Episode 71 of Landscape Digital Show reveals what the LinkedIn native video rollout will do for social selling and how to get your business ready for it.

LinkedIn Native Video: Social Selling Comes Alive

Earlier this year LinkedIn made a number of updates to their platform that signaled a more relaxed environment for its users.

The most notable change is the newsfeed is now prominently displayed on the home page, making content (not contacts) central to the LinkedIn experience. Content updates boast bigger photos and video that occupy the full-screen width on mobile, with comment and share buttons more visible too.

All of this is clearly designed to position LinkedIn more like Facebook, it’s splashier social counterpart and not the “old man” of social media.

It’s apparently creating confusion about LinkedIn’s identity and how we should now be using it. For instance, LinkedIn started as the business networking platform, but now it prompts you to wish your connections a Happy Birthday, an activity that many believe belongs to Facebook.

Astute social media marketers are taking notice of the conversations growing on LinkedIn and considering a reallocation of resources to take advantage. You should too because, in addition to what we’ve seen thus far this year, the current rollout of native video is sure to shake-up how we accomplish our objectives with LinkedIn.

Native video is video that is created on social networks and played in-feed, as opposed to links to videos hosted on other sites.

Native Video Promises to Personalize LinkedIn

As of this writing, it is reported that only 500 people have the LinkedIn native video capability, and that is currently only possible using the LinkedIn mobile app. By limiting it to mobile, LinkedIn may be telling us that it is interested in what’s going on out and about with our lives, not just from behind the desk.

Native video is going to give you the chance to share more of your personality and the enthusiasm and energy you bring to your work. This means you should be thinking about how video can help bring out your best qualities as a person first and a business second.

LinkedIn’s co-founder, Reid Hoffman, has said that no business has ever given you any business.

It’s always a person within a business that helps you to accomplish your objectives. That’s probably a good stance to take with native video.

Social selling is being a person first, not a business.

It’s easy to imagine that if little things like birthday notices create turbulence for some LinkedIn users, then native video will be a disruptor, especially when you consider that what follows it is sure to be live video.

That will no doubt be the game changer, but before we go there let’s get ready for native video.

How to Get Ready for LinkedIn Native Video

One of the first steps for being ready for native video is getting your LinkedIn profile in order so that it is congruent with the persona that you intend to amplify with it. Depending on its current state, this may be no small effort.

Every LinkedIn profile should incorporate these accepted practices.

1. Choose a headline that accurately identifies your expertise
2. Write everything as a person, in the 1st person
3. Place special emphasis on the first 220 characters of your summary
4. Make your work and volunteer experience come alive with story
5. Upload articles, videos, and other supporting content

Getting your profile right is the foundation for native video, just as it is for all of your other content updates. The trick is to use it to encourage a dialog between you and your connections to hopefully spark new opportunities.

While I have done my share of video, I’ll admit to not having a great deal of experience with doing it live, which to be honest is how native video feels to me.

The raw qualities native and live video make it best suited for live events and unique venues that bring a slice of your business activities to your LinkedIn audience in an interesting way.

Your LinkedIn native video readiness should consider the following.

• Locations
• Topics
• Structure and Format
• Goals
• Equipment

To do mobile video right you will need a mobile device with a good camera and an external mic to best manage the audio quality. The Rode smartLav+ lavaliere microphone is one that my tech savvy friends recommend.

As with anything else, the early adopters will get the most bang out of this before it goes mainstream. You can be part of that first wave if you start planning now, and of course, if you are one of the lucky ones to be among the first to get this feature.

You’ll know that when you have a video icon in your mobile app for making post updates. We’re told it will start showing up in the desktop version sometime after that.

If you follow the practices suggested here, you will be fully prepared to make the most of it.

Call to Action

The call to action for this episode is to be prepared for using LinkedIn native video when it arrives to get serious about enhancing your social selling interactions and outcomes.

Once you master native video you’ll be a pro with live video.