While LinkedIn was once considered the ‘clunkiest’ of the social networking platforms, it’s recently become much more engaging and user-friendly.
For professionals seeking new opportunities LinkedIn is a great platform to network and follow like-minded peers, as well as access industry-specific news, updates and advancements.
But what has been driving the boost in engagement on the social networking platform for professionals?
When Microsoft purchased LinkedIn for $26 billion in 2016, the tech world was left scratching their heads.
LinkedIn, known as a good place to leave your resume static, had previously lost millions year-on-year, particularly in comparison with the huge growth of social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
But since the Microsoft acquisition, it’s gradually become a better social network for business people – with less spam and more user-friendly mobile and desktop apps.
It also offers some great new lead generation and targeting tools for marketers looking to connect with other businesses in their field, in addition to video features and the ability to ‘follow’ recent posts of others, making it akin to the professional version of Facebook.
There’s no doubt about it, for businesses of any size, LinkedIn is now your first port of call as a social networking site.
Unlike Facebook and Instagram, which have a more casual (and personal) approach, LinkedIn has maintained its professional position.
Even if you’re not looking to market to other businesses – if you just want to stay in the loop with hiring, and developments for specific companies – LinkedIn is your go-to social media platform.
Steve Pritchard, HR consultant for Cuuver, said LinkedIn overhauled its user interface at the start of last year, which included the introduction of a number of new features that helped make the platform more engaging.
“One of the key changes was improving the way that content was organised on the homepage feed, meaning users were seeing more relevant content that they were more likely to enjoy and engage with,” he said.
“There was also the addition of a ‘recent activity’ section on profiles – this new feature enables users to see what people have been up to – as well as the new messaging system, which closely resembles the one used by Facebook.
“These together have made it easier for people to meet and converse with new people, making it much more effective for people to use LinkedIn as a networking platform.”
Posts that engage
Paul Di Michiel, career coach at The Career Medic, said for professionals, the benefits of LinkedIn are extensive.
“There are 530 million individuals on LinkedIn and if you are not on it, it’s deemed ‘unusual’ or worse still, ‘out of touch’.”
Aside from the networking, messaging and job search functionalities of the updated LinkedIn, Di Michiel said posts are another great tool for businesses looking to position themselves professionally.
“Anyone can write about any business-related topic and if it creates interest, the writer can build an audience (of followers). Therefore, it’s a great positioning tool for professionals.”
A publishing platform
LinkedIn Australia spokesperson Shiva Kumar said this ability to post on business topics is one of the prime ways engagement is increasing on the social networking site.
“Members are using our platform to publish long form posts… and more than 100,000 articles are published on the platform every week,” he said.
“We recently introduced native video to help our members share content in an engaging way. Video is a popular way that our members consume information, share their perspectives and participate in conversations on LinkedIn.
“All these initiatives have enabled LinkedIn to become the definitive professional publishing and content sharing platform.”
Do you find LinkedIn to be an engaging and valuable social networking platform? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.