Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn’

A Little Social Media Help

September 3, 2010

I have been so woefully absent from blogging. My apologies. For those of you who keep coming back for more, here is a quick but helpful post relating to social media.

The nice people at Constant Contact just published two new resources on social media. These resources are designed for small businesses and small non-profits, but honestly, the info contained in here is helpful for businesses of all sizes.

Social Media Marketing Glossary: Includes definitions for about 80 different social media terms, in many cases grouped by the site they are tied to (i.e., you’ll find “Mayor” under “Foursquare,” “Hashtag” under “Twitter,” and “Like” under “Facebook”)

Get Started Building Your Social Media Presence: This guide offfers actionable advice for businesses using 14 popular social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Angie’s List, Foursquare, etc.) It is organized by type of site and explains what each one is, why it’s useful, and has tips for using it effectively.

Happy reading. And I promise to be back soon. Or at least sooner than 10 months…..

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LinkedIn: A Basic Element of your Social Media Presence

April 7, 2009

linkedinIf you are part of a technology company considering what your social media presence should include, one simple place to start is LinkedIn. You may know LinkedIn from a personal/job hunting perspective as most of us have professional profiles posted on LinkedIn. But there are ways LinkedIn can also best be used to represent your company.

Where should you start?

When looking at this from the company angle, the first place to start is to familiarize yourself with the “Companies” section of LinkedIn. You can access this section from the top menu on the LinkedIn site. It takes you to a nice search box. Enter the name of your company and see what the current company profile says about your firm. My guess is that many of you will find inaccuracies in the description. Determine who from your company is responsible for keeping the profile current and contact them if there are changes needed to the profile.

What can people learn about your company on LinkedIn?

There is a lot of valuable information about your company on LinkedIn. Much of this information is generated based on analysis of the LinkedIn profiles created by current or former employees. The information you can find from a Company profile page includes:

  • Current employees (those in your network pop to the top of the list)
  • New hires
  • Recently promoted employees
  • The mix of males and females in your company
  • Median age of your employees
  • Likely career path: companies that your employees previously worked for or may work for in the future

Why do you care?

I can think of many ways your customers, partners, potential employees and others will be using LinkedIn to become more informed about your company. Imagine these scenarios. Are they applicable to your company?

You want to attract the best possible talent to your company. Your presence on LinkedIn influences how potential employees perceive your company.

Clients and prospects use LinkedIn for informal background checks on your employees. This may be of particular importance if you are a service oriented business (IT services firm, consulting firm, PR firm). Why? Because your “product” is your employee base. Clients will be gathering intelligence on the people assigned to work with them.

During certain stages of your customer experience LinkedIn may be an important data source. There are certain critical times in your customer experience – perhaps it’s during the info gathering phase, perhaps it’s during the proposal phase or perhaps it’s post-sale during a critical support experience. During these critical touchpoints anticipate that your customers will be checking the LinkedIn profiles of your employees for information that may impact how they will be served by your company.

These are three examples of how the Companies section of LinkedIn may be used by your customers and others in your market. No matter what type of business you are part of, it’s important to remember your LinkedIn presence is one more touchpoint the world has with your company. It’s one more factor that’s impacting the presence your brand has in the market. Take the time to make sure your profile is up to snuff and keep it current. It’s one small step into the social media world.

Additional blogs that may be of help on this topic:
Guy Kawasaki’s How to Change the World
Emiel Van Wegen’s Research Reinvented

B2B Social Media: Looking for People Like Us

March 10, 2009

Wow! Have I zoomed (okay, I admit sometimes I crawled) up the learning curve of social media in the past couple of months. This all started one day when a friend and I had a long conversation about why and how social networks matter in B2B marketing. Although both of us have been in B2B marketing for 20+ years, the benefits from and need for social media had not quite solidifed in our brains.

So I set off to get smarter, and have shared a lot of my new found knowledge with my friend. Now I share it with you.

Why should we care?

First, why does social media matter to B2B companies? A hard lesson to learn was that it’s not about marketing. What? Not about marketing? Isn’t everything about marketing in some way? Yes, but social media is really about dialogue, it’s about starting and participating in conversations about topics we care about. It’s about finding PLUs (people like us) who have interesting opinions, ideas and questions to share. It’s about being a good listener.

But there are certainly marketing implications. Marketing is all about being tuned into customers, and here are some reasons that B2B customers are drawn to social media:

  • Customers want to have easy and convenient ways to stay in contact with the companies who supply them with technology solutions.
  • Customers want to be part of a community with PLUs who have common interests – products, problems, job function, etc.
  • Customers want an easy way to learn from others, exchange ideas and information. They want to share ways they are overcoming technical challenges with their deployments.
  • Customers want an easy way to share their ideas, suggestions and critiques with peer customers and with their technology solution providers.

Are social networks and social media one and the same?

No, they are not. Social networks are Websites that enable computer users to create online networks and communicate with friends and colleagues (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace). Social media encompasses social networks as well as other online tools (blogs, podcasts, wikis, newsreaders, bookmarking services) that enable people to share content (posts, videos, photos, etc.)

The three social networks B2B companies should consider focusing their attention on first are LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. More on this in a later post. Until then, if you too are climbing the learning curve on social media for B2B companies here are some resources I found helpful: