MarComNeXt Pocket Guide: Leverage LinkedIn to grow your business

linkedin-officeSocial Media is now clearly a required component of any integrated marketing mix for all companies, Large Enterprise or SMB, and among the numerous Social Media and Networks available, LinkedIn is one of the most effective, and may be underused, to help you grow your business.

I first used LinkedIn to build my personal network, and later on I also used it professionally to develop my company (IBM) Social Media Marketing tactics for my business unit and for our events, and in both case it`s been a success and rewarding experience.

First a few stats & demographics: As of February 2011,

linkedin bpo– LinkedIn has over 101 Million members, all experienced professionals, from +200 countries (3/4 in North America, followed by Europe and India), 30% of them are part of SMB companies (less than 1.000 employees), 72% of them are between 24 and 54 years old (average 41 and household income $109k), The industry sector best represented is IT and Finance followed by Manufacturing and Medical, The two most popular job functions are Sales and Administration, followed by Academic, Operations and Engineering.

– 18Million members belong to a group

– 1Million new members are signing up every week

– 45 Million visitors per month, among the top 250 web sites visited word wide

– 2Billion people searches per year

– 69% of the Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn

– More than 1Million companies have an official Company Page on Linkedin

– LinkedIn is a favorite with lead generation companies conducting B2B campaigns: 72% of the respondents in a survey voted for LinkedIn as Number1, Facebook ranked second with 71%, while Twitter came in third with 67%

– Worldwide spending on social networks is expected to rise 71.6% to $5.97 billion, approximately 8.7% of the total amount advertisers are predicted to spend online in 2011.

LinkedIn can help you grow your business in many ways, depending on which type of business you are in, but overall here a few of them:LinkedIn-advertising-campaigns

1.Raise awareness on your profile, your brand and reputation

2. Connect with more people and engage discussions with customers and partners

3. Drive traffic to your web site and generate leads

4. Advertise job offerings and Hire qualified people

5. Trade services and grow revenue

Based on my experience, here are a few basic but useful  tips to guide you on how to leverage LinkedIn to grow your business:

  • Create your company profile on LinkedIn
  • Invite employee to connect and customers and partners to follow your company, Use LinkedIn’s email import tools to import all of your contacts
  • Advertise your LinkedIn profile on your communication, web, social media, email, newsletter
  • Tie your LinkedIn profile to your others social networks and add a LinkedIn widget on your website and blog
  • Create a LinkedIn Industry Group, and invite employees, partners, customers, prospects, industry experts and influencers to join
  • Start rich discussions and promotions on your LinkedIn Group and become a recognized expert in your market or industry
  • Advertise Jobs offerings on your LinkedIn Company Profile and Group and extend your reach to a huge pool of resources and experts
  • Search & invite your customers and prospects to connectlinkedin1 blog
  • Perform blind, “reverse,” and company reference checks
  • Get recommendations and referrals to help attract more clients
  • Join relevant LinkedIn Groups and use them to send e-mails to thousands of prospects
  • Use LinkedIn to get back-links to your web site, blogs, newsletters
  • Enhance your Search Engine results, Claim your own vanity URL for added SEO power
  • Create LinkedIn events and drive traffic to your events, conferences, workshops, webinars or virtual events
  • Automatically get your Tweets to show on your LinkedIn profile
  • Automatically get your blog posts to show on your LinkedIn Profile
  • Use polls and surveys to gather valuable market information
  • Find out who has actually viewed your profile and follow up
  • Leverage LinkedIn’s application features, share Powerpoint presentations and PDF files with your connections, with product and services information, white papers, customers cases studies, press releases
  • Advertise on LinkedIn, "pay per click", and touch hundreds of thousands of potential customers
  • Define metrics, track your results to measure your success and justify your Return on Social Media Investment.

limkedin imagesLinkedIn has grown to become an important B2B marketing and recruitment digital channel.

 Apply all these tactics to take advantage of LinkedIn and help you quickly build a valuable professional network, Improve your brand visibility, grow your reputation, raise awareness on your products and services, extend your reach and Word-of-Mouth and generate leads cost effectively.

View my profile on LinkedIn www.linkedIn.com/in/gdusastre

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Key Trends for Data Centers Transformation in 2011 – Next-Gen Data Centers

Times are changing and IT is leading the transformation:

datacenter_next gen IT organizations, are pressurized between improved performances expectations, growing data and network bandwidth, cost reduction targets, converged architectures and technology innovations. As a results all large enterprises and SMB have a common short term objective to transform their data center to become a `Next-Gen Data Center. For this there are some key steps to take and here are some major trends we can predict to achieve this transformation in 2011 and beyond:

More performant, cost effective, energy efficient hardware platforms:data-center-costs

 From the silicon semi-conductor & processors, to the servers, to the data storage, to the networking switches, to the rack or data center cooling systems, at all level some very competitive and innovative offerings are coming to market from major vendors as well as start-ups with more performance, cheaper price, and more specially more energy efficient hardware platforms, helping to reduce the cost of acquisition (Capex) and of operating (OPEX) a data center.

Consolidation:

data center consolidationServers & Data Centers Consolidation simplify IT workload and the management of complex IT infrastructure, optimize floor space, power and cooling, and staffing while providing required flexibility to rapidly adapt to changing business needs. Combining multiple data centers into a single facility is a primary strategy for cutting costs while improving service levels.

 

Virtualization: server-virtualization-storage

With the economic recovery, Industry Analysts predicts an increase on IT spending in 2011,and we can predict that much of the data center transformation spending will be around virtualization. Virtualization of servers, storage, networks and applications will provide many benefits including cost savings and consolidation, energy consumption reduction, as well as the flexibility to meet new business requirements.

Cloud Computing:

cloud-computingThe Hype is over, mature and competitive offerings are available from serious vendors and providers, market acceptance is growing and SMB as well as major enterprises will be starting to deploy cloud platforms and leverage cloud architecture and services for some critical Web 2.0 applications in what some people call a “Data Center without Walls”.

 

Modular design: data_center_design

To reduce the cost and time to build a data center and to reduce the space required, a shift will operate to standard modular data center designs, instead of traditional floor-raised design, specifically built for each customer.

Key Performance Indicators:

data-center-best-practicesPerformance measurements and metrics will be more important, KPI will be developed and adopted to better measure performance, capacity planning, change control processes, system utilization, efficiency, energy consumption, and sustainability, moving to the Green Data Center vision, using renewable energy.

 

 

In summary, green data centers

Energy Efficiency, Cost Reduction, and Flexibility are the Key words for 2011 and the design and operations management of next-gen data center tends toward these requirements. Data Center transformation will be achieved through next-gen energy efficient hardware platforms, consolidation, virtualization, cloud computing, green initiatives, modular designs and best measurement practices, to enable organizations to quickly and cost effectively respond to market demands and new revenue opportunities.

Are you ready to lead  the transformation to next-gen data center ?