New LinkedIn Look: Top Take-Aways To Know & Do Now
The new LinkedIn format — which has been rolled out (in waves) over the last several months — is a lot like Facebook. A January article in Wired magazine entitled “The New LinkedIn Looks Just Like Facebook. Smart Move.” gives a fun-to-read explanation of the Facebook-like makeover. For business professionals familiar with Facebook but intimidated by LinkedIn, the new look may feel more comfortable.
Savvy professionals use LinkedIn for networking, business development, competitive intelligence and other strategic B2B purposes. As we adjust to the new set-up, here are my top take-aways to know and do now:
- NAVIGATION: Like many contemporary business websites, the new streamlined LinkedIn interface has eliminated most of the drop-downs in the main navigation to get right to what you need. The new format is designed to replicate the desktop view more closely on mobile devices and improve mobile functionality, … again, an important user-friendliness feature.
- SUMMARY: The summary now shows only two lines before the see-more option. Be sure your first two lines are hard-hitting so visitors to your page will want to read more. Don’t use that space to highlight your contact information or other specific content that was formerly hard to find in the old format. Don’t forget to check your summary on the mobile view, too.
- SECTIONS: One major drawback of the new interface is that you no longer have the ability to re-order sections to customize your profile with your individual strengths in the forefront. In fact, many of the sections such as publications, honors and projects are now grouped under one heading called “accomplishments.”
- SKILLS/ENDORSEMENTS/RECOMMENDATIONS: The skills/endorsements section now only shows the top three skills before the see-more prompt so be sure your top skills are displayed; the skills can, indeed, be reordered.
For many professionals in fields such as law and finance, these skills/endorsements may be construed as a violation of SEC compliance or ABA ethics/expertise regulations. (And, people often find that section annoying.) In some cases, it may be better to opt out and, instead, ask for a recommendation from a few valued clients or referral sources.
- ANALYTICS: There are greatly expanded analytics when adding or “sharing” an “update”. Even with the free version of LinkedIn, you can see the companies from which your updates were viewed and their titles. As with the old format for LinkedIn, you can clearly see the actual names of those who “like” or “comment.” Strategically, that might mean that if you want a referral source or client to see that you engaged with his/her update, it is well-advised to “like” or “comment.” (Note that the analytics are tied to a “share,” but do not apply to a “like” or “comment.”)
If you don’t ever post, share, comment or like (and just accept invitations to connect that come your way), it is much more obvious now because that activity is very visible. Occasional activity (even once per month) will substantially strengthen your profile.
For reluctant users, the new format might be just what you need to dive into LinkedIn and reap the benefits of building and leveraging relationships, scoring competitive research, distinguishing yourself from the crowd, and more. Once you have made revisions to capitalize on the new design and put your best foot forward, you can move on to capture the enhanced business-building opportunities.
One comment from the January Wired article said: “They’ve improved the way people message each other and search for jobs, how the platform makes recommendations based on a user’s background, how someone can use their connections to get inside information about a company. From a user-experience perspective, it looks like they’ve really thought these things through.”
The learning curve for the new LinkedIn is not steep but there are some subtle nuances that alter how to make your profile shine and how to generate the most ROI from this social media platform. I invite you to share with me (firstname.lastname@example.org) any strategic discoveries, major B2B initiatives or best-practices for the 2017 interface. There will certainly be more to come as users leverage the new LinkedIn and the developers hear feedback from the community.