I usually post articles here on Monday morning but I changed up this week for something special… at least for me. On Sunday I celebrated my 17th year of self employment as a consultant; let me take a moment for myself…
Thus, I moved this post to today, but in its own way it’s a milestone post, though not the one I thought it was going to be. At least I’m writing this post, which means I was able to figure out how to modify a new theme, which I talked about last week. Continue reading →
Last week I was going through Flipboard when I came across an article about LinkedIn privacy. I knew I’d set up my site to protect some of my information, but I never thought much about the advertisements that show up now.
That’s because I got on LinkedIn in 2006, back before they were trying to be Facebook, and they didn’t have advertisements. Now they have advertisements along with the newsfeed, something else they didn’t have a long time ago, and track a lot of other information that I hadn’t thought of. Continue reading →
Yesterday I wrote the below on my personal Facebook profile:
I’ll admit that a bit of this is self serving while being helpful at the same time (since I have a page with quite a few of you subscribed to it who probably never know I’m putting anything out).
Do you see me?
If you have “liked” a page here on Facebook and want to be notified whenever there’s something new on the page, what you have to do is go to the page, click on the arrow next to Following, and then go to Notifications and click on it.
If you don’t want to go quite that far, still click on Following and then click on Default. That’ll give you a better opportunity to see that page in your stream without being notified all the time that there’s something new there.
I figure if you’ve liked a page that you might want to see some of the things that show up there from time to time; that’s why I’m sharing this information. That’s also my helpful tip of the day; now back to your regularly scheduled program…
Are you wondering why I wrote that, and why I’m sharing it here? That’s actually the wrong question. What you should be asking is why I had to write it and share it.
When I first created my Facebook business page, it was telling me that almost everyone who had liked it was getting whatever I put on there. That’s actually kind of a misnomer. What they tell you is how many people were reached. That doesn’t actually mean all those people saw it; just that the impression of it showed up somewhere on that many people’s newsfeed. You’d be amazed at how much stuff shows up in our newsfeed that we didn’t see; I’ll come back to that one.
As I was saying, early on the reach for my page was at least 80%. I’m not going to pretend that I understood how things worked then but in my mind that was a pretty good percentage. Over time the numbers dwindled to a point where these days most of what I put on the page gets maybe 10 views if I’m lucky. If it’s just an image with a motivational message they might send it to 100 people, but that’s still less than 25%. These are people who subscribed to the page; what the hey?
I have to give Facebook a little bit of credit though. At least they have a way for us to have the opportunity to be notified that a page we’ve liked has added something new… even if they don’t go out of their way to tell anyone. You don’t get anything like that from Google Plus or LinkedIn; now that’s a shame.
There’s absolutely nothing on Google Plus. You have to visit the groups you’re in to see anything new. Actually, because their feed is hard to keep up with, even if you’ve created specific circles, it might not be a bad thing if you haven’t joined a bunch of groups. If you have… well, you’re on your own.
There’s nothing on LinkedIn either as far as receiving group notifications. The best thing I found is that you can allow groups to invite you to join them; no thanks!
Of course they have that second troubling feature, which is that they allow you to follow people and people to follow you without being friends with them. However, they still don’t tell you when they post anything, and obviously aren’t telling anyone when I post anything either since supposedly there are over 1,200 people following me… and I’m only connected to 900 people.
This is irksome because I’m following James Altucher; I just love the way this guy writes. But LinkedIn never alerts me to the things he’s putting out, and since he doesn’t have a blog on his website I miss almost everything; sniff!
I actually stopped posting articles on LinkedIn sometime last year. What I still do is post my latest article from this blog and my business blog, as well as any new videos I create that I think might be business centric. Other than that, I gave up posting articles specific for the page after they shut down the numbers that were seeing them. I can get 10 views on my own blogs (luckily I’m getting more than that lol).
Before I answer why social media doesn’t want us to see what we want to see, I want to go back to what I touched upon about the Facebook feed. Per Facebook themselves, only 15% of our “fans” are even eligible to see our feed without some kind of promotion. You can boost those numbers if some of your subscribers actually come to visit the page and even moreso if some of them actually share something you put up.
It also depends on whether you’re posting something directly there as opposed to posting a link. For instance, links to my blogs or from YouTube usually get less than 10 people reached, but if I upload a video directly it gets up to 35 people, and uploading images will get between 30 and 50%.
In the case of both Facebook and LinkedIn, it’s all about the money. Facebook is a bit more blatant about it. On my business page, they’ll actually tell me how much to spend to reach a certain number of people. They want $5 for my blog post links to reach upwards of a whole 35 people. Frankly, I’m not sure whether I should be happy the dollar amount is so low of insulted that 35 people isn’t even 10% for that 5 bucks.
LinkedIn offers extra things to people who pay for the premium package, but based on what LinkedIn tells us they still don’t do anything to help us see what they want us to see, even though they’re trying to become Facebook. Maybe Microsoft will figure out a way to offer this as a premium service one day but it doesn’t exist yet.
This pretty much means that, except for Facebook, we’re not going to see what we really want to see… whatever that may be. I guess I’ll just have to be happy in not seeing what I don’t want to see on Facebook for the moment; I’ll take what I can get.
Truthfully, even though it’s rare that I do it these days, it not only can’t hurt to do some marketing, networking or outreach on LinkedIn if you’re a sole proprietor, consultant or looking to upgrade your position but it’s almost imperative to do so. No matter how much I might think it’s failing as a social media platform, truth be told there’s no other site I know of that’s still more geared towards people and business than it is.
With that said, I can talk about different ways you can market yourself or your services on LinkedIn. I’ve done a little bit of all these things, with differing results, thus it gives me a bit of credibility to talk about them. I’m not going to tell you how successful or unsuccessful any of them were because you should discover these things for yourself. I will say that over the past 2 years I’ve been way more successful at it than I was back in 2012. 😉
1. Post articles
Full disclosure; I stopped publishing posts on LinkedIn in December, although I haven’t totally ruled out going that route again. I posted 100 articles and they had varying success. The shares started out like gangbusters and I was getting a lot of attention but at a certain point things dropped off drastically.
However, the reason this is a good thing to do is because of that initial boost. You’ll have to post at least 10 times and spread them out at least a few days, maybe even a full week. You get to select up to 3 categories that you feel your article addresses. If you’re lucky, at least one of them will go “LinkedIn viral”, which means you’ll get over 1,000 views, and if a lot of those people end up following you at least you’ll have created a new audience.
2. Set up your blog posts to automatically go there
Although I have 5 blogs, I only have two of mine set up to send posts there automatically, this one and my business blog. For years I only had my business blog posts going there but recently I changed that up to share these posts as well via Twitterfeed. By the way, I use this same program to post all of my blog posts to Twitter when they go live, and I use it to post my business posts to my business Facebook page.
3. Post some of your older articles or new videos to your status
I don’t do this all that often, and I won’t be doing it for the month of September since I’ll have a lot of posts showing up there, but this is another way to get some of your content in front of other eyes and sometimes you might get some feedback on it. You can’t automate this process, which is why it’s down further on the list, but it can’t do anything but help you… unless you post something stupid. lol
4. Comment on some posts in groups
Someone else might recommend that you post links in groups related to your niche but I’m going a different way. The reason for this is because almost everyone posts nothing but links without saying anything about what they’re sharing. This means most people ignore the links because there’s not much compelling about that sort of thing on LinkedIn; you can get that from Twitter instead.
However, commenting on posts does a couple of things. One, it might help you connect with the original poster, since they’ll be notified that someone commented on their post. Two, those people who actually sometimes writes comments are more likely to leave a comment on a post that already has one. I don’t know why this is but I used to notice that it happened quite often after I commented first on an article.
5. Post a discussion topic in a group
Instead of posting links, think about a topic you believe might generate discussion instead. Set it up by either giving some background on the issue or giving your opinion on it. Most people will be more comfortable with giving background information and then asking people their opinion on it. That can get people responding and sharing their thoughts, and it gives you the opportunity to network with those who you feel comfortable with.
6. Reach out to people you’re connected to with an original message for each one
I’m connected to over 1,000 people on LinkedIn, and at least 40% of those people are in health care, which is what I mainly consult in. I did a campaign where I decided to try to reach out to every person I was connected to that I’d never had a conversation with, or didn’t remember talking to.
I’ll admit that because of the number of people I was connected to and the time it was taking to go through the list, I stopped after the letter “L”, which means I made it almost halfway through the alphabet. I had conversations with a few of those people by reaching out to them first. I was able to script a different message to each person by first looking at their profiles again and, because I’m in the industry, having an idea of what to ask them or share with them individually. I’m still talking to a couple of those people months later; that’s pretty cool.
7. Rinse and repeat
Like all marketing efforts, nothing works if you only do it once or twice. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time because you never know when people are potentially going to see what you’re putting out. Don’t overdo it but be softly persistent.
If you get lucky enough to talk to someone, do that… don’t market up front but talk to people. They might learn enough from that to ask you more specific questions, then you’re good to go.
That should be enough to get you started, or at least get you thinking about how you might want to change something up. If you have other ideas, go ahead and share them. If you have further questions, or you try some of these, please feel free to let me know how it’s going for you; I’d love to hear it.
In June 2015 I wrote a post talking about how these days it’s hard to do business on LinkedIn. I talked about how people who seemingly reach out saying they want to work with you actually want you to work for them… for free! I talked about how I rarely get anyone reaching out to me to do business for them where I’ll get paid, and I mentioned how people will reach out to ask me for advice; I don’t mind that part.
Then last September, on my birthday no less, I wrote a post about social media mistakes people make which included mentioning how it seems that a lot of people these days are acting like trolls on LinkedIn, a site that’s supposed to be for business purposes. I can’t understand how those people think someone will see that and say “Ooohhh, I can’t wait to work with this person”; wouldn’t be me!
Yet, I have noticed something intriguing over the past 18 months or so, and what’s made it intriguing is that people are saying on LinkedIn what I’ve been thinking for a while but think it’s rude to actually say on LinkedIn, especially on something someone else has posted. That line, or a derivative of it, is: “This shouldn’t be on LinkedIn; it should be on Facebook.”
That’s a very legitimate gripe and it leads to the big question, the elephant in the room: why has LinkedIn become Facebook?
The initial reason is easy; have you seen Facebook’s numbers, both in members and growth? In essence, Facebook is now the largest country in the world; who wouldn’t want to emulate that?
Other reasons make sense also. Since making changes a couple of years ago, their revenue has increased, engagement overall has increased, visits have increased and advertising has increased. It’s no wonder Microsoft bought them in June.
They say their overall long term goal is to have 3 billion profiles and a major growth in traffic and usage via their LinkedIn mobile app (which I’m not all that crazy about). So far their newest strategies seem to be working out for them; so what’s the problem?
The problem is that it’s less of a business site and more of a… well… Facebook type site.
One thing LinkedIn has done is diminished the usefulness of their Groups option, and that’s too bad. Then again, I’d lamented how it seemed that most groups either had people just posting links without comment or had become a cesspool of spam that no one was moderating anyway so I guess it’s easier to ask “what’s the point” than to try to fix them and make them more attractive.
Another thing is some of what we now see in the updates area on the home page. Nearly everyone is just posting links to things they’re not creating and they have no comment most of the time. At least the link I share from this blog and my business blog are things I’m creating on my own, but I’ll be honest and say what I do might not be all that much better just because I created it.
The updates that get commented on are… well, interesting. Any updates with puppies and babies get the most comments… like on Facebook. Political posts seem to get the most vitriol… just like on Facebook. For a site that likes to promote itself as a business networking site I’m not sure that’s what any of the above can truly be considered as.
Obviously I have some complaints about LinkedIn, some of which I’ve made plain here. However, I’m one of those people who hates people who complain about things without offering some suggestions for how to make things better. Here are 3 things I wish they had or would do to make it better:
1. Set up “true” networking sites
What would be nice is if, instead of something like the type of groups they have now, LinkedIn set up networking groups based on specific business categories that people could join and know that they would have the opportunity to really engage with others in their industry. The difference here is that if people joined and never said anything for a period of 30 days they’d automatically be bounced from the group.
A gripe of mine is joining a group that says it has 25,000 members but only 3 or 4 people are ever posting anything, and maybe 9 or 10 ever say anything. I think fewer people but those ready to talk about industry information and possibilities would be much stronger and make the site more valuable to both consultants like myself and people who might want to find someone to work with.
2. Make people declare sites they’re related to and set a limit on the number of items they can share outside of those sites.
This might seem a bit controversial until you realize it’s what YouTube has done to a certain extent. On YouTube, I can only share information in their Cards program from either sites that I’m associated with in my profile or other YouTube videos. They also only limit 5 cards per video. Some might say you can get around this by using annotations but those don’t show up on mobile.
With restrictions like this, it would limit the amount of mindless posts that people share that have nothing to do with them and potentially get them back to posting more business related items. It might reduce the stream a little bit but truthfully, who can say they even know how to keep up with the stream (like Facebook), let alone care (like Facebook)? It would certainly give more members a chance to highlight themselves; it’s amazing that people need to be forced to talk about themselves or their business on a site supposedly for business.
3. Allow local members to set up face-to-face networking events via LinkedIn.
Since they want to be Facebook anyway, LinkedIn might as well set this feature up like Facebook has. In the past many of us tried doing it through groups because there were a lot of people who were members but there was no way of seeing who might really be interested in coming. I’m not sure how valuable this might be to the masses but I know that meeting the few people I have because of LinkedIn locally has been a wonderful thing, and having a chance to meet a bunch of them at once would probably be pretty nice also.
How do you feel about the “new” LinkedIn, and what would you like to see that you don’t see now?