LinkedInformed Podcast. The LinkedIn Show

This week I interview Kurt Shaver from Vangreso about the challenges of social selling and using LinkedIn in a corporate environment

Direct download: LinkedInformed_227.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm UTC

A couple of weeks ago I had a very interesting conversation with an experienced LinkedIn user about native video posts. They post regularly and get fantastic results but they have yet to do a video post. When I asked them why they couldn’t really answer. We explored this in more detail and agreed that it came down to two main factors;

  1. Technical barriers
  2. Concerned that others would think they look stupid

 

This troubled me but I put it down to an isolated experience, then last week I had almost exactly the same conversation with someone else! The final straw came this week when I delivered a follow-up training session and during my preparation (where I analyse the delegates activity since the last session) I discovered that, despite plenty of text and image posts, nobody had attempted a native video post.

I have covered video before but given the issues people seem to be having, I thought I would focus on this in this weeks episode.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_226.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:57pm UTC

This week I respond to a post by Richard Moore about the apparent lack of 'Content Creators' on LinkedIn in the UK.

What exactly is he referring to and how do we define great content?

That plus a few interesting things I saw this week about LinkedIn.

More info at LinkedInformed.com

Direct download: LinkedInformed_225.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm UTC

Welcome to episode 224, this week I want to mainly focus on company pages. A feature of LinkedIn that I have often been very critical of.

LinkedIn have announced their Top Company Pages of 2018 list so I thought I would take a closer look at some of those companies to try to understand what benefit they are gaining from LinkedIn.

I also want to return to the new groups experience as I now have the new features and thought I would add some further thoughts and things I have experienced.

For the full notes go to http://linkedinformed.com/episode224

Direct download: LinkedInformed20224.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm UTC

Thanks for all your feedback from last weeks episode about a wishlist for the new design of groups, well we didn't have to wait long did we? Well, to be more precise some of us do need to wait longer (myself included) to be able to play with the new design but on Tuesday this week, LinkedIn started rolling out their long-awaited new design that they are hoping can reinvigorate this much-maligned area of LinkedIn.

More about new groups later but first.

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Very little news about LinkedIn this week apart from the following article that I saw in multiple places

The US accuses China of 'super aggressive' spy campaign on LinkedIn 

 

New Groups Design

I told you it was going to happen this week, didn't I?!

New groups have started rolling out and several people have been in touch to share their thoughts. I'm really frustrated to not be included in the early stages of the roll-out. I know these things are supposed to be random but I also know that they can add people to the rollout if they wish and it seems more than rude to not include people who have given up their time to assist with the evaluation of groups. Many people travelled to locations across the world to participate in the research that LinkedIn has undertaken at their own cost. LinkedIn have ignored many of these people and not included them in the early roll-out...Ignorance or incompetence? Probably a bit of both in my opinion!

Fortunately, my good buddy and fellow LinkedIn trainer Greg Cooper has got the new design so I called him up for a chat to get his perspective.

Here's what's new (so far)

  • The design is a replica of the homepage feed
  • Access is still via the Work menu
  • 'Todays highlights' page has gone, replaced with your list of groups. This list can only be scrolled through and not re-ordered
  • Native video posts
  • Editing posts - you can edit posts that you've published
  • You can now manage your group from the main mobile app
  • You can still search for members by name and message them but no introduction of keyword search.
  • #communities are on the left, not sure how these fit with groups?
  • Announcements have not returned
  • Comments can be replied to in a thread
  • Images can be added to comments

 

The overall sense I get is that they are moving much control away from group managers. It would appear that the roll-out will be fast in that one internal staffer has stated that it will be completely rolled out this month

Direct download: LinkedInformed20223.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm UTC

Welcome to episode 222. I hope you find this episode enjoyable and informative.

LinkedIn have recently announced that their new re-designed groups section will be launched at the end of August It's taken them over 18 months including much user consultation to get to this point so we are entitled to expect something special.

As of the time of recording, nothing has transpired so I thought it would be timely to create a list of all the things that we, as users want to see and then we can compare it to what we actually get!

More of that at http://linkedinformed.com/?p=2531&preview=true

Direct download: LinkedInformed20222.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm UTC

Welcome to episode 221, after a weeks break while I was hiking around the Swiss Alps. If you have never been I would highly recommend it, as you can see below, the scenery is breathtaking!

 

Interesting Stuff I saw This Week
LinkedIn Groups Announcement

Thank you for your continued dedication to your LinkedIn groups. As you know we are fully rebuilding Groups and reintegrating it into the main LinkedIn website and mobile apps. We are excited for you to experience the new version of Groups which will start rolling out to all members at the end of August. We've heard from many of you over the past year that boosting engagement and enabling vibrant discussions in your groups is important, so we've prioritized features that support this including:

Making it easier to access Groups right from the LinkedIn homepage and improving visibility of group conversations in the main LinkedIn feed
Giving you the ability to manage your group on the go in the LinkedIn iOS and Android apps
Helping you stay up-to-date on group activity through Notifications
Enabling richer conversations with the ability to reply to comments, edit posts and comments, and post native video
All of your groups will be migrated automatically and for the first time the full functionality of Groups will be available from the LinkedIn app and desktop experience. In the coming months you'll also see new and better ways to manage your communities on LinkedIn. In the meantime, we've streamlined some existing admin functionality that we want you to be aware of:

Moderation queues will be temporarily unavailable. We realize the importance of moderation tools and are working on rebuilding moderation functionality in the new version of Groups. This rebuilt and improved moderation queue will be available in the next few months. We are not planning to rebuild the auto-generated classifier queue. We encourage you to review any content in the queues and remove any members who continue to violate your group rules.
Admin roles will be streamlined to just owners and managers. We heard feedback from many of you that current admin roles are confusing so we're simplifying to just owner and manager roles. Moderators will become regular members once this change takes effect. If you have moderators who you'd like to keep on as admins, please promote them to managers.
Admin and auto-generated group emails (including digests, automated templates, and announcements) will be unavailable as we build better and more robust notification and communication channels. We have seen significant lift in engagement to Groups coming from notifications and believe that notifications will be an effective way for you to communicate with your members. There is no required action for this change but we wanted to clearly highlight it as we know many of you plan your email content in advance.
We have many more updates coming and an engineering team dedicated to building admin functionality for Groups. We know your role as a group admin is integral to the success of your group, and we look forward to continuing to work with you as we build out the new experience. Thank you for your continued support in making groups on LinkedIn a trusted place to share knowledge and learn from other professionals. Visit the Help Center to learn more about the changes and stay tuned for more updates!

I'm not sure why people are kicking up such a fuss about this, LinkedIn are making it clear that these changes are mainly temporary, whilst they complete the implementation of a new Groups format. Let's hope new groups are something to be excited about it......I'm not holding my breath!

New Feature

Actually, it would be better described as an old feature that has been corrected!

This video post explains it;

 

LinkedIn Articles
Formerly known as Published posts, long-form articles on LinkedIn were once incredibly popular with authors achieving phenomenal view numbers.

In more recent times, views have dropped significantly.

In this chat with Deepak, we explore why that has happened and debate with Articles are still worth writing and how often.

Click on the image below to view Deepaks full profile.

 

Summary of points covered;

Deepak is sceptical that posts and engagement generate business. He once did a post that attracted over 2 million views but didn't attract any leads from it whereas he gained business from Articles with significantly less views.
FACT: Article views are actual clicks - Post views are merely page impressions (no guarantee it has been viewed) so you can't compare the two.
Posts are more popular than articles due to a lower barrier on entry - both in terms of production and consumption.
Articles have generated more conversions to actual business for Deepak because the reader is more engaged.
The increased use of mobile has coincided with the decrease in Article views. Is it a coincidence or are mobile users less likely to read long-form content?
Because of the lower entry barrier of posts, there are significantly more of them and this is bound to have a negative impact on Article views.
Posts and Articles can and should work in tandem. In summary, posts establish and maintain rapport whereas Articles are more likely to establish credibility.
Deepak believes that having a strong body of long-form content attached to your account can help with LinkedIn search optimisation. This is unproven but would make sense (less about keywords and more to do with LinkedIn recognising you as an expert).
Articles have the advantage of a long shelf life although if you produce too many, they are almost impossible to find.
The 'See more Articles from' section at the bottom appears to have no topic relevance, even when hashtags are used. The articles are just in date order.
If you were to post long-form content on your website rather then as a LinkedIn article, it is more likely to rank higher for SEO. You could of course post on both!
The case for writing more Articles is that you create a broader body of work, covering a wider variety of topics which gives you a greater chance of appealing to a potential customer.
A strong body of work also shows the reader that you are serious about your subject.


I really enjoyed chatting with Deepak and I think he made some excellent points.

I'm unlikley to start writing an article a week but I can definitely see the beenefits more clearly now....I hope you can too.

Let me know your thoughts.

 

That's it for this week.

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed20221.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm UTC

Hello everyone and welcome to a new episode. This week I have had messages from several people about an article doing the rounds that details how the LinkedIn algorithm works – “Wow, that sounds very interesting” I thought….then I read it and felt somewhat cheated.

It’s not what it purports to be but I do think it’s worth covering so that will be the main subject for this week

More of that later but first…..

Go to http://linkedinformed.com/episode220

Direct download: LinkedInformed20220.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:04am UTC

Hello everyone and welcome to a new episode. After two weeks of discussing Pods we are moving onto pastures new. This week I want to focus attention on the continued development of #LinkedInLocal with LocalX.

I was lucky enough to get to attend the launch party of LocalX in London recently and wanted to share my thoughts on this new initiative and also why I think LinkedIn have really missed an opportunity with LinkedIn Local.

More of that later but first…..

Direct download: LinkedInformed20219.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm UTC

Welcome to a new episode of LinkedInformed.

The main content this week is the second half of my recent interview with Lynnaire Johnston about LinkedIn pods plus my conclusions on the subject.

But first……

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

How to beat LinkedIn : The Game

This spoof article made me chuckle…enjoy!

Microsoft quotes from their latest earnings call about LinkedIn Taken from this article from The Motley Fool

Microsoft’s 2016 acquisition of LinkedIn is increasingly looking like a winning bet. Sure, Microsoft had to fork over more than $26 billion to acquire the company, but LinkedIn continues to see incredible momentum nearly two years after the social network for professionals was acquired.

Over 575 million members strong, fiscal 2018 was a record year for LinkedIn. Further, Nadella said LinkedIn’s year-over-year revenue growth accelerated for the fifth quarter in a row in Q4, to 37%.

“We saw record levels of engagement and job postings again this quarter, with sessions growth up 41% year-over-year,” Nadella said. “This strong engagement is driven by quality of the feed, video, messaging and the acceleration of mobile usage, with mobile sessions up more than 55% year-over-year.”

Got to linkedinformed.com/episode218 for the rest of the notes

Direct download: LinkedInformed20218.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm UTC

What are pods?

Sometimes they are called engagement or amplify or boosting pods. The basic premise is that a group of active users form a group/community somewhere online (LinkedIn, Facebook, Slack or any other online community site) and announce (with a link) to the group everytime they publish a post or article on LinkedIn. The agreement is that everyone in the group then engages with that post (Liking and/or commenting).

This has two effects;

  1. It spreads the post to a section of their followers which is likely to increase views and engagement
  2. The algorithm will give an extra boost to more of your followers if it believes the post is popular. This calculation seems to be made within the first hour after posting.

 

Pods are sometimes managed by one individual with strict rules and procedures and others are managed much more loosely. Some pods have hundreds of members and others are much smaller.

I first came across them last year when a listener directed me to a Facebook group that was set up for this purpose, then again earlier this year when I saw this article. My first reaction was that they seemed somewhat ‘shady’ and populated by ‘internet marketers’ who were trying to cut corners and gain quick wins (as they do!).

Then a couple of months I was invited to join one by someone I knew and respected so I thought I would join to learn more and assess it’s effectiveness.

My experience is that they do work but only when managed correctly but I wanted to get the views and knowledge from someone who has been using pods for much longer – enter podcast listener Lynnaire Johnston.

Direct download: LinkedInformed20217.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm UTC

Where were you last week?

Unexpected holiday?

Did I miss an episode?

Ooops…sorry about last week folks, this episode didn’t happen last week because, well to be perfectly frank…I had the podcasters equivalent of writers block!

But I’m back on it this week and this is a tricky subject that probably effects all of us at some time.

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

I’ve scanned the internet for interesting articles about LinkedIn and there really is very little but this one instigated a rant from me…just a little one!

Dear LinkedIn, Did You Forget You’re a Business Site?

What a load of C*** or codswallop as some posh English people say!

Why do people feel the need to dictate how LinkedIn should be, based purely on their own preferences. LinkedIn should be inclusive to all people. Some people love emojis and others hate them…that’s fine but just because you hate them, that isn’t a reason to prevent others from using them. Some industries and some users of a certain age love using emojis. If you are sent one then just ignore it, give feedback to the sender or just simply block them.

This nicely leads me into the main subject of this weeks episode…….The etiquette of using LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Etiquette

I was talking to a fellow LinkedIn Trainer last week and we were debating what we thought was acceptable or not when adding comments to a competitors post. This motivated me to publish the video below;

The comments thread on that post make very interesting reading.

It seems that a prominent view amongst many was that it’s OK to post a link provided it added value to the discussion and was not promotion….which sounds sensible but that doesn’t take into account the original poster (OP) – they have probably posted that content to encourage engagement and your link doesn’t help at all in that respect because it is taking people away from the thread.

No matter how well intentioned your actions, it’s not always clear to the OP that you are not promoting yourself – even if the link is to educational content that is highly relevant to the topic, you are still taking people from the thread to your website, which is still promotional! There is also a good chance it is actually detracting from the engagement thread so this could be considered bad manners.

The problem is that the right and wrong ‘line’ is different for everyone! This can all get very confusing for less experienced people who, understandably find it off-putting.

One person even suggested that hashtags and @mentions are inappropriate – I can’t subscribe to that though, they are mainly ways to bring people to the post which is doing the OP more of a favour.

The subject of course is much wider than post comments, other subjects that are relevant;

  • Tagging (@mentioning) people who you don’t know in your post.
  • Personalising invitations
  • Creating group messages or adding others into group messages
  • Sending Emojis
  • post connection ‘welcome’ messages

 

It’s a bit of a minefield isn’t it?

What other examples can you think of?

Did you know?

You can now add email addresses into posts and messages on LinkedIn and they become active, clickable links.

This is very useful. Unfortunately they still don’t convert to links in your profile which is where they would be most useful

Post of the Week

You may recall Simon Bourne from episode 207

I recently saw two posts from Simon, the first shows how genuine and authentic he is, the second shows how, by building a great following through being authentic, he is able to generate business on Linkedin.

 

Check out the comments below….Kerchinnng!

This weeks question comes from Jason Holt.

Question: A while back, I was a bit lazy when reaching out to people with connection requests and didn’t customise the message. (I know!) In my defence its not super easy on mobile but anyway…I now have a list of contacts who didn’t respond. I don’t know these people but they could potentially benefit from my services and would be great networking contacts for. They are local too. Can you suggest how I can recover this situation and try to obtain the connection. Is there a way of re-submitting the connection request?

Answer: The answer depends on how they reacted to your original invitation. > If they selected the ‘ignore’ response you can only invite them again if you have their email address. > If they neither ‘accepted’ or ‘ignored’ then you can withdraw the invite and try again. For the latter do this; > My network > Manage all > Sent > Withdraw

 

That’s it for this week, until next time.

Direct download: LinkedInformed20216.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm UTC

This weeks episode is all about something that is right in front of us, every time we log in to LinkedIn but it's something that most of us take very little notice of......and I think that's a missed opportunity. I'm talking about data - about companies and their employees. Companies that are our competitors, customers or prospective customers. I think we should all be taking more notice of this data, more of that later but first........

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Unveiling Translations in the LinkedIn Feed

When you click on 'See translation' you see this

And here's how it compares to Google translate

Conclusion:

A fantastic feature that will be really beneficial to people who operate in countries like the Netherlands where you want to reach an English and native speaking audience with your posts. It will also be very handy when someone @mentions you in a post that is written in a foreign language - this happens to me at least twice a month!

It's not as accurate as Google yet but should improve with time.

At First VidCon Summit, LinkedIn Video Creators Celebrate “Special” Community

Good to see LinkedIn recognised by the wider video creating community and given a spot at VidCon. I find it fascinating that these LinkedIn video creators, who seem to have come out of nowhere, are gaining almost 'YouTuber' like cult status!

I do think that a feature like Instagram stories would be great for Linkedin, such as this;

The only issue is that she has had to make this is IGTV (Instagram) so the portrait format looks awful on LinkedIn - hence the need for a way of making this type of video in the LinkedIn app.

I believe that the next stage for video on LinkedIn is the combination of video and stories - live streaming is probably the next stage after that but I'm not sure the LinkedIn community is ready for live just yet!

LinkedIn Data

I was recently sent this article by a listener to the show;

Recruiting on LinkedIn adds analytics and pointed questions

I'm really not sure I understand the question about the ethics of using this analytics tool to raid a competitor - isn't that what everyone does? This tool just provides better information to allow recruiters to 'poach' those that are more likely to be interested. The ethical question around headhunting has always seemed bizarre to me, to suggest it is wrong would suggest that a company somehow 'owns' its staff - that seems to be on much thinner moral ground (ice) to me!

Interestingly enough, someone else had mentioned LinkedIn's new Talent Insights feature to me recently and I had made a note to check it out.

If you want to hear LinkedIn talk about it, the video below is set play at the part where they announced Talent Insights at their Talent Intelligence Summit earlier this year.

LinkedIn describe Talent Insights as their most exciting product since Recruiter!

It will be launched next summer (2019)

There are two reports that it provides;

  1. Talent Pool which includes analysis based on a search by Job title/skill/location as follows;
    1. Total numbers plus or minus
    2. # that changed jobs in last 12 months
    3. How many jobs advertised
    4. Hiring demand index
    5. Location comparison
    6. City migration
    7. Main employers
    8. Which companies are increasing or losing staff in these areas
  2. Company Report.
    1. A deeper analysis of companies identified as main employers in point 7 above
    2. Skills
    3. Company locations
    4. Where they recruit from (employee source)
    5. Where do they go to after they leave

This all seems pretty exciting for Recruiters and it got me thinking about how useful such data could be for other purposes. As I started to think about it I realised that much of the useful data can easily be extracted from Sales Navigator!

Take this example;

Account search by location, industry and number of employees, then I used the headcount growth slider to identify which companies had seen the highest growth over the last 12 months

Furthermore, I can go into that company a drill down to a list of employees, here I can see exactly how long they have been at the company and in their role. This easily highlights those that are new.

This can be very useful data used for the following;

  • Competitor analysis
  • Recruiting opportunities
  • Business development
    • Fast growth = increase need to buy your product/service
    • downsizing = potential for financial assistance, interim services etc

 

Conclusion

As is often the case LinkedIn are demonstrating a lack of joined-up thinking. Much (not all) of what this new Talent Insights product provides can be found, quite easily within Sales Navigator already!

I'm assuming this new product will come with a hefty price tag and we have to wait at least a year to get it!

I've been quite disappointed with Sales Navigator recently. It's pretty hopeless as an engagement tool and LinkedIn.com is easily my preferred tool for posting, commenting etc but the data you can access is really very useful.

What are your thoughts? How else could this data be used?

You are 100% correct Rose, a company page is required to ensure that your company logo appears in your experience section which in turn ensures that it appears at the top of your profile.

I would never suggest that people don't have a company page, you also need it for advertising and it can be useful as a way of getting people to your website. It's a good feature for branding and providing information about your company - it's just a very poor feature for engaging with people.

Direct download: LinkedInformed20215.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm UTC

Welcome to episode 214. Due to time constraints, this will be a much shorter episode than normal but I did want to focus on company pages and specifically the issues that I have with them.

But first.....

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

 

LinkedIn Kudos - My thoughts

The day after I published last weeks episode, I got the new kudos feature (and the Q code, see below).

Having played with Kudos for a while, I'm not that impressed.

  • The graphics are truly awful. Who do LinkedIn employ to do this stuff?
  • It's purely an activity, a post so there is nothing permanent about it. It doesn't show on your profile and there it's not searchable.
  • I haven't seen many Kudos posts, my guess is that it will be largely ignored and fizzle out.

 

I also got the new QR code feature

  • This is pretty useless until it's full rolled out to all users.
  • Once the above has happened it can make connecting easier when you meet someone. People often say they can't find me on the app (there are 3500 Mark Williams'!) so it would be handy to simply let them scan my Q code
  • Could this be useful for events? I sense it might be but I haven't quite worked out how! Any ideas?

 

This not only went viral but it's also a really good post that asks a great question. I like to think I make some good videos but this guy is a real pro (and a listener to the show)

Company Pages

This subject came back into my view this week when Tony Restell posted this;

Can you believe it?!!!

The more I thought about, the more I realised that this was a major weakness of the job posting and company page process on LinkedIn. So I decided to try it out myself!

Firstly I took one of my fake/testing accounts and changed their employment to my company on LinkedIn. This has always been a frustration for many of us - literally anyone can say they work for your company!

The next stage was to try posting a job

As you can see, I made it clear that this was a fake vacancy!

The interesting thing was that I was able to use the email address associated to the personal profile so all job applicants would come to that emails inbox!

I then set the PPC rate and bingo, the job posted!

The only caveat is that despite the above, I actually couldn't find the job on LinkedIn! Could this be because they have blocked the ad?

That is possible but I suspect it is actually just a current glitch with job postings.

I also had an interesting conversation this week with someone who was advocating the use of their company page

"What are you getting from your page" I asked. "We get a high number of page impressions" was the answer.

"And what do they give you?"  pause...... "It's good brand exposure"

Is it really?

Company page posts gain almost zero engagement - they often attract Likes (mainly from employees) but very few posts attract comments. If you get comments, you know for a fact that someone is paying attention to your post, in addition it gives you the opportunity to build a relationship with them. It's the main reason to post and by far the most important metric - Likes are 'two a penny', Shares simply don't work and page impressions are a meaningless figure (how do we even know they are true?).

If you can prove that your posts (updates) are sending a decent number of people to your website. I don't mean LinkedIn per se, I mean specifically updates. If they are then your activity has some value but otherwise, without comments you are achieving very little (apart from showing that your page is active).

Why don't people comment?

  • People on LinkedIn are much more interested in engaging with people
  • Company page posts are usually promotional and less engaging
  • Even when you do comment on a company page post, it's highly unlikely you will get a response because the administrators are not alerted (unless they are on the page)
  • Have you ever @mentioned a company in one of your posts?......What response did you get?

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed20214201.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm UTC

Welcome to episode 213. A big thanks to everyone who contributed with ideas of LinkedIn mistakes/disasters that I can use in a book I’m considering writing. If you have any other stories, please let me know by either sending me a message on LinkedIn (it’s free even if we are not connected) or leave a voicemail (link on the right side of this page) or email me at mark@linkedinformed.com.

Some ideas so far;
Employees using LinkedIn to get their own back on former employers and vice versa
Political posts or comments from someone who is in business - what does this achieve?
Posting pictures in factories that may include commercially sensitive material that contravenes an NDA (commonplace in China).
Overly religious posts or comments. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs but LinkedIn is not the place to preach!
@mentioning someone who does not speak your language!
Keep them coming!


I have been spending some of this week getting familiar with the new communities feature on LinkedIn and I’m so excited by it that I’ve decided to feature it on this weeks episode.

More of that later…..

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Groups update - nothing to get too excited about but a recent post in a group managers forum confirmed that progress is still being made and that they see that “success is largely defined by the quality of the discussions and connections formed within Groups”. That sounds promising although at the same time they also suggest that they are working to help group managers in 4 areas - building, growing, engaging and managing. The 2nd one ‘growing’ worries me as I believe that large groups are what caused the problem in the first place.

Cisco report. I mentioned this last week but admitted that I hadn’t read it. I have now and it makes for an interesting read;
Globally, IP video traffic will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021
Live Internet video will account for 13 percent of Internet video traffic by 2021
Smartphone traffic will exceed PC traffic by 2021. In 2016, PCs accounted for 46 percent of total IP traffic, but by 2021 PCs will account for only 25 percent of traffic
It would take an individual more than 5 million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month in 2021!
You read the full report here


New on LinkedIn

LinkedIn debuts Your Commute, navigation and maps to evaluate jobs based on how far they are

This is quite a nice feature, if it works! My experience was that very few jobs in the UK had a stated location postcode, perhaps because they were added prior to this feature. The couple that I did find both stated the car journey was ‘2+ hours’ - not very helpful!

Introducing LinkedIn Kudos: Say Thanks and Show Your Appreciation

I don’t have this yet so it’s hard to comment without playing with it properly. How will it be used? Will you be able to search for it - perhaps via a Recruiter account.
More importantly, will anyone use it? I suspect it will be missed by most users unless LinkedIn do something to really highlight it.

LinkedIn are either rolling out or testing QR codes for your profile.

I can see myself using this as QR codes really haven’t taken off here but it will be an important feature in other countries.

Giving Companies More Ways to Learn with LinkedIn Learning Pro

This seems like quite a useful feature for large companies

Introducing Carousel Ads on LinkedIn

These look nice and help with storytelling, although videos are a better way to tell stories.
If they can do it for ad’s why not allow us to post ‘story images’ as normal posts?

#Communities


Having played for almost a week now, I’m convinced this new feature has the potential of being a game changer for LinkedIn.
I’m not saying it will….that depends on how many people use it but if they do, it will fundamentally change the way we use Linkedin.

As you can see above the feature is accessed in the left side bar.

The first thing to note is that your feed has changed. Instead of being ordered by ‘top’ from those you follow who the algorithm thinks you might be interested in, it now shows posts from those you follow who have posted, Liked or Commented with and on #topics you follow.

This is much better but only of you refine what you are following. To do this;

> click on the ‘Discover more’ link (see arrow above)
> Unfollow those Topics LinkedIn has assumed you are interested in or those you no longer see as key.
> Check the other topics for any you wish to follow

To do this on mobile you need to tap on the 3 lines shown below

It is really important to get this right - only follow topics that fall into one of these categories

Something your prospects and customers are interested in
Something very closely related to what you do (product or service you provide)
Something that interests you.

These Topics will define the relevance of your feed from now on.

You can decide to filter your feed by just one specific topic by selecting it from your list of #topics

To make this quicker on desktop you can ‘pin’ your main topics.

Once you have set your feed up correctly you should see much better content that gives you plenty more opportunities to engage.

The premise here is that we should be focussed more on conversations around relevant topics than around specific people we wish to do business with.
When you focus on people, it leads to direct messaging and unwanted invitations to connect - these actions kill engagement and lead to lower levels of activity.
My belief is that, if people adopt the right approach to this, that those less active members will start to get more involved - that’s potentially amazing and why I believe this could be a game changer!

LinkedIn are making a major effort to ensure that #topics are widely adopted. Every post you do, as you are writing the text, you are suggested hashtags to use.

Having a more relevant feed should improve everyones LinkedIn experience allowing us to ;
Learn from others
Engage with a wider range of people
Expand and diversify our networks
Increase our own visibility

What I don’t like

The are several things that could go wrong. If people # incorrectly or misuse the function to ‘game the system’ our feeds could end up being poor again. The suggested tags feature could increase this issue as I have found it is often suggesting the wrong topics.

It is not possible to see what others are interested in. I think it would be better to show what topics someone is following in their profile. This will help us better understand the right topics to follow.

To my mind, engagement is at the heart of social selling and yet this feature is nowhere to be seen in Sales Navigator….go figure! Another example of a severe lack of joined up thinking at LinkedIn.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_213.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 212. A big thanks for all the feedback from last weeks show. Most of you seemed to enjoy Marjorie’s information about ProFinder although I was surprised by a couple of people who felt I shouldn’t have been promoting a service such as ProFinder - the premise being that LinkedIn are creating a market that is free to use (even though it isn’t) and once people are dependent on ProFinder as a source of work, they will start to charge more for it.
I massively struggle with that mindset - I can remember people in recruitment saying exactly the same thing about LinkedIn “Don’t support a business threat” was a common view and look at where we are now? You can’t put your head in the sand on things like that, a perceived ‘threat’ can become an opportunity but only if you embrace it.

This week I’m looking for your help…
I’m thinking of writing a book about my famous ‘rants’ about LinkedIn - I want to focus on the things that people do wrong or the things that go wrong on LinkedIn. Ideally from a humorous perspective.

What have you seen happen on LinkedIn that is a good example of a mishap or poor practice?
You don’t need to name names, just tell me the story.

As a starting point, I though I would cover my 5 biggest mistakes I see on LinkedIn and hope that you can help me add to the list.


But first…..


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Airline sources a plane via a LinkedIn post!

Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t consider LinkedIn to be a competitor


The Company (Drift) that did that cool video takeover thing on LinkedIn
Here’s an example of one of the videos posted by one of the team at Drift

New LinkedIn Features

New Sales Navigator profiles - a definite improvement

The people also views has gone but they do have an extra ‘Recommended leads at:’ section that isn’t shown above

 

Using Stickers and Text to Stand Out on LinkedIn Video

‘How You Match’ feature speeds up time-to-hire

Post of the Week

This one obviously resonated with me! Thanks to Gary Stockton for sending this one in.

Have you seen a post that you really enjoyed recently on LinkedIn? If so drop me a note on LinkedIn or via mark@linkedinformed.com with a link to the post.

 

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Made on LinkedIn

  1. Poor quality profile. I’m amazed I still find myself saying this one! Bad profile pics, unedited headlines, non existent summaries, no background images….the list goes on and on. When will people realise that this is their professional identity online?!
  2. Promiscuous Connecting. Whilst it once made sense to grow very large networks and adopt a LION philosophy, those days are gone….in fact they have been gone for at least 5 years! Oversized networks add little extra value to your visibility, confuse the algorithm and potentially expose your other connections to scammers. Many automation tools facilitate this behaviour and it’s a massive mistake
  3. Inactivity. Linkedin are lucky to get 25% of their users to log in more than once a month….and that’s in a good quarter! There really is very little point in LinkedIn if you don’t at least engage in some activity every week. These ultra passive users are missing all sorts of opportunities. Even those that are active often ‘hold back’ on LinkedIn and are too scared or shy to post or comment on others posts, another missed opportunity.
  4. Direct selling. Sometimes is just blatant spam but more common than that is the blunt ‘I want something from you’ messages, InMail or posts. It’s like trying to french kiss someone when you first meet them on a first date! Another aspect of this is the ‘McFly’ posts you see all the time ‘Look at me’ ‘Aren't we wonderful’ and ‘look how we can help you (at a cost)’ - it’s all about you!
  5. Lazy Networking. Similar to the post of the week as shown above. Extensive use of short canned messages such as ‘congrats’ or only ever liking posts and never being bothered to comment, invitations that are not personalised or personalised with a message that is clearly sent to everyone (automation)

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_212.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 211, this week’s episode is dedicated entirely to understanding LinkedIn ProFinder.

I haven’t used ProFinder as it is currently only available to users in the United States so I found an experienced (and award winning) user who could tell us all about it.

Let me introduce Marjorie Kavanagh


What is LinkedIn ProFinder?

ProFinder is LinkedIn’s own professional service marketplace’ where users can search for freelancers, small business owners or interim executives who can provide expertise in a variety of specialist disciplines.

You can access ProFinder by going to the ‘More’ menu on LinkedIn desktop

Freelancers can apply to be accepted as a ‘Pro’ in up to 10 of the 140 categories available in proFinder. These are broken down into 17 broad categories.

Freelancers can apply to be accepted as a ‘Pro’ in up to 10 of the 140 categories available in proFinder. These are broken down into 17 broad categories.

How to become a ‘Pro’

To be a successful applicant your main LinkedIn profile must satisfy five key requirements;
A good, professional profile photo
Experience and a headline that reflects the categories you are applying for
A clear summary that explains what you do
Strong recommendations appropriate to your application
Have published several articles relevant to your specialism


Once accepted, LinkedIn will create your ProFinder profile (you can’t amend this other then by changing your main LinkedIn profile).

Here is Marjorie’s profile;

You will then start to receive Request for Proposals (RFP). You are under no obligation to respond but you are advised to respond quickly as up to 5 ‘Pro’s will be sent the RFP and not all are sent at the same time.

What does it cost?

ProFinder is free for those who wish to appoint a Freelancer.

As a Pro, you get your first 10 RFP’s for free (not assignments, just proposals) after that you will need to upgrade your LinkedIn account to a Business Premium Account (currently $60/month)


The Process

As someone looking for services you can simply search for specific categories or go to an individuals page (strangely there is no link in their main LinkedIn profile).
If you click on the ‘Get free proposals’ link in Marjorie’s profile it takes me to the same predetermined questions for the category I have selected and that RFP will also be sent to 4 other people (despite starting this process from her profile!)

If there are more than 5 suitable pro’s then the algorithm will select what it considers the best ones (presumably taking into account the number of recommendations).

As a pro you will receive a notification by email and in your ProFinder Inbox - this is separate from your main LinkedIn inbox and there is no other way of knowing you have an RFP (this is very poor design in my opinion).

There is currently not a mobile app for ProFinder.

When responding to an RFP you have to provide a cost estimation or hourly rate and indicate whether you are happy to provide a free 15 minute consultation. Following this you have up to 1500 characters to present your credentials - LinkedIn’s advice is that short and concise works best. You can include links which could be a video introduction or an example of your work.

LinkedIn do not require that a client indicate that they have appointed you so it is not currently possible for LinkedIn to assess how successful you have been with your RFP’s in addition your recommendations are from your main LinkedIn profile and not specifically related to your ProFinder work.

Summary

LinkedIn ProFinder offer a fantastic opportunity to wide range of small business owners and freelancers. There is no doubt that it is still a beta product and in just one conversation I can see several obvious improvements that could be made.
ProFinder has been in existence for a couple of years now but there is currently no word from LinkedIn as to when it will be expanded beyond the US…if ever.

If you are in the US, I strongly recommend you check it out to see if any of the categories fit with your business. It could be a great way to outsource certain specialist projects and if you provide such services, an untapped lead generator!

Direct download: LinkedInformed_211.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 210, I’m back after a very restful week in the sun in Cape Verde and was surprised to see very little news about LinkedIn circulating the internet over the last couple of weeks so this is going to be a shorter than normal episode.

 
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


Actually not interesting at all! I got back from holiday to an email inbox that could only be described as GDPR hell! A plethora of emails asking me to read a new privacy policy (necessary but annoying) combined with a series of ‘Do you still want to hear from us’ followed by ‘Are you sure you want us to go?” emails encouraging me to opt-in to future emails. I’m not expert but I thought the idea of GDPR was to reduct the number of emails?!! I guess we may feel the benefit in the longer term. I have to say (again not from any position of expertise) that these people who are sending out ‘opt-in’ emails seem to be doing unnecessary damage to their business by culling lists they have built up over years.


Here is a post I published this week on the subject, which generated quite a debate!

Another example of scammers using LinkedIn in this article. This really highlights the need to be a bit more careful who we connect with, for everyones benefit.

LinkedIn Announces New Sales Navigator Capabilities


Is It Time To Re-think How We Use LinkedIn To Win Business?


LinkedIn has made it much harder to direct people to your own website. A client recently told me that their website referrals from LinkedIn were down by 50% over the last year!
Increased legislation regarding data privacy and email marketing (such as GDPR) is only likely to increase.


What is wrong with using LinkedIn to gain greater visibility to generate more business. If LinkedIn goes away, we just move with our audience.


I’m not suggesting we move away from email lists but I do think the ‘build a platform’ with the intention of building a list methodology might be worth challenging today. Is it still as relevant?


Michael Hyatt’s Platform book influenced me years ago and it’s still mostly relevant but I now question the ‘don’t build your brand on someone else platform’ philosophy.


Could it be time to focus more of our time on interacting with people on LinkedIn via posts, articles and groups rather than relying on building email lists?


The ‘passive income’ model is a myth. Everyone I know who makes decent money online does it through lots of hard work.

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_210.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30pm UTC

Welcome to episode 209, this week we have a pre-recorded interview with Kris Holland who is a Marketing Manager with a specialist recruitment business called Charlton Morris

Kris and I engaged on LinkedIn following on from my posts about content marketing as covered in episode 204. Kris was keen to explain that content marketing had been working well for them so I thought it would be great to get him on the show.

Takeaways

Content should be designed to start conversations
They measure success by engagement but also by looking at Buzzsumo
It’s important to develop an understanding of the markets you service
When you focus on narrow/niche vertical markets you can ‘tune in’ to your audience and really give value in your content. Recruiters should be doing this.
Rule: Never sell in any content you post
Great content allows their consultants to be seen differently and with more respect.
Content creation forms can be a useful tool to help those who find writing difficult or time consuming
Articles often work better than in markets that involve complex or technical subjects
Consultants become better at their job by understanding their vertical market and subjects that are relevant and interesting to their clients and candidates

Here is the LinkedIn article we often referred to in this interview.

I hope you found that an interesting interview. How many recruitment businesses do you know who focus this heavily of content and understanding their specialist markets?

Let me know if you are aware of any companies, in any sector that you believe are using content effectively on LinkedIn.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_209.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 208, this week I am revisiting the search algorithm. If you are a long term listener you will recall that I tested the search algorithm a year ago in episode 161 and I promised that I would conduct the same test every year to check if the algorithm had changed……..and guess what, it has!
More of that later, but first…


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


LinkedIn Turns 15

Shameless drug dealers using LINKEDIN to sell Class A narcotics. I’m afraid this is classic British tabloid sensationalism! The profile of Scott Bush has already been deactivated and I could find very little other drug selling activity.

LinkedIn Updates

LinkedIn is now rolling out suggested hashtags in posts as per this voicemail from Lynnaire Johnston.

Post of the Week

I just love the positivity of this brilliant post from Michael Spence

LinkedIn SEO 2018

How easy is it to find your profile in a LinkedIn Search?
The LinkedIn search algorithm is a complex and ever changing beast. Search results are highly personalised so how can you tell whether your profile is easy to find by the people who you wish to be found by?

This is why I carry out a test every year to check what is important to ensure that your profile is correctly optimised for search.

WARNING : It's not an exact science! Don't get me wrong, there will be an exact science to this but no-one knows what it is apart from a select group of 'higher beings' who reside in some dark room at LinkedIn's headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA.

This group are sworn to secrecy so we will never know the answer to this mystery.......but we can perform some practical tests to get a better 'sense' of what is important in a profile.

The Test

I used 4 accounts for this test (my own and 3 others I was kindly given access to).

Account 1 - 9900 connections, highly active, based in Warrington, Cheshire, UK
Account 2 - 5785 connections, inactive, based in Manchester, UK
Account 3 - 291 connections, moderately active, based in London, UK
Account 4 - 3 connections, inactive, based in Warrington, Cheshire, UK

I performed the following search from each of these accounts (within minutes of each other)

Keywords : copywriting OR copywriter and filtered by 'people'

Initially the results were analysed without any further filters.Initially the results were analysed without any further filters.
I assessed the importance of the following profile attributes for the top ten results (1st page) for each of the four results. Keywords in headline Keywords in current job title Keywords in Company name Keywords in Summary Keywords in experience (other than current job title) Total keywords throughout profile Network connection (1st, 2nd, 3rd tier or beyond) Shared connections Location Activity (Likes, Comments, Shares, Posts and Articles) Profile Strength Skills Endorsements Interests (number and mutuality)Then I added a location filter of London to all four searches and re-analysed the results.


Each result was also filtered to see how many 1st, 2nd and 3rd tier connections there were.


The ResultsThe first thing to note is that I performed the same analysis last year (more information here) and the results this time were significantly different. This shows how LinkedIn are constantly changing the search algorithm and/or it is adjusting itself (machine learning).
Out of the above 14 criteria, only 3 appeared consistently in the top 10 results of each of the 4 searches.
Keywords in headline Location Skills

Keywords


All 40 profiles (top 10 in each search) had one or both of the keywords in the headline. The number of times the keyword appeared throughout the profile was not important and the keywords did not always appear in any of the other sections.Conclusion: Ensure your 120 character headline field is stuffed full of keywords and phrases


Location


You would expect location to be an important factor when used as a filter but it was also key when no filters were applied. All of the top 10 results in each search were local to that account.Conclusion: Your location is critical in LinkedIn SEO. If you are a jobseeker you should change your postal code to where you believe the jobs are most likely to be.If you are using LinkedIn to win more clients, consider changing your postal code to where your prospects are based.


Skills


Whilst you can't search for skills (other than with a Recruiter account) it appears that skills are now a key factor in the search algorithm ranking. All 40 profiles had 'Copywriting' (copywriter isn't a skill) as a skill.Endorsements: Whilst the number of endorsements didn't seem to have an effect, it did seem important for the skill to have been endorsed at least once (the lowest number of endorsements I saw was 2 and they ranked pretty high).Conclusion: Ensure you have all your important keywords covered by your skills. The max number of skills is 50. I would advise starting with 20 and once they are all endorsed at least once, increase this number gradually to 50. A skill without an endorsement is pretty useless!


One more thing....This one really surprised me and is a major change from my previous tests.


First Tier Connections perform poorly in search results!


Much to my surprise I found that in each of the 4 results, first tier appeared almost nowhere! In the search on my account with 9900 connections, there were 712 first tier in the c1.7 million result yet the first one only appeared in 123rd position but it met very similar criteria to those who appeared in the top ten.The first page of results was almost always 2nd tier with an occasional appearance of a 3rd tier.

Conclusion: If you can identify someone who you think might be searching for someone like you (for instance a Recruiter in a company you wish to work for), consider following them rather than connecting.

How important is LinkedIn SEO?

If you are a jobseeker, it's extremely important. The vast majority of searches performed on LinkedIn are by Recruiters and you should optimise your profile in line with these results.
If however, you are using LinkedIn as a business development and social selling tool then it's significantly less important.
How many people use LinkedIn to find suppliers?...Not many in truth. People generally don't use LinkedIn search the way they use Google. That said, it is worth being mindful of how optimised your profile is.


Direct download: LinkedInformed_208.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 207, this week I had the pleasure of chatting with Simon Bourne from The Hand Dyed Shoe Company. Simon is a classic example of what can be achieved when you use LinkedIn to develop an authentic personal brand.

 

Takeaways

LinkedIn has massive untapped potential to develop your brand
Simon developed his visibility because he posted honest, authentic content about his personal and business journey.
LinkedIn success is not about View or Share Numbers it's about the reaction you get from followers, on and off line.
Quote “it's not about selling your products, it's about developing your brand”.
You can be more promotional with your posts once you have built an engaged audience.
The power of storytelling. Authentic stories are the way to develop a brand, you must stir emotion to gain engagement.
Never follow what other people do on LinkedIn. Be you and show your authentic emotions.
Once you are visible and your followers are emotionally invested in you, it becomes relatively straightforward to sell to them.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_207.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am UTC

Welcome to episode 206. As the new desktop profile design continues to roll-out to many, I thought it would make sense to cover profiles with you in this episode.


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

LinkedIn’s AutoFill plugin could leak user data, secret fix failed

Facebook faces exodus as businesses call time

Facebook's new slogan: 'If you think we're not good for your business, leave'

Always Customise Your LinkedIn Invitation? Better not?

LinkedIn Features

The new mobile ‘Find Nearby’ seems to be broken!
The settings have disappeared which renders it useless!

Post of the Week

Following on from last weeks episode on content marketing I thought I would highlight this excellent post from John Espirian. Great advice…and great subtitles too!

Refresh Your Profile

With the new profile design rolling out to many of you I thought it would be a good time to make some changes to your profile.

As a starting point I posted this video this week showing a side by side comparison

You might find Andy Foote’s article on the reasons behind the new profile design interesting

A Scientific Explanation Of The NEW LinkedIn Profile

Some of you will have to change your background image because of the new position of the profile picture. It is unlikely to change on mobile where it is still centred. This is not a massive issue as the background image is less important on mobile, but worth considering.

The easiest way to create a background image is to find a suitable free image on Pixabay and upload it to Canva and then create a ‘custom dimension’ of 1584x396 px

It may also be a good time to invest in a new, professionally taken headshot image. This is no longer an expensive thing to do and you should easily be able to find a good local headshot photographer on LinkedIn, just type the following into the searcher at the top of the page;
headshot AND title:photographer
then select ‘people’ and add your location

Review your headline : Is there clarity to your prospects? Are you using your 120 characters wisely?

Company Logo; The most recently commenced position will be the one that shows a logo at the top of your new profile. Make sure that if you have several concurrent positions that the most important one is at the top (you can move them by dragging the 4 horizontal lines)

Summary: This has increased from 2 to 3 lines (roughly 300 characters) now. A good summary should start with your contact details (only 45 characters are seen on mobile) and the rest should provide an enticing ‘teaser’ to encourage the viewer to click on the now more prominent ‘show more’

Media: As there are now 6 thumbnails that actually show in the preview, it may be a good time to review which media you are using and perhaps designing them so that the thumbnails (which are much smaller) show what the media is.

Skills: If you are into skills (I’m really not!) then you might want to use the new format as an excuse to review what you show (see Greg Coopers post above)

Direct download: LinkedInformed_206.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 205, this week I’m joined by Robert Indries to discuss content marketing on LinkedIn.
But first…


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


The ‘Find nearby’ feature on the mobile app actually works very well (once you have asked others to switch it on) as I found when I experimented with it this week at a course I ran

LinkedIn are changing Middle East and African accounts onto US based contracts as from May 8th to avoid GDPR compliance.

 

LinkedIn Tips to Keep Your Profile Fresh includes reference to new profile design
You can now add subtitles to your native videos via desktop, it’s a bit fiddle but the video below explains it very well

Content Marketing

I chatted with Robert Indries about how content marketing can work on LinkedIn but only if it is done in the right way.

Key points

  • Content should be designed to create connections and conversations.
  • Long form content is great for SEO but less suitable for LinkedIn
  • Most LinkedIn content searching is actually"Passive" searching.
  • Most people perceive LinkedIn is a place to find and engage with people. Google is the place to search for answers, LinkedIn is the place to search for people who might provide answers.
  • Video posts usually have the greatest impact in passive search largely down to autoplay.
  • Short-form text content is also effective at "Drawing in" the viewer.
  • Posting allows people to associate us with a subject or niche and we tend to remember the first names and faces (profile photos).
  • Article listings in a profile only work well when you have a singular niche subject.
  • Media in your summary will be improved in the new design profiles. Five pieces of media show (allowing you to demonstrate five subjects) Plus they are visible before the ’show more’ link.
  • Long form content is most effective as a secondary impact on the viewer. It is better to use posts to get someone's attention initially.
  • Content should be driven by your own personal experience or by interviewing others who show their experience.
Direct download: LinkedInformed_205.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 204, this week I want to return to the increasingly important subject of video, not just native video but the wider use of video on LinkedIn.
No interesting news to report this week apart from a couple of changes to LinkedIn;

 

LinkedIn Updates

LinkedIn appear to be trialling the compulsory use of hashtags in posts. Goof idea or not?

GIFs have returned to LinkedIn! They are now accessible only in the Messages feature and interestingly via a 3rd party source called Tenor. This itself interests me as LinkedIn have shown reluctance to work with 2rd parties previously .(see emoji’s and video filters). Here is a link to the article. I’m a bit mixed up when it comes to GIF’s, in theory I shouldn’t like them as they are usually pretty stupid……but I keep finding myself using them so I think I’m going to have to come out and say it…….I’m a Giffer!
New Profiles. As the roll out of the new profile design continues more information is coming to light (I still don’t have it). It would appear that Summary previews are now more than double the size and 5 media thumbnails show in the main profile page, rather than 3.


Video on LinkedIn


I’m pretty sure everyone now has access to LinkedIn native video, at least via the mobile app if not on the desktop version of LinkedIn which may still be rolling out.
Many people have grasped the opportunity to post native videos which are often getting significantly more views and traction than YouTube or Facebook videos.
This is great news but my sense is that many of you are still holding back so I thought it was worth revisiting the subject, not just native video but the concept of using any form of video on LinkedIn.

Whilst I wouldn’t advise posting YouTube, Vimeo and other external links to videos as posts, they can still provide excellent content to add to Articles and your profile in the media section under the Summary, Experience and Education sections. With the forthcoming changes to profiles, 5 pieces of media will show in the profile which potentially allows you to do more with adding videos into your profile.

Whether it be Native LinkedIn video or other sources, the guidelines are the same.
I applaud people for stepping out of their comfort zone and giving video a try, it’s often a tricky step to take and it’s inevitable that people will make some mistakes.

In the podcast I highlight some examples of people who are posting awful, ‘Vcard’ type videos with boring, sales content. Whilst tempting, this really does you no favours!

The best type of video content (as a post or in media in your profile) will include;
Decent sound. A modern smartphone can record good enough sound provided you are in a room that has plenty of soft furnishings. Avoid high ceilings and wooden floors.
Acceptable light. You don’t need specialist lighting…a window is just fine. Stand facing a window with your phone or camera in between you and the window. This will almost always give a good lighting effect.
Always add subtitles to your LinkedIn videos - most LinkedIn users do not have sound! I recommend using the iOS Clips app or the excellent Clipomatic app for this.
Make your videos short. I have found that 3 mins is the maximum length but ideally keep it below 1 minute
A video doesn’t have to be you talking to camera. It could simply be a ‘moving pictures and words’ format. A good app for this is InShot or for desktop I use Biteable.
Content - This is often the hardest bit!
Be real and authentic…switch off from ‘sales talk’, relax and just chat to the camera.
Try to use humour as much as you can
Be vulnerable and genuine. Viewers are much more likely to ‘connect’ with who you are.
Provide tips and aim to help others. This demonstrates expertise but also generosity.
Use a Blog style format and tell people what you have been up to and what you have planned. Share your thoughts and lessons learnt from experience (but don’t preach)
Have a rant! If something bothers you…let your audience know and encourage them to add their views.
Tell stories. Always ask yourself ‘Can I deliver this message in the form of a story’. Human beings are naturally drawn to stories.
Persist. Don’t be put off if your videos gain few views and comments. They are bound to be terrible to start with but you will improve, especially if you ask for feedback (vulnerability again!)

Post of the week

Of course if you were really brave you could also record yourself singing as Page Kemna does in this ‘singing Résumé post that went viral recently. Even Jeff Weiner felt the need to comment on this one! Thanks to Giles Davis for highlighting this

I keep hitting the commercial use limit. I can’t afford to upgrade my account so do you have any tips to avoid this problem?

ANSWER;

Commercial use limit is defined by LinkedIn as;
If you reach the commercial use limit, your activity on LinkedIn indicates that you're likely using LinkedIn for commercial use, like hiring or prospecting. This limit is calculated based on your search activity since the first of the calendar month.
Specific activities that contribute to the limit include:
Searching for LinkedIn profiles on LinkedIn.com and mobile.
Browsing LinkedIn profiles using the People Also Viewed section located on the right side of a profile.
These activities do not count toward the limit:
Searching profiles by name using the search box located at the top of every page on LinkedIn.com
Browsing your 1st-degree connections from the connections page.
Searching for jobs on the jobs page.
You'll see a warning as you approach the limit. Your free monthly usage resets at midnight PST on the 1st of each calendar month. We are not able to display the exact number of searches or views you have left and we also cannot lift the limit upon request. Also note that the warning that you are approaching the limit may not display if you run through the full amount of searches or views too quickly.

This information from LinkedIn gives us some handy clues as to how to navigate around the limit.

Reduce unnecessary profile views
Find profiles by name searching, you can add more information to the name (such as company) to help locate them via a quick search.
Find names via a free Alumni search
Search for people within ‘My network’ and check their ‘people also viewed to get names for a name search
Check your feed for new connections your connections are making (change order to ‘Recent’

Direct download: LinkedInformed_204.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am UTC

Welcome to episode 203, after a weeks break for the Easter holidays we are back and this week I want to talk about engagement……quite possibly the single most important thing you should consider when using LinkedIn!
Not much news since the last episode, apart from the following


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


LinkedIn Goes All-In on B2B Video

I have mixed feelings about this, as you know I love video and the ability to post videos from a company page is a positive thing but then again, the people that manage company pages tend to be stuck in a mindset of promotion……so we can expect to see a lot of boring corporate, ‘look at how amazing we are’ videos….joy!
In addition, the main reason LinkedIn have implemented this is to encourage companies to sponsor their video posts, which will also lead to more boring, non-engaging promotional videos.

I still think video from a personal page is by far the best way to encourage engagement.


It looks like LinkedIn have figured a way to work out what Chrome extension you are using!
I have no idea how they do this but perhaps this marks the end of automation tools.

New Feature

LinkedIn are now rolling out the ‘find nearby’ I have mentioned previously to mobile apps (roll-out is ‘account specific’ not ‘device specific’).
This could be a great feature for events and conferences but having it switched off by default is a disastrous move! If you have to explain to people how to switch it on, it kind of loses the point!

Engagement

Promotion simply doesn’t work on LinkedIn…or at least, it very rarely works so that poses the following question;

“If we are using LinkedIn to win new business and promotion doesn’t work…why bother with LinkedIn?”

The answer is simple: LinkedIn allows you to achieve two key things that will help you win more business;

Increased visibility.
Warmer relationships with prospective customers

Both of these factors are achieved by one thing…….Engagement

Engagement - the development of conversations on LinkedIn. This is the key to success in my opinion.

How to engage
Find relevant content and join in the conversation
Post about relevant, interesting topics and ask questions

The first point about finding the right content is dependant on searching for content (keywords and Hashtags) as well as ensuring your homepage feed is full of comment-worthy posts. This is achieved by;
Cleaning out your feed by unfollowing people who post bad content
Following people that post interesting stuff
Influencing the algorithm by showing interest in the above people and their content

The algorithm has to make decisions as to what to show you in your feed, if it showed you every post from every connection you wouldn’t be able to make any sense of it.
The algorithm can only act on the information it is given and this information actually comes from you.
Topics you have followed or previously commented or Liked
Topics you have posted or written articles about
Groups you have joined, especially if you are active
Profiles you have viewed
Messages you have sent
Skills in your profile
Your industry in your profile

There are probably more factors, LinkedIn doesn’t tell us how this is done but we know it’s an algorithm and that can only work from data/activity based instructions. You need to think of yourself as being a ‘programmer’ through your actions.

This is important to consider in terms of what you see but even more important to consider when you are posting! Who will see your post and can you influence this in your activities?
@mentioning can also help but don’t rely on notifications as they are throttled by LinkedIn for highly active users.
Using # in your posts is also helpful

Some people have suggested that LinkedIn should allow us to control our own feed…this is unrealistic as very few would use it.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_203.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am UTC

Welcome to episode 202, this week I don’t really have one main subject to cover but I guess the most eye grabbing headline is that LinkedIn have decided to re-design profiles….again!
More of that later but to start with as usual….


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

The Bible of LinkedIn Bollocks
LinkedIn Top Companies To Work For - UK
LinkedIn Top Companies To Work For - US
LinkedIn Top Companies To Work For - Canada
LinkedIn Top Companies To Work For - Australia
How we created the 2018 LinkedIn Top Companies list


LinkedIn Updates

New Profile Design

About a year ago, most people were seeing the new design for the first time, The basic (free) version of LinkedIn had a complete makeover including a new design for profiles…..and now they have decided the re-design profiles again!!

Firstly let me make it clear that these new profiles are in the early stage of roll-out so very few of you will see this. I also don’t have this new design, the above screenshot was sent to me by my good friend and fellow LinkedIn Trainer Angus Grady.

Please Note: Roll out of new features is per account, not per profile. You might think this is the same but it isn’t. Angus’ LinkedIn account is part of the early roll-out, not his profile. When I view his profile, it has the picture in the centre but when he views it (or any other) he sees the new design with the picture on the left.

Also please note: Another misconception about new features is that there rollout is based on geography…it is not! The amount of times someone states “we don’t have it yet here in X” drives me crazy!
Roll-out isn’t random but your account was allocated into a cohort when you signed up, this group is still continually added to as new members sign up. I’m not sure how many cohorts there are but they are not based on location, premium or when you signed up. They allow LinkedIn to test new features in a random way.

Because I don’t have this yet, I haven’t been able to test if the links and features are different or whether it’s purely a cosmetic change.

One thing is for sure, there are plenty of people out there who are going to have to change their background image!

So what do you think of the change of design?
I must admit it does look better, that said I think Linkedin have far more urgent priorities than making profiles look prettier!

Multiple Image Posts on Desktop

An image post made of up to 9 images has been a feature of the LinkedIn mobile app for sometime but recently LinkedIn quietly made it possible on Desktop, this is great news for company page admins who are not able to mange their page via mobile.

To add images via a PC simply use the ctrl+click or cmd+click on Mac to select multiple images (or the click+shift feature for a complete line of files).

Video Filters

LinkedIn Video: Stand Out with Filters and Text

Ok, maybe it’s just me but those filters just look ridiculous! They remind me of the equally ugly emojis in Messages that no-one uses!
That said, the ability to add text is useful and actually works pretty well.
I won’t be using this feature but mainly because I recommend recording your video on the Clips or Clipomatic apps. They both provide much better filters, text and editing options.


Is LinkedIn Deliberately ‘throttling’ post distribution?

Er…no!
I have heard and seen a fair bit of chatter about this, instigated mainly by Josh Fechter announcing that LinkedIn had reduced his post views by 90%.

He followed that up with this article
LinkedIn Wants to Put an End to Broetry in Favor of This

The thing is, I don’t believe ‘Broetry’ was ever a reason why he got high numbers in the first place.

All that matters in a post is that it’s more than 3 lines long, this will ensure it triggers the ‘See more’ and if people click on that, the algorithm will automatically push the post out to more people.

It doesn’t matter if it’s easy to read or a big, ugly block of text. If the first 3 lines are enough to tempt me to click or tap on ‘see more’ it will get more views.

As far as Josh is concerned, his numbers are still amazing so I don’t really know what his is complaining about.
I very much doubt this is a conspiracy to ‘throttle’ posts but merely a consequence of more people posting interesting and engaging content.

The algorithm has to limit the amount of content in our feed or it would be unmanageable so a reduction in views is inevitable....the same thing happened with Articles.

This is simply a consequence of success, if you get high views and engagement, other will copy and as they get higher views, your will go down. That’s all there is to it….no conspiracy!

 

Posting Statistics

A listener Mark Lee decided to conduct his own experiment on the success of his posts on LinkedIn and he has been generous enough to share the numbers and conclusions with me.

Mark’s target audience is Accountants and small Accountancy firms

The analysis goes back to the start of December, initially he was posting links to his or other Blogs via IFTTT, this was soon halted in favour of long, text only posts.

His conclusions are as follows;
Posts with genuine questions attract more views and Likes
Comments are the most important thing to aim for
There appears to be no relation between early success (first 2 hours) and eventual numbers
There is some evidence of a cumulative effect, the average numbers increased over time.

My observations
Controversy creates engagement
True stories work
Questions are critical
Very few of Mark posts were images so it would be wrong to conclude that image posts don’t deliver results

Direct download: LinkedInformed_202.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 201, this week I return to our normal format and the main subject is something that has been playing on my mind for a while, in some respects I think it can be the ‘elephant in the room’ for a social media or LinkedIn Trainer / Coach …..What do you do if your prospects are not socially active on LinkedIn or any social media platform?

More of that later, but to start with….


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

  • LinkedIn updates its Terms of Service in line with GDPR
  • Microsoft Pix can scan business cards to your contacts, find people on LinkedIn
  • A Tale of Two Cases: LinkedIn Postings as Solicitations
  • LinkedIn Search Doesn’t Implicate FCRA, California Court Rules
  • Introducing the LinkedIn Content Insights Annual

Post of the week

Actually this was from the previous week when the ‘beast from the East’ hit the UK.
1277 likes, 120 comments and a staggering 51,000 views for a native video is exceptional, especially from someone with just 679 followers!

I also posted a video this week of a feature that has been bugging me for a while…..why can’t you ‘Ignore’ an invite from a profile?
Bad design or something more sinister?

#LinkedInLocal Manchester

I would estimate we had about 70-85 people at the inaugural #LinkedInLocal event in Manchester.
It was a great night and plenty of new friends and connections were made.
A big thanks to Alex Galviz (co-founder of LinkedInLocal) for coming up from London to share her story of how LinkedInLocal started and a massive thank-you to my fellow organisers;
Kirsty James
Amanda Newman
Alex McCann

How Do You Win Business on LinkedIn with a disengaged audience?

This topic has been on my mind for sometime and I decided to cover it in this episode when I received this excellent video question from Paolo Lanciani

I asked Paolo to share his ideas on this subject and here is what he had to say;
I guess my success depends on a combination of factors:
1. I have a very clear focus: not only the community of business lawyers in Italy is relatively small,
2. but I further narrowed it down, knowing exactly for whom (mindset, values, approach, style) and when (circumstances, needs, specific challenges) I am a valuable resource
3. I brand myself within the community building a presence on their niche media (a journal about the law industry) where I interview successful lawyers explaining from a psychological stand point why they are successful.
4. On Linkedin I share daly videos, posts and articles that are consistent and spread on other platforms too: it is not about being read every time, but about being there the day they are searching that type of support/solution/input
5. I use the messenger to reach out to those who might be most interested to a specific content and tell them about it (might be a podcast for young lawyers, a video about how to assess potential in recruiting associates or about on line presence or even business development strategy; always from a psychological point of view and well aware of the specific way of thinking of my target audience)
6. I share the same kind of challenges and opportunities: we are looking for and relying on small numbers, high tickets and long term strategies.

That is great feedback and fits with many of my thoughts on the subject.

I also asked for more thoughts and ideas in this post;

You can read all the comments but the main ones I would highlight are;

John Espirian wrote;
I think it's important to create content that can be found by search engines. While many of my clients aren't active on LinkedIn, most of them do use Google.
John is a copywriter it must be said so I would expect him to think highly of the power of written content and I think he is right to a point but the sort of people Paolo is referring to are busy Lawyers and I very much doubt they are searching Google to find long articles to read in their spare time!

Michael Spencer added;
LinkedIn has no mechanism for targeting your niche audience. LinkedIn ads have too high a cost-per-click given the lack of monthly active users. LinkedIn is therefore not a very helpful marketing channel but rather a PR branding and and B2B sales Channel

As you would imagine LinkedIn Ads expert AJ Wilcox had something to say about that!

For me, Michaels approach is about laser sharp focus for content. This is ultimately possible (you can send a link to a post or article to anyone on LinkedIn with a premium account or your connections on a free account but he is referring to hitting high numbers….and we are back to a numbers game again!
For me, content should be available for people to find on LinkedIn, either by visiting your profile or via the algorithm and virality and not ‘shoved in their face’ because you want them to see it.

My view is that the key to this is having an intimate and deep knowledge of your target audience. This will allow you to post relevant, interest content in a format that is easy to consume. Paolo posts short ‘on the move’ videos which reflect the nature of the way his audience behave.

Post on a consistent, regular basis. Don’t expect your audience to always see it but at some point someone will and they may refer you or a target might view your profile and see your content there. People do not have to be active to notice you, just an occasional visit to LinkedIn may allow them to see your content.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_201.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am UTC

Welcome to this momentous occasion and our 200th episode, this week I wanted to do something special to celebrate this landmark so rather than the normal format I am going to be covering the top five episodes (as defined by the number of times they were downloaded) out of the 199 recorded and published so far.

I really love this show, it’s become my main form of content these days and the best way to keep people in touch and up to date with LinkedIn.

It all started in November 2013 when I decided to finally give it a go and promised smells that I would give it 20 episodes and see whether it was worth continuing after that!
To be honest….the number of listeners really didn’t justify the amount of time and effort it took me to put together an episode each week but I made the decision to carry on….mainly because I was having so much fun!

So here we are, over 4 years later and with over 85,000 downloads we have finally reached our 200th episode.

This podcast is really all about you, the listener so I thought it would be a good idea to include contributions from regular listeners.
Many thanks to the following for sending in voicemail messages for this show;
Kate Lister (you can listen to Kates interview in episode 185)
Giles Davies
Steve Philip (Steve is featured in episode 140)
Sandra Clark
Marcus Boswell
Violeta Balhas
Jennifer Holloway (I chatted with Jennifer in episode 196)
Greg Cooper
Carl Whalley
Darrel Griffin (I interviewed Darrel together with his neighbours dog in episodes 38 and 40)
Teddy Burris
Paul Copcutt
Gary Stockton (I met Gary at SMMW17 featured in episode 155)
Lila Smith (Lila was featured in the class of 2017 - episode 184)


The Top Five Episodes

Number 5

Number 4 
Number 3 
Number 2 
Number 1

Thanks for all your support, questions and feedback over the last four years, I really appreciate it and I wouldn’t be able to do this show without your continued input.
Here’s to the next 200!

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_200.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 199. Well what an amazing response we had to last weeks debate with John Nemo about LinkedIn automation!
One of the key points that came out of episode 197 is that myself and John have very different ways of generating business and many of you wanted to know more about my way of using LinkedIn to generate 95% of my business without the need to play the numbers game.
So that is going to be the main theme of this episode.
But first…..


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Introducing Salary Insights on Jobs


LinkedInfluence

I received this question prior to last weeks episode and I thunk it hits on a really important question

I enjoy John’s (Nemo) podcasts too and find them to be useful. He also believes in providing value which aligns well with your strategy and what I believe in. That said, on the providing value yet pushy scale, John is totally different from you which is why I appreciate your style a lot more. 

The question for you though is how does one avoid being pushy like John, provides value like you both do, but also builds a solid bridge to the services that are provided by you and/or your organization. 

For example I have now downloaded and heard at least 20+ of your past episodes. I love them! I love your style. However I am not sure what you do besides some LinkedIn workshops which you have very briefly mentioned on your podcast. Of course I know I can go on your web site and find out, but isn’t that a lost opportunity? If I run into someone tomorrow that needs services you can provide but I don’t know about them, wouldn’t that be a loss for you?

The reason I ask is that I have also approached my networking in person with the same mentality. I have for years provided lots of value to people in the business community here in Washington DC. They love me and the relationships are strong. But I am not sure most would know what opportunities to pass on to me. 

Of course that’s why I am getting more active on LinkedIn and working on content generation but also find somethings John talks about to be appealing. Eg automating messages to contacts...which add value and lead them to more ‘sales’ options. 

Anyway, just a thought about balance on the spectrum of ‘pushy ness’ and how you build an effective bridge to sales for people that see you as a credible resource


So I thought it would be a good idea to go through my recommended approach to winning business on LinkedIn.
Some aspects of this are not related to LinkedIn but nonetheless, very important

Define your product or service and it’s target audience (customer avatar)
Focus this down to something very specific - the more niche the better. Be brave - don’t worry your market will be too limited, the more niche, the better.
Your most effective marketing tool is the quality of what you do. Spend time and money on;
Personal development and training
The best quality equipment
Practice hard and perfect your product
Innovate. Make your product unique in your market
Put together a clear and thorough content strategy (not just limited to LinkedIn)
Video
Written
Audio
Images
Get active on LinkedIn in the following areas;
Topics - define five key topics that are relevant and interesting to your customer avatar.
Search for people who are though leaders and experts in each of these five topics. Follow and in time, connect with them.
Search for content in each of these five topic areas and follow anyone who is posting about these topics
Engage. Like and comment on posts from 2 & 3 above. Jump right in and get involved. This will raise your visibility in relevant communities.
Post. The aim of posting is to draw people into commenting - this is where the magic happens! Posts that resonate are often light natured (see image below).

Go deeper. As you engage with relevant people (not just potential customers) selectively take it to the next level by suggesting meeting for a coffee or via a Skype/Zoom call.


Your aim is to become well known as;
Knowledgeable in your niche subject
Interesting and thought provoking
Helpful and generous


A book you might find interesting

Direct download: LinkedInformed_199.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 198, this week I have a real treat for you!
As I have mentioned previously, I wanted to revisit the controversial subject of LinkedIn automation.
LinkedIn make it very clear they do not approve of the use of any type of automation bot as you can see in the image above which was received by someone after visiting just 100 profiles in a day…..but does that mean we should avoid them?
Could they be a useful tool that help us become more productive and successful?

I have thought about this a lot and my conclusion is that automation tools are a bad thing for all of us and the more they are used, the less effective LinkedIn will become.

Darrel Griffin agrees

But not everyone sees it that way…..enter John Nemo!

John is a LinkedIn trainer and a big fan of automation on LinkedIn so I thought it would be fun to get him on the show and have a good old debate!

We get into all sorts of areas during our discussion and I’m not going to even attempt to cover everything here, you will have to listen to the episode but in short;

John believes
In Permission Based Marketing. Contact people via direct message and ask them if they are interested. If they say “No thanks” then that is fine, move on.
Most people are not active on LinkedIn so direct messaging has to be a numbers game.
Automated of connecting and messaging saves you time and acts as a filter - eliminating those that are not active or not interested.
In not wasting time with ‘Tyre (tire) kicking people, it’s better to focus on those that are likely to buy.
If LinkedIn is ruined by automation then so be it, people will move to another platform and we can follow them there. Quote “Marketers ruin everything” - Gary Vaynerchuck
Whilst LinkedIn are not supportive of 3rd party tools, they are mainly against scraping tools, not automation.

I believe
Visibility, reputation and relationships are the key to winning business.
By putting your time an effort into engagement on LinkedIn via Posts, Articles and comments (not direct messaging) you also filter out those that are not active on LinkedIn
When you play the numbers game you are likely to put many more people off than you attract, this is damaging to you in the long term although may be more rewarding in the short term.
I will help anyone, including so called ‘tyre kicker’s because I believe that ‘giving’ in this way will gain me more visibility and build better relationships - this strategy means that 95% of my business comes to me and I do very little traditional ‘business development’.
Automation is a numbers game, for every 5 positive responses there are 95 negative, not all of these will be annoyed and very few will actually complain but a decent percentage of these become tired of being ‘hit on’ - no matter how politely it is done.
LinkedIn has become an amazing business resource but automation will ruin it because these tools will be extensively used by people who misuse hem and this will result in the people we wish to do business with, switching off or even closing their accounts. We can’t afford to let LinkedIn deteriorate in this way.
Using automation tools is highly risky, the chances of getting your account suspended are increasing all the time. LinkedIn are very keen to stop the use of automation tools, not just scraping tools.


John referred to an article he wrote about his method which you can read here;

https://www.inc.com/john-nemo/1-simple-strategy-that-will-skyrocket-your-engagement-on-linkedin.html

I personally wouldn’t recommend that strategy……but that is entirely up to you!

So what do you think?

Please get in touch and let me have your views. Send me a voicemail or drop me an email to mark@linkedinformed.com

Direct download: LinkedInformed_198.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 197, I’m back and it’s just me this week.

Someone alerted me to a shocking issue regarding invitations to connect this week and it got me thinking about the ineffective way that LinkedIn introduce new features. It seems that introduce features on a slow roll-out and rely on their users to report issues…..but what if we don’t or aren’t able to spot a problem…….based on the evidence of this week, it appears that such issues just remain until someone does report it.
…..and that is simply not good enough!

More of that later but as usual I scanned the internet to find any interesting articles about Linkedin, I found a few but it has been noticeable this year that LinkedIn’s own blog seems to be focussed mainly on job seekers - very few LinkedIn users are looking for jobs so why are Linkedin writing virtually all their blog articles for jobseekers?
So far this year on LinkedIn’s main blog 9/10 (and the last 9) have been jobseeker focused!


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

People Still Spend an Insane Amount of Time on Facebook, But Trust it Much Less than LinkedIn
Results from a report released by Business Insider
I’m not sure how people it interpret ‘Safe to participate or post’ but LinkedIn was by far the most trusted with 48% of the votes (Facebook was 2nd with 24%).
LinkedIn is clearly seen as more reliable for ‘real’ content and a place where you will get less abuse
This is good news for LinkedIn ads
Six Ways Millennials Can Take LinkedIn To The Next Level
Interesting article, not just relevant to millennials
Number 1 is ‘Make it fun’ - this is such good advice.
Yuck! to CV style profiles!
Activity (inc post searching) is great advice
Number 6 (stop being cheap) is unrealistic and unnecessary for most
Remember LinkedIn? A year on from the $27bn Microsoft takeover - was it worth it?
Very little has changed on LinkedIn - as they said would be the case at the time of the takeover!
LinkedIns revenue is growing ($1.3bn in the quarter)
Microsoft say that LinkedIn is “performing better than we expected, and I think today we would even say it's a more strategic asset than we even maybe thought a year ago.”

#LinkedInLocal

I will be attending three Linkedin local events in the next month or so;
Aberdeen 22nd February
Manchester 14th March
Warrington 15th March (this has changed from the 8th as stated in the show)

The #LinkedInLocal concept is really taking off with an amazing 48 events happening in February and March across the world including Bristol, Leeds, San Francisco, Paris, Las Vegas, Edinburgh and Lahore to name a few

To find an event in your area go to https://linkedlocally.com/explore/

 

Post of the Week

A great video post from José Chávez-Ruz that hits the mark for being relevant, interesting and highly shareable.

 

New Feature

LinkedIn are improving the skills endorsements feature (mobile only at the moment).

Now when you endorse a skill you are asked to grade the level

And then give it some context

In addition you can now see the actual number of endorsements on mobile, rather than the previous 99+

Will this make skill endorsements relevant?
I very much doubt it - too little too late, endorsements are not taken seriously because previously they were too easy to give. Adding the extra steps to endorse does make them more credible but you can’t separate the new ones from the old ones!
I personally think this is a tactic to stop those ridiculous ‘Auto-endorse’ bots that are becoming popular…….more of that subject next week when I will be debating LinkedIn automation with John Nemo.
If you have any thoughts or questions about automation, please get in touch as soon as possible.


Your Personalised mobile invitations have not been sent!

I was truly shocked to find this out this week - thanks to an eagle eyed connection who spotted it.
For years I have been encouraging people to personalise their invitations to connect on mobile by using the 3 dot ‘More’ menu rather than the blue Connect button.
It would appear that this invitation (the actual invitation, not just the message) have not been sent!!
I have no idea how long this has been the case……quite possibly since it was added as a new feature (years ago).
The problem seems to be mainly on the iOS app although a few Android users are experiencing the same issue.
You wouldn’t know there is a problem as it states the invitation has been sent but when you check your sent invitations, it does not show and I have confirmed on 4 occasions now that the recipient does not receive anything!!
Outrageous!

This is, I believe a direct result of LinkedIns ridiculous feature launch policy that appears to involve zero testing or quality control and relies 100% on the user reporting a problem……but what is the user is unable or highly unlikely to spot the fault?

It’s time that LinkedIn stopped letting their members down and implemented a proper, thorough quality control testing procedure.

Do you agree?

“How do I stop those irritating badge posts from LinkedIn appearing on the left of my screen while I'm working? The ones which talk about how it bases choices it offers me on my interests or posts or some such nonsense. I've only really noticed them this week”

ANSWER
This would appear to be an early release of a new notification. It is not possible to stop these types of pop-ups but you can give feedback to LinkedIn that you find them irritating and perhaps they will think twice about rolling it out further.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_197.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 196, this week I chat with personal branding expert Jennifer Holloway about the article that LinkedIn bring out every year highlighting the most used words in LinkedIn profiles.

Click on the image above to view the full article

Takeaways from our chat

Some words (such as passionate) are overused in profiles without much thought going into whether they are true or not
A better way to interpret this list is not to avoid the words as such but to demonstrate that you are ‘passionate’ or ‘motivated’ by the way you describe what you do. Let the reader make the conclusion themselves.
Storytelling can be a great way to demonstrate qualities without having to directly tell someone you are an ‘expert, ’strategic’ or ‘creative’
Are you using a buzzword because it is one you commonly use or are you just falling into the trap of using it for the sake of it?
Jennifers advice on writing a LinkedIn summary;
Show credibility with hard facts
Explain your personal brand by explaining what drives you and explaining your values
Give the reader a ‘relationship hook’ - something about you that reveals your personality and allows for a more personal connection.
LinkedIn profile headlines are still the most keyword sensitive part of your profile but only jobseekers need to be highly focused on profile optimisation.
Never make personal statements without answering Janet Morans questions ‘So What and Says who?!’
A good technique to use if you are struggling to write your profile summary is to get a friend to write if you - this won’t be what you will use but it can really help to get you started.

 

Thanks again to Jennifer for her time and ideas. You can find out more about her from her LinkedIn profile (link in image above) or by going to her website https://www.jennifer-holloway.co.uk/

This weeks question comes from Mahan Tavakoli

“Hi Mark,
I am a newer listener to your podcast and really enjoying the content and your style.  So much so that I have downloaded all available past episodes from ITunes and going through them one at a time.
Anyway, I have a question and not sure if you have addressed this before or not.  If it fits what you are looking to cover on the Podcast, I would love to hear your thoughts about it.
 I am writing a series of articles (on leadership and organizational development).  Should I first publish them on LinkedIn and then on Medium and put on my blog… or should I publish them elsewhere and post links in LinkedIn or is an all of the above strategy viable? 
 Most of my target audience is on LinkedIn but want to know your thoughts about best approach to a blog posting strategy.”
 
My advice is that you are probably best posting your content as an article and on your blog at the same time.
Your latest Article becomes a part of your profile and has a longer shelf life than a post.
You will need to promote your article via engaging and interesting posts - not just ‘have a read of my article’ - try to introduce the subject matter and ask questions to start a conversation. You can refer to the article with a link but the post needs to resonate with people in its own right.
Never try to promote your external blog via LinkedIn, it simply won’t work as the algorithm will suppress the distribution of any post containing an external link.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_196.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 195, I had planned to cover a different subject (The dangers of automation - let me know your thoughts on that!) this week but then I got an excellent voicemail question from Giles about the differences between following and connecting and decided to cover that subject in more detail.

But before that……


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Find the Right Words to Land the Right Job
More on this in next weeks episode!
The Most Popular Jobs and Companies for College Graduates
The top job is also the highest pay! ($95k)
Insight Global - a fast growing IT recruitment business
Why I changed my LinkedIn profile from Andrea to Andrew
She was taken more seriously and less patronised when a man!
The algorithm started suggesting connections to higher level men at well-recognised companies.
Fascinating experiment …..could be worth a try!


LinkedIn Updates


Have you noticed the new font? Summaries and headlines may need to be adjusted.
New changes to groups may be having some positive impact on groups
One manager reports a 10x increase in engagement
Unfortunately the changes seemed to have messed up all other notifications!
You can now see your own activity in one click, rather than having to go to your profile

LinkedIn are clearing ‘moving the furniture’ on desktop at the moment, so many things are not working - especially @mentions and notifications. I also found that only half the comments on one of my posts were showing when I checked on mobile. Suggest you keep an eye on mobile at the moment until things settle down.


Connecting and Following

As I mentioned, this subject was instigated by a question I received from Giles;

 

Definition: Following someone means that you could see their content and activity in your feed (articles, posts, shares, likes and comments). You can follow anyone on LinkedIn provided their setting allow this.

You can follow up to 5000 people who are not your connections. To follow someone simply click on the 3 dot ‘More’ menu at the top of their profile or look for the Follow button on the Activity section of their profile.

Connecting

A connection is a follower and someone you follow by default. You can unfollow a connection at anytime from the ‘More’ menu. You are allowed up to 30,000 connections.

The difference with a connection is that, as well as their activity you are able to see and filter their connections (dependant on their setting), send messages and see their full contact info including their primary email address.

Now to Giles question

Firstly let me address the question of blocking.

This is the only way you can prevent him from following you
He will not be alerted to being blocked
He will then not be able to find you on LinkedIn, or vice versa


The bigger question is whether a competitor following you is a problem or not?

What harm can come from him seeing your activity - assuming you are not giving away commercially sensitive information?
Following you may make him realise he is way behind and may, in some way intimidate him.
A greater threat would come if he started commenting and engaging with your posts

This brings up a wider point;

The ethics of competition on LinkedIn;

Is it ethical to provide advice and demonstrate your knowledge on a competitors post?
Should you ever ask for a competitors view via an @mention?

When to follow and NOT connect

A complete stranger whose content you find interesting
A competitor
A prospect or intermediary who you wish to engage with

Obviously 1 and 3 may be pre-cursors to connecting.

Following has been around on LinkedIn for years but still most people just connect, it’s beginning to be understood better but we still have a way to go. When I talk with people who are more familiar with other social networks, I explain the mechanics of LinkedIn as being like a blend of Twitter, where you follow and Facebook where you connect (friend). On LinkedIn you can do either!

 This weeks question is also about following and comes from Nigel Willis

 

Nigels first question refers to following Influencers such as Bill gates. Influencers have become known for posting some decent content but never engaging with comments, this somewhat flies in the face of the point of content in my opinion! I’m not surprised you want to unfollow Bill and as far as I know it will not cause you any issues with the algorithm.
In terms of the second question. You can’t specify that you wish to see a certain type of content from someone that you are following but you can select to follow topics. Unfortunately LinkedIn do not allow us to see a list of Topics, we have to wait for them to suggest them although searching for content can often trigger the algorithm to suggest a Topic relevant to that search.
You can also unfollow people to clean up your feed
You can also search for content and follow people who write about subjects that interest you.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_195.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 194, this week I have a chat with my friend and fellow LinkedIn trainer/consultant Sandra Long about personal branding.

 

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


LinkedIn Announce some changes to groups

I have mentioned previously that I’m aware that LinkedIn are currently working on a project to improve groups and this week they sent out a communication advising of several changes that will happen soon.
I think most people have been sent it but in case you didn’t see it;

My thoughts;
Accessing groups from the homepage is a welcome move but lets be clear, this is just a roll back to how it used to be!
Including group conversations in the feed is also nothing new. This one concerns me in that most activity in groups is useless broadcasting as well as spam so this could actually be a negative thing for members homepage feeds!
Posting videos is great news. No surprise either as it has been a success on the home page and the ability to @mention (assuming it works!) is a positive step.
Retirement of the iOS Groups app. I’m not sure how this will improve the use of groups….taking away an app is not exactly moving forward! You have always been able to access groups from the main app anyway (Android users have always had to do it that way)
Maybe LinkedIn felt it was necessary to release this information now in light of the recent Facebook summit where groups were mentioned but I have to say, these changes are somewhat underwhelming!
I’m sure this is really just the start of the groups design. I’m disappointed because I felt they needed to scrap groups altogether and start again from scratch. Getting members back engaging in groups is going to be very hard because most members have just written them off.
LinkedIn quote: “Additional notifications, groups posts in feed, video posts, @mentions and replies to comments have been announced because those are the items for which we have a decent sense of the timeline. But it is definitely not an exhaustive list of the work we're doing to improve Groups”
Let’s hope that the next announcements are more exciting!


Personal Branding

This week I had a chat with LinkedIn expert Sandra Long. Personal branding was one of my predictions for 2018 covered in episode 192 and a subject I believe to be very important to all of us. I even covered it briefly in the first ever episode of LinkedInformed when I introduced ‘Personal Branding for Brits’ author Jennifer Holloway

Key takeaways

Tom Peters article The Brand Called You which is still just as relevant today as when it was written in 1997!
Social media really allows us to craft an image that we want to portray. This has many advantages but also creates an authenticity challenge.
Social media has blended our social and professional lives. This creates a question as to how ‘open’ we want to be with business contacts about our personal lives.
40% of people don’t know how to describe what they do…and those are just the hard facts, never mind describing your character!
The best way to describe what you do is to be very specific - broad, ‘jack of all trades’ profiles rarely work for you.
In terms of character - what makes you unique? You can display this information in a variety of different sections of your LinkedIn profile.
It can help to define a ‘persona’ when writing your LinkedIn summary - Sandra’s book gives plenty of persona examples and has a list of questions that can help define your persona.
This also impacts corporate brands as many organisations are now realising that they are in reality, a collective of many personal brands and this can be a very powerful. It is however really important to be authentic to your own brand and this needs to align, for the most part with the corporate brand you are representing.
Your activity on LinkedIn should also be in line with your brand. If your brand is genuine then this should not be difficult! It’s often a good test on whether your brand image is right.
Posting should never be self-promotional. Thought leadership, being helpful and contributing to the LinkedIn community by developing conversations is the best way to ‘stay on brand’ - your profile should clearly explain what you do.
Final word from Sandra: Take the time to really think through who you are and your ‘brand elements’ before you start to write your profile

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_194.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 193 and a very happy and prosperous new year to you all. I trust everyone had a fantastic break over Christmas.

Towards the end of last year I conducted a survey of LinkedIn users to see how behaviour had changed on LinkedIn. I had a sense that the results would be interesting……and I wasn’t disappointed!

In this episode I will go through the results with you but before that….


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


LinkedOut: The 7 Stages of Grieving a Breakup
LinkedOut Update: what to do if your account is restricted?

New LinkedIn Feature

Invitation Sorting
You can now sort your received invitations. This is probably only going to be useful for people that get a lot of invites or get behind with dealing with them but it’s good to see an improvement anyway.

I think an additional catergory of “customized with a message” would also be helpful as, when I do have a lot to go through, I always prefer to read those with messages first.


Magnet Posts

It would appear that the ‘magnet’ post feature has been improved in that you no no longer need to have any of the skills you specify in your post - as previously covered in episode 189, this makes much more sense!
Thanks to Jillian for the heads up on this

I still don’t have the feature but if you do and have been using it, I would love to hear how well it has worked for you.


Interesting Post

Thanks to Carl for sending this one in.

This is actually pretty easy to do yourself, but only if you have access to a Sales Navigator or Recruiter account. For some reason the url’s on those interfaces ignore the customised version and show the original source url with your number in it

The 2017 LinkedIn User Survey Results

We had 780 responses in total, thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the questions.
One of the questions asked for the date you signed up to LinkedIn…one person apparently signed up in the year 1800! This individual apparently signs into their account on a weekly basis but has only managed to amass 8 connections in all that time - in addition they have 0 followers so presumably all 8 connections have chosen to unfollow them!!
Fortunately this was the only spoof entry we received.

The average number of connections was 2178
The average number of followers was 2748

We had five people who had reached the maximum 30,000 connections.

The highest number of followers was 205,000 (11,658 were connections) and equally impressive was someone who had 165,231 followers including only 1903 connections!

As for the rest of the questions, the full results can be seen below;

Direct download: LinkedInformed_193.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 192 and a very merry Christmas to all of you.

There has been very little news about LinkedIn this week but I did native the following two related articles;


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

What we got right — and terribly wrong — in our 2017 predictions
The 50 big ideas for 2018

LinkedIn are, as always, keeping very tight lipped about their plans for 2018 so I thought it would be fun to take a stab at what I think the likely trends for LinkedIn in 2018 will be.

LinkedIn in 2018

Increased use of #Hashtags. Hashtags re-emerged in 2017 but next year they will become mainstream and ‘trending hashtags’ will become an important feature that we will all be using extensively by the end of the year.
Livestream Video. This one has been on LinkedIn’s roadmap for a while and I predict 2018 will be the year it is finally implemented. Native video will be fully rolled out by the end of the first quarter and I believe Livestream video will start to become a feature (mobile only) by the middle of 2018. As with Native video it will take a while for users to figure out the best way to use Live streaming so I don’t expect it to have a big impact in 2018…but it will start to roll out.
More spam. As the number of users increase and spammers (not just cowboys but also the uneducated) start to realise that they risk big fines due to the GDPR legislation (effective from May 2018). LinkedIn messaging and InMail will become a more widely used tool for spammers.
LinkedIn Hangouts. #LinkedInLocal will continue to grow and people will start to see the benefits of meeting their connections face to face…but not every business operates locally so LinkedIn will respond to this need by introducing a live video hangout feature - this will use the same platform as Livestreaming and be closely linked to the New groups feature.
New Groups. I know that LinkedIn are working on a complete re-design of groups and this will be implemented during 2018. Expect to see something completely different - possibly even renamed and rebranded that will include the hangouts feature mentioned above.
Increased Engagement. This was the big surprise of 2017 and LinkedIn users will continue to learn that broadcasting content without attracting comments is a waste of time. Expect more and more comments on posts and articles as content producers get to grips with better quality (engaging) content.
Engagement Analytics. Following on from the increase in engagement I predict that 3rd party tools will appear that allow you to find and assess people based on their comments and Likes as well as their content.
Voice commands. 2018 will be the year of Alexa type voice controls everywhere and it will become so mainstream that LinkedIn won’t be able to resit getting involved. We could see voice commands on the mobile app such as “search for marketing managers in Birmingham, united kingdom” or “accept my new invitations”.
Personal Branding. This will become more important next year and more and more people move away from corporate employment and become self-employed experts in their field. Another possible trend is that corporates may move away from ‘enterprise/corporate brands and encourage employees to develop their personal brands on behalf of the company.
LinkedIn Stories. Stories are big on Snapchat and Instagram and are now becoming more popular on Facebook. LinkedIn have a long tradition of adopting popular features from other social media platforms and I see stories as being no different. Native video, text and image posts can be combined and collated into stories. Expect to see this as a new feature in the second half of 2018.

Please note that ALL the above predictions are total guesswork on my behalf. I have no inside knowledge on what might actually happen!
What do you think of the above predictions? Can you think of others?

Thanks to everyone for contributing to the 2017 LinkedIn User survey.

I will compiling the results in January and expect to announce the results on either the first or second episode of 2018.

If you didn’t get time before, way not help out now by taking a few minutes to answer the questions below;

That’s it for this week and for this year!

We will be back with the first episode of 2018 on January 13th

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas to you all, enjoy the break, open time with your families and switch LinkedIn off for a week or so!

See you next year.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_192.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 191, this week I’m going to cover a topic I tackle almost on a daily basis at the moment…..How to know what subjects to post about on LinkedIn.

But before I get onto that……


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

The Crappy Handbook of LinkedIn Profile Pics
LinkedIn Top Voices 2017: The must-know people inspiring today’s professional conversations
Stay on Top of In-Demand Skills with New Notifications


#LinkedInLocal

I originally covered the LinkedIn Local phenomenon in episode 166 when I interview Erik Eklund who was a founding member of this movement along with Alex Galviz, Anna McAfee and Manu Goswani.
Since then the founders have been joined by Ryan Troll and Brian Almeida to form an organisation that co-ordinates LinkedIn Local meet ups throughout the world.
They have now set up a new website

Click on the image above to visit the website

If you are thinking of running a LinkedIn Local event in your area then take a look at the website to understand how you go about it.

Please Do The Survey! And if you have done it….please share it widely!

I was aiming to get to 1000 responses by Christmas but at the time of writing, I’m still below 500!
It has been much harder than I expected to get people to complete this short (5 mins) survey but I really feel we need to get at least 500 to make the results viable.

So please share the link http://bit.ly/Linkedin2017 with your LinkedIn network, Twitter and Instagram followers and Facebook friends

If you haven’t yet done the survey, here it is

This weeks question also forms the main topic for this week;

I hear you talk a lot about techniques for posting which is very useful but my problem is ‘what’ to post about. Any tips?

I get asked this question so much and I also regularly have to tackle the subject when I am working with customers that are currently posting promotional content.

Here are my guidelines;
The McFly Syndrome - It’s all about you…STOP SELF PROMOTING! This includes talking about events you have organised, new members of staff or awards you have won. You might not see it as such but others only see this as self promotion. These posts are OK occasionally but need to dominated by less selfish content.
Understand your relevant followers. You don’t need to ‘speak’ to all your followers but you must focus on gaining a deeper understanding of what interests your followers;
> What motivates them
> What frustrates them
> What worries them
> What excites them
> What content do they read?
> What sort of posts are they Liking, Sharing or Commenting on
Experiment with different subjects. What works and what falls flat. Try not to make too many assumptions and judge by results.
People on LinkedIn are much less ‘stuffy’ than you think! Try people orientated content and use stories where possible. Think about light, fun subjects as well as subjects that people are likely to have strong opinions about.
The ‘gold standard’ measurement is comments.

These guidelines refer to content rather then technique. You can learn more about technique, plus some other content tips in episode 178

Direct download: LinkedInformed_191.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 190, it seems that many people are talking about the mysterious LinkedIn algorithm, myself included! I can’t believe how many of these people are still blaming the algorithm for the poor performance of their content, it’s not the algorithm folks, it’s your content!……

But before I get stuck into that, here are a few things I came across this week

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

People Are Flooding LinkedIn With Strange Stories. We’re Calling Them Broetry.
7 Next-Level Sourcing Tips From the Master, Glen Cathey
Can Linkedin Save Slideshare?
LinkedIn Plans Improvements, Including Changes To SlideShare
New LinkedIn A.I. Is Now Judging Your Content. Sorry, What Content?

Native video problems

A number of people have been seeing error messages on native LinkedIn videos this week

It would appear that simply refreshing your page often sorts this out, if not then try clearing your cache.


Blaming The Algorithm

I enjoy the challenge of ‘outsmarting’ the algorithm as much as anyone, more than most probably but I really think that people are getting a bit carried away with it’s importance.

Let’s be clear - Content will always be king!

I recently came across this post from someone complaining that the algorithm favoured posts over Articles - the argument seems to be that he spends longer crafting an Article so the algorithm should reflect that…..what?!!

I checked back and he hadn’t created any posts linking to this article so how did he expect people to find it?
It’s also worth noting that Article ‘views’ are not the same as post ‘views in the feed.

All the algorithm does is reflect what it sees as being interesting and engaging amongst LinkedIn users. Yes it initially decides how many people see a post and that is important but that alone won’t ensure many people see your content - the most critical factor is how people react to it and for that to happen you need to write interesting content.
Interesting does not equate to ‘interesting to you’ or ‘appropriate for LinkedIn’ it means it need to resonate with your followers.
Do you know what resonates with your followers?
Maybe you do but you don’t ‘approve’ - well thats up to you but don’t blame the algorithm, blame your followers….or dare I say it….take the blame yourself!

My observations are as follows;
People prefer short form content on LinkedIn
People don’t always want to talk about business, lighter subject matter is surprisingly popular
Posts are seen on our home page and with one click that does not require opening a new page we can read more…that is just more user friendly
Posts should gain the attention of a reader within the first 3 lines - the spacing argument is not proven and makes no sense to me. It just needs to be long enough to trigger the ‘see more’ and good enough to motivate someone to click on it.

So rather than blaming the algorithm, perhaps it’s time to start taking notice of what your followers really want and providing them with that?

Competition Winner

In episode 181 I interviewed PR expert Janet Murray and she kindly offered a free 60 minute PR strategy call with a lucky winner of a free prize draw.

This was some weeks ago but the responses have been dripping in ever since so I haven’t made the draw until now.

And the lucky winner is……..(drum roll)

Mark Barlow from Dirty Marks Cleaning services. Mark runs a window cleaning service as well as being an online marketing strategist!

Direct download: LinkedInformed_190.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:59pm UTC

Welcome to episode 189, not much news this week but I do have a couple of new features to share with you and a cool thing plus I feel the need for a rant!…..more later.


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

‘LinkedIn degrees’ from global providers ‘could leave UK behind’
Russian accused of hacking LinkedIn, Dropbox to be extradited to US
Oops: LinkedIn country subdomains SSL cert just expired

 

New Features

Double tap to Like

This new mobile feature is copied straight from Instagram and is definitely aimed at millennial who tend to move through their streams much more quickly and ‘thumb tap’ rather than finger tap as us ‘oldies’ tend to

New Magnet Posts

This feature is in the early stages of roll out so you may not see it yet but it’s a good one!

When you create a post on a mobile app you now get the option to specify to send it to the homepage of (and potentially notify) followers who have specific skills - via a magnet icon.
By tapping on the magnet below you are given the option to pick up to three skills.

This means that the distribution of your post will initially only be to targeted followers - it may of course reach further as they like or comment on it.

When you receive such a post in your feed you will see which skills you have that match the specified ones and you are encouraged to ‘Add your thoughts’

The only problem is that the skills you pick have to be skills that you also have on your profile. This seems like an unnecessary criteria to me and will result in people adding false skills to their profile just so they can target people they are interested in.

You can tell these posts said because the skills specified and those you match are clearly identified

All that said, it’s a great new feature and hopefully we will all have the opportunity to use it soon.


Are You Stuck In The ‘Content Marketing’ Past?

Whilst conducting some research this week I was stunned by the amount of people that are still wasting time and resources in posting external links.

Its a waste of time….virtually no-one see’s it!

I’m somewhat puzzled by this. Do these people not care that there is zero engagement and views?

Maybe I’m wrong and they are getting huge numbers to their website….I doubt it!

It seems to me that it is taking people a long time to shift their habits from the ‘share relevant content to build trust’ into ‘build trust through engagement.

I suspect much of this is just people who have set up automatic sharing via aggregate and scheduling tools so they don’t really notice - the problem is that it messes up their ‘ranking’ with LinkedIn algorithm making it harder to reach many people, even if their posts are better.

Maybe it’s just extremely hard for people to break long established habits? The ‘post interesting content and bring people to your website’ mantra has been around for a long time but does it really work?

I personally found that it didn’t

What do you think?

Are you still posting links?

If you want to post a link you need to do it manually as I showed recently in this video

Evernote Business Card Connecting

This isn’t actually a new, just something I had forgotten existed!
I was reminded by someone about it this week, I honestly thought the feature had disappeared when LinkedIn severely restricted access to third parties but I was wrong.

This is a great tool to use when at a physical networking event.

This video shows you exactly what to do

Before you can use this you need to make a few adjustments to your Evernote app and account.

This feature is only available to Premium Evernote users

Go to Account > Settings

Now tap on Camera

Now tap into ‘Business cards’

And now you will see the option to connect the app with your LinkedIn account

You can’t customise the invitations so I would only use this whilst you are actually with the person but it can be a great way to ensure that you always quickly and efficiently remember to connect!

How can I see who is following me?

This feature is exactly the same on desktop and mobile but it’s not where you would expect it!

Go to your profile and scroll down to your activity and you will see a blue link ‘Manage Followers’ next to the number of followers

The following list will always start with your followers (as opposed to connections who are followers). If you see the option to follow them back then you know they are not a connection, scroll down until the option ceases and it states that you are already ‘following’ these will (mostly) be your connections.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_189.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 188, this week I had some very sad news, one of the clipper race crew was swept overboard and tragically lost his life - devastating for his family and also extremely unnerving for all the other crews. I can’t begin to imagine how they carry on from this.

It highlights just how dangerous this race is and impressed on me even more just what Brendan Hall had to go through when he won the race previously.

Brendan incidentally released his new speaker showreel this week;

I had an interesting chat with Stoke School student Tim Collins who has been using LinkedIn along with some of his friends recently and has been impressed with the authenticity and kindness shown to him by LinkedIn members……(give it time Tim!). You can hear that interview later in the episode but firstly.

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Trends in marketing investments: LinkedIn starts to establish status?
Women Are Reminding People That LinkedIn Is Not A Dating Website Following "Creepy" Messages
LinkedIn pledges $10 million for affordable housing. A charitable act or protecting their own interests?

New Features

Some people have reported seeing a new design to the search page. This is clearly of on LinkedIn annoying A/B tests but doesn’t it look awful?

You can now embed posts into your website, just as I have done several times in this post, including the video below. This can be done on anyone’s posts including your own but isn’t available to everyone yet (roll out).
Simply click on the 3 dots as seen below and then copy the HTML code

LinkedIn are now officially launching their new ‘Career Advice’ feature which is closely allied to the mentoring feature. More in this video;

What You Saw On LinkedIn This Week

This could become an interesting new feature if you get involved!
The best way to improve the quality and reach of our content is to observe other successful posts. So why not use LinkedInformed as a place to share any great posts you saw last week.

I really liked this one sent in my listener Carl this week.

I can’t wait to see how that develops!

So from now, when you spot something interesting, take a note of the url and send it to me.
That way we can all learn from each others feeds

My LinkedIn Survey

I announced this last week and I was terrified that my target of 1000 respondents was going to be too hard to reach…..I might have been right!

Over the last week I have managed to gather 300 respondents but that leaves me woefully short so….
I NEED YOUR HELP!

Please take a few mins out of your day to complete the survey and then share it with your network.

A Millennial’s view - LinkedIn is Authentic, collaborative and refreshingly ‘real’

Listener Anna McAfee pointed out to me a video posted by 3 school kids made while they are waiting for parent evening to start.
The person that posted it was Tim Collins, so I thought it would be interesting to get him on the show!

I really enjoyed hearing what an 18 year old makes of LinkedIn, especially in comparison to Facebook (old and dated) and Instagram (lacks authenticity)

This is Tim’s Video post

I love the way he was brave enough to know that is was far from ‘perfect’ or ‘professional’ and post it anyway…….if an 18 year old can then why can’t you? (assuming you have video)

And this is the post he referred to when talking about ‘it’s about who you know’

No questions for this week. Please feel to drop me a line or leave a voicemail of you want your question featured on the show.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_188.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 187, this week we are back to the normal format after a few weeks of interviews. I would really appreciate your help with compiling a survey of how LinkedIn users have changed their behaviour over the last 12 months or so.
More of that later but firstly……

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

60% users from Russia remain on LinkedIn after year of blocking
Creating Your Resume Just Got a Whole Lot Easier with Microsoft and LinkedIn


New Feature

Active status is coming to your home page feed. We are used to seeing the green dots in messaging but they will soon be seen elsewhere on LinkedIn, which is a great move.

There does seem to be some confusion as to what each one means so just for clarity;
A green dot means that person is active on LinkedIn (desktop or mobile)
A green circle (Jo below) means they have push notifications enabled on their mobile app.


This will also show in profiles, here you can see that Kate (featured in episode 185) is not active but does have push notifications enabled on mobile.

You can adjust your settings for active status if you wish under ‘privacy’ in your settings

I had this for about 2 weeks but it has disappeared again now, it’s a great feature though and I’m looking forward to it becoming permanent once they have completed their testing.


How many profile views do you get? I’m amazed to see how many Gretta gets!

Posting External Links - New Method

I saw this Article from Andy Foster and decided to make a video post about it.

The bigger question is whether posting links at all makes any sense.
Maybe the content marketing / bring people to your web site method is no longer the best way to generate new business?
What do you think?

LinkedIn Search Results

When searching LinkedIn you will get results from anyone that meets your criteria but they won’t all be visible to you, however there are some people beyond your 3rd tier that are still visible.

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_187.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 186, this week I really enjoyed chatting with Leif Carlsen, A social selling expert and podcaster from Denmark.

Leif and I chat about a range of things in the episode;

ROI - Return on Investment

It's difficult to measure
Statistics are often merely a vanity measure
Social selling will always be a ‘long game’
Some ways you can measure RIO;
Post comments, likes and views in the feed
InMail / message replies
Profile views
Invitations received
True followers (followers minus connections)
SSI (social selling index)
Successful referrals
The influence formula as discussed in episode 167
LinkedIn should be added as a lead source in your CRM

The future of social selling

Less about content marketing and more about engagement
Sales people will need to grow their own following and influence
Think of yourself as being a DJ Broadcasting to a wide audience of listeners
The attributes of sales people will change;
Less selfish, more motivated to help others
Driven to help people even when there is no chance of doing business with them
Better at written communication
Are LinkedIn moving in this direction? The design of Sales Navigator might suggest not!
InMail is, in many respects, a form of cold calling via LinkedIn!
Does cold calling really work any more?

Company Pages

I believe that company pages have very limited use, primarily because people do business with people.
Most company page posts get the very little, if any engagement
Leif Took a more positive stance but believes that Company pages can only work if you deliver high quality educational and interesting updates.
Check out Leif’s Company page below

Articles

Leif has found that Google will find articles but only if the content is of the highest quality.
A good technique is to write with a specific person in mind
Articles give you credibility, they don't need to be written very regularly but it's important that your prospects and followers can see that there is more to you then just the "Gift of the gab”
Writing good articles will make you think more about your market and inevitably make you a better salesperson.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_186.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 185, this week I’m doing my annual ‘escape from the wet and cold of Britain’ week in Spain so I thought I would treat you to one of the most popular podcast episodes I have ever produced.

I’m sure many of heard you have heard me talk about the florist from Grimsby who is killing it on LinkedIn….well this is the interview I did with her in May 2015 on a since retired podcast called Winbusinessin…..enjoy!

Direct download: LinkedInformed_185.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 184, this week I’m expanding on the subject of the meteoric rise of LinkedIn in terms of engagement and activity and I want to to focus on some of the key characters behind that change - the class of 2017!

But before I get to that…..

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

HiQ turn to crowdfunding to fight LinkedIn’s legal appeal of a recent court decision
LinkedIn announces the ‘Most socially engagement employment agencies’ but the get the measures all wrong!
Native video is coming to company page updates. Currently only a few have access including Mashable. See one such update here. Mashable video update
Huawei and LinkedIn announce a new phone collaboration embed https://youtu.be/C5gXjyGimRA
As reported recently ‘smart replies’ are improving in LinkedIn messaging and here is the Engineering blog on the detail of how it is done.

The Class of 2017 (plus Oleg!)

When we look back in years to come we will see 2017 as being THE year LinkedIn really became a mainstream social media platform. 2008 was a similar year, that was when LinkedIn initially became widely used but this year is different. It’s not so much that LinkedIn are attracting new members, it’s more that more users are engaging on LinkedIn.
A 60% increase in engagement levels vs the same period last year is pretty phenomenal so how has this happened?
I mentioned recently that a big part of this has to be attributed to the new design and LinkedIn deserve a lot of credit for that but another big part of this has been down to a new generation of LinkedIn users who have started to use the platform in different and more ‘socially connected’ ways.
I have been studying this for some time now and I just love the way the class of 2017 are challenging the status quo and rewriting the rule book on how to use LinkedIn.

Here is a list of some of the most impressive and influential members of the class of 2017 (in no particular order)

Michaela Alexis
Janet Murray
Tim Queen
Mike Morgan
Josh Fechter
Jonathan Pollard
Gretta van Riel
Eli Hochberg
Chris Williams
Ben Rea
Alexandra Galviz
Matt Wilson
Lila Smith
Tom Mallens
Simon Dodson
Josh Quigley
Erik Eklund
String Nguyen
Amy Blaschka
Anna McAfee
Manu Goswami
Simon Chan
And last but not least, I can’t go without giving a mention to the honourable ‘mature student’ of the year Oleg Vishneplosky who consistently continues to set the pace with some of the highest levels of engagement ever seen on LinkedIn!

I’m sure I have missed some important names, so please do not be offended if I have not listed you!

I’m not stating that I agree with everything these members do on LinkedIn but they are definitely pace setters in this new age of LinkedIn engagement. Take a look at their posts and you will see similar patterns;
Storytelling, often of a personal nature
Use of hashtags
Lots of @mentioning
Large, diverse networks and followers
A sense of community - many comment, share or Like each others posts
A sense of fun about their LinkedIn activity
Rarely, if ever, promote themselves or their businesses
Use of native video
Many long, text only posts

As I have stated before, some of them post things that I think are not always suitable for LinkedIn but who am I to argue with the level of engagement those posts get?
Many (not all) of the above are millennials and one concern I have is whether they are likely to drop LinkedIn like a stone when something ‘new and shiny’ comes along - this is very typical of how this generation use Social media and it could happen to LinkedIn.

This weeks questions are all regarding last weeks topic of GDPR and were all aimed at Jeremy Kajendran following his interview. Jeremy has been very generous in answering all the questions I sent him by recording his answers.

Topics covered were;
Do subscribers on pre-GDPR email lists need to opt-in again to be compliant?
If I work under the name of another company as a Consultant and promote them as a company etc. Do I still need to register with the ICO?
Am I still able to send InMails to 2nd and 3rd degree contacts under GDPR?

Direct download: LinkedInformed_184.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 183, this week I am dedicating the whole episode to this much requested subject. GDPR is coming next year whether we like it or not so it’s time to start educating ourselves on the dangers and opportunities this presents.

With that in mind I have taken time to speak with three individuals, two of which are interviewed on this show.
As a result, I am skipping any news, cool things or questions this week and will revert back to our normal format next week.

My first interview is with Privacy, Cyber Security and Risk Advisor Jeremy Kajendran who is the UK Privacy Practice Leader for EY

Key points from Jeremy;
GDPR = General Data Protection Regulation
Data protection act has been in place since 1998 but GDPR is intended to bring the legislation up to date with today’s technology and business practices. Fines are greater and organisations are now having to ensure they are compliant.
Fines can be for up to 4% of global turnover or £20,000
It is a criminal offence in the UK to not be registered with the ICO (Information Commissioners Office)
Individuals have a right to access to their data (this hasn’t changed)
Individuals can now ask you to delete their data and stop processing their data as well as asking you to send it back to them.
The ICO is concerned in protecting individuals from abuse of their privacy.
The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations also run in tandem with GDPR and also worth being familiar with because they could be more onerous.
Continual opt-in is not a requirement of GDPR. People have to be asked to opt-in to something which is explicit just once but are always given the option to opt-out.
It’s unlikely that the ICO will be interested in one off unsolicited emails. If however a recipient asks to receive no more emails then you must respect their wishes and could be in trouble if you don’t.
There will be lots of publicity in May next year which may increase the amount of complaints the ICO receive and in practical terms they are unlikely to be able to follow all of them up. They will prioritise on a risk basis.
If you are an organisation that processes data on anyone within the EU then you are subject to the GDPR
LinkedIn Forms are a way of collecting data on people so you are the data controller once you take that information from LinkedIn. The form should make it explicitly clear that by adding details an individual is agreeing to receiving more than just the information advertised (ie an e-book). A double opt-in is helpful but the days of signing up for a giveaway is not permission to send them anything else, unless they explicitly opt-in for ongoing communications. Ideally this should be included in the sign up form on LinkedIn
Explicit opt-in can be a very positive thing because your list open rate is likely to be much higher.


TOP 10 Questions To Ask A GDPR Expert by Jeremy Kajendran

Jeremy’s InfoRisky Podcast.

I also had a chat with Kim Bradford who also specialises in GDPR but tends to focus on it from the perspective of small businesses and solopreneurs.

Advice from Kim;

If you process data on anyone, you need to register with the ICO in the UK. Data can in theory include keeping their email asking you to take them to remove your data!
Registering with the ICO (UK only) may help to mitigate any issues. Put simply a good analogy would be that being investigated and fined by the ICO is like getting caught speeding but not being registered is like getting caught speeding without a valid drivers licence!
Email providers are slow to react and some appear to be trying to push responsibility onto their customers - perhaps LinkedIn may do the same.
The ICO are going to issue very clear guidance to people on what businesses can and can’t do regarding their data and clarifying their rights on data. This may lead to some people reporting you and even if you have done nothing wrong, the ICO may want to investigate how you hold and use other data (opening a can of worms)
It’s possible that LinkedIn may remove or at least significantly change the feature that allows you to download your connections.

Advice from Kim;

If you process data on anyone, you need to register with the ICO in the UK. Data can in theory include keeping their email asking you to take them to remove your data!
Registering with the ICO (UK only) may help to mitigate any issues. Put simply a good analogy would be that being investigated and fined by the ICO is like getting caught speeding but not being registered is like getting caught speeding without a valid drivers licence!
Email providers are slow to react and some appear to be trying to push responsibility onto their customers - perhaps LinkedIn may do the same.
The ICO are going to issue very clear guidance to people on what businesses can and can’t do regarding their data and clarifying their rights on data. This may lead to some people reporting you and even if you have done nothing wrong, the ICO may want to investigate how you hold and use other data (opening a can of worms)
It’s possible that LinkedIn may remove or at least significantly change the feature that allows you to download your connections.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_183.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 182, lots to tell you about this week so no main subject as such.

Firstly I want to correct something I mentioned in last weeks show under the title ‘The State of Groups’ It seems that, on closer examination, the stated number of pending members isn’t actually accurate! Thanks to Carl for putting me right on that one!

Another correction from last week regarding GDPR. Asked if you had any questions and a number of you did. I will be interviewing an expert on the matter soon so I will make sure all your questions are answered (keep sending them in).
The thing I got wrong was suggesting that this would only be a subject of interest to European listeners - apparently this isn’t the case as anyone who holds data on people who are in a country under GDPR could be liable for fines (quite how, I don’t know!)

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

LinkedIn opens it’s new EMEA HQ offices in Dublin.
It’s a bit ‘cheesy’ as always but here is the video of the new offices. They do look pretty amazing!

Direct download: LinkedInformed_182.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 181, this weeks episode is focussed on an interview with Janet Murray from Soulful PR. I appeared on her podcast recently and since then she has been achieving great things with LinkedIn so I thought you would all like to hear from her.

But first…

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Bumblebizz is now live!
LinkedIn to launch Talent Insights in 2018


Janet Murray spent 17 years as a freelance journalist before setting up her Soulful PR business.
She now focusses on helping people to ‘pitch’ into the media to get better exposure for their business.

Key things I took from this episode;

  • Traditional PR is not enough anymore
  • Four areas of PR you should be paying attention to on a regular basis;
    • Publishing content on your website
    • Email marketing / newsletter
    • Social media posting and activity
    • Press coverage (show the results on your website)
  • To build relationship with journalists you have to read the papers, show patience and work at getting to know them.
  • Be aware of what is going on and when a story breaks that is relevant to your specialism, contact relevant journalists via Twitter or call them. They are always looking for stories so you are potentially being really helpful.
  • Make a list of relevant journalists on Twitter and LinkedIn (mainly Twitter) - find them via a Google search/alerts.
  • #journorequest on Twitter can be helpful
  • Media enquiry services such as Response source, help a reporter out and source bottle
  • Journalists like to call (for speed) so put your telephone number in your profile (summary not headline) and Twitter bio
  • Make sure you have relatively recent Articles and videos in your profile so that a journalist or producer can see that you can write and appear comfortable in front of a camera.
  • Clarity in your headline is key….journalists needs to see quickly exactly what your niche is (arguably this is true for everyone, not just journalists)
  • Journalists always ask “Why do people need to hear this now?”
  • ‘Everything is potentially content’ If others care about it then it will probably fly on LinkedIn.
  • People are more interested in ‘how’ you work than what you do but PR about the ‘how’ allows you to talk about the ‘what’

Win a free 60 minute PR strategy session with Janet (worth £300+vat).
You can read more about these sessions here

You can enter this free prize draw by entering your details below

Links to other things mentioned in this interview;

Cara Mackay’s LinkedIn profile
Book - Your Press release Is Breaking My Heart
Media diary
Soulful PR Studio
The Soulful PR Podcast

If you have any questions that you want me to ask Janet, I will be happy to do so if you drop me a voicemail (link on the right edge of this page) or email me at mark@linkedinfomed.com

Direct download: LinkedInformed_181.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 180, it’s been a busy week for me, I nearly didn’t get time to put this episode together but I’m glad I managed to because I want to talk about the revolution that is happening before out very eyes.
Stay tuned for more about that but first……

Clipper Race Update

They won!!

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

  • LinkedIn Engineering Blog - Serving Top Comments in Professional Social Networks

Interesting article, although a bit technical! Quote ‘we’ve built a scalable comment ranking system that uses machine learning (ML) to provide a personalized conversational experience to each member visiting the LinkedIn content ecosystem.’

Previously LinkedIn had a very basic way of ordering the comments in a thread;

‘The default mode for ranking comments on the feed was rank by recency: if you were the last person to post a comment on a popular thread, your comment would show up first. We had no understanding of the comment’s content, no notion of personalization, and no knowledge of the engagement that these comments were drawing.’

Comments are now assessed via machine learning where factors such as;

  • Actual comment content
  • Level of engagement (likes and further comments)
  • Who posted the comment

It would appear that you only see a comment from one of your connections on a thread that is already attracting plenty of engagement. This shows the importance of getting quick traction to any post…once you get early engagement then the algorithm will share subsequent comments to more of each commenters connections (interestingly they use the term connections and not followers).

Comments, Likes and Shares are up by more than 60% in 2017 - wow!

The machine-learned model below shows what affects what you see with regards to comments

This tells us that to gain greater visibility on LinkedIn we need to think about;

  • How many followers we have
  • Connection strength
  • How many profile views we get
  • Poor performing posts can have a detrimental effect on the visibility of future comments and posts
  • @mentions and #hashtags in comments can increase visibility

Overall, whilst a bit ‘techie’ this is a valuable insight into how LinkedIn programme their algorithm.

  • Adding LinkedIn’s Profile Card on Office 365 Offers a Simple Way to Build a Professional Relationship

This seems pretty similar to the ‘Rapportive’ Gmail plugin and the Sales Navigator Gmail plugin although from the screenshots, it does appear to provide a little more information. With the amount of people who use Microsoft Office 365 this doers highlight just how important your LinkedIn profile is to you!

The State of Groups

Many groups have been left to fester by their owners as can be seen by these shocking numbers of ‘pending members’ in some of the groups I am in on LinkedIn.

Not all groups are this bad and some are still well, run and valuable but the engagement on LinkedIn is now all in the stream and not in groups.

Let’s Not Get Too Honest!

Have you seen the trending #hashtag on LinkedIn #letsgethonest?

LinkedIn have even feature it in this new feature as seen below;

This involves posting something honest and vulnerable about yourself and nominating others to do the same. Here are some of the things people have been posting about

  • Speech impediments
  • Sick relatives
  • Relatives passing away
  • I’m homeless

And the list goes on…. If you click on the image above you can read more.

I’m typically enjoy genuine, authentic posts and I’ve always been a fan of showing vulnerability but this feels like a step too far for LinkedIn.

Maybe I’m wrong but this feels too self-indulgent to me and I find myself wondering about people who feel the need to share such deep personal issues with the whole world in this way.

As I’m about to explain in the next section, the engagement on LinkedIn is phenomenal these days and maybe this is part of what comes with that but at the end of the day, this is still a professional network and there are boundaries. Posting about feeling vulnerable in the workplace because you do not have degree is one thing but talking about more personal issues such as bereavement feels wrong to me.

Maybe I’m wrong…..I’d love to know what you think.

Drop me an email to mark@linkedinformed.com or even better why not leave me a voicemail

Something Special is Happening

That’s the fourth time in the last 2 weeks that an audience on one of my seminars have told me that they are astonished as to how much better LinkedIn is than they thought it was (based on previous experience).

I’m sure something really special is happening to LinkedIn this year and I’m not the only one who thinks this

As previously mentioned, engagement levels are exploding - a 60% increase is beyond amazing!

Is this down to the new design?

Partly, but it’s mainly down to a new, younger demographic who are leading the way in showing us how to engage more effectively.

The algorithm behind the new design has played it’s part and the new, more user friendly design has helped to attract this new audience but whatever the reason, I really senses a step change in the way LinkedIn is being used.

As someone that has been training LinkedIn best practice for nearly ten years, I can’t begin to tell you how happy that makes me.

Finally……finally!!

Greater engagement is certainty bring with it more success whether you are a job seekers, recruiter or looking to grow your business.

The future is LinkedIn!

I've listened to at least 2 episodes about Groups, but I have a question that you haven't discussed. I've found about 5 groups that are really directly related to the kind of folks I'm trying to get to know, but all of them are really like advertising boards. People don't try to engage anyone in the groups at all, and every once in a while people will have a conversation around a post.

My question is - how can I, as a member of a group, help to move the group more toward conversations? When I post to them, I post with questions that I really would like to engage (mostly with no response), and I'm starting to comment more in the groups (but mostly with no responses from anyone). Is there a way that I, as a member, can up the engagement, or when the culture of the group is set to be an advert board, is there really nothing I can do?

I really appreciate your podcast and appreciate any thoughts you might have on this subject.

Answer;

The reason why this happens is that the members of these groups are simply not turning up! They may be members but they have long since 'disengaged' from these groups. This reflects the serious problems that exist in groups - too much spam and irrelevant 'noise' has led to people ignoring groups. They are still members but they never check emails (or they have switched off notifications) and they don't bother checking into their groups.

So the answer to your question is to not bother with groups, at least for now anyway.

Groups will be re-launched (probably early next year) and I suspect they will become relevant again but for now there are better ways to engage with the sort of people you wish to get to know.

Most of the conversations on LinkedIn have moved to the homepage stream, meaning that people are commenting and engaging with peoples posts rather than in groups. The good news is that these conversations are better and more prevalent than they ever were in groups.

Here is what I would do in your situation;

• Identify people you are interested in via search - people and posts search.

• Follow these people

• Clean up your own homepage by unfollowing those that don't interest you and hiding irrelevant posts

• Engage with people via their posts

• Post interesting and engaging posts 3-5 times a week and @mention relevant people (sparingly) to bring others into the conversation

Communication strategy and techniques are something I cover on a regular basis on the podcast, in fact, the last episode (178) is a recording of a talk I gave on that very subject.

There is a place for groups on LinkedIn and I'm sure we will see the re-emergence of community discussion forums next year, but for now, I would advise concentrating your efforts on post engagement.

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_180.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 179, this week the main topic is something I seem to be coming across a lot…employee advocacy on LinkedIn.
For those who haven’t come across this before, it simply means utilising the employees of a company to be ‘advocates’ of the organisation to help with marketing, sales and recruitment.

The problem is, I’m really not sure it works on LinkedIn….I will explain more later.


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


Artificial intelligence just made guessing your password a whole lot easier

Carl who sent this article in uses Password Safe https://pwsafe.org

I also noticed another two key people at LinkedIn have recently left the organisation.
I have met many LinkedIners in my time but the one who has impressed me the most was Wade Burgess. Wade is a massive talent and will be a huge miss to LinkedIn.
Keep an eye on his new employer Shiftgig, if Wade is convinced enough to join them as CEO, they are likely to be going places!

If you are listening Wade (highly unlikely) - my very best wishes for the future.

LinkedIn have also lost another key person who is highly respected. Pat Wadors was the SVP of global talent.

Both individuals were key players for LinkedIn, these must be testing times for the CEO Jeff Weiner.
This got me thinking and I checked back at my connections at LinkedIn and remarkably another 10 (in addition to the above) have resigned since the announcement of the Microsoft takeover.

Employee Advocacy. Does It Really Work on LinkedIn?

I have had several conversations recently with companies who want to know how to use LinkedIn more effectively as an employee advocacy tool.
This got me thinking about the whole subject and I have to say, I’m somewhat sceptical as to whether this really is a good idea on LinkedIn (possibly anywhere).

  • My thoughts;
    Does it actually work? It seems a hot subject but I remain sceptical that is actually has any tangible benefits.
  • Most content seems to be external links which are pretty much a waste of time posting on LinkedIn anyway.
  • Sharing company page posts doesn’t seem to work either - company posts get very little engagement. Average figures for Cisco (number 4 in LinkedIn top company pages for 2017) are 135 likes and 3 comments and Schneider Electric (number 2) get 300 likes and 2 comments. The vast majority of likes are from employees (advocates). A comparable set of stats from a really strong personal user is 135 likes and 15 comments!
  • Experts in this subject talk about providing ‘guidance’ to employees but I suspect this either puts them off being active or means they feel ‘directed’ which leads to a huge lack of authenticity.
  • Why not educate employees to use LinkedIn (voluntarily) in a way that allows them to be authentic individuals and not mouth pieces for the marketing or recruitment function?
  • Most companies (and advocates) are guilty of the McFly syndrome …It’s all about you!
  • If employees are happy, motivated and active on LinkedIn then they will naturally be advocates. They actually don’t need to talk about the company at all…just show that they are interesting, switched on individuals.

Here is the post I did on this subject (click on it to see the comments);

You can see the LinkedIn #LifeAtSAP posts here and the #WeAreCisco posts here

These week we have a first! ….a live question recorded today!

Lorraine Bow is a Ukulele instructor based in London and has been struggling to find ways of using LinkedIn to win new clients.

She asked me to help her and this is what you can hear in the episode

You can view Lorraine’s recent activity by clicking here

Here is her original ‘Goosebumps’ post which, as you can see didn’t get much traction

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_179.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 178, it’s been a busy week for me with several training sessions and a speaking gig. I knew I wouldn’t get time to produce an episode this week so I thought it might be interesting to hear the talk that I gave this week.

First and relevant to the subject of my talk, I saw this article and wondered what you would make of it.

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Seriously, Please Stop Trying to 'Go Viral' on LinkedIn

My thoughts;
What does ‘viral’ actually mean?
You really don't need a ‘killer’ inspirational story. People mostly respond to interesting but ‘normal’ stories that they can relate to.
Views are not a vanity metric. Your post ‘views in the feed’ number is a clear indication of how the algorithm distributes your post and this is an important thing to keep a check on.
The point about creating a community makes perfect sense to me but this has nothing to do with posts on Linkedin - different issue.
The headline of this post does strike me as being classic ‘click bait’ as the article isn’t really about why you shouldn't be aiming for high views from your LinkedIn posts.


My talk

You can view a copy of my slides below

Direct download: LinkedInformed_178.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:35am UTC

Welcome to episode 177, this week I want to focus on research….not stalking! The problem is that everyone seems to want to refer to it as stalking so whatever…I’m going with that in the headline.
There is so much valuable information to be gleamed from someones LinkedIn profile and yet most people barely scratch the surface.

More of that later but as always I’m starting with….

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Once a Running Joke, LinkedIn Is Suddenly a Hot Social Network. Here’s What Changed
LinkedIn Is Going to Start Serving Native Ads to Outlook Users’ Inboxes

LinkedIn Update

Not so much an update as just some feedback. Native video appears to be fully rolled out now and the numbers of videos in my feed has increased dramatically.
The net result is that ‘View’ numbers are dropping like a stone!

I posted a video yesterday that so far has 32 likes and 12 comments...not bad in 1 day......but only 186 views!!
When native video first arrived, that amount of engagement would have shown a view number 10x that!
DON'T PANIC!
Here's why;
1) View metrics are not as important as Likes & Comments
2) A 'View' for native video only counts if someone pauses on your video for a minimum of 3 secs
3) Everyone now has native video and many are experimenting with it. This means there are lots of videos appearing in our feed so we skip past them within 3 secs.
4) In time, the number of videos will drop again as the novelty wears off.

Stalking

LinkedIn can be used in many different ways as we all know but in my experience, one of it’s most common yet also most under-utilised uses is people research.
That may seem like a contradiction…..let me explain.
Even the most sceptical, ‘once in a blue moon active’ LinkedIn user will look at someone’s profile on LinkedIn to check them out before a meeting or telephone conversation. It’s become the de-facto tool to find out information about people but most people just take a cursory glance at the profile. In doing so they miss so much valuable information.

Here’s what I do before meeting someone;

Read their headline, summary and experience
Check their personal and contact info section to when we connected, check out their website links and look to see if they are on Twitter <contact info>
Search for relevant keywords in their Tweets (from:Twittername AND keyword OR keyword)
Check their media and watch any videos (especially if it’s of them) and any presentations.
If they have Slideshare presentations in their profile, hop over to Slideshare and check out their other uploads.
Check for mutual connections and contact them if appropriate
Also check for mutual groups in Highlights and see if they have been active recently.
Check out their articles and read the most recent plus any that are highly relevant to your meeting. Pay particular attention to their response to comments.
If they are a connection, thoroughly search (filter) their connections looking for highly relevant connections including your competitors!
Click on ‘See all activity’ and then ‘posts’
Then move over to ‘all activity’
Click on the companies they have worked for during the last 3 years and see if you have any connections that were at the company at the same time. If so, consider contacting them.
Read their current job description for any relevant information.
Check their education, click on Alumni and see if you have any connections that might know them from university (depending on their age)
Volunteer experience can also be enlightening
Read all of their received recommendations (if possible)
Now the real golden nugget….read their given recommendations to really understand what they truly value in people they know.
Follow them if not already connected
Check other social media channels (such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Google+)
Use Crystalknows to get a psychometric assessment of them

The more research you do, the better. You won’t use 90% of the information you find but the things you do use could make a huge difference.

Question from Magnus Unemyr from Sweden:
Assuming my posts are educational and giving value, how often can I post without becoming annoying? I currently post once a day, are two posts a day considered too much or where is the limit to be just active and not annoying?

Answer: Great question. One post a day is good going, especially if you are also engaging with people throughout the day.
That said, I don’t think 2 per day is over the top. In terms of whether this annoys people, well that assumes they see every post you do…which is unlikely! The algorithm helps in this regard as it won’t feed everything you post to the same followers every time.
Personally I think it is more about engagement than the number of posts. You could achieve a lot more from one post a week that created extensive engagement then 5 posts that don’t!
I hope that makes sense.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_177.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 176, this week I am going to share my thoughts on the demise of content marketing and the rise of engagement as a much more effective tool to influence and build trust.

But first…..

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Bumble’s CEO Takes Aim At LinkedIn
18 Enormously Useful LinkedIn Hacks by Andy Foote or just shortcut to the fancy text generator here
If You Wanna Crush It On LinkedIn's Hot New Video Addition, Do This

 

New LinkedIn Feature

Invitations. This week saw the introduction of significant improvements to the way we manage our invitations to connect.

The ‘select all’ feature will save me loads of time. Thanks to Perry Van Beek for informing me of this.
Great feature, I love it when they give us more but it’s not all good news….

Search. LinkedIn have, for some strange reason, decided to take away the keyword search field from search results.

In addition the ‘search for people with filters’ has been replaced with ‘People’. ‘Jobs’ and ‘Posts’. Selecting People is still a ‘filters’ search but you can’t then subsequently add in keywords to your search. You either start with keywords or have none….odd move!

This has a knock on effect with search alerts because you cannot create one unless you have performed a keyword search.
The workaround is to do a search with filters and then create a new search by adding the job title string into the main search, it’s not as accurate but you can at least create the search alert.

 

Engagement

This has been playing on my mind recently as I think we are seeing the start of a significant change in the way people use LinkedIn.

Traditionally we always thought that sourcing relevant content and sharing it on LinkedIn was a great way to build relationships. This led to scheduling of link based posts using tools like Buffer or Hootsuite.
I’ve covered this extensively before and had decent results from it……but everything seems to have changed.
The LinkedIn algorithm is now penalising external content so much so that it is very difficult to get past 1000 views in the feed whereas text or image based posts are flying as covered recently.

On reflection we have been posting all these links to external articles but is anyone reading them? Probably not!
And even if they were, the algorithm is preventing most people from seeing them anyway.
So this feels like a sea change to me.
No more external links
Stop scheduled posting from Buffer / Hootsuite

Instead we should be focussing our time on creating effective posts, good quality articles and engaging with other peoples content.
That feels like a much better way to use LinkedIn.

Can you see where I am coming from here?
Is this the beginning of the end of content marketing?
Let me know what you think

Direct download: LinkedInformed_176.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 174, this week I want to return to a subject close to my heart and also one that I think is really important to all of us.
18-25-year-olds and their use (or lack of use) of LinkedIn!
This episode features an interview with John Morley about the work he has been doing with school leavers.
More of that later …

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

LinkedIn launch a new ‘Welcome to the team’ prompt
A LinkedIn Editor Reveals How to Get Featured and Go Viral on the Site This is a real clickbait headline but worth a read anyway.

Last Friday I had a wonderful day with three other LinkedIn Trainers in the UK.
Steve Philip
Angus Fraser
Greg Cooper

We had a really productive day sharing ideas and expertise in a very open ‘nothing to lose, everything to gain’ atmosphere. If you get the chance to get together with your competitors, take it. You will gain a lot from the experience.

On Sunday I attended the start of the Round the World Clipper race. I really knew very little about it beforehand but I found the whole thing incredibly inspirational and it’s really helped me get some new focus into my business.

Click on the image below to find out more about the race

Company Page Followers Hack

It’s very annoying that LinkedIn prevent us from seeing who are followers are but thanks to Glen Smith I have a cool hack to show you.
This might not last long but if you use the url;
https://www.linkedin.com/company/company-name
You will be able to view them. Remember if your company name is more than one word you must separate the words with a dash -

It’s a useful hack but my advice is to focus all your engagement efforts on your personal page anyway.

Is this poor communication?

This fascinates me. Is this good communication or not? Is it good design by LinkedIn? What are they hoping to achieve by this?

A Focus on Youth

This week I chat with John Morley about the work he has been doing with school leavers via the National Citizen Scheme in the UK.

Key Points
Most Teenagers don’t even know what LinkedIn is
Most teenagers are ‘socially engaged’ on other platforms
We need to help teenagers understand the importance LinkedIn can play in their professional personal brand.
Teenagers should be thinking about their career and they need to understand that LinkedIn will be very useful to them when looking for an internship or job
A great technique is to get them to focus on what they want to do and then visualise what their LinkedIn profile will look like.

I would strongly encourage you to spend some time with your teenage kids, family members or family friends and encourage them to think about LinkedIn. You could be doing them a real favour.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_175.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 174, I’m going to share an interesting chat I had with AJ Wilcox this week. AJ heard me talk in sceptical terms about the new website demographics feature that LinkedIn are currently rolling out and contacted me to say he was very enthusiastic about the feature. So I thought I would record our conversation and share it with you.

More of that later but first…

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


Judge rules against LinkedIn in legal fight over its members' public data
Another great article on the same subject is in the Washington post: Is LinkedIn trying to protect your data — or hoard it?

This ruling could have interesting ramifications for other current and potential 3rd party products. I’m not sure it ‘opens the floodgates’ for plug-ins and extensions but it will be interesting to see what develops.

Feedback

This a great point from Sandra. Sharing a post, with attribution does allow someone to add their own perspective that is suitable to their audience.
Fair comment, I was probably a bit harsh about sharing, it’s not stealing likes and comments although I do think that you should always comment on the originators post as well to assist their distribution of that post.
That of course is not the same as the copy & pasting, which is always wrong, even with attribution.

If you want a copy of the cheatsheet that outlines how to achieve high post views and engagement then fill in your details below, it’s completely free.

New LInkedIn Features

Native video on desktop is now being rolled out, it doesn’t allow you to record unfortunately but you can upload a video from your computer

The video feature has suffered some problems this week as a new tranche of members have been given access which has caused uploads to be very slow at processing.
On that point, if you are adding video from your computer, these are the dimensions it needs to fit;

We now have a new ‘Connection’ filter in search results (mobile and desktop). This is different to searching a connections connections which is done from their profile. This is designed to be more of a secondary filter to an existing search result. For example you may be searching for prospects and then want to know if one of your good business contacts is already connected to anyone in the result. Thus revealing the opportunity for an introduction.

LinkedIn active status in Messages. Many users seems to have got this useful new feature this week but the way LinkedIn explained it can lead to some confusion. Hopefully the below video clears that up

It’s a positive enhancement to the messages function but I think this feature could be improved with;
Filtering by who is active in the Messages page
Active status to show in a connections profile

What do you think. Any other ideas on how they could improve this?

Website Demographics

Let’s hear what the world’s nicest social media expert has to say about this new LinkedIn website demographics feature

AJ explains how this tool can be used to get a much greater understanding of who visits your website. Not just your domain but each specific page so you should be able to get a much clearer idea of who is interested in certain aspects of your business or products.
It may even give you guidance of how those pages should be designed (to suit the audience).

Also you can combine custom audience advertising with website demographics by targeting the demographic of the people that are typically going to your relevant website pages. This should make your custom audience ad’s much more effective.

You might already have this feature. Go to your ad’s account on LinkedIn

Then click on an account and you will see website demographics if you have it. I didn’t have it when I spoke with AJ but as you can see, I have it now!

Apparently only 25% of members have it but it is currently rolling out to all.

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_174.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 173, this week it’s just me (no interview) and I want to talk about the controversial but also very important topic of plagiarism.

 

But before we get to that I need to catch up on some things I wasn’t able to cover last week plus some other articles I saw this week…

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


Hackers catfish tech execs on LinkedIn
Putin passes law that will ban VPNs in Russia
HOW RUSSIA IS USING LINKEDIN AS A TOOL OF WAR AGAINST ITS U.S. ENEMIES
Why LinkedIn will Never Tell You When to Post on LinkedIn

You can hear my interview with Janet Murray on the Soulful PR podcast here

LinkedIn Updates

Think twice before you reply to an InMail with a shortcut ‘No Thanks’!

This is very sneaky and I’m not sure it’s been properly thought through by LinkedIn. When you receive an iMail from someone you have the opportunity to reply with 3 shortcut phrases

 

On the face of it this looks like a time saving convenience feature similar to those inBot responses you see in normal messaging.
Beware, it’s not what you think!

When your ‘no thanks’ reply is received the other end the sender sees this message

So they can’t continue the thread….that makes perfect sense to me but what happens if they try to subsequently send you a new InMail?

So you have inadvertently ‘blocked’ this person from ever InMailing you again which could be disastrous for jobseekers and others who don’t wish to cut off communication altogether, it seems absurd to me that LinkedIn don’t make it clear what you are doing!

 

Long text posts are ‘killing it’ on LinkedIn

 

I have reported on this before but since then I have tested this further and it is clear that the algorithm that decides how many of your followers will see your post is massively favouring posts with a lot of text and really penalising any posts that include a link (unless it’s a LinkedIn article).

 

Here is a post I did last week about a news item regarding Sports Direct. As you can see below, this story was widely covered on LinkedIn by individuals and companies but everyone else made the mistake of including a link to the online article.

Knowing what I know, I simply took a screenshot of the letter and posted it as an image accompanied with some long text (triggering the ‘see more’.

As you can see, the results speak for themselves!

As I typed the above post I paused as I wondered if what I was doing was in some way a form of plagiarism. In the end I decided it was OK as the story had been widely covered by many sources in the national press….but that got me thinking about the main subject of this weeks episode!

LinkedIn Plagiarism - Is copy & pasting posts OK?


This seems to have become an increasing trend on LinkedIn, especially as text only posts have become more popular and successful.

Here is a classic example of what I’m talking about. This text only post from Ryan Cummings was phenomenally successful with nearly 40,000 likes and approaching 3000 comments.

Those are great numbers but could have been so much more because others decided to copy and paste his post and re-post it on their own feed. I actually found 27 posts like this.

This is the most blatant example and is classic plagiarism

The majority were like this, I even found someone who had made it into his own LinkedIn Article!

And someone who tried to be clever by changing the copy, ever so slightly!

And another who just copy & pasted a section

Some fool even had the cheek to add their product picture to the copied post!

It’s hard to defend these people. They clearly have extremely low ethical standards and will never find success by operating that way……..These losers are annoying but not the ones I’m most concerned about.

I also saw plenty of examples like this;

Whilst Ryan’s name is shown, it is not a link back to his profile.

There were other examples where Ryan is mentioned and linked (@mention)

Whilst this is an improvement, is still wrong in my opinion for this simple reason;

They are stealing views, Likes and Comments from Ryan!

and I think that is totally unacceptable!

Every post offers us the opportunity to Like, Comment or Share - using these is quicker and ensures that all credit, views and further engagement belong to the rightful owner.

Not everyone however would agree, look at this post from a CIO claiming that this practice is ‘standard behaviour’ across all social media - really? If this is common practice then that would suggest to me that it’s ‘common practice’ to behave unethically, surely that isn’t true for most social media users - is it?

Admittedly Bill also makes a good point about unwarranted blocking but his original comment is ludicrous!

This topic was also covered  and extensively commented on in a recent post by Simon Chan

I agree wholeheartedly with Simon’s comments but who cares what we think. How does it feel to be copied in this way?
Well I reached out to Ryan Cummings and asked him for his thoughts and this is what he had to say;

“When I first noticed that some people were copy and pasting my post, I was a bit flattered. However, when one particular post began accruing several thousand likes and gained momentum, I then had people commenting on my post saying that they think the story was made up or that I was the one who copied it.

LinkedIn can easily determine who the original author was, and I believe they should step in and take down posts/suspend users who do not give proper attribution when posting others' content.

So to directly answer your questions:
1. I don't like it, they should cite their sources. Those who don't will be exposed and look like clowns anyway.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_173.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 172, this week I’m going to introduce you to a very interesting and somewhat entertaining character. Jon Buchan is a digital marketing expert who has a unique way of getting fantastic responses to cold messages (mainly emails) he sends by using humour.

But first we had some feedback from last weeks episode on Native video.

Native Video

My friend and fellow LinkedIn trainer Sandra Long sent me this voicemail

Gary Stockton also got in touch;

“I'm looking forward to creating videos for important job openings and new thought leadership content. Check out Screenflow for Mac. You can record screen from iOS devices and make great looking mobile demo videos. I think current release of Camtasia also allows for mobile screen recording”

Great points Gary. I think highly of both those products but they might be out of the budget for the average user who occasionally wants to post a video. In those circumstances, simply record on your phone.


The Charm Offensive with Jon Buchan

This is an intro’ from Jon that nicely sets the scene for the interview

 

“One night, I got drunk and wrote an email. I woke up and still thought it was a good idea to send this completely absurd email to very busy, Senior Marketing Directors at large brands.

I sent 6 emails manually. It wasn’t long before I got 2 replies. Both of them were highly complimentary but telling me they already had agencies in place. Then I got another response, and they wanted to meet me. I couldn’t believe it. The email I created should in no way work. It was out of the ordinary and weird and ridiculous. Yet it did.”

 

Here is an example of the kind of response that Jon frequently gets to his messages;

In this interview Jon takes time to explain the structure of his cold emails. This is equally applicable to LinkedIn messages and even posts. Below is an example of a recent LinkedIn post from Jon

You can check out Jon’s LinkedIn profile by clicking on it above.

The best information can be obtained in the Charm Offensive Facebook group

This weeks question is from Jennifer Holloway

Answer - Two options;

  1. Upgrade to Sales Navigator and import your tags…….for the delightful price of £72 per month, which probably isn’t a good investment for tagging alone.
  2. Use the Dux-soup Chrome extension. It’s free and allows you to add tags and notes and then search by tag.
Direct download: LinkedInformed_172.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 171, well I’m back from my holiday and fully refreshed albeit missing the sun, crystal clear sea, wonderful beaches and amazing sunsets……oh well!


As always seems to happen, as soon as I go away LinkedIn decide to unexpectedly launch a new feature….well I guess that happens all the time but this one happened to be a very big one……native video has finally arrived!

More of that later but there has been other news whilst I’ve been away


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

  • CRM Zoho announces integration with LinkedIn Sales Navigator
  • LinkedIn is testing a new feature that matches you with a mentor
  • Woman gets thousands of messages on LinkedIn after getting rejected from dream job. This isn’t much of a story but her update at the end of her post reflects a growing trend of plagiarism on LinkedIn
  • William, Kate & Harry advertise for a Communications Officer (terrible title!) on LinkedIn
  • Veterans get a free ‘Career Premium’ account for a year….a nice gesture but why is it only for US veterans?
  • Microsoft quarterly results show LinkedIn are making a $361m loss


LinkedIn Updates

There have been some other changes as well as native video whilst I have been away.

Hover over name feature returns and it’s better than ever!

You get the option to send a message to 1st tier connections, invite 2nd tier to connect and InMail anyone else. Don’t use the connect though as it doesn’t not allow for personalisation.

Website Demographics - coming soon.

An interesting looking tool that will give you information about your website visitors, we will have to wait and see exactly how useful it is.

 

Multiple image posts. This could be very handy for visual storytelling, I also suspect the algorithm my favour them. Only available in the app and iOS only for now.

Reshares of your posts now show in your post analytics.

This is definitely a step in the right direction but one of the =main reasons you want to see who shared is so you can thank them and the ‘hover over’ feature does not work in pop-ups so you have to click and open the profile to see more about the person a send a message. Bizarrely you can actually see the ‘hover’ pop-up opening in the background!

Native Video is Finally Here!

 

I noticed this feature whilst sipping my Mojito by the pool in Greece! Fortunately I had only just started my drink so was able to immediately give it a try;

 

This feature is currently only available on the mobile app

Very few users currently have it although it is being slowly rolled out to all.

You can record your video directly into the app or upload a video that is saved on your phone, simply tap the video icon to start the process

As you can see a ‘view’ is only counted when the video has appeared on someone’s screen for 3 secs without scrolling, this is therefore not comparable to other posts which are simply ‘views in the feed’. Therefore a view count of over 10,000 is pretty good and suggests that the algorithm is favouring video posts.

I have tried various formats, if you are recording directly into the app I would suggest holding your phone in landscape mode, this will look better when seen on desktop. It is worth noting that you cannot edit your video in the app.

Native video will autoplay in the feed on both desktop and mobile.

The problem with video is that few people will have sound (or sound switched on) on their computers and many mobile viewers won’t bother with sound so it may be wise to use subtitles.

In my tests the best results were when I used the free Clips iOS app, it records in square format so it doesn’t matter which way you hold the phone, you can edit before posting and it has a very effective subtitles feature that can be edited but often gets it right first time.

My first video above was made using Clips

I have been looking in the Google Play store for a suitable equivalent and I found Videoshow, I’m not sure how good it is but it maybe worth a look for Android users. If you know of a better app that allows editing and subtitles then please let me know.

So how can we use native video effectively?

It’s early days and we will have to wait and see what works but here are my initial ideas;

  • Talking head (as above) expressing an opinion and asking for feedback or just asking a question. Use subtitles.
  • Show an event you are attending or something worth noting at work. If you would think of taking a picture and posting that then now you should think video as well or instead.
  • News. If you want to announce or share some important news, do it by video - this gives a much greater sense of urgency and makes it more of an event for the viewer.
  • A brief interview with someone
  • Teach others how to do something
  • Make a video from a powerpoint as a ‘moving words’ video to grab attention
  • A weekly tips or Q&A feature
  • Recruiters - why not experiment with posting your new hot vacancy via video
  • Storytelling - produce a series of short videos to allow others to experience something with you
  • I would advise keeping videos less than 3 mins length
  • Remember the view only counts if they pause for 3 secs so your opening (without sound) needs to grab immediate attention to make them stop scrolling.

I’m sure other ideas will develop in time.

How will you use video on LinkedIn? Please share your ideas by sending me a voicemail or email.

No time for any questions this week but I will make sure I catch up an any unanswered ones next week.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_171.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 170, I’m still away this week but rather than go two weeks without an episode I thought I would pre-record an interview with the amazing LinkedIn Trainer from London called Alex Galviz.

We cover a lot of ground in the interview and I hope you will agree that Alex’s approach to LinkedIn is both refreshing and inspiring.

But first I thought you might find these interesting…


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

The British Prime Ministers ex PR guru makes her feelings known in her LinkedIn headline…but doesn’t know how to update her profile properly!

Migrating Groups is not as easy as some people suggest!
This is a really interesting post about the difficulties in persuading people to migrate away from LinkedIn. This re-enforces my view that the answer to online communities still exists within LinkedIn but that LinkedIn need to work hard to re-invent groups.

Interview with Alex Galviz

I really enjoyed chatting with Alex, a millennial LinkedIn trainer and coach for millennials from London.

We covered a lot of ground in our chat;

Challenging your definition of success
Finding your ‘Why’
LinkedInLocal events
Millennials on LinkedIn
LinkedIn’s editorial calendar
Crowdsourcing your headline
5 tips for a great headline
1. Don't tell show
2. Think about how you want people to feel when they enter your virtual home
3. Do you give them enough teasers that they want to get to know you more?
4. Is your WHY clearly explained?
5. Why are you different to someone else doing the same job?
Personal branding and authenticity

This is the post Alex referred to that kickstarted her career as a career coach and LinkedIn specialist.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_170.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Welcome to episode 169, lets get personal this week……or maybe not! Is is right to chat about non-business matters on LinkedIn?
That is the main focus this week but first….


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


When is public information not public? When LinkedIn says so
What LinkedIn Will Look Like In The Future
Posting Job Opportunity On LinkedIn Profile For New Employer Did Not Violate Non-Compete


Should we get personal on LinkedIn?

This subject was instigated when I saw the following post. It’s a very interesting thread and really got me thinking about this subject which many people seem to feel very strongly about.

Rather than just share my views I thought I would gather some views from LinkedIn and boy did you respond! This post is currently averaging 1000 views per hour!

I’m actually quite happy to share topics that are not strictly business with my network. There is almost always a tenuous link to business in everything I do but I believe people are more interesting in you than what you do. They can easily see from your profile what you do but the key difference in deciding if they want to work with you (or employ you) is who you really are.

In contrast I utterly detest using my Facebook profile for business. I’m not saying it’s a detestable thing to do…everyone to their own but I personally find it excruciatingly uncomfortable to either talk about work and business on my Facebook or alternatively ‘friend’ work related contacts and have them looking at things that are entirely personal.

I can control what I reveal about myself personally on LinkedIn, whereas using Facebook for business feels like I am opening my front door to people who are not appropriate share such things with.

I wondered if that was a contradiction…..

On balance I don’t think it is but maybe you disagree. I would love to know what you think about this subject.

There will not be an episode next week as I will be here;

The podcast will return the week after (22nd July) with a pre-recorded interview with Millennial LinkedIn Trainer Alex Galviz

Direct download: LinkedInformed_169.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 168, last week’s show seemed to go down a storm……it seems everyone is checking their influence score and comparing them which can only be a good thing in my opinion.

As a followup to that and on a similar track I wanted to focus on article clicks this week, or rather the lack of article clicks many people seem to be battling with!

I’m getting a lot of comments like;

“I think I will move to posting rather than articles as they get better views”
Or
“Why doesn’t LinkedIn alert my followers when I post a new article”?

So in this episode I’m going to try to fix that…but first


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


LinkedIn China president resigns


New LinkedIn Features

Here is the new ‘What people are talking about’ feature. This seems to be based on trending stories but when you click on it LinkedIn encourages you create a new post with a pre-written hashtag on that subject. Could this be LinkedIn trying to get # moving?

Images are fixed! At last LinkedIn have fixed the issue regarding posting images. No longer do we need to worry about turning our phones horizontal to take a picture for LinkedIn we can now add images in portrait!

What To Do If Nobody Is Reading Your Articles

Years ago published posts (now renamed articles) would get thousands and at times tens of thousands of views. It seemed like LinkedIn was the perfect place to produce content…a ready made audience that would be alerted to your content.
Many people got in early and started to get amazing results, this attracted more and more new authors and in no time at all over 1 million people had written an article on LinkedIn.
This number massively increased the amount of notifications LinkedIn was sending out to people and this became a big problem….countless people objected to ‘spam’ from LinkedIn - too may notifications and too many emails.
So LinkedIn changed things and rapidly reduced the amount of notifications.
The net result was that article view number plummeted. What would have been 10,000 views 2 years ago became for like 200 views and this is where most people are with articles.

So let’s be clear…….publishing articles on LinkedIn is not what it used to be. The article feature is no longer a distribution network for your content, it is merely a library for your content….just as other blogging platforms are such as Wordpress and Blogger.

That however, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be writing articles. It simply means that you need to use posts to distribute your articles to your audience…and hopefully beyond.

First let me make something clear;

We do need to be careful when comparing posts to articles. They are completely different and the stats are measured in different ways (clicks vs views in the feed).

A posts ‘view in the feed’ is simply a page impression ie it appeared on someones feed - it doesn’t mean they saw it. An Article click does mean they saw it - completely different things

The best way to view them is that they work together. An article is long form content but just that - static content. If it gets into a pulse channel it might get clicks outside of your followers but the best way to achieve clicks is via posts which are short form, viral content - see posts as the 'vehicle' to distribute your articles. Your ability to gain high view numbers on your posts is down to a variety of factors but most important of all is to show the algorithm that you are 'interesting' through regular comments & likes.

So here are the 3 key areas to focus on;

Aim to get it published in a Pulse channel

Make sure it is over 500 words
Ensure you have the right keywords in your headline
When you publish send a tweet to @LinkedInEditors

2) The Headline is Critical.

Create intrigue that makes some want to click on to see more
Test 5-7 headlines with friend or co-workers
Try to make it personalised
Lighter subjects work best - avoid serious/boring headlines
If one headline is clearly not working…change it!

There is a free course on Lynda from LinkedIn editor in chief that includes many great tips from someone that should know more than most!
https://www.lynda.com/LinkedIn-tutorials/Paying-attention-headline/433721/443465-4.html

3) Generate your own traffic

  • Create engaging posts, ask questions and encourage responses
  • Post at the right time of day (commuting and lunch time)
  • Extend the shelf life of your post by replying, commenting and liking over several weeks
  • @mention relevant individuals asking for their feedback
  • Use appropriate hashtags in your posts (and articles)
  • Don’t just use LinkedIn to promote your article. Try all relevant channels
  • Send a direct message with a link to the post to influential connections asking frothier input
  • Consider emailing the article to your email list
  • Ensure your post reaches the widest possible audience by improving your ‘Influence score’
    • Engage with others frequently
    • Avoid too many external links on other posts
    • Text only posts work really well, images are good but mix it up.
    • Focus most of your posts on interesting and ‘human’ stories and anecdotes

If you want to tag and download profiles, the best tool out there is LinkedInBack. It is only for notes and tags but the download feature is the killer for me.

I also discovered a new video tool this week. Loom is very similar to Viewedit that I mentioned in episode 162

This weeks question came from Avi and it’s all about that ago old problem of multiple or dual objectives and whether you should create 2 profiles or not.
Listen to the episode to hear my thoughts on that.













Direct download: LinkedInformed_168.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

 

Welcome to episode 167, this week I’m going to take the opportunity to catch up on questions which have been building up recently as well as discussing the issue of influence and followers vs connections.

But first…..

I had some great feedback from last weeks episode including this message from Kurt Shaver

Plus Leif Carlsen contacted me from Denmark. Leif consider himself to be the ‘Mr LinkedIn’ in Denmark! Leif and his partners run the Social Selling company and even have their own podcast called Social Selling Radio!

The reason Leif contacted me though was regarding #LinkedInLocal. They have been holding similar event every month for the last 3 years which they call Social Friday’s

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

LinkedIn have released a new Sales Navigator course on LinkedIn Learning and is available for everyone. https://www.linkedin.com/learning/learning-linkedin-sales-navigator-2
Google’s next big feature is to scrape LinkedIn
Data scraper’s case v. LinkedIn pits free speech against CFAA, DMCA
Sex technology industry accuses LinkedIn of censorship


LinkedIn Update

LinkedIn have introduced new Search statistics….but are they of any use?

Are you Influential?

I was speaking to someone this week about what makes people influential on LinkedIn, the answer is mostly to do with credibility but there is no doubt that some people get a wider distribution of their posts and this in part, must be effected by what I call the influence equation.

This can be broken down into two separate equations. Firstly the number of actual followers you have as opposed to the number of connections. A follower has chosen to see your content whereas a connection may have connected for different reasons.
<equation>

What can you do to increase your ‘real’ followers?
Produce great content on a regular basis but quality beats quantity
Ask people to follow you. Most users don’t really understand it
Get active with comments and likes, this increases visibility which will bring you more followers
Write articles designed to get into pulse channels

The problem with this is that most LinkedIn users simply don’t understand following! Very few people actually follow so this somewhat nullifies the above equation.

Another way to look at it is this equation

As an example Kate Lister has 3851 followers and 3832 connections, so not many ‘pure’ followers but on average she gets 21,000 views of her posts! that is an influence rating of 5.45.
These figures are heavily influenced by the amount of engagement she achieves with her posts and that is perhaps a more accurate definition of influence
What do you think?
How does 21k compare with your post views and what is your influence rating?

I’m way behind with my questions so I have decided to catch up this week.

The first question is from long term listener Jaz Greer;
I just wanted to check with you about which parts of Linkedin are indexed by Google

I have always held to the headline in the profile is indexed by Google as it is basically set up as an H1 tag in SEO terms and that is the only part of the profile. The rest festure in Linkedin search and not necessarily indexed by Gooogle hence why only the headline shows in the SERPs

Also, I have always been led to belive that Published Posts or now Articles are indexed by Google and can show in search

However in something recently from Viveka Von Rosen, she states Articles are not indexed unless they get into Pulse - am I missing something?

Answer: Oh the dark mysteries of Google!

Here's my take…..based on experimentation.

The most indexed field is the name, well that's two fields - first name and surname but Google definitely picks up headlines as well and that is where your keywords should be.

As for articles, there is no doubt that ones in Pulse channels are far more likely to be picked up by Google. I have tried searching for fairly unique phrases in headlines of Articles that are not in channels and had no success unless I state Site: LinkedIn.com in the search. 

I'm not sure where Viveka gets her information from but my experience reflects her views.

 

The next question is from Rob Curley

I’m using sales navigator very efficiently (at least I think I am!) and want to target my key contacts (leads) in a Facebook ad campaign – a technique I first heard you talk about. Of course I can’t see an email address for a lead unless I am connected but fortunately many of my leads are 1st tier connections. I can use Sales Navigator to quickly filter leads which are 1st tier connections but this is where I run into problems as I don’t think I it’s possible to export from Sales Navigator?
 
I can of course export from LinkedIn but I can only export ALL my connections. I think my only option is to manually go through all my exported connections and handpick the ones I’m wanting to target, i.e. those which are leads in Sales Navigator. That would be a rather painful exercise, thought I’d run it by you in case I’ve missed something or you can think of a workaround.
 
PS – The LinkedIn connections export spits out a sheet with a “Tag” column so I thought I could tag the connections I’m targeting before exporting but of course we can no longer tag in LinkedIn!

Answer: Unfortunately there is no solution in Sales Navigator but I do have a workaround for you.

I don't know how many leads you have that you wish to download, if a lot, this might be too time consuming


There is a Chrome extension called LinkedBack 

This works on Sales Nav and allows you to add tags and notes (duplication I know), the key thing though is that you are able to search for those tags and download them.

This question is from Fabio Alonso

I've got a question for job seekers on how to improve their "past experience" fit to a role advertised.
When looking for a job post, I (under a premium account) am able to get a competitive intelligence report automatically.

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_167.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 166, this week I have been inspired to spread the news about #LinkedInlocal, a movement that is gaining momentum around the world and it’s all about meeting your connections face to face.

More of that later but first….

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

  • Windows Phone LinkedIn app no longer available for download How ironic! I suspect this will return when new Windows phones are released.
  • It’s probably not OK to send naked pictures on LinkedIn This is actually quite interesting because the employer is the one being sued. In theory this makes no sense because the account belongs to the individual but the flip side of that is that employers see it differently when someone resigns claiming their connections ‘belong’ to the company!
  • LinkedIn is the worst of social media. Should I delete my account? Well it’s hard to know where to start with this one! I’m not surprised by the quality of this piece of journalism. The British press has never been great but the demise of that industry has led to poorer journalistic standards year after year and it seems Australia must be the same!

Elle Hunt has been a journalist since she graduated in 2012 so I suspect she knows very little about how a business works - apart from a business that makes it’s money (less and less fortunately) by publishing garbage like this with clickbait headlines intended to drive advertising revenue…advertising we don’t wish to see.

Perhaps she might be better served changing careers into a business model that seeks to drive revenue and growth by developing relationships and genuinely providing a valuable product or service - perhaps then she would appreciate the benefits LinkedIn brings.

This was a bit of a rant I know so here are the main points I covered;

  • All her source material came from Twitter
  • Despite posting on LinkedIn and getting about 10 comments, all positive she failed to quote any of them!
  • The amount of emails you receive is under your control. Check your settings Elle!
  • Poor research. Her figures are confusing at best, according to her Twitter has 680 million users!!
  • “LinkedIn is not a healthy environment” is a ridiculous statement, it’s what you make it so you make it unhealthy!
  • The term ‘spam’ seems to be used for anything that is remotely promotional these days
  • Posts appearing 4 weeks later is not usually an issue…this is NOT Twitter!
  • 160,000 posts a week, not 100,000. Do your research!
  • ‘My investigative foray’ is an interesting statement, perhaps Elle needs to research the work ‘investigative’
  • To cap it all the article finishes with a beg for money to prevent them ‘having to be behind a paywall’ No wonder you don’t want to be behind a paywall…no-one would pay for this crap!

LinkedIn Updates

Images can now be added to comments on desktop (it’s been on mobile for some time), simply click on the camera icon as seen below;

 

I doubt you will need to use this much but where appropriate, it can be quite handy and will often allow you to ‘lighten up’  thread with humour

 

Introductions are finally being rolled out on the desktop now.

Did you know you can now see the date you connected to someone in their contact and personal info sections?

#LinkedInLocal

I was first introduced to this idea by listener Anna Mcafee from Australia.

OK so the idea of networking offline is hardly new! The point here though is to take those connections you have made online and meet them offline. LinkedIn is so mainstream these days, the chances are that many of your neighbours will be on LinkedIn and I think it’s a great idea to arrange local meet-ups.

Anna talks about her recent experience in this great article

So why not organise your own event, it doesn’t have to be anything big, just 10-15 people meeting in a local pub or coffee house.

  • Conduct a search for 1st tier connections in your area (try using your town/village as a keyword and then filter by your main location) and send a message to them all asking if they think it’s a good idea
  • Post using the #linkedinlocal hashtag promoting the idea and then again once you have enough interest and have a date organised.
  • Write up an article after the event and @mention everyone that was there.

This is exactly what Erik Eklund did in Brussels and he has now run two events. Listen to the podcast to hear how he went about it and what the results were.

Here is the post Erik published after his event;

Feel free to contact Erik on LinkedIn or you can email him at erikeklund@outlook.com

London #LinkedInLocal meet up on 22nd June.

Alexandra Galviz is also organising a #LinkedinLocal in London this week

Click on the image below for more details

Let me know if you need any help with this, let’s get this movement to gain more momentum and start shaking hands and meeting people

Question: I want to be able to add my linkedin profile link to my CV - I believe you can find a shortened link - how do I do this?

Answer: Your url is pretty easy to find but you might want to personalise your url first. This video explains how you do it.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_166.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 165, this week it’s that old nugget again…Skills and their annoying little brother endorsements!

But first……

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

One third of respondents to a recent survey said they lie about themselves in their LinkedIn profiles
Relay have now updated their LinkedIn cover templates
LinkedIn Deprecates it’s Groups API
Get Ready to Give Up on LinkedIn for Marketing - Good riddance!
The New recommendations settings are awful!

  • Notifications could be about to improve
  • Has the new UI attracted a higher number of premium users? Research from Chris Zaharias would suggest so.

Skills & Endorsements. A valuable feature or a waste of space?

Skills have been with us for over 5 years now and they still frustrate me. What exactly is the point?
Endorsements are even more irritating, a senseless action in my view but I know my views are not ones that everyone agrees with so I thought it worth exploring the real benefits of skills and endorsements.
I searched the internet and found these two articles about the subject.

The Case Against

The first article is by Neil Patel and pretty much summarises everything I hate about skill endorsements.
Whilst his intention is to highlight the positive aspects of endorsements he actually does the exact opposite!
It’s clear that this guy is all about pointless numbers and he places no value on quality whatsoever..then again he is an SEO expert so what can we expect!
This attitude is surprisingly prevalent and articles like this are extremely popular. The idea of ‘hacking’ endorsements is utterly ridiculous and has led to an increasing irrelevance of the feature.
Wildy endorsing anyone you can, for any skill (who cares what) just to encourage them to reciprocate is frankly infantile and there is no proof whatsoever that it actually improves your effectiveness on LinkedIn.
How to Get 99+ Endorsements on All Your LinkedIn Skills

The Case For

This is more difficult for me so I have asked some of my LinkedIn training buddies to help me out plus I found this article from a very well respected LinkedIn expert, Wayne Breitbarth

Are You Still Confused by LinkedIn Skills and Endorsements?
I don’t personally know Wayne but he is highly regarded and puts an interesting argument forward for Skill endorsements.

Some other benefits;
Keywords. I have found little evidence to support this but some people believe that endorsements ‘power boost’ the value of a skill as a keyword.
Essential for jobseekers as people with Recruiter accounts can filter their search by skills. I doubt they do, but they can!
Credibility. It’s possible that someone will read your profile and scroll down to your skills and study who has endorsed you. I doubt it but I can’t deny it’s possible.
Engagement. If someone endorses you it gives you an opportunity to thank them and start a conversation. This one makes perfect sense to me.
Dopamine effect. If you endorse your connections it might make them feel good and why wouldn’t you want to do that? (fair point)
Research. They allow you to see who a target/prospect has been endorsed by - these people must be connections so that might give you an opportunity to get to know them and potentially use that relationship to help you get into that prospect. This is actually the smartest use of endorsements I have ever heard (props to Marcus Boswell)

My Conclusion

By all means have skills and let people endorse you and maybe even endorse other people if they are someone you want win favour with.
Are they important?…..NO!
The only way endorsements could have worked is if they had made them an extension of a recommendation so that when someone recommended you they were asked to endorse your skills. This would have meant that they had some real, credible value.
Unfortunately the feature was poorly thought through and it’s too late to change them.

Hi Mark. I trust you are well. Is there a way of tagging a post so you can go back to it later?

You can save (bookmark) any post with a link on mobile but not image or text posts. On desktop you can't at all.

The workaround on desktop is to click through to the post from your feed and then save it in your browser bookmark/favourites.

On mobile, (if it's not a link post) it depends on your operating system. On the iPhone I tap into the post and then on the 3 dots (top right) and click 'share via' and then 'add to reading list'

Direct download: LinkedInformed_165.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 164, following on from last week’s theme of ‘cleaning up your homepage’ it struck me that you also need to make sure that you are not a victim of someone else cleaning up their homepage!
So this week I want to focus on the best ways to ensure that you remain visible on your followers homepage.
But first…..

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

LinkedIn snaps up Redwood City sales tech startup. Another sign that the key focus for LinkedIn these days is Sales Navigator. I suspect these features will only be added to their corporate ‘Team’ solution version of Sales Navigator which again reflects LinkedIn’s interest in enterprise clients. Heighten technology apparently provides three core areas of functionality: sales process tracking, hyper-efficient pipeline reporting and an intelligent notepad. Unfortunately they seemed to have deleted any trace of information about the product before announcing the news of the takeover.
It is suggested that Microsoft ‘could redesign LinkedIn for desktop and mobile’ in this article…..please NO!!! Firstly it’s just been redesigned and secondly who wants something designed by Microsoft?!!
Why Japanese Don't Use LinkedIn. Interesting article from someone who understands the culture. I may have to re-evaluate my international expansion plans!

I saw this bizarre Sales Navigator glitch this week. It would seem that you can save yourself as a lead!!

On the subject of mistakes, it seems I made a mistake recently by suggesting that you could track post shares by adding your own unique hashtag. Listener Darrel Griffin tried it out and it didn’t work!
This got me thinking and on reflection, it makes sense because when you share a post the text is never shown in the share…that is why you will see a shared image that makes no sense because the comments by the the person sharing it are referring to the text they saw with the original post.
The more I think about this, the more I realise just how messed up this is!
LinkedIn seem to have a blindspot of shares for some reason.
Here’s what they need to do;
Notify you when someone shares your post
When a post is shared, make sure the text they have written is included in the share

Come on LinkedIn…how hard can it be?!

Increase Your Visibility With Shared Content

Sharing content has two main benefits;
It is likely to keep you on your followers homepage and ‘front of mind’
It sends a clear and positive message to the algorithm - this member is ‘interesting’

It is also important to produce your own content and I have covered that extensively before but you are unlikely to have enough hours in the week to produce enough content of your own and in any case, you want to be seen as a helpful resource to your followers and not just someone who is always ‘pushing their own stuff’

Quantity

My advice is that you should post 1-3 times a day and 7 days a week, if that sounds a lot then one a day is perfectly OK and relatively easy to do.
Weekdays are definitely better than weekends but I have found that I do get activity and engagement at weekends.

Quality

This is really important and in my experience, the ‘make or break’ of visibility. It is critical to understand that you must not, under any circumstances share crap!
Never
Ever…..

This means that the content you share must;
Be useful and interesting to relevant followers
Have been read by you (scan read)
Not be promoting any product or service.

Source

There are plenty (almost too many) places to find great content on the internet. Here are some ideas;
LinkedIn Articles (post searching and following channels and influencers)
RSS feed services such as Feedly & Pocket
Other services such as Nuzzel, Quuu and my latest favourite Anders Pink are also worth checking out.
Google alerts

Scheduling

You can’t really have an effective sharing process without using a scheduling tool. Many scheduling tools also allow you to collate content as well, here are some options;

Buffer - This is what use for curation and scheduling - very simple to use which is why I’m a big fan! Content curation available on the paid plan (not expensive)
Hootsuite. A favourite with many people. Has the ability to show you ‘streams’ from your LinkedIn homepage alongside Twitter and other content as well as a scheduling facility (limited on free plan).
Drumup. Content curation, sharing and scheduling. Not one I have used but I have heard good things about it.

LinkedBack:Tags/notes for LinkedIn profiles
I came across this free (to a point) tagging tool this week and I think you should check it out.
Whilst LinkedIn discourage the use of Chrome extensions, I think they can really enhance the LinkedIn experience. I’m very wary (although not totally against) of automation tools but this one is not an automation tool, it simply replaces the tagging and notes feature that free users lost recently.

In addition you can download your tagged profiles onto a .csv spreadsheet and the information in the download is actually very good. including their Name, headline, location, industry (not visible on the profile), number of followers, contact info inc email & birthday(1st tier only), full summary, profile url, profile image url, current position, education, level of connection to you plus the tag and any notes you have entered.

The free version allows you to add notes/tags to up to 30 LinkedIn profiles (Basic and Sales Navigator). Subscribe to Premium at just $10/month for unlimited usage.

 

This week we have another voicemail. This question is from Alan Harper and it’s about profile updates.

Great question. I don’t have a Recruiter account but I am told there isn’t a ‘profile last updated’ filter and there definitely isn’t on any other level of account so the answer is no….but most recruiters would simply check recent activity which is very clearly shown in the profile on any level of account. So being active is very important.

In addition there is a feature in LinkedIn Recruiter called ‘Update Me’ which will notify Recruiters when you update your profile. This is only applicable if they have already found you and asked to be notified but it’s worth baring in mind.
LinkedIn Recruiter Tip: Use Update Me to Know When to Reach Out to Prospects

Direct download: LinkedInformed_164.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 163, it’s been a terrible week for me with the shocking news coming from Manchester and being personally touched by the tragic events, it’s made it really hard to focus at times.

This week I want to focus on managing your home page feed on LinkedIn.
It’s a critical aspect of using LinkedIn effectively and most people ignore it so it’s time for a good clean up! But first…..


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


LinkedIn have changed the wording from ‘Try premium for free’ to ‘Reactivate premium’ and whilst it was a good idea to change it, I think the wording is terrible!
<Reactivate>

I listened to a very interesting and revealing interview with ex LinkedIn social selling guru Koka Sexton on the ‘Linking into Sales’ podcast this week.
You can listen to the interview here, it’s definitely worth an hour of your time.

The most interesting part for me was when Koka revealed that LinkedIn are driven by data and this is why they drop features that many ‘superusers’ love (Answers, Amazon Reading List, Signal etc) which is, in my opinion, absolutely nuts!
It makes sense to be informed by data but to be obsessed with it shows just how dumb LinkedIn can be!
If a feature is not widely used, it normally means that people are either not aware of it or do not know how to use it. Many of these features added a richness to LinkedIn that it now sadly lacks….all because they only listened to data!

LinkedIn introduce ‘Pregnancy Pause’ a feature that allows women who are taking a career break to add a Pregnancy Pause period into their experience section.
This is a good idea, it’s hardly groundbreaking as all they are doing is effectively creating a company page for Pregnancy Pause.
I wonder how long it will be before baby care products or nurseries start targeting Pregnancy Pause ‘employees’?!

The new photo filter feature has finally appeared on our desktop profiles this week…it’s OK but I can’t see much point in it really.

LinkedIn have introduced an improved InMail analytics tool for their Recruiter and Recruiter Lite customers. It looks great but why on earth wouldn't they introduce this for Sales Navigator customers…probably because LinkedIn work in ‘silos’ and it will no doubt make its way to Sales Navigator soon.

LinkedIn have also released a handy step-by-step guide to Sponsored InMail. If you are considering paying to send inMails to a targeted audience, this is definitely worth a read.

Introductions are making a return! At the moment this feature is only available on the mobile app but it actually works pretty well. Lets hope it comes to desktop pretty soon.

LinkedIn are changing their profile background images….again!

I don't mean the change that occurred in line with the new desktop design, this is another change!
If you are using a background/cover image in your profile (and you should be!) then you may find it looks pants once this new design has been fully rolled out!

The previous size was 1536x768. The new size will be 1584x396.

Here's what the new dimensions will look like;

And this is how my profile currently looks with the old background image dimensions (the image is exactly the same).

I actually think my background image looks better with the new dimensions although when it is fully rolled out I will need to drag the image a little lower.

"Why have they made this change?" I hear you ask. Well, whilst frustrating, it does make some sense actually. The wide 'stretched' image when optimised for desktop, didn't look great on mobile (where 60% of your viewers are). This change fixes that and looks great on all devices and screen sizes.
Free background Image
If you don’t mind having a generic, cool looking image I have made 20 images that are exactly the right dimensions for you. Complete your details below to get access to the download page and pick the one you like the best…..with my compliments!

If however you would prefer to make your own image with your images and text then I would recommend using Relay. It's free and their 'LinkedIn Cover' templates will work OK with the new dimensions - they are still set to the old dimensions but will work, to a degree, with the new and they will no doubt update the templates once the roll-out is complete (I have made contact to give them the heads up).


It’s Time For A Clear Out!

Your LinkedIn homepage feed is one of the most important features on LinkedIn

So what do you do?

You ignore it!!!

Why? Well because 90% of what you see there is of no relevance or interest to you!

And you blame the algorithm…which is partly correct but what are you doing about improving your feed?

It’s time to take control and get your house (homepage) in order!

To do this effectively you will need to be brutal. It’s like clearing out an attic or your wardrobe of old clothes….it only works if you are really honest with your self and admit ‘I’m never going to wear that’ but your ‘inner doubt devil’ will keep whispering in your ear “but maybe you will….perhaps if this happens or you go to this event”!

Your LinkedIn feed is the same…..”Oh maybe they will post something important one day”…Really? I doubt it….dump them and unfollow!

Ignore the little devils warning and unfollow…unfollow…unfollow.

Trust me, it’s very liberating!

More importantly you are taking control and commanding the algorithm. Rather than being it’s victim, you are now it’s master!

And now you can enjoy your feed..and engage..and build relationships…and build trust and start to really benefit from LinkedIn.

Here are the five questions you should ask for every post you see on your homepage feed;

Do I personally know this person?
Is this relevant to me?
Is this useful to my followers (inc connections)
Do I wish to engage with this person?
Does this person normally post relevant content?

If you can’t answer yes to one of the above questions then unfollow them…..be really honest with these questions - are you sure?

Be brutal!

You won’t regret it

This week we had another voicemail question. Click below to listen to Jaz Greer’s question about post notifications.

This is clearly a design fault in that I can see no logical reason why LinkedIn wouldn’t want you to see who shared your post.
I’m sure they will fix it soon but a short term workaround would be to add your own unique hashtag to every post and then search on that hashtag to see who has shared it.

I’m using #MrLinkedIn on all my posts until they fix the problem. What will your hashtag be?

Direct download: LinkedInformed_163.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 162, well I’m still standing!

I’m approaching the end of my second week standing and my legs and feet finally seem to be adjusting! I definitely feel a lot fitter and have more energy so I’m going to stick with it.

So this week I want to return too the subject of LinkedIn Articles (formerly known as published posts) because I sense that many people are holding back and the main reason for that is that they don’t know what to write about.
So this week I’m going to go through my 12 point plan to removing LinkedIn writers block!

But first…..


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


LinkedIn are adding a ‘suggested summary’ to your profile and it sucks!
This solicitor has one of the best LinkedIn profiles we’ve ever seen…Really?!
Sham Uddin’s LinkedIn profile
Is Facebook Replacing LinkedIn as the New Professional Network?
Alerts Issue: A Listener sent me the thread of an issue they had with job alerts recently. I also think search alerts are playing up at the moment


Referral Request Posts

It seems as though some people are subversively misusing this type of post to generate leads!

It’s an interesting point, I have asked for referrals and it can be very effective but I have never thought of going back to say I had sorted it.


LinkedIn Article Writers Block

I was helping a client this week who was reluctant to write articles on LinkedIn. My advice is that;
“Everyone should write an article on LinkedIn”

When pressed she admitted that the main thing blocking her was thinking of what she could write about. I think this is a pretty common problem so I have produced a 12 step approach to generating ideas for great LinkedIn articles.
You can access the step-by-step guide by completing the form below

New Video recording and sharing Chrome extension.

Thanks to Darrel Griffin for highlighting this one. It’s free and works really well.

This week we have a voicemail question from Greg;

Firstly I have never tried it but I am sure you can have a Sales Navigator account as well as Recruiter Lite account. It would be cheaper than going for the full blown Recruiter account but probably unnecessary.

Let’s first exam why LinkedIn believe you need to upgrade to Recruiter. Below is a table explaining the difference and I have highlighted the advantages that are relevant to you

You could make an argument for the extra filters but I’m not convinced. Therefore it comes down to InMails. Do you really need 150 a month?
If you need some more InMails you could always consider upgrading your basic account to one of the following premium accounts which would also be cheaper than Recruiter.

The question on whether Sales Navigator is the right option for you is probably answered in this post I wrote;

Sales Navigator Vs Recruiter Lite

Direct download: LinkedInformed_162.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 161, I’m recording very early this week so please excuse me if any news that broke this week isn't covered!
I had a very interesting conversation this week with someone who was sharing their experience with being found by customers on Linkedin. Whilst this mostly happens via visibility through content and engagement, it can also happen via search…ie a potential customer searches for you via a LinkedIn search.
We know this is most common in recruitment but it got me thinking about how often if happens outside of recruiters searching for candidates and that in turn made me realize that I hadn’t done any optimization testing for quite some time.

So that is the main topic this week, I hope you find it useful.

But before that…..

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Weekly Roundup: Message and Share Comments, Calendar Sync, Personalized Job Insights

I also heard a rumour this week that the infamous “I don't know” induced restricted account is no more!
It's hard to know if this is true, on the one hand the article regarding a restricted account has been removed from the help centre but at the same time the "I don't know” response is still available when you ignore an invitation.
I have also spoken to someone who has a restricted account, and it has not been lifted.
What is your experience with this?

There has been much talk about the disappointing numbers of views that people are getting for the articles on LinkedIn but this week I spoke with an ex-colleague who has almost 150,000 followers. They are getting an average of 5000 views per article and a staggering 150,000 views of their posts in the feed!
Clearly, some people are still gaining great benefit from LinkedIn.

LinkedIn seemed to be really pushing growing networks at the moment. To celebrate reaching 500 million members they have been displaying information such as this on your homepage (mobile and desktop).

In addition to this, they are also diverted new to the ad connections page (from importing contacts) after you have sent someone an invitation to connect.
This is really bad practice by LinkedIn and is encouraging the wrong behaviour!
I can only assume that new membership numbers have decreased and they are trying hard to get back to 2 new members a second.

 

LinkedIn search engine optimization


It has been a long time since I tested profile optimization and with the new user interface I thought it was about time I had a look again.

The search that I undertook was for the keyword “copywriter" and I compared the results between my account, an account with no connections, and accounts with circa 100 connections and my account on a Sales Navigator lead builder search.

  • The areas that I assessed were as follows;
    Keywords throughout the profile
    Keywords in the headline
    Keywords in job titles
    Keywords in company names
    Network (the effect of 1st tier, 2nd tier etc)
    Shared connections
    Location
    Skills/endorsements
    Interests
    Profile strength

This can by no means be described as a thorough, scientific evaluation but when I add it to previous tests that I have undertaken, it did bring some very interesting results.

From what I can gather there are 5 important elements to ensure that you rank high in a search result.
Enter your details below to download my report and get access to the video showing the actual search and results.

 

For the first time in a long time, I have a cool thing to tell you about!

As you know I am a big fan of using Google extensions that allow you to expand prewritten text from short snippets but did you know you can also do this on mobile?

TextExpander 3 will create a custom keyboard for your iPhone which will allow you to use snippets that can be created with the app or in the desktop version.
It works fantastically well and is a massive timesaver.

 
Question: I'm getting very low views on my articles and posts and subsequently very little engagement. What can I do to improve things?

Answer:
Ask more questions (in the post as well as the article itself) to stimulate engagement
Use # in your posts and articles. Currently, you seem to be getting # confused with @mentions.
@mention relevant people/companies. Not the crazy lists you see but 3 or 4 people who are either quoted in the article or someone she knows will find it interesting.
Find 'high score' influencers on LinkedIn and make friends with them (engage with them share their stuff etc) so that it would be appropriate to @mention or share an article directly to them.
Experiment with posting at different times of the day. Commuting times are often effective but her audience are CEO's so I might try evenings and especially Sunday evening when she might get their attention.
Make sure the images in posts are the right size (3x2 ratio)
Make your articles a little more punchy, challenging and debatable. Some are a little too long for most people's attention spans!
Tweet @LinkedInEditors for each article
The algorithm clearly doesn't like you for some reason. This could be based on previous activities (spamming, overposting in groups etc) or just that you haven't got it's attention yet!

Direct download: LinkedInformed_161.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 160, the wether has improved in the UK this week and it looks as though spring has finally arrived so I thought that would be a good excuse to take a fresh look at our LinkedIn profiles and see if they are in need of a spring clean

But first, I did see a couple of things this week you should know about…..

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Oracle links to LinkedIn so its salesware can sniff you out
What the EU’s new data protection laws mean for UK industry

 

Profile Spring Clean

1. Is your background image effective? Consider using Relay for this
2. Is your profile picture close up, current, professional and optimised for circular?
3. Are you using your 120 characters in your headline effectively?
4. Make sure your start your summary with contact information (for mobile views)
5. Ensure the first two lines of your summary act as a ‘teaser’ to incentivise the viewer to click on ‘see more’

6. Make sure your most relevant and important media is shown under your current position.

Tip of the Week

How to reveal the full profile of people of people outside of your network (in a search result)

Three questions this week;

“Hello Mark, hope you are doing well. I have another question for you. How can I remove the university information from the top of my profile, between the headline and the location? I see your profile and others do not show it, thought education is listed in your profile. What's the trick?”

This is actually easier than you think, simply add a new item under eduction (anything you like) and it will automatically appear in the education section at the top of your profile (see below)

“I had a quick question in regards to LinkedIn and was hoping you may be able to point me in the right direction given your expertise. I was told a little while ago that when Microsoft purchased LInkedIn they disposed of "linkedin jail" where you have sent too many requests and they then ban you for sending additional requests unless you have an email. As a result, I went about diligently expanding my network (only 2nd degree connections). I have now noticed that I am unable to send any further requests. Does linkedin jail still exist? would there be a reason for freeze thats been placed on me? And is there a way around it?”

I think you might be confusing two different things.
A 'restricted' account is where you have to have the email for everyone you invite to connect - this was triggered by 5 'I don't know' this person responses.
LinkedIn have not publicly announced anything but the 'restricted account' article in the help center has gone so you might be right, it does seem to have been stopped (that won't have anything to do with Microsoft though).

If you are not able to send invitations at all then that could either be a bug or you may have reached your limit of 3000 invites.

“How do I send out a group announcement?”

This has recently changed. The solution is not in the management area but simply click on ‘Start a conversation with your group’ on the main page and (as a Manager) you see the option to send an announcement

Direct download: LinkedInformed_160.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 159, following my trip to Social Media Marketing World something has been bugging me…..video!
I saw so many people broadcasting live video and recording short snippets plus many talks on the subject, I realised that I really needed to ‘up my video game’ and more importantly I realised that LinkedIn users generally need to use video content more.

So that is the subject of this weeks episode but before I get into that……


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


LinkedIn hits 500 million members
Interesting to see the average number of connections stats. They are lower than I thought but on reflection, with only 22% of members active on LinkedIn it’s probably about right. I would love to see the number for active users.

Check Out the New Podcast Hosted by Reid Hoffman with the most annoying name ever!
Check out AJ Wilcox’ article: LinkedIn’s new Matched Audiences feature just blew Facebook Custom Audiences out of the water for B2B
Microsoft plans summer CRM war opener against Salesforce

Video

A big thanks to Una Doyle-Love for coming on the show to share her knowledge of video.

Una mentioned using a light that simply clicks on top of your phone such as the one at the below link;
http://amzn.eu/6pt4I9K

She also mentioned headphone extension cables such as this one;
Hama Headphone Extension Cable - 3.5mm Jack Plug

and a selfie stick such as the one below;
Bluetooth Selfie Stick, Mpow iSnap X
You can get Una’s FREE Guide: ’21 Tools to Increase Sales’ at this link;
http://www.creativeflow.tv/21tools

Where video can be used on LinkedIn
Profile - media under current experience.
Articles. A section of an article could be an embedded video.
Posts. When you share from YouTube (as opposed to pasting the link into LinkedIn) the video will autoplay in the feed, this increases view rates because it is effectively like a ‘moving image’ post. Sound will not play automatically though so if you are talking to camera you might want to consider adding subtitles but it doesn’t have to be a video of you, an easy way to make a video of pictures and moving words is to use Powerpoint and save your presentation as a video and upload it to you tube. Here is an example I made for this episode

Messages. I am most excited about this way of using video because video messages are so much more powerful and effective. When some one receives your video on their mobile app (tip - send it in the evening or at the weekend if you want them to see it on their phone) it looks like this;

See below for a couple of simple examples of videos I made today, the first one was taken on my laptop and took about 4 minutes and the second one was taken on my iPhone and took even less time

Direct download: LinkedInformed_159.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 158, it’s been a very ‘buggy’ week this week, firstly connections were in reverse order in the ‘My network’ list then the ability to recommend someone disappeared. Both are now fixed but it is clear that something is going on behind the scenes.

I thought I would lighten things up a bit this week and relay a funny story I heard from a listener in the US this week.

 

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Google quietly takes on LinkedIn with its own job listings site

New Feature
I’m impressed with this new Sales Navigator Lead Builder filter;

New Privacy Settings

I was alerted to some changes in this article from LinkedIn this week;

Updates To Our Terms of Service

I was interested to see the ‘Using public data to improve your profile’ setting with the option to switch this off, this is a mobile only feature but when I tapped on it, I got this;

Genius! Back to the drawing board LinkedIn!

I also noticed a new setting that allows you to merge accounts, this has only previously been something the help centre could do for you. You can find this setting in the ‘Privacy’ section of your settings;

Productivity messaging bots can be switched off, a relief for many I’m sure but I’m sticking with them to see if they improve and become useful.

I’m very curious about the ‘Easily meet up with members’ feature. I can’t see any reference to this in the mobile app settings on iOS but it sounds like a pretty cool feature.

Groups Follow Up

Thanks for all your feedback following last weeks topic of what to do about LinkedIn Groups, I especially liked this input from Carl Whalley who runs a massive Google Android group on LinkedIn.

The story for me creating the Android group is legendary, I just wanted the badge by my name which is pretty much all they had back then. When I thought a bit more though, I was assuming they would grow into something much more - the phrase I hear often is "centres of excellence". Linked In already had a massive pool of business oriented individuals which alone is unfocussed. Groups are a way to segment those skills and interests into a more manageable system. They really had the potential to take on what many specialised forums on the external internet were doing. So if you were say an accountant, a lawyer etc using these specialised forums - why were you there? The immediate answer is "because thats where the others like me are" - which is the biggest chicken and egg problem anyone trying to grow one of these faces. For Linked In though, that issue never arose.

What else then? I can only go off my own experiences. I had as issue with my Audi recently, so I searched a few Audi forums. I'm not a mechanic, but I know if I phrase the question properly, or even search properly and the content is already there, I'll get my answer. I go to a centre of excellence relating to the subject I am interested in.

What makes a centre of excellence, and what keeps it that way? It's the knowledge of the people contributing. At the start, Linked In groups were like this. They were small enough to be able to keep up with, and there was a genuine enthusiasm from the members to share their knowledge, for free, because they valued the community spirit and assumed the quality would remain high because everyone else seemed to thinking that way too. This pattern is the same for external forums.

So what changed - i.e. the second part, "what keeps it that way"?

I think deep down people have to get value from something if they are to invest in it long term. With anything free, value is something other than monetary. Value *can* work in free forums on the internet - look at the programmers website, Stack Overflow. There is a badge and points system which members have to earn from their peers, but it's definitely recognised now in that industry and those with decent ratings are proud to trumpet them on their CV's. Imagine if Linked In groups were seen this way. You'd end up with people saying, for example, "I have 1000 points and the guru level in the Linked In Architect group". This clearly wouldn't work for all groups, or perhaps only a small minority, but without financial incentives the answer will be something like this. Also, the groups themselves must be seen to be credible, i.e. rated by Linked In. It's one thing having a zillion SEO web marketing groups, but we all know only a dozen or so would be well run - natural consolidation will have seen to that already. Having Linked In endorsing the group itself, or even rating it, instantly removes most of the noise we see today.

The software itself also plays a large part in all this. If you look at any successful internet forum, you'll see it just looks and behaves nothing like a Linked in Group. There are easy to identify sub groups, which Linked In did have at once stage but killed off. There are threaded discussions, often with user customisable views such as hierarchical, flattened, highest rated etc.

And why is spam so hard to deal with? As a first measure, any identical content posted in multiple groups is suspect. Let the group managers see what other groups and titles the poster has attempted before, so they can spot them right away. Again, external forums have smarter ways of dealing with this such as new members not being able to post anything until their "rating" is above a certain limit. This pattern keeps repeating - look  at what makes external forums successful and do it that way.

Is is to late to turn around? No. The members haven't gone anywhere, and the issue of segmenting them into useful areas will always be present, no matter what you call them. The solution is to focus on making them centres of excellence - giving them value - and putting in place everything needed to support that.

This week, LinkedIn also produced some new information about some changes to the management features of groups and confirmed they are committed to the groups feature.

You can read the detail here;

New Groups Management Experience - Frequently Asked Questions

I think these are just small incremental improvements and the big change that is required. I suspect LinkedIn, possibly in conjunction with Microsoft are looking into much more significant changes to groups, I certainly hope so, as I said last week - chipping around the edges is not going to solve this problem!


Angry Donald!

I received 6 emails from a listener in the US this week who I will call Donald. In these emails he outlines a long and clearly frustrating interaction with LinkedIn’s infamous ‘Help’ Centre… I was almost crying with laughter when I read them so I thought I would share this slice of comedy gold with you!
Play the recording at the top of this page to listen to it.

Direct download: Linkedinformed_158.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 157. It’s about time we talked about groups again, A long standing feature that used to be great but seems to have deteriorated in recent years resulting in very strong rumours that groups are about to be dumped by LinkedIn.

But before we get into groups…..

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

  • More Features Coming to the New LinkedIn Experience
  • ‘Conversations’ or ‘Smarter messaging’ is turning out to be a game changer! Here is the update I posted congratulating those that worked on this feature. Credit where credit is due.
  • Introducing Lead Gen forms
  • How to set up LinkedIn Lead Get forms and sync to your CRM
    Consumers predict only short term success for LinkedIn This is an interesting article and the survey results don’t look great for LinkedIn but we are assuming that the people surveyed are expert futurists! In addition the survey was commissioned by an email service provider who were obviously keen to show that email has a great future. My take is somewhat different, I’m starting to think that LinkedIn may actually have a better, longer future than other social media platforms including the ‘apparently untouchable’ Facebook! This is something I thought about after sharing the following video on LinkedIn;

Have a listen to the podcast to hear what I have to say on this.


What to do about Groups!

I can remember when groups were one of LinkedIn favourite features, now they seem to be the problem child. Should LinkedIn abandon them or is there a cure?

This is an infographic that LinkedIn put together in August 2013

In those days LinkedIn were proud of groups, so how did it all go so wrong?

My feeling is that they became a victim of their own success;

Too many groups were created (8000 a week in 2013!)
Group owners were primarily motivated to grow the number of members which resulted in many groups becoming too big to control
Groups became a spammers paradise
Anti-spam measures introduced by LinkedIn alienated group managers (rightly or wrongly) and this resulted in less control of membership by managers/owners
LinkedIn’s prevalent ‘them vs us’ attitude damaged the relationship with Group owners/Managers

Most groups have become like ghosts towns with very few new members and virtually no activity happening.
This article sums up the experience of many group managers;
Is LinkedIn Trying to Kill Groups? They couldn't succeed more if they tried

I first heard this rumour at Social Media Marketing World from experienced and knowledgeable commentators and this led to ex LinkedIn staffer Koka Sexton publicly asking the question to Ryan Rolansky (Head of Product and one of LinkedIn’s key decision makers)
See Koka’a post asking Ryan to confirm/deny the rumours

Samantha Bailey has since written this article; (Warning : Samantha researches her articles exceptionally well but as a result they are long……..very long!)
Separating Rumor from Reality in the Controversy Over LinkedIn Groups

Personally I really don’t believe the answer lies in monetising groups. LinkedIn’s monetisation strategy has always been largely indirect meaning that they design functionality to increase things like page views, number of members etc so that they can monetise those things.
Direct monetisation of groups would lead to more issues in my opinion. The whole point of groups is to serve the members, not the owners!

The Solution

Groups should be abandoned and replaced with a new, fresh feature that is named differently
Group owners should be given the option of converting their group to the new format.
The new format should restrict each ‘community’ to a max of 5000 members (maybe less)
Group owners who currently have more members will have to select the most active members or create more communities.
The new format should allow for discussion channels as we currently see in Slack
This should also include a feature like ‘conversations’ that is visible on the normal LinkedIn homepage
These new communities should be designed for owners and managers that wish to ‘serve’ a community, not gain personal commercial benefit.

It would seem sensible that this new solution would be developed in conjunction with Microsoft
Those are my views, possibly a bit controversial but I firmly believe that this issue will not be solved by ‘tinkering’ around the edges. A much more drastic step is required and this will inevitably annoy many current group owners.

New Udemy Course
Check out my brand new course Advanced Job Seeking With LinkedIn, it’s only £25 and includes the most advanced techniques I ever teach.

<AFQ image>

Question : “I'm Canadian and actively looking for my next job opportunity not locally but abroad.

What can one do to not be looked over because of their location? I've filled out the hidden job search function on LinkedIn but I'm not confident that most recruiters have access to this so I feel I could be doing more to make myself a more attractive candidate to foreign recruiters. The only issue for me is that I feel recruiters are turned off to my candidacy because of my location and the possible relocation costs involved.
What can one do to avoid this or at least minimize it?

ANS= Unfortunately there is no simple solution to this. Most jobs are filled (on LinkedIn) via search so what are the chances of someone searching in Canada?
Applying to ad’s is also tricky although you do have the option of making your desired location clear in your cover note.

One important thing to note is that applying for jobs without a permit to work is pretty much impossible. You won’t get a job offer first, permit second. It simply doesn’t work that way!

As far as LinkedIn is concerned you have two things you might be able to do;
If the location you wish to relocate to has a different language then you can create a profile in that language as discussed with Luca in last weeks show.
With the above and in circumstances where the language is not different you could change the zip/postcode location in your profile. This is not being entirely honest so you would need to make this very clear in your summary but it’s your location that will count you out of searches so changing that will make the biggest difference.


Question:
I saw this is my public profile settings. What does it mean?
<Public profile settings>

ANS = This one had me (and Luca) stumped but Luca found the answer in the good old LinkedIn Help centre!
Machine Translated Public Profiles on LinkedIn
At LinkedIn, we're constantly trying to improve our member experience. One of the things we're doing is launching a pilot program where we're machine translating certain parts of public profiles from English to a secondary language, which will be the profile viewer's native language.
If you're part of this pilot program and sections of your public profile are machine translated, you have the advantage of increased exposure in country-specific search engines, which may lead to more profile views, messages, networking and job opportunities.
Notes:
1 The machine translations will be limited to certain public profile sections, including the headline, position title, school degree name, skills, and language.
2 Currently, we're only launching this program in specific countries by machine translating sections of certain public profiles into selected languages.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_157.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 156, this week I finally get around to discussing how LinkedIn works across different languages and seeing as I know very little about the subject, I called upon my good friend Luca Bozzato to help out.

But first a few updates for you…..

LinkedIn have finally clarified the difference between article and post ‘views’

Article views have always been ‘real’ views (ie someone clicked on your post) whereas post ‘views’ are just page impressions, ie it has just appeared on someone’s homepage feed and there is no guarantee that anyone has actually read it.

I wrote an article this week about the increasing amount of images posted to LinkedIn that are the wrong size and are therefore getting badly cropped in the feed.
The key thing to remember is that your images should a 3x2 ratio, ie 3 width and 2 height.

You can read the full article below;
Get Your Image Right

I also had all kinds of issues getting the thumbnail for the article to look right in my profile.
Plenty of attempts and failures later, I finally worked out that the middle 3rd (horizontal) go the cover image is what is visible in the thumbnail.

Something interesting I saw this week….

Who Has the Best (and Worst) LinkedIn Profile Photos?

So who would have guessed that Chile would have the best profile pics?!

This gave me the perfect excuse to re-test my score with Snappr now that I have a new profile, previously in episode 145, I found I had a rather disappointing score of 64 but I’m delighted to see a big improvement!

LinkedIn Languages with Luca Bozzato

I was delighted to welcome Italian LinkedIn expert Luca onto the show to share his knowledge, click on the image below to view Luca’s profile.

Some highlights of our chat
10 million users in Italy
LinkedIn is growing in popularity in Italy
24 languages are currently supported
You can create multiple profiles for each language, this is not translated by LinkedIn but written by you.
This allows the member to create different content in their profile, specific to each country/language. This is much better than a Google translation which can look unprofessional.
Be careful to check your profile on mobile because the language is dictated by where you downloaded the app.

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any further question about multi-lingual profile

A great question this week from Stan Robinson;

Q- Is it possible to duplicate a saved search in Sales Navigator?

ANS - This is a great question and the answer is that it can be done but not by duplicating a saved search directly. The workaround is to do the following;

Go to the saved search you wish to replicate & amend
Click at the top to reveal the full result (only new ones show initially)
Now ‘view all filters’ to alter in line with the adjustments you wish to make
Click on Save search on the left
Give this search a new name.

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_156.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 155, I’m sorry I wasn’t able to deliver an episode last week, the conference was so ‘full on’ I had no opportunity to put together the full episode although I did manage to record a few short snippets.

Now that I’m back, albeit somewhat jet lagged, I thought I would share with you my experiences last week in San Diego

But first……

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week.

LinkedIn revamps timeline with Trending Storylines: curated, algorithmic news clusters
This seems like a good move on the face of it, note that the trends are personalised so not everyone will see the same posts. It’s currently only available in the US (desktop & mobile) so I haven’t had a play with it yet and I will reserve judgment until then.

LinkedIn could be moving firm's IP to Ireland after Microsoft's €24bn takeover
So, not happy with making more money from it’s members, LinkedIn want to pay less tax!!

Social Media Marketing World (#SMMW17)

So last week I made the trip to San Diego, a trip I had thought about making every year since this conference started. It was a big commitment both financially and in terms of time….so was it worth it?

The conference was held at the massive convention centre in downtown San Diego. SMMW had c3000 delegates but we barely took up ⅓rd of the convention centre!!

The conference began officially on Thursday but they ran a series of practical workshops on the Wednesday so my first experience was a practical session led by David H. Lawrence 17th and it couldn’t have been a better start!

How to create videos that build authority at a moments notice. David H. Lawrence XVII

I made more notes in this session than in any other. Very impressive speaker with a background as a Hollywood actor!

I met up with listener Gary Stockton afterwards to get his feedback

Key points;


  • Good lighting is important (2 in front, 1 behind)
  • Use the rule of ⅔rds to position yourself. Stand slightly side on and turn your head towards the camera. Look through the camera, not at the end of the lens and look away occasionally.
  • Never use your RBF (resting Bitch face!) instead always use your BFF!
  • To correctly position your hands hold your left hand finger with your right hand and position then at the bottom of the shot.
  • A good lavalier mic is the Audio Technica ATR335015 (I already use this)
  • A good camera to use is the Canon LEGRIA HF R706
  • If you are interviewing someone, position yourself on the right of the shot.
  • Never tell an interviewee what you are going to ask them.
  • Never explain a question, keep it short “tell me about…” and let the guest shine.

How to create highly shareable social media images - Rebekah Radice

I am a big believer in the importance of images in our posts and articles on LinkedIn so I had high hopes for this workshop……it wasn’t as insightful as I hoped but I still picked up a few tips;

  • Understand what images do well in your market.
  • When using text in an image, use 2-3 different fonts
  • Infographics are still popular
  • Carefully name your images with keywords
  • Great quote “Learn rules carefully so you can break them properly”!
  • Check out relaythat.com for producing LinkedIn images - some great templates and 10 free downloads a month.

Day two keynote - Michael Stelzner

  • Rather than try to second guess the algorithm, focus on understanding the company’s objectives. If you know what LinkedIn are trying to achieve then you can be sure the algorithm will be programmed in line with that.

  • Facebook posts are not related to the time they are posted so scheduling at specific times does not have an impact anymore….this is definitely not true for LinkedIn though, not yet anyway.
    Great quote - “Become known as being helpful”

Artificial Intelligence - Christopher Penn

This was a very fascinating but complicated topic and I think I understood, at best about 20% of what Christopher covered! He was clearly a very competent, technical guy and as a result he communicated as you would expect of someone of such a ‘techie’! The main highlights were as follows;


  • Machines are very capable of understanding sentiment (in comments for instance)
  • Google have developed AI that is more capable at lip reading than humans which sounds pretty scary from a privacy point of view!
  • Machines will be able to write better content than humans within 2 years (Really?!!)
  • In the future there will be 4 jobs in the workplace;
      Those that tell a computer what to do (subject matter experts)
      Those that are told what to do by a computer.
      Sales
      Entertainment
  • Chatbots are this years big deal in the social media world. Try out Mitsuko and Growthbot

How to become an evangelist - Guy Kawasaki

Guy was one of the real ‘Superstar’ presenters at the conference and he didn’t disappoint! He can be pretty controversial at times but also very entertaining. He was talking about being an evangelist and the things I learnt were as follows;

Direct download: LinkedInformed_155.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 154, it’s been a tricky week this week, I had planned an interview with an Italian LinkedIn trainer to tackle the important subject of multi-lingual profiles but due to a combination of illness and power cuts, I had to postpone that!

Instead I decided to cover a subject I am very enthusiastic about - research, specifically researching people.

But first…..


Interesting Stuff I saw This Week

LinkedIn’s founder Reid Hoffman has been wondering what to do with himself since he found the the company he had a major stake in had been sold for $26.2B…..tough life!
Anyway new parent Microsoft have come to the rescue and offered him a role on their main board.
Personally, if I had $2.8B coming my way soon, I think I could find something better to do with my time!
The Mission Continues: Joining the Microsoft Board

Mobile Update

LinkedIn have updated their mobile app.
As is the norm, the app store information on the new update was full of interesting facts (note the contrast to Facebook)!

Instead we have to try to figure out the changes for ourselves although they did announce in their blog that the new version now has profile picture edit options;

There are some other notable changes. The ‘Me’ menu has disappeared….wait! I thought they redesigned the desktop experience to be more in line with mobile…but now they are dropping the Me menu from mobile?!!

This was how the menu looked before the update;

This is how it looks now

As you can see, the Me menu has been replaced with jobs (boo hiss!). So how do you get to the profile edit page?
…You now have to tap on your profile pic, top left as shown above.

They have also improved the controls you have over your feed. Now when tapping on the edit link (see below) you get more options.

One of these options is ‘Improve my feed’


This isn’t new but it then provides another new option ‘Clean my feed’


I wonder how it decides who is high up on this list…perhaps it is those you have engaged with the least?

Have you noticed any other changes?

LinkedIn Warn Cheaters!

LinkedIn are sending out emails to users who they spot are logging into another persons account, this currently only seems to happen when they are a Sales Navigator or Recruiter Lite subscriber.
I can only assume this means they are tracking IP addresses.

A listener sent me this screenshot of an email they received recently

I Know You…..Profile Research

There are so many things you can find out about someone from their profile. In this section I talk in more details about;
Contact & Personal Info
Summary
Highlights
Articles
Activity
Experience
Recommendations
Psychometric assessment - CrystalKnows.com

No episode next week (probably)

I think it’s likely that I won’t get an episode out next week as I will be networking and learning like crazy at the Social Media Marketing World Conference in sunny San Diego….can’t wait!

Direct download: LinkedInformed_154.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 153, this week I discuss my thoughts on @ mentions in LinkedIn posts. There seems to be a growing trend out there and I’m not sure it’s all good.

But first……

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


It looks like LinkedIn are making no headway with Russia;
Russia says ‘nyet,’ continues LinkedIn block after it refuses to store data in Russia

Perhaps Jeff Weiner needs to have a word with his new President…..I believe he has some good contacts in Russia!!

Update

Last week I featured a question from Jamie…..firstly I used the wrong name! It was actually from Robert Curley….apologies Robert.
Giles got in touch with a solution to this issue. Apparently the URL;
http://www.linkedin.com/people/invites
still works and will take you back to the old sent invites page, this version allows you to see the message you sent (assuming you had personalised the message in the first place)

Thanks to Giles Davis for that.

New Desktop Design Update

LinkedIn are now rolling out more ‘advanced’ filters in search, I don’t have the feature yet but I saw this screenshot this week.
<adv filters back>


Whilst LinkedIn are clearing adding features back in, they don’t seem to be fixing bugs as quickly! Recommendations are still badly broken and I’m finding the lack of the ‘hover over profile preview’ really annoying.


@ Mentions. Are they being overused?

I’m noticing an increasing amount of posts that are using the @mention feature in what I feel is an inappropriate manner.
The above example is one but I have also seen it where someone posts something less promotional - maybe some content and @mentions a ton of people.


This would be OK if those people are asked to contribute or answer a question but in isolation it feels a bit pushy to me.
The hidden message seems to be ‘Please share my content’ but there are better, more personal ways to ask someone to share your content.

I have also noticed a growing trend towards @mentions in comments.
This can work very well for instance the below example where I am being asked to help or you might ask for someone’s point of view;

But I have also noticed a lot of people just tagging someone…no comment or question just their name.

This is being used as a way to share the post with someone, which is good but the right way to do this is to ‘share’ the post via a message

That is how I see it but I’m interested to know what you think.

Drop me a line at mark@linkedinformed.com or better still, leave me a voice mail by clicking on the link at the side of this page (see image below)

Q - Why don't I get notified when all my contacts post an article?

Previously we received a notification when one of our contacts had published a Pulse blog (now article). Now I only see a few notifications from my contacts publishing articles. This week I know of two people who published an article, but it did not show in my Notifications!

Ans - The algorithm has definitely changed on this front. The problem is that so many people are publishing articles and LinkedIn does not want to overwhelm you! I think they will only notify you when someone you have shown more interest in posts.
Activity and engagement definitely helps the algorithm to make better decisions for us so perhaps try engaging more with those members and their articles.


Q - Where do I go to browse through my draft articles. Is this missing from the new UI?

Ans - No the link you need is shown below;
<draft article>


Social Media Communication Talk

I’m delivering a short TED style talk this coming week in Manchester.
It’s not specifically about LinkedIn but more about how we are all learning how to communicate again with social media.
If you are in the area, why not come along and say hello. This is also a brand new talk so I would really appreciate some feedback.


TED Discussion Group Event. 14th March 7-9pm, Manchester

Direct download: LinkedInformed_153.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 152, this week I’m going to cover the new Neptune design quite a bit as there have been quite a few developments.

Firstly a big thank-you to Kurt Shaver, Darrel Griffin and the mysterious ‘LoveWeb’ for giving the show 5 star reviews on iTunes - I massively appreciate your support.
Darrel Griffin can also be found on Instagram and is my ‘go to’ contact on anything to do with graphics - especially those we use on LinkedIn. So I have a question - what size should we be making our LinkedIn profile background image?
The official dimensions from LinkedIn are 1536 x 768px but this doesn’t seem to work as it zooms into the image.

New Desktop Design Update

It would seem that there is no way to see your sent invitation messages - this is crazy!
When someone has a paid account and the ‘open profile’ feature enabled, it is free to send them a message, this used to be shown on their profile by changing ‘send InMail’ to ‘send message’ but now they have removed this.
Video autoplay has been deprecated…which is odd because every other social media channel is moving towards video!
LinkedIn have removed the link ‘structuring your search’ which explained how to use Boolean operators. This might be because they now realise the information they were providing was actually incorrect! Irina Shamaeva (who knows her stuff) has exposed LinkedIn’s advice in this article below.
LinkedIn Tip Sheet Error And a New Hack - Irina Shamaeva
So it would appear that we now need to use the operator Title: in front of every job title in an OR search string!

The Great U-Turn

LinkedIn have had to face an enormous amount of negative feedback about the new design.
There was the online petition I mentioned last week which got c1800 signatures plus a huge response to their various posts asking for feedback.
Sometimes people are so rude and negative, it really is unnecessary and if there is one comment that annoys me more than anything it’s…
“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”
What a load of crap!
We should never wait for things to break before improving them. All the best ideas and progression come from taking the complete opposite view.

Anyway the good news is that LinkedIn are listening and David Flink published this article this week;
We heard you: we're making some changes to LinkedIn Search

It would also appear that they are seriously considering bringing back postcode radius search…which would be massive!

I really applaud LinkedIn for their approach. Taking criticism is not easy and to take this approach is refreshing and progressive. But……
Why did it ever get to this stage in the first place?

I could have told them about all these faults in October but no-one was listening!

LinkedIn say they survey members before making changes but either;
They are asking the wrong people
They are not listening.

Such a massive u-turn on so many features should not be necessary at this stage. Waiting until almost full roll-out before listening means they have lost a massive amount of credibility.

Thanks to Sandra Clark for her voicemail question about Sales Navigator.

For me the three key benefits are as follows;
Focussed home page feed. This massively improves your chances of engaging with those people you are especially focussed on.
You can filter search results by ‘posted on LinkedIn in last 30 days’. I have found this to be really useful

Saved searches are better, partly because of the above filter. You can receive daily email alerts about people who meet your criteria and are active

Question:
How do I create a showcase page in the new groups design?
Answer
You can’t!
But you can if you revert back to the old design where you will find it in the menu on the edit button.

Question:
The messaging segment sends the message by pressing enter (which is not a good thing as the enter key is often used to insert a line-feed for starting a new paragraph). You leave no clue how to insert a new paragraph so my message is on solid block of text. How do I start a new paragraph in a message?

Answer
This depends how you are messaging.
If you go to the specific messaging page you can change the default as seen below

If however you are using the ‘in page’ messaging feature then you are effectively using a chat feature and every ‘return’ is a ‘send message’. This makes sense to me. If you want to construct a nicely laid out message, using the Messaging page.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_152.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 151 at the end of another traumatic week for LinkedIn and it’s new design!

Following on from last weeks episode, I want to dig a bit deeper into what communication techniques work and what really don’t work on LinkedIn.

But first…..

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


Workplace from Facebook is now live…..will it cause LinkedIn problems?

Are LinkedIn understaffed and overworked?….or just low quality or ignorant? I suspect they are severely overworked and understaffed….ironic for a site that makes 60% of its revenue from recruitment!

LinkedIn Salary - Did you know that premium users no longer have to add their salary to be able to use the salary feature.
Salary can be found in the ‘More menu’

New Desktop Design Update

Now that the majority of users have the new UI, the heat is really turning up on LinkedIn…members are really not happy!

Someone has even created an online petition!
New LinkedIn - Petition - Bring Back Tagging, Advanced Search and Rankings!

Whilst I think it’s important to provide LinkedIn with feedback, I don’t think ranting helps (other than the person that wrote it might feel better!).
The above petition does not really tackle the most important or realistic issues.
Let’s be realistic, LinkedIn are not likely to bring back advanced search and tagging (which is not actually related to the new UI) has moved to Sales Navigator so they are not going to reverse that and rankings (a pointless feature anyway) are hardly worth raising a petition about!

I’m not happy with the new design either but I am trying to be constructive and find realistic solutions.
The biggest issue for me is quality - there are just far too many bugs or features that seem to have been accidentally forgotten! This is unforgivable and LinkedIn need to ‘up their game’ and sort these quickly.

Here is my list of bugs, it is worth noting that this list was almost double the length in November, so things are slowly getting better.

 

Bugs or ‘forgotten’ features

  • Hovering over names (quoted in updates) does not open up a preview box.
  • You can’t see who shared your article
  • Notifications do not take you to the exact place in a thread
  • Typing responses to comments is impossible to see
  • Recommendation order can’t be changed - despite appearing though it can views of post’ on homepage is totally out of sync with the real number.
  • Page load times are slow for many
  • When someone comments on an image update you can’t see the image in your feed…making the comment often impossible to understand

Have you found any more? Let me know if I have missed any.

New UI fact: Did you know that emoji’s in name fields make the person impossible to find in a name search?
Remove all emoji’s from your name field (they should never have been there in the first place!)

Communication. The Mirror Effect

How many times do we receive a message on LinkedIn or email that shows a clear lack of understand as to our interests and needs?
How often do we see a message that is clearly a standardised format, sent to multiple recipients?

What is going on here?
People find it harder to communicate online because they have no signals to read, or at least they think they don’t…..so we get the mirror effect! The computer screen acts like a mirror and all we see is our own need and wants….net result is poor, ineffective communication.

Let’s consider a better example;
Mike Richards is specialist treasury recruiter.

Mike noticed that following an article he wrote on LinkedIn (aimed at being of value to treasury professionals) he was getting a lot of new followers.
He sifted through these followers and picked out those that were of particular interest.
He found 22 interesting followers, all potential clients or candidates.
He then sent them all a personalised invitation to connect which read as follows;

I noticed you recently reviewed my profile maybe after reading one of my articles, you may also have seen this post about improving your LinkedIn profile if it helps you?
http://www.treasuryrecruitment.com/10_linkedin_tips/
Feel free to connect if you want to?
Regards
Mike @ MR Recruitment

All 22 accepted!

This is no surprise because he acted on a clear signal that they were interested in him, rather than assuming they would be.
In addition he provides value in the link with some LinkedIn tips and the very ‘non pushy’ line ‘feel free to connect if you want to’
Mike knows his market and the tone of his invitation is perfectly suited to Treasury professionals.

This is what I mean by effective communication.
Move beyond the mirror effect and communicate in a compassionate, person centred way.

I would love to hear about more examples, both good and bad.
Please drop me a line on LinkedIn or to mark@linkedinformed.com

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_151.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 150, that seems like a pretty good milestone to have reached but I think the main celebration will be at number 200!

Something interesting I saw this week

Well there hasn’t been much news at all this week, it seems everyone is so pre-occupied with the new desktop design (which I am trying to avoid covering in this episode).

LinkedIn did announce that they had re-vamped their premium accounts, I’m not sure they have changed much to be honest and Business account holders are still getting a raw deal but there are a few changes worth noting, especially to the jobseeker account which is now called ‘Career’.

Here is the article;
What’s New With LinkedIn Premium?

Coaching

If you are interested in a one to one coaching session or just want to have ask for some quick advice, you can book a free 15-minute consultation with me at;
https://mrlinkedin.youcanbook.me/

New Book - I need your help

I’m starting to research the topic of online relationship building a communication for a book I will be writing.
Please drop me a line to mark@linkedinformed.com if you have any examples of good or bad online communication.

Social Media Content. What matters most - When or What?

I read a great article this by Jay Baer that really got me thinking about what matters when posting content on LinkedIn.

The Truth About How Often To Post In Social Media


I did some vary crude research myself on 6 posts I did last week on LinkedIn.

 

Jay makes some great points but I also think that consistently high engagement will lead to more people seeing your posts initially (before the algorithm can judge how interesting it is).

His main advice is spot on;
“Post when you have something to say”

I would just add - also at the right time, with an image and ask a question!

 

Lars asked via voicemail which browser I thought worked best with LinkedIn.
I use Chrome mainly but I have a feeling that LinkedIn behaves better in Firefox these days. I like Chrome because of the various extensions I use but LinkedIn don’t approve of extensions so perhaps that is why they favour Firefox.
Of course that all might change when Microsoft gain more influence!!


The second question was regarding viewing the activity stream of followed companies in the new UI.


This is a bit crazy and complicated to explain so I made a video to explain

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_150.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 149, it seems that the roll-out has now reached about 75% if users so I thought it would make sense to get through some of the many questions I have been receiving.

It’s funny for me, I feel like I have been talking about this for so long with very little feedback and then all of a sudden….everyone is talking about it and asking questions!


Before I get into that tough, I have a couple of updates for you;

Published Post Comments

Firstly LinkedIn have officially announced a new feature within published posts - the ability to switch off comments and report inappropriate comments - woop-de-do!
Not only is that tame but the blog article announcing it is very annoying!
Giving You More Choice Over Your Content on LinkedIn

Maybe it’s just me (probably) but I find it hard to read those ‘corporate’ type posts that say nothing at all for the first two paragraphs!

Update to Mobile App

LinkedIn have quietly added an interesting new section to a personal profile, it’s on on mobile currently but I suspect it may come to desktop eventually.
When you next go onto the app you find you are asked this question;

When you tap on add topics you are given a list of topics (presumably based on your profile & network) from which you can pick 3.

Then you add them to your profile

And this is what they look like

I’m not sure if these are searchable yet but that could become an option. It’s certainly worth adding them for now.

Your ‘Neptune’ Questions answered.


How do I create a new company page?

This is a bit hidden but you will find up at the bottom of the ‘more’ menu (you do need to scroll down).

How do I find my own company page or one I’m an admin for?

For some reason this is in a different place to the above!
For this you need to go to the ‘Me’ menu and you will see the pages you own or manage in the list.

How do I personalise invitations?

Don’t invite someone from anywhere other than their profile! If you click ‘connect’ from a shortlist or ‘people you may know’ it just sends a blank invitation.

Has the recommendation button gone?

No but it has moved. See below

How do I conduct a search within my first tier connections?

This actually hasn’t changed, the best way id via an advanced search…..wait! Advanced search has gone!! No worries, you can still do it, this video shows how;

How do I sort my homepage feed by ‘most recent’

Unfortunately you can’t but I believe there is a strong possibility that this feature may be coming and that it will be much better than before…let’s hope so!

How do I revert back to the old UI?

Sorry you can’t! My suggestion is that you focus on making the most of Neptune, it has it’s faults but also some good points and I’m certain it will improve in time.

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_149_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 148, this week I interview a young chap called Jack Parsons who is the CEO of an exciting start-up called YourFeed.

Jack and he team are about to launch a brand new website and social network called YourFeed, here is how they describe themselves;
Yourfeed is a disruptive online platform that helps ambitious professionals find employment, network with like-minded individuals & gather advice through experienced mentors. The platform connects hiring companies with ambitious professionals favouring skills & ambitions over experience when recruiting.

I found this a fascinating conversation about the challenges that LinkedIn face with the younger generation.
How can LinkedIn become more interesting to this demographic?
How can LinkedIn structure their premium accounts to avoid alienating the younger generation?
Is the solution within LinkedIn or is it too hard to cater for such a wide demographic?
Do you think this is seen as an important issue to LinkedIn?

I would love to hear your views on this. Please leave me a voicemail or send an email to mark@linkedinformed.com

New User Interface Update

LinkedIn announced (after I recorded last weeks show) that they are up to 50% roll-out of Neptune (internal name for the new UI) but if you are in the half that doesn’t have it, I may have a genius solutions for you!

So long as you keep open the tab that this opens, you have the new UI…as well as the old one!

Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to work for everyone, some are getting 404 error page and others see an earlier version of Neptune that is completely useless.
I’m not sure why this happens but I wonder if it is because those people haven’t imported contacts previously.

This weeks question is about the new user interface.

Question: Where have groups gone?

Answer Groups are now accessed via the ‘More’ matrix menu

Direct download: LinkedInformed_148.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 147, this week, I had planned an interview but that didn’t happen so I thought I would talk about something that I know is very important to many of you…..advanced search in the new desktop design.

But first….

New Desktop UI Design Update


LinkedIn have changed the way the data archive operates. Now you can download a smaller set of data more quickly, this is presumably meant to replace the connections download which has been deprecated in the new UI.

Update

On last weeks show  I explained that you can create a custom audience on Facebook from your downloaded LinkedIn connections. I still think this is a good idea but it is worth noting that this is against Facebooks rules.

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Here are the articles I refer to in this weeks episode;
LinkedIn Data Reveals the Most Promising Jobs of 2017
Human bot hybrid finds LinkedIn email, phone number-filching holes
Microsoft Promotes LinkedIn's Kevin Scott to CTO

Advanced Search With The New UI

LinkedIn released anew video this week showing how you can search for people in the new UI, it’s very basic but they did go on to explain that for more advanced users they have brought back some important boolean operators.

The five operators you can use in the search field are;

firstname: Finds members based on first name

lastname: Finds members based on last name

title: Finds members based on their current title (this one is likely to be the most useful)

company: Finds members based on their current company (keyword search)

school: Finds members based on schools attended (keyword search)

Search operators complement the filters on the right-hand side of the results page and the AND, OR and NOT boolean operators.

Here’s a quick example: to search for current software engineers not named Doe, who have attended either Harvard University or Stanford University, try: title:"software engineer" NOT lastname:doe school:(harvard OR stanford)

When using search operators, remember to use quotes for multi-word search terms, and parentheses for AND, OR and NOT phrases.


If you don’t have the new UI yet, you can still start practicing this technique in the old UI by simply using the main search field at the top of thee page (rather than advanced)

Question: Can I adjust my Sales Navigator Lead builder search results so that I see someone’s headline rather than their job title?

Answer: No you can’t but don’t forget that for the vast majority of profiles, the two are the same.

It is worth noting that job seekers might want to consider making their current job titles a little more descriptive.

As you can see in this screenshot, the information highlighted is my current job title and not my headline.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_147.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Click here to get your step by step guide on how to download your connections and upload them to Facebook.

Welcome to episode 146, this week I have an idea to share with you about what you can do with your LinkedIn connections on Facebook. More of that later, but first…..

New UI Desktop Design Update

Saved searches are returning (end of Jan)
Interests will show in your public profile
Contact & personal information will return (end of Jan)
Post searches are now available including hashtag searches.
It seems as the though the roll-out has accelerated this week and the rumour is that everyone will have it by end of January!
LinkedIn Announcement: LinkedIn Desktop Redesign Puts Conversations and Content at the Center

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner Shares How to Effectively Scale a Business in a New LinkedIn Learning Course
LinkedIn may move its 10,000 employees off Google Apps – and not because of Microsoft
LinkedIn Gives Access to B-to-B Insights Through DataSift Deal
The announcement of the above deal from DataSift
“Now I’m raging” — LinkedIn ban for “swearygate” Perthshire shed-maker
Cara Mackay’s F***** LinkedIn posts!

Here’s What You Can Do With Your Downloaded List Of LinkedIn Connections

I’m always encouraging people to regularly download your list of connections and it’s even more important now as you won’t be able to directly download them in the new UI (you can via the data archive). The question has always been…What do I do with them now?

Well the answer to that is not to add them to a newsletter email list, that is not something they have given you permission to do and it’s actually against the law!

I would however consider uploading them to Facebook and creating a ‘custom audience’. That way you can run a low cost ad campaign specifically directed at your LinkedIn connections - genius!

Click here to get your step by step guide on how to download your connections and upload them to Facebook.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_146.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 145, this week I want to revisit something that so many people ignore or underestimate the importance of….your LinkedIn profile picture!

But first a few interesting things I saw this week;

An open letter to Jeff Weiner by Oleg Vishnepolsky

The main highlights from this were;
Anonymous like and dislike buttons
Managing your feed
Better management of followers/connections
Who is most active
Who engages with you the most
Bookmarking of updates and posts

LinkedIn tell Windows app users it is no longer supported…and then say it was a mistake!

Russia completes LinkedIn ban by demanding Google and Apple remove the app

No Fake news from LinkedIn. Really? These comments are very misleading from Daniel Roth, Editors do not control all published posts and certainly not all updates. That said, fake news is pretty rare on LinkedIn.

New Desktop UI Update:

There are strong rumours that LinkedIn have had to put the roll-out on hold due to problems.
One of the problems seems to be that users are getting their account suspended for no reason, just as I did!
According to this interesting post from Andy Hawkins, it would appear that Boolean does still work in the new UI….despite LinkedIn previously stating it didn’t! It’s hard to know what to believe, my experiments suggested it didn’t but maybe they have changed this since.

Is Your Profile Picture Up To Scratch?

I found an excellent article this week that reminded me of the importance of this subject;
Can an AI perfect your LinkedIn profile picture?

The new service this refers to is a fantastic idea - Snappr Photo Analyzer

Analyse your LinkedIn profile photo here (make sure you are logged into LinkedIn in another tab first)

Unfortunately I didn’t score so well!;

This is a subject I always cover in my training, as does pretty much every LinkedIn or social media trainer in the world - it’s the most obvious thing to get right and yet so many people get it wrong.

As a random experiment I ran a search on LinkedIn with the following criteria;
10 miles radius of my office
3rd tier +

Then I viewed the first 20 profiles and here are the mistakes I found;
Out of focus
Poor lighting
An action shot of 2 men playing football - one might be the profile owner?
Too far away - full torso in view
Two people in the image
Dressed for a night out on the town.
Looking away from the camera
Wearing a safety hat
Wedding photo
The grey ‘thing’ - no photo

So only 10 profiles had decent profile photos and out of those I would only give 4 of them a 8+ out of 10 score.

Other common mistakes I often see;
Holding or standing next to a product
Image includes or is only of their kids
Any obvious selfie, especially ones taken on a train!
Showing too much flesh - especially cleavage!
Looking too serious or miserable
Sunglasses

The 5 simple rules of a great profile photo

Close up - head and shoulders max
In-focus and current
Clothing you would wear for a business meeting
Smiling
Just you

With the new desktop UI design, all profile photos will be circular - across every section and on mobile so it is important to check what your current profile photo looks like in a desktop search result or on the mobile app.
I found this interesting

Question: What’s the verdict on showing other things as well as you in your profile, like famous people, awards, the FA cup you once stood next to in a football museum etc?

Also:
Should I have my LinkedIn profile picture taken by a professional photographer?

I answer both these questions in the podcast and refer to an episode of the winbusinessin podcast where I interviewed ‘The Headshot Guy’ John Cassidy

Season 1 Episode 5. LinkedIn Profile Photo’s with ‘The Headshot Guy’

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_145.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 144 and a very happy new year to you all. I hope you achieve great things this year and I trust that LinkedIn will be with you every step of the way!

I thought I would start the year with a focus on searching. As we know, the much loved Advanced search feature will be gone once we all get the new UI so it seems a good time to focus on the subject.

But before that I saw a few things this week that I thought you might find interesting….

The Twitter account you should use to get the attention of LinkedIn’s published post editors has changed!
I saw this from John White this week;

Worth knowing about if you publish a lot on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Censorship

Following on from my rant about LinkedIn censorship in the last episode I was reminded by someone of the infamous Candice Galek and how much her posts get censored by LinkedIn. I have to admit that many of her posts actually do need censoring as they often used to include inappropriate images but it seems she is now getting censored for criticising LinkedIn - not good LinkedIn, that really is Soviet style tactics!

The above post has now been removed by LinkedIn!

Searching in 2017

I saw a very interesting presentation this week from Shakhina Pulatova who is the Search and Discovery Product Lead at LinkedIn, based in San Francisco.

You can watch the full presentation from the Global Big Data Conference in August last year here;

Instant and Personal: Searching Your Network at LinkedIn

This presentation was about how LinkedIn design their instant search feature on the flagship mobile app. It’s especially relevant as the new UI seems to use the same system.

Highlights include;
Search results are effected by ‘global popularity’. This must refer to profile views so getting profile views will improve your search ranking.
Results are also personalised. Your activities and profile information will have an impact on who finds you.
Machine learning. It sounds like this is still a new area for LinkedIn but it’s clear that the algorithm is constantly learning what you want from your actions. We need to consider this when growing through our search results.

Results ranking: She gave us some interesting clues about how a search resulted is ranked with network distance, similarity of network (shared connections) and global popularity appearing to be important. She also referred to ‘spammy content in names and headlines’ counting negatively.

Recruiter Lite vs Sales Navigator

With the impending demise of advanced search in the new desktop design, many users are reluctantly having to consider upgrading from a free or Business level premium account.

So what option do you go for?

Why is this even a question?!!

Surely the clue is in the name - If you use LinkedIn to win new customers then Navigator is the correct solution (it is!) and if your role is to fill job vacancies then Recruiter Lite is the obvious choice (and it also is!).

But what if your role involves both?…..

That is the dilemma facing Recruitment businesses throughout the world and it's more than just a choice between LinkedIn products, it actually addresses a key question about how that business operates!

To help with this dilemma, I wrote a post on LinkedIn covering a comparison between the two;

Sales Navigator VS Recruiter Lite

Direct download: LinkedInformed_144.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 143, before I get into anything else I just want to extend my warm wishes for the festive season.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Is This LinkedIn Censorship?

I posted the ‘Dear Satya’ image on LinkedIn last week and a number of people were @mentioned and several commented.
One individual decided to @mention Satya himself and I am wondering if this resulted in the post being deleted by LinkedIn and possibly why I found my account suspended this week!

On Wednesday 21st December I was unable to log into LinkedIn and only saw an error message stating my account had been suspended!

I had to sweat this out all, wondering what on earth I had done wrong! Eventually I received this email from the safety team;

At first I assumed it was just an innocent mistake, then I tried to find the Dear Satya update and my conspiracy theory started to grow!

What do you think? Am I letting my imagination run away with me here?

Updates

The excellent browser extension Dux-soup has updated and is now compatible with the new User interface - great work!
The only problem is that having the extension enabled seems to be slowing LinkedIn down. I’m sure they will sort that out soon.

The Google Chrome browser has also recently updated and this now includes a LinkedIn notifications feature - nice.

Another Security Breach

I’m not sure this is something to lose any sleep over but it is another sign that LinkedIn are often vulnerable;

You can read more about it here;

LinkedIn's training arm resets 55,000 members' passwords, warns 9.5m

Question;

Could you discuss the difference between connections and followers?

I get connection requests from people that I really don't know and don't want to connect with. However, I would like for them to follow me on LinkedIn.

I know that I have seen profiles where I could choose to follow the person, but not connect with them.
Is there a setting that I don't know about? I would like to have less connections and more followers.

How do you recommend that I accomplish this?

Answer

Whilst there is no perfect answer to this question, I do discuss the differences between followers and connections and what steps you might be able to make to encourage more people to follow you rather then send an invitation to connect.

Scroll to the top of this page to listen to the show.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_143.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 142, on the week that the roll-out of the new desktop interface has really begun……Have you got it yet?

Please get in touch and let me know your thoughts if you have.

I found out from a very good source this week that LinkedIns internal name for the new user interface is ‘Neptune’ which got me thinking “How do they come up with these names?”

You might associate Neptune with the Roman God of the seas but Neptune is also a planet - Interestingly I read that Neptune is not visible to the unaided eye and is the only planet in the Solar System found by mathematical prediction rather than by empirical observation.

Could these be a reference to the removal of Advanced Search I wonder?!

Want the Old UI back? There is a short-term workaround

The guys at Autopilot for LinkedIn have devised a short term way of accessing the old UI if you wish to (I’m not recommending you do).

Here is what they had to say;
We found a temporary solution for those of you who have already been rolled over to LinkedIn's "New UI" and who still want to be able to use Autopilot.
For now, you can use a VPN software that allows you to change our IP address location to a country like Spain, Romania, Finland, Italy, etc (not the USA or Canada). When you are logged in to LinkedIn from an IP address that originates in an obscure country, you will be shown the OLD UI.
This will buy you time for a little bit while we work on fixing the issue with how our tool works inside of LinkedIn's new UI.
Go here and click the Link that says "Hide My Ass", and try out their 1 month subscription for €9.99/month, which I believe is around $10.63 USD/month.

I’m not sure this will work so be careful, I personally found that once I had the new UI, my view limits were drastically reduced in LinkedIn.com and I found my account suspended in no time!

Tags/notes and Sales Navigator

Following on from LinkedIn’s announcement that Takes and notes were no longer supported in the free version of LinkedIn and to continue using them you need to upgrade to Sales Navigator I thought I would take a closer look at how this transition works.

It doesn’t - it’s a disaster!

Yes you can upload your tags to Sales Navigator but all that does is add them to the list of tags, they are not officially assigned to a profile until you save that profile as a Lead, they are greyed out until you save.

This shows a complete lack of understanding of how we use tags.

The whole point of tags is that they are an easy way to find people you have categorised in some way - the reason you do this is because you won’t be able to remember everyone by name.

In Sales Navigator, Tags can only be used as a filter in a search result but the imported tags are not assigned to profiles until they are saved as leads….so how do you find those profiles you tagged in LinkedIn.com?

You can’t!

Slideshare Update.

An update on this subject from last week about the potential demise of Slideshare. Someone pointed out that a plausible explanation would be that LinkedIn are looking to merge Slidehare and Pointdrive.
Pointdrive are a business acquired by LinkedIn earlier this year who produce a product that is used to communicate and share content with customers and prospects.


Boolean Search in the New User Interface

I have seen several people state that you can still use Boolean search queries in the new UI. I really don’t believe this is true.
LinkedIn have clearly stated it is no longer supported in Recruiter Lite, so why would it be possible in the free version?
I think it is easy to believe that boolean is working but this may well be the algorithm doing the work for you.
I recently demonstrated the best way to search LinkedIn in this video;

Are Recruiters Walking Away From LinkedIn…..And Is This Such a Bad Thing?

I read this excellent article this week from Katrina Collier;


Recruiters, would you accept this from any other service provider?

This brings us back to the Facebook argument again! I know a little about Katrina and I have always considered her a highly credible expert in social recruiting. She doesn’t elaborate on what she means by ‘being creative’ to be able to recruit successfully via Facebook - unless you buy her training but my guess is that it involves some form of search (although career data is weak on Facebook) combined with building communities and groups.

These are all viable methods and I can’t argue with the logic of sourcing candidates from a variety of sources and the data she backs her argument with in favour of Facebook is pretty compelling.

Judging by the comments on her piece and the feedback I am getting from Recruiters, I think it’s probably true that many Recruiters will soon be spending a lot less time on LinkedIn.

Whilst LinkedIn don’t want this, I suspect they have factored it into their plan - sales of LinkedIn Recruiter are less likely to be affected, I suspect its the lower level premium accounts and free users that will walk away and LinkedIn, now backed by the financial powerhouse that is Microsoft can afford to lose some revenue in the interim period before Sales Navigator really takes off.

Are LinkedIn users going to miss Recruiters?

I doubt it!

Good Recruiters who build relationships will continue to stay active on LinkedIn (as well as other places). Facebook could be a place to talk about jobs and careers but it is not a place to talk about business, LinkedIn allows us to keep our personal lives personal and not have our Facebook time interrupted by work related subject matter.

I believe the vast majority of people feel this way.

Recruiters who are only interested in posting endless jobs and sending inappropriate messages to potential candidates will probably go to Facebook….good riddance.


This could actually help make LinkedIn a better place!

1. A voicemail question fro Jaz about the annoying habit that some users have developed of putting keywords in their name field.

2. I recently purchased the Sales Navigator. Thank you for all the information that you have put out about it. It really helped me decide if I was willing to pay for it. Now that I have it, I have a question about segmenting prospects and the recommendations that LinkedIn provides. I am a financial advisor, but I also volunteer with a couple industry organizations. So here is the issue I am having. I have many connections that are other financial professionals. They are not prospects to become my clients, however, they are prospects for joining industry, or professional organizations that I participate in. I think that because I have all these connections, LinkedIn thinks that I want to prospect other financial professionals. However, these are not the sales leads that I need. Is there a way to segment leads into potential clients and potential colleagues? How do I tell LinkedIn Sales Navigator that I want client leads that fit my target demographic (professional women, 25-40)?

I answer both questions in detail in the podcast. Go to the top of this page to listen to the show.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_142.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 141….the calm after the #linkedinthebin storm of last week!

The feedback was great from last weeks show, thanks to everyone who voted. The result was a draw between myself and Angus.

If you want to hear another round of Linked-in-the-bin, let me know and I will have a think about who I can invite as contestants.

Interesting stuff I saw this week

Search Filters are being removed

A Business account holder received the following message this week

Message from LinkedIn reads;

At LinkedIn, we're always looking for ways to simplify and improve your experience – helping you be more productive and successful. This sometimes means removing features that aren't heavily used by most of our members to invest in others that members tell us offer greater value.

As such, we're removing the Premium search filters feature that allowed you to apply additional advanced search filters to find people on LinkedIn. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

If you'd like to continue using this feature, it's available on our Sales Navigator platform, which you can now enjoy for a free trial period of 3 months*. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a product we launched a couple of years ago and is targeted at sales professionals - it lets you keep track of your existing relationships, research your network, and find new leads faster with tailored recommendations.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding your Premium account.

The LinkedIn Premium Team

This would appear to suggest that the premium filters are the only thing they are removing but that is definitely not the case with the new UI - perhaps this is an interim move whilst the roll out to the new UI takes place?

Do you have a business account? What do you see in the advanced search area now?

I checked someones free account and the premium filters were still showing

As usual with LinkedIn, a lack of clear communication leaves us all confused!

Tags & Notes

A number of people have also contacted me this week to say they had received notification that Tags and Notes were being removed.

This was originally announced several months ago and I haven’t see the relationship tab on connections for some time now so I was surprised to see this.

As with search filters / advanced search these features have all moved to Sales Navigator.

Whilst I’m a big fan of Sales Navigator, I do think it’s a very poor show to remove these features from free users as well as Job seeker and Business account holders.

Sponsored InMail

LinkedIn Releases Sponsored InMail Campaigns for All Advertisers

This could be useful for some although I fear more spam is likely to come our way!

Microsoft deal approved by EU due to Xing concession

Microsoft Said to Use German Site to Appease EU Over LinkedIn

Great article from Greg Cooper about Sales Navigator

Should I Upgrade to LinkedIn Sales Navigator? A Guide for SMEs (SMBs)

Don’t Trust LinkedIn

I was reminded by a follower this week that I warned people against using Tags in June 2014

when I wrote a post on LinkedIn titled Be careful LinkedIn......

Which included the lines

“For instance. LinkedIn Contacts is a fantastic feature, effectively a free social CRM system built into LinkedIn. So why aren't people using it? Well what happens if I write notes, add reminders etc and then find they have all disappeared because LinkedIn changed its mind and decided that this was not the direction they want to go in!”

So now LinkedIn are basically saying the following;

“I know we gave you something and asked you to use it and now we want you to pay to keep using it but please use it…..we promise we won’t take it away or suddenly increase the cost.

The lesson? Don’t use features that tie you into LinkedIn….period.

This is not a reason to upgrade the Sales Navigator in my opinion, unless the info you wish to add is non essential to your business

If your content and followers are all on LinkedIn - diversify where you place your content. Keep writing posts but don’t just rely on LinkedIn.

By all means link Sales Navigator to your CRM but don’t add any valuable data into your LinkedIn account.

I hate to say it but we have to learn from experience. LinkedIn are not a company to be trusted!

With these changes and the impending outcry when everyone gets the new UI, I fully expect the likes of BeeBee to encourage a migration away from LinkedIn.

Whilst I understand the sentiment and the desire to protest, there really is no point in cutting your nose off to spite your face!

LinkedIn is useful to us because of it’s members, the company that run it may annoy us and at times act in ways which prove they are not trustworthy but that is no reason to leave.

The right response is to keep using LinkedIn because the majority of professionals will be there. I have no loyalty to LinkedIn but I believe that the point of social media is to engage and build relationships with those that you wish to do business with and to do that you need to be active where they are…and most people are on LinkedIn.

Voting with your feet and migrating to other smaller networks is not the answer, the vast majority of people on LinkedIn will never leave so neither should you.

Just don’t trust them with anything of value or importance to your business.

Stop ‘Bigging’ yourself up!

Don’t tell me…let me find out

This week a connection of mine posted a status update showing a screenshot of a recommendation they had received on LinkedIn!

This loses all impact - stop telling me how great you are (even if it’s someone else words)

A product with a testimonial printed on it is seen as blatant, untrustworthy marketing. A product with a review attached to it is seen as credible…both the same thing

 

Slideshare - RIP?

Following a voicemail from Gary Stockton, I started to investigate the rumour that Slideshare could be shutting down.

I haven’t asked LinkedIn about this (because they never tell you anything!) and the ‘Todays Top Slideshares’ feature has now been updated but I still smell a bit of a rat….watch this space!

Below is the article referred to;

Is LinkedIn Killing SlideShare?

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_141.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 140, this week I thought we would have a bit of fun with our new gameshow!
Hopefully it will not only put a smile on your face but also provide some useful information & tips.

But first……


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


Ransomeware
There have been lots of articles and scaremongering about images on social media this week. This article actually sums up the ‘ransomware’ issue quite accurately.

The Truth Behind Malware On Facebook, LinkedIn; Google's New Policy On Malware Sites Freaking Scary

The reality is that you have nothing to worry about by browsing your LinkedIn feed, viewing and sharing images.
The only time you should ever be concerned is when you download images to your PC (Mac not affected).
This is not likely to happen, the only situation I can imagine you being at risk from is if someone sends you a message with an image attachment - in this situation, only download that image if you are 100% sure of the source.

Whilst we are talking images, I noticed this week that LinkedIn have still not corrected the image sharing issue I highlighted in this post I wrote back in May;
Please Don’t Share My Image

I had heard that one of the reasons they have redesigned the desktop experience was to allow them to fix such issues (apparently the old platform made it difficult to fix issues such as this) so optimistically I checked out the new UI to see if had been fixed. Here is what I found…..

Microsoft Takeover

Apparently Microsoft had their eye on LinkedIn for many years…I bet the price wasn’t anywhere near $26.2b in 1996! You can read the article here;
Microsoft has courted LinkedIn since 2006, founder says

Introducing our new game - Linked-in-the-bin!

I’m trying something new this week. It’s mainly a bit of fun but I’m hoping you might find it useful as well.
The format is based on the BBC TV series Room 101 where contestants nominate something they wish to be banned and sent to room 101.


In this version I have invited two of my respected colleagues/competitors from the world of LinkedIn Trainers to nominate which LinkedIn feature they would like to dump ‘in the bin’

The format works as follows;

  • Each person has up to 2 minutes to explain why their chosen feature should be dumped in the bin.
  • The other 2 contestants get to counter this with their own argument as to why the feature shouldn’t binned. Each person has up to 1 minute of rebuttal.
  • The original nominator gets the final word. Just 30 secs to come back on the others arguments.
  • The winner is decided by you, simply vote by Tweeting your vote using #linkedinthebin and the name of the person whose feature you agree should be binned.

For example Tweet : #linkedinthebin I vote for Mark.  Of course you don’t have to vote for me!

The contestants.

As well as myself I have invited Steve Phillip and Angus Grady to this inaugural Linked-In-The-Bin show. Both are respected UK based LinkedIn Trainers (click on the images below to view their profiles;

Features for the bin;

Angus - Default invitation to connect messages
Mark - Skill endorsements
Steve - Groups

Have a listen to all three arguments and vote for the one you think is the most compelling by tweeting #linkedinthebin and one of the names above.

New Desktop Design Update

I tried to write a recommendation for someone this week and this is what happened;


Drop me a line if you get the new desktop ‘experience’ this week at mark@linkedinformed.com

Direct download: LinkedInformed_140.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 139, this week I’m mainly exploring a subject which many people find a real challenge - how to promote you or your products/services without appearing cheesy or being too pushy!

But first….

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

The three articles I refer to are shown below;

  • Microsoft set to win EU approval for LinkedIn buy
  • LinkedIn files suit to stop bots from data scraping its site

I also have a further update on the article about LinkedIn being banned in Russia I covered in last weeks show. It seems LinkedIn have been somewhat arrogant in their handling of this issue which could have been sorted out before going to court (according to a contact I have in Russia).

The Art of Social Selling

A good rule of thumb when selling or promoting something on LinkedIn is to take your lead from off-line behavioural norms.

You wouldn’t walk into a networking event and think “right, how am I going to sell sell sell to this lot”!

In reality you would ‘work the room’ talking to people, asking questions, building rapport and getting to know them. You probably wouldn’t try to ‘sell’ anything unless they enquire.

This is how it works on LinkedIn.

In this section I explain my thoughts on how trust is built on LinkedIn, the actions that we take to generate a magnetic profile where prospects feel motivated to come to you.

The New Sales Navigator Inbox / Messages experience.

This is a big improvement to this area of Sales Navigator so I made a short video to demonstrate what is new and different.

Direct download: LinkedInformed20139.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 138, this week I thought I would address the issue that many are talking about…Facebook’s perceived threat to LinkedIn.

Facebook Vs LinkedIn

As far as I see it, Facebook will never be a realistic alternative to LinkedIn for online business networking.
This however, is not a view held by all and the debate has recently resurfaced due to Facebook's entry into the job advertising market as well as the publication of a recent survey which suggests that C-suite executives are more likely to get thought leadership articles from Facebook.

Read the article here;
Senior executives use Facebook more than LinkedIn when seeking thought leadership, report suggests

You will find a link in the above article where you can download the full report from Grist but the main sections I refer to are below.

The most important number here is that only 28% of C-level executives source leadership material from social media.

It is surprising but out of the 28%, more are influenced by Facebook but in truth we are only talking about 44 versus 38 executives.

I can't imagine a world where we are comfortable engaging with business Contacts, Family members and personal friends from the same profile and on the same network.

That's my view but I'm not saying I'm right!

I would love to hear your views on the subject.

Let me know by sending a voicemail via the link on the right edge of this page or you can email me at mark@linkedinformed.com.

LinkedIn’s Q3 Results

These results showed a continued slowing of LinkedIn growth to just 23% in comparison to the same period last year.

LinkedIn could be banned in Russia

Interesting report suggesting that the 6 million members in Russia could be frozen out of the site unless LinkedIn can negotiate some sort of solution….I think they probably will.

You read the full article below;

LinkedIn faces ban in Russia after court ruling

Question:

I have a list of approximately 5000 first degree connections but I have never kept in touch with them or indeed kept on top of them. I'm now looking at this massive list and wondering how I should engage with them.
I would like to introduce them to a new products that I have but I obviously don't want it to be spammy. That said, sending out an individual messages to all of them will be impractical.

What do you think is the simplest, most practical and least invasive way of getting my message out to these people?

I answer this question in detail towards the end of this episode. Click on the play button at the top of this page to listen to the show.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_138.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 137. Well what a crazy week it's been, quite possibly one of the craziest weeks in living history!
I thought I would take this opportunity to answer some of the many questions you have been asking regarding the new desktop user interface.

But first…..

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

LinkedIn Record is rumoured to be rolling out soon to all members. I haven't seen any official confirmation of this from LinkedIn and I'm not exactly sure how it would work but the opportunity to post 30 second videos to our followers would be great!
You can read the article I refer to here;
LinkedIn’s Big New Feature – Native Video

Facebook have announced that they will provide ways to advertise job openings on business pages. Journalists are getting excited thinking that this is in some way a threat to LinkedIn not realising that the majority of LinkedIn's success in recruiting is through its search capabilities not recruitment advertising!
You can read about here;
Facebook threatens LinkedIn with job opening features

You can read the full article here;
Scam Says LinkedIn Team Needs Your Photo ID for Account Verification


Connect 365

This is not a scam but a product that is getting a lot of people excited….. Apart from me!
For "Just" $1497 of your hard earned cash you can buy a lifetime subscription to this product that has three elements to it.
A three module training program (which will be out of date when the new UI is released)
A messenger software extension that will allow you to send Messages to all of your connections on a rotational basis (spam in my opinion and against linkedIn's terms)
An Implementation Group (Facebook group with other customers)

I have several problems with this product;
The price reflects the fact that it is sold via an affiliate network and not the actual value of the product.
The messenger software will not work with the new user interface
The limited time offer is somewhat suspicious given that we know that linking is about to undergo a massive change.

These are just my opinions and you should take a look yourself at linkedinselling.com rather than just take my word for it.
Given the imminent changes with LinkedIn I would not advise anybody to buy any product of this nature (good or bad) until the new user interface is fully released.

The new UI - your questions

In this episode I provide answers, The best I can, to the following questions that were sent to me.

Which of the 17 missing features will return?
I have a business plus account. Is it worth keeping this account now that the new user interface is coming?
Can I opt out of the new UI?
I saw Pro-Finder in the menu in your video does this mean that it's now available outside of the US?
Do we still see a public profile URL in the new LinkedIn profile?
Is the search function exactly the same as it is in the mobile app?


A new scam email has been circulating recently which encourages you to verify your identity with LinkedIn. This is fake and an attempt to steal your identity - be careful!

Direct download: LinkedInformed_137.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Hello and welcome to episode 136 at the end of another crazy week in the wonderful world of LinkedIn!

I have spent this week working in the beautiful and sunny Costa Del Sol, it’s my annual escape from the wet and cold of England at this time of year.

LinkedIn have now said that the version of the new desktop UI I have is actually in ‘beta’ ie it’s not ready for general release…..you don’t say!!!

I covered this extensively in last week’s episode and don’t intend to cover too much more now because it’s clear that things are likely to keep changing.

I did mention recommendations which have improved. You can now see ‘given’ and you can now recommend and asked to be recommended and the option to edit your recommendations has returned although this still needs some work.

It’s very frustrating to be in a position to spot omissions and bugs and not have anyone (sensible) to report them to!

New Company Pages

The new design of company pages are now being rolled out, all admins should see the new design.

As far as I can see, the functionality is pretty much the same but the design has be refreshed. One change that will effect all admins is the need to upload a new background image to all company and showcase pages.

Advanced search

 

I see the removal of advanced search as the key test as to whether LinkedIn have correctly judged the difference between the hunters and the hunted (see episode 134 for more information on The LinkedIn Paradox).

The key question here is on the fringes between hunters and the hunted. LinkedIn need the regular users (the hunted), without them they are nothing and the super users (hunters) have no reason to be on LinkedIn either.

Super users just need to upgrade, no question. But if regular users feel they are being pushed towards upgrading then we all have a problem and LinkedIn have messed up big time!

Do regular users feel they have a need for advanced search?

Have LinkedIn misjudged the definition of a regular user?

Only time will tell but it’s a big call by LinkedIn.

No More Boolean Searches!

Irina Shamaeva broke this story this week. Apparently LinkedIn are dropping the ability to search via boolean from all but it’s top level Recruiter accounts.

Another example of pushing Recruiters to pay more for LinkedIn….the squeeze continues!

Read the excellent article below.

Boolean Is Dead. On LinkedIn Only

LinkedIn Salary

This is a very exciting new feature from LinkedIn and potentially a game changer for recruiters!

Individual users on free accounts in the UK, Canada and US can now check the average salary and benefits for their job (or one they are applying to) against other LinkedIn users.

To do so, however, they need to enter their own compensation information (this will be kept confidential)

This is a fantastic idea, give people highly valuable information but ask for their data in return, thus increasing the quality of the data!

IN addition, and most importantly Recruiters using a Recruiter premium account will be able to add salary as a filter in their searches - genius!

You can read more about this below

Introducing “LinkedIn Salary”: Unlock Your Earning Potential

Or watch the promotional video below

Direct download: LinkedInformed20136a.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:45am UTC

Welcome to episode 135 and what a week it has been!

This episode is 100% dedicated to sharing with you the new desktop design that I woke up to on Saturday morning.

It is still early days for the new user interface (UI) and it still has many bugs so things are bound to change over the coming weeks but having spent the last 4 days investigating every link, page and angle of the UI I can confirm the following;

  • LinkedIn are unifying the mobile and desktop UI’s
  • Recruiters & sales professionals are targeted as members who should upgrade to premium
  • The focus of the design is to encourage more activity
  • This is a massive gamble by LinkedIn!

This 2 minute video will give you an idea of how to navigate around the new UI

Lost features

1. Advanced search   (inc connection search)

Desktop search is now the same as mobile search. You have to start with keywords but you cannot combine keywords with current job title. Once the initial search is performed you can then filter the results although you cannot see a number next to each filter.

2. Saved searches

You can no longer save a search result with alerts and it would seem that our previously saved searches have also disappeared!

3. View your followers

4. emoticons in messages

Gutted….not!

5. Out of network profiles.

When you find a profile out of your network in a keyword search result you are no longer able to open that profile, here is what you see;

6. Edit display name in profile

7. Rich media in profiles

8. Move profile sections

9. Move current positions

10. Cant move or edit which recommendations show

The above points 6-10 are all covered in this video;

11. Posting updates to Twitter

The option to post a status update to Twitter no longer exists;

12. Video autoplay.

This might just be a bug but as it stands videos no longer autoplay in the stream.

13. Top/recent updates option

Our updates are now 100% based on what the algorithm think we want to see, we have no control other than by our actions.

14. Introductions

They only just fixed this feature but now it has gone. 2nd tier profiles show mutual connections but there is no option to ask for an introduction.

 

15. Last 3 posts in profile - just 1 now

This is to make way for activity. You can see this in the above video.

16. Additional info section - interests - personal details - advice for contacting.

If you have spent time adding valuable information here in your profile, I would suggest you copy and save it somewhere. When you get the new UI it will be wiped!

17. Pdf Download.

You can still share a profile from the 3 dots menu but the pdf download has gone.

It also goes without saying that all Chrome extensions have stopped working in the new UI (until their developers get to work on them!)

Additional features

1) Many links open in a new tab

This is so handy but I wish they did it for profiles in search results as well.

2) Summary at top of profile

3) Last 3 activities show in profile

4) New size for background image 1536 x 768 (1400 x 425)

5) All profile/thumbnail pics now circular

Points 2-5 are also covered in the above video

6) No need to give a reason when inviting

At last!

7) Personalized invites much more visible

This is what you see when you click on ‘connect’ in the profile or in a shortlist

<first invite message>

That’s it for now, I will start digging into more specifics next week.

Questions

I’m sure you have plenty, so please fire away! I am more than happy to take a look at whatever you need to know about the new UI

Direct download: LinkedInformed_135.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 134, this week there won’t be much to read in the notes because the whole episode is dedicated to an interview I recorded with fellow LinkedIn coach Bruce Johnston.

Bruce and I discuss his recent post ‘The LinkedIn Paradox: The Hunters And The Hunted’ which is all about how LinkedIn need to carefully walk a tightrope between growing their revenues (appealing to hunters) and growing/retaining enough active members (the prey)

Read The LinkedIn Paradox: The Hunters And The Hunted


I think this is a really important subject and getting it right will be critical to the future of LinkedIn.

Bruce and I cover a lot of ground in this episode and I hope you find it interesting and thought provoking.

What do you think about the paradox. Is this the most critical issue LinkedIn face?

Direct download: LinkedInformed_134.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 133, this week I get stuck into a whole bunch of things.

Is Sales Navigator essential to get a good SSI score?

First up, I saw this interesting update from Ankur Chaudhary

LinkedIn say that using Sales Navigator is a major help in improving your SSI but they don’t go so far as to suggest it’s essential. Ankur’s experience would suggest different!

Premium Members Get LinkedIn Learning for Free - well some do!

If you are interested in LinkedIn Learning then you might want to read this article;

How LinkedIn Learning Helps You And Your Team Achieve More

Job Seeker, Business Plus and Executive accounts get full Learning memberships for free, which is amazing but I fail to understand why the higher level Sales Navigator and Recruiters get nothing - crazy!

New Feature! LinkedIn Introduce Mobile Update Insights

We used to have this feature on the desktop version until they removed it a few years ago, much to my annoyance as I always liked to analyse the performance of my updates to work out best practice.

Now they have re-introduced it to mobile only for now but my guess is that we will probably see this as part of the new desktop design (whenever that comes!)

How to see your insights

1) Go to the 'Me' page and you will see the link in the bottom right section

2) Tap here to reveal the list of your shares and scroll down until you find the one you wish to view.

3) Now tap on the icon highlighted below which gives you the number of total views

4) Now you will see the viewer stats by company initially

5) Now swipe to the left to reveal the breakdown by job title and again by location.

I found that image updates are performing much better than video or link updates

The average number of views for my last 30 status updates are as follows;

Link updates - 236

Video updates - 462

Image updates - 854*

*These updates were also all done first thing in the morning

The lack of video playback ‘in the stream’ on the mobile app is partly responsible for the lack of attention video updates are getting. Here is the image update I posted last week to demonstrate the comparison with Instagram (ironically this update was the most viewed of the 30 I analysed!)

6) Now scroll down to see where your viewers are in your network. This will usually mostly be 1st degree but if you get a high number of likes/comments you may find other tiers are higher.

Now you will be able to get a much better sense of what updates are working for you and resonating with your followers/connections so that you can make adjustments accordingly.

Other articles I cover in this episode

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_133.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 132, I’m busy with training & speaking engagements this week so I pre-recorded this episode. Therefore if any big news has recently broken, I won’t be covering it till next week!

You may recall in episode 79 I interviewed the founders of an interesting product called Autopilot about their Chrome extension that automatically viewed LinkedIn profiles.
As I have mentioned in recent episodes, I have experienced several issues with Autopilot recently and really didn’t feel that it was a product that I could continue to recommend.

I still believe autoviewing is a valuable and a potentially highly productive action on LinkedIn so I set about finding an alternative product to recommend.


What is Autoviewing?

Autoviewing is a simple task conducted via a browser (normally Google Chrome) extension. Once the extension is installed you are able to ask it to view a list of profiles from a search result on LinkedIn.
Autoviewing extensions are ostensibly bots, i.e. a software application that runs automated tasks (scripts) over the Internet. Typically, bots perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive, at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone.

As a free LinkedIn member you are currently only able to view 150 profiles per day** whereas a premium member (Business Plus, Executive, Sales Navigator, Recruiter lite & Recruiter Professional) you can view up to 1000 a day*
*These numbers are subject to change at any time
** A LinkedIn ‘day’ is from 5pm to 5pm EST or

By the nature of autoviewing, it’s a numbers game so to get impressive results, you really need one of the above premium accounts.

Why do it?

LinkedIn’s most popular feature is ‘Who’s viewed your profile’. On average 8-12% of people viewed will view your profile in return, this figure can be much higher if you view people that are known to be more active (possible with Sales Navigator).
So viewing hundreds of profiles in a day will lead to gaining a high number of profile views which raises your profile, increases the number of invitations to connect you receive and may even help to win you business.
In addition, this high level of activity can have a positive effect on how the algorithm views you, i.e. you appear to become more ‘interesting’ and this can have a positive knock on effect to other areas of LinkedIn.
The effectiveness of autoviewing is significantly improved with;
A strong profile, with a good headshot and clear, compelling headline
Viewing targeted (not random) search results, appropriate to your objectives.

Do LinkedIn Allow it?

I have never seen a quote from LinkedIn that expressly bans the use of autoviewing extensions but I think it’s fair to say that by using them you are in breach of the user agreement.
Here’s what the user agreement has to say about the use of bots;

This however, does not mean it’s wrong.
The definition of ‘wrong’ is entirely up to you - it’s a personal decision.
I personally think that viewing profiles is a harmless activity whereas I believe that sending automated messages, skill endorsements and invitations is spam and therefore, ethically crosses the line.

LinkedIn has limits on the number of profiles you can view and this is subject to change so it is essential that the company you purchase an autoviewing product from is completely on ‘top of their game’ in this respect.

Whilst LinkedIn do not openly approve of autoviewing, it’s also pretty obvious that they benefit from it;
It increases page views which helps them sell more advertising
Users have to buy a LinkedIn premium account for effective autoviewing

The net result is that it is very rare to hear of people running into problems with LinkedIn when they autoview - provided they stick to the guidelines which are made clear by all providers.


At the end of the day, you have to make a decision on what feels right to you. As previously mentioned your ethics do not have to mirror LinkedIn’s rules!

The Options

I have come up with two alternative solutions, Dux-soup and eLink Pro, I like both for different reasons.

I looked at a product called LinMailPro initially but it’s main features are automatic connection requests and messaging and I believe those actions to be unethical - it also Autoviews but it’s more expensive than the following two options (due to those extra features).


eLink Pro

Features

Autoviewing of up to 800 profiles per day.
Compatibility with Sales Navigator
7 day scheduler
Download viewed profiles & who viewed you.
Drip marketing feature. Posts motivational quotes for you.
Will favourite a tweet from every applicable person you view.
Semi automation of invite accept message.
Adds some icons to profiles
Shows number of followers in profile.

Advantages
Substantial business that was established in 2014, has strong backing and 20 employees providing good customer support.
Scheduling feature is very useful for when you are on holiday or away from the office for a few days.
Free trial for 5 days and at the time of writing they are extending that to 1 another month for $1


Disadvantages
Using LinkedIn in a different tab (whilst autoviewing) sometimes causes issues.
It’s expensive at $147 every 3 months or $95 per month
No ‘skip’ already viewed feature.

Dux-Soup

Features

Configurable autoviewing of up to 1500 profiles per day (not advised)
Advised viewing numbers of 150/day for free LinkedIn users, 400 for Business+, 600 for Sales Navigator premium accounts
Profile skip feature (skipped if viewed within the last x number of days)
Google X-ray search feature (400 per day)
Group members autoview
Download of visited profiles (to .csv)
Auto endorse skills
Variable visiting speed (configurable)
Re-visit based on previously downloaded CSV
Notes and tagging of profiles
Searching by tag

Advantages


Free service allows an extended trial to see benefits
Tagging very useful, especially for this not on a Sales Navigator account
Cost - only $15 per month for Pro version

Disadvantages

Small and somewhat anonymous business behind the software
No scheduling
Auto endorse feature encourages bad practice.

Summary


I have used both products extensively over the last month or so, interchanging between them regularly to make a realistic comparison.
At the end of the day I think both are great and well worth considering.

Dux-Soup’s greatest benefit is pricing whereas eLink pro has the useful scheduling feature and the company behind it does give me more confidence of longevity and capable customer support is something not to be sniffed at given that the reason I am looking at these products is due to Autopilot’s deficiencies in that area!

Direct download: LinkedInformed_132.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 131, this week’s episode is mostly dedicated to the big news announced by LinkedIn last week.

I believe these changes will have a significant impact on how we use LinkedIn, it’s going to take a fair bit of getting used to…once we have it.

Before I get stuck into the announcements I did see one interesting article about Facebook for Work, which is going to be launched very soon.
Personally I think it will be a major flop…..What do you think?


The New LinkedIn Design

This is Amy Parnell, Senior Director, User Experience Design on stage, explaining the new design.

Below is a screenshot of the new homepage with arrows pointing to all the subjects I discuss in the podcast;

I also made a short video explaining some of the changes
<embed https://youtu.be/iTuHCOV-RpE>

and here is the new look profile;

The New Feed

This doesn’t actually look much different but apparently they have been making lots of changes ‘under the hood’, the idea is that we should see more relevant posts and articles in our feed and under ‘trending’

New Messaging

Potentially very exciting! This is how the new messaging app will look in the main page (as opposed to the Messages page)

LinkedIn Learning

I’m not convinced about a subscription model for pricing but they are allowing Job seeker, Business Plus and Executive premium account holders free access to LinkedIn Learning. Shockingly though Sales Navigator and Recruiter premium account holders do not get access. Where is the logic in that?

That’s it for this week, I hope you found that useful.

If you get the new design, please get in touch and let me know what you think.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_131.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to our 130th episode.

Interesting Stuff I saw this Week

Here are the links to the interesting things I saw this week

Your Guide To Generation Z
What LinkedIn’s ‘Social Selling Index’ Really Measures
Searching and Viewing Profiles from Sources Outside of LinkedIn
LinkedIn’s original 2004 pitch slide deck
Jeff Weiners full interview with Oprah


Thought LEADers

A key focus of social selling is to engage with your Leads on subjects that are of interest to them (rather than what you are offering them). There are however another set of people that you should work just as hard to engage with that aren’t leads, they are Thought LEADers.

You are highly unlikely to do business with these people but they could be the key to unlocking the most difficult Leads.

Building relationships with thought leaders can pay off big time. Your Leads will see you as more credible, you will have your finger on the pulse regarding topics that are important to your Leads and this will also help you write better, more relevant content.
If you do this really well, you might even find that your Leads are chasing you rather than the other way around!

Three Critical Questions

If you are in a sales role or you are hoping to win new customers on LinkedIn then can you answer the following questions;

What business subjects are important to your Leads?
Who are the thought leaders in these subjects?
Where do these thought leaders actively post and engage online?
You can answer these questions by conducting the Six Steps outlined in my published post.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_130_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 129, at the end of a busy week for LinkedIn having delivered their social selling conference Sales Connect in New York.
I was keenly watching the Twitter feed and some updates from people I knew were there to hear reaction to some of the big announcements made.

In this episode I’m going to dive into the 5 main announced changes to Sales Navigator. Don’t worry of you don’t have a Sales Navigator account, this could still be very relevant to you.

But before all that I spotted these interesting things in the news this week;

Reid Hoffman is so against Trump, he created a card game!
LinkedIn Siri integration goes live with the launch of iOS 10
3 new LinkedIn services in India


Sales Connect 2016

I wasn’t able to make it to New York but I did the next best thing and followed on Twitter.

Various speakers talked about the exciting world of social selling including several case studies, Chris Anderson from TED talks appeared to be the most popular but I bet Malcolm Gladwell was pretty good too!

Various statistics were quoted, many I have heard before but these did grab my attention;

“Sales & Marketing are blending into one”

“Personal value has to 2X the impact over business value. 71% of B2B buyers who see personal value will purchase”

“92% of B2B buyers engage with sales professionals who are known industry thought leaders”.

“EY have 30,000 Sales Navigator licences”!!

The five really big announcements

Sales Navigator is becoming an open platform (at last!). Initial CRM partners are Oracle, SAP Hybris, SugarCRM, Hubspot and Netsuite.
New search filters for Lead builder. Size of department, Senior leadership, revenue, HQ zip code, department growth and content keywords.
InMail 2.0. Improvements to SN inMail allowing a compose box to the side, attachments and ‘write to CRM’
Notes & Tags. This includes the ability to filter searches by tags.
Gmail extension. Very similar to Rapportive.

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_129.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 128, this week I want to revisit the subject of advertising.

Firstly some interesting stuff I saw this week;

A company called We are Flint interviewed just over 2000 UK adults to determine the level of social media usage. The results for LinkedIn make interesting reading;

LinkedIn Advertising


This still seems to be a thorny issue for LinkedIn with another set of less than inspiring results announced recently.
In Q2 marketing revenue was $181, just 19% of their income and over 60% of this came from sponsored updates.

You may recall we covered advertising in episodes 85. 92 and 94 when listener Peter Gold experimented with LinkedIn ads. The conclusion wasn't very positive!

So I was intrigued when I came across someone who describes himself as a ‘LinkedIn ads evangelist’!

AJ kindly gave up some of his time to chat with me this week about LinkedIn ads.
How they work and who should and who shouldn’t be using them. It’s a fascinating insight and finally puts to bed the question once and for all.
Summary
If your typical customer has a high lifetime value (tens of thousands plus) then LinkedIn ads can be very powerful (if done correctly).
So it seems that, as usual LinkedIn are solely targeting large enterprises.

Does having an email address in your headline still penalise you in search results?

This questions relates to a blog post I wrote in 2014;
LinkedIn Search is Changing

The answer is yes, nothing appears to have changed since that post.
I have just checked this on 5 different searches and on every occasion the person who either has an email address or a telephone number in their headline or name fields comes either last or last page in a search result - even though they were active (key factor in the search algorithm) and 1st tier connections

Direct download: LinkedInformed_128.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC