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A LinkedIn Executive Shares The #1 Tip For Using The Professional Social Network

Business Insider

Steve Johnson, LinkedIn’s VP of user experience, is the guy in charge of designing the site’s look, feel, and function.

Naturally, he’s a LinkedIn whiz, and in a recent interview he shared his favorite tip for members: Don’t be afraid to show your personality.

“LinkedIn profiles aren’t like the printed resumes of old,” he says, “You can bring your professional story to life. We are giving you the opportunity to share your career aspirations, showcase your unique character and what you bring to the culture of your company.”

You can give your profile some extra flair by adding professional photos from events or conferences, writing about your experience more in-depth with LinkedIn’s publishing platform, seeking out recommendations from past colleagues that highlight more than just your day-to-day duties, listing volunteer experiences, or uploading a presentation that you’re proud of.

Johnson also explained that he’s personally driven by the idea of helping people achieve their aspirations through empowerment.

“As a child, I grew up with practically nothing so I understand what it’s like to feel that your dreams are out of reach,” he says. “I want the LinkedIn experience to make our members feel that they are taking a step closer to their goals and aspirations. When they are building something like their LinkedIn profile, I want people to feel proud of what they’ve created and empowered to make their dreams a reality.”

Read the rest of the interview here

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The revolutionary Nanosite goes mobile. A mobile Nanosite features multimedia content, polls, and full social media sharing capabilities via Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Screen Shot 2014 08 21 at 2.22.30 PM IDG Nanosite

How LinkedIn hopes to become a gold mine of customers

CITEworld

LinkedIn was started as a social network for job seekers. It’s grown into a site where professionals build their networks, making connections that can help in their current positions and that might help in reaching career goals.

Now LinkedIn wants to become something more. In July it announced plans toacquire Bizo, a business-to-business marketing platform. It turns out, LinkedIn thinks it can build a $1 billion business out of B2B marketing, according to a leaked document that Business Insider posted. The document lays out LinkedIn’s vision to get into the marketing business, and how Bizo fits into what LinkedIn has already started.

The biggest change will be that LinkedIn plans to do more beyond its own Web site. LinkedIn already has some programs for businesses, like selling sponsored posts in users’ LinkedIn feeds. But LinkedIn’s programs so far are all centered around the LinkedIn site.

Bizo’s platform lets marketers show ads to targeted people on a network of thousands of websites, including business publications. Customers also get tools that let them track their web visitors through a Bizo ad to find out if they buy something or if a certain kind of visitor clicks on certain pages.

The leaked document shows that LinkedIn plans to continue offering the advertising service and will integrate it with its sponsored posts offering, so that businesses will be able to display sponsored posts on LinkedIn to people who have visited their Web site. It will also add mobile advertising capabilities to Bizo, which doesn’t already offer that. Plus, LinkedIn business customers will get the better tracking capabilities from Bizo.

“We believe we have unique assets that enable us to build a winning and highly differentiated solution,” the document reads. “Specifically, our key differentiators are best-in-class data, quality audience, and context, the professional graph, which powers account-based marketing and sales intelligence, and our publishing platform and media products.”

LinkedIn said it had no comment about the document.

On paper, the idea isn’t bad. LinkedIn has built a large network — it claims about 300 million users — most of whom are business people. When they turn to the site, it’s probably with business in mind — they’re not going to LinkedIn to be amused or look at pictures of their friends’ kids, as they might with Facebook. With Bizo, LinkedIn can offer businesses a connection to LinkedIn people who have also visited their Web sites.

But LinkedIn will have some work to do to change its image from one that hosts a bunch of job seekers to one that serves up potential customers. Would businesses like Lenovo and Zendesk, who are current Bizo customers, think of LinkedIn as a go-to vendor for B2B marketing? If LinkedIn hadn’t made the Bizo acquisition, probably not.

According to the leaked document, LinkedIn thinks it can reach $1 billion by 2017 with this new line of business. The company is hoping to launch integrated products by the first quarter 2015. Between now and then, it will have to work hard to show potential customers why they should think of LinkedIn in a new light.

 

8 Tips and Tricks for LinkedIn Power Users

Mashable

You have hundreds of connections, stacks of skills and endorsements, a killer review of your experience and a flattering but professional headshot. Your LinkedIn profile is all set up for some seriously productive networking, and you’re ready to build up your brand online as you climb the ladder of success.

But don’t you wish you could get a little bit more out of LinkedIn? While having an extensive network is a big advantage, there several little things you can do to help make the most of the website — and a lot of them are free.

Here are eight ways to get a leg up on the LinkedIn competition.

1. Request to connect through search instead of the profile button.

When you send connection requests through the Connect button on someone’s profile, you have to prove you know them through a mutually listed company or school. To skip that step, just search for the person you want to connect with, and use the Connect button next to her name to immediately send the invitation.

2. Set up anonymous profile viewing to explore the network fearlessly.

Whether it’s an old college rival or your new boss, it’s natural to want to delve a little deeper into someone’s professional past. However, LinkedIn’s default settings notify users when someone looks at their profiles.

The first concern is coming off as creepy, but if you’re using LinkedIn to vet potential hires or recruiters, you may not want them to know what you’re doing. Luckily, there’s an easy fix to limit or remove all identifying information from your visit, so the people whose profiles you view won’t knew you were there.

The one caveat is forfeiting your ability to see who views your profile (if you have a basic account), but it’s a small sacrifice for searching in secrecy.

3. Use advanced searches to hone in on the best jobs and candidates.

Whether you’re a recruiter looking for the perfect person for an opening at your company, or you’re just someone looking for a new gig, a basic search might not yield the best results. While LinkedIn offers several paid upgrades that give you special tools for this, an advanced search can help you filter through a slew of postings and connections.

The paid upgrades give you deeper filters and streamline the process, but the free ones are a great first step toward a successful search.

4. Import your email contacts as connections.

If you’ve been using LinkedIn long enough, chances are you’ve connected with most people you’ve done business with by now. That said, searching through your email contacts is a great way to find anyone who might have slipped your mind or works in a different industry than they did before.

It may not make a huge difference right away, but all it takes is one message to start a big business move, whether it’s a new job or a major partnership.

5. Make sure your profile reflects your current work and aspirations.

Keeping your profile updated might not be at the top of your to-do list, but it’s helpful to clear out the cobwebs and keep the information fresh. You shouldn’t need to make major changes to the experience and education sections, but consistently updating your work portfolio will keep connections updated on what you’ve been doing recently.

While this is mainly useful for those in media, graphic design and other industries that often value work samples over resumes, it can also highlight a specific interest or specialty you want to parlay into a new job.

6. Take advantage of groups.

While connecting with people you don’t know is against LinkedIn’s rules, joining groups of users with similar experiences, jobs and interests is a great way to reach more people and resources. There are groups for colleges, industries, professional organizations, companies and common interests, and being part of these groups allows you search and filter through them with an upgraded account.

Each group has a page with an open forum and job board, helping those within the group help each other. Also, group memberships appear on your public profile by default, which will help connections see what you do beyond your listed experience.

7. Ask connections to leave you recommendations.

Letters of recommendation can make or break a job application, and LinkedIn allows users to recommend each other’s work at specific companies and organizations. While it might be awkward to ask at first, these recommendations add immediate credibility and depth to your experience. And beyond it’s content, the recommendation shows that people actually like you enough to say nice things about you for everyone to see.

8. Save job searches and receive email alerts.

If you’re looking for a new gig, you can save job searches on LinkedIn and get email updates daily, weekly or monthly. This is a great way of making the site work for you, as you look for work yourself.

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Pinterest peaks, Facebook falters in customer satisfaction survey of social sites

TechHive

Billions of people use assorted social networking sites, but just how happy are they with the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and the rest? The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which measures exactly that sort of thing, put out its latest report on consumer satisfaction with e-businesses—that’s social media, search engines, and websites—and it’s an interesting look at just which service’s Like button is getting a workout.

Historically, social media sites tend to rank among the lowest-scoring companies on ACSI’s 100-point scale. This year, social media boasted an overall customer satisfaction rating of 71, up 4.4 percent from the previous study. The 71 rating puts social media companies above airlines (69), subscription television (65), and Internet service providers (63).

acsi rankings social media 100360859 large Pinterest peaks, Facebook falters in customer satisfaction survey of social sites

The American Consumer Satisfaction Index started rating social media companies in 2010. Scores are based on a 100-point scale. In this year’s rankings, Facebook and LinkedIn finished at the bottom, though both saw their scores improve over 2013.

Of the individual social networking sites, Pinterest was the most beloved site in 2014 with a customer satisfaction score of 76, stealing the crown from Wikipedia (74), which coincidentally was the only site to lose ground from 2013, falling 5 percent from last year’s score. Google’s YouTube and a newly-created “all others” category (which includes Instagram, Reddit and Tumblr) were hot on Pinterest and Wikipedia’s heels with a 73 rating, followed by Google+ (71) and Twitter (69).

Perhaps most notably, tied for dead last among social media ACSI still measures with scores of 67 apiece were LinkedIn and Facebook. Yep, you read that right, Facebook, the first network to crack a billion users and widely considered to be the pace-setter among social networking sites, couldn’t manage to top LinkedIn for customer satisfaction. That’s LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals that most people begrudgingly join for the sole purpose of scoring a better job.

At least Facebook and LinkedIn can console themselves in that they scored an improvement over last year, when both companies scored only a 62 on ACSI’s scale. That makes them big winners in terms of year-over-year improvement.

That good news comes with an asterisk for Facebook, though. ACSI notes that the scores were measured before Facebook revealed it had manipulated news feeds as part of a psychological test on hundreds of thousands of users. (That’s in contrast to the regular manipulation Facebook performs on our news feed.) But customers in this go-around seem happy with their revamped news feed and other enhancements, so maybe it’ll end up a wash. For now, Zuckerberg and Co. can take solace in a strong improvement in customer satisfaction, even if they are still tied for last in the category.

LinkedIn tries again to keep people connected, with a redesigned app

IDG News Service

LinkedIn is trying again to build a service on mobile that helps keep people in touch, even when they’re not actively job hunting.

On Thursday the company launched a redesigned standalone app to do that, called Connected. It’s an overhaul of the company’s Contacts app, which launched last year but was not as interactive as the new service. People who have that app downloaded will be prompted to upgrade to the new app on Thursday.

The new app will focus on bringing updates about people’s connections to their mobile device. Events like job changes, work anniversaries or mentions in the news will show up as cards that people can swipe through left to right. Swipe up on a card to dismiss it. Reach the end of a series of cards, and LinkedIn might recommend some other people to connect with.

Users can interact with the cards like they might a Facebook post, such as with a “like,” a comment, or even a follow-up phone call.

The app is available in English for iOS, but plans are in the works for Android and international versions. People do not have to manually add again their existing contacts; they show up when they sign in with their LinkedIn credentials.

LinkedIn’s main service already provides updates on people in the feed on mobile and desktop, and through email notifications, in addition to content like news articles, sponsored posts, and job suggestions.

But the cards interface of the Connected app, and its singular focus on people, is different. The app won’t let users, for instance, edit their profiles, search for jobs, or follow companies. Think of it like checking Facebook or Twitter to see what your friends are up to, but in a professional context.

David Brubacher, head of relationships products at LinkedIn, called it a new way for people to invest in their network of connections. Specifically, LinkedIn hopes the app will give people an easier way to keep in touch with their connections, particularly if they don’t have time for a face-to-face meeting.

“This app helps you invest in your relationships today, so opportunities blossom for you tomorrow,” the company said in its announcement.

LinkedIn, in other words, is trying to make its service more of a destination like Facebook or Twitter, rather than a means to an end. That’s a tough goal though for a site aimed at professionals. Whether LinkedIn’s new service takes off may depend on whether people really want to check another app to stay up to date on people who may not all be close friends.

But the app also aims to provide some smarts, by letting people sync their phone’s contacts and calendar. If you enable notifications in the app, you can receive push notifications like reminder alerts before meetings, or prompts to follow up or connect with people on LinkedIn after.

Users will be able to adjust these notifications in their settings. “It’s not our goal to bombard you with push notifications throughout the day,” said Vinodh Jayaram, LinkedIn’s director of engineering.

‘LinkedIn falls flat on consumer engagement’

Marketing Week

The report, authored by Forrester senior analyst Kim Celestre, claims that despite its 300 million members LinkedIn has not gained traction as a tool for “social relationship objectives” that drive customer engagement such as loyalty or customer service.

The research found that 21 per cent of US online adults visit LinkedIn monthly, a significantly lower figure than for Facebook. Plus LinkedIn members are much less likely to engage with brands on the social network, with less than half doing so on LinkedIn compared to more than 70 per cent on Facebook.

It also has a lower engagement rate, measuring 0.054 per cent in terms of user interactions as a percentage of a brand’s fans or followers, behind Google+ on 0.069 per cent and Facebook with 0.073 per cent. The low engagement figures mean that just 13 per cent of digital marketers are using LinkedIn to drive engagement.

“When compared with Facebook and Google+, LinkedIn’s engagement rate does not stack up. This is because LinkedIn members don’t go to the social network to follow brands after they’ve purchased a product and don’t participate in the site often enough to deepen relationships with brands,” says Celestre.

Awareness Boost

However, Forrester believes marketers should not give up on LinkedIn, using it for brand awareness. When used in this way, says Celestre, LinkedIn has the potential to help “meet or exceed” social reach objectives, so long as a brand’s offering is relevant to professionals.

Brands can make sure they are relevant by using the site to solve a professional challenge, deliver a professional opportunity or help users develop their personal brands. Celestre cites examples such as Procter & Gamble’s Secret deodorant campaign, Citi’s sponsorship of a LinkedIn group called “Connect: Professional Women’s Network” and Microsoft’s custom API that analyses users profiles to provide job title recommendations as examples of how to market successfully on the social network.

LinkedIn has previously batted away criticism of its engagement rates, citing strong engagement following its move to open its publishing platform to any user in its latest quarterly results. Its marketing solutions revenues are also on the up, increasing by 36 per cent to $101.8m in the three months to the end of May and accounting for 22 per cent of its total revenue.

LinkedIn declined to provide a comment.

Communicating to a B2B audience

Tim Pritchard, head of social media at Manning Gottlieb OMD, questions comparing LinkedIn to Facebook, calling it an “unfair measurement”. This is because Facebook is used for more traditional brand metrics such as consideration and purchase while LinkedIn should be used more for metrics such as brand trust and respect, he adds.

“Communications are going out to a B2B audience which has completely different KPIs like trust, respect and share price rather than traditional brand metrics like consideration,” he adds.

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Social media faces doubts after latest round of results

USA Today

Social media, social outcast?

The once-sizzling sector could be on the outside looking in for investors following a string of disappointing financial results and a sharp slide in stock prices the past two months. Shares of Twitter, Pandora and LinkedIn have sunk more than 30%. Even Facebook, riding a wave of mobile advertising growth, is off its March high nearly 20%.

Online recruiting site LinkedIn, until now a dependable performer, was the latest major name to deepen doubts among many on Wall Street. On Thursday, it posted a $13.3 million loss and its slowest revenue growth in four years.

LinkedIn’s results come amid questions about the immediate financial prospects for social media companies. Since early February, those stocks have sputtered after an extended streak from 2012, according to the Global X Social Media Index ETF.

“These stocks were winners,” says Arvind Bhatia, an analyst at financial-services firm Sterne Agee. “Invariably, as soon as they show any kind of slowdown, the momentum investors get out.”

Aaron Kessler, an Internet analyst at Raymond James, expects the fallout to last weeks, maybe months, before “momentum” investors come back. Many have been spooked by steep company market valuations that don’t match revenue projections, he says.

Bhatia framed the situation as being bigger than social media. The reverse stampede has also battered shares of Amazon.com, eBay, Yelp and Netflix, he says.

“It’s a re-rating of the entire sector,” adds Tom White, an analyst at market researcher Macquarie. The recent malaise extends to Internet and software stocks, including IPO newbies GrubHub and Rocket Fuel.

Yet the focus has been squarely on social media following a spate of earnings reports and the surprise resignation this past week of Google’s Vic Gundotra, who was the company’s senior vice president for social.

Days before LinkedIn’s first-quarter results, Twitter shares were eviscerated when it whiffed with middling user growth. It now has 255 million monthly active users. (Twitter shares tumbled another 18% on Tuesday after its six-month stock lockup was lifted, allowing major shareholders to sell their holdings.)

The future of social network Google+ is rife for debate after its leader abruptly quit. Its 300 million members, while an impressive figure, is light years behind Facebook’s 1.28 billion.

Indeed, the silver lining for social media is the social-networking giant, whose recent prowess in mobile underscores “solid fundamentals,” Bhatia says. (The average reported quarterly revenue growth for Twitter, Facebook, Yelp and Pandora was 82%.)

“You cannot find fault in Facebook’s results,” he says. “And yet its stock went down. It was a case of comparing it to good numbers (from previous results). It happens.”

Why LinkedIn is morphing from a social network into an online newspaper

Quartz

On May 5th, LinkedIn will celebrate its 11th birthday. It announced last month that 300 million people had signed up for the professional social network. This evening, LinkedIn will report earnings for first quarter of this year, which analysts expect to surpass the company’s own guidance.

Despite all these positive signs, there is one question that has dogged the network for the majority of its history: What is LinkedIn actually for?
Establishing a clearer identity is crucial to LinkedIn’s future. While more than 300 million people have joined, LinkedIn’s most recent filings suggest that the number of people who log in at least once a month is probably closer to 200 million. Growth in US monthly desktop users and desktop pageviews both slipped into negative territory last year (though visitors from mobile are climbing). To many, LinkedIn is only a place to go when looking for a job. And despite LinkedIn’s exhortations to users to fill in their profiles to “100% completeness” and “endorse” each other, connections and endorsements on the network are essentially meaningless. LinkedIn needs a way to get users to come back more regularly. That’s why, over the past three years, it has morphed into a content platform.
“They would like guys like you and me to look at our LinkedIn newsfeed as part of our morning ritual, the same way some people look at Twitter” says Tom White, an analyst at Macquarie, an investment bank. Getting people to sign up is fine for one part of the business—selling database access to recruiters. But LinkedIn can’t capture ad dollars without a more captive, active audience. “Ads are probably the largest addressable market, a very high-margin revenue stream,” adds White.
“Content consumption is a daily use-case so we find more of our members visiting LinkedIn on a regular basis,” says Deep Nishar, who heads up LinkedIn’s product and user experience divisions. “When they are more engaged they are engaging not just with content on the site—they are engaging with all sorts of other things that we provide, including, but not limited to, recruiters trying to reach them and marketeers trying to pitch the right messages of their products.”

LinkedIn woos brands as publishers

Digiday

LinkedIn is often the forgotten giant of the platforms world. With more than 57 million unique visitors in the U.S. in February 2014 and a healthy business, it is now ramping up its efforts to attract marketers to embrace “always-on” publishing there.

The business network hopes to encourage companies to create their own “brand journalism” initiatives — and then pay LinkedIn to promote and target their stories. The goal is to induce more companies to build brand publishing experiences that will live on and off LinkedIn, according to executives involved in the program.

“[LinkedIn] obviously wants to push this extremely hard since it’s having a lot of success from their influencer program,” said Sebastian Jespersen, CEO of digital agency Vertic, told Digiday.  ”Now they want to give the same opportunity to brands.”

Jespersen pointed to AARP’s Life Reimagined for Work website and corresponding LinkedIn group as an example of how brands should publish on their own and extend that experience into LinkedIn.

The moves are something of a mirror to what Facebook’s done with brands. It first encouraged brands to publish on its platform, then it rolled out a series of “certified” developers to help the brands, and it capped that with an ad program to distribute brand messages.

“[LinkedIn] has always seen that content is creating more engagement than anything else. The issue for the brands is that they don’t have the infrastructure to create this content,” Jespersen said.

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