Applications

So Linkedin has finally launched its very first iPad app this week and they have brought a whole new look and feel to the world’s leading business social media platform.

The calendar widget has to be the biggest new feature which is on the left side of your home updates screen. From here, providing you have given permission, it pulls in calendar appointments from your iPad and displays the profiles on Linkedin of the people you are meeting with.

The overall layout on the new iPad app is pretty cool as well. “This was a chance to go back to the drawing board,” says Mario Sundar, LinkedIn’s social media manager. “To design it for how people use the iPad: morning and night infotainment.”

It runs on a clean and simple interface with just three options, updates, profiles and inbox. You will now see updates and stories being presented almost as if they are on Flipboard.

The new app will also integrate with Google Calendar as well as Exchange calendar too.

This app has been a long time in development and it has been hugely anticipated. It’s finally here and well worth having a play around with if you happen to be a Linkedin devotee. If you are not one, well download it anyway as it’s a great tool for getting your morning news and arranging your day.

Linkedin now receives more than 22% of its traffic from mobile devices, a big increase on the 8% this time last year.

Photo courtesy of Sean ManEntee via Flickr. Some rights reserved

 

When I’m out with friends and the subject of apps comes up it is normally about the latest must have one for the iPhone, but for those of us who happen to make a living from services such as Linkedin then there are certainly a bunch of other programs that come to mind. There are some truly outstanding apps for Linkedin which if used correctly can have a really major impact on your network building and engagement efforts. Now you won’t go finding millions of apps on Linkedin but the quality is very high and some of them are really ingenious uses of the API.

So where should you start if you are new to Linkedin or just haven’t got around to actually giving any of the apps a spin? Well let’s start with a quick top 5 list of some of the best ones to get your networking effort kicked up a gear or two.

Reading List by Amazon (Linkedin)

This happens to be one the older applications that you can plug-in to your profile but also happens to be one of the best. I guess we all have our favourite genres when it comes to sitting down with a book, but it is always nice to get a recommendation or two from our peers and this is where this app comes into its own. All you need to do is activate the app on your Linkedin profile and then start to populate it with what your are reading now, have read in the past or plan on reading in the future. You can then start to look at other peoples reading lists and for those people with similar interests start following them to see what they recommend. In business it is a huge advantage to be able to find those little conversation openers that do not appear like obvious sales lines, and a common interest in books is a very subtle door opener. Look at your network connections or people you are targeting and see what they are reading now or have recommended. Drop it into chit chat and see if it brings down a few barriers for you too.

WordPress (Linkedin)

If you run a personal or business blog then odds are that you use WordPress as the actual blogging platform, and why now? It is a damn fine blogging solution and the one I use for all of my sites. The WordPress app for Linkedin is a great way to help increase your presence on the site by giving you valuable exposure across your network. It could not be simpler to set-up too, so if you’re a bit of a technophobe you will still find this one as simple to use as buttering toast. All you have to do is enter your blog site URL and you are ready to go. You can even set it up to only post those updates that have been tagged with Linkedin so that maybe some of your more personal entries don’t get published automatically to your network. Social media is increasingly driving more traffic to our businesses so I consider this app a must have.

Card Munch (iPhone)

Now this is a fascinating little app that I’ll be doing a more in-depth post about very shortly. I think many of us still have a lot of love for the good old business card I think that scene from American Psycho is one we can all relate to as we compare cards. So what does this cool little app do? Well it’s a business card scanner on your phone that synchronises the uploaded information from the card with your contacts on Linkedin. All you have to do is line the card up, take a photo of it with your phone and Cardmunch does the rest. It will cross reference all of the data on the card such as contact details and match them up with the contact on Linkedin. Then you can view the persons profile on Cardmunch and it will give you a list of mutual contacts too. It’s a free iPhone app so go and download it right now.

Tripit (Linkedin)

Tripit has been around for a long time now and is a very handy little piece of kit because it allows you to keep all your travel information such as flights, hotel and car rental confirmation emails in one central spot. How many of us have got to an airport and realised we have forgotten a confirmation? I know I have. The Tripit app for Linkedin is fairly similar as it allows you to plan out your travel and share that information with your contacts. Once this has been done you can see if any of your contacts will be in the city or location you are visiting. Very handy for instigating conversations or arranging business meetings. It will also keep track of the miles you have travelled and rank these stats against your contacts, giving you a little fun seeing who is globetrotting the most.

LunchMeet (iPhone)

So are you a fairly sociable type of person who isn’t afraid of meeting people and chatting away? If so then this little app is probably for you. What LunchMeet allows you to do is broadcast your lunch availability to people in the same city and see who is willing to agree to meet you for lunch. An interesting way to make a few new connections and maybe get introduced to a new business opportunity. Of course not everyone out there is that keen on socialising, but for a lot of people within sales this may just be the thing for getting to know new business contacts. So don’t be shy, go get out there and ‘never eat alone’ as the app says.

So there it is, a quick list of 5 app associated with Linkedin that can be used for boosting your network. Check back soon as we will review some of these in more details and discuss all of the others available too.

Photo courtesy of TAKA@P.P.R.S at flickr. Some rights reserverd

As you are well aware, Linkedin has to be just about the most powerful site online when it comes to networking for business. So how exactly can you get the most from this product? Like any tool it is only as good as the person using it.

So let us show you a few simple tricks and tips that will help you drive your Linkedin use up a gear or two.  It’s all about presence, so let’s begin.

1 – Goal Setting: 

So why have you set up a Linkedin profile? You need to think about this as it will be the motivating factor in what you do on the platform. Are you looking to be found? Maybe to get a new job or for business? Maybe you want to find new talent for your own company? Set a goal and work towards it. It can always be changed in the future as your personal or business needs grow.

2 – Picture Perfect: 

They say a picture paints a thousand words and never has a truer saying been so pertinent when it comes to Linkedin. This should simply be a headshot and preferably one where you are smiling. People love smiles. Forget those full body shots as they just don’t help you in business. Keep it as professional looking as you can.

Feel funny about people you don’t know seeing what you look like? Hit settings and make it so as only people you are connected to can see you. Simple.

3 – Headlines: 

You could simply use your job title, but with a little imagination you could really put this function to work for you. Why not have a call to action here too? If you are looking for work your might have something like ‘Highly Experienced <Your Job Title> Looking For Work’

The options are endless and you can update and change it at any time.

4 – Status Updates: 

Well Linkedin is a social media platform and so you should really look to engage with your connections. This is where status updates come into play. Each time you post an update it’s visible to your connections. I like to post interesting articles I find or you could send an update about something important that happened at work. This is a great way to stay in touch and on your connections radar.

5 – Your Summary: 

A summary should really be just about you rather than your company. People want to know about you personally and what it is that you do. Write about your duties at your current company and add in some highlights about major achievements. There is nothing wrong with letting people know you are good at what you do.

6 – Use Sections On Your Profile: 

Let’s say you are looking for a new job, or simply want to register on head hunters radars when they conduct their searches. Well a good way to do this is to add additional sections to your Linkedin profile.

These are extra pieces of information outside of who you work for and education. They can be things like languages spoken or projects you have worked on. I even set one up for public speaking gigs I’ve presented within my industry.

7 – Applications: 

There are now a large amount of applications that you can add on to your Linkedin profile. You might be thinking why bother? But let me tell you now, these can be a powerful marketing tool for you. They are an excellent way to drive engagement and showcase your skills to your connections. They range from Amazons reading list to adding slideshare presentations and integrating with WordPress blogs.

8 – Join Groups: 

There must just be about a group for any conceivable subject on Linkedin now. You are limited to joining just 50 so make sure you choose with care. I tend to join those groups that are related the industry I work in (SEO & Digital Marketing). These can be great places to get advice or help other people out. Social Media is all about engaging and whether you are looking for a new job or business opportunities you should start to engage within groups. Why not even start your very own group?

9 – Network: 

The real strength of your Linkedin network is the 1st degree connections you have. In some cases it is beneficial to connect with just about anyone as you want to really open up your network, but some people prefer to be more private and only link up with people they know. You do get a fair number of spam invites and I do screen people before I accept. Always personalise a message when you invite someone and explain why you want to connect. Don’t be a spam agent yourself as if 5 people say they don’t know you Linkedin will restrict your account.

10 – Skills: 

This is a new feature recently added and allows you to tag yourself with your skill set. This is a great option to highlight your personal skills, areas of interest or what it is your business can offer. Check it out and get yourself fully coded up.

So there you have it, a quick top 10 list of things you can do right now to improve your personal profile and start getting more out of LinkedIn.