When I talk with folks about social media, I usually recommend four basic tools: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a rolodex on steroids and is used for professional networking. As with most applications, its power is enhanced with the use of third party tools. LinkedIn is no different. With third party tools, I have gotten more out of LinkedIn. Here are some of the tools that I use and recommend.
LinkedIn for Outlook
LinkedIn for Outlook is a plug-in for Outlook that links to LinkedIn. When added, it enhances Outlook with a LinkedIn tie in. Here are some of the features:
- When you select a message to read, you will also have an additional window showing the individual’s image with a link back to LinkedIn to see their profile and activity. If they are not part of LinkedIn, there is a link to invite them. If there are multiple people in the message, they will be listed.
- Within the contacts folder, there is a new grouping of just LinkedIn contacts. These are all of your contacts from LinkedIn. You can email them directly from Outlook.
When crafting message, it is a nice way to see what has been previously written as well as what activity they have had.
Basically, InMaps allows you to visualize the connections you have in LinkedIn. The image above is my LinkedIn network. The dark blue is Civil Air Patrol, the orange is UW Extension, the green is University of Wyoming, the gold is the Bujinkan, the light blue is Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and the grey is ASTD Northern Rockies Chapter. You can see your connections by going to LinkedIn InMaps.
Evernote Hello is a mobile tool that helps with relationship management. By building your contacts with Evernote Hello, you can leverage the power of both Evernote and LinkedIn. When you add a new contact, it searches LinkedIn to see if they exist, and pulls information from LinkedIn to help populate the new contact. As the site mentions, “Hello automatically brings in related information about the people you meet from your calendar, Evernote account, online networks, and more.” If you log each encounter with a person, you can develop a rich profile on them. Evernote Hello is backed up through Evernote.
TripIt is a tool that will let you create an itinerary for your trip to include times, locations, and important phone numbers. These details can be accessed from multiple devices. TripIt will also sync with your favorite calendar programs. I just discovered today that I can mail my confirmation messages to TripIt and they will automatically be posted to my itinerary. If you are interested in sharing your experiences with others, you can post your itineraries to your favorite social media sites like LinkedIn.
Slideshare is another program that I get a lot of mileage out of. Basically, I post all of my presentations on Slideshare for others to see. Once they are posted, they automatically show up on my LinkedIn profile. There are also options to see presentations posted by fellow LinkedIn’ers.
Finally, if you are a blogger, you can connect your blog to LinkedIn. In my case, I connect my WordPress Blog to LinkedIn to automatically share new posts. My personal goal is to share everything I create. Being able to do it automatically removes one more thing to do from my list. Wordpress has plug-ins for making these connections.
All of these third party applications help to both disseminate information to my connections as well as help me stay in contact smartly with my connections.
Are you using any other applications to leverage LinkedIn? If so, I would love to know about them.