Posts Tagged ‘linkedin’

Four Easy Ways to Improve LinkedIn

For business professionals, LinkedIn is ubiquitous. It’s the new digital resume (does anyone have a resume anymore?).

But LinkedIn is far from perfect, which is surprising given its size and how aggressive it has been to deliver more features beyond connecting with other people.

img vspace=If I was running LinkedIn, here are a few things that I would improve.

1. Make it easier to make and ask for recommendations. Right now, you need to do the following:

– Click on “Account & Settings”.

– Log in, even if you are already logged in.

– Click on “Manage your recommendations, which is one of many options on the page.

– Click on “Ask for recommendations” or “Give recommendations”.

It’s a lot of work for what is an important part of the LinkedIn experience. It’s puzzling why the feature is buried deep inside the Website to the point where it’s almost inaccessible.

2. Write content, which is a feature that LinkedIn recently introduced. Too bad, it’s so difficult to find.

After some pecking around, I finally figured it. There’s a tiny pencil in the “Share an update” box that launches the publishing tool. It’s not the best or most prominent way display a key feature given LinkedIn wants to become a place where people create content. What about the idea of a call-to-action: “Write a Post” using a bright button? I bet that would probably get people to write more posts or, at the very least, discover the feature exists.

3. Better and easy way to search connections: It’s super-easy to request and accept connection using LinkedIn, which explains why there are a lot of people with hundreds or thousands of connections.

But why doesn’t LinkedIn make it easier to search through your contacts. There should be a more user-friendly, intuitive way to quickly discover your connections than the existing tools.

4. A powerful and/or effective lead nurturing tool. Now, this would be a super-cool tool that would amplify LinkedIn’s value. It would make LinkedIn far more interesting and valuable for people who have a lot of connections but would love a way to get more business from them.

The improvements I would like to seem like low-hanging fruit, and could probably be ticked off with some UX/UI work. So, what do you say LinkedIn?

What other improvements would you like LinkedIn to make?

 

Social Media’s Quiet Superstar: Slideshare

Within the social media “party”, Slideshare is the cool, confident and level-headed kid.

Slideshare doesn’t make a scene, try to attract the spotlight or do things that piss off other people. It just quietly rumbles along, making friends and doing thing that make people happy such as getting rid of its freemium model.

SlideshareAs important, Slideshare does a great job of giving people a place to effectively share their presentations.

I met with a startup entrepreneur recently who talked about how much traffic it generates when it posts content on Slideshare.

When asked to explain, he said there simply isn’t as much competition for attention as Twitter and Facebook where everyone is yelling to be noticed.

So, what is Slideshare’s secret?

I think it boils down to how Slideshare is an easy and effective way to share content.

Its success, in many way, is driven by its focus. You don’t find a lot of bells and whistles on Slideshare or a continual expansion of features. Slideshare just does what it does without making much of a fuss.

It has been interesting to see how little has changed with Slideshare since it was acquired by LinkedIn for $119-million in 2012.

Aside from the decision to eliminate freemium, LinkedIn appears to have left Slideshare alone rather than suck it into the fold – something it has done with other acquisitions such as Connected (a social CRM service that was a personal favourite).

Maybe the folks at LinkedIn realize that you shouldn’t mess with a good thing, so they have left Slideshare alone – at least for now.

It’s a smart strategy because Slideshare has such a strong reputation as a valuable service. What’s particularly interesting is how Slideshare’s utility has expanded even though it hasn’t gone out of its way to add more features. In a pretty organic way, people have started to use Slideshare in different ways.

For marketers, Slideshare’s unassuming personality can make it a really effective tool to publish and share content. Since it’s not a place that features loud place to have conversations, a flurry of personal updates or engagement, it’s not as difficult to get noticed.

As important, Slideshare makes it easy to share and consume content, particularly the ability to embed presentations on other Websites.

For people who haven’t used Slideshare, it’s worth exploring how it can be used for marketing, sales and sharing interesting content.

Why do you think Slideshare is so successful? What are some of the ways that you use it?

 

Social Job Searching: Gumtree Breaks It Down [Infographic]

As the old saying goes; it’s not what you know it’s who you know.

That’s why using social media has become one of the best tools for people on the hunt for a job. Social media allows you to interact and network with large groups of people all at the same time. It also gives job seekers the ability to access people that previously would have been nearly impossible to meet.

I can  attest to this, because if I wasn’t able to use social media as an avenue to help me find a job, I probably wouldn’t be here writing this blog post for you all today.

But social media isn’t just for job seekers. People who are looking to hire are also scouring social media for the right people to join their teams. In fact, according to our friends at Gumtree, an online classifieds market in the UK, more recruiters are using social media to find people than job seekers are.

For that reason, the folks at Gumtree put together a great infographic to help job seekers make a better appearance in the social space for these potential job recruiters. The stats listed in the infographic are based on numbers from the UK, but a lot of the advice is universal.

Check out Gumtree’s tips below on what can help you get a job through social media, what will hinder you, and some great tips on how to use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to improve your social job searching.

Use Social Media To Improve Your Job Search
Use Social Media To Improve Your Job Search is an infographic that was produced by Gumtree

Have you used social media to help you land a job in the past? If so, we’d love to hear your story in the comments.

Oh, and if you know someone currently searching for a job, you may want to be a good friend and share this with them.

Is LinkedIn Bound for More Social Stardom?

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram seems to attract a lot attention when it comes to social media popularity and digital marketing.

Within the second tier of popular networks is LinkedIn. While it’s not difficult to see why it lands below the others, it’s not where it belongs.

Going forward, it would be a great surprise to see LinkedIn elbow its way amongst the bigger players. It already has the credibility and the user base.

For starters, every company – small, medium and big – along with every CEO, VP, Director, Head of HR and many employees at all levels – have some kind of presence on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn can be a place to find talent, connect with other businesses and build your organization’s reputation.

There’s gold to be mined here for digital marketers as well, and it’s not just those whose business is B2B.

Content creation specifically for LinkedIn can really help build a digital brand. It is an arena filled with great content that businesses and users (who are potential customers) can engage with.

Unfortunately, it seems that most brands don’t use LinkedIn to its fullest capabilities. There are company pages but most of them seem to just have general info. This is a wasted opportunity.

A better approach is using the tools provided by LinkedIn as another way to connect with users. It might be the premium place to become a thought leader in your industry, something that can really pay off.

Digital marketers need to shift their perception of LinkedIn to a place to share, connect and engage.

It should also be seen as a place not just meant for individual users to connect professionally. It is a place where organizations can connect to individuals and not just for future staffing purposes.

LinkedIn is where past, present and future industry leaders aggregate, and there’s a chance to get noticed and get into the conversation.

Is LinkedIn part of your digital strategy? If not, then this is something you should really consider.

The Power of Personality within Social Media

conanIt’s become very clear over the past few years, you need to have personality to succeed in social media. Every brand that thrives in the long term understands this reality.

One of the best examples of this proposition is Conan O’Brien – and, yes, it is fair to call him a digital brand just like most celebrities who spent time connecting with their audience online.

He’s someone who all digital marketers can learn from.

Conan has become a master of interpreting his real personality into the online world, and offers a lot of great lessons for digital marketers in any industry.

His latest stunt was starting a LinkedIn profile and embedding it with the same touch of humour and levity that he did on Facebook and Twitter.

He describes himself as “CEO of Conan”, and his experience includes being a “temporary consultant” on The Tonight Show from June 2009 to February 2010.

For Conan to displays his quirky personality on a fairly dry and utterly professional network like LinkedIn shows any it is possible for any brand to have a personality.

It is important consumers be allowed to connect with your true brand. This doesn’t mean your brand has to be funny or edgy;  it just means you need to be fully replicated in the online world.

If you do this you are going to find a lot of success!

Do you show your brand’s true personality in social media, or are you holding back?

Onward and Upward for Twitter

Everyone’s favourite yapping bird is back at it as Twitter continues to attract more users.

According to its official account, Twitter now has more than 200 million users; an increase of 60 million since March, 2012. Any way you want to slice and dice it, this is impressive.

As eye-catching is there are more 400 million tweets posted a day. It’s almost impossible to wrap your mind around that statistic.

What does Twitter’s continued growth mean in the grand scheme of things?

For one, it means the new rolled out by Twitter over the past couple of years have raised the bar and resonated with users.

It means that Twitter’s rivals are either irrelevant or don’t exist. Anyone heard from App.net recently?

It could also mean that people who weren’t getting Twitter before are getting more involved, although many Twitter users never tweet.

Twitter was never niche but compared to Facebook, it was a strange creature to many non-users. The numbers over the past nine month could mean that Twitter is appealing to all demographics in some capacity.

For digital marketers and other relevant parties, it means if you aren’t exploiting Twitter in some shape, way or form, you are probably missing out.

Given Twitter is bigger than ever, it is becoming more important to have a clear plan about how you want to capitalize on it. Your audience is there and more engaged than ever.

One of the big questions should be how high can Twitter soar? Has it peaked or is 200 million active users just the beginning?

What do you think Twitter’s recent growth means to the social media landscape?

More: Speaking of 200 million, LinkedIn recently said it now has 200 million members.

LinkedIn Plays the Follow Game

linkedinIf you’ve figured out how to hang out on LinkedIn and truly enjoy yourself or make a meaningful contact, you’re way ahead of the average social media user.

The 175 million-member site has long been a must-join, but many users are still working to figure out how to more effectively use the service.

People like me have hundreds of contacts, but the question is: “Now what? How do I really take advantage of all these contacts?”

Yes, LinkedIn can be a great vehicle for people on job hunts but for many people, LinkedIn is still work in progress.

Some professional industries do use the site as a central gathering point but it mass appeal is not there yet.

That could change with LinkedIn’s plan to let users follow other users without needing approval — a la Twitter.

This is a start, even though it is just a test drive, as the site lets users follow 150 thought leaders, including Barack Obama and Richard Branson.

LinkedIn says it plans to extend this new approach to all users in future. The experiment could make the site, or take away its core value.

There’s always been something solid, if not unspectacular, about LinkedIn. Letting celebrities rule the roost is bound to change the vibe to the more gossipy instead of informative.

Yet it will also open things up for marketers. The ability to become a thought leader, build a large network and speak to a wider audience has huge potential.

LinkedIn’s charm may be the fact it’s not glitzy so, hopefully, it can grow without losing the things that has made it so compelling.

 

 

Is Twitter Getting Desperate?

twitterSay goodbye to Twitter.

It’s not disappearing but the Twitter that we’ve known and loved is riding off into the sunset. The new Twitter is more focused on making business, and less concerned about playing nice with others.

Twitter’s makeover was thrust into the spotlight on Friday when it unveiled the end of its tweet syndication with LinkedIn.

It means Twitter will no longer allow for the syndication of tweets inside LinkedIn that included features such as threaded conversations.

In a blog post, Twitter’s Michael Sippey said the decision reflects the “increasing importance of us providing the core Twitter consumption experience through a consistent set of products and tools” and how developers should not “build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience.”

“Make Twitter Even Better”

While Twitter is spinning this decision as a way to “make Twitter even better”, it’s a move that will abruptly and irrevocably change how people use Twitter, the delightful buffet of third-party services available, and the creativity of developers.

The way to translate Sippey’s blog is the company is tired of people using feature-rich third-party services to use Twitter.

This is a big problem because the third-party players using Twitter’s API have created services that are better and more user-friendly than Twitter.com. At the same time, these players have been building businesses by offering premium services and ads.

Throw a Party But No One Comes

This must be frustrating to Twitter, which has been scrambling to improve Twitter.com over the past year. It is like throwing a party but few people come because you decided to share your invitation list and DJ’s selections with people hosting other parties.

The question many people are asking is why Twitter has become so strident about how third-party developers use its API. The availability of the “fire hose” or parts of it has been a major part of how Twitter has established such a huge global footprint.

The simple answer is Twitter has become desperate as its scrambles to build a viable business to justify its sky-high valuation. As a result, it now makes little sense to support rivals who are luring away users and advertisers.

In the short term, Twitter will be criticized and its developer community will not be as vibrant or creative.

In the long-term, Twitter is counting on getting more financial leverage from its 500 million users around the world. It’s a tough decision but a necessary evil for Twitter as its aggressively goes from a popular project to lucrative business.

For more, Dalton Caldwell has a good post talking about the battle within Twitter between people who believed the company’s core business should be data, and those who wanted to pursue a business built on advertising.

AllThingsD’s Mike Isaac wonders about what Twitter’s move means for companies such as Flipboard that mimic Twitter’s experience.

Social Media Under Attack from Hackers…Again

One of the oldest and ongoing stories in social media over the past decade has been written by hackers.

From supposed Nigerian princes looking for a few bucks to old friends contacting you on Facebook because they’re in a jam, hackers graduated from e-mail to social networks to prey on the unsuspecting.

Recently, a hacker stole 6.5 million passwords from Linkedin, and before you brush it off by thinking, “So what? The worse they can do is apply to a job I’m not qualified for”, remember this is an enormous breach of security.

Now reports are surfacing the popular online dating network,eHarmony, has had many of its users’ passwords hacked and stolen(or as they put it nicely…”compromised”).

This is probably just the beginning of hackers infiltrating popular networks, and “compromising” passwords and personal data. So what can be done?

Social networks need to focus a bit less on marketing for the next little while, and turn their attention to security and good public relations. The savvy users have been nervous for some time, and soon everyone will be on board.

The worst part of this (or to some the most interesting) is this particular hacker, named “dwdm”, is stealing and posting passwords to popular social networks sites merely to prove his worth. It’s a move based on anarchy, and it will happen again.

Without mythologizing hackers to any further extent than needed, it is dependent on the social networks to band together and combat this threat. The next move might be the most pivotal; lets hope it is made by the companies and not the hackers.

Click here for details on how to find out if your Linkedin password was hacked.

LinkedIn: The Sneaky Social Platform?

During a meeting recently with a large PR agency discussing different approaches to social media, one of their executives described LinkedIn as “the sneaky social platform that no one is paying much attention to”.

Not surprisingly, this caught my attention given LinkedIn has more than 100 million members, and I’ve never heard anyone describe it as “sneaky”.

What the PR person meant was that LinkedIn is being leveraged in ways that may capture the spotlight. While LinkedIn is seen as a professional social service to publish your resume and make digital connections, the PR person also identified two other key benefits:

1. Website traffic referrals. While Facebook and Twitter attract most of the attention when it comes to sharing links to Websites, blogs and articles, LinkedIn is also becoming a bigger and more interesting player to drive traffic as professionals show more of an appetite for social sharing.

2. Targeted advertising: Unlike a Twitter, which relies on the information that people provide within their bios to provide advertisers with information about users, or Facebook, which is more of a personal social network, the details that LinkedIn user provide makes it easier to accurately pursue target audiences.

If anything, it’s an interesting perspective on LinkedIn and how it can be more effectively leveraged beyond making new connections.

In particular, the Website traffic referral angle is intriguing because social sharing can be an effective and powerful way to drive more attention, especially as content marketing gains more traction.

I would suggest this kind of referral traffic could have more oomph due to the “quality” of the people do the sharing and the kind of content they’re sharing.

In a recent blog post, Compete asked whether LinkedIn was becoming more of a “personal professional network”, while Buzz12 talks about how 25% of its referral traffic comes from LinkedIn.

What are your thoughts about LinkedIn? Do you see it as an attractive traffic referral and advertising platform?