Thursday, 28 June 2012

Just When You Thought LinkedIn Couldn’t Get Any Cooler: Targeted Status Updates Is Now Available to All!

With a gazillion cool features, LinkedIn is by far one of the finest tools for business networking.  And, just when you thought it couldn’t get any cooler – yet another brilliant feature:  Targeted Status Updates.  This feature essentially enhances the relevance of conversations between LinkedIn users and companies.  Originally launched in April, but only made available to a few companies, Targeted Status Updates is now open to all businesses that have LinkedIn Company Pages.  And, that’s over two million!

Targeted Status Updates facilitates the flow of pertinent information between users and the companies they follow.  In the words of LinkedIn project manager, Mike Grishaver, “...companies can now communicate with their followers in a very personalized way and provide content tailored to specific audiences.”

Now, when you follow a company on LinkedIn, information, news and updates (industry trends, job opportunities, product & service information, etc.) are sent to the activity stream.  And, the amount of relevant content that you receive is proportional to how much and how often you engage with a company. 
Businesses can target their status updates to users based on company size, industry, function, seniority and geography.  It streamlines the information that you receive and makes it much easier to follow companies.

Here’s how it works:

Log into your company’s LinkedIn page.  Type the content you want to share into the “Share an update” box.  Click on the dropdown menu beside “Share with: All followers”, then click on “Targeted audience”.

The next window you see will read, “Specify a target audience” at the top left.  Select the criteria for your target audience from the options listed across the top of the box:  “Company size”; “Industry”; “Function”; “Seniority” and “Geography”. 

It’s as simple as that!  Now, not only will your status update be visible on your company page, but it will appear on the homepages of followers whom you have targeted via the criteria you selected.

And, it doesn’t end there.  Analytics for each post are available following a twenty-four hour period.  The company page admin will be able to see these analytics, which include how many impressions the update received; how many clicks it garnered; how many times it was shared and the engagement percentage, underneath each post. Targeted Status Updates is a brilliant means of streamlining what and to whom you post on LinkedIn. 

According to an article on, “LinkedIn found that 67% of members follow a company to gain industry insights, 61% for company news, and 49% for the peer community.” 

Targeted Status Updates is a brilliant means of streamlining what and to whom you post on LinkedIn.  Just another way that LinkedIn makes social media marketing a breeze!

Friday, 15 June 2012


I have heard a lot of people saying, over the past year or so, that they are spending more time and energy on their social media campaigns and less time on their websites.  Case in point:  several of my colleagues are using Facebook Business Pages as opposed to websites these days.  So, the question is:  Are social media displacing the traditional website we’ve all come to know and love?  
In our Social Networking for Business workshop, we advocate the use of social media in conjunction with what is already working for your business.  If you have a dynamite website set up for your business and it’s serving you well, why scrap it?  Your website stands for constancy and familiarity with your existing clients and it’s a great testament to what it is that you do, for prospective clients.  Plus, you can never have enough of an online presence if you want to maximize your SEO (search engine optimization).  But, what we definitely recommend is that no business be without a social media presence in today’s market.  That would just be counter-productive, especially given the ease with which social media can be used.

A social media campaign is absolutely essential to the success of a business’ growth right now.  The fact is, people are on social media sites like Facebook on a daily basis.  Facebook has become a primary source of information for a lot of us.  And, with Facebook’s user numbers expecting to shoot upwards of a billion before this year is up, if your business isn’t on Facebook, you stand to be in a position where you will not be as easily found when people are seeking information about the very products and services that you provide. 
The same goes for other social media platforms.  Each has its own special features that make it unique and essential from a business perspective.   I’ve discussed them all in detail throughout some of my other posts:  Twitter is great for getting short bursts of information out there in real time – updates, event information, links, etc.  Blogs are a wonderful way to position yourself as an expert in your industry – to share valuable information and your knowledge with people.  LinkedIn is the place to connect with like-minded business individuals and to network within a comprehensive business arena.

So, what are some of the fundamental differences between social media platforms and a website in terms of your business?  First and foremost, social media are just that – social.  A social media site is not a platform for overt advertising and hard-sell tactics.  Social media sites exist to help you connect with people – to inform and enlighten – to engage in two-way dialogue with clients and prospects.  A website, on the other hand, is a place where you can more aggressively peddle your wares, so to speak.  A website is static – updated and changed, for the most part, on a not-so-regular basis.  Social media business sites can be easily updated and altered on a daily basis, whenever necessary, in real time.  That’s important for any business.  Social media sites also provide you with an opportunity to take part in ‘live’ conversations with people through messaging and groups features. 

Bottom line, a social media presence is a necessity for your business in the current market.  Websites are still important, too.  And, no, it’s not redundant to incorporate both a social media presence and a website into your business’ marketing strategy.  It’s important, in fact, that the two co-exist and even feed off of each other to allow for maximized SEO and a well-structured presence on the web.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

About the LinkedIn Breach....Change Your Password, but Enough with the Fretting

There are so many dumb ideas out there about computer security and account security.

Yesterday’s news of a LinkedIn security breaching (of ~6.5M accounts) at 4 p.m. created panic amongst many of the 120 Million+ users (roughly 5% of users).  A day later, I am wondering at the big deal.  If someone logs into my LinkedIn or Facebook account, they can make friends with people I don’t want to know, draw a mustache on my photo.  In reality, there is very little that they could do that you or I wouldn’t notice.  The damage is minimal.  – My advice on social media passwords:  Use one for the social media sites you use, write it down on a piece of paper and put it in a desk and have it safe so you can remember it.  (Most breaches are digital, and not a result of the guy next door rummaging through your belongings.)

As I said, the damage from the LinkedIn breach is minimal.
--Unless of course, you use the same password for bank accounts or confidential information.  These passwords are a different matter.  I will concede, these must be
- changed regularly,
- include numbers and letters,
- not be the name of your dog or honey
- not be an obvious piece of information about you
- be kept in a safe and secure place (not digitally on your laptop).

All in all, take the time to change your LinkedIn password.  Remember though, your life isn’t in jeopardy like the media may have portrayed it,  and cheers to smarter security!