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

[youtube jykqF-neZ2I]

photo credit: Mario Sundar

Choosing Your Audience Without Apologies

choosing audience without apologies Choosing your audience without apologies is traditional advertising of tv, radio and print as these spots tend to reach the watchers of a certain show, magazine/newspaper or station and not necessarily those that would ever purchase. This holds true on the web as well with sites that have ads that reach the target market and then some who are viewers of the site but do not fit the exact target of the ad. Sure, we look at the numbers provided by the media outlets and strategically place ads based upon the demographics provided by them and see where our target is there and bam, we place and run. There is always an audience that is not the target and some may become and for others, the spot is falling on deaf ears. That is the nature of traditional advertising as regardless of how technology betters, we can never solely attract our target audience. Do we need to apologize for this? No. We have become accustomed to receiving advertising messages that are not for us. Sometimes we listen or sometimes we do not. Advertisers hope we do as they just want a return on their investment.

No Apologies

Discount retailers who are targeting a certain segment never apologize for having discount merchandise or attracting for new customers. They never apologize for not having the size scale or ample amount of merchandise that a non discounter has. They lure us in by giving us merchandise that is sold at a lesser price, which gives us more to enhance our lives in family time and enjoying the opportunity to have new things. They embrace living on a budget and exploit it. They are not trying to make the wealthy like them or dislike them, they are honing in on their target market through targeting them in the moment and creating the story for them and never apologizing for creating the “good life on a budget” story.

Bloggers do not apologize for the reach they get when their article is retweeted. Actually, we thank people for sharing. We apologize if someone does not like our writings but never apologize for the new set of eyes. If we apologize for the new audience then we are making a crucial error as our business model will be flawed. Yes, we need to map out our target market but there has to be a path to growth and expansion. Build your blog community and company by understanding and directly talking/selling to your core audience to create brand loyalty but also be mindful of the larger audience that may not know of your existence. There is no apologies needed to build a stronger business and attracting new customers to help enhance their lives. There are no apologies needed when we are gaining attention for what we believe in and want others to believe in (unless of course it is destructive in nature and sets out to cause  harm). Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ are not apologizing for attracting new people in drones. They are not apologizing to those that choose not to pay any attention to them. Why should other advertisers? Why should we have to apologize if our message is received by someone who would never buy? They make us by lashing out and we are compelled to, to protect the reputation and integrity of the blog/the company.

Creating the Apology

Creating the apology is done when when a tweet or an ad goes bad and people swarm all over it. This is more than people listening, it is where people are listening and reacting. The more popular the negativity becomes, the more attention that is given and people start listening to what you are saying in your apology. Many times this is people who may have never heard of us. This starts to snowball and while it can spiral out of control, it can also attract some new eyes and broaden your audience. No apologies here for bringing awareness so long as it has a positive outcome. When the awareness brings in negativity from the new audience and it continues to linger in the media, it can be damaging. We saw this with Ragu with saying men are incapable of cooking a family meal as that is a woman’s job. They were empowering women as the queen of the kitchen and not apologetic for dissing men who are the king of the kitchen. While we can all appreciate empowering people through advertising for them to relate to the product and the story it is telling to persuade them to buy but when it lends itself to the stereotypes, it starts to turn off certain audiences. Was this damaging enough to Ragu to hurt sales or was it just one select target market that had their attention and it was ignored by their loyal customers who championed them for supporting women with all that they do each day with work and caring for the family?  Competitors had a new target market opened up to them with those that were outraged and certainly were not apologetic to attract this new target.

Do We Ever Need To Apologize When Choosing Our Audience?

Do we need to apologize when we miss the mark? Missing the mark happens where the targeting starts to get broader and we generalize. We select certain criteria about  our target market and hit up those that meet the criteria. There is no way of ever knowing exactly if every single person we are targeting meets all the criteria so we run that risk of pissing someone off. If Hanes started inundating me with mens’ boxers emails, tweets, etc (and while I love Jordan), and I never clicked on, responded or bought, I would get annoyed. I would recognize that they are reaching out to women who would buy for their significant other and while the lil man loves his boxers,  I am not in the market for mens’. Would they need to apologize for targeting me? If I said publicly said something in a tweet I would think they would and remove me from their target list (while adding me to the boys targeting efforts) but do they really need to apologize? They generalized that women, especially of a certain age, with child(ren) would be buying for their man and they may attract new customers with this generalization. Do they need to apologize to me because while I fit MOST of their criteria, I do not fit all (in this scenario, the biggest part)? I do not think so.

When I purchased ONE Giants shirt years ago as a gift and was still getting direct mail and emails to buy more when I bought a ridiculous amount of JETS merchandise from the same company, I was concerned. How can a company continue to send out direct mail and emails that never get opened? I suppose that this is a topic for another post but for right now, do they need to apologize for clogging up my email or my mailbox? I purchased an item so I was added to their targeted list. They had no idea that I would not buy more Giants merchandise. But year after year when the emails went  unopened and offers in direct mail never were acted upon, they should have gotten the hint. Did they need to apologize? No. They just needed to review the information better. This is being lazy and growing the numbers and not paying attention to the buying habits. Maybe they need to apologize for that. Hmh. That would be something. If a company came out and issued a formal apology for not paying attention to the buying habits of people and continued to email them as if they were a regular buying customer (and not creating marketing messages geared to decrease attrition). In other words, we were lazy and did not pay attention and we will improve that. Interesting concept and again probably best flushed out in another post.

When we are targeting with intent to expand upon our audience and improve customer conversion we do not need to apologize unless we offend an entire group. Mistakes happen. Outside of a bad mistake, we are targeting and reaching them to let them know we exist. We are trying to create awareness and the potential customers’ story by identifying the opportunity to buy and fulfill a need or want. It is right here in front of them with the underlying message to trust and act now and buy. Again no apologies for that. It is business and they key word in the headline is choosing. We do have a choice to target them or not.

Thoughts? Do we ever need to apologize for choosing our audience?

photo credit: Arenamontanus

WE Built This Social Media City

city of social mediaIn my quest to get the body moving each day through music, I seek out new music to listen to. I stumbled across We Built This City … on Rock and Roll by Jefferson Starship. Catchy tune that when you sing it and listen to the words you are singing, you stop for a minute and think, yeah, ya know WE, the social media folks built a Social Media City. Sure, the developers built the platforms but we used them, we used them so much that we drew so much attention to our City, our very own Social Media City that now has blossomed into its own communities. These communities are all a part of OUR City and when one community needs help, we are there, when a member of OUR City has stumbled, we criticize only to try and help as they are not showing our City in the best light. We, ourselves, do the same when we viciously attach one another. We have spent years building this City only to show the outside world that our City is crumbling internally. We do not all have sit by the camp fire at night singing kumbaya while roasting marsh mellows but exposing our weaknesses only give the naysayers or those on the fence reason not to continue to build and preserve our City.

Our Social Media City

We can think back to the early days of blogging – or journals as they were called. Who were these freaks writing things online thinking people would read? We had books, magazines, newspapers, etc for that. Enter LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the failed Google platforms and now Google+. If those early freaks journals did not exist, would we be where we are now? If the developers did not take a chance and create the platforms and we as users did not embrace them and show how to integrate social media into a marketing plan, we would not have OUR City. That is pretty powerful to think about as all the new jobs that have been created, the communities we have developed, the friends we have made and the opportunity that has come for thousands of businesses to meet their customers.

Is Our City Thriving?

For each Twitter, Facebook, Google+ user account that is receiving praise, there are many that have lost their way or did not spend the time in learning that social media is marketing. Marketing is about building relationships and talking with the customers and not talking to the sale. The ultimate goal is to drive sales but the route taken to build the relationships is where there is the disconnect. We have expectations of how a brand should engage. We, as well respected members in our City, have expertise on what strategy will be best for them. Sometimes they listen and many times they do not.

Abandoned accounts, accounts that act as traditional advertising mediums where there is brand talking about themselves as an extension of a billboard or print ad and not interacting with their community or those that have no presence at all hurt our City. We can think of examples of those brands who are better served not having a presence at all in social media which when we think that way, it stagnates the growth of our City. When a brand stops updating or does not answer customers, potential customers or just a general question from a stumbler/surfer, it hurts our City. People stop believing in what we have built. They forget about the Pepsi’s, the AJBombers, The Dunkin Donuts who are leaders in brand social media.

Did Our City Grow Too Fast?

Did we? I lived the expansion in Las Vegas which ultimately was/is too much too fast. The numbers were showing the fastest growing city so they built and built and built. The problem is that the city could not sustain the growth with only one major industry. The reliance upon the casino industry to stimulate prospects from other industries faltered and while the volume in people and housing grew, the industrial sector did not.

Did our Social Media City grow too fast? Did some get left behind and not have the guidance to really learn the tools and how social media is not just a chat room but a part of an actual strategic marketing plan where the target market is researched, how they interact with one another, how they interact with the brands, how comfortable they are with using the platforms, the tone, the reputation that will be created through the tone used and the level of knowledge about the brand itself the social media accounts will showcase? This and a whole lot more matters. Those that are invested in our City and the City leaders know this but those that are new or just doing social media because they have to and forget it is marketing are missing out on opportunity but are also hurting our City.

Building and Preserving Our City

How can we attract new people to our City when they are met with disarray? When brands falter in social media the users suffer and so does the industry as a whole. We can think of Detroit and how their major industry has crumbled and rebuilding Detroit has become an entire community coming together taking action. Chrysler has built an entire campaign around Detroit. Did it sell more cars? I do not know. Did Chrysler  do its part as a City leader to help stimulate growth and put Detroit back on the map? They did and we can too.

How? We can look at brands and make them more responsible by calling them out. If they are not going to reach out to us, which clearly they have not, then we have to draw attention and help them to listen to us. The brands who do social media are not listening or know better than the social media city leaders and place the social media efforts in the hands of an intern, a recent grad who has no working experience in marketing and no one to guide them. They are hired at under $25K a year, a job that any experienced marketer would never apply for.

In advertising and marketing agencies, there are positions that are geared for the new grads with Jr. Account Exec, Associate Account Exec as they work their way up through guidance. In social media, ok you know Twitter, Facebook, You Tube and Google +, great, you are hired. You have to wonder how quickly an account would go under review if an agency went to their brand client and said, “your agency team will now consist of recent grads and interns.” It is not ok with the creative so why is it ok with the social media? This hurts the communities we have built. Our City is being torn down right before our eyes. Every single brand that treats social media not as marketing but as a billboard or forgets that the intern has left and the profile is dead stifles the growth of social media. If your BFF stops calling you back, do you keep on calling? No. If your internet is down more often that it is up, do you stay with that company? No.

There is no excuse for a brand to tear down our City. This is an uphill battle as brands will continue to hire based upon knowledge of the tools and not the reason the tools are used. We know they do not want to invest big dollars into someone who will be the voice of their brand and really anyone can do it. It is this attitude that needs to be changed. Not everyone can be the voice of a brand. Not everyone has the experience, professionalism, maturity and understanding of the expectations of a brand. We can make change, we can build and protect our City.

photo credit: SouthernAnts

LinkedIn Adds Student Profile Sections

 

 

LinkedIn new student profile sections

Photo credit: coletivomambembe

Students and recent grads are facing one of the grimmest job markets in recent history. The competition is steep and while students were hard at work on their studies, their competition was working on their experience. Graduating college is a very exciting time until the barrage of questions of what are you going to do now start to flow in and you are stare blankly pondering this question. What am I going to do? Get a job I guess flies out of your mouth faster than you can shrug your shoulders. Suddenly you think about the job market and all those that are unemployed and you come to the realization that this may not be as easy as it sounds.

LinkedIn is here to help by focusing on students and recent grads experience in school. It makes a lot of sense as you were in school learning and participating in different clubs, organizations, activities and receiving some honors, achievements and of course, the grand daddy of em all – a diploma/certificate. That piece of paper and all that you did to earn it is worth a whole lot more than the paper it was printed on when you are looking for a job.

LinkedIn Adds Student Profile Sections

You may remember back in October 2010 where LinkedIn launched the new “sections” with the ability to add your skills, certifications, licenses, accreditations, etc to allow more flexibility to your  profile and how you customize. The new sections for students and recent grads builds upon this allowing for more of a robust summary. These new sections provide potential employers with an opportunity to access your academic career and see how that can apply to a career with their company. According to LinkedIn, these sections, which are all optional to add, are geared towards the employers to see how your academics can be shaped to fit a career in their company.

  • Projects: Participating in projects shows that you can apply classroom learning to real-world challenges and work effectively in a team. Add compelling research or class projects to your profile – especially those that demonstrate experience relevant to your professional goals.
  • Honors & Awards: Did you make the Dean’s List or earn a merit-based scholarship? Add it to your profile. While much of your profile is a subjective characterization of your abilities, Honors & Awards provide objective validation for your accomplishments.
  • Organizations: Participation in on-campus or external organizations shows your contributions outside the classroom. Leadership abilities, and making a positive impact within an organization, are talents widely sought by employers and recruiters.
  • Test Scores: Employers often view strong test scores as indicators of good  problem solving skills. If you have excelled at standardized tests, or have a stellar G.P.A., include these scores on your profile.
  • Courses: Do you consistently push the envelope by enrolling in rigorous coursework?  List select courses on your profile – especially those that qualify you for positions you are seeking, or demonstrate your commitment to expanding your academic horizons. Many employers know your school’s course catalogs as well as you do, so include the strongest courses of your college experience.

How to Add Student Oriented Sections To Your Profile

The sections are very easily added and are also a drag and drop so you can place them where they fit best on your profile. Being a student or a recent grad is pretty obvious so placing these student/recent grad sections high atop your profile is not taboo. For an employer that is looking to hire a recent grad, it is quite welcoming to have it front and center.

1. Go to Profile in the top menu bar.

2. At the drop down, click Edit Profile.

3. Scroll down to the bottom of the “blue box” and at the right is Add Sections.

4. The sections are alphabetical so be sure to scroll down to see them all to match your needs.

It is that easy. Be sure to fill out the section as completely and comprehensively as you can as employers are looking for the right people to match their needs in an employee. An incomplete section sends the message that you could not be bothered with finishing it which could mean you are not always able to complete projects. Stretch – maybe, but remember, they are reading what you are telling them and do not know you nor will they get that deep into the woods in what you are trying to say.

LinkedIn is always creating new ways to get people connected and hired. Managing your LinkedIn profile through the enhancements, additions as well as the mentors through connections that are made provide the necessary tools for users, young and old, inexperienced and experienced to make strides to shine a spotlight upon themselves.