he does it here.

Content Engagement

The reason that influencers like Gary Vaynerchuk are turning their attention to LinkedIn is because it has become a content publishing powerhouse, in a position where Facebook used to be before it became too saturated. LinkedIn now reports 24% engagement increase year-over-year. This has been a big focus of theirs and is likely to continue. A lot of that is due to more updates and increased features such as hashtags, tagging people, and video.

Hashtags

People are familiar with hashtags because of how millennials use them in everyday conversation now (#IlovetousehashtagswhenItalk), but they are actually an amazing marketing tool if you use them the right way.

Use them to get content ideas (see what others are writing about or sharing), see what’s trending, and to help you promote your content. To see how we use hashtags and learn more about LinkedIn’s approach to them, here’s a write-up we recently did on this.

Tag Prospects or Connections

On easy feature of Facebook has been that if you want to easily share something with someone you know they’ll like, you can tag them. This sends them a notification directly to the post you tagged them in. In the past year, LinkedIn has added the ability to tag your connections in posts or comments.

Just be aware, don’t just tag everyone...if something is a good fit for a particular client or prospect of yours, don’t overlook it. It’s best to tag people if you already have a relationship with them, or you want their attention on something that you know they’ll appreciate. Do it too much and the people you tag might end up just seeing it like spam.

Video

Video is huge on LinkedIn. Here are some particularly eye-catching stats about video to ensure you don’t overlook LinkedIn in your video marketing:

If you haven’t tried LinkedIn video, now is a great time to start. Don’t know where to start? Here’s another write-up we’ve done about LinkedIn video and what it can mean for your business.

Putting It All Together

Need to put it all together?

It’s true. LinkedIn is an amazing place for businesses to get quality leads and clients, but it only works if you have a strategy that builds momentum. Otherwise all these features, and all the content you’re putting out, and the resources you’re dedicating to LinkedIn… well, they have a high probability of just fizzling out.

If you’d like to learn more about how LinkedIn can work as another tool in your marketing mix, let’s talk. Our team is at the ready to help you find a LinkedIn strategy that will work for you.