LinkedIn has a variety of features, constantly adding new ones. This results in the ever-present barrage of “LinkedIn glitches,” but I digress.

(Please watch Shay’s hilarious video below and know that it is my life).

I would love to sit in on a LinkedIn product development meeting to know the reasons behind all features, big and small. For example, what is the purpose of hashtags, really? Are they doing anything other than creating a “hashtag debate?”

In this article, I dig into hashtags and more, providing a rundown of LinkedIn features: the good, the bad, and the (seemingly) pointless.

Good: Sales Navigator Home Feed

Bravo to LinkedIn for providing a much-needed facelift to the LinkedIn Sales Navigator home feed. For those of you who don’t use Sales Navigator, it acts as a CRM while providing LinkedIn benefits like InMail credits, detailed searches, and the ability to see who has viewed your profile.

You can save up to 1,500 leads (leads = individual profiles), and follow them regardless of whether you are connected. The old Sales Navigator home feed would aggregate content from your saved leads or accounts (accounts = company pages) for you to engage.

The usability on this feature wasn’t great. It was difficult to engage in a conversation in the secondary feed. Now, LinkedIn is opening the post in a new tab within LinkedIn’s primary site. A much easier way to like and comment on someone’s post.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Beyond that, LinkedIn added new sorting features. I am especially excited about “Lead Engaged with your Content” and “Lead Accepted your Connection.”

Sales Navigator Lead Sorting Options:

  • Lead News: Your saved lead is mentioned in a news article.
  • Lead Shares: Posts from your saved leads.
  • Lead Changed Jobs
  • Lead Changed Roles
  • Lead Viewed your Profile
  • Lead Engaged with your Content: It’s definitely beneficial to engage with a lead if he or she engages with your content!
  • Lead Accepted your Connection: I love this feature, because it promotes connecting with people rather than sending them InMail messages.

Good: Company Page Visibility

Yes! Company pages are coming back around.

Back in the day, the big company pages (e.g. Sports Illustrated, Forbes) carried all of the visibility. In response to that domination, LinkedIn cut down visibility of those pages to draw emphasis to the individual.

That was great at the time, but company pages became nothing more than a placeholder. The only way to generate visibility was to buy it, which — at $6-8 per click — was far from worth it (LinkedIn ads =/= Facebook ads, but we will save that for another post).

Now, company pages are gaining reach! This means small businesses can gain an actual following separate from their individual employees.

How can you take advantage of added company page visibility?

  • Complete your company page. Logo, header graphic, tagline, etc.
  • Link your company page to your profile. If you see the dreaded gray box next to your current experience section, it isn’t properly linked!
  • Post content to your company page. Don’t exclusively post jobs to your company page, and try to appeal to the masses with your content. Examples of great company page content: employee highlights, events, news.
  • Post about your company page. Make sure you are asking people to follow your page from your profile and tag your page within the post.
  • Engage your company page. If you are an admin, switch to member view, and then like and comment on your company page posts. LinkedIn may then serve up your company page post to your connections and followers.

Good: Published By

You know how you publish a LinkedIn article like this one, and it seemingly disappears into the LinkedIn abyss?

This new feature highlights the actual post you used to publish the article!

Now, when you scroll to the bottom of articles, you will see the text used when initially publishing it. It is above the comments along with an option to follow the writer and a link to all previously-written articles by that writer.

I like that there is something happening with these article descriptions, though I would still love to be able to tag people and businesses. I would also like the initial article post to generate some semblance of a reach.

Bad: Hashtags

This isn’t all bad, but I’m looking forward to this getting so much better!

I don’t envy LinkedIn when it comes to figuring out how to sort out hashtags (see what I did there?), but I do have opinions. My ideal (this is where I articulate a pie-in-the-sky product development wish while knowing nothing about what it actually takes to make it happen) would be to have one slot in the primary news feed dedicated to hashtag content.

Let’s say I’m following #contentmarketing, #linkedin, and #branding. In my ideal world, LinkedIn would serve me content from one of those hashtags in a certain slot in the primary feed each time I view it, the same way it serves me content from 2nd level connections.

Other hashtag thoughts:

  • I love the “trending post” idea, but the alerts never lead to anything. What I would love to see is hashtags featured the same way LinkedIn articles used to be featured in Pulse curation. It would be incentive for quality posts!
  • What happened to LinkedIn showing us the hashtags our posts were ranking for? When hashtags first rolled out, three hashtags were displayed at the top of the post, showing the ones that were ranking. I miss that feature, even if it created a false sense of excitement.
  • I like the prompts for company pages to engage in conversation under certain hashtags. I am curious whether it will lead to anything substantial, though, since the “headshot” for company pages is a logo, which isn’t overly engaging (see below).

Bad: Live Video

Maybe I’m just annoyed I don’t have the feature.

Okay, that’s not it.

Live video on LinkedIn doesn’t seem to have a place … yet. I suppose it might develop one, but for now it just seems to be a nuisance. When someone “goes live,” I genuinely have zero desire to click through to see what he or she is discussing.

If you have a different opinion, please leave it in the comments!

(Seemingly) Pointless: Business Info

I posted about this because I was so excited when I saw the email alert for this feature.

I was actually at a LinkedIn Local – Ann Arbor event when I saw the email, and I mentioned to other attendees that this was a fantastic move on LinkedIn’s part. Now we can include our products or services at the top of our profile, cutting out the need to articulate them privately.

Right?

Right?

Not quite.

The feature seems … well … pointless. We can’t enter our own product or service information. Instead, it is a glorified Skills section at the very top of our profiles.

I would rather see LinkedIn using a similar feature to Facebook, in which you can actually enter the products, a description, pricing, and a link to purchase.

What LinkedIn features do you love … or not?

About Chrissie Wywrot

Chrissie Wywrot is the President and CEO of e-Link Consulting, which works with businesses to increase LinkedIn visibility.