LinkedIn Launches Company Follow

LinkedIn TipsLinkedIn has launched a follow button similar to Twitter and the Facebook Like to increase awareness and engagement with the company pages and users on LinkedIn. Company pages are the forgotten pages as there is not a whole lot of functionality within these pages and previously there was no button or link from your website (other than a share which was more used for a blog article and did not direct users to the company page) to let users know that the page even existed on LinkedIn (there is the share button which was mainly for blogs). While the functionality is still limited as we cannot interact with LinkedIn company pages via posting our comments/thoughts/ideas, etc., at least we can make site visitors aware of them and allow them to follow and share company page updates on LinkedIn.

How Does LinkedIn Company Follow Work?

The LinkedIn Company Follow button works the same as follow for Twitter and Like for Facebook where in order to follow a company, you must be logged into your LinkedIn profile (if not, you will be prompted to log in). While on a company’s website, click the follow button and you are brought to the company LinkedIn page and are automatically following that Company.

The Company pages as you may recall have added employees  through company search as well as products and services for visitors to learn about your company and to see what level of connection they have with your company through your employees. Thereafter, they added analytics for companies to see who is visiting, who is following the company page as well as their industry, company and function (position).

How To Install LinkedIn Company Follow

    1. Go to LinkedIn’s Developer Plug-In Page
    2. If you are not logged in to your LinkedIn, type in your company’s name in the box. If you are logged in, it should automatically populate the field.
    3. Pick the style you wish to have on your website, horizontal with count or without count.
    4. Click “Get Code” and the code will appear.
    5. Copy the code and place it on your website on the page(s) you wish for the button to appear.

Why Should I Install LinkedIn Company Follow?

Simply – awareness and exposure and to keep users up to date on your company. Not everyone will visit your website every single day however, many do visit their LinkedIn profile every day. Your company page updates and new job postings will be featured on their LinkedIn profile which is visible to others. So, not only are those that are following your company page viewing your page updates, so are their connections. Awareness and exposure.

The key here is that you have to make sure that you are updating your company page as if not, why would people want to follow you? This is not like Twitter where we can tweet upwards of 25-50 times a day. No that is too much for LinkedIn users. Update when you have company news or something that is industry related. Remember, you cannot ask questions on your company page as users are unable to answer on your page (utilize the Q&A section, start a Group for Q&A or a poll). If you are not updating your page eventually users will forget about you and unfollow and having the follow button on your website becomes pointless. Update your company page status to get people to know more about your company, share your updates and also refer your company to those in the need of your product/services.

LinkedIn Tips: Find and Follow A Company Video

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photo credit: Mario Sundar

Is Google +1 Destined To Fail?

 

 

google logo

Google has entered the social sharing game arena with their newly launched +1. Judging from the pages and pages of “how to install the Google +1 button” in the search results, I would say it has been warmly received (I suppose it is always beneficial to write about the big guy).But, we know that warmly received in the blogosphere does not always equate to conversations and mass amounts of Google users being eager to +1 an article/search result. Not everyone really knows what it is, how it will be used and, really wants to share their hat tips with the search giant. Sure, Google has explained it but for many they cannot get past that it is a copy cat to Facebook likes.

Google +1 in Search Results

Back in March, Google touted the + 1 ” … as the right recommendations right when you want them – in your search results.” Google goes on to say that the +1 is:

enabling you to share recommendations with the world right in Google’s search results. It’s called +1—the digital shorthand for “this is pretty cool.” To recommend something, all you have to do is click +1 on a webpage or ad you find useful. These +1’s will then start appearing in Google’s search results.

Appearing in Google search results. Hmh. This raises some eyebrows for sure as already social signals were being pulled and displayed from our social circle so now we would have a +1 button that does what? Appears in search results. How?

How Google +1 Displays in Search Results

The +1 appears next to each result to your query when you have a Google profile and only when you are logged in.  Seems like some  pertinent criteria those not as engrossed in social networking and not using Gmail as their email provider, may not necessarily have and if they did, would they really press the button? There is no real incentive to do so as there is no interaction like we see on Facebook, no new page to look at and enter a contest or receive a coupon; in other words no tangible rewards. So, for the casual or even heavy user, what is the incentive to press the button to give props for a search result? Oh the social sharing where  your +1 is seen by your social circle. This is if you have created a social circle (if you are not a heavy gmail user or your friends are not on gmail, the answer to this is probably No). This now attracts our need to belong or for the attention to show our friends that we know things which has NOTHING to do with search results.

Is Google +1 Destined to Fail?

Maybe. The products before have and being that there is not really a niche like a Yelp, a Facebook where there is an entire interactive platform behind the Like we have to really think about the success of this. Sure, there is the blogging community but while there are millions of blogs, I am not so sure that we will all rush to +1 our competitors to push them ahead of us in the rankings. Which bring me to some other aspects to consider:

1. Adoption. It is a shiny new tool. Within days there was a WordPress Plugin available and numerous articles on how to add it to your site. Despite having some heavy hitters that had added the button early on and encouraged users to test it out, this does not automatically mean that users were just not taking it for a test ride and clicked it and moved on. Also, when we are searching, are we paying attention to the social sharing or the results themselves? Well, we would be paying attention to the result itself and would have to use the back button to return to the search to +1 as we probably would not just +1 from a preview in the right sidebar (or click it on the site if it was installed). Also, as it is translucent, does everyone see/is  paying attention to it?

2. Credibility. The credibility of the search results can be compromised and diminished. If our search queries are yielding mediocre content or content that has us searching for more, then we will not be as trusting of results. The more +1 an article/website receives, the higher the rankings. Google had to tie this to rankings or it would already have failed. Of course there are other factors considered within the algorithms but we would be naive to think that +1’s do not have some considerable weight. The flip side is that we may go deeper in the pages to find those golden nuggets that were not heavily promoted with +1’s but satisfy our search queries. Google already seems to give Likes from Fan page (as they cannot search the personal pages) rankings as we saw recently in an experiment with Rand Fishkin as explained in depth by Danny Sullivan.

3. Google Profiles Privacy. This is where we may see a lot of people not be so keen on clicking the +1 button. When we +1, it is stored in our Google Profile and we can keep it private so that only we can see each article/website/page that we have +1 or we can make it public.

google profile +1 tab private

However, even if we have it private, our social circle will always see what we have +1 if it matches their search query/result. The public setting appears to mean anyone on the web.

google profile +1 tab public 4. Abuse. With anything we will more than likely see this is as the new black hat SEO. There will be those that game the system as the more +1, presumably the higher the ranking. We all want #1 rankings and lots of them so what will stop some sleazy companies from promising and guaranteeing rankings though a proprietary means that is being offered exclusively to only 10 companies? Or a strong group that comes together that reciprocates +1 to push one another’s rankings? We know it will happen and this reverts us back to credibility. If the search results suck and there are a lot of complaints or we see Bing bridging the gap, +1 will fade away like the other Google mishaps before it.

Google as a Search Engine

Google is a search engine and a damn good one. I never use any other site for search. It does not always yield the results I would like (it is not a miracle worker) for this site or my queries when I am eyeball deep in research however I trust the results and would never stray. However, Google is trying to tread into some murky waters. They are trying to be a social site and a competitor of Facebook. Now, we can argue that Facebook is trying to be a search engine and is “learning” with Bing and eventually will overtake Google. People like to be social on social platforms but on search engines? Do we really want everyone to know all about us? Is that the purpose of a search engine or is it to provide comprehensive results? Does this matter anymore or are we just only trusting of our friends and instead of calling, texting or even FB’ing them we would perform a search and see that they +1’d it and immediately trust and run to buy? What if it is someone that we dislike will this dissuade us not to buy? Plus this is saying that we as consumers are much more simple than once thought as we rely upon review sites that have actual reviews and not a +1 that does not have any negativity with a -1 and some commentary.

It just seems that the +1 is catering to the SEO conscious audience and not to the searching audience. Begs the question again of what is in it for the user to click +1? Makes them cool or influential to their friends when they are searching for the same thing? Having no -1 already puts this at a disadvantage as with review sites users can express dissatisfaction. To differentiate Facebook and get people on board to use this, a -1 really would have set it apart and excited users and kept us talking.

Add this all together and this could be a recipe for failure and +1 may end up in the toilet.

Have you installed it on your site? I quickly installed it here with the plug in so it is floating front and center and will monitor its use to decide if the sharing buttons up top will be reconfigured.

What do you think, is Google +1 destined to fail?

Google Lego photo credit: Gayle Laakmann McDowell

 

LinkedIn Launches LinkedIn Today

 

 

LinkedIn Logo

photo credit: coletivomambembe

Extra! Extra! Read all about it on LinkedIn? LinkedIn has launched a personalized new site, LinkedIn Today that is similar to most other news sites however this one is personal to you without you ever having to set it up. Your profile and your connections have set it up for you. The articles that appear on your Today page are the top stories of the day and not necessarily like groups, articles that were only shared by members or connections. It is a time management tool of sorts as you can click on your page and see what is happening without having to scroll through Twitter for tweets or check each of the popular sites. LinkedIn does it for you.

LinkedIn Today Features

LinkedIn Today is a personal news site that caters to your needs by bringing you the top industry news and also the articles that suit your interests. The articles are selected purely by an algorithm and are separated by industry. If you are in marketing, you will not receive real estate or funding news, unless you customize. It cuts out the noise on the bigger news sites where you have to search for an article in your industry that is of interest to you. LinkedIn Today has the main articles placed on your front page (above the fold) prominently so you can click on your page (your page is located at www.linkdin.com/today)  read the articles of interest and move on. The front page showcases the top articles from your industry and when you scroll down it features industries “SUGGESTED INDUSTRIES” that you can follow.

LinkedIn Today Front Page

1. Customize/Personalize. Your LinkedIn Today can be customized to receive the industries you want to stay on top of. If you are interested in hospitality, you can receive that. The industries are preset (adds some importance to LinkedIn Skills) and are found as a drop down under the “BROWSE ALL’ tab. Currently there are 22 industries but this will be expanded to 115 industries.

 

LinkedIn Today Browse All

2. Share Counter. Articles featured in each industry are based upon an algorithm of shares. Once again, bigger blogs will continue to be featured just by sheer volume. But, who is sharing all of these articles? The share counter when clicked, shows you who shared the article, how many from each company and which industry they are in. Very useful for expanding your connections within your industry.

 

LinkedIn Today Shared By

3. Share or Save. LinkedIn has created a bookmarking feature with the Share or Save. If you are not able to read the story at that time, you can press the save button and the article will be saved for you. This is exceptionally useful as not only do the stories update throughout the day, if  a story is featured in the morning, we know that it could be gone shortly due to the sharing. The save button allows you to bookmark it and come back later.

The Share button shares the article on LinkedIn and if you check the box on Twitter as well.

4. iPhone App. The LinkedIn iphone app will include LinkedIn Today so you can catch up on the go. With LinkedIn Today on your iphone, you have the ability to see what your connections are reading as well as read saved articles and actually save articles which will show up when you return to your desktop/laptop. Flight delays just got a little bit easier.

LinkedIn Today iphone app

photo credit LinkedIn blog

5. StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon has made it very easy for you to stumble articles from your LinkedIn Today as well as sharing them on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. The StumbleUpon toolbar expands when you that when you click share to expose the additional sharing options.

LinkedIn Today StumbleUpon

LinkedIn Today Video

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LinkedIn is hoping that this will bring visitors more frequently to the site, they will update their profiles with industry news and also engage more on the site. What is noticeably missing is the Facebook “Like” button.  There is no Like button on the Share button for each article nor with the StumbleUpon toolbar. The share button has only incorporated Twitter so I guess it is not that much of a shock that the Like button is not included.

I like this as it is easy to jump on over and see what I may have missed and it is also time efficient so that I do not have to go to each site and scroll through for an article of interest. The fact it is not on my homepage and I have to go to a different page to access, does create an extra step but it is so easy to use that it almost is too good to pass up.

What do you think? Is LinkedIn Today a site that you will visit often?

MailChimp Brings Facebook Like to Email

The Facebook “Like” button has changed the way that we are able to comment and interact. Simply click “Like” and move on to the next update, blog, web page. Now enter MailChimp who as a part of their upgrade to MailChimp 5.2 has added a new merge tag that integrates the Facebook Like button into email campaigns. 

Facebook Like by the Numbers

The usage stats for the “Like” button are amazing. According to Nick O’Neill at All Facebook, The Unofficial Facebook Resource, it is estimated that the like button is clicked by 65 MILLION users each day. This is astounding however not too much of a shock considering the like button exceeds any other interaction. So much for actually typing a message to someone.

MailChimp Like Integration  

MailChimp version 5.2 is launching next week. The popularity of the Like button cannot be denied and seems to be a good fit for email to see how many not only read, interact and actually will go so far as clicking the like.

When a subscriber clicks the Like button from the email, the campaign is posted to their wall for their friends to see and like. MailChimp will track the likes in customers’ social stats.

MailChimp Social Stats Dashboard Tracking:

1. Total number of likes

2. Who liked

3. Number of referrals from those who liked

We can already see a contest of sorts for the most referrals. Nothing like a little incentive to like and post to your wall.

MailChimp Facebook Like to Email Video 

 

What do you think? Does Facebook Like belong in email? Are advertisers getting some free real estate on our walls?