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Find the Perfect Fit

LinkedIn is making moves to be one of the largest social media platforms for professionals. The shift is growing toward more members who are looking for freelance work and members who are growing into entrepreneurship.

LinkedIn has capitalized on this with Profinder. But how does this relate to you as a business or a job seeker? Watch this week's Hard Facts with Samantha for more information on how this will help you find the right career fit.

We’d love to hear what you have to say. Comment below and follow us on Facebook.

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In This Week's Make Money Monday Sean V. Bradley discusses how to use social media as a way to connect to your prospecting. Many car dealers give up after not being able to connect the first time, Sean explains further ways to connect with them!
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PODCAST - Use The Right Buzz Words

People think social media is super easy, and it is when you are using it for fun.  It's a totally different game when you're using it for business, things get more complex and the outcome is far more important. The object of social media will always be to drive traffic, not to drive sales (although it should be noted that traffic turns into sales!) To drive traffic you need to get engagement, and the easiest way to get engagement is to use buzz words! Buzz words help force engagement, and like you probably guessed, every social media platform has it's own set of buzz words! Take a listen to our Podcast to get some insight into which words you should be using in your posts!  We cover a lot, and if you are curious for more information definitely click the link to check out the original article! As always, feel free to comment things you would like to hear about next and of course enjoy!

PODCAST - Using Buzz Words

You can read the original article here - Words That Get Shared

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Linking up to LinkedIn!

We’ve already covered that it’s important to publicize and promote your business via social media. To date we’ve covered some of the more obvious social media platforms, but today we’re going to cover LinkedIn. While Facebook and Twitter are the mullet of social media (business in the front, party in the back) LinkedIn is pure business.  At its core, LinkedIn is a website for professional networking, but it can also be used to promote your business and brand!

In 2002, LinkedIn was launched by Reid Hoffman in a living room and less than a year later, the site was ready for its official launch on May 5th, 2003. The CEO Jeff Weiner crafted his LinkedIn management team with people who work for important companies such as PayPal, Google, Microsoft and more, this was crucial to the sites success.  Without strong names on the helm, there was no doubt that the site was constructed properly. According to LinkediN’s about us section(http://www.linkedin.com/about-us) the site is the largest professional network in the world and currently has members in over 200 territories and countries in the world. The site has 300 million users (1.7 million of which log in daily) and allows people to network on a professional level. A main profile page is created, which at a base level, reads as your resume. This profile includes a professional summary about yourself, your job history, education and a spot for people to endorse you for the skills you have self-identified.

Another component to LinkedIn are the groups you can join.  Each group has a purpose, whether it be to connect to people in your industry, or share relevant content to a specific culture, the possibilities are endless! Yet another use for LinkedIn, job searching; Companies continuously post job opportunities for both internal and external candidates.  Finding a job posting on LinkedIn is beneficial because you are in a great spot to check out the company before you apply.

To wrap things up, keep in mind that whether you are posting on your main feed or within groups, keep it professional. You want to promote content that is relevant to your company and share other relevant content as well. As with anything, people like credibility and do not want to hear about your company only, BE ENGAGING. LinkedIn is not your typical social network; You have the option to connect with people and message people. However, you are advised not to connect with people you do not know. It’s free to start, so get networking! 

Written By: CB & BL

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Use LinkedIn To Sell More Cars...

This is a great article I first read a few months ago about how LinkedIn is the best tool used by top sales reps to gain great leads. 

I recently interviewed 54 top salespeople about how they use LinkedIn to research accounts, prospect for leads, and generate sales. All of the study participants sell technology-based products to the IT departments of mid to large size companies.

The study included three types of salespeople: 33% were inside salespeople who sell exclusively over the phone, 41% were outside field reps responsible for acquiring new accounts, and 26% were outside field reps who managed existing client account.

The results suggest there are four basic LinkedIn user classifications:

Enthusiasts: Twenty-five percent of the study participants would be classified as “Enthusiast” LinkedIn users. Enthusiasts have fully developed LinkedIn accounts and use LinkedIn continuously during the day. They believe it is an important tool for generating product interest and promoting their company to potential customers. Enthusiasts were more likely to be outside salespeople responsible for acquiring new accounts. The average Enthusiast has around 700 contacts, and one had over 1200. Half of Enthusiasts have paid for an upgraded LinkedIn subscription at their own expense.

Casual: Forty percent of participants would be classified as “Casual” LinkedIn users who access their account on a regular basis. They consider LinkedIn a useful tool to research and learn more about prospective clients. Casual users have about 250 contacts on average, and all use a free LinkedIn subscription.

Personal: Fifteen percent of participants would be classified as “Personal” LinkedIn users. Their LinkedIn accounts have ample information about their job history and past accomplishments. Their main purpose for having a LinkedIn account is for job-related networking and they rarely, if ever, use LinkedIn for work-related purposes. Personal users averaged around 300 contacts.

Non-Participants: Twenty percent of the salespeople were “Non-Participants.” Non-Participants don’t have a LinkedIn account or their profile contains very little personal information and fewer than 20 contacts. They don’t consider LinkedIn a priority and seldom log-in to their account. These people were more likely to be older than Enthusiasts, and the majority worked in the same position or at the same company for many years.

Here’s how data from the first two groups breaks down:

How Salespeople Use LinkedIn

Contact Types

The composition of contacts varied greatly between Enthusiasts and Casuals. About 30% of Enthusiasts’ contacts were with existing clients, compared to only 5% for Casuals. Over 85% of Enthusiasts indicated they use their LinkedIn account to engage prospective customers during the sales process, while only 20% of Casuals did. Twenty percent of Enthusiasts contacts were prospective customers, on average, whereas it was less than 4% for Casuals. Partners (resellers, consultants, industry influencers, etc.) who affect customer purchasing decisions account for about 28% of contacts for Enthusiasts and roughly 17% of Casuals.

Customer Research

Every Enthusiast and nearly half of Casuals use LinkedIn to find out who they should contact in order to secure customer meetings. Over 90% of Enthusiasts and 65% of Casuals use LinkedIn prior to customer meetings to find out more about the people they will meet. Specifically, they are interested in where they have worked in the past and who they might know in common. Both groups also use LinkedIn extensively to verify a person’s title. About 55% of Enthusiasts and 10% of Casuals use LinkedIn to research their competition. In addition, Enthusiasts mentioned they will monitor a prospective customer’s connections to find out which competitors and salespeople are working on the account. Overall, LinkedIn was rated as a research tool (on a scale of one to five with five being highest) by Enthusiasts at 4.1 and 2.5 by Casuals.

Account Prospecting

Less than 15% of Enthusiasts and none of the Casuals ever reported making an unsolicited initial customer contact directly through a LinkedIn invitation. Nearly all salespeople commented they were fearful this would be perceived negatively by the prospective client. Instead, over 85% of Enthusiasts and 50% of Casuals indicated they would use LinkedIn to ensure they were contacting the right person but make first contact via email. The majority of both Enthusiasts and Casuals indicated their companies supplied better prospecting tools than LinkedIn. Overall, LinkedIn was rated as a prospecting tool by Enthusiasts at 3.8 and 2.1 by Casuals.

Use of Groups

On average, Enthusiasts belong to 12 groups and Casuals to four. Both Enthusiasts and Casuals indicated their main purposes for joining groups was to keep in touch with colleagues they worked with in the past, follow companies of interest, and to improve industry related knowledge or sales-skills. About 40% of Enthusiasts and less than 20% of Casuals responded that they belonged to groups that their prospective customers were part of. No one indicated they had generated an initial customer meeting based upon a group membership.

Existing Client Communication

Seventy percent of Enthusiasts and 18% of Casuals reported they had used LinkedIn to keep existing customers informed about their company’s offerings. Those who did used LinkedIn to send short messages that contained links to press releases, white papers, analyst reports, product announcements, and company produced videos. However, both groups overwhelmingly preferred to use e-mail to stay in touch with existing clients. LinkedIn was rated as an existing client communication by Enthusiasts at 2.1 and 1.5 by Casuals.

LinkedIn Generated Revenue

Over 40 percent of Enthusiasts indicated they have successfully generated revenue based upon LinkedIn-related efforts. Conversely, less than 20 percent of Casuals successfully generated revenue directly attribute to LinkedIn.

Overall, 18% of all survey respondents indicated they have generated additional sales as a direct result of their LinkedIn activities. However, this number is deceiving. In order to truly measure LinkedIn’s effectiveness you must take into account how many salespeople are Enthusiasts, Casuals, Personals, or Non-Participants.

SOURCE: http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/04/top-salespeople-use-linked/

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The Social Media Statistics for 2013 across Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest provide us with an interesting opportunity to review where we may want to spend our social media dollars and time in the coming year. Quicksprout recently published the below infographic outlining the major differences between the three social networks with some key statistics you should be aware of.

With Facebook a clear leader in terms of user base, dwarfing Pinterest (to be fair Pinterest has not been around as long), and doubling the user base of Twitter, you might assume that the largest social network is the best option for your content. However looking a little deeper, Facebook does have a slightly older user base than Twitter and Pinterest which may be of relevance to you if your target audience is between 35 and 54 years of age, however Twitter and Pinterest may be a better fit if your audience is between 18 and 35 of age.

Of course gender is always a key consideration when weighing up social media statistics, and Pinterest is certainly a good option if you’re target audience is women. Boasting the highest female user base, especially if you’re looking to sell online, Pinterest has a strong higher education and high earnings base which is sure to prove valuable in an e-commerce scenario. On the other hand if you’re marketing to men, you may want to look at Twitter or Facebook as the social network of choice in 2013. Both Facebook and Twitter boast similar user base statistics and present an excellent opportunity if your target audience is middle class male workers with University qualifications, so check your selling point.

With the previous target audiences in mind, when it comes to igniting e-commerce spend online, Facebook is king, however recent statistics have shown there is growing value on Pinterest. A driving factor which defines this is the visual nature of both these social networks, and is something Twitter has not fully embraced thus far.

When it comes to time spent online in 2013 across social networks, it’s quite astounding to note that Pinterest users spend over an hour on average which is almost unheard of. When compared with Twitter’s 36 minutes and Facebook’s 12 minutes, this is unusually high, and presents an unparalleled opportunity for those looking to sell, especially in the home and entertainment industries. Although Pinterest’s time on site is very high, it should be noted that both Twitter and Facebook users’ time on site is excellent and not to be discounted.

In summary 2013 is shaping up to be a changing year in the online social media landscape. The Pinterest user base and relationship with online spend is likely to grow, Facebook is likely to roll out more products changing the landscape time and time again, and the Twitter user base is likely to grow, however Twitter needs to counter the issue of visual content quite quickly to compete in the e-commerce space. When considering where to spend your social dollars, be aware of your target audience, and wherever possible take the time to improve the visual nature of your content and you should begin to see some great results.

Source: http://www.jobstock.com/blog/social-media-statistics-2013/

While I was studying this evening I happen to run across this very valuable information in regard to Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. As we all know Facebook is a clear leader in terms of user base but equally relevant like the article states Facebook does have a slightly older user base however, Twitter and Pinterest may be a better fit if your audience is between 18 and 35 of age.

In the automotive industry we can't unfortunately just spend all of our energy on just one media site it's imperative that we have a strong presence on all the aforementioned sites. In some industries your target market may be a certain age however, in the automotive industry our target market is all age groups.

It's imperative for dealers not only to just place emphasis on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. But it's also important to have exposure with the other sites like YouTube, LinkedIn, Craigslist and online classified ads just to name a few. Dealers are really dropping the ball when it comes to building brand awareness which will give a competitive advantage to the dealers that have a strong exposure on all these sites. It's like what Sean Bradley says when teaches about Googleopoly. Your dealership must dominate the first page of natural Google when consumers begin the research and buying process.

Last but not least some very intriguing information that I wasn't aware of was the amount of time that users spend on Pinterest versus Facebook and Twitter. Very compelling when you look at Pinterest users that spend over an hour online versus Facebook 12 minutes and Twitter users at 36 minutes.

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