What are LinkedIn Stories?
Snapchat started it, Instagram and Facebook installed it afterwards and now LinkedIn has it – the story function is here! Finally, you can upload stories to the popular business platform. In doing so, LinkedIn shows that they have understood the trends and what users like and need.
In this article we want to show you why LinkedIn stories can be very relevant for your business and why you can benefit from the new feature. From now on you can connect with your network in an even more personal way!
But what exactly does that mean for you and your business?
Let's take a closer look at how LinkedIn stories work, how to use them and what they can do for you.
LinkedIn Stories Basics
On Instagram alone, more than 500 million people use the stories every day. These "mini-movies" are available for 24 hours until they are automatically deleted. Within these 24 hours you can also save your stories. You can no longer edit a posted story, but you can always delete it.
Your contacts and followers can view your story and share it with or forward it to their respective contacts. On LinkedIn, stories last a maximum of 20 seconds which makes them 5 seconds longer than an Instagram story!
Both private profiles and company pages can create and post stories. You can also upload photos in a story if you don't have any video footage!
LinkedIn works on the same principle: Stories are like short movies that give your followers and contacts a glimpse of what you want to show them. You can add texts, mention other accounts or add stickers which is very similar to other platforms; if you know how to use one of them, you know them all.
Sharing is Caring
Many users are very active on LinkedIn and create a post almost every day. Posting more means more interaction, more contacts and intensive exchange. Many users speak about examples from their daily work and let their followers and contacts take a look “behind the scenes”.
Sharing more means more authenticity, more followers and more brand awareness
LinkedIn stories put the icing on the cake. With these short clips you can let your target audience get even closer to your ideas and your business. Show them your visions! Show them what your everyday life looks like, what is going well and what perhaps went wrong.
As you know, people buy from people and not from companies. That's why stories are an authentic bonding agent between interested parties and lay the foundation for the perfect start to a conversation.
How to Post LinkedIn Stories
Before anything goes wrong, let's take a step-by-step approach to create stories on LinkedIn.
- Open the LinkedIn app on your smartphone.
- Click on your profile picture with the blue plus symbol in the upper left corner.
- Tap the white button in the lower half of the screen for a photo OR hold it down to record a video.
- Tap the photo button in the lower left corner to upload photos from your smartphone into a story.
- Add stickers or text to your story using the buttons in the upper right corner of the screen.
- Tap the blue "Share story" button when you're done.
Note: LinkedIn stories are only visible in the mobile version of LinkedIn. Currently, you can record and upload a story with the app on a smartphone. If you watch a video and keep your finger on the screen, the video you are watching will freeze.
You also have the option to include external links into your story. The benefit? You can link directly to your blog or your product page! Your company profile is automatically equipped with this function, but as a private person you need more than 5,000 followers.
How does it work? Open the story function and add a picture or a video first – then insert an external link using the chain icon in the upper right corner.
Technical Specifications for LinkedIn Stories
It is always good to know which image format is best for a story. This way, you can easily prepare content you've already created for a story without looking like an amateur. The best format can therefore be taken into account perfectly when planning.
LinkedIn itself has recommendations regarding the format of a LinkedIn story:
Resolution: 1080 (w) x 1920 (h) px
Resolution: 1080 (w) x 1920 (h) px
Frame: 30 FPS, quadratisch
Supported file types: PNG, JPG
Supported file types: H264, MP4
Aspect Ratio: 9:16
Aspect Ratio: 9:16
How can You Save, Edit and Delete a LinkedIn Story?
Of course you can also save the story you created. As mentioned above, you can save your story in the 24h hour gap when it’s online and viewable. To do so, tap on your story, click on the “more” icon in the top right corner then choose the “download” icon. Your Story will now be saved successfully on your mobile device.
You can always delete a story you uploaded. However, it is not possible to edit an already published story. If you find a mistake and want to edit the video, you will have to delete the story first and upload it again. You can delete a story by tapping on it, clicking the “more” icon again and then choose “delete”.
Can You Run LinkedIn Story Ads?
If you were wondering if you could place ads through a LinkedIn story, similar to Instagram, we have to disappoint you for now.
At the moment, it is not possible, but LinkedIn is already planning a swipe-up. In addition, as the creator of a LinkedIn story, you can in some cases not only see the name and profession of the viewer, but depending on your privacy settings, also their employer.
According to LinkedIn, LinkedIn Story Ads will be available in February 2021!
Why People Watch LinkedIn Stories
So much for all the technical Know-how. Now let's take a look at what makes LinkedIn stories so popular. Using stories is not very complicated, but you should know why people like to use and watch them. LinkedIn stories are all about personality, authenticity and simplicity. They offer people and business the possibility to show factettes of their product or service no one has ever seen before.
People like it when you're authentic and show weakness
Nothing makes it more authentic, and in the end more serious, when you use LinkedIn stories to show when things go wrong or don't work out the way you wanted them to. Ultimately, people don't buy from a brand, but from other people.
People like connections on a personal level
Of course, you can also report on your successes, awards and positive experiences! A long success stories or a short LinkedIn story filmed in your car are good ways to do this. In case you have just closed a mega deal with a big new customer and you're excited like crazy - your followers will be happy and want to know more about you, your successes and customers.
People like to the interaction with your product
On Instagram, more than 25 percent of users swip up on branded content, i.e. advertising via stories that are marked as such.
Now when you are talking about the launch of a new product as a sales manager, people from your target audience have the perfect opportunity to talk to you directly and ask questions. They get an insight right away and know what it's all about – if this results in a direct message and subsequent exchange, perfect! This is what interaction looks like.
How do LinkedIn Stories Benefit You and Your Business?
Why should your business account post LinkedIn stories? Simply to generate:
- more reach
- more traffic
- more feedback from the community aka. your target audience
- more publicity
- more turnover
- more branding
Of course, at the beginning you should not immediately set yourself the clumsy goal of "more revenue". However, if you deliver authentic, professional stories with added value for your viewers, customers and target audience and thus generate more reach and exchange, new potential sales opportunities automatically arise – and it will be much easier to generate more revenue.
As with all social media platforms, individuality and personality should remain your main focus – also on LinkedIn.
You cannot advertise your product bluntly and hope for leads.
Show your (potential) customers and followers what happens behind the scenes of your brand or department. Introduce people, show the faces behind the products – this is the basis for sympathy and trust aka. the basis of a solid customer relationship! Especially if you have a product or service that you are passionate about, you can use the story function to give your community explanations.
Stories are perfect as a short content “snack”
The good thing about a LinkedIn story is that you can do one in a few seconds and your community can consume it just as quickly. If your followers would rather see some casual stories over their morning coffee instead of a relatively long post on a specific topic, you can give them exactly what they want.
What Makes a Successful LinkedIn Story?
Remember: LinkedIn is not Instagram. Your profile picture and your whole appearance should be as professional as possible because it will also appear as a button on your story.
Make sure to attract attention right from the start! Many people don't look at a series of stories, or even a single story, all the way to the end. Therefore, the beginning has to be interesting! Address your target audience directly. Are you looking for medium-sized companies from a certain region? Talk directly into the camera and address exactly these companies!
The following rules roughly apply:
- Share creative content from the professional context
- Deliver relevant content to your target audience
- Address your target audience directly
- Stay authentic and relaxed
- Do not use your stories exclusively for self-promotion
- Encourage discussions and exchange in your community with (re-)questions
- Timing is the key
Apart from creativity and relevance, you should also keep an eye on time. After the 10-second mark of a story, many people already jump off. From there on, you have to be as creative as possible to reach your followers. Mention other users or include numbers, graphics or statistics that could be relevant to your target audience. If someone looks at your story until the end, you can assume that he or she is very interested in you, your service or your product. So, try to pick up your target audience in every story and deliver extra valuable information!
Have you recently published an article or blog post? Perfect! Pick out the most important points and put them in a LinkedIn story! Then, if someone wants to learn more, you can smoothly link to the article or post. Any kind of call-to-action is also useful – at least you should let your viewers know what they can do next.
Show interested parties how your product works or what the results of your service are. Show customer opinions, feedback and successes. An interested person will be grateful if you take them by the hand and show them how things could proceed.
Examples of Successful LinkedIn Stories
Let’s get to the point: What does a good or very good LinkedIn story look like? What kind of content could be covered and taken up in your stories?
You can use your LinkedIn Story to draw attention to new content. This could be a post on LinkedIn itself, a new blog post or a new podcast episode. If other people were involved in the post, the story feature also gives you the ability to link to other LinkedIn users providing you with additional attention and outreach.
Another option would be to share current insights and direct thoughts with your community on LinkedIn. You can do a short video of yourself or post a text or photo with text in your stories. Since stories are much quicker and don't have to be as "perfect" as a post, you're more likely to be forgiven for mistakes. Put out a story spontaneously if you feel like it!
What Strategies are There for Your LinkedIn Stories?
Lass uns gemeinsam schauen, welche Möglichkeiten Du hast, mithilfe der LinkedIn Story-Funktion Deinen Followern, Kunden und Interessenten Einblicke in Dein Business oder Dein Produkt zu gewähren. Hier sind vier Schritte, die Dir dabei helfen, mit LinkedIn Stories durchzustarten:
1. Get your own experts on board!
In addition to high-quality posts (which are, of course, still very welcome on LinkedIn!), stories offer you the opportunity to be a bit more relaxed and to address (potential) customers and followers on a different, more fun level.
A peak behind the scenes is more authentic and therefore more “human”
How about talking with the experts in your company about their respective topics in front of the camera? That way, departments get a face and become more approachable. Furthermore, you provide insights that are different from those you might have given in a detailed article or post.
2. Reports directly from events
Due to their short lifespan, stories are perfectly suited to deliver "imperfect" content. For example, from team breakfasts, Christmas parties or events such as an award ceremony or the inauguration of a new location.
Of course, stories can also serve as sneak previews for upcoming events. Just put a short announcement in two or three sentences and off you go! You have speakers at an event? Then ask them to do a story mentioning you or your company! You will instantly get more attention.
3. A Q&A is always a good idea
Does your company regularly record a podcast anyway or do employees regularly attend webinars? Then you can get these exact people to join a Q&A (Question & Answer) on your company account – either to host it, answer questions or both.
If you're not into podcasts nor webinars, LinkedIn Stories can help you take your first steps in that direction. Collect your community's questions – either in a post or perhaps via email – and answer them in a Q&A in your stories.
4. Announce news & highlight actions
Even if you should not permanently advertise your business, stories are still perfectly suited to announce all news regarding product launches, open job offers, updates, exciting cooperations, special offers and much more. This has a more relaxed effect, and you can convey much more emotion (e.g. the joy about a new, exciting product) in comparison to a blog post.
What You Should Keep in Mind When Doing Stories in B2B
Of course, you can also use LinkedIn stories as a company with your business account. The rules are actually the same: Keeping your professional standards is always important! As a company you can provide interesting new insights into your work. Give your employees a voice as well and make yourself more accessible.
If your followers find you likeable and your content relevant, this logically has a good effect on the outreach of your product or service. But how can your B2B business account create emotions and be successful? Here we have 3 steps for your success:
1. Look for role models!
If the first steps, especially as a company, with LinkedIn stories are difficult, look for role models. These can be individuals, but also other business accounts. Let yourself be inspired and find your own way! Some business accounts often start with a mixture of photos and moving images that were already there before and have now been optimized for LinkedIn. It doesn't always have to be a complex interview. Sometimes, an announcement for an article, podcast or something similar does the job as well.
2. Only you know your target audience!
After you've gotten your inspiration, it's important to think again about exactly who you want to address. Who are your followers and who is your target audience? You are the expert for your customers and those who will become your customers in the future. Always keep your target audience in mind when you upload stories and ask yourself
"Is this relevant to the target audience I want to address?"
3. Position yourself as the expert you are!
You don't need to acquire new knowledge or expertise for your LinkedIn stories. You know your market, your competitors, the needs of your customers and ultimately, most importantly, your product or service best! Present your USPs, deliver relevant industry insights or present use cases from your everyday work to show that YOU are the expert in your field.
How to Turn LinkedIn Story Viewers into Customers
Now that you know how to behave in B2B, what strategy you want to pursue and who you want to address, it's time to get started. Add value to your stories making them highly relevant for your community. You don't have to improvise and appear super-spontaneous – just create something that works. Then your story will automatically be valuable content.
Create a content plan.
If you have a content plan, it will give you a structure. You can plan ahead and also work in advance! This way, you will last longer and after some time, you will notice the impact: more followers, direct messages with questions and appointments. But don’t think that one LinkedIn story will bring you ten new sales opportunities already.
Conclusion: LinkedIn Stories? Yes, please!
To sum it up: Invest in LinkedIn stories! No matter if you are an individual or a company in B2B, with the help of stories you can appear more authentic, closer and more relaxed than you do with usual marketing channels.
With LinkedIn stories you can convey real emotions and create sympathy, give your brand a face and show that there are people behind a product or an idea. Give yourself a voice and deliver added value that will inspire your target audience. In the long run, this opens up more sales opportunities for you and therefore also more revenue. Good luck!