LinkedIn is often considered as the avant-garde of online job portals, and quite rightly so. As a professional Rolodex, using word of mouth marketing has helped LinkedIn become something users can turn to when they’re on the lookout for a job or meeting someone for business purposes. But now the website is looking to expand as it realizes that it can offer multiple services and a lot more can be done than just looking for a new job opportunity.
LinkedIn’s new app, LinkedIn Contacts, is the social company’s latest attempt to make the best of all the issues that networking poses today. The app combines contact information from email accounts such as Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Evernote and even the iPhone address book to give users a wider base of information. The user gets to choose the address books he/she wishes to give the LinkedIn Contacts App access to. This process is based on the works of Connected, a creation that LinkedIn acquired in early 2011.
The LinkedIn Contacts application will enable you to search for your connections across various services, compiling a crisp picture of your relationship history with each person including meetings and past mails. You have the ability to sort your contacts with fully customizable widgets such as ”stay in touch” or ”investors.” Under the tab ‘’To Do,’’ the app highlights all the people you can get in touch with either because they changed jobs pretty recently, it’s their birthday, or simply because they live in an area your itinerary says you’ll soon be visiting. Contacts that are sourced from other services, however, don’t become LinkedIn connections by default. On the LinkedIn website, the To Do prompts sits quietly perched on top of the remodeled ‘Contacts’ tab, and are also sent to you via your daily email.
Relationships and LinkedIn
LinkedIn has grown from feat to feat purely on the basis of word of mouth marketing and the company does not aim to change this business model for its latest endeavor. To this effect, LinkedIn has included a ‘relationship’ module in the app. By collecting information through other sources to enrich the web profiles, the app will keep a tab on your relationship logs with the person whose profile you’re on. You can even leave notes for yourself or set prompts to stay in touch. A great add-on when you’re looking to build your network.
LinkedIn believes that integration with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter is not really necessary as its app offers users everything with a professional perspective in mind. To make it more efficient LinkedIn have launched new features such as notifications, contributed content, and the mention of other users and endorsements. These give users reasons to go to the website or use the app more often than they did before. Word of mouth marketing has increased page views by 67 percent in the last quarter alone according to LinkedIn heads, which suggests that the company’s consumers are indeed happy with the services being offered. And the only way is up with the new app (pun intended).
With this latest venture into the mobile market, LinkedIn will make it even easier for you to stay in touch with your professional connections, while also reaching to more potential customers out there.
Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks– a word of mouth marketing firm, and a professional speaker and trainer on developing social networks that work. She provides workshops, webinars, seminars and direct services that help create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand. Maria Duron is founder and moderator of #brandchat – a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.