Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Is Farming Out Selling Out?

By Phyllis Neill, President & CEO of WeMentor Social Media Marketing

The more we learn about social media marketing and management, we realize that the devil is in the details. We now know it’s not enough to simply be in social media, but we need lots of relevant, compelling content, frequent updates, and ongoing efforts to find followers. Most importantly, we need to inject our authentic brand voice, which cannot be outsourced. Or can it?

The good news is, there can be a happy medium. The secret to success is knowing what to farm out, what to keep in-house, and having a strategic plan that helps you do both.

What You Should Farm Out

You could feasibly farm out the creation and posting of 70 percent of the educational content you need to be providing:

  • Make a list of the top 10 to 15 sites where your target and current customers spend time, such as blogs, online news sites, niche social media sites, etc.
  • Engage someone to do a weekly “listening” campaign, where they select the top two to three articles or blog entries from each of the sites you identified.
  • From the list of top articles and blog entries gathered, engage someone to turn them into educational tweets, and have them post these three to four a day throughout the week for you.

What You Should Keep Within Your Company

Even if your business is trying to establish itself as an expert in a specific field, you will need to do more than have highly relevant article link tweets to get you there. Part of the appeal of social media is the intimacy factor; the ability to really get to know a company and its people like never before. Therefore, it is critical that you are able to inject your brand personality into your social media efforts, or people simply will not continue to follow you:

  • Create mini-blog entries. Have your social media marketing company create an editorial calendar that maps out suggested blog topics for each month, giving you the ability to give out guest blog assignments way in advance with a topic already suggested.
  • Post company events on Facebook. If you had a summer picnic, a charity fundraiser, or a trip for your top salespeople, post pictures of these events with personal captions under each picture. Nothing gives a customer or prospect a better feel for the company brand and culture than getting a peek inside how the company celebrates.
  • Develop a relationship with Twitter followers by commenting on other tweets and retweeting interesting articles.
  • Create real-world interactions out of social media meetings. Plan once-a-week LinkedIn lunches to stay top of mind with your LinkedIn contacts. Or write a handwritten note to someone you’ve met through your social media efforts.

The Importance of Strategy and Relationships

The bottom line is that it is possible to outsource a lot of the legwork involved in your social media strategy and still remain highly involved in the messaging. Just make sure to stay strategically involved in the relationship-building piece of the program, and your social media program will be a success.

Size Matters: How a Large Online Network Can Transform You, Your Marketing, and Your Business

By Ken Herron, Chief Marketing Officer at SocialGrow

Investment portfolios, airline seats, and chocolate fudge cakes. What do these three things have in common with the size of your online network? Big is good, bigger is better, and biggest is where you want to be.

As marketers, we have stuff to do, and failing to reach our objectives is not an option. Our brands and businesses require us to make things happen. Customers, sales, revenues… it’s up to us. Having large online social networks gives us the juice we need to make things happen.

Over the past few months, I have seen a surprising number of articles attempting to convince me that whether I’m a B2B or a B2C marketer, the focus for my portfolio of friend, follower, and connection-based online networks should be “engagement.” Hogwash.

Size matters. Size gives you power. Size gives you control. Size gives you leverage.

Everyone is an expert in something, but no one is an expert in everything. One of the reasons to be active on social media is to learn how to use cutting-edge and proven marketing strategies and tactics. If you follow one marketing professor on Twitter, you learn his/her approaches. How much better if you follow all of the top marketing professors on Twitter in the areas of B2B marketing, B2C marketing, public relations, corporate branding, and marketing research? The larger your network, the smarter you can be.

In the concept of six degrees of separation, all of us are, at most, six steps away from any other person. This is the heart of LinkedIn’s business model. If I have one connection on LinkedIn, I’m two degrees away from everyone my connection knows. Whether I need to buy or sell, I have a personal introduction to everyone in my connection’s network. As a marketer whose livelihood depends on your ability to get things done, would you rather have one connection on LinkedIn or 1,000?

What if you had a large mailing list of people who want to receive your communications because they’re interested in what you have to say? Each of your messages can reach more target customers. The larger your online network, the more people you can sell, real-time, 24x7x365.

As marketers, part of our value is to persuade our target audience to take action. If you’re Ashton Kutcher and develop the largest online network, you’re not just in the media, you are the media. You can directly broadcast to your five million-plus member audience anytime. That’s marketing. You want each and every one of your communications to command a level of credibility so high that other media outlets are forced to report on them.

As my boss likes to say, “Your message can only go as far as the size of your network.” Besides, as any five year old will loudly and unashamedly tell you when you’re standing in line with him at the bakery, “Who wouldn’t want the biggest chocolate fudge cake?”

Social Media Strategy Unclear to Marketers

By Diane Meyer, Owner of Marketing by DM

We’re hearing it over and over again from marketers. They’re saying, “I’ve sat down through so many Webinars on social media, and they’re all telling us to develop a strategy, but what is that strategy?” Well, we’ve heard you, but now we’re listening.

There have been several leaders who have addressed this recently, such as a story by @eMarketer entitled, “What Makes Up a Social Marketing Strategy?” Quality content here. Definitely save this as a favorite. I would like to take a different approach, however, to help those that seem to struggle with integrating social media in their marketing mix.

Let’s focus in on Twitter. If you don’t understand Twitter, you cannot possibly develop a strategy. As an example, I don’t know how to play chess, so how would I be able to strategize a move that is beneficial to me? Going nowhere is not an option and quite boring. In fact, I wouldn’t hold my own attention, much less anyone else’s.

Some of you may relate better to football. First, you have to really understand the game. I actually do and certainly get it when Penn State wins. Then your coach (Twitter) can guide you (football) toward your goal (whatever you decide that to be). Setting a goal may be to connect to like-minded business executives, marketers, and/or owners so that you can stay abreast of what is happening in your industry.

You must engage everyone on your team (those you follow) in order to reach your goal. Just throwing out the football (your tweets) will leave everyone cold, bored, and unengaged. They may even quit your team (unfollow you). Know what others are doing, saying, and care about, and be courteous as though you were having a discussion in person. Choose your words wisely. This is even more important than in person.

Your goal may become very different than what it was months ago. Last August, my objective was only to learn everything I could about Twitter through the sharing of links and information from SEOs, CEOs, and marketing leaders I was following. Starting with just 30 people to follow was a choice I made so that I could keep up. I didn’t even start contributing to the communication stream until after one month. More than a year later, I’m now ready to develop a strategy that is best for me.

Depending on your goals, type of business, and who you wish to reach, you will have to decide in which social media service you invest most of your time. My recommendation would be to have a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, but not necessarily in equal parts. Hopefully, your marketing mix already includes advertising, publicity, public relations, promotions, and sales. You will now add social media.

It is unfortunate if we view ROI only as dollars in return. For example, I like to think that my investment of time in Twitter results in ROE (return on energy). The energy I put into it comes right back to me ten-fold or a hundred-fold from some of the best of the best in the social media community. How do you attach a number that?

Have you reached a stumbling block on the strategy for your social media presence? Have you integrated Twitter or some other social media service into your marketing mix? Are you still confused? Should the goal always be dollars and cents?

Mobile Marketing: The Most Exciting Channel to Reach Your Audience

By Celene Mesa, Owner of Mesa Mobile Marketing

Does your business need more customers? How about something that is fast, targeted, inexpensive, and elicits immediate response? Then think mobile marketing, the most exciting channel available today to reach your audience.

Mobile marketing is a form of advertising communicated through a cell phone or smartphone that receives SMS (short message service) messages. Each SMS can be up to 160 characters in length and most commonly is referred to as a text (TXT). Text messages are safe and spam free.

Mobile media campaigns are accomplished through a software program that includes a customer database with SMS capabilities. When utilizing mobile media, a short code and keyword are integral parts of the program. The code is a 5- or 6-digit number that is used in lieu of a 10-digit phone number. This makes opting in faster and easier. The keyword is chosen by your business for your campaign and is used in your call to action. SMS are sent to willing participants only because the customer or potential customer must opt in.

Let’s say you own a restaurant named the Sandwich Board, and you want to start a mobile marketing campaign. To get your customers to opt in to your program and join your database, you should place enticing signs everywhere throughout the restaurant: on doors, counters, registers, and receipts; on the floor and hanging from the ceiling; even on employee name tags and buttons. Be creative. Make them eye catching and fun. For example, your sign could say:

“Join our VIP Club and receive timely specials! Text BOARD to 90210 to receive a FREE soda with your order today!”

When your customer sends that text message, the preset mobile media software program immediately sends a bounce back notice to the recipient’s phone, such as this example.

You have now successfully begun to build your opt-in mobile marketing database!

So do mobile marketing campaigns really pay off? They certainly can! For example, the mobile marketing push to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake earlier this year was the most successful SMS campaign to date. Tens of millions of dollars were raised by inviting donors to text HAITI to 90999. Because the request was well advertised, people responded immediately.

A call to action is critical to the success of mobile media. Consider that:

  • 4.1 billion text messages are sent and received every day.
  • 740 billion text messages were sent in the U.S. in the first half of 2009.
  • 97% of all SMS marketing messages are opened; 83% in the first hour.

According to the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), more than 89% of the major brands plan to market their services via mobile phones. Wireless marketing is expected to be one of the fastest-growing market segments for the next two to three years. And Google agrees. Says Google CEO Eric Schmidt, “The next big wave in marketing is the mobile Internet. Yes, mobile marketing will be a bigger business than the PC Web.”

Opt-in is key and is the primary reason mobile media is already showing much higher ROI than more traditional forms of marketing. If promoted effectively, your opt-in database will grow each day. Keep campaigns simple, and you will be amazed at your ROI and the loyalty of your brand’s following.

The Marketer’s New Clothes

By Johna Burke, Senior Vice President of Marketing at BurrellesLuce

My friends and I have joked over the years about CEOs (who will remain nameless) taking on the persona of the “Emperor” in the Hans Christian Anderson tale, The Emperor’s New Clothes. It was all fun and games until we let a CFO friend in on the joke, who suggested that, perhaps, marketing and public relations professionals are the scoundrels in this analogy. Ouch! This seemed harsh, but it gave me pause to reflect and better educate my CFO friend on why we are not the scoundrels.

In the spirit of his DNA, the CFO only responded to the numbers. Not just any numbers, but those that impacted the bottom line of the business. Certainly, this was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. He opened my eyes to the importance of every activity driving the bottom line, and I opened his eyes to the importance of the customer experience. Without evaluation and measurement, it was hard to know where you’ve been, where you are, where you’re going, and the most efficient way to get there.

While he appreciated the metrics I was using to manage the department (the outputs and the outtakes) and pointed out that perhaps those were simply the bolts of invisible fabric, clothing my CEO (and organization) with those metrics would be just like sending him out into the crowd naked. This was a pointed lesson that took hold and has stayed with me throughout the years.

In this analogy, is social media the cloth, the crowd, or the golden thread?

Social media is the golden thread. It’s real and it’s quantifiable. It’s how you use it in the weave of your fabric that makes it an effective cover of your efforts.

In social media, one of the easiest metrics to quantify is the conversion of an unknown to a qualified prospect. While this is an important metric to the marketing department to understand how your campaigns are performing, it’s only when the conversion becomes a sale (or outcome equivalent) that it really matters to the organization as a whole. The same stands true with engagement. While engagement is important, we should all look for opportunities to listen and learn from our customers. Until there’s a marriage or the deal is closed, it’s really all ceremony.

The moral of the story?

  • Know the difference between metrics necessary to manage your department and those important to the business objectives of your organization.
  • Don’t allow your organization or CEO to be naked while pretending to be clothed.
  • As a matter of strategy, make sure your organization’s “suit” is made of only the finest fabric, woven with solid metrics that are visible to the crowds (investors and stakeholders).
  • Don’t invest your time or resources in anything—including and perhaps especially, social media—that doesn’t cover your organization as you venture out into the crowds.

In the final analysis, trust your eyes, and if something doesn’t look right, say so. Even if it isn’t a popular thing to do.

LinkedIn: How to Properly Plant It into Your Social Media Marketing Landscape

By Kent Huffman, Chief Marketing Officer at BearCom Wireless and Co-Publisher of Social Media Marketing Magazine

LinkedIn is just one of a myriad of popular tools available in today’s rapidly growing and evolving social media world. So how do you justify the effort required to sow and nurture your presence on LinkedIn, especially the time and resources that could be invested elsewhere?

Lewis Howes (LinkedIn and Twitter) is a noted social media speaker and entrepreneur and co-author of the book, LinkedIn Working: Generating Success on the World’s Largest Professional Networking Web Site. Lewis thinks there a number of good reasons for putting down some of your social media marketing roots around LinkedIn. “With more than $109,000 as the average household income per user on LinkedIn (a far greater average than Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or the other popular social networking sites) and close to 45% of its members being business decision makers (versus 25-29% on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace), LinkedIn really is the place to be,” says Lewis. “It’s a great tool that can help you generate more leads and sales, drive traffic to your Web site, attract investors, control your personal brand, find your dream job or freelancing gigs, locate the right employees, build your database, get free PR, and position yourself or your company as a thought leader.”

But even if you agree that LinkedIn needs to be a focus for you or your company, how do you create a successful, impactful profile that will attract the right people and help accomplish your social media marketing goals?

Viveka von Rosen (LinkedIn and Twitter) is a successful entrepreneur, nationally renowned IA-certified LinkedIn trainer, and popular social media speaker. She is also the principal at Linked Into Business. Viveka teaches her clients and audiences that success on LinkedIn depends on several key actions. “Treat your LinkedIn profile like a Web site, and make sure it’s formatted, clean, and most importantly, filled with search engine-friendly keywords,” Viveka suggests. “Join strategically selected LinkedIn groups, and then invite members of those groups to join your network. You might even consider creating your own group. Then fill it with interesting and relevant information.”

Social Media Delivered, one of the largest and most respected social media optimization companies worldwide, is led by CEO Eve Orsburn (LinkedIn and Twitter). Eve believes that LinkedIn is a necessary component of any successful social media marketing strategy, especially in the business-to-business realm. “LinkedIn is the largest professional networking Web site in the world, with more than 65 million members,” Eve notes. “It’s also the most affluent social media tool and is ideal for reaching prospects in the B2B world, finding a job, obtaining venture capital, forming business partnerships, and growing your business.”

In the final analysis, it’s all about results. With the right strategy, tactics, and mindset, LinkedIn will quickly become an important part of your social media marketing landscape and will grow stronger and stronger over time, delivering measurable, repeatable results. This is especially true if you keep in mind the primary rules of social media: listen and learn first, share your knowledge, add value, always be authentic, and help others before you ask for help. On a related note, Viveka adds, “Remember to ‘give to’ more than you try and ‘get from’ other LinkedIn members. That’s the most important key to success.”

Social Media Marketing: So Much More than Tools

By Frank Reed, Principal of Frank Thinking

With the whole field of social media marketing coming together over the past few years, there has been a feeling of constant change. Twitter has gone more mainstream in the past 18 months, Google Buzz has jumped into the fray, Facebook fan pages have gained momentum, and corporate blogging is getting the true attention it deserves. As a result, it will be important to quickly recognize what actions a company must take in this frantic environment so time and resources wasted are limited.

The first focus, and perhaps the most important one, is avoiding what I call social media “tool mania.” This condition results from people getting caught up in the swirl of experts and gurus crying out for everyone to be using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, and any other tool that is available in today’s social media marketing marketplace. The implication being if you are not using these tools, you are not an effective marketer.

What has thus been created in this initial wave of social media marketing efforts is a focus on the tools to be used with little or no consideration for the business application of the tools. I tell people that while a screwdriver is a fantastic tool, you are not going to paint a house with one. The same basic theory applies to social media marketing. If a tool such as a Facebook fan page or a blog simply does not fit your business needs, then you may not need to have one. Social media heresy, I know, but more often than not, these ill-conceived efforts end up costing companies valuable time and resources with little or no return.

So why the rush to apply these tools without the appropriate assessment of the business application? Well, people don’t want to seem like they are not current or cool. Since “everyone” has a Facebook fan page or Twitter presence, then I have to as well, right?

First, the statistics don’t bear out the “everyone is doing it” theory. A Burson-Marstellar study published in February 2010 shows that 65 percent of the Fortune Global 100 had active accounts on Twitter, 54 percent had a Facebook fan page, 50 percent had a YouTube channel, and 33 percent had corporate blogs. While encouraging, these numbers really say little, because having a presence is no indication or guarantee of success. Just look at the graveyard of Facebook presences that haven’t been updated in months and blogs that have been left to rot on the vine. These do more damage than good, so were they really a smart use of resources? Not likely.

So what are we to do? Well, it’s pretty basic. Research where your customers are, determine how your competition is engaged in social media, get the right resources in place, establish KPIs that are truly measurable, and then proceed with business acumen and solid business common sense. Be careful, though, because many of the social media “tool purveyors” don’t have the business skills and knowledge, due to lack of overall business experience.

A general who takes his troops into battle with plenty of weapons but no battle plan would be labeled a fool. My question then becomes is there any difference in a social media marketer doing the same thing?

Social Media Marketing will Drive Product Innovation

By Gary Schirr, Professor at Radford University

Too much of what is being written about social media marketing (SMM) these days still has the ring of futurism. Wake up—the SMM era is already here! Companies are increasing their SMM budgets today, and their sales are being driven by customer-to-customer buzz at this very moment.

Much of the current focus on SMM by companies, as well as the business press, is about 1) designing marketing and PR to affect the C2C buzz, 2) monitoring how much and what is being communicated about their products and services, and 3) influencing the conversations about their products and services online. These direct efforts to create, monitor, and influence the online narrative of a company and its products will continue to be the focus of SMM strategy for most organizations.

However, SMM will also have a huge impact on marketing research and innovation in organizations. It’s no secret that many of the traditional marketing research tools (focus groups, surveys, brainstorming, and phone interviews) are woefully ineffective at uncovering the deep knowledge of customers and users that organizations today seek to enhance innovation.

More effective research methods, such as ethnography or individual interviews, have become more widely used but are viewed as excessively expensive or time consuming. SMM will change these economics. For example, online ethnography is already a growing area of study by anthropologists and marketers alike, and individuals are being engaged one-on-one synchronously, using Internet tools. These evolving online qualitative methods will provide better user insight and information to drive innovation.

As I have spent the majority of my career in service and product innovation, I may perhaps be biased, but I believe that ultimately the impact of SMM on innovation is likely to prove even more important than the much more publicized effect on how companies communicate with their target audiences.

Through the use of SMM, organizations will never have to drive innovation alone. Key users and customers will always be co-pilots. The nature of user involvement will vary, but it will be ubiquitous. Sometimes, product innovation will be driven through crowdsourcing. Sometimes, only “lead users” will have a seat in the cockpit. And at other times, users will be selected by criteria specific to a product. But users will be involved in the innovation. Actually, the difference between user innovation and simple user outreach is not always clear: users involved in innovation become engaged customers.

Certainly it will prove exciting to watch the evolution of SMM. And I look forward to monitoring the changing world of marketing.

In the Trenches: The Reality of Social Media for Business

By Amy Howell, CEO of Howell Marketing Strategies

2009 will be viewed as the year that the social media tidal wave hit, taking most businesses by surprise. But 2010 rings in promising new opportunities, more optimism in the economy, increased advances in technology, and with it, increased focus on digital marketing and social media marketing for most businesses.

In social media, like anything else, practice and learning by doing makes us better. We learn from mistakes and get better as we go—just like surfing. Kudos go out to those individuals and organizations who grabbed their boards, jumped in, and attempted riding this dynamic, changing wave.

According to MediaPost, 2010 will be the year of reckoning for marketers and social media. Forrester Research released a list in December 2009 predicting that companies will create cross-functional teams aimed at sharing ideas about social media and will get serious about budgets, efforts, and policies. The report also suggests that an “increasing number of marketers will adopt listening platforms to monitor social media.” A lot has been published online recently about predictions, trends, and stats, so I won’t repeat it all here, but it’s out there—just Google it!

So here’s the question: Boil all of this down, and what does social media really mean for businesses? As the owner of a PR and marketing firm, I have daily contact with every client of our firm, and many are still asking, “What does social media have to do with our business?” My response: Everything or nothing. We have advanced some clients’ strategies and have been able to point to some revenue generation due to social media engagement. And that is the key: engagement.

Social media itself is not a strategy. Success means using social media strategies to drive traffic to businesses to create opportunities, develop relationships (human interaction), and generate sales that actualize revenue. So from the daily trenches, here are some of my experiences that I share, hoping they are helpful.

  • Expect and anticipate the continued debate over social media ROI, especially for small businesses. We hear a lot about large corporate users, but remember that they have the resources (both human and financial) to use social media. The irony here is that the smaller the organization, the better the results (and speed to market) of the campaign. So if you are a small business, that means you have really big opportunities. Large companies are often too bureaucratic and political to agree, collaborate, and move quickly, and some spend too much time letting lawyers and HR dictate strategy (which is not the right way to do it, in my opinion).
  • View social media as a positive for your business! It’s giving us access like never before. You can ask a question on Twitter, for example, and get great advice and answers from some of the most brilliant people in the world. How cool is that? If you use Twitter correctly, you don’t need a research assistant.
  • Use traditional marketing planning to mirror key social media strategies. Social media is not an alternative to traditional marketing but a vehicle to advance what’s always worked. Get your plan together, focus on creative ways to market your business (generate revenue), and then apply the appropriate social media strategies to the plan. Budget for the time—and the resources—it will take to implement social media strategies. That can be a challenge for small companies, yet the rewards are far too promising.
  • Establish a corporate policy based on the appropriate culture, goals, and objectives of your organization. The best policies are the simple ones, and getting key players in the business together on the same page when it comes to social media is critical. Social media will fail if the stakeholders and/or owners don’t agree. For example, Kodak has one of the best social media tips and policies document I have seen. It’s brief, straightforward, and there is no way you can misinterpret its intent.
  • One of the most important issues to consider when applying social media strategies is the value of communication. Never in the history of business has it been so easy and efficient to communicate with mass amounts of people (customers, potential customers, the media, etc). What price can you put on that?
  • Pick your social media channel. The main channels and tools for businesses will be Web sites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. There are certain strategies appropriate for certain vehicles.
  • If nothing else, listen and learn! Use social media as a way to monitor what is happening and take advantage of information. For example, Twitter is a great way to listen and monitor due to its real-time search feature.

Never in my 25 years in corporate marketing has there been this much excitement, and 2010 will be the year for organizations to realize actual revenue for their social media efforts.

The Power in Your Profile: How LinkedIn Can Be Leveraged to Lead a Fruitful Job Hunt

By Eve Orsburn, CEO of Social Media Delivered

If you have a profile on LinkedIn, you are already aware of the strength in what I find to be the most powerful social media tool available for career searches.

LinkedIn networks more than 60 million professionals with more than half of them located outside the United States. According to a TechCrunch study, a new LinkedIn user joins every second. Chances of being noticed by a company improve when you have a connection. LinkedIn excels at leveraging connections by creating relationships.

On LinkedIn, click the “Jobs” tab at the top. And check out the LinkedIn job search tutorial. In addition, here are a few secrets for using Groups on LinkedIn to give your job search superiority:

Find a Group

Click “Search Groups” in the drop-down section on the top right of LinkedIn and enter a keyword. For example, if you are an accounting professional and enter “accounting” in the groups search, 900+ groups pop up. Let’s assume you want to work in Dallas. Add the keyword “Dallas,” and the search narrows. Read group descriptions and check the number of members. If there are only a few members, it won’t give you a great opportunity to build your network. Once you find a group that looks like a good target, click “Join this Group.” Some immediately accept requests. Others check your profile to make sure you are a good match.

Join a Group

Repeat the process with groups that may expose you to targeted prospects. Consider joining groups with your interests. You may find companies you’re interested in working for that have their own groups. You can join up to 50 groups, but it’s a good idea to limit yourself to 10 or 20, so you’ll have time to participate and bring value.

Exclusive Job Listings

After being accepted into a LinkedIn group, take time to explore it. The first place you will want to click is the tab labeled “Jobs.” This is where members post jobs pertaining to specialties of the group. Because these listings are free, this may be the only place this job is posted. You can post under jobs within a group you are looking for a position in. Keep this listing short, and post experience and talents in a catchy fashion.

Direct Connect

In LinkedIn, you can usually only directly contact people in your network. When you join a group, you have the ability to communicate directly with almost all members, unless they have stipulated that group members are not be able to contact them (which is rare). Use this opportunity to reach out to people you want to meet. Explain what help you would like and what you can do for them.

Get Noticed

Offer value to group members. Comment on discussions with valuable information and post discussions and news articles. I advise posting or commenting in each group once a week to keep visibility up without being overzealous. Read the guidelines to posting on each group (usually at the top of the discussion section).

Get Work While Searching for a Job

Often, someone within a group is looking for help or offering temporary employment for an individual with specific knowledge in the area being discussed. Comment to respond or reply privately. These positions can turn into full-time gigs.