LinkedInformed Podcast. The LinkedIn Show

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

More info at LinkedInformed.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More about new groups later but first.

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

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

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

 

New Groups Design

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

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

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

Here's what's new (so far)

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Interesting Stuff I saw This Week
LinkedIn Groups Announcement

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

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

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

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

New Feature

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

This video post explains it;

 

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

In more recent times, views have dropped significantly.

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

Click on the image below to view Deepaks full profile.

 

Summary of points covered;

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


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

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

Let me know your thoughts.

 

That's it for this week.

 

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

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

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

More of that later but first…..

Go to http://linkedinformed.com/episode220

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

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

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

More of that later but first…..

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

Welcome to a new episode of LinkedInformed.

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

But first……

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

How to beat LinkedIn : The Game

This spoof article made me chuckle…enjoy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are pods?

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

This has two effects;

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Where were you last week?

Unexpected holiday?

Did I miss an episode?

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

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

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

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

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

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

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

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

LinkedIn Etiquette

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

The comments thread on that post make very interesting reading.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

It’s a bit of a minefield isn’t it?

What other examples can you think of?

Did you know?

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

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

Post of the Week

You may recall Simon Bourne from episode 207

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

 

Check out the comments below….Kerchinnng!

This weeks question comes from Jason Holt.

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

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

 

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

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

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

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Unveiling Translations in the LinkedIn Feed

When you click on 'See translation' you see this

And here's how it compares to Google translate

Conclusion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LinkedIn Data

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

Recruiting on LinkedIn adds analytics and pointed questions

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

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

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

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

It will be launched next summer (2019)

There are two reports that it provides;

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

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

Take this example;

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

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

This can be very useful data used for the following;

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

 

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But first.....

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

 

LinkedIn Kudos - My thoughts

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

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

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

 

I also got the new QR code feature

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

 

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

Company Pages

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

Can you believe it?!!!

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

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

The next stage was to try posting a job

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is it really?

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

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

Why don't people comment?

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

 

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

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

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


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

More of that later…..

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

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

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


New on LinkedIn

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

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

Introducing LinkedIn Kudos: Say Thanks and Show Your Appreciation

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

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

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

Giving Companies More Ways to Learn with LinkedIn Learning Pro

This seems like quite a useful feature for large companies

Introducing Carousel Ads on LinkedIn

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

#Communities


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I don’t like

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


But first…..


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Airline sources a plane via a LinkedIn post!

Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t consider LinkedIn to be a competitor


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

New LinkedIn Features

New Sales Navigator profiles - a definite improvement

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

 

Using Stickers and Text to Stand Out on LinkedIn Video

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

Post of the Week

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

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

 

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Made on LinkedIn

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

 

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

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

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

Let me introduce Marjorie Kavanagh


What is LinkedIn ProFinder?

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

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

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

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

How to become a ‘Pro’

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


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

Here is Marjorie’s profile;

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

What does it cost?

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

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


The Process

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

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

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

There is currently not a mobile app for ProFinder.

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

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

Summary

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

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

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

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

 
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


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


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

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

LinkedIn Announces New Sales Navigator Capabilities


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

 

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

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

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

Takeaways

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

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

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

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

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

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


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


LinkedIn Turns 15

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

LinkedIn Updates

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

Post of the Week

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

LinkedIn SEO 2018

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

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

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

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

The Test

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

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

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

Keywords : copywriting OR copywriter and filtered by 'people'

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


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


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

Keywords


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


Location


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


Skills


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


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


First Tier Connections perform poorly in search results!


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

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

How important is LinkedIn SEO?

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


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

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

 

Takeaways

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

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

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


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

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

Facebook faces exodus as businesses call time

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

Always Customise Your LinkedIn Invitation? Better not?

LinkedIn Features

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

Post of the Week

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

Refresh Your Profile

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

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

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

A Scientific Explanation Of The NEW LinkedIn Profile

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


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

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

 

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

Content Marketing

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

Key points

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

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

 

LinkedIn Updates

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

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


Video on LinkedIn


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

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

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

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

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

Post of the week

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

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

ANSWER;

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

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

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

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

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


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


LinkedIn Goes All-In on B2B Video

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

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


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

New Feature

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

Engagement

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

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

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

Increased visibility.
Warmer relationships with prospective customers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

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


LinkedIn Updates

New Profile Design

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Multiple Image Posts on Desktop

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

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

Video Filters

LinkedIn Video: Stand Out with Filters and Text

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


Is LinkedIn Deliberately ‘throttling’ post distribution?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Posting Statistics

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

Mark’s target audience is Accountants and small Accountancy firms

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

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

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

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

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

More of that later, but to start with….


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

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

Post of the week

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

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

#LinkedInLocal Manchester

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Top Five Episodes

Number 5

Number 4 
Number 3 
Number 2 
Number 1

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

 

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

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


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Introducing Salary Insights on Jobs


LinkedInfluence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


A book you might find interesting

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

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

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

Darrel Griffin agrees

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

So what do you think?

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

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

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

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

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


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

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

#LinkedInLocal

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

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

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

 

Post of the Week

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

 

New Feature

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

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

And then give it some context

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

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


Your Personalised mobile invitations have not been sent!

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

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

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

Do you agree?

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

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

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

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

Click on the image above to view the full article

Takeaways from our chat

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

 

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

This weeks question comes from Mahan Tavakoli

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

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

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

But before that……


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

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


LinkedIn Updates


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

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


Connecting and Following

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

 

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

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

Connecting

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

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

Now to Giles question

Firstly let me address the question of blocking.

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


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

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

This brings up a wider point;

The ethics of competition on LinkedIn;

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

When to follow and NOT connect

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


LinkedIn Announce some changes to groups

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

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


Personal Branding

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

Key takeaways

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

 

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

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

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

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


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week


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

New LinkedIn Feature

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

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


Magnet Posts

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

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


Interesting Post

Thanks to Carl for sending this one in.

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

The 2017 LinkedIn User Survey Results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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