Less than a year has passed since the introduction of LinkedIn’s “endorsements” and they are still coming under fire from most online experts. The truth is no one seems to know what the hell you use them for. [Which is something I said from the outset. – ed.]
Arguments range from endorsements are Facebook’s poke to a worthless and uninformative bit of information. After monitoring my own LinkedIn statistics for the last six months, some data started to emerge.
I did not engage in actively seeking endorsements in an attempt to keep the data as clean as possible. My top five endorsements are: online marketing, social media, SEO, Facebook and blogging. All things I speak about at length both online and offline. I compared the top five endorsements to the analytics of my LinkedIn profile, specifically what industry people are from that are viewing my profile. From top to bottom people that are visiting my profile are listed in the following industries: marketing and advertising, law practice, information technology, management consulting and also consumer electronics. What’s interesting is that the top five endorsements seem to have little or no impact on the people that are finding me. Yes, technically all my categories could possibly fall under marketing and advertising so I wanted to take another approach.
LinkedIn also gives me the “searched keywords” that people are typing into the search field to find my profile. Six months ago, my top five searched keywords were: Jabez, Lebret, NBC, Ton and Nordstrom. What “Ton” is and why people are searching for it is anyone’s guess. As of today, my top five searched keyword terms are: John CLE, Jabez, Will Writer, d, and LeBret. This time, there is a clear lack of correlation between my endorsed skills and the ability for my profile to appear in LinkedIn’s search.
The good news is LinkedIn is about to roll out a completely new search that will be similar to Facebook’s Graph Search. It is possible that the endorsements will be playing a roll in this new search, but no one outside Linkedin knows at this point.
The best thing you can do with endorsements right now is to avoid using them. Most users are finding them a weak attempt at a lazy recommendation.
Jabez LeBret is the author of the Amazon No. 1 bestselling law office marketing book How to Turn Clicks Into Clients. As a partner at Get Noticed Get Found, a legal marketing agency, over the last nine years he has delivered over 800 keynote addresses in six countries. His main area of expertise is managing Gen Y in the workplace, advanced Facebook strategies, LinkedIn strategies, Google+, SEO, local directory optimization, and online marketing.