Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The LinkedIn Top Percent Marketing Plan

By Liz Jenei

The past couple of years have been filled with people occupying the streets in protest of the 1 percent versus the rest of the 99, so when I received an email from LinkedIn telling me I was for once in the exclusive top percent, I was elated – even though it had nothing to do with money.

A day later, my co-worker was also congratulated by a LinkedIn email stating that she was in the top 1 percent of most viewed profiles on the site. An hour later, when I was just about to hop on Twitter to boast my ranking for everyone to see, I saw a colleague had tweeted that she was congratulated as well.

It seemed like my exclusive congratulatory email wasn’t so exclusive after all.

In mid-February, LinkedIn sent an email commending its top users on being in the top 1, 5 or 10 percent of viewed profiles in 2012. The proud email seemed sincere until the LA Times reported that 10 million other users got the same exact one. Since LinkedIn has a span of 200 million profiles, the elite top 1 percent email was sent to two million users alone. 

After receiving the email, thousands of people with LinkedIn accounts who received such high rankings ran to their favorite social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and proudly showed their hierarchy to the world. In fact, the email made it quite easy to do because by clicking the read more button, it brought you to a page with a lovely letter congratulating you on your success more formally and an easy share tool that allowed you to brag about your status to all your social media followers on Twitter, Facebook and of course, LinkedIn.

The tactic of their marketing team seemed to have worked and suddenly countless of social media outlets and news publications were reporting on its outcome.

But how did the LinkedIn marketing team know it would work so well?

I think Media Bistro says it best when they write: “Never underestimate the power of an ’aren’t you special’ message.”

Sure some of the tweets were not necessarily the exact response LinkedIn was hoping for, which was written out in their easy to share tool, but regardless of the responses people were tweeting, boasting or even making fun of it across the Web.

On the other hand, even though the LinkedIn marketing ploy seemed to have gotten people talking, it also left a lot of others feeling like they had been tricked. 

As one of the most credible social networking websites, many professionals rely on LinkedIn as a valuable tool for their marketing, business development and information gathering needs. Taking advantage of the predicted egos of its users may have been more of a risk than LinkedIn had anticipated. It did get people talking, but the congratulations also left a lot of people questioning LinkedIn’s integrity. While I think part of the marketing plan was poking fun at social media’s constant strides in making everything seem newsworthy, at the end of the day the tactic did get people talking. Some say all press is good press. Others disagree. I’d love to know if LinkedIn gained or lost members or advertisers as a result of the ploy – because what marketing is really about is measurable and quantifiable results. If their goal was to get the attention of 10 million users, then they completed their mission.

Did you get a congratulatory email from LinkedIn and if so, did you share the accolades on your social networking profiles?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

10 Must Reads About LinkedIn, Twitter, Social Media and More

Furia Rubel Social Media Illustrations (Copyright 2013 )
I recently shared a number of article links on my various social networking profiles. However, I believe these articles are so valuable that I am re-posting links here. Enjoy.


The Secret Benefit of LinkedIn Endorsements - (Social Media Today)

8 Ways to Get More Leads for Your Business on LinkedIn - (Social Media Examiner)


Your Tweets Are Now More Important Than Your Resume - (Business Insider)

6 Truths About Using Twitter that Traditionalists Might Not Want to Hear -

Seven Easy Ways To Expand Your Business With Twitter - (Soshable.com)

Social Media Tips and Tricks

How to Size Images for Social Media: Cheat Sheet - (Entrepreneur.com)

How to Choose the Right Social Media Management System to Scale your Social Media Marketing -  (JeffBullas.com)

Blogging / Writing / Content

The Science of Storytelling (For better blogs) - (PRBlogger.net)

PR Firm Gets Client’s Site Blacklisted for Duplicate Content - (Spinsucks.com)

Business Productivity

Multitasking Paradox - (Harvard Business Review)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

QR Codes – Personalizing with Custom Mobile vCard Profiles

Posted by Rose Strong

My first exposure to QR Codes was about two years ago when I signed up for my first smart phone. I wasn’t sure what QR Codes were exactly, but these little images were popping up all over, on magazine pages, food packages, price tags, storefront windows and billboards. When I found there was an app for them, I installed it immediately.

Today, these tiny boxes are everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. Check out this story from National Public Radio about a new company using QR codes on headstones to keep loved ones nearby.

It seems that within the first few years of their incorporation into our consumer landscape QR codes were designed by computer engineers, but today evidence from this Mashable.com posting points to designers making sure these little squares have somehow become part of our landscape and won’t easily be overlooked.

Also, take a look at what marketing and advertising folks are doing to grab our attention. Boredpanda.org and the blog Hongkiat.com have some great and strange examples of QR codes that stand out among other advertising that we see every day.

With that said, many companies using QR Codes wind up employing them without defining the strategic use of such technology or succumbing to the pitfalls of bad design.

Interesting embedded content for a QR code would be a virtual business card, a company video on YouTube, a registration for an event, a discount price on an item along with a way to purchase it, a coupon for a discounted or free item and/or an event admission.

I asked Furia Rubel’s Vice President of Marketing, Laura Powers to give some insight into how our company has been working in QR codes for our clients.

“Recently, Furia Rubel developed a custom mobile profile platform that displays a content-rich profile for an individual on a mobile device,” she said. “A QR code designed to link directly to this profile has many significant marketing and advertising uses. Furia Rubel creates the individual's custom QR code as well as the tailored and customized mobile profile.”

Additionally, Laura explains that this platform works within a company's database-driven website and can be modified within the website's content management system. Once the profile is set up, it doesn't need to be updated separately from the main website. Content is tied directly to the website, so when the individual's page is updated on the company website, the mobile profile is automatically updated too. Tracking and reporting on these custom mobile profiles can be handled through Google Analytics.

Laura thinks that using QR codes this way is more useful than simply downloading an individual’s contact info or viewing their website. These profiles provide valuable biographical information, downloadable contact information for your device, links to connect on social media and one-touch buttons for directly contacting a person right from the page which the QR code provides.

Have you used QR codes? If so, what have you used them for? Does your company have a QR code and have your clients, customers and/or partners found it useful?

Thursday, February 07, 2013

How to Spread Love on Valentine’s Day and Grow Your Business

Posted by: Liz Jenei

Although Valentine’s Day is mostly associated with showing your loved ones affection by showering them with candy and flowers, here are five ways to use the holiday strategically to  spread the love, grow your business and pay it forward in the name of social good.

1. Say Thank You and Connect
Instead of writing a love letter to just your Valentine or friend, use the holiday as an excuse to write an email or handwritten letter to someone who has inspired you recently and let them know that they are doing a great job. It could be a congressman, activist, a client or even a local hero—anyone you think deserves recognition. Tell them how appreciative you are of their work, and you could even ask them to meet for coffee. This way you are not only saying thank you to someone who deserves it, but for those you don’t know personally, you are also expanding your network.

2. Organize an Office-Wide Fundraiser
The week before Valentine’s Day, send an email out to your company telling them you are organizing an in-house fundraiser for a local charity of choice. Ask everyone to bring in $1 to $5 to give to the cause by Thursday, February 14th and you can give candy out to those who donate as a thank you.  Think about the organizations that are most affected by the types of products or services you provide. It is always important to align yourself with targeted industries and organizations. Some examples of where donations can be sent are: your local food pantry or homeless shelter, the Sandy Relief Fund via The American Red Cross Disaster Relief  program, your regional United Way or the ASPCA.  

3. Speak and Treat
Provide a free seminar on a topic of value to a local nursing home or educational institution the week of Valentine’s Day. It could be a resume writing workshop at a nearby college, or a tax filing question and answer session at a nursing home. You could even bring some healthy Valentine’s Day themed treats as a way to thank attendees.

4. Wear Your e-Heart on Your Sleeve
Use Valentine’s Day to increase your social networking connections.  Link an article relating to the special day on your Twitter-account, and hashtag a few keywords to optimize views such as #valentinesday or #Vday.  If you decide to organize a charitable event, talk about it using hashtags #socialgood #volunteer #charity #philanthropy or something similar. This will help bring views to your social networking profile, expand your network and potentially drive traffic to your business. Try to link a post that has to do with Valentine’s Day and your business, like this one provided by Search Engine Watch about Valentine’s Day marketing tips and keywords  or even the one you are reading right now.

5. Volunteer
Valentine’s Day is a great excuse and reminder to volunteer and give back to your community. Whether you volunteer at a local soup kitchen, or donate a coat or blanket to the Salvation Army, helping those who are in need is a wonderful way to spread the love and boost your moral.  You can even ask your company to get involved-- asking everyone to bring a warm clothing donation either they or one of their family members has outgrown for when you schedule your donation pick up.  This could also help with the overall internal moral of the office staff because doing good makes you feel good.

So this Valentine’s Day, besides giving your sweetie a box of chocolates, use the holiday to grow your business, and pay it forward, because there is certainly more than one way to spread the love.  

Monday, February 04, 2013

New Jersey Bona Fide Office Rule Change Closes Doors - The Legal Intelligencer Blog

As you know, Gina F. Rubel is a regular blogger for The Legal Intelligencer. She often writes about legal marketing and ethics, social media and the law and much more. Last week, Gina shared a post about a recent state Supreme Court amendment to NJ Rule 1:21-1 (Bona Fide Office). Gina shared the following excerpt from the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct which highlights the specific revisions to the rule:

"The modifications, which take effect Feb. 1, drop a controversial mandate that required lawyers to maintain a fixed physical office location. However, the amended rule instructs lawyers who don't have a fixed office location to:
  • maintain a system ensuring ‘prompt and reliable communication’ with clients, other attorneys and courts, such as a telephone service staffed during ordinary business hours, or a promptly returned voicemail or email service;
  • be available for in-person consultations requested by clients at mutually convenient times and places;
  • designate an actual location for inspection of files and records, hand deliveries and service of process; and
  • fill out a form appointing the clerk of the New Jersey Supreme Court as agent for service of process.”
Read the full blog post and learn more about the modifications to NJ Rule 1:21-1 by visiting The Legal Intelligencer blog.