Stories and direct message marketing are increasing in popularity. If you’re using LinkedIn for your business and to raise your online profile, and you want to leverage the LinkedIn stories tool, this article provides recommendations that will help you add this feature to your content mix.
What You Need to Know About LinkedIn Stories
The LinkedIn stories feature is a bonus, not a core feature to consider leveraging in your LinkedIn Marketing suite of content marketing tools. Here’s a snapshot of what you can do with LinkedIn stories:
- It’s available for LinkedIn Profile & LinkedIn Company Page
- Post and view from your phone only
- Gets you at the top of your connections / followers newsfeed when they’re on the LinkedIn App
- Can add video & photos saved on your phone
- Can add external links to Company Page stories (game changer!)
- Can add external links to Profile stories if you have 5000+ followers & your connection setting is ‘Follow’
- Can not be scheduled
- Can post a piece of content for up to 20 seconds or multiple single images (as separate stories) and add stickers and @mention people (not companies)
- Lasts for 24 hours, then disappears
- You can not archive your stories highlights (Like IG)
- You can save and repost content from [some] other company pages. e.g. LinkedIn Stories
- You can save your IG stories and repurpose them as LinkedIn stories (#youarewelcome)
The Pros and Cons of LinkedIn Stories
When the LinkedIn Stories feature was first announced I was surprised that LinkedIn had made a move that mimicked social media channels. I then considered the benefits of the story feature, which include:
- stories appear at the top of people’s LinkedIn newsfeed when they’re on the LinkedIn phone App
- it’s the gateway to a direct messaging strategy
- testing a new feature before others can often provide greater reach
- getting access to including live links is a game changer (you need to have 10,000 followers on Instagram before you can access this sort of feature)
You can use post LinkedIn Stories from your LinkedIn profile and the LinkedIn company page. You can only post from your phone when in the App. You can’t currently get the same direct messaging experience from posting to your page as you can when you post to your profile, however this feature is constantly evolving.
The thing that I don’t like about LinkedIn stories is the labor intensive nature of this feature. You can not yet schedule content to LinkedIn stories, it only lasts twenty four hours and, unlike Instagram, you can’t showcase your highlights yet. This is a great strategy on Instagram because it allows people to binge watch you (ie go through all of your story highlights in one sitting).
The only way to do this at the moment from your LinkedIn profile, is to curate the featured section of your LinkedIn profile. In this section you can only feature LinkedIn posts, LinkedIn articles, PDF documents and external links – no stories. Read more here about this feature.
What to Consider to Inform Your Approach to LinkedIn Stories
Because your LinkedIn profile will tend to get more traffic and views, the LinkedIn story feature will probably start more conversations for you from your profile than your company page. Having said that, you do also need to consider how you might use it from the company page.
I recommend you consider the following questions before you develop your plan for LinkedIn stories:
- Is this feature relevant for your organisation / goals?
- Do you have time / capacity to create and post stories? Who else could assist with this?
- What sort of content can you share e.g. tips, updates
- How often will you share a story?
- Do you want to encourage LinkedIn messages to your profile? If yes, what questions will you ask?
Have a Plan for LinkedIn Stories
LinkedIn stories can be added to your content mix, especially if you already create stories over on Instagram. Ensure it’s part of a well thought out content marketing plan and use the link feature when posting from your LinkedIn Company Page!
Focus on Core Content: What are your cornerstone marketing activities? And then how are you going to use stories? Use behind the scenes photos, create a series of templates and think about how you use the LinkedIn story feature at quite a professional level, especially if you’re posting LinkedIn stories from your company page.
Frequency: This will depend on your capacity. For example, you may decide to post one or two a week stories a week when your community are on LinkedIn. For many businesses this is the middle to the end of the week, early morning to the afternoon.
Be careful with ‘best times to post’. You can google these facts and you’ll even find a blog or two I’ve written on the topic. It can vary by industry and so you’re better to test and measure. For example, someone looking for a job may be on LinkedIn in the evening and weekends.
Messaging Strategy: Consider if you want to encourage LinkedIn messages when posting stories from your profile? Posting LinkedIn stories is a great opportunity to encourage messaging with the people who are already connected to you. Messaging can take a LOT of time! With LinkedIn stories you can use LinkedIn’s suggested Question of the Day or you can ask your own questions.
Conversion Events: be clear about these when developing your story plan. These are the actions you want people to take. e.g. sign up to a newsletter, book a call, download an e-book, register for an event, submit an enquiry on your website, etc. If you’re encouraging people to message you when posting from your LinkedIn profile, decide if this is a relationship building exercise or if you’re ultimately wanting to achieve some of these results too. Both have a role to play.
Ideas to Repurpose Instagram Stories for LinkedIn Stories
If you’re already preparing or creating Instagram stories, consider content you can repurpose over on LinkedIn. Here are some examples that will hopefully encourage you to work out your version of this.
Featuring Blog Articles: When I publish a new article blog. I have a template that I’ve already created in Canva. It’ animated and allows me to drop in a visual of my latest blog image and title.
Sharing Quick Tips: I’ve shared visual LinkedIn tips for years. They offer bite sized tips that help people do more with LinkedIn. Canva allows me to animate these tips.
Re-sharing LinkedIn Stories: When other Company Pages share LinkedIn stories you can download these and then share them as stories from either your LinkedIn Profile and LinkedIn Company Page.
Upcoming Events: If you’re running an online event, create a 5-20 second video and share it as a LinkedIn story. Remember to include a call to action for your Profile stories encouraging people to message you to find out more information or message you for the link to register.
Please Consider This Before You Decide To Post LinkedIn Stories
Please focus on improving the basics right first. If you don’t have many connections or followers, if your profile is not optimised, if you don’t have a strategy for your company page, if you haven’t filled in all of the elements of your company page and you’re not posting regularly from your company page or your LinkedIn profile, please do not touch this feature!
Image Sources: LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Inlytics and Kelly Sikkema
As one of Asia Pacific’s Top 10 LinkedIn Experts I share fortnightly news with my global email community and run monthly online Lunch and Learns to teach professionals how to unlock LinkedIn. Sign up to my newsletter to help you learn LinkedIn – the right way!