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Are Your Employees on LinkedIn? Three Profile Creation Tips from Stephanie Sammons

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We often think of LinkedIn as a professional social network for individuals, but did you know LinkedIn could also help build your business? At BusinessNext 2013 (presented by NMX), speaker Stephanie Sammons, CEO of Wired Advisor, presented “7 Powerful LinkedIn Marketing Strategies for Building Your Business” – and today, I wanted to talk about one of the most important aspects she covered: profile creation for your employees.

“Everyone in the company needs to understand how to set up a good profile.”

The more your employees are visible on LinkedIn, the more your business will be visible on LinkedIn. Visibility leads to brand recognition, talent acquisition, and more, so it’s definitely good for every company to have a presence on LinkedIn. Consider spending a day training your employees on this platform, or at least covering the basics of creating a good profile. According to Stephanie, here’s what your employees need to keep in mind when creating a profile.

  • Professional and Accurate Information

One of the biggest mistakes people make with LinkedIn is not keeping the information up-to-date. An employee who is now a manager or even higher in your company might still have their previous job listed. Worse, employees might choose to have unprofessional information listed on their LinkedIn profile, which could reflect poorly on your company as a whole. Go over what is appropriate with your employees and encourage them to update often.

  • Frequent and Consistent Status Updates

Most people who use LinkedIn do not use the status update capability or they have it linked to Twitter, where updates are commonly pretty casual.  Instead, encourage your employees to update LinkedIn during the day, posting professional (and non-confidential) information about the daily happenings at the office.

  • Network Growth

Make sure your employees are linked with one another and encourage them to allow connections with other people they know. More 1st level connections lead to more 2nd level connections, which lead to more 3rd level connections…and these are all people who are, in some way, connected to your company. If your employees grow their connections, your visibility on this platform grows as well.

This just scratches the surface of Stephanie’s BusinessNext session at NMX 2013. Want the whole thing? Check out our 2013 Virtual Ticket, available exclusively at NMX University for access to her session as well as hundreds of other session recordings from our event.

Blogs Used More By B2B for Content Marketing Purposes in 2011

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A recent study by MarketingProfs titled “B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends” shows blogs are on the rise as a viable source for content marketing purposes.

In 2010, only 51% of B2B surveyed said they used blogs for this purpose. It rose 27% to 65% in 2011. Using blogs as a content marketing tactic comes in behind articles (79%) and social media (74%).

Sources which fell in usage, include print magazines and print newsletters.

As far as social media goes, Twitter is the number one way B2Bs choose to distribute content at 74%. This is a 35% rise from last year’s 55%. The next most popular way to distribute content was LinkedIn at 71%, followed by Facebook at 70%.

Another interesting tidbit of information that came out of the study, is although B2B use social media as a tactic for content marketing, only about half of the respondents think it’s effective.

LinkedIn’s New Feature – Company Status Updates

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LinkedIn recently released a new feature called Company Status Updates, which allows companies to engage directly with their LinkedIn Followers. This new feature helps companies stay top-of-mind, build relationships, and acquire new customers.

Here’s how it works:

  • Post updates from your Company Page that will appear right on your followers’ home pages.
  • Share announcements, product releases, promotions, and more.
  • Engage with your followers…and possibly their entire network.
  • Optimize the conversation by seeing which updates are most interesting to your followers.

On the LinkedIn blog yesterday, Mike Grishaver, Senior Product Manager for Company Pages at LinkedIn, shared some tips to turbo-charge your LinkedIn Company Status Updates. Here’s a brief run-down of his tips:

1. Say “Hello.” How do you start a relationship?

2. Mix it up. Vary your status updates.

3. Think quality, not quantity.

4. Be part of the conversation.

5. Analyze your engagement.

LinkedIn also encourages its users to share their own tips by leaving a comment on their blog or @linkedin us on Twitter.

Have you started using LinkedIn’s Company Status Updates?

25 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About LinkedIn

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Brilliant Bloggers is a weekly series here at BlogWorld where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every week, we’ll feature three of the most brilliant bloggers out there, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: LinkedIn

Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a Twitter girl…but LinkedIn has a ton of potential, and I’m trying to carve out more time in my days to use it. Today, I’ve got some awesome posts to share with you about this topic. These are the posts that are helping me learn to use this network better; hopefully, they’ll help you too.

Advice from Brilliant Bloggers:

10 Powerful LinkedIn Tips by Lewis Howes

Lewis is the reigning king of LinkedIn in my book. This is just one of the many posts he’s written about the topic and if you want to learn even more about using LinkedIn, I highly recommend picking up his book or signing up for his email list at the very least. After checking out all he has to offer on his website, you can follow him on Twitter @lewishowes.

Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn by Guy Kawasaki

No matter what your background or goals, LinkedIn can work for you. As Guy shows in this awesome post, LinkedIn is one of m ost versatile social media sites out there, and you can use if for everything from helping you out from an SEO standpoint to ensuring that a job interview goes smoothly. If you’re a naysayer about LinkedIn, start here with Guy’s post. His site isn’t called How to Change the World for nothing! You can also find Guy on Twitter @guykawasaki.

LinkedIn for Bloggers – Branding, Authority, and Traffic by Kristi Hines

I love this post. Was there ever any doubt, though? It comes from Kristi Hines at Kikolani, so you know it’s going to be good. If you’re new to LinkedIn (or, like many, new to actually putting some time into using it), this is a great post for you – it gives you a step-by-step overview of how to get started. Check it out and then follow Kristi @kikolani.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

    Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about LinkedIn? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link!

    Next Week’s Topic: Sales Letters

    I’d love to include a link to your post next week – and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

    LinkedIn Launches New Apps for iPhone & Android

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    LinkedIn announced the launch of newly redesigned apps today for the iPhone, Android and a brand new HTML5 mobile website. LinkedIn says the new apps are faster, simpler and better. They’re claiming speed improvements from 2 to 10 percent, depending on the feature you are using.

    Here’s a look at the areas where they’ve completely re-organized the application:

    • Updates: View updates from your network and top news from LinkedIn Today
    • Inbox: You can view your invitations and messages in one place
    • You: Access your profile, connections, share updates, and even more in the future
    • Groups & More: Browse and interact with your groups, as well as build your network through our People You May Know feature

    With the number one request from LinkedIn mobile users being access to Groups, the company has answered. Now, both their iPhone & Android users can access a million LinkedIn Groups and discussions that take place everyday.

    Starting today, you can preview the new mobile website by visiting touch.linkedin.com on your iPhone or Android device.

    LinkedIn has said they’ll be adding additional features to their mobile apps over the next few months.

    Check out this video from LinkedIn featuring the new apps for iPhone and Android.

    Have you tried out the new LinkedIn apps yet?

    LinkedIn Profiles – New Look and Added Features

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    Have you been on your LinkedIn profile today? If so, you might have noticed your profile has a new look and some added features. I first found out about this via TheNextWeb and as soon as I logged on to my profile, sure enough, I was greeted with their new Post-It note checklist.

    The post-it note guided me through some items I still needed to add to my profile, like a better description of what I do at my current position, as well as past employment.

    Other changes you’ll notice are a redesigned profile page and PDF downloading capabilities. With just a click of the button, you can download your profile on a PDF, which turns it into a sort of resume. I can see this being very useful to add to my portfolio for interviews.

    The printable and downloadable PDF document can also become very useful for recruiters looking to fill a certain position. As they go through LinkedIn and find potential candidates for the job, they can either print off or file away the document on their computer.

    I’ll admit I’m not on LinkedIn as much as I should be, so I am sure there are other changes I haven’t noticed. Can you spot any? Let us know!

    Use Your LinkedIn Profile as Your Resume with New “Apply with LinkedIn” Button

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    LinkedIn has launched a new “Apply with LinkedIn” button on their job listing pages. It allows job seekers to apply for a job using their LinkedIn profile as their resume. They say the new feature is “the future of job applications”.

    Some companies who are the first to debut this new feature include Netflix, TripIt, Photobucket and over a thousand other well-known names.

    They’ve made it very easy for companies to use this feature, as well as for job hunters to apply. You simply click the “Apply with LinkedIn” button and walk through the steps. They’ll show you any professional connections you may already have within the company, which will in turn give you better chances of getting your foot in the door. If you don’t have any direct connections within the company, LinkedIn will also let you know if there’s a relationship where one of your contacts can introduce you to someone.

    We all know one of the best ways to get a job is via a referral. I hear that’s how the big guys at Google hire their employees. You need to know someone to get somewhere in the company.

    There are several other features, according to the official LinkedIn blog, which will help you with your job seeking.

    Do you see this changing the way companies hire? It seems social media may be a good way to get a job, as well as lose a job.

    How to Get Left Behind-B2B Sales and Social Media Predictions

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    To be successful in B2B sales today AND tomorrow, you need to actively build your social media presence. I assume since you are reading this blog that you already know that, or at least you are interested in knowing more. But it frightens me how many small to midsize companies behave like ostriches when it comes to a serious evaluation of their social media strategy.

    Here are five serious ways that you will be left behind:

    1. Thought Leadership. You are not actively engaged in developing a point of view about your industry on behalf of your company. You and/or your employees are not publishing articles and white papers, or participating in online discussions, or asking and answering questions in the leading social media sites for your industry and/or your state and locale. Therefore you will not become known as an industry leader and will increasingly be perceived as irrelevant.
    2. Website. It’s a marketing piece all about you. It is not interactive, inviting visitors to participate in any way. It doesn’t offer any links to unbiased information or free white papers or eBooks or any little way to promote extra value. It just sits there, doing nothing for you. Therefore, you are by definition losing ground to competitors who are upgrading their interactivity.
    3. LinkedIn. You have a minimal presence or none at all. Only one or two of your employees are engaged here. There is a lack of personal photos, complete profiles, and connections to other professionals. You are not members of relevant industry groups. If groups don’t exist, you haven’t taken leadership to create them and invite others. Therefore, interested prospects will not find you, nor will you find them.
    4. Google Alerts. You have not set “Google alerts” (they are free) to help you monitor what is being said about you personally, your company, your industry, and your key executives on the Internet. You do not have any system to monitor the flow of industry information and where you may, or may not, fit into it. Therefore you have no basis for an improved marketing strategy.
    5. Opt-In e-mail List. You are not actively building your list of friends, current customers, and prospects, so you have no reliable and inexpensive way to reach them with news, special offers, or simply thanks for their business. Therefore you run the risk that your competitors have a much better list and the capacity to reach your customers and prospects regularly.

    You may not need a Facebook page. You may not need a Twitter account. Those channels depend highly on the nature of your business and where your audience is engaging online. But even if you think today that your market is offline, I challenge you to think again and to investigate or ask your youngest, newest employee to investigate on your behalf.

    Today’s communication channels will change, as did the mail, telegraph, telephone, cell phone, etc. They will continue to evolve. But the basic premise that you need to be connected will not change. If you’re not sufficiently connected, the steps you take today will pay you back many times over!

    Do you have a connectivity story or comment to share? We would love to hear from you.

    LinkedIn Shares Going Public Thursday

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    LinkedIn shares are set to hit the public markets starting this Thursday. This is the first big social network to go public, and the company is looking to raise $274 million with the offering. Although shares were originally going to be priced $32-$35, LinkedIn bumped it up to $42-$45 today.

    LinkedIn is a well-known social-networking company with more than 100 million registered members. Most of the company’s revenue comes from fees it charges for recruiters and businesses using the site to help fill job openings. The website also generates sales from online ads.

    LinkedIn will offer 4.8 million shares and the company’s current stockholders will sell 3 million shares. After the IPO there will be 94.5 million common shares outstanding. The stock will be trading under the ticker symbol “LNKD” on the New York Stock Exchange.

    This will be the first glimpse at how investors take to online social-networking services – perhaps leading the way for other companies like Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, and others.

    What site do you want to see go public?

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