LinkedInformed Podcast. The LinkedIn Show (general)

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

Welcome to episode 192 and a very merry Christmas to all of you.

There has been very little news about LinkedIn this week but I did native the following two related articles;


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

What we got right — and terribly wrong — in our 2017 predictions
The 50 big ideas for 2018

LinkedIn are, as always, keeping very tight lipped about their plans for 2018 so I thought it would be fun to take a stab at what I think the likely trends for LinkedIn in 2018 will be.

LinkedIn in 2018

Increased use of #Hashtags. Hashtags re-emerged in 2017 but next year they will become mainstream and ‘trending hashtags’ will become an important feature that we will all be using extensively by the end of the year.
Livestream Video. This one has been on LinkedIn’s roadmap for a while and I predict 2018 will be the year it is finally implemented. Native video will be fully rolled out by the end of the first quarter and I believe Livestream video will start to become a feature (mobile only) by the middle of 2018. As with Native video it will take a while for users to figure out the best way to use Live streaming so I don’t expect it to have a big impact in 2018…but it will start to roll out.
More spam. As the number of users increase and spammers (not just cowboys but also the uneducated) start to realise that they risk big fines due to the GDPR legislation (effective from May 2018). LinkedIn messaging and InMail will become a more widely used tool for spammers.
LinkedIn Hangouts. #LinkedInLocal will continue to grow and people will start to see the benefits of meeting their connections face to face…but not every business operates locally so LinkedIn will respond to this need by introducing a live video hangout feature - this will use the same platform as Livestreaming and be closely linked to the New groups feature.
New Groups. I know that LinkedIn are working on a complete re-design of groups and this will be implemented during 2018. Expect to see something completely different - possibly even renamed and rebranded that will include the hangouts feature mentioned above.
Increased Engagement. This was the big surprise of 2017 and LinkedIn users will continue to learn that broadcasting content without attracting comments is a waste of time. Expect more and more comments on posts and articles as content producers get to grips with better quality (engaging) content.
Engagement Analytics. Following on from the increase in engagement I predict that 3rd party tools will appear that allow you to find and assess people based on their comments and Likes as well as their content.
Voice commands. 2018 will be the year of Alexa type voice controls everywhere and it will become so mainstream that LinkedIn won’t be able to resit getting involved. We could see voice commands on the mobile app such as “search for marketing managers in Birmingham, united kingdom” or “accept my new invitations”.
Personal Branding. This will become more important next year and more and more people move away from corporate employment and become self-employed experts in their field. Another possible trend is that corporates may move away from ‘enterprise/corporate brands and encourage employees to develop their personal brands on behalf of the company.
LinkedIn Stories. Stories are big on Snapchat and Instagram and are now becoming more popular on Facebook. LinkedIn have a long tradition of adopting popular features from other social media platforms and I see stories as being no different. Native video, text and image posts can be combined and collated into stories. Expect to see this as a new feature in the second half of 2018.

Please note that ALL the above predictions are total guesswork on my behalf. I have no inside knowledge on what might actually happen!
What do you think of the above predictions? Can you think of others?

Thanks to everyone for contributing to the 2017 LinkedIn User survey.

I will compiling the results in January and expect to announce the results on either the first or second episode of 2018.

If you didn’t get time before, way not help out now by taking a few minutes to answer the questions below;

That’s it for this week and for this year!

We will be back with the first episode of 2018 on January 13th

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas to you all, enjoy the break, open time with your families and switch LinkedIn off for a week or so!

See you next year.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_192.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 191, this week I’m going to cover a topic I tackle almost on a daily basis at the moment…..How to know what subjects to post about on LinkedIn.

But before I get onto that……


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

The Crappy Handbook of LinkedIn Profile Pics
LinkedIn Top Voices 2017: The must-know people inspiring today’s professional conversations
Stay on Top of In-Demand Skills with New Notifications


#LinkedInLocal

I originally covered the LinkedIn Local phenomenon in episode 166 when I interview Erik Eklund who was a founding member of this movement along with Alex Galviz, Anna McAfee and Manu Goswani.
Since then the founders have been joined by Ryan Troll and Brian Almeida to form an organisation that co-ordinates LinkedIn Local meet ups throughout the world.
They have now set up a new website

Click on the image above to visit the website

If you are thinking of running a LinkedIn Local event in your area then take a look at the website to understand how you go about it.

Please Do The Survey! And if you have done it….please share it widely!

I was aiming to get to 1000 responses by Christmas but at the time of writing, I’m still below 500!
It has been much harder than I expected to get people to complete this short (5 mins) survey but I really feel we need to get at least 500 to make the results viable.

So please share the link http://bit.ly/Linkedin2017 with your LinkedIn network, Twitter and Instagram followers and Facebook friends

If you haven’t yet done the survey, here it is

This weeks question also forms the main topic for this week;

I hear you talk a lot about techniques for posting which is very useful but my problem is ‘what’ to post about. Any tips?

I get asked this question so much and I also regularly have to tackle the subject when I am working with customers that are currently posting promotional content.

Here are my guidelines;
The McFly Syndrome - It’s all about you…STOP SELF PROMOTING! This includes talking about events you have organised, new members of staff or awards you have won. You might not see it as such but others only see this as self promotion. These posts are OK occasionally but need to dominated by less selfish content.
Understand your relevant followers. You don’t need to ‘speak’ to all your followers but you must focus on gaining a deeper understanding of what interests your followers;
> What motivates them
> What frustrates them
> What worries them
> What excites them
> What content do they read?
> What sort of posts are they Liking, Sharing or Commenting on
Experiment with different subjects. What works and what falls flat. Try not to make too many assumptions and judge by results.
People on LinkedIn are much less ‘stuffy’ than you think! Try people orientated content and use stories where possible. Think about light, fun subjects as well as subjects that people are likely to have strong opinions about.
The ‘gold standard’ measurement is comments.

These guidelines refer to content rather then technique. You can learn more about technique, plus some other content tips in episode 178

Direct download: LinkedInformed_191.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 190, it seems that many people are talking about the mysterious LinkedIn algorithm, myself included! I can’t believe how many of these people are still blaming the algorithm for the poor performance of their content, it’s not the algorithm folks, it’s your content!……

But before I get stuck into that, here are a few things I came across this week

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

People Are Flooding LinkedIn With Strange Stories. We’re Calling Them Broetry.
7 Next-Level Sourcing Tips From the Master, Glen Cathey
Can Linkedin Save Slideshare?
LinkedIn Plans Improvements, Including Changes To SlideShare
New LinkedIn A.I. Is Now Judging Your Content. Sorry, What Content?

Native video problems

A number of people have been seeing error messages on native LinkedIn videos this week

It would appear that simply refreshing your page often sorts this out, if not then try clearing your cache.


Blaming The Algorithm

I enjoy the challenge of ‘outsmarting’ the algorithm as much as anyone, more than most probably but I really think that people are getting a bit carried away with it’s importance.

Let’s be clear - Content will always be king!

I recently came across this post from someone complaining that the algorithm favoured posts over Articles - the argument seems to be that he spends longer crafting an Article so the algorithm should reflect that…..what?!!

I checked back and he hadn’t created any posts linking to this article so how did he expect people to find it?
It’s also worth noting that Article ‘views’ are not the same as post ‘views in the feed.

All the algorithm does is reflect what it sees as being interesting and engaging amongst LinkedIn users. Yes it initially decides how many people see a post and that is important but that alone won’t ensure many people see your content - the most critical factor is how people react to it and for that to happen you need to write interesting content.
Interesting does not equate to ‘interesting to you’ or ‘appropriate for LinkedIn’ it means it need to resonate with your followers.
Do you know what resonates with your followers?
Maybe you do but you don’t ‘approve’ - well thats up to you but don’t blame the algorithm, blame your followers….or dare I say it….take the blame yourself!

My observations are as follows;
People prefer short form content on LinkedIn
People don’t always want to talk about business, lighter subject matter is surprisingly popular
Posts are seen on our home page and with one click that does not require opening a new page we can read more…that is just more user friendly
Posts should gain the attention of a reader within the first 3 lines - the spacing argument is not proven and makes no sense to me. It just needs to be long enough to trigger the ‘see more’ and good enough to motivate someone to click on it.

So rather than blaming the algorithm, perhaps it’s time to start taking notice of what your followers really want and providing them with that?

Competition Winner

In episode 181 I interviewed PR expert Janet Murray and she kindly offered a free 60 minute PR strategy call with a lucky winner of a free prize draw.

This was some weeks ago but the responses have been dripping in ever since so I haven’t made the draw until now.

And the lucky winner is……..(drum roll)

Mark Barlow from Dirty Marks Cleaning services. Mark runs a window cleaning service as well as being an online marketing strategist!

Direct download: LinkedInformed_190.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:59pm UTC

Welcome to episode 189, not much news this week but I do have a couple of new features to share with you and a cool thing plus I feel the need for a rant!…..more later.


Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

‘LinkedIn degrees’ from global providers ‘could leave UK behind’
Russian accused of hacking LinkedIn, Dropbox to be extradited to US
Oops: LinkedIn country subdomains SSL cert just expired

 

New Features

Double tap to Like

This new mobile feature is copied straight from Instagram and is definitely aimed at millennial who tend to move through their streams much more quickly and ‘thumb tap’ rather than finger tap as us ‘oldies’ tend to

New Magnet Posts

This feature is in the early stages of roll out so you may not see it yet but it’s a good one!

When you create a post on a mobile app you now get the option to specify to send it to the homepage of (and potentially notify) followers who have specific skills - via a magnet icon.
By tapping on the magnet below you are given the option to pick up to three skills.

This means that the distribution of your post will initially only be to targeted followers - it may of course reach further as they like or comment on it.

When you receive such a post in your feed you will see which skills you have that match the specified ones and you are encouraged to ‘Add your thoughts’

The only problem is that the skills you pick have to be skills that you also have on your profile. This seems like an unnecessary criteria to me and will result in people adding false skills to their profile just so they can target people they are interested in.

You can tell these posts said because the skills specified and those you match are clearly identified

All that said, it’s a great new feature and hopefully we will all have the opportunity to use it soon.


Are You Stuck In The ‘Content Marketing’ Past?

Whilst conducting some research this week I was stunned by the amount of people that are still wasting time and resources in posting external links.

Its a waste of time….virtually no-one see’s it!

I’m somewhat puzzled by this. Do these people not care that there is zero engagement and views?

Maybe I’m wrong and they are getting huge numbers to their website….I doubt it!

It seems to me that it is taking people a long time to shift their habits from the ‘share relevant content to build trust’ into ‘build trust through engagement.

I suspect much of this is just people who have set up automatic sharing via aggregate and scheduling tools so they don’t really notice - the problem is that it messes up their ‘ranking’ with LinkedIn algorithm making it harder to reach many people, even if their posts are better.

Maybe it’s just extremely hard for people to break long established habits? The ‘post interesting content and bring people to your website’ mantra has been around for a long time but does it really work?

I personally found that it didn’t

What do you think?

Are you still posting links?

If you want to post a link you need to do it manually as I showed recently in this video

Evernote Business Card Connecting

This isn’t actually a new, just something I had forgotten existed!
I was reminded by someone about it this week, I honestly thought the feature had disappeared when LinkedIn severely restricted access to third parties but I was wrong.

This is a great tool to use when at a physical networking event.

This video shows you exactly what to do

Before you can use this you need to make a few adjustments to your Evernote app and account.

This feature is only available to Premium Evernote users

Go to Account > Settings

Now tap on Camera

Now tap into ‘Business cards’

And now you will see the option to connect the app with your LinkedIn account

You can’t customise the invitations so I would only use this whilst you are actually with the person but it can be a great way to ensure that you always quickly and efficiently remember to connect!

How can I see who is following me?

This feature is exactly the same on desktop and mobile but it’s not where you would expect it!

Go to your profile and scroll down to your activity and you will see a blue link ‘Manage Followers’ next to the number of followers

The following list will always start with your followers (as opposed to connections who are followers). If you see the option to follow them back then you know they are not a connection, scroll down until the option ceases and it states that you are already ‘following’ these will (mostly) be your connections.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_189.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 188, this week I had some very sad news, one of the clipper race crew was swept overboard and tragically lost his life - devastating for his family and also extremely unnerving for all the other crews. I can’t begin to imagine how they carry on from this.

It highlights just how dangerous this race is and impressed on me even more just what Brendan Hall had to go through when he won the race previously.

Brendan incidentally released his new speaker showreel this week;

I had an interesting chat with Stoke School student Tim Collins who has been using LinkedIn along with some of his friends recently and has been impressed with the authenticity and kindness shown to him by LinkedIn members……(give it time Tim!). You can hear that interview later in the episode but firstly.

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

Trends in marketing investments: LinkedIn starts to establish status?
Women Are Reminding People That LinkedIn Is Not A Dating Website Following "Creepy" Messages
LinkedIn pledges $10 million for affordable housing. A charitable act or protecting their own interests?

New Features

Some people have reported seeing a new design to the search page. This is clearly of on LinkedIn annoying A/B tests but doesn’t it look awful?

You can now embed posts into your website, just as I have done several times in this post, including the video below. This can be done on anyone’s posts including your own but isn’t available to everyone yet (roll out).
Simply click on the 3 dots as seen below and then copy the HTML code

LinkedIn are now officially launching their new ‘Career Advice’ feature which is closely allied to the mentoring feature. More in this video;

What You Saw On LinkedIn This Week

This could become an interesting new feature if you get involved!
The best way to improve the quality and reach of our content is to observe other successful posts. So why not use LinkedInformed as a place to share any great posts you saw last week.

I really liked this one sent in my listener Carl this week.

I can’t wait to see how that develops!

So from now, when you spot something interesting, take a note of the url and send it to me.
That way we can all learn from each others feeds

My LinkedIn Survey

I announced this last week and I was terrified that my target of 1000 respondents was going to be too hard to reach…..I might have been right!

Over the last week I have managed to gather 300 respondents but that leaves me woefully short so….
I NEED YOUR HELP!

Please take a few mins out of your day to complete the survey and then share it with your network.

A Millennial’s view - LinkedIn is Authentic, collaborative and refreshingly ‘real’

Listener Anna McAfee pointed out to me a video posted by 3 school kids made while they are waiting for parent evening to start.
The person that posted it was Tim Collins, so I thought it would be interesting to get him on the show!

I really enjoyed hearing what an 18 year old makes of LinkedIn, especially in comparison to Facebook (old and dated) and Instagram (lacks authenticity)

This is Tim’s Video post

I love the way he was brave enough to know that is was far from ‘perfect’ or ‘professional’ and post it anyway…….if an 18 year old can then why can’t you? (assuming you have video)

And this is the post he referred to when talking about ‘it’s about who you know’

No questions for this week. Please feel to drop me a line or leave a voicemail of you want your question featured on the show.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_188.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 187, this week we are back to the normal format after a few weeks of interviews. I would really appreciate your help with compiling a survey of how LinkedIn users have changed their behaviour over the last 12 months or so.
More of that later but firstly……

Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week

60% users from Russia remain on LinkedIn after year of blocking
Creating Your Resume Just Got a Whole Lot Easier with Microsoft and LinkedIn


New Feature

Active status is coming to your home page feed. We are used to seeing the green dots in messaging but they will soon be seen elsewhere on LinkedIn, which is a great move.

There does seem to be some confusion as to what each one means so just for clarity;
A green dot means that person is active on LinkedIn (desktop or mobile)
A green circle (Jo below) means they have push notifications enabled on their mobile app.


This will also show in profiles, here you can see that Kate (featured in episode 185) is not active but does have push notifications enabled on mobile.

You can adjust your settings for active status if you wish under ‘privacy’ in your settings

I had this for about 2 weeks but it has disappeared again now, it’s a great feature though and I’m looking forward to it becoming permanent once they have completed their testing.


How many profile views do you get? I’m amazed to see how many Gretta gets!

Posting External Links - New Method

I saw this Article from Andy Foster and decided to make a video post about it.

The bigger question is whether posting links at all makes any sense.
Maybe the content marketing / bring people to your web site method is no longer the best way to generate new business?
What do you think?

LinkedIn Search Results

When searching LinkedIn you will get results from anyone that meets your criteria but they won’t all be visible to you, however there are some people beyond your 3rd tier that are still visible.

 

Direct download: LinkedInformed_187.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 186, this week I really enjoyed chatting with Leif Carlsen, A social selling expert and podcaster from Denmark.

Leif and I chat about a range of things in the episode;

ROI - Return on Investment

It's difficult to measure
Statistics are often merely a vanity measure
Social selling will always be a ‘long game’
Some ways you can measure RIO;
Post comments, likes and views in the feed
InMail / message replies
Profile views
Invitations received
True followers (followers minus connections)
SSI (social selling index)
Successful referrals
The influence formula as discussed in episode 167
LinkedIn should be added as a lead source in your CRM

The future of social selling

Less about content marketing and more about engagement
Sales people will need to grow their own following and influence
Think of yourself as being a DJ Broadcasting to a wide audience of listeners
The attributes of sales people will change;
Less selfish, more motivated to help others
Driven to help people even when there is no chance of doing business with them
Better at written communication
Are LinkedIn moving in this direction? The design of Sales Navigator might suggest not!
InMail is, in many respects, a form of cold calling via LinkedIn!
Does cold calling really work any more?

Company Pages

I believe that company pages have very limited use, primarily because people do business with people.
Most company page posts get the very little, if any engagement
Leif Took a more positive stance but believes that Company pages can only work if you deliver high quality educational and interesting updates.
Check out Leif’s Company page below

Articles

Leif has found that Google will find articles but only if the content is of the highest quality.
A good technique is to write with a specific person in mind
Articles give you credibility, they don't need to be written very regularly but it's important that your prospects and followers can see that there is more to you then just the "Gift of the gab”
Writing good articles will make you think more about your market and inevitably make you a better salesperson.

Direct download: LinkedInformed_186.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 185, this week I’m doing my annual ‘escape from the wet and cold of Britain’ week in Spain so I thought I would treat you to one of the most popular podcast episodes I have ever produced.

I’m sure many of heard you have heard me talk about the florist from Grimsby who is killing it on LinkedIn….well this is the interview I did with her in May 2015 on a since retired podcast called Winbusinessin…..enjoy!

Direct download: LinkedInformed_185.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am UTC