LinkedIn – Killing it with kindness

Did you get an email this past week naming your LinkedIn profile as a top 1, 5 or 10% most viewed?

LinkedIn, invitation, top viewed, profile

Makes you feel like a big deal. Nothing wrong with that!

This small gesture from LinkedIn, to celebrate hitting the 200 Million mark, not only reinforced the preexisting network, but created a ton of buzz. People were proudly posting on their other social sites what percent they fell in, friends chimed in whether they received a notification, and suddenly LinkedIn was on the lips and in front of the eyes of social media users everywhere, whether they use LinkedIn or not. They did it all without a new technological development, without sinking thousands of dollars in a new ad campaign, they did it by saying “Hey, you. Person that’s part of our network. Thanks for being awesome.” Sure, haters gonna hate and say “They sent that out to millions of other people,” but that’s irrelevant.

Jay-Z, LinkedIn, problems

But LinkedIn ain’t one!

I just wanna say “Oh you didn’t get an email? I feel bad for ya son. I got 99 Problems, but LinkedIn ain’t one!” What matters to me, is that they sent it to me, and reinforced my usage of their product. This is perhaps an idea that others should take and run with, whether it’s with customer or employees. A little appreciation can go a long way.

What do you think? Did you get one of these emails, or did you see a lot of others talking about the fact that they did? Chime in below in the comments.

Thanks for reading. Now go get your social on!

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LinkedIn’s Profile Facelift, and a Feature You May Not Know About

As many of you have probably heard or seen, LinkedIn announced that it is giving profiles a facelift and working on making the site better equipped for social interaction. This surely is in part due to the split from Twitter. If you haven’t seen the changes on your profile and mobile apps already, you will soon. It’s cleaner, clearer and an undeniable upgrade. Here is a great article outlining some of the major changes and discussing how they may effect you. Perhaps it’s time to spruce things up a bit on your profile.

While checking out my shiny new page, I noticed that LinkedIn is focusing even more on the important stuff. As you scroll down my page, you see my summary, experience, publications, and projects. In that order. This means that as people are viewing your previous experience, they are likely to see your Projects too. Are you using this great, but highly undervalued feature on LinkedIn? I’ve included a video below explaining how to add one, and the great benefits that come along with creating Projects (like strengthening and increasing your connections). I guest posted about this on Entrepreneur Magazine columnist Starr Hall’s blog a couple months ago, but I feel it bears mentioning again.


What are your thoughts on this feature? What do you think of LinkedIn’s new profile pages? Do you have any speculation as to what’s coming next for the professional network? Let me know below with your comments.

Thanks for reading. Now go get your social on!

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In the Company of You – Having a Personal Brand

Personal brand: The Not-So Secret Identity?

This topic has been sitting in my Evernote folder for a while now. I recently listened to a podcast on Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation: The Twist Image Podcast, and he had a guest by the name of Ben Casnocha. Ben is the coauthor of a book called The Startup of You (along with Reid Hoffman, cofounder of LinkedIn). The podcast was very interesting and I may have to check out the book too. One topic that they touched on while discussing The Startup of You was personal branding. The internet has allowed for anyone to be an author, anyone to be a content creator, and as such, many have ‘branded’ themselves. People are no longer necessarily identifying themselves as merely an employee of a company, but as brand of their own, leasing their talent to a company for however long they are there (as Mitch and Ben put it in the podcast). It is also discussed in the podcast as to whether this is actually a good thing for businesses or not.

I can honestly say that I have my own personal brand, which occasionally collides with what I do at Main Street Hub. I have my personal blog, which I treat more as a blog discussing small business and social media, because those are the things that interest me. There’s also occasionally funny things (Found Tweet Friday) I find and interesting music or apps that I come across. I also come equipped with my presence on just about all social networks (and the many connections that come from them). At the end of the day, all of that belongs to me and not the company. Ask any social media expert, however, and they’ll tell you that companies should encourage their employees to blog and have a presence on social media. Could this hurt your company? Will it cause your employees to focus more on themselves than your company’s image? Personally, I don’t think that’s the case in most instances.

If you’re hiring the right kind of people, then their personal brand is an extension of them that can be leveraged for the business, as long as they’re interested and invested in the business themselves. Do my blog and social media presence get occasionally leveraged for use with my company? Sure. I tweet about things going on at work (we even have our own hashtag). I ‘Like’ and share things my company posts. I post Instagram pictures from crazy things happening at my group’s desk. I even link to my company and let readers know what we do. Not because the company asks me to, but because it’s relevant to what I’m interested in. As a matter of fact, I got Main Street Hub’s attention initially by tweeting articles about social media and small business and @tagging them on Twitter. Like “Hey guys, I read this and its relevant to your business. I found it interesting and you might too!” With a little perseverance, I landed the job and now my extracurricular social media activities occasionally merge with what I do for Main Street Hub.

Personal brand is only going to become more prevalent as this generation, which already use Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger, Instagram and Twitter to amass numerous followers and fans, grows into the next workforce. They are going to come fully equipped with a social standing and personal brand, and companies will have to know how to reconcile that. Simply put, embrace it, treat your employees with respect, and perhaps their personal brand will mesh with your company’s professional presence.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel you have a personal brand outside of your company? Have you used or leveraged your presence to procure a job? Or, as a business owner, did you take social media presence into account when finding or hiring an employee? I’d love to hear some comments below, and perhaps later I can gather the responses and do a follow up post. Thanks for reading.

Now go get your social on!

Could Sociabell be Facebook’s Google+ Killer?

By now you’ve certainly heard about Google’s increasing involvement of Google+ into search.  You may have also heard of the social + search experiment from Microsoft and FUSE Labs called So.cl. Guy Kawasaki dedicates a chapter to social search functionality in Google+  in his book “What the Plus?” (If you haven’t bought this ebook yet, you seriously must. Even if you think you know Google+, Guy knows it better than you. And it’s $3.). Combining the realms of social networking and search is the next evolution in the way we interact online. The most important part of this feature is that you remain engaged with the your social network while searching. Facebook’s search function is severely lacking in this way.

Enter: Sociabell. I found out about Sociabell in one of Social Media Examiner’s This Week In Social Media columns.

Sociabell’s web page highlights its interconnectivity to all things social

Sociabell is a browser add-on for Facebook users who use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. The completely free add-on turns Facebook’s search bar into a social search. When you type a query into the search bar, you will see the standard drop down options that you get from Facebook: people you are friends with, pages you ‘Like’, relevant apps and an option to see more results. What Sociabell does is add another box to the right of Facebook’s standard options and allows you to jump right to other social networks: Twitter,  Craigslist, Google, Yahoo, Bing, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Flickr, YouTube, Wikipedia, Amazon and Google recommended results (but notice, no Google+). You also have the option to share your search with your friends, which creates a post and allows them to answer your question or recommend a site to find what you’re looking for. When you click on one of the above mentioned social outlets, the results automatically open in another tab, thus allowing you to maintain your presence on Facebook. Although, if you’re like me, you would normally just open another tab to Google something anyway, but allowing you to do it through Facebook’s user interface means you are less likely to navigate away. Sociabell states on its page that the add-on collects no personal data, but it’s not clear to me whether your search through Facebook’s search bar is still being tracked by Facebook. My guess is yes.

This is what Sociabell turns your Facebook search bar into

Sociabell is not currently supported on mobile and the Safari add-on is in the works. Friends only see what you are searching for if you share you search, so you don’t have to worry about Sociabell throwing under the search engine bus. If Google+ is clinging to the social search function as one of their big selling points over Facebook, then this is something that deserves their attention. Facebook should also take notice of Sociabell, since they’re in the “buying up useful things” mode of thinking anyway. The biggest concern that the developers at Sociabell have is Facebook taking their idea and actually finding a way to integrate it into the functionality of Facebook itself. As of right now, this browser add-on is pretty slick, and if I’m Google+, I’ve got my eye on what’s going on here.

Have you heard of Sociabell? Are you using it? Does the idea of being able to search all of your networks from Facebook appeal to you? Chime in below!

Now go get your social on!

LinkedIn’s “Projects” feature

LinkedIn Improve Profile button
LinkedIn Improve Profile button

Improve my LinkedIn profile? How can I resist?

I dig LinkedIn. I enjoy the idea of a completely separate network where I can focus on professional connections, sharing ideas among other industry professionals, and not have to worry about boring my friends or receiving requests for anything ending in -ville. I have denied numerous requests to join people’s Branch Out app requests on Facebook simply on the premise that I already have a LinkedIn profile. Now Branch Out has reached 25 million, but I’m still standing my ground. I’m not doing it.

And speaking of LinkedIn, I just wrote a guest post on Starr Hall’s blog (online columnist for Entrepreneur.com and event speaker extraordinaire) on how to use the little-utilized Projects feature to create great connections with collaborators on LinkedIn. I also made a video tutorial, for you visual folks. It will walk you through how to add Projects to your profile and how to use it as a starting point to create or enhance your connections on LinkedIn while highlighting work you’ve done. I think everyone using LinkedIn should have at least one Project on their profile.

Check it out here: http://www.starrhall.com/create-more-connections-using-projects-on-linkedin/

I’d love to hear your thoughts there or here. Are you already using Projects? Is this news to you? What other ways do you see this feature as useful?

Now go get your social on!