There’s a reason I chose this image for this blog post. Because this is what LinkedIn did to me a couple weeks ago when they completely rearranged their site layout. It was so much more frustrating for me at the time because I had to put together a LinkedIn training session. Which I totally had in the bag. I knew LinkedIn pretty much in and out. But days before designing my training, they introduced a whole new layout where I couldn’t find ANYthing! Seriously, everything was moved, or downright gone.
I guess I should be grateful I hadn’t done my workbooks and screen shots yet since I had to do all new ones at this point. But still. The aggravation was real!
And I’ve honestly spent the last few weeks seriously trying to figure out the new LinkedIn layout. I won’t say I have it all figured out, but I have found a few hidden things and learned a few tricks along the way. So I’m here to – hopefully – help you, and keep you from ripping out your hair!
Find the Right Browser
Not gonna lie – Internet Explorer (IE) and I have had a *bit* of a war with LinkedIn functionality. And, before you jump down my throat about using IE, unfortunately, it’s the most compatible browser for what I do at my day job so I’m stuck using it. I have found that using Firefox at the office is my best alternative to IE and actually allows me to do what I need to do on LinkedIn. At home, I use Chrome, which has been much nicer in cooperating with LinkedIn.
When using IE, LinkedIn typically crashes on me. It won’t let me upload images to post updates, I can’t choose who to share status updates with, and features that usually pop up when you hover over them aren’t there.
So if you feel like LinkedIn is picking on you, try a different browser. It may just work!
Personalize Your Connection Requests
You know how I always preach the value of personalizing your connection requests? If not, read this post to understand why.
It’s so important to personalize your connection requests and remind people of why you’re connected. But apparently LinkedIn is over us connecting in a personal way because they’ve nearly eliminated the ability to personalize connection requests.
If you see a “Connect” button anywhere on LinkedIn (someone you know connected to someone, a list of people you may know, or anywhere else) – DON’T push the button! This sends the automated (read: robotic, boring, plain, generic, impersonal) LinkedIn connection request immediately. There’s no option to personalize it.
The only way I’ve found to personalize a request is to actually go to the person’s profile and submit a connection request from their profile. Yes, you’ll have to fill in how you know each other (but, BONUS tip, use “Friend” to avoid having to pick a position or other parameter). But then you can actually type in your connection message and look a little more human.
Another BONUS Tip on adding connections in general: If you want to find the list of “People You May Know” on LinkedIn, the fastest and easiest way is to scroll down the news feed. Usually about 15 stories or so. Then you’ll see a box that says “See Anyone You Know? Connect With Them”. Again, don’t click the CONNECT button! But, what you can do to see the full list of people you may know is to click on the option in the bottom of the box “Find more people you may know”. This will open up the collage style layout we’re used to seeing, full of names and faces you may know.
Find Your Connection History and Number of Connections
Wondering who you’ve sent connection requests too? Looking to see if someone has or hasn’t replied to your connection request? Now you have to find this in your messages folder. This is the only place I’ve been able to find any history of my connection activity.
So, go to your Messages folder (you can click on the envelope icon in the top right corner for easy access). To see who has sent you a connection request, click on the “Invitations” option from the left side bar. Technically you can see these too if you hover over the little profile silhouette with the plus sign and click on the “See All” next to “Invitations”.
Now you can see all pending connection requests of people who want to connect with you.
But what if you want to see who you’ve sent connection requests to? Again, you need to be in your inbox/mailbox. From the left side menu, choose “Sent”. Then at the top of the list, where it currently says “All” hover over and select “Invitations” from the drop down. Now you can see everyone you sent a connection request too. If they’ve accepted it, it will say (Accepted) next to their name. If they haven’t, it won’t say anything.
Another thing you might be looking for is how many connections you actually have. Yeah, it used to be right there in the right side bar too. But not so much anymore. It’s pretty much hidden from you!
First of all, you can go to “Your Updates” (hover over Profile to find it in the drop down or get it from the “View your activity” from the home feed). To the right of “Recent Activity” is “Followers”. The number in parentheses is your number of followers (different from your number of connections). Click on this to open up a new page with details on who you’re connected with.
To see how many actual connections you have, go the “Connections” tab from the top menu. A list of your connections will populate. Scroll down a little bit and you’ll notice an information bar appears at the top of the page that shows you the number of connections you actually have. Like I said, not so easy to find things now!
Find Your Post Stats
Remember the good old days of a few weeks ago when you could see stats on the performance of your last 5-10 posts? Down there in the right side bar was a great little resource where you could see how many people had seen your status updates. It even broke down how many were first and second level connections. And how many comments you had on those posts.
It was a beautiful thing. At least if you’re interested in knowing how your posts are actually performing. Which, many of us are!
Well, say goodbye to that lovely tool. Cuz it’s gone. And the current “stat” info sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Did I mention it sucks?
Anyways, if you’re looking for it, you can get the information on your latest ONE post from the top of your home page:
If you click on the box that shows how many views your update had, you’ll get a little pop-up that shows the number of likes (thumbs up) and views (eyeball). That’s it. No differentiation on who viewed the post.
And don’t be fooled by the “View Your Recent Activity” options. Sure, that’ll take you to your recent activity. Your latest posts. But it won’t show you any data or analytics for any of them. Just the likes and comments that are populated on those updates. This will also show things you’ve liked or commented on, not just your post update information.
Oh, and on another random side tangent, the reach on posts is so far down right now, I think I’m using Facebook. Seriously. I used to average at least 60-70 views per post, often well over 100 views. Now I’m getting single digits on almost every post… Hello, Facebook.
Posting a Status Update
You would think this would be easy. It’s an update. The whole concept behind sharing and being social. But this has been one area that has had me pulling out the most hair.
A good old-fashioned text update – all good! Photos and links, not always so much. Especially if you want a photo AND a link in the same update!
Ok, so my tips are to upload the image FIRST before you start writing the post update. It seems insignificant but seems to produce the best results for consistency and sanity. And, if you want to post a link, just paste or type the link into the status update. It will default a link preview which will appear in the post when published.
However, if you want to post a photo AND a link, you have to be more diligent. First, upload the image. Then type your post update. Then put in the link. When you add the link to the update, the preview will override your image (but don’t worry, the image is still there, technically). But, if you leave the link preview in place, your image will not post. So you have to click the “X” on the link preview. Now, when you share your update, the photo will appear below the text, and the link will be in the update as a hyperlink.
Many features and functions are still there and easy to find. Others have been moved around. I’m sure there are things I’m missing in this post. So, in the interest of education and support, if you have figured out some fancy new trick, hidden information, or shortcut with the new LinkedIn layout, PLEASE leave that information in a comment below! Let’s all help each other out!