LinkedIn rolls out virtual events and poll features, giving brands new engagement opportunities

The company says it accelerated its product roadmap to help businesses connect with their communities online and at scale.

B2B marketers and sales reps have spent the last four months implementing major pivots as in-person meetings and conferences have been canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. To help businesses overcome these challenges and better connect with audiences on the platform, LinkedIn has rolled out two new free tools that can be implemented quickly: Virtual events and a “Create a Poll” feature.

LinkedIn Virtual Events

LinkedIn’s new virtual events combine its previously released LinkedIn Live and LinkedIn Events features. Marketers can now live stream a virtual event to their company’s Page followers or Event attendees. LinkedIn has also made it possible for Page admins to use a select group of third-party broadcasting tools to stream virtual events on the site, including Restream, Wirecast, Streamyard, and Socialive. (LinkedIn says it will be adding more third-party broadcasting apps in the coming months.) 

“We recognized how important it was to equip you with the tools you need to bring your professional community together,” writes LinkedIn on its Marketing Solutions Blog, “That’s why we accelerated our product roadmap to bring you a tighter integration between LinkedIn Events and LinkedIn Live.”

Example of tighter LinkedIn Events and LinkedIn Live integration

Once the virtual event is complete, the video can be saved within the Video tab on the brand’s LinkedIn Page, extending the shelf life of the video content. John Mellor, chief strategy officer for the cloud-based operating system Domo, said his company’s Domopalooza event – which typically draws a couple of thousand customers as an in-person event – had five-times its normal attendance rate using LinkedIn’s virtual event platform (PDF).

“We opened up the virtual event and saw 9,000 pre-registrations and more than 12,000 people watching the event,” said Mellor.

LinkedIn Polls

The new “Create a Poll” option can be accessed in the post composer window, allowing LinkedIn members to gather feedback from across the platform. The feature enables users to ask a question and list up to four response choices, and the poll can remain active for 24 hours up to two weeks. While a poll can be shared with a member’s connections or anyone across the LinkedIn network, a key benefit for marketers is the ability to target a LinkedIn poll to select Groups.

“By targeting specific Groups with your poll, you can get even more relevant insights,” writes LinkedIn, “For example, if you are in a Group for marketers, you could ask about the group member’s favorite tool for email marketing management.”

Poll example by Suzi Owen, Director of Corporate Communications, Consumer Products at LinkedIn

Poll results can be viewed in real-time, and the person who posted the poll will also be able to see who has voted and how they voted. The poll’s owner can also directly message someone who has voted from within the poll.

LinkedIn polls are available on mobile and desktop and have been rolling out gradually since the announcement on May 12.

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Akvile DeFazio is the President of AKvertise, a social media advertising agency. She specializes in Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter Ads. Follow @AkvileDeFazio