3 Tools to help you grow your presence on LinkedIn

3 LinkedIn Tools to Grow Your Presence on Linkedin

LinkedIn ToolsLinkedIn can be a very valuable tool for your business but you are using the right management tools?

I meet so many people who say they don’t get benefit from LinkedIn but when I ask them what time they are investing in LinkedIn, the answer is usually none!


It can be very beneficial to your business if you invest time in LinkedIn.

In this article we outline 3 tools that will really help you grow your presence on LinkedIn.

1.  Build stronger relationships with your contacts using FiveHundredPlus

If you connect with relevant people in LinkedIn this is an extremely valuable database that you should use.  When you build up a large database on contacts it can be a great source of business.

But you need to regularly communicate with them to nurture the relationships and let them know that you are still around.

FiveHundredPlus is a company which has an interesting tool which will become more and more useful as the functionality develops.  It is designed to help you maintain and build relationships with contacts in Linkedin.

You view all your contacts in a table and then drag contacts to a relevant column which indicates how often you think you should contact this connection e.g. weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly.


Track your interactions with LinkedIn Contacts


When you send an e-mail to this contact this can automatically be recorded within FiveHundredPlus.  Alternatively you can manually enter a communication with this contact.  When you are due to interact with a contact the contacted is shaded in red so you instantly know you’ve some action to take!


Five Hundred Plus Interactions
Recording interactions with contacts


Recently Jamie Turner (60 second marketer) sent an e-mail to his LinkedIn contacts and converted 120 people to his email subscription service.  Your LinkedIn database is very valuable, are you regularly communicating with them?

FiveHundredPlus is currently available for free.

2.  Grow your LinkedIn Contacts Using Rapportive

Rapportive is a plugin to add on to Gmail.  When you are corresponding with someone Rapportive will look up LinkedIn to find details of this person.  So you can then automatically see who they are, what their background is and also connect to them on LinkedIn if you are not already connected.

We use this tool regularly and love it.  It’s completely free and so useful.  As well as providing really valuable information about the contact it encourages you to connect with more people.  The best people to connect with are ones that you are communicating with.


Rapportive for LinkedIn
Connect with contacts on LinkedIn and view profile info within gmail


Note: If you are using Outlook you can use the outlook social connector for similar functionality.  So build your LinkedIn database using Rapportive.

3.  Drive relevant traffic to your website using tools that support LinkedIn Group functionality

When you create a new blog post and want to share it out on LinkedIn the groups you are a member can be a good target audience.  We have tried numerous options for sharing on groups.

a). Hootsuite – You are allowed to connect 5 different social media profiles on your free account so if you want to shared content with a lot of groups you need to pay for a subscription.  We tried this out but the Group sharing functionality is not good.  The image on your blog post is not shared with the update which is a big draw back and will significantly reduce on the number of people that read your post.


Hootsuite LinkedIn Group Sharing
Sharing content to LInkedIn Groups using Hootsuite


b). SocialMotus is a relatively new social media management tool with a significant amount of free functionality available.  There is group sharing functionality as part of the free version but unfortunately this has the same issue as Hootsuite.

c). Oktopost is a social media management tool which has good functionality for group sharing.  When you share out to groups there is an image associated with the item and what is really nice is that you get statistics on what you share.  For example, you can  view how many people from each group clicked on the link and came back to your website.

This is how a post to a group appears with Oktopost.  As you can see there is a nice image associated with the post.


Oktopost posts to multiple groups and includes an image as part of the post


Oktopost is a paid service so you’ll need to pay $24.99 per month.  We felt that although the group functionality was good $24.99 was too much because this was the only functionality we were going to use.  There is other social media functionality available but the group functionality is the area that is developed the most.

d) LinkedIn Share Button – If you have a LinkedIn Share Button on your site and click on this button you have the option to send the updates to groups.

When you click on this button you can then specify the groups you want to share out to.


LinkedIn Share Button
Click on this button to share to groups on LinkedIn


When you click on the share button you can specify which groups you want to share out the message.  When the message is shared out an image is associated with the times shared which is great!


LinkedIn Share Buttons
You can share your updates to multiple groups for free


The big advantage to this is that’s free.  The only issue is that within Google Analytics you can’t track which group is generating the most traffic but can you see how you sharing to groups has benefited your site in terms of overall traffic.

Based on our testing we are going to use the LinkedIn Share button from our site to share content to groups.

These are the Linkedin tools that we have been investigating.  We’d love to hear about how you get most out of LinkedIn, what tools you use or just give us your feedback!

p.s. A shout out to Lori Ruff and Mike O’Neill from  Integrated Alliances who provide the best training on Linkedin!


77 Responses to 3 LinkedIn Tools to Grow Your Presence on Linkedin

  1. Great list, Ian. Rapportive has been a Godsend! Love getting the inside scoop on someone with zero effort.

    Never crossed my mind to post links to my blogs in LinkedIn groups. Thanks for that one.

    By the way, your share bar is only just barely visible on my iPad. What are you using?

    • Hi Jim, you can get some good traffic but you just need to try to create a discussion around the topic of your blog post as opposed to just posting your blog post. It can be a great source of traffic and based on the type of business you are in it will be good for your business.

      Thanks for the feedback on the share bar. I’m using DiggDigg which is great for desktop but as you mention there’s an issue with iPad. It also doesn’t appear on mobile either so I need to come up with a solution!

      How do you find LinkedIn for your business? Do you invest time in creating and joining conversations on groups?

      I really appreciate the feedback Jim.

  2. Hey Ian, thanks for all the tips! I’ve used Rapportive and it is fantastic for making new connections. A lot of the other tools are new to me (like Oktopost & FiveHundredPlus) and I’ll defiantly be checking them out. I love finding posts that give me something different to try- thanks again!

    • Hey Kelly, thank you so much for stopping by! Rapportive is a tool that should be part of every email client! I’m delighted you found the post useful and you’re going to check them out. Has LinkedIn been valuable for your business? Do you spend time within groups? Ian

  3. I use ShareThis and just discovered the same issue on mobile and tablets. Let me know if you find a good catch-all solution, and I’ll do the same.

    I assume by creating a discussion, you mean doing something like what is in your last screenshot in this post? If so, that makes sense.

    I really haven’t been good about focusing on creating and joining conversations on groups, but I think I see the value in that now. I see some of our industry’s thought leaders doing that on a regular basis. So, if I am to become one of them, I suppose that’s where I need to play, huh?

    • Yes, you should try it out. In Google analytics you can track visitors coming from LinkedIn to check your conversion rate. I get about 4% conversion rate when I put my blog post in the right group with a topic that’s relevant to the group. At the moment I’m just looking for email subscribers so that’s what my focus is.

      Too many people just post their blog post and run. When you post your blog post into a group think about how you can get someone to comment and interact with you within the group. If you’re getting people to interact then you’ve come up with something that is worth discussing.

      All the best,

  4. Nice post – I wish there was a way to discover how someone came across your profile – i.e. keyword search, via another LinkedIn member – THAT would be very useful to know 🙂

    • That’s an interesting one. You can see who viewed your profile but you don’t know where the found it. They could have searched on the internet for your name and then come across your profile. I’m not aware of anything that does that but it would be nice functionality. Thank you for adding to the conversation, I really appreciate it. ian

      • Thanks for the reply Ian – it “must” be there – especially as you can see where you showed up in search on LinkedIn (under a paid account) – as well as seeing who else viewed other profiles from the profile you are looking for. If it was possible to place into context why someone came across your profile that would improve LinkedIn by 500%.

  5. Hi Ian. Great post. Eezesocial is that only tool I know that allows you to post to your 50 Linkedin groups. You just set up a “channel” for each group.
    I would to hear from anyone that regularily mails their Linkedin contacts. It seems Linkedin is removing the ability to export your Linkedin contacts. Does anyone know about this? Many thanks, Chris

  6. Re posting a blog post to multiple LinkedIn groups.
    I just checked and found that once you post a blog post to a Linkedin group, you can select “more” and then “share” and “post to groups” which allows you to post the same blog post to multiple groups. This saves a lot of time compared to posting to one group at a time.

  7. Hey Ian

    Thanks so much for posting this. Great tools and ideas! It’s really going to help me use Linked In more effectively, for sure for sure (as you lovely Irish peeps say lol).

    Just a quick question for you: do you know if it’s possible to post in groups but NOT have your posts visible to your connections? I haven’t been posting much because I hate bombarding my connections with irrelevant stuff…

    Thanks again! 🙂

    • Hey Lil, yes for sure!!!! Yes it is possible. I should have mentioned this in the post. When I post to lots of groups LinkedIn puts a separate status update for every post. The way to get around this is in LinkedIn Settings -> activity feed. Set that to ‘Only you’ when you do a group post and switch it back after the group post! Thanks for your feedback. I can’t think of a good New Zealand phrase, you’ll have to tell me one! I’m afraid to use an Australian one!!!

  8. Great post, Ian. You know I love LinkedIn. When sharing to groups, I think it’s very important that you fill out the “Subject” and “Detail” fields. LinkedIn marks them as optional, but I think they’re a must. Some groups will actually delete the posts, if there’s no evidence of a real ‘discussion’ and it look like you’re just trying to promote your post. I do on my group. So always fill in those two fields. Your example on the screen shot is perfect. A question works best because it initiates a discussion and that’s what the group manager wants. Also, if posting to several groups don’t just ‘post and run’. Be prepared to answer to comments ! That’s my two cents 😉

    • Thanks Sarah, great feedback. I think the focus should be really trying hard to create a discussion and this will be more beneficial then just dropping in a link and running!

      The discussion this post has got has been great. It’s got me thinking about what to post in groups. I think from now on I’ll include the best tips from the post in the discussion and that should be an incentive to go to the website. What do you think?

  9. Hi Ian,
    Thanks for another great post. I am, however, a little bit wary of any apps or programs that let people post to a LinkedIn group without taking that poster into the relevant forum.
    The reason why is that I think many LinkedIn groups are now becoming overwhelmed with what amounts to spam, as in people are posting their own content but not reading or interacting with others, and some of the tools listed in this article exacerbate that trend.
    Don’t get me wrong; I too post my own articles in all the relevant forums that I am a part of on LinkedIn, but I always take some time out to read what else is going on in them, and comment where appropriate. But there are some LinkedIn groups I will soon be leaving because it just consists of people posting their own (or worse, others) links without any additional commentary or insight of their own.
    Admittedly, over time, this will become self-selecting as people leave the kind of LinkedIn group that I have just described, but I think automating LinkedIn posts or posting from afar will eventually damage the platform, and will probably see it crackdown on Third Party Developers to address the problem.

    • Hi Nick, that is super feedback. I have a bit of a dilemma with LinkedIn Groups. I’m really struggling with time and I know it would be beneficial participating in the groups and every so often adding in my post. Do I not post anything to the groups because I’m not contributing enough or do I post to all the groups my blog post and still have my dilemma! When I post to all of the groups I really try to create a discussion rather than just a link and try to provide some valuable tips so people are enticed to go and view the post. It’s a dilemma that I don’t have a perfect answer to you.
      Let me know what you think!


      • I think it depends on the quality of the article in question; if it’s good enough, I think you can share it with a group you haven’t interacted with much *as long as* you give it some context in the framing post.
        You’re right; the aim is always to create a discussion, either in the LinkedIn forum or on the site where the article/ blog is hosted.

        • Thank Nick. I posted something to-day about Google analytics tools and got some great feedback about a new tool I never heard of. But I did really try and get a discussion going!

  10. Thanks for paying attention to my inquiry about Hootsuite. Guess what? For just 10 USD a month, you get Hootsuite PRO and very efficient customer support for those who don’t have much time to figure out how it works.

  11. Ian, I never thought of adjusting your Activity Feed Setting to Only Me for posting in a Group, then changing it back. That will avoid the double posting to the News Feed, which is great. I tire of seeing other people’s posts to the Updates and the Groups in my Update stream. Thanks for sharing this. I’ll be looking in to Tools 1 and 2 as well. I also use Buffer to post to Groups and it works well.

    • Hey Michael, thanks so much for your feedback. Yes the activity feed setting is a trick I picked up after people gave out about getting too many updates from me! Emeric mentioned about using BufferApp also. I use BufferApp all the time and never realised they supported groups, doh!!!! How do you find posting to multiple groups? Does it work for you? Ian

  12. Great article, Ian. I signed up for FiveHundredPlus and it looks interesting. I also installed Rapportive. Thanks for the tips!

  13. Hi Ian- great post, I use Rapporative DAILY and it is a terrific tool. I’ll look into 500+, too!
    I’d love to introduce you to Sidekick (http://sidekickhq.com) the social media dashboard created by pros for pros. We’ve worked very hard on our LinkedIn functionality, including posting to groups. Since we allow unlimited profiles, groups (and Pages for FB), this allows for efficient posting to many groups. And yes, get discussion going and join in other discussions right from our dashboard. Could you to give us a try and possible review! ~jill, Principal, Sidekick

    • Hey Jill, just wondering if sidekickhq takes care of Google+ as well? I’m looking for a well integrated social media platform to manage a few of my clients’ social media profiles and it looks like your social might fit. Feel free to shoot me a note via my site latestcrunchs[dot]com Thanks

    • Thank you Michael, I never heard of peoplelinx.com before, it looks great. If you’ve any more LinkedIn tools you know of let me know,I’d love to do another LinkedIn tools post!!! Have a great week-end, Ian

  14. Ian – Thanks for mentioning Oktopost. Very much appreciated!

    If there are any ideas or feedback from the readers of RazorSocial, please contact me – we love to get your ideas.

  15. Ian, thanks for last night, you were wonderful. The other 50 people at the talk thought so too! You gave us a lot of your time, and a fair portion of your wisdom too.

    I have just found Rapportive, and agree it is nice.

    John Lysaght

  16. Good post Ian, According to me ultimately people do business with people, so make sure that we always have a relationship-focused mindset on LinkedIn.

  17. Fantastic post. . I got a great info from your post. You have shared a nice post, thank you for this valuable information.

  18. Great post Ian. As always you provide content with super value. Unfortunately Rapportive for Gmail is currently down. I’ve emailed support but no response yet. With over 5k contacts on linkedIn, I’m having great difficulty in trying to message selected contacts with a new service I’m providing, which helps businesses dominate the first page of Google.

    I want to be selective with whom I communicate with, but it’s almost impossible using LinkedIn’s interface. I have a different message for both people in different countries and to those I know personally.

    I have not been very good at keeping my groups organised…will these tools help in terms of being able to filter contacts via country, industry etc. or am I faced with rolling my sleeves up and organising my groups using LinkedIn’s painfully slow interface?

    Any help would be appreciated!


  19. I’ve been using Buffer (www.bufferapp.com) for their integrated LinkedIn profile, Company pages, and LinkedIn Groups content sharing support, along with the obligatory Twitter, facebook and Google+ sharing.

    I also find Contactually compelling, with integration into job changes, employment anniversary reminders, and general nudges to make sure you follow up and stay in contact with Connections by grouping them in buckets based on desired frequency of contact as well as template based emails you can use for those followups (such as when someone changes jobs as an opportunity to catch up).

  20. Always interested in LinkedIn tools, mainly for management, extra functionality and scheduling. I don’t advocate automating posts and sharing to Groups without first checking the Group rules. If you do decide to share posts to Groups, ensure you also engage in conversation with others in the Group, so you’re not seen to be pushing your content.
    I use Buffer and Nimble for LinkedIn.
    I am seeking tools to promote events via LinkedIn if anyone has any ideas. The event is managed by a website and booking system, and the organisation has a Group and Company Page, plus a profile for the event (which is wrong but I see why – so the conference can post in the Group rather than an individual)…

  21. Linkedin is one of the best professional site, to create our profile. I like this tools very much to use for my profile, and also useful for others. Its enough knowledge about this tools I think.

  22. I feel that LinkedIn is a great tool that can be used in business to business marketing. These other tools that you have mentioned make it even easier to maintain contact with clients. However, I am worried that companies with very limited budgets will not be able to afford these tools if there is an additional cost to use them. All in all, very interesting article. I never would have known about these other tools that can be used with LinkedIn if I hadn’t read this.

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