5 LinkedIn Apps For Power Networking

Most people think about apps running on their smartphones, but we're seeing more and more web services launching app "stores" that allow you to beef up your account. LinkedIn's list of apps is relatively small compared to other popular marketplaces, but what the site lacks in quantity it makes up in quality. The majority of LinkedIn apps are undiscovered gems, assuming you frequent the social network on a regular basis. Aside from custom apps, many developers are also starting to use LinkedIn's API to launch digital downloads to do everything from scan business cards to meet strangers for lunch.

Here are five LinkedIn apps to get a leg up in the never-ending networking race.

Cardmunch (iPhone; free)

Ah, business cards. As much as we fantasize about their demise, the reality is that these rectangular pieces of paper are still the norm in the business world. While there are lots of apps available to scan business cards, CardMunch syncs the uploaded information with your LinkedIn contacts. Simply snap a photo of the card and within a few minutes the information is transcribed, stored, and cross-referenced (so the individual's LinkedIn details are available). Also, after you scan a contact, there is a list of mutual contacts included within that person's profile information. This free iPhone download is a must for users who depend on LinkedIn for their networking needs.(Thanks to @retailprophet for the suggestion.)

Tripit (LinkedIn; free)

Tripit has been helping business travelers keep their flight, hotel, and rental car confirmation emails in a central spot for years now. The LinkedIn Tripit app is similar, insofar as giving you the tools to plan and share travel with your contacts. The best part about this app is that once you plan a trip you can find out immediately which LinkedIn contacts are going to be in the city you're visiting. This is especially helpful if you're planning a business trip and you want to plan as many networking meetings as possible to make the most of your time. Have a competitive edge? The app compiles your travel stats and ranks your miles against your contacts, a social gaming component that puts a little fun into your time up in the air. (Thanks to @JPBRehr for the suggestion.)

Reading List by Amazon (LinkedIn; free)

There is no better way to decide what to read than asking your peers. While it isn't always possible to get an inside look at what's on their bookstand, this app will get you one step closer. The concept is pretty simple. Once you add the Readling List app to your profile, you can post what books you're reading now (or plan to read or have already read). When you find someone with similar interests, follow their list to stay on top of their book picks. Not only is this great for people looking for reading recommendations, it's also a great way to open conversations and network with your LinkedIn community. (Thanks to @NickGilham for the suggestion.)

LunchMeet (iPhone; free)

This app is particularly useful to hardcore (and adventurous!) LinkedIn users. Let's say all your office colleagues are busy during the lunch hour, or maybe you just want to make some new connections. LunchMeet lets you broadcast your mealtime availability and wait for someone within LinkedIn (who's in the same city) to agree to meet up. The app encourages people to "never eat alone" and leverages the power of your digital network to do some face-to-face networking. While LunchMeet won't appeal to everyone, it's a handy way to meet some of your online contacts in a public place for some creative conversation.

WordPress (LinkedIn; free)

Cross-posting is a dirty word in the social media world. Many diehard digital enthusiasts despise when people sync up posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. However, this particular application isn't so much about sharing updates. Instead, if you're a WordPress user, it's the perfect way to coordinate your blog posts so they get exposure within your LinkedIn Community. It's easy to set up; simply put in your site address and you're done. When you're saving your post within WordPress, you can also tag relevant posts with "LinkedIn" so the app only pulls those updates--an excellent way to ensure your content is relevant to the LinkedIn community. (Thanks to @SeanMalarkey for the suggestion.)

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[Image: Flickr user StuckInCustoms]

Add New Comment

15 Comments

  • Mary Kurek

    I use Linkedin daily to make business introductions for games clients.  I can see Cardmunch being especially useful for the devs to attend all the cons and expos.  Great tips.

  • Christopher Telles

    The amazon app is cool, but it lodges itself in one location high up in the profile and can't be moved. I didn't want it there above all of my other information so I deleted the app.

    If it was movable I would have used this amazon app.
    http://www.inboundout.com

  • Mark White

    Beepmp (http://beepmo.com) is an iPhone application that lets you discover and browse professional profiles of people who are near you. You can also connect with them and send messages - great for Meetups, conferences, seminars etc.

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  • gareth

    This is exactly part of the reason   is not doing well, given the heritage of its business world, it does not yet have a great application/integration/value add with the social network of choice  . 

    We need more value adding and space efficient applications for our blackberry. 

    @GarethWong:twitter 

    http://GW.CXOVIP.org 

  • Lynne d Johnson

    In terms of Android apps. You can already synch linkedin, facebook, google+, or twitter contacts with your contacts. I think a few other social network apps enable this as well on android.

    With the title of this article coming out in the beginning of 2012, I was expecting to hear about some new apps or things I hadn't seen on people's linkedin profiles already or haven't had on my own for a very long time already.

    For example, there's WordPress equivalent for MoveableType and Typepad blogs via TypePad app.

    Now I want to do some research though and see what other Android apps for Linkedin there are.

    As one person suggested already, JobNotifier is definitely awesome. It has helped me to get some work. When I see people moving into new positions, I reach out and see if they have any needs.

  • Mike Danubio

    Big fan of Cardmunch - the pro is that it helps you stay connected via LinkedIn.  The challenge is synching this great information with Outlook which is a contacts tool I use everyday.

  • Infuze Mobile

    Good list.

    I would add Slideshare, JobChangeAlert for iPhone and the Twitter integration as well.

  • David Kaiser, PhD

    Wow, these look very cool. I will have to download and try. I suspect that 2012 is going to be the year that everyone starts to "get" linkedIn, even the Luddites and the late adopters, since, after all, it can help you get, and keep a job. 

    I'm working on a linkedin white paper, I will be sure to note these apps. Thanks!

    David Kaiser, PhD
    Executive Coach for Productivity
    www.DarkMatterConsulting.com

  • Evan Weber

    Card Much is great. These are the same apps that have been around a while, when will LinkedIn step it up with some better apps??