LinkedIn launches its first Middle East office in Dubai

LinkedIn – the world’s largest professional network – announced the opening of its first Middle East office in Dubai today. With an office in Dubai Internet City (an information technology park), LinkedIn will be focusing on selling its hiring and recruitment solutions to firms in the Middle East. Its marketing solutions and advertising sales will be continued to be handled by Dubai Media City based Clique Media.

Hiring Solutions has been LinkedIn’s key revenue driver accounting for 53% in second quarter of 2012, while Marketing Solution accounted for 28%, and Premium subscriptions accounted for 19% (Source: LinkedIn Earnings).

Despite not being available in Arabic, LinkedIn has a strong presence in the Middle East. There are over 4.7 million registered users on LinkedIn in the Middle East, of which 2.5 million are in the GCC, and around 1.1 million in the UAE.

Disclosure: I work for Clique Media which has been handling LinkedIn’s marketing solutions and advertising sales in MENA since 2010.  LinkedIn’s revenue split has been taken from their earnings calls while their member count has been taken from their publicly available Ads tool.  



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5 more things I’m sick of in Social Media

Augie Ray from Forrester Research has put up a brilliant blog post in which he talks about 8 things he is sick of in Social Media. Do read the post because it touches upon the different nuisances in Social Media, many of which are the outputs of the Social Media “Experts” that can now be found  dime a dozen. I’m of course not one to shy away from such a discussion so I present to you my own list of things that I’m terribly sick of in Social Media, and with the end of 2010 almost upon us, am hoping that we see the end of these things too.

1. Sheer abuse of Hashtags

This is actually a personal pet peeve of mine but I strongly believe #You #are #an #idiot #if #you #tweet #like #this. In fact you don’t even need to #tweet like this. Hashtags were used for adding context to a tweet which it may otherwise lack. If I tweet “the traffic today is horrible”, adding a Dubai or UAE hashtag adds geographical context to my tweet, without which it might not have made sense. But if I tweet “#Foursquare and #Facebook go head to head in geo location”, I just wasted 1.43% of the character limit.  A perfect example of using Hashtags is for tweets from an event. Use them sparingly to increase their value instead of #cheapening them. Ha!

2. Calling it the next big thing

Sigh. Alright, listen up, if Social Media was the next big thing in 2008/09, it can’t be the next big thing in 2010. So stop talking about Social Media as our saviour. For businesses it may a dramatic shift in the way how they can now  communicate directly to their audience, but these very users have been using ‘social media’ as tools to communicate amongst themselves for a long time now. Remember forums? That was ‘social’ media too. In some aspects it may be a revolution (and I use this word very loosely) but for the most part it is an evolution. And more importantly these tools are now here, use them instead of merely talking about them.

3. Assuming it’s cheap or free

Social Media is not cheap and it’s definitely not free. While some of the tools and platforms might be, the medium is not. The medium requires considerable investment of your time, staff (who you pay a salary too) and of course cash for a lot of tools. But Social Media surely is a ‘cheaper’ medium where the costs are lower than other media, more importantly it is a more cost effective and trackable medium. Free, however, it is not.

4. The cross posting noise

Ow my poor social ears. Every foursquare checkin on Facebook, every Facebook update on Twitter, every tweet on LinkedIn and every LinkedIn update on ? Relevance people, think relevance. Every platform was designed for a different set of social connections and a different kind of conversation, use it accordingly. If I want to know where you are, I’ll send you a Foursquare request, if I want to see all your links, I’ll follow you on Twitter, if I care about your babies, dogs, cats, anythingelseyoureallycareabout, I will add you on Facebook; chances are we’re connected on more of these networks than ones we’re not. So for the love of god, please add signal to the stream, not more noise.

5. The Automation

OK, lets recap on what social media is supposed to be; open, transparent, personal, engaging and insertBuzzWord. If you setup a bot to tweet all your RSS feeds, you’re not personal. If you spam users with pre scheduled tweets, you’re not personal. If you’re repeating tweets, over and over again, you’re not personal. I don’t care if Guy Kawasaki says you must use HootSuite, SocialOomph, ObjectiveMarketer or whatever other tool, if you keep spewing links in my timeline every 30 minutes, I know you’re not there, so stop trying to pretend like you are.

There, I’m done venting. I must admit I am guilty of having done some of the above at some point but never taken it to the extremes. I would like to know your thoughts though. Do you agree with me? Or am I overreacting Or maybe I’m just speaking into empty space. Hello?

Image Credit: Rob Cottingham

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