LinkedIn is a hard nut to crack. Everyone recognizes that it’s important, but, unless you’re actively searching for a job, the benefits for individuals tend to be less tangible. It’s hard to know how to make the most of the network you’ve so carefully built without spending hours sorting through the muck and mire to do so.

Enter Grapevine6. Its primary purpose is to help you find and deliver content to key connections that will be interesting to them specifically and will help open the door for other kinds of communications. It’s a very niche tool, but, because everyone has to nurture their networks, it avoids the trap of being too narrow a niche. It’s actually a very cool tool.

But what’s the best thing about the tool? It’s free. Completely free. It’s still in beta mode, so, until they get it completely market-ready, there is no fee for subscription, so definitely get on board now.

Without further ado, let’s take a tour of some of Grapevine6‘s most exciting features.

Prioritize Promising Connections, and Get Reminders and Suggestions Based on Those Priorities

We all have LinkedIn fluff. It’s inevitable. Whether it’s a bunch of people you met at a conference or a bunch of people from your college because you were required to make an account and those were the only people you knew at the time (no? just me?), the fluff is there. And when you’re on the LinkedIn site, it’s hard to sort through that fluff to get to the promising connections with whom you want to — well, you know, connect.

But have no fear, Grapevine6 is here! The tool will let you choose which contacts you want to connect with most. You can choose from a daily or weekly priority. This doesn’t mean, however, that you’re expected to connect with anyone every single day. Can someone say clingy? (More on that later.) Rather, it puts them in a group that is served up to you via email six at a time on either a daily or weekly basis.

This means that, if I have 42 connections on my weekly list, I will have been prompted to connect with all of them after a 7-week period. And of course, if connecting with a particular someone is an extra high priority, you can set them to show up in your daily emails. Of course, all emails are optional, but highly recommended to get the most out of the tool. And when you do this, it will show you pieces of content that may be interesting to your connections. And, speaking of content…

Find Content Based on Expressed Interests and Areas of Expertise

When you come across content that you like, sometimes it’s hard to think of who would be most interested in reading it. Likewise, it’s difficult to track down content that one particular person will surely enjoy, especially when it’s someone you might not know all that well and with whom you are looking to form a strategic connection.

Grapevine6 takes all the guesswork out of this for you. By sourcing the LinkedIn pages of your connections, G6 can instantly serve up content from countless web-based sources based on their interests, your expertise, or any correlation of the two. Or, if you’re looking for something specific based on a previous conversation that was maybe not listed on someone’s page, you can search for it manually and then save it so that that topic comes up whenever you send that person content via G6.

Customize Messaging Based on Relationship and Intention

Once you find content, you have to send it to them, right? But if they just get a notification, that’s pretty impersonal and ineffective. Well, Grapevine6 recognizes that fact and has a solution.

By choosing your reason for connecting with someone, you receive a template that has been expertly crafted for that particular purpose. Don’t like their template? That’s fine; you can make your own. Then, choose how to send it (via InMail, Gmail, or whatever default email program your computer may have), and fire away!

The Clingy Girlfriend Effect: See Who Has Read Your Messages

Admit it: we’ve all wished at some point that there was some sort of notification system on our email client that told us when our messages were read (for whatever reason; this is a judgment-free zone). Well, Grapevine6 does that.

Every time you send content, G6 monitors whether or not the email is opened, if they read the excerpt, and if they read the whole article. Then, it sends a report back to you. Of course, there are benefits to this far beyond “I wonder if he liked it!” It’s helpful to know who is interested in hearing from you and what kind of content tickles their fancies to help shape your future strategy.

See Who Is Worth a Request for Referral (and Who Can Make That Happen) Without Having to Hunt for Them

The final feature we want to discuss is the ability to generate worthwhile referral possibilities. Referrals have the potential to be a really effective networking tool (check out this infographic for more on that), and LinkedIn’s referral feature is neat in concept. It works really well as a followup to, “I know just the person to help you with that. Let me refer them to you on LinkedIn.” But for connecting with people you don’t know, especially via those with whom you haven’t maintained a relationship, it’s not as helpful.

Grapevine6 takes that functionality and puts it to good use. The tool will recommend professionals within your field and maybe with similar personal interests, and it will also show you the connections that could make the referral.

But what if you haven’t spoken to that connection in a long time? It may seem rude to connect again just to ask for a referral. G6 allows you to prioritize that connection so that you can get back in touch and warm them up a bit before asking for the referral. This makes it so that your referrals are more meaningful and effective, and that’s what LinkedIn is all about, right?

Things We’d Like to See in the Market Version

Grapevine6 is, as mentioned, still in beta. Because of that, there are some features that we would like to see make it to the market version, at least down the road. Some of those features are:

  • Premium features — Currently, the API isn’t able to recognize whether or not someone is a premium member, so those InMail credits for non-connections aren’t valid on G6.
  • Groups — The current setup focuses only on individual connections, but for those who are just getting started optimizing their LinkedIn presences, a group posting functionality that suggests content based on common interests of group members would be helpful.
  • In-app profile views — I understand that it’s tough to list out someone’s entire profile, and that’s why the option is there to view their profile on LinkedIn. But it could be nice to be reminded of what someone used to do or how you know them without clicking away from G6.

All in all, Grapevine6 is a niche tool, but it’s a niche that everyone needs to be in. Using this tool could revolutionize your LinkedIn experience, which could potentially revolutionize your business or career. The 60 Second Marketer highly recommends signing up today to start nurturing leads and connections and growing your network through hand-selected content.


About the Author: Samantha Gale is a social media and content marketing specialist working for 60 Second Communications, a full-service marketing agency working with brands around the globe.