Darth Vader’s Guide to measuring LinkedIn Success


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Darth Vader’s Guide to measuring LinkedIn Success

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 250 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe. It is seen as essential for most professionals as a networking platform, or for recruitment. If you look a little deeper, LinkedIn provides us with many ways to measure our networking reach and the results of our efforts in groups and on brand pages.

Your LinkedIn professional universe and timeline.
Darth Vader: “The Force is strong with this one”

Over 3 years ago the LinkedIn labs gave us tools to visualize our career timeline and the extent of our connections. The great news is that as of today, these tools are still live. I created my first LinkedIn timeline in 2011. You can track your connections that you have made over the years and animate it using the slider.

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The LinkedIn InMap is an interactive visual representation of your professional universe, based on the relationships between your connections. Different color zones represent different periods in your career and school. Here is mine;

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Profile page statistics

Darth Vader: “You have only begun to discover your power”

Fast forward to today and LinkedIn are still providing us with ways to fully grasp the reach that our actions have. For example, if you are logged in and visit your homepage, you will now see a graphic on the right hand side that shows the reach of the last few updates that you have made. Here is an example:

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The color of the dots represents views (purple), likes (green) and comments (red), and the circles represent 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections. 1st degree is the smallest size circle, 3rd degree the largest. Finally you can now see the type of updates that your connections really like to view and engage on.

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LinkedIn also informs you how many times your profile has been viewed and how many times your name came up in a LinkedIn search. You can also view statistics for your total interconnected LinkedIn network and the number of new people added within the last 3 days or so to that network.

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Company page statistics
Darth Vader: “Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed”

Do you have a company page live in LinkedIn? If you do you will find a wealth of statistics to gauge the networking reach that your posts and recommendations have. Company updates can be sponsored so admin users will be able to compare the organic and paid reach and engagement figures. I have detailed how to use the sponsored update process from Linkedin in a previous post.

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Recommendations are valuable. These can be obtained if you go live with the product and services page. The statistics section will provide you with a rich set of statistics to gauge your success journey.

Darth Vader: “Calculate every possible destination along their last known trajectory”

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You will be able to view statistics for reach, engagement, follower demographics, trends and tips to help you improve. You can vary the date range from “today” to the “last 6 months” and you have 7 date range choices in between those limits. You will also see a small table showing how your follower count compares to a few other companies within your business segment. Ahh, the competition! Darth Vader: “If he could be turned, he would be a powerful ally”

Using 3rd party platforms and LinkedIn data.

There are many platforms that will allow you to view your company page data and will also allow you to download it. For example, Buddy Media from SalesForce will allow you to link up your page and then view the data in the analytics section. I can view the number of updates and interactions over any date range. It will also give you trend data, if these figures are trending up or down. The export in CSV file format will also allow you to view interaction broken down into likes and comments. Now you can graph out to assess your most interactive post! Darth Vader approves of this type of analysis, but you cannot tell if he is smiling when he does his own analysis. For group analysis, I recommended using Engagor.

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Group statistics -
Darth Vader: “With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy”

If you have a profile in LinkedIn, it is likely that you have opted to join at least one group. LinkedIn opened up the group statistic dashboards so that they are public. I recall the day very well! Now we can look before we choose to join a group. Is it active? Are the members based only in a few countries or spread globally? Are directors and senior managers in the group? All is revealed;

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If you have the ability to run polls in your group, you can use this as a valuable resource for opinion data (UPDATE; LinkedIn’s Sponsored Poll product will be shut down as of April 17th 2014)

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If you want to gain much more deeper insight information for a LinkedIn group that you are an admin of, I suggest to contact LinkedIn to arrange to have to a custom group arrangement. This is invaluable for rich data on how your group is growing and I have experience of this for a number of years.



In Summary

In addition to the profile, company page and group statistics that I have mentioned, there is also information that you can get if you have paid for recruitment seats, or run inmails, or have a career section open on your company page. If you are an online marketer, and you have a business that has a B2B approach, then LinkedIn will be a valuable social network for your business. However, I advise to first plan your objectives carefully. What are you trying to achieve? Insights, leads, or new connections? You could even use the product and services section to find new influencers that have recommended your products that also have an ability to get others to engage with what they have done.

Darth Vader: “Impressive. Most impressive. Obi-Wan has taught you well”




Clive Roach


I am a social media strategist, blogger and speaker about social media marketing. This blog is a fun outlet for me to talk about new trends and applications, especially helpful if you are new to Social media. Subscribe and learn about how to use and adopt Social media for Marketing, and keep up with the latest news. I am also the Head of Social Media for Philips Lighting. I am active with strategy development, activation, governance, projects and educational training activities for all aspects of social media within Philips Lighting. I have been working in the digital marketing area since 1997, and previously held roles in engineering, design and sales. In addition to this blog, I tweet daily on two Twitter accounts, have two Facebook pages, Google+, Pinterest, So.cl, Instagram, and participate in many other social networks.


Connect with me via: Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook fan page | SlideShare

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The Dummies’ Social Media Guide to Thought Leadership Portals


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(Click for a larger image version)


The Dummies’ Social Media Guide to Thought Leadership Portals

Thought leadership, what is it? Wikipedia defines a thought leader as “an individual or firm that is recognized as an authority in a specialized field and whose expertise is sought and often rewarded.” If we take this definition, a company that creates a thought leadership portal seeks to be recognized as an authority in a specialized field. This is over and above a normal web site, that often promotes products and services. Expertise is different. It needs a special approach. The Wikipedia definition mentions rewards. A basic reward in a social media context would be for a thought leadership portal to help establish a company as the most talked about within a specialized field compared to its competitors. The most talked about should lead to advantages in referrals, leads and sales. Why would you bother to create a thought leadership portal if it gave you no reward(s)?

Let’s explore the social media aspects of thought leadership portals from six major companies including Coca Cola, SAP, Intel and others.
 - What was the social media impact?
 - What lessons can we learn?
 - How can thought leadership portals be created that drive business results?


Adidas Go All In

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Adidas has a thought leadership portal called ‘Go All In’, which has some interesting, mainly sports related content, with vibrant images, videos, and appealing stories. There are three sections; News, Events and Challenges. Within each section, you can view articles ranging from the latest to the most popular. You can also filter by interest or filter by all posts. Only the News section contained articles. I am surprised the other two sections were not loaded with content at launch. Challenges sounds like it could have added some viral impact.

Social sharing is included courtesy of Gigya. This produced a more elegant share experience very much aligned with the style of the Adidas “Go All In” site.

Users are given the opportunity to comment on each article, so Adidas is the only thought leadership platform I have reviewed for this post that supports this functionality. However, the vast majority of articles do not have any comments, which I find odd. I only found four articles that had comments. The only issues I found on the Adidas site were that the terms of service and privacy policy links were faulty.

http://discover.adidas.com/com/goallin/


Coca Cola Journey

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The Coca Cola journey is available for eight countries plus global. It has six sections; Front page, Brands, Videos, Food, Music and the well named “Unbottled”, which is a blog. This was my favorite section. I quickly noticed this article “Share Your Story #OutofOffice: What Inspires You? Send us your photos, videos and stories!” which was accompanied by a big red call to action button “upload your photos”. In the music section you can play music from Coca Cola via Spotify. You can submit recipes in the food section, and there are also polls. Here is a poll from the food section;

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I was soon given an opportunity to sign up to their newsletter by a pop up box that said “Thanks for Visiting! We’re on a mission to refresh the world, one story at a time. Try our newsletter, The Optimist, and see for yourself!”

I love the tone of voice on this portal. Examples of fun “must visit” sections on the Front page are “just poured”, “Staff pics” and the “stay and sip” section. So much content, every section brimming with images, things to do and read.

This portal also includes quick links to the company’s branded social media accounts. Well done Coca Cola.

http://www.coca-colacompany.com/


Pepsi pulse

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This is a major portal initiative, evident by the huge choice of languages. The interface is filled with articles ranging from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, audio (via soundcloud) and video. The result is a ginormous range of user generated content and branded posts. I felt very much involved in the Pepsi brand message after a few minutes browsing. Each article can be shared to Google+, Twitter, Facebook etc. The sections are what’s now, your voice, spotlight, brands and contact. The “What’s now”section has the Pepsi content and the “Your voice” section is where you will find the user generated content. “Brands” is the section which contained the product information. In summary, a fully immersive experience, with a nice mix of cool Pepsi content and user generated content delivered in a highly visual interface, with a huge selection of languages and lots of social sharing opportunities. Bravo Pepsi!

http://www.pepsi.com/


Intel IQ

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So how does Intel describe their IQ portal? "iQ by Intel explores technology culture, news, trends, innovations, and the people behind them. We focus on the role of technology in our daily lives and human ambitions for making the world a better, more interconnected place. We dig into health, entertainment, fashion, sports, automotive, and other areas to understand how science and design bring new experiences to the things which fascinate us. iQ is where we hear from experts, innovators, researchers, and futurists who help us understand the benefits and challenges these new technologies bring to our lives. iQ by Intel is brought to you by the employees of Intel and our global partners."

The site mainly has the articles presented in a grid design. The IQ Intel portal only has Twitter, Facebook and email share buttons. There is no user generated content or collaboration opportunities.

http://iq.intel.com/


Ford Social

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Fordsocial describes itself as a "fresh way of thinking, interacting and creating that puts you in the driver’s seat. Ford friends, fans and aficionados—this is for you. A place to share your stories, pics, ideas and more. So press play to see what Ford Social has to offer. And then come on in and be a part of the action". This description is very accurate as this thought leadership portal allows user generated content to be posted, unlike many of the others. Users can also read about first-hand experiences from other members and submit their own.

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In addition they can post ideas and submit pictures. You can also grab a badge that shows your love for Ford. A very nice easy to use portal.

http://social.ford.com/


GE Reports

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GEReports has been around for many years. Interesting to see that it is located on Tumblr. "GE Reports is a daily, award-winning online magazine published by GE. The website and its companion Twitter handle feature stories about innovation, science and technology, as well as viewpoints on important issues regarding GE and the world". This portal makes use of the standard share bar in Tumblr, so that Tumblr users can like and reblog articles and follow GEReports in Tumblr. In addition, GE has added social share options for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Reddit for each article.

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There is no user generated content or collaboration opportunities.

 http://www.gereports.com/


SAP Business Innovation

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This portal has sections called the Future Of Business, Technologies, Line Of Business, Industries and finally SMB. All the main navigation sections except SMB break down into smaller sections. The Technologies section breaks down into subjects like cloud, mobile, big data to mention a few. Each article has an AddThis share button bar as the main way to share. SAP allows non SAP people to become contributors on request by email. There is more than enough content to keep you interested; a proof point for opening up the portal to external authors. We shall see if the huge amount of user generated content would add anything to the social media impact of the SAP Business Innovation portal, and I repeat, the user generated content is huge here!

http://blogs.sap.com/innovation/


The Social Media Impact of Thought Leadership Portals

If your company created a thought leadership portal, you would expect that it would (or should) give your company some rewards, some business advantage. What are the benefits of having a thought leadership position?

"The benefits of Thought leadership start with brand affinity. By communicating thought leadership you become part of the conversation, early in the buying journey. You allow your audience to get to know you."

So be a part of the conversation, you must be found, be heard. I conducted a simple exercise to see how many social media mentions had occurred within the last 30 days directly linked or referring to an of the above six thought leadership portals. Here are the results:

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(Click for a larger image version)

There was not much between them, with the exception of SAP. It had almost 3x the figure of the smallest result. The SAP social media buzz was mainly powered by Twitter, but was the only one with a global spread. All the other five had their social buzz centered around the United States for the URLs listed in this post. All of the company results were strongest in Twitter with the exception of Pepsi, which had the majority of buzz generated via Facebook.


How To Create Thought Leadership That Drives Results?

I will conclude with 5 steps suggested by Michael Brenner (SAP), in a post published by Forbes.

  1. Identify the questions your customers are asking.
  2. Answer those questions.
  3. “Give to Get”. 
  4. Make it interesting. 
  5. Invite customers to participate.

These steps drive social media results. Business results are measured by a different bean counting device. Thought leadership platforms should be carefully plotted to track how they contribute. They might ideally be best deployed at the top wide end of the traditional sales funnel. They can contribute throughout the funnel, but this must be carefully plotted and measured.

The sections and content direction of thought leadership platforms must have their roots embedded within the key themes or segments of the business from the very start. Coca Cola once said that the “s” in social media did not stand for sales, and this blog post details the story behind that quite well. However, did Coca cola really understand what their platform should contribute and where and how?

Thought leadership platforms that just broadcast will not get the job done. Aim to create awareness, engagement opportunities and then conversion. Understand where the thought leadership portal “adds value” along this path and plot your digital Eco-system including all your relevant digital touch points, above the line, below the line, and hand shakes between them, and measure, and adjust for success!


Clive Roach


I am a social media strategist, blogger and speaker about social media marketing. This blog is a fun outlet for me to talk about new trends and applications, especially helpful if you are new to Social media. Subscribe and learn about how to use and adopt Social media for Marketing, and keep up with the latest news. I am also the Head of Social Media for Philips Lighting. I am active with strategy development, activation, governance, projects and educational training activities for all aspects of social media within Philips Lighting. I have been working in the digital marketing area since 1997, and previously held roles in engineering, design and sales. In addition to this blog, I tweet daily on two Twitter accounts, have two Facebook pages, Google+, Pinterest, So.cl, Instagram, and participate in many other social networks.


Connect with me via: Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook fan page | SlideShare

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inside-social:

Interpreting Social Data: Delight, don’t aggravate consumers with your ‘insights’
Posted by: Pete Holley, TBG’s Head of Research
As the data revolution takes hold, marketers are getting more interested in concepts like correlation in order to interpret consumer buying behaviour.  However, as Pete Holley, TBG’s Head of Research, explains, correlation and causality is not the same thing. Marketers need to be careful when drawing inferences from Social Data.
Read More

Correlation is a measure of the association between two (or more) things.  It’s quantified using correlation co-efficients.  A correlation of 1 means there’s a perfect straight-line relationship between your two variables, so that if one increases, the other increases by the same amount:


"Ultimately, the only way to predict future events is to study how known past events manifested. The grey area between correlation and causation may not matter as much if you can prove that event A is usually followed by event B. You will never be right 100 percent of the time, but then again, what predictions are? The problem with Social Data is also a problem for “big data”: A lack of context can easily skew results. Thoughtful analysis can tell us a lot, but only if context asks the right questions. Brands that do this well will delight consumers, but those that get it wrong will aggravate them. For everyone’s sake, it’s critical to stay on the right side of the Delight-Aggravate continuum" 
Read More


 I am a social media strategist, blogger and speaker about social media marketing. This blog is a fun outlet for me to talk about new trends and applications, especially helpful if you are new to Social media. Subscribe and learn about how to use and adopt Social media for Marketing, and keep up with the latest news. I am also the Head of Social Media for Philips Lighting. I am active with strategy development, activation, governance, projects and educational training activities for all aspects of social media within Philips Lighting. I have been working in the digital marketing area since 1997, and previously held roles in engineering, design and sales. In addition to this blog, I tweet daily on two Twitter accounts, have two Facebook pages, Google+, Pinterest, So.cl, Instagram, and participate in many other social networks.
 Connect with me via: Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook fan page | SlideShare


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inside-social:

Interpreting Social Data: Delight, don’t aggravate consumers with your ‘insights’

Posted by: Pete Holley, TBG’s Head of Research

As the data revolution takes hold, marketers are getting more interested in concepts like correlation in order to interpret consumer buying behaviour.  However, as Pete Holley, TBG’s Head of Research, explains, correlation and causality is not the same thing. Marketers need to be careful when drawing inferences from Social Data.

Read More

Correlation is a measure of the association between two (or more) things.  It’s quantified using correlation co-efficients.  A correlation of 1 means there’s a perfect straight-line relationship between your two variables, so that if one increases, the other increases by the same amount:

"Ultimately, the only way to predict future events is to study how known past events manifested. The grey area between correlation and causation may not matter as much if you can prove that event A is usually followed by event B. You will never be right 100 percent of the time, but then again, what predictions are? The problem with Social Data is also a problem for “big data”: A lack of context can easily skew results. Thoughtful analysis can tell us a lot, but only if context asks the right questions. Brands that do this well will delight consumers, but those that get it wrong will aggravate them. For everyone’s sake, it’s critical to stay on the right side of the Delight-Aggravate continuum" 

Read More

Correlation


Clive Roach


I am a social media strategist, blogger and speaker about social media marketing. This blog is a fun outlet for me to talk about new trends and applications, especially helpful if you are new to Social media. Subscribe and learn about how to use and adopt Social media for Marketing, and keep up with the latest news. I am also the Head of Social Media for Philips Lighting. I am active with strategy development, activation, governance, projects and educational training activities for all aspects of social media within Philips Lighting. I have been working in the digital marketing area since 1997, and previously held roles in engineering, design and sales. In addition to this blog, I tweet daily on two Twitter accounts, have two Facebook pages, Google+, Pinterest, So.cl, Instagram, and participate in many other social networks.


Connect with me via: Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook fan page | SlideShare

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Reblogged from inside-social

New Klout is out, but has it improved?


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New Klout is out, but has it improved?

On the 6th Feb 2014 the new Klout was launched with the hashtag #NewKlout.

I recall creating a blog post when Klout had its last major overhaul in Aug 2012.

Has the new Klout improved with today’s update? Did they make changes to the algorithm? Can we still dish out +K to people who influenced us? Are there more changes on the way? Read on..

The process to add +K seems to have gone under the radar, but Klout insist it is still there. We can still give +K by searching for a user and then rolling over (and clicking) on one of their topics.


What has disappeared from Klout this time?

The functionality to see lists of members by Klout Score and topic has disappeared. Klout has launched many things that it later killed off. Do you recall the Klout achievement badges? Two years ago I created a blog post about those colorful badges long since killed off.


Create and Share great content

This is the biggest change by far for new Klout, especially so since it is the first item you see when you login. You can also navigate to this section via the “create” menu option, which is the top item in the navigation, with the link where you can view your score now moved to the third position.

Klout describes this section as "helping you to find great articles and posts worth sharing with your audience. Unlike most apps that suggest content for your personal consumption, Klout intelligently recommends content that will strike a chord with your unique set". Did it switch you on?
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You can add your own topics to those that Klout has recalled from the previous interface. You can review the articles and select the thumbs up or down bottom to indicate what you want to see more of and less of. You can see the source, date and category of each content item.

Where does Klout get the content from and how do they know if it fits your network? Klout currently monitors posts from a mixture of social media (like Twitter and Facebook) as well as a hand-curated list of thousands of RSS feeds from diverse publishers with whom they do not have financial relationships. By combining their natural language processing technologies with their understanding of you and your audience, Klout recommends content that is topically relevant and predicted to resonate with your audience.

Content can appear with a label so you get a feel of how new it is. All the content articles look new, so I wonder what extra impact the labels will have?

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This is an interesting move to supply curated content. If you have a high Klout score it is likely that you already share content. So adding this section might be a driver to get more time spent in the Klout site itself and a reason to come back more often? We shall see over time if this has the desired effect. There is no advertising on the site, but the Klout Perk program is still alive and kicking so maybe the create section might help with the visits to the Klout Perk page? Maybe obtaining better quality perks might have been a simpler idea if that was the aim to have more return visits? We shall see!


Scheduled updates

You can also schedule posts. The interface first asks you what timezone you are in.

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Here is piece of content I selected to share and I scheduled it for my Twitter account.

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The tweet was sent out on time, and looked OK. See it here. Notice that the scheduled tweet used a Klout short link.


Measure

The Klout score information has now been moved to the “measure” menu option. Not many changes here. You can still see a list of the posts that contributed to your score, but they are no longer labelled “moments”. I had previously described Klout “moments” in detail soon after it was first introduced.

You can also see a breakdown of your score.

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The activity shown in the measure section contributes to your Klout Score. Only you can see this information. Activity should appear within
72 hours.


Settings

In the settings section you can review your connected networks as well as change your email address used by Klout and a few other choices are available there.

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Has the scoring algorithm changed?


The simple answer, no.


Are more changes on the way?

The simple answer, yes. I quote Klout; "over the coming weeks we’ll be launching tools that help you with original content creation and provide deeper insights into your impact on social."


In summary

Klout has tried a few ideas over the years. From achievement badges, to moments and the +K. Now we have the most simplest interface yet. Lean and mean with the addition of content that Klout users can share. A few will no doubt look to the fact that there were no changes to the scoring algorithm as a missed opportunity. There are many shortcomings which are still yet to be addressed, like not having self hosted WordPress blogs available as a connected account type contributing to the scoring.

My view is that the interface is less cluttered and less gimmicky. Will they add the Klout Cinch question and answer appliation in a future update for all countries?  I have answered a few of those Cinch questions via the former Klout website but I cannot install the app unless I am in a country where it is supported and it is not shown anywhere on the new site. Will they address the longstanding issues with the scoring? Do we all still care anymore as we have all found other ways better placed to measure influence than one numerical score. We shall see.


Clive Roach


I am a social media strategist, blogger and speaker about social media marketing. This blog is a fun outlet for me to talk about new trends and applications, especially helpful if you are new to Social media. Subscribe and learn about how to use and adopt Social media for Marketing, and keep up with the latest news. I am also the Head of Social Media for Philips Lighting. I am active with strategy development, activation, governance, projects and educational training activities for all aspects of social media within Philips Lighting. I have been working in the digital marketing area since 1997, and previously held roles in engineering, design and sales. In addition to this blog, I tweet daily on two Twitter accounts, have two Facebook pages, Google+, Pinterest, So.cl, Instagram, and participate in many other social networks.


Connect with me via: Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook fan page | SlideShare

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