LinkedIn is a rapidly growing platform and a goldmine of opportunity for businesses.
In October this year LinkedIn had 259 million registered users and is on track for $1.5 billion revenue this year. So I don’t think LinkedIn has the same revenue issues that Twitter has!
Are you and your employees taking advantage of what LinkedIn has to offer?
In this article we’ve taken a look at some tools that will help you get more out of LinkedIn.
The biggest problem with LinkedIn is that companies and individuals don’t know how to maximize it’s potential. So many times you see really poor personal and company profiles and you hear that people are not getting value from it.
As a starting point for LinkedIn you need to have a really good profile. If you are part of a company it makes perfect sense that there is some consistency across profiles.
If you had a directory with information on your staff you wouldn’t have half of them without images, no titles or poorly written descriptions about what they do.
This is where PeopleLinx comes in. It’s a tool you’d deploy as part of a company to help you manage and improve profiles and market more effectively through Linkedin. It has the following main areas of functionality:
Profile Dashboard and Recommendations
When you initially connect to PeopleLinx it does a full evaluation of your profile and gives you a score out of 100. You can also view a leaderboard comparing your score with others in your company. Everybody wants to be top of a leaderboard!
I’m scoring 50 out of 100 but I’m connected as if I’m an employee of PeopleLinx (easiest way of getting access to a demo!). My score is low because I don’t have a profile that meets the company requirements set out. There are many suggestions for improvement.
Within a company you would set up the recommendations for profiles and get employees to improve their profiles to get to a certain level.
As well as this PeopleLinx provides some cool functionality for sharing content. The company can suggest a range of content that is interesting to share and get the employees to share it out. Imagine if you were running a special promotion it’s in the interests of all employees to share out that offer to generate more sales.
Management and User Reporting
There is a management reporting facility so you can see what progress people in your organization are making. Who needs to improve their profile, who is sharing/not sharing, what are the results for sharing and more.
There is also reporting on a user level so you can see how your score has improved, who are the companies/people you have connected with etc.
To get full value out of LinkedIn the employees need to get some training and there is a training section provided within the platform.
PeopleLinx is not suitable for a small company. But if you have a larger company and want to develop LinkedIn as tool for generating and promoting business this is certainly worth investigating. LinkedIn should really have this functionality as part of LinkedIn (hint, hint to LinkedIn!)
2. Salesloft Prospect Builder
This Prospect Builder is about finding potential leads within Linkedin.
When you install it you can do a search for potential opportunities. For example, I searched for ‘Marketing Manager, United Kingdom’. When you run the search it creates an advanced search query on Google for contacts on LinkedIn. When you do a search on Google you are not restricted the same way you are restricted on LinkedIn (especially if you are not a paying user).
The difference is that you install a Chrome plugin and in the search result you have the option of clicking a button to add one or all of the results to your prospect builder.
Once you add it you will see a list of all the contacts. The Prospector will try and retrieve additional details about the contact for example, contact, email, phone etc. When it’s retrieving email it does try and validate they are correct email addresses which is useful.
You can then export this list to a CSV file or export it directly to CRM tools such as Salesforce.
You can also add LinkedIn contacts to the prospector tool when you are browsing LinkedIn. With the Chrome plugin installed you’ll see a ‘Add John to Prospector’ button.
With this tool you can also get email alerts when people on your prospect list change their job and also get news alerts.
If you are part of a sales team and you are working off prospect lists every day this is a quicker way of creating the prospect list.
3. Ofunnel – Google alerts for professional relationships
Ofunnel is a relatively new product that you can use for free for 30 days. You use the product to track connection activity on LinkedIn.
For example, imagine if you were connected to a competitor and you just wanted to track if that competitor got new connections. If they have connected to new people maybe these are people you should also connect with.
To set this up you define what you are monitoring – company, role or person and then specify the details depending on which you selected.
In the above you can see that as well as setting this up for ‘personal’ you can also set up role and company filters.
The role based filters is when you want to filter on a title. For example, if you wanted to keep track of any time your sales people connected to a VP of Sales in any organization.
For the company section you can find out if any of your connections are connecting to the company in question. You might use this if some of your competitors are your 1st degree connection and you want to find out if they’re talking to your customers!
Staying connected to people you meet at events through LinkedIn can be a good source of business. I email my contacts at least once a month and quite often get business out of that email.
As the name suggests this app is for scanning business cards and is available on iPhone and Android. When you scan the card you then automatically request a network connection with that person on LinkedIn.
The problem with collecting business cards is that they end up in a drawer somewhere and you never see them again.
The best way of managing this is to scan the details in so you always have them and then also connect to them on LinkedIn. Scanbizcards allows you to do both.
So next time you are at a network event, scan your card and connect to the person on LinkedIn. As you build up your number of connections of people that are relevant then the value you will get from LinkedIn will go.
LinkedIn is a hugely valuable resource if you want to sell more of your products and services to other businesses. It’s great for identifying potential prospects, staying in touch with customers or just learning from your peers.
In this LinkedIn tutorial we covered 4 useful tools. This is a follow on from our previous post about using LinkedIn tools.
So which tools are useful? Are there other tools that you use?
I would love to hear from you.