December 12, 2015: It’s been over a year since we’ve had Viveka Von Rosen as our guest at Didit.com. The host of #linkedinchat — and one of Marissa Meyer’s favorite people — Viveka repeatedly makes the Forbe’s List of top women influencers in social media. She’s earned the moniker of “LinkedInExpert” and we’re delighted to have her back with us.
Didit: Hello Viveka. There have been big changes to Linkedin since you’ve been here last –Profiles, the Publisher Platform, the Jobs App, and Linkedin Messenger. Tell us what you think are the most important changes that have been made in Linkedin for 2015 so far.
Viveka Von Rosen: I’m pretty sure everything has changed since our last interview. Ever since Linkedin’s public offering, the company has had to be compliant with shareholder needs. That means more efforts around business monetization, which swings both ways when it comes to user experience.
Didit: On your (great) blog, I read about the big changes coming to LinkedIn Groups. You seem guardedly optimistic about it. Do you really think this change will cause the spammers to flee or will they just migrate to a new set of tactics? Or could there be unintended, undesirable consequences from the big change?
Viveka Von Rosen: Let’s start with the positive stuff! The acquisition of Lynda.com, Bizo and Newsle have all been positive for the user experience. Not only do LinkedIn users get 30 days of free access to Lynda, as compared to the one week which is the norm, but my hope is that special groups within LinkedIn – like job seekers – will get free access. Or perhaps with the new upgraded premium membership, Lynda.com access of some kind will be included.
LinkedIn has also made a lot of changes to its Ads platform. I think folks who are used to Facebook ads and Adwords will find the new platform easier to use. LinkedIn’s Lead Accelerator feature could also be very powerful. Unfortunately it’s out of most people’s price range right now.
I’m a huge fan of the Publisher/Pulse feature, and think it’s one of the best new features that LinkedIn has offered in a long time! I find it amusing that Facebook amped up its Notes feature after seeing the success of LinkedIn publisher.
On the downside, the deletion of the more accessibly-priced premium memberships, the changes they made to LinkedIn’s Inbox with the new LinkedIn messenger, and the new LinkedIn groups are all negative changes in my opinion.
While I really like the new LinkedIn iPhone Group app – as mentioned in my blog – I am not a big fan of the new LinkedIn Groups on the website. Many of the features – like the ability to search group members by keyword, and then connect and engage with them, are gone! As usual, LinkedIn seems to have replaced a functional interface with a more streamlined and pretty – but less useful user interface.
The fact is, even though I found some workarounds for these new changes – I now have to pay $50 a month through third-party apps for what was once free. I think the changes LinkedIn has made are a mistake. They force people off the platform and they force people to invest in tools that do not increase revenue for LinkedIn itself.
Didit: We’ve been talking a lot lately about the convergence of SEO and PR. What role does LinkedIn have in this convergence? What’s the best way that a smart PR person can use LinkedIn?
Viveka Von Rosen: LinkedIn remains a great tool for the PR professional. There is such a wealth of talent and information on LinkedIn. A PR professional can find exactly the right venue, resources, and clients on LinkedIn. With LinkedIn Pulse, it’s easy for PR professionals not only to showcase their own work, but to find talent and resources as well. And of course you can still find, connect and engage with the prospects that you need to, even though I think LinkedIn has made that a little bit more difficult with the free account.
Didit: Are you thrilled or disappointed by the performance of LinkedIn Publisher Platform (AKA Pulse)? Are you seeing high-quality original content there or is it generally junk? Is it worth creating original content for this platform or are resources better spent elsewhere?
Viveka Von Rosen: I still love the Publisher platform, even though there’s more competition and more junk out there. While it used to be common for me to get 5,000- 9,000 views on an article, I now am happy to get 1,000. That being said, I’m still getting more views likes and shares on LinkedIn Publisher then I do on my own website!
In fact, I’m such a fan of LinkedIn Publisher that I am in the process of creating a five-hour deep dive into the power of LinkedIn Publisher for content marketing.
Didit: 2015 is shaping up as “The Year of the Custom Audience.” Facebook’s got them, so does Twitter, and Google just jumped on the bandwagon. Should LinkedIn follow suit? Would people in your circle find such a capability useful?
Viveka Von Rosen: I think LinkedIn is trying to focus on the custom audience – the problem is it’s charging a pretty penny for it! The ability to target using the Ads platform and company pages has always been extremely effective. But again, the price tag is significantly more than you find on Facebook, Twitter, and Google.
However, that’s not to say that the LinkedIn user can’t do their own targeting. Clarity of audience means that you know what their points of pain are, how to speak to them, how to resolve them, how to use the language and the imagery that they are attracted to. At the very least you can attract your ideal target market through a beautifully created LinkedIn profile, through excellent LinkedIn content – posts and updates — and through the media you share.
So even though I find any of the LinkedIn’s changes challenging and frustrating, I still think it is one of the best business platforms available to us. We just have to stop thinking of it as a social media site that we should get access to for free, and reframe our thinking of LinkedIn as a business tool we should invest in.
Thank, you, Viveka, for your always insightful answers to our questions!
You can follow Viveka over at www.linkedintobusiness.com , or follow Viveka on Twitter via @linkedinexpert. She hosts #linkedinchat every Tuesday night at 9 PM EST.
If you want to learn more about marketing with Linkedin, download our free e-book: The Ultimate Guide to Marketing On Linkedin.
And, as always, if you need any help with social media or digital marketing, contact us.
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