Like many B2B marketers, I use LinkedIn. But change is afoot on the social media network.
Right now, there are two different versions of LinkedIn being served up to desktop users. The new-look site – which is more like LinkedIn’s mobile app – is gradually being rolled out across the user base. And importantly, it handles shared content very differently – with new visible character limits on updates posted to the newsfeed. Company pages and individual profiles have changed too.
That means your content, personal profile and company page is being shown in two different formats at once – and you’ve no way of knowing who’s seeing which.
It’s not easy to ensure everything you put on LinkedIn reads well and looks right – across all versions of the platform – but I’ll suggest some good practice that should help.
How do I know if I’m using the new desktop version of LinkedIn?
If your newsfeed looks like the style on the left – you’re still using old LinkedIn. If it looks like the style on the right – you’re using new LinkedIn.
A new LinkedIn that no longer lets you sort your newsfeed by the most recent updates posted by those you follow. And still has no way to edit posts that have been posted. (What is this, Twitter?)
If the new version is how LinkedIn looks for you, remember many of your contacts will still have the old view… and vice versa.
Important: you get fewer characters before “see more”
Personally, changes to character limits have been causing me the most headaches.
There are no new character limits for updates, summaries or About Us sections. But you get fewer characters before the body of text gets hidden behind a “see more” – which can spoil a well-written introduction, or hide a link added to an image post:
There are a few other notable differences, too. This table has approximate character limits, as the cut off is actually based on pixels rather than characters:
* This is not always the case if the link was posted through certain social media tools. Links shared via Hootsuite, for instance, currently cause small image embeds to appear on the left of link updates, much like old LinkedIn, but without a meta description for the link.
Seven DOs and DON’Ts for surviving the LinkedIn switch over on desktop
There’s no cure-all solution, but there are steps you can take to give your content the best chance of looking good when you post – regardless of which version of LinkedIn you’re using:
- DO include eye-catching introductions with links, and make sure the introduction doesn’t exceed 150 characters.
- DON’T copy a link’s meta description into the body of an update instead of writing an introduction.
- DO post images on LinkedIn that include links to your content.
- DON’T forget that links in image posts will count towards the first 150 characters before a see more.
- DO have detailed summaries on your profile page.
- DON’T hide the juiciest profile summary information after the first 230 characters.
- DO optimise your company page so that your About Us gets straight to the point.
What about the mobile app?
How the LinkedIn app displays content depends on the size of the device accessing the app. The bigger the device, the more words are shown in a post before the rest gets shoved under a …see more. The same happens with summaries and About Us.
Frustratingly, the mobile app does not display the original text posted with images shared on LinkedIn. For example: if you posted an image that included a link to a blog post via the desktop version, then that link will not be visible on the mobile app when the image is reshared.
In short: get to the point, fast.
One thing is clear, whatever version you’re using: you need to get to your point quickly on LinkedIn if you don’t want your key message to disappear behind a “see more”.
If your opening is good enough, and you do want to post something longer, grabbing people’s attention from the start will make them more likely to read the rest of your post.
How are you finding the new LinkedIn on desktop? Let us know in the comments below.