Indeed, LinkedIn has come a long way. From its early days as little more than a glorified online résumé platform for professionals seeking employment to a one-stop shop for industry news, training and networking worldwide, LinkedIn continues to try and adjust to the changing professional workplace.
1. “Smart replies”
Linkedin added a “smart” new feature that helps make conversing with prospective clients or employers on the platform even easier. LinkedIn smart replies will suggest personalized, relevant responses to make it easier for you to keep the conversation going, no matter how busy you are.
The next time your teammate asks if you’d like to attend an event next week, you may see smart reply suggestions such as “Yes!” or “What time?” And yes, even emojis have made their way into your LinkedIn inbox as an option for replies.
2. Real-time conversations = Engagement on LinkedIn
When you meet someone for the first time in real life, you have a casual, back-and-forth conversation. You build some rapport, asking your prospect questions about his or her work (and non-work) life. You break the ice, building up a comfort level as the prospect gets to know, like and trust you.
In that vein, LinkedIn’s messaging experience now feels more like texting with a friend instead of exchanging formal-sounding emails. Back and forth you go, even having the ability to see the other person typing and replying in real-time.
3. Conversation + engagement = sales
As nice as added features like this one are when it comes to messaging your ideal connections or potential clients online, it’s still about the substance and camaraderie of your communication style more than anything else.
Just like in real life, you still need to provide value, build up rapport and earn the right to ask a new connection for his or her time, interest and attention. No amount of messaging features will replace these timeless truths of communication and conversation best practices, so make sure you follow those online with LinkedIn just like you do in real life.