LinkedIn Reactions 2019

LinkedIn reactions are here.

A like simply isn't enough. At least, it hasn't been for LinkedIn users. LinkedIn recently changed that with reactions. They've added four new reactions. In addition to Like, users can react to posts using Celebrate, Love, Insightful and Curious icons.

The rollout is immediate.

Reactions will be available globally to the platform's 600 million users in the coming months.

Why the delay LinkedIn?

Facebook debuted its own expanded set of reaction buttons more than three years ago. LinkedIn is just now getting around to it.

If you haven't seen it already take a look:

linkedin reactions

Here's an interesting take on these reactions. LinkedIn product manager, Cissy Chen, discussed the origins of these new reactions.

"We took a thoughtful approach to designing these reactions, centered around understanding which ones would be most valuable to the types of conversations members have on LinkedIn. This process included looking at what people are already talking about to better understand what feedback they wanted to express and receive — for example, we analyzed the top 1-2 word comments being used and what types of posts people are sharing most. We also conducted global research with LinkedIn members to get feedback on the specific reactions to ensure they were universally understood and helpful."

Did you catch that?


LinkedIn took the time to learn from users. Look at the status updates used with these new reactions.

LinkedIn reactions GIF

If you read between the lines you'll notice that LinkedIn has its own set of social norms and etiquette requirements.

Users have context-specific expectations

LinkedIn etiquette and social norms dictate what's shared on the platform. The list of dos and dont's on LinkedIn mirror social norms in real life. This message, for example, crosses the line.

linkedin inappropriate message

Here are a few more expectations:

  • Don't post inappropriate, self-serving or unprofessional content
  • Share content that's insightful, creative and provides tremendous value (quantitative and/or qualitative)
  • Don't sell aggressively or pitch relentlessly

When it comes to LinkedIn etiquette and social norms there's a long list of dos and don'ts. Which is why LinkedIn reactions are such a subtle game changer for marketers.

In the past, LinkedIn user responses were Boolean

Users would either "like and comment" on the status updates if it resonated with them or ghost/angrily comment if it bored or offended them.

Not much in the way of clarity.

These LinkedIn reactions are an important feedback tool. They show marketers whether their content is on target with their audience or not. Here are some of the important benefits marketers receive from these reactions.

  • An indication that your post/status update is on target
  • Reactions draw out would-be contributors (who are currently lurkers) improving a brand or marketer's participant-to-lurker ratio
  • Provides marketers with a clear indication of the content that resonates more deeply with their audience
  • Offers marketers a qualitative indicator they can use to test and analyze specific updates closely
  • Prioritizes reactions based on user/contributor counts (similar to Facebook) e.g. more likes vs. insightful reactions
  • Provides marketers with quick and dirty informal data on the performance of the 90-9-1 rule

Here's how marketers can use these reactions.

  • Use reactions as a launching point for user feedback. Using survey platforms like Qualaroo or UserVoice, marketers can identify why a specific piece of content performs well (or fails to perform)
  • Use these survey tools to identify additional psychographic data (e.g. reading/viewing habits, publications, interests, social viewpoints, etc.)
  • Identify tangential topics customers want to hear about but aren't currently in your editorial calendar or content roadmap
  • Use these reactions to create informal polls, gain easy answers to questions and more
  • Link these offers to existing product/service offers that are relevant to specific customer wants
  • Discover new products, services and topics customers want from you but aren't getting at the moment
  • Flush out hidden customer fears, frustrations, objections and risk factors.
  • Discover complaints customers are typically unwilling to share (due to timing or contextual concerns)

It's an incredible starting point for brands in-the-know (that's you).

LinkedIn's delay was worthwhile

LinkedIn reactions are a carefully curated set of reactions to conversations that are already taking place on LinkedIn. The informal heuristics users used in the past to assess content value is now official.

They're available globally to the platform's 600 million users. With the right information and a bit of know-how, these reactions will help to produce the value and outcomes you need to build and promote your business effectively.

Social Report for LinkedIn