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The Era of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social network that has been around since 2003. By and large, it has functioned as a professional networking platform, but the platform is now fast becoming a favored marketing medium especially when communication is involved in enthralling B2B audience. Over the years, LinkedIn has evolved and brought in new features to attract a valuable crowd. At present, the medium claims it has ‘inclusivity and accessibility at its core. The success of LinkedIn lies in the fact that while people scroll through Instagram and Facebook as an activity of leisure or hobby, they spend time on LinkedIn with serious intents such as growing their network, scouting suitable candidates for a position, understanding the industry insights, etc. The platform has over 700 million active users and they mean business especially when they claim 3 persons are hired via this platform every single minute. This channel has been a frontrunner in creating trusted communities and clouts.

LinkedIn changed its look and feel, to stay relevant in changing times. The pandemic saw an era of great reshuffle where companies and employees redefined the idea of work and LinkedIn became an ever more valuable network rising up to new demands and challenges. Here is how LinkedIn catered to businesses and individuals while introducing many new features.

  1. Ephemeral Content

LinkedIn jumped onto the bandwagon of stories. Content that disappears after 24 hours has now become a part and parcel of LinkedIn. But unlike other social media networks, the content posted is highly professional in nature without any traces of frivolity.

  1. Open to work/Network

LinkedIn introduced photo frames that can make an individual stand out from the crowd, especially to a recruiter. LinkedIn also brought in options to customize profiles with banners and summaries to let the user put their best foot forward.

  1. In Mail

LinkedIn’s trusted messaging service which is safe and has options for customisation. This is a great way to reach a person who may or may not be a direct connection. Many recruiters use this feature to reach out to potential candidates.

  1. A surge in video content /Live Video

Like most other social media platforms, video content infiltrated LinkedIn too. Earlier the platform had a plethora of links to third-party websites alongside regular content, but now engaging videos are preferred over them. The platform also facilitates live video sessions where people or brands can engage in real-time with their viewers.

  1. Video Calls

This feature has the perfect timing of entry, where people are colluding via google meets and zoom, an option to video call makes the communication seamless. Users can engage in face-to-face video calls via Microsoft Teams, Verizon, or Zoom.

  1. Search Options

LinkedIn is widening its scope of ‘searching abilities’ where people can now search for, individuals, communities, content, and even events.

  1. Organic Carousels

LinkedIn documents can be viewed in scrollable carousel format which can pique the interest of readers ensuring increased engagement.

  1. LinkedIn Influencer

The platform has a unique influencer program limited to 500 people which is invites-only, where the thought leaders of the industry are invited to put out content that can benefit laymen in a way making their acumen accessible to the masses. Bill Gates, Richard Branson, etc are all a part of this elite group. Lately, the platform has witnessed a rise in conventional micro and nano influencers who are emerging thought leaders in their respective niches.

  1. LinkedIn Showcase Pages

A brand can have an add-on page/page that features special products or initiatives where it can broadcast noteworthy content appealing to different buyer groups.

Editing and deleting sent messages, emojis to react to messages and contents, LinkedIn polls, name pronunciation feature where one can record the correct pronunciation of their name to help others have correct diction, inviting new people to group conversations are all exciting features doled out by LinkedIn as it is moving steadily to hit 1billion users benchmark.

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The gifting culture for the V-Day has shifted to buying experiences than things, to enjoy together with loved ones. An interesting find by mobile commerce optimization platform Button, says many consumers look for gifts immediately before lunch and during the afternoon as a pick-me-up activity. Last-minute shopping sees a surge too especially during the late nights with an average spending of $41. Advertisers could latch on to this heightened traffic with personalized offers to peak sales on special days.

Farmgirl Flowers’ Social media tweak takes the cake.

What if a floral company targeted men on Valentine ’s Day? It would be perfect since men are the majority buying flowers for their women. That’s exactly what Farmgirl Flowers did, shifting their strategy to hit men over the conventional target, women. Valentine’s Day being one of the biggest days of the year for florists, they roped in a dramatic change in their marketing tactics which was highly rewarding.

Dominos’ new personalized Ad campaign

Returns have climbed tenfold for the Pizza giant who changed up their game with the mantra of ‘outsmart rather than outspend’ which yielded the company’s latest initiative to be insanely successful. The company has been digging into big data with Talend’s big data integration platform roped in for the backend work to integrate the company’s data to display highly personalized ads for consumers. A recent personalized display campaign in the UK generated a bumper 10:1 return on spend. The trick was to identify and reach the right consumers at scale.

Influencer shift to video content

The number of videos being created and shared on social platforms has increased manifold in recent years. Instagram took the cue and shifted its focus to video with IG Stories feature – and YouTube too brought out Stories option for live content. The advantage with video content is that it achieves higher engagement which is in turn favored by the algorithm, which means more penetration to the audience. Also, video helps them build a stronger bond with followers. Brands should follow suit here with 72% of customers preferring to learn about a through video.

Facebook has a new Page Management History Tool

Matt Navarra recently put forward a new feature for Facebook Pages by the name of “Page Management History.” The tool is beneficial for Pages managed by multiple individuals, as it shows every single action made on and by your Page, when the actions were taken, and by whom it was. This helps companies evaluate and monitor employee interaction with customers and engagement on social media. All this you can get in a glance with this particular tool. The tool is found in the “Settings” tab, with the title “Page Management History”.

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Facebook Dynamic Ads is scaling up
Dynamic ads are now bumped up with machine learning to make customized users’ experience on a larger scale. This results in delivering a specific ad to different users based on their activity or preferences. By combining data, signals, and insights from Facebook and advertisers, dynamic Ads deliver content in different formats based on users’ behaviour.

A new logo for Facebook
Next time you are on Facebook and see a slightly different logo don’t freak out. Facebook has changed its corporate logo, but it won’t affect the old blue “F” appearing on your apps. The new logo may make its appearance on login screens of Instagram and WhatsApp, slightly tinted to match the respective brands.

Meet IGTV “series”
Organize your IGTV videos as a video series with a title and theme now, as in Snapchat. You can label your videos so that users can easily find content buckets via playlist at the same time making it easier for creators to arrange content. An on-screen tab will also be there to help you opt to get episode notifications from your favourite accounts.

LinkedIn rewards ‘builders’
LinkedIn recently introduced a “contribution” objective to its feed algorithm which has an assigned objective. This translates to the fact that the network now rewards “builders” i.e., contributors who are the people that regularly share, comment and react to content. LinkedIn thus urges you to be an active member of your community and the new algorithm rewards people for getting more and regularly involved with the network.

Facebook rolling out in-app shopping ads
Like the massively popular in-shopping ads on Instagram, Facebook is also shifting paradigm with plans to introduce the same on the platform. Foreseeing a future where Facebook and shopping are synonymous, Facebook announced it is testing the new ad feature, namely an in-app checkout for dynamic ads that will allow you to turn organic shopping posts into ads. With the feature on Facebook and Instagram, it appears to be working towards creating a seamless online shopping experience for users.

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The hotel giant just tripled its revenue by tapping into customer insights to create content that connects with people. In 2018, Marriott Traveler attracted 3 million unique visitors (78 % from previous year) to the individual hotel landing pages. Their focus on storytelling and serious commitment to content and customers is the reason for this success. They insist that content should be inspirational as well as aspirational, keeping with their vision of being the world’s favorite travel company – with emphasis on the word ‘favorite’.

Ikea’s teary-eyed Ad a hit.

Advertising is hitting your soft spots again this time with Ikea. The spot, an ad by Ogilvy Greece, brings the story of a farm dog who’s adopted by a couple with an adorable little girl. The story goes through, him being separated from his best friend back on the farm. He’s taken back to the family home, all decked out with Ikea furnishings and accessories. Andy Williams’ “Love Story” playing in the background will definitely make your eyes well as you watch. The company says it will be building on the message in coming campaigns.

Beauty brand ‘Glossier’ is going against the marketing playbook

US beauty brand Glossier doesn’t “go by the rules”, lines of President and Chief operating officer Henry Davis. From its launch, it has seen itself as the opposite of big brands, and their strategy rests on building a relationship with customers. The company is considered innovative and owns the bottom part of the sales funnel and does not rely on any other players to sale on their behalf. The brand’s rapid growth last year, passing $100 million in revenue and 1 million new customers made is largely attributed to its social media presence. Its biggest campaign ever, “Feeling Like Glossier,” is all about real people and has been a hit ever since.

Facebook’s big update: scheduling on Instagram

Post scheduling is finally being adding to Instagram but only for business accounts that are linked to a Facebook page. There have been a number of third-party apps that offer Instagram post scheduling. The scheduling feature for Instagram is being added to Facebook’s Creator Studio, used by publishers to manage posts, view analytics and monetize content on Facebook and Instagram.

Nike Plays Tag

Nike plays an epic game of ‘tag’ in its super cool ad where different kids ‘tagged’ take turns to show off each of their impressive skills, from skateboarding, to running to diving and much more. The ad is really fast-paced as we fly around the world and see young athletes that have some amazing abilities. The ad also has some sick animation too, which make it more interesting. It follows the recent trend from Nike to inspire young athletes and champion budding sports stars that are just starting out in their careers. It’s another great ad from Nike.

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Marketers are always looking for places of action, chasing influencers across all platforms with Facebook and Instagram being established arenas. But stats point to TikTok, the popular short video app with its user base now over 200 million is surging ahead of social media networking giants Facebook and Twitter. TikTok is also the 2nd most popular platform in terms of time spent by users, with a user spending 44 minutes per day on Facebook, whereas TikTok grabbed 34 minutes of the user’s time every day. Marketers need to look at these newer platforms for higher reach and conversions.

Amazon Prime Day testament of Holiday Shopping

Amazon prime says their Ad spending more than doubled but so did sales during the Holiday season, with the Amazon Prime Day 2019 surpassing sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. They also said its Prime subscription service purchased also peaked to more than 175 million items. So holiday offers definitely work if done right.

Eating in Secret Ads Work. Why?

Delving to the depths of human emotions, advertisers say portraying eating when you are low intensifies cravings, which is an advertiser-coveted effect. We also think more about the things we hide. Therefore ads that talk about it about secret indulgences like just giving in to your favorite ice-cream after a long day have significantly more effect in selling the product than conventional.

Emojis for engagement

Images and iconography are fundamental to brand identity, especially in the era of visual social media platforms like Pinterest & Instagram. The last decade has seen the rise of emojis that has taken the globe by storm (more than 700 million of them are used on Facebook alone, each day)

A survey of 1000 consumers said that a vast majority of respondents would be highly receptive to using emoji to express their thoughts on the brand experience. The emoji of choice currently are the ‘thumbs up’ (49.1%), followed by a star (12.7%), a smiley face (10.9%) an ’ok hand’ (4.6%) and a heart (3.7%).

Animations for better Conversations with Consumers

People can relate to a character more than traditional marketing strategies. Since the marketing space is so crowded, a character will create pure brand salience. The character becomes a shortcut reference to the brand, and can be more interesting than the brand itself. With the short attention span of Internet users, animation evokes emotions faster and resonate with the viewers. A great example is Google Doodles whose cute animations make us want to click on them for sure.

Sundar Pichai is Alphabet’s new CEO

Sundar Pichai took the Internet by storm when he became the CEO of Google four years ago. Now he is appointed as the CEO of Alphabet, the parent company of Google. Larry Page and Sergey Brin gave up the executive positions at Alphabet Inc. to make way for Sundar Pichai.

Nykaa clocks 108 % profitable growth in revenue

The online beauty products platform has turned its tables around by not just recovering their losses but also making a profit of Rs 2.31 crore. Nykaa’s valuation has now touched $724 million. In March, Nykaa had also acquired fashion styling and ecommerce platform 20Dresses.

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Google’s director of Chrome engineering, Justin Schuh’s recent blog post stated that Google Chrome intends to kill off third-party cookies by 2020. This sounds a challenge for advertisers and marketers who rely on third-party cookie tracking to display relevant ads to users. The main reason for this update is the privacy issue that has been on and off a much-discussed matter.

Pinterest pushes Snapchat to become third-largest social app in the US
Pinterest had a big 2019 with numerous updates throughout the year to make the platform making it more user-friendly. Its new updates included shopping features where users can shop by brand, get personalized shopping recommendations, search in-stock product pins, click shopping ads and Pinterest Academy targeted at business marketing teams along with a promoted video ad format, and an updated lens feature.

Microsoft brings out the new Edge Chromium browser
Among browsers, Chrome tops the list at 65.40% of browser market share and the next closest contender is Apple’s Safari, with 14.22% of the market share. With Microsoft Edge sitting way below the race at 3.47%, Microsoft is revamping with its recent release of the Edge Chromium browser. The browser is immediately available for both Windows and macOS. It will be available for download as well. Microsoft has invested in robust built-in privacy controls and tracking prevention that has been a major headache on Chrome browsers.

Google updates Ads and organic search display for desktop
On January 13th, Google tweeted that it was rolling out its new ads and organic search display on desktop searches. With the new update, the ad call-out will be in black, making it a bit easier for searchers to quickly distinguish between an ad and the first search result as opposed to ad call-out being the same colour as the URL before. Also Google is making organic search results easier with Search results on desktop having a favicon next to the page title. Google explained that the favicon helps “anchor each result.” By this searchers will be able to quickly identify brands based on an image they’re used to seeing.

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Instagram Brings DM’s to Desktop

Instagram has brought direct messages to the web, citing that the update will be finally useful for businesses, influencers and other people in terms of connecting with each other. The desktop DM’s will function essentially the same as it is on the mobile version. On commending on the update, the Facebook-owned platform has further augmented Mark Zuckerburg’s increased focus on evolving messaging as a rapidly growing area of communication for the future.

Spotify Exits Beta; Ready to Serve 18 Global Markets

From its humble debut in 2017 to the formidable growth of 68% in terms of recent monthly active advertisers, Spotify has announced that it is exiting the beta and now intends to serve 18 potential global markets. The platform had earlier served small players that don’t have in-house potential to craft ads in lines of their bigger counterparts. Like the most self-service advertisement platforms, Spotify will facilitate advertisers to set up ads manually by curating budget, target audience, and creative content.

Facebook Launch ‘Quiet Mode’

It feels like Marc Zuckerburg has been concerned about people using his platform for too long hours during the Corona lockdown! Facebook has launched it’s Quiet Mode’ feature where users can mute the notifications until they wish to resume again. If the user forgot to unmute the mode and intend to start browsing, then the feature will send a reminder to deactivate the mode. Users can access the feature in the “Your Time on Facebook” button in the hamburger menu. However, make sure your Facebook application is updated to access the functionality.

‘Recipe’ becomes the most searched topic in Google

According to a survey conducted by India Today, the list of Google trends in India on various leisure-related topics has been topped by searches related to cooking. There is no surprise in ‘recipe’ becoming the top search topic when over 130 crores been instructed to stay confined at homes. The survey went on to reveal that ‘Recipe’ was followed by ‘Netflix’ and ‘Health’; then came ‘Sex Tips’ and ‘Ludo’, which happens to be a popular board game in the country. Some of the trending dishes during the lockdown included ‘Dahi Vada’, ‘Pan Cakes’, and ‘Dalgona Coffee’, which has become a lockdown sensation in social media.

Tik Tok becomes the most download app in Q1 2020

Chinese tech-firm ByteDance’s TikTok has become the most downloaded non-gaming app in India during the lockdown. The app has managed to dethrone WhatsApp and Facebook in terms of downloads, reported App Annie. During the lockdown, Tik Tok downloads recorded a 20% growth when compared to their statistics in January. The application has managed to generate a whopping 49 million downloads altogether from the App Store and Google Play Store. With lockdown extended till May 3rd, we can expect these numbers to surge quickly.

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The influencer trend is catching on, as 72% of brands are increasing their digital marketing share budget on them this year. It is reported that 32 percent spend between Rs 1,00,000 and Rs 10,00,000 on influencer marketing yearly. This is attributed to influencer marketing provides a higher ROI (return on investment) compared to other channels and enhanced visibility.

Instagram rolls out Threads, a messaging app for close friend.

Threads is aimed at connecting with your close friends on Instagram. Similar to the ‘Close friends’ option on Instagram Story, you can now add a list of close friends to communicate exclusively and also allows for use of all Instagram creative tools. It also comes with an interesting feature, the auto-status update. It allows Threads to request your smartphone’s location, movement, battery level and network connection that can be shared with friends.

Letting consumers visualize than just listening to the brand

Aditya Birla Capital launched an interactive Facebook campaign #InteractWithTheFuture, The campaign showcases a young couple who are celebrating their 5th anniversary. There are two buttons at the bottom of the video that is there throughout the ad film: Option A and B. The moment the viewer presses option A the exact same narrative is going on but the actors are older. And option B showcases the same older couple in a different class of society. The campaign reaches out to two different target audiences. The interactive ad was well received by the audience.

Facebook Ad Stories with Call to Action

Users can click to message brands and businesses from Stories ads on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger with the new “Send Message” call-to-action. Brands can now drive Stories ad traffic to start conversations on Messenger. Users can swipe up on Stories ads that have the new “Send Message” call to action to start a conversation with the business in Messenger without leaving the app they’re in.

Instagram delving into AR-based shopping features

Initially launching for exclusive brands, Instagram is making businesses more intuitive. It has introduced a new AR try-on feature for product on their brand pages. Instagram has become a big hub for brands to sell their products and now Instagram users can try out the product in AR before they add it to their cart. Cosmetics and eyewear giants such as Mac, Nars, Warby Parker and Ray-Ban are the first recipients of this update. However, Instagram will be making this feature available for more products over time.

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Google launches ‘People Cards’ in its Search facility

Been on the experimenting radar since February, Google has decided to roll out their People Card feature in India. It refers to a public search profile card system, introduced to avail information about an individual to employers or potential clients from a simple Google search. You can update details such as contact details, social media accounts, bio, location, employer/job etc and have an enhanced online visibility. Anyone can add their card by signing into their Google account and following the procedures and also, can take it down anytime they want.

Facebook to introduce redesigned Ad Preferences

Facebook has decided to roll out a more simpler and user friendly version of Ad Preferences to be launched in the upcoming months. As informed by Rob Leathern, Director Of Product Management, Facebook, the redesigned version will be divided into three main sections, Advertisers, Ad Topics, and Data along with some relabeled tools. The Advertisers tab displays all the advertisers a user has witnessed recently, hidden ads, and other ad related information that was in the ‘Advertisers and Businesses’ section earlier. The Data section helps users manage the ads they are shown based on their activity while Ad Topics lets them decide what content they want in the ads displayed.

Instagram to roll out verification of its users

In a novel yet substantial move to curb the use of fake IDs and the associated issues, Instagram has decided to ask its users to update their ID proofs with them if it spots any inauthentic behaviour, bots etc. Users can upload their birth certificate, license, passport, marriage certificate, voter’s ID, green card, visa etc, from amongst a list of valid IDs Instagram shall accept, as has been updated on their website. Instagram assures, “IDs will be stored securely and deleted within 30 days once our review is completed”. With this Instagram aims to resolve issues of fake followers and ensure its authenticity to users.

Twitter to display more information on who DMs you

In a recent update, Twitter has decided to display all the necessary information about who decided to DM you- mutual followers and the profile shall be displayed making it easier for its users to have a better understanding before accepting a request. A feature that has been on the testing cards for a year now, is now out on Android, iOS and the Web versions.

Facebook tests a short video form in its feed with its Indian users

Determined to fill the gap the ban of TikTok left with its 200 million users in India, Facebook has decided to come out with its own version of a short form video clips, exclusive to its users in India, prompting them to upload videos and check out the feature for themselves. With over a user base of 300 million in India, this new feature is believed to make the users stay and be more engaged with the platform.

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Reliance Jio has entered into the video conferencing bandwagon with the launch of Jio Meet. Just like the predecessor’s Zoom and Google Meet, the platform will also facilitate an unlimited number of high definition free video calls and support up to 100 participants on each call. By using the paid version, users can be increased up to 250 participants. Jio Meet is supported in Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. Users do not have to sign in to use the platform unless they are hosting a meeting. While Zoom and Google Meet have limited the free video call duration to 40 and 60 minutes respectively, Jio Meet notably allows its users to place free video calls for up to 24 hours.

Facebook is changing its algorithm to prioritize credible reporting

Facebook is changing the way news stories are ranked in order to prioritize authentic reporting and transparent ownership. The platform has decided to make the announcement after they received feedback on user research which emphasized the need for more credible and informative news stories. Facebook is associating with academic experts and content creators to run the process by which original reporting will be identified. “This important journalism takes time and expertise and we want to ensure that it’s prioritized on Facebook, said the platform in a release.

WhatsApp begins rolling out new features to enhance the user interface

A slew of features is expected to be rolling out in the WhatsApp platform in the upcoming weeks. In the press release, the application stated that they will be rolling out new animated packs to enhance the user experience. Stickers are one of the fastest evolving ways of preferred communications among the audience. Along with that, the platform will enable users to add contacts by scanning QR Codes. The Dark Mode feature which was launched earlier in March will be added to Web and Desktop versions. During group video calls, users can focus on a single participant by pressing and holding their video and expanding it to full screen.

LinkedIn to bring digital skills to 25 million people using LinkedIn Learning Paths

LinkedIn has rolled out the initiative aimed at supplying digital skills to 25 million users free of charge by the year-end. The platform is backed by the parent company Microsoft with a $20 million cash grant. In a statement released by CEO Ryan Roslansky, he said that the unemployment rate in the US has swung from 50-year lows to 70-year highs in just three months as the Covid-19 tide began. The initiative is touted as an important step towards economic recovery and helping people find jobs. More resources are available at and the platform has digitally mapped 690 million professionals, 50 million companies, 11 million job listings, 36,000 skills, and 90000 schools for identifying demand skills, jobs, and hiring patterns.

Made in India to play a crucial role in eCommerce shopping websites

Shopping websites may be required to add the country origin tag to make it easier for the people to eliminate the products from a particular country from the search results. The new update has come on the sidelines of the India-China conflicts that happened recently and the Government pushing towards in Made in India products by vouching for #VocalForLocal. If the draft policy will be implemented it will have access to the algorithms and source codes that dictate the listings, user ratings, etc. The draft policy also looks to eradicate the digitally induced biases on how the products are listed and recommended to the users. The policy will have guidelines on complying with information requests by law enforcement agencies and government, with shopping websites expected to share data within 3 days.