LinkedIn are on a constant path of change. Jeff Weiner, CEO of the professional networking giant describes this as a state of constant beta. The long term aims of the channel are shrouded in secrecy, but if you keep up with the changes it is easy to see a pattern developing. In the last quarters financial results Weiner commented that the company had made significant investments in increasing their sales team and in developing product. Each time I log in, something looks different or has moved to a different position on the screen. Whilst these changes might seem cosmetic, they are changing the way users are interacting with the platform, and this means recruiters need to be rethinking their LinkedIn strategy.
The trend over time was for using LinkedIn from outside of the channel, with users relying on e-mail and third party applications to interact and keep up. At one time the average user only visited the channel 1.9 times a month. Most notably, engagement levels were low, and the discussion was all around whether LinkedIn was a social channel at all. What is interesting to note is that since the recent redesign of the home page engagement is now at a record level for the channel because users are driven to the home page, and the home page now contains a stream for updates which increases engagement.
One of the other new features enables users to determine which updates get displayed on their home page. The default is for all updates in time sequence, with a refresh button at the top of the stream to show the number of updates since you logged in to the channel. The display options are:
>Top The most popular updates from your connections (what constitutes popular is explained below this list.)
>Recent The latest updates.
>LinkedIn Today Users can customise this according to what topics they want to follow. This is very similar to the way the Mashable social app enables users to choose what content they want to follow by category.
>Connections. Based on your personal network.
>Shares What is being shared by your network displayed by time line
>Groups Updates from your connections in the groups that you share
>Profiles Changes to the profiles of your connections. This is quite a neat way to keep up to date with what is happening from your connections in one place, from changes to job title, address etc to who is launching a LinkedIn ad campaign.
>Applications The applications added to profiles by your connections.
>Companies Changes to company profiles by your network, recommendations and updates. >Answers Another neat feature that lets you see all the questions asked and answers given by your network. You can answer this question from this screen or comment, like or share, a great way to engage with your connections when they are reaching out for help or advice.
>Your Updates Your personal updates including comments,likes and shares.
>Customize This enables users to determine what type of updates they choose to see or hide, and how many updates they want to see on their home page. If a user is not interested in seeing jobs you may be interested in they can choose to hide them.