LinkedIn in 2021: 4 trends & 7 new functionalities


2021 has started! Traditionally, we take you along with the latest trends and developments on LinkedIn. In addition, we will show you what you can (probably) expect from LinkedIn this year. A number of functionalities have just been introduced or announced. We list 4 trends and 7 new functionalities for you.

The 4 LinkedIn trends for 2021

We kick off with the four main LinkedIn trends we will encounter this year.

1. Again an increase in use

We have seen a growth in daily usage and the number of active users on LinkedIn for years. LinkedIn also shows strong growth in use in 2020 and this growth is expected to continue in 2021. NewCom publishes the new user figures every year at the end of January (which we have to wait a while) in which this is always clearly visible.

Ruigrok NetPanel published another poll in June. Since 2008 they have been researching social media use. In Ruigrok’s research, we see an increase of 33% in use. The data collection took place from March 5 to March 16, 2020. From March 15, the corona measures were in effect. The results therefore relate to the online behavior before this period.

Source: Ruigrok Netpanel.

The corona crisis and associated lockdowns, where personal contact is lacking, have significantly affected the usage figures. Because if we can’t meet live and maintain live relationships, being visible online is even more important. Maybe even indispensable.

We saw a significant change here. The timeline was getting busier with content from connections, companies and content from advertisers. This sometimes made it more difficult to generate a good reach of your posts or it was more expensive to reach your target group advertised. We were therefore not surprised when LinkedIn Marketing Solutions posted the update below.

Source: LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

2. The revival of the LinkedIn Company Page

The company page is no longer the neglected child. This page is again fully participating and the new functionalities have been flying around our ears recently.

For a company, a company page is the piece on LinkedIn that should not be missing. Also for freelancers and small SMEs. You can give the company a face with this. And you generate free (organic) reach among your followers. It is often thought that this organic reach is nil.

The organic reach of smaller companies increased by no less than 23%.

We can confirm that this is absolutely not the case. In our own research for 2019 showed that the organic reach of messages in Q4 compared to Q1 had decreased. With 12.1% to be precise. But this decline mainly affected the larger companies. The organic reach of companies with 1 to 50 employees increased by no less than 23%!

We are currently busy with the analysis for 2020. This time we are examining 101 company pages from the Netherlands and Belgium. Keep an eye on our socials and in a few weeks check out our new article, here on Frankwatching.

It is not without reason that LinkedIn gives the Company Pages a boost. You always need a company page to advertise on LinkedIn. And then it better look well stocked and attractive.

3. Automation tools shoot like mushrooms from the ground

In 2020 we were already a bit tired of them, because they sprang up like mushrooms. Automation tools. You probably recognize this. Suddenly you have invitations from a number of people with the same text, often very unnaturally built up with elements from your profile, such as the name of the company you work for.

Or, if someone has climbed higher and (accidentally) now belongs to one of your connections, a running advertising column with weekly one-sided messages that are commercial, incorrect and that you are probably not waiting for. These people work with automation tools and think they will save time. The average LinkedIn user experiences these messages as annoying. So it is certainly not recommended.

Pay attention! These supposedly handy bots, pods and tools, but experienced by the user as very annoying, are not allowed! It is described in the de user agreement in article 8.2 b. Our hope for 2021 is that LinkedIn will take tougher action against this. But LinkedIn needs the users (you!) For that. Do you see such a message? Report or address the user. Possibly with a reference to article 8.2b.

4. LinkedIn silences people !?

Maurice de Hond had to believe it this summer. His account was taken off the air. It led to a lot of protest among Dutch users. And last Christmas holidays, Wybren’s profile was removed from Haga. Reason? Spreading disinformation.

It is increasingly common for LinkedIn to make a statement by (temporarily) blocking profiles, in order to keep the platform pure and credible. For the time being, this is happening on a relatively small scale in the Netherlands. And fortunately people are not just silenced. It remains an exciting development, because who determines what is true and what is not?

7 New LinkedIn functionalities

What has been changed on LinkedIn in 2020 or announced for 2021?

1. Post reminder

Do you find it difficult to regularly remain visible to your network? LinkedIn now helps you with this. You can use a so-called post reminder so that you are reminded every month to write your own update. If you ask us, you should share updates more often, for example weekly, to remain visible to your network. But getting it into your system is a great start.

2. More credits to generate followers for the company page

Admins of company pages have been able to invite 100 connections per month to follow the company page for some time now. We recently saw that in some cases this number has already increased to 200/250 invitations (credits) per month. The option to add a message to the invitation is still missing, which would make the functionality even better. You can now at least see from which person the invitation comes.

3. Improving Stories ?!

Medio mei introduced LinkedIn Stories. Short stories of 20 seconds that last for 24 hours. In one way or another, LinkedIn Stories could not fail (LinkedIn was the only social platform without stories). But the implementation leaves something to be desired. For example, the design is not very hip and technically not much is possible yet. Consider, for example, the layout, fonts and a limited number of stickers. Also, videos longer than 20 seconds are not automatically cut. And you cannot save the Stories to your profile.

The result is that if you want to do this nicely and well, you depend on external tools. So a lot of extra work. In addition, the range of the Stories is disappointing. This may have to do with the average older audience that did not know Stories at all and the lack of a good introduction of the new functionality. And you may wonder whether a shelf life of 24 hours is enough to generate good reach on LinkedIn (where not everyone logs in daily).

However, LinkedIn continues to focus on Stories. In the digital corridors, the English LinkedIn trainer Mark Williams learned that a refinement of the algorithm is imminent. The Stories are now still shown to you chronologically. This will soon be done on the basis of online interaction. And what a real one game changer is that LinkedIn would partner with Canva for templates. Hopefully that will be the start of a major professionalization process!

4. Product Pages op de Company Page

At the end of December, LinkedIn announced an addition to the company page: Product pages. We can already see what this will look like on, for example the company page of Zoom. An extra tab has been added and several products are listed below.

  • All products have a lot of space for text and explanation.
  • You can link to the website part via an action button.
  • There is its own media section where images and video can be presented, and
  • products can also be rated quite extensively by users.

Is this the first step to an online shop?

If you ask us, this is a wonderful way to present your products or services, link references and create value! How and when this will be rolled out on a large scale is not known. Also not whether it will only be rolled out on the pages that now have a paid ‘Careers’ (formerly ‘Live’) tab, or on all pages. So something to keep an eye on.

5. Expansion of the admin roles on the Company Page

Even more (management) options on the LinkedIn company pages! For example, three different roles will soon be available on all pages (from Senior Administrator and Content Administrator to Analyst) and you can now also assign administrators who are not connected to you. Apart from the lousy translation, a nice addition ;-).

6. The Company Engagement Report

Do you work with Account Based Marketing? Then there is good news. New in LinkedIn’s campaign manager is the Company Engagement Report. This report will give you more insights into how the companies you have targeted are responding to your advertised content. You get this report when you work with uploaded lists within the Campaign Manager, not when you enter the company names manually.

You can find the report via Matched Audiences.If you go to Matched Audiences, you can click on the lists and insights see. See a screenshot below of how to get to the Company Engagement Report.

Example of the Engagement Report:

7. Improvements and extensions in the Campaign Manager

The Campaign Manager will soon be shuffled and will have improved advertising options. We are always happy with that! So we heard in the corridors that you will soon be different ad formats in one campaign and that you can advertise with documents (PDFs), the so-called document ads.

What’s still to come:

  • A Business Manager (for agencies) where you can manage the company page and campaigns. Expected in the second quarter of 2021.
  • Targeting based on ‘Member Traits’. With Member Traits targeting you can reach people based on behavior. Think of people who regularly share contributions on LinkedIn, frequent travelers or job seekers. We have already seen the first in the Campaign Manager.
  • Expansion of the retargeting possibilities. In 2020 LinkedIn introduced the option to retarget on video viewers and Lead Gen Form openers. Now you can now also retarget the visitors of your company page and soon also on organic ones engagers and people who have participated in (LinkedIn) events.

Missed something?

We are very curious about your opinion about the developments on LinkedIn. And do you still miss trends or new functionalities? Feel free to fill in below this article.


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