LinkedIn’s Newest Feature: InMaps

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Posted: September 12, 2011 | B2B Marketing, Social Media

LinkedIn’s Newest Feature: InMaps
This Beta test from LinkedIn Labs has serious potential for B2B marketers

LinkedIn has a little-known, relatively new feature that may have the potential to increase the power of your professional network. A recent creation called InMaps offers a visual representation of what your LinkedIn network looks like.

InMaps shows how your LinkedIn connections form clusters or groups, displaying clearly how your connections relate to each other. It’s a great way to understand the relationships between you and your entire set of LinkedIn connections. It may even be able to help you identify links within your professional associations of which you were not aware. With it, you can better leverage your professional LinkedIn network to pass along job opportunities, seek professional advice, gather insights, and more.

It’s easy to use: simply visit the InMaps website and give it permission to connect to your LinkedIn account. The program will sort through your contacts and present you with a map of your affiliations. Different clusters of closely linked colleagues, classmates and friends will appear in similarly colored groups. For example, fellow employees from work may be green, the people you know from a previous employer could be blue, and your classmates from college might be red. Within those groups, the people whose names show up larger represent those that have the most connections within the cluster. Clicking on a contact within a circle will allow you to see their profile, as well as lines showing how they’re connected to your contacts.

This map can be great for B2B marketing for several reasons. It offers a better way to view which of your connections are the movers and shakers, so you’ll know where the most potential for B2B marketing, word-of-mouth or social media sharing exists. The map can also help you measure your own impact or influence, and help you create opportunities for other people looking for their own connections in a specific industry. If there is a group that seems to be a natural fit with another group, you can jump-in and make the connection. Doing so will demonstrate your value to your network and potentially open the door to new connections for you and your business. If you want to, you can share your InMap with friends and colleagues via Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook (contacts’ names will not be included).

There are a few reasonable restrictions. You must have at least 50 contacts and have 75% of your profile completed in order to use InMaps. Without at least this many connections and enough other pertinent information, the program simply won’t have enough data to make much of a map.

LinkedIn is a great tool for B2B marketing, and InMap further expands its usefulness. Take a few minutes to explore this visual representation of your network. It may help you find some new strategies for approaching B2B networking and leads.

Have you tried InMaps? If so, what did you think?

Related Resources

  • Victoria Ipri

    Maria, nice article, but one correction: InMaps are not a relatively new feature. The InMap has been in existence since January 2011. After much initial buzz, InMaps members largely consider InMaps a giant flop.

    Not only must you meet the requirement of at least 50 connections, but if you have too large a network, (in the double-digit thousands, as I do) InMaps will not work. You would think those of us who concentrate on building large, valuable networks would be the first to benefit from this tool, but this is not the case.

    Here is a link to more recent new features: http://www.linked-in-sanity.com/?p=195

    Another fun but little-known LinkedIn feature is the Year in Review, a clickable picture board of your LinkedIn connections who have changed jobs in the last three years. This offers tremendous potential with a little forethought. From simply reaching out to congratulate these individuals, to finding out if you might be a fit for their old job, whether there are additional positions at the new job, or gaining insights intop specific companies, a wealth of information can be learned with this simple tool, which only takes a few minutes to click thru.

    Anyone who wishes to stay on top of everything LinkedIn might consider joining my LinkedIn group, Link InSanity: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?about=&gid=4023749It's all LinkedIn, all the time! We invite you to participate, whether  new to the platform, or an advanced user willing to guide others.

  • Jon Nugent

    Maria, thank you for letting us know about this great tool. 

  • http://twitter.com/JPatrickJobs J. Patrick & Assoc.

    ha!   Here’s what I got when I logged in…not quite there yet but soon…
    >>Wow! That’s one large network.
    The good news: you’ve got an impressively large network. The bad news: we can’t currently create a map from so many connections. Stay tuned – we’re working to increase the limit! <<

Maria specializes in Inbound Marketing for Marketo, leading efforts in adoption of social media channels for brand awareness and demand generation. She has worked in marketing for over ten years, and specifically in online marketing including social media, search marketing, and lead generation and nurturing for the past six.

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