LinkedIn Expands Features and Analytics

Social media sites are valuable tools in the retirement plan industry and LinkedIn is one of my preferred connection resources. The professional networking site is not the answer to business success–nothing is that simple–but it does offer some pretty nifty features to make your life easier. And lucky for all of us, it keeps getting better!

Within the last few days and months LinkedIn has reacted to member wants and concerns by offering better data collection and search features, dropping the character limit on posts, and providing more customization options with your settings. Read on to discover the must-have updates for LinkedIn marketing for financial services.

Who’s Viewed Your Profile — The new changes are designed to enhance your profile and visibility by providing increased analytics and tips. Now when someone views your profile you can see the following:

  • Viewer’s company name, industry and profession
  • Viewer’s regional location
  • Keyword searches that led to your profile
  • How the viewer found you

The new analytics also provide profile tips to make you more discoverable and offer industry articles you can share.

Status Updates — To help increase the number of member visits, LinkedIn no longer limits the character length with Status Updates. Now you can share essays and thought-leadership posts about relevant and timely industry news. Initially, only your connections see the posts, but if the content is popular it will be distributed to a broader audience and you too could become a LinkedIn Influencer!

How You’re Connected — This new tool lets you gain great networking information when you are trying to make a new connection. You can see your strongest and shared commonalities, plus view who in your network knows your desired connection and how they know each other

Influencer Searches — The LinkedIn search box now allows you to find topics of interest or an influencer by name. Use the pull-down menu to the left of the search box to target your criteria and then type in your topic or name. For instance, a recent article search for “social media and financial advisors” provided me with 17 posts which I can read and share.

Setting Options — This section on LinkedIn changes often, so don’t be surprised if you need to tweak some of the options from time to time. Some of the key features, customizations and security options from your home page include:

  • Pulse: Move your cursor over Interests and select Pulse to set your choices for Your News, Influencer Posts, All Influencers, All Channels or all Publishers.
  • Advertising and communication preferences: Place your cursor on your profile photo and select Privacy & Settings to adjust how often you receive emails and from whom, advertising preferences, and type of updates you want to view.
  • Secure Browsing — If your workplace is like mine, sometimes you are in the office but on other occasions you could easily be in a coffee shop, cafe or airport. When you are using a WiFi hotspot, LinkedIn now provides you with the option of conducting your entire visit through an encrypted HTTPS channel. While logins have always used the secure connection, this new option extends the security to your entire visit. To make this adjustment go to Settings; click on the Account tab and then the Manage security settings; and finally check the box under Secure connection. As noted: some LinkedIn features will not be available with this setting.

Eliminated Features — Starting in March, LinkedIn is shutting down Intro, the iPhone app for email, and Slidecast, a service for uploading SlideShare presentations. The company calls these changes “doing fewer things better” and notes LinkedIn will also no longer support older iPad operating systems.