Missy Ward

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Know the differences between advertising and marketing. Don't be 'that company'.Click To Tweet


LinkedIn has nearly half a billion users, with two new members joining every second, according to Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn.

Because of its unique user demographic, smart companies and businesses are seeing the increased potential of using LinkedIn as a marketing tool. But like any social network, there are rules to be followed and others to be ignored as you navigate the space.

Mind the Gap 7 Essential LinkedIn Do's and Don'ts

Remember the Platform

First and foremost, LinkedIn is a business-oriented network. Professionalism and commerce are two of the social platform’s fundamental philosophies, so anything your business posts needs to fit within this paradigm. One example of a company that blends business with a human touch is Amway. Amway’s LinkedIn page doesn’t let you forget it has earned the designation of a Forbes top-30 private company, while still keeping true to its business pedigree in human capital.

Know Your Brand Identity

LinkedIn does not exist in a bubble. In fact, it’s part of the larger, greater world of social media. Despite showing a unique face and publishing varied content across different social media platforms, experts say your true brand identity must remain consistent. Denny’s is a perfect example of a company showing its quirky human side across social media.

Connect Judiciously With Your Audience

Because of LinkedIn’s business philosophy, the way you connect with your audience — customers, clients and prospects alike — is important to your image. Posting unauthentic and impersonal content will make your company look like it’s simply posting for the sake of posting to gain a marketing edge. The connections you make to the world must be personal, which can be tricky when promoting a business. Post content true to your brand identity and stay away from pre-written text (which can make your LinkedIn page look unnatural or dishonest.)

Don’t Do Anything Canned

Everything you post on your LinkedIn page should be polished but not boilerplate. Most importantly, it needs to be original. The world of social media is becoming a battleground for copyright infringement violations and litigation. Because many companies allow employees to post on social media, make sure they adhere to the policies you set forth.

Always Maintain Relevancy

As a business site, LinkedIn has a reputation for being, at least partially, educational in nature. The content you post should shy away from fluff and instead opt toward instructive. This could help make your company become a thought leader in the space in which you occupy.

Know the Differences Between Advertising and Marketing

Let’s face it: Whether it’s your company, a competitor or even one you hold near and dear, there’s no greater turn off than seeing advertorial LinkedIn posts. In essence, you don’t want to be sold something every time you visit a company’s page. You want your marketing message to be clear and resonate with different audiences, but it cannot and should not sound like an ad. This will erode your company’s image of honesty and authenticity — and your customers, clients, and prospects may start to ignore you altogether. Don’t be that company.

Think Like a Web Designer

Whether your content creation team is tech savvy or not, all the rules of Web design still apply when presenting yourself and posting on LinkedIn. Your posts need to be created with responsive web technology in mind. Understand that images, text and videos may appear wonky or just plain differently, depending on the devices your audience uses. Thus, it’s imperative you publish content geared toward users of desktop and laptop computers, as well as smartphones and tablets, so your message doesn’t get lost in translation.

Although I’ve yet to be tested, all signs indicate that I’ve inherited the wanderlust gene. I’m not quite sure who I acquired it from, as my parents are perfectly happy staying within a 15-minute driving distance from their home. Monotony gives them comfort.

But for me, something different is what excites me. I crave new places to explore, and other than having a return flight booked; I prefer to travel without plans. It nearly always leads to more enjoyment.

Take my last trip, for example. I just got back from Toronto, where my business partner, Shawn Collins, and I hosted a Performance Marketing Summit. The last time I visited Toronto was back in 1987 with a bunch of friends from SUNY Buffalo. We piled into my buddy’s car, filled the trunk with an assortment of cheap beer, and took the quick drive across the border. This time, I decided to stay an extra day to explore the city as a grown up. I figured that whatever time I woke up was when said exploration would commence.

Well, that extra day in Toronto was spent visiting two Ontario wineries, having an incredible vineyard lunch, and witnessing Mother Nature at her best, when she produced an amazing rainbow over Niagara Falls for our entire group to behold.

Niagra Falls Photo Credit: Ilya BLT

As I sat on the plane looking through the photos of the places I visited in Toronto; I couldn’t stop thinking about my upcoming trip to Spain. Sometimes it seems as though my thirst for travel may never be quenched, no matter how many destinations I visit. It turns out; there is a scientific explanation.

In 1993, a study by Jay B. Lichter et al. attributed the DRD4 gene to controlling dopamine levels in the brain and linked them to motivation and behavior. In 2010, the first genome sequence from an extinct human became available, indicating that humans and Neanderthals interbred about 37,000 years ago, and a new gene in the human genome was formed, DRD4-7R. It was also around that time that humanity started to create and sustain large civilizations. A 2011 study (Schilling, Walsh, and Yun) indicated that 20% of humans carry the DRD4-7R (aka wanderlust gene), which is linked to risk-taking, sensation-seeking and novelty-seeking, and correlated with openness to new experiences, intolerance to monotony, and exploratory behavior. It was also tied to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; a disorder that I’ve been diagnosed with.

I guess I can blame DRD4-7R for my business success (and failures), my impulsivity, and my hunger to learn and see new things. I can also blame it for my inability to stay on a healthy track when I travel. Wanderlust nearly always trumps my best intentions, which remain in my suitcase, along with my sneakers and work-out clothes.

But, at least now I have a real excuse to give my husband when I ask for another hall pass to travel. Babe, it’s in my DNA since before I even existed.

Is wanderlust in your DNA?

Dancin’ at church, Long Island jazzy parties
Waiter bring us some more Baccardi
We’ll order now what they ordered then
‘Cause everything old is new again     – Peter Allen

Ten years ago, ShareASale took over Howl at the Moon in Orlando during Affiliate Summit East 2006.   <— Caution, link may cause feelings of nostalgia.

For years, I’ve heard everyone talk about how much fun they had back then and it tormented me for not being able to make it. (I don’t know what I got stuck doing while this was going on because there’s no way that I’d ever miss any party that was a sing-a-long!)

ShareASale's Party at Howl at the Moon at Affiliate Summit East 2006 ShareASale’s Party at Howl at the Moon at Affiliate Summit East 2006 – Photo by ShareASale


Brian Littleton playing piano during ShareASale's Party at Howl at the Moon - Affiliate Summit East 2006 Brian Littleton, CEO of ShareASale joined the band at the event – Photo by ShareASale
So, I couldn’t have been more excited when I heard that ShareASale was bringin’ back the sing-a-long fun for their latest variation of their famous “Under the Stars” party taking place during Affiliate Summit East 2016 with!

Here are the deets:

ShareASale Party at Howl at the Moon NYCHowl At The Moon
245 W. 52nd Street
Sunday, July 31, 2016
Time: 8pm-11pm

If you’ve never been to a Howl At The Moon, be prepared for a high-energy, super-fun time as the performers are freakishly talented! Plus, you’ll be partying with a bunch of other like-minded people who won’t pass judgment when you sing at the top of your lungs, and dance like no one is watching. Check out some of the performances here.

Giant love to the ShareASale gang for putting this on.  And don’t worry, I will not be requesting “‘Cause Everything Old Is New Again.” I’ll save that for another night  😎