There have been many blogs in the last few weeks about the latest LinkedIn updates, including the most recent introduction “LinkedIn endorsements”.
And according to hubspot, LinkedIn is 277% better for lead generation than other social networks, so there is a good reason to take notice of these changes and work out how to make the most of them!
The purpose of this Blog and the accompanying video is to bring information and help on the latest developments together in one place:
- 3 Top Tips on why you should use endorsements the “right way” to gain maximum benefit
- Links to some very useful resources and “how to guides” on endorsements
- Top tips on the other LinkedIn Update
1. LinkedIn Endorsements – 3 top tips on how to maximise the benefit
LinkedIn has recently introduced a new ‘one click’ endorsement feature.
This video will concentrate on the best way to use endorsements to get the maximum benefit from LinkedIn – reasons why you should use endorsement, what’s considered best practice and just as importantly, what not to do.
Endorsing somebody’s skill set and vice versa is beneficial, but only when done correctly. Already some practices are emerging, which are not only poor, but may in the long run have a detrimental impact on your LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn now prompts you to consider endorsing your 1st degree contacts when you sign in and you may be motivated to just click endorse in the hope that your contact will endorse you back in return and boost your endorsement numbers quickly, in a similar way to ‘happy clicking’ to obtain Facebook Likes. But stop and think – have we done business together? Have we worked together? Have I seen my contact display that skill? Basically, should I endorse that person for that skill?
Here are our top three tips for getting the most out of endorsements.
- Think before you click– Ask yourself, “Could I write a real recommendation for them?” If the answer is no, then should you really be endorsing them?
- The data that endorsements bring provides a numeric value to your particular skills versus those of your peer group. This makes LinkedIn’s own advanced search function far more accurate for companies and recruiters seeking to match candidates to skills, and companies looking for suppliers with the right skills. Rather than randomly asking your contacts to “endorse your skills” it will be more beneficial to ask them to focus on the ones most important to you and that you’ve demonstrated to them.
- Don’t ignore recommendations. If your endorsements are not backed up with recommendations confirming how your skills have been put into practice, there is a danger the endorsements will be of limited or no value. Would you employ someone or use a provider that supposedly has a skill but has no evidence to back it up?
So, as this new features beds in, and the “happy clicking” activity associated with Facebook “Likes” settles down into an activity based on quality, rather than quantity, then endorsements will indeed have great value to individuals and companies alike.
The strongest advice we would give at this moment is don’t neglect seeking appropriate recommendations. The endorsement might be the “social signal” that you might have an area of skill or Expertise, but recommendations are the evidence that this is not only true but also recognised by influential people.
2. LinkedIn Endorsements – Practical “How To's”
- Edit or Add some areas of Skills & Expertise
If you already have a skills & expertise list, review them to make sure they are the most important ones that you’d like to be known for, if not choose them carefully in “edit mode”
- What do you see when someone endorses you?
When someone endorses you, you receive an email as shown below.
And when you click on the link you are invited to “Add to Profile”
Once you’ve added an endorsement to your profile LinkedIn immediately presents you with the opportunity to scroll through your contacts, and provide endorsements for them. If you wish to endorse a contact shown for a skill you can do this individually, or if all four suggestions presented are appropriate, you may select the “Endorse all 4” button.
As each endorsement is added to your profile, the number on the left changes to reflect the total endorsements for that skill, whilst a maximum of 9 images (Linked to the profiles of those people endorsing you) appear to the right.
Clicking on the arrow to the right of the images will enable you to view all contacts who have endorsed that particular skill and also gives you the option to “hide endorsement” if appropriate.
- Encourage endorsements (Social Signal) and cross pollinate with Recommendations (Evidence)
As outlined in our video above, whist encouraging endorsements where appropriate is a good thing, on their own they are only a social signal that you might be good at something (or someone you are researching has the skill or area of expertise you’re looking for). Accompanying recommendations are the evidence that you (or the other contact) have actually put these Skills and Expertise to good use.
Some other useful blogs on this subject are:
- 6 Tips for Using LinkedIn the New Endorsements (Social Media Examiner)
- Introducing Endorsements: Give Kudos with Just One Click (LinkedIn's own blog)
- 3 Tips for Using LinkedIn's New 'Endorsements' (Entrepreneur)
- Video: LinkedIn Endorsements (LinkedIn Makeover)
3. Top tips on the other 5 recent brilliant changes, being:
New Look Company Pages
The redesigned company pages have introduced a little bit of flare to the “look and feel” for the company experience. Nowhere near as radical as the Facebook Timeline change forced on business in March 2012, but worth updating none the less.
Company information is far easier to access and you can start to bring in more attractive imagery to both the Logo and banner image areas (see above for an example)
We would recommend perhaps maintaining some consistency between the banner images you are using for your company across your other business focused Social Media (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ business pages) for a coherent brand experience.
Our top tips on the new look company pages:
- Express your brand: With a banner image that is eye catching
- Showcase your Products & Services:
For more online resources on this subject view:
- Introducing a New Look for Company Pages (LinkedIn’s own blog)
- Rolling Out New LinkedIn Company Pages to All Companies [SLIDESHOW]