LinkedIn is continuing to add new features to improve services for networking professionals and businesses. Even if you haven’t subscribed to a premium level as a user, there are still great features to help you upgrade your networking activities, build stronger relationships with your prospects, and ultimately gain a better return on your efforts. Below are five underused features.
LinkedIn Messaging Upgrade – Now with Chat
With its focus to keep up with mobile trends, LinkedIn has added a new chat feature to its messaging tool. Mark Hull, LinkedIn’s director of product management, says it’s a lightweight way to reach out to contacts, similar to texts. If you find yourself sending messages back and forth to a contact, you now have the ability to change the messages to a chat with one click. Once you’ve sent a message to a contact, they’ll remain in your mailbox and now you can also see when they are logged into LinkedIn, similar to what you find with Gmail and Facebook.
For businesses: The chat feature is one that can be also used to start conversations with fellow team members.
One click turns a message into a chat:
Improve Networking with LinkedIn’s Relationship Tab
We’ve written many posts about the importance of personalizing your LinkedIn connection requests. Not only will you see a better return on your investment, it provides a record that can become a part of your LinkedIn history with the contact. LinkedIn’s relationship tab is similar to a small-scale customer relationship management system (CRM). When you click on a client’s profile, directly below their picture, you’ll find information about your relationship with the person. Messages you send to the contact via LinkedIn are also recorded here. Here are a few actions you can take:
- Add where you met and who introduced you
- Schedule reminders to keep in touch with prospects
- Write and save notes from your sales calls with a prospect
- Create tags to categorize your contacts based on your sales funnel
Amplify your Business with Content Marketing and Publishing
For most businesses, employees have far more connections than business pages have followers. Your prospects are three times more likely to trust information that comes from your employees than they are if it comes from your business page. Give employees high quality content to share across their network. Creating content for your team to share in their network helps employees strengthen their own professional reputation and shines a bright light on your company.
Alternatively, help your employees publish their own high-quality content. LinkedIn opened its publishing feature to all users over a year ago. The feature offers a much broader reach than a simple update. When you publish a post, all of your contacts receive a notice, where an update receives less than 20 views on average depending on the size of your audience and frequency of posting. (Note: Focus on quality content using the publishing feature because your contacts can opt out of receiving your posts.)
Opt out of Endorsements
There has long been a big credibility question when it comes to LinkedIn’s endorsement feature. Anyone can endorse a contact for anything, even for random skills often not even listed on their profile. LinkedIn now allows users to opt out of endorsements in two different ways: opt out all together and remove it from your profile or opt out of endorsement suggestions.
To opt out of receiving endorsements and the endorsement feature:
- Move your cursor over Profile at the top of your homepage and select Edit Profile.
- Scroll down to the Skills & Endorsements section and click anywhere in the section to edit.
- Select No next to “I want to be endorsed”.
- Click Save.
When you choose to opt out:
- Your connections can no longer endorse you.
- All of your past endorsements will be hidden.
- You will no longer receive endorsement suggestions when you look at someone’s profile.
- When someone looks at your profile, they will not see suggestions for endorsing you.
Get Mobile with LinkedIn’s Apps
What good are all these features if you can’t take them with you? LinkedIn users asked for a more consistent experience across devices, so in response LinkedIn has launched several apps. There are currently apps to access LinkedIn on any device, turn LinkedIn Pulse into a news feed, Job Searching, Recruiting, Sales Navigator, Groups and Slideshare.
If you would like help learning how to use LinkedIn to its full advantage, contact us. We can help upgrade your profile, develop a LinkedIn sales or job search strategy, and provide personalized training.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community