Currently, LinkedIn is trialing 'stories' in a number of different countries. Following in the footsteps of Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, a 'story' is a 24-hour snapshot or video, usually complete with text and audio, to send a message to your audience. If you're unfamiliar with stories on other platforms, it's time to get acquainted. Where your feed algorithm is dictated by popularity, likes and views, stories appear in chronological order, which means your audience have a much harder time of missing your update. Because of this, stories are a fantastic way to connect. Not only can you use the tools available to customize and 'brand' your stories, but you can also encourage replies and engagement. Basically, they're invaluable if you know how to use them correctly.
In the words of Gary Vynerchuk, "Context, context, context."
The number one you need to make a note of when approaching LinkedIn Stories, is the platform. Just like you wouldn't post the same news feed content on your Instagram and LinkedIn, you also shouldn't be posting the same story. LinkedIn is a business social media platform, which means your audience is high-caliber, and they will want high-quality content. Before posting a story to LinkedIn, think about why your audience follow you - do they want more insights? Do they want coaching tips? The context of your stories should be reflective of your newsfeed, and vice-versa.
Just like in a newsfeed, the content you post on your LinkedIn story should be invaluable to your audience... so invaluable, in fact, that they share it onto their own story. Sharing stories is one of the easiest ways to get your name out. Think of it as word-of-mouth for the technology era. If just one person shares your content to their followers, you've already reached a whole new group of people who would otherwise not have come across you. As a result, if you create content which is clickable and shareable, your audience is naturally going to broaden and you will build your credibility.
If you ensure your content is relevant to your niche and business, you'll continue to establish yourself as a leader within that niche - which is what personal branding is all about. There are a number of ways to keep both relevant and within your niche. For instance, Entrepreneur recommends appealing to a student audience. If you are a leader in what you do, then sharing tips and stories on how you reached that point is always going to go down well with a younger audience, who may be looking up to you. Another great way to stay at the forefront of people's minds, is by checking up on anything trending. Addressing current hot topics which are relevant and will provoke conversation are great ways to get people thinking, encourage interest in your content and also offer new perspectives to you, too.
As a personal brand, your visuals are almost as important as your content. They're who you are, they're reflective of what you do and the 'style' in which you do it. If you're renowned for being straight-talking, direct and slightly crass, then your visual identity is not going to be pastel colors, soft lighting and rounded fonts. Likewise, if you're a wellness coach focusing on holistic therapies, your stories shouldn't be in high-contrast with loud music blaring over the top. If you have a visual aesthetic, ensure its reflected in your stories. You can even input your logos and create text from your brand fonts. The result of this, is that people will see these themes and colors, and automatically associate them with you.
'Going live' has proved hugely popular on Instagram and Facebook, so there's no reason this wouldn't be the case on LinkedIn. If anything, you have an audience there that is focused on your professional life, rather than your personal one, so it should be even more successful. Going live on LinkedIn stories is a great way to reach your audience personally. Those who follow you are likely willing and wanting to learn, so by using the platform to offer free, short-form mentoring, you could lead your audience into programs and coaching opportunities that will increase business.