Contact, connection or client – LinkedIn Contacts is coming to help you.
Does CRM mean connection relationship management? With LinkedIn Contacts it does.
Having written many times about the importance of knowing the people you connect with and maintaining your relationships we are delighted to see the release details of LinkedIn Contacts and it looks great from what we’ve seen.
You might be thinking you already have a Contacts section in your LinkedIn top menu and you are right but this goes well beyond what LinkedIn offers today under the “Contacts” tab, which is just a list of the people you are connected with at level 1.
At a first pass LinkedIn Contacts looks very similar to a traditional customer relationship management (CRM) system, all good but there’s more – LinkedIn is billing this as a personal assistant, someone who remembers birthdays, new jobs, previous conversations and more.
With this new Contacts product LinkedIn is bringing all of your contacts from your address books, email accounts, and calendars together with the power of your LinkedIn network and your profile notes, at first Contacts is available on LinkedIn.com but also as an app for iPhone but we hope this will broaden in appeal to Android and more.
The new LinkedIn Contact experience addresses three areas:
Bring all your contacts to one place
LinkedIn Contacts brings together all your notes from profiles on LinkedIn such as how you met, family details etcetera, external address books, emails, and calendars, and keeps them up to date in one place.
From these sources, LinkedIn will automatically pull in the details of your past conversations and meetings, and bring these details directly onto your contact’s profile.
It is worth noting that you will not be able to import your Twitter or Facebook personal contacts as LinkedIn feels that these aren’t professional contacts, which is LinkedIn’s focus.
Never miss an opportunity
Get alerted on job changes, promotions and birthdays in your network, a perfect opportunity to stay in touch. Also, you can set reminders and add notes about the important people in your life that you need to contact, reach out, speak to that you haven’t for a while or just chase up proposals or quotes.
It will present you with a summary of your day, contacts and connections with how you interact be it LinkedIn, Gmail, Outlook or more sources.
Take it on your mobile device
LinkedIn Contacts is available as a standalone app for iPhone, so you can stay in touch with your contacts wherever you work and see how your day is panning out.
It is also rumored that not only will LinkedIn Contacts collect information from all of these sources, but the information automatically updates when it changes on the underlying platform.
If you’d like to learn more or be one of the first to check out this new experience, visit http://contacts.linkedin.com to join the waitlist.
DON’T CONVERT YET: there is no feature to select by tags or other criteria then message the group. Unless you are just treating Linkedin like a Facebook, the new features are not worth losing this feature!
Whilst I actually quite like the new functionality there are some limitations, such as the one you mention, many of which relate to activities involving more than one person. You can no longer remove multiple connections for example and there are also some glitches around adding additional contact information at present. Like with many new things in LinkedIn functionality it isn’t perfect at the outset, but I have to say in this case I think it is a step in the right direction. Thanks for your kind comment. Best wishes, James
James- Linkedin has really messed this implementation: gutting select and send to multiple members, as well as NOT showing full LI info or our updates in exports (so we can populate our own CRM) keeps us CAPTIVE in a high-school-level, Facebook-type system.
All their notifications for birthdays, (sometimes erroneous) updates, etc, are fine for a consultant with a marketing person to do the daily chores, but not for people trying to do REAL business with BUSY professionals.
Send regular golden nuggets of information regularly, versus hassling people with obvious top-of-mind crap …… oh forgot, except for general posting (another Facebook-like nuisance), there’s NOW no way to send out regular messages to groups of people unless we type in each name individually!!
In addition, I think my posts here, on Reid Hoffman’s posts, on my own profile, as well as feedback and messages to LinkedIn executives, have had an effect – by precluding me from posting on any LinkedIn group – now that’s open dialog, eh?
I can think of two potential reasons for you in groups right now, the introduction of some new behind the scenes anti (what LinkedIn users perceive to be) spam rules and also an error that I have seen in a few accounts with IE that prevents you posting, which his just that a bug.
As you will have read if you signed up for the blog, LinkedIn in is viciously anti spam and give the users lots of options so you might want to look back at the older blog posts.
On the plus side if you want to bulk message people why not just export and use email? That keeps the tags to, IIRC, typing as I travel.
I think the Contact functionality, in general from the users I have seen, has been really well received but I think like any change to any piece of software there is always an audience that use it in a specific way to help them and in this instance it sounds like you might loose out doing that.
Thanks for taking the time to comment.
The Linked In Man
See list above
It also has an interesting “feature” which means when you add a contact number it cannot start with a zero (!!!).
The Linked In Man
Yes, NEW CONTACTS is seriously defective — poorly launched as famously done by Microsoft and Google (now coined SoftGoo™):
• Reverting NOT allowed,
• Gutted the centralization of contacts concept
….. NO select and send to a list of contacts,
….. Sync to other contacts is only ONE WAY,
….. Typing name into a TO line of a message or on a project has been disabled
….. Some professionals have arduously tagged their connections and rely on the tags for marketing and collaboration, but are now left high and dry
….. Neither tags nor much else appear in the exported contacts file with a couple dozen unpopulated columns
• NO sorting by Last Name and …
• LinkedIn company blogs allow NO feedback
• Executives don’t respond to feedback or questions via LinkedIn messages
• Only result is that I’ve not allowed to post in groups anymore – open dialog, eh?
• How are we going to trust LinkedIn features in the future?
Let’s GANG UP on LinkedIn to fix the problems or let us go back:
• Connect with Senior LinkedIn people and tell them about these problems
• Post your feedback on their posts, saying this is the only way to talk to them (such as Reid Hoffman and other CxOs)
• Post this feedback on all the articles about this sham software, warning users to NOT convert
• Click feedback every day possible with these problems
• Load up LinkedIn support asking for solutions or reversion (though don’t expect much)
“Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead