In the world of LinkedIn enhancements, I have two exciting ones to report on the company and personal profile level – the ability for users to now add tags to photos and reactions to posts.
Both are welcome updates and long overdue; it signals to me that LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional social network, is trying hard to catch up to its social media competitors and also find ways to adapt some of the features that users have been long accustomed to on those platforms.
Let’s delve deeper into each of these enhancements and how to incorporate them into your branding and business development strategies.
1. Photo Tagging
LinkedIn is now offering a new feature on a rolling basis to its users – photo tagging (or mentions, as some call it).
Tagging people in LinkedIn photos (on both your personal page and any company page you manage) encourages more engagement with your images and content. It also is the norm on other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It helps to make your posts more powerful because posts with images do better than those without and by tagging key individuals in those posts, you'll have higher engagement on those posts.
To tag someone in a photo on LinkedIn, just use the @ sign and type their name. The person tagged will receive a notification (on LinkedIn directly, and/or via email depending on their settings) that you added them. This tagged photo becomes linked with the associated member's LinkedIn profile. Viewers can click on the connection's name to navigate to their profile.
Some helpful facts about photo tagging on LinkedIn:
A LinkedIn member doesn’t need to be connected with you as a first-degree connection in order tag you or to be photo tagged by you.
As the author, you can remove tags after you create a post.
You can remove tags of yourself on any post at any time.
You can tag up to 30 people per photo.
A word of caution on photo tagging – there can potentially be a “dark side” to it.
What I mean by this is that you could potentially be “spammed” by an individual who tags you in a post that is not relevant to you, or by someone who does not know you (since you do not need to be connected with someone in order to be tagged in a photo). But, since you do have full control over your own photo tags, you can remove tags about yourself at any point. Let’s hope this feature never gets to the point where it is considered spammy.
So how could you use LinkedIn photo tagging in your own business development efforts?
Photo tagging is an effective way to encourage individuals to view, share, engage and contribute to your content.
You can build stronger relationships with key contacts in your professional network by photo tagging them in your posts.
Posts with visuals have much higher engagement levels than those without because they help to capture the attention of your audience and bring content to life. Don’t just take my word on this – lots of statistics back me up with this one. Now that you can tag individuals in photo posts, your visuals just got even more powerful.
Tagging someone in a photo also means that not only will the people who follow you see the post, but it gives the opportunity for the people who follow them to see the post too. It’s mutually beneficial for everyone involved for enhanced visibility.
Photo tagging is a helpful tool to use when you host an event and you want to thank attendees for coming or speaking at the event. You can tag VIP individuals in the post (up to 30 people per photo!).
Photo tagging is a great way to strengthen one's personal brand on LinkedIn. The more you see someone associated with posts (not to mention their likeness), the more you will think of them as a subject-matter expert or leader in their field. Just like the idea of out of sight out of mind, the opposite is also true.
2. LinkedIn Reactions
LinkedIn users around the world will soon be able to do more than just "like" a post on the professional social network.
LinkedIn will be rolling out five "reactions" to enable its users express a wider range of emotions on posts. They include like (which we already had), celebrate, love, insightful and curious. While you can still easily like a post by just tapping or clicking on it, just like on Facebook, if you hover over the icon or press it a little longer, an additional menu of reactions will appear.The new reactions are Celebrate (represented by two clapping hands), Love (represented by a heart), Insightful (represented by a light bulb), Curious (represented by an emoji face with a questioning look).
According to LinkedIn, the platform wanted to give its users more ways to quickly and effectively communicate with one another.
The new reactions can help content creators better understand engagement levels and the impact of their posts...
For example, “Celebrate” can be used to praise an accomplishment or milestone like landing a new job, publishing a book or speaking at an event, “Love” can be used to express deep support for something, such as a post about a community service event, the impact of mentorship or a recent speaker who resonated with you. The “Insightful” reaction enables users to commend an interesting idea or piece of thought leadership and the “Curious” reaction allows users to express interest in learning more about a topic or to question something.
The new reactions can help content creators better understand engagement levels and the impact of their posts on their followers so that they can refine their content and create more of what’s resonating with them and less of what’s not.
It seems that lately LinkedIn really wants to catch up with offering its users the bells and whistles of the other social networks. I think it's a welcome enhancement to have more options other than just "liking" a post, and it will be interesting to see if users take the time to use them. Many of us are already conditioned to do so on Facebook but "like" is still the only option on Instagram and Twitter. Time will tell if reactions are a success on Linkedin, but first, everyone needs to have them - so stay tuned for their roll out over the next few months.
LinkedIn continues to listen to its users and makes enhancements to its offerings. Only time will tell in terms of how much these new features will catch on and if they will aid with engagement, branding and the ultimate reward – new business.
One thing to note is that these new features are being released to users on a rolling basis over the next few months on the LinkedIn mobile app and the desktop version so they may not pop up for you for a bit and there is no way to know exactly when the features will be available for you, or me specifically (hey LinkedIn, can you hear me?). They will be offered for both individual users and company pages. “Patience is a virtue” as they say – they also say, “good things come to those who wait.”
Let me know what you think of these new enhancements and how you and your firm decide to use them – I love to hear success stories.
[Stefanie Marrone helps law firms effectively tell their stories and find their unique voices. Over the last 17 years, she has worked with some of the most prominent and innovative law firms in the world, developing and executing global revenue generating business development and communications strategies, including media relations, branding, and multichannel content marketing and social media campaigns. She is very passionate about using social media for lead generation and brand building. She has a diverse range of experience in both Big Law and mid-size/small-law firms. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her latest writing on JD Supra as well as her blog The Social Media Butterfly.]