Have you heard of social networking? Social networking seems to be the hot topic lately but how long ago did it start? According to Google searches it really only started at the late part of the 2005 or early part of 2006. At least this is when people started searching for it.
I would argue social networking started much much earlier.
For centuries tribes, villages, towns, cities and the like networked with each other in order to survive and progress. No one man created everything he ever needed by himself. He networked to get there.
The term social networking most of the time is referring to “social media”. Social media, or at least the platforms to produce, is what people are looking for success in. There are numerous businesses and agencies looking to help your business but be cautious in hiring someone outside of your network.
The chart below shows all searches for “social networking” from 2004 until today. This is the relative total and doesn’t really mean much by itself unless you compare it to something else. So just remember that up until 2005 you did not have any friends because no one was searching for “social networking”. Well, this is just in the google world. Before this you just used phone, email and post it notes.
Now let’s compare “social networking” with the master of this term and the most famous platform, “Facebook“. What you will notice is that searches for Facebook begin relatively at the same time as social networking but now dwarfs it by comparison. So relatively speaking Facebook is searched many, many more times. Try and think back to when you opened your Facebook account on this time line and place yourself amongst the population. Were you earlier or later than your friends in your “social network”? The same goes for Twitter. Twitter isn’t searched very often now that the platform is established. (LinkedIn never shows up on the chart relative to Facebook so I did not reference it).
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I was looking for something a couple of weeks ago on LinkedIn and found a contact, Chris W. I thought this was odd that someone would put only the first letter of his last name in his LinkedIn account but thought he may have some reason for it. I performed some other searches and found others with only an initial for a last name and then it hit me.
LinkedIn has changed.
LinkedIn now requires you to pay to see the first and last names of connections farther than 2nd degree. It is only a matter of time until they restrict it further and start charging you money to manage your contacts on-line.
I want to show you how I have been getting LinkedIn search results farther than 3rd degree for years. It works every time if you know what you are looking for and you have specific search criteria.
Here is the hypothetical situation:
I want to contact the CFO a Gucci. I have a solution that CFOs buy and my territory is apparel companies. I don’t know anyone that works at Gucci nor do I know many CFOs in that part of the country so I am assuming that s/he will be 3rd degree or farther.
Log in to LinkedIn and go to the Advanced Search feature and type in the search fields for Title: CFO, Company: Gucci. Use Current position and company when trying to find who works there today.
My search based on my connections retrieved 13 contacts. All are 3rd degree or farther so I only see first names and initials of last names, title and company information.
Based on my search results I am interested in Sandro R. He has the title I am looking for “CFO” and is currently at the company I am interested in “Gucci”.
Now I want to click on Sandro R.’s profile and determine if I can see it. I cannot but LinkedIn will help me with this at a $99 per month up charge. This is crazy. I can go to Jigsaw and by it for $1 or use this work around for free. Here is how it works.
When you go into your LinkedIn account you see your profile and you see your public link, right? Everyone has this and it is on the internet and indexed by all the search engines. Mine is http://www.linkedin.com/in/thescottking. This is what you want to find. You want to find your desired contacts public profile because it is not restricted by your LinkedIn account (doesn’t apply if you pay already).
Now copy/paste your contacts current title and company information into Google. This is all of the information behind “Current:”. In Sandro R.’s case this is “VP and CFO at Gucci”.
After I paste the Current information in Google I notice that the contact that I am after is the second result in my specific Google search.
Now I know my desired contacts first and last name and his LinkedIn public profile.
Public Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sandro-risi/4/477/528
I can now see all of his information and who is between us since he is a 3rd degree contact. I can contact him via LinkedIn Inmail or via a connection request. Alternatively I can do it the old fashioned way and pick up the phone and call Gucci and ask for Sandro Risi.
Best Practice: Using Google Advanced Search on LinkedIn
Another great way to find the same information is Google advanced search. Google advanced search is a wizard that helps you write logic for certain data inclusions or exclusions. Here are the same search parameters for Sandro Risi using Google advanced search and searching only inside the linkedin.com domain. I search inside the linkedin.com domain because I already know that he has a LinkedIn account.
You will notice that using the Google advanced search wizard gives me a search term of “cfo gucci site:linkedin.com”. This is not complicated and you could actually create this yourself after using the wizard a few times. It works really well for finding people with titles, companies and key words based on their job descriptions that they write for themselves.
Now type in “cfo gucci site:linkedin.com” into Google and you get back the below. (Here is the search)
Sandro Risi is now the first item in the search and his public profile is displayed by only searching for a cfo that works at Gucci inside the linkedin.com domain.
The point of this exercise is to find the information about your desired contact that is already available on-line. And, since it is on-line you need to assume that the contacts that you are searching for are open to being contacted. They self-published their resume LinkedIn for networking purposes so they should not be offended if you contact them for a genuine reason.
Marketing automation is cool stuff but it can hurt you if you don’t watch out. I know…I send lots of automated emails and fret over it and test it relentlessly so I don’t make a mistake. Recovering from a mistake on one email is easy but if you send that same email to 100,000 addresses then you better lay low for a while.
Here is a mistake that was emailed to me today.
I got two emails from two different people from the same company at the exact same time. The subject of the email and the receipt times are below:
No big deal right? Easy mistake. I hope my email address was in their database twice and that they didn’t use thier database twice on the same day for different sales people. Most email systems cull for duplicates so they may not be using an off the shelf product or service.
The funny thing to me is that they are selling marketing automation. Seems to be a bad pitch for your services if you can’t do it right yourself.
A recent Business Week article “Why So Few Young People Start Businesses” states why younger people don’t start businesses. This is really obvious after reading the article but you may or may not think about the reasons.
1. Young people don’t have start up capital –
Younger folks live like there is no tomorrow. Remember life before kids? You spent all of your money on your own clothes and your own nice dinners. Free time was something you had too much time of. Now with kids, a career (or searching for one) all of your priorities compete with one another and you have time and no money.
2. Young people lack human capital –
Young people lack experience or human capital in order to launch a successful business. There are exceptions of course like software or the random invention that takes off in a craze but if you don’t have experience doing something right then there is a slim chance that you can help someone else do this.
Strange day. I had three people tell me that they were out of a job and all for different reasons. I heard from a networking buddy, a family member and a services partner. Is there some type of correlation amongst these folks or is there something special about today?
Getting the rug pulled out from under you is never fun unless you were asking for it but sometimes it is a blessing in disguise. The unemployment rate is at is peak but is trending downward as of late. Check out the latest Bureau of Labor chart here and find out where your state trends.
Here is an email that I received from a member of our Tech Connectors networking group.
My name is XXXXXX. I would like to share my Texas Tech Connectors success story with you.
I recently received a job offer that began via the Texas Tech Connectors group. I first heard of a new meeting and thought it would be a good way to broaden my network with like minded people. The first time I came to the networking meeting, I met with Brandy Tatum. She works for RJ Byrd, a recruiting company. I gave her my resume to her after the meeting and she forwarded it on to a few of her contacts, who I believe also forwarded it to the company that I ended up accepting a position. I had been out of work for about 10 months, mostly not willing to settle on a position that wouldn’t work long term. I am grateful for Brandy’s help as well as all the Tech Alums willing to help others.
It is groups like this one that make my days at Tech even more valuable now that I have moved on from the student phase of my life. Thanks for the emails and updates and hopefully I will be able to make a luncheon soon and put something back into the group.
Feel free to share my story and/or paraphrase as necessary.
Talk to you soon.
I am glad the group could help XXXXXX. Here are a few things about XXXXXX that I noticed right away that helped him get found:
I am an open networker on LinkedIn. My email address is in my profile and you can email me or send me a connection request and browse my contacts. This helps everyone see more contacts and therefore more data about these contacts for networking. If you are my first degree contact then I either know you or ask you what you need when you send me a request. This way I know how we can help each other.
Pretty simple, right? I thought so, but let me tell you what happened to me this week.
I got cold called while at work. The person calling stated that she was using LinkedIn for networking and found my profile. She wanted to set up a 15-minute meeting in my office for networking. She wanted to know a little more about the company and in return tell me what they do to see who I knew. I tentatively agreed as I confirmed the name of her company and Googled it.
As I read through her site, I looked at what they were selling and told her that we have already decided not to buy anything like that. I just wanted to set expectations that she couldn’t sell that here but I could network with her since I am open to that. She panicked and said that maybe I should talk with XXXXXX.
Ah ha, I am not even talking with the sales person yet!
So XXXXXX gets on the phone to talk with me. Now I am using LinkedIn advanced search to find him while I am on the phone with him. Since they can see me then I know I can see them. I find him from company name and first name and notice that HE IS MY FIRST DEGREE CONTACT.
I told him that he was my first degree contact and that we were connected via a common group. He did not state how embarrassed he was that he had someone else cold call his contact but I knew.
It would have been much easier for him to go through his contacts and ask to network. All he had to do was email me since we are connected. I really would have tried to help him if it really only took 15 minutes. I don’t know now how he will be able to help me but in the future he could possibly serve a role in a future endeavor.
So please realize this:
- Use your own LinkedIn account
- Use LinkedIn as a part of your sales planning
- Know how to use social networking correctly
Anyway, so I go to the store to buy a few items because my wife is feeling ill and she can’t make it. I buy 6 items and these are things that we normally buy so I am replacing what we have consumed. I go to the checkout and enter her store card number (that I have stored in my iPhone app) and proceed to checkout. I am amazed at what happens next…
After the checkout process I watch the printer where the real-time coupons get printed. The cashier gives me six coupons. Six! This represents 100% of all the items I buy but for the competing brands. This may be a good use of data but they gave me the coupons AFTER I bought my groceries. They should give me the coupons BEFORE I buy the groceries.
What if as I walked in they knew who I was and offered some coupons to me based on past purchases? This is the perfect opportunity for competing brands to grab me. They could use the data to compare past purchases and recommend products that I may be out running low on or completely out of. Boom. Instant savings for me and instant new customer and market share for the competing manufacturer.
There is the data to support this and it could work pretty fast. The coupons that were printed for me AFTER the purchase printed immediately.
Would you wait 2 minutes to get recommended savings based on your past purchases?