LinkedIn is experimenting with ways that businesses on its platform can encourage open conversations around business-type products.
The company is working with two early beta testers. The idea is to prompt engagement between members, as well as between members and product development teams at brands.
There are websites and communities built to share ideas and recommendations around travel destinations and restaurants, but not a community to share ideas about different products, according to Penry Price, vice president at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.
"These are professional products," he says. "Someone on an HR team might say, 'I worked with this type of product to help boost morale'."
Price estimates that 57 million companies have LinkedIn business pages. The idea is to support engagement and help them to become more productive.
“It’s a way to find growth even when people do not look for jobs,” he says, referring to the experiment as product pages to make peoples' professional lives better.
When asked whether companies use these types of pages on LinkedIn today, Price says there are teams within LinkedIn building out this concept, along with a couple of companies that have put up pages to experiment with the concept.
The companies participating in the beta have uploaded product assets to their company LinkedIn page. There now is a tab that enables LinkedIn members to connect with the teams at the manufacturers that built the product, or to connect with others who have bought and use the product.
Companies will have an option to use the service for free. LinkedIn will determine best practices for optimization, making it searchable throughout the site and on the web.
The platform will ask members to add products they like or they have been responsible for at any time to create a web of networks related to specific products.
LinkedIn reported in Microsoft’s latest Q3 2021 earnings report growing 61% year-over-year. In 2020, the company generated more than $3 billion in revenue, during a year when increasingly people reassessed the type of work they do.
LinkedIn members engaged more with the platform last year, and they are choosing to think differently about work.
“There was about 35% growth in the number of conversations posted to feeds on the platform in 2020,” Price says. “It’s happening because more people have opinions about their work, more questions, and more reasons to reach out to their networks. They may not be looking for a new job, but they’re trying to figure out what others are doing. Maybe they want to take six months off or change careers.”
LinkedIn also will find ways to make it easier for companies to have events online, which includes free tools, and ways to promote thought leadership.
Last week, LinkedIn announced that it now allows freelancers to offer their services on LinkedIn’s marketplace. It initially launched earlier this year in beta.
Professionals set a service page from their LinkedIn profile, which shows an overview services provided, along with ratings and reviews from clients. The page has a dashboard that can be used to manage requests, messages, reviews and client lists.