Tag Archives: LinkedIn

Search engine visibility: one more reason to participate in social networks

The modern plazas online are arguably social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed, Google+ and, particularly for those selling to other companies, LinkedIn. But before a company decides to dedicate time and resources to preside over social networks, not to mention the definition of necessary processes and metrics, there are a number of advantages and disadvantages worth assessing.

Social network pros and cons

The most evident disadvantage to social network participation are the predictable expenses, such as allocating people and investing in training to avoid getting off on the wrong foot. Social network participation will also require some changes to internal processes – such as integration of social media activity with sales and service departments, and the development of policies regarding the usage of social media by employees and associates. In assessing the benefits, there are the obvious ones, like increased customer visibility and an increase in virtual word of mouth promotion. There is also the opportunity to participate in discussions which are already happening about company products and services. Discussions taking place in the online plaza can be very useful not just to understand what is important to customers, but also to welcome suggestions from customers and potential customers. Another advantage to social media participation which is easy to overlook is the increased visibility it brings to a company and its products and services in search engines like Google and Bing.

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Google+ data liberation: a promise not yet fulfilled

Ever notice how MS Office can import umpteen different document formats but export options are pretty much limited to Microsoft formats (by the way, rtf is a Microsoft format)? This is by design. Smart companies have realized that data is an asset, to use strategically, including as a barrier to keep customers from jumping to the competition.

Why data portability does really matter

The ability to transfer data from one application to another, data portability, is becoming an issue for users on the social web as they try to find the social and business contacts they cultivated on one social site on other social websites. Contacts accumulated in Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and similar sites don’t happen by chance. They’re the fruit of socializing with friends and professional networking over time: activity such as photographing the moment, speaking at conferences, contributing at barcamps, and, why not, just being simpatico. Activities people do, not Facebook, not LinkedIn, not Google+. A social website is just a container, albeit a significant container. If a user has worked hard to fill the container, they should be able to transfer their contents, at will. That includes priceless contact information which has been shared with them. The user shouldn’t be locked into the container.

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How to painlessly import contacts in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social sites

It happens to every company and / or professional which wants to promote their products and services on social networks: they are asked to permit the social network to access a contact list in order to find contacts which are already on the social network and to invite others to join them on the social network. A find contacts feature can be an excellent opportunity to quickly grow presence and influence on a social network, but it is also a process that contains many potential pitfalls. The sections that follow consider some of the most important traps and look at how the use of a temporary webmail mailbox can help in avoiding many problems.

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Move over Basic Search Results, Google Rich Snippets are here

For years search engine search results were limited to 3 basic pieces of information: a title, a summary and a URL. Attentive observers of Google search engine results may have noticed the appearance of additional information, what Google calls rich snippets, in certain results over the past few months. Some results contain review ratings, such as in this case where an iPod received 5 stars from 81 reviewers:

Apple iPod Review
Figure 1: Apple iPod Review

This search for U2 concert information provides event details for tour dates:

U2 Concert Rich Snippet 2
Figure 2: U2 Concert Rich Snippet Example 1
U2 Concert Rich Snippet 1
Figure 3: U2 Concert Rich Snippet Example 2

Note how the first result provides better detail on where the event is taking place. In both cases the event name is repeated for each date – that may or may not make sense. SEO practitioners have a lot of latitude in crafting these search results.

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Marketing the best of a bad situation: gracefully communicating downtime news on the web

The other evening Camillo Di Tullio, a.k.a. Dr Who, asked me via IM if I was having problems accessing highly trafficked social media websites like Facebook or LinkedIn. In that particular moment, I wasn’t, but his question stuck a particular cord. We’ve seen many downtime issues with major Internet sites lately.

Website downtime, planned and unplanned, presents a company with a reluctant marketing opportunity. After all, investments in search engine visibility and other website traffic drivers are all for naught when a site is no longer reachable. The best a company can do is acknowledge the issue and, where appropriate, attempt a dose of humor while working frantically behind the scenes to insure the problem doesn’t occur again.

What follows is an informal survey of mostly recent “site is unavailable” downtime messages. I conclude with information on keeping website service pages out of search engine results.

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Are you an accomplished woman vying for a place in President Obama’s Cabinet?

As Barack Obama prepares his challenge against John McBush, one of his many challenges is to engage and motivate the many constituencies which supported the Hillary Clinton candidacy.

It is unlikely that the white racist contingent will rally around Obama’s message of hope any time soon; American is not yet Dante’s paradiso on earth, despite what many of my Italian friends would like to think. However women voters who were charged by the thought of a President Hillary Clinton represent an important voting block for Barack.

Choosing Hillary as his vice president would certainly be a significant move to attract and consolidate this block, yet as many have noted, this carries other risks. A credible commitment to actively recruit women to fill cabinet and other high level posts in the Obama administration would probably be a good tatic (and good policy), assuming Barack is able to do so without handing the rabid right a “quota bone” to masticate.

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Become my friend, at least on Facebook

For a long time I’ve resisted the tempation to create a profile in Facebook – one can’t be everywhere, no? (Andrey Golub being the exception!)

Certainly there aren’t a lack of places online to find business partners.

However, I recently received an e-mail from an American woman I met at a meet-up of SEO (search engine optimization) Professionals in Manchester, England. In essence, she refused my invitation for LinkedIn, saying that she is already in Facebook, and for now, that’s enough.

Adding to this, Microsoft is buying a piece of Facebook for a significant amount of money; maybe its time to answer the messages in my Inbox with the subject “I’ve added you as a friend on Facebook”.

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Getting the most out of business oriented social networking services LinkedIn, Xing, Viadeo and Neurona

In just a few years, businesses oriented social networking websites have taken off. The industry leader, LinkedIn, counts more than 10 million members despite only being available in English.

To take advantage of a professional social networking web service, a user completes a professional profile and invites professional contacts to connect to the profile. Most sites, with differing degrees of success, offer the possibility to upload contacts from an email system and/or a file of contacts.

Who should insert a profile?

Professionals seeking career opportunities, consulting offers and business deals have everything to gain from the visibility a profile in a business oriented social networking site offers. Most services offer a basic profile and set of features free of charge. The real cost is the time it takes to fill out and maintain a profile.

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