Getting Ready for LinkedIn Stories

Man holding an ipad with Linkedin on the screen

Jenny Force Jenny Force, VP of Marketing

Stories have become one of the most popular social media features on several platforms. They started on Snapchat and were soon adopted by Instagram and Facebook. Now LinkedIn is getting ready to join the party. As of now, LinkedIn Stories are being tested in certain places such as Brazil. However, they will soon be released to a wider market. This is a good time to prepare a strategy so you can benefit from this feature as soon as possible. The Stories feature on LinkedIn will work in a similar way as it does on Facebook and Instagram, giving users a chance to post ephemeral, interactive content. At the same time, we can expect some differences in the type of Stories users post on LinkedIn.

Student Voices: An Early Experiment in Stories on LinkedIn
In 2018, LinkedIn introduced Student Voices, a Stories-like feature that was created especially for college students in the United States. Although this short-lived experiment was only available to limited users, it may provide some indications of how the new Stories will work. Student Voices was modeled after Snapchat Stories. However, there are some differences. Students were able to post permanent videos on their profiles. There are also campus-specific playlists that feature videos that are only viewable for a week.

As Stories on LinkedIn are still in beta, we don’t know exactly how they are going to look. They might not even be called Stories. At the same time, it’s not too early to consider a strategy for making the most of them. Considering how widely used Stories are on Facebook and Instagram, it certainly seems worthwhile for businesses to test them when they come to LinkedIn. Let’s look at some guidelines for creating LinkedIn Stories.

Remember the Purpose of LinkedIn
Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram are all more oriented to the social side of social media. LinkedIn has always been a B2B platform and this should be kept in mind if you experiment with the Stories feature. Stories that might be appropriate on another site, such as puppies, karaoke and people falling off skateboards wouldn’t necessarily work on LinkedIn. This doesn’t mean you can’t be humorous, irreverent and entertaining. However, don’t lose sight of LinkedIn’s purpose.

Share Footage from Virtual and Live Events
As of this writing, live events have been postponed or put online. Stories are actually ideal for showcasing footage from either live or virtual conferences and other events. In a way, Stories can be even more effective for promoting online events, where your audience may be able to join spontaneously without having to make plans or travel. Whether live or online, footage from Stories gives viewers a chance to get a closeup view of the action. Alternately, you can use Stories to promote upcoming events, either by discussing them or, in the case of recurring events, showing footage from previous years.

Share the Latest News and Company Plans
You can use Stories to introduce product launches, discuss updates to existing products and reveal other changes to your business. You can post Stories that cover the same news you might place in blog posts, videos, or regular social media posts from your timeline. With Stories, however, it is best to include a captivating image or background to keep your audience engaged.

Facebook and Instagram, of course, provide a variety of filters and effects to make Stories more visually interesting. LinkedIn may or may not offer something similar. We already discussed the differences between LinkedIn and other social sites. You probably don’t want to get too silly or whimsical, unless that’s a normal part of your branding. This does not mean, however, that you can’t include visual effects to make your Stories more eye-catching.

Reach a Younger Audience
One of the reasons that LinkedIn is launching its own version of Stories is that this is an extremely popular feature among younger users. While plenty of millennials use LinkedIn, the demographics are somewhat older than sites such as Instagram and Snapchat, with the majority of users falling into the 25-49 range.

Keep in mind that nowadays a high percentage of the population has multiple social media accounts. The real question is how much time they spend on different sites. With Stories, LinkedIn hopes to attract more younger millennials and Gen-Z users and get them to spend more time on LinkedIn. If your business wants to reach out to younger customers on LinkedIn, Stories can be part of this strategy.

Other Ways to Use LinkedIn Stories
While the above are some of the ways businesses might engage with their contacts using LinkedIn Stories, there are plenty of other possibilities. Here are some creative ways that Stories might be utilized.

  • Recruiting for jobs. You could reach out to potential candidates with Stories. Similarly, people searching for jobs can create their own Stories. Either way, this isn’t a replacement for the many other LinkedIn features for finding or recruiting for jobs. It could, however, entice the right people to look at your profile.
  • Informal chatting and brainstorming. As noted, LinkedIn isn’t Instagram, so you don’t want to go too far off-topic. At the same time, you can use Stories for informal chats that relate to your business or even personal life. If nothing else, a Story keeps your name and business fresh in people’s minds.
  • Influencer takeover. Just as users turn over their Facebook and Instagram accounts to influencers, the same can be done on Instagram. In this case, you’d most likely want to find someone who is well-regarded in your industry. This could be a chance to get a head start on influencer marketing on LinkedIn.

As the LinkedIn Stories feature is still in the testing phase, we can’t be sure exactly how it will be received or even how long it will last. Some critics are protesting that LinkedIn shouldn’t try to copy Facebook and Instagram. On the other hand, it is possible that Stories on LinkedIn will prove to be a dynamic new feature that will give businesses another tool to expand their reach. In this case, it would be advantageous to prepare so you can get in on the ground floor.