7 Things I Learned From Who Viewed Your Profile

Streets of LyonI researched the “source” feature on WVYP. And what I found surprised me

When you look at the “Who Viewed Your Profile” page, you see each viewer’s photo, their name, degree of connection with you, headline, how long ago it was they viewed your profile, and once a couple of days have gone by, where they came from on LinkedIn to get to your profile.

Like a lot of LinkedIn users I had been aware of this “source” feature on Who Viewed Your Profile for a while now. And like a lot of users I didn’t pay that much attention to it. Then I posted to LinkedIn twice in one week and I received a spike in Profile Views. Scrolling through the pages of people (I have a premium account so it shows everybody for the past ninety days), I started picking up on all these different sources. So that got me thinking…what can these sources tell me?

So I went back through my last several hundred profile viewers (thank you everyone, by they way. You view my profile, and in turn you become part of my research), compiled all the sources and here’s what I found.

  1. The LinkedIn Home Page: One Update Stream To Rule Them All

I found a dozen different sources for profile viewers, but one stands way above all the others: the homepage. Over fifty percent of my profile views come from my viewer’s homepages, meaning they clicked on my name in the status update stream. They either saw I had posted, someone else shared or commented on my post, or I commented or someone else’s post, but the bottom line is my name appeared as a clickable blue link, and they clicked on it, taking them to my profile. The surprise here is how many people do see your name in their status update stream and click on it.

  1. That Profile Update Notification Thing Actually Works

When you are making changes to your LinkedIn profile and are in “Edit Profile” mode, there is a little toggle switch asking of you would like to notify your network that you have made changes. I leave mine on “yes”. And it resulted in   people who looked at my profile, obviously curious to what I had changed.

  1. I was flabbergasted to see profile views based on Endorsements

Someone clicked on my tiny thumbnail photo after I had endorsed someone. A bunch of people did this. As a matter of fact as many people came to me from Endorsements as came to me via Search. Wow.

  1. And yes there were reciprocal Who Viewed Your Profile View profile views

Anyone who has used one of those silly browser extensions for viewing profiles will tell you that sometimes when you view someone’s profile, they will come back and view yours. It’s a small percentage (more on bots in a minute).

  1. I was surprised at how few came from my posts

Then again, many of the people who read my posts are already connections or followers, so they don’t need to check me out to see who I am.

  1. The LinkedIn Mobile App is a big disappointment

Mobile App viewers are not broken down any further. So while the Mobile App was my second largest source of viewers after the homepage, the sources within the Mobile App were not identified.

  1. Not as many people come to me via Search as I would have thought.

Search pales beside the home page. No comparison. Part of this obviously has to do with the fact that as someone who writes on LinkedIn and is generally very active on LinkedIn, there will be a lot of opportunities for me to show up on people’s status update feeds, but to have the home page be ten times more powerful than search in generating profile views really surprised me. On the other hand, this may point more to the idea that most LinkedIn users don’t really use LinkedIn that much, and get what LinkedIn interaction they do have through their homepages.

Lastly, one more pleasant surprise: I need to give credit to the oft maligned LinkedIn help desk. I had a lot of questions with respect to this topic and the Help Desk was patient with them all, and with additional requests for definitions and distinctions. And they answered every question I had within ninety minutes.

I am still investigating, compiling sources as my profile views come in, but my research has definitely given me a few ideas to try out that may make me more effective at using LinkedIn. In the meantime, have a look at your own profile viewers. What do the sources tell you?