Why LinkedIn? [Internship]

                In today’s economy, students and young professionals share a common fear. Their fear is whether or not they will find a job. With the presidential debate currently going on, the candidates for president are constantly promising to make new jobs. This does nothing but make the current students worry that there are no jobs now and may not be any in the future. Fortunately, there are online tools that can help graduates and undergraduates worry a bit less. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site. It is said to be the best investment you will ever make in your career. It is used by individuals and businesses for networking, job searching, hiring, and much more.

                Recently, I have started an internship with the company Digital Ethos. They have asked me if I was signed up with the website LinkedIn and were shocked when I said I was not. Immediately I signed up after receiving their reaction. I could see how important LinkedIn was right away. LinkedIn is a great way to establish your identity on the web. With 175 million members worldwide, LinkedIn is clearly a striving network that helps individuals and small businesses to large corporations.  With LinkedIn, you can exchange ideas, knowledge, and opportunities with a broad network of professionals. Your LinkedIn account is the first impression someone gets when they google you, this can be a huge benefit if your LinkedIn account is up to date and well put together. Your LinkedIn page can either make you or break you.

                Signing up for LinkedIn is easy. You simply put in your full name and your email address. From then on, LinkedIn gives you step by step instructions on how to get your account up and running. This includes indicating where you are currently employed and what type of job. Another cool feature of LinkedIn lets you indicate what field you are in. It also asks you where you have been employed in the past and for how long. This can give your future employer a general knowledge of where you worked and what your skill-sets could be. Your education also holds a section on your LinkedIn profile, which can include when you were in high school and in college. If you haven’t graduated from one or the other, it lets you select your anticipated graduation year. LinkedIn has a section called “Summary” which lets other users quickly learn about your background and interests. There is a different area for your skills and expertise which helps potential employers find you when they are searching for a specific knowledge-base. Recommendations on your page can carry a lot of weight.  It lets your colleagues, clients, or suppliers speak on your record. Recommendations are just like reference part of your resume. You’re “snapshot” is like your web based business card. It includes your name, location, education, recommendations, education, past positions, and links to your website. Use this space efficiently and you’ll be sure to catch someone’s eye.

                These days, it is so crucial for not only graduates, but undergraduates, to get their foot in the door of the career world right away. It is very important for young professionals to use LinkedIn for many reasons. Young professionals don’t have a lot of experience, so LinkedIn helps them by providing an answers section. This allows a wide variety of professionals to answer any question you might have about your field or any type of field you may be interested in. Asking and answering questions also helps you build your online visibility. This is essential to making your way to the top. This generation of young adults is said to be the “Digital Native” generation since most, if not all, of their life was spent in front of a screen. LinkedIn lets them continue this sort of lifestyle and it makes it a lot more comfortable to be more productive on the network. Young professionals have little to no experience in the work force. LinkedIn gives them a realistic outlook on their field of interest. You should never let one job define your field. With over 175 million members worldwide, it is easy to network and see all kinds of different sides of your field. You can also check out your fields leading players. You can see how they got to where they are by seeing where they went to school, what they studied, what skills they developed, what groups they belong too, and to whom with they are connected. This will help you obtain a better grasp on your anticipated field you want to join.

                The people who are part of your network are called your connections. A connection can indicate that you know the person well or that they are a trusted business contact. In order to become a connection, you need to be invited and accepted. LinkedIn doesn’t support people in adding somebody that they don’t know. When you want to send someone a connections request, LinkedIn asks how you know this person. The options include colleague, classmate, friend, business partner, and I don’t know said person. If you chose “I don’t know said person”, LinkedIn will not allow you to add them. If you chose any of the other, it will ask for the persons email address.

                LinkedIn narrows down your connections into three different categories. They are first degree, second degree, and third degree connections. First degree connections are the people that you have directly connected with because you or the person sent an invitation that has been accepted. Second degree connections are the people who are connected with your first degree connections. You can contact them through something called an introduction. You may ask your first degree connection to introduce you to your second degree connection. Since you probably don’t know your second degree connection, an introduction from your first degree connection would be the only way to connect with them. Finally, your third degree connections are the people who are connected to your second degree connections. If you want to become their first connection, you have to ask for an introduction. An introduction usually sounds like, “Dear Mr. Smith, Let me introduce you to Mr. John from Company X.” LinkedIn shows you which connection a person is by placing an icon which says either “1st”, “2nd”, or “3rd” connection.

                LinkedIn offers a feature called “groups”. Being a member of a group lets you engage in one on one networking between group members. An advantage is that you can send lnmail for no fee. As a member of a group, you can discover the most popular discussions in your professional group. LinkedIn groups also allow you to follow the most influential people in your groups by looking at the Top Influencers board to see all their group activity.

                Looking for a job on LinkedIn is said to be a whole lot easier than going door to door hoping they are hiring. If you know what company you are interested in joining, simply search for them on LinkedIn’s search bar. The company will have their employers listed and you can network with them and see what they did to be able to work with the company. Eventually, you will be able to establish them as a connection. On the other hand, if you have no idea what company you want to work for, you can search a keyword, job title, or location. Even though the search is much broader, you will still get a general knowledge of what you are looking into.

                It is clear to see that there is a lot more to LinkedIn than just looking for a job in a newspaper. Connecting with people and getting your name out there can also contribute to your success on LinkedIn. If you use your LinkedIn profile correctly, it will become a huge benefit for you in the job marketing world.

Sources:

 

The content in this article is part of Digital Ethos’s Digital Media Education in the Higher Education Internship Program, the content was created by @KaylaMarzo, a Student at Suffolk County Community college, intern at Digital Ethos.

About Digital Media Education Internship

Digital Media Education Internship Program is an outreach initiative for Digital Ethos.

Did Digital & Social Media kill the economy? [OPINION]

While the internet is full of success stories for Digital & Social Media, and we all know I have covered a few, like Facebook Success Stories (Social Media), Google Places for Your Service Industry (SEO), New Google Newsletter and Mobile Adwords Features (SEM) etc. However, I was recently left wondering about the bigger picture…

Did we fail to learn in web 1.0?

Websites were all anyone could talk about in the late 90′s and everyone was trying to get on the web. The issue with web 1.0? Business owners created a website just to have a website, which resulted in a business move that in most cases was a poor investment. The websites had no business plan, no systematic function and in some cases reflected poorly on a business rather than positively. The complete lack of strategy wasted time and money which also left the business owners in disbelief about the value of such a venture.

Less than a decade later here comes the Social Media Revolution, with the promise of opportunities to reach and touch people on a global scale at rates, that overnight, make TV and Print look like the dinosaurs. In 2008 the Social Media rush is on and you can’t help but get a sense that web 2.0 looks a lot like web 1.0. Social Media sites are flooded with businesses that again have no business plan, no systematic function and in some cases reflected poorly on brand. Overnight Social Media Marketing becomes a keyword that tens of thousands flock to. This brand new communication tool in the digital space is barely in industry use and gurus and experts pop up everywhere and overnight the guy next store has started an agency.

When the iPhone was launched in 2007 and forever changed the music industry, mobile for business doesn’t pick up steam till 2010, when it starts to become a part of mainstream marketing. With the announcement in early 2011 that Smartphones have surpassed PC sales the industry prepares for the next technology rush. In that same year reports indicate that Mobile Advertising is Expected to Reach 5B in 2015. This brand new communication tool in the digital space is now front and center and the young child of social media tries to pivot and tie mobile and social together, not an easy lesson as Social Media giant Facebook is learning in 2012. A prediction everyone sees coming but Facebook and the greedy analysts, and a point I tried to make days before the IPO in my aritlce “Why the Facebook IPO looks like a Bad Investment. Just like websites and social media, the industry rushes to mobile, creating apps, mobile sites and forever changing their advertising all without any thought to a strategy or branding.

Was there a bigger problem?

  • For the first time anyone who wanted to launch a website could.
  • The masses can be reached through Social Media sites that are free.
  • Everyone has a mobile device envisioned as if we all lived in the era of Star Trek .

What is it about the “basement business effect” that caused irrefutable damage to the digital economy?

The basement business effect

With the entry level barriers of owning and operating a business practically vanishing overnight and with the pool of talented employees vanishing, the best corporations are left competing against the best talent, who despite the lack of traditional resources can do the same job for a fraction of the cost and in some cases better!

Here enters our problem, the entry barrier is so low that anyone can show up at your door with a fancy website, flashy business cards, a MBA from the internet and the promise of gold. Fool’s gold that is. The market tumbles overnight because the shift happened so fast no analyst can predict the effect the American ego has on the pretty bubbles floating in front of them.

It’s not just digital, but it’s hard to argue that digital hasn’t played a crucial role in the economies demise. Banks offer checking accounts for free, the technology and promise of low overhead and the thought that you don’t need a traditional infrastructure make it seem possible. The overflow of students in education that already had swelled the ranks were overtaken by the fact that you don’t ever have to come to school to earn the same degree as the people before you did.

As if the degree from Walden, Phoenix, Capella or any other distance program could even compare to the brick and mortar programs. Can you truly believe that the distance learner has any of the abilities that a traditional student was forced to learn through socialization and real life interactions? I have done them both and I don’t think so…

Digital and FREE

FREE, its killing our economy and the digital revolution is what caused it. The best technology still requires two things:

  1. Education (Invest to Expect)
  2. People (Humanity)

While the industry would have you believe that there is an automated solution for everything, there is not and the truth is humanity can’t stand automation. Take IVR, the phone system that would replace a call center employee, for example.  The research shows that people can’t stand it and those that offer a “real” human interaction have seen their sales climb! However, this will not stop someone from selling it and some unaware business from buying it.

FREE is the biggest thing plaguing business and the economy. Despite the common phrase “you get what you pay for”, business owners continue to pursue FREE at their own demise. The pursuit of FREE, whether by the seller or the consumer, leads to complete chaos and is quickly ruining our economy.

Make a decision, it doesn’t matter whether you’re buying or selling. Invest in what will work and you’ll get the ROI your looking for.

If you’re a consultant selling digital services, STOP doing FREE consulting or proposals. The second you start to look over a company’s assets, be it the business model, the website or the social media site, you are WORKING! Do you want to work for FREE? How do you see that in the long run?  This is why you are running around working 80 hours a week and only getting paid for 10!

If you’re the business owner stop taking or looking for FREE! When you get something for free you don’t respect it, and if you don’t respect it, it’s useless. Second, you’re not that smart. When you assume you can listen to someone explaining a business or marketing strategy and then you just go do it yourself, you are, quite literally, entering into idiotic behavior. Now you’ll spend time doing a job that you don’t quite understand, are not equipped to supervise, and might never have the skill set to correct or evolve as needed. Worse, you are spending time working on something that won’t provide the promised ROI (based upon the professional’s history), and you will end up spending more than necessary, and possibly stunting your businesses growth!

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

Networking in the Real World and Online

www.techipedia.com

Networking is a crucial aspect of a business marketing plan.  Relationships are essential in business and networking is one way to get the relationship-building process started.  Networking is a way for people to meet and get to know each other.  The use of effective social skills and a strategy is necessary to become a successful networker.   A savvy networker will use these skills both in their real world and online networking efforts.

Every individual who networks should have their own personal marketing plan, strategies and goals to create brand awareness and a buzz about individuals.  Networking should begin long before you print your business cards or step foot into a networking event.  Public relations and social media lay the groundwork for more effective real world networking.  How great would it be to have people who you have never met in person recognize you at an event?  By actively engaging target audiences on social media or by using a blog, you can build recognition and a positive reputation.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the ideal forum for professionals to gather online for business purposes.  Create a profile detailing your skills, accomplishments and personal interests.  The profile is not for you; it is for the people you want to get to know.  Include a professional headshot.  Make it easy for them to get a feel for your expertise, willingness to share and depth of your network.  Write your profile so people in the cyber world will want to connect to you and people in the real world will want to take the relationship to the next level.

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Although networking has evolved significantly with the advent of the internet, e-mail and social media, there is no substitute for meeting in-person and interacting face-to-face to build relationships.  Online networking should be used to reinforce relationships made in-person.  When networking in person the goal is to find common ground, which often has nothing to do with business.  Rob Fishman, Partner at Hauppauge based Sandler Training said, “When networking, you must resist the temptation to sell.  Networking is about creating a relationship for mutual gain.  The focus should be on meeting a person and creating a relationship.”  He suggested following the F-O-R-D acronym to avoid talking about business when networking.  “F is for Family; ask the person where they are from originally or if they have a family.  O is for Organization; ask the person about their company and who is a good prospective client for them.  R is for Recreation; ask what they do for fun, people like to talk about topics that are enjoyable.  D is for Dreams and Aspirations; ask what the person’s goals are and what they want to achieve.  The big picture is about creating a network of people in which there is a shared mutual level of trust,” added Mr. Fishman.

Bruce Libman, Author of It’s Just Breakfast and Total Networking, endorses the “give to get philosophy” when networking and building business relationships.   “Giving is key to relationship-building and you have to give much more than you should expect to receive.  Giving information, ideas or making introductions demonstrates that you care and that you have listened to the other person’s needs or interests.  This carries a lot of weight when building relationships,” said Libman.

Business Cards

After you’ve met people, swapping business cards remains important to swiftly exchange information.  Today, there are smart phone applications that allow users to exchange contact information by simply bumping their phones together; a cool app, but not common.  Business cards remain the staple.  There are several apps including one by LinkedIn called CardMunch that allows you to quickly scan business cards and import their information into your database and generate a connection request on LinkedIn at the same time.

c/o www.businesscardsforfree.net

Phil Capell from GoSchmooze, a networking facilitation system which randomly puts four individuals together for a business lunch or breakfast, suggests to, “Always be networking.  Every person you meet has the potential to introduce you to others in his or her network. Try to meet people every day.  Remember that networking is not prospecting.  Don’t treat all people as prospects. Develop relationships with people first and build upon this to see if business or referrals can be shared.”

After you have met someone, started a conversation and exchanged information, the real challenge begins – follow-up.  It is crucial to following up with each person you want to continue a relationship.  Making contact after the initial meeting is absolutely necessary if you want to build a relationship even if to simply touch base or have coffee,.  A personalized system for following up must be created and used.  If you do not follow-up, networking is a waste of time for you or the company you work for.  Failing to follow-up is a critical mistake that the majority of “networkers” make – don’t be one of them.

Networking is about meeting people and managing relationships.  Create a system to build awareness for yourself and your brand, network in the real world and online to strengthen relationships, and commit to following up.  Each of these steps offers their own challenges.  Even if you have been networking for years, take a look at what you are doing, create a plan or update your networking plan and make sure you have a clear follow up strategy.

Author:

This article is provided by Bill Corbett, Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm.  For more information, go to corbettpr.com or to his blog corbettprblog.com.  He can be reached at wjcorbett@corbettpr.com or @wjcorbett.

Sources:

About Bill Corbett Jr.

This article is provided by Bill Corbett, Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm. For more information, go to corbettpr.com or to his blog corbettprblog.com. He can be reached at wjcorbett@corbettpr.com or @wjcorbett.

Making the Most of a Trade Show

PROMOTION
Promotion of a trade show event can be crucial to its success. This is best explained  in the following video by Bill Corbett, owner of Corbett Public Relations, Inc. and Digital Brand Marketing’s resident PR expert.


THE EVENT
There are certain aspects to trade show events that are similar whether one is exhibiting or attending. There are other things that are clearly different. In my opinion, they are not nearly as  important as the shared aspects. The rest of this post will focus on the details of trade show ‘who, what, why and how’.

a trade show booth created by the Godfrey Group

A trade show booth created by the Godfrey Group © the Godfrey Group

EXHIBITORS
If one is an exhibitor, he and/or she stands ‘behind the table’ of the display booth. A person, or group of people set up a display and ‘man’ the booth for the duration of the exhibit, handing out literature, talking with visitors and gathering their information.

ATTENDEES
The visitors or attendees walk around the venue, visits the booths, stops to gather information, talks with the exhibitors and attends the seminars.

SPEAKERS
Once can also be a speaker or part of a panel of speakers. There are many outstanding seminars at trade shows. They can be extremely educational filled with the latest technological information. There can also be opportunities to make contacts and connections.

the speakers at Trade Brooklyn

The speakers from dbmei at Social Media Action Camp, from left to right, Bill Corbett, Craig Yaris, Bssil Puglisi and Jeff Ogden.

SPONSORS
Businesses will also pay to be sponsors. They participate in a variety of business categories. Sponsorship provides businesses with visibility and other perks. Sponsors can range from local businesses to rather large and well known corporations. Businesses do not have to attend the event to sponsor it.

Trade Show Sponsors

A visual of trade show sponsors at Trade Nassau on April 25, 2012 at the Chateau in Westbury. © Cardinal Trade Group

THE PURPOSE OF A TRADE SHOW
Why do businesses and business people participate in trade shows?

http://www.e-arc.com/site/color_printing/trade_show_graphics_detail.php

The Value of Trade Show Graphics © http://www.e-arc.com/site/color_printing/trade_show_graphics_detail.php

• to look for business
• to promote themselves
• to make new contacts
• to gain visibility
• to educate and be educated
• to demonstrate what they do or sell
• to share information and learn new things
• to network
• to find vendors

NECESSARY RECIPROCITY
Whichever side of the table one is on, exhibitor or attendee, there is a necessary reciprocity for the trade show venue to work. These are probably the most important qualities on both sides:

• openness to unplanned opportunities
• friendliness
• helpfulness
• giving and receiving something of value for free
• generosity of spirit
• sense of community

THE BOTTOM LINE
I have participated in trade shows for many years and in varying industries. I have been on both sides of the  ’display booth table’. To me the bottom line is, for the period of time that a trade show is happening, everyone involved in it is part of that community. This includes the attendees, exhibitors, speakers, sponsors, organizers and even the staff of the facility where the show is being held.

A photo taken at the LI Multi-Cultural Fair

A photo taken at the NY Multicultural Business Expo with from left to right, Basil Puglisi, founder of dbmei, Alison Gilbert, a dbmei blog author and Marc Neuwirt, owner and organizer of Expos Your Business. © Expos Your Business

IN CONCLUSION
The more we initiate things, starting with a smile, a friendly hello and a handshake, the better the results will be for everyone. It is that simple. The next time you are at a trade show, in whatever capacity, remember just this one thing. You will be amazed what a great time you have and how well things will go.

A collage of trade shows and other activities involving Digital Brand Marketing

Our cover photo montage composed of trade shows and other activities involving dbmei.

AUTHOR:

Alison Gilbert is the Digital Age Storyteller. She is a regular contributing author to DBME, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz. Located on Long Island, New York, MARKETING BYTES serves clients virtually everywhere.

Their boutique style – very personal service – hybrid company specializes in helping local/small biz generate sales leads by transitioning from traditional advertising to online marketing. Contact MARKETING BYTES at info@marketingbytes.biz or call 516-665-9034 ET

SOURCES:

About Alison Gilbert

Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.

Group Commerce for Publisher-Based eCommerce Solutions: #SocialCommerce

Recently, I sat down to an impromptu interview with the CEO of Group Commerce, Jonty Kelt, to learn more about what publisher-based ecommerce solutions can offer to more traditional form of media that may be lacking digital presence.

What is Group Commerce?

Group Commerce is a platform for publishers who want to integrate ecommerce into a successful element of their business. Group Commerce serves three groups that help to make their ecommerce program work.

  1. Consumers
  2. Merchants
  3. Publishers

Group Commerce’s technology was designed to support, from the ground up, the unique lists of needs that brands and media companies require. Their enterprise-grade platform doubles as a command center for a publisher’s ecommerce program as well. There is nothing else like it anywhere.  Group Commerce understands exactly what it take to succeed. The professional services offered provide all of the needed elements to ensure that their publishers succeed in ecommerce.

Founded in 2010, Group Commerce is backed by several popular names such as Carmel Ventures, Lerer Ventures, Spark Capital, and Bob Pittman. Group Commerce has some top-notch clients in names such as Chegg.com, Boston.com, CBS Local, DailyCandy, the New York Times, and many more. Based in New York City, Group Commerce now has over 100 employees in 11 major cities.

When asked about the publisher based ecommerce solutions provided by Group Commerce, Jonty Kelt shared with me, “We created group commerce with a mission to enable audience owners, to succeed in ecommerce. This is anyone with an audience, website owners, newsletter businesses, TV, radio, print and more. The brands have to engage with intelligence and integrity, so that they add value to their relationship with their audience. This can give traditional or ad based media companies more revenue stream, more engagement with their audience, attract new audience members and for some solid media based businesses, it can give them more relevance in a digital world.”

Before we wrapped up our interview I definitely had to pose to him a question that is near and dear to publications like DBMEi.

Since there is such a huge market now for content relating to the practices of digital marketing, social media and other similar services, how do you see Group Commerce fitting in for the smaller publishers? How can you begin to monetize platforms such as multi-blogger sites like DBMEi?

Jonty Kelt: We currently have an initiative in our engineering department focusing on building a ladder of service solutions which will enable smaller publishers such as bloggers, smaller websites and audiences to turn ecommerce onto their sites as well.

How Can I Get in on Group Commerce?

Group Commerce is rather picky about the publishers they work with. For the most part, applicants must have several of at least six unique qualifications.

  1. Verticality
  2. High brand engagement
  3. Strong local voice
  4. High user transactional intent
  5. Size
  6. Locally segmented

Since its launch, Group Commerce has raised millions in funding and Kelt plans to continue to expand the company’s reach into 2012.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

#SocialCommerce: Jonty Kelt Interview Transcript

Business Insider hosted the Social Commerce Summit on Feb 7th, 2012 at Chelse Pier, during that event I had a chance to sit with Jonty Kelt, the CEO for Group Commerce. Here is a transcript from that interview with a general article to follow on Feb 19th at 5pm, right here on dbmei.com.

About the event:

Since the immersion of social media into digital commerce, incredible opportunities and options have opened for business owners. Socially marketing your products and services can come with its own challenges though, so the Social Commerce Summit, or SCS, has a focus on presenting some incredible tips and tricks along with the best practices common to businesses successful in this form of marketing.

The SCS will provide the platform for experts in their industries to share their own best practices and ideas that have been built upon cutting edge trends and technologies and are the products of incredibly successful Fortune 500 campaigns and strategies.

The Interview: (Recorded by Basil C. Puglisi, Transcription done by Joy Lynskey)

JK: Started the company 2 years ago with a vision for media companies that are publishers, that they should engage in ecommerce.  They have great brands, reach, authority over some topics with certain groups, engaged audiences. Those things we believed could be translated into an ecommerce business, alongside the traditional types of advertising businesses. We created group commerce with a mission to enable audience owners, to succeed in ecommerce. Being as broad as possible. This is anyone with an audience, website owners, newsletter businesses, TV, radio, print. The premises of what we are saying here is that the brands have to engage with intelligence and integrity, so that they add value to their relationship with their audience. This gives ad based or ad revenue fueled businesses, the opportunity to have an ecommerce business alongside of it. This can give traditional or ad based media companies more revenue stream, more engagement with their audience, attracts new audience members and for some solid media based businesses, it can give them more relevance   in a digital world.

We have only been live for about 15 months and currently have about 15 live  , all of them traditional media companies. [name companies] A lot of the brands mentioned began with one or two people managing which has now, a year later, turned into teams of 20 or more employees managing their ecommerce. Now that they have seen it can work, many are now aiming for 9 figure revenue businesses.

BP: So what group commerce is offering is the opportunity for them to survive in the digital era with obvious subscription services failing, people are less willing to pay for subscriptions but instead prefer to get content for free. So this is a way to kind of fill the gap ?

JK: In some cases that is true. Some of our customers were already digital, such as Daily Candy, and this is just tacked on. Other services do not have much of a digital business presence and this can be a way to augment their traditional business and help them to survive in a digital world.

BP: So what are some of the verticals that you guys are seeing, in ecommerce that’s targeting general vs specific.

JK: So very simplistically we have two target segments, vertical such as; thrillist.com for young men, dailycandy.com for young women,  active.com for endurance athletes, and then local media, which tends to be more horizontal,   the new york times for new york, boston.com for the boston area. The vertical ones are leveraging vertical authority, such as dailycandy is an expert on what young women want, that brings to bring great content and comments. Different than boston.com doesn’t have a specific audience. They have everyone, young and old, uptown and downtown. so they have to use their local authority to find the best merchandise and present it to the best audience.

BP: Do we see a higher conversion rate with vertical specific content versus the general content. We talked a bit about how Boston was able to generate something relevant to Boston being Boston based locations. I imagine some of the verticals when they’re talking about how to sell products outside of geographical limitations

JK: So local is normally services, nationally is normally product.  A local can offer local services, and even local product. National, we see more products since national cannot usually offer local service.

BP: Mike Wallace was a big speaker over at Boston.com, you guys had him join you, what does it mean to bring this type of person into your fold?

JK: Our company is about 100 people right now. In order to pull off what we are focused on we have to have really high-quality people with different disciplines, technology, merchandising strategy, sales, finance, hr, account management, and Mike Wallace was actually a customer of ours at Boston.com.  Mike is a born leader, he has executed on the vision extremely well at Boston.com, and we got on extremely well. He loved the vision we had. After about a year and a half of working with Mike, we had conversations with him on having him help us with our business. We wanted him to use his knowledge on how to actually build a program for boston.com in a group commerce setting.

BP: So his official title is..?

JK: Vice President of Publisher Sales which means finding new publishers who would like to participate in this. Finding new publisher partners is his main focus right now.

BP: So one of the things we are talking about when looking at ecommerce is that we have a lot of conversation about daily deals, selling locally, lot of conversation of the push vs pull. Push being here is an opportunity or offer, I may take advantage of it later. Vs the I am standing in the middle of boston right now. Push vs pull mentality, selling in advance, vs I’m standing here I am looking for something to do, where is the best deal or value for me? So have you guys seen the platform showing that push vs pull.

JK: We have been very focused on push. Our customers, Boston.com, New York times, they have very powerful media, they have a voice in many touch points, social media, email list, web page, printed editions, so they are leveraging that and the fact that they have ecommerce now and are offering great stuff. With respect to the on demand, I am in the middle of boston and looking for a great deal right now, that type of pull is not the type of commerce we are currently offering, because we have been more focused on the push.

Groupon and LivingSocial are two of the things that you are referring to with respect to standing in the middle of Boston and having thirty things available around you, is just not reality yet. That is something that we have not been focused on, specifically because we have been more focused on the push. I like to consider the word pull being that when the customer is aware that dailycandy now has stuff on their website to buy, they go there of their own volition, it’s pulling them there. Rather than them having to be interrupted with an email. And that is the holy grail really, for what we are trying to do. We are using a public outlet to push awareness of what are the deals in front of them, which creates buying behavior.

It takes time for our customers to educate their audiences, some of them have only been going now for a little over a year.

BP: There is this huge market now for content relating to the practice of marketing, social media, etc, how do you see you guys fitting in for the smaller publishers? How do you start to monetize platforms such as multi-blogger sites like this?

JK: We have an initiative in our engineering efforts to build a ladder of service solutions, which will enable smaller publishers, bloggers, small websites, etc to turn ecommerce on.

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

The Recipe for a Social Media Enhanced Resume

To Begin
I attended a business-networking event where several students from a marketing class were also in attendance. When I mentioned that I am always on the lookout for interns and entry-level team members, several of the students made a beeline towards me with their resumes in hand.

I refused to take any of these paper profiles and handed each of them my business card instead. I instructed them to e-mail me if they were interested in a possible working relationship and left it at that.

With a fair degree of confidence, I announced to the students that ‘the paper resume is dead’. They all seemed to be surprised enough to have never heard this before. I was surprised, as well, but for the opposite reason considering they were taking a college level marketing course. I figured they would have already known this.

The paper resume is dead for numerous reasons. The most important reasons are:

  • Paperless is the way to go with everything today.
  • A traditional format resume needs to be e-mailed.
  • When companies receive resumes, they are prescreened by computer for particular keywords. This is done digitally.
  • Social media has become the initial introduction of choice (both professionally and socially).
A picture of the Betty Crocker Recipe Card Binder

The Betty Crocker Recipe Card Binder © www.dvo.com

The Recipe
Here is what I suggest and conclude as the ideal recipe for the present day social media enhanced resume. It is a good idea to carry something to give to a potential employer when one encounters such a person outside of the normal application/interview process, such as the networking event we attended. To me, the ideal thing to do is the same thing one would do at any business networking event, ‘get a business card and give a business card’ or even provide a cleverly designed post card (the graphic designer in me always needs to put  in its creative two cents).

The Ingredients
The business card would need information different from a typical business card since it would not include current employment information. It would not have a company name or title but information that would direct the receiver to information appropriate to the situation. This is the suggested information for an applicant to include:

  • Name
  • Phone number (preferably cell if the land line is their family’s number or shared with other people)
  • E-mail address
  • Web address (especially in the case of a portfolio)
  • Names for social media venues pertinent to the situation including Facebook, and LinkedIn as well as other venues that would cast a positive light on a prospective employee. A YouTube video, no more than a few minutes long, showing some extraordinary career related activity or appropriate personally enhancing topic can be a plus.
  • Consider using a QR code as a link from anything analog to digital.

Additional Information
These days, a prospective employer can learn an immeasurable amount of pre-interview information about a prospective worker from social media venues. Much more can be detected about a person from these on-line venues than a one-dimensional piece of paper could ever communicate. Certain things show up on social media that even a first time personal meeting could most likely reveal:

  • A Facebook page speaks to a person’s personality, friends, interests, maturity and integrity (or lack of the last two).
  • A LinkedIn profile is set up so that it can literally become a resume. There are provisions to take a traditional resume and import it into LinkedIn.

Summary
Here are some final thoughts about this resume recipe. I have more paper than I know what to do with. So do most people unless they are already paper-free. I am working towards the goal of being paper-free. At most, I might want to collect business and post cards.

But I am finding that I have so many cards that once the information is in my database, even these tiny pieces of paper go into a ‘never to be seen again’ box or circular file. Therefore, if I were so inclined, I could do one of two things:

  • I would immediately scan business cards into my smart phone and throw away the tiny pieces of paper
  • I could employ a person or even a company that does the scanning and puts the information into my database for me

You could safely say that the recipe for the socially enhanced resume is as close to paperless and as digitally oriented as possible. This is one more example of the shift from analog to digital technology.

Afterword
With the amazing number of responses that this blog post has received and the almost unanimous opinion that paper is out or almost gone, something has occurred to me. A person who is computer savvy looking for a job who is asked for a paper resume may want to think twice about working at such a company. It may be a lack of being up-to-date on the part of the company rather than the applicant being out of touch with the current technology.

AUTHOR:

Alison Gilbert is the Digital Age Storyteller and a photojournalist. She is a regular contributing author to DBME and, when time allows, to other blogs as well. She is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Business Marketing Solutions. She has been a marketing pro and designer for over three decades.
Alison has a ProTeam of experienced marketing, design and writing professionals offering the latest online marketing technology, social media, graphic and web design, illustration, photo and video, content management as well as the best of traditional advertising. Her client base has covered just about every commercial industry.

MARKETING BYTES specializes in local/small and start up businesses with a boutique (very personal) approach to client service. Although located on Long Island in New York State, Marketing Bytes can serve clients everywhere there is Internet access. Visit our site, Marketing Bytes, one of our Facebook pages, Marketing Main Street USA, our Facebook group, Local Biz Is The Solution, and the Marketing Bytes Blog. To contact us:  e-mail or call 516-665-9034 (EST, NY, USA).

Sources:

About Alison Gilbert

Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.

What’s the key to a successful digital media strategy?

Websites, especially for Search Engine Optimization should defiantly be doing this. A successful Social Media campaign has this as a crucial characteristic. This one defining element or practice is an absolute must for anyone who wants clients and customers whorepeat business and develop long-term relationships. In fact you probably find this to be as true for personal relationships as you would for any aspect of a business before and during the digital age.

Be Genuine!

Websites that develop a structure that take user experience and align it with their purpose find higher conversions. Don’t build a site for a plumber that looks like iTunes. Let that sites experience be what mirrors the genuine experience that is that service or product.

SEO success is defined by the genuine nature of the sites target and content. Search Engines are in the business of helping people find what they are looking for, build the content and keyword targeting around your clients, services and or product.

Social Media is all about the culture that your organization has, what’s your social media personality? Social Media isn’t about hard sales, its about relationships, find ways to develop social media strategies that support who or what you really are beyond what you sell or do.

Jump on Match.com, eHarmony, or have a friend set you up on a blind date, it’s just like business. You’ll get someone new in front of you, but if you want to get beyond the first introduction you better be who you are, pretending to be what your not will scare away your valuable long term relationships and leave you with a short sighted one night stand. Remember, 20% of your customers may provide you with 80% of your business, but if you find a way to build long-term relationships that develop from your genuine culture and services you’ll find value in every interaction.

If you want “world of mouth” opportunities, find a brand perception that matches you or your organization. Don’t try to control it, facilitate it by being genuine.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

Customer Engagement for Small Business

Telling business owners that they need to have some plans for customer engagement is easy. However, once they have absorbed that tidbit of helpful information, many may be lost as to what customer engagement can actually entail. Most likely, there is nothing that you in particular are selling, that can’t be found somewhere else. So what can the small business owner do to show that their product is the right choice for the consumer?

Be a Customer for a Day

Spend a day emulating the actions that your prospective consumers do.

  1. Call your customer service number.
  2. Go through the motions of purchasing your own product.
  3. Fill out your contact forms.

Make sure that your customer experience matches your outlook and ideas.

Build Communication Options

Not everyone uses Facebook and Twitter believe it or not. Make sure you have traditional methods of communication as well as digital ones. List phone numbers and a physical address for your business, even if it is online based.

Exercise and Act on Your Listening Skills

It isn’t enough to reply to customers questions or request with generic terms. When prospective consumers ask for discounts or other beneficial options, show them you are listening by enacting them. You will get no better word of mouth advertising then having a consumer who can say “I asked for a discount, and they gave me one!” This doesn’t mean you have to offer that discount to everyone who asks, but you should never outright ignore those request.

Show Your Integrity

Since bad news can travel with light speed on the internet, you may need to go out of your way to show your customers that not only are you expert at what you do, but that you back that professionalism with personal integrity. Show your customers that the people behind the brand care.

Let Your Customers Advertise for You

Anything that you can do to get your consumers to share their product or service experiences with the public will provide you with two benefits. Obviously it will give you the valuable advertising you are seeking, but it will also provide you with media that you can post to help build top-notch links for your site. Don’t expect your customers to do this for no reward though. Their time is valuable too. Try to run contest for the best written or video reviews of your project. Reward the winners appropriately for their time spent talking about your products and services.

Above all it is important that any consumers approaching you for your products or services walk away with the sense that you are a brand they can trust and rely on.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

Understand the Basics of SEO: Why Geo and Subject Domain Names Rock!

Search Engines are in the business of helping a user find the content they are looking for! If you keep this in mind you’ll start off with a great relationship with the Search Engines and the Visitors to your site.

Websites have three main areas you’ll want to really pay attention to:

  1. Structure
  2. Content
  3. References

As a website owner you’ll want this to be how you operate your lead generation through the search engines. Unless you’re an adult site, gambling or daily deal, people will not generally respond to a website about Plumbing when they were searching for Pizza.

Time and Money are important, you’ll get alot further if you concentrate your resources were they should be and where they will produce the highest rate of conversion. If you’re going to chase down multiple areas and categories do it in a way that provides unique, useful and provides a genuine experience for the user.

SEO Tip: Geo & Subject Domains > Brand Domains

An example of how this has been done is through domain masking and forwarding. Take the Domain PapaJohns.com, now that’s a great domain because people looking for “papa john’s” will find exactly what they are looking for, but will they still find it if they put in “MyTown Pizza” like “Brooklyn Pizza”, “Chicago Pizza”?

Here is an example of how we use forwarding on Digital Brand Marketing Education, the publically promoted domain is dbmei.com and that makes sense because it is short and simple. It makes for easy emails and sharing in social media without having to shorten the domain. However When you land on the site, you notice the actual domain changes to digitalbrandmarketing.com

Search Engines give a lot of value to domains, after all if you’re naming the site that, then those words must be relevant. In our case we want people looking for “Digital, Brand and/or Marketing”  to find our publication and those keywords fit perfectly with our content.

If you own Jerry’s Seafood.com, and your restaurant is in the town or geographic location of East Hampton, you might want to think about masking or forwarding the domain to easthamptonseafood.com or easthamptonseafoodrestaurant.com.

This is just one tip to help with your sites SEO, obviously you want the title tags, content, etc to all also fit this search term.

 

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

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