The following guest post is from Viveka Von Rosen, aka @LinkedInExpert. In her new book, LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day she guides you in how to get the most out of Linked In. Since LI just made some major changes to their user interface I asked Viveka to share with you here how to navigate the new changes.
Like all online and software tools, LinkedIn is a moving target. So I thought I might share the latest information about the new User Interface with you; how to navigate it, and how to work around some of the changes.
Here are just a few of the areas affected by the new UI—and people are not happy:
- No Posts on your profile
- No more titles “Top of the Fold”
- Contact info – including websites are harder to find
- vCards are (mostly) gone
- Network Statistics is gone gone gone
- Colleagues and Classmates New to LinkedIn is gone
- Adding Connections is harder to do
- Messages, Introductions and InMails are harder to find
- Recommendation count is gone
There are some great new tools, like the Notifications Tab, and some unfortunate deletions – like Recommendation count, Network Statistics and vCards. But have no fear – this article will show you how to not only survive – but thrive with these new changes!
As you might have read on my blog, despite LinkedIn’s newer “cleaner” look, the new UI is not getting rave reviews.
Amongst the biggest complaints has been the removal of Network Statistics and vCards. However, there are some imperfect work-arounds. I am hoping that with the complaints people have been posting, LinkedIn will reconsider the removal of these two items and reinstate them.
Why did they remove them? I honestly have no idea, and LinkedIn isn’t saying much. My guess is that since Network Statistics seemed to be broken half the time anyway, they just got rid of it. And vCards might have made it too easy for spammers to put you on their mailing lists. But who can really say what is going on in the minds of the folks who run LinkedIn these days?
Network Statistics Fix
While you can no longer access Network Statistics from your Contacts tab, you can still find your first level connections as well as your total network size on your home page under Your LinkedIn Network as seen below.
If you want to see how many first- and second-level connections you have, then you can click the New People in your Network link right below and when the search screen pops up, uncheck the 1st and Group categories up top. Even though it says “new people” this is your entire network. Not quite as quick as clicking the Network Statistics tab that they have had since the beginning of time, but there you have it.
There really isn’t an easy fix for the missing vCard link. That being said, you can always do it the old-fashioned way (like we used to – say three years ago) and cut and paste the person’s contact info into your CRM or contact management system.
I was not sure if or how the lack of a vCard tab would affect some of LinkedIn’s third-party apps that use connection info (like ConnectedHQ, HereOn.Biz, and Hookflash), but they still seem to be working.
To get a connection’s contact info, just click on Contacts in your main menu and then on to the “Connections” link. Find your connection and click on their name. Then just copy and paste their info into your email or contact management system.
Or, if you are already on their profile, just copy and paste their contact info from the right side of their profile page.
A good practice since we no longer have vCards is to go to a person’s profile as soon as you connect with them, tag them and pull their info. A bit pain-staking for sure, but the practice will service you well in the long run.
I did notice in using my smart phone and iPad (as well as the CardMunch app) that I still have easy access to my connections’ contact info. So this might be the excuse you needed to buy that iPad!!
Colleagues and Classmates New to LinkedIn
This option is now gone – replaced by the “People You May Know” Tab. “Add Connections” is completely different, as seen below.
The green Add Connections link is still the same on the top right-hand side of the page, but that’s where everything changes. Or at least has the appearance of changing!
Adding Email Contacts for Email Services
It’s a cleaner screen, and I like that it’s pretty explanatory how to add Gmail, EarthLink, Unique Domains, Yahoo or Hotmail addresses.
Adding Email Contacts from your own Domain
I especially like that it is now much easier to add your own unique domain email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) since many of us have our own websites and our own email addresses now.
If you have another domain (Comcast, AOL etc.) you can click on “Any Email” to upload those contacts. Check out all your options below!
Adding CSV Files
What might not be as clear is how to add a CSV file or individual email address. In order to do that you (still) need to click on the little box that says “Any email.” Then you will get the “More ways to connect” option. The two links beneath the “More ways to connect” header are the “Upload contacts file” link and the “Invite by individual email” link. This is really what you were able to do in previous generations “Add Connections” screen. So it hasn’t gone away, it’s just a lot harder to find.
In order to upload a contact list you just click on upload contacts file, look for your CSV file on your desktop (or wherever you keep it,) and upload your contacts. If you’re not sure on how to upload CSV file, here’s an example of how to do it in Outlook. (LinkedIn will give you tips on how to upload CSV files from other services if you click on this link.)
Individual Email Addresses
The “Invite by individual email” link will open up a box that allows you to simply type in your email addresses – one or many separated by a comma. You can also cut and paste a list of text emails here. So we haven’t lost the functionality, but it’s not as clear or easy as it was before.
Messages, Introductions and InMails
The ability to invite someone to connect to you is still pretty obvious - a big blue Connect button. (You will still have to jump through the usual hoops of telling LinkedIn how you know the person.) But the ability to ask for an Introduction is now hidden in the drop-down box to the right of Send InMail.. I like that they are calling this section “engage” But maybe they could make it easier to engage?
You can also ask for more info (and send a personal message if they are a first level connection), look for references (folks you have in common who have worked with the individual) and Share, Export (to PDF) Save (if you have a paid account) and Flag a profile here.
You can still add and customize your web info by clicking on the little Rolodex card and clicking Edit and then Other. The problem is of course that people need to know to click on that link (which one reader pointed out the younger generation might not even recognize!)
Your websites will still show up under the Additional Information link.
There are no more recommendation counts. Of course you should still try and get the best recommendations possible, but now your network will literally have to go into your profile and count them. I think this means I’m going to go in and delete all the recommendations that are no longer relevant or impactful!
You can always type in your own Recommendation count in your Summary section – somewhere near the top so that people can see it in the general area that it used to be in the old UI.
To see your recommendation count (no one else can unfortunately) click on your own LinkedIn URL (www.linkedin.com/in/yourname) in “View Profile”. You will see it in the “grey” area.
Message and Notifications Tabs
LinkedIn has finally added both Message and Notification icons to their menu bar.
The new bright red icons pull your attention to the fact that you have Messages (including both invitations and messages) waiting for you. (You can still find them under your inbox tab as well.) The icons turn to black when you have emptied your Inbox and have no notifications, and your inbox will turn blue once you click on it even one time. (I also noticed I kept getting an error message when I clicked on it that my Inbox was unavailable. But three times was the charm. Just keep clicking it until it works.) Or just click on your Inbox tab.
I like that you can accept or ignore Invitations still from the new icon dropdown. You can also Reply to or Ignore your messages. Because of all the recent spam lately, I still recommend going into your actual LinkedIn inbox - and then their profile – and checking the folks out before you accept an invitation or respond to a message.
The tab I find most interesting is Notifications. Since it has been released I find a marked increase in my communications with, and relationships with my network.
Now in one place you can see when:
- Someone likes or comments on your status update
- Someone shares your status update
- Someone comments in a group discussion you started
- Someone comments on a group discussion you have commented on
- Maybe more but I don’t know what yet
When you click on the notification, it will take you to the discussion, comment or post so you can further interact with the individual. Now this is a modification I can get behind! Finally LinkedIn is giving us something back after taking away vCards and Network Statistics and Recommendation numbers!
As LinkedIn continues to make changes, I will keep you updated at www.LinkedIntoBusiness.com. Make sure to visit us often!