Archive for the 'LinkedIn' Category


Social Media and September 11th: Small Memorials, Big Impact

Social media has allowed us to remember September 11th through not just major memorials, but small ones, that have just as much impact. Platforms ranging from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram provide an outlet for memorials for those tragic events that touched all of our lives and indelibly changed our nation.nypd

Last year, New York Police Department was able to honor the different officers whose lives were lost during the attacks on the World Trade Center.  The Twitter account posted the names of the officers, as well as their end of tour date; 9-11-01.  These updates served as a reminder of the many public service workers who gave their lives to help citizens of New York that fateful day.

Twitter and Facebook have provided other unique venues for the public to share their emotions and stories in this continuously busy world.  Last year, Twitter was trending with stories of where each user was when they found out about the attacks.  Different age groups were able to illustrate the spectrum of emotions felt when the news of the attacks first broke.  Younger users told how they were in kindergarten class during the attacks, and had no idea what exactly had happened.  While the older population was able to see the news in their office or on their way to work.

September11In addition to a platform for stories, the Internet has become a place for remembrance in lieu of expensive and time-consuming memorial services.  Life unfortunately does not stop on difficult anniversaries, but that does not mean Americans cannot share their thoughts and prayers for each other.  A simple status update or tweet provides a short moment of silence, when the day doesn’t allow for a memorial service.  According to social media experts, these brief mentions have also helped to increase awareness of the importance of any day, which might have been forgotten years later.

Whether it is a moment of reflection, prayer, patriotism, or remembrance, social media has forever changed how Americans will commemorate September 11th, and all that was lost on that day.

How else have you seen others using social media to commemorate 9/11?  Tell us in the comments, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  Be sure to visit our website and learn more about our agency and all that we offer in social media.


LinkedIn Today: Too Little, Too Late

LinkedIn is finally trying to capitalize on the positioning of social networking for business by releasing LinkedIn Today. LinkedIn Today is a news service designed to pick out the most relevant stories for business users. LinkedIn hopes the service will turn its site into a daily destination.

Unfortunately for LinkedIn, this service is coming along far too late to encourage people to change behaviors. Historically, LinkedIn didn’t offer enough information to warrant a daily check-in. The search isn’t as powerful at Twitter and the overwhelming majority of information updates are about new connections to others in your network. With products like Flipboard, there is already a personalized social magazine that incorporates the power of Twitter search, delivers industry news that your connections are recommending, tweeting or posting on Facebook.

Currently, LinkedIn Today only offers 22 industry news feeds. Eventually it will expand to include 115 LinkedIn industries, if new content merits expansion. For example, “The agriculture industry is not sharing enough content to build a compelling product, but we hope over time it will,” explains Liz Walker, product manager of LinkedIn Today.

However, LinkedIn Today may have a couple of advantages for marketers even if I don’t think I’ll personally use it.

  • LinkedIn Today is free to advertisers
  • The service has also launched a LinkedIn Today share button. Having this button on your content makes it much more convenient to share content with their LinkedIn network.
  • Can’t be on the sidelines. Now that news and blogs can more conveniently reach another social network, there is even more reason to be active on LinkedIn.

Tell us if you think LinkedIn Today will be successful or if it’s just another news aggregator – and you already have your favorites. Share your ideas with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.




Social Media is the driving force behind online culture

One of the latest trends impacting social media is tagging an online status with a symbol. For example, the symbol to the right is the Super Mayor symbol for Foursquare, which is a special shout-out for holding down 10 mayorships at once. The symbol signifies to peers that someone made an online contribution or maintains a level of online popularity.  These online status symbols acknowledge actions and are becoming more desirable to achieve.

Initially, online status comes in the form of the number of LinkedIn connections, Facebook friends or Twitter followers. I’ll admit there is a little friendly competition among my friends to reach milestone numbers or connect with certain groups so their logo appears on the profile page.

But, Foursquare comes along and takes online status to the next level by tying it to achievement.  There is an establishment next door to our Denver offices where I am determined to be the mayor. I’m afraid that I might be spending a little too much time and money at that location to become the mayor, but that is the goal of location-based marketing.  If retail locations can encourage consumers to make every effort to obtain online status and tie status to transactions – it’s a win-win.  One retailer that understands the power of online status is Arby’s. Last November, Arby’s held a Foursquare promotion in which mayors of 37 locations from Evansville, Ind., to Huntsville, Ala., earned reserved seats at actual “Mayor’s tables.” The mayors received 50 percent off meals and Arby’s tested new products on this group.

As social media evolves, the lines between ‘real world’ and online can get blurred.  One example is the website Nerd Merit Badges which offers Foursquare symbols as a round 1.5” patch. You’ll see this patches adorn purses, backpacks, hats, etc. Further evidence of this ‘real world’, ‘online world’ crossover includes Crowded Ink, users can create a coffee mug adorned with profile pictures of Facebook friends or Twitter followers.  These images are some of my Facebook friends.

For marketers, keeping up with the cultural, intellectual, ethical and spiritual climate within groups of influencers gives your product or service an opportunity to be cutting edge.  As a part of an integrated marketing plan, consider supplying your social network with an online status symbol that displays their achievements with your company.

Tell us if you think embracing online status symbols improves social media marketing or if you think it’s just a fad. Share your ideas with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.



The White House Communication Policy: Social Media (Thankfully) Enhances Press Conferences

We found out this week that the White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, is out to allow for some fresh air in the press room. I read a lot of comments online about his skills, or his lack there of, with the press. Regardless of your personal preferences for Gibbs, as a PR professional I know he had an intense job. However, C.J. Cregg, he was not.

With the departure of Gibbs, I started wondering about the White House Communications in general. Barack Obama, as a presidential candidate, was a highly active participant in social media (or he hired really great people who were highly active users). Two years ago, Obama for President was a great story about how online marketing and social media can effectively raise money and gain exposure. His communications programs were exceptionally well executed, innovative, highly targeted and easily accessible to mass audiences. It was one seriously good way to help win a presidential campaign. And the story continues…

President Obama did not leave his social media savvy behind when he moved to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. I was a bit surprised to find the White House is all over social media. There has been a lot of criticism of President Obama about whether or not his promises for transparency were real. One thing you can’t criticize is the appearance of accessibility. Twitter feeds, Facebook and MySpace channels, Flicker and Vimeo feeds and a LinkedIn group. There is even a White House blog. I had no idea. If you want information that deals with the White House, you can find it with little effort.

I especially like the White House YouTube Channel. The West Wing Week series is a nice recap of the presidential happenings. And the weekly mailbag is interesting. Some questions have answers that are more entertaining and better delivered than others than others, but hey, a question or two gets answered weekly by someone who knows something. Honestly though, I can’t bring myself to watch eight hours of forum presentations. Honestly, I can’t even bring myself to watch eight minutes of it.

Kudos to the White House Communications team for their focus on social media. Keep it up.

Do you think the White House Communications team is doing enough or not enough to keep the country informed? Tell us what you think about their efforts here or on our Facebook site and keep up with all of our blog postings on Twitter.


LinkedIn Myth Buster – Growing Business with LinkedIn

Job Hunting! The single biggest myth about LinkedIn is that the only people using it are looking for a job. While it is a valuable job hunting resource, this myth is driving away the people that will derive quite a lot of value from the site.

Generating sales leads, expanding your influence and sharing your expertise are three ways that businesses should focus on LinkedIn.

Generating sales leads – Running an advanced search for contacts in your target market is a great way to mine for sales leads. In the advanced search, you can search by keyword, company, industry, title, etc.  How many times have you said, ‘if I could only get in front of the CEO at my target prospect, the sale would be in the bag’. Well advanced search gives you the tools and access you need.  Then, think Back to Bacon…the six degrees of separation concept is shortened down to three.  Somebody, knows somebody, who knows the right somebody.  Best of all, there are many LinkedIn groups that deliver valuable content and those high-end decision makers belong to many of these groups.  You can join the group as well, then you can almost taste the bacon.

Expanding your influence – Using LinkedIn, I invited my Denver-area connections to a city-wide networking event, Summertoast. At the event, I connected with 10 people in my network who introduced me to more people and I secured a lunch meeting to discuss our agency working on a project for that company.  This chain of events occurred from a simple LinkedIn invitation to an event that I wasn’t even hosting.

Sharing your expertise – I’ve connected the Side Note Blog and my twitter feed @Mark_at_Weise, to my LinkedIn profile.  If we are connected on LinkedIn, you’ll see an entry on my newsfeed whenever a new Side Note entry is posted.  Also, I have found that tweeting relevant, interesting content has convinced some of my contacts that I have some valuable insight.  Sourcing interesting content is important, be sure to keep it relevant and business related.

In order to keep LinkedIn THE professional networking site, it is incumbent on regular users to maintain integrity in their groups and push group administrators to remove content that is not directly related to the group. Most importantly, shut down spammers, and restrict job posters from cluttering your group.

If you have other ways of using LinkedIn to grow your business, please share them with us.  Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, search or click the Mark Plumb LinkedIn tattoo. You can find Weise Communications on Facebook and follow @Weise on Twitter.



Why aren’t more Companies Integrating Email with Social Media?

Less than 40 percent of small businesses integrate email with social media according to a study by email marketing company AWeber.  Too often businesses believe email campaigns compete with social media instead of complimenting their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare efforts.

Start small if you have to – the AWeber study found the two most common email integration tactics were tweeting email newsletters and distributing blog entries by email.  It will be up to savvy marketers to lead businesses past elementary integration toward more sophisticated techniques for email/social media integration. We expect to see more businesses utilize email in the future to:

  • Launch viral marketing campaigns/referral programs
  • Include user-generated content
  • Invite recipients to join social media with ‘follow us’ links
  • Incorporate content sharing options

As marketers are looking to increase response rates and generate leads, the first more advanced technique to incorporate will be content sharing options. According to a study by email marketing company GetResponse, by including a social sharing option in email, clients’ average click-through rates increased at least seven percent. Interestingly, in the emails analyzed in the GetResponse study concluded companies were focused on Facebook and Twitter, almost to the exclusion of all other services.

If you have seen success integrating email and social media, let us know your success stories and if you expect to see more businesses integrating them. Connect with Weise Communications on Facebook for future updates.


3 social media measurements every company needs

Building a relationship is not easy; explaining the value of a social media relationship is virtually impossible without tracking and measuring specific variables.  There are three things you must measure in order to validate the time spent on social media activities: Endeavors, Connections and Results (ECR).

Endeavors – This refers to the efforts your company undertakes: how much, how often and how frequently you post, blog and tweet.

Connections – This refers to the reactions from your audience: your comments, followers, views and retweets.

Results – This refers to your financial measures: revenue generation, cost reduction, leads and sales.

Before beginning a social media marketing effort, it is important to establish the success levels of your ECR components. Since these vary from company to company, there isn’t a general rule to follow.

Ideally, developing your ECR score will determine your overall level of customer engagement.  With the prevalence of social media, customer engagement is key to improving satisfaction, loyalty rates and revenue. By actively listening to customers and engaging them in discussion, you can improve your business, products and service levels. EConsultancy, a social media research firm released Customer Engagement Report 2010. Key findings include:

  • The proportion of company respondents who regard customer engagement as “essential” has increased to 55 percent.
  • The tactics that have come to the forefront for driving customer engagement are email newsletters, social networking and Twitter activity.

Ultimately, the research shows that an engaged customer will recommend your brand, convert more readily and purchase more often.

What do you use when measuring social media activity? What indicators work for you when measuring social media? Let us know and connect with Weise Communications on Facebook for future updates.

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