04 06 10 Does having a Linkedin profile mean I'm "doing social networking"?
Does having a Linkedin account
mean I’m “doing” social networking?
Managing Consultant – Elephant Creative Solutions
I’m not a techy and I’m not an expert in how to use IT to solve all your business problems.
What I do know and what I do believe in is common-sense marketing and using all the tools
available (and calling on the right people for the job) to develop your business.
If you keep an open mind you can see the benefits for yourself.
This presentation is in 2 halves. The first half looks at the background to social networking
and the “what’s in it for me” side of things (in terms of why and how to use it). The second
half looks specifically at Linkedin and goes through some ways to use it to make a
difference. I’m not going to show you how to make a profile or do any of that… I shall
assume you already have one, even if it’s not filled in yet… but I am going to show you
some things that you can directly apply to business needs and processes.
Once every decade a radical new technology emerges that fundamentally changes the
business landscape. Businesses that get with it, win, and and those that don’t, lose.
In the 1970s it was mainframe computers. In the 1980s it was PCs. In the 1990s it was the
Internet. Now we have Social Networking.
It has its roots in the 1950s with phone-jacking… dialling in to the telephone system
(illegally) to hold discussions and events. This was developed into the first discussion board
and forum in 1979 with a system housed on local servers, that you dialled into using your
phone line. Things have moved on and now nearly 45% of the population of the World is
online and using social networking in some way.
The key platforms for us to consider are Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. These are in
addition to your own, source materials, eg: website and blog. For this presentation, because
of time, we’re only really touching on Linkedin but I am happy to discuss the other platforms
at a later date, if you think it would be helpful. There are, of course, hundreds of other
platforms but let’s not bite off more than we can chew!
It’s changing the business landscape… can you afford to ignore that many people?
How does it work?
www links pages through metadata ie. references. Social Networking works in the same
way but by linking information about people. It is a www of people.
Social Networking is about maximising the return on this web. It allows for social filtering on
context rather than just words. It flattens boundaries and opens doors (eg. the CEO
circulating the report versus the employee circulating the report). It allows us to be more
aware and engage better with people. It is even easier to get to key people and to
understand what makes them tick. Like networking… but better!
How has it changed the business landscape? Push-me, Pull-you. Previously we interrupted
lives. Because you couldn’t know everyone much of this was seen as spam so you had a
high amount of effort for lower return. The basic dynamics of push and pull marketing have
Push - social filtering allows us to specify frequency as well as content. Because it is from
someone we know (or knows someone we know) it has validity and credence. It isn’t seen
Pull - you can opt in to pull information to you. You read a blog and start to feel you know
that person. The relationship is starting to be built. We value content our friends read, often
over information businesses send out. Eg. Chicago Bulls.
In essence by being in the “group” it breaks down barriers and allows you share information
more effectively and to more people. The hard work of cold-calling and walking into that
networking group is done for you!
How can we use it?
SALES - as I have said, it breaks down barriers. It’s useful for developing weak relationships
and maintaining them. It allows you to establish credibility through association. You can
monitor trends and key words using RSS feeds and a variety of online search options and
websites (Google, Google blogs, Google Wiki, Digg it, Stumbledupon). It’s easy to target.
You can demonstrate a “personal” link. Loads of information is available about your target
eg: political strength within an organisation, whether they are a champion or a roadblock -
you can work this out from their career path and interests, key interests, information on
their companies, career history and links to other people you know. It fills in the CRM gap.
Helps to build and sustain a rapport, you can respond to their statuses and see what they’re
interested in. You can even use it to address customer support and experience issues.
MARKETING - You can hyper target. You can see what people really care about and are
“worried about”. “1/2 my money spent on marketing is wasted etc”. Helps with passive
buyers. You can tap into existing communities and “work” on their discussions. You could
build your own community. Performance advertising. Branded apps. Use existing contacts to
spread a viral message. Generate opinions, ideas and recommendations. Allows you to jump
in on negation comments and show you care.
INNOVATE - Get inspired by statuses and what people are up to. Crowdsource
(mystarbucksidea). Whole process from establishing the idea and discovery in an open
forum. Collaboration. Research. Spread the word.
RECRUIT - Allows you to read between the lines of a person. Research them and the role
and the company. Market yourself as a desirable employer. Brand values development.
You can keep in touch with those that got away or that used to work with you. Continue to
build your profile.
Why is Linkedin useful… your profile
Title - think about how people will search for you. Make is clear and easy to find. Consider
how you’d describe yourself.
Status - link to Twitter. Keep it populated, strategic and tempting. If you can’t think of
anything good to say then keep an eye on what others are saying and comment or retweet.
Posts - include more than just jobs. Think how you might meet contacts and how they
might find you.
Public profile - get a vanity URL. Include this on business cards and emails. Good way of
sending your CV out without people thinking you’re being pushy.
Activity - keep active. Keep posting. Useful articles.
Websites - change the names to help with SEO.
Why is Linkedin useful… your profile
Blog - demonstrate other contact points and “ways to find you”
Twitter - as before… but make sure things aren’t just silly… value and strategy are key
Recommendations - ask for them.
Who do you know - this section helps to build networks and introductions
Groups - join lots and join strategically. Be picky about who you have on the profile with the
logo as it can get a bit long. Again, be strategic.
Why is Linkedin useful… groups
Relevant to CBf.
Open forum for discussion and sharing NOT a sales pitch. Code of conduct.
You can really develop leads here both by reading and learning and by giving information.
Discussions, news, jobs - research and recruitment, RSS feed your twitter or blog in here,
post articles, start conversations, ask questions and opinions.
Comment on discussions. Engage and spend time “giving” answers. Don’t preach and don’t
Update - pick up on key themes.
Join groups strategically. Get a weekly update digest and invest time in going through it to
comment on EVERYTHING that interests you. Raise your brand and develop relationships.
You won’t be seen as spam as you’re “in the group”. Good way to get to talk to people you
don’t know - eg. of Horation and Adam Gordon. Also improves your searchability.
Set up a group to start discussions on key topics and link your name to services/themes.
Helps with viral marketing as people join and it shows on their profile/update - generates
Why is Linkedin useful… jobs
Basic job post - you might be looking. Read and learn also. What jobs are going? What
opportunities do they offer?
Click on who posted the job and learn about them.
Apply online or forward - use as a way to introduce your services eg: advertising for a new
HR director, do they need interim.
Who do you know there? What opportunities does this vacancy offer for people who are
stressed or over-worked… might need you.
Why is Linkedin useful… companies
Research. Keep up to speed on your targets. Find new targets based on criteria.
Who is following. Who else is interested? Joint approach or JV?
Activity - add to RSS feeder to keep up to date.
Employees and new hires. Past hires. Who do you know/
Extra info on company. Research goldmine.
Why is Linkedin useful… answers
Ask a question - stays for 7 days. Up to 10 per month. Seen by everyone. Select best
answer and at the end say thank you. Encourage more responses next time. You can also
notify 200 contacts that you’ve asked the question… soft “interruption”.
Answer - invest time.
What are people talking about? Understand areas of concern and key trends. Influence your
Browse other areas of “excitement”. Understand your market.
Have a strategy. Don’t thinly veil a sales pitch.
Why is Linkedin useful… search
Advanced search on people helps to target and research.
Can do Boolean searches:
X NOT Y
X AND Y
+ = must include, - = must not include
“xyz” AND (joe OR bloggs)
Very specific. Hyper target.
Why is Linkedin useful… search
Search companies as above. Allows you to really target then see who you know and who
you can get an intro to.
Why is Linkedin useful… the extras
Much of the real power is in third party applications. Some good ones are above. Go to
“more” then “applications” then follow the wizard to install on your profile. Can really help to
engage people and share information.
The effort… What’s in it for me?
Speaks for itself.
Do away with all cold-calling and cold-mailing.
Who knows who?
Just the same as a networking meeting but it’s effectively like being able to look at the
room first and learn about everyone, what they’re worried about and interested in, before
you go in to speak to them. You can actually network, educated about your market and
able to target effectively.
There’s the theory… now what?
Top tips &
To get your started. Here’s where you can find speaking notes, getting started on your
strategy notes and top tips and relationship chart.