The one thing that remains constant is that social platforms evolve and change. LinkedIn is no different.
There’s been quite a few recent LinkedIn changes where they’ve rolled out a variety of updates, some big and some small, on its desktop and mobile platforms.
I understand that it is be tough to keep up with these continual platform changes, so I have done the work for you, so you can stay focused on your business.
In this article I break down the recent changes to LinkedIn as well as show you how to use them, to make it easier for you to decide which ones will be most relevant and helpful for you and your business.
Breaking Down the Latest LinkedIn Changes
LinkedIn's New Look
You may have noticed that one of the recent changes on LinkedIn is its new look.
It’s LinkedIn’s first major redesign in nearly five years.
According to LinkedIn, the goal of this major redesign is to make their users end experience easier, more inclusive and to put their community front and center. Their goal was to create a simple, modern and intuitive user experience that also made navigation and discovery easier.
The change in the look is subtle, they opted for the use of warm colors, except adding blue and green accents to signal action and selection. They also softened their look by rounding more of the shapes and buttons and increasing whitespace while reducing divider lines and decorative icons.
The new platform experience has been designed to meet accessibility standards that allow for text scaling, bigger touch targets and emphasized contrast for readability.
And for those who prefer it, there is also a dark mode coming soon.
Open to Work on LinkedIn
You may also have noticed that LinkedIn has included a couple of specialized frames you can add to your profile photo – an “Open to Work” frame and a “Hiring” frame.
LinkedIn is trying to help remove the stigma that comes from being unemployed or having been laid off – especially amid the economy downturn caused from COVID-19.
To help their members have an easier time getting hired, they started with their “Open to Work” frame. According to LinkedIn:
“Nearly 2.5 million members have adopted the frame, from airline pilots to data analysts. Early results show members with the Open to Work photo frame are receiving 40% more InMail’s from recruiters and 20% more messages from the LinkedIn community.”
To further help hiring companies and job seekers connect, they also created a “Hiring” profile photo frame. This lets company owners, whether they be a small business or a large company, to add a job directly to their profile.
Job seekers will then be able to see who’s hiring directly in their LinkedIn feed, and apply to relevant jobs.
LinkedIn has shared that the ability to post a job for free will be available to all members globally in the coming months – although the “free” part sounds like it might come to an end at some point in the future.
Changes to LinkedIn Messages
“Behind every opportunity is a private conversation. Professionals are using LinkedIn to connect about opportunities, set up virtual catch ups, and discuss the latest trends and insights in group chats. Over the past five years, we’ve seen messaging between LinkedIn members more than quadruple.”
Start a Video Meeting on LinkedIn
While once you had to leave the platform to move from messaging to an online meeting, LinkedIn has now added the “Start a Meeting” feature. Using this feature, you can start a face to face online chat using Microsoft Teams, BlueJeans by Verizon, or Zoom directly in your LinkedIn messages.
The feature is easy to use. Just click on the video icon next to where you’d type a message.
To use this feature, simply start a new conversation or enter an existing one with a fellow LinkedIn member and click on the video icon located below “Write a message…”.
If you are on a mobile device, it is located beside the “Write a message…” box.
Next you will see a pop-up box where you can choose from the Teams, Zoom or BlueJeans platforms. Sign in when prompted.
You can then grab and share the unique link to start the instant meeting or you can schedule the meeting for later.
Edit and Delete LinkedIn Messages
There is nothing worse than hitting the send button and realizing you have a typo. Especially when dealing with professional or job-related connections.
Thankfully now you can go in and quickly edit that mistake!
You can also delete a message that is irrelevant or messages that include the wrong attachment.
It is important to remember that you can only edit or delete a message within 60 minutes of sending the message and an Edited or Deleted badge is displayed to all participants in the conversation.
Also note that when you delete a message, it is deleted for all participants in the conversation and you can’t retrieve a deleted message.
To edit or delete a message on your desktop, hover over the message until you see a pop-up with “…”. Then simply select Edit or Delete.
On your mobile device press-and-hold or double tap on the message you want to edit or delete to open up the menu and then select the appropriate option.
Other LinkedIn Message Changes
Invite others to join a group chat on LinkedIn
Sometimes, when you are in the middle of a conversation, you want to include or introduce one or more people into the conversation.
LinkedIn has made it easy to do this.
You can now simply invite one or more people to join an existing conversation while ensuring you have control to keep your original conversation history private.
On your desktop, from the existing conversation, go to the top right-hand corner and click “…”. Select “Create group chat”.
Start by typing in the names of your first-degree connections you wish to add. Select the correct person when they pop up, click Add. Once you have added everyone to the group, give your group a name and click next.
This will create a new conversation and your original conversation history will remain private.
Click on the “…” in the conversation to add or remove new people. You can also archive, delete or leave a conversation.
As well as adding new group members manually, you can also turn on the group conversation share link, located at the top of the Add / Remove people box. After you turn on the link you can share it with those you want to join the conversation.
Keep in mind that:
- You can have up to 50 members in a group chat.
- Everyone in the chat is an admin and anyone in the chat can add/remove or edit the conversation name.
- Anyone who joins the chat will be able to see previous messages.
Similarly, you can create a group chat on mobile by tapping the “…” in the top right corner of the app and selecting “Create group chat”.
Manage bulk messages on LinkedIn
Sometimes, you need to clean up your inbox. LinkedIn has made this easier with the ability to manage bulk messages. It allows you to select multiple messages at a time to archive, delete or mark them read/unread all at once.
Click the “…” in the top left corner of the message area, beside the new message icon. Select Manage conversations.
Now you can select the messages you want to bulk manage and then choose to Mark read/unread, Delete, or Archive.
On a mobile device, at the top right-hand corner of the app, tap “…” to open the menu.
Select “Manage conversations” and check the box next to each message you want to manage and chose what action you want to take.
React with Emojis
While I would recommend using emojis with caution on this business platform, LinkedIn has expanded your ability to react in messages with all the standard emojis.
The reason for my caution is that you are having conversations with potential or existing clients, business partners or employers. When conversing with these groups it is advisable to keep your communications professional unless you have a more casual relationship with someone.
But there are times when reacting with an emoji might make sense or add to the conversation.
To react to a message with an emoji on your desktop, simply hover over the message and choose from one of the commonly used emojis shown or click the white and grey smiley face to open up the full menu of emojis available.
On your mobile device press and hold or double tap on any message to open up the menu of options.
You can also change the skin color of your emojis now on your desktop. Simply click the emoji icon under your text box. Then click the selected default emoji located to the right of the emoji Search bar. Now you can pick your skin tone.
Note that while your emoji skin tone preference is automatically saved, it isn’t saved across different browsers and devices and will be reset if you clear your cache.
Changes to posting on LinkedIn
Posting on LinkedIn
As part of the redesign, you may have noticed there has also been an update to posting on LinkedIn, both visually and from a results perspective.
Right away I noticed the change in the posting box. The Documents feature was replaced with a Job feature.
This was a bit alarming, if you read my post on how to exponentially increase your visibility using LinkedIn Documents.
Thankfully, this feature was just moved, not removed. You can now find it after clicking into the posting box beside the add a video icon.
You can easily find it when you start a post on your mobile device in the posting options provided.
There have also been a number of new trends happening to LinkedIn posts.
Tagging people in your posts
First, for those who like to tag others in their posts, they may have been finding their posts deemphasized in the newsfeed if the person/people tagged do not engage with the post. This means that less people rather than more, will see your post in the news feed.
Essentially LinkedIn is trying to decrease the number of people who post, tagging well known or popular people in an effort to get more views. Simply put, don’t tag someone unless it is relevant to them and they will appreciate being tagged in the post and respond to it.
The importance of the first two hours
Speaking of engagement, it seems to be most important in first two hours of posting. So, try to check in and reply to comments as often as possible in the first two hours.
And if you manage to get some good engagement going on your post, wait before posting again or you could lose the traction you have going for that post. It could be that LinkedIn is trying to clean up the newsfeed and remove abundant low-quality posts by rewarding the quality of posts rather than the quantity.
Sharing other people’s posts is seeing all-time low visibility
It appears that currently, LinkedIn is NOT favoring shared posts.
View the views (17,311) and engagement of one of my typical non-shared post on LinkedIn.
Now compare those numbers to what I saw the last time I shared someone else’s post on LinkedIn (379 views).
This doesn’t mean that you should stop sharing posts of your connections when appropriate, just be aware that they will not currently do as well as non-shared posts.
While my personal opinion is that the story feature doesn’t belong on a professional business platform like LinkedIn, if you are going to use it, keep it professional.
“Based on that need to connect, we’ve also added a more human way of sharing by introducing Stories. No, Stories aren’t new in the industry, but we took the time to understand how this format fits in the professional context that defines everything we do and what happens on LinkedIn. Through tests in various regions around the world, we’ve seen members adopt this format to connect more personally and less formally with their peers and friends. In the COVID world, LinkedIn Stories are letting people replace those essential water cooler moments.”
With that in mind, look to share professional information that you might with colleagues “at the water cooler.”
Keep in mind that you can only post a Story from the LinkedIn mobile app (you must be using the most recent version of the app) and that the story will only be visible for 24 hours.
Make the most of LinkedIn’s recent changes
While not all or even most of the changes are game changers, there are several which I have already begun to integrate into my daily LinkedIn routine. Many of the changes to messages in particular I have found most beneficial.
Familiarize yourself with each of LinkedIn’s changes and play around with them to determine which will be most helpful for you are your LinkedIn routine.
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