Blogger sinks SWAM, encourages caution with LinkedIn Groups

Earlier this month, Mark Williams–a.k.a. “Mr. LinkedIn”–shared a post that’s worth reading if you’re a member of any LinkedIn Groups. Williams’ post, “The Great LinkedIn SWAM!” discusses the perils of site-wide auto moderation, which LinkedIn put into place earlier this year. In short, the policy, designed to penalize habitual spammers, has affected many innocent users. As Williams explains, “I have heard countless examples of professional, credible individuals who have never even considered spamming anyone getting hit by SWAM.” Read Williams’ post to learn more, but in the meantime, be extra careful with what you share via Groups–and in selecting which Groups to join in the first place.

Looking for a job? This webinar may help.

job seeker webinar

Did you know that LinkedIn offers an ongoing series of webinars designed exclusively for job seekers? The next one is scheduled for May 22 at 12 noon EST (9 a.m. PDT). Even if you can’t make that time, signing up gives you access to the slides and a recording of the webinar. It’s a great way to get some free advice that just may help you find your next career opportunity.

LinkedIn introduces simplified menus

LinkedIn has introduced a change that I hinted at in a post a few weeks back: a slimmed down main menu and alternate ways of navigating the site from the home page. This video breaks it down in detail:

It’s all about simplification–and, of course, making LinkedIn a little more sticky so users spend more time on the site. If you’re not already seeing these changes when you log into LinkedIn, you will within the next month.

How to use LinkedIn Contacts as a CRM

Last week, I received access to LinkedIn Contacts, the new app designed to bring together all your connections in one place. One of my favorite things about LinkedIn Contacts so far is the opportunity to use it as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool of sorts. Here’s an example:

teeple

See the area circled above? That’s where you can store information, visible only to you, that will help you manage your relationships. You can add…

  • note of any kind–everything from the name of a connection’s spouse to the best time to call him or her.
  • A reminder about an upcoming appointment or date to remember–the connection’s birthday, perhaps, or an upcoming meeting. (One note: I tested this last week and it had a couple serious flaws, like attributing the reminder to the wrong connection and providing no conspicuous prompt to recall the reminder. I think this one’s a work in progress, at best.)
  • Details about how you met, which may come in handy if you want to connect with him or her in the future and need a conversation starter.
  • A tag to categorize the connection. This has existed on LinkedIn for quite some time, but it’s now incorporated into Contacts.

If you’re part of a large organization where multiple people interact with the same person, LinkedIn Contacts won’t likely replace your existing CRM. If you’re a one-person shop, however, or responsible for one-to-one relationships, LinkedIn Contacts might just be a good place to store all those little details that go a long way toward making your relationships even stronger.

Two upcoming opportunities to learn more about LinkedIn

In the coming months, I’ll be teaching my foundational LinkedIn courses at Indiana Data Center. See below for details, or contact me to learn more.

LinkedIn 101: The Fundamentals
Everyone knows that relationships are the key to success in business. But how can you manage those relationships when you have so many priorities competing for your time and attention? That’s where LinkedIn comes in. In this two-hour session, you’ll learn how to use LinkedIn to enhance the relationships most likely to benefit you and your business. You’ll leave understanding how to use LinkedIn well beyond just making connections and updating your profile. Attendance at the LinkedIn 102 class (see below) is encouraged, but not required.

Tuesday, June 4, 6 – 8 p.m.
Indiana Data Center
$45/person
Register here

LinkedIn 102: Advanced Tips & Strategies
For many business professionals, LinkedIn has more untapped potential than any other social media tool. The challenge is understanding everything that’s available and deciding which features are most likely to help you reach your goals. This two-hour session is designed to ensure that you use LinkedIn productively, efficiently, and with a clear focus on results. Attendees will receive an outline for putting together aLinkedIn strategy that will guide them as they apply the lessons from this session. Attendance at the LinkedIn 101 class (see above) is encouraged, but not required.

Tuesday, June 18, 6 – 8 p.m.
Indiana Data Center
$45/person
Register here

A first-hand look at LinkedIn Contacts: a guest post from Jon Dize

dizeToday’s post is from Jon Dize, Founder of NSDA North Street Development Advisors. Jon is an experienced fundraising consultant who helps organizations grow through donor relationships. In Jon’s work, it’s all about people–and one of the tools that helps him manage that part of his business is the just-introduced LinkedIn Contacts application. Here’s Jon’s first-hand look at LinkedIn Contacts.

After reading Anthony’s post on April 29 on the new contact app created by LinkedIn, LinkedIn Contacts, I knew I just had to try it out. I have not yet been disappointed with what LinkedIn has offered this far, and I consider it my go-to location for all things connections, including phone, email, skill sets, etc.

After using is for the past two weeks, I can say that LinkedIn is an outstanding, easy-to-use contact system. After signing into LinkedIn Contacts with your LinkedIn username and password, you can view all of your LinkedIn connections in several filters, including alpha order, those you most recently connected with, or those you recently added to your connection list. You can even sort connections by the company they work at, by job titles, etc. (I had not realized how many non-profit executive directors I was connected to, for example.)

Another great feature: you can sync LinkedIn Contacts with a Gmail account, Yahoo contacts, Outlook, TripIt, with your existing Apple contacts, and even Anthony’s favorite app Evernote. After doing so, you will be able to view your to-do lists and daily calendars with direct links to the LinkedIn account of anyone you will be meeting or collaborating with. (This is actually quite interesting, as it also illustrates who you have not yet added to your connections.)

And perhaps the best features relate to its practical uses: search for a connection, find their contact information, and either send them an email, a LinkedIn message, or call them (if you are using the app on an iPhone) by touching one button. While their profile is open, the app will also display how long you have been connected, your shared connections, full profiles, any notes, etc. You can even search for people that you want to connect with.

One issue I usually have is keeping up with connections that change contact information. (I really loathe having to periodically purge my contact files.) By using the The LinkedIn Contacts app, however, I will always have my connections’ most up-to-date information (especially valuable for one guy I know that seems to change jobs every 4-6 months.)

I am actually starting to prefer the LinkedIn Contacts app over the actual LinkedIn app now, with the speed that I am able to get contact information and the absence of any news or updates.

My only caveat: it is only an iPhone app right now: you can use it on the iPad, but it is not optimized for iPads. Yet. I suspect LinkedIn will change that soon.

But since my phone contract will allow me to upgrade to an iPhone in 19 days (who’s counting), this will not be an issue for me for long…

Quick Tip Tuesday: What’s the difference between a LinkedIn status update “like,” “comment,” and “share”?

like comment share

There are three different ways to interact with a status update shared by another LinkedIn user. Here’s a look at how each of the three is different.

  • Clicking “like” is a simple way to say you agree with, or find value in, a connection’s update. When you click “like,” anyone who views that user’s status update will see that you “liked” it, and your activity stream will show that you “liked” it as well.
  • Adding a “comment” is a little more substantive. That means you have something to say that adds to what your connection posted. In effect, you’re continuing the conversation. One note: if your comment includes a link to a webpage, it will not be hyperlinked* (anyone wanting to visit the link would have to copy and paste in into their browser’s address field). As with “likes,” anyone who views that user’s status update will see that you commented, and your activity stream will also show that you commented.
  • Clicking “share” gives you the opportunity to repost another user’s update  as your own status message. This is where things get tricky, however: if the user’s status update doesn’t contain a link. you would be “sharing” his/her status update itself and have the opportunity to add your own comment. Here’s an example:

share just status

If the user’s status update does include a link, however, you’re just given the opportunity to share the link–not the comment that goes with it–and add your own thoughts. Here’s a look at what happens when you click to “share” a status update with a link, with the original status update on the left and the box that prompts you to share on the right:

share with link

As you can see, there’s no mention of Jason, the person who originated the post, or his status update that accompanied the link (“Keeping an eye on this … interesting – Target links Facebook with discounts”). In effect, you end up starting a new conversation. Of course, you could tag the person who originally posted the link if you want to acknowledge where you found it or invite him or her to share a thought.

One last thing about shares: as you can see in the examples above, you can simultaneously share  on Twitter the status update/link you’re reposting.

If you have any questions or anything you’d like to share, just drop a note in the comments below.

*I’ll bet that LinkedIn’s working on this as we speak, if they can find a way to limit link-baiting and other link abuse.