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Posts Tagged ‘business’

Have you ever paid for a professional account on LinkedIn. Jesus, talk about expensive. A small account – which really doesn’t offer much more than the free account – is $20/month. Making this expense $240 a year. Not bad.¬† But not really worth your money.

But while we’re talking about things not worth your money, the professional account costs $200/month. Yup, math wizards are now gasping at the $2,400 a user pays for a professional account. I mean good god, I do not have that much money to use a simple service.

For those unfamiliar with LinkedIn, it’s a social network dedicated to allowing business professionals to build connections and introduce your current associates to new people.¬† Basically, everything you do at a conference. You can upload your pic, current position, experience, skills, resume, and connect to third party apps.

The golden $200/month professional account (as well as the smaller paid accounts) allows you to send messages to people….cool? Er, and the professional account let’s you only send 50 of those per month.. Use ’em wisely. Plus you get more search results when looking for people…..yay, more search results…. And send requests for introductions.

So, actually, the features are pretty sh***y at $200/month.

But there’s something else going on. Some of you might have guessed it.

Perceived value.

If you’re a Fortune 500 business person, why on earth would you use Facebook? There’s no value to it, or I should say no gates to control who gets prominence.

So, there are all these business people, a lot of them unfamiliar with social networks in the first place, who are willing to throw their money at LinkedIn because it costs some coin.

By all means, it’s inferior to Facebook’s ability to control privacy and integrate with 3rd party applications that assist business networking. But Facebook is free, has a bunch of teenagers, and has that goofy bumper sticker app. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is somber and costs money.

This is why I’m starting my social network, RICH AS F*CK. It’s open to the first 3 people who give me a million dollars each. And premium features include the abillity to message the other two members of this super exclusive network. Anybody wanna sign up?

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I like that Vimeo always signs its messages “love, Vimeo.” It’s a very personal touch to a mass produced message.

It’s a small gesture that the company wants to make these messages as personal as possible. Unless I’m in direct contact with a team member, these messages will never be personal.

But that’s not what matters. It matters more that the company says, “We hate boring messages. So we’re going to try something different.”

Flickr greets me in a different language each day. Squidoo calls me Sugarpie. My wordpress page has snow on it. And I can’t help but appreciate these little hints of life.

If your company is about to mass message its clients or users, consider giving the message some personality. It may be overlooked, it may not matter to every single user, but it counts for something.

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///Professional Facebook///

At lunch today, my girlfriend brought up the topic of whether we’ll keep up with Facebook as we get older. A study released less than two months ago shows that there is lots of growth in users aged 35-44. These are professionals using Facebook’s wide range of business applications.

So now I’m very interested in Facebook’s potential to be a business networking site. There are several places to build business-friendly features. The most important feature is differentiating your social and professional relationships. In the near future, we should be able to categorize contacts with profile limitations in mind. If I friend a coworker, I’d like to refer them to my business profile¬† – where I can place my business applications, professional website, work related info, resume, goals, etc. etc. (much like LinkedIn.) Eventually, as I get to know the person, I should be able to grant limited access to my personal profile. Facebook already allows you to put people on your “limited profile” list…and it’s a good feature to hide all those embarrassing I’m-throwing-up-Guinness pictures, or keep secret the fact that you like Golden Girls…

If you think a business profile would be the absolute more boring feature, well in its simplest form yes, but throw business applications into the mix for some kick. You might actually boost productivity, make more contacts, start groups related to your industry, and even create camaraderie with pics from that company retreat in Colorado.

///Ladies and Gentlemen, the Future Now///

Hey, so you can already add applications like MeetingWave or the Visa Business Network. You can find many of these great apps in the application directory.

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