How to Use the LinkedIn Contacts Feature

social media how toAre you looking for a smarter way to stay in touch with your most important business relationships?

What if you could store all of your contacts in one place?

Well now you can with LinkedIn Contacts.

In this article, you’ll discover how LinkedIn Contacts looks and take a tour through its features.

What is LinkedIn Contacts?

LinkedIn announced the new LinkedIn Contacts in April.

This new feature brings together all your 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 those details directly into your contact’s profile.

Contacts hasn’t been rolled out to everyone yet, so you may have to check back later or join the waitlist.

To see if you have this new feature, click on Contacts in the top navigation. If you’ve been given access to the new functionality, it will look like the screenshot below.

mail sources

The first screen in the new LinkedIn Contacts feature.

Manage Your Network With LinkedIn Contacts

From the front page of Contacts, you can easily add tags and hide or remove a connection entirely.

contacts front page

Perform relationship-management tasks right from the Contacts front page.

Sync Your Contacts and Calendars

You can sync your email contacts from inside LinkedIn, as well as from Gmail, Google Contacts, Yahoo! Mail & Contacts, Outlook Mail and Contacts and the iPhone Address Book. Calendars from Google, Yahoo! and Outlook are also available for syncing. After the initial sync, the files update once a day to keep everything current.

If you have trouble with the sync function, there’s also an option to import everything. The thing to remember is that if you import, you will need to do an import again at some time in the future to catch your latest email contacts when needed.

Refresh your browser and click on Contacts to start exploring.

Send Congratulations Updates

From the left-hand navigation, click on Your Day and you’ll find that it’s much easier to see who has good news to share.

This section will alert you to career changes and birthdays in your network, which provides a perfect opportunity to stay in touch with a quick message.

Look for the cake icon to wish people a happy birthday, and congratulate a colleague on a new position or job when you see the briefcase icon.

stay connected

A great way to stay connected with friends and colleagues.

New Search Functionality

Over on the left side of your screen is the new contacts Search functionality. There are several sorting parameters to choose from, including Connections, Saved, Tags, Companies, Titles, Locations, Sources, Potential Merges and Hidden.

You can sort your contacts by several criteria: where they came from, whether they were imported into LinkedIn some time ago, by the Outlook contacts you’ve recently added and also by any apps you may use such as CardMunch.

sort contacts

LinkedIn allows you to sort your contacts into several different categories.

The image below shows an extra filter functionality that’s now available to sort your connections by a variety of options.

additional categories

The additional LinkedIn categories help you better manage your Contacts.

Click on Recent Conversation to see whom you last chatted with on LinkedIn or reconnect with someone you haven’t interacted with in some time by clicking on Lost Touch.

Map Your Connections

Do you want to meet up with potential clients in the city you are visiting next month? Or would you like to find out who’s near you today?

Sometimes you’ll want to know where your contacts are located. The Locations option, in the left navigation of your screen, pops up a handy map that shows you the geographic locations of your connections.

contact location maps

You can see where all of your LinkedIn contacts are located and zoom into a location you’re interested in.

Curate Information on a Connection’s Profile

Let’s talk about what’s new over on LinkedIn profiles.

Now, when you click on the profile of your first-degree connections or people you have sent an InMail to, you’ll see more information about your past correspondence and relationship with them.

There are several places to make notes and keep helpful details. What you enter is not publicly viewable, so you can write as much as you need to.

The Relationship tab is especially robust.

last contacted someone

You can now see when you last contacted someone in your network and you can even add notes, set a reminder and jot down other useful information.

Set Reminders to Stay Connected

Do you need some contact management help? LinkedIn now makes it easy for you to stay connected.

Create a Reminder and set it to alert you in one day, one week, one month or to recur. Type in what you need to remember and choose the option that best applies.

This function helps streamline tasks that are related to your connections.

set reminder

Set Reminders while viewing a connection’s contact profile.

Store Relationship Details

Store the details of how, when and where you met your connection and who, if anyone, introduced you.

This is especially useful when you’re following up with a new connection. You may want to mention specific details or someone’s name that you both have in common to help set the right context with the person you’re contacting.

make notes on how you met

Save notes on how you met for future reference.

View Your Messages

LinkedIn Contacts makes it easy to manage your networking activities.

If you’ve exchanged messages or an InMail with a connection, a copy of the first few sentences of the latest conversation will be on display to refresh your memory. Click on the subject line to read the whole message.

past message

Past messages are accessible directly from the Relationship tab.

Share Your Calendar for Better Event Networking

When you import or sync your calendars, shared calendar events are also shown. The image below shows a Rotary Changeover event that both my connection and I are attending. It’s easy for me to use this information to create a Reminder to find him at the event.

calendar

Sharing your calendars enables LinkedIn to show you when other connections are attending the same event. Note the options to create a reminder and add useful notes.

It’s interesting to note that in the image above, the tags are clearly labeled along the top but they were not on his profile. This is because this is a second-degree connection.

Go Mobile

You can also stay connected on the go. LinkedIn Contacts is available as a standalone app for iPhone for U.S. users, so you can stay in touch with your contacts wherever you work.

With all of these new features, you might want to expand your LinkedIn marketing tactics and take full advantage of them thanks to the mobile option.

Your Turn

The new Contacts feature from LinkedIn creates an easy-to-manage, all-in-one interface for your email databases and LinkedIn connections.

Will this become your contact management tool of preference?

What do you think? Have you tried using Contacts yet? What do you find most helpful? What else would you like LinkedIn to add? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Linda Coles

Linda Coles is a professional speaker, author of two books and LinkedIn influencer. She lives in New Zealand and you can find her at Blue Banana. Other posts by »




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  • Heaven Jelo

    Great tip! I really could use this.. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.intervistedisuccesso.com/ Leonardo Plebani

    That’s actually a great tool!

    I love the feature “Set Reminders to Stay Connected”. I used Mingly but I didn’t like it to much. Hope this one is better.

    Thanks and have a great day everyone!

    _Leo

  • Cara Barone

    The new RELATIONSHIP area is amazing. It was always a struggle to remember your exact relationship with connections and to follow up. You can now add notes to one’s profile, note how you met and add follow-up reminders! LOVE it.

  • Lee Weinstein

    Great piece. Is there a way to download your LinkedIn info into your Mac Address Book, or is it one-way only?

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Hi Linda, thanks for the overview. FYI I imported my Google contacts into LinkedIn and was able to see all the people I’ve engaged with via email (i.e. leads, prospects, and clients) who I am not connected to on LinkedIn. It’s a pretty manual process to go through and send connection invites one by one to these email contacts, but I’m excited about how this will potentially grow my network. I had over 1500 contacts that were imported! So, I would also suggest people sync/import contacts as you suggest here in order to expand your network on LinkedIn.

  • Marcel Rietveld

    LinkedIn contacts looks great! Now I’m waiting get the LinkedIn contacts Iphone app, which is not available in the Netherlands yet…

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Linda, what a valuable review of the new capabilities LinkedIn brings to the table – thank you! I haven’t tried this out yet, but I really like the idea of the “map your connections” and the “relationship details” capabilities – both sound like great tools for staying in touch and on top of your relationships.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    This is my favorite feature too!

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Love the feedback, Stephanie. I’m going to import my contacts now…

  • http://indispensablemarketing.com/ Patrick McFadden

    Thanks for this information. I really love the “Store the details” part. I think that’s important stuff when connecting and trying to build relationships.

  • http://www.bluebanana.co.nz Linda Coles @ Blue Banana 20

    Hi Lee, it’s just one way, but you can upload your contacts from Mac to LinkedIn easily, I am a Mac user :) Of course, you have always been able to export your LinkedIn contacts.

  • http://www.bluebanana.co.nz Linda Coles @ Blue Banana 20

    Thanks Stephanie! Good to know.

  • http://www.bluebanana.co.nz Linda Coles @ Blue Banana 20

    Sure is Patrick, I’ve found it invaluable and the birthday list I get each morning has been a gem. Great little touch back to a connection.

  • http://phylliskhare.com/ Phyllis Khare

    I, too, have been loving these new features for contacts. I’m actually surprised at how wonderful it is. My attention stays on LinkedIn much longer now. Thanks for taking the time to create this post.

  • Edwina Silver

    Thank you for excellent article on the new LinkedIn features – however, it is now not possible to email your contacts via your tags, 50 at a time. You now have to email people 1 at a time. This was one of the the most useful of the LinekdIn features and totally unique to LI. The loss of this is far reaching and will affect many of us professionals who use LI everyday to market our services and products.
    Having spoken with customer service they say they are “looking in to this” but I for one am not holding my breath. This single factor will affect the way I work with LinkedIn in the future and I suspect many other people as well once they realise this feature is lost.

  • Astrid Bidanec

    Awesome article! Thank you so much for this incredibly useful information!!! :-)

  • Debbie Wemyss

    Linda,
    Please be aware of the following ‘fixes’ currently being reviewed by the Engineering Team that is working on this limited rollout of this BETA mode of the New LinkedIn Contacts app:
    1. The app is NOT available as a “standalone app” for iPhone in the US – if you download this app from the App Store on your iPhone , it is NOT reversible and will immediately integrate with your LinkedIn Profile.
    2. Although most of the resulting features visible on profiles are fantastic there is a glaring omission with the Tagged Connections feature: It is not possible to communicate with multiple Connections under existing Tags. This is, IMO, a major omission… why Tag if you cannot use them as intended? There is no ‘Message’ button when you bring up an existing Tag and click on ‘Select All’ – they will all be checked but you can’t take the next step to message them!
    3. Alphabetizing your Connections will result in an alpha sort by their FIRST NAME!
    4. And I have been told directly that because this format will be rolled out (eventually) to ALL users, the process – once uploaded – is not reversible.
    I strongly advise not jumping onto the wait list… let these errors be corrected and then go for it. I do like all the features of the new Relationship button and everything on the profiles, but the Contacts screen is hugely frustrating for anyone who uses LinkedIn seriously for marketing with Tagged Connections.

  • Dee

    Thank you for sharing this information. It was very helpful. Is there a way to send a message to a few contacts at one time? I use to be able to do this through the Invite tab.

  • http://www.bluebanana.co.nz Linda Coles @ Blue Banana 20

    Hi Dee, it’s disappeared but hopefully it will come back. Fingers crossed

  • http://www.bluebanana.co.nz Linda Coles @ Blue Banana 20

    Wow, thanks Debbie! Good to know.

  • http://www.socialmediamorewithless.com/ Teresa Pangan

    HI Linda! Lots of gems in the redone LinkedIn Contacts. Thanks for the uber-valuabe tips on leveraging it. I love the new look – sleek and easy to use. Do you know anything about the tagging feature and sending out emails in groups of 50 or less to contacts by tags? I have read some that it will be coming down the road. They once had this, but it went away with this latest new release. Any feel for when they will be offering this again? Or do you have a work around? Thanks for your help,

  • Vivek G Maudgalya

    Nice post thanks for sharing. !

  • http://pe.linkedin.com/in/comercioglobal/ Luis Enrique

    Hi Linda,

    Certainly LinkedIn is becoming a great business tool. I was aware
    about the upgrade in connections, but didn’t have had reviewed all the
    new features. Which I found awesome is the “Locations” feature that
    allow me to identify geographically all my contacts!

    Thanks for the review of the new upgrades, it helps me a lot!

    Regards.

    Luis

  • Jeff Quandt

    So under the new Contacts there is also a listing on the left called ‘HIDDEN” what are these “Hidden” contacts? I recognize some ff the people but not all. I am not connected to them, are they simply FOLLOWING my updates?

  • http://www.patricia-weber.com Patricia Weber

    I am SO sorry I upgraded to this because one of the most beneficial features was stripped from it and all that is new, at least for me, doesn’t make up for it. Previously, you could “broadcast” a tagged group. Imagine it being like an ezine handler where you can send 100+ people the same email, hiding email addys, with one click. POOF it’s now gone and LinkedIn isn’t giving any hopeful words it will return. Sorry but, this taking away doesn’t square for me with the new features.

  • http://www.bluebanana.co.nz Linda Coles @ Blue Banana 20

    Hi Patricia, I believe it’s coming back so don’t worry :)

  • Anna Pham

    I am not very familiar with Linkedin, so those are really helpful to me. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.patricia-weber.com Patricia Weber

    Well THAT would be great. My LI support contact told me it was not on the agenda but he was forwarding my email. And in two separate discussions in groups on LI, no one is hopeful, also quoting their support emails. Do you have some insider information on this?? Thanks.

  • http://www.rceuro.com alanwhitford

    Hi Linda

    Thanks for the thorough review. To be honest, better than what is on the LI site.

    I wonder that nobody is concerned about having everything they communicate and diarise now in LinkedIn? Given the number of unpublicised changes to LI functionality that have happened in the 9 years I have been a member (SWAM and taking away the group messaging capability, to mention but two examples), shouldn’t we all be a bit more wary of dumping all our contacts, emails and appointments into this platform?

    Don’t get me wrong, LI is an important part of my everyday life and I will continue to explore new functionality as it appears. My worry is more about what happens when something disappears?

  • Dorte Møller Madsen

    Great article, looking so much forward to beeing able to purchase the app – not avilable in the Danish app store yet. :-(

  • Michael Montague

    I think a lot of the nay-sayers here are complaining about LI taking away your ability to SPAM people. I believe they did us all a favor and I hope they don’t bring back the broadcast function.

    Use your updates for broadcast messages, and keep InMail a sacred message that people still want to open and read because they are personal and professional messages from close connections…

  • http://www.social4biz.com/ Noelle Leahy

    Edwina, you can still contact more than 1 person at a time using the old messaging system i.e. the envelope icon at the top right. You can also filter by location and Industry. Maybe it’s the tagging issue that affects you most though?

  • Geof

    I just had a problem with my contacts management system with thousands of contacts. This looks like it might fit the bill and do all I need – looking forward to checking it out!

  • German Cantillo

    Is the LinkedIn contacts Iphone app available in in Canada yet?

  • Jennifer Agrazada-Schreiner

    What are the features that are limited to Premium members as opposed to the free members?

  • Aaron Khoo

    Does gmail syncing automatically send an ‘invitation to connect’ to those not already on your linkedin page?

  • http://intranetfuture.com/ Jonathan Pollinger

    No – Gmail syncing DOESN’T automatically send an ‘invitation to connect’ to those not already on your LinkedIn page. Importing your Gmail contacts to connect with them is a separate function called ‘Add Connections’ rather than ‘Add Contacts’ which is the name given to syncing contact details.

  • http://www.deswalsh.com Des Walsh

    Thanks for the detailed, clearly explained tour of the new Contacts feature, Linda. I have a presentation to give on LinkedIn in just under an hour and this has filled in some gaps in my knowledge and understanding. Clearly some people are upset about the loss of the facility to use the tagging function as an aid to messaging people in bulk. Given the rise of spam messages from people who otherwise never get in touch and never respond to my messages, I can’t say I’m upset about that.

  • Simon

    Great article – thank! Can you just please tell me how to find ‘Your Day’? I’ve looked and looked and can’t locate it … your help would be much appreciated!

  • Pingback: 5 Things Advisors Aren’t Doing on LinkedIn, but Should Be « SEI's Practically Speaking SEI's Practically Speaking

  • http://twitter.com/GoodPeopleJapan Jason Ball

    Sadly you get FirstName, LastName, Email & Company only when you Download your connections, and it’s an ALL or Nothing choice – meaning you can’t download any filtered subgroup of your connections.

    I tried to use the new tagging feature to better organize my connections, as it’s not that I want to export them for the sake of it – I just want to be able to group them into a single country – no, you can’t do this with Location filter, as it is a ‘City’ filter and only shows you a subset of the country(even if you enter say ‘Japan’ a fraction of your connections show. You need to know all the cities & ‘areas’ that are possible to see them all.

    In any case, I am now locked out of my account with a ‘Restricted’ message for ‘too many page views. I can’t believe it.

    “Restricted Action

    Your account has been temporarily restricted from performing this action because we have detected an unusually large number of page views through your LinkedIn account.

    The information within LinkedIn is provided by our users for usage on the site only. In order to protect user privacy, our User Agreement prohibits automated or manual means for systematically viewing LinkedIn web pages.

    Please review our User Agreement for more details, and contact Customer Service if you have further questions.”

  • meribeth

    Hello every one, I really want to share my testimony to the hearing of every body on this site, December 2013, I saw a post on a particular site shearing her testimony on how the great spell caster brought back her ex who name is Dr. ogul Malaca so I just see it common and i said let me see what will happen because my husband left me and my three kids, i and my husband was married for ten year living happily, he left me and go for another woman so when i saw the post, i contacted the spell caster on his email and he told me not to worry that my husband will come back to me in three days after once he finish casting the love spell and to my greatest surprise, i now have my husband back to me again and i want to use the medium to let every body know that this is real and if you are out here having this same problem please contact the great spell caster on his email now because he can do the unexpected. Email doctorogul@gmail.com







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