Are you looking for a way to keep in contact with your most important business relationships? Imagine if you could store all of your contacts in a single location? Well now you can with LinkedIn Contacts. In this article, you’ll receive a tour of LinkedIn Contacts features.
LinkedIn announced the new LinkedIn Contacts in April. They released the feature in stages, first to a limited number of U.S users, then to all of the U.S., then to their worldwide user base. This new feature brings together all your address books, emails and calendars, and keeps them up to date in one place.
From such sources, LinkedIn will automatically pull in the facts of your past conversations and meetings, and bring those details directly into your contact’s profile.
To use this feature, click on Contacts in the top navigation.
From there you will be prompted to enter your email, then you will be able to add contacts from Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook and even your iPhone Address book. Calendars from Yahoo.com, Google and Outlook are also available for syncing. After the sync, the files upgrade once per day to keep everything current.
Manage Your Network
From the front page of Contacts, you
Perform relationship management functions
In addition to syncing your Contacts, you can also sync your calendars from Yahoo.com, Google and Outlook. After the sync, the files upgrade once per day to keep everything current.
If you have trouble with the sync function, there’s also an alternative to import everything. The thing to keep in mind is that if you import, you’ll have to do an import again at some time in the future when needed to catch your latest email contacts and calendars.
Refresh your browser and click on Contacts to start using these functions.
Send Congratulations Updates
A great approach to stay connected with friends and co-workers is to see who has news. From the left-hand navigation, click on Your Own Day and you’ll also discover that it’s much easier to find out who has good news to share.
This section will alert you to career changes and birthdays in your network, which offers an ideal chance to remain in touch with a quick message.
Look for the cake icon to wish people a happy birthday, and congratulate a colleague on a new place or job when you see the briefcase icon.
New Search Functionality
Over on the left side of your screen is the new contacts Search functionality. There are several sorting parameters to choose from, including Connections, Saved, Tags, Companies, Titles, Locations, Sources, Potential Merges and Hidden.
You can sort your contacts by several criteria: where they came from, whether they were imported into LinkedIn some time ago, by the Outlook contacts you’ve recently added and also by any apps you may use such as CardMunch.
You can also Click on Recent Conversation to see whom you last chatted with on LinkedIn or reconnect with someone you haven’t interacted with in some time by clicking on Lost Touch.
Map Your Connections
Are you thinking about meeting up with potential clients in the city you are visiting next month? Or maybe would you like to find out who’s near you today?
In cases where you want to know where your contacts are located, The Locations options is the perfect tool. It is located in the left navigation of your screen and pops up a handy map that shows you the geographic locations of your connections.
Curate Information on a Connection’s Profile
Let’s talk about what’s new over on LinkedIn profiles.
Now, when you click on the profile of your first-degree connections or people you have sent an InMail to, you’ll see more information about your past correspondence and relationship with them.
There are several places to make notes and keep details that are relavent to you. Your entries are not publicly viewable, so you can write as much as you need. You can also store the details of how, when and where you met your connection and who, if anyone, introduced you. This is especially useful when you’re following up with a new connection.
The Relationship tab is particularly robust. Take a few minutes to explore and test it’s features.
Set Reminders to Stay Connected
Linkedin also makes it easy to stay on top of your connections. Create a Reminder associated with a contact and set it to alert you in one day, one week, one month or to recur. Type in what you need to remember and choose the option that best applies.
This function helps streamline tasks that are related to your connections. This is a pretty great feature in that it doesn’t require manual updates for past events; instead it automatically imports whatever has happened already into a timeline of events.
View Your Messages
LinkedIn Contacts makes it easy to manage your networking activities.
If you’ve exchanged messages or an InMail with a connection, a copy of the first few sentences of the latest conversation will be on display to refresh your memory. Click on the subject line to read the whole message.
[heading type=1]Share Your Calendar for Better Event Networking[/heading]
When you import or sync your calendars, shared calendar events are also shown. The image below shows a Rotary Changeover event that both my connection and I are attending. It’s easy for me to use this information to create a Reminder to find him at the event.
Sharing your calendars enables LinkedIn to show you when other connections are attending the same event. Note the options to create a reminder and add useful notes.
You can also remain connected on the go. Along with the new contact feature, LinkedIn launched a new, free Contacts app for the iPhone. This is Linkedin’s third standalone app in addition to LinkedIn itself and business card scanner CardMunch.
With all of these new features, you may need to expand your LinkedIn marketing approaches and take full advantage of them, including their mobile options.
In summation, the new Contacts feature from LinkedIn creates an easy-to-manage, all-in-one interface for your email databases and LinkedIn connections.
What do you think? Have you tried using Contacts yet? What do you find most helpful? What else would you like LinkedIn to add? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.