Monthly Archives: April 2013

LinkedIn moves closer to becoming the professional site we rely on

LinkedIn has repositioned itself as a go to site for business professionals. It acquired slideshare last year and has incorporated some of its features into its company pages. You can now drive extra engagement with page followers by attaching files such as presentations, pdf’s and white papers and adding them to company page updates.

LinkedIn is the top social media site for business executives according to a survey reported by Forbes and LinkedIn wants to make sure that it stays that way. It has recently introduced features  such as LinkedIn Today

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Users can also follow their favourite influencers.  LinkedIn has identified thought leaders in its network and you can now follow them – just like you can follow companies. The program is now closed but you can apply to be considered a thought leader and might just be included in its list.

We use social media for a variety of reasons – and those reasons are different to the reasons we use Facebook for.  Hubspot has a nice infographic showing the differences between personal social networks  and business social networks and their different needs. In summary these differences are:

Personal Social Network

Professional Social Networks

Distraction, Having fun Aspiration, Achievement
Spending time Investing time
socialising, staying in touch Maintaining Identity, searching for opportunities, make useful contacts
Find content that suits personal interests Get updates on Brands
Get entertainment updates Read up on current affairs
   

LinkedIn is also testing sponsored content – similar to Facebook’s sponsored stories which will be filtering down to our mobile devices in 2013.  The new UI is certainly much better than its old interface.  The ability to manage connections ands use LinkedIn as a CRM tool for notes and details as well as using Tags for good CRM.

LinkedIn is becoming a very credible business tool that professionals use extensively. And with its income up 66 per cent in Q4 2012 it is a tool that more and more of us will come to rely on absolutely.

Eileen is a social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact Eileen to find out how she can elevate your brand and help your business become more social.

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Your Facebook status is not as private as you thought it was

Do you REALLY trust all your friends on your Facebook feed?  Recently Facebook has added a share link to status updates. Here’s an update I posted earlier on Facebook.

fb shares

You can see that it is really easy to share this text only post further.  Much further than you wanted it to if you have only sent the post to a limited number of friends in the first place.

From the help text these are the levels of sharing you can do:

  • Sharing with a broad audience: Use the share menu that’s located at the top of your homepage and timeline to let others know what’s on your mind. You can update your status and share photos, videos, links and other application content. Things you share will appear as posts on your timeline, and can appear in your news feed. To control whether or not specific people have the option to view your stories, you can change the privacy settings for each piece of content you post.
  • Sharing with a small group of friends: Use the Groups feature to share content with a select group of people, like family members, your soccer team or your book club.
  • Sharing with an individual: You can use the share menu at the top of a friend’s timeline to write or share something on his or her timeline. Friends of your friend will also be able to view your post. If you’d like to share something privately, you can always send someone a private message.

But sharing status updates that were never originally meant to be shared with a broader audience seems wrong. Having the ability to control whether that status update can be shared

This means that anyone who reads your Facebook status update can share it with, not only their friends, but make the status update public. Anyone else can then share this further.

The Facebook privacy page does not mention that status updates that you originally thought were just for your Facebook friends, now can be shared with anyone outside of your friends and their friends.

So be careful what you put on Facebook.  It might be reaching a much greater audience than you ever intended it to…

Using LinkedIn company pages to extend your reach.

More and more of my client work involves LinkedIn nowadays. Lots of LinkedIn users use LinkedIn to advance their career. Now companies are really starting to see the value of LinkedIn for three reasons.

Customer connections and customer relationship management

Finding new clients and partners

Elevating their own personal brand so that they stand out in the crowded jobs market.

imageBut companies are using LinkedIn too to make better connections with their customers. Maersk Line and LinkedIn have been talking about the benefits that Maersk Line gets from LinkedIn.

Maersk uses its LinkedIn company page to really connect with its customers.

The page has over 32,000 followers and updates its page daily.

Most of its updates have comments – all have likes by the community. Its products and services page has recommendations for almost every service Maersk offers. 

As it says on its Maersk social blog – every recommendation of its products and services extends its reach of the network. 

I suspect its structured groups will increase its reach and engagement further.

There are almost 3 million company pages on LinkedIn – some large organisations such as IBM, Deloitte and Shell. Small organisations have a great presence too. Almost 200,000 company pages have been created for UK organisations.

The UK small businesses seem to have embraced LinkedIn pages too. Over 82,000 UK based businesses with less than 10 people have company pages. That is 45.8 per cent of the total number of pages.

And 40 of these small businesses with 1-10 staff have over 1000 followers of their page.

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Contrast this with US based businesses. There are over 742,000 businesses in the US that have LinkedIn pages. 318,550 are from businesses with less than 10 employees. That’s 42.9 per cent compared with 45.8 per cent of firms in the UK.

Three companies in the US with only 1-10 employees have over 5000 followers. One is a valid small business (not a government organisation) too:

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And the most followed company on LinkedIn? Worley Parsons. Headquartered in Australia it has over 53.5 million followers. The company keeps its users engaged by its mix of social updates, career information and news.

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LinkedIn has several ways to increase your reach, stay top of mind in across industry. Adding valid credible comments to companies you follow means that other followers will get the chance to see your profile, connect with you and start up a conversation with you.  Just like groups, company pages give you exposure well outside of your  first degree connections.

It is worth looking at engaging with companies if you want to really extend your reach and connect across the industry.  all you have to do is click ‘Follow’ Smile

Eileen is a social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact Eileen to find out how she can elevate your brand and help your business become more social.

Online Social Media principles– Coca-Cola style

I like the transparency of Coca – Cola in its social media conversations online. It published its social media principles for online behaviour last year – but its worth having a look at why these principles work so well.

Coca-Cola works around its shared values which it uses throughout the organisation:

Cocacola

LEADERSHIP : The courage to shape a better future;
COLLABORATION : Leveraging our collective genius;
INTEGRITY : Being real;
ACCOUNTABILITY : Recognizing that if it is to be, it’s up to me;
PASSION : Showing commitment in heart and mind;
DIVERSITY : Being as inclusive as our brands; and
QUALITY : Ensuring what we do, we do well.

And in its social media activities, these values are articulated and summarised as:

Transparency in every social media engagement. The Company does not condone manipulating the social media flow by creating "fake" destinations and posts designed to mislead followers and control a conversation. We also require bloggers and social media influencers to disclose to their readers when we’re associating with them, whether by providing them with product samples or hosting them at Company events, and we need to monitor whether they are complying with this requirement.

Protection of our consumers’ privacy. This means that we should be conscientious regarding any Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that we collect, including how we collect, store, use, or share that PII, all of which should be done pursuant to applicable Privacy Policies, laws and IT policies.

Respect of copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity, and other third-party rights in the online social media space, including with regard to user-generated content (UGC). How exactly you do this may depend on your particular situation, so work with your cross-functional teams to make informed, appropriate decisions.

Responsibility in our use of technology. We will not use or align the Company with any organizations or Web sites that deploy the use of excessive tracking software, adware, malware or spyware.

Utilization of best practices, listening to the online community, and compliance with applicable regulations to ensure that these Online Social Media Principles remain current and reflect the most up-to-date and appropriate standards of behaviour.

These values, whilst similar to other companies that have an online presence show clearly and with transparency  — how the brand interacts with its customers.  The company uses social media successfully as an advertising tool and demonstrates its commitments to its customers by publishing its  online shows just how much it wants to follow its own guidelines and make a success.

If only other companies would do the same…

Eileen is a social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact Eileen to find out how she can elevate your brand and help your business become more social.