Friday, June 28, 2013

9 Steps To Getting Started With The New LinkedIn Contacts

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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

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