Friday, June 22, 2012

People Are Missing the Value of LinkedIn by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

People spend so much time concentrating on building their following on Facebook and Twitter that they forget the unique value that LinkedIn offers them. While Facebook is so busy making it more difficult for authors and businesses to connect with people who have liked their page, LinkedIn is making it effortless.

Before Timeline, and fans turned into likes on Facebook, you could send a book release announcement to all your fans. Now you have to take out a paid ad and target them. They have to "happen" to see your announcement on their newsfeed, "if" they ever see it. Lots of people publish their email addresses on their About page, but you would have to physically go and check each one and manually log each individual's published email address it you wanted to set up a database. Then you would have to give them the option to opt out of receiving emails from you. It's very time consuming, especially if you have close to 5,000 friends.

Twitter is only as valuable as your influence, your ability to get others to retweet your messages or the apps you're using with it. If you send too many people the same message on a list through direct messaging, you could also risk getting banned for spamming. Granted, Twitter and Facebook both have huge value, but LinkedIn often gets undervalued among all the hype centered around the other two social media sites.

LinkedIn is different and much more valuable when it comes to networking and making valuable business connections. For all the connections you have on LinkedIn, you can actually download and export their contact names and email addresses and add them to your database. What better way to build your contacts? And for those of us who are trying hard to build our platforms and make the marketing section of our book proposals look great, we all know the importance and power of a strong database. Once you download your LinkedIn connections, be sure to give them the option to opt out of receiving emails from you and be careful not to spam them.

Login to LinkedIn and click on "Contacts" at the top and select "Connections". Scroll to the bottom of the page and on the right-hand side is a link "Export Connections". (See the image above.) Once you click this link, you'll be given the option to export your connections into Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Yahoo Mail, or Mac OS X Address Book. It doesn't offer the option to export into Gmail or Excel, but I believe you'll be able to export it again from one of these formats into other formats that you might need. It still beats trying to manually download each contact you've made the way you would have to do on Facebook and Twitter.

Did you know about this feature on LinkedIn? Have you taken advantage of it and used it?


Sharon Kirk Clifton said...

Jennifer, thank you for the LinkedIn lesson. I have an account there, but haven't really taken the time to explore the possibilities.

Beth Ziarnik said...

At last, Jennifer, someone who addressed this subject. I've been asked to link but had no idea what the value might be. Mystery solved with your post here. Thank you so much.

Jackie Rod said...

Thanks for the info, Jennifer. I agree that social networking should not end with facebook and twitter. We are looking forward to seeing you at our September EMACW Conference. :)

sally apokedak said...

Wow, thanks for this! I never do anything with Linked-in.

Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Glad it was helpful! Hope you be able to find more value to LinkedIn.

Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...


I'm looking forward to coming. Can't wait to meet you!