Tag Archives: LinkedIn

6 reasons to connect online with people you’ve never met

Everyone has their own strategy with LinkedIn. Some people choose to only connect with people they’ve physically met. Others choose to connect with people they’ve at least spoken to, whether physically or on the phone. I, however, have a different strategy.
I like to connect with anyone who touches my industry regardless of whether we’ve ever spoken or crossed paths. I might be in market research, but if you’re in marketing, AR/VR/MR/XR, big data, analytics, data journalism, neuroscience, biometrics, polling, surveys, focus groups, mall intercepts, sampling, research panes, etc, I’ll probably be open to connecting with you.


Well, I’m not a sales or business development person so you’ll never see a pitch from me, disguised or otherwise. I don’t do sales, I won’t do sales, I’ll never do sales. But I have numerous reasons for connecting with so many people:

  1. Conference speakers: On occasion, I am asked to recruit and chair tracks of speakers at conferences. Having built a broad set of connections over the years, I can quickly find and invite people meeting the expertise requirements without resorting to a tried and true list of the same people I talk to everyday. And, I can even invite people based on geography as I’m careful to grow connections around the world.
  2. Webinar guests: You never know when someone is going to ask you to recommend an expert on a topic, or when you yourself would like an expert to join you during a webinar. Make those connections early, and you won’t waste time waiting for people to notice and approve a LinkedIn invitation.
  3. Article authors: Want an expert to contribute their opinions to a blog or article? You guessed it. Building up connections over the years means that I can quickly reach out to experts in many areas to see if they’d like to contribute their knowledge in a magazine or journal article.
  4. Job seekers: I love being connected to so many people because it allows me to be aware of job notices. I see many and share many, and hopefully this helps unemployed people find a new job just a bit more quickly. Plus, when someone comes to me personally, sometimes I can direct them to a job posting I saw just that day. (On a related note, pay your interns!)
  5. To put a face to a name: I like to get know people I plan to meet before I actually meet them. And, I often open a person’s LinkedIn profile when I talk to them on the phone. I like to see the face of the person and, sometimes, it helps to have a quick outline of who they are and what they do to help focus conversations. This has helped me many times over the years when I’ve participated in global standards committees where participants live on different continents.
  6. To be in the know: I wish I knew everything about my industry and the future of my industry but I don’t. I’ve not yet grown my psychic abilities sufficiently. Following people who live in hundreds of cities around the world means that I get to understand opinions that I would never, ever otherwise have the chance to consider. I see stories about augmented reality being used for medical training, I learn new theories about marketing, and I am amazed on a daily basis at the work happening all around me. LinkedIn connections are fabulous teachers.

The next time you see a link request from someone you don’t know. Consider whether any of these reasons would make it a worthwhile connection. It might not work for you but it certainly works for me.

Why won’t I Link In with you?

I’m pretty open to new connections. First of all, I’m the Editor In Chief of a marketing research magazine called Vue so I am always in search of new connections who could be potential authors (could you?). Second, I know that the future isn’t written in stone and I could be unexpectedly job hunting tomorrow. In both cases, the more connections the better.

At the same time however, I do not Link with every Tom, Chris, and Susan who asks. I am not a LION. My criteria may be broad but they are simple.

  1. Are you a person? There is a new trend of creating LinkedIn profiles for companies as opposed to people. I refuse to link with companies. I can’t have a conversation with a company. I can’t debate a new ethical issue with a company. I can’t ask a company for its perspective on a case study. Sorry. No wait. Not sorry at all. I only link with human beings.
  2. Are you in my field? I love to link with marketing researchers in all walks of life. But if you’re in a related field, that works for me too. So, marketers, advertisers, neuroscientists, ethnographers, statisticians, field managers, data scientists, linguists, community managers, moderators, and more all meet my criteria. All of these types of people have an abundance of unique and valuable skills that Canadian researchers could learn from in a magazine article.
  3. Have we met before? No worries, that doesn’t matter to me at all. You can’t help it if you live in Australia and I live in Canada, and there’s no way our paths will ever cross. I value expertise not geography.
  4. Is your profile filled out? I examine the profile of every single person who requests to link with me. Some profiles are completely empty or have just a couple of job titles. It’s nearly impossible to figure out whether we could have a meaningful conversation about surveys or data or charts. For all I know, you created the profile today and have no intention of coming back. Since LinkedIn limits the number of connections you can have, it doesn’t make sense to Link with someone you will never see again. Come back when I can make an informed decision.
  5. Did you welcome me with a sales pitch? LinkedIn is indeed a social network for business people and an important place for creating new business relationships. But there is no need for your first message after linking with me to be a dissertation on how you are guaranteed to provide me with the best product ever and we need to talk immediately to outline our amazing new partnership. I will unlink you before I finish deleting your welcome message. Chat with me first, share a blog post, ask for opinion, let me get to know you. You might just find that I ask YOU about your services and that’s a far better business bet.

Go ahead. Try me.

I Am Your Stinky SeatMate

With more than twelve hours of flying time and four hours of layover time ahead of me, it was difficult to look forward to a conference where I would give a presentation on social media research to hundreds of people. However, given that the trip would land me in the 13 century city of Stockholm, with its cobblestone streets, ancient palaces, and stunning architecture, the impending cramped legs and utter boredom seemed worthwhile.

My journey began in the Canadian prairies when I parted with my checked luggage at the Saskatoon airport. My luggage immediately headed westbound to Edmonton, a city not even on my eastbound itinerary, and I, after numerous flight delays and a subsequent cancelation, headed back to a hotel room overlooking a garbage dumpster. Leaving for Stockholm would have to wait another 24 hours.

As a vocal marketing researcher who specializes in social listening research, I’ve taken careful steps to maximize my online exposure to as many relevant colleagues as possible. More than seven thousand professionals follow my Twitter account where I share my thoughts about how to conduct high quality social listening research. More than a thousand people have friended my Facebook account, a place where I share some of my marketing research thoughts but far more personal thoughts, opinions, and rants. Nearly four thousand people have connected with my LinkedIn account, a social network for professionals and business people, many of whom travel – a lot.

What does that mean? It means that more than seven thousand people on Twitter, plus the thousands of people they shared my tweets with, were exposed to my frustrations via tweets labeled @AirCanada, #IAmYourStinkySeatMate, and #LostLuggage. On Twitter, I shared the fact that my ‘free’ breakfast voucher did not cover the cost of a basic breakfast. I shared images of the highly fragrant toiletries I received but could not use, including an advertisement for the toiletries themselves. I shared my disappointment in not also receiving a t-shirt (easy resolution), socks (easy resolution), or underwear (Yes, I’ll admit, difficult.). Since tweets are public, and they are now searchable in social media listening results and Google search results for years to come, I was careful to maintain a mild level of professionalism during my frustrations.

On the flip side however, Facebook has a higher degree of privacy than Twitter. In the best case scenario, only the thousand people I am friends with on Facebook will ever see what I post there. It is there, on Facebook, that a thousand of my closest friends listened, watched, and sympathized with how I really felt. On Facebook, my close friends and family, the people who are most influenced by my personal opinions and brand experiences, listened as I bemoaned how my luggage was lost before I even saw an airplane. They sympathized as I wandered from airport to airport, from help desk to help desk, asking agents for the whereabouts of my luggage. Thousands of people saw the brand name Air Canada next to phrases like “Your bag probably fell off the line” and “We can’t seem to locate your luggage but it will probably be in London.” My friends and family saw images of the pathetic hotel room I was given, and 6 second Vine videos of toiletries that I couldn’t use because they weren’t what my doctor recommended.

It wasn’t only Air Canada that failed me though. There were many opportunities for other companies to become knights in shining armour. A desperate tweet to Aveeno led nowhere. No tweets of sympathy, no surprise package waiting for me at the end of my journey. And oh, how I longed for clean socks and underwear, precious items nowhere to be found in the airports. A tweet to Hanes resulted in no sympathy tweets nor offers to supply the items either. Though fellow tweeters also shared my call for assistance with their thousands of followers, nothing happened. I could have been profusely praising Aveeno and Hanes right now but, rather, I am sharing my disappointment in a very public forum.

But let’s ignore the cancelled flight and lost bags for a moment. What were Air Canada’s biggest fails, the reasons that I ended up being so vocal?

They passed the buck. They expected me to find and speak to the right person after getting off an eight hour flight. They should have done the speaking for me. They have the computer system in front of them. They know the right people to talk to. They know how all the airports and airlines work. They should have greeted me at my next connection with a message updating me on status of my lost luggage. Instead, I tweeted.

They chose the wrong language. They “invited” me to speak with an agent on my arrival at a strange airport in a foreign country. Perhaps I misunderstood, but I was not begin invited to a birthday party. They seemed to have forgotten who made the mistake. So I Facebooked my disappointment.

They chastised me. With a presentation to hundreds of my colleagues on the horizon, forgive me when I do anything I can to find the luggage with my presentation clothes and shoes. Of course I send both tweets and Facebook messages to Air Canada. There was no need to slap my hand with a patronizing comment that my messages had already been answered elsewhere.

And on that note, have you heard about Chester the Cat? Hundreds of retweets later, thousands of sympathic followers later, and millions of highly memorable and salient social media impressions later, Chester the Cat was finally found on June 18, 2014 after being lost by Air Canada for an entire month. Skinny but alive. I’m glad I only lost my luggage.

You Don’t Own Me

I have thousands of friends, fans, and followers. Over a thousand on Facebook, nearly four thousand on LinkedIn, and almost eight thousand on Twitter. Most of them are marketing researchers, and they read and monitor everything I write.

Follow me on Twitter! @woofer_kyyiv

But let’s flip that on it’s head. I follow thousands of people on Twitter, I’ve friended over a thousand people on Facebook, and I’ve Linkedin with thousands of people on LinkedIn. And you know, it feels kind of creepy to hear other people say they ‘have’ me as a friend/follower/link, that I am one of the thousands of people they have in their little black book.

First of all, I love that many of the people I’ve connected with can now be counted as friends. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn conversations over the years have led to lots of friendships with people around the world, people I would have never met otherwise. But, the connection does not necessitate that we’re friends. We have may crossed paths at a conference, shared a cubicle wall at a past employer, or discovered via fourth order connections that we both love charts/statistics/data quality/ukulele. Connections yes, friends, not necessarily.

Second, I don’t read everything they write. I don’t even see or care about everything they write. Indeed, I know I’ve forgotten that I’ve even linked, friended, or fanned some of them.

Finally, as the person I follow, you don’t ‘have’ me. I made an individual decision, without your assistance, about who I follow/friend/link and why. At the drop of a hat, exuberant use of curse words, racism, sexism, or other forms of hate messaging will result in me deciding that I no longer care to follow or friend you. I’ll even unfollow you if you share heart-warming, uplifting, inspirational quotes all the time. Maybe you love them, I don’t. So with that in mind, consider me as someone who has graced you with an increased follower count. Temporarily. At my full discretion.

If anything, I ‘have’ you.

I don’t have any followers. There are, however, thousands of people who have chosen to follow my accounts. It’s a big difference.

To link or not to link, that is the question #MRX

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...LinkedIn is a popular business social network where people can connect for work related online networking. There are lots of philosophies on who you should connect or LinkIn with but most people fall into one of three main camps.

  1. I only LinkIn with people I know
  2. I LinkIn with anyone (LION)
  3. I LinkIn with anyone who meets certain conditions

Option #1 focuses on linking only with people you know or have met, a very short sighted option. What about people you would love to meet? What about experts in your field? What about people’s you’ve always wanted to talk to, share ideas with, or ask advice and opinions?

Now consider option #2, linking with everyone. This too is not a recommended practice. When exactly do you expect to require the services of a waste management manager in India? There’s no need to fill up your contact list with people who have no relation or interest in anything you do. Indeed, LinkedIn puts limits on their services so why waste them on people whose path you will never cross.

The third option is ideal.

  • Obviously, Linkin with people you know. Current colleagues will eventually become past colleagues and these are the people you will look to when you next need a job reference or a shared connection to an interesting job posting. And if you’re not looking for a job, you might be able to help these people fill their jobs.
  • Linkin with people you have met at conferences, or virtually via Twitter or Facebook. These people might also serve as job connections, people to bounce interesting ideas off, people to speak at your conference, people to write a case study with.
  • Even better, send LinkedIn requests to experts in your field you’ve never met. Just because you aren’t able to attend conferences in England or Australia or South America is no reason to avoid building relationships with mobile researchers, survey researchers, focus group researchers, or social media researchers in other countries. In fact, it’s good practice to chat with people outside your comfort zone, outside your company, and outside your country. Your ideas and opinions have been developed based on your personal education, work experience, and cultural upbringing. Imagine what you could learn from someone who grew up in a totally different environment. If you admire someone’s work, send them a note on Linkedin and say so.

But please, don’t ever do this

  • Don’t send your linkedin connections messages about the highly valuable and relevant services your company provides, without even taking the time to see if your services are indeed valuable or relevant to them
  • Don’t send generic group messages more than once every few months. It could very well be perceived as spam and people don’t like it.

And on that note, if you’re a market researcher, please do LinkIn with me. I’d love to connect!

Could you give me an employment reference, please?

It’s an awkward question, isn’t it. References are nice pick-me-ups and confirm that you’re doing a good job. And of course, we need references when we’re looking for new jobs. But tell me, what happens in your gut when the topic of references comes up. I suspect it’s butterflies and anxiety and possibly a desire to visit a heavily tiled room.  So here is how references work.

Mitzi the West Highland Terrier Dog

1) If you ask someone in person to talk to a potential employer and give you a reference, it’s easy for them to say yes. Easy, peasy. But here’s the awkward part. You’re assuming they’ll give you a good reference when in fact they may only give an honest reference. If honest means that they think you’re a dedicated, conscientious, and highly desirable employee, you’ll be delighted when you get offered the job. However, if being honest means they think you’re a time waster, unmotivated, and  insufficiently skilled in your area of expertise, your potential employer might only hear, “Yes, John Smith was a colleague for six months.” Then you’ll wonder why you never got the job. You’re taking your chances.

2) There’s another way to ask for references though and that is by using Linkedin. Some people might pretend as though they never saw the request even though they read it and pondered over it. Surprisingly, just because you asked someone for a reference doesn’t mean they have to give you one. There are three things to think about when you ask for a Linkedin reference. First, consider if the person has worked with you for a long enough time to actually get a feel for you as an employee. Second, consider whether there are specific situations where you worked together as opposed to just chatting in the hallway and answering a question now and then. Third, are you really a great employee, in the top five or ten percent of employees? If you meet all of these conditions, then certainly ask someone for a Linkedin reference.

3) Now, if you’re going to be asking people to give you references, consider whether you have ever done the same for other people. Which of your past and present colleagues have you truly admired, which of them should have employers lined up to hire them, which of them do you still wish you worked with because they made your life that much easier. Simply, don’t ask for something that you have never given yourself.

4) Finally, if you know someone who is looking for a job and you think they’re a fabulous employee, why not tell them straight out that you’d be delighted to give them a reference. You don’t need to wait for them to ask.

With that in mind, do any of your past or present colleagues deserve the best LinkedIn reference you’ve ever written? Why not go make someone’s day right now.

Leading a Social Revolution by Christina Goodman, Linkedin #SoMeMR #MRX #li

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

09.15 How social media is leading a social revolution

  • How is social media changing how we make and understand people and relationships online and offline
  • What does it mean to be a researcher in a “connected” digital world?
  • How brands can use emerging behavioural insights to promote their products and values

Christina Goodman, Research & Insights Manager, EMEA, LinkedIn

  • Web 1.0 is search and get data
  • Web 2.0 is real identities and real relationships
  • Web 3.0 is real identities and massive amounts of data
  • Not all data is created equally. What is the right data to answer the right question.
  • 70% of UK are active social media users
  • 1 billion people use social networks
  • 1 out of every 6 minutes online is spent on social networking
  • Facebook – who I am as a person, friends and family, photos and gaiming
  • Twitter – who i am as an opinion leader, followers, real-time micro blogging
  • Linkedin – who i am as a professional, colleagues and alumni, connections and profiles
  • 60% of marketers still use clickthrough as the main measure of performance; ROI is only 32%; What are the right metrics, are there comparable traditional metrics
  • 82% of Linkedin users use it for business news, far more than forbes 15%, businessweek 8%, WSJ 3%. (I’m curious what these numbers are for non-linkedin users)
  • First, have a presence. Be where your consumers are. Second, engage in the discussion. Listen to what consumers say. Third, gather insights from the tools.
  • Look for “signal” search feature on Linkedin to see what people are saying about various topics
  • Visit http://www.brandyousurvey.com

Quick Poll: Have you read the Terms of Service for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn? #MRX

Nope, not scientifically sound, not randomly sampled. The answers are extremely important however.
Please answer honestly. If you have not COMPLETELY read the TOS, please answer no. If you COMPLETELY read the TOS, then answer yes.

Answers, and the reasons for asking these questions, will be posted later.

Here’s what’s wrong with Klout

With so much Klout bashing out there, I thought I would add more fuel to the fire. First of all, Klout is a proprietary tool intended to measure influence. As tweeters, we take pride in our high Klout scores, scoff at its validity when we get low scores, and game our way to the highest score possible.

If you want to game it and get a high schore, here are a few tips:

  • join in several twitter chats particularly those where the people have high Klout (e.g., blogchat)
  • tweet only to people who have high Klout scores
  • tweet on weekdays, weekends, holidays, days, and nights
  • connect your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.

You’ll be rewarded with high Klout even if everyone thinks you’re a total douchebag.

It’s also a fun thing for number geeks to play with. The numbers go up and down on a daily basis, and we can make pretty charts with them. As a geek who’s used charts as positive reinforcement on myself, this makes perfect sense.

If you really want to see how fun Klout is, run some Klout stats on @MRXblogs. That’s a bot I created which shares blog posts about market research. It replies to no one, retweets no one, and never goes to the bathroom. Its Klout is 46. That’s actually quite good even for regular human tweeters. But would you buy social media research from @Conversition if @MRXblogs tweeted one of their blog posts? I doubt it. Though feel free to prove me wrong.

So what is wrong with Klout? Nothing. Nothing at all. I suspect they have plenty of analysts and statisticians who have already thought of all our complaints and have already worked hard to resolve the ones that can be resolved. Remember – they are attempting to deal with innumerable special cases which simply cannot be solved by changing Z = X + Y to Z = X + Y + W. If it was that simple, they would have already done it.

So enjoy your Klout toy. It’s free and it’s fun. What more do you need.

Check Out the Statistical Outlier on my LinkedIn Cluster Analysis

Well, isn’t that a boring way to say look at this cool visualization on LinkedIn! It’s particularly neat if your LinkedIn folks come from a few different places. Perhaps you’ve linked in with folks from your last 3 jobs, plus some friends, and some family. This fun little program will run a fancy schmancy cluster analysis and figure out all the groupings for you. You will have to name them yourself but some of them will be really obvious. You can try yours here: InMaps.

And you can see my InMap right here!

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