Is LinkedIn Filtering What People See If You Don’t Have a Paid Account?

Post Author: Mic Johnson, talking about whether LinkedIn filters what people see if they don’t have paid LinkedIn accounts.

I post status updates to LinkedIn a few times a week and have for years. Sometimes it’s a blog post from Blue Gurus or MJMeetings. Sometimes it’s a #micnugget. Sometimes it’s a question. Sometimes I’m sharing content from my connections or other people/companies I follow.

The other day I got to thinking how it seemed like the level of engagement I’d been getting (LIKEs, comments, views, etc.) seemed to be less and less over time, regardless of what I posted.

Now I’m not saying every one of my status updates is life-changing content, but I’ve become accustomed to a certain amount of engagement/interest in things I choose to share.

I recently downgraded from a paid LinkedIn account (I just wasn’t using the features enough to justify the monthly expense) to the free LinkedIn account, and I wondered to myself…”Is LinkedIn filtering what people see from me because I don’t have a paid account anymore?”

So I decided to run a little experiment.

I posted the following status update (click the link or the image if you want to see the actual post on LinkedIn):

LinkedIn Filtering

I also emailed LinkedIn Customer Service and asked them if they filtered things based on whether a person had a paid account or not. To their credit, they got back to me quickly, even it was with a response that didn’t really answer my question…a non-answer answer, if you will:

“Hi Mic, Thank you for reaching out about your post. The feeds of your connections are personalized for them based on people they follow, their connections, and their engagement on LinkedIn. The more engaging and relevant your post is, the more likely it is to appear in their feeds. We work to keep the platform focused on discussions relating to professional interests and activities. Content that doesn’t appear to relate to these topics may not reach a wide audience. Lastly, any content that doesn’t comply with LinkedIn’s User Agreement
(https://www.linkedin.com/legal/user-agreement ) and Professional Community Guidelines (https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/34593 ) may be subject to removal. However, if this is not the case, please provide the URL of the post you are referring to so we can check further. I would look forward to hearing from you Regards, Pooja LinkedIn Consumer Specialist”

Finally, I tagged LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner on the post hoping that he might chime in and provide a little rationale. I’m still waiting on that.

So what did I learn from my LinkedIn experiment?

  1. While LinkedIn didn’t specifically say they increase/decrease the visibility of status updates, etc. based on whether a person has a paid account or not…well, let’s just say I have a healthy dose of skepticism and intuition that those who pay, likely get a little more play.
  2. LinkedIn DOES control what you do or don’t see in your feed from your connections. They say “The feeds of your connections are personalized for them based on the people they follow, their connections, and their engagement on LinkedIn.” So, and I understand this to a certain extent, LinkedIn is determining what THEY think is relevant content that your connections will see. Of course it makes sense if a person is spamming, trolling, etc. but outside of that…I DON’T LIKE IT. I’ve chosen to connect with the people I’m connected to. I don’t like that LinkedIn is deciding what THEY think I will be interested in…nor do I like them deciding if my content is relevant enough to my connections. That should be left up to the USERS…not LinkedIn. (Facebook does the same thing and I hate it there too.)
  3. I really had no idea what the outcome would be of this experiment. My initial expectation was that I would get quite a few “LIKEs” because all I asked was for people to simply hit the LIKE button. I have over 1200 LinkedIn connections, so I was expecting at least a few hundred to take a second and LIKE the post. As of this writing, it’s been about four days and the post only has 149 LIKEs.
  4. Many of the LIKEs I got were from people OUTSIDE of my connections. So when some of my connections LIKE’d the post, people in their network saw it and joined in on the fun. That’s how social works. That’s how things go “viral”. But that means that even more people saw my post than just my connections, so I still would have expected to see more than 149 LIKEs.
  5. As of this writing, according to LinkedIn, there were 6,534 views of my status update, which makes it that much more unbelievable that only 149 people took a second to LIKE the update. Did that many people really see it? Are people really that lazy? Was it just not that interesting?
  6. Ironically, the 149 LIKEs and the 6,534 views of my update are BY FAR the most engagement I’ve ever received on any status update or post/article I’ve ever shared in all of the years I’ve been on LinkedIn. Did LinkedIn boost this post? Did the 149 LIKEs set off some behind the scenes mojo at LinkedIn that kept increasing the visibility of my status update? Was this really the most relevant and engaging thing I’ve ever posted (at least in the eyes of LinkedIn)? Was it because I asked people to do something so simple and easy? Do I need to ask more questions like this to see increased engagement? The answers to those questions are YES (I think?).
  7. A lot of people were at least interested in the same question I had based on the responses and engagement the status update received.

Unfortunately, while this experiment was fun and will probably keep going as the status update continues to get LIKEs and views, I find myself feeling almost as confused as I was when I first wondered about whether LinkedIn was “pay to play”.

LinkedIn Customer Service really didn’t answer the question.

Jeff Weiner didn’t answer the question.

And so I guess we may never know.

LinkedIn (and Facebook and other social platforms) always change things and are always fine tuning things…and most of the time they’re not good (intentionally or not) about letting the users know what changed or why. It’s one of the most frustrating things for me about how these companies run their platforms.

In the end, my instincts tell me if you’re giving money to LinkedIn via a paid account, then your status updates and other content you post on their site will probably get more love than those of us who have a free account.

I just wish LinkedIn would have answered the question.

Maybe if I get a paid account again, they will.

It’s Time to Spring Clean Your LinkedIn Profile

Post Author: Mic Johnson, talking about tips to spring clean your LinkedIn Profile

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year!

The air is full of optimism. Buds are starting to appear on the trees. Flowers are starting to pop up around the neighborhood. Yards are starting to green up. More and more people are out taking walks, riding bikes, and enjoying the sunshine. And everyone is getting ready for the annual tradition of spring cleaning their homes, offices, cars and more.

Spring is also the perfect time to clean up your LinkedIn profile. If it’s been awhile since you took a good, honest look at your LinkedIn profile, here are five easy ways to spruce it up this Spring:

Spring Clean Your LinkedIn Profile1. Add/Update Your Cover Photo

One of the first things people see when they look at your LinkedIn profile is the cover photo.

If you’ve never uploaded or created a cover photo (LinkedIn recommends a photo that is 1584 x 396 pixels), there’s no time like the present!

Take a photo of your own, find a free photo on a site like Pixabay, or if you’re feeling adventurous, create a free cover photo like I did using a tool like Canva. (Once you created an account and sign in, you click “Use custom dimensions” in the upper right-hand corner, and start creating!)

2. Add/Update Your Personal Photo

If your LinkedIn photo was taken 10 years ago…or 30 pounds ago…I’m sorry, but it’s time to update it.

The point of the photo is to help humanize your profile and to also make it easy for people to identify you when they’re looking you up on LinkedIn before that first coffee meeting, that first sales appointment, that first conference you’re both attending, etc.

If your LinkedIn profile photo doesn’t look like you anymore, set your vanity aside and get a SMILING and current picture uploaded today!

3. HUMANIZE Your Professional Headline

Your professional headline (which appears right below your name) should give people a snapshot of who you are professionally and personally. You’re so much more than just an Accountant, or Sales Rep, or Attorney, or CEO, or Professional Hand Model.

What are your passions? What do you do outside of work? Share those with people by a few simple items to your professional headline. Take a look at mine in the attached photo for some inspiration.

4. Write/Update Your Summary

I’m disappointed when I see a profile on LinkedIn where the person never took the time to write a Summary. A well-written Summary is your opportunity to “welcome” people to your LinkedIn profile and share your professional story with them.

It’s also completely fine (and encouraged) to include a little bit about your passions and interests outside of work. Again, it’s about humanizing your profile and making sure it educates visitors to your profile about your personal and professional journey.

5. Update Your Work Experience

One of my #1 pet peeves is when I see LinkedIn profiles that have several job titles/dates listed and NOTHING ELSE. What you’re telling the reader is “Hey, I worked at this company for 10 years and did nothing!

Your Experience section should include what your job responsibilities were, what your accomplishments were, what you learned in that position, etc. And use “I” language when you write it…do that throughout your profile…it feels more natural to the reader.

I hope this information was helpful. If you take a few minutes to do these five things, I guarantee you’ll feel better about your LinkedIn profile…and even more optimistic about Spring!

5 LinkedIn No-Brainers To Help You Look Like You Know What You’re Doing

LinkedIn No BrainerPost written by Mic Johnson talking about 5 LinkedIn No-Brainers To Help You Look Like You Know What You’re Doing

1.Humanize your LinkedIn Profile

People look at your LinkedIn Profile every day. What does your profile say about you?

Does it say “I’m awesome!” or does it say “I have no idea who I am or why anyone would want to connect with me.”? If it’s the latter…

Upload a smiling, current headshot. Personalize your professional headline. Write a thoughtful Summary using “I” language. Update your work history showing people where you’ve been and what you’ve accomplished.

A great looking profile goes a long way in making you look like you know what you’re doing.

2. Personalize EVERY connection request.

If you’re on your laptop/desktop, go to a person’s profile page, click the blue Connect button, click “Add a Note”, and write something meaningful telling the person WHY you want to connect.

If you’re on the app, go to a person’s profile page, click the three little dots near the blue Connect button, click “Personalize Invite”, and write
something meaningful telling the person WHY you want to connect.

LinkedIn Public profile URL3. Claim your name.

If you haven’t claimed your name, your public profile URL probably looks something like this:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/I-Look-Like-A-LI-Noob-383aa427/.

Go to your profile on your laptop or desktop, click on “Edit public profile & URL”, and then enter your first and last name. If someone has already claimed it, get creative or use your first name, middle initial and last name.

Here’s mine:https://www.linkedin.com/in/micjohnson

LinkedIn Status Update

4. Update your status at least 2-3 times a week.

Share an image, an inspirational quote, an article you read that helped you, information on a business event going on in your community, or better yet…write an article and share some original content of your own with your network.

5. LinkedIn isn’t a dating site. Act accordingly.

This one should really go without saying, but it happens. LinkedIn is for business purposes. Keep it that way.

Was this helpful? If your team might benefit from LinkedIn Training, drop me a note at mic@bluegurus.com to get the conversation started. 

Here’s How to Respond to LinkedIn Invitations from People You Don’t Know

Post written by Mic Johnson, talking about how to respond to LinkedIn invitations from people you don’t know

We’ve all received countless numbers of these generic LinkedIn connection requests:

“I’d like to join your LinkedIn network.”

It’s an annoying daily ritual that every LinkedIn user experiences. Even worse, the default invitation verbiage wastes time and discourages engagement, which is the exact opposite thing a social network is supposed to do.

add a noteA big reason why this happens is because LinkedIn hasn’t made it a requirement to personalize connection requests, but they have made a little progress.

When you’re on your computer or laptop, go to a person’s LinkedIn Profile Page and click the blue CONNECT button. From there, click the “Add a Note” button and type a personal message, letting the person know why you want to connect, etc.

When you’re on the LinkedIn app on your mobile device, click on the three little dots to the right of the Connect and InMail buttons and you’ll see an option to personalize the invite.

Now if you’re like most people, when you get a connection request with the default “invitation” message and you don’t know the person, you hit the IGNORE button.

But I’m here to tell you there’s a better way…

Take the following steps when you’re on your computer or laptop. Inexplicably, as of the writing of this post, this isn’t currently an option on the mobile app.

  1. Click on My Network at the top of the page when you’re logged into LinkedIn.
  2. Manage AllClick on Manage all. A list of your outstanding invitations will appear.
  3. Go to one of them and click “Message“.
  4. Type a message asking the person why they’re interested in connecting with you. Here’s a message I created that has resulted in responses from people about 95% of the time.

    Hi X,

    Thank you for the connection request. As a general rule, I typically connect to people I know, trust, respect, can vouch for, etc.

    It’s nothing personal…just how I choose to grow and protect my network.

    I was curious as to what interested you in connecting with me. Were you interested in one of the services that Blue Gurus offers?

    My apologies if we’ve met previously and I’m not remembering.

    Thank you in advance,

    Mic

Here’s Why Responding to LinkedIn Invitations Matters

If you just ignore connection requests from people you don’t know and don’t take the time to engage with people, you’re potentially missing out on real business opportunities, career opportunities, new subscribers/audience for your blog, new LinkedIn followers, the chance to add quality relationships to your network, and who knows what else!

The good news? Now that I’ve shown you exactly what to do, you don’t have an excuse anymore to not engage people who are interested in connecting with you!

Does your business need help with LinkedIn? We’ve been helping companies for the last 9 years learn how to use LinkedIn more effectively. We’d love to help you. To learn more, give me a call at 913-645-6650 or email me at mic@bluegurus.com.

5 Things Executive Teams Worry About When Considering LinkedIn Use On Company Time

By Jason Terry, talking about some common questions and concerns we hear when executive teams are considering allowing LinkedIn use on company time.

LinkedInI was talking to a good friend recently about push back they were getting from their executive team about supporting LinkedIn use on company time. I’ve heard the concerns before. And it was a great opportunity for me to put some responses to those concerns in an email. The goal was to give them ammo to use when trying to convince the team to move forward.

My email was well received. And after reading it again I thought it might make a good blog post. Primarily because lots of companies are struggling with some of the same issues and concerns. My hope is that if you are hearing these kinds of things in your organization, that you can use some of my ideas to break through the roadblocks.

1) LinkedIn is a way for people to hack into our network.

HackersThere are thousands of ways to hack into a network. Emails with bad links that install malware. Firewalls and routers that haven’t been updated in years. Servers running web applications with known security holes. And yes, LinkedIn is another possible way. The truth that any knowledgeable IT person will agree with is that the best defense is a layered approach of software, anti-virus, employee training and robust backups.

Blocking LinkedIn use to protect your company network is a big problem from a risk vs. reward perspective. Yes, you might make your network a bit more secure. But you lose all of the business benefits that your company can realize if they use LinkedIn effectively. Growth through referrals. Improved company culture. Stronger talent acquisition. And more.

2) Our competitors will steal our employees if they’re on LinkedIn.

If another company wants to poach your employees, it will happen regardless of whether or not someone has a LinkedIn profile.

Sure, a strong profile with lots of connections makes any employee more desirable, but so do all the other things like their reputation around the city, them showing up at events and not-for-profit participation, etc. In most cities, and in most industries, everyone already knows the good people working for other companies. Having a LinkedIn profile doesn’t make much of a difference in this situation.

Yes, LinkedIn does make it easier for someone to pull together a list of your employees. So what? I’ve always said if you take care of your people, they will take care of you. And the good ones will give you the heads up that they are getting calls from headhunters or competitors if/when it happens. If they leave you for a competitor, the reasons are usually compensation, job satisfaction and growth opportunity. Having a LinkedIn profile (or not) won’t move the needle when a competitor wants to attract one of your top employees.

3) Social media is a waste of time, and I don’t want my team wasting their time during business hours.

Waste of TimeI can tell you from personal experience that Blue Gurus has grown every year since 2009 using nothing but storytelling in our blog, networking and linking in with people on LinkedIn. We’re staying top of mind with all our referral partners. LinkedIn is a proven business tool for growth and reputation building. I think using LinkedIn should be part of their job responsibilities!

And yes, there are people that will abuse access to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and more during work. But the ones that truly want to waste time are going to use their cell phones in the bathroom every hour if they can’t do it on their work computer. And good employees (that you hired because they have a good work ethic) can use social media interaction to give their brain a break and recharge a few times a day. If they’re getting their work done, it shouldn’t be an issue.

That said, trust but verify. If you’re worried about people spending too much time on social media sites, check with your IT people. You may have the ability to run reports about time spent on social sites by team member. Run those reports to see if your concerns are valid. If they are, have a conversation with the problem children. In most situations, simply making your team aware that their internet use is being monitored is deterrent enough.

4) None of our executives have profiles.

That may be true at your company, but if you do research on other companies, I think you will find a very different story. The majority of the companies in Kansas City benefit from their executives and salespeople using LinkedIn.

In some situations, based on the size of the city or the industry, there might not be as many executives using LinkedIn. This is an opportunity to be towards the front of the trend… not bleeding edge, but leading edge. And what a great opportunity to beat your competitors to the relationship market by embracing LinkedIn with some training and a good strategy?

5) Our executives see very little benefit from using LinkedIn.

How can they see benefit if they’ve not invested any time in the tool?

In terms of sales and marketing expense, using LinkedIn for relationship building and storytelling through blogging are two of the lowest cost, farthest reaching methods for getting your message into the minds of your clients, referral partners, employees and prospects.

Mic likes to make the analogy about going to the gym. It’s like someone telling you that the gym has no benefit for them. Even though they’ve never bought a membership (set up a LinkedIn profile) and never worked out (connected to people, shared stories.)

Does your company block LinkedIn at the office? Are there any other concerns you’ve heard from management about using LinkedIn or social media while you work that I didn’t cover? I would love to hear your thoughts. And I hope this story was helpful to you in some way. Thanks for reading!

Who Is Your Accountability Partner?

Author: Mic Johnson, talking about the importance of accountability.

Over the nearly 9 years that Blue Gurus has been helping companies share their stories through blogging, better leverage LinkedIn, and create websites they can be proud of, I’ve come across several instances where organizational accountability issues have occurred.

Here are a couple of real world examples we’ve seen too many times over the years:

Accountability Example 1 – LinkedIn Training

We train employees on how to create a great LinkedIn profile and how to better leverage it for sales and content marketing. Companies pay us to do this and give their employees the opportunity to participate in the training.

But sometimes some of the people who went through the training never update their profiles. Even worse, they go back to not using LinkedIn effectively/regularly.

accountability

I often joke during the sales process, “Look, if you aren’t going to implement what you’re paying us to teach your employees, then just cut us a check and save all of us the time.”

Obviously it’s said in jest, but I want to get the point across. If you’re paying for us to train your employees on LinkedIn, then it’s important to hold them accountable once the training is complete. I’ve yet to hear a good reason to do otherwise!

Accountability Example 2 – Blogging Clients

We’ve been working with clients for years to help them share their stories and execute a weekly blog strategy. When we start working with a new client, the process is designed to be as simple as possible.

Here’s how it works: We meet with clients monthly to brainstorm ideas and topics. Next, we assign people on the team to write the posts (and they have an ENTIRE MONTH to write those posts). Finally, the content is due when we get back together a month later and repeat the process all over again.

The goal is simple: Give us four rough drafts a month, and we’ll do everything else. We edit, proof, come up with titles, publish the posts to their website, and then share them on their social media accounts.

Even though the process itself is simple, we’ve still had clients who struggle to get four rough drafts written per month. Sure there are legitimate reasons sometimes as life and business get in the way, but a big part of our job is to hold them accountable every month.

I often say “I’m a personal trainer for your blog.” Why? Because most of the companies we work with have told us that they know their blog wouldn’t get done if we weren’t their accountability partner. We don’t drop balls. And our job is to make sure you don’t either.

It’s easy to put it off or not do it when you’re trying to hold yourself accountable. But when we’re showing up every month, and you’re paying us to do what we do, then you’re going to feel more of a responsibility to get it done. That’s just human nature.

But again, I’ve yet to hear a good excuse why companies wouldn’t want to share their stories on a regular basis. How else will people know what you do, how you can help them, what you do in the community, etc?

What About You?

Do you do a good job of holding yourself accountable or do you need an accountability partner to make sure you do what you say you’re going to do? What other examples do you have of accountability issues? Leave a comment below or drop me an email at mic@bluegurus.com.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read. We appreciate it!

How My LinkedIn Profile Views Went Up 620% in One Week

Author: Mic Johnson, talking about how my LinkedIn profile views went up 620% in one week. 

My fellow Blue Guru Jason Terry recently wrote a post that talked about what to do when you have trouble thinking of a blog topic to write about.

And wouldn’t you know it, the Universe apparently decided to play some sort of cosmic joke on me. Why? Because I have been struggling all week to come up with a topic that inspired me enough to write about. I probably sifted through 100 ideas in my mind, but nothing was stirring my creative juices.

So I started thinking about all the things I’ve been doing over the last several days. One of the things that came to mind was some recent status updates I shared on LinkedIn that received some really good traction.

LinkedIn Status Updates….Dear Everyone

These were thoughts that, for various reasons, were top of mind with me. Instead of leaving them in my mind, I decided to share them on LinkedIn. They were short and simple and each one started with the phrase…”Dear Everyone”.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 1,000 times…To differentiate yourself from most people on LinkedIn, here's what you need to do: USE IT. Click To Tweet

LinkedIn Profiles Views Went UpAs a result of this activity, my profile views are up 620% IN THE LAST WEEK.

Now don’t think that my phone started ringing off the hook with people wanting to buy from me and Blue Gurus. That’s not how it works, folks.

But there have been people commenting and “LIKE’ing” the updates and, whaddya know, some actual, real human ENGAGEMENT has happened as well. I’ve also gained a few more followers on LinkedIn.

But that’s not why I do it. I do it because I like to make people think, laugh, be inspired…and maybe something I post will help them change a behavior, try something new, or who knows what else.

Again, don’t miss this important point: I didn’t post these things for ME. I posted them to HELP people. Think about that the next time you’re sharing a status update or blog post on LinkedIn. Helping people comes in many forms.

I’ve included screenshots of the posts below. You can click on any of the images to get to the actual post in LinkedIn. I’d love to know what you think. Leave a comment or email me at mic@bluegurus.com.

(P.S. – If you want to try something new, do a short LinkedIn video and see how your audience responds. The first video I did is over 800 views now.)

LinkedIn Dear Everyone

 

LinkedIn Dear Everyone

 

LinkedIn Dear Everyone

LinkedIn Video is Here. So Now What?

Author: Mic Johnson, talking about LinkedIn’s new video option.

In case you haven’t heard or noticed, LinkedIn recently rolled out the ability to record videos as status updates on your LinkedIn profile. They originally gave the option to a few users and then expanded it to their entire user base.

My First LinkedIn Video

I tried it out because I train companies on LinkedIn. I also wanted to see how user friendly it was was curious on what kind of response I would receive.

Click the image below or this link to check out my first LinkedIn video. As of this writing, it’s received 701 views, which is pretty solid for a piece of content that only took a couple of minutes to create.

Mic LinkedIn Video

Now What? A Few Thoughts on LinkedIn Video.

  1. It didn’t work the first time I tried it.
    When LinkedIn first rolled this out and I noticed it was available on the app on my iPhone, I it didn’t work. I sent a couple of tweets to @LinkedinHelp. They suggested I delete the LinkedIn app and then reinstall it. Not exactly the best experience when wanting to try a new feature, but it eventually worked just fine.
  2. Recording yourself feels weird at first.
    I’ll be honest. It’s a bit of a weird feeling at first sitting and talking to a screen. I’ve noticed myself even looking away from the camera as I think about what I’m going to say next. It will undoubtedly feel more natural the more I do it.
  3. Should people use it?
    Yes. The thing about video is it HUMANIZES the experience for people who are watching it. Being able to hear a person’s voice, see their facial expression, look them in the eyes, etc. engages a person in your content in a way that you don’t always get from reading their content. Think about it. If you watched my video above, how was that experience compared to the words you’re reading right now? Both have value without a doubt. But there’s a lot of power in SEEING and HEARING a person, and FEELING their passion, emotion and authenticity through video. I’m always preaching about being human, real and authentic in your personal and professional branding. Video makes it that much easier.
  4. Will people use it?
    Time will tell. What I do know is this: We’ve been blogging for the last 8+ years and have long thought using video to create content for business would become more mainstream. We even did four videos for our website a few years ago (Check out the video we did on content marketing here.) But the reality (at least in what we’ve seen in the Kansas City area) is that there are still plenty of companies who still don’t even blog. For any B2B company in 2017, that’s still hard to believe. That (and the innate self-consciousness that many people have) makes me think it may take even longer for people to start using video on LinkedIn. I hope I’m wrong.
  5. What’s the easiest way to record video?
    As of now, the easiest way is to use the LinkedIn app in your smartphone. You click on the little video icon near the status update bar and you’re off and running. I tried it on my laptop but unfortunately it didn’t use the camera on my laptop like I hoped it would. Instead it opened a window for me to upload a video from somewhere on my computer. Hopefully LinkedIn will improve this so you can record directly from your laptop. (P.S. – As of the writing of this post, the video feature isn’t showing up on the Blue Gurus Company Page. I’m guessing that option will be coming soon.)
  6. How long should your videos be?
    I’m sure there are video experts out there who will tell you the best length for videos. My instincts say videos should, at least at first, be 2-3 minutes long. But, just as I tell people with blogging, I want you to get your point across in an engaging and authentic way. So take as much or as little time as you need in order to do that. But always be mindful that people are busy, so if they’re going to invest the time to watch your content, make sure it’s worth it.

Was this helpful? Will you try LinkedIn video? Leave a comment below or share your thoughts with me at mic@bluegurus.com. As always, thanks for reading! (and watching)

LinkedIn Etiquette…How to Be Your Best Self

Author: Mic Johnson, talking about LinkedIn etiquette. 

Blue Gurus LinkedIn Training In Kansas City

LinkedIn launched as a platform in 2003. It’s older than Facebook (February 2004) and Twitter (March 2006).

Even though LinkedIn is 14 years old and boasts 500 million users worldwide, there are still plenty of users who could use a LinkedIn etiquette refresher.

One thing is certain: Extended lapses in LinkedIn etiquette lead to confusion and negatively reflect on you and your employer.

That’s just one of the reasons why we’ve been training companies on LinkedIn for the last 8 years.

With that in mind, here are a few LinkedIn etiquette tips to keep in mind as you continue to use the platform.

LinkedIn Etiquette Tips

Customize Your LinkedIn Invitations

Don’t ever send the “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message ever again!

Not personalizing your invitation requests creates awkward and unnecessary confusion for the recipient. Tell the person why you’re interested in connecting and why they should consider connecting with you. Always be personal, human and authentic in your messaging.

Don’t use LinkedIn as a Dating Site

This one really should go without saying, but unfortunately it happens. I’m guessing some of you reading this post have dealt with it yourself or have heard stories from people you know. There are plenty of dating sites/apps out there. LinkedIn isn’t one of them.

When Someone Engages with You on LinkedIn, Respond Back in Kind

This falls under the “treat others as you’d like to be treated” mantra.

With few exceptions (annoying sales pitches, pushy recruiters, someone asking you out on a date, etc), if someone comments on something you’ve published or shared on LinkedIn, reply back.

Even if your reply is something as simple as “Thank you for the comment. I appreciate it.” And when someone sends you a message on LinkedIn, (yep, you guessed it), reply back.

You never know where simply engaging with other people will lead to. Let them know you’re paying attention. Let them know you care enough to reply back.

For the Love of All Things LinkedIn, Complete Your Profile

This is another one we’ve been preaching for years in our training sessions. If you have a profile on LinkedIn, do yourself and everyone else a favor and complete you profile.

-Upload a smiling, current headshot with a clean background.
-Write a LinkedIn Summary using “I” language that tells people who you are, what you do and how you can help.
-Complete the Experience section of your profile so people know what you’ve done in your career.
-Include relevant contact information and links to your website.

Those are just a few of the basics. Ultimately, your profile should be easy to read and be an accurate representation of who you are personally and professionally.

Write a Well Thought Out Recommendation for Your Most Awesome LinkedIn Connections

When was the last time you wrote a LinkedIn Recommendation?

If the answer is somewhere just short of NEVER, set a goal of writing a recommendation for someone in the next week.

Think about a person you’ve worked with, or referred business to, or who has helped you professionally, or someone you have great respect for.

When you have that person in mind, go to their profile, click on the three little dots to the right of their profile picture, and write a well thought out recommendation. Let me know how it felt and what you heard from the person you wrote the recommendation for.

Thank you for taking a little time out of your day to read this post. If your company, or a team within your company, could benefit from LinkedIn Training, give me a shout!

Have You Seen LinkedIn’s Infamous Three Little Dots? (…)

Post written by Mic Johnson, Blog Coach | LinkedIn Trainer | WordPress Builder | Rational Optimist | Sushi Fan | Jayhawk | #micnuggets | @MJMeetings

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3 little dotsPsssst. Hey…you. Over here. I’m going to let you in on a little LinkedIn secret.

Have you seen the infamous three little dots that appear in various places throughout LinkedIn?

If you’re like a lot of people, you may not have any idea what I’m talking about because (and this is a #LinkedInFail from a user interface standpoint) the three dots aren’t particularly obvious.

They’re like the shy, insecure cousin of the much more popular and well known ellipses.

But those three dots have a lot of power…

They allow you to copy links from posts, hide posts, follow and unfollow people and companies, report abusive or offensive posts, share a person’s profile, save a person’s profile to a PDF, remove a connection, write a recommendation for someone, personalize your LinkedIn connection requests, mute conversations, and more!

Take a look at the screenshots below to see what I’m talking about. I’ve broken it down so you can see some of the options when you’re on your computer vs. a mobile device:

{COMPUTER}

These are your options when you click on the three dots on a post in your home feed.

HomeFeed

 

These are your options when you click on a “promoted” ad in your home feed. 

HomeFeedAd

These are your options when you’re on a person’s profile on LinkedIn.

LIProfile

When you click the three dots in the upper right hand corner, you get the options that appear in Randy’s image below. You can also click the dots at the bottom to adjust the behavior when you’re messaging with someone on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{MOBILE DEVICE}

These are your options when you see a post from someone in your home feed. 

 

These are your options when you’re on a person’s profile on the mobile app.
(Pro tip: If you ever invite someone to connect from your mobile app, use the “Personalize Invite” feature!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did  you know about the three little dots? Do you use them? If so, what do you find yourself doing the most? Let me know by leaving a comment below…and, as always, thanks for reading the Blue Gurus blog!