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WOW. This is huge news.
MG Siegler writes for Techcrunch that LinkedIn is now their number two traffic referrer, surpassing Twitter.
As I wrote a few months back on this blog, it’s the huge potential in LinkedIn Today and Signal, adding context and direction to the clusterfuck of info that is Twitter. To see it eclipse Twitter as a referrer this quickly for a news destination like Techcrunch is simply mind blowing though.
To better understand the web’s new unfolding discovery matrix, I highly recommend this read (also on Techcrunch funny enough) from Mahendra Palsule, who is a Techmeme editor, and self-described platform-agnostic tech geek.
We are entering the AGE OF RELEVANCE. Hurrah!

WOW. This is huge news.

MG Siegler writes for Techcrunch that LinkedIn is now their number two traffic referrer, surpassing Twitter.

As I wrote a few months back on this blog, it’s the huge potential in LinkedIn Today and Signal, adding context and direction to the clusterfuck of info that is Twitter. To see it eclipse Twitter as a referrer this quickly for a news destination like Techcrunch is simply mind blowing though.

To better understand the web’s new unfolding discovery matrix, I highly recommend this read (also on Techcrunch funny enough) from Mahendra Palsule, who is a Techmeme editor, and self-described platform-agnostic tech geek.

We are entering the AGE OF RELEVANCE. Hurrah!

Filed under parislemon techcrunch twitter linkedin linkedintoday webdiscovery personalization relevance interestgraph

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How to Win Friends and Influence Data (err…people?) — The Network Pt. 2: LinkedIn

Your network is your strongest asset as a communications professional. Now, thanks to advancements of the programmable web, one is able to take their network from what were once closed platforms, and interact in exciting new ways for media and communications work.

The posts in this series detail our approach around the following networking tools we have picked to focus on at MaintainPR: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Reader, Techmeme, Flowtown, Klout, WeFollow, Listorius, and PostRank Connect.

The Network Pt. 2: LinkedIn

Back in the beginning of this month, amid the Angry Bird creators getting $40 million, and a whole slew of pre-SXSW mobile social group messaging announcements, a little web business called LinkedIn took some new features live. “Signal,” and “Today,” are both a kind of layer (with the former being for search and the latter for discovery)  for getting pointed towards the right topics through the help of your network.

I find LinkedIn to be indispensable, as I’m sure most do in the PR/Communications field, and have always respected the foresight of Reid Hoffman…especially admiring his ability on the business end to actually MAKE REVENUE! — and so it prides me to say that these two tools are well worth time and investment. Both “Today” and “Signal” add real value to the existing discovery methods powering them (Twitter and StumbleUpon for now) and also allow you to see which news your network is sharing the most on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Today, which you can access here, gives you a kind of Flipboard-inspired UI view of current stories discussed and shared in your network. At the top you’ll find a timeline of the most shared across all industries. Then a little further down, you get a breakdown by industry you follow. So for me it’s: Public Relations, Internet, and Online Media. Be sure to scroll all the way down and check out more suggested industries if you’d like to expand your news filter. I found the choices the site was making based on my connections to be great. You can even set a LinkedIn Today digest email to go out to you at a variety of intervals (e.g. Daily, Weekly, Monthly).

LinkedIn Signal is a filter for Twitter. Simple as that. It displays your network’s Twitter posts, and gives you the ability to browse only relevant tweets. So why is this so great for communications professionals? Because of the degree of filtering it offers over Twitter’s own Advanced Search. Take a look at the breakdown:

As you can see from the list of filters…and the added ability in Signal to just see trending links, it’s of massive value for staying on top of your industry without drowning in the “What I ate for breakfast” posts that litter the Twitterati.

Filed under linkedin twitter pr influence networking tools socialmedia

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How to Win Friends and Influence Data (err…people?) — The Network Pt. 1

Your network is your strongest asset as a communications professional. Now, thanks to advancements of the programmable web, one is able to take their network from what were once closed platforms, and interact in exciting new ways for media and communications work.

The upcoming posts in this series: How to Win Friends and Influence Data (err…people) — The Network, will detail our approach around the following networking tools we have picked to focus on at MaintainPR: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Reader, Techmeme, Digg, Delicious, Flowtown, Klout, WeFollow, Listorius, and PostRank Connect.

An important distinction to make between these tools and the ones we’ll feature under “The Message” section is that these are for finding and cultivating a network specific to a job function: communications; and not for dissemination or curation. But because of Facebook and LinkedIn’s immense popularity and the fact that they saddle both roles, they will appear in both sections. This post begins with the big blue giant, Facebook, and some exciting changes every communications professional should be aware of.

Two recent Facebook networking changes have recently been implemented without much fanfare from technology PR: Friends Lists and the brand new “Use Facebook as Page” feature recently introduced for Page admins who have switched to the new layout.

I have recently used the new Friends Lists to separate my contacts into the following categories: Friends, Family, Media, Entrepreneur, PR, Analyst, Developer, and SEO/Marketing/Social — I’ll probably tier these out even further, but this is all I need to start.

The purpose it serves is threefold. Firstly, having grouped my friends, family, and then work-related contacts separately, I can view updates from, and see who is online to chat with in these tiers. Very helpful for someone who needs to approach Facebook from both a work and recreational standpoint.

Secondly, by utilizing Featured Friends Lists in my profile settings, I can choose to display any of my lists in addition to general friends on my profile. This is helpful when trying to connect with someone I haven’t met offline, who is not yet in my contacts (whether Entrepreneur, Media, or Developer) because if we do not have many shared connections, they can at least see some of the other folks in their field who I interact with. Hopefully, if the names and faces are familiar to them, they will accept my request to add, and even consider allowing me to be a connector to help them network. Which brings me to the third purpose…one that I have not implemented yet, and might not do so well. I figure it’s worth a shot though.

I believe one should also consider Friends Lists as a gateway and targeted method to invite work-related contacts to Groups. If you think of the lists as a filter and organization method for the way you view Facebook, Groups are the next step in an organization method for engagement and outreach. That’s because once contacts you invite to join a group accept, you are able to moderate and curate messages and wall posts for said Group.

Given the fact that, if carried out right, this can surprisingly alter the traditional way a press announcement or networking opportunity takes place…I am really shocked I haven’t run across many PR folks trying the same thing. Adam Singer at Lewis PR has been on the forefront of recent Facebook changes, and is one exception. You can look forward to a summary of a webinar he is giving on the topic soon here.

Moving on, the Browse as Page feature is also really exciting, BRAND NEW (really like a few days old I believe), and a great opportunity for growing your audience of your Page, and hence your network. I’ll explain.

If you choose to transfer your Page to the new layout now (which is happening by default in March anyways) you will see an option under the dropdown menu of Account in the upper right corner to “Use Facebook as Page.” Clicking it will sign you out of your personal profile, and then allow you to interact with all of Facebook —- including other profiles and Pages, as the Page of your business or brand. By selecting this option, you can visit the Pages of other relevant industry professionals or commentators that you “Like,” comment on their walls and discussions when appropriate, and hopefully generate more views and audience for your own Page by doing so!

As stated earlier, Facebook is the giant of online communications and social media, and it will be referenced and talked about again many more times throughout these series of posts, but in the meantime, we hope to spark some debate and comments about the approaches above we are trying at MaintainPR. If you have comments or insight, please respond here, or on Ryan’s Quora threads: http://www.quora.com/Ryan-Sommer

Next week we’ll continue under The Network, but switch the focus to LinkedIn.

Filed under social media marketing public relations facebook linkedin klout google reader techmeme digg delicious flowtown wefollow listorius postrank communicaitons lewis pr adam singer

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How To Win Friends and Influence Data (err…people?) Pt. 2 — Is it OK to Outsource?

In this series of blog posts, we are fleshing out, in sort of real-time, our methods and structure for an “engagement tracking” system online. MaintainPR is a brand new social media and SEO focused consultancy and our goal is to be transparent during these formative steps of the business, to encourage discussion and comments, and hopefully learn more along the way. In this post, Ryan tackles outsourcing in social media.

Pt. 2 — Is it OK to Outsource?

This past week I was either reading my Small Business for Dummies guide (borrowed of course), pitching my Social Media Week event idea to random pubs and companies around Shoreditch (no luck thus far) … or sorting Facebook and Twitter contacts into lists. Twitter win. Facebook fail.

In the midst of all these tasks, even a social creature like myself can forget about the two most important cornerstones in social media marketing and PR: Presence, and Engagement.

I’ll get to to Engagement in the next post, but for now, let me ask this. Am I the only guy in the room who is thinking “Why shouldn’t I apply the guiding principal of the best selling book The 4-Hour Work Week to my social channels while I am focusing on the other, more important tasks?” Answer: No.

So…I sent an email to one of the larger, renowned “virtual assistant” service providers in India. What they came back with did not sell me on the idea. Here’s why.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept, author Timothy Ferriss outlines a blueprint in the above mentioned book on how to dodge the office life, get the help of India-based professional assistants who know more about Excel and Powerpoint than you do anyway, and begin a jet-setting existence where you manage everything you do professionally in between heliskiing and snorkling adventures in Costa Rica.

Yes, I sort of read the book. And I definitely know more than a few managers who were obviously trying their hand at the promise land…but that’s getting off topic.

What I was looking for in my virtual assistant was someone who could help me grow my inbound social presences. What I mean by “inbound” is not my communication channels (i.e. Facebook and Twitter), but rather my sources for social discovery, mainly: Delicious, Google Reader, Digg, Reddit, and LinkedIn — hell even Tumblr since the friend finder on this platform sucks!

I had methods in mind that I would be willing to pay a going rate for, but what I got back from my contact didn’t win much confidence. Here is the thread:

Ryan: Sorry for the delayed reply. $180 (or $18 and hour) seems a little high. Can you explain a bit more about how XXXX would approach the following goals:

Grow my networks on De.li.cious and Digg with influential contributors who bookmark/digg items involving social media and mobile application trends first. Expand and categorize my Google Reader account with appropriate upcoming bloggers in the same spaces (social media and mobile applications) as defined by industry standard rankings. And finally, include me in the appropriate groups/contact spheres for these industries on LinkedIn.

Representative:  Random search by keying in some specific keywords will give a list of bookmarks related to the keywords. The users of those bookmarked links can be followed. Hence, a strong network can be created.

Please see our estimates below for 80 hour-a-month and 160 hours-a-month below : 80 hours-a-month  : US$ 1,360160 hours-a-month: US$ 2,480

Hmmmm…so I pay $15.50 an hour for him to type “social media” into Digg and Delicious and follow whomever is currently submitting in these topics. This is basically the same method many in the social media field approach Twitter. Pay someone or some bots to follow a bunch of people, then unfollow. Also notice there is no mention of the Google Reader question, and no mention to any sort of industry ranking service such as PostRank, Technorati…etc…

Based on this interaction, I am going to continue to slave away at the social web in the old school way…my actual interaction. But hey, maybe I’m wrong.

Do you have any good experience working relationships with outsourcing in social media? If so, I’d love to hear about them. I’ve added a question on Quora for this purpose: http://www.quora.com/Is-it-ok-to-outsource-inbound-social-media-channel-growth


Filed under maintainpr social media engagement outsourcing timothy ferriss the 4-hour workweek postrank technorati digg reddit delicious linkedin