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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.

New Media News Break: SlideShare Purchase, Space Tweets, LOLcats, and More

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Every week, we post a New Media News Break to help catch you up with what’s going on in the world of new media and get you through the work week. Here are this week’s top stories:

LinkedIn to Buy SlideShare

When talking about social media, we usually mention Facebook, Twitter, and even Google+ and Pinterest, but let’s not forget about LinkedIn. This company is doing exceedingly well. This week the business and professional networking platform issued an earnings report and announced plans to purchase SlideShare in an $118.8 million deal. “Presentations are one of the main ways in which professionals capture and share their experiences and knowledge, which in turn helps shape their professional identity,” said LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner in a statement. I think he’s right on the money. This is a great way for LinkedIn to expand, as well as a great way to get more businesses to start using SlideShare to connect with others online.

Tweets in Space

This September, your tweets won’t just reach a global audience – they’re going to space! At least, that’s the plan if Scott Keldall and Nathaniel Stern, the duo beyond collaborative projects such as Wikipedia Art, have anything to do with it. Their team plans to send tweets with the hashtag #tweetsinspace to a planet that’s approximately 22 lightyears away. Known as GJ667Cc, this planet has the potential to support life, and the project is meant to give aliens that might inhabit this plant a look at our planet’s culture and daily life. Tweets will also be archived on their website. Here’s to hoping we send messages that are important, not just what we had for lunch and links to our latest blog post.

LOLcats in College

Believe it or not, LOLcats may actually be making us smarter or at least it can lead to some really smart discussions. Kate Miltner, who earned a Master’s degree after presenting dissertation on the appeal of LOLCats (pdf), is asking the hard questions about LOLcats and other memes: Why? Kate spoke on a panel at ROFLCon at MIT this past weekend called “Adventures in Aca-meme-ia” where panelists talked about what we can learn from studying the type of people who share memes. It’s an interesting discussion, and learning about the psychology of why people share or join a community can help you build your community, not just understand memes like LOLcats.

Judge Rules that Facebook Likes are Not Protected by Free Speech Laws

A Virginia judge ruled this week that Facebook likes are not protected by the Constitution and therefore, employees can be fired over them. This ruling came about after workers were allegedly fired for ling liking the Facebook page of a their boss’s political opponent. In Virginia, political statements are protected for public employees, but is clicking a button a statement? In the past, court cases have determined that actual statements on Facebook are protected by the Constitution, but this is the first time the like button is entering the court room. Although the judge ruled no, this decision is expected to be appealed, and the case could eventually go all way to the Supreme Court. I have to ask, if liking an opponent is not a political statement, then why was anyone fired over it? Hm?

In Case You Missed It

Here’s what you might have missed on the BlogWorld blog in the past week:

Awesome from the Archives

There are some golden posts in the post hidden in the BlogWorld archives. Here are three of my favorites that I think you should check out:

Check back every Wednesday for a New Media News Break just when you need it!

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 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.

    Users Spend Nearly 16% of Time Online on Social Media

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    Online users spend 16% of their time on social media, up from only 8% four years ago, says a new report by comScore. In 2007, social networking represented about 1 out of every 12 minutes spent online, while today that number is more like 1 out of every 6 minutes. This number doesn’t surprise me. I just wonder how long it will take until it’s 1 out of every 3 minutes.

    May Online Time Social Media

    The other big finding in the study is the changing face of social media. Myspace was the social networking leader up until mid-2009, when Facebook finally pulled ahead and continued it’s upward growth. Today it is the 4th largest web property in the U.S. with 157.2 million visitors in May. Perhaps even more impressive, Facebook’s average U.S. visitor usage has grown from 4.6 hours to 6.3 hours per month over the past year! Quite the opposite, the amount of Myspace visitors has declined by about 50% in the past year.

    Other sites in the running for the share of social media space are Linkedin, Twitter, and Tumblr, each showing record highs in May. LinkedIn had 33.4 million U.S. visitors, Twitter more than 27 million and Tumblr came in at 10.7 million. With this growth and the mass of people joining these sites at a record pace, who knows what the next few years will look like!

    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?

    35 Ways Social Media Can Make Your Life Easier

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    Twitter is about more than telling people what kind of sandwich you had for lunch and Facebook is about more than posting party pictures from your days in college. The next time people tell you that social media is worthless, point them to this post. These are very real ways new media sites have made my life easier:

    1. When I was in Las Vegas, a city I don’t know well, for BlogWorld 2010 I asked for directions to a bar I was trying to find by tweeting at a friend who had just checked in there on Foursquare.
    2. I commonly ask for recommendations for movies, music, and other forms of entertainment on Twitter.
    3. As a writer, if I meet someone who might have freelance work for me, I can connect with them on LinkedIn when I get home or even with my smart phone before I even leave the party rather than relying on them to remember my website or having to keep track of a business card.
    4. Speaking of work, if you need a job, you can mention it to your friends/followers to see if anyone knows of any job openings where you might be a good fit.
    5. I tweeted at a hotel where I was planning to book a trip once, and they sent me to a hidden page on their website with awesome travel deals for upcoming weekends.
    6. Once, I was trying on shoes and trying to decide whether or not to buy. I posted a picture on Facebook and got my friends’ opinions before I made the purchase.
    7. Need to know an obscure fact? Someone on Twitter can probably help you remember who sang that song stuck in your head or what movie that quote you like comes from. If you ask, people will gladly offer up trivia tidbits and it’s often easier than using a search engine to find the fact.
    8. I once saw an a-lister tweet that he forgot his power cord at home and was already at the airport getting ready to board a long flight to another country. One of his friends brought him a back-up. Even if your network isn’t as robust, often they can help you identify where you can get replacement items in a hurry.
    9. Forget the lyrics to a song? Twitter knows. Twitter always knows.
    10. And even better, if you can’t find what you need on YouTube, most bands have their most popular songs posted on MySpace. Yes, MySpace really does still come in handy from time to time!
    11. Also handy when it comes to music – I was wondering when a favorite band of mine would be going on tour again, since there was nothing listed on their website. I asked them on Twitter and they pinged me when the page was updated. It isn’t just bands – ask questions about products to any small business on Twitter or Facebook and most will reply.
    12. When I was apartment hunting, I made sure to mention it often using social media. Some people responded with apartment listings they had found that might work for me.
    13. Once of my Facebook friends was recently selling her changing table. She posted a picture on Facebook and within a few hours, someone had replied, as one of their friends was pregnant and interesting in buying. It’s much easier than selling items on eBay or Craigslist.
    14. Last month, at about midnight, I needed some web design help with my website. I asked on Twitter and even with my relatively small network of about 1300 people at the time, over ten people replied. At midnight.
    15. When my sister’s computer died a few weeks ago, I mentioned it on Twitter and a number of people offered computer advice both for fixing the problem and for purchasing a new laptop.
    16. A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook about a conference he was attending. Within 24 hours, he found people to carpool with him to the event.
    17. He also found a hotel roommate.
    18. Twitter usually explodes with news of something important happening, even before major news sites have stories online. If you aren’t near a TV or radio, it’s often the best way to stay up-to-date.
    19. Want to pass the time while waiting at the doctor’s office? There are always links to some interesting reads on Facebook or Twitter.
    20. If I don’t have an acquaintance’s phone number or address, I can still wish them a happy birthday on Facebook. In fact, Facebook even has birthday alerts so I don’t forget (or let me know for people who I don’t know very well). Phone calls are always better, in my opinion, but a Facebook note is still nice, especially for new friends.
    21. If you need to know what time something starts, just ask your social media friends. They’ll even translate it to your time zone if you’re too lazy to figure it out (like me…I hate dealing with time differences).
    22. Many stores offer coupons just for checking in with a location-based app. I’m always down for saving money.
    23. Posting pictures to Flickr or Facebook makes it easy to exchange photos lots of people took at a single event. Do you remember the days of getting double and triple prints, or worse, scanning pictures and emailing them to everyone?
    24. If you’re a member of the media in some way (blogger or otherwise), social media makes it really easy to connect with people to get a quote for whatever story you’re working on.
    25. Similarly, if you want to link to a source for your article, just ask via social media. People will send you relevant links. Who doesn’t love promotion. It works the other way too – you can get promotion simply by paying attention and sending links to people who need them.
    26. Twitter DMs are great to contact someone if you just have a short message. It’s faster than email.
    27. With a Twitter DM or Facebook message, you can also exchange email addresses if you don’t have that information. It’s easy enough to search and find someone’s social media profiles, even if they don’t have a blog or contact information listed elsewhere online.
    28. It’s pretty easy to meet new people on social media sites, especially on Twitter. If you’re dating, online dating sites (which are, in essence, social media sites) are a great alternative for people who don’t like bars or clubs.
    29. Just now on Twitter, I saw someone tweet that his plane had just landed and he was wondering if anyone had the sports score for a baseball game that was going on. It’s much quicker than trying to find an up-to-date score online.
    30. Conference hashtags (like #BWENY) and Facebook event pages make it super easy to find other people attending an event.
    31. Occasionally, I read a post I like but forget to bookmark it. They aren’t always easy to find by searching on the site or with Google, but if you send a message to the blogger on Twitter, they’re usually happy to help you find an old post.
    32. Want to travel? If you are active on Twitter or Facebook, you can couchsurf with the best of ’em – travel planning is a breeze, even on a budget. At the very least, people will recommend hotel and tourist destinations, and you might even be able to find someone to pick you up at the airport.
    33. Companies often tweet out discount codes and post coupons on Facebook. For example, if you aren’t already, you might want to follow Rick and Dave – they’ve been tweeting out 20% off codes for BlogWorld tickets.
    34. If an appliance in your home breaks and you can’t find a manual online, ask your fans/followers. Often, you can find someone who has had the same problem in the past and can help you find a fix.
    35. Stuck on what to make for dinner? Ask your friends online. People will offer up quick recipes you can make.

    Okay those are my 35 contributions…but I’m sure there are more. For all the naysayers, add your experiences too – how has social media made your life easier?

    Job Seeking? Social Networking Can Help!

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    linkedin-logo In today’s economy, it seems to me that people fall into one of two categories:  Lucky to still have their job, or desperately searching for a new one.  Granted this is most likely a very vast generalization, but you get the point.  The good news is, the tools available as a job seeker are more plentiful than ever, and given the rise of social networking, you have more methods at your disposal than at any other time in history.

    The fact that you’re reading this blog means that you know, better than a lot of people, that when it comes to success, networking can be a huge part of it.  Networking is key, and the better you’re able to do that, the more success you’ll probably be seeing.  Why would it be any different when it comes to job seeking?  Social networking sites from Twitter to Facebook, Myspace to LinkedIn are making networking easier than ever, and given the current state of our economy, the timing is just about perfect.

    How bad has it gotten?  Try this on for size:

    “Since December 2007, 2.7 million U.S. residents have lost their jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics…In answer to those swelling unemployment numbers, U.S. web traffic to employment sites has increased 20 percent across the board in the past few months and 4 percent in February 2009 compared to February 2008, according to Hitwise. Traffic to MySpace accounted for 52 percent of those visits, the highest in the category; Facebook visits increased 149 percent in February compared to the same period a year ago; and Tagged received 2.47 percent of visits in February.”

    In a word…Wow.  Bottom line is that people are using social networking and social media more than ever to not only find the jobs that are hiding out there, but actually land them.  The time to adopt and embrace new technology is now, and when it comes to your employment, don’t you want every single trick you can possibly find?  Yeah, us too.

    Blogging: Not Just For The Young!

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    Not only am I a blogger, I’ve BEEN a blogger since April 2004;  I’m no newcomer!  If I may say so, I know whassup with the Blogosphere.  I have several hundred blogs in my blogrolls and readers.  Not only do I blog for myself, I blog for several clients as well.  I read everything I can find about blogging, the Blogosphere, Blog Conferences, and blogs in general, and while it is true that many bloggers are between 18 and 35, I will have to stand up and challenge anyone who claims that the Blogosphere is inhabited mostly by the young.  I know for a FACT that there are Blogosphere neighbors who are, shall we say,  more than just a little bit to the right of the age timeline median mark.

    I know this because, not only am I one myself,  I know of definite OTHERS!  I’ve blogged with them, commented with them, MET them in Los Angeles and Chicago at BlogHer, talked with them on Skype and Google Chat and even the (remember this?) telephone! We’re on FaceBook and MySpace together, and we often exchange ideas on Linkedin and Twitter.  We Digg and Stumbleupon and Reddit, and we think social media is absolutely del.cio.us.  Some of us even know about (shhhh) Bit Torrent.

    Yes, the Blogosphere is filled with young parents,  and young entrepreneurs, all sharing advice and information, but that same Blogosphere is also filled with older people whose children are grown and gone, and whose businesses are thriving, or were thriving – or not – who can offer invaluable advice to young parents and others who are now where older bloggers once were. The Blogosphere, like any neighborhood, is teeming with people who know, and people who need to know!  Online, we come together.  Online, we can meet and help each other in ways that just aren’t possible in our “other” lives.  No matter where we fall, chronologically, we all love to meet each other, and blog expos and blog conferences are some of our favorite things!

    We older bloggers are not interested in Geritol, Assisted Living ads, denture adhesive, insurance, orthopoedic shoes, funeral directives, Depends, bland diets, and articles on how to entertain grandchildren.  I mean, we ARE, but mostly, we’re not.  Please, marketers, do not insult us with such assumptions or stereotyping!  Older bloggers are interested in the same Blogosphere “things” as everyone else:  where to find deals on SD cards,  funky forums, movies, books, laptops, HDTV, wireless digital picture frames, new cars, WordCamps, Amazon, eBay, cool recipes,  blog conferences ( a huge percentage of BlogHer participants were over 40!), cool electronics, fashion, the environment, crafts, education, and humor!

    Blogs, blogging, blog conferences, and the Blogosphere itself are not inhabited by one age group only.  Like any interesting neighborhood, the Blogosphere has neighbors of all ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, personalities, and temperaments. 

    The important thing is, to be a part of that Blogosphere!  There is definitely something for everybody there.

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