LinkedIn users have reason to rejoice.
The world's largest social network for professionals has finally taken a massive step toward fixing its spam-filled news feed, making it far easier for users to control what content they see (and don't see).
As per LinkedIn:
"Your LinkedIn feed is a valuable tool in your arsenal because it's customized based on what you want to see. It's a one-stop shop to consume, create, and share content with your entire professional network. In the feed, you can quickly get up to speed on relevant industry news, while also discovering new trends and opinions from industry leaders on topics that matter to you."
Right now, the new changes are only available on LinkedIn's mobile app, but a completely new desktop design and interface is coming very soon.
What To Expect
"Over the last several months, we've revamped the feed so that, over time, it will become a customized stream of news and fresh perspectives tailored to your specific interests," LinkedIn notes. "For example, pick topics that interest you, follow leaders you want to hear from and tap on publications you like to read. Also, you can unfollow or hide updates from connections that you find less interesting, and we'll do the rest by delivering more of what you like to read."
The New LinkedIn News Feed in Action
I spent several minutes playing with my LinkedIn news feed on my iPhone, and came away impressed.
Within moments, I was able to immediately filter out and remove posts I wasn't interested in. Even better, LinkedIn brought up suggested thought leaders and media outlets that I could choose to follow, sorting them by topic, industry type and so on.
Within 90 seconds, I had a feed filled up with industry-specific news stories and thought leadership pieces by well-known business leaders.
I even got sucked in and started reading posts, then noticed how I could simply tap on a hashtag inside a post to find more stories or posts related to the same topic.
How To Stand Out in the New LinkedIn News Feed
If you want to use your content as currency to buy the time and attention of potential customers on LinkedIn, you need to publish status updates and posts on the platform that offer value and are highly relevant to your target audience.
It's also critical that your posts generate discussion (likes, comments, shares, etc.), as LinkedIn uses these signals to push your posts higher in the news feeds of your connections.
Also, utilizing an eye-catching photo and writing thought-provoking copy goes without saying, along with relevant hashtags to ensure your post gets indexed and sorted properly on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn = Google for Professionals
You have to remember, LinkedIn operates like the world's biggest search engine for professionals, indexing every status update, blog post and other content that its 467 million members share on the platform.
By using hashtags, you ensure your content gets tagged and indexed correctly - similar to how keywords on a blog post or webpage tell Google what to do with a piece of content.
Long story short, LinkedIn wants your news feed to be hyper-relevant and useful, particularly as you're scrolling on your phone while waiting in line for coffee or catching up on news between meetings.
By giving users more control over what they want, LinkedIn is also trying to make sure the best content gets featured more prominently - and that means that you need to create status updates and posts that generate engagement.
If you can do so, you'll become more visible on the platform.