A Little About LinkedIn
Founded in 2002, launched in 2003, acquired by Microsoft in 2016 – LinkedIn’s short history and evolution from professional network to professional network and data broker might sound uneventful. But if you’re a numbers person, LinkedIn’s FY19 Q4 results will have you rubbing your hands together – and for good reason.
With algorithm and functional improvements such as LinkedIn’s reactions keeping more users on platform for longer, LinkedIn’s revenue has increased by 27% this last quarter, and on-platform sessions have grown by 24%. These are substantial figures when you consider LinkedIn has over 610 million members, with 202 million active monthly users – 40% of which visit the site daily.
And did we mention that it’s one of the few major international tech companies successfully operating in China? If you’re a marketer and LinkedIn hasn’t been incorporated into your digital marketing strategy, or even made a blip on your radar, it’s time to pay attention – especially if you’re in the B2B space.
What Are LinkedIn Reactions?
Millions of people all around the world use LinkedIn every day to discover what’s happening in their professional communities, and to discuss topics and ideas related to their professions. As a social network designed specifically for the business community, it’s a little surprising LinkedIn only officially released their series of social reactions in April of this year, especially given that Facebook released its extended range almost three years earlier.
For years, LinkedIn users complained that a ‘like’ simply wasn’t enough. Users wanted more ways to express themselves – and importantly – they wanted insight into why someone liked their post. As a result of community feedback, LinkedIn released four new reactions so that users can more quickly and constructively communicate with one another.
Rather than simply like a comment, which may not encapsulate the exact emotions felt about a post – or write a comment, which takes more time or effort than warranted or available – users can simply hold the ‘like’ button and choose from any one of five different reactions that captures their feelings or thoughts.
“LinkedIn Reactions is a set of lightweight expressions that offer members a way to more easily participate in conversation and communicate with their network.”
– LinkedIn Profile Writer, David Petherick
What Types of Reactions Does LinkedIn Offer and How Can You Use Them?
In addition to likes, users can now react to posts using Celebrate, Love, Insightful and Curious icons.
- Celebrate is typically used to praise an accomplishment such as a new job, or a milestone, like work anniversaries.
- Love can be used to express a deep resonance and advocacy for ideas or topics, such as the value of fostering a culture of encouragement and support in the workplace.
- Insightful can be used to express the recognition of an astute observation, or thought-provoking idea.
- Curious can be used to express a desire to learn more, or express interest in a fascinating topic or compelling conversation.
Are LinkedIn Reactions Appropriate for a Business-Focussed Network?
In recent years, the lines between social media platforms have blurred, with some implementing features made popular by others. Though LinkedIn have now joined the roster with their release of reactions, their addition to the business-focussed network has been a topic of contestation.
Though LinkedIn took a lot of inspiration from Facebook, their new set of reactions are perfectly designed for the professional networking platform. Unlike Facebook’s suite of emotional responses (Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry), LinkedIn has implemented Like, Celebrate, Love, Insightful, and Curious – reactions which are decidedly more professional than personal.
What might also be noticed about the new reactions is that none are inherently negative. In this way, LinkedIn have created a platform in which engagements between users are constructive rather than reductive.
“We took a thoughtful approach to designing these reactions, centered around understanding which ones would be most valuable to the types of conversations members have on LinkedIn. This process included looking at what people are already talking about to better understand what feedback they wanted to express and receive — for example, we analyzed the top 1-2 word comments being used and what types of posts people are sharing most. We also conducted global research with LinkedIn members to get feedback on the specific reactions to ensure they were universally understood and helpful.”
– LinkedIn Product Manager, Cissy Chen
How Can Marketers Use LinkedIn Reactions?
Provide User Feedback & Gain More Insights In Content Consumption
Marketing these days isn’t just about advertising – it’s about brands cultivating relationships with their audiences, and engaging in a two-way conversation. It’s no secret that emotional engagement moves the needle and drives consumer loyalty – but fostering it is easier said than done.
Emotional Engagement Online
Leading organisations understand that conversions and raising the bottom-line is a result of driving deep emotional engagement. And what better way to establish or improve emotional connections than by understanding the consumer?
For LinkedIn and all the brands that post on the platform, the inclusion of more diverse emotional responses makes it easier for marketers to gauge the effectiveness of their messaging. Users can express their feelings more accurately, and those who post receive a better understanding of the emotional impact of their post.
Digital Content Insights
Reactions provide valuable insights for not just understanding what has or has not resonated with audiences, it’s an important guide for creating more targeted content in the future – developing better engagement and fostering stronger online connections.
Does This Affect Engagement?
Like all social media platforms, LinkedIn aims to drive more engagement. With more users experimenting with this new feature, they’ll discover more ways to express themselves and engage with posts. Some brands can reasonably expect an increase in engagements, with reactions possibly outnumbering the likes their content once drove.
LinkedIn’s new feature provides a quick and easy way to engage with content, which is ideal for users who felt a ‘like’ didn’t express their thoughts but didn’t want to comment either. Reactions may also drive engagements from mobile users who require a quick and easy way to engage with content; this is particularly important when you consider LinkedIn’s reported to have over 63 million unique mobile users monthly, and those numbers are climbing.
Are You Using LinkedIn Reactions to Boost Engagement? You Should.
When LinkedIn celebrated its tenth birthday in 2013, it did so with 277 million members. That number jumped to 414 million in 2015, and by 2016 it had increased by another 52 million. In 2019, that figure stands at 610 million. The numbers are on the rise, and the slowdown is unlikely to be anytime soon.
With the release of LinkedIn reactions, this increasing number of users are more engaged than ever, and perhaps more importantly for digital marketers – these engagements are more easily qualified.
Digital Marketing Insights
Reactions provide marketers with meaningful insights into their target audiences, and the opportunity to adapt messaging and strategies to better connect with these audiences. Marketers looking to refine their digital marketing plans would be well-advised to consider LinkedIn with their media channel selection and capitalise on the platform’s rising engagement.
Does your brand want to take advantage of LinkedIn’s new feature? Or do you want to know how to successfully incorporate LinkedIn in your media channel selection? Whatever your brand needs, we can deliver, because at NOUS brands are what we make.
If you would like to discuss your digital marketing strategy, please get in touch at [email protected].