By now, you should have mastered the basics of using LinkedIn and may be starting to wonder what else you can do or how LinkedIn can help you to advance your career, showcase your work or drive business to your property. Stop wondering and start reading…
LinkedIn Applications – Turbo-charge your personal brand or show off your property:
A while ago, LinkedIn started to allow third party provided applications integration and, after a somewhat slow start, now features a good number of highly useful add-ons. Once you have mastered the basics of LinkedIn, I suggest you have a look at LinkedIn’s Application Directory and start exploring the different applications.
From an hotelier’s perspective, the following applications are possibly the most useful and, if used correctly, can help you to considerably leverage your personal brand, show off your property, or assist in driving business to your hotel:
- SlideShare Presentations: SlideShare is an online platform for sharing presentations. Adding the SlideShare Presentations application to your LinkedIn profile allows you to share presentations and documents with your LinkedIn network and, depending on your LinkedIn profile privacy settings, everybody who views your LinkedIn profile.Do you have a PDF version of your hotel brochure? Why not share it with your LinkedIn connections through SlideShare? Alternatively, get your Sales & Marketing guys to create a PowerPoint presentation of your current hotel promotions or ask your Chef to make a slideshow of photographs of his favourite dishes. The possibilities are almost endless.Once you have uploaded a presentation to SlideShare, you can also easily share it with contacts outside of LinkedIn – just like sharing YouTube videos, you simply copy the url of your SlideShare presentation and forward it to your contacts by email.You can add SlideShare Presentations to your LinkedIn profile with the click of a button, but before you do so, you need to create a SlideShare profile – there’s a link to the SlideShare website on LinkedIn’s SlideShare Presentations application page and it only takes a minute or two to set up your SlideShare account.
- My Travel:
LinkedIn’s MyTravel application brings TripIt to your LinkedIn profile and homepage. In case you haven’t heard of TripIt, check out their website – it is probably one of the most useful applications on the entire Internet.Without going into too much detail, TripIt is a travel planning application which, especially if you are a frequent business traveller, will change your life.LinkedIn’s MyTravel application lets you see where and when your LinkedIn connections are travelling. You’ll only receive information about upcoming trips from your LinkedIn connections who have also added the MyTravel application and the data you receive depends on your connections’ privacy settings. The latter may be of some concern to you, but TripIt and MyTravel allow you to be very selective about what information you share with your network – besides, as you will see in the next paragraph, you can always use MyTravel as a “monitoring tool” rather than to actively share travel plans with your connections.I would encourage you to set up a TripIt profile, add the MyTravel application to your LinkedIn profile, and connect to as many MyTravel users in your network as possible, even if you have no intentions of ever sharing travel plans with anybody or you hardly ever leave your office and here’s why: Intelligence gathering!
Wouldn’t it be useful to know in advance who is travelling to your town, city, or area and may be looking for a room? MyTravel let’s you see when any of your LinkedIn connections is coming anywhere near your hotel, restaurant or club. What’s easier than sending them a quick note asking them whether they have already secured accommodation, are looking for a lunch or dinner spot (aren’t you currently running a special offer for LinkedIn users?) or a swanky bar for after work drinks? Spending just a couple of minutes per day scanning your network’s travel activity and contacting connections who are travelling to your part of the world could easily result in additional business! When sending messages to your connections, please don’t mindlessly spam them with advertising – keep it real and customise your messages!
An added bonus, if you are either already using TripIt actively or decide to do so after checking it out, is that, once you are using LinkedIn’s MyTravel application, you can see who in your network is attending industry events, congresses, conventions and trade fairs you are also planning to attend, which gives you the chance to set up business meetings and networking opportunities in advance.
Slightly less powerful than SlideShare, but equally easy to use and less reliant on third-party software applications like PowerPoint or Keynote, Google Presentation lets you add online presentations to your LinkedIn profile. Use it to showcase your work, your CV, pictures of the last event your organised, etc.
With the WordPress application, you can sync your WordPress blog posts with your LinkedIn profile. Do you maintain a WordPress powered company blog? Add it to your LinkedIn profile and spread the word! Once added, you can filter your blog posts with a special LinkedIn tag to ensure you only share what you want to share. Unfortunately, you can only add one WordPress blog to your LinkedIn profile with the WordPress application – if you have more than one blog you want to showcase or you have a non-WordPress blog, you may want to use LinkedIn’s Blog Link application, which I will talk about in one of my upcoming LinkedIn-related articles.
- Events The LinkedIn Events application adds a highly useful events calendar to your profile. It lets you see what events people in your professional network are attending and helps you find events recommended to you based on your industry and job function.You can, of course, also add your own events and publicize them to your network through your LinkedIn profile. Whether you are organising a networking event in your hotel or an art exhibition, consider adding the event’s details to LinkedIn’s events calendar and share them with your network.
Whenever you add a LinkedIn application, you can decide whether you want to display it on your LinkedIn profile or not. For most of the applications covered so far it makes sense to do so to achieve maximum visibility.
You can also select whether you want to add the application to your LinkedIn homepage or not – doing so will allow you to see the application’s data quickly as soon as you log in to your LinkedIn account.