LinkedIn Changes & Updates

Get a head start in 2021. 77 tips for your LinkedIn profile

By Changes & Updates

Get a head start in 2021. 77 tips for your LinkedIn profile In December 2019 I wrote that it was the year New Zealand had woken up to LinkedIn. I also said that in 2020, LinkedIn would become THE social media platform for business to business (B2B) commerce. While that turned out to be correct, I hadn’t factored in that this would be caused by a worldwide pandemic. That little bomb had yet to explode this time last year. Twelve months on and the world is a very different place. As well, LinkedIn is now a very different place with numerous changes to both the platform and the algorithm. Millions more people signed up in 2020 and have begun their own LinkedIn journeys. Total membership now is in excess of 710 million. In 2020 this article proved very helpful to many and was searched for often so I decided to update it for 2021. It incorporates the changes that make the platform essential for any business professional and the latest research based on changes made to the algorithm. It is in checklist form and covers everything you need to know to make LinkedIn work for you – whether that’s becoming known in your industry; developing as a thought leader in your business; generating leads for your company; widening your network of peers, colleagues and leaders; or enhancing your profile to boost your chances of being spotted when a potential client is searching for someone with your skills. This article is arranged by topic. Find the topic that most interests you and skip what you already know. The sections are: Top Secret Tips Profiles Company pages Publishing Engaging Connecting Direct messaging Disclaimer: each point on this list is briefly made. An entire page could be written on each one. More information on these topics can be found at the resource library here on our website.   Top Secret Tips Send personalised video messages. When connecting with someone for the first time, send a thank you video message. It makes you stand out from everyone else and starts the relationship off well. Video messages are sent from the mobile app and can be found under messaging. An alternative I recommended last year was voice messages and these are still impactful as few people send them. Document posts now receive the highest number of views. Previously text-only posts were the most viewed of the post formats but these have been overtaken by document posts. This will be because of the time viewers spend reading them and reflects the new algorithmic formula ‘dwell time’. Text-only posts rank second behind document posts in terms of reach. Posts attracting comments in their first 24 published hours are seen by more people. Engagement is the key to posts performing strongly. Comments are the most useful, shares are the least. Likes from the post author on comments within 24 hours also assist reach. When inviting a LinkedIn member to connect with you, make it personal. The recipient is more likely to say yes. Use the Add a Note field to write a message that explains why they should connect with you. Delete duplicate profiles. Duplicate profiles are common but send all the wrong messages about your interest in and activity on LinkedIn. They are also confusing to potential connections. Get rid of any profiles except your main one by following the links at Merge or Close Duplicate Accounts Use your personal email to log in to LinkedIn, not your work address. Many people lose access to their LinkedIn account because they use their work address to log in. When they change jobs, they no longer have that email address and can’t get into their account. Create a longer headline to properly showcase your skills. Headlines can now be a maximum of 220 characters. They can include emojis and symbols so be creative and make yours stand out. Choose well-followed hashtags in posts. LinkedIn uses the first three hashtags in a post from a personal profile in the post’s URL so choose popular ones. Find out how many followers a post has by putting it in the search bar and clicking Enter. Personal profile Update your profile image to a current, professional head and shoulders image. Wear your usual work attire, smile and look either directly into the camera or slightly from right to left so you are looking into the page. Zoom in so your face will be recognisable when viewed on a mobile phone. Make your cover image eye-catching and information rich. This adds visual interest to your LinkedIn profile, helping you stand out. When you include a tagline, web address and relevant background image to your cover, it grabs attention. This is valuable and important real estate that is often overlooked. Read more about LinkedIn background images. Ensure your profile image doesn’t hide an important part of your cover image. Profile photos sit at the left or the middle of your cover image depending on where they are being viewed on LinkedIn, so don’t place critical information where it could be hidden. Cover image words need to be BIG. The dimensions of the cover image change, depending on the device being used so always look at how it will display on both desktop and mobile to ensure the text can be clearly read. The size ratio between profile image and cover image also changes; on mobile the cover image becomes smaller than on desktop. Claim your personal LinkedIn URL. Having a personal URL allows you to use it neatly and tidily in your marketing without a multi-digit suffix. The result is then your version of www.linkedin.com/in/lynnairejohnston rather than www.linkedin.com/in/lynnairejohnston-a9b16343. Update and complete your contact information so people can easily find you. LinkedIn allows you to add a physical/postal address, an email address, your phone number, three websites, your Twitter handle and a range of instant messenger platforms including Skype. Include as many as you have. If you don’t have an address clients come to, use…

New LinkedIn Algorithm Research Reveals How to Leverage LinkedIn

New LinkedIn Algorithm Research Reveals How to Leverage LinkedIn Social selling and LinkedIn expert Richard van der Blom recently published new LinkedIn algorithm research. His findings provide some surprises and some reinforcement of current understanding. This is my take on his research, which can be found at https://bit.ly/32pWfem How post formats are impacted by the new LinkedIn algorithm research For as long as I’ve been publishing on LinkedIn, text-only posts have generally performed best. But according to van der Blom’s research this is not now the case. Document posts (with text), do even better. That’s likely to be because of the algorithm change to rewarding dwell time – which takes into account the time someone spends looking at, reading or watching your post. Now, the new LinkedIn algorithm research shows the performance of posts by format is (from most to least effective): Document posts Text and text/image (I disagree with the image post results, these generally perform badly for me) Native* video (which now includes videos hosted on Vimeo weirdly) Polls Posts with external links Pre-programmed options (eg Celebrate an occasion or Find an expert) YouTube videos Articles (* Video which is uploaded from your computer or phone as opposed to being hosted somewhere like YouTube.) A view on a video post or article equates to six seconds of time on the screen. Using external sites to add bold, italics and funny fonts to your posts can have a negative impact on reach. Videos and the new LinkedIn algorithm research For some time, native video has outperformed video embedded in other platforms such as YouTube. This is still the case unless the video happens to be hosted on Vimeo, where apparently it is treated differently. The takeaway: use native or Vimeo videos in your posts. Views of and engagement on videos are now 20-40 percent higher than they were in 2019. For best results make your videos no longer than 30-40 seconds, in square format and with captions. This last is because half of your viewers will watch your video with the sound off. LinkedIn Live receives very poor engagement levels at just 2.2 percent, much lower than other forms of video. Engagement We’ve long known that comments give better reach than likes (also known as reactions) or shares. The new LinkedIn algorithm research confirms this is still the case with comments returning twice as many views as likes and eight times as many as shares. However, authors of posts need to respond to comments within two hours of their being uploaded for maximum return. And comments that receive likes within 24 hours do better, especially on company pages. All the different like reactions (love, celebrate, curious and insightful) seem to carry the same weight with the algorithm except the recently introduced support, which returns 10 percent more views. Shares are seen by LinkedIn as duplicate content and are penalised accordingly. The way around this is to have the original author comment on the shared post which will return 3-4 times more views as a regular share. However, I cannot see this working. A better solution is to write your own post about the content, referencing the original post, but offering your take on the issue. The golden hour in which a post needs to receive engagement for wider distribution by the algorithm is now extended to two hours. The author of the post needs to engage on comments in the first 24 hours to have the most positive effect. If you do not engage on others’ posts, it has no palpable effect on your own content. Dwell time When LinkedIn changed the algorithm to take account of how long posts were looked at, as opposed to how often, it threw many previously long-held beliefs up into the air. The new LinkedIn algorithm research confirms that the goal is now to hold attention, not just gain it. To that end, when compared with 2019, document posts receive 40-60 percent more views, followed by video (20-40 percent) and external links 15-30 percent. This last seems counter to logic as they take people off the platform but it’s the basis of the comparison that likely makes this possible. Posts with fewer than three lines of text (that trigger the see more button) perform exceedingly poorly. Hashtags For most of 2020, LinkedIn experts have generally agreed that 3-5 hashtags per post are as many as it is possible to use for maximum reach. LinkedIn uses these hashtags as part of the post URL which backs up this view. However, in his new LinkedIn algorithm research van der Blom suggests that 3-9 hashtags per post gain the most reach. It doesn’t matter where in the post these are placed (although convention dictates at the end). Hashtags should have a minimum of 100,000 followers except for a few that might be specific to you such as your company name. Van der Blom says hashtags have the power to become the new communities. I take this to mean that people who follow certain hashtags are more likely to see posts in their feeds carrying the same ones, so they become familiar with these people, but van der Blom may see an even greater future for them than this. Post frequency The number one question I am asked about posting is how often to do it. And on this the research is most interesting. Instead of deciding in advance how frequently to post (eg three times a week), use the response to your posts to guide you and don’t post new content until your current piece receives a drop in engagement. Van der Blom says that only two pieces of content from any one person will be shown in the timeline at once on any given day (check this). More posts reduce visibility. If your second post scores well, your first post will lose 50 percent of views. If it doesn’t, you still lose 20 percent – which is a very good reason to post only once a…