Archive for September, 2011

16th

First, let me just say that it’s very irritating that Linkedin has a policy on its Company Pages that you can only administer a company page if you use an email address that uses an extension of the company name – so no Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc. extensions, like me. Why? Not sure, but it’s pretty stupid considering how companies are starting to pursue different email strategies like corporate Gmail….

Promoting a company, brand or organization on Linkedin has three primary components:

I. Company activities
II.
Employee Activities, especially leaders and stakeholders
III. Clients, Partners, and Fan Activities

I. The question becomes, “What are the specific things that can and should be done by the company to promote the company and recruit top talent?” No doubt, specific strategies will vary by company size, industry, business goals, etc.. A strategic assessment that connects the business objective with the Social Technology tool is a prudent next step. Let us therefore limit the discussion to the B2B context (assuming

Houghton College Men's Soccer

Almost a perfect shot!

that B2C is more focused on Facebook marketing and not Linkedin), and further refine to mid-market companies. Let’s further say that the actual person running the company Linkedin page is in Marketing and is following a tightly organized Content Calendar, looking to drive sales and business development opportunities.

The Company activities on Linkedin focus around the Company Page. The Company Page has many outbound promotional opportunities, most of which are under-utilized by the vast majority of companies. So if you don’t know about this stuff, don’t feel bad. Circa the Fall of 2011, the following list will likely serve as a checklist of engagement points, the tactical elements, the allowable functions. HOW to use these tools – what to say, when to say it, what to ask, how to respond, etc., etc. – this is where the art of viral marketing, crowdsourcing, rating, and many of the Social Technologies concepts come into play. I’m begging you: DON’T WING IT. Think “driving a high-end Harley with little or no motorcycle training” – good chance you’ll wind up in the hospital – or worse, right?

The Top 10 Elements:

0.   Put up your Logo!

  1. Follow us – gaining Followers on Linkedin is the door-opener to connectivity within the Linkedin ecosystem
  2. Careers Tab – every time you add a new Job, you get picked up on several Linkedin feeds, most notably your Followers
  3. Overview Tab – remember that you are serving multiple audiences here
  4. Products and/or Services Tab – outstanding place to focus your efforts. Recommendations here can be a huge opportunity and significant marketing events. See HubSpot’s Linkedin Company Page, click the Products Tab, and note the Recommendations.
  5. Share an Update – again, like Job postings, these will appear on Follower newsfeeds
  6. In the News – great widget to add richness to the profile to further leverage media mentions
  7. Recent Tweets – probably one of the most useful functions on the page, this can lead to follows on Twitter as well, potential retweets, click-throughs to your site, etc. Course you need to know how to leverage Twitter, as well.
  8. Recent Blog Posts – Absolutely! HubSpot’s Linkedin Company Page is a good example of both Twitter and Blog integration. Scroll about half-way down. Multi-channel marketing.
  9. Like and Comment on Status Updates- encourage employees and fans to engage in the company Updates (#5) so that the Updates have a chance to spread virally to the corresponding networks of Linkedin Connections and beyond.
  10. Slideshare and Video – add video to both the Career and Products/Services Tabs

Some more activities the Company can do:

Employee recognition – run an employee of the quarter contest, preferably with as much employee ownership as possible so it’s a big deal, then announce in Status Updates, have the employee list that under employee awards, figure out a way to loop-in the related clients, etc. etc. etc. Always tie recognition to the clients served.

Relay current client Recommendations that are given to employees and the company. Client engagement is the whole point. So if there are major touch points like Recommendations of Products and Services and/or employees, broadcast those very generally, right? And should we return the favor? Absolutely. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

What do you think? What else have you seen? Please Comment below. Don’t just take – ya gotta give, too.

Next week: II. Employee Activities, especially leaders and stakeholders

Following week: III. Clients, Partners, and Fan Activities

Is this helpful? Need help with a strategy for the What, When, Where, How, Who? Please comment, share, and/or reach out to WebWisedom.

Thanks…

5th

A few questions asked by my network… Appreciate the questions – all good. And a couple recent pictures to add color.

Golfing at The Johnny Cup, Cleveland

Golfing at The Johnny Cup, Cleveland

  1. What are the best techniques to deploy to get your personal/business appearance in search results higher?
  2. How to promote your business more on Linkedin.
  3. How to use LinkedIn for job postings.
  4. What should I be doing to stay engaged with the contacts I have on Linked In when there is no pressing business need to do so?
  5. Ideas on how others are using LI to expand their network and more about what’s possible with forming and participating in various discussion groups.
  6. What companies do you know of that have set the bar for making really great use of their corporate pages to attract potential employees and promote their business?
  7. How often do people take time to update/tweak their profiles?
  8. If you have updated your profile, is there something specific you can point to that immediately made a difference in how often your profile was returned in search results or how often you were contacted by recruiters?

Following is my best attempt to shed light and add value. But like with most things, the more POV’s we can get on the subject, the better. So perhaps add your and then ask your network to take a look and add their thoughts as well. There’s a lot too it, so I’ll tackle these questions one at a time.

#1 Appearance in Search Results

Now just to be clear, this question relates to the stats you see on your home page (or on this page http://www.linkedin.com/wvmx/profile). Appearance in search results is different than Views. Views include actual visits to your profile – so someone clicked on your name and hit your profile. “Appearance in search results” relates to how often your profile is returned in a Linkedin search made by someone else. But the real question relates to the all-important word “higher”. So if there’s a list of 421 people that fit the search criteria, how do you get on page one or two, just like Google search results, right?

To understand the question, you really have to understand Linkedin Advanced Search. Take a look at the Advanced Search form, from top to bottom. The Boolean (AND OR etc.) fields are at the top. Second, notice the search “filters” in the middle. Lastly, look at the “Sort by” choices at the bottom.

Finding Dad/Grandpa, Vietnam Memorial Wall, Akron

Finding Dad/Grandpa, Vietnam Memorial Wall, Akron

Now I will say that I searched high and low on the Linkedin site for information on search ranking. As is no surprise, there is NO mention of exactly how the Linkedin Search results page returns results. It seems a closely held piece of information – understandable; kind of the secret sauce.

So how would your profile show up higher in search results? To a certain extent, it seems out of your hands; dependent on the filters and sort-by choices a searcher makes. But to get on the list to begin with, it would seem important to do the following things. Consider this list as table-stakes – things to do to get invited to the dance and show up in someone’s search results:

  • Keywords in Headlines and Titles
  • Connections with as many people as possible (legit connections, unless they are LION’s)
  • Keywords in other areas, especially Interests, Skills, and Groups & Associations
  • Keyword matches the Industry selected in the individual job profiles
  • Obviously, your profile has to fit the other Boolean criteria as well (location, etc.)
  • Numbers of Recommendations
  • Group involvement

Now to the question of Search Rank. Again, it depends on the searchers choices in the “Sort by” field. Since the default is “Relevance”, it would seem to make sense to pay particular attention to that concept. So how do they define relevance? Intuitively, one would think it would be based on the following:

  1. keyword density across the Profile (relevance)
  2. number of Connections (influence/importance)
  3. number of Recommendations (positive influence, also to the keywords, though less-so)
  4. number of mutual connections (relationship)
  5. number and activity within keyword-related Groups (relevance, influence, relationship), especially shared Groups

With this in mind, what are some of the critical must-have’s/must-do’s with your profile relative to appearing in search results?

  1. Add keywords everywhere, but especially in the high profile areas listed above.
  2. Focus on Recommendations, especially from people you do business with (versus employees and associates)
  3. Connect with as many people as you feel comfortable with. My recommendation? If you were to meet someone at a job, industry or social event and they have some relevance to your job, career, or interests, connect with them.
  4. Join and be active with Groups that have relevance to your job, career, or interest. How active? Up to you – how fast you think and type, how visible you want to be, how much influence you want to develop. Time is scarce, but do something. Know that, depending on your activity broadcast settings at the time, Comments in Groups also show up in your activity list to your 1st level connections. So Group comments can also keep your profile fresh.
  5. All this applies to Linkedin Answers as well, though I freely admit to not getting engaged in that element yet.
  6. You might also consider paying the $25/month to become more of a player in the space as well. We’ll get to where the value is in that in future posts – and there IS value, depending of course on what you are are trying to accomplish.

That’s it for now. Please Comment. Thanks in advance.

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Top Sources:

http://www.slideshare.net/vferraro/increase-visibility-on-linked-in-presentation-updated-3-7-2010

http://www.youtube.com/LinkedIn

http://twitter.com/#!/linkedin

http://searchengineland.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-linkedin-today-how-to-optimize-your-presence-on-it

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Next: Company pages, Promotion, and Recruiting

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