More about LinkedIn Applications and a number of other useful LI things to do:
Apart from the five LinkedIn application discussed in my previous post, I also find the following three applications fairly useful:
Blog Link: Like the WordPress application, Blog Link lets you display your blog posts on your LinkedIn profile. Unlike the WordPress application, however, Blog Link supports TypePad, Movable Type, Vox, WordPress.com, WordPress.org, Blogger, LiveJournal, and many more blogging platforms. It also allows you to add more than just one blog to your profile, so you can showcase your company blog as well as your personal blog, for example. Blog Link also automatically pulls in the latest blog posts from around your network and displays them for your perusal on your LinkedIn homepage. Personally, I find this a bit annoying as it tends to lead to information overload, clutters up my LinkedIn homepage, and also considerably increases the loading time of the homepage. Give it a try, who knows, you might find it useful.
Tweets: Tweets is LinkedIn’s latest application and is a fully integrated Twitter client. It enhances LinkedIn’s Twitter integration I discussed in one of my earlier posts and allows you to display all your recent tweets on your LinkedIn profile. It also lets you reply to tweets from within LinkedIn and you retain the ability to decide whether you want all your tweets displayed as LinkedIn status updates or only tweets you tagged with the #li hashtag.
Box.net Files: Box.net provides tools for managing and sharing content online and allows you to upload, manage and share files easily and securely. LinkedIn’s Box.net Files application lets you upload and manage files from within LinkedIn and also allows you to share them with your connections or display them on your profile. You can control which files you want to keep private and which ones you want to be display publicly. Box.net Files is a useful extension of LinkedIn’s Google Presentation and SlideShare Presentations, because it lets you display and share all sorts of “non-presentation” files like your CV, your latest sales action plan, etc.
Many hoteliers move a lot and Box.net Files can help you to keep all your useful files in one place – I use it extensively for storing newspaper clippings, training programs I created in the past and which I may want to use again in another hotel in the future, etc. using Box.net Files means I do not have to remember to carry my USB stick with me. Box.net Files gives me access to my files wherever I have an Internet connection and lets me share things with a variety of people – an ex-colleague asking me for a particular SOP I once created, a recruiter wanting to see my CV, a contact abroad who wants to see our latest hotel brochure, etc.
A number of other useful LI things to do:
Now that you you’ve now spend some time on LinkedIn and hopefully made a variety of useful connections, joined some groups and added some applications, you may find the following points useful:
Continuous Profile Maintenance: Your LinkedIn profile reflects your professional life and you should check it regularly to see whether anything needs updating, deleting or adding. Hotels are such busy places that many hoteliers forget to update their details on a regular basis, so make sure you’re not one of them! Did your hotel win an important award? Did your team accomplish something outstanding and wonderful? Did you successfully complete a major training course? Whatever it is, make sure it’s on your LinkedIn profile!
Recommendations:Recommend and get recommended! Recommendations on LinkedIn are today’s reference letters. Visible to every LinkedIn user who views your profile, recommendations add that extra sparkle to your LinkedIn listing. Feel free to ask your connections to recommend you, so long as you have actually worked or done business with them in the past! Alternatively, recommend somebody yourself – as a well connected and well travelled hotelier you should have a wide choice when it comes to people you can recommend: Previous managers or team-members, suppliers, recruiters – if they helped you in the past, recommend them. It doesn’t matter whether you write three lines or 10, but do try to keep your recommendations to the point and spelling mistake free. Why not try to connect to guests who stayed in one of the hotels you worked for and asking them for a recommendation? Almost better, and definitely more personal, than a positive TripAdvisor review!
Answers: Don’t forget to participate in LinkedIn’s Answers section – it drastically increases your visibility on LinkedIn and is a good way to give something back to our industry. Do you have a personal blog or website? Adding the URL at the bottom of each answer you post on LinkedIn will ensure a steady stream of visitors to your sites – provided, of course, your answers make sense and provide value to other LinkedIn users.
Groups:Don’t just join groups – participate in them. Most groups have discussion boards and adding your opinion to ongoing discussions not only gets you noticed by other group members, but also makes it more likely that other LinkedIn users participate in discussion you start. After all, who knows when you have a question or require help with a problem in the future?
Company Profiles:Does your company have a LinkedIn company profile? If not, why not create one today? If you are not in a position to do so, why not speak to your Business Development or HR folks, or even your GM?
Company profiles allow all your team-members/colleagues who are using LinkedIn, to link to it in their professional profile, which, in turn, lets other LinkedIn users discover useful information about your company. Think “free PR” as well as a neat way to see all your company’s LinkedIn users in one place.
To create a company profile, select “Companies” from the “More…” menu on the top of the LinkedIn homepage and then click on “Add a Company” on the right side of the new screen. You need to have a company email address to create a company profile and, once you have filled in all the required information, LinkedIn will send you an email with an authorisation link which you need to click.
Like with personal profiles, LinkedIn allows company profiles to be linked to blogs, so don’t forget to add your company blog! Don’t have a company blog? Contact me and I’ll have one up and running for you before you can say “What’s a company blog anyway?”
Here’s an example of a company profile I set up a while ago for a hotel company and here’s the company profile for iconsulthotels.com.