Over the past few years, LinkedIn has made several changes to its platform to make it more useful to marketers. LinkedIn took a lot of inspiration from Facebook when it comes to some of the new features it recently added. The latest example of this inspiration can be seen in the new engagement options LinkedIn introduced.

For years, LinkedIn used a single option for liking a post on the platform. However, having a single form of engagement makes it difficult to know why a person liked or post. LinkedIn addresses this issue by creating a new set of reactions. There is no reaction for negative engagement, but users will be able to choose between Like, Love, Insightful, Curious, and Celebrate.

In a post announcing the new reactions, LinkedIn provided some examples of how the reactions could be used. LinkedIn’s Cissy Chen wrote, "You can use Celebrate to praise an accomplishment or milestone like landing a new job or speaking at an event, or Love to express deep resonance and support, like a conversation about work-life balance or the impact of mentorship. Insightful can help you recognize a great point or interesting idea, while Curious lets you show your desire to learn more or react to a thought-provoking topic."

A more diverse range of options lets marketers know how people truly felt about their content. Understanding why someone liked a post is more useful than knowing merely knowing they enjoyed the content. This information can help LinkedIn content creators craft posts that will pique the interest of the audience.

The lack of negative engagement options can be a blessing and a curse for LinkedIn marketers. On the positive side, there's no reason to worry that a post will get a lot of negative engagement. So no one will come to the company's page and find posts with a lot of angry reactions. In an age of social media activism, where a company's social media profile becomes the target an activist campaign, the lack of negative reactions makes it harder for people to make a company look bad by spamming their posts with negative reactions.

However, LinkedIn users are somewhat restrained without a full range of emotional reactions. If a company posts an announcement about an upcoming change, the company should want to know if people are unhappy about the proposed change. Similarly, some posts require reactions that show sympathy or offer condolences. 

If using the new reactions sounds like fun, you won't have to wait long to experience it for yourself. LinkedIn said the new reactions are starting to roll out now. In the coming months, the feature will become available to all LinkedIn users around the world. And the reactions will work with the LinkedIn mobile app and on the website version.

The new reactions from LinkedIn aren't a game changer, but they are a welcome change for social media marketers. More diverse emotional responses make it easier to gauge the effectiveness of a social media marketing campaign. One can hope that LinkedIn will expand the options in the future. Either way, the new reactions can lead to a deeper understanding of audiences on LinkedIn.

For more recent news about changes to social media platforms, read this article on the new Facebook feature that explains how your News Feed is generated.