Archive for the ‘LinkedIn’ Category

20 Expert LinkedIn Guides

Monday, July 7th, 2014

LinkedIn has made dramatic changes to its platform over the past 18 months, making what was a rather plain but effective business networking tool into a content-rich, visually dynamic, more interactive professionally-focused social network.

LinkedIn RelationshipsAmong other changes, the addition of showcase pages for businesses, expanded content publishing and media sharing capabilities, and changes to group email updates are all designed to make LinkedIn into a business-oriented version of Facebook. Facebook may be fighting back, but time will tell regarding its true intentions and objectives on that front.

Whether your goal is use LinkedIn to find your next job, market a business product or service, or just expand your professional network, you’ll find helpful guidance below in 20 of the best LinkedIn guides of the past year or so.

7 Guides to Using LinkedIn for Career or Networking

Boost Your Brand’s Visibility With LinkedIn’s New Profile Features by Sprout Social

Jennifer BeeseJennifer Beese reports that recent changes to LinkedIn’s “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” feature gives you “more ways to manage your professional identity and increase your visibility across the professional social network,” and serves up three helpful tips for capitalizing on the insights gleaned, such as using visuals to showcase “your talents in a whole new way by adding photos, videos, and slideshows to your profile.”

21 Steps to Create an Awesome LinkedIn Profile by jeffbullas.com

Jeff BullasJeff Bullas writes that answering the question, “So, what do you do?” isn’t as simple as it used to be, because “Today we have careers, businesses and life work that didn’t exist a decade ago.” He continues, “LinkedIn has redefined the online version of a resume and having a well organised LinkedIn profile is now essential,” then shares nearly two dozen tips for creating an “awesome” profile including using a professional photo, writing in the first person, and using keywords in all relevant sections.

Making LinkedIn Work for You by NoddlePlace

Sheree Van VreedeSheree Van Vreede presents an excellent infographic that illustrates LinkedIn best practices across half a dozen key areas, including activity, connection requests, sharing updates, and reaching out (“Prominently display your contact information…(and) clearly state your networking purpose on your profile”).

The LinkedIn Recruiter & Job Seeker Disconnect by Winning Impression

Katrina CollierKatrina Collier shares an infographic loaded with stats and guidance for job seekers on LinkedIn. While some of the numbers she shares are specific to the U.K. (e.g, only one-third of British workers have profiles on LinkedIn, and nearly half of those are incomplete), the guidance and best practices are universal.

Four Smart Strategies to Help You Engage With More of The Right People on LinkedIn by jeffbullas.com

Margaret AdamsGuest author Margaret Adams writes, “Once you who you want to attract you will need a plan to make sure you don’t waste your time and your efforts when you’re using LinkedIn,” then offers four tips to optimize use of the professional social network, such as “Be visual…Upload images, videos and presentations to supplement the text you write. This will help to build your credibility on LinkedIn. You’ll demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about and that you can deliver.”

The Secret Benefit of LinkedIn Endorsements by The Social Media Hat

Mike AltonMike Allton delves into the workings and benefits of the Skills & Expertise function in LinkedIn, how it’s connected to LinkedIn Endorsements, how to optimize your skillset for social SEO, and the right way to grow your endorsements (“sift through your own connections and start endorsing the people you know. They will get a notification and many will reciprocate”).

Want a Job? Here Are 6 LinkedIn Tips by MediaPost

Scott GillumExplaining that, “For recruiters, LinkedIn is the largest and most current database of business professionals in the world. For job seekers, it’s a portal into new opportunities, connections and references,” Scott Gillum offers half a dozen tips for job seekers to make the most of the platform, including keeping your past up to date: “Companies go out of business or are acquired all the time. Make sure your resume reflects or notes that change.”

10 Expert Guides to Corporate Marketing on LinkedIn

The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn, an infographic by WordPress Hosting SEO

Berrie PelserBerrie Pelser shares an infographic he calls “a strategic guide full of interviews and tips from marketing thought leaders combined with expert insights from the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions team (designed to help marketers) embrace the vast opportunities that await—increase awareness, influence perception, generate leads, and ultimately drive revenue.” The checklist-style guide enables you to score your brand’s LinkedIn efforts across 14 different areas like sponsored updates, showcase pages, and use of LinkedIn groups.

7 LinkedIn Marketing Tactics Designed To Boost B2B SEO Performance by KoMarketing

Derek EdmondWriting that “LinkedIn has historically been overlooked by SEOs in favor of other social media platforms, primarily due to the fact that links in profiles and discussions aren’t really ‘SEO friendly,'” Derek Edmond explains why recent changes by Google have increased the importance of LinkIn for organic navigation, and present seven tips for making the most of that, such as “In addition to the deeper cross-link into the organization’s website, B2B marketers should incorporate applicable keyword targets with descriptive product and services copy.”

Best LinkedIn Company Pages of 2013 by LinkedIn on SlideShare

This short presentation showcases the top 10 LinkedIn company pages of last year, explains what makes each of these pages stand out, and offers general guidance for creating an optimizing a brand’s presence on LinkedIn.

5 easy ways to master content marketing on LinkedIn by iMedia Connection

roger_katz-2Writing that “brands must creatively combine paid, owned, and earned media to fully realize all potential points of contact with consumers” (i.e., embrace the web presence optimization model), Roger Katz supplies a handful of useful tips to “kick start your brand communications and content marketing strategy on LinkedIn,” like utlizing relevant LinkedIn groups by “asking questions, answering questions, sharing discussions, and measuring your results using tracking tokens and Bit.ly links.”

LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates by Brent Carnduff

Brent CarnduffBrent Carnduff explains what sponsored updates are and why they are worth looking into, then walks through a detailed step-by-step guide to creating sponsored updates, selecting content to promote, targeting your audience (by geographic region, skills, and “more targeting options” such as “schools…LinkedIn Groups, gender, or age”), and measuring results.

A Guide for Optimizing Your LinkedIn Company Page by B2B Inbound

Greg ElwellGreg Elwell provides detailed guidance on how to optimize a LinkedIn company page, but in terms of visuals and text (e.g., use the maximum number of characters allowed; include plenty of white space and bullets; and “Sprinkle keywords throughout your description and write it for the user and what’s in it for them”).

9 Ways to Get LinkedIn Company Page Followers by Green Buzz Agency

Victoria IpriWant more followers for your company page? Victoria Ipri passes along nine helpful tips, like getting your employees involved, sharing your LinkedIn page on other social media sites (“Are you using Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other SM platforms? Share your LinkedIn Company page on these sites to hit as many followers as possible with your request. Ask your employees to do the same”), and adding your LinkedIn page URL to your commpany email signature.

7 Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn Company Profile for B2B Conversions by Ignite

To make the most of the strengths of LinkedIn as a platform for B2B marketing, Ross Wilson recommends optimizing the “About” section (“Most companies simply copy and paste the “About Us” section from their website onto their LinkedIn profile. However, this strategy is a mistake for those seeking to network on LinkedIn”) and featuring your employees (“People want to see the faces that are behind your brand”) among other tactics.

Top 10 Tips from Best LinkedIn Company Pages [SLIDESHOW] by LinkedIn Official Blog

Lana KhavinsonLana Khavinson shares 10 tips from top company pages (yes, it’s from 2012, but most of the tactics still apply!), among them: creating banners that show the vibrant nature of your business and culture (like Aurecon ) and “post content that interests your followers and less about how great your company is” (like Xactly).

Adding a Linkedin Group to Your Company Page by Social Media Tutorials

Jacob CurtisJacob Curtis writes that adding a group to your company page on LinkedIn shouldlead to “an increase in traffic and engagement between the two,” and steps through the process for adding any type of LinkedIn group that you manage or moderate, including networking or community groups; resource or information-based groups; and employee or training groups.

3 Guides to Optimizing LinkedIn Company Profile Pages

LinkedIn Creates Product Pages In Bid for More Content-Marketing Dollars by AdvertisingAge

Cotton DeloIn this short article, Cotton Delo reports on LinkedIn’s experiments with product pages, and notes that “LinkedIn has already made it clear that urging brands to promote the white papers and links to thought-leadership pieces that they’re currently publishing on their company pages to a wider audience is the way it intends to grow its ad business.”

Linkedin Showcase Pages Create New Points of Discovery by iMedia Connection

Tom EdwardsFollowing up on the post above, Tom Edwards provides more detail on product / showcase pages, delving into what techniques and content work well by using pages from HP, Adobe, and Microsoft as illustrative examples, though he concludes that “This new showcase option will need to be carefully considered though when deploying…(brands will need to determine) which products have enough content to support the audience in addition to further segmenting the brand’s following into subgroups.”

New LinkedIn Company Page Features You Should Be Using by Oktopost

Valerie LevinPointing out that “When conducting online research, B2B prospects will often judge a company’s credibility based on its website and social presence, particularly on LinkedIn,” Valerie Levin explains how to take advantage of four key LinkedIn company page features, including showcase pages, news feeds, and customized link preview images: “We’ve all had the experience of posting an update to LinkedIn that includes a link, only to find that the preview image that appears just isn’t that relevant. Now, LinkedIn enables you to customize this picture.”

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What are the Best Social Networks for B2B Marketing? (Research)

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

There’s no question that B2B marketers have embraced social media. According to recent research, more than 80% of b2b marketers now use the “big 3″ social networks—LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook—to distribute content.

But are these efforts paying off in terms of website traffic and leads? And if so, which social networks are most productive?

The short answers are “yes” and “LinkedIn and Twitter.” The longer answer, detailed below, is somewhat more nuanced.

There’s an old church skit called “No Deposit, No Return” which conveys the message that the results you can expect to achieve from any particular effort are generally commensurate with the effort that you put into it. In terms of B2B social media, almost any social network on which your prospective buyers are present can produce results; but some are clearly better than others, and regardless of the site, the level of results will reflect the efforts expended there on building and engaging with your following.

The figures here are based on a small, but presumably representative sample of 10 B2B technology websites. The overall results—that social media drives 1.1% of B2B commercial website traffic and 7% of leads—correlate fairly well with the 1.9% and 5% figures, respectively, reported by eMarketer earlier this year.

How much traffic do social networks drive to B2B websites?

That depends on what type of B2B website one is referring to. We looked at three different types of sites: pure B2B blogs, pure commercial sites, and “hybrid” sites that combined a blog with commercial content. The level of traffic driven by social media varies widely across these different site types. Across these sites, social media accounted for roughly 5% of traffic on average, compared to 39% from organic search, as reported in a previous study.

Not surprisingly, social media drives a much larger proportion of traffic to blogs (nearly 17%) than to purely commercial B2B websites (1.1%). The “most social” blog in this group derived nearly 24% of it’s total visits from social; the highest figure for a commercial site was just 3.2%.

Also likely not a surprise, the “big 3″ social networks drove a disproportionately large share of all social traffic. Smaller social networks and content curation sites like Scoop.it and StumbleUpon are somewhat effective for driving blog or hybrid site traffic, but essentially worthless for commercial sites.

Share of B2B site traffic from social media by site type

Which social media sites drive the most B2B website traffic?

Drilling down into the social traffic segment specifically, the dominance of the big 3 is even more evident, as these sites combined account for 90% of all social traffic. LinkedIn alone accounts for more than half of all social B2B website visits,  and Twitter nearly a third.

What is perhaps surprising though is that more than 20 different social sites drove at least some B2B website visits. This suggests that while few B2B marketers can afford to spread their efforts (effectively, at least) too broadly across social networks, some experimentation at the least is in order well beyond the big 3.

B2B website visits by social network

Which social sites are most effective for B2B lead generation?

While this data set was too limited to supply precise figures, in general LinkedIn produced the largest number of leads across sites, followed by Twitter, with Facebook and YouTube also in the mix.

However, for commercial B2B sites that maintained separate blogs, categorizing blog leads as “social” made the figures significant. Across these sites, social media (blogs—the company’s own and others—plus social networks) accounted on average for 7% of all leads. And while the figures varied considerably among sites, blog-driven traffic generally converted at significantly higher rates than visits from all other sources as a group.

The bottom line:

  • • B2B marketers first need to focus social presence efforts on LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • • Its vital to maintain a presence on Facebook just due to the size of the network; results are generally less than with other sites, though there are B2B Facebook success stories out there.
  • • Finally, experiment selectively with other social sites–but don’t spread efforts too thinly.

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26 Outstanding LinkedIn Tips and Tactics

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Indisputably the largest business-oriented social network, LinkedIn has emerged as a crucial site for professional networking, B2B marketing, hiring and job seeking. LinkedIn now boasts more than 200 million members across 200 countries, and adds two new members every second; what’s more, 35% of LinkedIn members use the site daily.

Furthermore, due to its multiple sharing options including buttons, apps, personal updates, company updates, and industry-focused group discussions, LinkedIn is often among the top three or four traffic sources for B2B blogs. As a key driver of both traffic and online visibility, LinkedIn is a key component in any B2B firm’s web presence optimization framework.

How can individuals use LinkedIn most effectively, whether for personal branding, job seeking or networking? How can companies best use LinkedIn as a marketing platform? What are the best practices for advertising on LinkedIn?

Find the answers to these questions and many others here in more than two dozen expert LinkedIn guides, tactics, tips and infographics.

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile and Use

How to Use LinkedIn Powerfully: 10 Tips to Know by Social Media Today

Tracy GoldTracy Gold offers tips for creating a more effective LinkedIn profile, among them writing a rich but concise summary (“use concrete details like results you have generated and tasks you do on a daily basis to show people how awesome you are, not tell them,” and connecting with care (“I favor being a tad picky. I’d like to think I could recommend—or at least answer questions about—anyone I am connected to on LinkedIn”).

6 Changes You Need To Make To Your LinkedIn Profile Now by V3 Integrated Marketing

Shelly KramerShelly Kramer recommends half a dozen key changes to power up your LinkedIn profile, such as adding an application: “LinkedIn offers a number of apps to help you add depth to your profile. Share what you’re reading, embed your SlideShare presentations, showcase your WordPress blog or add a poll. Other applications are available for specific industries, including Legal Updates, Real Estate Pro and Lawyer Ratings.”

How to turn LinkedIn into a relationship filter by SmartBlog on Social Media

Jesse StanchakJesse Stanchak interviews “LinkedIn Jedi” Dave Gowel about using LinkedIn as “a relationship filter, that when you put in all the relationships that you already have, it allows you to see the ones that you could have more easily, or get information about potential ones.” The key “is to start with a really high quality first-degree connection pool” so that those potential second- and third-degree connections are really meaningful.

10 words you should never use on LinkedIn by iMedia Connection

Josh DrellerHoping to land that dream job through LinkedIn? Josh Dreller advises avoiding these 10 over-used, meaningless, or just plain dumb phrases to describe yourself, such as “guru” or “visionary”—”terms such as ‘guru’ imply that you’re beyond an expert in something; that folks should be showering you with rose pedals or sacrificing goats in your honor. And, hey, if you’re a guru, why do you need a job? Self-appointed royalty titles only make most people feel like you’re going to be a huge pain-in-the-butt to work with.”

12 LinkedIn secrets to supercharge your social networking by Ragan’s PR Daily

Shelly Kramer (again) lists a dozen techniques for advanced use of LinkedIn, such as how to hide your status updates (“If you’re connecting with new business prospects or making changes to your profile in preparation for job seeking, you may not want to broadcast that activity to your network”), make yourself anonymous (for example, when conducting competitive research) and block your connections and group activities from competitors.

13 Things You Never Knew You Could Do On LinkedIn by Business Insider

Steve KovachWhile the title may be a bit exaggerated, Steve Kovach nevertheless highlights several of the less-used features, such as LinkedIn’s resume builder tool, which “will build your resumé in a snap. It takes all the information in your profile and coverts it to a simple resumé that you can print out. There are a bunch of templates to choose from too.”

The New Networking: Ultimate LinkedIn Guide for 2012 Grads by Online Colleges

Writing “Whether you’re a LinkedIn newbie or just need to become more effective on the site, these tips offer great ideas for LinkedIn networking,” the authors provide more than two dozen tips and resources for more effectively using LinkedIn. Though targeted at recent grads, many of the recommendations apply more broadly, like being a connector: “If you know two (or more people) that should know each other but don’t, take a moment to introduce them to each other on LinkedIn. They’ll appreciate that you thought of them and recognize that you’re valuable as a person who offers assistance and great connections.”

Looking for a new job? LinkedIn can help by iMedia Connection

Jim NicholsJim Nichols offers eight tips for utilizing LinkedIn in a job search, including helpful instructions on how to search for jobs on the business social network and connecting with recruiters: “A number of recruiters told me that LinkedIn is the source of more than half of their serious candidates. That’s a remarkable statistic and the operative word in that sentence is ‘serious.’…Recruiters are using LinkedIn to proactively find great candidates and check up on applicants that they are reviewing. If you aren’t there in a meaningful way, you may never get serious consideration.”

Social Media Minute: 25 B2B Marketing Uses of LinkedIn by MLT Creative

Martine HunterWriting that “If you’re in B2B marketing or sales, you can do so much more with your LinkedIn account than simply look up your B2B marketing contacts. Use  LinkedIn to help sell product, expand your networks, grow your business and gain free publicity,” Martine Hunter lists more than two dozen tactics to more fully engage on LinkedIn, such as conducting market research with Polls, sharing survey results with contacts, and “Check connections’ locations before traveling so you can meet with those in the city where you’re heading.”

4 Ways to Stand Out on LinkedIn by LinkedIn Blog

Nicole WilliamsNicole Williams shares four tips for making an impact on LinkedIn in this concise but helpful post, for example: “Dress it up: People always say dress for the job you want, right? Well, maybe it’s time to dress up your online profile picture. People with photos are seven times more likely to have their profiles viewed. Having a more polished image will not only make you visible, but it also lets employers know that you are serious about representing their company in the most professional way…Plus, you’re twelve times more likely to have your profile viewed if you add more than one position to your profile.”

10 Ways to Promote Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn by iMedia Connection

Jane TurkewitzJane Turkewitz recommends choosing “key strategic words in that will help define your core strengths and experiences” ot use in your title, using SEO strategies in highlighting your specialties (“Don’t be afraid to use multiple terms to describe the same function as I have done in this sample because everyone ‘searches’ using different criteria”) and securing high-level recommendations (“Director level and above recommendations are ideal”) among other tactics.

Marketing with LinkedIn

6 Lessons from HubSpot’s LinkedIn Company Page by Business Insider

Amanda MaksymiwAmanda Maksymiw shares lessons from examining how HubSpot utilizes its LinkedIn company, such as “Build a robust product tab…HubSpot has done a really nice job utilizing the Products tab within the company page.  Instead of simply focusing on its software products, HubSpot also links back to larger content assets such as eBooks, assessments, webinars, and its every (sic) popular Grader tools,” which is to say, not just literally products but also assets of value to prospective customers.

Linkedin Leveraging: How to Tap Groups for Traffic, Leads & Sales by KISSmetrics

Michael AlexisMichael Alexis breaks down LinkedIn Groups strategies used by Lewis Howes to allegedly generate $1.5 million in revenue. Sales pitch aside, this post provides a helpful step-by-step guide to starting a LinkedIn Group, broadcasting group messages, setting up webinars and more.

11 LinkedIn Marketing Gems You’re Missing Out On by HubSpot
***** 5 STARS

Corey EridonStating that “We already know that LinkedIn is more effective at generating leads than Facebook or Twitter. 277% more effective, in fact,” Corey Eridon presents tactics for optimizing LinkedIn marketing efforts, from gathering insights from LinkedIn Group statistics to using targeted product tabs to create “different variations of your product tab for each segment of your target audience.”

9 Ways to Add LinkedIn to Your Company Website by Mashable

Brian HonigmanNoting that “Adding LinkedIn’s social features to your company website is a great way to tap into both a large-scale recruitment platform and a targeted network of business contacts,” Brian Honigman describes nine ways to do this, including Share, Recommend, Follow Company and Apply buttons, as well as plugins for your company profile and, for recruiting purposes, “Jobs Your May Be Interested In.”

LinkedIn To Launch Targeting and Analytics for Company Pages by The Content Strategist

Kylie Jane WakefieldKylie Jane Wakefield explains how two LinkedIn features, Targeted Updates and Follower Statistics, “allow companies to further target key demographics and measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.” Targeted Updates enables “marketers to deliver updates to certain audiences based on specific details, such as company size, industry, geography, job function, and seniority,” while “Follower Statistics ‘provides insights about follower demographics, engagement levels, update impressions, total following, recent followers, and number of new followers month-to-month.’”

13 Brands Using LinkedIn Company Page Features the Right Way by HubSpot

Pamela VaughanPamela Vaughan details eight ways brands can make the most of their LinkedIn pages (such as incorporating your blog’s RSS feed: “While simply including your blog’s feed won’t broadcast its content to your LinkedIn page followers via the updates feed on their homepage…it’s a really easy way to promote your blog content to the visitors on your page”), supported with examples from companies like Voices.com and Zipcar.

5 Ways to Generate Leads from a LinkedIn B2B Company Page by Social Media B2B

Jeffery L. CohenJeffrey L. Cohen details a handful of techniques for generating B2B leads through LinkedIn, among them testing free banners (“Want to test some new creative ideas? Want to test some landing pages? LinkedIn gives you three free banner ads at the top of the products and services page. Create images that are 640×220 pixels, upload them to your page and add a unique URL, preferably to a landing page, and you have free ads”) and incorporating video with a call to action.

7 Ways to Drive More Blog Traffic Using LinkedIn by Social Media Examiner

Stephanie SammonsStephanie Sammons shares “seven powerful tips to use LinkedIn to drive more traffic to your blog,” among them six ways to “get active and engage” to drive more profile views and blog traffic, and four ways to “Post blog articles as status updates and link to relevant articles.”

Answers to Your Top 7 Questions About Mastering LinkedIn Marketing by HubSpot

Brittany LeaningBrittany Leaning answers the seven most common questions posed in a joint HubSpot-LinkedIn webinar, for example, Q: What’s the best way to find potential customers on LinkedIn? A: “Groups are your best bet, especially if you consider your business to be relatively niche. In a group, you can establish yourself as an industry expert very quickly through discussions and announcements. In general, groups are very engaging and allow for great communication between professionals interested in the same topic.”

How to get the most from LinkedIn Company Pages by Smart Insights

Annmarie HanlonAnnmarie Hanlon provides a detailed guide to optimizing LinkedIn company pages, from reviewing all of the key elements to create or review when setting up a company page, to sharing company status updates, to utilizing the (admittedly limited) data provided by LinkedIn Insights.

Advertising on LinkedIn

The KISSmetrics Guide To LinkedIn Ads – Part I: The Basics by KISSmetrics

Igor BelogolovskyIgor Belogolovsky serves up a step-by-step guide to building a successful ad campaign on LinkedIn, from determining whether or not LinkedIn ads are even right for your business (“If you sell something that benefits business owners or working professionals and you can, in one short sentence, clearly delineate why, the answer is probably yes”) through targeted, ad creation, budgeting and tracking.

LinkedIn…from Downtown! by PPC Hero

Kayla KurtzUsing NCAA March Madness as a metaphor, Kayla Kurtz explains why LinkedIn advertising could be a contender (“the glory of LinkedIn is it’s targeting capabilities. You can target all the way down to the CEO of a particular company and write an ad text written specifically to them, name included. If that isn’t targeting, I don’t know what is”) as well as limitations that could leave it in the losers’ bracket (e.g., historically low click-through rates).

How to set up a Successful Ad Campaign onLinkedIn by eMagine’s B2B Blog

Lee Rush SchwartzWriting that “LinkedIn ads are very similar to those you create on AdWords or AdCenter, but with the added bonus of specific targeting options not found in the other ad campaign media,” Lee Rush Schwartz steps through the six elements of ad targeting on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Infographics

Do You Use LinkedIn To Its Fullest Potential? [INFOGRAPHIC] by Infographic List

Arjan de RaafArjan de Raaf offers tips for making the best use of LinkedIn in this short but sweet infographic, including filling out all areas of your profile, as “First impressions are everything. It’s important to have everything completed on your profile to appear more professional. It’s also an opportunity to keyword optimize your profile.”

Infographic: How people are using LinkedIn by Ragan’s PR Daily

Here’s a fascinating collection of LinkedIn facts and stats, among them: less than 10% of members use the paid, premium version of LinkedIn. More than 80% of members have fewer than 500 connections. And the four most popular features on the business social network are Groups,  people searching, “people you may know,” and checking on who has viewed one’s profile.

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102 Compelling Social Media and Online Marketing Stats and Facts for 2012 (and 2013)

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

With 92% of companies now incorporating social media into their marketing efforts, it’s no longer sufficient to just “be there” on social networks. Today’s most effective marketers are optimizing content across channels, coordinating search and social marketing activities with traditional PR, and measuring their web presence and performance with sophistication.

Social Media and Online Marketing StatisitcsThe first step to improving digital marketing results is to understand the emerging trends and best practices. This post, along with 79 Remarkable Social Media Marketing Facts and Statistics for 2012 and 87 More Vital Social Media Marketing Facts and Stats for 2012 previously published here, provide a solid foundation for that understanding.

What do buyers really want from social media marketers? What’s the key to generating more inbound marketing leads? What is the source of the largest share of social traffic to websites? (It’s not what you almost certainly think.)

Find the answers to these questions and many, many more here in over 100 engaging and intriguing social, search, content, inbound, email,  mobile and other marketing stats and facts from the past few months.

25 Social Media Facts and Statistics

1. While 76% of marketers believe “they know what their consumers want” in terms of social media content and interaction, only 34% have actually asked those buyers. (e-Strategy Trends)

2. At least on the B2C side, there is a disconnect between what marketers think consumers think is important and what consumers actually value. Marketers believe the highest consumer priorities on social media are insights for buying decisions (59%) and customer service (58%). Consumers actually place the highest value on deals and promotions (83%) and rewards programs (70%). (e-Strategy Trends)

3. B2B buyers are most likely to share useful vendor content via email (79%), followed by LinkedIn (53%), Twitter (39%) and Facebook (18%). (Earnest Agency)

4. While three-quarters of marketers consider measurement of social media impact important, 70% say that measuring those results is difficult. (Marketing Charts)

5. 79% of marketers measure website traffic from social media, and 68% track engagement metrics on social networks, but just 26% measure the relationship of social media activity to leads and sales. (Marketing Charts)

6. Just 4% of marketers said their companies were “very effective” at measuring social marketing in 2012. While 47% felt somewhat good at social measurement in 2011, just 38% said the same in 2012. “Nearly half of respondents (47%) feel they or their companies are either not very good at social marketing measurement, or do not measure well at all.” (Marketing Charts)

7. Ever feel frustrated and less productive than you’d like to be at work, even though you’re working hard and putting in a ton of hours? There’s a reason for that! Interruptions (like email and social media) are messing us up. Consider:

  • • The typical worker is interrupted once every 28 minutes on average.
  • • 28% of the average work day is spent on interruptions and recovery time.
  • • 45% of workers believe they are expected to work on too many things at once.
  • • And tasks done in parallel take on average 30% longer to complete than those performed in a sequence.

(Visual.ly)

8. Everyone knows women vastly outnumber men on Pinterest, but how about on other social networks? Women make up the larger share of users on Facebook (58% to 42%) and are a slightly larger share on Twitter (52% to 48%) while men are the predominate users of LinkedIn (63% to 37%) and Google+ (71% to 29%). Furthermore, half of all Google+ users are under 25 years old. (iMedia Connection)

9. Social CRM is still confusing. Only 16% of companies say they currently have a social CRM system in place. 21% plan to implement such a system in the coming year, but another 17% “don’t know what a social CRM system is and why businesses need it.” (Convince & Convert)

10. Only a quarter of all U.S. small businesses (20-99 employees) and a third of midsized companies say they use social media “to engage with customers and prospects in a strategic and structured way.” Another 20% of both groups say they use social media, but in an ad hoc manner. (eMarketer)

11. Despite growing interest in the concept of social business, less than 20% of U.S. companies have integrated social media with their customer service, sales, or product development processes. (eMarketer)

12. Worldwide, 86% of companies have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, while just over half use YouTube and Linked and only slightly more than a third have a presence on Pinterest and/or Google+. (eMarketer)

13. More than 80% of small to midsized businesses (SMBs) plan to increase their use of social media in 2013. Not suprising, considering that 87% of SMBs say that social media has helped them either somewhat or a great deal in th past year. Of those using this channel, social media accounts for 32% of SMB marketing activities. (Marketing Charts)

14. Okay, so most marketers have now embraced social media. But why? 84% of marketers say they use social media to “reach customers at multiple touchpoints,” while 62% want to reach customers where they spend time and 56% say that “customers expect them to be on social media.” (Marketing Charts)

15. Still, not every small business should be using social media—or at least not using it as they are currently. 79% of small business owners on Twitter post just once per day or even less frequently, yet one out of three want to spend less time on social media. These business owners would be best advised to either spend their time on other tactics or hire someone who knows and enjoys social media to interact on their businesses’ behalf. No deposit, no return. (Leaders West)

16. Social media may be good for 99 things, but lead generation ain’t one of them. According to research from MarketingSherpa, just 12% of marketers rate social media as “very effective” for lead gen while 27% say it is “not effective.” The only tactic that fares worse is print advertising (9% very effective vs. 30% not effective). (B2B Lead Blog)

17. Which social network sends the largest share of website traffic? The answer is…unknown. Literally. The well-known social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit account for, combined, on average, less than half of all social traffic. The majority (as much as 70%) is “dark social”—links shared through email or instant messaging that generally get lumped in with “direct” traffic in analytics programs like Google Analytics. (The Atlantic)

18. The most popular social media sites for distributing B2B content are LinkedIn (used by 83% of B2B marketers), Twitter (80%) and Facebook (also 80%). After that, it falls off sharply; 61% use YouTube, 39% are on Google+, 26% utilize Pinterest (really?) and 23% share content on SlideShare. (MarketingProfs)

19. Using social media boosts website traffic: companies gain a 185% lift in Web traffic after achieving 1,000 Facebook likes, and businesses with 51 to 100 Twitter followers generate 106% more traffic than those with 25 or fewer followers. (MarketingProfs)

20. 92% of U.S. companies now use social media in their marketing efforts. (Heidi Cohen)

21. Different social media channels serve different purposes. Blogging is generally seen as most valuable for SEO, YouTube for content marketing, and social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn most helpful for branding and engagement. (Heidi Cohen)

22. Globally, eight different social networks have now reached the 100 million user mark. Three of those (Weibo, the fourth-largest social nework, RenRen at #5 and Badoo at #7) are primarily used by non-English speakers. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

23. The average user spends nearly seven hours per month on Facebook, but just 21 minutes on Twitter, 17 on LinkedIn, and only three minutes on Google+. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

24. Social media now accounts for 18% of all time spent online, and the average American spends 6.9 hours per month on social networking. But we are spending less time on the phone, sending/reading email, and watching TV than we did just a few years ago. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

25. One-third of CEOs fail to consider their compananies’ social media reputation when making business decisions. (The Backup List)

12 WPO, Inbound and Content Marketing Stats

26. Leads from inbound marketing cost on average 61% less ($135 vs. $346) than outbound marketing leads. (Earnest Agency)

27. Though it varies across industries, of course, 24% of overall marketing spending last year was on digital/online marketing. Social media and SEO together account for 70% of that spending. (iMedia Connection)

28. Blogging generally gets the largest share of inbound marketing budgets, followed by social media, SEO (if calculated separately from blogging) and PPC advertising. Most outbound marketing spend is on telemarketing, followed by direct mail and trade shows. (iMedia Connection)

29. 57% of companies say they generated sales through their blogs, and an identical share have closed business through LinkedIn. 48% have generated customers through Twitter and 42% through Facebook. (iMedia Connection)

30. Why web presence optimization metrics are vital: half of marketers say tightening integration between social media and traditional marketing is a key goal for 2013, yet nearly a third identify that as one of their top social marketing challenges, and a whopping 57% way measuring social ROI is a challenge. (Convince & Convert)

31. 9 out of 10 marketers say they measure social presence (e.g., number of followers and fans) and social media-driven website traffic, but only about half measure share of voice and sentiment. (Convince & Convert)

32. Need more evidence that measuring social media ROI is hard? While about 90% of all companies do some form of social media marketing, just one out of eight measure the revenue impact directly from social media. (eMarketer)

33. The two biggest challenges faced by B2B content marketers are producing enough content (cited by 29% of marketers) and producing the kind of content that engages (18). Only 2% of marketers say that finding trained content marketing professionals is a big challenge. (MarketingProfs)

34. More content = more leads. On average, companies “with 51-100 web pages generate 48% more traffic than companies with 1-50 pages.” What’s interesting though is the differential is larges for very small companies (those with less than 10 employees), likely because larger companies make greater use of lead gen tactics like tradeshows, webinars and video. (Polaris B)

35. Lots more content = lots more leads. Companies with 101-200 web pages generate 2.5x more leads than those with 50 or fewer pages. More landing pages and more blog posts also mean more leads. On average, companies that have published 200 or more total blog posts generate 5X as much traffic as those with 10 posts or fewer. (Polaris B)

36. Inbound marketing leads cost on average 62% less than outbound-generated leads, and the “big three” inbound channels—blogs, social media and SEO—all cost less on average than any outbound channel. (Polaris B)

37. The financial services (75%), insurance (50%) and software (50%) industries are the most advanced when it comes to having separate content marketing strategies for each channel through which they distribute content. Companies in these industries are also the most likely to have formal content marketing editorial calendars. The automotive (14%) and banking sectors (14%) were the least likely to have separate strategies in place. (MediaPost)

8 SEO Stats and Facts

38. SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation for B2B companies. 59% of B2B marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on their lead gen goals, followed by social media (21%) and pay per click (20%). Not surprisingly, 98% of B2B marketers plan to maintain or increase SEO budgets next year. (Marketing Charts)

39. SEO also has the biggest impact on B2C lead gen. 49% of B2C marketers rank SEO tops for impact on lead generation, followed by pay per click (26%) and social media (25%). (Marketing Charts)

40. Agencies do SEO better. 21% of marketers who work with agencies on SEO report being highly satisfied with their program performance, compared with 11% of those who do SEO in-house. (Marketing Charts)

41. 78% of Internet users say they use the web for product research, and almost half (46%) of all searches on the average day for information on products and services (iMedia Connection)

42. Search is as popular as ever, but the percentage of searches actually done on search engines declined slightly in 2012 (by about 1%). More searches are taking place on websites (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, and on Amazon.com, which is the top destination for product search). Still, organic search on search engines drive 50% of all referring traffic, compared to less than 8% for social media. (MediaPost)

43. SEO is rated as the most effective lead generation tactic, with 34% of marketers calling it “very effective” while just 7% say it is not effective. The next-most-effective lead gen tactics are paid search (32% vs. 9%) and webinars (30% to 6%). (B2B Lead Blog)

44. Demand for SEO skills has never been greater. SEO job postings on job board indeed.com increased 1900% last year and people with ‘SEO’ in their LinkedIn profile have increased by 112%. Still, few SEO jobs pay six figures. (Conductor Blog)

45. The largest number of SEO job openings are in New York and San Francisco, with Boston at #5, Austin at #11 and my own Minneapolis at #12. (Conductor Blog)

3 SEM Facts

46. Think AdWords isn’t important? For “commercial” searches on Google, actual organic links can take up less than 20% of the screen real estate and links. (Founder’s Blog)

47. Agencies do SEM better. 20% of respondents working with agencies for PPC report being highly satisfied with their program’s performance, compared to 15% who manage pay-per-click programs in-house. (Marketing Charts).

48. Search (paid and organic) is a leading driver of new customer sales, while email matters most for repeat business. Social media isn’t a significant driver of either type of sale, though of course it is vital for support SEO, brand image (which leads to higher PPC click-through rates) and customer service. (Marketing Pilgrim)

3 Email Marketing Stats

49. There are 62 billion emails sent every day. The average worker receives 112 emails and spends 28 of his or her time on email each day. (Visual.ly)

50. Email is the most common lead gen tactic, used by 81% of marketers. (MarketingSherpa)

51. SEO drives traffic, but email drives conversions. While 43% of marketers say that organic search drives the greatest volume of traffic to their websites, only 29% say that traffic converts at the highest rate. On the other hand, though just 22% cite email as their largest web traffic generator, 25% say those visits convert at the highest rate. (MarketingSherpa)

7 Business Blogging Stats and Facts

52. Just 139 of the Fortune 500 corporations maintain public-facing blogs, only 29 more than in 2009. (e-Strategy Trends)

53. Only 185 of the Inc. 500 (fastest-growing companies) had a blog in 2011, down from 250 firms in 2010, despite the fact that 92% of all companies with blogs say it has been successful for their business. (e-Strategy Trends)

54. Meanwhile, 55% of small businesses have a blog. (Leaders West)

55. On average, companies that publish 15 or more blog articles per month generate five times more Web traffic than companies that don’t blog at all, and those that blog 9-15 times per month generate three times more traffic than companies that don’t maintain blogs. (MarketingProfs)

56. Companies that publish new blog posts just 1-2 times per month generate 70% more leads than companies that don’t blog at all. (MarketingProfs)

57. 57% of companies that blog have acquired a customer through their blogs. (Polaris B)

58. Blogs are the core of social media marketing. Among companies that use social media in their marketing efforts, 59% rank their company blog as critical or important to their business, higher than any other social sharing site or network. (Heidi Cohen)

8 Facebook Facts and Statistics

59. There are one billion posts per day made on Facebook. The average user spends nearly 7 hours per month on the social networking site, and one out of every five pageviews on the Internet is on…Facebook. (Visual.ly)

60. Three out of four American moms use Facebook. (iMedia Connection)

61. Facebook accounts for one out of every five pageviews on the Internet. It’s used by more than half of all people in North America, more than a third of all citizens in Australia and New Zealand, and more than a quarter of the population in Europe. (iMedia Connection)

62. Of Facebook’s one billion-plus users, 57% access the site at least occasionally from mobile devices. The most popular operating systems for mobile Facebook access are iOS (26%) and Android (21%). (Jeff Bullas)

63. Among Facebook marketers, 64% have used Facebook Events to inform fans about online or offline events, making this a far more widespread tool than display ads and targeted posts. (Marketing Charts)

64. 90% of small businesses are on Facebook, and roughly two-thirds post more than once per week. (Leaders West)

65. All of the Ad Age Top 100 Advertisers have now established Facebook pages for their brands. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

66. Facebook grew 18% in 2012 and accounted for more than half of all social content sharing. (AddThis Blog)

6 Twitter Stats

67. There are 400 million tweets per day on Twitter. A million new Twitter accounts are opened each day. The average user spends nearly and hour and a half on the site each month. (Visual.ly)

68. Twitter now has more than 500 million users worldwide, including more than 100 million in the U.S. Twitter’s second-largest user base is in Brazil. (Jeff Bullas)

69. Almost two-thirds (64%) of Twitter access is via Twitter.com (web access), while 16% of use is mobile and 10% is via Twitter clients like HootSuite and TweetDeck. (Jeff Bullas)

70. What’s the most popular marketing tactic on Twitter? 30% of marketers report using hashtags tied to specific campaigns, while 26% use Promoted Tweets. (Marketing Charts)

71. Twitter grew 55% in 2012 and accounted for 15% of all social content sharing. (AddThis Blog)

72. 42% of companies have acquired at least one customer through Twitter. (Polaris B)

6 LinkedIn Facts

73. LinkedIn has more than 150 million users, but less than 20% have reached the level of having 500 or more first-degree connections, and only 8% are using the paid premium version. (Jeff Bullas)

74. Also, only 51% of LinkedIn users have “complete” profiles, and just 52% spend two hours or more per week on the site. (Jeff Bullas)

75. The most popular use of LinkedIn is for researching people and companies (77%). Other popular uses include building relationships with industry influencers (50%), finding job opportunities (38%) and increasing brand recognition in the marketplace (37%). Just 28% of companies say they have generated identifiable business opportunities on the site. (Jeff Bullas)

76. The most popular marketing tactics on LinkedIn are the use of LinkedIn groups (cited by 33% of marketers) followed distantly by InMail messaging (14%), LinkedIn Events (13%) and LinkedIn ads (10%). (Marketing Charts)

77. LinkedIn is the most powerful social site for driving B2B sales. Pinterest is most valuable for driving B2C business. (Heidi Cohen)

78. Want to connect with top-level executives? 26% of Fortune 500 CEOs are on LinkedIn. Less than 8% are on Facebook. o% use Pinterest. (Heidi Cohen)

3 Google+ Statistics

79. Google+ has more than 400 million users, with 100 million accessing the site each month. The typical user is a male in his late 20s with a technical position or background. (Jeff Bullas)

80. Google+ users tend to be more technical than Facebook users. The top three brands on Google+ are Android, Mashable, and Chrome; on Facebook, the three most popular brands are Coca-Cola, Disney, and Starbucks. (Jeff Bullas)

81. 12 of the top 15 interest categories on Pinterest are related to commerce, including jewelry and accessories (#1), flowers and gifts (#2), food (#4), books (#7), travel (#8), apparel (#11), home furnishings (#14) and toys (#15). (Jeff Bullas)

3 Pinterest Facts

82. Mothers are 61% more likely to use Pinterest than the average American. Pinterest ranks as the #1 “family and lifestyle site” for moms – ahead of Disney Online. (iMedia Connection)

83. Pinterest’s user base is 79% female, and Apple-centric. The iPad is the most device for mobile access (55%), while an additional 17% of mobile access is through the iPhone. (Jeff Bullas)

84. Pinterest grew an astounding 379,599% in 2012. The biggest driver of growth was pins of food photos. (AddThis Blog)

6 B2B Marketing Facts and Stats

85. 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say when they are ready to make a purchase, they will find a vendor. 81% use search, 59% look for peer recommendations, and 41% read content from “thought leaders.” (Earnest Agency)

86. For purchases over $10,000, 70% of buyers review four or more pieces of content before making a decision. (That actually sounds quite low, doesn’t it?) The most popular type of content: white papers, read by 88% of buyers. (Earnest Agency)

87. Traditional marketing tactics are not dead. 74% of B2B marketers rate direct mail as very effective, while 72% say the same about live events and 71% call email marketing critical. (Earnest Agency)

88. 75% of B2B marketers use SEO for lead generation. 72% utilize social media, and 54% have embraced content marketing, while just 15% of marketers say they are using mobile marketing. (MarketingSherpa)

89. B2B marketers are spending more on content marketing. “On average, B2B content marketers are spending 33% of their marketing budgets on content marketing (in 2012), up from 26% (in 2011, and) 54% plan to increase content marketing spending next year.” (MarketingProfs)

90. The most popular B2B content marketing tactics are the use of social media other than blogs (used by 87% of B2B marketers), articles on their own websites (83%), eNewsletters (78%) and blogs (77%), followed by case studies, videos and externally published articles, all at about 70%. On the other end of the scale is gamification, used by just 11% of B2B marketers. (MarketingProfs)

3 Video Marketing Statistics

91. 75% of senior executives watch videos on business sites every week. 65% go on to visit a vendor’s website after watching a video. (Earnest Agency)

92. 71% of American Internet users watch online videos; 28% do so on a daily basis. (iMedia Connection)

93. YouTube is the world’s second largest social media site, with 800 million unique monthly visitors, and the second largest search engine. (Heidi Cohen)

6 Mobile Marketing Stats and Facts

94. Of the four billion mobile phones in use globally, more than a quarter (27%) are smartphones. Half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices. (iMedia Connection)

95. The top online uses of mobile phones are gaming (61% of users do this), checking the weather (55%), maps and search (50%) and social networking (49%). (iMedia Connection)

96. Despite the growing popularity of local mobile search and social activity, only 3% of U.S. small businesses use geolocation services. (eMarketer)

97. Mobile marketing is “becoming mainstream” for small to midsized businesses (SMBs). 18% said they were “very likely” and 31% “somewhat likely” to incorporate mobile elements in their advertising and marketing efforts to reach potential customers in the coming year. Meanwhile, 7 in 10 plan to either maintain or increase spending in this area (Marketing Charts)

98. Is mobile marketing effective for lead generation? The jury is still out. In a recent survey, 15% of marketers rated mobile marketing as “very effective” for lead gen while an identical share said mobile is not effective. (B2B Lead Blog)

99. 30% of all the time spent on mobile device use is on social networks. (MediaPost)

And Finally, 3 Other Miscellaneous Online Marketing Stats

100. While 45% of all B2B businesses have now implemented some type of marketing automation software, less than 20% of SMBs have done so. However, smaller companies that have embraced marketing process automation are nearly 50% more likely to report revenue growth above plan than those that haven’t. (MediaPost)

101. Half of all employed people in the U.S. have been with their current employer for less than five years. The average tenure for all employees is 4.6 years. Professionals in architecture and engineering (7 years) and management (6.3 years) tend to have the longest tenures, while occupations with the shortest tenures include food service (2.3 years) and sales (3.4 years). (westXdesigns)

102. Social media crisis management in crisis? More than 10% of companies report they will not take any action to respond to a damaging article or social media post. Worse, less than two-thirds of B2C executives and just 43% of B2B leaders even believe their companies could respond to a negative post within 24 hours. (The Backup List)

 

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Best LinkedIn Guides, Tips and Tactics of 2011

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

While B2C marketers focus on Facebook, LinkedIn is consistently cited as the top social network for B2B marketing. Part of the reasoning is that while Facebook is good for sharing coupons, promoting events, and showcasing corporate culture to potential employees, LinkedIn is powerful at generating web traffic and leads. LinkedIn now has more than 100 million 150 million members including executives from every one of the Fortune 500 companies; 80% of them influence their companies’ purchasing decisions, and those professionals have a significantly higher level of trust in the business-related information they see on LinkedIn than on other popular social networks.

And while LinkedIn’s features remain focused primarily on activity at the individual professional level, the network has added several features for enterprises over the past year, including most recently the Follow Company button for business websites.

So how can companies most successfully use LinkedIn to generate more leads and sales? What’s the best way to start and grow a LinkedIn group? How can you maximize the visibility and impact of your LinkedIn company page? How can you optimize results from LinkedIn advertising?

Find the answers to these questions and more here in 22 of the best LinkedIn guides of the past year.

LinkedIn Tips, Tactics and Best Practices

5 Tips to Get More Sales from Linkedin by Better Closer

Bill RiceIn this concise but useful post, Bill Rice presents five tips for sales (and marketing) pros to take advantage of the capabilities of LinkedIn, from creating a clear profile (“More than boasting about the benefits of any particular company, a LinkedIn profile should make it clear what service it provides to its clients or customers. It should go on to explain what results you can provide for your clients, and how things will improve for them if they work with you”) to asking, politely, for recommendations.

LinkedIn Adds Job Title, Company Names To Text Ad Targeting by MediaPost Online Media Daily

Mark Walsh reports on the expanded options for audience targeting introduced in LinkedIn ads early last year, how LinkedIn ads work, how the enhanced options help marketers, and how they are likely to be received by LinkedIn users.

How LinkedIn Apps Can Promote Your Business by Social Media Examiner

Lewis HowesLewis Howes reveals, in his words, “the top apps you can leverage to get more leads, traffic, product sales, brand awareness, ticket sales, investors, sponsors, consulting engagements and more” including the WordPress app (which enables you to add a blog to LinkedIn), video autoplay, syncing with Twitter, and featuring events on LinkedIn.

How To Maximize LinkedIn For Your Small Business by Sanera People Development Company

Jason SeidenJason Seiden, the guy who trained the LinkedIn sales team on how to use LinkedIn (how’s that for a nice line to have on your resume?) details the process of using LinkedIn for business development by small business owners/managers, from setting clear goals and developing a simple plan to reaching out and never spamming.

10 Tips for LinkedIn Social Networking by Online Social Networking

Larry BraunerLarry Brauner shares 10 tips for maximizing LinkedIn social networking success, among them: put significant time and thought into your profile, utilize keywords, “join every relevant LinkedIn group,” comment when you have something valuable to add, and most importantly (for any social network)–keep at it.

How to Grow Your LinkedIn Group Numbers by Flyte Blog

Rich BrooksRich Brooks supplies several tips for growing the membership in a LinkedIn group, from sending out invitations (even to contacts who aren’t yet on LinkedIn) to promoting the group through your newsletter or blog, along with ideas to increase group member engagement.

10 Things You Never Knew You Could Do On LinkedIn by Business Insider

Steve KovachWriting that “LinkedIn has been adding more and more social features that make sharing news and links with professionals in a specific industry easier than ever,” Steve Kovach walks through LinkedIn’s social sharing features, like the “LinkedIn Today” daily news digest, searching for updates on your favorite topics, and search-optimizing your company page and personal profile.

Advanced LinkedIn strategies for marketers by iMedia Connection

Kent LewisKent Lewis examines “advanced strategies for optimizing your personal and company profiles” such as optimizing all of the elements of your profile, incorporating the Recommend API on your company bio page, using LinkedIn’s resume builder, creating a personalized LinkedIn home page, and using LinkedIn Q&A to conduct polls.

How Are People Really Using LinkedIn? [INFOGRAPHIC] by Mashable

Charlie WhiteCharlie White shares an infographic loaded with facts and statistics about LinkedIn use, for example: 61% of survey respondents said that LinkedIn was their primary social networking site used for professional networking (versus 22% who said Facebook and 4% Twitter). 81% of LinkedIn members belong to at least one group. And 37% of users say they update their profile picture frequently—while 12% have had the same picture since they joined.

7 Quick Ways to Turn Your LinkedIn Profile into a Social Media Marketing Workhorse by Copyblogger

Noting that LinkedIn users don’t use the site to browse through photos of friends, share 140-character status updates or watch videos of talking dogs, Lewis Howes (again) explains how to use LinkedIn for business: from optimizing your personal headline (it doesn’t have to be merely your current job title) to utilizing social proof to providing a compelling call to action (what do you want someone to do after viewing your profile?).

Will LinkedIn Replace Your Resume? by Market My Career

Interesting question, particularly considering that as this post reports, “LinkedIn (has) announced a product  called Talent Pipeline which will allow hiring managers and recruiters to track all passive and active candidates directly via LinkedIn. So whether a recruiter finds your profile on LinkedIn or someone passes along your resume, it will be stored, managed and share via LinkedIn.”

Tips for LinkedIn Company Pages

8 New LinkedIn Features Worth Exploration by Social Media Examiner

Linda ColesLinda Coles steps through some of the key changes made by LinkedIn early last year, such as support for company pages (and if you jumped on this right away, note that this area has been more recently enhanced, particularly in the product listing area), banner images, video support and blog post feeds.

How to Make the Most from LinkedIn Company Pages by Gloria Rand’s Blog

Gloria RandGloria Rand offers an overview of LinkedIn company pages and how they differ from Facebook pages, with banner images, integrated YouTube videos, and most importantly, customer recommendations: “the real power of Company Pages is the fact that LinkedIn members who recommend a product or service on a company profile, will have those recommendations surface on their own personal profiles as well.”

11 Sales Attributes of a Company LinkedIn Page by Find and Convert

Bernie BorgesContending that “If you are a B2B company, your LinkedIn company page could be as valuable (at least as requisite) as your website,” Bernie Borges serves up tips on optimizing each element of LinkedIn company pages, from the company overview and product/service descriptions through promotions, videos and your company blog RSS feed.

Recommendations: LinkedIn’s Customer Reference Program for B2B Brands by iMedia Connection

Ryan DerousseauRyan Derousseau believes that LinkedIn can function as a consumer/buyer recommendation platform for B2B enterprises much the way Facebook does for B2C brands, and provides several suggestions for capitalizing on this. One of the more interesting recommendations: “Add the recommendation button to your company’s product page on the company website. This allows people to click on the recommendation button, and share with their network that they suggest purchasing this good or service. This plugin will live on the site for other customers to see.”

How To Use LinkedIn To Improve Organic Visibility by Search Engine Land

George AsplandGeorge Aspland explains how to set up and search-optimize a company profile page. Great stuff, but be careful with recommendations that rely on employee involvement (e.g., asking employees to optimize their public profiles with your keywords and share company updates). This is an area where training and having a social media policy in place can be valuable.

Benefits of LinkedIn Company Pages by LeahBaade.com

Leah BaadeLeah Baade reviews what LinkedIn company pages are, how they work, why they are beneficial, how to set up a company page, how to interpret LinkedIn’s analytics, and most importantly, what to watch out for, such as “The Latest News works a lot like Google Alerts – in that it’s not always accurate. Unless your company has a very unique name, or it’s frequently making top headlines, this may not be the best feature to enable. Try monitoring the company name or keywords for a day or two and see what comes up.”

5 Tips for Using the New LinkedIn Company Pages by Social Media Examiner

Stephanie SammonsStephanie Sammons reviews updates that LinkedIn made to company pages late last year, then offers five tips for optimizing use of company pages, such as posting “a ‘call to action’ to follow your page within relevant LinkedIn groups” to build up followers for your LinkedIn page and providing “interesting and value-added company page updates”—not just company news and job openings.

LinkedIn “Company” Pages: An (Undervalued) Gem for Organizations of All Types by Social Media in Organizations
***** 5 STARS

Courtney Shelton HuntCourtney Shelton Hunt explains why “organizations of all types and sizes should establish and manage their Company Pages (organizational profiles) on LinkedIn,” outlines a three-phase approach to creating company pages, lists several examples of well-crafted company profiles, and presents survey results showing that LinkedIn is overwhelmingly the preferred social network people use when they want to engage with a company professionally.

Best Practices for LinkedIn Advertising

5 Steps to Successful LinkedIn Advertising by Social Media Examiner

Janet AronicaPointing out that “LinkedIn lets marketers target ads to users by important B2B demographics such as job title or industry or even focusing on members of particular LinkedIn groups. This is different—and arguably better-suited for B2B—than Facebook ads, which typically target users by lifestyle interests…(and) marketers can create an ad on LinkedIn in just minutes with a minimum spend of $10/day,” Janet Aronica covers the basics of LinkedIn advertising along with five steps to LinkedIn advertising success (such as split-testing different ad variations).

Relevancy Is Key to Reaching Professionals With LinkedIn PPC Ads by ClickZ
**** 5 STARS

Lisa RaehslerLisa Raehsler compiles a few LinkedIn advertising best practices and tips here, in terms of targeting (“Job function enables you to loosen the targeting criteria a bit and select users within a specific job function such as ‘accounting,’ ‘creative,’ or ‘marketing'”), ads (“It’s common for the CTR of your ad to decline if you continue to display the same ad week after week. A best practice is to refresh your ads at least once per month with new ad text or images”), bidding and budgeting.

A Starter Guide for Advertising on LinkedIn by PPC Hero

Jessica CatesJessica Cates outlines the process of setting up a business account (so you can keep LinkedIn advertising access separate from your personal account) and an advertising campaign on LinkedIn, from rotation and targeting through bidding and tracking conversion data.

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