Maximizing Your LinkedIn Profile – Advanced Version

One of my more successful blog posts has been 5 Ways to Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile from July 2008.  While looking at this post recently, I realized that there are some additional and more advanced ways that many people are not taking advantage of yet.  So, I decided another blog post was in order to discuss the advanced features of joining groups, adding your Twitter account and LinkedIn applications.

Join Groups – LinkedIn Groups can help you stay informed and stay in touch with people who similar interests.  You can start by searching for Groups under at the Groups tab.  You can search by keyword and also limit your search to specific categories or languages.  Once you click on the Join Group button, you are placed in a queue for getting approved.  Some groups have automatic approval and others require you to be approved by a ‘human’ group moderator.

Within each group, you can start or participate in a discussion, share news, search or post jobs or join subgroups.  You can also get a daily or weekly digest emailed to you with all new activity in case want a reminder of what you missed.  The greatest thing about groups is that it makes it easier to connect with people you may not know directly.  You can select a Group affiliation when you are sending a request for connection to someone.

Example of Groups Page – Social Media Marketing

Add your Twitter account – LinkedIn just started a new feature in the last week where you can link your Twitter account to your LinkedIn profile.  Previously, you could do this by adding your Twitter stream as an “Other” website in your profile.  But the Twitter integration goes one step further by letting you have your Twitter updates post automatically to your LinkedIn status update.  If you put either #in or #li in your tweet, it will pass directly to LinkedIn.  If you are an active Twitter user, you may not want all of your tweets showing up in LinkedIn.  But you may want to select one or two per week to make sure your LinkedIn status is always ‘fresh’.  For more information on this new feature, check out the LinkedIn blog post by Alan Blue.

Twitter Integration on LinkedIn

Add applications – LinkedIn offers several add-in applications to make your profile even more robust.  You can find a list and description of each application at this link.

My favorite applications are:

  • WordPress Blog
  • Amazon Reading List
  • Slideshare

WordPress Blog – If you have a WordPress blog, this is a must-have application.  The application syncs with your WordPress blog and displays the last 2 or 3 posts within your LinkedIn profile.  If you don’t have a WordPress blog, there is another application called BlogLink that lets you bring in any blog and it also displays the blogs of your contacts who are using the application.

WordPress Application on LinkedIn

Amazon Reading List – I like the Amazon Reading List for several reasons.  First, it lets me keep track of the books I’ve read or want to read.  Plus, it gives people more insight into my literary likes and dislikes which personalizes my LinkedIn profile.  If your connections use the application you can also view their lists.

Amazon Reading List Application on LinkedIn

Slideshare – The Slideshare intregration in LinkedIn is also a great feature.  The application allows you to display up to 3 of your presentations.  Other options include viewing all of your presentations or viewing the most popular presentations from other users

SlideShare Application on LinkedIn

Good luck with updating your LinkedIn profiles.

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Top Social Media Strategists To Watch In 2010 – From 451 Marketing

451 Marketing has compiled a list of social media strategists to watch in 2010 in a blog post today.  The intro to the blog post provided a bit of background:

We admire their work and look forward to what they’re going to come up with in 2010. This is not a comprehensive list of the great social media strategists out there, so we invite you to contribute with the names of any strategists you admire with a brief description of their work for us to post!

I was quite shocked to find out that I was included in their initial list of 54 social media strategists as this is definitely a list of social media heavy hitters.

Here’s what 451 said for my entry:

Tom Humbarger (@tomhumbarger) is a social media and community strategy consultant. He gained his expertise in marketing, by working as the community manager for Catalyze Community, a B2B group for professionals who design software applications and websites. Humbarger has his own blog, “Social Media Musings By Tom Humbarger,” which he updates regularly.

I do owe my current social media skills to working on the Catalyze Community as social media was ‘growing up’ in 2007 and 2008.  During that time, I was fortunate to be working with and learning from a great bunch of social media strategists from Mzinga including Jim Storer, Aaron Strout, Mark Wallace, Isaac Hazard, Barry Libert, and Derek Showerman.  But my real social media roots trace back to my days in product strategy for Oracle from 1996 to 2002 where I was mostly responsible for evangelizing CRM and profitability solutions.

The rest of the initial list (in alphabetical order) includes the following social media strategists:

  1. Chris Abraham (@chrisabraham)
  2. David Armano (@armano)
  3. Josh Bernoff (@jbernoff)
  4. Rohit Bhargava (@rohitbhargava)
  5. Toby Bloomberg (@tobydiva)
  6. Edward Boches (@edwardboches)
  7. Jason Breed (@jasonbreed)
  8. Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan)
  9. Christopher Carfi (@ccarfi)
  10. C. C. Chapman (@cc_chapman)
  11. Adam Cohen (@adamcohen)
  12. Mack Collier (@mackcollier)
  13. Angela Connor (@communitygirl)
  14. Todd Defren (@tdefren)
  15. Dave Evans (@evansdave)
  16. Sally Falkow (@sallyfalkow)
  17. Jason Falls (@jasonfalls)
  18. Nathan Gilliatt (@gilliatt)
  19. Paul Gillin (@pgillin)
  20. Seth Godin (@sethgodins)
  21. Phil Gomes (@philgomes)
  22. Beth Harte (@bethharte)
  23. John Hingley (@crushdirect)
  24. Jackie Huba (@jackiehuba)
  25. Tom Humbarger (@tomhumbarger)
  26. Shel Israel (@shelisrael)
  27. Mitch Joel (@mitchjoel)
  28. Max Kalehoff (@maxkalehoff)
  29. Christina Kerley (@ckepiphany)
  30. Peter Kim (@peterkim)
  31. JD Lasica (@jdlasica)
  32. Justin Levy (@justinlevy)
  33. Charlene Li (@charleneli)
  34. Valeria Maltoni (@ConversationAge)
  35. Ben McConnell (@benmcconnell)
  36. Marc Meyer (@marc_meyer)
  37. Scott Monty (@scottmonty)
  38. B.L. Ochman (@whatsnext)
  39. Lee Odden (@leeodden)
  40. Jeremiah Owyang (@jowyang)
  41. Shannon Paul (@shannonpaul)
  42. Christopher Penn (@cspenn)
  43. Jeremy Pepper (@jspepper)
  44. Joel Postman (@jpostman)
  45. Mike Sansone (@mikesansone)
  46. Robert Scoble (@scobleizer)
  47. David Meerman Scott (@dmscott)
  48. Peter Shankman (@skydiver)
  49. Brian Solis (@briansolis)
  50. Liz Strauss (@lizstrauss)
  51. Greg Verdino (@gregverdino)
  52. Lena West (@lenawest)
  53. Dan Zarrella (@danzerella)
  54. Linda Zimmer (@lgzimmer)

You can subscribe to this list of strategists on Twitter by going to my Social Media Strategists list.

Please follow the link to the 451 Marketing blog post to nominate others who are worthy of this honor.  I know of several deserving social media types that need to be added to the list.

Using Slideshare to Post “Best-of” Blog Posts

I started an experiment last week on Slideshare and so far, it seems to be working better than expected.  So, I am sharing the tip and results in this blog post.

Since I wrote a blog post on “Using Slideshare to Promote Your Business” 2 weeks ago, I’ve been spending some time on Slideshare.  My post discussed how businesses could use Slideshare to post marketing and other collateral to broaden their exposure.  This got me thinking about other ways I could leverage content on Slideshare.

My latest idea is to re-purpose some of my more popular blog posts and convert them to standalone documents that I can upload to Slideshare.  First,  I copied the posts individually to a nicely formatted Word document and then saved them as a PDF file using the freely available PrimoPDF software.  My formatted blog posts include the blog post title in the header and my name and blog link in the footer.  Users can then view, download or print the blog post as they see fit.  Since Slideshare incorporates the title of a document in the URL, I also get extra search engine link juice love – and it broadens the exposure for my popular posts.  And if people want to find out more about me, they can follow the link from my SlideShare profile back to my blog.  I have also included links to these posts in the About Me on my blog so people can easily access my best blog entries.   Since I have tied my Slideshare account to my LinkedIn profile, these best of blog posts also appear on my LinkedIn Profile.

In just a couple of days, I have already received 71 views on my Social Media Job Description document and 32 views on my 5 Ways to Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile document.   I am not planning on doing this for every blog post, but I easily could.  It takes me about 10 minutes from end-to-end to convert, format and upload a blog post.

Note that this tip works for both individual and business blogs.

Documents View from My SlideSpace Page

I would be interested to hear about the experiences of others – let me know after you give this tip a try.

TweetLevel – Yet Another Twitter Measurement Tool

TweetLevel is another Twitter measurement tool (or “nifty little service”) that popped up this week courtesy of Edelman – the big PR and communications firm.  The TweetLevel website gives credit to for the tool to @jonnybentwood and @alexparish.

TweetLevel takes a different approach that some of the other tools (Twittergrader, Twinfluence and Twitalyzer) and measures the influence, trust and engagement of Twitter users in addition to their popularity.  The methodology used by TweetLevel is pretty complex and takes in to account a number of other factors as noted in the formula below.

TweetLevel Methodology

TweetLevel Methodology

However, it seems like the TweetLevel score is heavily influenced by the number of followers as the top TweetLevel scores are produced by celebrities and news sites.  For example, the current top 5 users according to TweetLevel arePerez HiltonMashable,  Twitter_TipsAplusk and CNNBRK.  Personally, I don’t feel influenced by either Perez or Ashton Kucher but popular culture rules in the online world.

And here is my current TweetLevel score.  I like how they provide more than just the raw score by offering suggestions as to how to improve your score.

Tom Humbarger on TweetLevel

In any case, TweetLevel is worth a visit – just to see how you match up with your favorite Twitterers.

Thank You Veterans

Veteran John Medlin Honoring Others at Santa Monica Veterans Memorial on November 11, 2003 (See Comments Below for More on John’s Annual Veterans’ Day Ritual)

I want to take a moment on Veterans Day to thank all the men and women who have served in our country’s military.  While we should always remember our veterans, today is a special day to recognize sacrifices made by so many to protect our freedoms and rights.

I took the above photo on November 11, 2003 at the Veteran’s Memorial in Palisades Park in Santa Monica, California near where Wilshire Boulevard hits Ocean Avenue.  The Santa Monica Veterans Memorial is a very unique memorial consisting of 5 granite columns representing each branch of the military.  At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (which is when the Armistice for WWI was signed), the shadows from the columns line up exactly with the bricked-in shadows.  The man in the picture is standing on one of the bricked-in shadows and it is amazing to watch the shadows align with the brickwork.

Our family was visiting the memorial that year and just before 11am, this gentleman solemnly walked up to each of the 5 columns.  He placed a rose at the foot of the column, took 2 steps backward and snapped off a salute which he held for 10 seconds or more.  He then repeated this procedure at each of the columns.  It was a very moving tribute by just one individual, and one of my fondest Veterans Day memories.

Is There a Disconnect Between Social Media Job Descriptions and Compensation?

A less-than-satisfying experience with a recruiter for a social marketing/community manager opening at a $1 Billion+ retailer got me thinking this week about social media job descriptions and compensation this week.  I also noticed that the blog post with My Social Media Job Description continues to be my most frequently viewed post.  Plus, I happened to see the summary of Forum One’s 2009 Social Media and Community Compensation Study.

So, a perfect storm of coincidences led me to this conclusion:

For many companies, there appears to be a disconnect between the experience and expertise they seek and the compensation they are offering.

Let’s begin with my first experience this week.  The $1 Billion+ retailer that got me started on this rant is looking for a combination social marketing and community manager.  And this company is not just looking for any old social media “joe”, they want to hire a social media guru who can:

  • build a social media and community plan
  • execute innovative campaigns
  • position key company players and partners as experts
  • manage blogs and other social media channels
  • collaborate with other departments
  • be responsible for customer relationship marketing and segmentation
  • have knowledge of ecommerce, content management systems, customer service software and best practices
  • create a community central hub
  • present the brand online
  • stay on top of social media trends and viral technology

Of course, they want a candidate who has excellent verbal and written communication skills,  has a passion for social media and has a demonstrated experience in a wide variety of social activities.  The kicker is that the target salary range for this company is just $50k to $60k per year – which is at least 50% lower than what I would rate the position for a company of this size with a well-known brand especially when the company is lagging in their use of social media.

Next we’ll move to the latest social media community compensation study from Forum One.  The Forum One study is good as it presents some interesting data points in an industry where there is a lack of good data and presents an average salary of $81k.  On the other hand, just looking at the salary averages and median in the report is misleading.  As noted in the excerpt below, there are peaks on both the high end (more than $150k) and on the low end (< $25k).  For medium to large companies and established brands, the peaks on the high end make definite sense.  The peaks on the low end are for non-profit and other volunteer-run communities and should not be included in the averages.

Here is an excerpt from the 2009 Forum One Compensation Report executive summary:

The average salary of the research participants, $81k, is the same as last year. The mean was $77.5k, which is $10k higher last year. As in 2008, there were peaks on both the low ($0-$25k) and high ends (more than $150k). There were also peaks and dips throughout the salary spectrum for 2009, including peaks for the following salary ranges; $50-55k, $65-$70k, $90-$95k and $100-$105k.

Several respondents mentioned feeling like they were being inadequately compensated because of lack of data available regarding community and social media salaries, as well as lack of understanding of community and social media ROI relative to their organization’s activities.

For comparisons to the 2008 report, check out my blog post “So What Do Community Managers Make?”

The entire 2009 40+ page report is available from ForumOne for $99.

From Forum One 2009 Social Media Community Compensation Survey - Average and Median Salary by Region

With that, here is my advice to companies who are in the market for a social media and community people:

  1. Broad experience is critical – Social media crosses many corporate silos and in addition to strong social media credentials you should expect your candidate to have experiences in marketing, strategy, product marketing, press and analyst relations, business development, technology, sales, project management and quantitative analysis.  The candidate will need to use all of their vast experience to bear in order to be successful in planning for and implementing social media across your organization.  And by the way, the social media credentials are pretty easy to validate – by just looking at someone’s blog, Twitter stream and LinkedIn profile, you can get a pretty good handle on how someone uses social media in their day-to-day life and how they would use it in your company.
  2. Strategy and planning experience is very important too – Social media is not another channel, it is a strategy for listening to and interacting with customers, partners and prospects.  In many cases, the candidate will need to develop and sell the social media strategy internally before embarking on an implementation plan.  And quickly dismiss candidates who have not shown that they are able and willing to roll up their sleeves to implement their social media programs.
  3. Look for maturity – The question is: do you really want to trust your social to a 25-year just a couple of years out of college and who has not really been around the block yet?.  I’m not saying that the 25-year old can’t do a great job, it’s just that it’s a risk I wouldn’t take.  In many cases, the candidate will become the external voice for your company and brand, and you want someone who has done this more than once.  The candidate is also going to have to work with people from throughout the company from the C-level executives down to people who actually ‘touch’ the customer so it is important for the candidate to be able to be credible at all of these levels.
  4. There are only a so many social media gurus and rockstars – If you specify that you are seeking a social media guru or rock-star, then expect to pay a premium as these people are rare and they have many options.  If you are not willing to pay for this type of expert, then don’t use these descriptors in your job posting.  To further illustrate my point, check out my Spend It On Beckham blog post which includes a discussion of productivity between the best (rockstar) and worst (mediocre) software developers.
  5. Be realistic with the salaries – Or as my wife reminds me, “don’t get cheap”.  Getting cheap or settling for second or third string talent when hiring for a social media position is not going to get where you need to go.  In fact, it could even set back your social media efforts by 6 to 12 months or longer.  Check out my blog post on Community Managers and Quarterbacks to see why.  There may not be an comparable salary for this position in your company because you are seeking both a broad generalist who has specific experiences in driving social media programs.  This also means that companies will need to triangulate the salary by comparing positions in several parts of the company and coming up with a hybrid salary model.  This also means that companies will need to triangulate the salary by comparing positions in several parts of the company and coming up with a hybrid salary model.  If you are a medium to large firm with an established brand, you should also try to match your comp ranges to companies in your peer group.

Please share any other ‘disconnect’ experiences so collectively we can educate all companies who will be hiring in the near future to beef up their social media efforts.  I look forward to your comments.

_______________

11/12/09 Update – I just Amber Naslund’s excellent post titled “Hiring for Social Media: The Ugly Side“.  Amber outlines 5 missteps that companies take when putting together social media and community job descriptions.

Without giving away too much, here are 5 missteps that companies make with their job descriptions:

  1. Heavy focus on tools
  2. Assuming that anyone can do this job (and cheaply)
  3. Neglecting engagement
  4. Thinking content is inherently valuable
  5. Making social media synonymous with traffic or lead generation

Amber’s entire post and extensive list of comments are worth reading too.

_______________

11/13/09 Update – Amber did a follow-up post called “Hiring for Social Media: Good Moves“.  Amber outlines the good moves that several companies are taking and she backs up her recommendations with real excerpts from social media job postings.

Interestingly, she calls out Medtronic ((Social Media Marketing Strategist – Medtronic) in Good Move #1 for their understanding that social media is part of a larger strategy and something that should be woven into business goals.  I found the Metronic job posting last month and thought it was really good too.  And then I realized that it borrowed heavily (and verbatim) from my Social Media Job Description blog post.  It’s a small world…

Using Quantcast To Measure Your Website’s Audience

Are you interested in measuring metrics for your website?  Are you already using Google Analytics or some other service?  In any case, you should definitely check out the free service from Quantcast.  Quantcast will not necessarily replace your current analytical solution, but it is a good complementary solution to track your website traffic because of the demographic, frequency and lifestyle stats and way they track your data.  And since it’s free, there is no reason not to try it.

I was reminded of Quantcast last week as I’ll be using it for one of my upcoming clients and I am amazed at the types of and formats of reports I was able to get from their free service.  For example, some of the more interesting stats provided by Quantcast include:

  • Traffic – stats like people, visits, pageviews, pageviews per person and visits per person.  This information can be viewed by day, week or month over a range of 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year or all.  This is very similar to what you are used to seeing in Google Analytics.
  • Geographic – a breakdown by country, state, DMA and city.  For some reason, my blog is big in the New York DMA and the city of London even though I am based in Los Angeles.
  • US Demographics – since Quantcast uses cookies, they can infer gender, age ranges, ethnicity, income and education.  My blog seems to be most popular among the 35 to 49 crowd
  • Traffic frequency – which identifies whether people are addicts, regulars or passers-by.  For my blog, 17% of the visitors are regulars and they account for 39% of the visits and 83% are passers-by accounting for 59% of the visits.
  • Lifestyle or Audience Also Likes – this section identifies other types of websites that visitors frequent which can identify brand preference and life style traits.  My highest affinity is science/nature at 2.1x which means that my visitors are 2.1 times more likely to visit science and nature sites than the typical internet visitor.

For a more detailed view, here is a screen shot of my blog’s Quantcast page:

Tom Humbarger's Blog on Quantcast - click on image to see in full screen

If you have a hosted WordPress.com blog (like mine), Quantcast is already gathering statistics on your site.  Otherwise, you need to set up an account and add your website so Quantcast can start tracking metrics.  Here is an article that describes the steps to set up Quantcast.

The other neat thing about Quantcast is that you can also use the service to review the statistics on other websites, such as your competition.