LinkedIn’s Recent Makeover Further Enhances Use for Businesses

It is no secret that the majority of businesses are seeking ways to market their brand via Facebook and Twitter, with each site becoming an integral aspect of their marketing strategy, whether it’s to attract future leads or to build relationships and target an audience.

Due to their irrefutable success and constant growth, both Facebook and Twitter have undergone a slew of updates and redesigns. From Timeline to cover photos, these changes are certainly for the better, both in terms of business and individual use.

Meanwhile LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals, has quietly unveiled a comprehensive facelift over the course of the past few months. The new-and-improved LinkedIn homepage, individual profile pages and, more importantly, company pages provide plenty of incentive to log on and connect.

Image courtesy of Simply Zesty

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But do small businesses ignore LinkedIn and instead opt for and focus the majority of their social media efforts on Facebook and Twitter? Recent statistics suggest that LinkedIn is barely on their radar. Here’s why that may change.


A quick look at the numbers

According to the Pew Research Center, as of August:

  • 12% of online adults say they use Pinterest
  • 12% say they use Instagram
  • 66% use Facebook
  • 20% use LinkedIn
  • 16% use Twitter

Marketing software company VerticalResponse surveyed nearly 500 small businesses and found that 66 percent are spending more time on social media than they were one year ago. Ninety percent of small businesses are on Facebook, while 70 percent use Twitter.

Merely four percent of the small businesses included in the study posted to LinkedIn several times per day, while 27 percent posted once/few times per month. Fifty percent simply do not use LinkedIn.


LinkedIn’s Company Pages

In September, LinkedIn announced the redesign of its Company Pages, rolling out the new feature to companies like Citi, Expedia and American Express, as shown above.

Like many of LinkedIn’s recent changes, Company Pages focus heavily on their visual appeal, with a Facebook and Twitter-like cover photo spanning the top of the page. This is a huge step in the right direction in terms of branding and establishing an image that represents a particular company to its fullest.

An updates section makes it extremely easy for companies to prominently share relevant and important information, including news releases, video, photos, blog posts, etc. The updates also feature job openings and new hires.

Through Career Pages, LinkedIn allows businesses to further showcase their brands—creating a more personal touch for job seekers. For instance, on LinkedIn’s company Career Page, you can connect with those who work for LinkedIn, browse job openings and get an overall feel of what it’s like to work at LinkedIn.

Meanwhile, through a Products tab, companies can highlight their expertise in a variety of areas and thus promote their business.

According to Craig Kilgore, inbound marketing manager at Mainstreethost, LinkedIn’s previous company pages were “cookie-cutter type pages” that allowed companies to merely upload a logo. Now there’s plenty businesses can do via Company Pages on LinkedIn now.

What’s more, users can follow businesses that they’re interested in—meaning news and updates will appear on their homepage “timeline.” Much like Facebook, users can comment, like or share these updates with your network as well.

According to a study by social media scientist Dan Zarrella, there is a strong correlation between social shares and links. Although LinkedIn is far behind Facebook and Twitter in terms of sharing content, “it is still incredibly important for marketers also interested in SEO performance,” Zarrella said.

Simply put, LinkedIn provides businesses with a more organized platform to display their brand, build relationships with fans and followers, and share pertinent information. At the end of the day, LinkedIn makes it more about connecting and personally reaching out to customers, potential employees and others in your respective field than just sharing info.


Endorsement button

Want to build some clout in your respective field? LinkedIn’s endorsement feature is a step in the right direction. People from within your network can endorse you based on the number of skills you claim on your profile page.

Image courtesy of LinkedIn Blog

This is especially useful for business owners and executives alike. Others throughout their industry can recommend them publicly through this channel. If your profile boasts a number of endorsements from “thought leaders”, executives and CEOs, you’re likely going to have a leg up on the competition, both professionally and career-wise.


New LinkedIn Profile, homepage

The wholesale changes would not be complete without redesigned profile pages for all members. While the updates are slowly being doled out over the course of the next month or so, LinkedIn unveiled the new look on its blog page. According to the blog, the new profile makes it easier to “tell your professional story, discover people and opportunities and engage with your network.” Instead of just copying and pasting your resume, the profile page is much more detailed, including recent activity, skills and expertise, background experience, etc.

A large profile image puts an even greater emphasis on making a strong first impression for potential employers or colleagues. The activity section, meanwhile, makes it simpler and more ideal to share and discuss relevant content.

Request an invitation to the new Linkedin Profile here.

The new and improved profile pages coupled with the seamless homepage will only attract LinkedIn users back to the site more often and for longer periods of time. The homepage organizes relevant content shared by users in your network as well as the thought leaders and companies you follow. It’s quite the mix between Facebook, Twitter and Google+, but perhaps a bit more targeted.

“LinkedIn Today,” daily news tailored specifically to your liking, is also a great way to find out what’s trending in your related field. For businesses owners, this is a great way to discuss interesting material relative to your field and learn from other thought leaders in your industry.


Gain some traction on LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s new changes will only make the site a more visually appealing and useful destination for users. While small businesses should undoubtedly flock to sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, there’s also plenty of untapped potential on LinkedIn.

Businesses should frequently update their status on LinkedIn, share budding trends and news stories, leave comments and partake in various discussions. Lend a helping hand and give endorsements to fellow experts in your field as well, and be sure to connect with fellow professionals and relevant industries and businesses.

LinkedIn’s flurry of new and awesome features in the last couple of months has benefited both professionals and businesses alike. Have you noticed these new features? If so, what do you think of them and how do you think they will make using the site a more gratifying experience in the long run?

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