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Has LinkedIn Replaced Cold Calling?

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It's 9 am. You've just finished your second cup of coffee, responded to pressing emails, and browsed through Sportscenter for the run down of the day's top stories. Now it's time to break out the prospect list that you built from Lexis Nexus and begin dialing for dollars, right? Well, only if you're stuck in 1996.

Forbes recently shared an article about how LinkedIn has radically changed the way cold calling is done today. In fact, the article suggests that if you have a well-implemented LinkedIn strategy, there may be no need to cold call at all! LinkedIn offers business executives a wealth of information for better lead generation. For example, you can find out where your point of contact went to school, organizations that he has a vested interest in, honors that he has received, connections that you have in common, etc. And all of this can be learned before the two of you even have a conversation!

The intention of LinkedIn is to warm up the sales process, therefore replacing the "dialing for dollars" cold calling mentality and focusing more on building rapport. All of us would prefer a warm referral over speaking with someone that you have absolutely no connection with as we know this is a more effective way to close business.

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TruEffect Stops Honoring Do-Not-Track Signals

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Two years ago, ad-serving company TruEffect became one of the first Web companies to say it wouldn't serve targeted ads, or collect campaign measurement data, from people who sent do-not-track requests through their browsers. But on Tuesday, the company announced that it will no longer honor do-not-track settings.

Chief Marketing Officer Tim Mayer says the company changed course after noticing that the proportion of users sending do-not-track signals reached 20% this June, up from 14% in May. He attributes the increase to Microsoft's decision to activate do-not-track by default in the Internet Explorer 10 browser.

"We were seeing a lot more IE 10 browsers, and that was impacting our customers' measurement," Mayer says. He adds that TruEffect was placing itself at a competitive disadvantage by honoring do-not-track signals, given that most of the industry ignores them.

All of the major browser companies now offer do-not-track headers, which tell publishers and ad networks that users don't want to be tracked. But the header doesn't actually prevent tracking. Instead, ad networks and publishers decide on their own whether to honor the signals.

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3 Important Things About Facebook's Newsfeed Announcement

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Facebook has been pretty busy these past few months – Graph Search was rolled out to a wider user base, then the insights module received a much-needed facelift. And now it seems Facebook has set its gaze on its News Feed. On August 6th Facebook announced on its Facebook for Business page that a few key changes would be made to the News Feed, and confirmed some interesting details on how the News Feed chooses the stories it features. But they were less clear as to how, exactly, this might impact businesses and brands. From what I can see, there are three important parts to this announcement that businesses (and Facebook users in general) can take away from and implement in future status updates to come.

Organic stories can get a second chance.

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LinkedIn to Lower Age Minimum from 18 to 14

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Back when Facebook was exclusively a network for users with college e-mail accounts, leaving MySpace felt like graduation. Finally, you had access to a social network specifically meant for college students. Then, it opened its doors to anyone with a school account, and now — all that's needed to join is any ol' e-mail address. The novelty of the exclusivity has long since faded, as everyone and their grandmother (literally!) started poking you. So, we shouldn't be surprised to learn that come September 12, LinkedIn will be following a similar path. The 18-or-older rule will be thrown to the digital wind, allowing users as young as 14 to join the career networking site.

Businesses have long been LinkedIn fans — employee scouts roam the site looking at resumes, endorsements, and essentially conducting pre-interview interviews with potential new hires even before meeting them. Colleges and universities are as much businesses as they are institutions, and having an Internet presence outside of College Board and The Princeton Review is becoming increasingly important. Forbes notes that LinkedIn has the ability to show prospective students where the majority of a college's alumni end up, citing that many NYU graduates go to Citicorp, and Carnegie Mellon grads to Google, for example.

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Social Media and LinkedIn on the Rise

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Today, LinkedIn is the most popular social media site out there. According to a Study by the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, Center For Marketing Research, it's become more popular than Facebook.

According to an article by Lenna Garibian on MarketingProfs.com, 81% of companies listed on the 2012 Inc. 500 are using LinkedIn. While LinkedIn is on the rise, less and less businesses are using Facebook. In 2011 74% of companies were using Facebook, in 2012 that number declined to 67%. 2012 Inc. 500 also found that 63% of CEOs are contributing or taking ownership of some social media outlet.

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