Tags: LinkedIn

LinkedIn For Good Demonstrates Positive Branding in a Crisis

LinkedIn For Good Demonstrates Positive Branding in a Crisis

Beyond • December 29, 2011

When Haiti was devastated by the major 2010 earthquake, queries on LinkedIn requesting volunteer contractors and tradespeople who could help rebuild the country’s devastated infrastructure sparked the creation of LinkedIn For Good, a subsidiary that provides pathways to connect volunteers with specific skillsets with the people and places where their talents are urgently required. The participants’ profiles served as a ready-made database ready to mine in order to locate the individuals who possessed the professional expertise required in the Port-au-Prince area. LinkedIn made it consummately easy to locate users with particular required skills such as masonry builders, plumbers and electricians in order to encourage them to volunteer their services. Swift action by brands in reacting to momentous global disasters can not only provide needed support to the struck populations but can also maneuver your company as being viewed as part of the solution. Ensure the Cause Is Universally Supported Online marketers should affiliate themselves with a non-profit organization engaged in high-profile projects that are generally seen by the public as necessary to right a great wrong. The most impactful causes are centered around massive natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis. Although charities working to improve civil rights in repressive societies such as Cuba, North Korea and China can be seen to be philosophically or ideologically controversial and not universally supported, no one is going to take the position that villagers who have been devastated by a volcanic eruption are not deserving of assistance. From the corporate standpoint there is the element of fundraising, which is indisputably desirable from any perspective, but another considerable factor is the not-insignificant aura effect gained from having your brand being seen by its customers as caring and altruistic. Affiliation with a Horizontal NGO No one can predict when the next great natural disaster will occur but it still behooves brands to have an action plan in place in order to be able to swing into action quickly. One of the most important aspects to take into consideration is that the plan should not be focused on a particular form of disaster. Although major global geophysical disasters can affect millions of people, countless numbers can also be affected by fires, drought, pandemics or socio-political upheavals. Creating and implementing a cause-support structure that can extend to everything from establishing an affiliation with a horizontal, wide-ranging charitable NGO (such as the Red Cross) all the way to preparing the donation and appeal page coding in advance, can help your brand quickly react to the next major disaster. Sensitivity Is Key Sensitivity is of utmost importance in the implementation of any disaster cause appeal. It is consummately easy to cross the fine line between being viewed by your customers as genuinely assisting to raise funds and material assistance to devastated populations, and crassly taking advantage of a dire situation to gain market share or competitive advantage. When the 2011 tsunami hit Japan, Microsoft responded with an infamous appeal asking for retweets: obliquely promoting its Bing search engine in exchange for a $1 donation. Had the Redmond software giant simply donated the funds it would have gained considerable social capital, but linking the philanthropy to a Bing promo was widely seen as inconsiderate and loutish. While print and broadcast commercial messaging can take weeks or months of preparation and notice to be able to display, social media allow brands to react literally in minutes in order to present themselves as being in a position where they can perform some magnanimous beneficence and assist innocent populations in dire need. Focusing on the provision of support will help build the positive aura that will last long after the appeal is over.


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Searching for Jobs Effectively Online

Searching for Jobs Effectively Online

Beyond • November 17, 2011

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the jobless rate in the United States dropped down to 9.0% in October, which is the first time it declined since July. There has also been a lot of talk about thousands of manufacturing jobs returning from overseas. The encouraging signs are out there for the workforce to see, but try telling that to the millions of people who are currently without a job. According to a poll conducted in a joint venture by The New York Times and CBS News, 50% of jobless Americans reported feeling ashamed or embarrassed due to being out of work. More than half of respondents said they suffer from anxiety, depression or other emotional issues because they are unemployed. The study revealed some disturbing trends that indicate the nation’s unemployment woes are taking a toll beyond financial burden. Hot Job Finding Tips The huge population of unemployed consumers will tell you that securing a job in this economy is no easy feat. On the bright side, and there always is one, it is not impossible. When applied, the following tips can help the jobless find work in spite of these rough economic conditions: Get to Networking Networking has been an effective job securing tactic long before social media came along. You can be the most qualified candidate of the bunch, but as the saying goes, it’s not always what you know, but who you know. It would be great if you could rub shoulders with a few inside sources who can give you some solid information about the companies you want to work for. If not, use whatever resources are available to you. You can come up on some quality leads by simply contacting the people you know and informing them that you’re on the hunt. Turn to the Internet Even in this day and age, several people are strictly traditional with their job hunting methods. While there is certainly nothing wrong with submitting applications in person, job seekers who have the means should be tapping into the internet and its vast amount of resources. Online you can find a countless number of websites showcasing employment opportunities in fields that range from food services and real estate to manufacturing and IT. In addition to the go-to sources like Career Builder and Monster.com, Twitter, surprisingly enough, when paired with LinkedIn can be a great way to generate job conversations. But there are many more options: Plaxo, which integrates with Simply Hired, is a good place to set up a profile and begin the hunt. There’s also Jobster, which functions much like Career Builder but allows you to picture and tag skills. Facebook can be a great way to find out more about jobs you want or keep abreast of a company’s social channel, though it’s not the best place for a resume. More informally, Craigslist is a great way to find contract jobs - though finding permanent or corporate jobs amidst the anonymous and the scammers can be more difficult. MyWorkster is a network devoted to finding jobs for college graduates and alumni, so if you’re still in school or closely connected to your college or university (or even went to college or university), it’s a good place to check out. Then there’s Jobfox, which claims to specialize in connecting seekers to jobs that are the best fit for them. Have Some Flexibility Today’s job market is more competitive than ever. People are finding it extremely difficult to land work, and the seeker to availability ratio is a big part of the reason why. With so many candidates putting their name in the hat, it could literally pay to take a more flexible approach with your job search. In the current state, it may not be wise to turn down an opportunity that isn’t necessarily a dream job. Of course you don’t want to settle, but you also don’t want to miss out, either. Besides, who knows where you can go once you get your foot in the door? ”Finding a job is a job,” but often the experiences and friends you have in stepping stone jobs will lead to a more stable career in the future. Keep Your Head Up Many of the nation’s unemployed will no doubt agree that finding a job these days can be a long, grueling journey. Some people have been searching for years. You may hit a few dead ends in your search, but that is no reason to get down on yourself. What’s important is understanding that you can’t sit back and wait for things to happen. You need to keep your head up and go out there and make it happen. You will.


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LinkedIn’s Meteoric Rise to Fantasyland Valuations

LinkedIn’s Meteoric Rise to Fantasyland Valuations

Beyond • November 10, 2011

If a Wall Street analyst had slept as long as Rip Van Winkle and awakened today, twenty years later, they might think that they had been transported not to the future but to another planet. In 1991, the market capitalization (cap) of a company was established by calculations of its physical assets, profit and liabilities. All of that tangible valuation has effectively vanished today, and LinkedIn is a primary example of a company whose market cap has no bearing in any form of financial reality other than “the magic aura of the internet” (the same one that caused the dotcom bubble 15 years ago). With a price to earnings ratio of over 500 (compared to Microsoft’s 9) and a market cap of close to $10 billion, it seems no one is asking why LinkedIn turned a profit of $3.4 million last year. Where No (Rational) Man Has Gone Before After the huge initial public offering (IPO), LinkedIn actually started losing money, dropping $1.6 million in the last quarter. So we have a company that is worth much more than Chrysler (or Delta Airlines, etc.) and in the last couple of years it’s turned as much profit as a decent suburban auto dealer. At 2011 earnings, Captain Kirk will be commanding the USS Enterprise in 2265 and LinkedIn will still not have broken even with its market cap today. Yes, the internet is indeed magic, as it makes billions appear out of electrons, illuminated pixels and not much else. Grosses as Much Money as a Good Donut Shop Now that you’re comfortably in the internet financial reality-free zone, you won’t be surprised to learn that LinkedIn just announced that they are going to sell another $100 million in stock for working capital, which leads one to wonder where the money raised at the IPO six months ago went. LinkedIn does state that Hiring Solutions, its largest division, has 7,400 customers, which if they’re each paying maximum fees account for $6.6 million a year in gross income. When you consider that there are donut shops that put that much money through the cash register on a good year you… er… never mind… this is the internet mass hallucination after all, so step right up, pay your ticket and suspend your disbelief. Coca-Cola Execs Showing up in Pepsi Ads In a scramble for justification of its knee-slapper valuation, LinkedIn recently launched social advertising so that when you “follow companies, or take other actions” your connections may see your name and photo in “related ads.” The prospect of an executive for Coca-Cola showing up in a Pepsi ad or a Ford manager seen to be associated with a Toyota promo sparked an avalanche of complaints and turn-offs. At about the same time, LinkedIn stealthily changed its default settings to allow it to mine personal data for third party advertisers, a move that triggered another barrage of privacy violation complaints. Where’s the Alibaba-Type Marketplace? Even with the chimeric valuations and management stumbles, at its core LinkedIn is a valid online social network. It allows millions of executives and managers to connect with each other in the 21st century equivalent of the networking breakfast business card exchange club at the Holiday Inn. There are indisputably many LinkedIn members who have made connections that led to increased business, but the precise estimate always falls into the morass of how to accurately measure Return On Investment on a platform as ethereal as social media. The question of why LinkedIn has not gone into the Alibaba direction and actually created an exchange for products and services so all these execs can do something that actually makes money on the site rather than socializing in a “Facebook with less time-wasting stigma” remains one of the great unanswered questions of our age. LinkedIn is not the only superlative portfolio investment in the internet investor-fantasyland. Groupon reported that it made a whopping $239,000 last quarter on a market cap of about $30 billion, so its break even point becomes the year 32091. If you expect to live that long, it would be a great idea to buy some GRPN stock today!


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State of the Media: Social Media in Your Brand Marketing

State of the Media: Social Media in Your Brand Marketing

Beyond • November 8, 2011

It is hard to imagine a world without social media, but at one point in time that is exactly what we were faced with. Just a few short years ago, there was no Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to fill that void of emptiness in our lives. As we all know, the digital landscape has undergone a dramatic transformation in a very short amount of time, and the social channel has been an integral part of its evolution. If you are one of the marketers who still believes this new age media is just a fad, listen up, because we have run across some research that may finally get you on the other side of the fence. Research firm Nielsen and NM Incite, a company born out of a joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey, recently published “State of The Media: The Social Media Report,” which focuses on research looking at how consumers interacted with brands through social media during the third quarter of 2011. According to the report, people are increasingly using this channel to not only seek out brands, but to connect with them and share the experiences they have with them as well. The collective research effort shows that 60% of consumers who use multiple internet sources to research products discovered a specific brand or business through a social media website. 53% of active social users are engaging to actually follow brands and tell others about those experiences. The vast majority said they do this by relaying their experiences through reviews. As far as what compels social media users to share brand experiences, the report cites a variety reasons. 61% said they share them to commend the company for a job well done. 58% said they do so to protect fellow consumers, while 25% give reviews to punish the brand for a job not so well done. 41% of social media users said they share reviews because of discounts, which highlights the power of incentives. Whatever the reason, the fact that consumers are so willing to share their experiences and play such an important role in the branding process should be viewed as encouraging news for marketers. Identifying High-Value Social Media Users Although social media is arguably the hottest channel going today, it is just one of several in terms of platforms brands should be paying attention to. More research headed up by Nielsen and NM Incite focused on the digital channel as a whole to produce insights into the value of the one constant in today’s internet experience - the consumer. According to the study, brands are likely to find the most valuable consumers in the following three areas: Social Media - The research by Nielsen and company shows that 51% of users were influenced by advertisements on social networking sites that display how many of their friends like or follow the brand presenting the offer. Parents were considered the most valuable overall as 64% were shown to use the social web to discover brands. Local - The rising popularity of location-based technology is also reflected in the study. 45% of consumers acting on local offers are likely to recommend the participating daily deals site to others. Interestingly, only 5% cite using the Foursquare app. Mobile - Some of the most interesting data on consumer value can be found in the mobile category. Nielsen’s research shows that 38% of Americans own a smartphone, while nearly all mobile internet users visit some type of website. In what may be surprising to some, teens were viewed as the most valuable mobile users because they are more likely to respond to ads and upgrade from the free to the paid version of an app. Consumers are plugged in firmly to the digital channel. The brands who understand how they are interacting and adapt their strategy accordingly will be the ones who benefit from that activity.


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An Insider Scoop on Making Monster’s BeKnown Work for You

Beyond • October 4, 2011

Monster.com launched a new site this summer, BeKnown.com, intended to make professional networking easier by integrating it with social media. They did this because Facebook boasts 700 million users and because it’s a more aggressive way for Monster to compete with networking kingpin LinkedIn and with up-and-comer BranchOut. While Monster used to be the marketing tool for job seekers, they’ve realized that the best jobs are born from cultivated relationships. And the best place for that is clearly online. Here’s a quick breakdown of how BeKnown works…. Your post-signup dashboard works like any other. It showcases statistics, 
endorsements, companies you follow, along with offering recommendations. Beknown lets you invite friends and colleagues to network with even if you’re not Facebook friends. You can also connect with Twitter and email accounts. Part of BeKnown’s emphasis is in privacy, letting you control what you share and with whom. This is very different from LinkedIn, which only offers all-or-nothing modality. Now here’s how you apply it to your existing marketing efforts… Step out of the frame of mind of a job seeker and into one of a competitive analyzer. Use BeKnown to follow your competition as well as those companies that are industry leaders. An added advantage is that by recommending other companies, you’ll likely be turned to new competition as well as companies you can partner with or learn from in some other way. It’s smart not to automatically friend professionals/colleagues on Facebook. Think of how embarrassed you’d be when a friend posts that drunk photo of you from the weekend or a socially handicapped sibling blurts out an offense. It’s not a pretty sight and I’ve seen it happen too many times. Not everyone gets that Facebook can be used professionally, which is why you should keep your private page separate and use BeKnown’s ability to connect discreetly. I also love that you can add your Twitter contacts. Most Twitter connections aren’t followed on Facebook or through email lists and they tend to be far broader as far as range and demographics go. This is a great idea that alone makes BeKnown worth it; you can cultivate distant Twitter connections into rewarding relationships. The whole underlying idea is to expand your network of colleagues and relevant like-minded companies – an idea that is underplayed when you look at BeKnown’s surface value. In my opinion, these are really the only two (albeit very strong) reasons to incorporate BeKnown on a part time basis into your marketing campaign. Other than that, BeKnown offers the trending idea of rewards by allowing users to gain badges based on performance. It also, like its model competitors, offers endorsements and company profiles. Company profiles are key because part of what makes you successful is giving customers a chance to peek in. Today’s consumer group wants in. They want to know all about your corporate culture, your causes and your workplace environment. This is another way to do just that. However, unlike its competition, it allows you to plug in with Facebook. Let’s face it, for any social media platform to be relevant, it has to engage with Facebook. LinkedIn doesn’t do this. From a marketing perspective, you need to keep a close eye on what’s current and what’s adapting in a way that the competition isn’t. And when you spot something that shows promise, it’s best to get on board quickly so that you gain more social capital from it.


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The Secret Closed Network Email Marketing Society: A Weekly Wrap

Beyond • May 16, 2011

The fact that I bring up Mexican food and National Barbecue Month in this weekly wrap probably means I didn’t have a big enough lunch. Thanks to these weekly wraps, one thing I will always have enough of is email marketing information. Also, I apologize in advance for calling you lazy, printing businesses. Make Email Newsletters Interactive: Give Users a Reason to Click I wish there was a way to make emails interactive like RockBand makes music interactive. I’m not exactly sure what I mean by that, but it seems to make sense. Right? Until I figure that out, read about how to Make Email Newsletters Interactive: Give Users a Reason to Click. Beyond Benchmark Email: Preheaders, Phishing and Google Analytics We took Buzz Lightyear very seriously when he said “To infinity, and beyond!” That’s why we’re always hard at work putting together content for sites other than our own. We’ll provide you with our favorites in a post much like this one: Beyond Benchmark Email - Preheaders, Phishing and Google Analytics. 5 Tactics that Can Improve Your Delivery Rate My favorite part of this post was the Pulp Fiction-esque box image. Apparently selling your soul might be the unwritten 6th tactic. See the first 5 Tactics that Can Improve Your Delivery Rate. The Impact of Mexico’s New Personal Data Exclusion & Breach Laws I think I speak for all of us when I say I’m just glad it won’t affect Mexican food. OK, so that may be a little off topic. Still, I’m glad. Find out The Impact of Mexico’s New Personal Data Exclusion & Breach Laws. Embedding Videos from YouTube, Vimeo and Blip.tv in Your Email The who and why of video email marketing. Discover the details of Embedding Videos from YouTube, Vimeo and Blip.tv in Your Email. Customize an Email Template for National Barbecue Month! I have been trying to talk a friend into securing his rooftop grill at his apartment building since I found out that May was National Barbecue Month. After all, it wouldn’t officially be summer until the first BBQ. As a result, I’ve had to throw on a sweater several nights this week. I will do what I can and BBQ ASAP to kickstart summer. You need to do your part too; Customize an Email Template for National Barbecue Month! The 5 Phases of Dental & Orthodontic Email Marketing Strategies Most people fear those who work in these two professions. You may be the subject of some nightmares, dentists and orthodontists, but luckily email marketing doesn’t have to be one of yours. Check out The 5 Phases of Dental & Orthodontic Email Marketing Strategies. How to Market Yourself with LinkedIn Shireen had me hooked at “the average LinkedIn user income set at about 109k/year.” Need I say more? Learn How to Market Yourself with LinkedIn. Also...sorry I’m bringing down the curve, LinkedIn. 6 Email Topics for Your Printing Business Newsletter We’re doing all the work for you, printing businesses. Here are 6 Email Topics for Your Printing Business Newsletter. What do you do when you’ve done all 6? Stop being lazy. That’s what. The Email Alternative to Winery Closed Network Sales Sites Prior to reading this post, I would have probably guessed that a winery closed network was some sort of secret society that drank wine. I don’t want to be the one to burst that bubble for you, so don’t click the link if you don’t want to find out if that’s what it actually is or not. For those in search of the truth, find out The Email Alternative to Winery Closed Network Sales Sites.


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How to Market Yourself with LinkedIn

Beyond • May 10, 2011

If you’re looking to move beyond the social in social networking, then plug into LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the leading professional networking forum for people who mean business. If you imagine the people you have to reach out to, it can be overwhelming to consider how you’ll engage with millions. Even if you target your key crowd, it’s still a hefty pile of personalities to sort through. Wouldn’t it be a lot easier if there was a way you could spotlight the people that mattered? LinkedIn allows you to do just that. With the average LinkedIn user income set at about 109k/year, with over 70 million users across 30 fields and subfields, and 45% of decision makers all wiring into LinkedIn, the question is why aren’t you on LinkedIn? Start out simple. Get a profile. Add your info. Connect with your existing network and start sourcing recommendations and referrals. It’s kind of like the yelp of the professional world. LinkedIn also has a lot of great features, like the ability to export your connections. Unlike Facebook, if you decide to ever leave LinkedIn or need to access your contacts, you have the convenience and freedom to access the data with no strings attached. LinkedIn’s also recently been busy with a massive relaunch. They’re now offering you the ability to opt in for greater access across Linkedin channels/profiles and adding more third party functionality to your account. With three tier plans starting at $25, you can do like other account holders and write off the fee as a business expense. LinkedIn’s also taken a cue from Facebook’s mega successful advert campaigns and are now offering users the ability to create their own targeted ad campaigns. As someone who regularly advertises with Facebook, I have to say I prefer LinkedIn’s approach, which allows you to target your audience far more effectively than Facebook ad campaigns do. Just note that if you’re looking to brand, then Facebook is still your best bet. But if you’re looking to get clients, accounts and to market yourself as an industry leader among your colleagues, then go with LinkedIn. Even if you don’t want to pay for advert campaigns, there are other ways you can be a top dog on LinkedIn and attract tons of attention your way. One of the leading tools is by being a thought leader and creating your own group/forum. Think about your business niche, do a bit of market research to see the competition and then create your own LinkedIn Group. You can even use this as a way to get conversations going and treat members like a focus group to get across ideas and crowd source opinions and information. But aside from business professionals with their own company and message, there\'s Average Joe just looking for a job. The problem with Average Joe is he\'s average. His resume is in a slosh pile with hundreds of other resumes. If you\'ve been hit by the ongoing recession or if you\'re just in the job marketing casually, keep in mind that no one really does standard recruiting anymore. Job posts and job fairs are ancient human resources tools. The place to be is on Twitter, Facebook and (most importantly) LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the number one place for recruiters, and the best place to find a job via the old but golden rule, \"It\'s not what you know, it\'s who you know.\" The same rule applies if you’re starting out or already established in your business. LinkedIn is a key online marketing tool that allows you to cast a spotlight on yourself and reach out to other major decision makers in your industry.


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