Sat, 13 October 2018
This week I interview Kurt Shaver from Vangreso about the challenges of social selling and using LinkedIn in a corporate environment
Fri, 5 October 2018
A couple of weeks ago I had a very interesting conversation with an experienced LinkedIn user about native video posts. They post regularly and get fantastic results but they have yet to do a video post. When I asked them why they couldn’t really answer. We explored this in more detail and agreed that it came down to two main factors;
This troubled me but I put it down to an isolated experience, then last week I had almost exactly the same conversation with someone else! The final straw came this week when I delivered a follow-up training session and during my preparation (where I analyse the delegates activity since the last session) I discovered that, despite plenty of text and image posts, nobody had attempted a native video post.
I have covered video before but given the issues people seem to be having, I thought I would focus on this in this weeks episode.
Sat, 29 September 2018
This week I respond to a post by Richard Moore about the apparent lack of 'Content Creators' on LinkedIn in the UK.
What exactly is he referring to and how do we define great content?
That plus a few interesting things I saw this week about LinkedIn.
More info at LinkedInformed.com
Sat, 15 September 2018
Welcome to episode 224, this week I want to mainly focus on company pages. A feature of LinkedIn that I have often been very critical of.
LinkedIn have announced their Top Company Pages of 2018 list so I thought I would take a closer look at some of those companies to try to understand what benefit they are gaining from LinkedIn.
I also want to return to the new groups experience as I now have the new features and thought I would add some further thoughts and things I have experienced.
For the full notes go to http://linkedinformed.com/episode224
Sat, 8 September 2018
Thanks for all your feedback from last weeks episode about a wishlist for the new design of groups, well we didn't have to wait long did we? Well, to be more precise some of us do need to wait longer (myself included) to be able to play with the new design but on Tuesday this week, LinkedIn started rolling out their long-awaited new design that they are hoping can reinvigorate this much-maligned area of LinkedIn.
More about new groups later but first.
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
Very little news about LinkedIn this week apart from the following article that I saw in multiple places
The US accuses China of 'super aggressive' spy campaign on LinkedIn
New Groups Design
I told you it was going to happen this week, didn't I?!
New groups have started rolling out and several people have been in touch to share their thoughts. I'm really frustrated to not be included in the early stages of the roll-out. I know these things are supposed to be random but I also know that they can add people to the rollout if they wish and it seems more than rude to not include people who have given up their time to assist with the evaluation of groups. Many people travelled to locations across the world to participate in the research that LinkedIn has undertaken at their own cost. LinkedIn have ignored many of these people and not included them in the early roll-out...Ignorance or incompetence? Probably a bit of both in my opinion!
Fortunately, my good buddy and fellow LinkedIn trainer Greg Cooper has got the new design so I called him up for a chat to get his perspective.
Here's what's new (so far)
The overall sense I get is that they are moving much control away from group managers. It would appear that the roll-out will be fast in that one internal staffer has stated that it will be completely rolled out this month
Sat, 1 September 2018
Welcome to episode 222. I hope you find this episode enjoyable and informative.
LinkedIn have recently announced that their new re-designed groups section will be launched at the end of August It's taken them over 18 months including much user consultation to get to this point so we are entitled to expect something special.
As of the time of recording, nothing has transpired so I thought it would be timely to create a list of all the things that we, as users want to see and then we can compare it to what we actually get!
More of that at http://linkedinformed.com/?p=2531&preview=true
Sat, 25 August 2018
Welcome to episode 221, after a weeks break while I was hiking around the Swiss Alps. If you have never been I would highly recommend it, as you can see below, the scenery is breathtaking!
Interesting Stuff I saw This Week
Thank you for your continued dedication to your LinkedIn groups. As you know we are fully rebuilding Groups and reintegrating it into the main LinkedIn website and mobile apps. We are excited for you to experience the new version of Groups which will start rolling out to all members at the end of August. We've heard from many of you over the past year that boosting engagement and enabling vibrant discussions in your groups is important, so we've prioritized features that support this including:
Making it easier to access Groups right from the LinkedIn homepage and improving visibility of group conversations in the main LinkedIn feed
Moderation queues will be temporarily unavailable. We realize the importance of moderation tools and are working on rebuilding moderation functionality in the new version of Groups. This rebuilt and improved moderation queue will be available in the next few months. We are not planning to rebuild the auto-generated classifier queue. We encourage you to review any content in the queues and remove any members who continue to violate your group rules.
I'm not sure why people are kicking up such a fuss about this, LinkedIn are making it clear that these changes are mainly temporary, whilst they complete the implementation of a new Groups format. Let's hope new groups are something to be excited about it......I'm not holding my breath!
Actually, it would be better described as an old feature that has been corrected!
This video post explains it;
In more recent times, views have dropped significantly.
In this chat with Deepak, we explore why that has happened and debate with Articles are still worth writing and how often.
Click on the image below to view Deepaks full profile.
Summary of points covered;
Deepak is sceptical that posts and engagement generate business. He once did a post that attracted over 2 million views but didn't attract any leads from it whereas he gained business from Articles with significantly less views.
I'm unlikley to start writing an article a week but I can definitely see the beenefits more clearly now....I hope you can too.
Let me know your thoughts.
That's it for this week.
Sat, 11 August 2018
Hello everyone and welcome to a new episode. This week I have had messages from several people about an article doing the rounds that details how the LinkedIn algorithm works – “Wow, that sounds very interesting” I thought….then I read it and felt somewhat cheated.
It’s not what it purports to be but I do think it’s worth covering so that will be the main subject for this week
More of that later but first…..
Go to http://linkedinformed.com/episode220
Sat, 4 August 2018
Hello everyone and welcome to a new episode. After two weeks of discussing Pods we are moving onto pastures new. This week I want to focus attention on the continued development of #LinkedInLocal with LocalX.
I was lucky enough to get to attend the launch party of LocalX in London recently and wanted to share my thoughts on this new initiative and also why I think LinkedIn have really missed an opportunity with LinkedIn Local.
More of that later but first…..
Sat, 28 July 2018
Welcome to a new episode of LinkedInformed.
The main content this week is the second half of my recent interview with Lynnaire Johnston about LinkedIn pods plus my conclusions on the subject.
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
This spoof article made me chuckle…enjoy!
Microsoft quotes from their latest earnings call about LinkedIn Taken from this article from The Motley Fool
Microsoft’s 2016 acquisition of LinkedIn is increasingly looking like a winning bet. Sure, Microsoft had to fork over more than $26 billion to acquire the company, but LinkedIn continues to see incredible momentum nearly two years after the social network for professionals was acquired.
Over 575 million members strong, fiscal 2018 was a record year for LinkedIn. Further, Nadella said LinkedIn’s year-over-year revenue growth accelerated for the fifth quarter in a row in Q4, to 37%.
“We saw record levels of engagement and job postings again this quarter, with sessions growth up 41% year-over-year,” Nadella said. “This strong engagement is driven by quality of the feed, video, messaging and the acceleration of mobile usage, with mobile sessions up more than 55% year-over-year.”
Got to linkedinformed.com/episode218 for the rest of the notes
Sat, 21 July 2018
What are pods?
Sometimes they are called engagement or amplify or boosting pods. The basic premise is that a group of active users form a group/community somewhere online (LinkedIn, Facebook, Slack or any other online community site) and announce (with a link) to the group everytime they publish a post or article on LinkedIn. The agreement is that everyone in the group then engages with that post (Liking and/or commenting).
This has two effects;
Pods are sometimes managed by one individual with strict rules and procedures and others are managed much more loosely. Some pods have hundreds of members and others are much smaller.
I first came across them last year when a listener directed me to a Facebook group that was set up for this purpose, then again earlier this year when I saw this article. My first reaction was that they seemed somewhat ‘shady’ and populated by ‘internet marketers’ who were trying to cut corners and gain quick wins (as they do!).
Then a couple of months I was invited to join one by someone I knew and respected so I thought I would join to learn more and assess it’s effectiveness.
My experience is that they do work but only when managed correctly but I wanted to get the views and knowledge from someone who has been using pods for much longer – enter podcast listener Lynnaire Johnston.
Sat, 14 July 2018
Where were you last week?
Did I miss an episode?
Ooops…sorry about last week folks, this episode didn’t happen last week because, well to be perfectly frank…I had the podcasters equivalent of writers block!
But I’m back on it this week and this is a tricky subject that probably effects all of us at some time.
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
I’ve scanned the internet for interesting articles about LinkedIn and there really is very little but this one instigated a rant from me…just a little one!
What a load of C*** or codswallop as some posh English people say!
Why do people feel the need to dictate how LinkedIn should be, based purely on their own preferences. LinkedIn should be inclusive to all people. Some people love emojis and others hate them…that’s fine but just because you hate them, that isn’t a reason to prevent others from using them. Some industries and some users of a certain age love using emojis. If you are sent one then just ignore it, give feedback to the sender or just simply block them.
This nicely leads me into the main subject of this weeks episode…….The etiquette of using LinkedIn.
I was talking to a fellow LinkedIn Trainer last week and we were debating what we thought was acceptable or not when adding comments to a competitors post. This motivated me to publish the video below;
The comments thread on that post make very interesting reading.
It seems that a prominent view amongst many was that it’s OK to post a link provided it added value to the discussion and was not promotion….which sounds sensible but that doesn’t take into account the original poster (OP) – they have probably posted that content to encourage engagement and your link doesn’t help at all in that respect because it is taking people away from the thread.
No matter how well intentioned your actions, it’s not always clear to the OP that you are not promoting yourself – even if the link is to educational content that is highly relevant to the topic, you are still taking people from the thread to your website, which is still promotional! There is also a good chance it is actually detracting from the engagement thread so this could be considered bad manners.
The problem is that the right and wrong ‘line’ is different for everyone! This can all get very confusing for less experienced people who, understandably find it off-putting.
One person even suggested that hashtags and @mentions are inappropriate – I can’t subscribe to that though, they are mainly ways to bring people to the post which is doing the OP more of a favour.
The subject of course is much wider than post comments, other subjects that are relevant;
It’s a bit of a minefield isn’t it?
What other examples can you think of?
Did you know?
You can now add email addresses into posts and messages on LinkedIn and they become active, clickable links.
This is very useful. Unfortunately they still don’t convert to links in your profile which is where they would be most useful
Post of the Week
You may recall Simon Bourne from episode 207
I recently saw two posts from Simon, the first shows how genuine and authentic he is, the second shows how, by building a great following through being authentic, he is able to generate business on Linkedin.
This weeks question comes from Jason Holt.
Question: A while back, I was a bit lazy when reaching out to people with connection requests and didn’t customise the message. (I know!) In my defence its not super easy on mobile but anyway…I now have a list of contacts who didn’t respond. I don’t know these people but they could potentially benefit from my services and would be great networking contacts for. They are local too. Can you suggest how I can recover this situation and try to obtain the connection. Is there a way of re-submitting the connection request?
Answer: The answer depends on how they reacted to your original invitation. > If they selected the ‘ignore’ response you can only invite them again if you have their email address. > If they neither ‘accepted’ or ‘ignored’ then you can withdraw the invite and try again. For the latter do this; > My network > Manage all > Sent > Withdraw
That’s it for this week, until next time.
Sat, 30 June 2018
This weeks episode is all about something that is right in front of us, every time we log in to LinkedIn but it's something that most of us take very little notice of......and I think that's a missed opportunity. I'm talking about data - about companies and their employees. Companies that are our competitors, customers or prospective customers. I think we should all be taking more notice of this data, more of that later but first........
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
When you click on 'See translation' you see this
And here's how it compares to Google translate
A fantastic feature that will be really beneficial to people who operate in countries like the Netherlands where you want to reach an English and native speaking audience with your posts. It will also be very handy when someone @mentions you in a post that is written in a foreign language - this happens to me at least twice a month!
It's not as accurate as Google yet but should improve with time.
Good to see LinkedIn recognised by the wider video creating community and given a spot at VidCon. I find it fascinating that these LinkedIn video creators, who seem to have come out of nowhere, are gaining almost 'YouTuber' like cult status!
I do think that a feature like Instagram stories would be great for Linkedin, such as this;
The only issue is that she has had to make this is IGTV (Instagram) so the portrait format looks awful on LinkedIn - hence the need for a way of making this type of video in the LinkedIn app.
I believe that the next stage for video on LinkedIn is the combination of video and stories - live streaming is probably the next stage after that but I'm not sure the LinkedIn community is ready for live just yet!
I was recently sent this article by a listener to the show;
I'm really not sure I understand the question about the ethics of using this analytics tool to raid a competitor - isn't that what everyone does? This tool just provides better information to allow recruiters to 'poach' those that are more likely to be interested. The ethical question around headhunting has always seemed bizarre to me, to suggest it is wrong would suggest that a company somehow 'owns' its staff - that seems to be on much thinner moral ground (ice) to me!
Interestingly enough, someone else had mentioned LinkedIn's new Talent Insights feature to me recently and I had made a note to check it out.
If you want to hear LinkedIn talk about it, the video below is set play at the part where they announced Talent Insights at their Talent Intelligence Summit earlier this year.
LinkedIn describe Talent Insights as their most exciting product since Recruiter!
It will be launched next summer (2019)
There are two reports that it provides;
This all seems pretty exciting for Recruiters and it got me thinking about how useful such data could be for other purposes. As I started to think about it I realised that much of the useful data can easily be extracted from Sales Navigator!
Take this example;
Account search by location, industry and number of employees, then I used the headcount growth slider to identify which companies had seen the highest growth over the last 12 months
Furthermore, I can go into that company a drill down to a list of employees, here I can see exactly how long they have been at the company and in their role. This easily highlights those that are new.
This can be very useful data used for the following;
As is often the case LinkedIn are demonstrating a lack of joined-up thinking. Much (not all) of what this new Talent Insights product provides can be found, quite easily within Sales Navigator already!
I'm assuming this new product will come with a hefty price tag and we have to wait at least a year to get it!
I've been quite disappointed with Sales Navigator recently. It's pretty hopeless as an engagement tool and LinkedIn.com is easily my preferred tool for posting, commenting etc but the data you can access is really very useful.
What are your thoughts? How else could this data be used?
You are 100% correct Rose, a company page is required to ensure that your company logo appears in your experience section which in turn ensures that it appears at the top of your profile.
I would never suggest that people don't have a company page, you also need it for advertising and it can be useful as a way of getting people to your website. It's a good feature for branding and providing information about your company - it's just a very poor feature for engaging with people.
Sat, 23 June 2018
Welcome to episode 214. Due to time constraints, this will be a much shorter episode than normal but I did want to focus on company pages and specifically the issues that I have with them.
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
LinkedIn Kudos - My thoughts
The day after I published last weeks episode, I got the new kudos feature (and the Q code, see below).
Having played with Kudos for a while, I'm not that impressed.
I also got the new QR code feature
This not only went viral but it's also a really good post that asks a great question. I like to think I make some good videos but this guy is a real pro (and a listener to the show)
This subject came back into my view this week when Tony Restell posted this;
Can you believe it?!!!
The more I thought about, the more I realised that this was a major weakness of the job posting and company page process on LinkedIn. So I decided to try it out myself!
Firstly I took one of my fake/testing accounts and changed their employment to my company on LinkedIn. This has always been a frustration for many of us - literally anyone can say they work for your company!
The next stage was to try posting a job
As you can see, I made it clear that this was a fake vacancy!
The interesting thing was that I was able to use the email address associated to the personal profile so all job applicants would come to that emails inbox!
I then set the PPC rate and bingo, the job posted!
The only caveat is that despite the above, I actually couldn't find the job on LinkedIn! Could this be because they have blocked the ad?
That is possible but I suspect it is actually just a current glitch with job postings.
I also had an interesting conversation this week with someone who was advocating the use of their company page
"What are you getting from your page" I asked. "We get a high number of page impressions" was the answer.
"And what do they give you?" pause...... "It's good brand exposure"
Is it really?
Company page posts gain almost zero engagement - they often attract Likes (mainly from employees) but very few posts attract comments. If you get comments, you know for a fact that someone is paying attention to your post, in addition it gives you the opportunity to build a relationship with them. It's the main reason to post and by far the most important metric - Likes are 'two a penny', Shares simply don't work and page impressions are a meaningless figure (how do we even know they are true?).
If you can prove that your posts (updates) are sending a decent number of people to your website. I don't mean LinkedIn per se, I mean specifically updates. If they are then your activity has some value but otherwise, without comments you are achieving very little (apart from showing that your page is active).
Why don't people comment?
Sat, 16 June 2018
Welcome to episode 213. A big thanks to everyone who contributed with ideas of LinkedIn mistakes/disasters that I can use in a book I’m considering writing. If you have any other stories, please let me know by either sending me a message on LinkedIn (it’s free even if we are not connected) or leave a voicemail (link on the right side of this page) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some ideas so far;
More of that later…..
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
Groups update - nothing to get too excited about but a recent post in a group managers forum confirmed that progress is still being made and that they see that “success is largely defined by the quality of the discussions and connections formed within Groups”. That sounds promising although at the same time they also suggest that they are working to help group managers in 4 areas - building, growing, engaging and managing. The 2nd one ‘growing’ worries me as I believe that large groups are what caused the problem in the first place.
Cisco report. I mentioned this last week but admitted that I hadn’t read it. I have now and it makes for an interesting read;
LinkedIn debuts Your Commute, navigation and maps to evaluate jobs based on how far they are
This is quite a nice feature, if it works! My experience was that very few jobs in the UK had a stated location postcode, perhaps because they were added prior to this feature. The couple that I did find both stated the car journey was ‘2+ hours’ - not very helpful!
Introducing LinkedIn Kudos: Say Thanks and Show Your Appreciation
I don’t have this yet so it’s hard to comment without playing with it properly. How will it be used? Will you be able to search for it - perhaps via a Recruiter account.
LinkedIn are either rolling out or testing QR codes for your profile.
I can see myself using this as QR codes really haven’t taken off here but it will be an important feature in other countries.
Giving Companies More Ways to Learn with LinkedIn Learning Pro
This seems like quite a useful feature for large companies
Introducing Carousel Ads on LinkedIn
These look nice and help with storytelling, although videos are a better way to tell stories.
As you can see above the feature is accessed in the left side bar.
The first thing to note is that your feed has changed. Instead of being ordered by ‘top’ from those you follow who the algorithm thinks you might be interested in, it now shows posts from those you follow who have posted, Liked or Commented with and on #topics you follow.
This is much better but only of you refine what you are following. To do this;
> click on the ‘Discover more’ link (see arrow above)
To do this on mobile you need to tap on the 3 lines shown below
It is really important to get this right - only follow topics that fall into one of these categories
Something your prospects and customers are interested in
These Topics will define the relevance of your feed from now on.
You can decide to filter your feed by just one specific topic by selecting it from your list of #topics
To make this quicker on desktop you can ‘pin’ your main topics.
Once you have set your feed up correctly you should see much better content that gives you plenty more opportunities to engage.
The premise here is that we should be focussed more on conversations around relevant topics than around specific people we wish to do business with.
LinkedIn are making a major effort to ensure that #topics are widely adopted. Every post you do, as you are writing the text, you are suggested hashtags to use.
Having a more relevant feed should improve everyones LinkedIn experience allowing us to ;
What I don’t like
The are several things that could go wrong. If people # incorrectly or misuse the function to ‘game the system’ our feeds could end up being poor again. The suggested tags feature could increase this issue as I have found it is often suggesting the wrong topics.
It is not possible to see what others are interested in. I think it would be better to show what topics someone is following in their profile. This will help us better understand the right topics to follow.
To my mind, engagement is at the heart of social selling and yet this feature is nowhere to be seen in Sales Navigator….go figure! Another example of a severe lack of joined up thinking at LinkedIn.
Sat, 9 June 2018
Welcome to episode 212. A big thanks for all the feedback from last weeks show. Most of you seemed to enjoy Marjorie’s information about ProFinder although I was surprised by a couple of people who felt I shouldn’t have been promoting a service such as ProFinder - the premise being that LinkedIn are creating a market that is free to use (even though it isn’t) and once people are dependent on ProFinder as a source of work, they will start to charge more for it.
This week I’m looking for your help…
What have you seen happen on LinkedIn that is a good example of a mishap or poor practice?
As a starting point, I though I would cover my 5 biggest mistakes I see on LinkedIn and hope that you can help me add to the list.
Airline sources a plane via a LinkedIn post!
Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t consider LinkedIn to be a competitor
New LinkedIn Features
New Sales Navigator profiles - a definite improvement
The people also views has gone but they do have an extra ‘Recommended leads at:’ section that isn’t shown above
Using Stickers and Text to Stand Out on LinkedIn Video
‘How You Match’ feature speeds up time-to-hire
Post of the Week
This one obviously resonated with me! Thanks to Gary Stockton for sending this one in.
Have you seen a post that you really enjoyed recently on LinkedIn? If so drop me a note on LinkedIn or via email@example.com with a link to the post.
The 5 Biggest Mistakes Made on LinkedIn
Sat, 2 June 2018
Welcome to episode 211, this week’s episode is dedicated entirely to understanding LinkedIn ProFinder.
I haven’t used ProFinder as it is currently only available to users in the United States so I found an experienced (and award winning) user who could tell us all about it.
Let me introduce Marjorie Kavanagh
ProFinder is LinkedIn’s own professional service marketplace’ where users can search for freelancers, small business owners or interim executives who can provide expertise in a variety of specialist disciplines.
You can access ProFinder by going to the ‘More’ menu on LinkedIn desktop
Freelancers can apply to be accepted as a ‘Pro’ in up to 10 of the 140 categories available in proFinder. These are broken down into 17 broad categories.
Freelancers can apply to be accepted as a ‘Pro’ in up to 10 of the 140 categories available in proFinder. These are broken down into 17 broad categories.
How to become a ‘Pro’
To be a successful applicant your main LinkedIn profile must satisfy five key requirements;
Here is Marjorie’s profile;
You will then start to receive Request for Proposals (RFP). You are under no obligation to respond but you are advised to respond quickly as up to 5 ‘Pro’s will be sent the RFP and not all are sent at the same time.
What does it cost?
ProFinder is free for those who wish to appoint a Freelancer.
As a Pro, you get your first 10 RFP’s for free (not assignments, just proposals) after that you will need to upgrade your LinkedIn account to a Business Premium Account (currently $60/month)
As someone looking for services you can simply search for specific categories or go to an individuals page (strangely there is no link in their main LinkedIn profile).
If there are more than 5 suitable pro’s then the algorithm will select what it considers the best ones (presumably taking into account the number of recommendations).
As a pro you will receive a notification by email and in your ProFinder Inbox - this is separate from your main LinkedIn inbox and there is no other way of knowing you have an RFP (this is very poor design in my opinion).
There is currently not a mobile app for ProFinder.
When responding to an RFP you have to provide a cost estimation or hourly rate and indicate whether you are happy to provide a free 15 minute consultation. Following this you have up to 1500 characters to present your credentials - LinkedIn’s advice is that short and concise works best. You can include links which could be a video introduction or an example of your work.
LinkedIn do not require that a client indicate that they have appointed you so it is not currently possible for LinkedIn to assess how successful you have been with your RFP’s in addition your recommendations are from your main LinkedIn profile and not specifically related to your ProFinder work.
LinkedIn ProFinder offer a fantastic opportunity to wide range of small business owners and freelancers. There is no doubt that it is still a beta product and in just one conversation I can see several obvious improvements that could be made.
If you are in the US, I strongly recommend you check it out to see if any of the categories fit with your business. It could be a great way to outsource certain specialist projects and if you provide such services, an untapped lead generator!
Sat, 26 May 2018
Welcome to episode 210, I’m back after a very restful week in the sun in Cape Verde and was surprised to see very little news about LinkedIn circulating the internet over the last couple of weeks so this is going to be a shorter than normal episode.
Another example of scammers using LinkedIn in this article. This really highlights the need to be a bit more careful who we connect with, for everyones benefit.
LinkedIn Announces New Sales Navigator Capabilities
Sat, 19 May 2018
Welcome to episode 209, this week we have a pre-recorded interview with Kris Holland who is a Marketing Manager with a specialist recruitment business called Charlton Morris
Kris and I engaged on LinkedIn following on from my posts about content marketing as covered in episode 204. Kris was keen to explain that content marketing had been working well for them so I thought it would be great to get him on the show.
Content should be designed to start conversations
Here is the LinkedIn article we often referred to in this interview.
I hope you found that an interesting interview. How many recruitment businesses do you know who focus this heavily of content and understanding their specialist markets?
Let me know if you are aware of any companies, in any sector that you believe are using content effectively on LinkedIn.
Sat, 12 May 2018
Welcome to episode 208, this week I am revisiting the search algorithm. If you are a long term listener you will recall that I tested the search algorithm a year ago in episode 161 and I promised that I would conduct the same test every year to check if the algorithm had changed……..and guess what, it has!
Shameless drug dealers using LINKEDIN to sell Class A narcotics. I’m afraid this is classic British tabloid sensationalism! The profile of Scott Bush has already been deactivated and I could find very little other drug selling activity.
LinkedIn is now rolling out suggested hashtags in posts as per this voicemail from Lynnaire Johnston.
Post of the Week
I just love the positivity of this brilliant post from Michael Spence
LinkedIn SEO 2018
How easy is it to find your profile in a LinkedIn Search?
This is why I carry out a test every year to check what is important to ensure that your profile is correctly optimised for search.
WARNING : It's not an exact science! Don't get me wrong, there will be an exact science to this but no-one knows what it is apart from a select group of 'higher beings' who reside in some dark room at LinkedIn's headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA.
This group are sworn to secrecy so we will never know the answer to this mystery.......but we can perform some practical tests to get a better 'sense' of what is important in a profile.
I used 4 accounts for this test (my own and 3 others I was kindly given access to).
Account 1 - 9900 connections, highly active, based in Warrington, Cheshire, UK
I performed the following search from each of these accounts (within minutes of each other)
Keywords : copywriting OR copywriter and filtered by 'people'
Initially the results were analysed without any further filters.Initially the results were analysed without any further filters.
Conclusion: If you can identify someone who you think might be searching for someone like you (for instance a Recruiter in a company you wish to work for), consider following them rather than connecting.
How important is LinkedIn SEO?
If you are a jobseeker, it's extremely important. The vast majority of searches performed on LinkedIn are by Recruiters and you should optimise your profile in line with these results.
Sat, 5 May 2018
Welcome to episode 207, this week I had the pleasure of chatting with Simon Bourne from The Hand Dyed Shoe Company. Simon is a classic example of what can be achieved when you use LinkedIn to develop an authentic personal brand.
LinkedIn has massive untapped potential to develop your brand
Sat, 28 April 2018
Welcome to episode 206. As the new desktop profile design continues to roll-out to many, I thought it would make sense to cover profiles with you in this episode.
LinkedIn’s AutoFill plugin could leak user data, secret fix failed
Facebook faces exodus as businesses call time
Facebook's new slogan: 'If you think we're not good for your business, leave'
Always Customise Your LinkedIn Invitation? Better not?
The new mobile ‘Find Nearby’ seems to be broken!
Post of the Week
Following on from last weeks episode on content marketing I thought I would highlight this excellent post from John Espirian. Great advice…and great subtitles too!
Refresh Your Profile
With the new profile design rolling out to many of you I thought it would be a good time to make some changes to your profile.
As a starting point I posted this video this week showing a side by side comparison
A Scientific Explanation Of The NEW LinkedIn Profile
Some of you will have to change your background image because of the new position of the profile picture. It is unlikely to change on mobile where it is still centred. This is not a massive issue as the background image is less important on mobile, but worth considering.
The easiest way to create a background image is to find a suitable free image on Pixabay and upload it to Canva and then create a ‘custom dimension’ of 1584x396 px
It may also be a good time to invest in a new, professionally taken headshot image. This is no longer an expensive thing to do and you should easily be able to find a good local headshot photographer on LinkedIn, just type the following into the searcher at the top of the page;
Review your headline : Is there clarity to your prospects? Are you using your 120 characters wisely?
Company Logo; The most recently commenced position will be the one that shows a logo at the top of your new profile. Make sure that if you have several concurrent positions that the most important one is at the top (you can move them by dragging the 4 horizontal lines)
Summary: This has increased from 2 to 3 lines (roughly 300 characters) now. A good summary should start with your contact details (only 45 characters are seen on mobile) and the rest should provide an enticing ‘teaser’ to encourage the viewer to click on the now more prominent ‘show more’
Media: As there are now 6 thumbnails that actually show in the preview, it may be a good time to review which media you are using and perhaps designing them so that the thumbnails (which are much smaller) show what the media is.
Skills: If you are into skills (I’m really not!) then you might want to use the new format as an excuse to review what you show (see Greg Coopers post above)
Sat, 21 April 2018
Welcome to episode 205, this week I’m joined by Robert Indries to discuss content marketing on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn are changing Middle East and African accounts onto US based contracts as from May 8th to avoid GDPR compliance.
LinkedIn Tips to Keep Your Profile Fresh includes reference to new profile design
I chatted with Robert Indries about how content marketing can work on LinkedIn but only if it is done in the right way.
Sat, 14 April 2018
Welcome to episode 204, this week I want to return to the increasingly important subject of video, not just native video but the wider use of video on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn appear to be trialling the compulsory use of hashtags in posts. Goof idea or not?
GIFs have returned to LinkedIn! They are now accessible only in the Messages feature and interestingly via a 3rd party source called Tenor. This itself interests me as LinkedIn have shown reluctance to work with 2rd parties previously .(see emoji’s and video filters). Here is a link to the article. I’m a bit mixed up when it comes to GIF’s, in theory I shouldn’t like them as they are usually pretty stupid……but I keep finding myself using them so I think I’m going to have to come out and say it…….I’m a Giffer!
Whilst I wouldn’t advise posting YouTube, Vimeo and other external links to videos as posts, they can still provide excellent content to add to Articles and your profile in the media section under the Summary, Experience and Education sections. With the forthcoming changes to profiles, 5 pieces of media will show in the profile which potentially allows you to do more with adding videos into your profile.
Whether it be Native LinkedIn video or other sources, the guidelines are the same.
In the podcast I highlight some examples of people who are posting awful, ‘Vcard’ type videos with boring, sales content. Whilst tempting, this really does you no favours!
The best type of video content (as a post or in media in your profile) will include;
Post of the week
Of course if you were really brave you could also record yourself singing as Page Kemna does in this ‘singing Résumé post that went viral recently. Even Jeff Weiner felt the need to comment on this one! Thanks to Giles Davis for highlighting this
I keep hitting the commercial use limit. I can’t afford to upgrade my account so do you have any tips to avoid this problem?
Commercial use limit is defined by LinkedIn as;
This information from LinkedIn gives us some handy clues as to how to navigate around the limit.
Reduce unnecessary profile views
Sat, 7 April 2018
Welcome to episode 203, after a weeks break for the Easter holidays we are back and this week I want to talk about engagement……quite possibly the single most important thing you should consider when using LinkedIn!
I have mixed feelings about this, as you know I love video and the ability to post videos from a company page is a positive thing but then again, the people that manage company pages tend to be stuck in a mindset of promotion……so we can expect to see a lot of boring corporate, ‘look at how amazing we are’ videos….joy!
I still think video from a personal page is by far the best way to encourage engagement.
LinkedIn are now rolling out the ‘find nearby’ I have mentioned previously to mobile apps (roll-out is ‘account specific’ not ‘device specific’).
Promotion simply doesn’t work on LinkedIn…or at least, it very rarely works so that poses the following question;
“If we are using LinkedIn to win new business and promotion doesn’t work…why bother with LinkedIn?”
The answer is simple: LinkedIn allows you to achieve two key things that will help you win more business;
Both of these factors are achieved by one thing…….Engagement
Engagement - the development of conversations on LinkedIn. This is the key to success in my opinion.
How to engage
The first point about finding the right content is dependant on searching for content (keywords and Hashtags) as well as ensuring your homepage feed is full of comment-worthy posts. This is achieved by;
The algorithm has to make decisions as to what to show you in your feed, if it showed you every post from every connection you wouldn’t be able to make any sense of it.
There are probably more factors, LinkedIn doesn’t tell us how this is done but we know it’s an algorithm and that can only work from data/activity based instructions. You need to think of yourself as being a ‘programmer’ through your actions.
This is important to consider in terms of what you see but even more important to consider when you are posting! Who will see your post and can you influence this in your activities?
Some people have suggested that LinkedIn should allow us to control our own feed…this is unrealistic as very few would use it.
Sat, 24 March 2018
Welcome to episode 202, this week I don’t really have one main subject to cover but I guess the most eye grabbing headline is that LinkedIn have decided to re-design profiles….again!
The Bible of LinkedIn Bollocks
New Profile Design
About a year ago, most people were seeing the new design for the first time, The basic (free) version of LinkedIn had a complete makeover including a new design for profiles…..and now they have decided the re-design profiles again!!
Firstly let me make it clear that these new profiles are in the early stage of roll-out so very few of you will see this. I also don’t have this new design, the above screenshot was sent to me by my good friend and fellow LinkedIn Trainer Angus Grady.
Please Note: Roll out of new features is per account, not per profile. You might think this is the same but it isn’t. Angus’ LinkedIn account is part of the early roll-out, not his profile. When I view his profile, it has the picture in the centre but when he views it (or any other) he sees the new design with the picture on the left.
Also please note: Another misconception about new features is that there rollout is based on geography…it is not! The amount of times someone states “we don’t have it yet here in X” drives me crazy!
Because I don’t have this yet, I haven’t been able to test if the links and features are different or whether it’s purely a cosmetic change.
One thing is for sure, there are plenty of people out there who are going to have to change their background image!
So what do you think of the change of design?
Multiple Image Posts on Desktop
An image post made of up to 9 images has been a feature of the LinkedIn mobile app for sometime but recently LinkedIn quietly made it possible on Desktop, this is great news for company page admins who are not able to mange their page via mobile.
To add images via a PC simply use the ctrl+click or cmd+click on Mac to select multiple images (or the click+shift feature for a complete line of files).
LinkedIn Video: Stand Out with Filters and Text
Ok, maybe it’s just me but those filters just look ridiculous! They remind me of the equally ugly emojis in Messages that no-one uses!
He followed that up with this article
The thing is, I don’t believe ‘Broetry’ was ever a reason why he got high numbers in the first place.
All that matters in a post is that it’s more than 3 lines long, this will ensure it triggers the ‘See more’ and if people click on that, the algorithm will automatically push the post out to more people.
It doesn’t matter if it’s easy to read or a big, ugly block of text. If the first 3 lines are enough to tempt me to click or tap on ‘see more’ it will get more views.
As far as Josh is concerned, his numbers are still amazing so I don’t really know what his is complaining about.
The algorithm has to limit the amount of content in our feed or it would be unmanageable so a reduction in views is inevitable....the same thing happened with Articles.
This is simply a consequence of success, if you get high views and engagement, other will copy and as they get higher views, your will go down. That’s all there is to it….no conspiracy!
A listener Mark Lee decided to conduct his own experiment on the success of his posts on LinkedIn and he has been generous enough to share the numbers and conclusions with me.
Mark’s target audience is Accountants and small Accountancy firms
The analysis goes back to the start of December, initially he was posting links to his or other Blogs via IFTTT, this was soon halted in favour of long, text only posts.
His conclusions are as follows;
Sat, 17 March 2018
Welcome to episode 201, this week I return to our normal format and the main subject is something that has been playing on my mind for a while, in some respects I think it can be the ‘elephant in the room’ for a social media or LinkedIn Trainer / Coach …..What do you do if your prospects are not socially active on LinkedIn or any social media platform?
More of that later, but to start with….
Post of the week
Actually this was from the previous week when the ‘beast from the East’ hit the UK.
I also posted a video this week of a feature that has been bugging me for a while…..why can’t you ‘Ignore’ an invite from a profile?
I would estimate we had about 70-85 people at the inaugural #LinkedInLocal event in Manchester.
How Do You Win Business on LinkedIn with a disengaged audience?
This topic has been on my mind for sometime and I decided to cover it in this episode when I received this excellent video question from Paolo Lanciani
I asked Paolo to share his ideas on this subject and here is what he had to say;
That is great feedback and fits with many of my thoughts on the subject.
I also asked for more thoughts and ideas in this post;
You can read all the comments but the main ones I would highlight are;
John Espirian wrote;
Michael Spencer added;
As you would imagine LinkedIn Ads expert AJ Wilcox had something to say about that!
For me, Michaels approach is about laser sharp focus for content. This is ultimately possible (you can send a link to a post or article to anyone on LinkedIn with a premium account or your connections on a free account but he is referring to hitting high numbers….and we are back to a numbers game again!
My view is that the key to this is having an intimate and deep knowledge of your target audience. This will allow you to post relevant, interest content in a format that is easy to consume. Paolo posts short ‘on the move’ videos which reflect the nature of the way his audience behave.
Post on a consistent, regular basis. Don’t expect your audience to always see it but at some point someone will and they may refer you or a target might view your profile and see your content there. People do not have to be active to notice you, just an occasional visit to LinkedIn may allow them to see your content.
Sat, 10 March 2018
Welcome to this momentous occasion and our 200th episode, this week I wanted to do something special to celebrate this landmark so rather than the normal format I am going to be covering the top five episodes (as defined by the number of times they were downloaded) out of the 199 recorded and published so far.
I really love this show, it’s become my main form of content these days and the best way to keep people in touch and up to date with LinkedIn.
It all started in November 2013 when I decided to finally give it a go and promised smells that I would give it 20 episodes and see whether it was worth continuing after that!
So here we are, over 4 years later and with over 85,000 downloads we have finally reached our 200th episode.
This podcast is really all about you, the listener so I thought it would be a good idea to include contributions from regular listeners.
Thanks for all your support, questions and feedback over the last four years, I really appreciate it and I wouldn’t be able to do this show without your continued input.
Sat, 24 February 2018
Welcome to episode 199. Well what an amazing response we had to last weeks debate with John Nemo about LinkedIn automation!
Introducing Salary Insights on Jobs
I received this question prior to last weeks episode and I thunk it hits on a really important question
I enjoy John’s (Nemo) podcasts too and find them to be useful. He also believes in providing value which aligns well with your strategy and what I believe in. That said, on the providing value yet pushy scale, John is totally different from you which is why I appreciate your style a lot more.
The question for you though is how does one avoid being pushy like John, provides value like you both do, but also builds a solid bridge to the services that are provided by you and/or your organization.
For example I have now downloaded and heard at least 20+ of your past episodes. I love them! I love your style. However I am not sure what you do besides some LinkedIn workshops which you have very briefly mentioned on your podcast. Of course I know I can go on your web site and find out, but isn’t that a lost opportunity? If I run into someone tomorrow that needs services you can provide but I don’t know about them, wouldn’t that be a loss for you?
The reason I ask is that I have also approached my networking in person with the same mentality. I have for years provided lots of value to people in the business community here in Washington DC. They love me and the relationships are strong. But I am not sure most would know what opportunities to pass on to me.
Of course that’s why I am getting more active on LinkedIn and working on content generation but also find somethings John talks about to be appealing. Eg automating messages to contacts...which add value and lead them to more ‘sales’ options.
Anyway, just a thought about balance on the spectrum of ‘pushy ness’ and how you build an effective bridge to sales for people that see you as a credible resource
Define your product or service and it’s target audience (customer avatar)
Go deeper. As you engage with relevant people (not just potential customers) selectively take it to the next level by suggesting meeting for a coffee or via a Skype/Zoom call.
Sat, 17 February 2018
Welcome to episode 198, this week I have a real treat for you!
I have thought about this a lot and my conclusion is that automation tools are a bad thing for all of us and the more they are used, the less effective LinkedIn will become.
Darrel Griffin agrees
But not everyone sees it that way…..enter John Nemo!
John is a LinkedIn trainer and a big fan of automation on LinkedIn so I thought it would be fun to get him on the show and have a good old debate!
We get into all sorts of areas during our discussion and I’m not going to even attempt to cover everything here, you will have to listen to the episode but in short;
I personally wouldn’t recommend that strategy……but that is entirely up to you!
So what do you think?
Please get in touch and let me have your views. Send me a voicemail or drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sat, 10 February 2018
Welcome to episode 197, I’m back and it’s just me this week.
Someone alerted me to a shocking issue regarding invitations to connect this week and it got me thinking about the ineffective way that LinkedIn introduce new features. It seems that introduce features on a slow roll-out and rely on their users to report issues…..but what if we don’t or aren’t able to spot a problem…….based on the evidence of this week, it appears that such issues just remain until someone does report it.
More of that later but as usual I scanned the internet to find any interesting articles about Linkedin, I found a few but it has been noticeable this year that LinkedIn’s own blog seems to be focussed mainly on job seekers - very few LinkedIn users are looking for jobs so why are Linkedin writing virtually all their blog articles for jobseekers?
People Still Spend an Insane Amount of Time on Facebook, But Trust it Much Less than LinkedIn
I will be attending three Linkedin local events in the next month or so;
The #LinkedInLocal concept is really taking off with an amazing 48 events happening in February and March across the world including Bristol, Leeds, San Francisco, Paris, Las Vegas, Edinburgh and Lahore to name a few
To find an event in your area go to https://linkedlocally.com/explore/
Post of the Week
A great video post from José Chávez-Ruz that hits the mark for being relevant, interesting and highly shareable.
LinkedIn are improving the skills endorsements feature (mobile only at the moment).
Now when you endorse a skill you are asked to grade the level
And then give it some context
In addition you can now see the actual number of endorsements on mobile, rather than the previous 99+
Will this make skill endorsements relevant?
I was truly shocked to find this out this week - thanks to an eagle eyed connection who spotted it.
This is, I believe a direct result of LinkedIns ridiculous feature launch policy that appears to involve zero testing or quality control and relies 100% on the user reporting a problem……but what is the user is unable or highly unlikely to spot the fault?
It’s time that LinkedIn stopped letting their members down and implemented a proper, thorough quality control testing procedure.
Do you agree?
“How do I stop those irritating badge posts from LinkedIn appearing on the left of my screen while I'm working? The ones which talk about how it bases choices it offers me on my interests or posts or some such nonsense. I've only really noticed them this week”
Sat, 3 February 2018
Welcome to episode 196, this week I chat with personal branding expert Jennifer Holloway about the article that LinkedIn bring out every year highlighting the most used words in LinkedIn profiles.
Click on the image above to view the full article
Takeaways from our chat
Some words (such as passionate) are overused in profiles without much thought going into whether they are true or not
Thanks again to Jennifer for her time and ideas. You can find out more about her from her LinkedIn profile (link in image above) or by going to her website https://www.jennifer-holloway.co.uk/
This weeks question comes from Mahan Tavakoli
Sat, 27 January 2018
Welcome to episode 195, I had planned to cover a different subject (The dangers of automation - let me know your thoughts on that!) this week but then I got an excellent voicemail question from Giles about the differences between following and connecting and decided to cover that subject in more detail.
But before that……
Find the Right Words to Land the Right Job
LinkedIn are clearing ‘moving the furniture’ on desktop at the moment, so many things are not working - especially @mentions and notifications. I also found that only half the comments on one of my posts were showing when I checked on mobile. Suggest you keep an eye on mobile at the moment until things settle down.
As I mentioned, this subject was instigated by a question I received from Giles;
Definition: Following someone means that you could see their content and activity in your feed (articles, posts, shares, likes and comments). You can follow anyone on LinkedIn provided their setting allow this.
You can follow up to 5000 people who are not your connections. To follow someone simply click on the 3 dot ‘More’ menu at the top of their profile or look for the Follow button on the Activity section of their profile.
A connection is a follower and someone you follow by default. You can unfollow a connection at anytime from the ‘More’ menu. You are allowed up to 30,000 connections.
The difference with a connection is that, as well as their activity you are able to see and filter their connections (dependant on their setting), send messages and see their full contact info including their primary email address.
Now to Giles question
Firstly let me address the question of blocking.
This is the only way you can prevent him from following you
What harm can come from him seeing your activity - assuming you are not giving away commercially sensitive information?
This brings up a wider point;
The ethics of competition on LinkedIn;
Is it ethical to provide advice and demonstrate your knowledge on a competitors post?
When to follow and NOT connect
A complete stranger whose content you find interesting
Obviously 1 and 3 may be pre-cursors to connecting.
Following has been around on LinkedIn for years but still most people just connect, it’s beginning to be understood better but we still have a way to go. When I talk with people who are more familiar with other social networks, I explain the mechanics of LinkedIn as being like a blend of Twitter, where you follow and Facebook where you connect (friend). On LinkedIn you can do either!
This weeks question is also about following and comes from Nigel Willis
Nigels first question refers to following Influencers such as Bill gates. Influencers have become known for posting some decent content but never engaging with comments, this somewhat flies in the face of the point of content in my opinion! I’m not surprised you want to unfollow Bill and as far as I know it will not cause you any issues with the algorithm.
Sat, 20 January 2018
Welcome to episode 194, this week I have a chat with my friend and fellow LinkedIn trainer/consultant Sandra Long about personal branding.
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
I have mentioned previously that I’m aware that LinkedIn are currently working on a project to improve groups and this week they sent out a communication advising of several changes that will happen soon.
This week I had a chat with LinkedIn expert Sandra Long. Personal branding was one of my predictions for 2018 covered in episode 192 and a subject I believe to be very important to all of us. I even covered it briefly in the first ever episode of LinkedInformed when I introduced ‘Personal Branding for Brits’ author Jennifer Holloway
Tom Peters article The Brand Called You which is still just as relevant today as when it was written in 1997!
Sat, 13 January 2018
Welcome to episode 193 and a very happy and prosperous new year to you all. I trust everyone had a fantastic break over Christmas.
Towards the end of last year I conducted a survey of LinkedIn users to see how behaviour had changed on LinkedIn. I had a sense that the results would be interesting……and I wasn’t disappointed!
In this episode I will go through the results with you but before that….
New LinkedIn Feature
I think an additional catergory of “customized with a message” would also be helpful as, when I do have a lot to go through, I always prefer to read those with messages first.
I still don’t have the feature but if you do and have been using it, I would love to hear how well it has worked for you.
Thanks to Carl for sending this one in.
This is actually pretty easy to do yourself, but only if you have access to a Sales Navigator or Recruiter account. For some reason the url’s on those interfaces ignore the customised version and show the original source url with your number in it
The 2017 LinkedIn User Survey Results
We had 780 responses in total, thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the questions.
The average number of connections was 2178
We had five people who had reached the maximum 30,000 connections.
The highest number of followers was 205,000 (11,658 were connections) and equally impressive was someone who had 165,231 followers including only 1903 connections!
As for the rest of the questions, the full results can be seen below;