Tips on LinkedIn that can help your personal branding

Posted By KellyAnn Thomas on August 17, 2013


Companies are spending millions or more dollars creating online branding to make sure they stand out amongst their competition today.  This is no difference for an individual that wants to stand out in a crowd for potential job opportunities and business adventures.  Online personal branding is needed to link to individuals and companies worldwide.

Building relationships and maintaining them is the key to successfully use of social media sites. This is no exception for using LinkedIn.  According to LinkedIn reports in 2013 there is approximately over 225 million users in over 200 countries and territories (Wikipedia, 2013).  International students or anyone that’s interested in connecting with professionals in their field can benefit by using the powerful tools and features that LinkedIn has to offer on their website.   There are many ways of doing this correctly but with easy steps to follow it can be accomplished quickly personally and professionally on this site.

Here are a few great tips on personal branding with LinkedIn:

  • Include a professional image or picture that represents you or the company.
    • Include a headline with what you do your professional name.
    • Describe yourself to others in your summary what makes you different from the competition.
    • Write a proper description in details and include twitter feed, links of your blog posts
    • Have an updated resume that will express what your strengths, benefits and professional experiences are including educational and skills.
    • Show personal and professional portfolios including degrees, certifications and accomplishments.
    • Follow and join conversations that will connect you with similar interests.
    • Add recommendations with your milestones and from your job experiences
    • Keep relevant by updating the resume with SEO practices by updating keywords in the headlines, job titles, people and in the summary areas.

How to get, keep and update on LinkedIn by using the advanced features and tools:

  • Notify anyone about specific events when they click attending and interested their networks also get notified as well when the event is published.
    • Categorize your connections by location, position, company, interests or affiliations.
    • Integrating Twitter with LinkedIn by using the app called Tweets with hashtag #in on Twitter feeds which avoids overloading of Twitter updates in your LinkedIn account.
    • Follow companies, groups and influencers that you pick and choose.
    • Tagging people of interest by category.  You can send a group email to everyone in a specific category.
    • Create a list of people in the same industry.
    • Follow the influencers that you are inspired by in your personal life.
    • Make connections to companies and groups that open the doors to opportunities.

Overall when it comes to using a great social media site such as LinkedIn its important to make sure to check out their help link that explains in further details how to understand all the tools that are available on LinkedIn to utilize them to its maximum capacity so that your personal image stays relevant in today’s competitive job market.

5 Social Sites for Careers: International Student Edition

Posted By KellyAnn Thomas on August 6, repost on August 10, 2013


Businesses and recruiters today are searching for people to fill positions by searching websites, interacting and connecting to social sites.  This is no exception with International students attending colleges and universities throughout the nation.

The problems for most international students are:

  •       Communication barriers they face to connect with others
  •       How and where to look for work study programs, internships, mentors
  •       Job placement options that work towards their career goals while studying abroad
  •       Finding work to stay permanently in the states.

The following sites are very valuable, and in my opinion probably the most important sites for an international student to consider:

International Student provides information for international students, including detail on laws/visa restrictions and legal requirements to work in the USA.  There are many links to other sites such as study centers, resources, forums and blogs. The optional practical training (OPT) gives an international student a better understanding of what is expected of them and the process it takes to be employed whether in a co-op or work off-campus program through the schools International Student Office.

USA Today College website includes connections to most social sites, career links, blogs and news about what’s going on around the world socially and how students be a part of it.  The site offers much more than just one social site, as there are tons of links that are for any individual studying abroad.

Today social sites can be a great advantage, and furthermore a benefit to students and business alike as they provide a wide range of tools and links that can connect anyone around the world in a short period of time.  Social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ are the few leading social sites that provide professional networking with LinkedIn alone having over 135 million members in over 200 countries (Syracuse University, 2013) today.

LinkedIn ~ LinkedIn Groups

Twitter has TweetMyJobs

Google+ – Google Hangouts


LinkedIn Groups (such as Human Resources Group ) allow individuals to connect, and through these connections reach more  potential opportunities quickly.  When you visit to LinkedIn, go to the navigation bar for the option “Interests”. There you will find companies, groups and influencers.  The company link connects the user to research, follow and add any company into your company list that has an account on LinkedIn.   LinkedIn also offers  World Translation Center that allows international students the abilities to communicate by translation in any language by their professional teams across the globe.


Twitter hasTweetMyJobs  (free) an easy way to engage with peers and professionals.  This platform allows job seekers and employer’s to connect and follow through job channels.  Each day there are over 50,000 new jobs posted and tweeted and more than 10,000 custom job channels available for students and others to access daily.  It also offers Facebook integration to easily transfer information right into TweetMyJobs.  Adding your name and a password accesses the main page by clicking the “Who?” button to activate the account.  Job alerts can be sent via Twitter, mobile or email.  The user must also enter job preference information, location, and upload/create a resume.  There is also a Facebook Referral Network that is linked directly to the main home page.   As for communication and language barriers that most students face, Twitter has a Translation Center allowing an international student to select and chose the language of preference when signing up which works immediately to improve communicating on the site for phrases, comments and other functions.


Google+ allows the user to interact with others on a personal and professional level.  The options available on Google+ are endless for both business and student use.  Google Circles is one of the most important features on this site, the user is able to create circles and separate them by category.  This organized technique provides the capability to visualize/organize personal contacts and their professional ones as well. There is also a suggestion page allowing them to add other people with similar interests and backgrounds into the circles.

Instant upload allows the user to share photos and videos;  Google Hangouts allows for real time communication. Google+ also has Google Translate available for Google+ stream using their integrated support to translate into other languages.

Students in all countries are now able to communicate and connect like never before.  If you have any additional social networking sites that may benefit international students, please share below!

Future Implications

Posted: 06/12/2013


Social Media question-mark1Social Networking Sites



rotary-cell-phone80s_brick_cellPAST  ~ Lets go back in time maybe one, two or even three decades ago.  Now for a moment think of what you used to communicate to others personally and professionally with about anything? Was it a home or business dial or push button phone, a payphone or even a CB radio.  What advertisements did you hear, see and was used for businesses? Was it television commercials, billboards with no technology or even the radio

Where did you shop and search for products and services and how did you get them? How did you research and learn things?  Physical stores were the only access to products, libraries, museums all physical places were the other areas to locate information.  Depending on what generation you were born there may be different answers to them but one thing that we all can agree on there has been so many drastic changes in all of our daily activities and lifestyles thanks to the revolution of technology.


Sony-Xperia-ZL-001 Cell Phone

PRESENT  ~  Answering these questions today would be much different.  Example the first question asks how would you communicate, well today it would be by email, digitally programmed phones, mobile devices we can carry in our pockets to access anything online and also we can use web cams that we can see anyone around the world visually in real time and social media sites that we can interact with our family, friends, people at work or anyone in general.

Businesses use the traditional advertising techniques but also enhance their target markets with the benefits of digital technology with digital billboards, mobile advertising, creating personal websites, blogs, and now are using social media sites to reach out and interact with their customers and respond to them regarding many business transactions.

Today you can work remotely from home if you have a job that allows you to work from another location other than their business.  More important education has changed, we have access to just about anything using the Internet from online schooling, researching data and learning just about anything with social sites that are affiliated with museums, libraries and historical sites.

Social Media strategies are used more today than ever due to many different functions on their sites.  One that comes to mind is YouTube in my opinion is one of the greatest social media sites of all time where as a business you can create great online video advertisements to your target market.  Personally you can see just about any movie, music video, advertisement, show or tutorial video on just about anything.  It can make you an instant star over night due to viral video streaming quickly throughout the Internet about your video.  This social site along with Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn can give you a chance to move forward in your career with online access to your portfolio or you can communicate and interact with people that have similar interests that you wouldn’t be able to do if there was no such thing as these sites.


Transparent Phone Nokia_AAAAC9LI9vUAAAAAAMm7PA

FUTURE ~ Now lets go to the future and determine what may stay in social media and online marketing tools. What can we possibly predict or see how we can answer those questions again?  Can we see similar answers or is there more to communication, business activities we haven’t accessed in our daily lives yet but will soon?

The social media sites may change for the better or there may be new sites created towards the futures demands online with products, services, information and interactive ways with brands utilizing technical tools for their strategies and goals to increase sales of their products and services with mobile apps.

Other areas that may go forward and may change a bit in social media will be content and therefore this will be necessary for businesses to have professional writers to create, update and making changes on the web.  These minor changes in content writing may change where once a lot of information is needed on websites, blogs and other social sites now will be in minimum form of writing considered micro-content writing.

Overall businesses will continue to use social media for their business strategies with today’s relevant social networking sites that will promote their products and services on the most current used social networking sites to perform many functions to increase brand image globally and locally by increasing awareness with better content, increase communications online via live chat, using videos and photos, utilizing many mobile apps, increasing podcasts and web video cams and possibly new technology advances that will have increased bandwidth speeds for online interactions, robotic humans, transparency of technology, holograms or have real people in 3D worlds that advertise and communicate your brands.


Weever, Richard, April 19, 2013, Social Media Campaigns as  App Marketing Tool – some examples

Rotary Phone (image 1)

Catch Up Lady, February 26, 2007, 80’s Brick Cell Phone makes a comeback Gordon Gecko rejoices, (image 2) 80’s Brick Cell Phone FY8850

New Cell Phones, Sony Xperia SP, (image 3) Sony Xperia 720p display

Gajitz, Tech with a twist, Phones & Mobile, Nokia,  (image 4) Future transparent cell phone

Muffy’s PR & Social Media Blog, What is the Future of Social Media – (image 5) Question Mark

The Drum, Marketing & Media, Staff Writer, October 31, 2011, What is the Future for Social Media

Viral Marketing Initiatives

Author by: KellyAnn Thomas


What do you think makes a marketing initiative go viral?  This can be many different answers; Why, because what it can be made up of with its characteristics, widgets, plug-ins, badges and tools.  My opinion of this list goes as followed:

Top 5 viral marketing characteristics that can enhance a successful online viral marketing are:

1. Content  

2. Distribution Channels

3. Relevance & Interests 

4. Emotions & Behaviors

5. Entertaining 


The importance of what is being expressed and how its being expressed is key to a successful following and audiences that will forward those tweets, posts, videos or any other type of content online and share it with family, friends, co-workers, and people of interests around the world.  Online viral content messages can be personal such as a home video, a chat comment or professional such as a business advertisement and a blog.  Having a strategic and engaging hook that can communicate online content can increase awareness of a subject, show an audience entertainment, intrigue a story and overall increase social connections by engaging in conversation about something through social content (Search Engine Land, 2011).

The Tree Bears Fruit – Viral Marketing with Social Media


What type of tools that are used to reach an engaging audience can become viral online are important to know and how they play a part in a viral marketing:

  • Blogging ~ that you can write about daily interesting topics to an audience.
  • Mobile Apps ~ downloading to promote video campaigns
  • YouTube ~ copy and post videos
  • Facebook ~ post likes, comments, ads, articles that engage in conversation.
  • Pinterest and Instagram ~ pinning to boards, photo badges to followers
  • Google+ ~ posting likes, comments engaging in conversations within circles
  • Twitter ~ tweet or re-tweet to the world how you feel in so many words.

All of these tools can cause a chain reaction or viral reaction. 

Angry Birds - Mobile Apps

Angry Birds – Mobile Apps


What is going on today in your world of news, weather, sports, events, entertainment and daily living choices makes up what an individual interests and what they will seek out online to explore makes all the difference in what will be seen by that person.

Events: An example are the Marathon Bombings that happened in the Boston area just recently went viral online that spread worldwide news about the devastation and that resulted in today’s ongoing support to the victims.  Here is one of many videos that is seen live raw footage that caused over 6.7 million views worldwide on YouTube that sparked live concert fundraiser just recently in Boston. (You Tube, 2013).

Weather: Another viral video that was shown first on the local news and weather channels that quickly spread to other parts of the nation and world as well was the recent EF5 tornado that was more than a two miles wide devastating Oklahoma city causing billions of dollars in damages and killing more than two dozen people. This was not only on local news channels but was posted on YouTube; which brought in a whopping 72,623 hits to this day on YouTube site.  Both videos intrigued audiences and causing worldwide fundraising for both devastating events (YouTube, 2013).


Whether it is funny, sad, controversal or makes you mad these behaviors and emotions can set off a person to be motivated to respond and forward a comment, post or a video to others to get a response.  These triggers can cause a catchy major reaction to spiral into a virus effect online.

Viral Keyboard Emotional_engagement2  Marketing Guide-to-Color-Emotions


Great example of a viral video that had spun out of control and won the hearts of millions by entertaining and engaging with their audience is PSY – Gangnam Style YouTube video.  This is a huge sensation and amazing success with his video that still today has over 1,635,531,864 hits and over 7 million likes on his YouTube site; reaching audiences worldwide.  Showing that anyone can start a video that can go viral quickly online. Why did his video become such a success on YouTube its because his video was very entertaining, engaging and the audience can participate in his dance moves right from their own home.  This has promoted him to be shown on TV, the Hollywood scene where he has been on many talk shows, entertained at sponsored music and live sporting events.  Increasing interests where people will follow and engage in similar behaviors can lead to viral communications and spreading the word about something that they can interact and do too.

The overall conclusion to what is the right solution to a successful viral marketing can be a number of these five elements and as time changes and new interests arrive their will be altered factors that play a part in a way of catching audiences that will also go viral either for a short period of time or a long time due to its nature that can be very memorable.  In the mean time there will be new ideas and content that will capture your attention again and again.  This could be the news, an event or even a cute animal that makes you laugh that will go down in history as the most important viral content that inspired, challenged, entertained or changed you or someone else’s point of view at any time and this is where viral marketing happens and will continue for a very long time.


Author by KellyAnn Thomas

Whether you’re a mom and pop store such as Bernie and Phyl’s established in 1982 by Bernie & Phyllis Rubin or a larger known company that has been around for a century such as Jordan’s Furniture the name of the game is getting your companies brand name to be recognized in a positive and meaningful way that sparks interest with professional content and visually appealing pictures, audio and video links to promote to a target audience that is interested in your products and services.

Websites/ Blog’s Microblogs / Twitter / Pinterest / Facebook / LinkedIn / Google+ / Instagram

Bernie and Phyl’s is a privately owned furniture retailer based in Norton, Mass they are known locally in New England areas of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Road Island.  They specialize in selling quality furniture at a reasonable price for everyone to afford.   Their company’s focus is about honesty, integrity and their catchy saying “Quality, comfort and price, that’s nice” which is their mission statement and they stick to their saying within their online website, blogs and Facebook and other on and offline advertising mediums. Their team of experts in the field of marketing has shown their sales to increase over the past five years from online and social media strategies that they have used to gain brand recognition and sales to expand soon in the south.  Their ongoing and online strategies have always been from having given back to their local charities, fundraisers and donations.  These campaign programs have been a success to their online presence as well with promotions using Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Jordan’s Furniture has been around for almost a century since 1918 started in Waltham, Massachusetts owned by Samuel Tatelman.   Their mission states not just a store, an experience.  Their quality, name brand furniture, mattresses and their entertaining furniture stores including Motion Odyssey Movie (MOM) 3D IMAX movie theatres were creative and marketing their store as a unique experience while shopping.   As time continues to move to the future so too is their need to keep customers satisfied with online marketing and educating them with their popular in store mattress lines.


Jordan’s Furniture is similar to Bernie & Phyl’s where they are both a furniture retailer serving in the New England areas of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Road Island that have online websites and blogs.  Not only are they both native New England furniture retail stores where they are located in similar areas throughout the region they also have online campaigns geared towards sporting events, fundraising and supporting local charities and community outreach programs.  For the most part both companies are geared towards customer satisfaction and philanthropy.  They both have similar goals and mission statements which are to give the best customer experience and service with honesty, integrity and within a reasonable budget for the average person to be able to afford high quality furniture.  There other compared interests are that they both started the businesses from ground up with family and had a family atmosphere in their business.  These family values have given them loyal customers that can relate to a family atmosphere and further branding their companies as a family business with a positive reputation.


Each company has their own social media outcomes where you can be the judge of how they are doing online, their abilities to keep and maintain loyal online fans and what their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are shown in each social media site shown below.

Not only are their store’s unique in itself their online website stores with their visual affects from their pictures can be analyzed and you can see that both are different in many ways.  There are many interesting and different furniture selections that can be compared in pictures given:

Jordan’s Furniture (Living Room Set)$Category%20Slides$

 Bernie & Phyl’s Furniture (Living Room Set)



Jordan’s Furniture has a LinkedIn site that explains details of the business but Bernie & Phyl’s has a few members linked into this site and not the actual company itself.  This can be a disadvantage to their competitive advantage online market.  When there are a few loopholes that aren’t filled in their maybe room for changes needed in the social media strategy for this company.

Facebook As of April 2013

Jordan’s Furniture

Likes                          Talking About This

3,944                                    60

Bernie & Phyl’s 

Likes                          Talking About This

3,168                                    14


Google+ As of April 2013                 

Jordan’s Furniture

Following                         Circles

270                                     27

Bernie & Phyl’s

Following                         Circles

35                                        4

Twitter As of April 2013

Jordans’ Furniture                                                 Bernie & Phyl’s 

@JordansFurn                                                            @bernieandphyls

Tweets / Following / Followers                                  Tweets / Following / Followers

0                   0                  0                                              436             232            327

Facts show above that the numbers are shown that there are more online Twitter fans that interact on Bernie & Phyls compared to Jordan’s Furniture main page on Twitter.

Jordan’s Furniture can implement Twitter with other social tools such as Facebook linked back to Twitter to respond to contests and promotions towards future campaigns that may make a difference in their outcomes on communicating and responses for this site.  This is surely an advantage for Bernie & Phyl’s where they already have individual interests communicating on Twitter to others about their promotions, sales and coupons.

Campaigns & Online Promotions

Campaigns have been successful for both companies which Bernie & Phyl’s marketing campaigns use to run them $5-6 million for print, radio and television ads alone in the early eights and nineties (Boston Business Journal, 2003).  Today marketing tools online can run a bit less if the marketing team researchers the right tools that can be just as affective as the traditional marketing ads in prior decades.

We Compared each furniture store linked to their similar social media sporting ads in the past decade and both were interesting, unique and successful online.  They were similar where their was certain team members of the Red Sox promoting each of these companies in a different way.  Jordan’s Furniture with their online campaign promoting and giving away furniture if the Red Sox win and Bernie & Phyl’s online advertising picture gone viral and sent to many different social media sites.

Jordan’s Furniture campaign promotion:

Jordan’s Furniture store website links you to all their promotions, Giveaways & Tickets.

Jordan’s Furniture 2013 Red Sox promotions are successful due to many advertising avenues such as social media sites YouTube, Press & Blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

2013 – Red Sox Promotion “The Perfect Game”

YouTube site

Jordan’s Furniture – Blog site


  • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
  • Over 4 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube
  • 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute

Bernie & Phyl’s campaign promotion:

Jarrod Saltalamacchia who is the Red Sox pitcher was advertising and promoting a Serta iComfort bedding picture in 2012 with Larry, Rob, Jake and Bernie Rubin in Bernie & Phyl’s Saugus, MA store.  The news had gone viral and was seen on many sites such as their website, Pinterest and Instagram sites.–phyls-furniture-to-feature-red-sox-catcher-in-new-ads


Both companies have successfully used YouTube for various holiday sales that have promoted their brand image and their products and services.

Jordan’s Furniture


Bernie & Phyl’s 

Pinterest  As of April 2013  


Ad: Our furniture stores have New England’s largest selection of stylish, quality name brand furniture, mattresses, and a whole lot more!

Boards             Pins           Likes               Activity          Followers            Following

Bernie & Phyl’s

26                        1,350              1                        0                        142                         124

Jordan’s Furniture

7                            37                 50                     0                          28                           4

Join Bernie & Phyl’s on Pinterest to explore home decorating and furniture style ideas.

AS OF: APRIL 17, 2013
Jordan’s Furniture Bernie & Phyl’s
Facebook Likes 3945 3168
Talk about this 60 14
LinkedIn Likes n/a n/a
Google+ Followers 270 35
Circles 27 4
Twitter Followers 0 327
Following 0 232
Tweets 0 436
YouTube Views 936 57,205
Subscribers 8 18
Pinterest Followers 28 142
Following 4 124
Likes 50 1
Pins 37 1350
Boards 7 26
Webstagram Followers 545K 0
Instagram Followers 0 0


Summary Statement

In summary, there are two great furniture stores to choose from in the New England areas.  They both have so many similarities in their quality of their products, their services to their customers and their loyalty and commitment to giving back to their community.  The differences in how much attention and media coverage is noted and compared in the figures above within each social media site.  There can be room for improvements in both businesses to achieve further social media marketing strategies with their brand image and online communication goals.   Continuous internet marketing efforts will make a difference in both of these companies longevity and their brand awareness, campaign planning and customer loyalty online which will result in negative or positive results in both areas of on and offline ROI sales and customer retention rates.



Jordan’s Furniture,

Bernie and Phyls,

Furniture Today, Bigger Bernie & Phyl’s comes home, Clint Engel – Furniture Today, August 28, 2005

Boston Business Journal,  May 26, 2003, 12:00am EDT, Sheri Qualters, Eskandarian: Bernie & Phyl’s marks ad success story, MicroMarketing and Infinite Media join forces

Bernie & Phyl’s, 2013,  Bernie & Phyl’s Furniture, Bernie & Phyl’s Furniture to feature Red Sox Catcher in New Ads,–phyls-furniture-to-feature-red-sox-catcher-in-new-ads

Adidas and Social Media team up to sell shoes

Published on: August 19, 2012

by KellyAnn Thomas

Adidas and Social Media team up to sell shoes.

Adidas has done it again with a new type of sneaker that is going to revolutionize the way sneakers and footwear is used in the near future.  Barricade is a type of sneaker that has a LCD attached to the outer side of the shoe.  They built a tracking device that allows tweets to track athletes.

Sneakers throughout the world are used for many different sports activities from tennis, baseball, basketball and running.  This type of sneaker was built and was recognized in the 2012 London Olympics.  The concept of this sneaker was to create a social interaction amongst athletes and their fans through tweets.  This can be a positive or a negative depending on how you look at this new concept idea.  Patrick Jones from Buzz60 wonders if this was even necessary to create because of its potential to hurt the media and fan base may be negative if an athlete isn’t doing so well while playing or may distract athletes while in a game.

Adidas Barricade sneaker

Adidas Twitter Superstars 35th anniversary sneaker

Twitter and Adidas has partnered up on this type of sneaker bringing both recognition for its fans online and in the streets with its sleek looks and Twitter design.

Catching similar advertising logo recognition is Adidas Facebook Superstars where the design logo is inside and outside the rear area of the sneaker.