Social Networking

LinkedIn Maps

LinkedIn_Maps

Here at bizologie we are suckers for all things map-tastic, so we can’t resist talking about one more that just crossed our radar. One of our favorite resources, LinkedIn, has come out with a map site in which you log in to your account from this page and see a nifty cloud of color-coded relationships that LinkedIn generates using your contacts. The great thing is that it’s interactive. Zoom in and click on a node (i.e. a person) and see all of their shared connection to you. You can also assign labels to the clusters to help you remember, for example, what the green cloud means and what the orange cloud means.

So it looks good, but what does it do if it doesn’t land you a job, or tweak your resume, or pinpoint your salary range? My advice is to take a few minutes to examine the nodes that are not densely interconnected. A handful of your links in disparate clusters might have really long lines that span a couple of colors (if these were airplane flights, they’d be the ones going from New York to Hong Kong).

By investigating those nodes you might find that people you wouldn’t consider knowing one another are in fact connected. I myself discovered a couple of surprising links in my contacts between people that I know at different institutions. And from that knowledge you’ll have fodder to start interesting conversations during the next office happy hour, which could lead to all sorts of new opportunities. Cue the Kumbaya!

Networking for Introverts (and Extroverts)

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This excellent presentation by Marcy Phelps at the Special Libraries Association Rocky Mountain Chapter Virtual Lunch, was titled Power Networking for Introverts, but really is applicable for even the most extroverted. Making a real connection at a networking event or association meeting can be difficult for anyone. Learn some myths of networking and how you can make the most of the time you spend networking. To see the archived virtual lunch presentation, visit the Rocky Mountain Chapter. I like how Marcy redefines networking as connecting. As librarians we are good at making connections for people and helping them find the information they need. If we think about those goals for networking, and not what we can get out of it by marketing ourselves, I think that makes it easier. Phelps also recommends putting your social network to good use too. Join groups and make recommendations  on LinkedIn and use Twiter hashtags.

If you are an introvert like Marcy, fear not. She explains that you are actually better networkers, because you are much more likely to listen. If you are interested in more information about Introverts and their rise to the top, Marcy recommends the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

As the founder and president of Denver-based Phelps Research, Marcy Phelps provides business research and analysis for marketing professionals and info pros. Marcy is the author of Research on Main Street: Using the Web to Find Local Business and Market Information (Information Today, Inc., April 2011). She also blogs about turning information into insights at www.MarcyPhelps.com and publishes ResearchNOTES, a monthly email bulletin with tips and sites for web searching.This is not the first time bizologie has featured the good works of Marcy. Check out the post about her book Research on Main Street.

Social Currency: More than just buzz

SocialCurrency

We have looked at how companies can monetize their social media with Social Commerce and we've introduced you to Famecount where you can find the popularity of brands, now with help from Vivald-iPartners  we examine how it all fits together to create Social Currency. The report Social Currency: Why brands need to build and nurture social currency explains that "today, one of the most important strengths of a brand is its social currency, the extent to which people share the brand or information about the brand with others as part of their everyday social lives." Social of media has changed how brands are built. "Social media sites are actively used today by major brands to strengthen customer service, introduce or co-create new products and entertain people." A high social currency commands a price premium and creates brand loyalty, but it takes more than just buzz. "Companies need to learn how to make their brands more social, and how to interact in new ways with their customers.

The most interesting part of the paper explains that although there are 6 components of social currency (affiliation, conversation, utility, advocacy, information and identity), brands don't need high scores in all 6 to have a high currency. Different categories of products have different needs. Categories like fast food and beer seem to be less dependent on providing a strong sense of community, whereas airlines and IT rely on their user-base to exchange news, hints, and other information.

Using LinkedIn for Company Research

LinkedIn

We know LinkedIn is a great place to start when you're researching individuals but it's also a great place to find some pretty helpful company statistics. In the LinkedIn Search box, change the drop down menu to search for companies and plug in the company you're interested in finding out more about. Using Whole Foods as an example, on the first page I can find out who I'm connected to at Whole Foods, who some of the new hires are, new job postings and position changes within the company. One really cool feature is in the right hand sidebar: "Check out insightful statistics about Whole Foods Market employees". On this page I can see that 66% of Whole Foods employees have a bachelor degree and that before going to work for Whole Foods, most employees worked for Wild Oats Market and Starbucks. There's even a tab showing where most employees went to college. In this instance, most employees went to the University of Texas at Austin. Which, of course, makes sense as Whole Foods'  home office is in Austin. What's interesting is that there are also several employees from Colorado State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder. This also makes sense as we know that most employees came from Wild Oats which had its headquarters in Boulder, Colorado and was for a time owned by Whole Foods. It's important to remember that these statistics are based solely on the information provided by employees on LinkedIn, but it's easy to start to paint a picture of the culture and types of employees.

Are you using LinkedIn or another social media tool in different ways to do business research? Tell us about it in the comments.

Social Media Plan Template

MarketoLogo

Marketo is offering a free Social Media Plan template. The plan includes the tactical objectives you can use to accomplish two primary goals of social media. Download the Social Media Tactical Plan Template below, and find out where to budget your time and resources to maximize your organization's social media efforts.  The customizable social media tactical plan helps you:

  • Measure the value of social media strategies
  • Efficiently create tactical objectives
  • Drive more unique traffic to your website
  • Convert anonymous traffic to known visitors

It's a simple template, and you probably actually know what you should be doing already, but the template will help you outline the necessary steps to keep track of your social media and provide you with some ideas for how to measure your success.

download button

Google's +1 is active--Do you "like" it?

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Google just launched their new +1 service which allows you to "publicly give something your stamp of approval". Or in Facebook terms, "like" it. Right now it's still part of Google Labs and you have to opt-in to try it out, which you can do here.  I gave it a spin today and there are some cool and not-so-cool things about it.  It all depends on how comfortable you are having your name publicly associated with the links you choose to endorse.  And "endorse" is a good word since your +1's can be used in Google Ads.  So it's important to have your Google Profile set up with the right privacy settings so that you can make sure your Picasa Web Albums and the like aren't available to just anyone. That said, I like that once you've opted in, you'll have a new tab on your Google Profile keeping track of all the links you've +1'd along the way. Do we say +1'd now instead of "liked"? So hard to keep up. You can choose to make your tab public or not, but either way it's a nice handy list to refer back to: The video below will tell you a bit more about how it works and you can read more about it on Google's +1 Page. Tell us what you think about +1 in the comments section.

2010 Digital Year in Review

ComScore Digital Year

comScore released their White Paper The 2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review this week. It's available to download for free (you have to provide some basic information) and contains information on Social Networking Trends & Demographics, Top Search Terms, the Online Video Market and the Mobile Market, as well as a look ahead at 2011. Just a few of the interesting facts available:

  • Cyber Monday (Monday, November 29, 2010) surpassed $1 billion for the first time--$1.028 billion
  • 2010 was the year for group buying (though you probably didn't need an official report to you that) with Groupon jumping over 712% over 2009; LivingSocial is a close second jumping 438%
  • In 2010 9 out of 10 Internet users visited a social networking site each month with the average user spending about 4.5 hours a month on these sites
  • Facebook grew 38% and became the 4th most visited web property
  • The percentage of us who watch TV online continues to grow with Hulu leading the pack--up 17% over last year
  • About 27% of us own Smartphones

As you can see, White Papers can be a great source of information and lots of companies provide them freely available on their websites.