Key Changes to LinkedIn in 2014

LinkedIn have recently made a lot changes since I last wrote about LinkedIn, but as a key platform for business professionals and those marketing to other businesses we thought it  was timely to write about the changes.

Here are the key things you need to know:

Changes to company pages

  • The product and services section in Company pages is being retired on April 14.
  • As a result you won’t be able to showcase your YouTube videos on your company pages any more.
  • LinkedIn have introduced Showcase Pages which could be viewed as an alternative to the soon to be defunct products and services page. Introduced in November 2013, Showcase pages enables companies to showcase various products and services.
    • It’s a good feature for companies that have multiple products or those that offer lots of different and unrelated services.
    • Bear in mind, you need resources to support it. if you are a smaller business, allocating resources to maintain each showcase page may not be very realistic.
    • Smaller businesses may be better off focusing on building up a following on your company page (unless there is a strategic reason for you do otherwise).
    • It’s probably a good idea from a search engine optimisation point of view.
  • LinkedIn also added analytics support to Company pages in August last year – you can now view social interactions like comments, likes, shares and followers in the analytics section of your company page. You can (and should) use these insights to find out what content really interests your audience. It also helps to make the advertising more accountable because you can measure social interactions.
  • To give your content a boost, you can now sponsor company page updates on LinkedIn (similar to how you can promote Facebook page posts).
    • This is a useful way to amplify your content – particularly since LinkedIn members tend to spend less time in LinkedIn than they do on Facebook.
    • We tested sponsored post ads for a few days on a limited budget. Whilst the experiment was not exactly scientific, we found bidding on a CPM basis was quite high – almost double that of CPC. It’s worth trialling over a longer period.
    • To be really effective on LinkedIn though, you need to have a good support funnel. There are some types of ads – like opt-ins for free stuff that work well. However, if running these sorts of ads, you need a solid sales funnel for back end sales.
    • The costs per clicks of the ads were also significantly more expensive than Facebook.
  • Advertising on LinkedIn is still limited to those tiny little ads in the bottom right of the page.
    • You can can advertise banner ads and text ads but if you go direct to LinkedIn, you need to have a minimum budget of $25K.
    • An alternative to this, is to use the Google Display network. Your ad may show if there is spare inventory.
  • Sponsored job ads also started appearing in users news feeds from September last year (in addition to the right hand side column)

Personal Profile Changes

  • The ability to add certifications to your profile was added in November last year
  • You can now only make status updates on the home page and not on your actual profile page.
  • The ability to write your own posts arrived in feb – we recommend keeping long form content on your website – its the only asset your own.

Other Changes in LinkedIn

  • LinkedIn Today is gone – it has now been replaced with LinkedIn Pulse which delivers information on trending new and topics of interest.
  • LinkedIn Signals has also gone to graveyard. Signals had a few useful features – among them was them was enhanced search functionality like the ability to save searches as well as the ability to filter content and streams of content.
    • Some of these features still exist – they just aren’t part of signals. Plus LinkedIn have updated their search functionality without the need for signals.