LinkedIn is the social media platform that I’ve never really deemed as “social.” Sure, it’s sole purpose is to connect with others, but always in a professional manner. I’m way less inclined to comment on a colleague’s LinkedIn post than I would be on their Instagram. This is probably due to the fact that LinkedIn is where I’ve established my career’s story. It’s where I want to come off as an intellectual, agreeable job candidate. So it’s the last place I would ever want to share an opinion.
I think LinkedIn as a company has caught onto this because they’ve just recently rolled out reactions for posts. What we’ve got so far is a classic thumbs up, an applause, a heart, a light bulb, and what appears to be an exact replica of the “inquisitive” emoji smiley face: 🤔. When you hover over each reaction, a fun little definition appears to explain what each is supposed to be perceived as. 👍 equals “like,” 👏 equals “celebrate,” ❤️ equals “love,” 💡 equals “insightful,” and 🤔 equals “curious.” These reactions were calculated by using the platforms most common one to two-word comments on posts.
To me, this kind of makes the pressure of LinkedIn interactions a little lighter. It certainly takes away the fear of “saying the wrong thing,” or providing a clear opinion on something that could be misunderstood by potential employers. However, this is probably as far “social” as I’d like to see LinkedIn going. When it comes down to it, this is the platform where the mass majority of people look to find jobs. The “social” aspect of it is always calculated, never organic or authentic. It’s strategic. In the simplest terms, there is a large difference in “socializing” and “networking.”
From an advertising perspective, I see this tool as something that will become quite beneficial in understanding your audience. With more opinions to choose from, businesses can receive an even deeper understanding of what their consumers like and dislike. It’s one of the first organic tools advertisers can use for reporting on the platform. For that reason, I’m excited to see how this new effort will effect LinkedIn social advertising strategies in the future.