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How To Use LinkedIn: Backing Up Contacts

Posted by Christine B. Whittemore on Nov 3, 2011 9:40:00 AM

This is a 2 minute read.

How Do I: Using LinkedInIn this 'How to Use LinkedIn' article, I'd like to address backing up your contacts.

Have you given any thought to backing-up your LinkedIn contacts? I hadn't, until recently.

Last week, I received a LinkedIn invitation to connect with Liana Evans [see Liana Evans Blends Social Media & Search For Greater Marketing Impact]. I really like Liana, so I was delighted to connect. At the same time, I was surprised that I hadn't already connected with her.

Liana explained that her LinkedIn account had been hacked. She had successfully re-established her LinkedIn account, but every single contact had been wiped out!

Oh, my - did that ever get my attention!

I realized that I've never backed up my contacts. For that matter, I'd never given it a thought.

Perhaps you haven't either - and you may be inspired to do so if I show you how.

Consequently, here are the steps for backing up your LinkedIn contacts.

1. In your LinkedIn profile, go to Contacts. You'll notice in the bottom, right hand corner a clickable option to "Export connections". Click on "Export connections".

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2. You will be taken to a new page focused on Exporting your LinkedIn connections.

You have several format options including Microsoft Outlook (.csv file), Outlook Express (.csv file), Yahoo! Mail (.csv file),  MAC OS X Address Book (.vcf file) and vCard (.vcf file). Pick the format that's right for you. I chose Microsoft Outlook.

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3. I went through a security verification process.

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4. I saved the file, adding "Nov11" to the filename and changing the destination folder.

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5. Success per the confirmation message! Note the expanded directions for importing my LinkedIn contacts into Outlook.

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You'll be able to open the .csv file to double-check the contents of the file. With minor changes, you can import the .csv file with your LinkedIn connections into other applications such as an email program or a CRM application like

Have you backed up your LinkedIn contacts? How have you used the file generated? Any watchouts?

I'd love to hear!


Download Getting Started With LinkedIn G

Topics: B2B Social Media, How Do I Get Started?, LinkedIn

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