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How To Play “Who’s viewed your profile” On LinkedIn.

Andy Foote | Anonymous, Engagement, LinkedIn, LIONs, Networking, Who's Viewed Your Profile
2 Mar 2014
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There’s a game on LinkedIn called “Who’s viewed your profile” (WVYP) and it’s a game you definitely want to understand. Unfortunately the rules of the game can change, without warning. So you could lose the game without knowing and it wouldn’t necessarily be your fault. I’ll explain:

 

NEW LOOK ONLY WORKS WITH SHORT HEADLINE
You’ll have noticed that LinkedIn have introduced a new way of viewing your Profile browsers. Now you can see your browsers in full glorious technicolor detail (if they have pics). But LinkedIn have given and taken away….anyone notice a problem with the following?

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Or these?

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The Headlines of all of the above have been truncated. Though this is not an issue in the alternative ‘list’ view, this ‘up-ended business card’ view is the default – it’s what people see when they check WVYP. Also, because you can’t see how you present to others in WVYP, it’s therefore very likely that you’ll never know that your Headline is not working in this format, selling you short, falling at the first hurdle (or metallic green tube).

 

I’ve seen hundreds of truncated Headlines since LinkedIn introduced this new view. The temptation I guess is to use all 120 characters available in your Headline.

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My advice? Browse a friend and ask them to tell you if your Headline is truncated. Stick to 45 characters (which equates to approximately 8 words) to avoid being cut off in mid sentence. Oh and ditch those weird bullets/separators – your Headline is your work brand slogan, find a slogan which fits you like a glove and smacks people in the face, or pinches their cheek, without any superfluous accoutrements.

 

 

 

 

LINKEDIN ATTEMPTS TO ENGAGE
LinkedIn peppers WVYP with mini advertisements which are clearly designed to promote activity/engagement via Skills, Groups & People. I don’t mind the attempt but I question the effectiveness of these ads. I’ve never felt compelled to click on them and instead of impressing me with relevance/insight the opposite has been true. Why would I add a Skill which has only increased in popularity by 1%? Why would I add a Skill when I have already carefully chosen 50 Skills (my full entitlement)? Why would I join a Group which runs counter to my networking credo? (I’ve stated my view on LIONs in my Profile). Consider me neither impressed nor persuaded. LinkedIn needs to do a much better job on both relevance and persuasion, these ads are littering the landscape. Flappy bird FAIL at the first green tube, again.

 

SHOOTING BLANKS & WILD GOOSE CHASE
I totally understand why some people on LinkedIn feel they need to take a surreptitious peek at someone now and again. For some people (i.e journalists protecting their sources) viewing anonymously is essential. What I have a problem with is the way that LinkedIn currently shares that information via WVYP. The ‘Who’ is totally misleading. Showing me that I have been viewed by Anonymous users is pointless. As useful as a chocolate ashtray (or an ashtray on a motorbike). Why does LinkedIn waste valuable screen estate on showing Anonymous browsers? Does anyone respond positively to being browsed by virtual ghosts? It’s an oddity on a professional social platform. Another mystery: why do people go Semi-Anonymous on LinkedIn? If you want to hide, why not just go Anonymous? What’s the point of leading people on a wild goose (or flappy bird) chase? I haven’t heard a good reason yet….so anyone who’s opted to be Semi-Anonymous on the largest professional networking site on the planet: that’s another Flappy bird FAIL!

 

Which lineup would you prefer to see in your WVYP? This:

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or this?

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LINKEDIN CONSULTING
If you liked this article, you’ll love my customized consulting service. I’ve helped many professionals to achieve their full potential on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is not somewhere you paste your resumé, sit back and wait for things to happen. It’s a complicated and nuanced website portal that requires action, consistency, insight, branding strategy and marketing know-how. What you don’t know – could hurt you.

 

Whether it’s getting more traffic on your Profile, engaging with a stunningly good Summary or refreshing your LinkedIn presence and brand – share your goals with me and I’ll help you to achieve all of them via LinkedIn.

 

Contact me now: linkedinsights@gmail.com / 773.469.6600 to get started.

 

That’s all from me for this week. Have you noticed that I have no advertising on my site? It’s because I don’t want to bother or distract you, the reader. But I do need advertising! – if you liked what you read, PLEASE share this article with at least one person you know via LinkedIn, twitter, google+ or Facebook, it’s good to share :-)

By Andy Foote

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7 Comments

  1. Maria Wanamaker says:

    I agree with you regarding the anonymous viewer. Who are they and how is one able to browse a profile without being known? It is a bit creepy.

  2. Thanks for the insights. Very helpful and appreciated. Keep up the good work.

  3. […] Foote is a LinkedIn consultant… he just wrote a post titled How To Play “Who’s viewed your profile” On LinkedIn.  I’m linking to it here only because there are some changes… and maybe you want to be […]

  4. Jeff Quandt says:

    Thanks for the thoughtful information.

    I have seen the truncated professional headlines as well and there have been up to 60 characters across three lines that show up in my views.

    It is still advisable to have a robust Professional Headline that is keyword rich and has a sales benefit of your personal brand. The truncated views are limited to the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” section.and not in the search result view which is still a list. Still if you wish to capture someone attention after viewing their profile, place the benefit section in the first 45-60 characters.

    This is an important distinction in that if you are marketing your business or looking for a job, when someone does a search on LinkedIn for a solution to a problem, with a keyword rich profile, you should turn up in the search results, which are still in the List view and full professional headline..

    • Andy Foote says:

      Thanks Jeff. My issue with truncated Headlines (in icon/business card view) is that it’s unnecessary and affecting hundreds of thousands of LinkedIn users, without their knowledge. Unnecessary because LinkedIn could easily make room for all 120 characters in icon/business card view. If they give 120 characters – they should not take them away! It’s a great example of LinkedIn behaving like a beta; making changes on the fly and not fully testing or thinking about consequences. I do live in hope however: LinkedIn recently allowed users to filter out Semi-Anonymous & Anonymous viewers in WVYP (Who’s Viewed Your Profile). So that to me is an indication that they are listening and trying to continually improve the user experience.

      I think it’s a mistake to rely on keywords to be found. That’s outdated advice. I’ve hinted why in my latest article. More to come!

  5. Linda Fredrick says:

    Now a new twist! Not only are they truncating, but someone at LI can’t spell correctly. I received a work anniversary notice for a contact this week, and was going to alert him to the spelling error, only I wasn’t able to find that error on his profile.

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