LinkedIn User Interface Problems: Possible Causes and Fixes

In the first quarter of 2017 LinkedIn released an updated version of the desktop user interface. This caused a blizzard of user interface bugs and hiccups. After getting multiple requests every day over a two or three week period, I wrote an article on possible user interface problem causes and fixes.

For whatever reason, I am receiving an uptick in requests for help with desktop user interface issues again lately, so I thought I would dust that old article off, update it and get it out there.

A lot of these problems are fixable or can be worked around, and doing so is pretty easy. 

There are four possible reasons you may be experiencing problems with the new LinkedIn Desktop User Interface:

You may just be experiencing a “glitch”

That’s a bug or problem with the User Interface that is affecting only you in your current session on LinkedIn. In particular, these types of bugs manifest themselves as missing information or missing features on your pages. And these happen a lot.

Solution: Log off LinkedIn. Clear your browser cache and log back in. Sometimes it is necessary to reboot your computer. I use Google Chrome and I find that once I reach 300Mb of history and assorted junk in my browser cache, anomalies start showing up on LinkedIn. I was working with a client and he kept getting the “it’s not you, it’s us, try again” message when he wanted to do a LinkedIn search. It turned out he had 700Mb of odds and ends in his browser cache. Cleaning the browser cache fixed the problem.

You have a problem or problems specific to your Browser

There seem to be a lot of issues with different browsers. I am not a browser or operating system expert, but it is apparent that some of the bugs and oddities users experience are caused by browsers not working properly with LinkedIn.

Solution: try doing the same thing you are having a problem with but using a different browser. If you use Internet Explorer, try Chrome. If you use Safari, try Firefox. This will indicate if the problem is specific to the browser you use. I have had connections tell me that LinkedIn support suggested they “upgrade to the latest version of Chrome.” If you can tell it is a browser problem, but confirming that your browser is up to date, you have what should be a known bug and it is time to try LinkedIn tech support. See the bottom of this article.

You are part of some weird LinkedIn user experiment

You are minding your own business when some new feature or graphic appears that wasn’t there before. It’s pretty neat and you think “this is smart” but no announcement has been made and no one seems to be talking about it. Congratulations, you are likely a guinea pig, a test subject for a new feature. One day soon the feature will go away, with the same zero fanfare with which it showed up in the first place.

Solution: Pray. If you thought it was a good idea, pray LinkedIn makes it a regular feature. And pray that LinkedIn doesn’t think it’s so good an idea that they make it a premium pay-for feature.

LinkedIn may have changed the way something works or removed a feature

Well, there isn’t anything you can do about this except confirm that the the feature has changed or disappeared. Most LinkedIn trainers or consultants can usually set you straight on whether a feature is gone or drastically changed (we have one awesome jungle drum network set up). They will often be able to show you a workaround or alternative method of accomplishing what you want to do.

If none of these apply to you or seem to work, it is time to throw in the towel and contact LinkedIn tech support. There is a link to the LinkedIn Help Center in the pull down menu under the Me tab at the top right of any LinkedIn page. Don’t use this. For faster responses to technical problems on LinkedIn, you need to go to…Twitter. I am not kidding. It is much much faster to get help via tweeting to @LinkedInHelp on Twitter than it does using the Help function on LinkedIn itself. But that’s a whole other discussion.

 

Developing Your LinkedIn Strategy

What’s holding you back from getting the results you want out of LinkedIn?

I am going to talk here about how to figure out what you should be doing and what you shouldn’t. There are four steps, but this won’t take long.

Understand what LinkedIn is

LinkedIn is a database of 550 million people and 19 million companies. Embedded in that database is an active social network of maybe 50 to 60 million people who use it once a week or more often. Understanding these figures is critical to using LinkedIn effectively.

Understand the 7 basic “things” you can do on LinkedIn

  • Use your profile as a reference check

LinkedIn is a great place for people to reference check you. They hear your name, wonder “who is this person?” and immediately go to Linkedin to find out. In many cases, your LinkedIn profile is the first impression you make with someone else.

  • Increase your reach

Your reach is how many people are aware of you.

  • Establish or improve your credibility

Once they are aware of you, you need to establish yourself as a person to be reckoned with, someone who knows what they are talking about, and is knowledgeable in their field. Credibility gets you included when people are considering their options. You want to be on that list.  

  • Be the pointy end of a lead gen program

You can make offers on LinkedIn and generate leads. I call this the pointy end as usually you need a backend to collect the leads such as a landing page on your website.

  • Search and find people and companies

LIke I said, a searchable database of 550 million people and 19 million companies. Everyone and everything is in that database. You just need to figure out how to find what you need to find.

  • Research people and companies

Now that you have found them, you need to review the information on LinkedIn and let it help guide your tactics. There’s a lot more here than most people think.

  • Contact people and exchange messages

Well, it is a social network, isn’t it?

LinkedIn is outstanding as a reference check, and for search and research. It is good for credibility and reach. LinkedIn is completely hit and miss for lead gen and for contacting people and exchanging messages.

What do you need LinkedIn for? What are you looking to do?

Ask yourself, “Am I weak or need improvement in any of the seven areas above?”

Do you need to becoming better known? That’s reach.

People have heard of you but don’t have much more information? Credibility. Need sales leads? That’s reach + credibility.

Need prospects? Search + research + contact people.

Select the things on LinkedIn you need to do to help solve your problems.

For the areas you selected ask, “Do I know how to do these things?”

If you can’t say to yourself, “I know exactly how to do that, quickly and effectively”, get help. And it never hurts to test your knowledge and assumptions about what you can or can’t do with someone who knows their stuff. Someone who can teach you how to get better results or to use a LinkedIn feature effectively will both save you time, and help you get better results more quickly. There are lots of people out there who can help you. There are generalists and there are specialists, such as those that work with LinkedIn users on their profiles. My specialties are search, research and how to contact people.

So if you are unhappy with your LinkedIn results:

  • Figure out the gaps in the results you are getting now.
  • Figure out whether LinkedIn can actually help close those gaps.
  • Get help if you need it.

This isn’t rocket surgery.*

(* a combination of rocket science and brain surgery. Very difficult.)

Getting Better Outreach Response on LinkedIn: Dial Back The Call To Action

I have sent thousands of InMails and outreach messages of all kinds on LinkedIn. I have advised any number of LinkedIn users on their outreach program and specific messages they use.

And today I am here to tell you that one of the biggest factors for lousy response rates is asking for too much in your call to action.

Note I didn’t say what you are asking for but how much. As in how much of a commitment are you asking the other person to make?

In general, the more you ask for, the harder it is going to be to get a positive  response.

If you are asking for a sales call, you are asking for a lot in that outreach message. You typically need to establish your credibility or to establish that you have such a powerful offer that a sales call is a logical next step. It can be done, but you are asking for an awful lot in the outreach message.

On the other hand, if you ask for too little, like an opinion, the other person may not think it is worthwhile responding at all.

I have an approach that works reliably for me. Just start a conversation. My call to action is a question that isn’t easily responded to with a closed answer. I am looking for a response that I can respond right back to. And there is more information on most people’s profiles to work with between their summary, current job, work history and their activity on LinkedIn than you would think. Conversations can build credibility and lead to connecting.

The less risk there is in your CTA versus the possible reward in your CTA – as perceived by the other person – the more successful you will be.