Tag Archives: LinkedIn

Glasgow Rangers Launch Facebook and LinkedIn Pages

Yesterday saw the official launch of Glasgow Rangers FC’s official Facebook page, complete with a photo shoot to celebrate it.  They have taken their time to enter into social media but it looks like they are going to take it very seriously.

With 17,900 fans in the first day since launch, mainly off the back off the PR generated for their launch, they have made a promising start to tap in the clubs massive fan base.  The PR for the launch not only included a photo shoot but also a launch press conference, something I don’t think any other team has done yet.  It has to be said that the video from the Press Conference is about 2 players and their injuries/plans with no mention of the social media launch or future plans, a bit of a miss.

If this is a sign of things to come then the club looks like it is going to integrate its social media presence in other activities (integration is key to making it really work successfully). 

Initially they have launched a Facebook page and LinkedIn ‘Business Club’ page (9 members so far but is early days).  The LinkedIn page is I imagine on the back of the ‘Celtic FC Business Network’ and something they see working for their sales, hospitality, events and sponsorship departments and has been eulogised by our own Sean Walsh in his recent article.

They have taken the two very separate lines with Facebook (fans) and LinkedIn (business), both of which could reap long term benefits for the club.  They have not leapt into this with their eyes closed but hired an in-house digital manager to mastermind their online presence and keep the pages updated.  One of the keys to this venture is having buy-in from the very top of the club….

Ali Russell, Rangers chief operating officer, said: “The Club has a well-established and successful media portfolio and the launch of the Official Rangers Facebook page further enhances our media operation.

“Social media is leading the way in instant news and our supporters can now keep up to date with all the latest Club news on Facebook wherever they are in the world.

“There are exciting times ahead for Rangers, on and off the field, and the creative use of digital media will undoubtedly increase and expand our exposure in the UK and worldwide – which in turn will increase the worldwide reach of our sponsors and partners.”

The club have also included their sponsors in their plans by consulting with them and making sure they are linked up from the start by making sure they ‘like’ their sponsors Facebook pages.  The involvement with any networking events run on the back of the LinkedIn (the need to bring the online offline is the real key to success here) will also be popular with the sponsoring companies.

Sarah Bell, marketing manager from the Lomond Audi Group, the club’s official vehicle sponsor, said: “At the Lomond Audi Group we recognise the importance of digital communication and are investing heavily in our own online presence in order to improve and build our customer relationships.

“The launch of the Rangers Facebook site is an exciting addition to the club’s media portfolio which allows us as official sponsor of Rangers to instantaneously connect with and engage the fans of the club.” 

There are also plans for a Twitter page in the coming months, though I suspect this may appear prior to the start of the new Scottish League season.

Article originally appeared in The Drum.

Dreaming of a job in Social Media?

Following on from Sean’s superb article about how clubs can utilise the often forgotten about powers of Linkedin. I wanted to cover another aspect that involves the platform which will be very relevant to many out there at the moment.

With the end of University and College years coming up there will be many after post-graduate jobs and gap year ‘work experience’ roles.  There are others as well who may be looking to switch from their current jobs into a social media role (who wouldn’t want to work in social media, especially if in sport?!) and of course people who are looking to get back in, something our times of austerity is more and more common.

Often spoken about is the power of how social media, and especially LinkedIn, can help anyone out there looking for a role and develop their careers.  The thought nowadays, which is a bit counter-intuitive, is that people need to become more like brands (and brands more like people).

This is especially prevalent as we will look at getting a career in social media and sport, a very tricky and new field but seen as the most exciting and fast moving.

The main aim is to build up a profile where people can easily find you…this is the platform or your stage… and you then have the opportunity to tell the world about what you know and how good you are.

You could do this by providing answers and discussions on LinkedIn, a great idea as many employers, CEO’s, CTO’s, Heads of Social Media are on the site.  LinkedIn also has a massive network of groups, many of whom are dedicated to social media, and they have job listings in them.  many employers now post their jobs on their company profiles and in relevant groups so it is furtile ground for starting your search for social media roles.

You could start up a blog talking about the subjects you are most passionate about.  This was the option, was well as using LinkedIn, that I used to get my thoughts out there and get myself noticed.  You can also guest blog, so you don’t have to go out there and set up the whole thing from scratch.  Get in touch with people like myself (you can really go for the sky with this one so think higher than just me!) and ask if you can write on their blog.  I’ve people do this for me over the last 18months and also on sites such as www.sportsnetworker.com where I know many people have done the same.

If you are going for social media roles you are expected to be active and either a thought leader or a doer.  The last couple of years has seen an explosion in social media/digital roles coming up and people have come into them from a huge variety of backgrounds.  The most common will be PR and IT due to the nature of the content and platforms involved but that doesn’t mean there is huge variety of backgrounds being taken on (mine is in events and sponsorship for example).

The most important thing is to get your name out there, make connections online on the various platforms (usually LinkedIn and Twitter), share your knowledge/ideas/thoughts with people in the field and meet up with as many as you can. 

We talk about Word of Mouth quite a lot in social media and this applies in equal measures when it comes to jobs.  People will ask if they have heard about or met a certain person, do they have any one they would recommend for a role and be put in touch with potential candidates by others who are active online.  Even during the interview process, the company will be asking questions and finding out more between your interviews. So there the better known and well connected you are the more chance you have of 1) being put forward for a role and 2) getting the job ahead of everyone else.

The best way of getting into a social media role is to prove how creative, influential, dedicated, resourceful and /or knowledgeable by using social media….. obviously.

There are examples of people using Google AdWords to target certain CEO’s in business, to get their attention.  Others are using really creative ways of using YouTube to try new ways in which they can land their dream role….with varying success.  But if you’re going for a creative role then that’s the way you need to think right?

Social Media is obviously not just all about the creative, high energy side.  Analytics may be the unsexy side of the industry but is none the less an important one depending on the role you’re going for.  This is a growing area within the industry as businesses make it a key focus in their social media/digital operations.

When it comes to the role you really want to go for; look at the job description and the experience/skills you need.  If you have them then go for it and find a way of landing your dream job.  If you don’t then don’t be afraid to work at those areas and get that knowledge/experience….there is plenty of help out there, networking opportunities and now more and more courses to help plug those gaps.

Remember though that sports taking on full-time social media specialists is still quite rare and occurs mainly at the top end.  More often than not it will be the responsibility of someone within PR or Marketing who has a passion for social media to take this on and drive it forward.  It is becoming more important and am sure more roles will come up in the coming months and years.

To me the most important aspects were LinkedIn, and the network I formed from this and people I met, and blogging. Even now people have heard of my blog more than they have of the company i work for and relate me to that.  This has been why it has been important to keep on writing despite the switch from working for myself to a full-time role.

Good luck in your search.  Any questions, ask in the comments below and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Why Football Clubs Should Adopt LinkedIn as a Social Media Channel

LinkedIn was the subject to a major IPO last week and has seen share prices soar by 110% in just a week. This was particularly interesting as it is one of the first major social networks to go public and really is unexplored waters. For whatever reason, the news made me consider why is LinkedIn often left forgotten by marketers. Having worked in the social media industry for awhile, it tends to be that clients (and companies) just decide to set up a LinkedIn channel along with their new Facebook and Twitter pages, but rarely know why. In keeping with football clubs slow adoption of social media, LinkedIn is barely recognised by the major commercial teams.

LinkedIn recently hit the 100 million members mark and with it’s recent success in the market, it needs to be taken seriously. 

Sure, LinkedIn is typically less social than Twitter and Facebook. And yes, most of your colleagues and business contacts probably don’t care about your football team, so why would you ever bring that aspect of your personal life into a predominantly business-focused/recruitment platform? But that doesn’t excuse ‘social media chiefs’ ignoring it altogether.

A very quick search shows that there is a demand and there already communities set up. A ‘Manchester United Supporters‘ group has near 2.5k members, the Arsenal equivalent has 2.1k. These are unofficial groups moderated by fans, but set up for the purpose of like-minded supporters to connect with each another, and potentially do business whilst expanding their own personal network. By using a shared interest in football, it creates a casual and comfortable first point of contact in which relationships are already created. We all know that businesses exploit this bond between fans, if in doubt, just look at the number of corporate hospitality tickets on sale every season. The fans do use the channels, and they clearly want to connect with other supporters, despite the more formal nature of LinkedIn.

But how can football clubs manage these channels I hear you ask, and more importantly why?

An excellent example of LinkedIn working for sports can be found in the Celtic FC Business Network (Sorry, can’t help but be heavily biased!). The group is set up and run officially by the Scottish club’s new business/corporate hospitality department. Although it currently only has just under 200 members, this officially sanctioned LinkedIn group states that:

“The group will provide a platform for you to make valuable connections, take part in discussions,receive exclusive content and find out about the latest initiatives going on at the club. In addition to this you’ll get up to date information about hospitality, sponsorship, events and networking”

More importantly, the club has supported the group by launching an offline lunch event at Celtic Park for members to network with each another, listen to keynote speakers, meet the Celtic CEO and do business with like minded Celtic fans. It’s first event sold out with 200 (more than their actual LinkedIn presence) turning up in Glasgow to support the innovative initiative. More impressively, the club has reached out to those who attended and asked for feedback about what they want to get from future events.

I think it’s a fantastic use of LinkedIn to just connect fans closer to the club both socially and commercially, but it adds real purpose to their social media and taps into a market that perhaps don’t use the likes of Facebook or Twitter. If football is a business, then clubs need to get their act together and starting interacting on LinkedIn – a specifically business oriented channel.

How LinkedIn Can Benefit Sports Clubs

Last night I had some time to think whilst sat in the car waiting for my girlfriend.  And, as you do, I started to think about LinkedIn and its benefits to clubs that could and should be harnessed.  It is such a powerful tool but underused by many and the main reason for this is a lack of understanding.  Well, if you dont have time to play around with it or not had any training in what it does then it is very easy to miss much of what there is to offer.

Instead of writing down my thoughts I decided to talk about it via the webcam.  I hope you find it of some use and of interest.  There is so much more to talk about but I managed to cut myself down to just over 7 minutes.

The main topics I cover are; events, recruitment, local business, sponsorship and groups.

If you have any questions or additions to what I have said please leave a comment or get hold of me at @danielmclaren

See you in Nottingham to all those who are going!

Interview with Lewis Howes, founder of Sportsnetworker.com and author of LinkedWorking

Lewis Howes took some time out from his busy schedule to answer some of my questions about Lewis, LinkedIn, Social Media and how we fair when it comes to Social Media here in the UK.

For those of you who have not come across Lewis Howes before (I dont think that will be many of you!), he is a previous two sport collegiate All-American, is also the NCAA All-Division Record Holder for the most receiving yards in a single football game (418 yards, the current unofficial World Record).

As an athlete, Lewis was featured on ESPN and in Sports Illustrated.  He graduated from Principia College with his degree in Sports Management and has been involved with the sports industry since his retirement from professional football. He founded the Sports Executives Association and SportsNetworker.com which helps him connect sports executives around the world both online and through events.  Lewis also represents sports companies and professional athletes with social media marketing and branding.

Lewis has successfully translated the mental and physical tools learned in sports to the business world.  In addition to Sports Networker, Lewis is the co-author of the LinkedIn success book, LinkedWorking: Generating Success on the World’s Largest Professional Networking Website.

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I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn

Anyone who has been on LinkedIn will know this phrase very well, either through receiving it or sending it out.  For those of you who don’t know, this is the standard message you are given when sending a request to connect with someone on the site.

This is the easy get out, the non-thinking way of doing things that, until you are told otherwise, you will do for everyone you want to connect with. I myself have been guilty of sending out this message but not anymore I’m glad to say.

Why would you send out a connection message?

LinkedIn is very much like normal networking.  The aim is to not only strengthen existing relationships by inviting them to connect but also to meet new people.  You do this when you see someone of interest in a group, has posted a discussion on something interesting or is in a field you are working in.  Some people will accept all request (called LIONS – LinkedIn Open Networkers), other you have to input their email address to connect but most people you just need to show how you know them (friend, colleague, group member) and send them a message to ask them to connect.

Why is it a no-no?

 If you are like me, on LinkedIn most days and run a group or two.  You will receive your fair share of connection requests with the title phrase attached and to be honest it gets annoying!

If this is mixed with the person adding that they are a friend or worked with you at a certain company, which they obviously haven’t, then it is one of the ways in which to get yourself blacklisted, ignored and/or rebuffed.

How should you be doing it?

 It is not difficult to get accepted by 99% of the people you send a request to. It is more of a matter of courtesy and politeness than any fancy tricks.  Here are my top tips to connecting with new people;

  1. Don’t say you are a friend unless really have to.  The ideal is to be a member of the same group and use this as your ‘how I know them’.
  2. State how you found their profile
  3. Say why you would like to connect with them
  4. What the benefit would be in connecting with you
  5. Be polite and honest
  6. Don’t try and sell them anything – it’s an instant turn off and big no-no

It is not a hard thing to do.  Yes, it takes up a little more time as you have to put some thought into your request.  If you come across as an honest, interesting person that can be of benefit to the person you want to connect with then great, you will be a great addition to their network.  A good example of an invite would be;

Hi David

I came across your discussion on social media in the UK Sports Network group and was really interested in what you had to say.  It is a subject I’m starting to look into for my club and would like to connect with you and discuss your ideas.

Kindest regards,

Daniel

It doesn’t have to be a long article on why you want to connect but something short, relevant and to the point is all you need. 

Now, the next time you connect with someone follow these basic rules and you will see the benefits almost straight away.  Your network will grow and you can talk to them, meet them in real life and start a relationship that may help you start or expand your business.

LinkedIn is a great platform on which to expand your network beyond your expectations, meet some great people and build up your personal brand.  If you have questions on LinkedIn or want to connect (you now know what to write to me!), I’m always happy to have a chat.

Is LinkedIn Enough?

I and many of you who read this will be massive fans of LinkedIn and what it can do for your business and your own profile. But is it enough just to make new contacts, start discussions and become thought leaders?

My thinking about the likes of LinkedIn and Twitter these days is that they are great introductory tools. They have the ability to break the ice, start talking to people and get to know who will be useful to connect with and share your ideas/passions.

Despite the fact that I have broken the magical 500+ contact barrier, the work that I have brought in for my company has still been through traditional methods. One was from a friend I have not seen for while and now runs a basketball academy, another I was recommended to by a former client and my biggest project will be from a former employer. So what am I bothering with LinkedIn for??

Without LinkedIn these people would not have known what I was doing, it is almost like having an online CV. People I know from working on one project will look at my profile and see what else I do, then speak to me about some work they need doing or a friend who has a need.

It has also allowed me to set up a great blog, speak to contributers for the site and build relationships for events I am running off the back of the website. It has given me the contacts and an audience to tell what I am doing.

Social Media will never replace face-to-face meetings and proper relationship building. I am a firm believer that you cannot form a real connection with someone until you have met them, spent some time with them and got to know them properly…. in person.

If you think Social Media has all the answers then I’m afraid you are more than likely to be disappointed. You can have 1000 contacts, 5000 followers and 10000 fans but unless you know how to use these connections then you will never see all the benefits you should enjoying.

To see more on how to best use LinkedIn, see this article by Lewis Howes, who runs Sportsnetworker.com and LinkedIn group Sports Industry Network, for his 13 ways to generate massive success on LinkedIn.

http://www.sportsnetworker.com/2008/12/18/13-ways-to-generate-massive-success-on-linkedin/

Be great to hear your thoughts and experiences of using Social Media for your business and personal goals………..