Social Networks

5 Steps to Creating an Amazing LinkedIn Company Page

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June 4  |  Social Bookmarking, Social Media Sites, Social Networks  |   Alex Chan

5 Steps to Creating an Amazing LinkedIn Company Page

Everyone knows that social media is latest platform for promoting their products but where do we go beyond Facebook and Twitter? Facebook lets us reach friends of friends and Twitter broadcasts to news addicts so what about everyone else? In the past year, LinkedIn has reshaped their site to present a new opportunity to reach professionals, businesses, and companies. They actually have and send traffic now. Creating a LinkedIn profile for your company is a step forward to building your company’s image and increasing its popularity.

Making a LinkedIn profile for your company is very easy and more important, it’s free! Here are a few tips on how to create a good LinkedIn profile for your company:

1. Don’t skip the “About Us” section
Write a detailed summary of your company under the “About Us” section at the bottom. Put effort into writing a good description for everyone to see. Tell people what’s important about your company. Upload a crisp and clean cover image. The cover image is much larger than your profile image so viewers will see that first.

2. Use the Products & Services tab
All social networks are a great way of promoting your products and services. With the Products and Services tab, you can put images of products and even provide links so people can buy them. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to place your most prominent product on the top of the list so people can see it first.

3. Connect with your employees
After you create a profile for your company, ask all your employees to connect to the profile and say they work for your company. This increases the circle of people that can connect to your company, but also provides visitors a possibility to connect directly to the employees. It makes your company accessible and open to the general public.

4. Recruit people
The LinkedIn profile can also be used as a recruitment tool. The Careers Page is used to recruit talented people and make contacts with other professionals. If you wish, you can pay to have the Career page available on your LinkedIn profile.

5. Generate good content
Last but not least, always make sure you keep your profile page updated and interesting to users. Always generate good quality content on your LinkedIn page. Customers like to be constantly updated with the new information whether it is about your company or in general. Generating good content is the hook that attracts more followers. If you have nothing to say, then nobody would follow you.

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Social Travel’s Most Exciting Players: Airbnb and Tripping.com

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July 30  |  Social Networks  |   Simon

So I’ve been researching the current state of social media and mobile marketing in the hotel industry for a series of posts, when I started to relapse into a state I know all too well. My breath was getting shallow, hands clammy, one moment hot, then next cold. The same symptoms I’ve suffered from writing for hotel and travel clients. While I always swear that I’ll quit each time, I again found myself in the grip of an addiction I can never truly shake- Googling travel plans!!! …and It can happen to anyone, even you!

You could be at your office, just working away at your computer, not worried at all. But all it takes is just a few simple words to set it off, sending you spiralling out of control. It could be a co-worker could innocently ask if you have plans for the “Long Weekend” or you check Facebook and see an inflammatory post reading “Cabo in a week!!! Whoo!!”  Before you even realize it, you’re Googling for inclusive vacation deals until the janitor turns off the lights.

First I’m browsing a few white papers on the hospitality industry, I blink and find myself hypnotized by  Airbnb’s search. Did you know you can search for both “wireless internet” and “tree house” and get results? I start to hyperventilate as I realize I could be in a tree house in Morocco and still work. The problem is what am I actually going to do there and how am I not going to eat all my work time figuring it out.  I’m allergic to those expensive, boring tourist tours that just drag out all day, if only I knew someone there to show me around… That’s when I discovered the answer to this problem with Tripping.com.

Long distance connections and travelling is where many see the greatest value in online social networks. What finally convinced me to sign my soul over to Facebook a few years back was tagging along last minute with a few friend’s journey through S. E. Asia. This made keeping up with everyone you meet travelling the area, during and after a true benefit of Facebook.  While there are plenty of social travel sites out there now, after a cold shower, I thought I’d focus this energy into sharing the two I’m the most excited about.

Airbnb.com

Airbnb inc. made headlines yesterday by joining the billion-dollar start-up club after a $112 million round of financing. Airbnb has already gained notoriety in the start-up world, with TechCrunch using the phrase “The Airbnb of ______” to describe other social sharing networks/collaborative consumption start-ups.  For those not familiar with Airbnb, it is essentially a vacation rental site, but takes it further. Airbnb uses the concept of peer-to-peer travel and goes way beyond couch surfing. Rental spaces range from beds, rooms, apartments or houses to castles, tree houses, igloos, private islands. There are even have listings for whole villages and a country up for rent. While this all grabs headlines, where Airbnb really stands out from the range of vacation rental sites is its social aspects.

“Airbnb is to space what eBay is to stuff” is how co-founder Brian Chesky describes his company. This sparked interest with investors, not just by the comparison to eBay’s success, but also to its seller and buyer reviews.  Airbnb not only lets travellers review the hosts, it lets the hosts review the travellers.  With Airbnb, each traveller and host has to introduce and interview each other online before both can agree on the booking. This means, like with a host, a traveller has to keep a good reputation to keep participating in Airbnb’s service.  They even let fellow travellers vouch for each other to help build trust and smooth out the introduction stage Airbnb added Facebook connectivity in May, which has created 59 million connections in three months. This feature allows a LinkedIn-style degrees of separation, letting you see hosts and travellers through you FB friends. Now you can message a related FB friend to learn more about your potential host or guest.  This all goes to strengthen the vitally important community aspect of Airbnb.

Visit Airbnb.com

 

Tripping.com

Tripping.com is a new social travel site that is similar in features to Airbnb, but offers a service that can actually compliment Airbnb.  Tripping’s features include comparable community and trust building features between hosts and trippers, offering reviews both ways, along with peer reviews.  Facebook connectivity also links you with and through your Facebook friends to tripping members. For safety reasons, Tripping asks for extra validation from members through a video Skype call to show their passport and proof of address to match their account info. They also have an emergency hotline for trippers that is currently in beta-testing.

I find when travelling, having a friend or friend-of-friend at your destination is always a great advantage. Having someone who can give you the real tour of a location beats any cookie-cutter guided tour. A personal tour by a local gives you the chance to meet their local friends and gets you into the local culture. This is how you’ll get off the beaten path to see the best local restaurants, bars, clubs and all the little secrets of the area. Of course it’s a challenge to have connections located everywhere you want to go. This is where Tripping.com comes in.

You can either act as a host to your area or a tripper when travelling. What the host does offers their time to show the tripper around and can also offer to have them stay over.  There is no charge for this service, what everyone gains is the experience to share their lives and culture. While this sounds cheesy in print, the value you get from travelling and sharing culture is truly priceless, making is a much appreciated gift to receive. It’s also a great feeling to share your home and culture and to learn a different perspective on both from a traveller. Hosting also gives you a connection to the tripper and opening up their local area to you as well.  And of course there’s nothing wrong with treating you host with drinks, dinner or gifts for their time, as you would for a foreign friend hosting you.

Visit Tripping.com

 

If you’re an avid traveller or wanting to start dipping your toes in international water, make sure to check these two social travel sites out.  And in case you’re still lie awake at night worrying about your online privacy, get over it, it’s the future now, so connect to both through Facebook. Just seeing the lists of hosts you’re connected to that I can contact for an introduction can’t be more appealing.  I plan to try out both services in the near future and I will let you all know how much fun I had after! If you’re planning to visit Vancouver, BC, hit me up on tripping.com and I’ll show you the town.

Connect with me on Twitter: @S_Gerard

 


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Interview with Anand Patel, Founder of TalkHotels.com

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July 21  |  Social Networks  |   Simon

Recently I’ve been enjoying the beta-test of TalkHotels.com, a new professional and social network for hoteliers and hospitality professionals. I’ve been sharing my knowledge and chatting with hotel industry members and had a chance to meet the founder, Anand Patel. He’s agreed to have an interview with me to share what it’s all about.

Simon: Hi Anand, please fill our readers in on the basic concept and features for TalkHotels

Anand: The concept for TalkHotels is simple: create a free networking tool for hospitality professionals to exchange ideas, opinions, and reviews of products and services. Hotels continue to face more challenges each year and I noticed there wasn’t a single tool they could use to get reliable, up-to-date, organized information from their peers. Of course, there’s trade magazines and a few notable hospitality blogs but that conversation is one-way; there isn’t much dialogue there between the people that are involved in day-to-day operations.

Simon: Give me a little history on what inspired TalkHotels

Anand: It really stemmed from the early experience I gained by working with hotels around the world. I made websites to help pay my way through college and the majority of my clients were in the hotel business so naturally, I heard stories about how difficult it became to find reliable information when you needed it most. With each story I heard, the idea for TalkHotels grew until I felt I had a pretty good, sustainable model to take to market. I guess the purest inspiration I had was the fact that nothing like TalkHotels existed before. I wanted to provide an authentic solution to a real-world problem and I believe I’m on the right track.

Simon: Here at Linkbuildr we’re pretty excited about how you are connecting vendors and services together with the hotel industry, Please elaborate.

Anand: The TalkHotels ‘Shop’ experience is designed to give hoteliers access to the largest collection of vendors and local service providers, along with unbiased reviews from their peers. If you operate a franchise hotel, you can’t just work with anyone so we wanted to provide our members with a catalog of vendors that was custom-built for you and the brands you’re involved with. As we grow and we get more vendors on board, we plan on introducing a handful of tools to make the buying process even easier for hotel operators. Simply put, the vision is to equip hotel operators with all the information they need in a concise manner to make educated, informed decisions on the go.

Simon: I see TalkHotels is taking on an environmental initiative as well. Tell us about these plans and your collaboration with CarbonFund.org?

Anand: Yes, the environmental initiatives were something I wanted to incorporate from the beginning because I’m aware of the impact hotels and travel/tourism in general has on the environment. As TalkHotels grows, I want to use our voice to help raise awareness and look for authentic solutions to reduce the impact hotels have on the environment. Right now, we’re planting a tree for each invite that’s requested. Later, we plan on introducing several other environmental initiatives for hotels and travelers to participate in.

 

Simon: Are you planning a mobile app version of TalkHotels?

Anand: Yes, that’s definitely something we’re working on in the near future. Before we fully jumped into creating a mobile version of TalkHotels, we wanted to build up our member base and gain insight as to what we can improve, what we can ditch, which features were deemed the most important, etc. We’re still in the process of gathering this information but we’ll definitely be unveiling an app for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, and iPad in the near future.

Simon: Do you have plans for any additional features or services from TalkHotels?

Anand: Absolutely. I wish I could share more information but at this point, we’re still in the planning stages. Stay tuned, though, because we’re going to be introducing some new services that we feel our members will enjoy and gain tremendous value from.

Simon: TalkHotels is still in beta testing, do you know when you plan to launch officially?

Anand: We’re getting there. We still have about 200 invites to grant so once we grant those we’ll give those people ample time to sign up and tour TalkHotels. After that, we’ll open up the invite system so that our existing members can then invite people they know in the industry. In fact, we have some interactive promotions and campaigns planned for our existing members so that we can share TalkHotels with even more people. We plan on keeping it invite-only because we want our members to have total power to let in people who they feel will contribute to the TalkHotels network.

Simon: Thanks for your time Anand. For anyone involved or who follows this industry you really see the progressive nature that people outside don’t pick up on. The trends of the modern traveler are evolving at an accelerating rate, with new niches and new needs that constantly challenge hotels. For instance I just discovered a new category I’m slowly getting sucked into called the “micro-tripper”. It’s being built around the popularity of flash sales, private travel sales and group buying sites and is made of people interested in very short or last minute vacations. While there are always naysayers when any new social network arrives, the size of the global hospitality industry is big enough to warrant its own. And with the constant changes we’re seeing in travel,  the demand within the industry for this will only grow. The Linkbuildr team is excited to see how the community expands and what new features are integrated. I’d be happy to check in with you for another post in the near future.

If you’re in the hospitality industry, or supply a product or service for hotels, make sure to check out TalkHotels. Right now it’s an invite-only network, so please visit to request an invite. And remember, they’ll plant a tree just for your request!

TalkHotels.com

 

TalkHotels on Facebook

 

TalkHotels on Twitter

 

Email Anand – anandp[at]talkhotels.com


Follow Simon on Twitter: @S_Gerard

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Link Building With FriendSite.com

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January 27  |  Link Building, Social Networks  |   Ryan Clark

I’ve just discovered FriendSite.com this morning while link building for a client. I’m still kind of groggy but I managed to not let it slip under my radar. To start off it looks like this social network was launched in October of 2007 and has seen some decent growth despite the growing number of social networks popping up all over the place. They hit 100,000 members last April and the growth wasn’t explosive until late this year, and it has been building up quite a storm every since. Here is a look at the Alexa graph since its launch;

The site is packed with features that you would find on most social networks with a few different twists. First of all their spam protection is heavily tweaked and does a decent job at keeping the place clean of junk. Secondly, the site has a large user base of people above 20 years old which helps keep it somewhat mature. User profiles are well put together and don’t resemble anything close to the ugly themes of Myspace.

As for link building, it is possible to use their bookmark system which is dofollow and if you take part properly, will get indexed when your user profile is indexed. Since the site has a lot of user activity it is in your best interest to take part and connect with people who have the same interests because you’ll quickly get knocked off for spam.

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Link Building With Virb.com

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October 8  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

I’m pretty sure 50% of you folks have heard of Virb before. Virb is a social network for the media minded tech geeks of the world. Virb has been growing steadily and in the past couple of months, it has shown significant traffic growth mainly due to its quality of content. This social network site lets you showcase off every little piece of media you have to throw at it such as videos, blogs and photos. I never looked into the site earlier until this week when I noticed a nice juicy link one of my clients was getting from their profile that they had setup. So getting to the good stuff…Virb of course has do follow within your personal blog, as well within your profile under website. Since the quality of content is high on Virb you best be expected to utilize this amazing site not for SPAM, but for what it is intended for. My clients profile is content rich with a website description, blog updates, photos and videso from the office. This type of social media works great for them because their website doesn’t have room for this due to its style of site. So if you’re looking to utilize a great site for a link back sign up and get started today.

Virb Is…

A place that lets you put all of the things that make you you – photos, videos, blogs – in one place. So you can find friends (and friends can find you).

More specifically, VIRB° is our vision of a social community – done right. A website that combines you, your interests, your friends and the things you like with music, art, fashion, film and more. Stay connected with your friends. Find new music. View and upload good videos, photos and more.
So go forth and begin your journey

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