LinkedIn rolls out video feature, but mind your manners when you use it

This article written by Emma Koehn originally appeared on SmartCompany here, featuring commentary from Good Things Marketing's CEO Helen Ahrens.

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Professional networking platform LinkedIn is bringing video sharing to its users, but marketing experts say there are a number of key differences between the new feature and the video capabilities offered on other social platforms.

On Monday LinkedIn headquarters released a blog post announcing LinkedIn Videowas now out of testing mode and ready for individuals and businesses to start uploading their own content straight to the site.

Positioning the new feature as a way for businesses to share expertise and make more connections, the platform suggests users record themselves in design studios, or on factory floors and with colleagues to better showcase to their network what they actually do at work.

The feature operates in a similar way to the Facebook Live function, allowing users to record video on their phones directly through the LinkedIn app and then post the clips to their networks.

“After you post a video, you can see audience insights such as the top companies, titles and locations of your viewers, as well as how many views, likes, and comments your videos are receiving,” the platform explained in this week’s blog post.

Use the opportunity, but “treat it like a conference”

Helen Ahrens, chief executive of Good Things Marketing, says one of the biggest opportunities LinkedIn Video presents is “leveraging your personal brand off another personal brand” by doing things like filming conversations with other professionals in your field. 

Video capabilities are only available in the US market at present but will roll out globally “over the coming weeks”, according to LinkedIn.

Once that happens, Aussie entrepreneurs and business operators will be able to film conversations with other professionals at conferences, launch events and product demonstrations.

However, just because video gives you the chance to show personality, doesn’t mean you can fully let your hair down in LinkedIn videos, Ahrens says.

“I think keep it professional — LinkedIn is a virtual conference. If you wouldn’t walk up to someone at a conference and say something to them, then it’s not for LinkedIn,” she says.

While Facebook videos are well suited to lifestyle and inspirational content, Ahrens says whatever you post on LinkedIn should have a more professional air.

Social media expert Dionne Lew agrees, saying one unique element of LinkedIn is that “there’s no real anonymity, and so people are well behaved there”.

Having already gained some insights into the beta testing of LinkedIn video, Lew says she has heard from colleagues who have created viral videos with more than 100,000 views.

There’s a real opportunity for SMEs once the video features are rolled out, but they must be careful not to get stuck on ideas about what video production “should be”, Lew says.

While LinkedIn works best for videos that show a business in action, users should avoid being “too overly corporate or staid”.

One potential use for video would be to humanise the brand by giving your network an insight into the people who work for you, Lew suggests.

“If you’re new to video, you want to avoid being sales-y. Instead, use the opportunity to showcare more of your people,” she says.

Marketing departments tend to get overly obsessed with booking professional studio time or finding the best equipment to record video, but on platforms like LinkedIn, you should be forgoing this idea and just focusing on clear and useful content, Lew says.

“It should be clear, audible and [the picture] shouldn’t be shaking. If people want to buy anything, just buy one of those tripods for your desk with a smartphone holder. That’s really all the production value people need,” she adds.