When used well, LinkedInis a powerful business networking community and tool. I personally am more apt to accept a LinkedIn invitation to connect than Facebook. However, there are some pet peeves I have about LinkedIn. Here are my top 5 don’ts, in no particular order:
Sending generic invitations to connect: I’ve received dozens of invitations to connect via LinkedIn. In the past, I would automatically accept invitations, even from complete strangers. However, as LinkedIn members have become more aggressive with emails and connections, I evaluate each request carefully. One mistake is not customizing the canned invitation. Take 2 minutes to explain why you want to connect – prospective partnership, mentorship, job hunting, etc. Otherwise, I will click on reject versus accept.
Incomplete and boring profiles: Yes, I have to admit that my profile is slightly out of date for my current position With that said, my profile is more than just a listing of positions I’ve held over the past 15 years. It needs to read more than just a timeline. Rather, I’ve taken time to consider who may be viewing my profile – recruiters, current colleagues, prospective employees and more. And for those seeking employment, write your profile to capture someone’s attention within the first 10-15 seconds. Be bold. Be eye-catching.
Keeping profiles private: This one totally confuses me. While Facebook is for family and friends; hence why I maintain a private profile, to me LinkedIn, it’s about business networking. Keeping a profile private communicates you’re seeking to hide something. Not a good start for any relationship.
Spamming groups: I see more and more spam in my LinkedIn Groups. This reminds me of spam comments on blogs. While there is a way to limit this on blogs, it’s up to group managers or community managers to monitor groups. Take a step back and reconsider how your participate on LinkedIn Groups – it should always be educational and helpful. Otherwise this reflects poorly on you and your company/employer.
Mass LinkedIn messages: As LinkedIn has opened up premium services, I’m seeing more spam in my LinkedIn in box. I am receptive to receiving emails from individuals who have clearly reviewed and pre-qualified me based on my profile. Otherwise, sending LinkedIn messages is worthless spam.
What are your don’ts for LinkedIn?
Over the past few years, I’ve counseled and assisted companies establish their social media programs. As I think back to these program, I believe there are four key stages intrinsic to the evolution of a successful social media program: broadcast, inquisitive, participatory, and conversation. While I don’t want to oversimplify this process – some organizations may skip or combine these stages – I do think this is helpful for framing the general growth of a social media program:
Broadcast stage:While we recognize that social media is about conversations and engagement, I’ve found that the first stage is getting comfortable with publishing on this medium. As such, the first phase will mainly be broadcasting – upcoming events, new blog postings, product announcements, etc.
Inquisitive stage: Once an organization becomes comfortable publishing on social media, the next stage is being inquisitive – asking others for their comments, feedback, including polls and other similar activities. From my perspective, this is the first step from broadcast toward engagement.
Participatory stage: It is at this stage that an organization moves from broadcast to a participatory level. In addition to promoting it’s own content, an organization begins recognizing the contribution of others. This includes retweeting, commenting, and sharing links to blog postings, articles and other content of interest to your followers/target audiences.
Conversation stage: This is the most intensive aspect of a social media program and most desired stage that all aspire to. At this stage, an organization is engaging in an active conversation with their audiences – responding in real-time to constituents while adding value.
Are there other stages to consider when starting a social media program?
I originally started my career in public relations before moving into the marketing function. Throughout the years, there are several skills that I’lve picked up that have been essential to my role. Here are the five key skills that I believe are a must for today’s marketing professional, in no particular order: Continue reading »
In the PR Group on LinkedIn (must be a member to view the discussion), some asked, “How do you justify fees to clients in an era of social media?” I believe many PR and marketing consultants have faced this as potential clients believe that social media is “free.”
I think there are two parts to this equation that we need to consider before answering the question, assuming that we’ve done the background work of evaluating target audience, prospect personas, and the channels where these individuals congregate.
Social media has become increasingly popular for business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing. I recently did some research on social media by healthcare professionals and wanted to share some of the articles and stats I found in the form of Storify. There are interesting implications in how, as PR and marketing professionals, one would reach and engage with this audience. What are your experiences?
When I first started in public relations, one of the main issues we faced was the rise of corporate websites – if our clients should do it, how and why. And yes – that was many moons ago. Cable television was just emerging so news cycles were more predictable with three broadcast channels and a handful of national newspapers. Dictated by days(sometimes weeks) – not the hours, even minutes of today’s always-on world – PR professionals could more easily craft, confirm and implement crisis management plans on behalf of clients.
Fast forward several years – the rise of CNN, Internet and social media has systematically shrunk the response times for managing crisis. What used to take weeks and days, now requires real-time responses in hours, if not minutes. Otherwise, brands risk seemingly minor issues quickly running out of their control. Here are three tips for managing a crisis in an always-on, social media world.
Media databases, such as Vocus and Cision, are great resources for finding reporters and bloggers who cover specific industries and topics. These databases helped augment the day-to-day research that practitioners did to identify, research and verify the best reporter for that particular news story or company.
While these databases have tremendous amount of information, not all of it is accurate or up-to-date. And this is where the problem begins. For companies and practitioners who rely solely on these resources, they cease to be “pr practitioners” and risk becoming “email spammers” as the pitches will be irrelevant and unwanted. Or much worse, being blacklisted by the very reporters they are seeking to reach.
Cece Salomon-Lee is director of product marketing for Lanyon Solutions, Inc. and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.
This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.
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