What a week of excitement as LinkedIn rolled out a number of changes in the UK! I, along with many other LinkedIn marketers jumped in feet first when we saw the arrival of LinkedIn stories at the top of our feeds. However, I was totally aware that for many people this new addition to the B2B app would be new and unchartered territory – hence this blog!
What are Stories?
Story content isn't anything new – we've had the functionality across other platforms for years. Stories originated on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram and have quickly been developed into features on Facebook and YouTube. This type of content is described as ephemeral – it has a limited lifespan of 24 hours (in most cases). That means that if you want to see the content shared via a story from someone you follow avidly you need to be checking back in on a daily basis or you might miss something!
When you dive into LinkedIn Stories there are a number of features you can use to ‘beef up' your vertical photos and videos. From adding text and tags to adding stickers and interactive question boxes, LinkedIn has included these features into their iteration of this type of content. Use these features to style your content accordingly – but don't go OTT! (Remember, quite often with these things less is more.)
How Should I Use LinkedIn Stories For Business?
Of course, when we first found out LinkedIn was testing stories, I was immediately thinking about how we could use the feature for Green Umbrella and for our clients who outsource social media to us.
First of all, LinkedIn Stories are a great way of rewarding loyal followers. Use this as an opportunity to share your breaking news and limited offers.
Secondly, this type of content is very much informal. Be you. Let your guard down and be perfectly imperfect using this content. That said, remember who you're talking to and who you WANT to be talking to! It's essential to keep your ideal client in mind and pitch your content accordingly.
Next – use it as an opportunity to gather feedback and create 121 dialogues. You can ask questions, or invite your audience to ask you questions on a specific topic using the Q&A sticker. The responses arrive with you via your LinkedIn inbox (as do any interactions with your stories) so you can pick up a conversation directly with your prospects away from the public eye.
If you're focused on growing your personal brand, use this feature to tell your story as it develops. Share your wins and your inspirations. Invite your audience into your world – think of that ‘fly on the wall' experience.
What do I need to know about LinkedIn Stories?
We'll update this as we learn more (the feature's only been with us four days!) but for now, here are a few things to consider.
- Stories are live for 24 hours before they disappear
- Video content in stories is a max of 20 seconds
- You can create Stories in other apps and upload them in LinkedIn Stories
- You can publish Stories as your Company page as well as your personal account
- You can see who has viewed your story from your LinkedIn connections
- LinkedIn Stories are only available via the LinkedIn App
My prediction is that there will be more to come in the following weeks and months, and I'll be updating this article regularly! Here are my three predictions for what we'll see next in terms of LinkedIn Stories.
- There is no world where LinkedIn doesn't add to the sticker options making stories more interactive. (As the access to LinkedIn Live increases, going live via stories is a logical next move.)
- I doubt it will be long before there's an option for adding live links into your LinkedIn Stories (even if it's restricted to accounts with minimum follower numbers).
- I would be amazed if LinkedIn stories are not monetised within the next 6 months and we start to see this as an ad placement in campaign manager.
LinkedIn Stories For Business – My final thoughts
As with all of your content – having a strategy and a plan is essential. Be clear on what you are trying to achieve from your activity in LinkedIn stories. Don't be fooled into thinking ‘oof… LinkedIn is getting more like Facebook every day'. Many people will be thinking and saying that but the reality is that there's a reason why LinkedIn has opted to develop, test and implement this feature on the platform. There are currently over 500 Million daily active users of Stories, it's reported in excess of 25% of those ‘swipe up' (i.e. click through on links) from stories. Add to that the fact that I've also seen various reports stating that brands share an average of 1 – 2.5 stories per MONTH… this is an opportunity for you to get your early adopter badge from a LinkedIn perspective!
For me, it's exciting times ahead – let's see how LinkedIn Stories can help us market our brands, prospect, and ultimately make sales! Let us know how you get on with the feature – and if you get stuck, reach out and we'll give you a hand!