Whenever a new social media tool or feature arrives, it is tempting to rush right in without a strategy. That may work sometimes, but at that point, you’re just lucky. The rest of us, content strategists, should look before we leap. For example, LinkedIn Stories is the latest feature that requires some judiciousness before use. I dare to say that Linkedin Stories are not for everyone. Success will depend on your audience’s needs, wants expectations, and overall activity.
What is LinkedIn Stories?
LinkedIn Stories is a new feature rooted in the temporary social media experience introduced by Snapchat. Organizations and individuals can now post 20-second videos or photos that only last 24 hours. Users can add stickers, text, and @mention others. It is a simple concept that has become an asset in many content strategies.
According to the LinkedIn official blog, Stories is intended as a conversation starter. Allowing your audience to connect with you and your company more personally. Some suggestions given in the original blog post are; behind the scenes of your work, asking and answering questions, product demos, and educational moments. Features like LinkedIn Stories are the next best thing to long-form video for sharing your experiences and insights. Allowing you to build meaningful relationships with your professional community virtually and in short bursts.
It is easier to think of ways to use LinkedIn Stories for individuals than for businesses because of audience interest. As always, it depends on how well you know your audience and comes down to how active your company is on LinkedIn. To use LinkedIn successfully requires interactivity. Sharing between other industry professionals, if your company does not have these basic ingredients, LinkedIn Stories may not be as effective, if at all.
Content Strategists and anyone looking into this new feature should always ask themselves some common sense questions before committing time and resources. For example:
AUDIENCE – Know your audience. As a business, are your customers really using your company’s LinkedIn page as a resource? Or are your audience professionals in your industry?
PURPOSE – What is your goal in using this tool? Goes back to why you have a LinkedIn account, to begin with. What are you using LinkedIn for? Sometimes it’s good just to have. Taking ownership of your company’s presence and reputation on the internet. How do Stories contribute to your goals?
CONTENT – What are your audience’s wants and needs? Audience and purpose impact the content you ultimately produce. For example, do behind the scenes hosted by interns make sense? Is this the best place to announce product launches?
RETURN ON INVESTMENT – Free tools sound great but are you able to commit the time to invest in researching, creating, producing, and posting good content? So is the ROI enough to commit to?
As content strategists, our job is to match company(and products), purpose, and audience to the best mediums that provide the best ROI.