15 early impressions of the new LinkedIn University Pages

By Posted in - Analytics & LinkedIn & Social Media on January 25th, 2017 3 Comments

We’re delighted to welcome Social Media Strategist, Dave Musson to the Pickle Jar blog this week. Dave is a passionate communicator and has been the strategic lead for the University of Warwick’s social media channels for just over three years. He is known on the HE comms speaker circuit for his dynamic and insightful presentations and has also taken up the role of CASE Europe Social Media Conference Co-Chair for this year’s event. 

His special social media super powers come in the form of analytics and evaluation, which make him the perfect candidate to talk about the interesting new updates to LinkedIn University Pages.

This might just be me being a bit of a nerd, but I was so excited when an email landed in my inbox telling me I now had access to the new LinkedIn University Page towards the end of last year – after all, this was something I’d spent most of 2016 waiting for.

The new page – which merges the previously separate, and somewhat confusing, University and Company Pages – came to life for Warwick, where I work, in November. Now, a couple of months later, it feels like the ideal time to collate some first impressions on the new-look page.

So, in no particular order…

There are finally analytics, and they’re actually pretty darned good! The lack of analytics has been my – and most other page admins I know – main bugbear with the old University page. There was no real way of analysing how your content has performed and therefore assessing the effectiveness of LinkedIn as a channel. Not any more! Now you can get stats for everything you post, including impressions, clicks interactions and an engagement rate. And, even better, you don’t have to wait for the frankly unhelpful weekly email to get this data – you can just go and find it whenever you want!

It’s not just individual post analytics you have access to in the new setup; by hitting the analytics tab you can explore a plethora of graphs showing reach and various engagement stats from dates ranging from one day to the past six months. Again, this is really useful, especially when you start plotting spikes against your content – it has suddenly become much easier to really drill-down on what content is working best with your audience on your page.

I also get the feeling LinkedIn is genuinely trying to help your page do better – on the analytics tab is also a link to a SlideShare deck (http://www.slideshare.net/LImarketingsolutions/15-tips-for-compelling-company-updates) of tips to improve your page’s engagement. Certainly one to bookmark.

It’s not all good news on the analytics front though – as far as I can see so far there is no option to export your data like you can on Facebook and Twitter, so you’ll still have to do plenty of data entry into your own spreadsheet. If you’re reading this LinkedIn, an export option would be really great *nudge, nudge*.

Scrolling further down the analytics tab, you also can now access demographics about your followers, including being able to split them by seniority, industry, company size, function and employee – this is another massive help to your content planning, enabling you make sure you’re pitching your content at the right level and covering the best topics to capture the imagination and attention of your followers.

Finally on the analytics tab (it still feels so good writing that about a LinkedIn page!), you can get stats about who is visiting your page and when. Again, use this data to your advantage – look at everything you now have access to, explain the peaks and troughs and feed that insight into your content planning.

Moving on from analytics, the notifications on the merged page are far, far better than they used to be; the notifications has a clean layout, with a handy at-a-glance summary at the top of the page, and you can clearly see which notifications are related to which of your updates.

The new pages are also really geared up for engagement – it’s now far easier to reply to and like people’s comments as your page, which can only be a good thing. I don’t know about you, but a lot of the time on the old layout the lack of being able to reply directly to someone made it feel like a very broadcast-centred channel, even if you the best of intentions to engage.

If you head onto the overview tab, you’ll see a much cleaner page editor, including the option to add a nice big cover image. It just so much less clunky and seems to reflect the new LinkedIn UI being rolled out across our personal profiles too, which, in theory, should make using the whole site that much easier.

Finally in the new layout, the tab you’ll probably land on first when you tell LinkedIn to take you to your new admin experience – the updates tab. Not only is crafting and formatting an update on the new pages a doddle now, you also get a handy snapshot of those lovely analytics, so you always know how things are going.

Got budget? Lucky you! You can now use it to sponsor updates from your University Page! And, it’s really easy to sponsor a post – you’ve got the option to do so on everything you share.

Another gripe, but you can’t edit posts once you’ve clicked ‘go’, so if you spot a typo the only option is to delete and repost, which is more than a bit annoying.

The Alumni Tool is still here (good thing) but the notable alumni and recommendations tools have been shelved. I say good riddance, but you might want to check you weren’t using those tools for anything in particular.

It’s really easy to highlight groups on your page, and there is also the promise of being able to create Showcase Pages – although I’ve not found where to do this as yet.

Overall, I’m impressed. It looks better, it’s much friendlier to use and it’s far less confusing for your audience. Oh, and there are analytics – actual analytics! Sorry, did I mention that already? I’m easily pleased.

So far, so good for the new University Pages – I’m excited to see how they develop. How are you getting on with the new layout? Are you a fan? Have your say in the comments!

Dave is the strategic lead for social media at the University of Warwick. You can view Warwick’s new page here, while you can connect with Dave on LinkedIn here or follow him on Twitter here.

(3) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Louise Badelow - Reply

    January 31, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    I agree with everything you’ve said, but my frustration relates to the fact that our old company and university pages are still hanging about. I was under the impression that these were only visible to me as the administrator, but I noticed with horror today that someone had started following us, but the URL was one of the old pages! This has been going on for weeks now and I don’t understand why LinkedIn don’t just remove them. Oh…and we are a school, not a university, so I wish we could be categorised accordingly.

  • Claudie Combelas - Reply

    February 2, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    The alumni page looks really weird with tiny photos and oversized text that doesnt fit in the box. I think they could have done better. It appears to still include students as alumni too.
    Some work on the whole alumni page design and usefulness would be great.

  • Nathan Monk - Reply

    February 3, 2017 at 9:15 am

    The biggest problem is the very closed nature of it all. If you could do anything with the data outside of linkedin, it’d foster some incredible creativity, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

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