Getting ahead on LinkedIn – A few extra points…
Whilst on Twitter today I came across an interesting blog post by Chris Lee, a UK based comms expert. The post was based around a talk that Stephen Waddington, Managing Director at Speed Communications, gave at the CIPR Summer Social on the 15th September 2010 (I’ve embedded the SlideShare below in case you couldn’t make the event/haven’t come across it).
Waddington provides a really thorough breakdown of how you can pro-actively use LinkedIn to develop your professional profile online for either yourself of your company. I really enjoyed reading through the presentation as it got me thinking of some other areas that weren’t mentioned (potentially raised on the day) that might be useful to people looking to use LinkedIn effectively:
Outlook Social Connector
Stephen mentions about that you can proactively use Xobni, a product that Bill Gates described as “the next generation of social networking” (in 2008), which is probably why Microsoft created Outlook Social Connector (OSC) as new feature offered as part of Office 2010. I’ve used both platforms and personally prefer OSC finding that Xobni had a knack of slowing down your Outlook experience. OSC allows you to collaborate Outlook with not only LinkedIn but Facebook, MySpace and Windows LiveSpaces allowing for a much more rounded social experience connecting directly with your Address Book.
Third Party Solutions
There are some companies that have launched that have created some really interesting offerings designed to support your social media efforts. One that I recently came across is a company based out of San Francisco called Flowtown, a social media marketing tool that helps businesses transform email contacts into engaged customers. Flowtown analyses your company’s marketing data (by the thousand) to show you who the key influencers across LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are online and engage with them accordingly. Flowtown also offers a sophisticated API that allow you to sync it with other solutions available online.
LinkedIn’s Premium Services/Driving Efficiency
Stephen covers some of the premium services that are offered by LinkedIn to paid subscribers. One area not mentioned but offered is the Profile Organiser functionality. This allows you to organise your connections, add notes and saved them to lists (e.g. Leads, Opportunities etc) allowing you to use the LinkedIn platform very basic form of CRM to support your business activities/development.
It will be interesting to see how the CRM market leaders such as Salesforce and Highrise will adapt social media into there offerings & developer integration – I believe the Microsoft CRM Dynamics is pretty much there but it out of the price range of the SME market.
Rules of Engagement
There are some really great points raised within the presentation about “Network Ettique” – I’ve seen it mentioned excessively for Blogs and Twitter but not so much for LinkedIn and so great to see. To add to this I think its great to see when people add a personal touch into your intro message, especially if you haven’t spoken to someone in a while.
If you’re looking to increase your scope in LinkedIn its pretty likely that you are already engaging within social media. Use this to your advantage by publicising your profile on either your personal or corporate blog, twitter feed or other platforms in which you are engaging with.