You may not be aware of the updates LinkedIn makes to their platform because you don’t get a notification from LinkedIn.
Here is a recap of the LinkedIn platform updates from 2020 you will want to take advantage of as they are designed to improve your profile, help you engage your network and create an overall better user experience.
1. Expanded Profile Headline
The headline field now allows up to 220 characters, up from the previous 158. This can be a real opportunity when used effectively. I recommend you start with a keyword or two that represents your title and follow that with a brand statement expressing results you provide, or what happens because of you. Your goal should be to craft a compelling statement where someone would want to connect and learn more about you.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, corporate leader or job seeker, you want to use the headline to effectively attract the people that you ideally want to connect with.
Now because you have 220 characters doesn’t mean you should use all of them. I’ve seen too many people dump everything they do in a headline and the result of that is that the visitor to your profile will simply be confused. Please focus on what you primarily want to be known for and your #1 income generating service.
2. Featured Section
Early in 2020 LinkedIn added a new section they call the ‘Featured Section’ which I wrote in detail about in a blog post. The goal is to provide a place to feature your best work. This section falls directly below your ‘About’ section and is positioned to attract attention with it’s large and prominent space for images.
For business owners and entrepreneurs, you could add a link to a landing page. For Business owners, you could add a video clip showcasing what your company provides or simply a link to your website. For employees, highlight what your role is inside your company ad for job seekers, add your resume and I always encourage a video clip of who you are. You have the ability to add images, video links, documents and other links.
3. Open to Hiring or a New Job
Directly under the title and headline, you can click the ‘Open to’ dropdown letting your network know you are hiring or looking for a new job.
If you click hiring, you are taken to your company page where you can post your job listing. If you click on ‘Finding a job’ you are taken to the job preferences page.
4. Add Pronunciation of Your Name To Your Profile
You can record how to pronounce your name and display it on your LinkedIn profile for others to listen to. According to LinkedIn, this will help LinkedIn members to correctly address you when they speak to you. If you are working with people globally, I do find the pronunciation particularly helpful.
I might suggest you the 10 second recording time you might include your tagline, a few words about the work you do or what you solve. I have done this on my own profile.
Note: You currently can’t record or edit your name pronunciation on the LinkedIn desktop site. It can only be done on the LinkedIn iOS/Android mobile app.
To delete your name pronunciation on your profile:
- Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
- Click View profile.
- Click the Edit icon in your introduction card.
- Click the Delete icon next to your Name pronunciation
- In the confirmation pop-up window, click Delete.
5. Open to Work
In June, LinkedIn added a photo frame you could add to your profile picture letting people know you were available to work.
The idea was to signal people within your network letting them know you are looking for work because it is more likely your next job will come from people you know that you are connected to.
By turning on this feature it automatically adds the frame to your picture.
LinkedIn instructions to turn on the new feature:
- Go to your profile and under your picture click: “Show recruiters you’re open to work”
- Fill in your job preferences such as location and job type
- Click the “choose who sees that you’re open” to select if you want to keep this to recruiters, or if you want to add a badge to your profile that everyone can see
After you turn on the feature, you can create a post using #opentowork so you can reach even more people on LinkedIn to help you find your next role. If you’re looking for a job, check out these 6 Tips on Using LinkedIn to Find a Job.
6. Polls & Events
Engagement of your network is paramount to gaining visibility and positioning your authority in your niche. LinkedIn added these two features to help you do just that.
Creating a poll to learn more about your audience or industry can provide some great intel. You can set the number of days you want your poll to run and collect the data from which can offer unique insight into your network. It’s far from perfect, but I encourage you to give it a try.
With the vast number of online events that were held in 2020, using the events feature to gain visibility for the event was a great plan. You have the flexibility of making your event public or private where you would send individual invitations to your network.
To learn step by step how to create a poll and an event, refer to my blog post: Leveraging Polls and Events
7. New Post Reactions
In addition to the like or ‘thumbs up’ symbol LinkedIn offers a symbol for celebrate, support, love, insightful and curious. Hover over the Like and all the reaction symbols pop-up.
I have been using the support and celebrate reactions. Remember comments hold more weight than any reaction, but to really make an impact for the post, I encourage you to do both!
8. Manage Messages
From your mobile device, you have the ability to manage the messages you receive from LinkedIn members. You will notice in the image below, you have the ability to manage your conversations, set a group conversation, sort your message inbox, select messages only from recruiters and if you are a premium LinkedIn subscriber you now can set up an ‘Away Message’ letting your network know when you are out of the office.
9. Schedule a Video Meeting in a Message
2020 brought about the universal use of video meetings. Now you have the ability to schedule a video meeting inside the messenger feature. Look for the camera icon at the bottom of the message box
Select a provider you want to use, I have chosen Zoom because I have a Zoom account. Create either an instant meeting link or schedule a future meeting. Then your connection has the meeting link inside the message box where they have already been communicating with you!
Available on desktop and mobile!
10. Company Page Update
If you have a LinkedIn then these updates are of importance to you!
– You can now invite your connections to follow your company page.
The reason to do this is to expand the reach of your messaging. Now it is likely you have a bigger reach from your personal profile, but posting company-specific announcements is an ideal way to expand overall brand reach.
– Download analytics of your company page followers.
Company page admins now have access to the data of your page followers. As with most data, it allows you to make better decisions based on what you learn.
– Create an event from your company page.
You can increase your reach when posting an event from both your company page and personal profile.
For a step by step description read my article: 4 new company page features
11. LinkedIn Stories Launched in 2020
LinkedIn wants in on the popularity of sharing stories. Their twist to this popular social media post is to “share what’s happening in your professional life.” If you are an Instagram or Facebook user you will understand the concept of stories.
I wrote an entire step by step article on how to create stories, check it out here.
12. Dwell Time – An Algorithm Update
What the heck is that you ask?
When I asked individuals in my network if they were familiar with ‘dwell time’ the only ones that seemed to know about it were my LinkedIn colleagues.
Unless you’re a real Google geek, you probably don’t know much about their algorithm either.
To understand dwell time and how it relates to you, first you need to understand it’s all about content. LinkedIn wants to show the most interesting posts in their newsfeed, but the only way for the machine learning to know what that is starts with the engagement of likes, reactions and comments. (By the way, comments have the most weight or relevance).
Okay, so back to the dwelling part… LinkedIn engineers concluded that the more time we spend on a post, the higher the probability of us leaving that comment or a like.
LinkedIn users tend to spend more time viewing the updates they decide to click on so knowing that, LinkedIn has built dwell time into its feed algorithm to increase the likelihood of users seeing posts they’ll actually engage with.
BOTTOM LINE… you have to write posts that not only capture peoples’ attention, but hold it for an extended period of time. LinkedIn believes the quality of the content in the newsfeed then improves.
13. Publish a Newsletter
This can be a real game changer for many individuals looking to get in front of their ideal audience.
If you already publish a newsletter, this is a great opportunity to repurpose that into LinkedIn and pick-up new subscribers.
LinkedIn describes their newsletter (formerly series) is a set of regularly published articles on LinkedIn, typically about a specific topic. You can subscribe to a newsletter to receive push, in-app and email notifications whenever the author publishes a new article in the newsletter.
As of late 2020, LinkedIn remains in the process of slowly rolling out the ability to create newsletters to members globally, all LinkedIn members can discover, read, and share LinkedIn newsletters. To see if you have access to create a newsletter, click Write an article at the top of the homepage. This takes you to the publishing tool. If you have access, you’ll see the Create a newsletter option here.
A LinkedIn member can Follow OR Subscribe to your newsletter.
Follow – If a member follows a person or company, they’ll receive some notifications about that person or company’s content but they won’t automatically be subscribed to that author’s newsletter.
Subscribe – If a member subscribes to a newsletter, they’ll always be notified about each article that is published in that newsletter but they won’t necessarily be a follower of the newsletter author’s other content.
To view which newsletters you have subscribed to, simply;
- Click the My Network icon at the top of your homepage.
- Under Manage my network in the left rail, click on Newsletters.
- You can view and manage the list of newsletters you’re subscribed to from here.
It appears LinkedIn has accelerated the release of new features in 2020. It makes sense because more professionals turned to LinkedIn in 2020 than ever before. Obviously, the vast number of unemployed turned to LinkedIn, but I also found that business owners, entrepreneurs, as well as corporate leaders spent more time building and cultivating their networks.
If 2021 proceeds with people still working from home, I believe you will continue to see huge numbers of people utilizing LinkedIn.
To receive the latest updates on LinkedIn features along with strategies to build increase engagement and build influence, grab this guide on the 7 Ways to Transform Your LinkedIn Network.