Facebook vs LinkedIn – Is a Public Company Better?

Year-to-Date Price Chart of LinkedIn Shares

Now that Facebook has finally gone public, investors and marketers alike are making comparisons with LinkedIn, a social network that went public one day shy of a year ago.

I bought ten Facebook shares just to have a reason to periodically check-in and stay involved with the future business plans of Facebook, more as it relates to your business and mine.

I was able to acquire my shares at the opening offer price of $38 by placing a limit order and patiently waiting for it to come back to that level, which it did just before the close of trading for the day.

It is interesting that LinkedIn’s share price doubled the day of its IPO, whereas that of Facebook remained flat.

Rumor has it the price of Facebook shares were propped up by the investments firms involved with the IPO, with only a small fraction of the buying coming from regular investors like you and me.

The cool reception to the Facebook IPO and the strong rise in the pricing of LinkedIn shares in recent months (chart above) does give us some insights into the confidence business marketers currently have in these two respective social networking sites.

Let’s take a closer look at where this can go.

Solid Business Models Build Confidence

LinkedIn uses a traditional business model. Revenues come from a small percentage of users that willingly pay for premium features, with the majority enjoying a free ride and some very useful features. This provides a pure experience for all – the only difference is those of us that have upgraded can push the envelope of its capabilities.

By comparison, the Facebook model is driven by advertising revenue. Your activity on Facebook is used to attract advertisers. There isn’t really anything wrong with that, because that is in fact what Google does too. It’s a game – one that you play to be more findable by Google by learning how to optimize your online presence for those seeking the solutions you provide.

Unfortunately, the Facebook advertising model intentionally provides a filtered experience for its users.

It blocks the majority of your fans from seeing the news your business page publishes in order to encourage you to buy more Facebook advertising. Like it or not, that’s how  Facebook has set up their game.

I personally don’t like it at all. Nevertheless, read on as there are some things Facebook could do that would earn back my trust.

Trust is Slowly Earned Over Time

One of the Facebook core values is to “move fast and break things.” That is all well and good, except that it makes the nearly one billion Facebook users unwillingly victims of its experimentation.

To be honest, Google also tosses lots of technology at us with only an idea as to how it can be used for practical benefits. However, most of the time these technologies are tools that we can choose not to use if they do not fit our needs.

On Facebook we are dug in – our personal and business communities are represented on Facebook, so breaking things with little or no notice is a core value that Facebook may wish to rethink for the benefit of all concerned. 

That practice has led many not to trust Facebook – and that’s not good for business. Instead of thinking about what Facebook wants, they should start listening to us – the users, some of whom are now owners of the company.

Earn the trust of your customers by learning from them – build a better Facebook to accomplish its mission of changing the world by making it more open and connected, while also allowing us to accomplish ours.

That will be really good for business – for all of us.

Easy to Work with Attracts Customers

People network for two reasons.

First, as human beings we are hard-wired to socially engage with others. Second, we seek relationships that make us happier.

LinkedIn gives people what they want by being searchable for everyone alike. You can search LinkedIn to find people, companies, groups, and more – allowing you to be successful even when you may not know exactly what you are looking for.

In comparison, sometimes you are challenged to simply find your best friends on Facebook. This is unfortunate because with their massive database of contextual social data, Facebook has the potential to be the most desirable search engine in the world!

If they do this, you can be sure I’ll be buying more shares of Facebook, because they will finally be giving us what we have been waiting years for – a social search engine to tap into the wisdom of our friends.

Heck, it could even get me to invest in more Facebook advertising because I would be more confident that the playing field is as open as Mark Zuckerberg says he wants it to be.

How about you? What’s your take on Facebook vs LinkedIn?

Do you think the Facebook IPO is going to make for a richer and more valuable user experience for all?

How are you staying connected with your important relationships?  Leave a comment below or on your favorite social network.  You can reach the most popular ones with one of the share buttons below. 

Until next time, Jeff

Want to Be Luckier, Smarter, and Happier? Connect the Dots

What could happen if you made a commitment to reconnecting with just a few of your former prospects or customers every day?

If your experience is anything like mine, you will get luckier, smarter, and happier.

I’ve recently been building a daily habit of reaching out to at least 3 prospects or customers – all randomly chosen.

What I’m discovering is simple.

When you start connecting (or reconnecting) the dots of your relationships, the past, present, and future magically merge together into one productive ecosystem. 

And it is one that readily gets everything in your business (and life) working for the better. Here’s how it works.

Actions Make You Luckier

It is commonly assumed that luck is a matter of coincidence.

So, to improve your luck you only need to increase your chances for connecting with those coincidental opportunities by more frequently being in the right place at the right time.

Since nobody knows where luck will strike, the solution is to be in more places, with the hope of intersecting with the right the opportunities.

This is one of the benefits of having an extensive social network.

Unfortunately, networks only provide the potential for opportunities. They need to be activated, and that requires intention and action. Many have the right intentions but fall short of their objectives by not taking the necessary actions.

The truth is any action is better than none. If you are trying to connect with a lost customer, any effort brings you closer to a result – even if it is a rejection. If that happens, you know to redirect your efforts elsewhere.

Do you know how many times I was rejected this week?  None.

More than likely you will discover your actions will build bridges that get your network working for you – one connection leads to another or to a new idea.

For example, this week I landed a new speaking engagement. Since I had previous experience with the organization, it was easy for me to slide into what happened to be the last remaining slot.

Did I luck out or simply find myself in the right place at the right time because I was actively connecting the dots?

Connectivity Makes You Smarter

Last week a speaker bureau called to recommend me for a new opportunity. I was appreciative and sent a thank you note after returning home.

A few days later I received an email from them about another opportunity. Coincidence? Not likely.

Every action is a seed – and you never know when or where they will sprout, but you can increase your odds by planting lots of them.

Here’s what’s interesting. I did not have a presentation that was right for this particular audience. So, I repositioned one of my most popular programs to adapt it to their limitations with respect to technology.

After sending it along, it occurred to me it would be a good fit for another organization I was currently working with. And that was the program chosen by the aforementioned organization that had only one speaking slot to fill before finalizing their convention line-up.

That was a coincidence, but more importantly it was one that made me smarter. It awakened me to refreshing my educational programs to better align with the changing needs of my clients.

When you start connecting more of the dots in your life you get smarter about responding to feedback you receive  – regardless of whether that feedback is positive or negative. 

Connecting the dots is realizing that one connection leads to another. One inquiry unfolds to open another door. One action makes you smarter for the next opportunity, and all of it makes you one lucky guy or gal.

To put this into perspective, here is a graphic from my LinkedIn profile that gives you a sense of how hundreds of connections lead to thousands upon thousands.

Productivity Makes You Happier

My little project is taking on a life of its own, and that is breathing new life into my work.

I don’t know about you but I accomplish more when my head is in the right place. Getting excited about one success brings the right kind of energy to the next opportunity.  And if that one happens to be a failure, its nevertheless that much easier to keep a positive focus if you have a practice in place to build on the successes.

The key is to all of this seems to be tracking your progress, which is a form of actively connecting the dots.

Productive habits are tough to build, but the happiness that is derived from them makes the effort worthwhile.

Are you familiar with the expression “go with the flow?” It’s a habit, although not necessarily a productive one because you are subject to any number of random circumstances that will arise along the course of that metaphorical river.

If you really want to improve your luck and run a smarter business, you have to change its course by connecting all of the dots that got you here.

They are the ones that will productively lead you to the new opportunities that will make for a happier existence.

I’d really like to hear from you, either in a comment below or on your favorite social network.  You can reach the most popular ones with one of the share buttons below. 

Until next time, Jeff

Photo Credit: krishnan

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