LinkedIn Fosters Business Group Engagement

David Suntin of Trending Today.

Social media is ever evolving. The three principle platforms for sharing text and images are dominated by three providers: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

The three are fundamentally different in their use but provide the same free-flow of information. Facebook and Twitter are largely considered social media but have integrated business applications. For instance, you can purchase advertising on Facebook. While companies seeking to fill positions now send out a “tweet”, directing potential applicants to another site.

LinkedIn differs from Facebook and Twitter because it targets business professionals as opposed to social networking. LinkedIn is more of a seminar or networking event, while Facebook is a family and
friend reunion site. Twitter allows everyday people to more directly connect with people of fame and/or influence.

The advantage LinkedIn is its catering to groups. These groups are created by like-minded professionals seeking similar goals and venturing on a common endeavor. LinkedIn groups also allow members access to information not included in the public domain. This feature allows for industry specific education which is undiluted with tangents and ancillary information.

Groups provide business professionals with the ability to narrow down to topics related to a particular industry. This also includes a search which filters content by date or by its popularity among other professionals. What this means is the ability to access information most beneficial to your field and discipline without having to wade through mountains of irrelevant posts, images and status updates.

Though LinkedIn is a business oriented platform, it incorporates the basics other social media provide. These features include not only creating groups, but sending and receiving private messages, accepting or rejecting connection requests and joining specific groups.

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn allows you to post your resume and engage in activity which substantiates your professional credentials. The increasing popularity of LinkedIn among professionals is because those professionals can connect to industry insiders, newcomers and even to those in similar careers. This fosters an environment where businesses and individuals can meet, collaborate and expand their network. Take Daniel Zwirn for instance – His live public profile shows exactly the type of audience he’s seeking and what he wishes people to contact him for. Zwirn is a great example of somebody in a position to connect. His years of expertise as a financial advisor for multiple LLCs are not portrayed here. There’s plenty of opportunity for him to further engage with past and present partners with a few simple edits.

What is more, LinkedIn provides both employers and employees with the ability to improve their Google page ranking, determine the health of a company, vet a potential employee, increase their overall visibility, reconnect with old friends and schoolmates, find startup companies and ask other professionals for advice.

Another advantage of using LinkedIn to create a group is you largely control the information as well as its members. The controls the LinkedIn platform gives its users is generally more user friendly that those on Facebook and Twitter.

While professionals can still find good use in both Facebook and Twitter for integrating their professional and private life, LinkedIn is the only platform which relies on your business peers to vote your contributions up or down. Professionals should take the time to understand the basic differences between the three networking sites and choose which will best aggregate the information a user provides. Business insiders will likely find that LinkedIn often serves their career better than either Twitter or Facebook.

Posted under Online Marketing, Social Networks

This post was written by Joshua Russak on October 4, 2011

How to Sustain Your Online Marketing Efforts

By: Bailey Digger

A recent news item caught my eye – Facebook now has over 500 million members, a figure that makes it the most populated community in both the real and virtual worlds. It is this immense popularity of the web that has made marketers tap its potential as a valuable tool in selling their products and services, and if you’re not on this bandwagon, you’re losing out big time. The secret of success in online marketing is that it’s not enough to just enjoy a good start; unless you’re able to sustain your momentum, you’re likely to bite the dust. And to keep picking up speed and continue to sustain your online marketing efforts, here’s what you need to do:

  • Change with the times: There’s no doubt that the web is taking on new avatars faster than we can keep up. There was a time when most communication took place through email. Today however, most people have moved to social media – it was the blogs that took over at first, and now they’ve had to make way for social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Marketers who still enjoy success are those
    who made the switch to social media when they realized its potential – the viral marketing effect alone is every marketer’s dream. So unless you change with the times, you’re going to be left behind.
  • Don’t forget your existing customers: Some people are still dependent on their email for most communication, so it’s not uncommon to find people who stay away from social media because of the lack of privacy. So if you have customers who are not socially active on the net and prefer to limit themselves to email, it is your responsibility to keep them updated on your offers and other relevant information. Always remember that it’s not wise to ignore your existing customers in the pursuit of new ones.
  • Remember the situation: An online customer support staff member of a company I don’t wish to name here saw the short end of my fuse on a call one day – I was trying to secure a refund of my money which had erroneously been paid into someone else’s insurance renewal account, and in the middle of briefing me about the refund policy, the guy tries to sell me a new policy. I did not know whether to be astounded at the audacity of the chap or to suffer his foolishness at not knowing the first thing about customer mentality. Never try to sell to an aggravated customer before addressing the bee in their bonnet if you want to enjoy continued success in the online marketing world.
  • Listen to feedback: And finally, listen to what your customers and potential customers are saying, both explicitly and implicitly. If you don’t bother to ask for and analyze customer feedback, there’s no way you’re going to meet their needs. And when this happens, they have no qualms about switching to the competition. So keep your eyes and ears open, and if you see a need that is voiced by most of your customers, you must try and see if you can do it. Unless you listen to the voice of your customers (who are the reason you are still in business), you’re bound to fail.

By-line:
This guest post is contributed by Bailey Digger, she writes on the topic of web design degree programs . She welcomes your comments at her email id: baileydigger189(@)gmail(.)com.

Posted under Online Marketing, SEO/SEM, Social Networks, Tech2.0

This post was written by Joshua Russak on August 26, 2010

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Candid Letter from Sales to Marketing

Below is an article from Manticore Technology, a leader in marketing automation software. To read the full, original article, go to http://www.manticoretechnology.com/qmaguide/dload-qmag-s1-jkonrath.asp.

Dear Marketing,

I know we haven’t always gotten along. In fact, I’ve been pretty critical of you over the years.

I’ve complained that you’re not doing your part to get us business. I’ve blamed you when our new offerings fail to achieve their anticipated success. I’ve accused you of being out of touch with what’s really going on with our customers and prospects.

The truth is, I don’t want to be the fall guy when I don’t reach my numbers. You don’t either. In fact, you’ve been just as hard on me as I’ve been on you.

You’ve criticized my salespeople’s skills, telling everyone in the company that we’re unfamiliar with the concept of selling “value”. You’ve griped about our bonuses, whined about our expenses or grumbled that we don’t work hard enough.

Enough already. We need to stop this blame game or neither of us will be successful.

Personally, I’m out of patience. It’s harder than ever to reach our quotas, and I don’t see things getting any easier in the future – especially when I talk to the people who buy our products and services.

You may not realize this, but most of our prospects today suffer from a severe case of Frazzled Customer Syndrome. This is a debilitating condition brought on by excessive workloads, lack of down-time, information overload, no sleep and job-related stress.

To read the full, original article, go to
http://www.manticoretechnology.com/qmaguide/dload-qmag-s1-jkonrath.asp.

Posted under Blogs, Online Marketing, Viral Marketing

This post was written by lynn on August 2, 2010

Top 10 Customer Service Turn Offs

Top 10 Customer Service Turn Offs: How to avoid common mistakes

It takes only a few moments to demolish a customer relationship that took several years to build.  The best way to retain your existing customers is by being diligent in your everyday dealings.  Given below are the top 10 customer service turn offs (as researched by Global Response) and ways to turn these around to reinforce and strengthen your customer relationships.

Amateur Staff

Nothing irritates a customer more than a customer service representative with half-baked knowledge.  Even if you have a small team of customer service agents, it helps to train them adequately so that they can represent your company appropriately. It helps to understand that, each and every customer service agent is the face of your company for the customers, and hence should be knowledgeable enough to give correct information and provide suitable solutions.

Trying to Win an Argument:

You can certainly win an argument by defending your company and reacting to your customer’s complains, but you cannot win his loyalty by doing that. You can only win his allegiance and loyalty by empathizing and apologizing (and that holds true even when it is not your mistake!!).

Rigid Policies:

Sticking to stringent policies can be the fastest way to lose customers. Depending on the strength of the customer relationship, you should be willing to bend policies for him, or at least try to identify ways of bending policies to strengthen customer relationships.

Futile Commitments and Promises:

Only promise when you are hundred percent confident, that you will be able to deliver within the committed time. For some reason, if you realize that you cannot deliver within time, then have the courtesy to call your customer and inform him of the reason and the time when the commitment can be fulfilled.

Diffidence:

Any customer would like to do business with a company which is accessible. If you have not kept your customer informed about the point of contact during an hour of emergency, then it is more than a probability that he will soon shift his base to another company. If you want a customer to return to you, then you must provide him with accessibility and warmth.

Poor Acknowledgements:

If you fail to acknowledge your customers with appropriate comments, then your customers are bound to feel ignored and neglected, which will inadvertently lead to loss of business. If a customer is unhappy about a personal or professional loss, you should be caring enough to acknowledge and comment suitably.

Poor Records:

The same goes for titles as well. Referring to Mrs. Thomas as Mr. Thomas, or Mr. Jackson and Mr. Johnson is only going to worsen your bond with the customer. Constantly misspelled names and inappropriate titles discourage customers to come back to you.

Ignoring the Basics of Customer Service:

Simple acknowledgements such as “Thank You” and “Sorry” still mean a lot to majority of the customers.  If you ignore these basic phrases, you can be quite sure of losing your existing customers.

Call shuffling:

This is indeed the worst and the most common customer service turn off. If a customer’s call is being transferred from department to department, and if no one is ready to take the responsibility, then it turns off even the most patient customer. On the contrary, if you are able to provide your customer with ‘First Contact Resolution’, then you can be assured of a returning customer.

Apathy and Failure to Listen:

Last but not the least, apathy and failures to listen are two of the most unforgivable customer service mistakes, and are often taken seriously by customers. Sometimes, you can simply make your customers day by listening to him attentively.

In today’s tech-oriented, increasingly uncongenial business world, you can win the hearts and loyalty of your customers by avoiding the above 10 customer service turn offs.

Posted under Blogs, Online Marketing, Viral Marketing

This post was written by lynn on July 27, 2010

Connect on the Go With IM Chat Clients for Your Smartphone

The problem with having too much of a good thing is that you don’t know which you must choose – imagine yourself in this situation; you’re allowed to eat as many ice creams as you like, with the only catch being that any ice cream parlor stocks only one particular flavor.

So unless you want to gorge on one flavor alone, you have to visit several different stores to sample different delights. Now, what if some enterprising soul came up with the idea of an online store where you can just sit at home and order any flavor from any store that links to the online store?

You’d wax eloquent about the store, wouldn’t you?

Now let’s carry over this analogy to the world of social media – with the plethora of social networking options that are available today, it’s hard to pick just one to stay connected to your friends.

And while some of your friends are on one site, others are scattered across the world of social media.

So you have no choice but to get on to those sites as well if you want to stay in touch. But considering that you cannot be online on all of them at the same time unless you’re on a PC or notebook and can open multiple windows and IM clients, messaging when you’re on the move becomes a chore. It’s like having to visit several different ice cream parlors to eat all that you want to eat.

But with the arrival of IM chat clients, it’s like you can put all your social media eggs in one basket and carry it around on your smartphone. Services like Nimbuzz, Fring and eBuddy allow you to integrate all your social networks into one common platform. So you’re always online and always accessible to your friends no matter which social network they’re on. You can consolidate your accounts on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, AIM, Skype, ICQ, Gadu-Gadu and Hyves onto a single platform and see which of your friends are online through the indicator against their screen names. Also, you know which network they’re on by the logo of the social page that’s displayed alongside their name.

Most IM clients for your phone allow you to not only carry on text chats in real time but also provide voice calls over VoIP as well. However, this works only if both parties have the same VoIP platform (Nimbuzz users can call others who are on Nimbuzz and so on); if the call has to terminate at a landline or a mobile phone, you have to pay a nominal amount. Besides this, you can send pictures and other files as well to all your contacts while you’re on the go. With cameras on phones becoming more sophisticated and feature-rich, this is a great way to share pictures of places and people with your loved ones (once you try it, you get hooked to this instant sharing thing if my experience is anything to go by).

Most IM chat clients for your phone are free, and unless you sign up for services that enable you to call telephone numbers, you pay only for your GPRS data plan from your mobile service provider (with WiFi, you eliminate even this cost). A great way to stay in touch, wouldn’t you agree?

By-line:

This guest post is contributed by Shannon Wills, she writes on the topic of Internet Provider . She welcomes your comments at her email id: shannonwills23@gmail.com.

Posted under E-Mail, Online Marketing, Tech2.0

This post was written by Susan White on June 30, 2010