Did you know that LinkedIn allows you to group your contacts using custom tags? This little-known feature is a useful tool that allows you to filter your LinkedIn contacts based on your own criteria. Better yet, once filtered, you can send messages to 25 tagged contacts at a time. Here’s what you need to know about tagging and filtering contacts on LinkedIn.
Creating Meaningful Tags
LinkedIn provides you with some default tags such as Friends, Colleagues, Classmates, and Group_Members. While useful, it’s even more powerful to segment your contact using your own custom tags. For example, you could segment your list based on the types of products and services your prospects and customers are interested in or their business types, job roles, or even favorite sports team. The possibilities are endless.
Before you get started, think about your tagging structure so that you don’t inadvertently create redundant tags such as “salesperson” and “sales consultant.” In addition, keep in mind that you can use multiple tags for each contact. Thus, you could tag someone as a “customer,” “car enthusiast,” “CEO,” and “Dodgers fan.”
In order to create a tag, you will need to go to your Contact list in LinkedIn. Do this by going to Network > Contacts. Hover your mouse over a contact from your list and then click on the Tag button that appears. Click the Add a New Tag link in the sub-menu. Give it a name and click Save. This will both create the tag as well as tag that person with the tag you just created.
Once created, you can then tag other contacts with that same tag (or create new tags as applicable). To tag another contact with the tag you just created, find that person in your Contacts list, hover with your mouse, click Tag, and then choose the tag in the drop down list. Repeat as needed to tag your other contacts.
Filtering Contacts by Tags
Once your contacts are tagged, you can filter your list based on the tags you just created. Why? It makes your list more manageable. For example, if you need to refer an IT project to an IT consultant but aren’t sure where to start, you could start by filtering your contact list based on those who you have tagged as IT consultants. Instead of wading through a large list of contacts from all kinds of backgrounds, you would then have a small, highly relevant list.
Using Tags to Send Mass Messages via LinkedIn
Another reason to use tags to filter your list is to send targeted mass messages. For example, let’s say that you want to reach out to all of the IT consultants on your list about a new product your company is preparing to release. While you could use tag filtering as discussed to send messages to them individually, LinkedIn allows you to send the same message to up to 25 tagged contacts at once. This can save you a great deal of time and ensure that your message goes out only to those who meet your specific tagged criteria.
To do this, filter your list by tag as described above. Next, click Select All. Now, click on Message. Enter a subject line and message. Before you click the Send Message button, decide whether or not you want your recipients to see who else the message is going out to. By default, names and email addresses will be shown to all contacts. If you’d like to override this, remove the check in the box next to “Allow recipients to see each other’s names and email addresses.”
If you have more than 25 tagged contacts, you will need to send your message in batches and repeat. This means that if you have 250 contacts to send messages to, you’ll need to do this process 10 times. Though tedious, it’s far less tedious than having to do it 250 times.
LinkedIn’s tagging feature is a nifty tool that you may not know about. Start using tags to segment your contact list as needed.