Thursday, October 31, 2013

6 Ways to Grow Your LinkedIn Connections


Are you looking to grow your LinkedIn network?
Do you want to improve your chances of connecting with people via LinkedIn?

In this article, you’ll find six tips for successful networking that will help you avoid common mistakes that can damage your professional reputation on LinkedIn.

What’s Different About LinkedIn?

Unlike social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter that accommodate both personal and business uses, LinkedIn is a social network built strictly for business.

From the appearance of your profile to how you manage relationships, the people on LinkedIn expect professional behavior from you at all times.

As you build your network, it’s important to know what’s appropriate and what’s considered bad LinkedIn etiquette.

Here are six tips:

#1: Show People Your Business Side

You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it count. If you use an unprofessional image for your profile photo, you may never get a chance to recover your reputation.

Your LinkedIn profile image should show you in your best professional light. Use a head shot with a clean background, a smile and a clear view of your eyes. Think of how you would present yourself at an event thronging with prospects and use an image that does the same, online.

professional profile image
Always use an appropriate profile image.

#2: Skip the Keyword-Stuffing

The first thing many people do when they receive your connection request is look at your profile. And if your profile is stuffed with repetitive or irrelevant keywords, there’s a pretty good chance that they won’t connect with you.

too many keywords
Too many keywords make your profile look suspect.

Yes, you must optimize your LinkedIn profile with relevant keywords so you’re found in search results, but there is a big difference between keyword-optimizing and keyword-stuffing.

Instead of using a large number of vaguely relevant words to show up in hundreds of search results, choose three or four top keywords you want to be associated with to make sure you show up in search results when people are looking for exactly what you offer.

be selective with keywords
Be smart and selective with the keywords you use in your profile.

Ways 3-6 and the complete article

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Five LinkedIn Strategies You Haven't Thought Of Before

Cheryl Conner

I have personally found LinkedIn’s best uses lie in the creative strategies practitioners have devised on their own, thus my recent favorite five tactics, to wit:

1. Scoping the Competition
This is the strategy my client accomplished last week. He had asked me the week prior, as he prepared for annual budget planning, if there was any way of assessing just how large his competitor’s marketing team and budget might be?

I opened LinkedIn and ran a search on the company’s name and any job titles that contained marketing or communications. Voila—the search produced an immediate list. As he began to peruse their titles, I suggested he temporarily change his privacy restrictions to make his views and searches anonymous. Within a few minutes of searching we were able to see how many results appeared for people currently employed in the company’s entire base and of those, how many are working in marketing. While not every employee is registered on LinkedIn, surely, he’d arrived at a reasonably close estimate of the percentage of the company’s employees who are working in marketing, which would equate at least somewhat to the level of the company’s percentage of revenue devoted to marketing efforts as well.

As may be expected, a search of employees both past and present was also helpful in illustrating a fairly significant level of churn. How long do employees typically stay at the company in question? With a bit more calculation, now we know. Some of the former marketing employees had gone into private consulting practices. Extra helpful. Subject to the confidentiality aspects of their prior employment, of course, the client knows which consultants might be especially beneficial in helping him scope out his own future competitive plans.

But my clever client showed me how he’d taken the results a step further: he’d created a simple Word document that outlined the competitive company’s full department, by job title. Next to it, he placed a column to illustrate the corresponding people and roles in his own team. The result was a picture worth more than a few thousand words. The difference was profound. He was able to inform his management team that he recognized it would not be possible to fill the resource chasm in the space of a year, but would strongly suggest the addition of four strategic new hires, and flipped his screen to show the comparison with the addition of the four new positions, in blue. He’d made his case with a single image, and indications are strong that his proposal will be entirely approved. A smart strategy.

2.  Job scoping/background checks
Yes, we fairly well all use LinkedIn to accomplish background checks, but consider the call I recently received from a regional tech company. It wasn’t a recruiter, but an internal executive who phoned.
“I need to make a PR hire that will really ‘wow’ our senior executives,” she said. “Of the resumes that have crossed my desk, I know that three of these individuals have prior connections to you. I’d like to hear your unvarnished reactions to each.”

Bear in mind that I knew nothing of the position she had opened prior to the call and that I hadn’t been listed as a reference for any of three prospects. In fact I’d never even worked at the same company as one of the three.  I gave her my feedbacks. In one of the cases, the individual had been a prior employee who had departed impulsively and badly. I might have shared that information, but I never got that far. As she heard a bit about the juvenile choices the individual had made here and there—the things a young employee thinks the boss doesn’t hear about or won’t matter—she replied, “Say no more. I wouldn’t touch this employee with a 100-foot pole. He won’t be getting a call.”

In a word: LinkedIn.

Strategies 3-5 and the complete Forbes article

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Four LinkedIn Mistakes That Could Hurt Your Career

by Pamelia Brown

LinkedIn has quickly become one of the largest and most accessible professional social networks out there, and because of this, it’s imperative that everyone who wishes to maximize their career potential join LinkedIn, set up a profile, and begin networking.

Of course, as with many other social networks, there are unwritten rules of etiquette that you must first figure out and then abide as you embark on your LinkedIn journey. Unfortunately, figuring out these rules and not making mistakes or breaking these rules is rather hard for those new to LinkedIn or even social networks in general.

Below I’ve tried to list a handful of mistakes that many LinkedIn users make, and I’ve tried to incorporate solutions into each section. Please, if you know LinkedIn well, feel free to add to the information here in the comments section. And, as always, happy job hunting!

The following are mistakes many LinkedIn users make and how you can avoid them:

1. Failing to Understand Social Networking Contexts

The biggest thing many LinkedIn users fail to understand is that LinkedIn is simply one of many social networks out there. No matter how professional you try to make your LinkedIn profile, the fact that a crazy Facebook profile or irreverent Twitter account under your name exists could significantly hurt your career chances. Do not ignore the other social networks you’ve joined, because recruiters, hiring managers, and others within the industry are looking at these other sites too!

Solution: Google yourself constantly. Manage your entire online presence. Edit your Tweets, check your photos on Facebook, untag yourself from unpleasant photos and conversations, and watch what you post on whatever forums you’ve joined. Always assume that your LinkedIn account is merely a portal that a potential employer can enter in order to access your entire online persona.

2. Lacking A Good Profile Photo

This is relatively simple. I’ve seen so many people fail to upload a good profile photo. I can understand why people would wish to not upload a photo; however, lacking a photo can seriously hurt your chances of getting clicked. Think about a recruiter. He or she is browsing entries; is he or she more likely to click on a photo or a tiny bit of text in the search results page? An updated photo of yourself will assure the recruiter that you are, indeed, human after all, with all your quirks and faults.

Solution: It’s much easier for someone browsing search results to connect with a human face than a bit of text, so upload a photo as soon as possible!

Tips 3,4, and the complete article

Monday, October 28, 2013

Answering Seven LinkedIn Job Search Questions

By Jan Wallen

I took advantage of a recent lunch with fellow MENG member Jan Wallen, an expert on selling online who literally wrote the book on using LinkedIn, to ask her LinkedIn job search questions relating to how  executives should use this social networking site.

Following  are Jan’s answers to the LinkedIn  job search questions I’ve been asked most often following my “How to Write an Effective Resume” webinar.

Today’s Seven LinkedIn Job Search Questions–with More Tomorrow

1.  Can you quickly give me a few key thoughts about using LinkedIn in my job search?
About 80% of companies look on LinkedIn first to find candidates.  It’s critical to have your LinkedIn profile up-to-date and optimized and to be sure it represents you well.

When you’re conducting a job search, you’re selling yourself, and your profile is your marketing brochure.  It’s not meant to be your life story or a long, chronological list of accomplishments.  When it’s optimized with keywords, it’s more likely to come up when companies and recruiters search on LinkedIn. There’s SEO and now there’s LinkedIn profile optimization.

It’s very important that your profile is written to showcase your expertise because a junior person in a company may be looking on LinkedIn first to do the initial screening.  They’re making a short-list of candidates to be interviewed, and they may not have the business depth to grasp that your profile fits the job description they’ve been given.

2.  Under my name, should I focus on SEO or positioning myself?
This LinkedIn job search question relates to your Professional Headline which is below your name on your LinkedIn profile.  Many people put a job title there.  It’s much better to position yourself with a tagline or headline that shows your expertise and what you’re known for.

LinkedIn has a search algorithm which they change periodically, the same as the search engines.  All sections of your profile are searched.  When companies and recruiters search LinkedIn and your profile comes up in a list, it sets you apart in a positive way when your Professional Headline stands out from all the rest.  Therefore, it’s best if you can position yourself and also have keywords in your headline.

3.  Is  a premium package worth the cost?
The premium accounts are getting a lot of attention now.  And LinkedIn is encouraging members to upgrade to the premium levels.  The recent changes that LinkedIn has made mean that premium account members receive more information and more detail than those who haven’t upgraded.

LinkedIn has recently made changes to the features that are available in the free basic account and those available in the premium level accounts.  It doesn’t make sense to pay for something if it doesn’t give you value.  The best way to decide whether one of the premium accounts is best for you is to check their Comparison Matrix.  You’ll see line-by-line the features that each premium level gives you.
To see the Comparison Matrix, go to the black menu bar in LinkedIn and click on Upgrade.  You’ll see the matrix and can compare each account level.

Some of the differences that may make it worth it for you to upgrade include:
InMails—Are LinkedIn’s special messages, and they’re available when you have a premium level account.  Of course, you can always send a message to your connections.  If you’re not connected, premium accounts allow you to send InMails.  My guideline is that if you look up profiles and they say Send InMail 50% of the time or more, it may make sense to upgrade.

Who’s Viewed My Profile—You’ll see more details if you have the premium level accounts.

Advanced Searches—You’ll be able to search based on more criteria with the premium level accounts. For example, you can specify a list of companies by size and if they’re a part of Fortune 500 when you have the premium level accounts, which could be important to a LinkedIn job search.

Questions 4-7 and the complete article

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Join Us For LinkedIn Mobile Day [VIDEO]

Doug Madey, October 22, 2013

Today in San Francisco at the LinkedIn Mobile Day we announced exciting mobile news, including a completely refreshed LinkedIn app for iPad, a preview of a fully integrated Pulse experience with LinkedIn, and the newly unveiled LinkedIn Intro. These new products help reinvent, reimagine, and redefine how professionals work on mobile.

If you missed the live stream from LinkedIn Mobile Day, or just want to watch again, below is a replay of the event.

In addition, we hit the exclusive product fair following the presentation to hear more about the new products from the people who helped bring these experiences to life.

See all of the videos and read the complete post.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Trying to Run a Covert Job Search on LinkedIn? Pay Attention to These Settings


Want to ensure your LinkedIn activity is as covert as possible?

You MUST understand the site’s broadcast message types, Activity Broadcasts and Activity Feed, and the differences between them.

Often confused with each other, these controls allow messages to be widely distributed to other
LinkedIn users, informing them of your activity (and basically prompting them to look at your Profile to interpret your actions).

Here’s a close-up look at the type of information you can control with Activity Broadcasts and Activity Feed settings — with key points on how to customize and maximize these messages for your job search:

1 – Activity Broadcasts.
Activity Broadcasts are the dead-giveaways sent out when you change your Profile. So, if you’re tweaking your Headline to arrive at the best fit, or finally populating your Profile with a ton of new data, this is the one to turn off first.

You can view your Activity Broadcast options by going to Settings, then “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts.”

Here, you only have On (“Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies”) and Off.

As you can see, this setting also gives your Connections a heads-up that you’ve written a Recommendation or are following Companies. These are rarely considered high-profile activities, but they’re included in LinkedIn’s definition of a Broadcast.

Typically, turning your Activity Broadcasts off during a job search is a good idea (even recommended by LinkedIn), since Profile updates are usually the first sign that you’re preparing for flight.

Another bonus:  if you’re trying out new Headlines or continually adding keywords, turning off Activity Broadcasts will prevent your contacts from being hammered during each iteration.

2 – Activity Feed.

See more on "Activity Feed", more tips, and the complete CareerRocketeer article

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

15 Steps to Your Perfect LinkedIn Profile

Kim Garst

Does creating or improving your LinkedIn Profile intimidate you?

Are you lost as to where to start?

Would you like a step-by-step guide on how to create the Perfect LinkedIn Profile?

Then you are in the right place. Here you will learn, step-by-step,  the top 15 enhancements to make to your LinkedIn Profile.  Watch your profile transform before your eyes; A masterpiece of perfection. 

Let’s start at the top -

#1 -   Your Name – Keep it Simple: Use your first and last name. This is not a place to put your business name, or your nickname, or what “everyone” is calling you.  Followers want to know that you are a genuine person, first and for most.

#2 – Your Headline – This is a HEADLINE! Therefore, putting your company name and your position is not enough, nor correct.  Rather, you want your headline to be attention grabbing! You want to build intrigue and excitement.  It is also a place where you want to include your top keyword phrase or two.

#6 – You Specialties – At the bottom of your summary you will be asked to list out your specialties.  This is another important place to put your keyword phrases.

#13 – Contact You For… - Here, just as you did in your  “Summary Section” make a bullet point list of reasons why someone should get in contact with you.  You want to describe your IDEAL client. (This is not everyone.)  Also, put down a description of people or companies you’d like to have contact you, even if they never have in the past. Again, you can only manifest what you ask for!

Monday, October 21, 2013

4 Steps to Search Engine Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile For Greater Visibility

As a business owner you continuously strive to expand your marketing reach. With the various social networking sites out there, you may be wondering how you can utilize them to improve your website traffic, and ultimately, generate more leads or sales. Here we’ll discuss a few simple but effective steps for optimizing your LinkedIn profile to achieve better rankings in the search engines. This in turn means more traffic to your business website, or as I like to say; more leads, more clients, more sales.

First Step – Correctly Utilize Keyword Anchor Text and Links
This step is critical if you want to increase the search engine optimization (SEO) of your business website. When creating a link to your website within your LinkedIn profile, the result could potentially be a profitable backlink, which is why it’s very important to use your relevant website keywords as anchor text. Consider anchoring your most powerful keyword or keyphrase as your link, instead of “http:…, “My Website”, or “My Blog”.

Second Step – Keyword Sprinkle Your Profile

When you’re creating your LinkedIn profile, it’s important that your focus is around utilizing your most important and relevant keywords for your business website. Try to keep your profile rich with powerful and relevant keywords and avoid keyword stuffing.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

10 LinkedIn Headlines that Stand Out from the Crowd


The headline is possibly the most important part on your LinkedIn profile. It is your 120 character hook to people finding you in a LinkedIn search, it should be about what you do as opposed to what you are. It should be memorable and enticing enough for someone to click on your profile and not your competitors.

Here is a compilation of a few interesting and creative LinkedIn headlines from around the world. Some are funny, some are memorable and some are very professional. Do let us know which is your favorite below in the comments section!

1. Left & right brain thinker

Giacomo Bracci Helsen clearly uses his whole brain when coming up with new strategies for design.

2. Bleeding for his art

Glenn Le Santo keeps it brief. If you have ever seen Glenn’s speed of content creation you would definitely agree with his statement in the headline.

3. Wickless Candles Fun?

How exactly are candles fun? Well the headlines sounds like fun. Bit of a tongue twister perhaps but certainly an intriguing headline by Rebecca Brown.

4. The clear value statement

Our great friend and LinkedIn supremo Ed Han has gone for the classic personal brand statement with clear value to the reader.

Headlines 5-10 and the complete UnderCoverRecruiter article

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

7 Tips For Writing A Great LinkedIn Invitation

Friday, October 11, 2013

5 Clues Your LinkedIn Strategy Needs Help

So, you signed up for your free profile on LinkedIn. You’ve even invested time optimizing your profile. Congratulations! Now you’re wondering if your LinkedIn profile and strategy are actually working. Here are five key signs that you need to re-think or re-energize your LinkedIn strategy.

2. You Hardly Appear In Searches
LinkedIn tells you how often your profile has appeared in searches, and even provides a handy graph so that you can check trends. As you complete and flush out your profile, you should appear in searches more often. If you’re hardly appearing in searches, then you need to check the content of your profile. Is your profile targeted toward a career goal, or it is scattershot? Did you use keywords and other critical resume-writing techniques? How descriptive have you been in the various sections?

4. People Don’t Reach Out To You
After you’ve been active on LinkedIn for awhile, users should start reaching out to you to connect. If no one is asking to connect with you, then you may need to rethink how you’re using LinkedIn. Are you courteous and professional in all your interactions? Do you limit your updates and interactions to professional (rather than personal) ones?

Do you promote others in your network (for example, retweeting others’ blog posts) instead of limiting yourself to self-promotion? Have you joined one or two targeted open networking groups to help build your LinkedIn network quickly? Is the text of your headline and summary compelling so that people would want you in their networks?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Infographic: The perfect LinkedIn status update

By Kristin Piombino

Follow this helpful guide to create an update for your brand that will reach the right audience and engage them.

Between Facebook posts, tweets, Pinterest boards, and everything else on your social media plate, you probably don't spend much time thinking about how to craft the perfect LinkedIn status update.
 Luckily, SalesForce has a handy guide that can help you get the job done.

To make sure your update is informative, engaging, and seen by the right audience, consider these steps:

1. Think about the information you're about to post. Share breaking news, industry trends, and sneak peeks. And keep your update short—limiting your post to 50 characters could increase engagement by 28 percent.

2. Include a call to action.Add a link to your update to drive people to a blog post, website—anywhere you like.

3.Make sure the right people see your update.Narrow your audience by industry, location, role, or company size.

But your work isn't done once you click "share." Read people's comments, and jump into the conversation. And don't forget to see how successful your post was. Track shares and engagement, and remember what works for the next time you post.

For more details, check out the infographic and the complete article

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

5 Ways to Visually Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile using Professional Portfolio


In this post, I will discuss 3 reasons why LinkedIn is a Visual Platform and 5 Ways you can start visually enhancing your LinkedIn Profile by using the Professional Portfolio feature.

I know…I can hear you from here, thinking “LinkedIn isn’t Pinterest. It’s not Instagram. It’s a text-heavy platform.  Why do I need to include images?”.  I hear you. Most people think of LinkedIn as being a professional profile – where words do the talking, not pictures.

But things have changed in the world of LinkedIn with the introduction of what is called “Professional Portfolio” earlier this year…and for this Visual Social Media Fan, it’s a very positive change.

Let’s start with a quick Slideshare presentation from LinkedIn about the Professional Profile and what it means for you:

You can also read more about Professional Portfolio in this blog post by LinkedIn.

Now let’s look at 3 reasons why you need to start thinking about your LinkedIn Profile a little more “visually”.

3 Reasons Why You Should Think about LinkedIn Differently…as a Visual Platform: 

#1  LinkedIn IS a very Visual Platform
With the introduction of Professional Portfolio on LinkedIn you can now easily share the following visual content on your LinkedIn Profile:
  • photos
  • links with images
  • images
  • infographics
  • screenshots
  • slideshare presentations
  • ebooks
  • blog posts
  • portfolios
  • videos……pretty much any content you can think of as long as it has a link or can be uploaded as a file .
Put simply, if you can show it visually rather than saying it with text, then do so.

5 Ways to Visually Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile using Professional Portfolio - Don't Just Say it Display It

It’s time to give your LinkedIn Profile an injection of visual imagery. Don’t just say it – display it!

#2  LinkedIn is one of the best social media platforms for sharing Infographics
Crazy hey?  Not Pinterest. Not Facebook. But LinkedIn!  Who would have thunk it, right? Consider these stats and then after you have considered them, consider sharing infographics (even better, your own “original” infographics) on LinkedIn:
#3  LinkedIn Acquired Slideshare in 2012
The fact that LinkedIn acquired Slideshare should send a very strong message – LinkedIn is committed to showcasing visual content for the long term.  So get up to speed now and start integrating visual content in your profile.  Things are not going to change – the shift to visual social media is here and any way that we can say what we want to say with imagery, will stand you in good stead across all social media platforms.

So now that you have some reasons for looking at LinkedIn differently, here are some ways in which you can start getting more “visual” on your LinkedIn Profile by using Professional Portfolio.

5 Ways to Get Visual on LinkedIn with Professional Portfolio

Monday, October 7, 2013

10 LinkedIn Buzzwords To Avoid Using

These days there is a plethora of ways for employers and candidates to find one another. With the job market becoming ever more competitive it is not enough to simply send off a CV showcasing your skills and experience. Employers will look you up online and if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you may be falling at the first hurdle.

LinkedIn, for those of you still stuck in the dark ages, is like Facebook, only for your professional life rather than your social life. You can link with old work colleagues without worrying that they might see photos of you drunk. They can write shining reviews about how wonderful you were to work with, and prospective employers can gain a better idea of what you are like as a person than a CV alone offers.

Sadly, the same problems that many employers lament about peoples CVs still exist on LinkedIn. The same boring LinkedIn buzzwords are being used with no real benefit to either the job-seeker or the employer. Below is a list of the words and phrases guaranteed to convince prospective employers that you are completely unimaginative.

10. “Responsible For…”
Reading this term, the recruiter will picture the completely average, uninspired employee robotically completing their job requirements with no individuality or flair, the same way they filled in their LinkedIn profile. Responsibility for something isn’t something you achieved — it’s something that happened to you. You could’ve just as easily have been responsible for a £2 billion rise in profits as a nuclear meltdown. It doesn’t indicate success or failure. Change passive phrases into decisive, active verbs like “led” or “efficiently managed”.

8. “Goal-oriented”
This is vague and bland. You are not a football player. And if you were, your manager would assume that you were goal orientated. This goes without saying.

2. “Perfectionist”
This word is a nice way to say you are difficult, high maintenance or nit-picking. Basically a nightmare to work with.

1. “Creative”
Are you a “creative” and “hard working” job applicant? You’re also “predictable,” like the myriad of other applicants out there who splash “inspirational” buzzwords throughout their CV, LinkedIn and job applications in order to seem “inventive.”

LinkedIn releases an annual list of the most overused buzzwords on their profiles, and guess what? “Creative” has achieved the honor of first place for the last two years. By using the word creative, you are ironically proving your lack of creativity.

Friday, October 4, 2013

8 Tips for Expanding Your Reach on LinkedIn


1.  Include a Shortened Link

Are people clicking on your linkedIn posts? You won’t have any idea unless you’re using a shortened link. Any link directly uploaded to LinkedIn will be stripped of its tracking token.

So before you hit “share”, make sure you’re using a link shorten link Bitly. It’s important to know what engagement you’re getting from each post.

For those of you using HubSpot to schedule your social media posts on LinkedIn, the link is automatically shortened and the tracking info is included. Providing you with all of the insight you need to access the success and engagement your posts are receiving

3. Ask a Question

How do you typically start off your posts on LinkedIn? Are you providing your connections with a quote or a one liner that you think will capture their attention?

You may want to rethink that strategy.

Start off each post with a question. This is a great way to get the conversation started. They likely won’t respond or leave a comment on your post if you aren’t asking them or actively engaging with them.

7. Don’t Just Think Monday Through Friday

Don’t just share your content from 9-5 on Monday through Friday. That is the time frame in which your audience is at work. There for, it’s unlikely that you will receive a ton of engagement during those times.

Your audience will engage with your updates throughout the week, and will continue to have a strong engagement base well into the weekend. Consider adapting an always on approach and scheduling updates on the weekends.

All 8 Tips and the complete article

Thursday, October 3, 2013

8 Alternatives to LinkedIn for All Your Professional Networking Needs

Whether it’s to keep in contact with friends or family to advance your career, you are likely on at least one social network. While Facebook, Twitter,and Google are extremely popular, these platforms might not be able help you professionally. That’s when professional social networking sites come into play. And, there’s one name that instantly jumps out when you mention “professional social networking” – LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has been proven to be more effective than Facebook and Twitter at generating leads, 227% more effective to be exact. And, despite the 225 million registered members, LinkedIn does have some issues. For starters, the site is known to flood your inbox with annoying spam. Even worse than having to get rid of LinkedIn’s persistent junk mail, there’s also allegations that the company hacked into customer’s email addresses.

Even with these problems, most of us join potentially rewarding sites like LinkedIn. But, if you’re not a fan of the most popular professional networking site, then we suggest that you try out one the following eight alternatives.

8. Twylah
Twylah is a solid option if you’re looking to increase your presence on Twitter through brand pages. This allows you to determine your true brand identity and how your brand pages are doing with your audience. Another useful feature is the allowance of page optimization, which can to visibility to generate traffic from search engines.

6. PartnerUp
The most appealing feature with PartnerUp is how the site focuses on the needs of small business owners and entrepreneurs. There’s also a lot of beneficial articles written by small business owners that could come in handy. The company has now moved to the Google + Communities, but the advice and connections are still there.

4. Meetup
Meetup is an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings with like-minded people, both professionally and personally, in your area. Known for posting a ton of events, MeetUp is a great tool to network in the really real world.

2. AngelList
Known primarily as platform for startups, AngelList can connect you with thousands of startups seeking your skills and talent. As a whole, the site is extremely efficient, easy to use and secure.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Best [And Worst] Times To Post On Social Media


It’s the conundrum of social media marketers everywhere: you’ve got great content to share on your social networks, but if no one sees it, does it do any good? And that’s why discovering the best (and worst) times to post on your social media sites is a critical part of your overall digital marketing success.

When it comes to discovering the optimal posting time on a social media platform, you generally have three options: trial and error, data analysis or implementing others’ research. Let’s dive in and take a quick look at each—then you can be the judge about what works best for you.

Trial And Error (and A/B Testing)

Experimentation and testing is not only fun, it’s imperative. And we’re believers in the adage that if you’re not measuring (and testing), well, you’re not marketing. We’re huge fans of A/B testing all kinds of content we produce for ourselves and for our clients. We test tweets, blog post headlines, email subject lines–you name it, we test it. We also test how content posted at one time of day performs against how the exact piece of content performs at a different time that same day, or on another day completely.

If you’re not yet testing how your content performs, start. Make sure you are tracking what’s working (and what’s not) so that you can use those findings to guide your strategy.

Data Analysis

Let your data be your road map. Social platforms and a wide variety of tools you could use provide lots of data you can tap into to judge the efficacy of your posts, their collective reach, how your audience responds to them and whether or not they are driving the desired action (and hopefully there is one). Look at your Google Analytics regularly, especially the social analytics component of GA. We wrote a comprehensive post on how awesome those are, back when Google launched Social Reports as an addition to Google Analytics and we use it all the time. I’ll link the post at the bottom of this page for you to reference if you’re not yet familiar with and using Social Reports.

Check your Facebook page insights regularly and do monthly reporting so you can have a look at month-over-month performance (which is sometimes annoyingly difficult to do on Facebook), look at your LinkedIn Company Page Insights and look at your link performance analytics for Twitter in a dashboard like Hootsuite. That way, you’ll use data that pertains to your specific audience, the preferences of which may sometimes differ from generalized research on tactics like the best and worst times to post. Past data reports, for example, indicate that Facebook posts are largely ineffective at night and on weekends. Yet your audience may prefer posts during that time, which is why it’s so important to gather and analyze your own data.

Third-Party Data

While we can’t over-emphasize the importance of collecting and analyzing and using your own data, it’s sometimes helpful to turn to third-party data as a starting point. Take, for example, an infographic from Social Caffeine that discusses the best and worst times to post to social networks. Here are a few of their findings:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Seven effective LinkedIn tips in under seven minutes

Chris Muccio

Editor's note: This is the fourth of a seven-day blitz of LinkedIn tips from Chris Muccio, a South Florida digital marketing strategist, who has just released an update to his best-seller, "42 Rules for 24-Hour Success on LinkedIn: Learning to Generate Results Using LinkedIn for Leads.
Everyone's time is extremely valuable – no one likes to waste time right? You have a million things going on, and yet you are still trying to effectively utilize LinkedIn too because you know it is important.
Can you spare seven minutes each day for this? If so, here are seven engagement tactics that will help you build effective participation on LinkedIn while being time efficient.
1. Take a look at your notifications when signing on to LinkedIn. This is the icon that looks like a flag on the upper right of your page. This will allow you to see who has interacted with you and you can respond accordingly. If someone endorses you, thank him or her. If someone has viewed your profile send him or her a message to catch up. If they comment on your post, like your discussion, or ask a question, respond back.
2. Check out your daily emails to view your group activity. Scan the posts and discussions to see which ones you are interested in and engage these posts by commenting, liking or asking questions.
3. An alternative to the second item is to actually go into certain groups you participate in and check out the discussions. Engage in your main groups by adding to a discussion, or starting your own conversation. Make sure you are adding relevant value with your posts or comments. Ensure you have five main groups you are consistently active in. Being an active participant in five groups is much better than being irrelevant in 50 groups!