And why wouldn’t LinkedIn want to capitalise on the power of a Stories function? Instagram lays claim to over a billion users, with 500 million of them using Stories every day. If the trend were mirrored across LinkedIn, you could expect 350 million users watching, posting or engaging with the new function on a daily basis. I should say that’s an unlikely figure – B2B engagement rarely reaches the lofty heights of consumer-based platforms – but anything’s possible.

So while some may be inclined to think it’s an unnecessary addition to the biggest professional social networking site, they should ask themselves; is it something they can afford to ignore? Of course we don’t yet know how the function will fare, but if it takes off do you want to be on the backfoot, trying desperately to build on your existing strategy while others have cultivated loyal, daily followers of their content? My advice would be to start now. Try different things. See what works. Hone your content. If it takes too much time and delivers no return, stop. Nothing lost. I doubt that will be the case though.

Our B2B social media team posted our first LinkedIn Story shortly after launch. We got eyes on it from people I didn’t know, and I wasn’t expecting that. These are people I might know in the future, because they might like our content and see the value in what we do and we might work together. Unless someone likes or comments or shares your post on LinkedIn, you don’t know who’s seen it. You know how many impressions, how many clicks, sure, but no specifics on from who. Stories gives you the who. Can you really afford to miss out on that as a brand, or a business leader? Imagine what you can do when you know exactly who looks at your post, and therefore, your business.

My immediate feeling is that we’ll hear people complain about LinkedIn Stories while users find their feet: It’s too much like Instagram, I don’t ned this on a professional site / I don’t want to know what you had for breakfast, that’s what Facebook’s for / It’s just the same as everything else now – more opportunities to procrastinate, etc., etc., etc.

But, those confident individuals and marketing teams, who know they have something valuable to say, will ultimately see more engagement after steady use. Like Instagram, where a third of the most viewed stories come from businesses, brands and corporates could thrive with LinkedIn Stories too.

And Stories don’t have to be completely polished, even on the professional network – users want to see the ‘behind the scenes’ sometimes, so there’s no excuse not to try it. If you’re ready to give it a go, try these five ideas to start:

  1. Showcase your people – create short video profiles of your team and what they do and use the tagging function to share their LinkedIn profiles, providing added value to them and you followers
  2. Use LinkedIn’s readymade stickers to help you drive engagement – there’s a new Question of the Day sticker everyday to help you get to know your followers better
  3. Breakdown a thought leadership or advice piece into simple points over three slides, then ask people to visit your website to read the whole thing
  4. ‘How to’ videos perform really well elsewhere online –develop a format for Stories that shows your customers or clients how to solve a problem, either through talking heads, or text on screen
  5. Share customer testimonials – people buy based on trust, so build it by showing how you delivered a great experience for others

If you’d like support with your LinkedIn strategy to set up, build, or manage your reputation online, our specialist Digital team is on hand. Get in touch to see how we could help you.