Sayonara, business cards: LinkedIn offers QR codes and translations

The social media platform recently announced the features through its blog. Here’s how PR and marketing pros can use them to boost their personal brands.

New LinkedIn features make it even easier to instantly connect with those you meet—no matter what language they speak.

The social media platform recently announced QR codes for profiles. Open the app on your smartphone or mobile device, and scan the person’s code to visit his or her profile, where you can send a connection request.

Alex Xiong, senior product manager at LinkedIn, wrote in the company blog:

Whether you’re at an industry conference, networking happy hour, sales meeting, or social gathering, we know how tough it can be to remember names and exchange contact info so you can stay in touch afterwards. Connecting on LinkedIn is a great way to build your professional community, and we want to help make this even easier for you — wherever those connections take place.

… The next time you’re at an industry event and meet someone that you want to keep chatting with, open the LinkedIn app and scan their QR code to connect and stay in touch. Gone are the days of requesting a business card, asking the person to spell their name, or handing over your phone to make sure you found their profile.

You can find your own QR code by clicking on the QR icon in the top of the home tab (within the search box). From there, you can share it in a plethora of ways.

Xiong wrote:

There are a bunch of creative ways you can use your LinkedIn QR code to build your professional community and continue your offline conversations online. For example, put your LinkedIn QR code on brochures and event materials, on your website, on conference badges or lanyards, in your email signature, or directly on your resume.

If you’re connecting with international audiences, LinkedIn has also made it easier to network online and share insights on its platform.

Posts that are in a different language than you speak will now show a “See Translation” button within the LinkedIn Feed, the recent activity section on someone’s profile, and the post detail page.

LinkedIn senior product manager Zack Hendlin wrote in the company blog:

We show you the “See Translation” option based on signals such as your language setting, the country you’re accessing LinkedIn from, the languages on your profile, and other factors. We then compare it to the language we’ve identified a post as having to see if you might need it translated. These translations are powered by Microsoft Text Analytics API, an Azure Cognitive Service, which also powers translations for Bing, Skype, and Office. And since Microsoft is continually improving translation quality, you can expect translations to get better and better over time.

The “See Translation” feature is available in more than 60 languages including Spanish, Japanese, and German to a majority of global members on desktop and mobile web. This feature will be coming in the next few weeks to the LinkedIn iOS and Android apps, and we’re constantly growing the languages supported.

The features simplify and expedite the networking process—guaranteeing more for building relationships instead of hunting for potential connections.

TechCrunch reported:

In both cases, the features are likely overdue. The lingua franca of LinkedIn seems to be English, but the platform has a large global reach, and as it continues to try to expand to a wider range of later adopters and different categories of users, having a translation feature seems to be a no-brainer. It would also put it in closer line with the likes of Twitter and Facebook, which have had translation options for years.

The QR code generator, meanwhile, has become a key way for people to swap their details when they are not already connected on a network. And with LinkedIn this makes a lot of sense: there are so many people with the same name and it can be a challenge figuring out which “Mark Smith” you might want to connect with after coming across him at an event. And given that LinkedIn has been looking for more ways of making its app useful in in-person situations, this is an obvious way to enable that.

The announcements also underline the increasingly digital nature of personal branding and content. You can use the platform to land your dream job, but many communicators use it to share their organizations’ content and updates with consumers and increase their personal visibility and influence through LinkedIn posts.

With LinkedIn’s QR codes and translation services, you might no longer require carrying business cards to your next event or meeting.

TechRepublic reported:

Many companies have tried to digitize or replace business cards in the past. The website was one of the most well-known, but apps like BizzCard and SamCard also gave it a shot, with varying levels of success.

LinkedIn’s established popularity could give it an edge in finally doing what others before it have tried to do—killing the business card. At tech conferences, at least, it is common to hear the phrase “Let’s connect on LinkedIn.” Now, that can be accomplished almost instantly, without the need to tally up business cards at the end of the night or try to remember when the interactions took place, or what was talked about.

PR and marketing pros should take advantage of these features by making sure their LinkedIn profiles shine. Start with these tips to make your profile smart and snappy and thenfollow this advice to ensure your profile opens up even more opportunities.

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