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How to Use GIFs in Your LinkedIn Content Strategy: The Comprehensive Guide

How to Use GIFs in Your LinkedIn Content Strategy: The Comprehensive Guide

There is a great chance you might not consider GIFs when you develop your LinkedIn content strategy. We’re here to tell you that you are missing out. People love to laugh, and a good choice of GIF will do just that. If you strategically include them in your LinkedIn posts and articles, you can grab more attention, reach a larger audience, and achieve great impact - not to mention build a friendly brand reputation.

These are the key points to remember:

  • Yes, you can use GIFs on LinkedIn
  • They are not separate type of content. Instead, you add them as images
  • They have a place in your content strategy but don’t overuse them.

Now let’s take a more in-depth look at these points. We’ll cover posting GIFs on LinkedIn, downloading them from the platform, making your own, and making the best use of them in different contexts.

Can you post GIFs on LinkedIn?

You most certainly can. An animated GIF on LinkedIn is perceived the same way as a static image. This means that you would add GIFs to your posts etc. the same as if you were adding image content.

LinkedIn lets you add GIFs to your posts, articles, comments, and direct messages. You cannot, however, use them as cover images, nor as profile pictures, either for private or company profiles.

How to post a GIF on LinkedIn

Posting a GIF to LinkedIn is a bit of a roundabout, but not too much work. You need to download one, and then re-upload it.

Go online and find a GIF that you like and which fits in nicely with the subject you are posting about.

You can use giphy, tenor, or any other free tool for searching, downloading, or creating your own gifs.

Save that GIF to your computer, mobile phone, or tablet.

Then open the LinkedIn editor. Find the GIF you just saved to your device and add it as an image.

How to make a gif on LinkedIn

Posting original animated GIFs on LinkedIn can definitely bring attention to your content and win you a larger audience. Sadly, LinkedIn does not enable native GIF creation. Instead, you need to use a third-party platform to find, make, and input them into your LinkedIn content.

One common way of doing this is using Giphy. It’s a super simple three-step process:

  • Go to Giphy. Browse their GIFs or search for a specific one.
  • Use their Gif maker and create your own gif.
  • Download it to your device.
  • Go to your LinkedIn editor and add your custom gif as an image.

This process becomes even easier and more convenient if you use AuthoredUp. It lets you skip all the hassle of “download, locate, re-upload, repeat”. With AuthoredUp, you can simply drag and drop your desired GIF directly into your editor.

How to download a GIF from LinkedIn

Sometimes you might see a desirable animated GIF on LinkedIn itself. If you want to have it for yourself, downloading GIFs from LinkedIn is quite simple. Here’s what you need to do:

On the desktop, right-click on the GIF you want. Click “Save as”, change the file name and destination if you wish, and click “Save”.

Afterwards, you can find it in your desktop’s file explorer in the location you specified. From there, you can upload it to your own LinkedIn content (or anywhere else you want).

On mobile, open the GIF you want. Look in the upper right corner and find the Download button. Click that and the GIF should be automatically saved in your phone’s internal storage. You will find it in your Downloads registry, usually either via your Gallery or the File Manager.

Using GIFs on a LinkedIn company page

Adding a GIF to a LinkedIn company page might seem counterintuitive. After all, GIFs are silly little animations, and company pages are serious business. However, a bit of silliness can take you a long way.

People like to interact with businesses that show a sense of humor. They like seeing proof that the company is run by living, silly humans like themselves. Use that to your advantage to build brand trust, improve your reputation with your current user base, and maybe even attract some new customers.

However, there are limits to what you can and cannot do. Remember, GIFs can’t be used as profile pictures or cover photos. That used to be a possibility in the past, but as of January 2022, only JPGs and PNGs are supported.

You can still use GIFs in your company page posts, articles, and as article thumbnails. They can make a great impact here. Just be careful not to overuse them. We recommend keeping it down to posts only.

Articles are usually perceived as serious professional content. You use them to showcase your expertise, share some findings, contribute to industry debates, and overall add professional value. A GIF in that context might come across as inappropriate or even crass. It might diminish your authority.

In a regular post, you have a little more breathing room. You can be more relaxed and communicate with your audience in a more casual manner. Include the right GIF in the right spot and suddenly you are perceived as witty, friendly, down-to-earth, and relatable.

Look how Chili Piper used a gif together with their optimized opening line In the words of Rex from Toy Story, “what does a space ranger actually do?” to catch readers' attention. Their goal was to make them interested and click see more. The post, however, is about their culture and team insights. Just brilliant.

LinkedIn GIFs in messages

LinkedIn direct messages are an exception: you have natively supported GIFs here. Open the conversation window and click the GIF button. It is on the lower left, between the emoji and the attachment buttons.

This is an excellent way to break the ice. Search for an appropriate animation and send it instead of writing. “Hello”, “Welcome”, and “Nice to meet you” GIFs are all suitable for jumpstarting communication.

If you really want to make an impression, explore the person’s profile and choose a custom GIF that plays to their interests, industry, or aesthetics. You don’t always have to make that effort, though. Just a nice “Hi there” GIF is already a standout move. It makes far more impact than generic textual greetings.

Using a GIF in a LinkedIn article

We mentioned when we talked about GIFs for company pages that you should avoid embedding them in articles. This is a good rule of thumb, but there can be some exceptions that are worth mentioning. You can upload a GIF as part of an article if it is relevant to the value.

Let’s say your article is about the importance of ergonomic furniture for office worker healthcare. You could drive your point home if you embedded a GIF of a proper office chair or an animated graph of what happens to a person’s back if they sit improperly.

The trick is that LinkedIn supports GIFs as article components in only two ways: as links or as headers. If you copy and paste a link to an external GIF, it will be animated inside your article. On any other page, it will be static.

It is more effective if you save a GIF and directly upload it into your article as a header. It will display as an animation both inside and whenever the article is mentioned. This way, people are more likely to get interested and click to read the whole thing.

The Social Selling Tips & Tricks newsletter is using Gifs as its cover image for a weekly newsletter. And it catches attention:

Where you cannot use gifs?

Linkedin does not allow you to upload a gif as a profile image, add it to the banner, or use animated gifs as a company logo. Linkedin states that all images must be PNG or JPEG files.

What is the allowed GIF size on LinkedIn?

As we mentioned, LinkedIn treats GIFs as image content. If you look into the supported image types, you will see GIF on the list, along with PNG and JPG. That is to say, the same rules and constrictions apply. The maximum supported GIF size on LinkedIn is 2MB.

Why do GIFs matter for LinkedIn?

GIFs are a great way to get more views and interactions (likes and comments) on LinkedIn. Since they are animated, they give a lot more character to the content they come with. You can use GIFs to show your personality to your audience and win their attention and interest.

That said, we have one last tip: don’t overdo it. Overusing GIFs is worse than never using them. Too many animations in your post can come across as trying too hard or even being obnoxious. Even worse, it might look like you are trying to fill space with funny media instead of creating content of genuine value.

Even if you avoid those negative impressions, too many GIFs are just distracting. So try to strike a good balance. Insert just a few GIFs at key spots. Try to choose those that are appropriate to the subject. You will achieve the best impact if you are strategic about it.

Let’s summarize

You certainly can use GIFs on LinkedIn. The best way is to add them to your content as images, though you can also post a link to an external GIF in an article. Most of the time, you have to find a GIF on a third-party website, download it to your device, and then re-upload it into the LinkedIn editor. If you install the AuthoredUp extension, you can skip the hassle. Just drag and drop the GIF you want.

You can also download GIFs from LinkedIn for later use. The platform natively supports GIFs in direct messages and comments. For your posts, you need to embed them as images. It's a little dicey to use them in articles and company pages. Just utilize them strategically and don’t overuse them.