A quick guide to new features on LinkedIn

At the end of last month, social network LinkedIn rolled out some fairly major changes with regards to how the site’s groups feature works. LinkedIn is a really useful tool for developing your career; whether it’s for networking, sourcing new employees, or quickly finding out the answer to a difficult question. Since the groups feature was introduced last August it has proved an invaluable tool for networking with industry peers and keeping up with the latest news in your sector.

So what have they changed? Well first of all, conversations threads are a lot easier to follow; when group members post links to external pages they appear as they do in the news stream on the home page. This allows you to view important information much faster – essential if you’re trying to find something quickly and easily.

The success of Facebook’s ‘like’ button has inspired LinkedIn to add a similar feature. So users can find the most popular and useful content, everyone has the chance to vote on whether they ‘like’ the information that’s been contributed. This saves time and lets everyone find the most important content without having to search through the irrelevant stuff.

The biggest change LinkedIn has made, and arguably the most exciting, is the profiling of the most influential users in each group. Previously, you needed to scroll through all of the conversations to find out who posted the best content. That has all changed, as LinkedIn now does the leg work for you by rating the top influencers.

Now users can find out who the most influential members are straight away and keep up to date with what they are contributing. The new changes let you choose to receive email updates when individual members post comments or ‘like’ a piece of content.

We are always preaching to clients about how useful LinkedIn groups are for discovering news and insight from industry peers. The changes make it a lot easier to find new content; but more importantly they let you find out who is regularly posting it.

Once you discover who is posting really good content make sure you follow them; find out if they have a blog (most LinkedIn users have links to their blogs or websites on their profile), and find their Twitter details (again these are usually found on the user’s profile page).

Once you are following them start engaging; ask them questions, offer advice and get involved! LinkedIn selects the most influential users based on the amount they post and the number responses their posts get. So start posting interesting and useful links and you too could become a top influencer!

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