Thursday, June 28, 2012

Online PR and Best Practices for Inbound Marketing

We're back with Hubspot's Inbound Marketing University.  I've just taken PR for Inbound Marketing (GF 402) with a great professor, Todd Defren from SHIFT Communications.  This is some great stuff for small businesses and startups to perform PR functions on the cheap.  Take a look at my notes below.


Introduction to Online PR

The entire Public Relations industry has been rattled.  PR used to be more of a top down approach.  It used mass media like TV, Billboards, and Radio to reach a wide audience.  It is now a virtuous cycle-type of approach.  Social Media is a big part of this.  The brand can now talk directly to the customer, which is great in a lot of ways.  However, brands are also terrified about how to monitor and respond via social media.


The mainstream media is also changing.  Staff reduction is commonplace at news stations all over the country.  Those reporters who managed to keep their jobs are now responsible for blog posts, web traffic, etc.


PR is becoming increasingly interactive and interpersonal.  It is moving towards the "Conversational Collaboration" quadrant where it is more spontaneous.  Enter inbound marketing...

The Customer

The typical process as a customer -
  1. He finds your website
  2. He visits the website
  3. He subscribes to a newsletter
  4. He signs up for demo
  5. He exchanges emails, talks to account reps, etc.
  6. He actually buys something
Before he can buy something, he has to first find out about your company.  If he does find out about your company, he must find your company credible and trustworthy.  It's an involved process, and not as probable without PR/Marketing effort on your part


Analogy: 
Imagine you are at a potluck.  What kind of neighbor do you want to be?
  1. Most Corporations: The Wallflower, they just want to watch a listen (too scared about regulations, disruption, to interact)...
  2. Some Marketers: The Blowhard, the one who doesn't listen, and is very loud and self-serving.  Marketers tend to want to be loud and noisy to make a splash.
  3. Ideal: One of Us, one who listens, engages, interacts

What is Online PR?
  • Frequently delivering relevant content through the right channels to boost credibility and findability

Online PR Goals:
  • To find Qualified Prospects (not tire kickers or looky loos)

Online PR Tactics



What to Research
  • what kind of google searches do they run
  • who else do they talk to?
  • who does the competition speak to
  • what blogs/magazines do they read?
  • who do they follow on twitter?
  • which facebook groups do they join?


How frequent is frequent?  Every Day!
  • blog post
  • go to someone else's blog and coversing
  • contributing relevant content through the social network
  • go to fb groups and provide content
  • every day pitch article to a news person
  • analyze web traffic/seo
  • attend events and broadcast content from the venue


How do you tell if your content is relevant?
  • The community will tell you if your content is relevant
  • Is your content often downloaded and distributed?
  • Is raw web traffic being generated?
  • Are there new trends in Google terms used to find your site?
  • Where are visitors coming from?  Are visitors converting?
  • Is content reflective of our brand?
  • Are your customers happy?


What kind of content are we talking about?
  • Press releases.  These must contain actual news.
  • Social media releases.  3 or 4 bullets of real news.  Using multimedia that bloggers can rip and use.
  • Video
  • Brevity - 60 minutes or less is ideal
  • podcasts
  • articles
  • blog posts
  • white papers, surveys
  • creating new widget, fb application, game, iphone app


How do you determine the right channel?
  • Did you use technorati, google analytics, cision, compete, to research?
  • use backtype to figure out where influencers comment (example: Robert Scoble)
  • Use Tubemogul to spread video content accross numerous sites
  • Use Tweetreach to see how far it's spreading


How important is credibility?
  • Context Analytics - survey:  
  • media prominence accounts for 25% of the brand value
  • PR converts better than targeted search marketing
Outbound Marketing is also important.  Forging relationships with News sources, etc. helps a lot!

How do you ensure your content is found?
  • Make SEO a factor in everything you do
  • Use Pressreleasegrader to grade your Press Release content
  • Use appropriate and consistent titles and tags across content titles, keywords, and posts
  • Put a lot of content out there to keep the crawlers busy
  • Use Google Insights
  • Use Google Analytics


What Not to Do
  • Don't Chase after everything.  Be targeted.
  • Don't spam the wall.  Ask a facebook group administrator to pass along content for you
  • Don't bore them.  Be brief and concise in content
  • Don't overuse content.  20 times a day is TOO MUCH.

Main Idea
  • Ultimately, show ROI at the site, and bring in customers
  • Use tools to track progress
    • Buzzgain
    • Blogpulse
    • Hubspot
    • Radian6

The social media release
  • webify the press release
  • a post card sized release
  • a few bullet points
  • media to attach
  • tweetable (140 char or less)

Use a social media news room
  • Create a corporate website domain
  • Stores all news, multimedia, pr, etc. online
  • blog format
  • keep it all in house

Resources:

Finally, view the Hubspot recording to take notes of your own.  I found this webinar to have some really good content, and I hope you do too.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tips for Successful Email Marketing


We're back again with our Hubspot IMU segment.  Today's lesson is on email marketing, titled "Successful Email Marketing (CV301).  The course is taught by Eric Groves of Constant Contact.  Here are my notes from the class:


What is Successful Email Marketing?


  • Delivering Professional Email communications to an interested audience, containing informatinon that they find valuable
  • Email Marketing is efficient (almost everyone has an email account)
  • Email Marketing is Cost-effective (fraction of the cost for printed mail).  Over 20x more cost effective.

What it's not...

  • It is not communication that the recipient does want or expect

Methods:


  1. Using an email client (outlook, gmail, yahoo, etc.)
  2. Use an email service provider (constant contact) to add consistency, branding in email campaigns, easy, etc.

Steps to be Successful with Email Marketing


  1. Making Connections - Build an Email List
  2. Inform Your Audience - Use content that your customers want to read.  Be educational
  3. Grow Your Business - Continually add to, and improve your email marketing

Things to Remember

  • Quality over Quantity - Gather contacts that want to be on your list
  • Communicating your email list, with every contact, via:
    • Website form
    • In-store form
    • Phone Call Inquiries
    • Email tag in signature
    • Trade Shows (business cards)
  • Gather as much info as possible for your database
    • What are they interested in?  
    • You can cater messages based on their preferences (e.g., interested in family travel, or singles travel).  This will keep their interest
    • Get additional contact methods
  • Get Permission - Tell people what they will receive.  Make sure they authorize it.
  • Use every touch point to collect info
    • Are you setting your employees up to also collect info
    • Hold contests for employees to gather info
  • Clearly set expectations (frequency of emails)

Gathering Email Content

  • Goal:  Someone forwards your email to a friend, saves your email to a special folder to future reference, and then they talk about you on a Friday night.

Objectives - How do you measure success?
  1. Promote - motivate purchases, increase attendence
  2. Inform - differentiate your business, inform your customers
  3. Relate - increase loyalty, encourage more referrals

Formats - 
  1. Newsletters
  2. Promotions / Invitations / Surveys
  3. Announcements

Content Ideas- 
  • Share what you know, educate your audience
  • Use facts, testimonials
  • Give guidance and directions
  • Use questions from clients, save those answers for content topics
  • Offer discounts and coupons
  • Exclusivity and VIP Status
  • Hold contests and giveaways

Keep it Concise -
  • Use bullets
  • Link directly to other information
  • Give instructions, if necessary
  • Acknowledge your audience

Utilize a Call to Action -
  • Use a click-through link and measure the articles that get clicked
  • Measure content, regions, customers, time of day, etc.
  • Give the customer an opportunity to ask questions, take a survey, give feedback

How Often to Send?
  • It depends
  • Create a Master Schedule
  • Base times on when clients record their timestamps for opening
  • Test times that work best


Get your message read

  • Make sure your "from" line is recognizable.  Use the business name, or whatever is common to your customers
  • Use a compelling subject line (don't do "monthly newsletter").  If a CPA, use "2 tips to get an IRS audit" or something that is informative and provacative
  • Don't be spammy - Look for spammy words, etc.
  • Use clean images, correct links, good spelling/grammar, subject line, and sender


Bounce Management

  • Has an email address changed?
  • Has your contact left the organization?
  • Have you misspelled an address?
  • Was there a full mailbox?


Track and Understand Open Rates

  • Are people opening the message?
  • Are they viewing the images?
  • Are they clicking on the links?
  • Which links are they clicking on?
  • Are they trending up/down?
  • Make a note of who is doing what, and save those names to a list.  This will help you target messages.


Resources


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lead Nurturing and Creating Better Sales Leads

We are back with our segment, Inbound Marketing University by Hubspot.  Today's article focuses on a class that I found really interesting.  It is a topic that does not get enough attention, in my opinion.  So much of the focus in marketing is based purely on traffic, and people who fill out a form.  However, as we learned  today, there are so many more steps between that form and the sales team.  This is called Lead Nurtering, and it is about the time, attention, and process needed to nurture a lead from Marketing to Sales.  The class is titled Inbound Lead Nurturing (CV 201).  I've taken some notes to help me remember the main points of the class.  Take a look:


Instructor: Brian Carroll, CEO InTouch

Lead Nurturing Defined

Lead Nurturing is a relevant and consistent dialog with viable, potential customers, regardless of their timing to buy
  • It's not about technology
  • It's not about sending more emails


Build a process (example)
This is an example of a lead process:
  1. Prospect performs Google search
  2. Prospect lands on your landing page
  3. Prospect submits a form on your site
  4. Prospect goes through qualification
  5. Prospect is "Nurtured" with follow up contact
  6. Prospect is ready to be passed onto the sales team

Lead Nurturing Steps


Step 1:  Create an Ideal profile 
Common components are:
  • Industry code
  • Revenue
  • Employee size
  • Trigger events
  • Sphere of influence

Step 2: Lead Definition
  • Allow leads to be scored and prioritized
  • Define degree of sales readiness
  • Obtain buy-in from sales team
  • Create Sales readiness Spectrum (5 different levels)
    • Sales don't want to act on leads until level three (demonstrated need for the product)
    • Are they expecting a call from a sales rep?

Step 3: Lead Qualification
  • Inquiry form, first step (make more than just a form available.  Don't force them to fill the form - too much friction)
  • Give them more opportunities to provide qualifying information
  • Break form into 2 steps.  1 long for can create too much friction, and make you lose prospects.
  • Send a Thank You message after they submit the form (tell them
    • Set expectations for response
    • Give them another place to find more information about the company
    • Give them another opportunity to fill out more information (phone number)
    • If at all possible, follow up with a phone call

Tips for Qualifying Leads
  • Less is more
  • Consolidate and centralize information on leads
  • Pick up the phone to qualify leads
  • Ensure that there is a clear hand-off process
  • Measure "sales pursuit" on every lead


Step 4: Understand and Capture Your Audience
  • Build your database
  • Merge disparate contact information into one system that everyone uses
  • Make sure everyone is capturing information the same way


Step 5: Message Development
  • Be relevant
  • Know their information 
    • How they work
    • What is their function
    • What are their anticipated needs
    • What are their priorities and challenges


Step 6: Build Your Lead Nurturing Library
  • Gather and Filter relevant content based on message Map
    • Message Mapping based on Role (Relevant) - contains different issues to different roles at a specific company based on research, insights, and what this company has said
    • articles, white papers, industry reports
    • When you find a relevant article, email it off to the prospect
      • Setup free tools like Technorati Watch List, Google Alerts, Yahoo Alerts
  • Lessons Learned
    • Reuse available content before creating new
    • Catalog who is involved in the buying process


Step 7: Develop Lead Nurturing Tracks
  • Plan out, ahead of time, different tracks for different roles
    • Pretend you are a publisher, and planning for long term education and connections.  Different roles prefer different types of information.  For example, CIO's typically prefer roundtables, and don't like e-books.
  • Use the phone to connect on a human level
  • Utilize new social tools (twitter, LinkedIn, email)

An effective lead nurturing system:
  • Requires a human touch
  • Is aided by tools to make it easier
  • Supports low volume
  • Performs ad hoc delivery
  • Tracks all touch points (email, phone, online)


Step 8: Executing Lead Nurturing
  • Record touch-point history - all web submissions, attempts to connect, and conversation.  Help your team by recording everything to let them know what has happened with a particular contact.  Be able to link contacts within a company (contact and his or her manager)
  • It takes at least 3 touch points, sometimes as many as 15 touchpoints before a lead is ready to pass on to the next level


*Remember, Inbound Marketing must always be accompanied by Lead Nurturing


Measuring results of Lead Nurturing

You should track the following metrics with respect to your leads:

  • % depths of contacts
  • % that opt-in for lead nurturing
  • % of contacts that become sales ready


Tools
  • Buy tools that support your process.  Don't cater your process to a tool
  • Hubspot has a good tool (of course)
  • Look up "Marketing Automation" and "Lead Nurturing"
  • No tool will likely do everything you want
  • Mind Mapping Tools - mindmapper.com and mindset


Case Studies

  • No Lead Nurturing.  Leads sent directly to sales (converted less than 2%)
  • No way to close the loop feedback from leads to sales
  • Needed to add touch points, allocate resources to actually nurture leads before trying to "sell" them

Resources
Leadgenerationbook.com
startwithalead.com
Linkedin Lead Generation and Nurturing Group
Marketing Sherpa
Thought Leadership for Lead Nurturing

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Calls to Action and Landing Pages Best Practices

We are back, again, with another course from Hubspot's Inbound Marketing University.  Today's course is Class 7: Calls to Action and Landing Page Best Practices (CV101) .  It's about directing your website visitors to perform an action that you want them to take.  There actually is a science to this activity, so make sure to read up on it. I've detailed my notes below for your reference.  Take a look:

Professor: Jeanne Hopkins Marketing ExperimentsHubSpot

Class Notes:


  • On a first date, would you ask someone to marry you?  
    • Pretend a website visitor is your date.  
    • Treat asking for a sale or an action as similar to a proposal.
  • Don't ask for the sale on the first trip to the site.  
    • Use whitepapers, webinars, etc.
  • Once you've established a relationship, then your customer is better prepared to buy
    • Don't rush them


Eight Tips

  1. Create Urgency - Form your messages to give the impression that they need to act now.  An example would be, "only 9 copies left" or "space is limited", etc.
  2. Use Numbers - People respond to facts and figures that involve numbers.  Convince them using stats and numbers.
  3. Indicate a Specific Action - Ask people to do something.  Make it simple, like clicking a button. Use graphical Buttons, and consider using links as well. Test these to figure out what works best with your audience (see whichtestone.com as an example)
  4. Use Images - Pictures and images that are visually appealing generate better responses.  Make sure they connect to your landing page
  5. Make your Calls To Action (CTA) click-able - Your entire ad (images, text, everything) should be able to be click-able, linking to your landing page
  6. Use Contrasting Colors - compete.com uses a variety of bright colors to differentiate components of their site, especially the CTA
  7. Pay attention to position - Upper right is a good place for calls to action, make sure it's "above the fold"
  8. TEST, TEST, TEST - Understand your stats under one condition, then make a change and see if your stats improve.
Landing Page - A designated page for a call to action. (find out how... See how... Take our Quiz...)

Common Questions from visitors:
  • Why am I on this page?  What am I supposed to do next?  
Considerations
  • Consider friction, consider anxiety
  • Use simple forms
  • Don't ask for tons of personal info, credit cards, etc.
  • Use a 2-step form if you need lots of information (1 short form for a newsletter, 1 longer form for a webinar)
  • Make your (simple) forms visible right away
    • Avoid using "submit", "check em out" (or anything cute), instead use "register", "sign up", "download" "learn more"
  • Tell people that you value their privacy and put your policy in an easy-to-reach place
Getting Started
  • Try a landing page with a very specific event like a press release, white paper, or announcement for a new product
Get more info
  • On Tuesdays, Hubspot runs a website improvement class based on their grader report from grader.com

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

SEO Tactics to Get Found in Google and Other Search Engines

Introduction to SEO Tactics (GF401)

Today, we continue the Hubspot series Inbound Marketing University (IMU).  I've compiled my notes from our course titled "Advanced SEO Tactics: On Beyond Keyword Research (GF401).  Take a look:


Instructor Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz

Class Notes

This course is about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and best practices from industry experts for optimizing your site to rank high in search rankings.

Search Engines
Google and Bing are the major players.  Almost all search engine optimization is done primarily for Google, and then Bing as a distant second.

Poll of Experts Found:


SEOmoz conducted a survey of industry leaders, whose responses led to the below findings when asked about the most important things to search rankings:

  1. Trust/Authority (25%) - Sites like Wikipedia will always have the highest trust/authority rank.  Links from these sites are important; More important than content.
  2. On Page Keyword Use (15%) - Keywords in the url, title, body, and alt text are highly correlated to high rankings.  Headings (H1, H2, H3), and meta tags are very very small importance.  Be sure to use keywords in the url and title of article.  Position of the Keywords matters most.  Put the important words first in the order (lead with them).
  3. Link Popularity (22%) - Trust, Ranking of inbound links are more important than volume of links.  Diversity of links are also more important than some would think.  PageRank is a good tool, but not an exact science (rule of thumb).  Don't buy links!
  4. Anchor Text of External Links (20%) - When possible try to dictate the anchor text (the text that is human-readible over the top of the hyperlink).  You want this text to target a keyword or phrase.
  5. Traffic & CTR Data (7%) - This amount of times the public clicks onto your site, and the overall volume of traffic your site receives also has importance to search.
  6. Social Graph Metrics (6%)
  7. Registration and Hosting Data (5%)

Sub-domains
Content on sub-domains inherits some, but not all of the ranking power from the main domain.  Best advice here is that it's probably better than using a completely new domain.  If given a choice, go with a sub-domain of an existing site instead of starting a new domain.

Site Architecture
Be wary of link structure within your site.  Site structure matters.  Best practice is as follows:
  • Ideal structure:
    • Most "juice" flows to main page, and flows down from there
    • Link Sculpting: no-follow links no longer benefits the other links on a page.  The number of links on a page is important.  Be careful what you link to, and constrain yourself from linking to unnecessary pages.  Make sure the sites you refer to are trustworthy!

Content
Substantive, unique content is most important (Remember that Content is King)
  • Internally directing links also helps.  Link within your site.  Focus links to main pages, and remember what we said about link sculpting.


Future Ranking Signals
Links should always be important, and will continue to be a major factor in ranking.
  • Obtaining links should continue to be your primary goal as a search marketer

Content Tactics
Great content promotes people to link to you.  This should be your number one goal.  
  • Target the "Linkerati", the people that link most often.  
  • Elicit emotions in your content.  Make them excited, angry, etc.

Main Idea
It's all about links.  Links build trust/authority for the host domain.  The best way to build links is to generate unique, original content

References
seomoz.org/blog
searchengineland.com
seobook.com/blog
serountable.com
mattcutts.com/blog
distilled.co.uk/blog
searchenginejournal.com
seobythesea.com

Friday, June 8, 2012

Internet Marketing and Creating Viral Marketing Campaigns

Today, I continue the Hubspot Inbound Marketing University (IMU) series.  Today, the course is "Get found 301"  Take a look at my notes below:


Viral Marketing and a "World Wide Rave"

Professor: David Meerman Scott

Introduction

It's not about volume, but targeting.  Universal's Cindy Gordon had a big marketing budget to market the new Harry Potter Theme Park.  Instead of traditional avenues, she invited 7 most popular bloggers about Harry Potter to visit the Harry Potter theme park.  The message exploded from there. From that 7 people, it grew to 350,000,000 people within 24 hours.  She thought she'd get fired for the move, but it was efficient and effective.

Dentist in Boston took Yellow pages money (2,000/mo.) and published an e-book "Healthy Mouth, Healthy Sex".  Business more than tripled in value.

"Don't ask for attention, earn attention"

5 Main Ideas


The Buyer Persona.

How do you create individual demographics to market your products?  Market to real life people, not faceless ones.  Interview your market, ask them questions, segment them, and create marketing for each group.  Hubspot has "Internet Ian", whom is an internet marketing practitioner.  They make it a point to know intimate details about their market.  What do you want your audience to believe about your product?  Here are some examples:

  1. Gatorade - Athletic Performance
  2. Volvo - Safety
  3. Obama - Change


Earn Attention.

Four ways:
  1. Buy it.  Trade show booth
  2. Beg for it.  Ask people to write about you.
  3. Bug for it.  Call people, knock on doors, sell to them.
  4. Earn it.  Create something great that people want to see.  Kadient published an e-book "new rules of sales enablement (not a whitepaper).  People want to read it.  On the web, "you are what you publish".  When you search for your brand, what comes up?


It's All About People.

Scott Ableman put post-it notes on a colleague's car.  3M asked for it, he requested $2,000.  They said no, and stole the idea.  An uproar broke out over social media.  Bloggers claimed that 3M didn't get social media.  It turned out bad for 3M.  Remember to focus on the individuals, and work hard to make them happy.


Encourage Sharing.

Worth of mouth.  We are lucky to be able to create something online, and have it shared the way it can be shared today.  We have so many more options.  To be successful in creating something, you have to think about earning attention.  "The World Wide Rave".  No one cares about your products except for you.  People care about their problems.
Overused phrases in business "Gobbledygook"

  1. Innovate
  2. Pleased to
  3. Unique
  4. Focused on
  5. Leader Provider
  6. Commitment Partnership
If everyone is unique, no one is unique.  Using stock photos is visual Gobbledygook.  Speak to your buyer persona in their language.


Lose Control.

This one makes people uncomfortable.  Example Grateful Dead lost control of their music.  They let people record, take pictures, etc.  This was shared with friends, and they became one of the most popular touring bands in history.  White papers require subscriptions and dates.  Mailer Mailer "email marketing metrics" paper distribution grew 20 to 1 after taking away the email requirement to get the pdf.


Put Down Roots.

Be in the places that your audience/fans are.  NY Islanders invite bloggers to attend games.  Bloggers write, and sell tickets.  SXSW has a blogger lounge.  The collective reach of that lounge is bigger than the WSJ.  "The Best Job in the World" campaign utilized a 1-minute video on youtube as an application.  This campaign created tons of attention for the Australian island it promoted.  


Fear.

People are afraid of new things.  They are afraid of this kind of marketing.  The United States Air Force is armed with social media @AFAA.  They want all 330,000 to be involved in social media, spreading their message.  They have guidelines "new media in the airforce" for using social media.


Using Facebook and Linkedin for Business

We're back with our Hubspot Inbound Marketing University segment.  Today's class is on creating and using Facebook and Linkedin profiles and pages.  Although this class was targeted more for an audience that didn't have much (or any) experience with these two social media applications, there are some tidbits that can be pulled from the class.  I've outlined them below, so take a look and let me know what questions or comments you have.  Here it is:

Notes from the Linkedin and Facebook for Business Course

Instructor: Elyse Tager


Key Takeaways

Culture Matters.  

Every social media site has a different culture.  Facebook and Linkedin are no different.  You need to cater your message depending on the forum.  Linkedin is more structured, more formal.  It is a business culture.  Facebook is more casual.  It was started for a college student audience, and has evolved with a more.
    1. Know what you can do - Learning Center on Linkedin, Facebook About Page
    2. Learn by following - Don't re-invent the wheel.  Emulate other pages that do it well
    3. Participate in your community
    4. Define the outcome, pick the right tool, and measure

Set Your Objectives.  

There are various outcomes that can be gained from using Facebook and Linkedin for business.  It helps to define your objectives ahead of time.  Some common examples are:
    1. Establish credibility
    2. Establish thought leadership
    3. Branding
    4. Gain Knowledge
    5. Customer Service
    6. Crisis Management
    7. Lead Generation
    8. Internal Communication

Connect.

The primary purpose of these sites is to connect with others.  Make sure you do so early and often.

Create.

The catch phrase is "Content is King", and it's true.  You can't expect people to just want to follow, friend, or connect with you for no reason.  You must provide valuable content.  Below are three things to keep in mind with respect to content:
    1. Frequency 
    2. Be of value 
    3. Link to other content

Engage.

This one is important.  The beginning is usually the most fun when all your close contacts connect with you.  However, eventually, you'll hit a wall.  This is where it'll get tough.  You must engage with your community.  Some ways to do this are:
    1. Pose questions
    2. Answer questions
    3. Post often on your page (remember that content is king)
    4. Comment often on other pages

Linkedin Summarized.

What can you do on Linkedin?  Here are few of the main things cited from the course:
    1. Home Page - Use it.  View your news stream, read your inbox, see your profile views
    2. Optimize your profile - Be specific about your location and industry.  Be careful about what you share (tweets, etc.).  Website, use a custom title along with your url.
    3. Personal Profile - summary, education, projects, interests, security settings, apps
    4. Company Profile - Description, Logo, Employee Info,
    5. Company Search - Browse by Company, Industry, Within Networks
    6. Building Your Network - Consider volume vs. quality/relevance of network.  Upload corporate databases to Linkedin, then let Linkedin suggest other profiles to connect with.  Search for old contacts, peruse members of relevant groups.  Keep it updated!
    7. Groups - You can be a member of up to 50 groups.  You can search groups, join groups that your connections are in.  Use these to find new connections.
    8. Ask/Answer Questions - Questions are collected by category.  Establish/showcase your knowledge and expertise by answering questions.  Don't overuse this for self-promotion.
    9. Service Providers - This is a tab on a company page.  Find providers, become a provider, ask for recommendations
    10. Advertising - Linkedin Direct (smaller budget) other for larger budgets
    11. Polling - Survey your networks.  Can only use one at a time.  The jury is still out.

Facebook Summarized.

What can you do on Facebook?  Here are the examples given from the course:
    1. Build a personal profile.  Decide level of professionalism.  Basic info, contact info, education, contact info, privacy settings (facebook is getting pretty good at this)
    2. Connect with Friends (think strategically)
    3. Build a Company page/Fan Page (Professional Profile).  Establish a Category (not very robust).  Edit page (continually evolving), add media, add events, start discussions, set a schedule.  Get fans, add admins, promote fb page everywhere.
    4. Events - Use to schedule/invite to events
    5. Create Ads - target audiences  
It's important to note that both of these sites are constantly being updated.  I believe this course was given before Facebook rolled out the new Timelines feature.  While the technology and details will change, the main ideas from this course will remain constant.  Update your profile, give relevant information, create valuable content, and engage with your community. Do those things and you'll have valuable Facebook and Linkedin experiences.
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