For the fourth year in a row, in response to my annual LinkedIn user survey, the top rated LinkedIn feature is Who’s Viewed Your Profile (aka “Who’s stalking you?”)
Over 71% of the respondents gave this feature a thumbs up. But are you taking full advantage?
You can access this LinkedIn feature in the middle right of your home page by clicking the words “# people viewed your profile in the past # day(s)”.
If you’re on the free account (like 79% of the surveyed users), you’ll see some of the details on the last five people who looked at your profile. Premium members see the same amount of details but have access to a list of all their viewers (stalkers) for the last 90 days. The details you see for each stalker are based on a setting chosen by the stalker and not by you. Thus, even with a paid account, you’ll see no more than the person has chosen to reveal to you.
How to Adjust Your Settings When Viewing People’s Profiles
Go to your Privacy & Settings page by scrolling over your photo on the top toolbar and selecting Privacy & Settings>Privacy>Profile Viewing Options from the drop-down menu. There are three options to choose from.
Personally, I want my name and headline to show up in every possible place. Hey, it’s free advertising. But you may have a different strategy.
If you choose full disclosure but want to be anonymous for a short time while you stalk, say, a competitor, change your setting to Anonymous LinkedIn Member while you gather your competitive intelligence. But don’t forget to change it back when you’re done, because on the free account LinkedIn penalizes you for choosing anonymous. While in anonymous mode, you cannot see who looked at your profile. They also remove the five people who looked at your profile immediately prior to your choice to remain anonymous. So you’ll want to check out the list before changing your setting.
Why Should You Care Who’s Looking at Your Profile?
People typically don’t look at LinkedIn profiles to pass the time when they’re bored. Trust me, if someone is on your list, one of two things has probably happened:
1. Someone has referred you. In other words, someone you know has passed along your name and maybe some information about you with a statement like, “Check out Wayne Breitbarth’s profile; this guy really knows his LinkedIn stuff.”
2. You stood out in a LinkedIn search, a discussion, a comment you posted, or LinkedIn selected you to be listed in one of these features: People Similar to, People Also Viewed or People You May Know, and the person was interested in seeing more, so he or she clicked through to your profile.
But no matter how the person found your profile, it’s a good thing they’re there!
What Should You Do with this List of Stalkers?
There’s nothing you can do if they’ve chosen to be totally anonymous or mostly anonymous. If any of the others look interesting to you, click through and review their profile to see if there’s any reason to message them (if they’re already a 1st degree connection) or connect with them.
They obviously have an interest in you, so you should probably contact them if they look interesting to you.
Remember, with a free account, you only see the last five people who’ve viewed your profile. So check your list frequently. You wouldn’t want to miss someone who’s dying to be your next customer or future employer.
This article originally appeared on Power Formula.
About the Author: Wayne Breitbarth is the CEO of Power Formula LLC. He is an experienced businessman, speaker, and author who has shared his passion for social media with 40,000+ business professionals. Through private business consulting and dynamic presentations to audiences including Inc. Magazine, the American Marketing Association, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Wayne makes LinkedIn simple. Wayne is the author of the best-selling book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Connect with Wayne on Twitter.