On Social Media

Kristen Andree

LinkedIn offers advisers some promising new features

Updated search function, collator app, connecting-tool and visual-content options are promising

Feb 9, 2014 @ 12:01 am (Updated 2:55 pm) EST

Bloomberg News

Since its launch in 2003, LinkedIn has done anything but stay the same. Over the past decade, the social-networking giant has listened to users and continually added features to make the site a convenient place to find and share content, as well as to strategically build a professional network.

Here are some new features of which advisers should be aware.

Related: Client prospecting tool using LinkedIn spurs debate

Whether seeking articles on a certain topic or written by a particular influencer, LinkedIn provides a significant amount of information right at one's fingertips.

To help more easily locate such information, LinkedIn has added an “Articles” tab to its search feature.

Now users can readily find the information they need by typing the topic or influencer name in the search bar and selecting “articles” from the dropdown search menu. Further, users can sort search results and share relevant articles with their social networks.

PULSE APP

With the wealth of information thrust upon us each day, it is sometimes difficult to find time to sort through the clutter.

According to its description on the App Store, Pulse can help. It “allows you to customize your news-reading experience, easily explore compelling professional content and share stories to your favorite social networks.”

The content includes articles from major publications, LinkedIn influencers, blogs and more. Users can customize their apps by selecting the publications they prefer, as well as the influencers or topics they want.

The app even allows users to save articles they may want to refer back to.

As a busy person who likes to always be “in the know,” I have found this to be another excellent source to keep me up-to-date on what is going on in the professional world.

'HOW YOU'RE CONNECTED'

Most people are familiar with the “Six Degrees of Separation” game, the idea being that every actor in Hollywood is separated from Kevin Bacon by six connections or less.

You can apply this same concept to building an advisory practice by using an adviser's LinkedIn connections. With profile pages now containing the “How You're Connected” feature, it is much easier to see who in an adviser's network can introduce that adviser to a particular person.

As of this month, LinkedIn is making that process even easier.

Now when looking for an introduction to someone an adviser may not know yet, the adviser will not only see who in the network knows that person but also how they know each other (how many mutual connections, when they have worked together, etc.). For individuals with whom an adviser has multiple connections in common, this will allow them to look for the strongest commonalities and help determine who best to request an introduction from.

This feature has just begun to roll out, and in the months to come, LinkedIn has said that it will continue to expand the types of insights it provides to help users continue to expand their professional networks.

VISUAL CONTENT

In years past, LinkedIn has been, quite frankly, a bit boring, with the vast majority of profile content being text.

To make the site more useful, LinkedIn has expanded its capabilities to allow the addition of images, videos and presentations to profiles. This captures the attention of visitors and allows users to provide relevant and useful profile content in an engaging way.

LinkedIn also has added the ability to upload images, documents and presentations via status updates. Statistics clearly show that status updates containing a visual component have significantly more views, likes and comments.

Bottom line: Visual content drives engagement.

Those who haven't taken the time to update their profile should do so now. They also should ensure that all future posts contain not just text but also a visual component.

Many more changes will come at LinkedIn, all designed to drive engagement and help professionals build their brand and network. Taking advantage of these new opportunities will keep advisers ahead of the social-media game and will help them maximize the potential of this site.

Kristin Andree (kristin@andree media.com) is president of Andree Media & Consulting.

  @IN Wire

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