Pin of the Month – Becoming a LinkedIn Jedi

Continuing "LinkedIn Month" on ShoreBranding.com w/ our August "Pin of the Month". (Infographic by Gryffin.com)

Continuing “LinkedIn Month” on ShoreBranding.com w/ our August “Pin of the Month”. (Infographic by Gryffin.com)

Our August “Pin of the Month” kicks off our “LinkedIn Month” here at Shore Branding. As referenced in last week’s #SundayMusings, we will be focusing on LinkedIn over the next month or so.  The infographic above from Gryffin.com provides a ton of recommendations and brainstorming about how to get the most out of LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the clear number one site when it comes to professional networking with hundreds of millions of active users around the globe. What does the platform allow you to do – just as the infographic illustrates, LinkedIn allows you “discover professional opportunities, explore new ventures, and cultivate professional relationships”. I can’t think of a better way to describe / summarize how you should be thinking about LinkedIn.

I love the way this infographic has connected Star Wars to their recommendations on how to better leverage LinkedIn for your professional career. Many of these items are part of our forthcoming “Tips” article on how to better leverage the network for your personal use. (We’ll also be creating a second “Tips” article for businesses.)

My favorite part of the infographic itself is the examples provided towards the end of each section. They have taken Donna Serdula, Dave Kerpen, and Guy Kawasaki’s use of LinkedIn and made the connection to each section of recommendations. This really brings to life each of the recommendations and someone that the reader can reference when thinking about updating their own LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn affords you the opportunity to build your own brand and influence in your area of expertise. As the infographic points out, you can build your identity in a number of ways – from starting your own group and/or participating in those with similar thoughts and interests, to sharing content via status updates, and/or endorsing your connections. It is all about engaging with others in your network and growing it out.

There is a ton of interesting information and thoughts on this infographic by Gryffin.com. I really thought it was a phenomenal visual to bring home a lot of different thoughts and recommendations. What is your favorite part? Do you agree or disagree with any of the information they provide? If so, let us know in the Comments below.

In case you are unfamiliar with our “Pin of the Month”, each month we’ll be posting one of the better infographics, pictures, etc. that we typically find on our Pinterest page and (over-) analyzing it in a blog write-up. For those specifically interested in LinkedIn, here is our LinkedIn board on Pinterest.

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 8-17-14

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing – This week’s focus = Social Media

Welcome back to another edition of #SundayMusings with Shore Branding. This week’s musings focus on social media and the news/stories that caught my attention over the past few weeks. As you will see under the ‘Thoughts’ of our last link/article, we are kicking off “LinkedIn Month” here on Shore Branding and focusing on the network in the coming weeks with new “Pin of the Month” and “Tips” articles.

#1 – The 10 Best Social Media SlideShare Presentations of 2014 – via blog.bufferapp.com 

Premise: The author pulls together his favorite SlideShare presentations, all of which revolve around social media in some capacity. Embedding each into the post and picking out his favorite slide of each, the author puts enough context in his write-up to let you know which of these might be of more interest to you and the main idea behind the content of each.

Thoughts: First, I have an equal amount of admiration, for the lack of a better word, for SlideShare. With the change in how we write each ‘Sunday Musings’ article to a specific topic, I’m checking SlideShare every week to find a potential fit with our topic of interest. Naturally, this compilation of a top ten presentations on social media more than suffices for this week.

The two presentations that caught my attention within this write-up were #4 – “Why Content Marketing Fails” by Rand Fishkin and #5 – “The Nuts and Bolts of Social Media_’Great Success’” by Matthew Capala. Any time you can weave in ‘Borat’ to your social media presentation, you have won the internet for the day.

#2 – “Twitter just dropped a huge hint that it will introduce shopping services” via TheNextWeb.com 

Premise: While not yet active, Twitter has added a “Payment & Services” section to their Android app, further suggesting the company has an ecommerce plan in place that is almost ready to be deployed. While Twitter continues to evolve, this clearly is a step towards adding another revenue stream for the company.

Thoughts: Twitter has partnered with the likes of Amazon and American Express to build a stronger ecommerce platform but has yet to really prove it has a functional model that is well accepted and adopted.

As you may notice in the comments section of this article, shortly after the write-up went live, Twitter took the “Payment & Services” option out of the setting menu. This is clearly another way for the company to grow revenue. The company continues to throw these options against a wall and I believe it is only a matter of time before at least one of them sticks.

#3 – The New Foursquare Is Here, and It’s Surprisingly Good via Mashable.com  

Premise: Foursquare rolled out its updated app to users and it is a powerful tool that can help users find their way through any city/area with helpful hints and tips that meet their individual wants and needs. The new app takes out the social check-in but immediately prompts you to filling in / creating a profile of what you are into. Foursquare uses these preferences along with all of the data the user has provided them in the past (via check-ins) to provide better, more relevant recommendations.

There are a good number of details that many users may or may not want to get involved with, including filtering out a search for places you have/have not been to, a map view, and more.

Thoughts: I received the updated Foursquare app on my mobile last week and immediately took a peek in. I tend to agree with the author’s take – there is a lot of information and data available and the recommendations can/will be much more valuable than ever before. I will continue to use the app and I find myself checking it a little bit more frequently based on the filtering and search system in place.

That said, as discussed several times over the past few months, I hate that they have separated the check-in into Swarm / a separate app.

#4 – “How to Use the New LinkedIn Header Image for Profiles” via SocialMediaExaminer.com  

Premise: LinkedIn has a new update for premium accounts/profiles, allowing users to upload a header/hero image to their profile. The new feature allows you to increase your personal branding and marketing to showcase your talents and creativity to those who visit your profile. While the site offers up various stock images, you can also upload your own … and probably should. The recommended dimensions for the new header image are 1400×425 pixels and has to be under 4 MB.

Thoughts: I really like the recommendations and examples towards the end of the write-up here. There are a number of examples from others that you can use as a starting point for your thought process on what you want your image to be. I’ve actually gone with a word cloud for my LinkedIn profile. What do you think?

As referenced at the beginning, I’m excited to announce that this is actually the start of an unofficial “LinkedIn Month” on ShoreBranding.com. Over the coming weeks, each blog post will put the spotlight on the network. Next weekend we will have a new “Pin of the Month”. Following this will be #SundayMusings that focus squarely on LinkedIn and two “Tips” articles – one focusing on improving your personal LinkedIn page, the second from a business page perspective.

Tweet of the Week:

This is a good reminder on leveraging the right social media platform for the right message and target. You need to think very clearly about what you are posting and who the recipient is going to be. LinkedIn and Facebook offer wildly different purposes and that needs to be accounted for in your personal social media strategy.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s #SundayMusings. If you have or see a write-up on LinkedIn and you think it be helpful for others, send it my way and I’ll include it in the next few editions as we focus in on the platform over the next month. Have a great week!

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 7-20-14

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome back to another #SundayMusings where this week’s focus will be on social media! This week I’ve picked out two write-ups that speak to social media broadly and then the remaining stories cover off specifically on my favorite social media platforms – Twitter, Google+, Foursquare, and Pinterest.  We’ll go into each in more detail below.

#1 – 5 Reasons Why Brands Need Integrated Social Media Marketing – via neerajsancheti.wordpress.com 

Premise: As integrated marketing plans become more and more regular across companies, it isn’t enough to be on one or two social media platforms. The author puts together five reasons why your brand or company needs to be on different platforms and where you should think about going.

Thoughts: There is a fine line between being everywhere and being in the right places. Many try to be everywhere in order to achieve the greatest ‘reach’. However, if you aren’t engaging with your customers / followers, what’s the point? At the same time, trying to be everywhere leaves you communicating with the wrong audience more times than not. So there are some points in the write-up that insinuate increasing visibility is the best thing you can do, and I would add the caveats before deciding to sign up for each and every social media platform.

#2 – Optimize Your Posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and More via busines2community.com  

Premise: Aside from creating great content, you need to figure out the best ways to optimize your posts in order to improve sharing across social media. The author takes a look across multiple platforms and provides tips on how to optimize your posts across NINE different networks – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, Vine, and Tumblr!

Thoughts: This is an excellent resource for those that enjoy clear, concise summaries and tips on what you can or should do when posting across social media. A few items that are worth calling out:

  • LinkedIn Tip to “Edit your description” – Completely agree here, as LinkedIn allows you to provide a summary of your article or link – similar to filling in the SEO on a blog. Use it!
  • Pinterest Tip to “Avoid human faces” – Very interesting stat and not something I would have ever thought about.
  • Vine Tip, “Infinite loop” – Vine clips that follow this rule are absolutely more engaging and will receive more views than those with closure.

#3 – “5 Brands Successfully Using Twitter GIFs” via Likeable.com 

Premise: Last month Twitter announced that it would now support GIF files in status updates and brands have been trying to capitalize ever since. Likeable takes a dive into what brands are successfully leveraging the new capability in their branding / digital marketing efforts.

Thoughts: It is a little interesting to see Twitter allow GIFs well after the fact that Vine has been introduced. This leads me to believe that there is some sort of dip in Vine usage, creativity, etc. that the company is seeing. The recent updates to the Vine app make it more appealing, but to be honest, I don’t check the app nearly as much as I used to.

In terms of the five brands/companies that are provided as good examples, I find that @SBNationGIF is a tremendous follow for sports fans. I also enjoyed the few Bud Light GIF’s found on their Twitter feed. What brands have you seen succeed on Twitter using GIF files?

#4 – “10 Google+ Features You Need to Know” via Michael Bird on LinkedIn 

Premise: Michael Bird puts together a list of ten Google+ functions that can help your branding efforts on the platform. This includes integrating with YouTube and several, more functional elements to optimizing your G+ efforts.

Thoughts: My second favorite social media platform, behind Twitter, has been adding features for users since its inception and the list provided here include several items that I really enjoy. The Google+ Auto Awesome creates fantastic GIFs on your phone automatically. If you take a handful of pictures right in a row, the feature will automatically create GIFs for you when you have Google+ connected to your camera phone.

There is also a deep integration between G+ and YouTube that can be taken advantage of among those with YouTube channels. You can broadcast your Hangouts on Air seamlessly and increase engagement / commenting between the two platforms.

#5 – “Why Foursquare Lost a Loyal User” via wearesocialmedia.gr 

Premise: The author was an avid user of Foursquare but admits to using the company’s services less and less since the launch of Swarm. Given the need to monetize, Foursquare split the functionality of the old Foursquare in half and left the check-ins and social aspects to Swarm. The author provides four points that argue against the splitting of the services that the old Foursquare provided.

Thoughts: Foursquare has been one of my favorite apps and since the launch of Swarm, I find myself frustrated with the back and forth needed to get what I want out of the service. I personally do not care about the badges, but I’m in alignment with all of the other points from the article. I hate having to open up two apps to get the information I want or need.

I understand why they broke up their services into two parts and I’m sure their data suggests that there is a majority of users that feel similarly. However, this write-up was actually a nice find, as I felt like I was in a small minority that didn’t like the new Foursquare/Swarm combination. What are your thoughts on the company’s decision to break these services apart?

Tweet of the Week:

I found the Embassy Suites Hotels contest as a “Promoted Tweet” on Twitter and thought that this was a great use of Pinterest. They have their own hashtag for the campaign and it felt like an engaging contest to get users to engage with the brand. Then I clicked on the link and it took me to their Facebook page and I was all sorts of confused. A Pinterest contest, promoted on Twitter, and then taken to their Facebook page?

Back to the contest itself: Pinterest has jumped into one of my favorite social media platforms and this is another great use of a contest and promotional effort from a brand on the network. What do you think of the campaign?

Thanks for swinging by this week’s #SundayMusings! What stories caught your attention this week in social media? Let us know in the Comments section below. Thanks and have a great week!

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 4-27-14

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

 

After focusing on content marketing in the last edition, today’s #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding focuses on some of the latest and greatest write-ups I’ve seen on digital marketing over the past few weeks.

#1 – Using Social Media to Influence Your Brand Image – via TheSocialMediaHat.com 

Premise: Understanding what your brand image is and how social media can play such an important role in building that image is crucial in today’s world. Social media connects you with millions of people from around the world and can have an immediate and enormous impact on your brand and business … when done correctly; by engaging with your audience, having meaningful content, etc.

Thoughts: While a little bit older than we typically use here on Sunday Musings, The Social Media Hat is a great resource for digital marketing. This write-up takes a branding angle on your digital marketing efforts and how said efforts can impact your brand image. Whether you are looking to share opinions, looking for recommendations, or sharing other people’s work, social media can help take your brand to another stratosphere. [Read more...]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 4-13-14

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome back to a new #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding!  Our bi-weekly write-up has a new focus topic this week and that is content marketing.  Content marketing has become all the rage, but truth be told, I see it as a fancy phrase that is an extension of your branding efforts.  I’m sure many will disagree with this sentiment, but that’s my view on the latest catchphrase in marketing.

#1 – 9 Tips for Creating Content that Gets Shared – via JeffBullas.com 

Premise: Jeff Bullas provides his top nine tips for creating content that gets shared.  From identifying your audience/target through “making information accessible”, Jeff provides a good amount of context for each of his nine tips.

Thoughts: All nine of the tips found this article are useful and ought to be kept in mind as you (re-)focus on your content.  The one tip that seems highly relevant given our changes to these #SundayMusings write-ups is “#6 – Pay attention to trends”.  That was the main reason for moving to a topic-focused style of writing for #SundayMusings and our numbers and shares across social media have improved.  [Read more...]

New Poll – Where will you be advertising in 2014?

What advertising platform will you be leveraging in 2014? (Photo credit: BusinessNewsDaily.com)

What advertising platform will you be leveraging in 2014?
(Photo credit: BusinessNewsDaily.com)

Over the course of 2013, we covered off on several different trends in the advertising space, including the shift to advertising on various social networks (throughout many of our weekly Sunday Musings) and mobile advertising (most specifically with startup Nearwoo).

With that in mind, our opening poll question for 2014 is relatively simple: which advertising platforms will your brand/business be leveraging in 2014 to increase awareness and/or build stronger loyalty?  The options include:

  1. Mobile
  2. Paid Search
  3. Facebook
  4. Instagram
  5. Twitter
  6. LinkedIn
  7. Foursquare
  8. Other Social Media Networks

After voting, if you would like to endorse a particular avenue, please feel free to do so in the Comments section below.  If you have already leveraged any of these streams, let us know what level of success you may have encountered.

Thanks for taking the time to vote and Happy New Year!

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 12-15-13

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome to Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding, the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past week!  This week has a strong focus on advertising across various social media platforms, a new example of “brandscaping”, and a SlideShare on the top company pages on LinkedIn. [Read more...]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 9-15-13

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome back to Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding!  The following are this past week’s top stories in branding and digital marketing that caught our attention.

#1 – Twitter Files for IPO – via AllThingsD.com 

Premise: Twitter announced that the company will finally go public with an IPO later this year.  They have filed a “confidential” S-1 report thanks to new rules from the JOBS act, so potential investors won’t see all of the revenue numbers and expenses for some time.  Twitter has made several hires recently that highly suggested this announcement was coming.

Thoughts: Well, it is about time!  While this likely means more advertising can be expected on the site itself, I’m interested to see how the stock market reacts when Twitter begins trading.  If you have followed this site for the past six months or so, you know that we are heavy supporters of Twitter and how it has, literally, changed news reporting around the world.

Will you be investing in Twitter? [Read more...]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 9-1-13

Photo Credit: CBS Philadelphia

Photo Credit: CBS Philadelphia

Happy Labor Day weekend to those in the US!  Here are this past week’s top stories in branding and digital marketing that caught our eye.

#1 – What Google’s Chromecast means for marketers – via iMediaConnection.com 

Premise: The author takes an interesting perspective on the recently launched Google Chromecast – while you might first think that this is targeted for consumers, it is a product that will be of great aid to advertisers.  As mobile shopping and the ‘second screen’ behaviors continue to grow, Chromecast presents an ability to unite the TV and mobile device.  Advertisers and marketers will be able to collect a wealth of information on end-user behavior, key for more focused and relevant advertising.

While past efforts from Google (Nexus Q and Google TV) have failed to take off, the Chromecast might be the device that takes Google’s advertising model to the next level.

Thoughts: I purchased a Chromecast the day it was announced and have enjoyed the quality and performance of the $35 product.  At the time, I said I thought it could be a game-changer, but really only thought about it from the consumer angle.  This write-up really takes a brilliant look into the device from a unique angle – one that advertisers can really take to heart and start planning against.  The consumption data that will be generated will help marketing teams strengthen and tailor their message to the right audience. [Read more...]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 8-25-13

 

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome back to Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding, the top stories in branding and digital marketing that caught our eye from the past week.

#1 – Agony and Ecstasy: Steve Ballmer’s Years At Microsoft – via ReadWrite.com 

Premise: Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer announced that he will be retiring within the next 12 months on Friday, sending the stock price up a few dollars.  This write-up takes a look back at his tenure at the tech giant, listing out the successes (company restructuring and killing off failed projects) and failures (Xbox One’s original rollout and the Surface tablet).

Thoughts: Upon Ballmer’s announcement, the stock surged 10% or so and finished the day up over 7%.  I’m not sure how I would feel about that if I were Ballmer.  Of course, with that increase he increased his personal wealth millions of dollars over (he reportedly owns over 300 million shares in the company), so I doubt he takes it to heart.  There was no announcement as to who would be replacing Ballmer when he retires, so expect the search to create a lot of news in the coming weeks and months.

Microsoft is well behind Apple and Google in mobile right now and it will be important for the next leader to put heavy focus and investment in this arena.  The Surface tablet has been a colossal failure thus far.  While Xbox had been a gold star for Microsoft and Ballmer, their original plans for Xbox One were panned.

Who do you think will take over at Microsoft?  Will Bill Gates return?  Will they steal someone from Google (or Apple)? [Read more...]