Archive for LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s Showcase Pages Help You Be More Relevant

LinkedIn_Showcase-Pages

LinkedIn continues to add features to help you promote your business online. Not too long ago,  LinkedIn updated the design of company profile pages to make it easier for members to access information the companies they care about it. They also added features to help businesses build relationships with their target audience.

The recently addition of Showcase Pages provides companies with another tool to connect with their target audience. Showcase Pages highlight the different areas of your business and help build communities around your different segments, brands, business units, etc.

According to the LinkedIn blog post announcement, Showcase Pages “are dedicated pages that allow companies to highlight different aspects of their business and build relationships with the right community.”

We often talk about effective marketing as being able to deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Small business owners and marketers can use Showcase pages to speak specifically with a target audience about the information, products, and services that are of interest to them. Here are just a few examples of how companies may want to use Showcase Pages:

  • An accounting firm that offers services to both small businesses and Fortune 1000 companies may want to create Showcase Pages for each of these audiences.
  • Software resellers who represent several vendors may want to Showcase each vendor separately.
  • Companies specialize in more than one vertical market may want to Showcase their solutions for each vertical.

Creating a Showcase Page is pretty straight forward. If you’re a Company Page administrator, navigate to your to the “Edit” dropdown menu and select “Create a Showcase Page.”

Add-Showcase-Page

Once created, you can start sharing content on your page.

Users can follow a Showcase Page just like they can a company page, but now they can just follow the company news and content that is most relevant to them.

LinkedIn has always had a great set of tools for individual networking online. Lately, they have been beefing up their company tools as well. If you haven’t taken a look at LinkedIn’s company pages in a while, you should give it another look.

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions about using Showcase pages (or any other aspect of LinkedIn) for your business.

LinkedIn Signal To Be Retired

linkedin logo

Earlier this week LinkedIn sent began notifying users that LinkedIn Signal will be retired on July 29, 2013. Signal was on of LinkedIn’s “products” that aimed to make it easier for users to find relevant insights within the large stream of status and news updates – as in separating the signal from the noise.

When Signal was released in 2010, it was comprised of 6 key features:

  1. The ability to filter updates in your stream by connection level, industry, company, location, time frame, schools, groups, hashtag (topic), seniority, and update type.
  2. Searching for keywords, topic, and/or people in your stream
  3. Automatic updates to your stream so you don’t have to refresh the page
  4. Trending Links
  5. See who is sharing trending links
  6. Saved real time searches

Several of these features have been become part of the product, including the newly improved search feature. Using search, you will still be able to find the people, companies, groups, jobs, and keywords you are interested in. Any searches you saved in Signal will not be available after July 29th. According to email notice I received, searching for updates will also be dropped from the product.

What do you think, will you miss LinkedIn Signal when it’s gone?

LinkedIn’s New Navigation Bar

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has been making a lot of changes and updates to their user interface recently, so things may look a little different if you haven’t logged in recently. For the most part, I feel these changes make the interface cleaner and improve the product, but just like everyone else, it takes me a while to adjust when someone changes or moves “my stuff”.

Recent LinkedIn changes include:

LinkedIn has also made changes to the navigation menu, most notably making search more prominent and comprehensive. Here is a short video from the folk’s at LinkedIn demonstrating the updated navigation bar

LinkedIn just recently announced the update to the navigation bar, so it may be a while before you see these changes in your account.

Visually Display Your Professional Story on LinkedIn

LinkedIn

LinkedIn continues to add great features to help us connect, communicate, and build our professional network. The latest enhancement gives you the ability to easily use visual content to share your professional story.

Now you can enhance your LinkedIn profile by including images, videos, presentations and more. This isn’t reserved for artists or those who work in visual fields, anyone can take advantage of this new feature to tell their story. Share data and results in the form of charts, demo your latest software enhancement, show off the latest project your architecture firm designed – you’re limited only by your imagination.

You can add visual files to the Summary, Experience, and Education sections of your profile. Edit your profile and look for the Add File icon. I’ve circled it in red in the screenshot below (click the image to enlarge).

linkedin-add-file

I keeping with social media practices,  other members can “like” or comment on what you’ve posted.

Here is a short SlideShare presentation from LinkedIn showing some examples of how people with different job functions can enhance their profiles with visual content.

LinkedIn Now Helps You Manage All of Your Contacts

LinkedIn Contacts Import Screenshot

Linkedin continues to add new features to help you manage your professional network. Last Thursday they announced LinkedIn Contacts, which they are billing as a smarter way to stay in touch with your most important relationships. LinkedIn contacts aims to bring all your contacts, those in your address books, email, and your calendars, into one place.

You’ve been able to import your contacts into LinkedIn in the past. LinkedIn contacts is different in you now connect those contacts as live links so when one of your contacts changes their contact information in one of those linked accounts, the info also gets updated in LinkedIn.

You can synch contacts from a wide variety of source, here are a few screen shots from the “Add Contacts” wizard (click on the images to expand):

linkedin-contacts-import1

The first set of options will link contacts from your popular email, contacts, and calendar programs including Gmail, Yahoo!, Outlook, and the iPhone Address Book.

linkedin-contacts-applications

In the applications section you can link to your contacts in CardMunch, Evernote, and Tripit.

linkedin-contacts-files

You can also import from CSV files created by exporting your contact information from other popular programs. There is no option, at least right now, for linking Facebook and Twitter contacts. I didn’t see any options for connecting to CRM systems like Salesforce.com, but many CRM systems synch with Outlook, so you may be able to bring over those contacts via Outlook.

In addition to being able to see all of your contacts in one place, you will be able to add notes, set  reminders, notified of birthdays, and see your last communication with a contact.

You can also see your last communication with the person. You’ll be able to sort your contacts based on your most recent interactions with them, upcoming meetings or other criteria.

linkedin-contacts-your-day

Another nice feature is Your Day. Your Day gives you suggestions on who you should contact (in the gray box below) and why. The icons above your contacts profile picture indicate whether they have a new job, birthday, etc.

Contacts is available both on LinkedIn.com and as an app for iPhone.

LinkedIn Adds Facebook Like Mentions

LinkedIn

LinkedIn recently added a new, Facebook-like feature that allows you to mention others in your status updates and comments and have them be notified. LinkedIn actually announced mentions back on April 4. The functionality showed up in my account over the weekend, so most people probably have it by now.

How it Works
When you begin typing the name of one of your connections or a company in the status update box, a drop-down box will appear allowing you to select the person (or company) you want to mention. Here is an example of what it looks like when I begin to type the name of one of my connections (click the image to zoom in):

linkedin-mentions

Mentioning also works in comment boxes on the home page, making it easy to share and bring others into your online conversations. On the other end, the person that you mentioned will receive a notification so they can join your conversation.

The mentions dropdown box populates with your first-degree connections and other people engaged in conversations in the comment sections of homepage posts.

How will this help
Mentions are another tool to help foster communication online, so the possibilities for it’s use virtually unlimited. Here are a few ways I see small business owners taking advantage of mentions on LinkedIn:

  • Congratulating a customer who is in the news
  • Sharing a great blog post written by a strategic partner
  • Congratulating a connection on their new job
  • Sharing relevant news stories with your customers
  • Providing a referral “inline” with the conversation where a need is expressed
  • Recommending one of your connections for a job opening
  • Help highlight businesses in your local area

Those are just a few ideas. What ideas do you have for using mentions feature of LinkedIn?

How to Use LinkedIn’s New Alumni Mapping Tool

linkedin logo

How well do you leverage your alumni network?

LinkedIn has long provided ways for you to search for and connect with fellow alumni. The new alumni mapping tool makes it easier to start with your pool of alumni (or alumni from a different school) and then drill down to find people with the connections and/or skills you are looking for.

The alumni mapping tools gives you a variety of ways to “slice and dice” alumni data. By default, LinkedIn filters the list by the schools and years of attendance from your profile. Using the dropdown selectors at the top of the page you can select either years attended or graduated. The “Change Schools” button allows you to view other schools you attended or any other school:

linkedin-alumni-select

The next section of the tool provides you summary categories about the alumni group.

linkedin-alumni-categories

Categories include:

  • Where they live
  • Where they work
  • What they do
  • What they studied
  • What they are skilled at
  • How you are connected

Clicking on a category adds a filter, narrowing the connection results. Filters can be used in combination (where they live + what they do). You can view (and clear) your filters in the light gray bar underneath the attendance selectors:

linkedin-mapping-filters

Below the categories section you will see the “cards” of connections matching your criteria.

This post on the LinkedIn blog provides some example of how you can use the new alumni mapping tool to tap your network to get advice related to choosing a college or major as well as finding a new job.

The alumni mapping tool can also be a great way for small business owners to enhance their networking efforts. Here are just a few examples:

  1. Using the “Where they live” and “What they do” or “What they are skilled at”, you can find local vendors for goods and services you need.
  2. Similar to #1 above, you can find alumni who make good strategic referral partners for your group.
  3. Do you have a list of companies that represent “dream customers” for your business? Use the “Where they work” filter to find a possible introduction.
  4. Travelling out of town for business? Get recommendations on where to stay or where to eat from fellow alumni.

Those are just a few possibilities – share your tips and ideas for using the LinkedIn Alumni Mapping tool in the comments below.

How to Filter Connections on LinkedIn

[scroll down for a video demo of the steps in this post]

Have you ever tried to review someone’s LinkedIn contacts before a networking meeting to see if they know anyone you would like to meet?

If so, you’ll know that it can be difficult because most people active on LinkedIn have 100 or more connections (some have many more). Paging through their contacts 10 profiles at a time can be time consuming, particularly if you have to click through to the individual profiles in order to find basic information like their geographic location.

So what do you do? Recently I ran into some folks assigned the tasks of reviewing profiles to their admins or virtual assistants. Others have downloaded their contacts to an Excel spreadsheet and provided them to their strategic partners who could then use functions in Excel to sort and filter the data.

In most cases, you can save yourself a lot of time by taking advantages of LinkedIn’s search feature and the search related filters. The biggest trick to this can be finding the right starting place. I’m sure there is more than one way to do this, but the easiest way that I have found is to:

  1. Start by going to Advanced Search – click on “Advanced”, just to the right of the search box at the top right corner of the page.
  2. Enter the first and last name of the person whose connections you would like to view. Click the search button.
  3. Find the person you are looking for in the search results. Each search result consists of a “box” of information. At the bottom of the box you will see an indication of the total connections that person has. Hovering your mouse over that number should reveal a tool tip that says “View all connections” – click on that link.
  4. You should now be viewing a search results page displaying all of the connections for the person your began with. Look on the left hand side of the page and you will see a series of filters (check boxes, text boxes, etc.) that you can use to narrow down the search results. The number of filters you can use will depend upon whether you have a free or premium (paid) LinkedIn account. If you have a free account, you will be able to narrow the results using the following filters:
  • Company Name
  • Connection Level
  • Location
  • Industry
  • Past Company
  • School
  • Profile Language

If you have a premium version of LinkedIn, you can also filter the your search results by:

  • Group Membership
  • Years of Experience
  • Function (Sales, Finance, etc.)
  • Seniority Level (CxO, VP, etc.)
  • Company Size
  • Fortune 1000
  • Recently Joined

Let’s pretend I’m meeting my friend Dan (I use Dan in the sample video below) to determine how we can help each other grow our business, specifically, if we can introduce one another to prospects we would like to meet. Rather than trying to wade through Dan’s 500+ connections, I can use the search filters to come up with a very targeted list of people he knows that I would like to meet.

Let’s pretend that I only want to meet local people (I don’t but we’ll pretend for this post). The first thing I might do is check the Kansas City box in the location area of the filters. With a premium account, I could also narrow the list down to owners, presidents, and vice presidents if that is my target market.

Another thing I like to do is check the “2nd Connections” box. I found this a little confusing to begin with, but what this does is remove the people in Dan’s contact list with whom I already have a 1st degree connection. This works because the connections filter refers to my 2nd connections, not Dan’s.

Here is a short video demonstrating this:

Now that you know how to filter an individual’s connection list, hopefully you can spend less time preparing for you one-on-one networking meetings and more time making business building connections.

LinkedIn Announces 200 Million Members

Way back on March 2, 2004, I became member number 297,569 on a relatively new, little website called LinkedIn. Well, LinkedIn isn’t new, or little, anymore.

LinkedIn recently announced they crossed the 200 million member threshold. The infographic below is from the LinkedIn’s blog. Here are some of the stats from the graphic that caught my eye:

  • 2 new members join LinkedIn every second
  • Higher education is the third largest industry represented on LinkedIn
  • If LinkedIn were a country, it would have the 5th largest population in the world

Personally, I have several valuable personal and professional relationships that started on LinkedIn. I’ve had the chance to connect with several authors of my favorite books, and I’ve met people from around the world that I would never have met if it wasn’t for LinkedIn.

Do you have a favorite LinkedIn story? I’d love to hear it, leave a comment below.

 

LinkedIn 200M Member Infographic

LinkedIn Introduces 1 Click Endorsements

On Monday, LinkedIn introduced a new feature that makes it easier for you to endorse your connections (and vice versa) based on the skills listed in their profile.

With just one click, you can now endorse your connections for a skill they’ve listed on their profile or recommend one they haven’t added yet. Here’s how it works:

  • On the top of a connection’s profile, you’ll see recommended endorsements for them. You can suggest additional skills as well.
  • You can also endorse them from the new Skills & Expertise section that now showcases these endorsements.

Here is a sample screen shot using my friend Michelle Golden’s profile

linkedin-endorsements

LinkedIn will notify you via email and on LinkedIn whenever you are endorsed. You can  scroll to the bottom of your profile page under “Skills and Expertise” to see the faces of people who think you’re great at what you do. You can also accept any new skills recommended by your peers that you may not have thought to include on your profile. Or you can also add a new skill by clicking on “add a skill” on your profile page.  Here is some more information from LinkedIn on how it works:

 

So now would be a good time to double check the skills you have listed on your LinkedIn profile.