Since its launch in 2003, LinkedIn has served as the premier online platform for professional networking. Over the years, the site has grown rapidly, constantly adjusting to changes in the business landscape. In the wake of a massive shift toward remote work and virtual events, the months and years to come will likely bring more changes for LinkedIn and its users.
As successful business and career coaches, the members of Forbes Coaches Council keep their fingers on the pulse of current and emerging industry trends. Below, they share 12 LinkedIn trends they expect to see in the future and tips for how your company can best prepare its branding strategy to leverage them.
1. Employee Ambassadorship
LinkedIn will continue the trend of encouraging companies to use their employees as brand ambassadors. Successful company branders will use the new “Notify employees” option when posting on the company page to engage the employee ambassadors. Companies can create high-quality brand ambassadors by training employees on how to develop robust profiles, including utilizing the “Featured” section. – Tracy Levine, Advantage Talent, Inc.
2. Scaled-Up Learning And Microdegrees
I feel the next big thing would be around the way executives get reskilled and upskilled. LinkedIn could scale its learning platform and disrupt learning and development within organizations. It can be a platform of choice, serving microdegrees as four-year degrees become passé. – Sudhakar Reddy Gade, Nirvedha Executive Coaching Solutions Pvt Ltd
3. Connections Driven By Artificial Intelligence
LinkedIn users are experiencing a new normal as artificial intelligence (AI) dramatically increases the number of connection requests. Many come from those who view you as a prospective client. Your brand promise is on the line, whether you embrace the new reality and grow connection opportunities or jump off the platform in favor of sites where contacts are unique, individual, live and in-person. Act accordingly. – Christine Rose, Christine Rose Coaching & Consulting
4. Global Networking Opportunities
The biggest change will come when LinkedIn becomes a global networking platform where it will be possible to increase the number of all kinds of transactions between companies. Especially in less developed areas, this will open a greater framework of possibilities. Companies must increase their number of contacts and generate quality content to reinforce their brands on this portal. – José Luís González Rodriguez, ActionCOACH
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5. Employee-Personalized Brands
The personal brand trumps the company brand on LinkedIn these days. Companies should tap into that opportunity and create a team of “ambassadors” to act as influencers for marketing, recruiting and lead-generation activities. Creating a personalized brand led by an actual employee speaks to the heart of the everyday consumer. People buy from people, and the people are on LinkedIn! – Miranda VonFricken, Miranda VonFricken Masterminds & Coaching
6. More Company-Focused Features
LinkedIn is currently very geared toward the individual rather than the companies, and over the last few years, it has started creating more and more company-focused features. I think that trend is going to continue as the platform evolves and finds new means of creating revenue from companies and individuals. More robust job-search capabilities are also probably on the horizon for individual members. – Dhru Beeharilal, Nayan Leadership, LLC
7. Greater Focus On Rich Media Content
Be prepared to increase your rich media content and find more creative ways to involve your audience that will attract, engage and retain customers. Creative design and production, such as interactive websites and landing pages, audio, streaming videos, applets, interactive digital ads and animation, coupled with strong, direct messaging will continue to trend as key branding strategies on LinkedIn. – Lori Harris, Harris Whitesell Consulting
8. Integrated Collaboration Tools
LinkedIn has continuously expanded its value chain from a career platform to a network for people with different business interests. To attract people to this multi-sided network, Microsoft has already integrated many powerful functionalities, from Boolean searches to live streaming for corporate and personal branding. The next step is “New Work,” a concept that describes a new way of working, which integrates collaboration tools to empower employees in a global, digital society. The Austrian American social philosopher Frithjof Bergmann coined this term. – Michael Thiemann, Strategy-Lab™
9. More People-Centric Branding
We need to prepare for deeper, AI-driven integration of personal and organizational branding throughout LinkedIn—not only in the areas of professional networking and recruitment, but also in targeted learning and upskilling solutions to move along in our careers. If organizations want to continue to be employers of choice, they need to embrace branding that demonstrates their people-centric focus. – Jonathan H. Westover, Ph.D, Utah Valley University & Human Capital Innovations, LLC
10. A Shift Away From ‘Buttoned-Up’ Corporate Content
If you are still thinking you must be “buttoned-up” and corporate on LinkedIn, you are missing the boat. The tide has changed on the content that resonates, and you, as a corporate leader, had better have faces behind your company. People are engaging with people on LinkedIn, and those companies that can have their own people tell the brand story for the company will win out in terms of engagement and growth opportunities. – Tyron Giuliani, Selling Made Social
11. More Live Broadcasts
One trend I see happening with LinkedIn is more live broadcasts across the platform. This means that companies need to make sure they are providing good, professional content, which starts with getting comfortable in front of a camera. These live broadcasts are going to be a huge differentiator among businesses, and your ability to keep up with the trend will be hugely consequential. – Jon Dwoskin, The Jon Dwoskin Experience
12. Greater Demand For Relevant, Value-Driven Content
New methods of virtual networking and communication will be shaping interactions on LinkedIn, increasing demand for more live, relevant and value-driven content. This will allow small and medium-sized companies to create effective solutions and market share through their digital footprint. – Izabela Lundberg, Legacy Leaders Institute