LinkedIn has transformed from a pure professional networking platform to a content platform where users can post videos, blogs, photos, and trending topics. In recent years, LinkedIn has grown in global popularity and now has over 500 million users, which is twice the amount from only five years ago. With the rise in users and the addition of the digital natives entering the workforce, LinkedIn is now the number one social media platform for B2B marketers, and an essential channel within the social media ecosystem. As social media content creation and consumption is continuously shifting, the time has come for LinkedIn to embrace the new frontier in social media: Stories.
What Are LinkedIn Stories?
LinkedIn Stories, called Student Voices, is a feature that allows users to post ephemeral video content that lasts for a week. It builds on the concept pioneered by Snapchat and Instagram Stories. Stories have now been implemented across several significant apps, including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Skype, Airbnb, and more.
LinkedIn is treading lightly into its Stories feature, as its predominantly Gen X and Baby Boomer demographic has largely not adopted ephemeral content storytelling. That being said, the 18-29-year-old demographic is now the largest group on LinkedIn, and the platform is growing in popularity amongst college grads.
Using those insights and user trends, LinkedIn’s Stories strategy is to launch Student Voices with college students. Student Voices appears on the LinkedIn home screen and students post to their specific Campus Playlist. According to TechCrunch, “The videos (no photos allowed) disappear from the playlist after a week while staying permanently visible on a user’s own profile in the Recent Activity section. Students can tap through their school’s own slideshow and watch the Campus Playlists of nearby universities.”
Five Ways To Use LinkedIn Stories To Build Your Personal Brand
LinkedIn’s content game has become essential for professionals, whether you’re in B2B SaaS sales or an entrepreneur needing to increase deal flow. It’s the perfect place to combine content with personal brand promotion. With the launch of Stories, there are many ways to craft content that will connect you with your community while building stronger relationships. As Stories rolls out beyond the collegiate level, this type of content is important to create and understand, as it will become an important product feature on LinkedIn.
Here are five ways to use LinkedIn Stories to craft content centered on professional networking.
1. Highlight Personal Achievement
With personal promotion, there is an art to promoting your wins while remaining humble. With the ephemeral nature of Stories, it’s more natural to share your newest bylines, awards, or career wins to your audience versus bombarding them with constant updates. With LinkedIn Stories, you can use video to tell the background story of that achievement and where to find more information about it, whether online or offline. Within the content, you can shout out to anyone who helped you out along the way and recognize the team behind your achievements. As always, be sure to turn the camera around to shoot a selfie video, which has a magnetic effect to keep viewers tuned in.
2. Ask Me Anything
The Ask Me Anything (AMA) format, originally popularized via Reddit, allows the community to provide questions for the host to answer. With a professional network tuning in, AMAs would highly benefit your personal brand by showing intimacy and candor. You could ask in a newsfeed post for your community to ask you questions within your industry or area of expertise. From there, you could direct them to an AMA on a specific day and then answer the questions through LinkedIn Stories. As celebrities and politicians have fun with AMAs, feel free to make it as comfortable and relaxed as possible. You never know what effect one simple Q&A session can have on your career.
3. Go Behind the Scenes
The beauty of Stories is that they break down the barriers of curated content that are often seen on newsfeeds, especially as people strive to put their best foot forward on LinkedIn. By using LinkedIn Stories to show the behind-the-scenes aspects of your work, it allows viewers to understand the ins and outs of your career.
This can take a variety of avenues. You can show the fun events at your company, like a birthday celebration or hitting sales quotas. You can introduce people from your team who help make your company better. For entrepreneurs, you can reveal how you build your business daily. This could be showing your calendar and how you maximize your time to optimize for success or showing how you bill your clients. People find value when you share relatable, everyday occurrences in ways that help them grow their careers.
4. Educate Your Market
Whether you’re promoting your services or a product, LinkedIn Stories allow you to showcase your offerings. You can talk about your product through video by posting tutorials and overview videos, or turning the camera on yourself or the lead product manager to share your product’s key differentiators. By revealing how your product can benefit your prospective customers, you’re positioning yourself as an expert and thought leader in your field. Being in the LinkedIn Stories section constantly reminds your followers about you and your services. This way, you’ll be the go-to person whenever there is an interview opportunity within your niche, or a prospective buyer wants to learn more about your product.
5. Have Fun at Work
Last and certainly not least is to have fun with LinkedIn Stories! They’re the best medium to show your personality at work. You could talk about the trending topics of the day and how those relate to your business or personal life. You could grab a friend or co-worker and talk about becoming a first-time people manager or navigating an industry new to you. By showing your personality more, those in your network and beyond will gravitate toward you and what you’re selling. Don’t be afraid to show who you are on Stories.
With the upcoming launch of LinkedIn Stories, now is the time to put together a strategic plan on how you want to use it. Vertical video storytelling is becoming the norm, whether that’s using longer form video on IGTV or disappearing content on Snapchat. By executing and mastering engaging video content, you’ll be able to stand out on LinkedIn. These five tips can help you craft your narrative as a professional so when the feature is available, you’ll be able to hit the ground running.