I logged into LinkedIn this morning and noticed that something has changed.
In the past year, LinkedIn is gradually transforming, as the company re-discovered their focus of being the largest professional networking platform. First, search results and connection suggestions were modified to reflect more accurately and prevent spams more efficiently. Next, group and home page navigations were upgraded to provide a simpler and faster experience for the users...
All these changes suggest that LinkedIn has been listening to its user's requirements and needs, which lead to my initial question: when will LinkedIn do something with the plain "like button" that doesn't necessarily provide any useful insight to the content creator?
And now, that question is answered.
The New Engagement System
We probably all know that our LinkedIn feed is not determined by recency. Rather, what you see is decided by the algorithm, designed to push only the most relevant and high-quality content.
What this tells us is, as Michael Quoc from Falcon.io accurately put down in his article:
In order to consistently make it into people’s feeds, you need to be regularly putting out good content that your followers reliably engage with. (Falcon.io, 2019)
In short, the LinkedIn algorithm prefers relevance and quality. The former decides who will see your content, the latter determines whether or not the content "wins" in the feed.
From what I am seeing, the new engagement system is designed to help this smart algorithm to further customize, and personalize, the news feed on LinkedIn.
As displayed on the left, the new engagement system offers five engagement options. This is very similar to Facebook's last update on engagement system, which allowed "emotional reactions" instead of the plain "thumbs-up" button.
Using a similar user interface design, you can toggle the full engagement options by parking your cursor on the like button for a few moments.
From left to right, the five options provided by the new LinkedIn engagement system are: Like, Celebrate, Love, Insightful and Curious.
The content marketing game just got real
The new LinkedIn engagement system is screaming "create better content."
Not just that.
It is saying: create valuable, differentiable, insightful, and relatable content with valid evidence, good data, and applicable values.
If you haven't sat down with your team, and looked at your content marketing plan, now is the perfect opportunity for a strategic review. In correspondence with the new LinkedIn engagement system, I genuinely recommend you to categorize your content accordingly:
What are your general contents? (Like)
What are your most important and recent company updates? (Celebrate)
What are the contents showcasing your community development, personal development, team-building and other aspects that defines your brand? (Love)
What are your bottom-of-the-funnel, or customer ascending contents with rich data and deeper value? (Insightful)
What are your top-of-the-funnel, lead-generating contents? (Curious)
And just in case...
(because, you know, even the most experienced marketers can overlook some basic things)
... make sure to mix and match the types of content you are sharing: videos, slide decks, white paper, articles...
Let's keep it professional, and interesting.
Your feedback is valued - even more than before
Now, don't think the new LinkedIn engagement system only affects professional marketers, business owners, or professionals trying to build a personal brand.
It affects every single user in the network, to be honest with you.
With the new LinkedIn engagement, your feedback is more important than ever, both for the content creator and for yourself.
Is the insightful content really "insightful," or does it only deserve a courteous like?
Is a heartwarming piece also informative and brought up your curiosity about the company's services and business model?
I believe we all understand the feeling when you create content, but fail to receive any feedback:
that feeling of being lost at sea...
that frustration of not knowing what to do next...
And let's not put somebody else through that.
The new LinkedIn engagement system also makes it easier for the audience to interact with the content creator - without making an official comment, as new options now allow readers to simply input their impressions regarding the piece they read.
If you have updated your mobile app, you will notice that the new LinkedIn engagement system has rolled over already. The only difference is, on the phone, you tap the like button to toggle the options.
This new system lays more challenges on content creators, but also opens up amazing opportunities, giving content creators, professionals and marketers better chances in becoming the "leading resource" within his or her network regarding a certain topic.
As for general users, our feedback customizes our feed and determines what we see and what... let's be honest... we prefer not to see. Also, if you are an introvert who aren't too interested in leaving official comments, the new LinkedIn engagement system makes it easier for you to show your support for the content that you find valuable.