LinkedInformed Podcast. The LinkedIn Show

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 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.


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.


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

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!
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.


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.



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