Out with the old and in with the new is the mantra for LinkedIn’s latest overhaul, or is it? Perhaps you’re panicking about the changes coming to the worlds biggest online business network but you needn’t be. Most of the tweaks to your profile and newsfeed are purely cosmetic. There is still a few things to be forewarned of though. Looking at the redesigned features to LinkedIn, here are eight you need to know about.
Notifications have been a standard on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter for years and it’s not hard to see why they would be so useful to a LinkedIn user. First of all, you save time by locating all your important interactions on one page. No more trawling through various different sections to find potential leads.
2.Real Time Inbox
You’re probably noticing a recurring them here. The inbox has been updated to a Messenger style real time system. Being able to communicate quickly and effectively on the site itself presents huge opportunities to break the ice properly before getting to the point of Skype calls. It could in some instances eliminate the need for calls completely.
Microsoft’s recent acquisition of LinkedIn has brought with it a streamlined and straightforward interface. The cleaner and simpler system of drop down menus will be welcomed by marketers. Your profile, Network, messages, and as previously mentioned, the new notifications feature are a click away. Compare this with the toil of searching for your contacts by name to message them or scouring your newsfeed to find their updates. The benefits to this new layout are multi-fold to social sellers looking to maximise their time and conversion rates.
4.Changes To The Network Menu
Your network is now neatly sorted into a list which can be set by recent contacts of Surnames. A convenient way to find new contacts and reach out to established ones without needing to search through your old messages or refer to your CRM.
5.Your ‘Me’ Profile Page
How much you depend on the information on your profile page to generate leads will dictate your feelings about this upgrade. Whereas before people could go to your page and see a resume of information from contact details to achievements and employment history. Now, they will see your picture, name, current job title, name of university, current location, and two lines of your bio. A simple click reveals more but you will want to craft the first two sentences of your bio very carefully in order to get the attention of buyers who may just click away.
6.View Who Liked Your Post
Views and likes are the currency of Facebook and an important indicator of what engages and what doesn’t. You now have this option on the new LinkedIn UI. Click on any of your posts to be taken to a feed of all your posts where you can see which of them have the most interactions.
7.Advanced Search Moved To Sales Navigator
While basic search is still a part of the free version of LinkedIn, more advanced features have migrated to the paid Sales Navigator service making this one of the major changes that have happened. You can still search for people by connections, company and location and using Boolean search strings will help further narrow down results
8.Tagging And Saved Searches Removed From Free Accounts.
Another migration that may necessitate paying for Sales Navigator if your lead generation depends greatly on tagging and saved searches.
Free Account Vs Sales Navigator
Social selling is about engaging people with magnetising content and it may be possible to do that without paying for Sales Navigator. But even using techniques like Boolean search could prove frustrating and time consuming due to the limitations placed on the free version of LinkedIn. Alternatively, you could seek advice from seasoned social sellers on how to work around these limitations.
Tailoring Your Social Selling To The New User Interface
Most commentators on the LinkedIn changes have been positive about them. As mentioned above, you now have a streamlined and user friendly layout that should lend itself to a quicker sales funnel than before. It is highly like that Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn will lead to greater monetisation of its features.
LinkedIn is staggering this upgrade across its user base. And if you don’t have the new interface now, you will in the next month or so. If your sales team are using LinkedIn, as part of their Social Selling activities, make sure that they are aware of what changes are coming so that they can make the transition both trouble free and stress free. Leave the stress to reaching their ridiculously high sales quotas!
If you have questions or want to share ideas,please connect with me on LinkedIn, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me on +31 (0)6 5066 3733.
About the author:
Peter Rover is CEO of 2MARK-IT – a global Social Selling training, consultancy and enablement firm.