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Posts Tagged ‘Millenials’

LinkedIn : Using Social Media’s Uncool Uncle

September 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Everybody has one: the party-pooper relative at family gatherings. While the “cool” relatives are playing touch football with the rest of the family in the backyard or telling funny, slightly-inappropriate stories to the kids, the party-pooper is sitting around talking about synergy, fluctuations in the stock market, and cash flow. He’s important to talk to if you’re in business, but not very much fun. Say hello to LinkedIn, the uncool uncle of the social media family.

LinkedIn is all about business. It’s a social network devoted to business networking. So before you dismiss LinkedIn because it isn’t all that fun, remember that it is a very crucial part of your social media toolkit.

Get Recommended

LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to give and get recommendations, which are sort of like virtual referrals. Getting a recommendation from someone on LinkedIn shows that you were once a valuable member of a team (or you know the right people to bribe) and gives others the opportunity to write nice things about you.  Of course, this also means that you’ll have to write recommendations for others, too. It’s a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” sort of situation, and it is something you should embrace (and I should get working on!).

Select which tweets you send to LinkedIn

LinkedIn gives you the option to connect your Twitter account to your profile; this will put all of your tweets into your LinkedIn feed. Avoid this option like it was a cast member of Jersey Shore.  Not everything you tweet about is going to be relevant to your LinkedIn connections. A lot of it, like the aforementioned cast of Jersey Shore, is trash to them; they simply don’t care about what you had for dinner or what you thought about the most recent episode of (you guessed it) Jersey Shore. They’ll end up being turned off by your updates.

LinkedIn gives you the option to select which tweets go into your LinkedIn feed, which is what I do. When I want to broadcast a new blog post to my LinkedIn connections, I simply add the hashtag #in to the end of the tweet. It’s a good way of keeping my irrelevant tweets out of my LinkedIn feed, while still letting my connections know that I’m active on the service and have valuable things to say.

LinkedIn will also let you connect with your blog (if you have one). Especially if your blog is industry-related, you should definitely make your blog as visible as possible.

Join Groups

I don’t have a whole lot of experience with groups on LinkedIn, but I know that you should consider joining them. Join groups relevant to your industry and participate in discussions. Join college alumni groups; these will be filled with members of your alma mater, so you will already have something in common. Use groups on LinkedIn to try to create connections with people in your industry that you would never meet in person. It never hurts to put yourself out there and see if you can get yourself noticed.

Follow Companies You Want to Work For

You can “follow” companies on LinkedIn. This means that you’re able to see new hires, new departures, and new job openings that the company has. You can also use this feature to find someone within the company and send a message to them asking about job openings and what it’s like working for that company. You may not get a response, but it never hurts to try. Connecting with a company on social media lets them know that you’re active on social media (duh), which is good for any industry except Amish gift shop management.

Let’s face it; we’re in an age where prospective employers will use any and all tools at their disposal to check out applicants. LinkedIn is designed to help you find a job. What makes it so boring also makes it useful: it is all business, all the time. This means that professionals are probably more apt to check LinkedIn before they look at your Twitter stream or your Facebook page. It may not be as fun as Facebook or as interesting as Twitter, but it’ll come in handy once you’re trying to get into the professional world. Do yourself a favor and make a profile, keep it up to date, and use LinkedIn to your advantage. And be sure to be nice to your uncool uncle the next time you see him.

I’d be a little dull if I wrote an entire post about LinkedIn and didn’t  pimp my profile: Connect with me on LinkedIn, will ya?

Are you active on LinkedIn? Is it helpful to you?


Check Out Checking-In

July 29, 2010 7 comments

| Why your business should embrace location-based social media |

The other day, an article came out with the title “Study Says Most Marketers Should Forgo Foursquare.” Naturally, a title like that is going to entice me to a read it. It explains that only 4% of adults use the location-based social media service, and 80% of the users are male. It also stated that 70% of users are in between ages 19-35, and 70% have college degrees or higher. Now, do these stats sound like a dead zone for marketers? Of course not! If anything, these stats are conducive to huge growth in the future, as the millennial generation grows older and Foursquare becomes more popular.

Think about it; what Foursquare does is entice consumers into your place of business, restaurant, or bar. It creates competition to see who can visit your venue the most. I’ve talked about Foursquare before, but this time I want to talk about how businesses can use it to increase their revenues. I recently read an article about how you can use Foursquare as a marketing tool, and it gave me some ideas. In the article, Danny Brown mentioned that you can use it as a cross-platform tool (enticing people to go to a bar after a movie, for example). Here are some other ideas on how to monetize Foursquare for your business, beyond just having specials for the mayor.

Loyalty Program: Use it as a reward for stopping by more than once. Make a special that says you’ll get something for free (or a discount) on the tenth time you go in. Entice the customer to continue to come in, and reward them for frequency. This allows more than one person to be incentivized for frequency, while still letting one person continue to be mayor (regardless of the prize, it IS fun to dethrone a mayor).

Swarm Party: Believe it or not, one of the more innovative Foursquare ideas I’ve heard of came out of Milwaukee. AJ Bomber’s has used Foursquare very well, and more restaurants should take notice. Bomber’s had an idea to host a “Swarm Party” on a Sunday. Basically, they offered the possibility of a coveted Swarm Badge (for those not in the know, you get one for checking-in to a venue with more than 50 other Foursquare users). 161 people showed up, and everyone got their swarm badge. Additionally, this stunt increased sales by 110%. Your business could go further and say that everyone in the building gets a free drink if you get enough people for a swarm badge. Even if less than 50 people check in, you’ll still have a decent-sized crowd ready to spend money. This is just a case of people lusting after something with no inherent value; consumers will gladly spend money if they get a chance at a swarm badge.

Check-in With a Friend: Have a special that rewards bringing new customers in. If you can show them that you’re bringing a friend in and it’s their first time checking in, reward the word-of-mouth with a special. This is easy enough to prove (and, I’m assuming that as the software becomes more advanced you’ll be able to track the number of people checking-in to your business), and it promotes new business.

Obviously, there’s a very large space for innovation and creativity when it comes to using Foursquare as a marketing tool. As the stats say, very few people currently use it, but that number is growing. The great thing about technology like this is that the possibilities for using it are endless; all your business has to do is embrace Foursquare and get to work counting your money. Let’s hear it: What are some other ways you think businesses can use Foursquare as a marketing tool?

(photo via The Dog & Pony Show and ThinkGeek)

Go Forth, Get to Work, and Be A Pioneer

July 21, 2010 1 comment

| Why Levi’s “Go Forth” Campaign Resonates With My Generation |

Sometimes, an ad on TV will make me stop what I’m doing and watch without interruption. About a year ago, a Levi’s spot made me do just that. It was mostly dark, the copy was some sort of poem, and I instantly LOVED it. That ad was the first part of Levi’s “Go Forth” campaign. The ads use Walt Whitman poems very well (on one ad, apparently it is his own voice). The copy of the poem “Pioneers! O Pioneers!” is supposed to evoke an emotional response from my generation, and I think it does. Here’s a snippet:

For we cannot tarry here,
We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of danger,
We the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend,
Pioneers! O pioneers
(Rest of poem here. Highly Recommended)

The first few ads (the other you can watch on YouTube) show young people running around interspersed with grim visions of Wall Street and America. “America” is literally half-underwater in one ad, which I think is supposed to symbolize the grim, hopeless recession-era we were in (and still are, to a degree). Some people loved it. Some thought it was too arty. Others mocked it (which usually means people are at least paying attention). Either way, it really struck a chord with me.

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