LinkedIn lies at the heart of our own and many of our clients' B2B online marketing strategies. And why not? With LinkedIn's vast business network being the very nature of the platform, not to mention the professional mindset users are generally in when using LinkedIn, it would be foolish for a B2B organisation not to capitalise on it.
For over a month now LinkedIn has been rolling out their new, cleaner desktop user interface and it looks as though, this week, a whole new wave of users have been given access to the new design.
Changes for Users
LinkedIn has offered up a video to help users fathom the changes to their profiles:
The new design is much better for those looking for jobs and for those posting them, a major functionality of the site and for some users, the only reason to be there. It's easier to find valuable stats such as Profile Views and there are far more hints and tips around the site that help the user to optimise their profile. Also, the search functionality has definitely been upgraded.
Changes for Business Profiles
Business profiles, like personal pages, are a lot cleaner and one of the biggest changes is to how content is viewed. Link previews show much bigger images, not unlike Twitter's Summary Cards which is great for showcasing online content you're linking to.
Business Page owners now have a dedicated area for updates where you can manage your content within the Updates tab. LinkedIn does offer this advice on the right side of the tab:
Welcome to your new Company Pages admin center! This is an early preview of the new Updates publishing experience and full functionality will be available soon. You can continue to publish updates using the current admin experience here.
Which to honest at this stage, is sound advice because the new UI for business pages is very buggy!
The Overview tab is where you can change your company details and your company background photo, which should be one of the first things you do since all old background photos are removed. The recommended size for your image is 1536 x 786 which is a pretty tight fit for a lot of companies' existing creative.
The Analytics and Notifications tabs take you to the existing pages so no update there which is pretty disappointing to see as a new native reporting suite was definitely what was lacking from the LinkedIn for Business experience.
Advertising on LinkedIn
Sorry to say this but there are no current updates to the advertising suite on LinkedIn, you'll have to deal with the clunky and at times frustrating UI for now.
But LinkedIn is still the best and one of the only options for professional social ads. You can target your campaigns to users who work in a certain industry, their actual company and even job title so you are still spoiled for refined B2B targeting capabilities.
Let's talk about Facebook
I think it's time to address the elephant in the room and talk Facebook. It's no secret that in recent years Facebook has been steadily evolving from being just a social network to a platform that offers great products for businesses of all industries. In November, Facebook introduced features that were similar to LinkedIn's fundamental services, for example Job Listing. The ubiquitous F then also rolled out Facebook at Work allowing users to keep their personal and professional digital worlds separate.
Now let's 'face it' LinkedIn's new three column design looks very familiar, you'll notice the new “What you need to know now” section on the top right, where Facebook's Trending Topics is placed and the new messaging function is unashamedly 'Facebooky':
It's not a bad move though, LinkedIn desperately needed a refresh and users (who generally don't like change when it comes to social media UIs) will welcome a layout that looks familiar and engaging.
What are your thoughts on the new LinkedIn UI?