LinkedIn’s IPO: How It Effects Social Networking

LinkedIn’s IPO: An Overview

I wanted to take a quick look into the LinkedIn IPO that Mashable discussed earlier today!

Since LinkedIn seems farther along than Twitter or Facebook at moving their venture forward, I wanted to take a second to discuss how the new LinkedIn IPO will affect how they deliver social networking services in the future.

The big issue to me is when the IPO’s come out, like LinkedIn’s IPO happened only after they were profitable. The revenue issue is a huge one for social networks, as well, because deciding how to set up a revenue model is a huge challenge that a lot of the sites that have relied upon financing will have to address as social networks go public.

Up until now, many of the social networks have kept a tight lid on the numbers. How much does Facebook make a year is not detailed. Additionally, Twitter is just developing their revenue model, so there is no way of knowing how viable it will be in the future. More than likely tweeting will not be profitable in the next year or two as they develop different ways to monetize the 165 million member strong site.

LinkedIn apparently became profitable in 2010 for the first time. Considering the company was started in 2002 that is very interesting for how viable Twitter is in terms of profitability. Facebook has been rumored to be profitable since 2009, and were started in 2004.

Turning to the giant of social networking. Facebook has estimated revenue of $2 Billion and a valuation of $57 Billion. Something does not add up here mathematically. When people put two and two together they will quickly realize that valuing a company that highly, no matter how many members they have, can be a very dangerous sport.

It will be interesting how social networking will change in the next two years as these companies go public and have to start bowing to the wants of investors. Right now more questions arise from LinkedIn’s IPO then answers.

Social Networking Power Profiles: CJ Jelinek

Every Thursday we have a new Social Networking Power Profiles. This week social networking power profiles is on CJ Jelinek, owner of JellyNeck Solutions. He is also the person who created Fieldtrax, the appointment scheduling software you can find on my sidebar (Probably will have a future post on this). Without further ado, here is CJ Jelinek, our Social Networking Power Profiles of the week!

Social Networking Power Profiles: CJ Jelinek

Name of principal(s): CJ Jelinek
Company: JellyNeck Solutions, Inc

Industry
: Web Design and Development

Marketing: Word-of-mouth

Time In Business: Incorporated in 2008, but in web development for over 12 years.

Website: www.jellysites.com

Twitter Id

jellysites

Bio: I spent many years designing and developing small business websites for various client types around the country. Although each and every one of the sites looked unique, I was spending a couple months on each one mostly due to the back end development (e.g. custom programming, CMS integration, etc). As a result, while I was charging a higher rate, my target audience was gradually expecting to pay less. I soon realized that in order to remain competitive, I had to reduce production time and lower my rates, while still producing the same quality websites. Since the bulk of my time was spent developing the back-end systems, I knew that I had to replace my custom-developed Content Management Systems with something more universal. After researching the various options (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc), I found that in order to do it right, I had to start from scratch. So I set out on a 6-month journey to build a completely unique platform from the ground up. The result is what I refer to as the Small Business Platform. In addition to the usual CMS features, it allows average, every-day users to build their own functionality without needing to know any HTML, PHP, CSS, MySQL, etc. In essence, it means you don’t have to hunt around for a plugin or hire a developer to create one when you need some sort of functionality. With this platform, I can now offer a custom-designed website with advanced functionality, in a fraction of the time, and at an extremely competitive price. And the best part is, instead of paying a developer, my clients can save the money and do it themselves. It’s the perfect one-stop solution for any small business. But it’s also a great platform for web designers and developers looking for an alternative to the usual CMS options.

When did you start using social networkin
g? I suppose it’s only been a couple of years. Time flies.

How did you start learning about social networking platforms? In-person event, classes, webinars, on the job experience?
Web development didn’t exist when I was in college. As a result, all of what I know today is self-taught. The same is true of social media. I gradually picked it up while promoting my business locally in Chicago.

What is your favorite social networking site for business? Why? For business, I would definitely say LinkedIn because of the high quality of connections. It’s like Facebook for professionals.

Do you have a specific strategy that you use to be more effective when using social networking? I tweet about my websites and platform enhancements as I go live with them. That gives me (and my clients) additional exposure—especially since my tweets are also displayed in LinkedIn.

How has it changed your business? I think LinkedIn lends professional credibility to my company, which often leads to offline conversations. And Twitter allows me to stay in front of people so they know what I’m up to.

What was your biggest mistake in social networking?
Focusing on mistakes just wastes time. Learn from them and move on.

What would you tell people starting out in social networking to focus on today? Focus on your work. If you can, hire someone to do the social media for you.

What direction do you see social networking going in the future? It’s obviously all the craze right now and will be here for some time to come. It will keep growing by leaps and bounds. But as with everything in life, nothing is permanent. This too will be replaced by the “next big thing”. So be sure to position yourself to be in front when it happens.

This has been your social networking power profiles for the week! For those interested in having your own social networking power profiles, please Tweet @andynathan why you should be next week’s social networking power profiles!

How Not To Podcast By Podcasting

I thought to myself that today is the day to show everyone how not to podcast by actually podcasting. With this podcast we will provide humor to the humorless and educated to the uneducated.

The 5 ways of how not to podcast are as follows:

  1. Never ever, ever, ever ramble on in one long sentence that completely drives people crazy and makes them want to smack upside down the head and wonder why you are continually talking about this topic, because of the fact that this is a podcast where they only hear your voice. So in conclusion do not ramble.
  2. Turn off all cell phones. Ooh, I have a call! Someone likes me!
  3. Make sure that you are in a quiet place where people can hear your voice.
  4. Make sure everything is working properly. Testing is key to a great podcast.
  5. Speak clearly! Refer to the rambling man in point 1 of this post.

Now, the moment we have all been waiting for:

How Not To Podcast By Podcasting

Social Networking Icons

For our weekly jaunt at social networking cartoons, I found some cool social networking icons. That to the true social networking geeks is really cool! Go social networking icons! Below are some free social networking icons from Free Web Icons.

Let The Social Networking Icons Begin

social iconssocial networking icons in the snowsocial networking icons for beakers

social networking icons creatures

social networking icons halloween

Now For  A Little Extra Fun….Going Beyond Social Networking Icons

internet icons

Ok, so I know that I am a social networking nerd, but these social networking icons are pretty darn cool? Right? I know you like the shiny social networking icons!

If you have any social networking icons or cartoons, please let me know, so we can include them in future Toony Tuesday posts!

Twitter Business

Ever wanted to have a Twitter Business? When I say Twitter Business, I mean having a business that receives a lot of traffic and prospects from Twitter?

Twitter is the essence of complexity in 140 characters. That is why most businesses choose not to even use Twitter, let alone have a Twitter business. However, after using Twitter for almost two years (first login was February 5, 2009) I have learned a lot about how to use and how not to use this interesting site. Here are my Top 10 Twitter Business Do’s and Don’ts(Donuts, did someone say donuts):

Twitter Business Is Observed By Everyone

Twitter Business Do’s

  1. Talk about other people beside for yourself. The me train is boring! In the end no one pays attention! Just like the boy who cried wolf, Twitter business owners who do this will find themself alone at the end of the day.
  2. RT other peoples posts, quotes, and information. This goes along with the first Do, but I figured some reinforcement was nice.
  3. You are in a person business. It does not matter what your product is, people buy it. That means treat them like kings and queens on Twitter whenever possible.
  4. Sell the “Sizzle Not The Steak” on Twitter. You have 140 characters. 140 characters! That is it! You will very rarely, if ever sell someone in 140 characters. What you can do is take them to the next level. To your blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, event, appointment, Skype, etc.
  5. Be interesting! They might not buy from me, but gosh darn it if I am boring they will not come back to RT, share, comment, or tell their friends about me.
  6. Have a business plan for how you will use Twitter for the next 3,6,9, and 12 months.
  7. Use Twitter Search, Twellow, and WeFollow to find targeted prospects.
  8. Make your prospects laugh or think at least once every 5 tweets. The more you engage them the more they will be interested in conversating with you.
  9. Twitter is not just for your prospecting efforts. It also helps you with customer service, market research, help current clients, and staying connected with a team.
  10. Listen to people. Remember, everyone gets caught up in putting out the right tweets, reply, and retweet. How many are caught up in listening to their clients, prospects, and partners?

Twitter Business Don’ts

  1. Do not have everything automated! The idea that a constant stream of automated tweets will make you rich is probably a fallacy. It is definitely not something you leave on autopilot. Man the machine!
  2. Do not put Twitter in a seperate category of marketing. Integrate it with your other social networks, and marketing strategy in general.
  3. Why so serious? Joker lines aside, do not pretend to be all stuffy and business like on Twitter. Be yourself! Ok, be a fun side of yourself!
  4. I went to the brush my teeth! Good news everyone! I had cereal for breakfast today! Oh cool, this is the exact person I want to follow!
  5. Do not unfollow people who follow you for no reason. Twitter has done a good job of eliminating these people from Twitter, but from time to time they still appear. If you have no reason to unfollow someone then do not!
  6. Do not bash people (unless of course they really deserve it)! I do not remember the account name, but I remember when I first got on Twitter there was an account that solely devoted to bashing a large insurance company. After a while, I just unfollowed her, because there was nothing useful about connecting with there was nothing useful about the account.
  7. Do not stalk your competitors and think you can gain an upper hand on them. Yes, Twitter is a great source for finding out more information about how to use this service. Do not just go out and mimic your competitors.
  8. Do not expect to get business your first, second, thirtieth, or even ninetieth day on Twitter. Instead, look it this as a long term revenue generator.
  9. Do the same thing as everyone else! Be different!
  10. Don’t just go into Twitter like a cowboy shooting tweets right and left expecting to bowl everyone over with your intensity. Instead, be consistent in your efforts to build your business on Twitter.

Twitter Business Ready

So not that you have Twitter Business Do and Don’t what you are waiting for? You are Twitter Business Ready! Your next step to build your Twitter business is to actually go out and use these ideas!

Lujure Fan Pages Changing the Face of Facebook FBML

For those of you who have been using Facebook Fan Pages in the past, you understand the challenges of creating an excellent custom Facebook FBML page. Facebook FBML pages have previously been the outlet of web designers, since you needed to know html coding and graphics to create the custom pages that make these mini-websites inside of Facebook work.

That has now changed with the Lujure Assembly Line, which allows every business owner to create Drag and Drop Custom Fan Pages without knowing coding or spending hours designing just the right page. You can now easily create a page in minutes, which used to take hours or finding halfway solutions.

For business owners looking to brand themselves, this is the perfect option to combine your social networking presence from different networks, along with providing your new and current fans a better idea of who you are, and what makes your brand so unique and amazing.

Facebook FBML Example

"FBML Page"

The example above comes from my Andrew Nathan Facebook fan page. As you can see, I have incorporated different parts of my social networking in order to accurately brand myself. You can see everything here from my Tweets to my email marketing capture forms. Where else can you have 500 million people discover more about your business with all of the great marketing tools at your disposal?

Lujure has made it possible for me to actually set up these custom pages, and I want to make sure that you have the option to do the same. So, I will give you the option of two incredible offers to help you more effectively use this service:

1. For $27/month you can set up your own Facebook FBML page through Lujure (Note: I am an affiliate). Click on the link below to move forward with this offer.

2. For $100/year I will set up and maintain your Facebook FBML page, plus for only $19/month you receive the Aweber email marketing software to help you keep in touch with your clients through email campaigns (Package Deal). Now, one final item to help make this more worthwhile! Assuming the Chicago Bears win today (which they will), then you get a $25 discount of the yearly Facebook FBML page. Email me at andy AT andynathan.net to move forward with this offer.

Social Networking Schmoozer 1 Year Anniversary

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Hard to believe, but today marks the 1 year anniversary of me starting the Social Networking Schmoozer blog. Kind of weird to think about the fact that only 1 year ago, I was wondering if I could commit to blogging. The idea that of writing one article per day every day for an entire year was beyond comprehension.

When I first learned about WordPress it took me a month to understand just how to set up the self-hosted account through GoDaddy. Now, I can set up blogs in 2 minutes.

It has been quite the road. In fact, 1 year ago this blog was not even called the Social Networking Schmoozer. Instead, it was called Twitter Goal. My goal to reach 10 million fans on Twitter.

With all that has happened in the last year, I took a quick look at what has made this blog successful over the previous year. Here are the numbers that I was looking at to learn more about what I have done, and what I can do better:

  • 7,278 views on this blog in the past year.
  • Readers from 103 countries
  • 293 Blog Posts
  • 380 Comments
  • 29.98% of  traffic was from Search Engine Optimization(SEO)
  • 27.65% of traffic was from Social Networking
  • 8.28% of traffic was from RSS Feeds
  • 34.09% of traffic came from partner sites or direct traffic from my offline networking
  • 424 Fans on My Fan Page
  • 93 People subscribing to my feed as of today

My top three posts for the last year were:

Sample Thank You Letter For Social Networking

Social Networking Statistics

Social Media Trends 2011

To me this just means that there is so much opportunity when you use social networking. The first three months that I was blogging, felt like I should just talk to a wall instead. The other thing that amazes me is that for first six months of blogging I did not even appreciate the idea of SEO.

While I was out blogging everyday to show people how to use social networking more effectively for their business, I learned more about how to do it correctly for mine. Sifting through article after article, and video upon video showed me what steps I needed to do from the smallest things, such as putting a captcha on comments to prevent spammers to finally figuring out how to back up my blog safely(had a few issues).  I also know the numbers above will pale in comparison to what I will do in 2011, because I spent a year learning how to use blogging as tool, now I can start earning even more from it!

Additionally, I would like to help you benefit from my social networking experience over the past with my free 10 Things Not To Do On Facebook guide. Post a comment below about how social networking has helped your business, and I will email you this free guide!

Finally, I want to thank everyone who has tweeted, commented, read, subscribed, and liked my blog over the past year! It makes it a lot more fun when you have people who actually read what you write on a daily basis. Thanks for reading the Social Networking Schmoozer, and looking forward to making the second year that much better!

Social Networking Power Profiles: Marla Barch

Social Networking Profile Questionnaire"Marla Barch Social Networking Power Profiles"

Name: Marla Barch, Senior Mortgage Planner

Company: Pacor Mortgage

Industry: Residential Mortgage Lending

Marketing: Referral based and social media

Time In Business: 7 years

Website: www.pacormortgage.com

E-mail Address: mbarch@pacormortgage.com

Phone Number: 773.617.2424

Brief Bio: I help REALTORS grow their business by providing niche mortgage programs and marketing techniques to attract more home buyers. I help HOME BUYERS qualify for the best programs and interest rates through education, wisdom, and creativity. I help HOMEOWNERS ensure their current mortgage best matches their long and short term financial goals.

When did you start using social networking? 2 years ago for Facebook; 7 years ago for Yahoo Groups and Meetup.com

How did you get started learning about social networking platforms? I learned about the benefits of Facebook for business growth in a training seminar. My early social networking use of Yahoo Groups and Meetup.com to generate business leads was purely self-taught.

Did you attend in-person events, classes, or webinars to learn more?  After that first ½ hour long training program, I learned about it by experimenting, reading articles from experts, and sharing ideas with others.

What is your favorite social networking site for business? Why? Facebook. Mostly because it’s easiest to use and therefore attracts a wider audience of users. And secondarily because I’ve spent the most time building my network on Facebook.

How do you use social networking for your business? Primarily, I use it to build relationships with new referral partners, such as realtors; to build my reputation as an expert; and to educate everyone on new programs, changing guidelines, and other important information that affects home buyers and homeowners.

How has it changed your business?  It allows me to convert cold leads to warm leads. A potential referral partner is more willing to accept me as a Facebook friend than invite me to their office for a meeting. Via Facebook, I can take all the time necessary to build that relationship via “liking” their statuses, adding valuable commentary on their industry-related links, and posting my own links and comments that add value to their business. At that point, they are much more likely to invite me to their office to discuss doing business together.

What was your biggest mistake in social networking? In the beginning, I definitely turned some people off by talking about business too often and in a “sales-y” style. I had to learn to mix updates on business and pleasure and to discuss business in a non-aggressive, story-telling, casual way that didn’t make people feel like a sales target.

What would you tell people starting out in social networking to focus on?  Identify your target market and begin befriending those people. One way to find those people is to join common-interest groups. Also, categorize your friends from the beginning so you can send targeted messages.

Do you have a specific strategy that you use to be more effective when using social networking? Social networking is not that different from non-cyber networking. The most important thing is to be likeable. People do business with people they like. And secondarily, follow up is always crucial. If someone shows interest in something you’ve put out there, send them a personal message, chat them, or even call them on the phone.

What direction do you see social networking going in the future?  I see continued growth and new powerful ways to communicate that we can’t even yet imagine.