LinkedIn has made several upgrades lately. Have you noticed? Not only has LinkedIn changed the total design and function of the website, but they have been adding more features over the past few months in order to make the site more interactive. Here’s a few of the big updates to note:
When you land on the page, you’ll automatically see the news feed. This is similar to your Facebook Timeline or Twitter feed. You’ll see the header above the feed called “LinkedIn Today” which entices you to click on various news pieces and share articles with your connections. This is so that we can enjoy a more interesting feed than Sally Smith is now connected to Joe Jones.
Once you click “LinkedIn Today” you’ll be taken to a magazine layout of news articles for your perusal. World news and business articles await your discovery. It’s a great resource to share on LinkedIn and your other social sites, too.
You’ll notice that you can now “follow” business and thought leaders who write articles just for the LinkedIn audience. It’s tough to get directly to the list, though. There is no ability to click from the menu. There is no section on the sidebar. I think I discovered this feature because it showed up in my news feed. I went to the LinkedIn Help Page and found this comment:
Visit http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/whoToFollow to see the initial list of thought leaders who can be followed. Currently, only a small, hand-picked set of thought leaders can be followed from their LinkedIn profiles.
Not so user-friendly, but once you do land on this main page, you are treated to a wonderful list of influencers.
Follow the people you want to have show up in your news feed or just browse through the articles on offer. Underneath the header, you can click on the word “Following” to manage who you already follow. I’m not quite sure why LinkedIn would make it so difficult to get to this page. Great feature, but not completely thought out.
One of the features recently added was “Skills.” LinkedIn did this to assist college graduates who perhaps don’t yet have the work experience to fill out a resume. In addition, they now allow you to “Endorse” those skills for any of your connections. Have you noticed that when you view a profile, this box appears to encourage you to endorse specific skills?
This is a nice feature which somewhat replaces “Recommendations.” Previously, you had to ask for people to recommend you, and it was a letter your contact had to write on your behalf. That feature is still available, but now they can go into your profile and just click on the skills they want to endorse. This saves time and is very user-friendly. It also gives greater opportunity for your contacts to endorse you without a request.
Make sure you take the time to add skills to your profile. This will help you get found when hiring managers are doing searches. On top of that, take a moment to go through your contacts and endorse their skills. Perhaps you are working on a project with someone … give them a boost on LinkedIn. If you get off the phone with a business contact, head to LinkedIn and endorse some of their skills. In order to play nice on LinkedIn, it’s a good idea to take a look at who has endorsed some of your skills and then go onto their profile and endorse them right back. Good professional karma.
Finally, LinkedIn is rolling out new profile designs. I’ve requested mine, but have not yet received the upgrade. So stay tuned for more information soon.
I would love to hear what features you are enjoying most on the re-vamped LinkedIn. Are these new features making the site easier to use? Are there certain features that are helping you do business better or increasing your contact base? Please share with me. I’m happy to provide updates on my blog or in next month’s newsletter.
Do we all remember the revolutionary and #1 Best Seller Who Moved My Cheese?
Who Moved My Cheese? is the story of four characters living in a “Maze” who face unexpected change when they discover their “Cheese” has disappeared. Sniff and Scurry, who are mice, and Hem and Haw, little people the size of mice, each adapt to change in their “Maze” differently. In fact, one doesn’t adapt at all…
Soon after the book was released, I was working as the Member Relations Director at the City Club on Bunker Hill in Los Angeles, a ClubCorp private club. We all got a copy of this book. And we all read with enthusiasm how to adapt, monitor and even anticipate change. Or should I say, “Enjoy change!” Yes, it was a little, um, cheesy, but it worked for the corporate environment I lived in.
In 1998, we barely had regular e-mail communication with members, much less an interactive website or social platform to cultivate our membership community. We were constantly looking for creative ways to retain members, maintain ongoing communication (remember committee meetings?) and increase involvement through events at the City Club. We craved change.
Now we are all navigating unchartered digital waters, much of which is exciting, revolutionary and completely life changing. When one company improves its product and implements new features which changes the look of the profile page we are used to seeing, we scream and whine and moan and complain that we don’t like it. Blog posts have been written left and sideways picking apart what is great, what may be scary and what we are just bound to dislike.
May I ask a favor? Can we grab on the spirit of 1998 and remember how to embrace change? Can we appreciate the ever-evolving landscape happening online and celebrate a launch, an update, a design change, a new way of doing things? For if there were none, we would be blogging our brains out about how nothing is new or exciting or fresh. We would demand upgrades and increased user-friendliness and cooler graphics and quicker loading times.
Change is the only constant when it comes to the digital world. The cheese will always be on the move. And we must remain expectant.
Today Facebook announced that San Diego was one of just five cities chosen to help launch the new DEALS ON FACEBOOK program.
Facebook says, “A few months ago we launched Check-In Deals, to help you get special offers when you check in at local businesses from your mobile. Today we’re going a step further and testing a new feature to help you find fun experiences to share with your favorite people: Deals on Facebook.
Initially, Deals will be available to people in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego, and San Francisco and we hope to expand this test to other cities in the future.”
To acces deals, scroll down the left menu bar on your profile page. Clicking “Deals” will show you a page with all that’s on offer, including messages letting you know which friends have liked that deal.
Facebook is counting on the popularity of the LIKE button and word-of-mouth advertising to promote what deals available and for users to see what their friends are liking. I’ve already subscribed because I am interested to see what offers pop up and admire Facebook’s strategy. It’s convenient, too because I don’t have to go to another website like GroupOn or LivingSocial to see what offers are available in my community.
What I don’t like about the deals program on the Facebook platform is that it gives Facebook just that much more information about me. For small businesses hoping to gain better exposure and not go broke on traditional advertising methods, participating in the Facebook Deals should prove a huge advantage.
Have you subscribed yet? Will you use the deals offered or are you leery of FB knowing too much about you? Will you promote your small business through Facebook?