Many people are using a web-based email, but for those of us who still live and die using Outlook, (like me), I want to talk about Outlook Social Connector, why I use it and some steps to get, install and what it looks like.
1. I can easily search for email, appointments, attachments and updates from each of my contacts when using the connector. If you’re like me and don’t get to LinkedIn and Facebook enough, you can catch up on clients’ updates from within email.
2. I’ve noticed that even if I’ve not connected with some of email contacts, sometimes their photo will pop in anyway. If their Facebook profile is public, then it should pop in (or so I’ve read). Conversely, if someone has mega privacy settings, then you may not see much of them. So having a face to put with a name is nice (but sometimes disturbing-haha).
3. If you live in your email all day, you’ll be more up to date with what’s happening with your clients. If you see an achievement, you can quickly send an email or go make a comment on their social media page.
4. It’s just a cool thing to have and really brightens up my email. You can adjust the size of your social connector to stretch the entire width of your screen and pull it up near the top of your screen to get a great view of what’s going on with people you care about.
Steps for Downloading, Installation & Use of Outlook Social Connector
Outlook Social Connector has been around for a couple of years, but there’s been a recent update (April, 2012), and if you don’t download and install it, some of your components will stop working effective May, 2012.
Outlook Social Connector – Separate Components
First, you’ll need the connector itself – find it here. If you don’t need to update, it won’t install.
Next, you’ll need to get the components or pieces of the social part you want. Below are the five currently available. (So glad they took MySpace off). All these components can be found here. There are separate downloads for each piece.
Have Outlook closed when installing – but it’s OK if it’s open, you’ll be prompted to restart upon installing the components.
Restart Outlook and get going
When you start Outlook, you’ll be presented with this pop-up where you can choose which components you want to use. The My Site is for people who use SharePoint.
You’ll be prompted to enter your username and password for each site you want to add, then you’ll see the checkmark when you’re connected – that’s it! Start scrolling through your emails and watch your email pop with photos and updates. If you’re connected to someone in multiple ways, you’ll see all the updates if you select ‘all’.
If you don’t get the above screen, you can get to it by going to ‘View’ then look over to the right where it says ‘People Pane’, open it and then you’ll get the accounts screen. Make sure you have the people pane ‘on’ or you won’t see it.
Below is an example of someone I’m connected with on LinkedIn & Facebook. You can see she’s active and uses social media a lot! The icons I’ve circled are very helpful because I can choose to show only emails I’ve received, or only appointments, only attachments or only updates. It saves time.
If you have questions or need some troubleshooting, here’s the FAQ on problems with social connector. Not everything works all the time, they still seem to be working bugs out. If you’re using it, how do you like it? If you’re not, do you think you’ll install it?