Tired of getting rejected on LinkedIn? Check out these tips.

LinkedIn is a great platform for networking, but there’s always a chance of being rejected by those who you request to connect with. Maybe the person wasn’t notified or hasn’t had time to log into LinkedIn or just maybe the person wasn’t sure they wanted to connect with you (and you thought Facebook was dramatic).

Joshua Steimle offers some tips on “how to reach out the right way and make sure your next LinkedIn connection request is accepted”.

  1. Complete your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you provide details, have more endorsements than from just one person, and include a good photo.
  2. Use proper spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. This is pretty self-explanatory.
  3. Customize your request message. This is Steimle’s #1 tip. Only use the default message when you’ve already communicated with the person and you’re positive that they know who you are.
  4. Connect, don’t sell. Don’t try to sell something in your connection request.
  5. Get my name right. Once again, pretty self-explanatory.
  6. Don’t put important requests within your connection request. The information may get lost – save it for a LinkedIn message or email.

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These are great suggestions that I will incorporate into my criteria for deciding whether or not to accept LinkedIn connection requests. What are your criteria for accepting or rejecting connection requests?

Using emerging media to boost digital identity

Today, creating a digital identity is much more than launching a corporate Web site. Consumers are using the Internet to find out information about everything from people to products to companies. In addition to a corporate Web site, companies should also think about incorporating forms of emerging media that may include blogging, e-commerce, and social media.

A recent GlobalWrites.com article discussed “The Basics of Creating a Digital Identity”. The first step to creating a digital identity is to establish a corporate Web site. It’s important for companies to remember the importance of the site’s design. The Web site should integrate social engagement elements and ensure an attractive design, ease of navigation, and promotion of the site. These elements will increase the likelihood that consumers will visit and re-visit the site and have a positive user experience.

The second step is to “Get on the Social Media Scene”. Social media can be used to promote the corporate Web site and drive traffic to it.

“William Arruda says in his Marketing Profs article about Personal Branding Trends in 2014, “Today, regardless of your role or level, understanding how to use social media to do your job better is a requirement. Whether you’re sourcing staff, building marketing campaigns, enhancing relationships, developing new products, designing print ads, or performing market research, you will thrive only if you know how to harness social media to deliver greater value to your company.””

The third step is to “Blog, Blog, Blog”. You may be familiar with “location, location, location” but in the digital marketplace this has evolved into “Blog, Blog, Blog”.

Here are some blogging stats as reported by Lacy Boggs of Ghostblogger:

  • Brands that create 15 blog posts per month average 1,200 new leads per month.
  • B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not blog.
  • Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links.

#LastSelfie: World Wildlife Fund using Snapchat to raise awareness

For those of you unfamiliar with Snapchat and/or “selfies”, here’s the rundown:

Snapchat: A photo messaging application that allows users to take photos and videos and add text and drawings. The media, known as “Snaps”, can then be sent to a controlled list of recipients for a specified amount of time (usually between 1 and 10 seconds), after which will be hidden from recipients.

Selfie: A self-portrait photograph that is typically taken with a digital camera or camera phone and often shared on social networking sites.

Snapchat and selfies go hand-in-hand and the World Wildlife Fund is using the platform to raise awareness of just how quickly endangered animals can disappear. The WWF launched the compelling #LastSelfie campaign this month, which “connects Snapchat with endangered animals in a video. Each messages sent on Snapchat are unique such as animals which unfortunately can disappear as quickly as Snapchat messages. The analogy is easily understandable but very expressive such as the #LastSelfie hashtag.” The campaign can be found on Snapchat under the account of WWF_DK.

LastSelfieWWF1

I love that the World Wildlife Fund is using Snapchat and selfies to reach a younger demographic in order to raise awareness of endangered animals. What do you think of the #LastSelfie campaign?

Facebook’s changing rules to impact marketing

 

Facebook announced plans to change its news feed algorithm in order to display more “news” stories. This change will impact businesses, especially small businesses, which use the platform as a means of free advertising. The change will be more obvious on mobile devices and is “designed to give a major boost to popular pieces of content,” but “will also have a big impact on marketers’ ability to reach consumers on the platform through organic posts”.

An article by Karen E. Klein discusses Facebook’s decision and offers some tips for businesses on how to deal with the change. The article states that businesses are naïve for thinking that free exposure on such a popular platform was never going to end and reminds businesses that buying ads gives them the best opportunity to reach consumers.

Klein suggests to keep posts relevant to what consumers want – sales and promotions – and to be aware of timing and share-ability of posts. Businesses can also encourage consumers to “opt-in” to their posts by adjusting their news feed setting. Finally, businesses should adapt rather than completely break-up with social media.  The article states that “while these developments may discourage small business owners, they shouldn’t drop social media from their marketing strategies”.

What are your thoughts on Facebook’s decision? Do you agree or disagree?

How do you think this will impact small business marketing?

Do you think that other social media platforms will follow suit?

Interested in running an ad campaign on Instagram? You better have an extra $1M lying around

A recent article on AdAge.com revealed that the photo and video-sharing site does not have a rate card for ads and month-long campaigns can easily reach close to $1M depending on desired reach and frequency.
Despite the cost, companies are fueling Instagram’s ad business. Ad Age recently reported that the company, Omnicon, has agreed to a year-long Instagram campaign worth nearly $100M. Taco Bell and Chobani have also announced their plans to incorporate an Instagram campaign lasting three to four weeks each.

So, what makes Instagram’s ad space so valuable?

The focus on quality over quantity is the biggest asset. The AdAge.com article explains that Instagram is “continuing to set the bar high for ad creative, urging prospective advertisers to produce beautiful, print-worthy images that fit the aesthetic of the app, according to sources.”

Is it worth it?

It’s probably too early to determine whether or not the Instagram ad campaigns have been successful, but early research is in favor of the photo and video-sharing site. In November 2013, several brands, including Ben & Jerry’s and Levi’s, launched Instagram campaigns. Here are some of the results as provided by Robert Hof’s Forbes article:

Reach
• “All four initial ad campaigns measured were successful at delivering the broad reach our advertisers were seeking.”
• “The marketers achieved a high impact with a very low average frequency of ad impressions per user.”
• “Levi’s reached 7.4 million people in the U.S. across a nine-day period, targeting people aged 18-34.”
• “Ben & Jerry’s reached 9.8 million people in the U.S. over eight days, targeting people aged 18-35.”

Ad Recall
• “Across the four campaigns, there was a 32-point incremental lift in ad recall per campaign for people who were repeatedly exposed to a particular campaign versus control groups.”

Awareness
• “Across the four campaigns, there was a ten-point incremental lift in brand message awareness per campaign for people who were repeatedly exposed to a particular campaign versus control groups.”
• “In particular, seventeen percent of people who saw a single ad for Ben & Jerry’s Scotchy Scotch Scotch-flavored ice cream not only became aware of the new flavor, they also associated it with the brand”

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What are your thoughts on utilizing Instagram for an ad campaign? Is it worth the cost?

Social media fatigue: What it is and ways to avoid it

Feeling exhausted and overwhelmed by social media? If so, you may be suffering from something called “social media fatigue”.

Techopedia defines social media fatigue as something that “refers to social media users’ tendency to pull back from social media when they become overwhelmed with too many social media sites, too many friends and followers and too much time spent online maintaining these connections. Boredom and concerns about online privacy are also linked to social media fatigue.”

In the past few years, the number of social media platforms for personal, corporate, and professional use has exploded. Many users, especially early adopters, feel that they need to join every new platform that pops up which often leads to social media burn out.

A current trend shows that early adopters are beginning to rationalize their networks and many users are even abandoning some of the platforms. Ray Wang discusses this shift by saying “from loss of interest in Google+, Empire Avenue, to even FaceBook, people have started to selectively choose networks to combat overload and social media fatigue.”

Social media is going through what Wang calls the “five phases of the disruptive technology life cycle”.

• Phase One: “Eager early adopters.” With social media, early adopters enthusiastically experiment with new platforms and “attempt to apply the medium to everything.”

• Phase Two: “Ubiquitous usage.” Social media was, and still is, rapidly adopted by consumers across the globe.

• Phase Three: “Relevant rationalization.” Companies and consumers will only use the social media platforms that are necessary in any given situation.

• Phase Four: “Fatal fatigue.” Consumers will begin to abandon social media for various reasons, including irrelevant content and overwhelming advertising.

• Phase Five: “Revival and Rejuvenation.” A new era of engagement will follow once the social media platforms have matured.

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So what can be done to avoid social media fatigue? Sukhraj Beasla offers some tips for staying sane and avoiding social media burn out.

First, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to be on every social media site out there. You should determine which social media platforms work for you and focus your energy there.

Second and third, get organized, plan out a social media calendar, and then schedule it out. (This really only applies to business-related social media, unless maybe you’re really organized.) To make things easier, you could also link your various social media accounts.

Fourth, remember to keep it simple. You probably know what works and what doesn’t, so it won’t hurt to repost or share something similar you posted a while ago.

And finally, Beasla reminds you to “be human.” If you notice social media fatigue start to set in, it’s time for you to step back and breathe.

Have you experienced social media fatigue? Do you have any other tips for avoiding social media burn out?

 

What’s Brewing at Starbucks?

Screenshot of Digital Tipping feature

Screenshot of Digital Tipping feature

Starbucks is set to release an improved mobile app for iPhones tomorrow, March 19th.  The new app will give customers a more streamlined design with easier access to their account and rewards information.  (The app can be downloaded from iTunes here.)

Adam Brotman, the chief digital officer for Starbucks, stated that “With more than 11 percent of transactions a week now happening with a mobile device in our stores, and nearly 10 million customers currently using our mobile app, we’re thrilled to make the digital experience even easier and more rewarding for our customers and partners.” 

Brotman went on to say that “This update to the Starbucks App for iPhone is an important next step in digital innovation at Starbucks and one of the many ways we’ll expand and improve our digital experience in the months to come.”

According to Starbucks, the following features will be available to customers:

  • Mobile payment
  • Digital tipping
  • Shake to Pay
  • My Starbucks Rewards status
  • Starbucks Card reload
  • Store Locator
  • Starbucks Card eGift

The original mobile app included many of these features, but Shake to Pay and Digital Tipping are new. 

Digital Tipping will allow customers to “show their appreciation to store partners by tipping through the Starbucks App for iPhone.  Customers are given the option to provide a tip in the following denominations: $0.50, $1.00, $2.00.” 

Shake to Pay will simplify mobile payments and will enable customers to “bring the barcode of their Starbucks Card front and center at any time, simply by shaking their mobile device.”

I’m a loyal Starbucks customer and I’m looking forward to checking out the new app. 

What are your thoughts on Starbucks’ new app?  Any suggestions on other features that should have been added?