Using LinkedIn for smarter networking. Have you discovered the ‘Contacts’ feature?

At immediate future – we love LinkedIn and the opportunities that it provides for meaty social media marketing. In the last two years, the social network has really risen up as a star platform for lead generation with LinkedIn Groups and Company Pages being worked hard by B2B brands to create value. It’s great for that reason, and we’ve talked about it a lot.

However, let’s not forget the reason why LinkedIn first rose to popularity – it’s a fast and effective way for business professionals to connect with one another. As the website description text in Google states “Manage your professional identity. Build and engage with your professional network.”

LinkedIn has really revolutionised the concept of the address book. We no longer have to rely on keeping our Outlook contacts up to date, or religiously documenting connections that we make in an Excel spreadsheet. Business cards are just a nice formality nowadays really. All the up-to-date information that we need to access is now available at our fingertips, thanks to LinkedIn.

And LinkedIn has now gone one step further to make it even easier for us to stay connected with our networks with the introduction of ‘LinkedIn Contacts’. Although this new feature was introduced by the social network back in April this year, it seems to remain undiscovered by many professionals so far. So I thought I’d give you a snapshot overview!

The best part, in my opinion, of LinkedIn Contacts is that it quickly and easily syncs all your contacts from across your email provider, your iPhone contacts and Outlook, all into one place providing a one stop shop for all your networking needs.

Then, the most exciting part, is that the Contacts feature encourages dynamic networking with its reminder functionality. When someone has a birthday or gets a new job, LinkedIn Contacts lets you know so that you can send best wishes, which is very useful. However, Contacts also allows you to set up your own reminders as to when you might want to next reach out to a contact, so that you no longer have to angst over when you last dropped that prospect a note to arrange lunch… It’s contact nurturing made really easy. Oh, and you can do it from your iPhone via the dedicated (free) app!

There’s more to it, so for those who aren’t set up on Contacts yet, I’d recommend you check out the below SlideShare for more information and activate the feature today to find out what you’ve been missing!

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