I live on LinkedIn. So nothing is more aggravating than logging in and getting the error message, “The network is not currently accessible”, or some variation thereof. The feeling is akin to the high anxiety of a computer crash.
As well, I often hear members complain, “LinkedIn never listens to suggestions from its users!”
Recently, LinkedIn has been listening and, while network inaccessibility still occurs at the most inconvenient times, positive changes are taking place.
Four of the newest changes are small but helpful. A Premium account is needed – another reason to upgrade.
In case you haven’t noticed them, take a moment to view the bottom blue border of box directly underneath your Public Profile link. Here you’ll find four new buttons: Share, PDF, Print, and vCard.You’ll also find the “Flag” button, which is not new, but has been moved to this location for convenience.
The Share button offers yet another opportunity to connect and engage with other members. Click on this button, and an email box pops up with a standard greeting:
“Check out my new profile — I’ve made a few changes recently and wanted to get in touch and let you know. When you get a chance, send me an update. It would be great to hear from you.”
This is a great option for new LinkedIn members who want to get a jump on network growth, or current members who have worked hard on profile optimization. At the end of the day, it’s smart to make use of the many varied methods for connecting with others. (Watch for our new whitepaper on this topic!)
PDF & PRINT
I really like this option, because we work with member profiles all day long during the optimization process. Previously, printing a copy of the profile before optimization was a messy affair. Now, the profile prints clearly, without numerous hyperlinks. I suggest printing your own for safekeeping!
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A vCard is an electronic business card, commonly attached to e-mail messages, but exchangeable online in many ways. As LinkedIn becomes more sophisticated with features such as Profile Organizer, the vCard will become an important tool.
Share This Profile: This button, previously relegated to a tiny space, is now larger and brighter, placed at the top right of the profile. Why would you want to share a profile? Perhaps you want to introduce two members, are working on a joint venture, or want to make a private comment to one member about another.
Drag and Drop to Rearrange: This is not exactly a new feature, but many members are not aware of the ability to customize the look of the profile. At the top left of each section is a crossed-arrows symbol. Simply place your cursor over the symbol, and drag the section to another place on the profile. Maybe you’d like your Recommendations to appear first, or perhaps your Contact information. Perhaps your blog is most important. Be creative and create the profile look you really want.
Hide Network Updates: Some connections share a great deal of content. The Home page, where Network Updates post, can become quite noisy. Often, these are tweets that may or may not be professionally relevant. If you’d like to avoid ‘annoying’ your network with constant Twitter updates, one option is to link Twitter to your LinkedIn account, instead of the other way around. In this way, your Shared Updates post to Twitter, instead of every tweet posting as a Network Update. This may not be a good strategy for you if Twitter is important to your lead generation efforts.
Now, what to do about others in your network who update too often? You may choose to hide those connections from view to ensure your feed stream remains relevant to your professional interests. To do so, simply roll over an update and click ‘Hide’. If you decide later on to restore the feed, it only takes one quick click.
Adjust Your Member Feed: Again, not totally new, but a feature many members are not aware of. Did you know that every time you make a profile change, your activity posts to your network? If you’re making lots of updates and changes, you probably don’t want to notify the network of every small action…especially if you are employed, but job seeking. The solution is to log into your Account settings, (a completely new dashboard, by the way!), choose “turn on/off your activity broadcasts”, and uncheck the box. This will disable the feature, so you can make changes in peace. Just don’t forget to turn it back on when you’re done! Otherwise, Shared Updates and other activities will not be viewable by your network. Incidentally, you can also make the choice to allow your activity broadcasts to be seen by only a select few.
Need more help with LinkedIn? Don’t hesitate to send me your questions.
Which new LinkedIn features are you enjoying?
Victoria Ipri is CEO of Modello Media, Inc.,an e-marketing strategy firm specializing in LinkedIn marketing. She welcomes your questions and comments on this forum, or contact her directly via LinkedIn or at: Victoria@ModelloMedia.com