Do a search for Twitter tools, and you’ll find a plethora of apps to use. If you do the same for LinkedIn tools, you simply don’t have the same ecosystem.
Why, you ask?
LinkedIn is infamous in the social media marketing industry for limiting the usage of their API for 3rd party applications to tap into. Twitter, on the other hand, has been laissez-faire about letting other companies tap into their API–but even that is changing.
When you think about LinkedIn’s approach, it does make some sense. After all, one of the differences between LinkedIn and other social media platforms is its enhanced privacy. Unlike with Facebook, for example, you can’t normally message people outside of your network as easily as racking up profile views. It’s also harder to grow your network or increase your LinkedIn connections, because you need to know someone who can introduce you to an intended contact–one of the advanced features that makes LinkedIn so appealing.
While the enhanced privacy makes it more difficult, the decision-making demographic that is strong on LinkedIn makes it a great place for social selling, especially because people in their profiles tend to focus more on their professional lives, instead of posting vacation photos and detailing their personal lives.This article on LinkedIn tools will focus more on the social selling rather than marketing side, where tools can only post to your Company Page or LinkedIn Profile. However, in order to maximize your ability to sell in a more “closed” network, there are a number of LinkedIn tools available. Here are my favorites, together with some LinkedIn tips to help you maximize them, and while it shouldn’t come as a surprise, this list of LinkedIn tools will begin with those that LinkedIn directly offers.
LinkedIn Tools from LinkedIn
How often do you get advertisements for LinkedIn premium accounts? Unless you’re already a premium member, there’s a good chance they’re always trying to get you to upgrade. Trouble is, until recently, there wasn’t a form of premium for sales professionals. Recruiters, job seekers, and high-level professionals got all of the attention. However, LinkedIn has developed LinkedIn Sales Navigator for sales professionals.
What is LinkedIn Sales Navigator? It’s a Premium package that provides you with a quota of InMail credits, the ability to unlock the full information on blocked profiles, and the option interface with CRM software. They’ll also help you find sales leads and store them in your account for contact later. Team-level sales navigator accounts also help you build connections by identifying team members who are connected to a sales lead, which saves you on InMail credits.
Further Reading: LinkedIn Premium Is Worth It. Here’s Why.
If you have a Gmail account that you use for business, consider the Sales Navigator for Gmail plugin. At its most basic, this plugin allows you to see information on social contacts and sales leads coming from LinkedIn profiles. According to LinkedIn, this plugin provides insights into contact behavior, allowing you the opportunity to improve your sales pitches with great ice breakers. As described, the plugin is available to users of free LinkedIn accounts. For Sales Navigator subscribers, there’s also a save-to-CRM functionality, along with the ability to see who can introduce you to this person on LinkedIn (TeamLink).
Further Reading: These are the Best 11 LinkedIn Premium Features You Should Check Out
SocialCRM LinkedIn Tools
CRMs were never built to handle social media profiles. That is, until Nimble came around!
Want to take all of your contact data from one place and put it into an easy-to-use CRM? Nimble’s advanced features will let you do that, with a number of easy import options. This one’s undergoing some changes due to LinkedIn making contact-building much harder recently, but there are still several ways to leverage your LinkedIn data. Data gathered other places through the Nimble platform can be used to send personalized (and knowledgeable) connection requests on LinkedIn. As a result, it becomes more likely that the person in question will accept the connection. Overall, the biggest advantage of Nimble is that it also has a contact manager, which works around many of the restrictions social media networks have implemented recently. Either way, Nimble can keep track of all your contacts, no matter where you found them. It sure makes things easier!
Automation LinkedIn Tools
As you can imagine, LinkedIn, like any other social network, doesn’t like their users using these types of automation tools. There have been anecdotal stories of people who have been kicked off of LinkedIn for using them, and I continue to see surges of visitors to my blog post on why you might be restricted on LinkedIn that proves my point.
I have just had too many friends as well as people reach out to me that have been put in LinkedIn jail, or worse yet, been permanently banned from the platform to be even listing the names and links to these tools. Therefore, I have decided to remove them all together from this article.
And if you decide to use automation LinkedIn tools, use them at your own risk. ;-)
Data Scraping LinkedIn Tools
If you ever have a chance to meet an executive from any social network company, a word that you will not want to loosely throw around is “data scraping.” Using a data scraper goes against the terms of service for any given social media site. However, it doesn’t mean that people don’t use them, and they have been known to be a great growth hack for many social networks for some time.
Similar to the LinkedIn automation tools above, using a data scraping tool carries with it some risk. However, because you are not automating your activity and because these data scraping tools rely on you safely using them across a wide variety of social networks, I would tend to believe they are less risky to use – but that is only my personal opinion. ;-)
Need to get those sales leads…now? Phantom Buster is a content scraper that works with a wide variety of online platforms, including LinkedIn. Yet, it does a lot more than scraping information. You can use it to automatically engage with social media posts, respond to messages, and accept connection requests, for instance. On LinkedIn, Phantom Buster will help you find those hidden emails. While you can download emails for free if someone is connected to you, those second and third degree connections make you work to find the information. Phantom Buster goes through all that information, while also gathering actionable insights about all the LinkedIn members you specify.
TexAU is a great tool to fully flesh out your CRM, as it effectively scrapes through every aspect of LinkedIn profile tools to compile contact information and any other pertinent information for potential leads, in order to compile a usable list. TexAU also exports information regarding people who have viewed your profile, generating additional leads from people and profiles you have not had direct contact with. TexAU’s advanced features allow you to take hold of and export other valuable information, including the names of people who have engaged with your profile or posts, through comments and likes. All of these tools help you create a workable list from which to build an audience and construct a likely compilation of new prospective customers.
Although much of the discussion above has focused on what TexAU can add to your sales and marketing efforts, TexAU can also be used to trim the fat, so to speak. The tool can be used to remove any connections that are not serving you and remove all pending connect requests that are clogging your marketing efforts.
Wiza differs from other automation tools in the way it approaches list creation. While most other tools focus on existing connections, Wiza hones in on the connections you may not have yet made, based on your desired parameters. Using the search terms you’ve set, Wiza gathers names and contact information, and compiles that information into a list that can be exported to the email list of your choice. In doing so, companies are able to generate email lists to fuel new or existing marketing campaigns.
Wiza’s approach is not one that is designed to foster closer relationships or necessarily generate repeat customers, but is instead focused on growth and expansion. This is a great tool for anyone looking to increase the reach of their marketing campaigns or create new customer bases.
Especially if you’re mostly a B2B business or marketing professional, Lead Grabber Pro from egrabber is an excellent list-building and LinkedIn lead generation tool. This automated tool does both Google and deep-Web searches for people in your target markets. Then, the automatic email-finding functionality locates the most current email addresses for your list. Essentially, this SaaS Web-based program is intended to assemble a prospect list with minimal effort. For LinkedIn users, Lead Grabber scrapes the information off of the profile and adds it to any other data on the same consumer. It also gains information about the type of interests someone has, and helps generate LinkedIn “likes.” Overall, it is a nice prospect list-building tool for busy professionals.
Further Reading: The 13 Best Social Media Automation Tools
LinkedIn Tools for Google Analytics
How does turning your organic website traffic into sales leads sound? This is the basic premise of Leadfeeder, which works alongside your Google Analytics information to help you find hidden sales leads. After all, more conventional prospecting methods don’t uncover everyone who is interested in your products or services: a lot of people don’t talk much about what they’re interested in on social media. Or, they might discuss their interests without signaling what products or services they use. Leveraging Google Analytics data to mine for hidden leads is great, but Leadfeeder has another great trick up its sleeve: LinkedIn Sales Navigator integration. Best of all, Leadfeeder is intended to integrate with a wide variety of CRMs and other applications, as well.
Further Reading: 11 LinkedIn Analytics to Better Measure Your LinkedIn ROI
LinkedIn Tools for Analytics
9. Shield App
Companies and individuals wanting to take their LinkedIn analytics and statistics to the next level should check out Shield App. This is a LinkedIn-specific analytics tool that takes Google and LinkedIn native analytics, and gathers even more information from them. Simply link your LinkedIn account to the application, and it’ll start gathering the data you need. Business accounts can add a whole bunch of LinkedIn profiles, and view them from a common dashboard. This helps marketing agencies see what’s working across clients and compare one client’s performance with that of others. Having so much information in one place sure helps with reporting! As an added bonus, with Shield, you can keep track of which items of content fall under what categories and keep track of your audience demographics.
LinkedIn AI Tools
I have already written posts about AI social media post generators as well as AI tools for tweeting, but now we are beginning to see some AI tools that can help us with our LinkedIn posting. These are especially good for those who understand the value of publishing content but just don’t have new ideas all of the time or have writer’s block.
Taplio is made by the same folks who created Tweet Hunter, my AI tool for Twitter. If you have ever used Tweet Hunter, the layout is very similar, but this tool provides you the ability to not only ideate off of popular posts for inspiration or to generate content from scratch, but it also offers analytics that for me are easier to understand than LinkedIn’s own analytics for Creator Mode users. Add on to that they have a nifty tool that can help you easily create LinkedIn carousels and you have a winning product that you should be checking out!
ContentIn is my main AI tool for LinkedIn which I also featured how I use in my free ebook Maximizing LinkedIn for Business. It’s strength is at prompting you to write the type of post that becomes popular on LinkedIn through suggestions, with the option of using its high quality AI content generator as an option to get your creative writing juices flowing. A unique feature of this app is its ability to generate a weekly content plan based on your content strategy and the power of GPT-4.
If I were you I would subscribe to BOTH Taplio AND ContentIn as they complement each other very well!
What is your favorite of these LinkedIn tools? Let me know in the comments below!
Hero photo by Greg Bulla on Unsplash
LinkedIn Tools FAQs
If you’re looking to streamline your LinkedIn presence, automation tools can help. These tools simplify the process of sharing content, keeping in contact with contacts, and building a powerful network. The best LinkedIn automation tools can help business professionals save time while expanding their reach and connecting with key prospects or customers.
LinkedIn offers a range of effective tools to help launch and manage successful marketing campaigns. These include lead generation tools, such as creating professional posts and targeted ads, as well as tools for tracking engagement and analysis. LinkedIn also provides numerous opportunities for direct communication with members, including built-in messaging platforms and the ability to post announcements.
LinkedIn automation tools provide users with an efficient way to stay connected and build their network. These tools automate common networking tasks, such as following people, sharing updates, liking posts, sending messages, and commenting on other posts. For example, they can be programmed to send a welcome message whenever someone follows you or comment underneath one of your posts.
LinkedIn offers a range of tools and technologies designed to help professionals make networks. The core tool is the LinkedIn website, which provides users with access to an expansive database of contacts, job postings, and other professional resources. In addition, LinkedIn’s mobile app facilitates communication on the go. The site also features specialized solutions like Career Pages for companies, Talent Insights for recruiters, and ProFinder for service providers.
LinkedIn creator tools offer users the ability to transform their ideas into impactful stories through an easy-to-use platform. The tools can be used to create remarkable content, such as long-form articles, videos and podcasts. These help the user involve evoke emotion and drive conversation with their audiences, while promoting their personal brand or business. LinkedIn creator tools are great for professionals who want to build a strong presence online.