9 Steps To Getting Started With The New LinkedIn Contacts

 by

For the last several months it seems like the world’s largest professional social network has had non-stop changes and upgrades. LinkedIn has been slowly rolling out some huge changes, not only to the look and layout, but also upgrading key features such as Advanced Search and the addition of LinkedIn Contacts.

I feel that this update could potentially be the most significant to B2B businesses in the short history of social media thus far. Contacts brings an intelligent experience with the needs of business in mind inside every feature and will feel like the missing link in your LinkedIn marketing strategy once you get your hands on it.

Here are nine things you should know about the new LinkedIn Contacts section and how it can benefit you.

1. LinkedIn Contacts – Getting Started

If you are unsure of which changes I am referring to, this is likely because the changes have yet to roll out to your region. As most new upgrades happen with the big social networks, these changes began as a very limited release in the US.

It will be sometime before it is fully released, but you can now speed up the process and add yourself to the wait list for the new LinkedIn Contacts. Once your name is on the list, you may have a wait of about week before you too can enjoy the new LinkedIn Contacts feature.

LinkedIn-contactsWhile logged into 
LinkedIn, go to http://contacts.linkedin.com and click the Get Started button to be added to the wait list if it hasn’t yet been rolled out to your profile.

Once the new Contacts section has been added to your LinkedIn account, you will find a message on the Contacts page telling you it has been added.

LinkedIn-contacts

Click on the Get Started Button to get the New LinkedIn Contacts

Once you have clicked the button you will see a popup letting you know that your connections are being moved into the new Contacts section. Depending on the size of your LinkedIn network, this could take a while.

You may also notice that your Tags and Folders from Profile Organizer (if you are a LinkedIn Premium member) are missing at first. These will take longer to appear. You may need to wait a day or so, depending on the size of your LinkedIn network.

2. LinkedIn Contacts Page

One of the first changes you will notice is the banner at the top of the page. LinkedIn encourages its users to stay in contact with their connections by keeping important events such as birthdays and business anniversaries top of mind.
You can easily access this banner by clicking on Your Day, located below All Contacts on the LinkedIn Contacts page.

Say “Happy Birthday” or “Congratulations” to your contacts on their big day using the Your Day feature on the New Contacts.

Say “Happy Birthday” or “Congratulations” to your contacts on their big day using the Your Day feature on the New Contacts.

You can also filter your LinkedIn connections on this or any other page within Contacts using six different filters available, which include:

  • Recent Conversations
  • Newly Added
  • Alphabetical
  • Company
  • Location
  • Lost touch
linkedin contacts

Filter your contacts using six different filters.

There are a number of ways that you can interact with your LinkedIn connections on the page. You can modify your connection’s Tags, send them a message, add them to the hidden folder or remove them.

linkedin contacts

Tag, Hide, Remove or send a Message to your LinkedIn Connections on the Contacts page.

Benefits: Easily locate LinkedIn connections that you have communicated with recently using the Recent Conversations filter or find connections you have not connected with for a while using the Lost Touch filter.

Tip: Take advantage of the Your Day feature and use it to help you build your relationship with your existing connections by sending them a personal message acknowledging their special day or achievement.

3. LinkedIn Tags

LinkedIn remains one of the best places to make connections and develop relationships for B2B markets. The LinkedIn Tags feature helps you to take advantage of this by being able to save and categorize any existing or potential connections that would make either a great partnership or be an ideal client while searching your network.

The new Tags feature is a combination of the old Tags feature from Contacts and the Profile Organizer from LinkedIn Premium. Every member (free and paid) can now create up to 50 unique Tags to help them sort and keep track of their contacts. Great for not only organizing, Tags are an ideal tool to use for Outreach Campaigns. You can access the Tags from the Contact page as well as directly on any individual’s profile.

linkedin contacts

Use your Tags to sort and organize your connections.

Another way to access Tags is directly within a member’s profile page. On this page you can not only see and modify what Tags a connection is saved in but also your recent email communications, any notes you have added, how you met and daily, weekly, monthly or recurring reminders you have set.

linkedin contacts

See what tags you have saved a connection in, in the top right corner of the Relationship box.

Benefits: The new LinkedIn Tags include a feature that used to be available to paying members only in Profile Organizer. This feature is the ability to save and Tag people who are not already your 1st level connections. This allows you to create a list of people in your network that you want to send connection requests or InMail messages to.


Tips: Create an Outreach Campaign or LinkedIn marketing strategy to connect and build relationships with potential or existing connections. As you move through your strategy or follow up process with a connection, you can easily keep track of where you are in the process with them by moving them through a series of Tags created for that campaign. The Notes and Reminder features in their LinkedIn profile is also useful for this.

Steps 4-9 and the complete TopDogSocialMedia article

10 essentials of LinkedIn etiquette

By Kevin Allen

This is the second installment of a series in which PR Daily looks at decorum for brands and individuals to employ on various social media channels and platforms. 

LinkedIn has become an extremely powerful social tool in our professional lives. It’s that word—professional—that is the essence of LinkedIn etiquette. Earlier, we pointed out 10 essentials of Twitter etiquette, we do so now for LinkedIn users. 

So whether you’re managing a brand or your own presence on LinkedIn, here are 10 etiquette rules: 

1. Is it LinkedIn or Linkedin? According to the AP Stylebook’s social media guidelines, it’s LinkedIn—with a capital I. It gets confusing because the company’s logo is a lowercase “in,” but until AP tells me to change it, I’m going with LinkedIn—and I encourage you to do the same. 

2. Don’t send a mass request for recommendations and endorsements. If you’re looking for people to recommend you in a public forum, make sure you’re tapping people who are familiar with your work. It helps if they like you, too. Reach out to those people individually and make the request. Rather than saying, “Can you endorse my social media skills?” leave it up to the other person. “Can you take a look at my skills when you have a chance and endorse any you think are appropriate?” is a stronger choice here. Do not give people a deadline for recommending you. I heard of this happening once, and I was appalled. 

3. No personal updates, cat pictures, or “thoughts and prayers.” LinkedIn is a professional networking tool. You wouldn’t walk into an important meeting and announce the hilarious thing your kid said over the weekend. OK, maybe you might, but leave the personal stuff for Facebook. If you feel that it blurs the line between personal and professional, err on the side of caution and don’t post it. It sounds ridiculous, but people can really lose respect for you if you post things that are generally reserved for more informal social media outlets. Although we’re all saddened by the tragic events that took place in (insert location here), LinkedIn just isn’t the forum for sending your thoughts and prayers their way. Those expressions, however benevolent, should stay on Facebook or Twitter. 

4. Funny’s OK; tasteless isn’t. It wouldn’t be outlandish to share an industry-specific meme or a funny post that’s work-related. But if it’s tasteless, controversial, mean-spirited, or negative in tone, stifle it. It’s not worth the risk of offending someone. 


Essentials 5-10 and the complete article

Eight Reasons High School Students Should Be On LinkedIn

Susan Adams

Now that LinkedIn is a decade old and has 225 million members, its fastest-growing demographic –30 million and counting—is students and those who are three years or less out of college. Though LinkedIn’s user agreement says that members agree they are at least 18 years old, I am going to make a recommendation and a prediction: High school students should start LinkedIn profiles now. I predict that LinkedIn will soon drop its age threshold or eliminate it altogether. Consider that Facebook‘s  threshold is 13, and the site has hundreds of thousands, if not millions of kids under 13 using it every day. Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn has no place to enter a birth date.
Here’s an example of how teens can use it: Earlier this month, as she was applying for jobs, hoping to start after she graduates from high school on May 29, Genella Minot, a 17-year-old in Port Saint Lucie, Fla., realized that instead of sending a revised résumé for each new job, she could build a profile on LinkedIn and possibly submit that instead. She also hopes a potential employer will see her LinkedIn page and make a job offer. “I have all my information on there,” she says. “I’m hoping an employer comes across it.” Minot’s qualifications include CPR and first aid certifications and a 40-hour child care  course given by the Florida Department of Children and Families. She has also worked as a youth mentor and a volunteer at a regional health center. Her goal: a summer child care or health care job that she can turn into a part-time position when she starts at Indian River State College in the fall.
If I were Minot’s career coach, I would give her some pointers on how she could strengthen her profile. Most important, she should be linking with adults, including teachers and supervisors at her volunteer jobs. At this point she has zero connections, which means she’s forgoing one of LinkedIn’s greatest strengths, the ability to branch out from your contacts to other people you don’t know first-hand. Even if she were just to connect with relatives, she would put herself in a stronger position to do future networking. It’s possible, for instance, that her aunt has a friend at the daycare center where she wants to work.
Here are eight reasons I think high school students should be on LinkedIn:
1. To get a customized LinkedIn URL. This will drive your LinkedIn page to the top of Google searches on your name. The earlier you get this, the better. Here’s how to do it: On your profile page next to the rectangular grey “Edit” button to the right of your name, click on the drop-down menu, and then click on “Manage public profile settings.” Halfway down the page on the right side you’ll see a grey bar that says “Your public profile URL.” Underneath the bar, click on the blue phrase that says “Customize your public profile URL.” Plug in your first and last name. If that’s already taken, try your last name first, followed by your first name. If that’s not available, try adding a middle initial or city abbreviation like NYC. Now that LinkedIn is so heavily used, this can be a challenge for those with common names. But SusanAdams75 is better than the random URL the site assigns you.
2. To make lasting connections. Maybe your sophomore English teacher loves you and before he became a teacher, he worked in publishing at Simon & Schuster, where you want to intern. Or the director of the camp where you worked last summer has a close friend at New York Hospital, where you’re trying to get a part-time research position. Networking contacts like these can be extremely valuable. Do connect with as many adults as possible who know you and your work. Peer connections are also important. Your friends and friends of friends may wind up working where you want to be.
3. To get recommendations and endorsements. If you do a volunteer internship at a bike shop, get your boss to write you a glowing recommendation that mentions specific things you did well, like handling customers and always arriving early and staying late. A student like Minot should list her specific skills from the long lists that LinkedIn offers, like Childcare, Child Development and Child Welfare. Adults she’s worked with on her volunteer jobs will endorse her. Since endorsements accumulate over time, it’s good to start early.
4. To highlight awards. If you’re in a serious academic club like the debate team and you win awards, or your essay wins a nationwide writing competition, potential employers want to know. Create an Honors & Awards section on your profile and keep it up to date.

Creative Ways to Use LinkedIn in Your Job Search

Part one:  Look into Career Paths, Research People and Follow Companies


Are you guilty of logging in to LinkedIn to just look at people’s profile pictures, check out the latest updates and browse? Not to worry, you are not alone. In my experience in career consulting many people tell me they have LinkedIn accounts but have no idea what to do on the site.  People tend to grossly underestimate the value of actively engaging on LinkedIn. Most use LinkedIn to search for jobs and network with others. I advise all my clients, if they are in the job market, to log on to LinkedIn several times a week, if not daily. With millions of users LinkedIn is an awesome place to gain information about career paths, skill sets and industry news!

How to discover career paths:
To learn about career paths on LinkedIn
  • Search your connections for people who are doing what you aspire to do and review their profiles.
  • Read their profile in reverse to determine what they did prior to their current job. This will help you see how they attained their current position.
  • Make note of what qualifications they have, the keywords used in their profile and what types of activities they’ve been involved with.  
While everyone’s career path will be different, use this approach to gather ideas for new ways to find the job you seek.

If you do not have any connections with people who hold positions which you aspire to, search for new connections in relevant industry specific groups. LinkedIn has a fantastic “groups feature” which provides a place for industry professionals or people with similar interests to discuss business, share content, ask/ answer each other’s questions and sometimes post jobs. If you join the right groups, you could learn about industry trends, and have current information about the industry for which you are interviewing. This will aid you in arriving to your interview prepared to discuss the work and ask good questions.

Research People and Follow Companies:
Another best practice for using LinkedIn while job searching is to follow companies which you plan to (or desire to) interview with to research the company. This is a strategy I have personally employed, here’s why:
  • Companies will often share different information on their LinkedIn Company page than what is presented on their website.  
  • You can also see their current and former employees and read company status updates.
  • Prior to the interview, find out whom you’re interviewing with
    • review their profile on LinkedIn
Most people go to interviews with no information about who they will be meeting; while the prospective employer has read your resume and likely Googled you. With the access that LinkedIn provides, this should no longer be the case. Go into the interview armed with a little knowledge about what led your interviewer to their current position.  You may even have a few shared connections!  Use the information you find about your interviewer to “break the ice”.  Should you make it to the second or third round of interviews this will prove to be helpful as you will be introduced to more people at-varied levels within the company. If possible, make a habit of finding out who you will be speaking with and get to know each person that will interview you.

LinkedIn is an invaluable tool that could be used to give you leverage as you job search, network or consider learning a new skill or career.  When using the site, think of it as a free career counselor with endless information, right at your fingertips!

Part Two: Learn Skills and Read the News – Read Part Two and the complete Simply Hired article

10 Savvy LinkedIn Networking Tips for Entrepreneurs

2. Share unique content on LinkedIn.

“Many companies believe they should only post content that is company news or sales [related]. If you [own a] web design company, share relevant articles and tips about your industry. If you are a lawn care company, offer advice about different flower landscapes for each season. People will tune you out if your company’s LinkedIn page is playing the ‘Me Show’ all the time. You’re the expert; keep your customer base informed and give them something they can use.”
– Sabrina Ram, Founder and President of Blu Lotus Public Relations: @BluLotusPR


3. Don’t forget about LinkedIn keywords.

“This is especially true for the skills and description areas [of your profile]. Those skills are each a keyword that can help people find you. Also create keyword rich descriptions of what you do to build on that once visitors hit your profile page.”
– Stacey Harris, Head Rock Star of Hit the Mic Marketing: @TheStaceyHarris


6. Remove the generic LinkedIn “request” text.

“Don’t miss an opportunity to authentically communicate, even while sending a ‘request to connect.’ Delete the generic text and think of this request as your first impression, your entrance. Are you clever, bold, and memorable in your invitation, reminding the prospect how you met and [offering] a positive interaction you had or a mutual connection? Be unique at all touch points on LinkedIn.”
– Julie Dennehy, President of Dennehy Public Relations: @dennehypr


8. Utilize LinkedIn for post-event follow-up.

“As a small business owner that has had a lot of success with LinkedIn, I believe it’s about connecting. After every event that I attend (online or offline), I search for the people I met and connect with them via LinkedIn. I send them a personal message about our interaction. Then I take it a step further and see if there’s anyone that I can recommend to them, any way that I can help connect them further. Taking this extra step really makes me stand out and become memorable.”
– Kathrine Farris, Owner and Virtual Professional of Strategic Office Support LLC: @StrategicOffice



Read all 10 tips and the complete YFS Entrepreneur article 

Is Your LinkedIn Profile Awesome?

by HANNAH MORGAN

As the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or, in more practical terms, your audience determines your message. To see if your LinkedIn profile has all the right stuff go through the list below.

Check List – 20 items

1.       Headline
Your profile headline is the first thing someone sees after your name. Make it memorable. It should help someone understand the role you want to do next and/or contain key words important to your profession.
2.       Photo
Choose a professional, high quality headshot for your photograph. Having a picture is recommended.
3.       Email
List all your email addresses so they are associated with your LinkedIn profile. You can set the default email which will be viewable by your connections and the account that receives InMail and updates from LinkedIn.
4.       Vanity URL
Your LinkedIn profile has a URL (an Internet address). You can and should edit this by adding your name (www.linkedin.com/in/yourname). This also looks more professional when you include it on your resume, business card, or email signature.
5.       Other Web References
If you have a personal website, professional Twitter account, or links elsewhere on the web, you can add them to your profile within the “contact info” section at the top. You should change the label from “other” to a short, descriptive title.
6.       Summary
Consider this section a mini bio. Highlight the best of your background, experience and skills. You could also provide insight into your leadership style, personality, values, longer term goals, or outside interests. Keep the reader’s attention by using short paragraphs. And make it more personal by writing in the first person by using “I”, “Me” or “My”. You may want to include your email address to make it easy for people who are not connected to contact you