Sat, 30 September 2017
Welcome to episode 180, it’s been a busy week for me, I nearly didn’t get time to put this episode together but I’m glad I managed to because I want to talk about the revolution that is happening before out very eyes.
Clipper Race Update
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
Interesting article, although a bit technical! Quote ‘we’ve built a scalable comment ranking system that uses machine learning (ML) to provide a personalized conversational experience to each member visiting the LinkedIn content ecosystem.’
Previously LinkedIn had a very basic way of ordering the comments in a thread;
‘The default mode for ranking comments on the feed was rank by recency: if you were the last person to post a comment on a popular thread, your comment would show up first. We had no understanding of the comment’s content, no notion of personalization, and no knowledge of the engagement that these comments were drawing.’
Comments are now assessed via machine learning where factors such as;
It would appear that you only see a comment from one of your connections on a thread that is already attracting plenty of engagement. This shows the importance of getting quick traction to any post…once you get early engagement then the algorithm will share subsequent comments to more of each commenters connections (interestingly they use the term connections and not followers).
Comments, Likes and Shares are up by more than 60% in 2017 - wow!
The machine-learned model below shows what affects what you see with regards to comments
This tells us that to gain greater visibility on LinkedIn we need to think about;
Overall, whilst a bit ‘techie’ this is a valuable insight into how LinkedIn programme their algorithm.
This seems pretty similar to the ‘Rapportive’ Gmail plugin and the Sales Navigator Gmail plugin although from the screenshots, it does appear to provide a little more information. With the amount of people who use Microsoft Office 365 this doers highlight just how important your LinkedIn profile is to you!
The State of Groups
Many groups have been left to fester by their owners as can be seen by these shocking numbers of ‘pending members’ in some of the groups I am in on LinkedIn.
Not all groups are this bad and some are still well, run and valuable but the engagement on LinkedIn is now all in the stream and not in groups.
Let’s Not Get Too Honest!
Have you seen the trending #hashtag on LinkedIn #letsgethonest?
LinkedIn have even feature it in this new feature as seen below;
This involves posting something honest and vulnerable about yourself and nominating others to do the same. Here are some of the things people have been posting about
And the list goes on…. If you click on the image above you can read more.
I’m typically enjoy genuine, authentic posts and I’ve always been a fan of showing vulnerability but this feels like a step too far for LinkedIn.
Maybe I’m wrong but this feels too self-indulgent to me and I find myself wondering about people who feel the need to share such deep personal issues with the whole world in this way.
As I’m about to explain in the next section, the engagement on LinkedIn is phenomenal these days and maybe this is part of what comes with that but at the end of the day, this is still a professional network and there are boundaries. Posting about feeling vulnerable in the workplace because you do not have degree is one thing but talking about more personal issues such as bereavement feels wrong to me.
Maybe I’m wrong…..I’d love to know what you think.
Drop me an email to email@example.com or even better why not leave me a voicemail
Something Special is Happening
That’s the fourth time in the last 2 weeks that an audience on one of my seminars have told me that they are astonished as to how much better LinkedIn is than they thought it was (based on previous experience).
I’m sure something really special is happening to LinkedIn this year and I’m not the only one who thinks this
As previously mentioned, engagement levels are exploding - a 60% increase is beyond amazing!
Is this down to the new design?
Partly, but it’s mainly down to a new, younger demographic who are leading the way in showing us how to engage more effectively.
The algorithm behind the new design has played it’s part and the new, more user friendly design has helped to attract this new audience but whatever the reason, I really senses a step change in the way LinkedIn is being used.
As someone that has been training LinkedIn best practice for nearly ten years, I can’t begin to tell you how happy that makes me.
Greater engagement is certainty bring with it more success whether you are a job seekers, recruiter or looking to grow your business.
The future is LinkedIn!
I've listened to at least 2 episodes about Groups, but I have a question that you haven't discussed. I've found about 5 groups that are really directly related to the kind of folks I'm trying to get to know, but all of them are really like advertising boards. People don't try to engage anyone in the groups at all, and every once in a while people will have a conversation around a post.
My question is - how can I, as a member of a group, help to move the group more toward conversations? When I post to them, I post with questions that I really would like to engage (mostly with no response), and I'm starting to comment more in the groups (but mostly with no responses from anyone). Is there a way that I, as a member, can up the engagement, or when the culture of the group is set to be an advert board, is there really nothing I can do?
I really appreciate your podcast and appreciate any thoughts you might have on this subject.
The reason why this happens is that the members of these groups are simply not turning up! They may be members but they have long since 'disengaged' from these groups. This reflects the serious problems that exist in groups - too much spam and irrelevant 'noise' has led to people ignoring groups. They are still members but they never check emails (or they have switched off notifications) and they don't bother checking into their groups.
So the answer to your question is to not bother with groups, at least for now anyway.
Groups will be re-launched (probably early next year) and I suspect they will become relevant again but for now there are better ways to engage with the sort of people you wish to get to know.
Most of the conversations on LinkedIn have moved to the homepage stream, meaning that people are commenting and engaging with peoples posts rather than in groups. The good news is that these conversations are better and more prevalent than they ever were in groups.
Here is what I would do in your situation;
• Identify people you are interested in via search - people and posts search.
• Follow these people
• Clean up your own homepage by unfollowing those that don't interest you and hiding irrelevant posts
• Engage with people via their posts
• Post interesting and engaging posts 3-5 times a week and @mention relevant people (sparingly) to bring others into the conversation
Communication strategy and techniques are something I cover on a regular basis on the podcast, in fact, the last episode (178) is a recording of a talk I gave on that very subject.
There is a place for groups on LinkedIn and I'm sure we will see the re-emergence of community discussion forums next year, but for now, I would advise concentrating your efforts on post engagement.
Sat, 23 September 2017
Welcome to episode 179, this week the main topic is something I seem to be coming across a lot…employee advocacy on LinkedIn.
The problem is, I’m really not sure it works on LinkedIn….I will explain more later.
Carl who sent this article in uses Password Safe https://pwsafe.org
I also noticed another two key people at LinkedIn have recently left the organisation.
If you are listening Wade (highly unlikely) - my very best wishes for the future.
LinkedIn have also lost another key person who is highly respected. Pat Wadors was the SVP of global talent.
Both individuals were key players for LinkedIn, these must be testing times for the CEO Jeff Weiner.
Employee Advocacy. Does It Really Work on LinkedIn?
I have had several conversations recently with companies who want to know how to use LinkedIn more effectively as an employee advocacy tool.
Here is the post I did on this subject (click on it to see the comments);
You can see the LinkedIn #LifeAtSAP posts here and the #WeAreCisco posts here
These week we have a first! ….a live question recorded today!
Lorraine Bow is a Ukulele instructor based in London and has been struggling to find ways of using LinkedIn to win new clients.
She asked me to help her and this is what you can hear in the episode
You can view Lorraine’s recent activity by clicking here
Here is her original ‘Goosebumps’ post which, as you can see didn’t get much traction
Fri, 15 September 2017
Welcome to episode 178, it’s been a busy week for me with several training sessions and a speaking gig. I knew I wouldn’t get time to produce an episode this week so I thought it might be interesting to hear the talk that I gave this week.
First and relevant to the subject of my talk, I saw this article and wondered what you would make of it.
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
Seriously, Please Stop Trying to 'Go Viral' on LinkedIn
You can view a copy of my slides below
Sat, 9 September 2017
Welcome to episode 177, this week I want to focus on research….not stalking! The problem is that everyone seems to want to refer to it as stalking so whatever…I’m going with that in the headline.
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
Once a Running Joke, LinkedIn Is Suddenly a Hot Social Network. Here’s What Changed
Not so much an update as just some feedback. Native video appears to be fully rolled out now and the numbers of videos in my feed has increased dramatically.
I posted a video yesterday that so far has 32 likes and 12 comments...not bad in 1 day......but only 186 views!!
LinkedIn can be used in many different ways as we all know but in my experience, one of it’s most common yet also most under-utilised uses is people research.
Here’s what I do before meeting someone;
Read their headline, summary and experience
The more research you do, the better. You won’t use 90% of the information you find but the things you do use could make a huge difference.
Question from Magnus Unemyr from Sweden:
Answer: Great question. One post a day is good going, especially if you are also engaging with people throughout the day.
Sat, 2 September 2017
Welcome to episode 176, this week I am going to share my thoughts on the demise of content marketing and the rise of engagement as a much more effective tool to influence and build trust.
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
Bumble’s CEO Takes Aim At LinkedIn
New LinkedIn Feature
Invitations. This week saw the introduction of significant improvements to the way we manage our invitations to connect.
The ‘select all’ feature will save me loads of time. Thanks to Perry Van Beek for informing me of this.
Search. LinkedIn have, for some strange reason, decided to take away the keyword search field from search results.
In addition the ‘search for people with filters’ has been replaced with ‘People’. ‘Jobs’ and ‘Posts’. Selecting People is still a ‘filters’ search but you can’t then subsequently add in keywords to your search. You either start with keywords or have none….odd move!
This has a knock on effect with search alerts because you cannot create one unless you have performed a keyword search.
This has been playing on my mind recently as I think we are seeing the start of a significant change in the way people use LinkedIn.
Traditionally we always thought that sourcing relevant content and sharing it on LinkedIn was a great way to build relationships. This led to scheduling of link based posts using tools like Buffer or Hootsuite.
On reflection we have been posting all these links to external articles but is anyone reading them? Probably not!
Instead we should be focussing our time on creating effective posts, good quality articles and engaging with other peoples content.
Can you see where I am coming from here?
Sat, 26 August 2017
Welcome to episode 174, this week I want to return to a subject close to my heart and also one that I think is really important to all of us.
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
LinkedIn launch a new ‘Welcome to the team’ prompt
Last Friday I had a wonderful day with three other LinkedIn Trainers in the UK.
We had a really productive day sharing ideas and expertise in a very open ‘nothing to lose, everything to gain’ atmosphere. If you get the chance to get together with your competitors, take it. You will gain a lot from the experience.
On Sunday I attended the start of the Round the World Clipper race. I really knew very little about it beforehand but I found the whole thing incredibly inspirational and it’s really helped me get some new focus into my business.
Click on the image below to find out more about the race
Company Page Followers Hack
It’s very annoying that LinkedIn prevent us from seeing who are followers are but thanks to Glen Smith I have a cool hack to show you.
It’s a useful hack but my advice is to focus all your engagement efforts on your personal page anyway.
Is this poor communication?
This fascinates me. Is this good communication or not? Is it good design by LinkedIn? What are they hoping to achieve by this?
A Focus on Youth
This week I chat with John Morley about the work he has been doing with school leavers via the National Citizen Scheme in the UK.
I would strongly encourage you to spend some time with your teenage kids, family members or family friends and encourage them to think about LinkedIn. You could be doing them a real favour.
Sat, 19 August 2017
Welcome to episode 174, I’m going to share an interesting chat I had with AJ Wilcox this week. AJ heard me talk in sceptical terms about the new website demographics feature that LinkedIn are currently rolling out and contacted me to say he was very enthusiastic about the feature. So I thought I would record our conversation and share it with you.
More of that later but first…
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
This ruling could have interesting ramifications for other current and potential 3rd party products. I’m not sure it ‘opens the floodgates’ for plug-ins and extensions but it will be interesting to see what develops.
This a great point from Sandra. Sharing a post, with attribution does allow someone to add their own perspective that is suitable to their audience.
If you want a copy of the cheatsheet that outlines how to achieve high post views and engagement then fill in your details below, it’s completely free.
New LInkedIn Features
Native video on desktop is now being rolled out, it doesn’t allow you to record unfortunately but you can upload a video from your computer
The video feature has suffered some problems this week as a new tranche of members have been given access which has caused uploads to be very slow at processing.
We now have a new ‘Connection’ filter in search results (mobile and desktop). This is different to searching a connections connections which is done from their profile. This is designed to be more of a secondary filter to an existing search result. For example you may be searching for prospects and then want to know if one of your good business contacts is already connected to anyone in the result. Thus revealing the opportunity for an introduction.
LinkedIn active status in Messages. Many users seems to have got this useful new feature this week but the way LinkedIn explained it can lead to some confusion. Hopefully the below video clears that up
It’s a positive enhancement to the messages function but I think this feature could be improved with;
What do you think. Any other ideas on how they could improve this?
Let’s hear what the world’s nicest social media expert has to say about this new LinkedIn website demographics feature
AJ explains how this tool can be used to get a much greater understanding of who visits your website. Not just your domain but each specific page so you should be able to get a much clearer idea of who is interested in certain aspects of your business or products.
Also you can combine custom audience advertising with website demographics by targeting the demographic of the people that are typically going to your relevant website pages. This should make your custom audience ad’s much more effective.
You might already have this feature. Go to your ad’s account on LinkedIn
Then click on an account and you will see website demographics if you have it. I didn’t have it when I spoke with AJ but as you can see, I have it now!
Apparently only 25% of members have it but it is currently rolling out to all.
Sat, 12 August 2017
Welcome to episode 173, this week it’s just me (no interview) and I want to talk about the controversial but also very important topic of plagiarism.
But before we get to that I need to catch up on some things I wasn’t able to cover last week plus some other articles I saw this week…
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
You can hear my interview with Janet Murray on the Soulful PR podcast here
Think twice before you reply to an InMail with a shortcut ‘No Thanks’!
This is very sneaky and I’m not sure it’s been properly thought through by LinkedIn. When you receive an iMail from someone you have the opportunity to reply with 3 shortcut phrases
On the face of it this looks like a time saving convenience feature similar to those inBot responses you see in normal messaging.
When your ‘no thanks’ reply is received the other end the sender sees this message
So they can’t continue the thread….that makes perfect sense to me but what happens if they try to subsequently send you a new InMail?
So you have inadvertently ‘blocked’ this person from ever InMailing you again which could be disastrous for jobseekers and others who don’t wish to cut off communication altogether, it seems absurd to me that LinkedIn don’t make it clear what you are doing!
Long text posts are ‘killing it’ on LinkedIn
I have reported on this before but since then I have tested this further and it is clear that the algorithm that decides how many of your followers will see your post is massively favouring posts with a lot of text and really penalising any posts that include a link (unless it’s a LinkedIn article).
Here is a post I did last week about a news item regarding Sports Direct. As you can see below, this story was widely covered on LinkedIn by individuals and companies but everyone else made the mistake of including a link to the online article.
Knowing what I know, I simply took a screenshot of the letter and posted it as an image accompanied with some long text (triggering the ‘see more’.
As you can see, the results speak for themselves!
As I typed the above post I paused as I wondered if what I was doing was in some way a form of plagiarism. In the end I decided it was OK as the story had been widely covered by many sources in the national press….but that got me thinking about the main subject of this weeks episode!
LinkedIn Plagiarism - Is copy & pasting posts OK?
Here is a classic example of what I’m talking about. This text only post from Ryan Cummings was phenomenally successful with nearly 40,000 likes and approaching 3000 comments.
Those are great numbers but could have been so much more because others decided to copy and paste his post and re-post it on their own feed. I actually found 27 posts like this.
This is the most blatant example and is classic plagiarism
The majority were like this, I even found someone who had made it into his own LinkedIn Article!
And someone who tried to be clever by changing the copy, ever so slightly!
And another who just copy & pasted a section
Some fool even had the cheek to add their product picture to the copied post!
It’s hard to defend these people. They clearly have extremely low ethical standards and will never find success by operating that way……..These losers are annoying but not the ones I’m most concerned about.
I also saw plenty of examples like this;
Whilst Ryan’s name is shown, it is not a link back to his profile.
There were other examples where Ryan is mentioned and linked (@mention)
Whilst this is an improvement, is still wrong in my opinion for this simple reason;
They are stealing views, Likes and Comments from Ryan!
and I think that is totally unacceptable!
Every post offers us the opportunity to Like, Comment or Share - using these is quicker and ensures that all credit, views and further engagement belong to the rightful owner.
Not everyone however would agree, look at this post from a CIO claiming that this practice is ‘standard behaviour’ across all social media - really? If this is common practice then that would suggest to me that it’s ‘common practice’ to behave unethically, surely that isn’t true for most social media users - is it?
Admittedly Bill also makes a good point about unwarranted blocking but his original comment is ludicrous!
This topic was also covered and extensively commented on in a recent post by Simon Chan
I agree wholeheartedly with Simon’s comments but who cares what we think. How does it feel to be copied in this way?
“When I first noticed that some people were copy and pasting my post, I was a bit flattered. However, when one particular post began accruing several thousand likes and gained momentum, I then had people commenting on my post saying that they think the story was made up or that I was the one who copied it.
LinkedIn can easily determine who the original author was, and I believe they should step in and take down posts/suspend users who do not give proper attribution when posting others' content.
So to directly answer your questions:
Sat, 5 August 2017
Welcome to episode 172, this week I’m going to introduce you to a very interesting and somewhat entertaining character. Jon Buchan is a digital marketing expert who has a unique way of getting fantastic responses to cold messages (mainly emails) he sends by using humour.
But first we had some feedback from last weeks episode on Native video.
My friend and fellow LinkedIn trainer Sandra Long sent me this voicemail
Gary Stockton also got in touch;
“I'm looking forward to creating videos for important job openings and new thought leadership content. Check out Screenflow for Mac. You can record screen from iOS devices and make great looking mobile demo videos. I think current release of Camtasia also allows for mobile screen recording”
Great points Gary. I think highly of both those products but they might be out of the budget for the average user who occasionally wants to post a video. In those circumstances, simply record on your phone.
Sat, 29 July 2017
Welcome to episode 171, well I’m back from my holiday and fully refreshed albeit missing the sun, crystal clear sea, wonderful beaches and amazing sunsets……oh well!
More of that later but there has been other news whilst I’ve been away
There have been some other changes as well as native video whilst I have been away.
Hover over name feature returns and it’s better than ever!
You get the option to send a message to 1st tier connections, invite 2nd tier to connect and InMail anyone else. Don’t use the connect though as it doesn’t not allow for personalisation.
Website Demographics - coming soon.
An interesting looking tool that will give you information about your website visitors, we will have to wait and see exactly how useful it is.
Multiple image posts. This could be very handy for visual storytelling, I also suspect the algorithm my favour them. Only available in the app and iOS only for now.
Reshares of your posts now show in your post analytics.
This is definitely a step in the right direction but one of the =main reasons you want to see who shared is so you can thank them and the ‘hover over’ feature does not work in pop-ups so you have to click and open the profile to see more about the person a send a message. Bizarrely you can actually see the ‘hover’ pop-up opening in the background!
Native Video is Finally Here!
I noticed this feature whilst sipping my Mojito by the pool in Greece! Fortunately I had only just started my drink so was able to immediately give it a try;
This feature is currently only available on the mobile app
Very few users currently have it although it is being slowly rolled out to all.
You can record your video directly into the app or upload a video that is saved on your phone, simply tap the video icon to start the process
As you can see a ‘view’ is only counted when the video has appeared on someone’s screen for 3 secs without scrolling, this is therefore not comparable to other posts which are simply ‘views in the feed’. Therefore a view count of over 10,000 is pretty good and suggests that the algorithm is favouring video posts.
I have tried various formats, if you are recording directly into the app I would suggest holding your phone in landscape mode, this will look better when seen on desktop. It is worth noting that you cannot edit your video in the app.
Native video will autoplay in the feed on both desktop and mobile.
The problem with video is that few people will have sound (or sound switched on) on their computers and many mobile viewers won’t bother with sound so it may be wise to use subtitles.
In my tests the best results were when I used the free Clips iOS app, it records in square format so it doesn’t matter which way you hold the phone, you can edit before posting and it has a very effective subtitles feature that can be edited but often gets it right first time.
My first video above was made using Clips
I have been looking in the Google Play store for a suitable equivalent and I found Videoshow, I’m not sure how good it is but it maybe worth a look for Android users. If you know of a better app that allows editing and subtitles then please let me know.
So how can we use native video effectively?
It’s early days and we will have to wait and see what works but here are my initial ideas;
I’m sure other ideas will develop in time.
How will you use video on LinkedIn? Please share your ideas by sending me a voicemail or email.
No time for any questions this week but I will make sure I catch up an any unanswered ones next week.