Rumors Say Linkedin May Be First to IPO

Facebook may get more than its share of buzz, but Linkedin, the social media network with an eye toward business relationships, has been quietly sneaking up on the world. According to the LA Times and a variety of other sources, Linkedin appears to be priming itself for an early 2011 IPO.

Sources say that Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase all took meetings with Linkedin back in November and the timing couldn’t be better. With the financial world all a flutter at the thought of investing in a social media site, Linkedin would be smart to jump in before Facebook steals the spotlight once again.

New Skype for Business Includes Group Video Chat

Group Video Calling is now part of Skype for Business. This handy new featureĀ  allows you to host video calls with up to ten people at the same time and it’s only going to cost you $8.99 a month.

From a marketing perspective, this system allows you to do something you can’t do with email and that’s get face time with your customers. Group Video Calling is particularly useful for those of you in the business-to-business arena. For example, you’ve got a new updated widget that you’d like to pitch to a client. Using Skype Group Video Calling, you can get the VP, the department head and the CFO all on the line at the same time while you demonstrate the product. Seeing them react as you progress through the features and benefits is invaluable information that you can use to hone your sales pitch.

Facebook and the Science of Word Choice

When it comes to posting on Facebook, we’ve looked at what times of day are best, which days of the week are best and whether random posts can help you market your product.

Now, Facebook has gone a step further with a scientific look at word choices on updates. In order to study the words, millions of updates were fed into a computer and broken down by their corresponding Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) categories. Categories referenced parts of speech (pronouns, prepositions, verbs), general topic (work, school, family) or emotional response (happy, sad, angry).

The computer then took the category numbers and sorted them by age groups, time of day and by the popularity of the account. If you want to see all the detailed charts, visit this page on Facebook. If you’ll settle for a quick overview, then stick around.

New Study Says Hispanics are the Ideal Online Consumer

Have you ever thought about having your English website available in Spanish as well? You might want to consider it after you look at these stats from a new ComScore study.

The study was commissioned by Terra, a global, digital media company and bilingual content producer and was administered to 2,300 Hispanic adults (13 and over) living in the United States.

The most interesting finding was that across the board, Hispanics showed a higher participation rate in social media than their non-Hispanic counterparts.

24% compared to 18% viewed a live stream, 26% vs 16% posting ratings and reviews and 18% vs 12% purchased a product due to a recommendation. The study also found that Hispanics were more receptive to receiving updates for offline activities such as movies and restaurant deals through mobile text, Twitter or Facebook.

Social Media is a Hot Topic at 2011 CES

In just two days, thousands of tech-loving folks will descend upon Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show. Here, tech companies large and small will present the latest achievements in audio, video, computing, and mobile and they’ll be doing it with the help of social media.

Foursquare is turning badges into prizes by rewarding attendees for checkins. Five out of ten possible checkin spots will earn you a “coveted” CES badge. You can even parlay that badge into a an actual button that you can wear proudly throughout the show. Badge holders who complete the required checkins will be entered in a drawing to win a huge prize pack of nifty electronics.

Best Buy Gets Friendly with Online and InStore Magazine

Advertising has always been about making a connection with your audience, but thanks to social media, being conversational has become even more important. Best Buy is embracing that concept with the official launch of “Best Buy On,” a chatty tech and entertainment online magazine that will also provide in-store video content.

The tricky part of this whole venture is providing interesting content that doesn’t come across as advertising. Best Buy says they’re also straying away from traditional reviews, lest they get themselves in trouble with their suppliers.

Here’s how they describe the venture:

Astroturfing: Maybe it’s Not as Bad as it Seems

Astroturfing is defined as the act of creating a false sense of grassroots support. The two most common examples are politics and online reviews. For example, a Senator receives a flood of letters that appear to be a spontaneous response to a political event but the letters are actually from an organized group who will gain something by swaying the vote.

Online, it could be a series of very positive product reviews that seem to come from Average Janes when in reality they were posted by an employee of the company.