Over the past several years, the lines between social media platforms have been becoming more and more blurred as some of them implement features that have been made popular by others. LinkedIn now joins the roster as it has recently released a version of Reactions; a set of engagement buttons that allow people to react to posts with more than a simple ‘Like.’
Engagement on LinkedIn is reportedly at an all-time high and providing more & different ways for users to engage can only be fuel on the fire.
When the feature was first rumoured in late 2018, some people thought that this didn’t feel particularly ‘LinkedIn,’ but they’ve found a way to make it their own. Unlike Facebook’s suite of emotional responses (Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry) LinkedIn has implemented Like, Celebrate, Love, Insightful, and Curious, which seem to be intended as more professional responses than personal.
Users will likely rejoice at the option for the variety with which to react to posts. This should be of particular interest to marketers as well as it revolutionizes engagement between brands and their followers. You may also notice that none of these reactions are inherently negative. This is likely to be intentional on LinkedIn’s part, as they seem to want their posts and reactions to be more constructive than reductive. It feels like an effort to make their platform more of a positive space on the internet.
From LinkedIn’s press release, “You can use Celebrate to praise an accomplishment or milestone like landing a new job or speaking at an event, or Love to express deep resonance and support, like a conversation about work life balance or the impact of mentorship. Insightful can help you recognize a great point or interesting idea, while Curious lets you show your desire to learn more or react to a thought-provoking topic. As a poster, these new reactions can help you better understand the impact your posts are having.”
Marketing, above all else, is about communication between a business and its customers. It’s not just advertising, it’s two-way communication. Businesses relay information about their products and services to their (potential) customers, customers provide feedback, then the business either continues or adapts. In a world where brands can interact directly with their customers, there is no way that a new method of expressing opinions is a bad thing.
Marketers have access to so much data about their customers and followers. Geography, age, sex, likes, shares, activities… all data that can be used to better market a product or service to customers. Reactions are another data point that businesses and brands can use to gauge how people are reacting to their messages and help guide them to make more appropriate content decisions in the future.
Speaking of communication, that’s exactly how LinkedIn determined which reactions to create. They listened to users and analyzed the reactions that people were making in text-based comments and based the Reactions on the most common ones. That’s paying attention to what their users really want instead of relying on their intuition. That’s good marketing.
A limited number of users currently have the feature and it should be rolling out to everyone in the coming months.