I hope you are off to a great start in 2012. It is always fun to plan and consider what possibilities exist for the coming year. One of my goals for this year is to help you make LinkedIn a bigger and bigger part of your success formula.  

Speaking of success formulas, I would like to thank you for your ongoing support and sharing my book with your friends and associates. This type of organic sharing has helped the book become an 800-CEO-Read Business Book Awards finalist for 2011.

This week's tip will be the final installment of the best new LinkedIn features of the past year. But I have to admit that when doing my research for this article, I learned the next two features were actually announced in late 2010. However, I am including them in this list because they are extremely powerful, and I wouldn't want you to miss them. At the end of the email I will tell you how to get your own downloadable copy of the entire list. 


  • Company Products & Services 

Who wants to have a free online display of your products and services, accessible by millions of people, with real people (including photos of their smiling faces) smiling facesrecommending your stuff, video supporting the details, sharing capabilities, multiple variations of the landing page based on your audience's profile, a full set of website analytics, and a link right to the place where they can buy your stuff?  


Did I mention this is all free?


Well, welcome to the new and improved world of the LinkedIn company pages, including a Products & Services tab. This section is still in its infancy and we are all learning as we go here, but don't let that stop you from getting started. What are you waiting for?


Strategy Tip: 


Add a company page, add some products and services, get recommendations, and learn like the rest of us. Oh, yeah, and don't forget to encourage followers. After all, they have given you permission to share with them. Gaining followers on LinkedIn is now a very important strategy for your company. Get busy, and start encouraging people to follow your company.


Included below is a link to some company success stories. Check out what they are accomplishing with this awesome LinkedIn feature. 


Additional Resources:


LinkedIn Company Success Stories



LinkedIn's Blog: Recommend your favorite products and services on LinkedIn Company Pages



Inc. Magazine: How to Launch a LinkedIn Company Page



Hub Spot Blog: 11 Reasons Your LinkedIn Company Page Sucks



  •  Share 

When the clickable word "Share" popped up all over the LinkedIn website late last year, I and many others didn't really realize we were just handed a very efficient way to "share" our expertise even when we didn't start the conversation or write the content. 


Many of us are working hard to establish ourselves as thought leaders in our industry and with the customers we serve. This has gotten so much easier with all these online tools available to us. Even the smallest businesses can join the game.


Simply put, the Share function on LinkedIn allows you to share content, discussions, products and services (and who knows what else will be added in the future) with all the constituencies that matter to you. This includes not only your first-level LinkedIn connections but your Twitter followers, any of your LinkedIn groups, and even people who are not on LinkedIn. 


Strategy Tip: 


Get used to this. Sharing is here to stay, and functions like this on LinkedIn and other social media sites are the way our audiences (who have given us permission to do this) will look forward to hearing from us. That is not to say it will replace traditional advertising, but who knows.


So, what is the tip? See what others are reading, looking at, referring to, and talking about. If it applies to some of your audience, get sharing. They will appreciate your doing so. 


Also, if you and your company have developed, written or published any great information, be sure to post that in your individual and/or company updates. You just don't know how many of your connections and followers will then share it with their network, and on and on it goes. This is how you spell viral, isn't it?


Additional Resources:


Power Formula Blog: Are You a Good Samaritan on LinkedIn?



Mashable Article: LinkedIn Launches Tons of New Link-Sharing Features



Well, there you have it, the top LinkedIn features from 2011 and how you can benefit in 2012 by knowing about them. If you want to access the full list in a downloadable pdf document, go to my website and grab the 2011 Best LinkedIn Features on my Free Resources page.