LinkedInformed Podcast. The LinkedIn Show

Welcome to episode 159, following my trip to Social Media Marketing World something has been bugging me…!
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


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;

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;

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.

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.
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 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.
  • 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