LinkedIn is a great way to network with other business owners. You most likely already know that. But are you using it to its full potential?
The following is a list of LinkedIn tools for business to help increase your LinkedIn effectiveness. Whether you need something to help you follow posts on the go or are just looking for something to help improve your profile visibility, you can find the LinkedIn tools for business you need here.
LinkedIn Tools for Business
LinkedIn for Android
The two main smartphone operating systems each have their own app, naturally. LinkedIn for Android is here. You can grow your network, connect with others, and access engaging and meaningful content while waiting in the elevator or for your next appointment. If you need to update your profile, view recommended jobs, or even upgrade your account, this LinkedIn app will do it.
LinkedIn for iOS
If you’re an iPhone or iPad user, here’s the iOS app in the iTunes app store.
LinkedIn for Windows and Blackberry
OFunnel is a cool new tool that alerts you when someone in your network connects with someone new. The internal LinkedIn “Saved Searches” feature is somewhat similar, but not near as robust as OFunnel. The OFunnel tool captures more connections that the built-in tool misses. This tool forwards changes to you automatically. Think of it as Google Alerts for relationships, as the site says, in this era of social sales. Helpful for keeping up with your network.
Rather than post a resumé on your website, you could show one of these LinkedIn badges that allow people to click through to your profile. Of course, that means you need to keep your profile up to date. There are several styles from which to choose.
LinkedIn owns SlideShare. This is one of my favorite services for sharing expertise. It allows you to embed YouTube videos, create a webinar, share presentations/documents, and upload PDFs, sales/marketing presentations, conference talks, or portfolios directly onto your LinkedIn profile. You can even use it to sync LinkedIn and Facebook.
Share on LinkedIn
When you are surfing the Web, do you come across webpages you would like to share on your LinkedIn profile? Add Share on LinkedIn to your browser toolbar. Then just click to share. As noted elsewhere, you can also do this with extensions via most browsers and phone apps, too.
If you are tired of clicking from page to page to get updates, Pulse for iPhone sends you news, social network updates, RSS, magazine, and blog feeds to the comfort of your phone. Pulse for Android will do the same thing on your Android based mobile device.
LinkedIn Contacts is an iPhone app that combines your contacts and notifies you for birthdays and job changes in your network.
Use Sync.ME to update your contact list in one smooth step. This app syncs with your LinkedIn and Facebook contacts and ensures that you have the most up to date information about them. You can view your contacts full screen pictures when they call, and you can choose how you appear in their phones, which gives you a mobile business card.
Outlook Social Connector
To view the latest activity on LinkedIn in your inbox, try Outlook Social Connector. This app allows you to email your connections directly and allows you to use your Outlook email to send connect invitations.
Follow Company Plugin
Placing the Follow Company Plugin on your website will allow those who visit to follow your LinkedIn company page on each follower’s homepage.
Member Profile Plugin
Use the Member Profile Plugin to create a neat business card sized picture of your LinkedIn member profile right on your webpage.
Sign in with LinkedIn
Want to learn more about the people who are using your website? Sign in with LinkedIn will allow the users of your website to sign in with their LinkedIn account. This lets you capture and store their LinkedIn ID, which gives you access their profile information. Of course, most people are probably not going to do this unless you have a community offering where it makes sense, but you may have a reason to check this out.
Company Insider Plugin
Company Insider will let you profile company employees on your website and personalize what users see about them. If your visitor is connected to someone in that company, they will see that in the plugin. It also provides links, so your website users can follow the featured companies. It doesn’t have to be your company, either.
Company Profile Plugin
The Company Profile plugin shows more details about the company itself and simply lists connections your visitor has at that company. The Insider one above focuses on the people first.
Full Member Profile
If you want to feature only individuals on your website, you can bring their LinkedIn profiles to the front with Full Member Profile. In my opinion, this full member info is best used when you want to display your employees via their LinkedIn profile rather than create a traditional “About Us” page.
Apply with LinkedIn Plugin
Looking to find top talent to hire through your website? Apply with LinkedIn is a customizable plugin that will allow website visitors on your career page to use their LinkedIn profiles to apply for jobs.
Help people pass along information about your products and services using the Recommend Button. When you install this on your website, users can recommend your specific products or services they like on LinkedIn.
Export LinkedIn Connections
Use Export LinkedIn Connections to backup and save your LinkedIn contacts to a spreadsheet which you can then import into most other Web based and desktop email programs, including: Yahoo! Address Book, Outlook Express, Microsoft Outlook, and Mac OS Address Book.
The Jobs Plugin allows you to post jobs you have listed on LinkedIn to your website. Or you can list other LinkedIn jobs available to boost engagement with your site, or as a way to help your community of readers or visitors.
If you are looking to organize your social media into one targeted marketing approach, consider the free trial of Oktopost. This app helps you manage social campaigns, track metrics, review and reply to all comments across social networks from one interface, capture leads, and integrate their data into CRM and marketing automation platforms. After two weeks, the cost is $29-$79 per month depending on your social media presence.
Chat for LinkedIn
Chat for LinkedIn is an Android app that allows you to chat with your contacts in real time on LinkedIn or instant message those who are not online.
It is difficult to post to social media at a time when people will read it. Sometimes your posts can get lost in the masses. Buffer allows you to fill your buffer once a day and it then releases the posts to your social media websites when it determines the most opportune times.
Are you tired of trying to keep track of business cards? Turn them into LinkedIn contacts by snapping a picture of them with Cardmunch. Only bummer — no Android app, only iOS.
Most of us are familiar with Hootsuite, a powerful social media management tool that manages multiple social networks, tracks brand mentions and schedules updates, among other tasks. There is a free plan for five social networks or less and two advanced plans that run $8.99 and up per month.
Another social media manager is Sproutsocial with plans ranging from $39 for up to 10 profiles to $99 for up to 50 profiles. With this one, the higher the cost of the plan, the more bells and whistles you get.
Several WordPress apps allow you to publish posts or links for posts to multiple social media websites at the same time. LinkedIn’s WordPress syncs your WordPress blog to your LinkedIn profile.
To coordinate publication of your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and FriendFeed account updates, try leenk.me.
To publish WordPress blog posts automatically to your social media network (including LinkedIn and more than 17 others) you can use NextScripts.
Yoono is an iPad/iPhone app that combines LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Flicker feeds on your iOS and allows you to update your status on all of them at once. I tried using it on an Android-powered phone via just a browser and it didn’t work. But you easily can use it on a desktop computer.
FB LinkedIn Resume
To publish parts (or all) of your LinkedIn profile on your WordPress blog, try FB LinkedIn Resume.
WordPress LinkedIn Plugin
If you would rather have your full profile and a scroll of your recommendations, use this WP LinkedIn Plugin.
These two are mostly for fun. They worked intermittently for me. If you are looking to “see” your connections in a visual format, try LinkedIn Maps. First, let me say that this app is intense. You get a very busy connect-the-dots-type visual and as it fully loads you can click in and see various people. This app will give you a visual representation of your connections and help you understand your relationships.
On the other hand, if you are looking to reconnect with people you knew in your previous business life or looking to reconnect with the past, check out Connection Timeline. It pops up people as you scroll across the dates of your LinkedIn years.
If you are planning a business trip or a working vacation, make it more effective by connecting with others who are going to be in the same city. The TripIt app will let you know where your professional network is traveling and even display your own travel information. This link should take you to your own application settings where you can authorize the app. But if not, you can get to it via settings when you are in your LinkedIn account.
LinkedIn is one of my favorite ways to stay in touch with business friends and allies. I regularly use it, along with many of these apps, to keep up with what people are creating, doing, and learning.
You can dial up your networking approach with some of these LinkedIn tools for business and it may help you land a new profitable customer or project. Keep us posted on any LinkedIn tools for business that you love and use.
LinkedIn Concept Photo via ShutterstockMore in: LinkedIn