Something Really Special is Happening on LinkedIn
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 our very eyes.
Stay tuned for more about that but first……
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;
- Actual comment content
- Level of engagement (likes and further comments)
- Who posted the comment
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;
- How many followers we have
- Connection strength
- How many profile views we get
- Poor performing posts can have a detrimental effect on the visibility of future comments and posts
- @mentions and #hashtags in comments can increase visibility
Overall, whilst a bit ‘techie’ this is a valuable insight into how LinkedIn programme their algorithm.
- Adding LinkedIn’s Profile Card on Office 365 Offers a Simple Way to Build a Professional Relationship
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 does 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 a member of 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 much less in groups.
Let’s Not Get Too Honest!
Have you seen the trending #hashtag on LinkedIn #letsgethonest?
LinkedIn have even featured it in this new section 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
- Speech impediments
- Sick relatives
- Relatives passing away
- I’m homeless
And the list goes on…. If you click on the image above you can read more.
I 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 sense 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 will always bring with it more success whether you are a job seeker, recruiter or looking to grow your business.
The future is LinkedIn!
Question: 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.
That’s it for this week, don’t forget to leave a voicemail or email me with any questions or suggestions, till next time.
Have a great week everyone.
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Thank you so much for listening. I value your support and interest.
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