Over the last twelve months there have been a number of changes and discussions relating to social media. Whilst Facebook has experienced difficulties with its floatation on the stock exchange, and Twitter – or more correctly a handful of its users – have been at the forefront of libel cases; LinkedIn has slowly yet surely been working to ensure it makes the experience of using the social network easier for all concerned.

In September, the social network rolled out its first phase of simplifying the site, whilst enhancing the experience users receive, by redesigning LinkedIn company pages, which we discussed in last months blog.

Now, following the perceived success of the LinkedIn Company Pages redesign, the social network has begun the rollout of its latest instalment in simplifying the users’ experience, by amending the personal profiles of its users.

For some the changes being made by LinkedIn may seem unnecessary, after all the social network has over the years worked well with little change, in-fact it was only in September – around the same time that LinkedIn first began to roll out changes – that it was announced that the site had passed the ten million mark in regard to UK users.

The changes introduced, and currently being rolled out by LinkedIn, appear to have three core aims:

1) To help you tell your professional story
2) To help you discover people and opportunities
3) To enable you to engage with your network

So how does it do these three, whilst still simplifying the platform and enhancing the users experience?

Firstly, the redesign of LinkedIn enables users to make a powerful first impression and showcase their skills and experience. The previous “summary” “skills and expertise” and “experience” sections are still present, enabling users to list information which they feel is important to share with connections, potential clients and employers, etc.

But in addition, LinkedIn has also added a “Volunteer Experiences & Causes” section, whilst making the “Projects” and “Publications” sections more prominent, allowing users to share as much information as they feel necessary.

The redesign of LinkedIn also sees each section segmented into clean white boxes with black text, offering the site a fresh, professional and smooth look.

In a bid to help users discover people and opportunities, where the “People You May Know” section was once static, along with the “Adverts by LinkedIn Members”, these now scroll with you as you go down your profile, in an effort to enable users to connect with other users of the platform more.

The “People You May Know” section also has an image of the user LinkedIn is suggesting, along with their name and current place of working, again encouraging further connection amongst users, especially those with like-minded interests.

For some the changes being made by LinkedIn may seem unnecessary, after all the social network has over the years worked well with little change, in-fact it was only in September – around the same time that LinkedIn first began to roll out changes – that it was announced that the site had passed the ten million mark in regard to UK users.

However, it appears that LinkedIn, and rightly so, doesn’t want to be left behind in the competitive social media industry, especially with Facebook recently announcing that they are to introduce “job boards”, a tool which has previously set LinkedIn out from other networks.

In a bid to ensure that LinkedIn remains at the forefront of social media, its CEO Jeff Weiner, recently revealed that over the next five to ten years LinkedIn wants to evolve into something similar to a social graph, which maps professional relationships across the globe – something which the redesign of the personal profiles will help achieve, as you will notice when you see the redesign on your own profile.

Another reason for the change, can be attributed to Mr Weiner expecting LinkedIn to be used for more content and as a way for publishers and individuals to show their expertise, because, as he said himself in a recent interview: “We want to get the right information in front of the right members at the right time.” – Again this is something which the redesign is helping to achieve.

Whether the changes implemented over the last few months will work in LinkedIn’s favour remains to be seen, but the signs look promising and these changes could help LinkedIn once again become a key figure in the social media marketing business.

Categories: Blog