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  • Writer's pictureSally A Illingworth

Everything you need to know about LinkedIn Stories in 2020 | Sally A Illingworth

LinkedIn has joined the 'stories' social media party and launched the beta testing version of their Stories feature in Australia on Thursday 18th June 2020. Australia is the fourth country to gain access to the Stories Feature on LinkedIn, after Brazil, the Netherlands, and the UAE.

I was one of the few selected invitees to the official LinkedIn briefing in Australia to hear about LinkedIn's mission with the new social media feature and gain access to LinkedIn's advice on how they want users to leverage the feature whilst it is in beta testing.

Here are the key takeaways from the OFFICIAL LinkedIn Briefing that you need to know so that you can make the most of LinkedIn Stories in 2020.

“Authentically speak to the professional context people are about”. This means that you should use the LinkedIn Stories feature to create authentic and only slightly refined content assets about professional moments that matter to your audience and the broader LinkedIn community.

The LinkedIn Stories feature is currently only functional on the smartphone application and is accessible via the carousel at the top of your newsfeed. If someone @ Mentions you in a LinkedIn Story you will be able to see this notification in your private mailbox, HOWEVER you can not engage with the story from a desktop - you can only engage with it via the application on a smartphone.

“Use LinkedIn Stories as a prompt to spark conversations”. This means that you can use a LinkedIn Story, up to 20 seconds in duration, to encourage audience engagement with you on other content assets or for particular initiatives. Further, you can use the LinkedIn Stories feature to make exciting and important announcements to your audience in a quick and engaging way.

Hashtags on LinkedIn Story content are not currently functional. You can watch this LinkedIn Live to discover how Hashtags are used by the LinkedIn algorithm. With LinkedIn Stories, the feature is currently in beta testing so it is largely a static feature meaning that its capabilities aren’t as extensive as they eventually will be. This limited functionality includes Hashtags, so if you use a Hashtag in a LinkedIn Story that content asset won’t be aggregated to the newsfeed for the respective Hashtag. As a result, LinkedIn recommends using the Hashtag feature on LinkedIn Stories to drive awareness about campaigns and initiatives using key words and phrases.

You can upload video and photo files to LinkedIn Stories on your mobile from the photos application on your smartphone PLUS you can natively capture videos and photos on the LinkedIn Stories feature. All LinkedIn Stories have a lifespan of 24 hours which means that after 24 hours, the story will disappear from your profile and is not archived on the LinkedIn platform so if you do capture a photo or video natively on LinkedIn Stories and want to keep that content file, be sure to opt to ‘Download’ it using the three dots icon on the top right of the story view.

When someone @ Mentions you in a LinkedIn Story, you can’t natively reshare that story to your own Story Feed. You can engage with and respond to the story but if you want to reshare it to your own Story Feed, you will need to use a tool like ‘Screen Recording’ on iOS to record and capture the story and then upload that screen recording from your device to your Story Feed. 

A big part of the OFFICIAL LinkedIn Stories feature Briefing was focussed on the quality of content that LinkedIn would love to see shared and broadcasted via the Stories feature. The overarching title of this aspect of the discussion was “Context for Content”, and included three key themes of content that LinkedIn encourage LinkedIn users to follow when creating and choosing content to share on LinkedIn Stories.

Theme 1: “Things You Do At Work” which involves sharing behind the scenes style micro content about things that you do at work. For example, you could showcase a little behind the scenes of an exciting workshop you’re in with your colleagues or share details of an exciting milestone achieved at work.

Theme 2: “Things You Do Around Work” which involves sharing behind the scenes style micro content about things you may do on the way to or from work. For example, you should showcase a little behind the scenes of your travel journey home from work or a morning ritual you do before work to perform at your best.

Theme 3: “Things Relevant To Your Work” which involves sharing behind the scenes style micro content about things you are involved with that relate to what you do in your professional capacity. For example, you could showcase a preview of a community activity you’re actively involved in by affiliation to your employer or share a sneak peak of your study and personal development activities.

The LinkedIn team really emphasised the importance of using the LinkedIn Stories feature to add a “personal touch for professional moments” which is a really critical consideration when deciding what content you will share on the LinkedIn Stories feature. This part of the conversation was followed by LinkedIn sharing the three main Don'ts with LinkedIn Stories!

The Don’ts

  1. “Very personal moments’

  2. “Inappropriate content that compromises professional respect”

  3. “Spam”

Let’s break these Don’ts down so there’s no confusion and you give yourself the best opportunity to be a positive contributor to the new LinkedIn Stories feature.

“Very personal moments” - users on LinkedIn are in a different mindset to that of Instagram and Facebook, which means that their expectations of content are quite different - even from the same person! On LinkedIn there is generally a high intent for content that will improve someone’s professional life which means that content should always be high in value and high in substance. A very personal moment that wouldn’t be in your or LinkedIn’s best interests is something like content broadcasting your weekend outing where maybe you have one too many drinks….

“Inappropriate content that compromises professional respect” - in our professional capacities we all have certain standards we follow to ensure the respect we offer others and receive ourselves is sufficient within the context of our professional dealings. Although funny and interesting situations happen at the office, in addition to our personal lives, it’s important to have a respectful lens on when deciding what professional moments to capture.

“Spam” - no one likes spam, whether it’s in a LinkedIn private mailbox, an email inbox or in a social media feed. Largely, spam in the context of LinkedIn Stories means volume of content. This is important because it would be to the detriment of the LinkedIn user experience if a handful of creators are to spam their connections with lack-of-substance content for no reason other than a desperate attempt for attention. Always remain committed to creating and choosing content, for LinkedIn Stories and Feed Content, that is of high value to your audience.

In summary, it’s exciting to see LinkedIn join the social media Stories party and I’m confident we’re all going to enjoy some added vibrancy to our feeds and overall experience. I’d encourage you to not lose focus on the LinkedIn newsfeed though, as the content capabilities of the Stories feature are limited and your connections and the key opinion leaders you follow will continue to share their greatest assets in the feed.

Click Here to watch the LinkedIn Live I did about what LinkedIn told me about the NEW Stories feature and to see how to use the new feature.

Share in the comments what you’re most excited about with this feature!


Sally A Illingworth


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