What are LinkedIn Stories and How Can PR Pros Use Them?

Since LinkedIn launched its Stories feature last month, it has won mixed reviews. But PR professionals shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss it!

Of course, with over 706 million global users, LinkedIn is the go-to social platform for B2B professionals, and it’s probably still the best way to build a network with colleagues, classmates and industry professionals. It’s also a great place to have conversations around hot topics in tech, leadership and current events. 

LinkedIn Stories is similar to Instagram or Facebook stories, allowing users to post an update that will stay live for 24 hours. The story feature makes sense for Instagram and Facebook where you can share real-time updates, but why did LinkedIn feel they needed this feature? 

According to LinkedIn, “LinkedIn Stories enable members and organizations to share images and short videos of their everyday professional moments.” In a pre-COVID world, this feature would have been great to use during industry conferences and events. While the timing of launch may be odd, this is definitely a feature PR pros should convince executives to include in their social strategy. Here are five ways to incorporate LinkedIn stories into yours.

Share professional tips

Instagram and Facebook stories are a great place to share real time pictures, videos and updates, so why not try this out on LinkedIn Stories? Create a social schedule of quotable tips from executives that can be shared a few times a week. The goal here is to share comments or quotes that are short but impactful. You want to grab your audience’s attention very quickly. Make sure content is easy to digest and you’re not cramming everything into one story. If you want to share five tips, create five slides and space out the updates to make a bigger impact.

Highlight ‘events’ in real time

One of the big trends of 2020 was a shift to virtual events, primarily on Zoom. In PR, we believe that securing speaking events for executives is a strong way to promote thought leadership and position clients as industry leaders. Share clips from virtual conferences with short soundbites of high-impact statements from business leaders. When the event is over, if you have access to a full recording, you can tease it in stories as well encouraging connections to watch the full talk if they missed it. 

Host a Q&A

A fun feature on stories is opening a question on your story and asking for followers and connections to weigh in. Consider hosting a weekly or monthly Q&A around current events in a given industry, — maybe on new tech launches or reactive comments around breaking news. Create a two-way conversation between business leaders and their connections. If you’re looking for a way to spread out content, ask connections to submit questions in advance and answer them a few days later. 

Preview company announcements and launches

One of the benefits of LinkedIn Stories is that when users log on, the stories will be featured at the top of the page before they start scrolling. Sometimes user posts can be lost in endless scrolling, but if you have a story, you have a better chance of higher engagement. Did your company just acquire funding or are launching a new tech offering? Tease this announcement in your story. Perhaps preview the headline of a press release to gauge attention and direct users to your company’s page or your own – wherever the press release link is live. Continue this momentum by posting any coverage you generate from the announcement.   

Highlight personal and company achievements

LinkedIn is the perfect place to share job promotions and personal achievements. Use LinkedIn Stories to highlight these wins. On an executive’s LinkedIn Stories, you can also share personnel changes and moves highlighting achievements and accolades. Connections will see how proud a business leader is of their staff, for example, and positive encouragement motivates and inspires any team to exceed expectations. 

How will you use LinkedIn stories? Let me know on Twitter @colleeno_pr.   

Top 10 PR "Best Practices" For LinkedIn

 

We asked a handful of knowledgeable PR professionals for their best tips for leveraging LinkedIn for PR and personal branding. All agree that LinkedIn is a prime destination for sharing content and building community. LinkedIn was launched in 2003 as a social networking site for the business community but it has evolved as a go-to place to publish ideas and gather “deep data” on companies, candidates and connections.

So, if you still thought LinkedIn was only good for searching jobs or candidates, read on for our top 10 ways to use it for PR and branding.

Create well-organized profiles and update them regularly.  Site visitors are more savvy than ever and nothing says “red flag” quicker than an out-of-date page, a page with no photo or a user who doesn’t publish or share content. Keep your pages fresh with photos, videos and other links. Always be able to answer yes to these questions. Does my profile make a good impression? Is it up to date?

Always be linking. True to the site’s name, “linking” is the heart of LinkedIn. Think about adding links to all your social platforms. Add links to blogs, websites, and Twitter/Facebook profiles for better circulation of content. Do this daily when you’re checking in on all your sites. Robust LinkedIn pages are proven to be viewed more often.

Recommendations beget more recommendations.  LinkedIn makes it simple to provide recommendations for colleagues and others.  We like recommendations over endorsements since LinkedIn endorsements are a rote function and don’t really speak to someone’s skills. Recommending and being recommended is part of the successful formula that will lead to productive networking.

Work those connections.  Look for mutual connections with someone and ask to be introduced; it can pay off in the long run. Be careful in following LinkedIn etiquette, however. Don’t connect to people you haven’t worked with on at least some level or haven’t been introduced to —that can be considered unprofessional.

Share content. Make a commitment to share blog posts, articles and other interesting, relevant content with your LinkedIn connections. This is a great way to communicate without asking for anything in return. If your content is compelling, you will likely get comments which can promote dialogue and help nurture a relationship.

Be a commenter.  Show your connections you value their insight and thought leadership. Read posts and articles and comment thoughtfully. Look for who is commenting on relevant posts and engage them to build your network.

Tell journalists who you are.  Does your profile highlight your areas of expertise? Have you “linked in” to journalists you’ve worked with or had a connection and were introduced to? Media often use the site to ferret out expert sources for inclusion in stories.

Asked and answered. LinkedIn provides users with the ability to pose business questions and get them answered by experts (furthering your connections). This is also your opportunity to answer questions in your field and up your authority quotient on the site.

Use influencer opportunities.   As you spend more time infiltrating discussion groups and Q&A forums, you’ll be able to identify the real influencers – the most well-connected and powerful voices in various sectors.  Often, you’ll find that these people have many “best answers” in the Answers section, and if you’ve been doing a good job cultivating and nurturing relationships, someone will likely be able to introduce you to one or more of them. Build relationships with them and see if they can become an advocate for your brand.

Put yourself out there.  Seek out and join industry and special interest groups. If you can’t find the niche you need, create your own group. The best way to home in on like-minded individuals or find clients for your business is to join smaller, specialized groups. It may be time-consuming, but like all LinkedIn opportunities, the return is worth the investment.
Go deeper with LinkedIn content by downloading our free tipsheet, 7 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your LinkedIn Posts. 


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Unwinding For The Long Weekend

If you are planning to rest and de-stress over this long weekend, why not make it a goal to catch up on all the good entertainment you might have missed working long hours at a busy job like public relations!

Here is our list of media musts to savor and enjoy over the next three days.

TV Go to Netflix or Showtime on Demand, upload the entire season of “Homeland,”  the drama/thriller about a returning American soldier who may not be who he appears and the slightly unstable yet brilliant CIA agent with suspicions. Prepare to be blown away by expert writing, compelling acting and twists and turns that will keep you mesmerized until the last minute. Then, be very patient until the next season begins months from now.

Film If you haven’t seen everything that is nominated for this year’s Academy Awards, time is running out. While not a big blockbuster year, there were some “quiet” films that really resonated. And, yes I am talking about the silent film, “The Artist.” The first fifteen minutes require an adjustment to a film without human voices but the acting, costumes, art direction, dancing and poignant story will grab you and keep you until the last frame. Even if you don’t fall in love with the film, fall in love with the canine co-star.

Books The cornucopia of good reading boggles the mind! If you’re looking to be on the edge of your seat the entire weekend, you won’t be disappointed with Stephen King’s “11/22/63.” For biography lovers, of course read Walter Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs.” Looking to get that extra edge in business?   Why not learn how to grow your career like a Silicon Valley billionaire with LinkedIn Cofounder and Chairman Reid Hoffman’s “The Start up of You.”

Music The Grammys celebrated much of the best of 2011 music from Adele to the Foo Fighters. Why not use this downtime to explore something from each category such as Louis CK’s comedy album, “Hilarious” or Tony Bennett’s “Duets II.”  For a real treat, download the award-winning soundtrack to “Book of Mormon.”

We want to know what you consider the best of the best in recent media memory. Share here!