5 Quick Tips for Requesting Connections on LinkedIn

Monday, 30 April 2012

Business etiquette is nothing new. Dress appropriately, be prepared, look people in the eye, give a firm handshake. But how does that translate to the online world of networking, conference calls and virtual meetings? LinkedIn etiquette advice abounds, but it’s something people still struggle with. Which is tough, since today it’s entirely possible to do all or most of your business online, rarely meeting your contacts face to face. And while there is no denying that meeting in real life is beneficial for business,  LinkedIn allows you to get a head start and “meet” people online, in a professional setting.

Connecting online can be a great first step towards meeting new clients, reaching out about a job opening, securing a recommendation or just reconnecting with old coworkers. But as a business networking site,  LinkedIn has its own unique set of quirks and unspoken rules to follow. Here’s how to navigate them.

1) Get Your Facts Straight

LinkedIn helps you find connections based on the information you provide them. They’ll also use this to pre-populate options for introducing yourself to connections, so take the time to fill out your bio as completely as possible. And be accurate! It doesn’t help to lie here; the last thing you want is connections asking for things you can’t deliver or employers spotting your exaggerations.

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Social Media Link Love: Friday, April 27

Thursday, 26 April 2012

The internet is awesome. (Duh.) But sometimes there’s too much information to read it all. So here are a few of the articles or interesting factoids I liked over the week. To keep up to date on everything I find interesting, from social media to shopping and every cookie recipe in between, follow me on Twitter @Alison. But this link roundup will give you the highlights from the past week. Enjoy!

10 Brands That Are Killing It On Pinterest Not sure how to use Pinterest for your brand? Get some marketing inspiration from these companies who know how (and what) to pin.

Absurd Tweets Illustrated If you’ve ever scratched your head at some of the random stuff posted on Twitter, these watercolors are for you.

The State Of The Web This humorous look at what’s up online by The Oatmeal gets to the heart of current digital news, and frustrations. (I especially like his take on Facebook news reader apps.)

Facebook Increases Profile Picture Size For Brands Facebook is at it again, this time making a small tweak to Timeline pages for brands. Their profile photos are rumored to be increasing to 160 x 160 pixels.

10 Internet Plagues If the internet was around back in the day…this is what the plagues would have looked like. Spam, trolls and of course, useless Facebook apps that melt your brain.

Facebook Real-Time Page Insights Page admins will now have (almost) real-time analytics for their page with updates posted every 15 minutes.

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Social Media Link Love: Friday, April 20

Thursday, 19 April 2012

The internet is awesome. (Duh.) But sometimes there’s too much information to read it all. So here are a few of the articles or interesting factoids I liked over the week. To keep up to date on everything I find interesting, from social media to shopping and every cookie recipe in between, follow me on Twitter @Alison. But this link roundup will give you the highlights from the past week. Enjoy!

Brands On Facebook Don’t Get The Picture Photos are ranked more highly than other content on Facebook, and brand pages need to get with the program. Don’t post links back to your site; show cool photos!

Find a Date Based on Your Klout Score If you’ve ever thought “I need to date someone with more social media influence” then this dating site is for you. Potentially useful for upgrades at Twitter-savvy restaurants.

How To “Like-Gate” Tabs in Facebook Timeline The default landing page for all organic Facebook brand traffic is now the Wall, but you can still like-gate fans with creative marketing.

5 Key Facebook Metrics to Measure Keep your eye on these simple-yet-useful measurements to track your effectiveness, engagement and influence on Facebook.

10 Twitter Tips for Public Figures I love seeing celebrities and CEOs actually using Twitter, not running through PR agencies. Follow these tips to do it right.

Look Like An Expert On Facebook This handy infographic is full of useful stats to help you become a Facebook “expert” in 5 minutes.

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How To “Like-Gate” Tabs and Content in Facebook Timeline

Monday, 16 April 2012

When Facebook pushed brand pages to the new Timeline layout a few weeks ago, a lot of questions arose. (See more about the changes here, here and here.) Savvy pages admins were quick to notice that the mandatory default landing tab for all pages is now the Wall, whereas previously each page could design and build a custom landing tab to draw fans in, explain the company and offer an incentive to “like” them on Facebook. This practice, called “like-gating” or “fan-gating” content, seemed to be a way of the past. Or is it?

Facebook Says: Buy Ads

Facebook issued a statement clarifying that while tabs (now called apps) can no longer be selected as the default landing page for non-fans, the practice of incentivizing new fans by hiding content and displaying only once a user “likes” the page is not gone. Rather, pages can send ad traffic to dedicated tabs for this purpose.

Facebook  is focused on making money, so it’s not surprising that they are pushing brands toward buying more ads. But how else can you make this work for you? Sure, if you’ve got a little money to spend, try out Facebook ads; their targeting capabilities are fantastic. But don’t stop there

I Say: Get Creative and Target Traffic Sources

Push your marketing team to think beyond what Facebook wants you to do and get inside the heads of potential fans. Send an email blast to your list that drives to a landing tab with an offer that’s revealed only when they click “like,” and tease that offer in the email. Cross-promote your brand and your social channels and tweet the link to this tab. Post it on your blog or an appropriate part of your site based on the content that’s there, and tie it back to the offer.

The beauty of this change to the default tab is that every page starts off on the same foot: organic traffic goes to the Wall. It’s up to you to make the most of other tabs. You can control who you send where, whether that is by buying Facebook ads and targeting certain keywords to different tabs, emailing your list based on selective criteria and tailoring Facebook offers to past behavior or linking from blog posts and lead forms to a tab offer that’s likely to get you more clicks, and more fans.

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Social Media Link Love: Friday, April 13

Thursday, 12 April 2012

The internet is awesome. (Duh.) But sometimes there’s too much information to read it all. So here are a few of the articles or interesting factoids I liked over the week. To keep up to date on everything I find interesting, from social media to shopping and every cookie recipe in between, follow me on Twitter @Alison. But this link roundup will give you the highlights from the past week. Enjoy!

Your Facebook Fans Are Your Best Customers Yes, I would have guessed this, but now Forrester has actual data to prove it. They found that “being a Facebook fan of the brand boosts purchase, consideration, and recommendation.”

How To Customize Facebook Tab Icons Give your Facebook page a mini-facelift with this easy guide to swapping out your own tab or app icons in the new Timeline layout.

Pinterest Contest Highlights Dangers of Driving in Heels Pinterest is all the rage right now, but many brands have struggled with how to actually use it to their advantage. This PSA is an effective and fun idea.

Stumbling Gets More Social With Facebook App Am I the only one who still uses StumbleUpon? Whatever, I love it. Confession: I often Stumble to find things to Pin. With the new app, I can Facebook ‘em too. Sweet.

Facebook Introduces New Instagram Filters This week’s big news was Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of photo sharing app Instagram. Obviously these “Facebook Filters” are a joke, but they’re pretty dead-on about the types of photos running rampant on the site.

Facebook Introduces New Instagram Filters

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Customizing Tab Icons: A Quick Facelift for Your Facebook Page

Monday, 09 April 2012

The switch to Timeline for Facebook brand pages brought a whole host of changes, such as a cover photo and milestones, as well as the way you monitor and manage a page. Another major change was the decreased presence of Facebook tabs, now called apps. The Wall is now the default landing tab for all pages, making it harder to “likegate” content by forcing users to “like” the page before displaying certain information. However, along with these somewhat negative implications for tabs, Facebook also released a handy new feature: the ability to easily control and update the tab or app icon.

Customizing Facebook Tab Icons

Facebook shows 4 tabs (now called apps) in the default display of a Facebook page. Users can then click to show up to 8 more, giving brands a total of 12 spots to play with. App pages can now be up to 810 pixels wide, providing greater flexibility for marketers and a better user experience for fans. App icons have gotten an upgrade as well, expanding from just 16 x 16 pixels to 111 x 74 pixels in the new Timeline format. And while app icons were previously controlled exclusively by the developer and left no room for customization, Admins can now switch out icons as often as they want.


To update a tab or app icon on a Facebook brand page you control, go to the Admin Panel and click “manage.” From there, select “edit page,” then navigate to the “apps” section on the left hand side and select “edit settings” for the tab you want to update. Select “change ” next to Custom Tab and upload the icon you want for that tab. Remember, your icon can be up to 111 x 74 pixels, so use the space you’ve got!

You can update the icon for all the apps except for photos, which is controlled by your most recently updated photos, and the “like” count. You can also rearrange apps to give the most prominence to current campaigns or new content.  Consider creating custom branded stock icons  for things like email signup, news, etc. and rotating campaign icons frequently to attract new viewers. With this icon customization option, you can give your Facebook page a quick an easy facelift whenever you want.

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Social Media Link Love: Friday, April 6

Thursday, 05 April 2012

The internet is awesome. (Duh.) But sometimes there’s too much information to read it all. So here are a few of the articles or interesting factoids I liked over the week. To keep up to date on everything I find interesting, from social media to shopping and every cookie recipe in between, follow me on Twitter @Alison. But this link roundup will give you the highlights from the past week. Enjoy!

April Fools’ Day 2012: Best of the Brand Hoaxes Good for a laugh, this look back at Sunday’s online prank-fest showcases come of the most creative April Fools’ jokes on the web.

Gilt To Offer Special Discounts Through Pinterest Flash sale sites like Gilt are taking the web by storm, as is Pinterest. But can the two work together?

What If ‘The Facebook’ Was Invented in the ’90s? What if indeed…this video is way over the top, but amusing. Especially if you remember when the news first started talking about Facebook.

Twitter #Hashtag Mug This is too cute not to post; it’s the pound sign handle that really makes it. I’d love to caffeinate with a cup of coffee in this mug.

Managing and Monitoring a Page With Facebook Timeline If you’re still getting the hang of Facebook Timeline, check out this quick guide to managing a page.

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Four Businesses That Can Benefit From a Pinterest Board

Monday, 02 April 2012

Not pinning yet? Here’s the recap on this new internet phenomenon and social network. Users, or “pinners,” sign up for Pinterest and roam across the internet, pinning images to virtual bulletin boards. Think of it like creating a mood board for a room you’re redecorating, or an inspiration folder for a wedding. Now multiply that times a million. You can create any kind of board you want and easily pin anything you find online with the click of a button. Image-heavy finds work best, so DIY/design inspiration and recipes with glamour shots of the finished dish abound on the site.

Other types of content can also be spread by pinners, but articles need a good summary image to accompany them for maximum virality on the site. (Think infographics as opposed to Wikipedia pages.) In that way, Pinterest represents an interesting new twist on content strategy and search engine optimization. But can you use it for business? Absolutely, particularly if you are in any of the professions below. If you haven’t jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon yet, now’s the time.

Contractor or Interior Designer

Pinterest is full of design inspiration, home decor and other projects to renovate or redecorate. And while many of these boards are intended as DIY inspiration, they are not a guidebook for building built-ins. That’s where you, the licensed contractor, comes in. Pin projects you’ve completed, and others you know you can do. Include helpful hints for easier projects and contact info for your services on more complicated jobs. Pinterest is a great place to find potential clients who are actively looking to redo their home, but might not have the skills to do it themselves.

Stylist or Personal Shopper

The visual nature of Pinterest makes it a hot spot for budding fashionistas. But not every trend looks good on every body, and some are hard to put together in a way that says “I read Vogue” as opposed to “I get dressed in the dark.” Enter the much needed services of a stylist or personal shopper. You can help steer these people toward figure-flattering pieces within their budget. Create boards for different body types, colors, trends, etc. Make it easy for them to take the first step toward seeing how helpful you are, and even easier to contact you to engage your services.

Makeup Artist or Hairstylist

Gone are the days where people saved magazine clips of haircuts before visiting the salon. Now we just pin hairstyles or makeup tricks to try. (Seeing the inspiration pattern here?) But again, the help of a professional is often recommended, if not required, to try some of these styles. As a makeup artist or hairdresser, you can use Pinterest as both your portfolio of clients you’ve styled, as well as looks you like and can help people achieve. Include tips for trying a smoky eye or beachy waves at home, as well as your contact info for attracting new clients.

Culinary Instructor or Caterer

Anyone who has ever followed a recipe online knows they often sound simple…but the end result can differ greatly from the dish pictured. A culinary instructor can use Pinterest to find potential clients who are pinning ambitious recipes and may need a little help to actually cook their pinned cuisine. A caterer, baker or other culinary professional will also be tipped off to people looking for the types of food they specialize in. Create boards that showcase signature dishes or recipes, and share kitchen tips and tricks. Of course, make your expertise and contact info easy to find.

Every Other Business Owner or Social Media Manager

The key to using Pinterest in these industries, or as any type of business, is to make your expertise obvious through both original pinned content and repins. People are actively looking for ideas here, and many require someone to make those ideas reality. Show your skills, and lead people to the natural conclusion that you can help them achieve the inspiration they are pinning about. Pinterest is not a sales channel, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a great place to drive leads.

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