You’re probably still under-utilizing LinkedIn. I know, the truth is, most of us are. Even though we’ve heard all the benefits of using LinkedIn for business , the site declared the professional playground for professional connections , many of us still aren’t using it to the degree that we should be. But LinkedIn would like for that to change. And to make the site even more attractive to business owners, they’ve added two new features designed to increase engagement and make it easier for everyone to stay LinkedIn-connected.
The new features include:
The first announcement LinkedIn made last week debuted its new notifications feature  designed to keep business owners informed any time someone likes content they’ve shared, views their profile, accepts an invitation, sends them a message, etc. Basically, if it’s happening on LinkedIn, this is where you’ll find out about it.
To view your notifications, simply click on the flag in your LinkedIn top navigation bar. When you have one, the flag will be red.
The feature very much works and resembles similar ones created by Facebook and Google+, and will hopefully encourage business owners to engage with people using LinkedIn to learn more about them and their business. If you see someone has shared your content on LinkedIn, you can comment on their post and thank them, or offer yourself up to answer questions or walk them through a new service you’ve just created.
I think one of the many reasons so many of us forget about LinkedIn is because it’s been difficult to track the activity and find opportunities to engage. This will hopefully serve to make the site more open for two-way conversation, instead of just using LinkedIn as a one-way posting board.
If the feature hasn’t shown up for you yet – it’s coming. LinkedIn shared that though the feature has started rolling out, it may take a couple of weeks for everyone to see it. In the meantime, why not work on getting yourself in the habit of using the site and build a rockin LinkedIn presence ?
LinkedIn notifications on your Android, iPhone and iPad are also on their way.
New Look For Company Pages
A new notifications feature wasn’t all LinkedIn had up its sleeve last week. The business networking site also announced a new design for company pages . According to LinkedIn, the updated company profile pages mean easier access to the information members want about the companies they care about it, as well as a more powerful way for businesses to build relationships with their target audience.
Dell  was one of the few companies granted early access to the new profile design and you can see that the pages have changed quite substantially and are now (in my opinion) far more attractive and usable.
LinkedIn broke out some additional new benefits for members and companies:
- The new streamlined design makes it easier for you to find exactly what you are looking for, whether it’s company news and information, career opportunities, products and services, or insights.
- Company updates are front and center, enabling you to quickly comment, like, or share relevant company updates with your professional network.
- Company Pages is now available on our iPhone, Android and iPad apps, so you can stay connected to companies you care about, wherever you are.
- All of this means it’s now easier for you to find, follow and engage with companies you’re interested in.
- We know a picture is worth a thousand words, so we’ve provided companies with the ability to easily add an image that best represents their company and brand. Like the photo on a member’s profile, this image helps companies establish their identity on LinkedIn.
- We’ve made the update stream more relevant for members, which means companies are able to share status updates and job opportunities with the right members on LinkedIn.
- With a more prominent navigation experience, companies can now easily showcase their company’s products, services and career opportunities to members visiting their Company Page.
- For select companies, such as American Express , Unilever , Expedia , we’ve also started to offer a more compelling and visual way for them to showcase their employer brand through the Career Pages section of Company Pages. We believe this new look and feel makes it easier for companies to tell their employer story and make the job hunt process more personalized for job seekers.
As with the real-time notifications, not everyone will see these additions immediately, but they’ll continue to be rolled out to all members over the next few weeks.
What do you think? Will the new updates get you to pay more attention to LinkedIn and add it to your arsenal of business social networking tools? I know I’m watching more closely.