Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn


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.



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.


Outlook Social Connector adds Facebook

Microsoft expressed its commitment to social media by integrating Facebook into the Outlook Social Connector (OSC). The OSC aggregates all e-mail, file attachments, calendar events, status updates and other social networking posts in a separate Outlook window.  When viewing an email, real-time updates from the sender on his or her activities on Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Windows Live appear in a person pane, it even includes profile photos.

Integrating Outlook and Facebook has the advantage of developing a better relationship with customers and colleagues by keeping up on their activities and interests. “What’s unique is that it’s bringing social elements and context from your colleagues and your friends into the Outlook experience, which is pretty unique given that there are so many that use Outlook as their primary communication tool,” said Rick Armbrust, strategic partner manager of Facebook.

However, companies that allow users to access Facebook in the workplace lose an average of 1.5 percent in total employee productivity, according to a report from Nucleus Research, an IT research company. “Using social networking sites may divert employees’ attention away from more pressing priorities, so it’s understandable that some companies limit access,” said Dave Willmer, executive director of IT staffing firm Robert Half Technology.

Outlook is different because of its popularity in the office. 54 percent of all U.S. companies ban Facebook at work, according to a recent study by Robert Half Technology. For those employers, the idea of a Facebook-connected Outlook might not go over so well.

From a social marketing perspective, OSC is a great tool to see the next time you have an upcoming appointment that include you and the message sender. OSC also identifies attachments that you and the sender have exchanged and allows you to know about events and activities involving your colleagues in real time.  Now, if Microsoft can just get a deal done to connect with Twitter.

If you are using Outlook Social Connector, let us know if you like it and if you think it will be helpful in business. Connect with Weise Communications on Facebook for future updates.


Top Six Secrets to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Revealed

I participated in a webinar conducted by HubSpot, the Cambridge-based Internet marketing company, focused on tips and tricks to organically optimize a company search engine rankings.

The biggest takeaway was the creating of a ranking algorithm as a combination of context, authority and social graph.  HubSpot identified six SEO tips for companies.
1.    Optimize Your Content – The content you create must be a combination of what ‘searchers’ are looking to find and the keywords that search engines require.
2.    Attract Links to Your Content – Links are on-line recommendations from trusted websites. The most often shared items are new data and insightful blog posts. On the other hand, discount offers and product information are the least shared items.
3.    Publish Relevant Content Frequently – Internal HubSpot research showed that 61 percent of blogs are updated once a week or less.  Also, if you commit to a daily blog, you’ll be in the Top 10 percent of businesses.
4.    Be Active in Social Media – With the explosion of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Digg, interesting content is shared by trusted sources. Sharing content you find interesting will also help others consider sharing your content.
5.    Build Large Social Media Networks – Lisa Barone of SocialNetDaily gives 8 Ways To Find Relevant Followers On Twitter – see how easy it is to share relevant content.
6.    Use Call to Action on Landing Pages to Convert Leads – Once you have increased traffic to your website, you need to capitalize on the increased interest in what your company is saying. In the same HubSpot research, 41 percent of businesses acquired a customer through Twitter and LinkedIn, 46 percent through their company blog.
Tell us if you have any success implementing these tips, if your search engine ranking increases and if you are able to convert a lead generated by your social media efforts.
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HootSuite Adds Facebook, Twitter Lists and LinkedIn. Hurray!

As I was logging into my HootSuite account to begin my morning round of Twitter updates for clients, I was surprised and delighted to learn that the social media dashboard has added Facebook, Twitter lists and LinkedIn to its repertoire. I was just saying the other day that I’d love an application like HootSuite for Facebook so I can manage multiple accounts, pre-schedule posts and measure their success. The fact that I can manage both Twitter and Facebook accounts from the same application is even better. Hurray! I love when technology actually simplifies things.



LinkedIn announced yesterday. a partnership with Twitter  The goal of this integration is to enable professionals to leverage the best of both worlds in their day-to-day activities. The new feature will roll out within the next week and enable users to share their LinkedIn status updates via Twitter and vice versa. Below is a YouTube video, featuring LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman and Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone. They explain the rationale for the partnership, and the final part of the video provides a brief tutorial of how to use the new feature.




expand your franchise with linkedin

linkedinpic1LinkedIn is an extremely popular social networking site used by professionals in all walks of life. A quick scan of your Gmail contacts will probably reveal that many of your peers are already using LinkedIn to network with like-minded professionals. But you are a franchisor. Why would you use LinkedIn? It’s not like you are trying to connect with CPA’s. You’re trying to expand your franchise.

LinkedIn can be used to accomplish your goals. Franchisors must focus on three areas to completely leverage LinkedIn to expand their franchise business. These include joining groups, participating in the “Answers” section, and creating a “great” profile.


Joining Groups:

LinkedIn has hundreds of groups available to franchise professionals. Do a group search for “franchises” and you’ll find that you can join over 300 such groups. Why join?
LI Groups
The most important reasons for joining a group include:

1. Search functionality: Being a group member allows you to access the profiles of the other members in your group. (If you belonged to the “Franchise Networking” group, you would have access to over 2,200 LinkedIn profiles!)

2. Communication: Not only does being a group member give you viewing privileges, you’ll also has the ability to directly contact your fellow group members.

3. Showcase your group affiliations: When you join a group, LinkedIn gives you the option to display a digital badge on your profile. These show people visiting your page what groups you belong to and where your professional interests lie.

Becoming an Expert:linkedin-answers

LinkedIn’s “Answers” section gives anyone the opportunity to answer or ask questions on almost any topic in almost any industry.

You should seriously consider spending some time in the Q&A forum to find questions that you can answer. Why?

LinkedIn awards its users with expertise points for every answer they provide. According to LinkedIn’s Web site, “When your answer is chosen as (the) best by the question’s asker, you gain a point of expertise in the question’s category.”

Creating a “Great” Profile:

There are many articles out there that attempt to sort out the do’s and don’ts of setting up your LinkedIn profile.
The following list of three articles will point you in the right direction and help you create an outstanding LinkedIn profile:

LinkedIn Profile Extreme Makeover: Guy Kawasaki offers short easy-to-digest recommendations to vamp up your profile.

Six Elements of a Great LinkedIn Profile: Scott Cunningham offers great information and the details to help you implement his suggestions.

4 Minutes to Optimize a LinkedIn Profile for SEO: HubSpot offers two key pieces of advice and a four minute video detailing how you can optimize your profile for SEO.

Now that you have the skinny on LinkedIn, join some franchise groups, become an expert and create a great profile!

Drop us a line. We would like to know what tip(s) you found most helpful!

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