Over 900 people took the time to share their thoughts through my 2016 LinkedIn User Survey. Thank you! I've been gathering this type of information for eight years, Infographic_2016-Widgetand it's extremely valuable to everyone who's trying to successfully navigate the site and get real results.

My awesome graphic designer, Kelly Wagner, did an amazing job of displaying the highlights of the survey results in an easy-to-read infographic titled Portrait of a LinkedIn User.

In the next few weeks I'll share more thoughts about how you can capitalize on this information, but I'll start today with my top five take-aways from this year's results.

#1 feature: Who's Viewed Your Profile

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 11.31.16 AMFor the fourth straight year, Who's Viewed Your Profile was voted the most helpful LinkedIn feature. Personally, I've benefitted financially from reaching out to people on my list, and many of my clients have done the same.

The Who's Viewed Your Profile information will lead to improved results for you, too, but only if you're proactive and reach out in a professional and helpful way to those people who are in your target audience.

For easy ways to take advantage of this feature, check out Are You Taking Advantage of the Top Rated LinkedIn Feature?

Usefulness of LinkedIn groups continues to decline

In 2010, groups was the second most helpful feature, with 76% of the survey participants selecting it, and now it doesn't even make the top eight features on the infographic. This year only 28% of the respondents considered it a helpful feature.

LinkedIn did a major overhaul of the Groups feature last fall, and we'll see if that causes a more positive response in next year's survey. But based on my experience with the new Group setup, I'm not expecting an upward trend.Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 11.32.57 AM

With over 2.1 million LinkedIn groups, there appears to be some untapped potential. 59% of users are in ten or more groups, so they're obviously interested in virtually hanging out and adding value to each other's business lives. However, I just don't see much happening there.

I suggest you seek out groups that include your target audience and where helpful discussions are being appropriately moderated. Spend time in those and leave the others for the spammers of the world.

The majority of users have more than 500 connections  Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 11.33.51 AM

55% of the users have 500+ connections. Just three years ago, that number was 28%. I realize that time alone will grow this number, but I'm fairly certain there's a growing trend among the smartest and best users to proactively add people to their network in a very purposeful and strategic way.

If you'd like to learn more about strategically growing your network, be sure to read Is Your LinkedIn Tank Filled with the Right Gas?

Time spent on LinkedIn has leveled off

In the early years of the survey, the time spent on LinkedIn each week was growing Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 11.34.39 AMsignificantly from year to year, but in the last three years the numbers have leveled off. The majority of users (53%) are using LinkedIn for zero to two hours per week, and nearly one-fourth (22%) are spending between three and four hours per week.

If you're having trouble figuring out how to make the most of the time you spend on LinkedIn, check out Not Sure What to Do on LinkedIn to Get Results?

It's all about research and reconnection

By far, users find LinkedIn mostScreen Shot 2016-07-15 at 11.35.19 AM helpful for researching people and companies (77%) and reconnecting with people (71%). I'm disappointed to see only 22% of respondents feel they're generating identifiable business opportunities. And just for reference, these numbers remain virtually unchanged over the last eight years.

I wonder whether this is partly because some people are unable to accurately identify where new business is coming from because of long sales cycles or poor tracking. Perhaps it's because some people look at LinkedIn as just a large database of resumes, and they don't understand how to effectively use the available information to build strong business relationships that lead to increased profits.

I look forward to sharing more insights about this year's LinkedIn survey results in the coming weeks and helping you become more savvy at finding ways to turn your LinkedIn knowledge into real dollars.