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).
Facebook started this week off with even more changes but ones that I find super exciting. They have added three new metrics to their Insights analytics tool that allow administrators to see their brand page reach more effectively. If you’re an admin of any company page, the new Insights are up today and you can see some of the numbers right below your total number of friends on the left hand side of the page.
Facebook will also be rolling out the new Timeline sometime next week and the ability to translate posts from all around the world. And that’s not all! Facebook will roll out a new expandable ad option at an advertising conference next week that would make the ads you’re see appear more like recommendations from your friends than an actual ad!
Wednesday brought sadness to the entire world when Apple founder and former CEO, Steve Jobs, lost his battle with cancer. Social media sites went crazy with thoughts, prayers and memorials dedicated to a true visionary. Google, Facebook and Disney were just a few of the huge names that honored Jobs Wednesday and Thursday. There are many ways for you to send your words of mourning and honor about Steve Jobs, but here are some great images courtesy of Mashable of notes in front of the Apple stores.
One final but very exciting social media update is that LinkedIn has finally made it possible for businesses to post updates in a similar format to Facebook. I’ve been waiting for this day to come for a while now and personally think this will do wonders for business pages on the social network. Thanks LinkedIn!
If you’re like me at all and support a local non-profit, then you’ve probably been bombarded with requests to vote for that organization and tons others to win a Chase Community Giving grant. I attended a webinar several weeks ago about social media and non-profits and the partnership between Facebook and Chase is creating great strides in this area. Facebook took this one step further this week by setting up a non-profit resource center.
The site will educate non-profits how they can use social media to spread awareness and generate funds. I’m personally excited to check this page out and hopefully take away some useful information! Even with all the good that Facebook is doing they can’t seem to escape negativity all together. The Winklevoss twins are back and they’re taking their lawsuit to the Supreme Court.
Other big news came to LinkedIn this week when they announced that they are worth $8.9 billion! That makes them worth more than JC Pennys, Chipotle and Tiffany & Company. All this means is that LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman is a very rich man. LinkedIn going into public exchange means Hoffman will net around $855 million, not too shabby, eh? LinkedIn will be the first purely social media site to go public, but I’m guessing they will not be the last!
What are your thoughts?
Simon: “There’s a Reason They’re Underused”
Pretty much everyone I know has signed up for LinkedIn, but very few of them are actually present on there day to day. And that’s the problem with LinkedIn – if you’re not actively looking for a job, which thankfully I haven’t been, there isn’t a whole lot to do except expand your network and talk about yourself. It’s just too much for me.
Every group I joined (in the early days, at least) was ‘spammy’, filled with people promoting themselves or their companies. Most of the updates I would care about I’ve already seen on Twitter or Facebook, and I just don’t need another social network to follow. I’m more than happy to write recommendations for those I feel deserve it, and I love getting them (here, if you’re interested J) – but it’s not the kind of network I feel needs my constant attention. I suspect many others feel similarly.
I think the news last week that Reddit has hit the billion pageviews in a month mark shows that many, many people DO use social bookmarking, yet it’s undeniable that it’s not as popular as some other social networks.
My thinking is there’s a couple of reasons for this: Firstly, not everyone needs it! It’s not like people are stuck for something to read/watch on the Internet most of the time; in fact it’s the reverse – we worry that we’re already wasting too much time there. So Reddit/Digg/StumbleUpon/etc can be used to just “drop in on” on those few occasions when you want something different. They don’t have to be used daily by everyone.
Secondly, there’s the problem with spam or gaming the system. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen a boring press release being promoted on these kinds of sites. There was also a minor scandal recently when some conservatives were claimed to have been ‘burying’ stories on Digg, which they felt had a liberal bias. I think this kind of thing is probably fairly common, from both sides, and probably puts off many users from participating.
I think that social bookmarking will always have some kind of role, but, for me at least, it’s always going to be in the second tier of the social web.
Laura: “Two Powerful Tools”
LinkedIn and social bookmarking are two social media tools that can definitely be underused. Social bookmarking has helped tremendously in increasing the number of click-throughs to our blog and our clients’ blogs. If you’re writing blogs, please start using social booking marking sites to promote them. It doesn’t take long, and it will definitely pay off in the end.
LinkedIn is a tool that some folks are addicted to and some just ignore. It’s a wonderful way to network, and although it’s not as big as Facebook, its over 65 million users are active. Additionally, all 500 of the Fortune 500 companies are represented on LinkedIn. Take some time to discover all the benefits of this tool, as you may be really missing out on some lucrative connections.
Lyn: “Thumbs Up Social Bookmarking, Thumbs Down LinkedIn”
I’ve never been a big fan of LinkedIn as a business tool. I think it has some value on a personal level for networking and interacting with potential clients or colleagues, as well as hiring, but to me, Facebook, blogging, Twitter, YouTube and more are a much better way to spend your time. It never hurts to have a profile and accept connection requests, as well as make sure your company has a profile that’s complete, but that’s as far as I ever recommend taking LinkedIn.
Now, social bookmarking on the other hand is a hugely undervalued tool. This includes sites like Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon and Delicious, where people rank and share articles and links that they like. While the average population doesn’t use these, influencers do, and if you can get your articles and blog posts and videos posted to these sites, you’ll see a huge influx of traffic that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. I highly recommend you start stumbling and digging especially if you host a company blog.
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.
No one puts social media in the corner! Dell Inc. incorporated a social media team into their payroll in 2006 and they continue to believe that social media is vital for any company and here’s why.
LinkedIn adds familiar features such as likes, follows and group discussions to their network. Do you think these changes will help LinkedIn compete with other social media outlets?
The iPad is still H-O-T, HOT! Apple has sold more than three million devices in the past three months. How many of you want the iPad and for those lucky enough to already own one, what’s your favorite feature?
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!