Monday, April 30, 2012

4 Simple Tips to Boost Your LinkedIn Profile Performance


When Wayne Breitbarth talks about LinkedIn you can almost see the light bulbs going on over the heads of those in the room listening.

As the author of the best selling book on Amazon about LinkedIn, it’s clear that Breitbarth is both knowledgeable and passionate about teaching folks how they can use LinkedIn to grow their business. What gets the light bulbs going on is his ability to distill the nuances of LinkedIn success into a series of really simple suggestions that people can’t wait to try out.

His presentation Wednesday in Appleton was no exception. Almost as soon as he finished speaking to the special lunchtime edition of the New North Social Media Breakfast, one of the most common refrains from those departing was “I can’t wait to try that out.”

Breitbarth covered a lot of ground during his presentation Unlocking LinkedIn’s Corporate Marketing Potential, from new advertising tools to leveraging employee LinkedIn networks to maximizing the tools of a LinkedIn company page. But it was one of the simple lessons that really stuck – a simple lesson on the social media optimization of your personal LinkedIn profile to improve its rank in a LinkedIn search.
Improving the performance of your profile in search – perhaps to the number one position – is largely dependent on four things:
  • Keywords – this is how people will find you. Use your industry and company keywords in your profile. “It’s still a stupid search engine,” as Breitbarth said
  • Story – this is what makes you interesting. Use your keywords to tell it, but make sure it is your story and tell it well
  • Headlines – this is the attention grabber at the top of your profile. If you don’t write it yourself, then LinkedIn just grabs your current job title. Make sure you use your most important keywords here
  • Titles – these are the various jobs you have held. Again, industry keywords are important
Addressing these four elements of your profile can have tremendous results. While they are interdependent, it is the keywords that drive success, much like they do for you website.
So how do you know what keywords to use? Breitbarth has you covered there to. You can find them by answering 8 simple questions:

See the 8 Questions and the complete B2C Article

Friday, April 27, 2012

25 Tips to Build Your LinkedIn Following

By ,

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 130 million members following over 1.9 million companies worldwide.
A LinkedIn Company Page provides an ideal platform to tell your story, engage with followers, and share career opportunities. It helps humanize your business, giving visitors a chance to learn about the people behind your organization. It also provides an efficient way to speak to millions of professionals through word-of-mouth recommendations and trusted testimonials.
Oh yeah, it also generates leads.
A Company Page gives your business an opportunity to showcase your products and services, as well as to seek out opportunities with millions of business professionals who are also consumers. With this kind of B2B and B2C reach, it’s no wonder LinkedIn dominates Twitter and Facebook for online lead generation.
In a recent study of over 5,000 businesses, inbound marketing industry leader HubSpot found that traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate, at 2.74%, almost 3 times higher (277%) than both Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%).¹
Sound Interesting? Here are 25 tips to build up your LinkedIn following:
  1. Set-Up a Complete User Profile- People form connections with people, not companies. Flesh out the details of your life, such as past experience, education and skills; be sure to add yourself as an employee or member of your company.
  2. Add your Photo- People are more likely to connect with you and your company if they can put a face to a name.
  3. Customize your Public URL- You should edit your profile so that your LinkedIn profile URL looks like To do this, click on “edit” next to your public profile URL, and then “edit” once again on your public profile settings page.
  4. Activate Company Page Status Updates- Make sure to add yourself as admin so you’re able to edit your page and publish status updates.
  5. Company Overview- Create a Company Overview description, adding the most important information first (the first 8 lines are visible before being truncated).
  6. Insert Landing Page Link to Overview- Don’t miss out on an easy lead gen opportunity. Link to your website homepage, about us page, blog, or a targeted offer such as an upcoming webinar.
  7. Add Company Specialties- Optimize your page’s internal SEO. Help people searching for companies like yours within LinkedIn find you by clarifying exactly what you do.
  8.  Link to Company Website- Leverage the vast LinkedIn community by making it easy for your target audience to find your website.
  9. Ask for Recommendations- Endorsements from colleagues, partners, and clients highlight your experience and underscore your credibility.
  10. Include Products/Services- The “Products” section of a LinkedIn page provides an opportunity to link to and explain each of your products and services. Ask existing customers to “recommend” your products.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

9 Tips to Maximize your Company's Linkedin Presence

By Rosalyn Eishen | @rosalynchoo
LinkedIn is the ideal tool for reaching prospects in the B2B world, finding a job, obtaining venture capital, forming business partnerships and growing your business. Make sure you’re using it the right way.
SMD LinkedIn
  1. Company Pages- First thing’s first: pages should be detailed and updated often. Employees of your business should all link to you company page, as LinkedIn pulls statistics about your company from the profiles of employees. Services provided should be listed in detail. Put your logo on there and any contact information where people can get in touch. See example above.
  2. Executive profiles- Make sure the executives in your company fill in their profiles thoroughly. Every single section needs to be filled in with detailed keywords about what it is that they do. Link back to the company page as well. Executive profiles are a great marketing tool for your company, and they can post updates to drive people back to the company page.
  3. Uniform Profiles- Try to keep all of your employees’ profiles the same. Of course, each person is different and has different roles within the company, but make sure the verbiage about the company is uniform and profile sections are filled out in the same way throughout. A company training for LinkedIn profiles and effective use can ensure a common standard.
  4. Groups- Have executives and other individuals in the company join groups relevant to your industry. More importantly, however, have them join groups where potential clients might be. For example, for a social media marketing agency, join social media groups, but also groups that have people that might need social media services (which could be companies in almost any industry). Individuals can then represent the company and post links about relevant topics.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lurk First (and Four More Tips To Get the Most out of LinkedIn Groups)

Lindsey Pollak,

Interested in finding a new job, switching careers, attracting more clients or building a stronger professional network? LinkedIn Groups is the place to be. Groups provides opportunities to meet and engage in discussions with members of your industry, your alumni community or other professional interest areas. Becoming active in LinkedIn Groups is like attending a professional conference every time you log on.

Here are five ways to get the most out of LinkedIn Groups.
1. Extend relationships with your in-person networks. The first groups to join are those you belong to offline. For instance, become a member of your university’s LinkedIn alumni group, any corporations where you’ve worked, any professional or trade associations you belong to and any non-profits where you volunteer.
Because you share a “real world” affinity with your fellow members, these are the environments where you’ll likely feel most comfortable seeking advice, connections or information. You might post a general career question, such as “Does anyone have advice on making the transition from consultant to full-time employee?” Or, you might search each group’s members for people in your desired industry to whom you can reach out and request an informational interview.
2. Be an industry insider. Next, join groups related to your industry (or the industry you want to join if you’re a recent grad or career changer). You’ll stay up to date on important industry issues, must-read articles and other hot topics.
To find the most valuable industry groups to join, be as specific as possible in your search criteria. For example, type in “social media marketing” rather than simply “marketing” if that’s your particular interest area. If your search comes back with lots of results, LinkedIn helps you filter by showing you which groups are “Very Active” (definitely where you want to be for the most potential opportunities) and which groups include members of your network (if people you admire belong to a particular group, that’s a great sign that you’ll find value there as well). Join as many industry groups as feel relevant to your interests — you can always drop out if the discussions aren’t valuable for you.
3. Lurk first. In any group, your best bet is to “lurk” first without commenting to get the lay of the land. Check out what topics receive the most comments. Look to the “Top Influencers This Week” area to see which members are driving conversation. Visit the “Manager’s Choice” discussions, where the group’s manager has elevated certain conversations that he or she feels are most important for members to view. You can also get a feel for the overall tone of each group’s discussions (Casual or buttoned-up? Highly technical? Globally or regionally focused?) before you contribute.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How Your Social Media Profile Could Make Or Break Your Next Job Opportunity

Lisa Quast, Contributor

My husband and I have trained our three daughters on the importance of posting only appropriate information on any type of social media. This includes not posting pictures of Saturday night’s party on Facebook and not posting or Tweeting anything when they’re angry or in a bad mood. Now, managing your social media profile has become even more important – a 2012 survey demonstrates that your social media profile could make or break your chances of being hired.  
According to the 2012 annual technology market survey conducted by Eurocom Worldwide, “Almost one in five technology industry executives say that a candidate’s social media profile has caused them not to hire that person.” Previous Eurocom Worldwide surveys had found almost 40% of the survey respondents from technology companies review job candidate’s profiles on social media sites.
While we’ve all heard about the increase in companies checking the social media profiles of job candidates, this survey provides the first evidence that prospective job candidates are actually being rejected because of their profiles.
Tips to build a positive social media profile and avoid being rejected by a potential employer:
LinkedIn: Create a highly professional profile by using LinkedIn as an electronic résumé. This includes writing a succinct profile summary, adding your current job information, past job experience, education, skills, awards, and even obtaining testimonials from previous managers, co-workers, or direct reports. If you author a blog that relates to business or your work, be sure to include the URL information. Same goes for Twitter, include the URL only if you use it for business, not personal reasons.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Double your LinkedIn power with Google


One of the common frustrations I hear from job seekers is that they claim to never be able to find the hiring managers for the positions in which they're interested. They have a point; a hiring manager is always an in-demand person and one who rarely advertises his or her location.
There is LinkedIn, which gives you the ability to determine if you have any potential contacts within an organization. The problem is the utility of these searches are only as good as your own network. If you're just starting out on the networking path, it will take some time to build up enough connections to reach the saturation point. Of course there are also regular search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, which have Web reach as wide as a country mile, but usually only get you an inch deep into a company's executive staff list.
But how about combining the power of both tools?
In his recent book, The Panic Free Job Search, career management expert Paul Hill talks about how those who are new to networking can get a leg up by using the power of search engines to tap into the farther reaches of LinkedIn that may not be accessible to the novice networker.
The true benefits of LinkedIn's searchability are hidden behind a paywall, or premium account, Hill explains. With these premium accounts, searches within LinkedIn for companies, contacts or job titles can yield up to 700 results. Those who do not have a premium account, however, are limited to just 100 results for each search within LinkedIn's site.
But for many job seekers on a budget who can't afford the $40 to $75 per month for a business-level or executive LinkedIn account, Hill has found an easy work-around to access the deeper recesses of LinkedIn. Simply use Google, or any other major search engine, to perform an "inurl" search using LinkedIn and various keywords in your searches. By "X-raying" the LinkedIn site with a Google search, Hill says, one can circumvent the need for a premium account to get access to more companies that might be hiring.
In his book, Hill offers a few suggestions about what strings to type into Google to get the best results, such as:  Get the tips and complete article

Friday, April 20, 2012

Ten Tips for LinkedIn Novices: Set Up and Connection Helpers for First-Timers

Kelly Blazek

It’s never too late to join the 150 million networkers, job seekers and business professionals around the globe whose qualifications are being viewed on the #2 most popular social networking site in America:  LinkedIn.  Ready to jump in?  Congrats – you’ll want these helpful tips to avoid newbie mis-steps and create a better LinkedIn experience as you set up your account and add connections.    In my next article, I’ll share pointers about building an effective profile including headlines, summaries, experience descriptions, recommendations and groups. 
1.  Sign up using a personal e-mail account, always, for LinkedIn, and save your password!  If you want to use LinkedIn for business development, by all means show a work e-mail but ensure that you have a second, personal e-mail approved and in LinkedIn’s system (add additional e-mails under SETTINGS > ACCOUNT > Add & Change E-Mail Addresses).  If your account is only connected to a work e-mail, you run the risk of losing access to it.  It’s happened before:  someone gets bad news about their job, had their e-mail turned off, and then are left without access to change out their profile to a personal e-mail.  And, too many people take a new job and forget to change their primary contact e-mail on LinkedIn - this means a LOT of people are wondering how to get in touch with you, and their requests to connect are going unanswered.   As for your password, capture it somewhere.  I work with many newer LinkedIn members who are stumped because they can’t remember their password.  These folks keep on making duplicate new profiles, and it’s confusing for others to know which is the active one.  Write that password down and tape it to the inside of a closet, drawer or under furniture – whatever works!
2.  Don’t stress about selecting your Industry, which is a drop down list – there’s no option to customize that field.  Many job seekers are in transition, moving from one type of employer to another – don’t stop filling out your profile because you don’t have the perfect answer, today.  You can edit your Industry as often as you wish (choose Profile>Edit Profile and click EDIT after your name).  Want to be in a new type of job or profession?  Select the Industry in which you wish to land.  After you spend more time looking at others’ profiles, you’ll get a sense if your industry should stay, or be changed.  In LinkedIn, nothing is written in stone!
4.  What profile level do you want?  You want FREE.  You don’t need the Premium account, and very few people ever purchase one.  You will probably receive several tempting offers over the next few months to  “trial” a premium account, and if you do, make certain you actually turn off the auto credit charge feature.  95% of people have a maximum LinkedIn experience at a minimum cost – nothing.  So don’t worry that you’re missing out on some magical secret experience with a free account – you aren’t. 
5.  The moment your profile is created, you see a page that says People You May Know – and are shocked that you actually DO know some of these folks.  You wonder, “how did LinkedIn do that?  I’ve been on this for 12 minutes and this system already guessed who I know?”   Remember, you sign in to LinkedIn using an e-mail account.  If it was a work account, of course LinkedIn recognizes other work colleagues with the same e-mail identifier.  And if it’s a personal account, you may be showing up in members’ e-mail contact lists.  Don’t freak out – if any of these are authentic connections, people you know, go ahead and click the CONNECT button to start building links!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Seven Tips to Use LinkedIn for B2B Lead Generation


LinkedIn bills itself as the world’s largest professional network with more than 150 million members, including executives from every Fortune 500 company. With that kind of reach, LinkedIn is a B2B marketers dream. But what’s the best way to take advantage of all this social media platform has to offer? How can you use LinkedIn to put qualified leads into your pipeline?
Here are a few fundamental steps to make LinkedIn work for your B2B company:
Make sure your profile page/company page is up-to-date. This may sound like a no-brainer, but I’m always surprised to see how many marketers make the mistake of using the “fix it and forget it” approach. When customers and prospects visit your company’s LinkedIn page, they should learn what is happening at your organization now –not what was happening months ago.  Start with cleaning-up personnel mentions; obviously, your company page should only list current employees.  Next, you’ll also want to update descriptions of the services you offer, recent awards, recognitions, etc. The same goes for recommendations; keep those as current as possible, too. All the links included in your profile are clickable, so use this page to drive traffic to the company website, key articles, etc. Once you’ve finished this basic housekeeping, set a calendar reminder to repeat the process in a few months. By scheduling periodic revisions, you’ll maintain a profile that’s accurate and fresh.
Stimulate engagement with the content you publish.  Your company’s profile page is only the first level of engagement on LinkedIn. In order to start building meaningful relationships with prospects, you’ll have to start participating in LinkedIn Groups. Use LinkedIn’s new Group Search to help you find the topics you care most about. Join a few groups and start visiting them regularly. Once you’re comfortable with the format and a few of the contributors, begin adding to the conversations. Post compelling content. Respond to threads initiated by others. Start establishing a reputation as your company’s helpful specialist, the “go-to” person in your particular field. Just remember: You’re there to build relationships –not to sell. Don’t just talk about what your company has to offer. Be engaging and help solve problems.
Establish yourself as an expert. One of the easiest ways to develop credibility is to start answering LinkedIn questions. How do you find questions to answer? It’s easy. Log in and go to your profile page. Scroll over the word “More” in the menu bar at the top of the page. Double click on “Answers” and you’ll see a variety of different questions begging for your input. Once again, keep in mind that answering questions is not an opportunity to sell. It’s an opportunity to build relationships and establish yourself as a resource.

About Paige O'Neill
Paige O’Neill is Aprimo’s Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Communications. She is a 17 year marketing veteran and has been a three-time CMO for B2B companies both large and small. Paige is passionate about social media and blogs semi-frequently about this topic both on the Aprimo blog and on her personal blogSocial Media Paige. You can also find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Optimize Your Company LinkedIn Page: Tips for Bringing in Leads

By Bryan Brown (@getvision)

Ever wonder why LinkedIn is often overshadowed by Facebook and Twitter? True, it doesn’t have the 800 million users of Facebook or even the 200-plus million of Twitter. But think about it: Your audience on LinkedIn probably has more business-savvy folks than, say, the “Beliebers” you might see on Twitter. And LinkedIn allows direct interaction with these potential customers in a way that other channels don’t.
In fact, LinkedIn company pages can be an excellent social channel for B2B marketers if you take certain steps to ensure you’re optimizing your company’s page to its full potential.
The numbers, while not at the Facebook level, are impressive: As of February 2012, there were more than 150 million active LinkedIn users, more than 2 million LinkedIn Company Pages and more than 1 million LinkedIn Groups. Professionals actively research and discuss their respective industries on the social network, making it a terrific outlet to introduce your brand to prospective customers while keeping current ones updated and educated.
According to a recent study from InsideView, 47 percent of B2B companies are already using LinkedIn. So, how do you get an edge on your competitors?  First and foremost, you’ll need an awesome company profile. This brand page is the first thing someone sees when looking at your company on Linkedin, and first impressions are everything.
Here are five tips to help build the perfect LinkedIn Company brand page.
1) Have a strong Overview
This is the “front page” of your company profile and what page visitors see first, so make the most out of your company description. Provide a strong paragraph explaining your business offering—and keep in mind only the top portion is visible at first. It’s also a good idea to tease your Products Tab—this is where you will be able to generate leads for your company.
Don’t forget to list your specialties as well. For example, we include “Email Marketing, Lead Management, Multichannel Marketing Solutions and Marketing Automation,” letting potential customers know exactly what we do and what we offer.
2) Highlight your products and services
The Products tab is where you can turn browsing visitors into leads. Include a strong description, detailing what your company offers. You also have the opportunity to add a little visual flavor to your page with three banners of your choosing. We currently display our demo and videos for two product features. Only the demo is behind a registration form – sometimes it’s best to give away content for “free” on social. Long forms on social channels can sometimes turn away prospects who want to learn more about your company.
Recommendations are also housed on the Products tab. Users who have experience with your product will have the ability to review and recommend, which can go a long way in the eyes of potential customers while at the same time creating searchable and attractive content. It’s easy to ask your best customers to recommend your products or services through the LinkedIn “Request Recommendations” feature. When a user recommends your product or service on LinkedIn, their network connections are immediately notified—keeping people buzzing about your brand.
3) Update your Status frequently - tips 3 - 5 and complete article

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

7 LinkedIn Tips for Small Businesses

Walter, Ekaterina, Intel Corp, Social Media Strategist

There are plenty of success stories of how social media is revolutionizing lead generation and sales. But if your company doesn’t have a dedicated social media team, how can you make the most out of limited resources?
LinkedIn is often overlooked as a network for marketing purposes. But with over 135 million members, the majority of whom are professionals, in 200 countries or territories, LinkedIn is far more than a resume-upload site. For businesses looking to connect with particular industries or specific business demographics, its powerful search facilities and networking opportunities make the most out of a limited marketing budget.
The following LinkedIn tips will help you focus on the network’s potential.
1. Listen to your market
LinkedIn Groups can essentially provide you with free market research if you spend time browsing in the right places. Once you have identified your target market, you can search for the groups in which people are discussing the sorts of problems or challenges they are facing, or learn more about how they would like to do business.
2. Maximize your profile
Make the most of your company profile by filling in all the sections, including the keywords, which will help others find you. Be sure to keep all links current and customize what you can. For instance, you can change the URL to be your company name rather than a string of numbers and letters. You can also upgrade your account to allow you to do more, such as using the InMail service to contact members, get introductions to companies and see more information on potential contacts.
3. Make the most of what you already have
You can use LinkedIn apps to link your blog, portfolio and other content directly into your LinkedIn feed. You can also upload YouTube videos, SlideShare presentations and other media. Or you can set your Twitter or Facebook updates to post automatically to LinkedIn. If you do this, however, beware of how you would like your business to be portrayed; frivolous Facebook or Twitter remarks may seem out of place on LinkedIn.

Monday, April 16, 2012

10 Tips to Make Facebook and LinkedIn Work for You

Posted By: Mary Nestor-Harper 

There’s a lot of controversy lately about prospective employers asking for or demanding an applicant’s Facebook login as part of the application process.  It’s one thing for an outsider to get lucky or find a mutual friend, but is this an invasion of privacy?  With so much personal information available on the Internet, it’s almost impossible to protect yourself from someone smart enough to find a back door to your personal accounts.  The best defense is to take steps to make sure that once they gain access to your social media accounts, the information they find works to your advantage.
Here are 10 tips that will help make Facebook and LinkedIn work for you:

1.      Remove your birth year.  A prospective employer doesn’t need to know your age.  It’s not supposed to matter or figure into a hiring decision, but don’t give an employer more information than they need or could work against you.

2.      Check your messages and posts often.  Friends may think it’s funny to post outrageous pictures or make off-the-wall comments, but an employer may not get the joke.  Your Facebook profile page will also carry comments from your friends’ friends, which may be a little harder to monitor and control.

3.      Keep your posts positive and G-rated.  This not the time to rant about your miserable boyfriend or describe the tattoo you’re getting where the sun doesn’t shine. 

4.      Post a professional quality picture.  No avatars, animals, cartoon characters…you get the idea.  Switch out the picture of you at 10 years old, wearing a bikini or last year’s Halloween costume.

5.      Let your friends know you’re looking for a job and to keep their comments clean and positive.  If you’ve got a problem Facebook friend or LinkedIn contact, consider un-friending them until you land your new job. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

10 Ways to Achieve LinkedIn Failure

LinkedIn is a rapidly evolving social media platform that caters more exclusively to business individuals than do Facebook or Twitter; especially, business-to-business (B2B) opportunities. You most likely know that. Most of those people want to prosper with LinkedIn marketing and generate new leads, business, or career options. What you may not know is how profoundly you can fail on LinkedIn as a super-busy entrepreneur or small business owner. It’s simple! Just follow these 10 simple steps.

1. Don’t fill in your Profile Summary section

This is vital to failure on LinkedIn. Lots of people want to show up in People searches, but not a radical like you. Leave that Summary portion blank since it is the key area that the LinkedIn search, and Google for that matter, index to evaluate about your value. Who wants it? Invisibility rules!

2. Restrict who can contact you

People can be downright bothersome, so keep your configurations so that you’ll minimize contact with them. Go to your privacy controls on the Settings tab and pick the most minimalizing restrictions, like switching off your activity broadcasts (you’re not doing them anyway!), making sure only you can see your activity and networks, and guaranteeing that you snoop other profiles incognito. Victory is yours.

3. Put your current job only

Reality says that no one is worried about your past work history anyhow, so just post your current employment. Keep in mind the KISS principle, so keep it simple and short and avoid using repetitive phrases that these SEO types call ‘keywords‘. By uploading only one job, you won’t have to worry about having to mess around with the mundane writing of keywords in your former roles either.

4. Don’t post a photo

Pictures are for models. As a programmer, consultant or other business pro your work speaks for itself and your face ain’t your money-maker, so screw the personal comfort that humans since birth seem to feel when they see a real person’s face behind the computer lingo. This is business, not warm and fuzzy socialization!

5. Avoid References

These are fabricated and everyone knows that, so why make an effort. Who cares if LinkedIn references really hyperlink back to the referrer for effortless confirmation of who’s doing the talking? If I ask other business joe schmoes for references, they’ll just want something else from me, and who has the free time?

6. Don’t accept just any connection - read the rest of tip 6, tips 7 - 10, and complete article