What do you think about the new LinkedIn?
If you're active on social media, it's important to keep up with the latest news and changes on the various platforms. In January, LinkedIn updated it's desktop layout.
The changes are rolling out gradually and will soon apply to all accounts - if you haven't yet noticed a difference, you soon will.
I've been waiting to write about this until the changes sunk in. Good thing I did - some of the changes didn't go over well with LinkedIn members and were dialed back.
Let's take a look at the new features some have currently and everyone will have soon.
LinkedIn's New Desktop Layout
LinkedIn announced its new desktop layout on January 19, 2017. The main goal of the new layout is to put "conversations and content at the center".
If you've spent much time on LinkedIn lately, you've probably noticed a difference.
One common reaction to the new interface is that it resembles Facebook. LinkedIn originally differentiated itself from other social media sites with its business-to-business focus, and this hasn't changed, however, the interface is now more distinctly social and casual.
Here are some of the specific changes to the layout:
- Updated feed - The biggest change is the new look for the main news feed, which now resembles Facebook. Apparently, people found the old style too cumbersome and not very user-friendly. As on Facebook, your news feed shows the posts from connections, and provides the ability to like, comment, or share.
- Universal search box - There's now a universal search box at the top of LinkedIn pages to search for anything, such as people, companies, jobs, or keywords. LinkedIn has also improved its search functionality to deliver more relevant results. And, it now takes two clicks to get to the Advanced Search function.
- Real-time messaging - It's now possible to exchange messages with connections in real-time.
- More targeted recommendations - LinkedIn says it now provides more relevant suggestions for jobs, new connections, and ads. There are also more detailed recommendations to strengthen your profile, such as by suggesting skills employers are searching for.
- Simplified navigation - The front page of LinkedIn is now consolidated into seven main areas: Home (Your Feed), Search, Jobs, Messaging, Notifications, My Network, and Me (profile and settings).
- See who's viewing your content - It's now easier for free members to find out who's checking out your content (premium members always had this ability).
Getting the Most From the New Layout
While the new update introduces many changes, what's most obvious is the look of the feed.
LinkedIn says the change is aligned with the presentation in their mobile app, but as noted, many have pointed out the similarities with Facebook. On the surface, this might seem like a questionable change, one that takes away from LinkedIn's uniqueness, however, the fact is that Facebook now defines users' expectations on social media. LinkedIn has retained its business orientation.
While the feed may look a little more like Facebook, the posts are still geared to professionals rather than the random pet photos, memes, and images of what we're eating, typical on The Social Netwotk.
So how do you use the new LinkedIn layout to best effect?
- Engage more with your connections - Until now, many felt interacting with their connections on LinkedIn was rather confusing. Now it's easy to like, comment on and share posts, as it is on Facebook. Take advantage of this to reach more people. When you support others' content, people are likely to return the favor.
- Add more posts and articles - Just as it's easier for you to see others' content, they can also see yours. This means posting regularly on LinkedIn is more beneficial than ever before. In addition to posting to your timeline, post longer articles for greater exposure - simply click on the 'Write an Article' tab.
- Update your profile - Stronger profiles get more views. Take a look at LinkedIn's recommendations and optimize your profile. Adding skills is especially important for attracting potential employers or clients.
The new LinkedIn layout provides the perfect opportunity to revisit your social media marketing strategy - more specifically, if you haven't been using LinkedIn to your best advantage, it's worthwhile to update your profile and get more active on this revamped social site.
With a simpler and more user-friendly interface, LinkedIn is likely to see more activity, making it an even more valuable resource for making and strengthening your business connections.
This post originally appeared on The Fried Side blog.