Despite LinkedIn’s rocky road in the stock market, my faith in their ability to provide tools to market to my target audience hasn’t wavered. Although, if they really want investors to stick around for the long haul, then they need to improve their value proposition to LinkedIn members.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at 7 great features that LinkedIn users should take advantage of and five features that they should add to achieve greater credibility with investors and deliver even more value to marketers.
Great LinkedIn Features You Should Take Advantage Of
1. Alumni Search
With the Alumni search, you can find and add people to your LinkedIn network that are associated with a particular school and then further filter search results by where they work, job descriptions, and where they’re located.
Keywords can amplify your SEO on LinkedIn and as well as Google and other search engines. This makes it more likely that job seekers LinkedIn profiles will be found when uses are conducted advanced searches.
3. The Recommendations and Endorsement Profile Sections
When applying for a new job, it’s very helpful to have testimonials and references to share with your potential new employer. With this feature, under the experience section, co-workers and employers can not only leave testimonials about your work ethic and skills, but they testify to specific skillsets that you are most proficient in.
4. LinkedIn Page Gallery
This section allows you to share relevant content you’ve produced on your public profile so that potential employers can see your thought-leadership and examples of the work you’ve done in your career.
Slideshare by LinkedIn allows you to share content that you’ve created for a webinar, presentation, or even your work portfolio and share in online without the hassle of trying to share a large PDF file with potential employers or prospects.
6. Profile Link
With your own unique profile link, you can easily lead potential prospects or employers to your profile photo so they can find you and your contact information easily.
7. Mobile App
With the LinkedIn mobile app, you can network, find new opportunities, view profile pages, and connect with new people on the go.
New Features LinkedIn Should Add
1. Let users create group LinkedIn connections and lists in their personal accounts.
This is an idea that I’ve been discussing with Elizabeth Clor, a former colleague, friend, and all-around LinkedIn enthusiast. LinkedIn features should enable users to group their customers, vendors, press, and potential partners into lists. This would make it easier to track the most relevant updates and posts in the news feed.
Taking it a step further, contacts should be grouped by expertise and job title. This would make it easier to create a connection request to the right person when looking for input on a marketing or business development project.
2. Make LinkedIn search results more powerful.
LinkedIn Pulse content is fantastic, but the majority of Pulse content is not accessible to users, as there is no way to search for content created on this platform.
For example, there may be other archived Pulse articles on LinkedIn that might be worth reading. But without a search tool, you presently do not have the ability to find them. LinkedIn should add Pulse content in the search box in the header or create a new search box just for Pulse content.
Without knowing the in’s and out’s of how LinkedIn’s search results algorithm works, this would require some version of providing additional “weight” to content elements like title, date, article tags, content type, category, and social engagement data to ensure that the results are relevant to users. Enabling search would provide a better user experience, and increase overall LinkedIn engagement.
3. Give more tools to LinkedIn group admins.
Some groups are getting more engagement than actual company pages. So why not allow the group admins more ways to advertise and promote their groups directly to their target audiences. This would accelerate conversations and allow the group admins the chance to grow their group in multiple ways.
4. Incorporate more video into the experience.
Video is already playing a larger role in a company’s sales and marketing efforts. Engagement with video content on Facebook is exploding because tests are being conducted to see how users want to consume video content.
Rather than having users click a play button on the thumbnails of posts in news feeds that then opens up into a video player, LinkedIn should be performing similar tests, like a bigger screen in the news feed, auto-playing video, or recommending videos that I should watch.
The targeting on LinkedIn is already second to none, with the ability to hone in on job function, title, company, and skills. Delivering a fantastic video experience to any segment a marketer wants to target would be the icing on the cake.
5. Let users personalize their profiles with video.
If LinkedIn profiles have changed the game for job search and sales, then LinkedIn features should further challenge the status quo and allow users to switch out their static profile headshots with video introductions. Creating an option to upload video gives users the ability to select the medium that’s best suited for their style.
For example, recruiters or hiring managers could share their experience, passion for the company, and management style before job candidates even have that first interview. Salespeople, who rely on building connections with their customers, can do so immediately with a quick video introducing themselves and their background. The opportunities are endless.
I’m hopeful that some (or better yet, all) of these feature requests are already on LinkedIn’s product roadmap. I’d love to hear your feedback on features that you think LinkedIn should prioritize in order to improve your experience.
If LinkedIn can just make these new additional changes, it will really benefit users and increase their value to shareholders tenfold.