What else can LinkedIn offer to Marketing Professionals

About 9 months back I had left a comment on my friend’s (Venkata Akella) post on how LinkedIn should be different from Facebook. Interesting to see that one of the points that I had raised then, is now an available feature – the number of views of your post.

I am an avid LinkedIn user. As a BD & Marketing professional, LinkedIn is essential for me to hear a pulse of the market, read articles and post my points of view. I am surprised when I run into people who say I am not active on LinkedIn as I am not searching for jobs or I don’t want to give others a perception that I am. LinkedIn for me is more than a platform to find your next opportunity. Philosophically speaking it is more about the now than the next.

The one thing that stands out to me even today about Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn in June is the potential for Sales & Marketing as explained by Grant Feller in his article. For me, this goes all the way from individual branding to B2B & B2C Sales & Marketing. While a direct Sales pitch on LinkedIn can be annoying, thought leadership is more appealing here. Videos, links to content landing pages, sharing content on SlideShare and tutorials on Lynda.com are other useful ways to get your content in front of peers and prospects.

What else can LinkedIn offer to marketing professionals? Here are some of my thoughts

  1. Relevant Marketing Statistics – Borrow features from leading Marketing automation software. Impressions, Opens & CTR are basic must have. While Impressions are available, Opens & CTR in Inmails are a must have else it is a one-way street. Combine Inmail + post interactions now you have a set the stage for a lead scoring mechanism.
  2. Granularity on Interactions – Likes, shares, comments, and impressions are a given. What about the world of users who like but do not want to publicly acknowledge that they like or want to share or comment on a post? Can the user privacy settings be defined at anonymity level for such users to encourage interaction? Users could like/share/comment anonymously or users could like/share/comment privately. If the ranking of posts or articles is based on certain criteria of interactions, it is important to facilitate these anonymous/private interactions. I want to extend my colleague’s (Omer Farooque) Age of the Empire analogy where he talks about Data you don’t know to Data you haven’t even captured yet!
  3. Chatbots – There is an increased growth of chatbots. Here are some data points you can find online: “Chatbots are one of the hottest subsets of A.I. right now, and in the coming years they are going to become both more prevalent in their use ..” from Venturebeat’s article and then this “Online shoppers would much rather interact with a chatbot ..” from eweek’s article. In the WSJ article“Mr. Nadella also talked about giving its Cortana digital assistant access to data from LinkedIn.” Then you read this article by Mark Hachman“Could Cortana 2.0 be a Chatbot”. OK, where am I going with all this? Will Cortana be LinkedIn’s chatbot? Why would I want that? When I am visiting a company’s LinkedIn page or reading a personal post, I would like an option to chat with a bot or individual representing the post concerning any questions that I might have – Instant Clarification!

I could go on with other suggestions. In the interest of effective reading, I will stop here 🙂

Would love your thoughts on this post and on the topic.

Thanks

Shamanth

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