3 ways LinkedIn is becoming the discovery channel

With 200 million registered users and over 11 million in the UK, LinkedIn must focus on helping its user base expand their networks and engage with the platform on a deeper level.

In the same way Facebook has introduced Graph Search to help it’s users to discover more within the platform (other examples include tagging in photos or simply the Like button to discover the obvious…), LinkedIn is making a visible effort to help users interconnect and discover more –  learn more about LinkedIn’s recent platform update allowing users to @mention

Here are 3 ways LinkedIn are pushing the boundaries of discovery:

Discovering people

The recent update to the platform will allow users to interconnect around posts that are published. Whether these posts are sharing content, questions or seeking advice, recommendations or promoting products and services – the basic principle is that users will be able to join a conversation themselves, directly responding and bringing others to the conversations through @mentions. More people at the post party = more reasons and ways to meet people!

It is not just this very latest update that will help users discover new people, there has also been a significant update to LinkedIn’s search which supposedly delivers users the following benefits:

  • Auto-complete
  • Suggested searches
  • Smarter query and intent algorithm
  • Enhanced advanced search (this has been constantly changing over the last year e.g. finding users within groups you are a member of)
  • Automated alerts

With a staggering 5.7 billion professionally oriented searches from the platform in the last year it is not hard to see why. If you want to know more check out the LinkedIn blog including the Smarter Search Slideshare

Discovering content

So, you can see how the @mention update will drive more content discovery. Users will now discuss in the thread of comment and bring more users (and companies) to the discussion through @mentions. Companies (and thought leaders) will be looking for conversations with influencers and prospects who can engage with the shared content. This will really help to take “discussions” out of groups and into updates, making the platform a lot more conversational!

But there’s more: the introduction of LinkedIn Today has undoubtedly flooded the platform (and your update feed) with richer, more relevant content. In addition, the introduction of thought leader profiles has provided users with direct access to influencers in their field of interest, much like Twitter has in the way it has made celebrities or industry experts. Not only has this benefited users, but there has also allowed companies to deploy their subject matter experts out into the platform to drive traffic.

In an example we found this week, we could see that significant web traffic had been driven by a LinkedIn today article written by their thought leader (and Founding Partner) Charlene Li  for Altimeter. 44% of the traffic for this campaign link was driven from LinkedIn and 98% of that traffic was driven from the article on LinkedIn Today.

Finally, you may have seen the recent announcement about LinkedIn Slideshare  and video ad units, propelling even more content into the platform, and yet more examples of content discovery. Find out more about the LinkedIn content ad units here

Discovering companies – suppliers, clients and your next job

Company pages continue to evolve and opening the doors for users to find out more about their next new supplier, client, partner or job target.  Utilising a network of connected employees, brands can use the range of ever evolving LinkedIn company features to engage many different audiences, to gain a follower base and propel themselves into the path of discovery:

  • Company page updates – share and drive engagement around content  from within the company and their products and services
  • Careers section – the introduction of rich content in the careers section including video has provided a platform for companies to communicate their culture and why it is fantastic place to work to encourage talent looking for their next steps
  • Product and service recommendations – quite simply, this is discovery through referral! Users recommending companies products and services which will encourage other users to discover their next supplier or partner
  • Company page insights – openly available on company pages is a range of insights to help users discover more – the employees, the top skill-sets, most recommended individuals and where employees came from. All of these insights help to build a connection with the user and the company and to extend the realms of discovery.

HP have recently been the first LinkedIn company profile to reach 1 million followers (check out the infographic) and there are many benefits associated with building these communities. You may also be interested in this recent post by my colleague Janis – 3 ways Everything Everywhere uses LinkedIn to its benefit

Discovery channel…

I desperately wanted to find a way to quote the Bloodhound Gang track Bad Touch (let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel) in here. I couldn’t find a link that worked, so it is on Spotify instead…

I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on the progression of LinkedIn – so get tweeting or comment below…

Image source: Bit.ly screenshot of link https://bitly.com/QkcYRH+

Image courtesy of Matthew Gain, LinkedIn logo, Flickr under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license

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