LinkedIn Stories: Highlights for Nonprofits
For anyone who has ever said or thought “LinkedIn is not Facebook,” well it just got a little bit closer to the social media giant and other similar platforms through its addition of the LinkedIn Stories feature.
Recently launched within the last week, whether it is good or bad, the jury is out and is a matter of personal preference. Alas, I thought I would break down what we have been able to learn about it so far and some opinions on how or why you may or may not use it.
LinkedIn Stories: What Is It?
If you have ever used Facebook or Instagram stories, it is just like that. You can share 20-second video clips, images and/or text as a sequence of content strung together. These content sequences, aka stories, last for 24 hours and can be viewed by your contacts and their network, otherwise known as your second-degree connections. The feature (with all these social platforms) is as an add-on content opportunity that sits alongside any text, video or image post that one might share in the main news feed of the platform.
It is my belief that the thinking behind this feature is to allow for individuals to share more authentically about themselves, their work or what is going on in their minds in a real-time format that can follow a storyline. It is simply another way to engage with your social network outside of the main newsfeed. It also allows for one-to-one interaction with the reply/personal messaging feature on each story. What that means is that a follower can reply with a comment to your story, and you as the story author are the only person who is going to see that message. It is a DM (direct message) just like within Instagram and Facebook.
How Do I Use it? How Would I Make a Story on LinkedIn?
This is important: The stories feature is only available on the LinkedIn mobile app. So if you only get on LinkedIn on your desktop computer or laptop, then you will not have seen this feature yet. It sits at the top of the screen on the mobile app and is easy to use by simply adding the little plus sign by your own LinkedIn headshot, like so:
You can string together as many content pieces (stories) as you want, and they will be posted and available for your followers to see for 24 hours after posting.
But Should I Use It?
I will give you two ways to look at this and think about this:
First, no you do not have to use it or feel like you must use it. The No. 1 tip I have is to not get stressed out by feeling you now have to do “another thing” on social media. We have enough on our minds these days, so please do not let this new thing get too much of your headspace if it is too much. Do not let FOMO get the best of you on this one. You are not going to “miss out.” Also, if you prefer the more professional side of LinkedIn and do not feel comfortable with this format, then stick with your current jam and keep on using the platform for sharing and reading things in the main news feed.
But what about the other side? Yes, there is a flip-side way of looking at it. If LinkedIn Stories interests you and sharing stories on other platforms is your jam, then the good news is you will easily adopt LinkedIn stories. Why? Because the format is seriously the same as it is on other platforms. It is a replica of Instagram stories, but with different stickers and even fewer features. ALSO, and this is a BIG also… there has not been much pickup of this feature. I am a power user on LinkedIn, and I am currently not seeing very many people in my network posting stories. It is brand new, and I am seeing the marketing gurus that I follow use it, but that is about it. So if you are the first one to really get out there with your stories strategy and start using it well, I do think you will get eyeballs on your content.
Will I use it? Sure, I will use it some because trying new tech and features is my personal jam. If you want to follow along to see how I use it and get ideas, check me out here.
Lastly, and adding onto my point on early adoption, I think this could supply an interesting avenue for your organization to have board members sharing your organization’s story in their networks for year-end fundraising. LinkedIn is an underutilized social media platform by the nonprofit sector. There is a huge opportunity to use your influencers (like your board members) to share the work you are doing in this professional and influential network. Arm and empower your board with great content and stories that they can share about why your work is important, why it might be valuable for their network. If you think about LinkedIn stories through a growth mindset and opportunity lens like this, you might see some uptick in new donors via this social platform.
In closing, I hope this helps to give you some insight into what this new feature is on LinkedIn, how you can use it and why you might or might not want to use it.
Taylor Shanklin is a TEDx speaker, podcast host and marketing innovator in the nonprofit sector. Taylor is the founder and CEO of Barlele, a brand and marketing strategy agency that helps mission-minded businesses and nonprofit organizations grow through clear storytelling, branding, digital marketing strategies and strategic growth coaching.
In her career, she has served 100-plus organizations on both national and local levels. Her areas of expertise are branding and digital storytelling, digital marketing for nonprofits, empowering one's authentic voice and helping nonprofit organizations realize their full potential through digital donor experiences that delight and surprise. Taylor lives in North Carolina with her husband, two children and dachshund named Lady.