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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Connect With Us Socially..Or Else!

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September 9  |  Social Networks  |   Ryan Clark

We love interacting with our readers, clients and friends and we could always use more. One of the favorite tasks I do here at Linkbuildr is just help people and companies with their issues. I also noticed we spend too much time helping clients build their social followers, and our Facebook Page could really use some more love(as well take my own advice on how to be social). So if you’re wanting to interact with us on a more personal level we’d love to have you follow us over at;

1) Linkbuildr @ Twitter

We are quite active on our Twitter account and it’s pretty much all me, so if you ever feel the need to harass me, that’s the place to do it publicly! We drop a lot of hints, tips and tricks here as well as our latest favorite reads and posts.

2) Linkbuildr @ Facebook

Our Facebook page is pretty dull at the moment but we’re just opening it up as a Q/A section for our brand. We’ll happily answer your marketing and branding questions to the best of our knowledge. I imagine we’ll eventually move our comments via Facebook to be cool like the rest of the blogs out there.

3) Linkbuildr @ LinkedIn

I’m on LinkedIn on a daily basis and you’ll find me in all the cool groups :) While our company page is pretty dull, I invite you to connect with me and interact if you’re in some of the same groups. This is my favorite social network as well because it puts you in touch on a way more personal level. That and it’s great for finding clients in a way that doesn’t annoy people…even though LinkedIn has a bad spam problem.

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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Social Media Marketing For Affiliates

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May 18  |  Social Networks  |   Ryan Clark

Here’s a goody but oldie from an Affiliate Summit back in 2009 that I just had to put up regardless of how late I am. Affiliate marketing is moving at a rapid pace throughout the social mediasphere and sometimes can be difficult to do it without being a spammer. I really enjoyed watching this keynote and it has a few gems of wisdom for affiliate marketer’s out there in the wild. You can also find the slideshare of this presentation here, and of course check out the next Affiliate Summit to get in on the latest action.

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StartupCrave.com Launches & Needs Beta Testers

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April 1  |  Social Networks  |   Ryan Clark

I’ve just spent that last couple of hours signing up and checking out a new social network for entrepreneurs that’s caught my interest. If the site owners are reading this and thinking, “oh no, we just got blogged about on a link building blog”, don’t worry I’m not working that angle anymore(lol). Everyone on the Linkbuildr Team is an entrepreneur, and I’ve had the pleasure of getting them on the team here. We appreciate the resources available to folks like us, and we’ll always do our part to share related news such as this launch. A lot of our clients are also in the same boat, and we know they’ll enjoy hearing about a new place to share ideas and perhaps make some businesses connections. There are a whole host of features offered on Startup Crave, so join up while the beta is free and add me to your network.

There are a whole host of features, as I mentioned, my favorite so far being the post an idea option in your user control panel. Once the site builds a large following, who knows who you’ll network with and make that idea into reality. Personally, there have been so many times I’ve needed a good programmer on board so I’ll be looking to link up here for that. There are also user forums, the ability to post videos and link up your social media accounts to spread your latest happenings. Current beta testers get to utilize all the features of Startup Crave so jump on board now while the getting is good!

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Facebook Contest Case Study

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February 8  |  Social Networks  |   Ryan Clark

As more and more companies and brands are scrambling to gain Facebook followers, the more requests we’ve had from clients to get on it. We’ve had a lot of success lately and I thought I’d share a few contest angles that work really well in the local and global market. Local companies though an really hone in their user-base quite easily, so listen up if you’re a smaller company wanting to hit big numbers.

While I cannot let you know which client it was I’m using the numbers for, I will let you know it was for the Vancouver BC area. The company is a contractor of sorts and beforehand, didn’t have much of a social media presence. I’ll run down what we recommended, and luckily got a generous budget of $3000 to play with which included the cost of the prize.

Step 1: The Prize

You’re going to need to really wet the appetite of the user, and giving away a coupon card for $25 just doesn’t cut it…not for the numbers we’re going after. For this client, we recommended two options, both he liked so much that we’ll be running the second come next month.

First up was an easy call, the iPad. Everyone wants one whether you’re in the cult of Mac or not. This prize is also worthy enough you can expect to get a lot of noise written about you, and it should attract the followers when they see your friends post about it on their wall.

In this case study, we did not have a 2nd and 3rd place prize set, but I would recommend that to juice it up a bit. But by the looks of the results, it isn’t needed when you have such a kick ass 1st place prize.

Step 2: Planning The Attack

The contest participation factor is key to getting the viral aspect of it all going. Make sure the contest requires the person to Like and post something to their wall pertaining to the Facebook contest. This is where the friends of friends will spread it like wildfire! So make sure the rules are clear as day and this alone is almost good enough to handle the rest…but we didn’t stop there.

Depending on your budget left over, you’re going to want to get the word out through the web and nab some links and social media buzz. There are many ways of doing this and I’ll list off a few of things we did that have resulted in huge return on our time. The CEO of the company literally sang our praises which always makes one feel good.

- Get a press release out to spread the word and nab a few more links
- Submit your contest to contest listing specific sites
- Submit your contest details to deal forums, most of which have a section for these
- Spread the word to local bloggers to see if they’ll make a post about it
- Get your Twitter followers RTing the good word
- Take out Facebook ads about it for your local area
- Do a Video talking about the contest and its rules
- Write about it on your blog..don’t forget this one

After doing all of the above, the company got a whole whack of traffic, and while it’s still too early to tell, over 50 link thus far. Those links were all natural and look great to diversify his link profile. The branding that has been set out is also just as powerful! They may not nab a lot of clients now, but down the road a lot of those people will turn into a lead. If not, they’ll at least be able to recommend you to a friend when they ask for a recommendation for services you offer. Chances are really good you’re going to be the only company that they remember.

Step 3: During The Contest

While the contest is running, make sure you’re actively chatting with the new followers, as well as the current. Keeping the buzz going is key and nows a good time to let the people get to know your company a little better. Be friendly, have fun and as well throw in some tips about doing what you do best.

This is also a great time to divert some of that traffic into your Twitter and get some more followers there. The company in this case study had a lot of followers trickle into their Twitter account which was pleasing. We found that the client had to get quite active in RTing and chatting via that media stream because a few good RT’s from powerful users sent us a lot of other contestants.

Last but not least, now would be a good time to offer discounts on your services to try and get some business right away.

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If you’d like our help designing, implementing and launching your next social media contest don’t hesitate to get in touch. We offer a wide range of affordable options that will get your company results. Even if you just want to quickly pick our brains, we’re more than happy to lend a digital hand.

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