Well, I’ve been saying for the last couple months, finally LinkedIn is worth coming back to for reasons besides job hunting, hiring or adding to your network. The recent upgrades they’ve done to company pages are fantastic with the ability to add different services, associate company contacts with those services and even add videos about your company or products. But now, they’ve added the icing on the cake: LinkedIn Company Updates!
Just like you have a Facebook page for your business where you can post status updates, now you can post status updates to your LinkedIn company page. Here’s how it works:
- Pages set to “designated admins only” for page management now allow page “admins” (just like on Facebook) to post status updates.
- Go to your company’s overview tab and you’ll see a Share an Update field at the top.
- LinkedIn company updates can be up to 500 words.
- LinkedIn status updates can include multimedia, such as links to videos and photos.
- The updates appear in the homepage newsfeeds of your company’s “followers” (better get some followers now!)
- Followers can comment, “like” or share the post with their network.
- Whenever someone takes action, such as a like or comment, their network also has the potential to see your page (again, just like Facebook).
Many business professionals are connected to their contacts via social media, whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any other of the many social media tools, but what about good old fashioned face-to-face contact?
Chuck Gose, co-founder of Indy Social Media and director of business development for MediaTile, has effortlessly merged his online social media contacts and real world contacts. Back in August 2009, Chuck Gose and John Palmer started Indy Social Media. The organization gives social media experts and newbies alike a place to come together to meet, share and learn. The organization is so successful that its social media breakfast series usually sells out!
Read more from Chuck and find out his take on corporate blogs and why he loves LinkedIn.
What is your job/company/profession/title?
I am the director of business development for MediaTile and am the co-founder of Indy Social Media, a non-profit dedicated to educating the local business community while raising money for local college scholarships.
What was the first social media technology you used?
The first social media site I uses was LinkedIn.
What is your favorite social media tool?
I’m a huge LinkedIn junkie and think it’s an underrated, underappreciated and underused tool.
How have you used social media for your business/company and how has it benefited?
I created MediaTile’s social strategy, starting out with blogging. It’s a great way for a business to differentiate itself in the marketplace. And with respect to the Facebook and Twitter fans, a corporate blog is the one platform a business has control over.
How much time would you say you spend a day engaging social media?
That’s a tough one. I’d say I’m in and out of it all day long. I try to respond quickly to any messages I receive on the platforms.
How do you incorporate it into your day so it’s not a time waster?
For me, it’s never a time waster because I use it. Even during times when people might think that it’s goofing off, it helps get the creative juices flowing.
We know the Indy Social Media Breakfast series usually sells out. What tools do you use to spread the word about the event?
We just recently launched IndySM.org. Before that, we relied entirely on Twitter and Facebook and used Eventbrite for registrations.
Is there a social media tool/technique that you think is underutilized that you would like people to know about?
I’ll get back on my LinkedIn soapbox here. People think it’s just a site for older professionals and the unemployed. In fact, it’s one of the single greatest databases out there. If you’re in any sort of business development role (and everybody is), LinkedIn’s data is priceless.
You may have read a week or so ago the big news that scientists actually proved that like the oft-played game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” any person is indeed only 6.6 degrees separated from any other person. While that is truly an amazing fact, I can’t say it surprised me. I cannot believe how often I come upon someone my husband or I know or who knows someone we know.
Shortly after I read that, I had a really weird, but really cool, six-degree moment. I found a former colleague from many moons ago on LinkedIn and made her one of my connections. Well, one of her connections saw that, checked me out and came to realize we’ve followed the same geographic path throughout our lives. When I was in high school in Kentucky, she was in college there. When I moved to Cincinnati to work, she had too. And now she lives in South Carolina working as an independent PR practitioner and knows some fellow PR acquaintances of mine up in Greenville. And even though we were on parallel life paths, we never would have met each other had it not been for LinkedIn.
Which brings me to my point. Why does social networking work? Because we are all so closely connected anyway. We may just not know it. Social networking makes it apparent. There’s a quote from Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, about social networking “digitizing your social life.” It does that and it also makes it more efficient. Instead of hearing about a friend of a friend and having to remember them or make a mental note to call them when you need their service, now you can always be connected online with all their info. right at your fingertips and their Web site or email one click away.
It is a small world after all.
92, 188, 88 — no those are not my measurements (thank goodness!), but they are my social networking stats. 92 Facebook friends, 188 Twitterers I’m following, 88 connections on LinkedIn.
It seems lots of us get hung up on “how many” when it comes to social networking, but I’ve noticed a lot of discussion going on about quality versus quantity when it comes to connections.
As I am experiencing, when the numbers get too high, these tools start becoming less helpful and more overwhelming. On Twitter, for instance, it’s tough to really engage in much of a conversation when you have some 180 people you are following “tweeting” all day long. And on Facebook your newsfeed becomes tough to stay up to date with because there is so much activity.
So what’s a gal to do? I’m tending to agree with the folks who say stick to connecting with people you truly know and whose content will be meaningful to you. Then you aren’t wasting time paying attention to things that aren’t relevant and are truly honing in on the conversations that are.
Here’s the story of one man who culled the people he follows on Twitter from 1000 to 600 and the result. 600 still sounds crazy to me! Check out the comments, as well.
What are your numbers?
A great way to expand awareness of your brand online and to position yourself as an expert in a given subject area is to monitor and participate in Q&A sites. There are a host of them out there, with Yahoo Answers being the most famous, that allow individuals to pose questions on any number of topics, which can be answered by anyone who so chooses. LinkedIn also recently added a feature where you can ask and answer questions.
Add to your to-do list weekly to check these sites for questions that relate to your expertise. Wherever you feel you can contribute a meaningful answer, do so. This is a great way not just to get your name on one more site, but to get it in a place that demonstrates indeed you know what you’re talking about. This is one thing I try to offer my clients — not just a way to get your name out there in any way, shape or form, but in a strategic manner that reaches your target audience with the right message. All this goes a long way toward positioning yourself and your company in the way you choose.
Many of these sites will also let you set up RSS feeds based on certain key words. This can make it even easier to check your feeds once a week and answer any appropriate questions. I know you’re just full of answers, so get out there and start helping!
After many, many months of Linked In serving as a status symbol of how many “connections” I had, it has finally become useful to me! Over the last few weeks, I’ve used it on several occasions in ways that were very helpful.
First off, I used the fairly new Q&A feature that lets you ask a question of your “connections.” I was looking for a person who could help me plan a small event and asked for recommendations. I got a lot of really helpful responses and ended up choosing the person I hired through one of those recommendations.
What I found interesting here was that some of these people who I sent my question to on Linked In I probably would not have felt comfortable emailing for some reason. They aren’t people I converse with regularly, but are my colleagues in the industry and somehow it seems OK coming from Linked In, a little less intrusive or something.
But the most amazing benefit to me was that a potential client from INDIA(!) found me on Linked In. I am still pretty floored by that. I also have a colleague who got a new client from Linked In recently. It was someone he had worked with previously who found him there and ended up hiring him to do some work with the person’s current company. Pretty cool!
I recently read another blog post about how to really maximize the use of Linked In and she makes the point that you really have to actively use its “introduction” feature. Look through your connections’ connections and see if there’s anyone you’d like to know or who looks like a good prospect and ask your connection to “introduce” you. Much easier than a cold call.
Anyone else out there had a good experience with Linked In? Please share!
I’ve been a member of LinkedIn for a while, though I must profess, I haven’t seen huge benefits from it aside from impressing myself with the number of “connections” I’ve amassed (61 to date).
I first saw it as a way to align yourself with other well thought-of business people and do a little online networking. Then I got a message from a “connection” who asked me to “introduce” her to one of my connections who was connected to someone who lived in a city where she was job-searching (are you following me?). I thought that was a pretty smart use of the site; however, since I don’t plan on closing either of my companies anytime soon and looking for job, not really of use to me.
I’ve read that taking advantage of the recommendations tool where you can recommend someone and they can recommend you is one way to maximize its use. Haven’t gotten that far on it yet to do much of that. Though, the other day someone recommended me and I must say I was pretty thrilled.
But now LinkedIn has gotten smart and added some really useful tools. Like Facebook, they’ve now added a microblogging component where you can update what you are working on from minute to minute. That at least gives you reason to go there more than once a month to update what you’re doing and see what others are working on.
Again, like Facebook, you can now join groups with other professionals who share the same interest. Once again, more reason to go there and engage in dialogue. AND like Yahoo Answers, you can now go on and ask a question and answer questions, which is great to establish your expertise in a given subject area.
Things seem to be working for LinkedIn — recent statistics comparing social networking usage from 2007 to 2008 showed LinkedIn had the largest growth (271%) above both MySpace and Facebook, though it still has a way to go before its number of members matches those.
Check out my del.icio.us page for more articles on using LinkedIn for marketing.
And, uh, feel free to “recommend” me :).
Got a page on LinkedIn, the social network for business networking? Now you can really look cool if you can get Bill Gates to be a “connection”. The Wall Street Journal’s Biz Tech Blog reported that Mr. Gates joined the popular social network. According to the post, Gates is the most searched for person on LinkedIn (what, it’s not me?!). Go ahead, I dare you to invite him to be your “connection.” Let me know how it goes.
I also saw a story on FOX News this morning about two long lost friends who found each other on Facebook. It turns out one of them was in need of a kidney and as soon as the long lost friend heard about it, he offered his. Wow, the power of Facebook!