LinkedInformed Podcast. The LinkedIn Show

 

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