The latest social media platform gold rush is in full swing — but I’m not talking about Periscope, Meerkat or any of the other sites that seem to pop up and take the Internet by storm every few months.

Instead, I’m talking about LinkedIn.

Yes: old-fashioned, buttoned-up, and (some might say) boring old LinkedIn.

Now, I’ve been bullish on LinkedIn for quite some time due to the ease of locating and engaging your ideal, B2B-related sales leads and clients using the platform.

Apparently I’m not alone. In the past few months, I’ve noticed several software developers jumping into the fray, offering Internet browser add-ons, software hacks and automation methods all built around LinkedIn. All of it is aimed at helping LinkedIn users like you and me increase our visibility on the platform, automate the lead generation process and even send prospects LinkedIn invites from right inside our personal email accounts.

What follows is a look three of the best “LinkedIn hacks” I’ve come across recently, along with the potential pros, cons and costs of each one.

E-mail tools

Rapportive is a great (and free!) add-on for Gmail users. It takes just a few seconds to install via Google’s Chrome browser and works with Mozilla’s Firefox as well.

Rapportive taps into your Gmail inbox and immediately pulls up any related LinkedIn profiles, Twitter handles, Skype accounts, websites or other online entities tied to a person’s email address.

In addition, Rapportive enables you to send someone a personalized LinkedIn invite without leaving your Gmail inbox. If you’re using LinkedIn as a lead generation and content marketing platform, Rapportive is a great way to effectively and efficiently build your network from right inside Gmail.