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Social Networking Sites Breakdown: Whose Using Which Network

User Activity Comparison Of Popular Social Networking Sites
Infographic by- GO-Gulf.com Web Design Company

LinkedIn’s Powerful Share Button

Still unsure about the power of “sharing” on LinkedIn? Maybe this article from the Business Insider will change your mind.

8 Steps to Land Your Dream Internship

the red door
Creative Commons License photo credit: marfis75

In less than three months college students across the country will begin their summer internships which will likely be a boon for their future employment opportunities.  According to National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 70 % of those who intern are offered full time employment either by the company or through their network.

If you haven’t started looking for your summer internship, now is the time to get cracking according to Emily Bennington, founder of Professional Studio 365 and author of  “Effective Immediately: How to Fit In, Stand Out, and Move Up at Your First Real Job”.  During a recent #Collegechat, Bennington recommended the following steps to students to land their dream internships.

Start early. Students should start their search for an internship at least two to three months before they would like to begin. So, if you are interested in having an internship beginning in June, you need to start looking by March.

Make a list. Students should start with their dream companies and expand from there. Bennington recommends students have at least 25 companies on their initial list. Mark Babbit, CEO of Youtern,  added, “Once you have a list of dream companies, check out their competitors. Their competitors may be more dynamic and welcoming.”

Identify target internships. According to Bennington, the Internet is a great place for students to research internships. Bennington recommends students check out Intern Queen,  an online internship destination that helps students find and apply for internships while also educating them on how to make the most of their experiences. Bennington also recommends that students check out Internships.com, which describes itself as the world’s largest marketplace for internships. Interested in a social media internship? Internships.com lists 3651 available internships in social media alone including one with Charlie Sheen. Youtern is another resource that according to Babbitt, ”Focuses on mentor-based internships where those entering the workforce contribute right away.”

Twitter is another great social media source for looking for both jobs and internships according to Bennington. She recommends students check k out the tweets of http://twitter.com/#!/jobhuntorg.  Job-hunt.org maintains a list of the “Top 50 Employers Recruiting on Twitter” at http://www.job-hunt.org/job-search-news/2009/06/09/top-50-employers-recruiting-on-twitter/.  MonsterCollege –http://twitter.com/#!/monstercollege – is another great resource on Twitter and at http://college.monster.com/education for both college students looking for internships as well as graduates looking for jobs.

Students should also look for internships through their own personal networks including family, friends, and social media contacts including those on LinkedIn. And last but not least, don’t forget to utilize your college’s Alumni network in your search. After all, they have been there and done that.

Take an internship predictor test. For students not sure what kind of internship to look for, check out the free internship predictor application at http://www.internships.com/predictor. Students should also be able to take a career assessment test at their college’s career services office.

Make sure internship is legitimate. Try to find other students who have done the internship before you and ask them about their experience. Also, look up the company that you are interested in with the Better Business Bureau. According to Bennington, a legitimate internship should have learning objectives and be part of a formal program.  InternshipRatings.com and InternshipKing.com both offer ratings of internships.

Beware of “premium” And “u-pay internships.” Students should be very careful about “u-pay” and “premium” internships Bennington warned. “It’s best if the internships comes through the school.”

Some of these all-inclusive oversea internships, according to Babbit, CEO  of YouTern, cost $5000 to $10,000, and although many parents may be willing to pay for them,  are not necessary.

Open a LinkedIn account. Ideally, college students should have a LinkedIn account long before they start looking for an internship explained Bennington. “High school isn’t too early for a LinkedIn profile either,” said Bennington. “Fill it up with volunteer work and get a head start.”

Outshine the other applicants. The first step to outshine other applicants and to get your foot in the door for an interview, is to have a well thought  out and well written resume. “The best resumes showcase accomplishments and not just responsibilities,” said Bennington.

The next step is to do the research on the company you are interviewing with. Go to LinkedIn and learn as much as you can about the person interviewing you as well as the company. “Company research is so important,” said Bennington. “I am always surprised at how many candidates don’t know the basics.”

The final step actually begins after the student starts the internship. Bennington recommends that interns email their bosses weekly with a list of accomplishments, areas for input, and goals for the week ahead.  This final step will not only help you stand out during your internship, but will help position you for your next internship or job after graduation.

24% of US Small Businesses Now Engaged in Social Media Survey Says

American small businesses are pushing the limits on new ways to improve efficiency in the prolonged downturn, including a steady increase in social media adoption according to results of a study from the Small Business Success Index™ (SBSI) sponsored by Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business . The SBSI reports social media adoption by small businesses has doubled from 12 percent to 24 percent in the last year.

The SBSI found that nearly one out of five small business owners are actively using social media in their business. Small businesses are increasingly investing in social media applications, including blogs, Facebook® and LinkedIn® profiles. The biggest expectation small business owners have from social media is expanding external marketing and engagement, including identifying and attracting new customers, building brand awareness and staying engaged with customers.  Sixty-one percent of the respondents indicated that they use social media to identify and attract new customers.

Creative Commons License photo credit: harrietbarber

“Social media levels the playing field for small businesses by helping them deliver customer service,” says Janet Wagner, director of the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. “Time spent on Twitter®, Facebook® and blogs is an investment in making it easier for small businesses to compete.”

Small business owners use social media to attract new customers:

  • 75% surveyed have a company page on a social networking site
  • 61% use social media for identifying and attracting new customers
  • 57% have built a network through a site like LinkedIn
  • 45% expect social media to be profitable in the next twelve months

Small business owners still have concerns with social media:

  • 50% of small business social media users say it takes more time than expected
  • 17% express that social media gives people a chance to criticize their business on the Internet
  • Only 6% feel that social media use has hurt the image of the business more than helped it

To download a copy of the Small Business Success Index and also find out how your business scores on the six key dimensions of small business success, visit www.growsmartbusiness.com.

Has your business adopted social media? What is your company doing? What have been the results so far?

Survey Says TweetDeck; LinkedIn Tweeple Group Rocks

As I mentioned in a post several days ago, last week I was intrigued with tip 4 of “10 Tips on being a good Twitterer” from CNN.com last week. This is the tip I needed:

4. Use Twitter from your desktop. Twitter has something called an API (Application Programming Interface), which allows programmers to create experiences around Twitter for the community. Because of this, there have been an amazing array of applications released that will allow you to manage your Twitter account easily. There’s Twitterrific, TweetDeck, and Twhirl — just to name a few.

I admit it has become impossible to track the more than 400 people, news organizations, and companies that interest me. But the last line of the tip stumped me, “There’s Twitterrific, TweetDeck, and Twhirl.” Which one to choose?

15 February 2009
Creative Commons License photo credit: dougbelshaw

Next stop, Google. I quickly queried Twitterrific, TweetDeck, and Twhirl”. Lots of results. Unfortunately, nothing jumped out that would quickly solve my dilemma. I then turned to Twitter. I tweeted my request, “Which one to use Twitterrific, TweetDeck, or Twhirl?” No responses.

I then turned to the LinkedIn Tweeple Group. Within several hours I was flooded with responses –41 to date. 31 votes for TweetDeck. I heard from Twitterers around the world. I also heard from Jesse Engle, CEO of CoTweet. According to Jesse, CoTweet was designed for companies that are interested in having their team tweet through the corporate or brand account. Definitely a product to check out.

So, what started as a quick question, ended up being a fun journey around the world courtesy of the Tweeple Group on LinkedIn. Now, for the download.

What are you using to manage your Twitter account?