2014 Constant Contact Solution Provider All Star Award

  • By Doreen Nicastro
  • 15 Nov, 2015

Nicastro Consultants recognized for achievements using online marketing tools to drive success.

Boston, MA — February 5, 2015     Nicastro Consultant’s   a social media agency and a Master Certified Constant Contact Solutions Provider, empowers clients to use social engagement tools to expand and amplify their voice, vision and brand(s) over the Internet effectively and responsibly  has been named a 2014 Solution Provider   All Star Award   winner by   Constant Contact®, Inc. , the trusted marketing advisor to more than 600,000 small organizations worldwide. The award, given annually to the top 10% of Constant Contact’s international customer and Solution Provider base, recognizes these select organizations for their significant achievements.

“We're happy to be recognized by Constant Contact for achieving strong marketing results on behalf of our clients ,Institute for Community Health   and   Assabet After Dark Classes . Constant Contact’s tools have helped us better manage customer/constituent relationships and engagement marketing." said, award recipient, Doreen Nicastro.

Nicastro Consultants , It Pays to be Social, is a social media agency, offering monthly social media engagement marketing packages. We empower individuals, small business and non-profits to use social engagement tools to expand their voice, vision and brand(s) over the Internet effectively and responsibly.

Constant Contact   Solution Providers   are businesses that provide services tailored to the needs of small businesses or nonprofits—everything from web developers, to online marketing consultants, to advertising agencies and more. They use Constant Contact’s online marketing tools to generate more business for both themselves and their clients. Criteria used to select this year’s All Stars included the following

  • Level of engagement with email campaigns
  • Open, bounce, and click-through rates
  • Use of social sharing features
  • Use of mailing list sign-up tools
  • Use of reporting tools

“Our Solution Providers are a core extension of our business, helping those small businesses and nonprofits who need some assistance with their marketing,” said Arthur Steinert, vice president and general manager, channel partner sales and marketing, Constant Contact. “That’s why we’re thrilled to recognize Nicastro Consultant’s for their commendable achievements – it’s truly a win-win for both Nicastro Consultants, and Assabet After Dark Classes and Institute for Community Health, the small organizations it serves.”

About Nicastro Consultants, It Pays to be Social
Doreen Nicastro,   a small business owner, operates Nicastro Consultant’s   a social media agency. She is a Master Certified   Constant Contact Solutions Provider and a   Hootsuite   Partner.  She offers social media and engagement marketing monthly packages. We   empower clients to use social engagement tools to expand and amplify their voice, vision and brand(s) over the Internet effectively and responsibly

About Constant Contact, Inc.
Constant Contact helps small businesses do more business. We have been revolutionizing the success formula for small businesses, nonprofits, and associations since 1998, and today work with more than 600,000 customers worldwide. The company offers the only all-in-one online marketing platform that helps small businesses drive repeat business and find new customers. It features multi-channel marketing campaigns (newsletters/announcements, offers/promotions, online listings, events/registration, and feedback) combined with shared content, contacts, and reporting; free award-winning coaching and product support; and integrations with critical business tools – all from a single login. The company’s extensive network of educators, consultants/resellers, technology providers, franchises, and national associations offer further support to help small organizations succeed and grow. Through its Innovation Loft, Constant Contact is fueling the next generation of small business technology.

Constant Contact and the Constant Contact Logo are registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All Constant Contact product names and other brand names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

 

Media Contact:
Doreen Nicastro
Nicastro Consultants , It Pays to be Social
617-271-3769
doreen@nicastroconsultants.com

Thanksgiving

By Doreen Nicastro 27 Jun, 2016

Who knew that at an email marketing seminar for real estate agents one would find an   alchemist ,   shaman   and   coach ? Kelle Sparta,   @kellesparta.com presented recently at Constant Contact   headquarters in Waltham, MA. She is a dynamic, full of life personality who made up her mind to gain control of her personal power and she shares her wealth by   helping others find   ‘grace under fire.’  She pays it forward every day.

She had me at hello! In a few words, when you are pointing a finger look at your thumb; know your buttons so when they are pressed you control your reactions. This resonates with me, as I feel my buttons are frayed. Is it a result of recovering from a physical injury, no exercise?  Is it more?

Listening intently, I came away with some pearls to ponder and practice. Sharing them here in hopes it helps others. My goal is to be more conscious of the idea of ‘personal power’ and the positive energy that flows from gaining a perspective that the universe is healing and loving.

Some of the Elements of Personal Power:

  1. Take responsibility for “what is.” For where there is responsibility there is power.
  2. Know what’s important to you.
  3. Take action to get it and what you want.
  4. Set boundaries. If you can’t say no, can your yes be trusted?
  5. Be willing to take a risk of being shunned. It is a consequence of saying no.
  6. Lean in; own self-competency, self-sufficiency, and self-worth.
  7. Be willing to see the competency, sufficiency and worth in others.
  8. Trust in the divine flow of the universe.

What are the challenges of owning your personal power? Symptoms to watch for:

  1. Denying desires
  2. Marginalizing self
  3. Over work
  4. Refusing to set boundaries

What prevents us from protecting our own personal power?  Dr. John Gottman's work describes the four horsemen of the apocalypse for a relationship. They are defensiveness, criticism, stonewalling and contempt. When we lack trust or do not allow others to make decisions, when we constantly strive for perfection, vacillate with feelings of depression; ultimately we suffer a lack of self-love and self-esteem.  We are too hard on ourselves and consequently on others. The goal is to practice self-awareness and self-control.  

We can’t control what others say and do, but we can control how we react to it and them. The next time someone tries to entice me into a discussion, negotiation, conversation which begins making me feel uncomfortable, rather than thinking about a response, I will listen to my feelings, be present in the moment, take responsibility for my actions, and respect the now. Most importantly, I will trust in the universe for a brighter tomorrow.

By Doreen Nicastro 21 Dec, 2015
 It is the season of giving.  It does not take much to put a smile on a  person's face.  Show up with cookies and candy, folks just light up.  One tradition we have is to bake cookies and breads for our neighbors, local business and banks. This year I wanted to try a new cookie, Grammy's Chocolate Sugar Cookie. It called for sanding sugar.   I went to a local,  popular and successful business, Party Favor's  which has delicious cakes, treats, everything and anything party and baking.  Although they had many colored versions of crystal sugar, no sanding sugar.

As the man rang up my order, I inquired about sanding sugar.  He asked me to wait a minute.  When he came back, he placed a plastic bag of sanding sugar in my bag saying it was from the baker, on the house.  So taken, by this random asked of kindness, I promised to deliver sugar cookies.  He smiled and said he would love it.  His generosity of spirit really struck me.  Here it was packed with shoppers and a few people waiting in line and he went out of his way to give away some sugar.  It was a sweet gesture.  Clearly a reason they are so successful.

I love to bake, it's meditative like yoga; soothing, repetitive.  My grandson and I baked a dozen breads and made up 7 cookie trays and a few muffin tins.  He did not have the pleasure of seeing the smiles on the peoples face when I showed up unexpectedly with cookies and candies. What I learned is next year he will come with me so that he truly understands that the season is more about giving than receiving.  Generosity of the spirit, giving without expecting  is something that needs to be cultivated earlier and earlier  in our lives.

When  you hear people who volunteer or give back often say, they themselves receive so much more than they give, I get it. There really is not feeling like being able to make someone happy with a random act of kindness. It provides you an opportunity to appreciate the small interactions and connections we have.

In the spirit of the season, more kindness in 2016 is my goal , we need it!
By Doreen Nicastro 09 Dec, 2015
On December 8, 2015, I participated in a panel discussion at Constant Contact Solutions Provider Appreciation Event.  I was honored to sit on a panel  with Michael Katz, Blue Penguin, Jeannine O'Neil, Social Branding, Kim Dixon Insights-llc and Suzan Czajkowski, The Comm Coach, to talk about "Where do your clients come from and what do you do to get more of them?"with other independent marketing consultants from around the Northeast.  

Community is clearly  important.  Most of the panelist are involved in local chambers,  networking groups and presenting at local business events and community colleges.  New work is geneally from client referrals.  The takeaway from the discussion is to know your funnel and where opportunities are coming from.  Nurture relationships. It is not all about sales; provide value, meaning, seek to delight your community.  It truly about business karma.

What's clear about Constant Contact solutions providers is that we are committed to working with small business and nonprofit organization and we are passionate about our clients success.  What is inspirational about this group is their entrepreneurial energy their drive to ensure their client success.  We believe customers come first, always.  We help 'make it happen' for  small  businesses and nonprofits, we are seriously awesome people who understand  our client's pain points, put ourselves in their shoes and add real value and meaing to their businesses. Our core values, knowledge, skills and the arsenal of engagement tools are ou  differentiator from other marketing companies.    Equally committed to the success of  small business  is Constant Contact and it shows in everything they do and say.  With well over 600,000 customers they are a major player in the email and social media marketing space. Their Next Generation Editor is set to launch first quarter 2016 which will transform the way business and nonprofits engage with their audience.  Its exciting to be a  part of something  that is making a difference in the lives of so many small businesses around the country.  As we know small business is the cornerstone and the pillars of our community.

What are the pillars of small business success?  Who better to answer than one of the founding father's of Constant Contact, Alex Stern, a kind, humble, brilliant innovator who had a big idea for small business. That idea is now a major corporation. 

Ten Pillars of Success
1. Set  you guard rails.  It's important to know what you do well and do it; shy away from being all things.
2. Test and invest.  Take the time to test your hypothesis and invest in what is going well.
3. Metrics, metrics, metrics.  Measure three times cut once.
4. Know your channel for business. Who is your niche?  Who is your core customer?
5. Delight your customers whenever you can.  Under promise over deliver.
6. Humanize your voice.  People want to engage with a person who understand their needs and can deliver results.
7. Look big, act big you will become big.  Talk the talk and walk the walk.
8. Position yourself and your business as a thought leader. You are an expert  make sure your customers know it.
9. Ask for feedback, make  sure you allow your customers to give you comments, suggestions and feedback to improve services and products.
10. Cradle to grave.  Keep your clients, foster and grow along with them.  Be a life long life line.

Some good advice from a company that started in an attic in Brookline Massachusetts in the late 90's and is in the process of being purchased for over a billion dollars. 







By Doreen Nicastro 26 Nov, 2015
We are living in such uncertain times, witnessing unbelievable violence, fear and anguish around the world and right in our own backyard.  How can we have peace on earth when it's filled with such emotional and physical turmoil?  I often ask myself, if parents are in conflict with their children, if siblings are unforgiving and families are at war, how can we expect peace between governments, countries and communities?

On this Thanksgiving day, many families will not be sitting around the table together because of long distances, estrangements  or decisions to create new families. Change is inevitable, surrender to life's flow. All perceived obstacles are opportunities, lessons and experiences. Our mind often plays tricks on us, it's time to train our mind to be our friend, help us foster strength and wisdom in the face of adversity, fear and loss.

Fear steals our courage, it zaps us of our freedom, our ability to love freely and unconditionally.  During this holiday season, it is time we make our courage bigger than our fears, our love bigger than our discontent, and spread our gratitude to those we love and to those we don't.

Today, as we sit around the table with our loved ones may we appreciate the good, be thankful for the life we have created for ourselves and those we love, forgive those who hurt and for one day let go and be thankful.


By Doreen Nicastro 15 Nov, 2015

For 30 years tourists drive on Route 1 in Wells, Maine, passing  Jake's Seafood , a year-round restaurant located conveniently, two miles north of Ogunquit Center (in area called Moody), just a mile from the beach. Since 1987, they have been serving up delicious lobster rolls, fried clams and the best lighter-than-air onion rings!

Today tourists are using mobile devices to discover local places.  Jake's Seafood Restaurant had not claimed their business presence on the Internet. Sites such as  Google Business , Google+YelpTrip Advisor , or  Foursquare  did not have consistent up-to-date business information. Jake's listing is similar to another Jake's restaurant in another state which has a higher ranking on Google.  Jake's does not ask for customer emails or keep a database of regular and returning tourists.


For many business owners and decision-makers the challenge is finding time or having the knowledge or interest to setup and manage Internet, email  and social media marketing. However, today businesses are optimizing their Internet presence and expanding their services on social and professional networks as part of doing business.

Facebook and Google Adwords are powerful tools to locate clients, find new ones and extend your brand's reach. Using specific criteria: gender, age, state, city, zip code and interests, the Ads populate on those peoples pages who meet the set criteria.  Those who click the Ad; find their way to your website or place of business are potential customers.

Authenticate interactions through a concerted effort with monthly emails, weekly social posts and follow-up conversations create and sustain true demand creation, brand recognition and a loyal network, organically.

In January 2015, Nicastro consultants was hired to  redesign  Jake's website, claim their business on Google  Business , Google+YelpTripadvisor  and Foursquare .   We also implemented a strategy for Jake's to capture email addresses. In addition, we set up a business Gmail account, a Google+ Business Page and a Youtube Channel. Jake has a presence on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.


An email template was created to match their new website, their social icons are connected to the email newsletter.  Jake's is ready to collect customer email addresses at the restaurant, on their website and on their Facebook business page. Tourist, regulars and fans can easily find, connect and engage with Jake at the restaurant and online. Jake is poised to grow a virtual network through monthly email newsletters about the restaurant with regular posts to their social channels to encourage brand loyalty, recognition and expansion.

Where do you begin? Google your name and  the name of your business. Consider claiming or setting up a business presence on sites such as  Google Business , Google+YelpTrip Advisor , or  Foursquare . Start with a social audit. Determine: 1) where you are, 2) where you want to be 3) and a plan to guide you there. Its more about where your clients reside.  However, expand your presence and increase your brand recognition so you can easily be found and quickly engage with potential customers and opportunities.

Consider building a brand and presence with a Google Business account, a Google+ Business Page, and a YouTube, channel. Create and or optimize a Facebook business page, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram presence. Make it easy for 'like-minded' people to find you. Customers are checking-in and leaving comments. Businesses that are not engaged online are at risk of not responding with potential clients, resulting in missed-opportunities.

By Doreen Nicastro 15 Nov, 2015

Roberto’s    is a beloved fixture in Ogunquit, Maine, a beautiful place by the sea. For over 30 years,   Roberto’s   has brought the finest in hand-crafted Italian food to tourists and local residents. They take pride in selecting the finest ingredients; they stock only the finest imported olive oils and produce is delivered to their chef's daily, as is fresh native seafood.

In January, 2015,   Nicastro Consultants , an Ogunquit Chamber Member was contacted by fellow member, owner and host, Kathy Cammarota, to update Roberto's   website , establish a social media presence and expand   Roberto's   brand using email marketing.  Their Facebook business page was at a respectable 587 likes and Twitter followers at 100. They had no way of capturing customer email addresses.

During the snowy months of January and February, Kathy in Florida and Doreen in Boston, they defined Roberto's business goals for the upcoming 2015 season; increase the restaurant's visibility in searches and on social media.  It was determined to use engagement marketing to build an email list of loyal fans.  We started with a social audit. Did a "Roberto's Italian Restaurant' Google search and learned that Roberto's had not claimed their presence on   Foursquare ,   Yelp  or Tripadvisor .

Roberto's had no way to engage with current customers outside their venue.  Although   Roberto’s  uses Open Table  for reservations they have no way of interacting with   Open Table   customers once they leave the restaurant. When   Roberto’s   opened its doors for the 2015 season, they had a mechanism in place for guests to connect with   Roberto’s  once they left. In addition they are easily found on the Internet and on social media sites.

The owner is reluctant to place social media icons in the establishment's window or on the menu.  The question for brick and mortar venues is if you don't let your customers know or give incentives or reasons for social engagement, what's the point?

To keep costs down we used the current restaurant logo, images and pictures. We also created a new consistent branded  website  along with a matching Newsletter template.   We implemented Constant Contact  email marketing solutions to capture customer email addresses: at the restaurant via a text message sign-text OGTROBERTOS to 22828 to join Roberto's mailing list- (JML). We added a JML icon on the   new website  and on Roberto's Facebook   business page. We uploaded Chamber Members emails and customer emails from Roberto's Opentable reservations. We sent monthly email Newsletters from April-September.

It started with a Memorial Day 10% off coupon. It was sent to 857 emails  which we complied, segmented and uploaded to   Constant Contact . Three-hundred seventy three people (46%) opened the Newsletter.   This was   Roberto’s   first time interacting with customers outside the restaurant . Ninety-three people ( 25%) clicked a unique link and seventy-one clicked on the coupon link and four coupons were purchase.

Today, Roberto's Facebook   business page has 869 likes and growing (50% increase over five months) and 120 Twitter    followers. They are also have a Google + and Pinterest  presence. This season, Roberto's increased their customer email list from 0 to 857. The last email they sent was in August to 869 people , 285 (36%) opened it.  They had a total of 30 click through to their links.

What are the takeaways?
Customers  like to engage with their favorite brands and products.
Bricks and mortar businesses who start using social media and mobile app's
may consider placing those social icons in the window, on their menu, or create an incentive   for customers to engage with your brand.

Is your business easy to find on mobile Internet searches or on social media?  Does your establishment provide incentives for customers to interact or check-in at your venue?  Do they share their experiences with their friends and family on social media?  We are ready to help your business or organization connect and engage with customers and fans.
Are you ready? Start today with a   Social Media Audit .


By Doreen Nicastro 15 Nov, 2015

Boston, MA — February 5, 2015     Nicastro Consultant’s   a social media agency and a Master Certified Constant Contact Solutions Provider, empowers clients to use social engagement tools to expand and amplify their voice, vision and brand(s) over the Internet effectively and responsibly  has been named a 2014 Solution Provider   All Star Award   winner by   Constant Contact®, Inc. , the trusted marketing advisor to more than 600,000 small organizations worldwide. The award, given annually to the top 10% of Constant Contact’s international customer and Solution Provider base, recognizes these select organizations for their significant achievements.

“We're happy to be recognized by Constant Contact for achieving strong marketing results on behalf of our clients ,Institute for Community Health   and   Assabet After Dark Classes . Constant Contact’s tools have helped us better manage customer/constituent relationships and engagement marketing." said, award recipient, Doreen Nicastro.

Nicastro Consultants , It Pays to be Social, is a social media agency, offering monthly social media engagement marketing packages. We empower individuals, small business and non-profits to use social engagement tools to expand their voice, vision and brand(s) over the Internet effectively and responsibly.

Constant Contact   Solution Providers   are businesses that provide services tailored to the needs of small businesses or nonprofits—everything from web developers, to online marketing consultants, to advertising agencies and more. They use Constant Contact’s online marketing tools to generate more business for both themselves and their clients. Criteria used to select this year’s All Stars included the following

  • Level of engagement with email campaigns
  • Open, bounce, and click-through rates
  • Use of social sharing features
  • Use of mailing list sign-up tools
  • Use of reporting tools

“Our Solution Providers are a core extension of our business, helping those small businesses and nonprofits who need some assistance with their marketing,” said Arthur Steinert, vice president and general manager, channel partner sales and marketing, Constant Contact. “That’s why we’re thrilled to recognize Nicastro Consultant’s for their commendable achievements – it’s truly a win-win for both Nicastro Consultants, and Assabet After Dark Classes and Institute for Community Health, the small organizations it serves.”

About Nicastro Consultants, It Pays to be Social
Doreen Nicastro,   a small business owner, operates Nicastro Consultant’s   a social media agency. She is a Master Certified   Constant Contact Solutions Provider and a   Hootsuite   Partner.  She offers social media and engagement marketing monthly packages. We   empower clients to use social engagement tools to expand and amplify their voice, vision and brand(s) over the Internet effectively and responsibly

About Constant Contact, Inc.
Constant Contact helps small businesses do more business. We have been revolutionizing the success formula for small businesses, nonprofits, and associations since 1998, and today work with more than 600,000 customers worldwide. The company offers the only all-in-one online marketing platform that helps small businesses drive repeat business and find new customers. It features multi-channel marketing campaigns (newsletters/announcements, offers/promotions, online listings, events/registration, and feedback) combined with shared content, contacts, and reporting; free award-winning coaching and product support; and integrations with critical business tools – all from a single login. The company’s extensive network of educators, consultants/resellers, technology providers, franchises, and national associations offer further support to help small organizations succeed and grow. Through its Innovation Loft, Constant Contact is fueling the next generation of small business technology.

Constant Contact and the Constant Contact Logo are registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All Constant Contact product names and other brand names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

 

Media Contact:
Doreen Nicastro
Nicastro Consultants , It Pays to be Social
617-271-3769
doreen@nicastroconsultants.com

By Doreen Nicastro 08 Nov, 2015
Anyone can make one:
For better or worse, anyone can write a blog post about anything they want. Everyone has a voice and the best voices will rise to the top.

The writer can show their personality:
In blog posts, the writer has more leeway to add in their voice and personality than other types of writing.

Blogs are a great form of mass communication:
You can help people, learn new things, entertain your audience—the possibilities are endless and amazing. Blogging opens up all of these to a very wide audience.

You can make money:

Get the right blog going and you can make a lot of money through advertising and sponsored posts.

It allows people to craft better thoughts:
Instead of reading haphazard, uneducated Facebook statuses, it’s much better to see people’s thought process in a well-written blog post.

You can establish a community:
Blogging allows you to connect with other individuals who share the same interests. Sharing ideas and opinions within your community helps establish yourself as a thought leader.

Good for SEO:
Keeping content on your site fresh and relevant, you can use your blog to boost the search engine ranking (SEO) of your site and your business.

It brings people back to your site:

If your blog is strong enough and updated regularly, people will come back looking for more and bring traffic back to your site as well.

It’s free:
It costs you a grand total of zero dollars to post to the blog, so if you have something to say, there’s nothing to stop you.

You can establish yourself as a thought leader:

A blog is a great place for your original thoughts, and it can be a wonderful way to show off your individuality. If people like your ideas, you can become a thought leader in your industry!

What else do you love about blogs? Let me know!
By Doreen Nicastro 01 Sep, 2015

Frank Shear, owner of the Brick Wall Kitchen has a passion for food and a love of art. Both can be found both on his   new website   and at his   venue .  BWK is also expanding its reach through   email marketing   and   local coupons .  Frank is using the large brick wall in his venue and on his   new website   to showcase local artists in the community.  Its his way of giving back and paying it forward.

BWK Scope of Work:

  1. Brand BWK with a responsive-mobile ready- website.
  2. Make it easy for potential and loyal customers to locate, stay connected and engage with BWK.
  3. Design and showcase the menus with a simple message and clear calls to actions:
    • Join our Mailing List- a foundation for capturing customer email addresses.
    • Connect to Facebook- expand your fanbase, post daily specials and announce winners of promotions.
    • Connect to Twitter- expand your fanbase and post daily messages.

Success Factors:

  1. A new mobile ready website up and running in less than sixty days.
  2. Website content and menu updates are easy and simple to maintain.
  3. Collection of customer email addresses is seamless in the restaurant and on the website.
  4. Simple updates of menu items and page changes.

Working closely with Frank, we were able to set up the brickwallkitchen.com  domain, create a wordpress site and choose a theme which emulates Brick Wall Kitchen’s vision. We also implemented a menu database, uploaded and edited the content and photos in less than sixty days.

Is your website mobile or responsive ready?   TEST HERE . Do visitors have to scroll to the right and to the left to read your web content?  Perhaps its time for an investment in a responsive-mobile-ready website.  Call me. 617-271-3769 .

By Doreen Nicastro 06 Nov, 2014

On a rainy fall day, my husband and I made our way from Boston to NYC, and to the Empire State Building to visit our

son, Alex, at LinkedIn Corporation’s, “Bring-In Your Parents to Work Day.” It wasn’t long ago I took Alex to work. Over a few summers, he was my teaching assistant at Harvard School of Public Health, International Summer Institute.  At 13, he was introducing computer and information technology skills to senior public health students. For many, it was their first time seeing a computer. They would delight as he came to their workstation and showed them how to use a mouse.  He made them feel at ease immediately, helped them to overcome their fear and barrier to technology.  As we made our way to the elevator, a feeling of great pride and accomplishment came over me. Sixteen years later, he works at one of the hottest technology companies in the world; he’s living his dream and we can’t be happier.  Our dream is coming true; we get to experience a day-in-the-life at LinkedIn.

We piled into a packed elevator heading to the 25th   floor. A few parents joked about the fact that they had no idea what their kids did at LinkedIn nor how the company made its money. A father stated, “I have two girls: one is a socialist who works at a non-profit, the other a capitalist who works at LinkedIn.”  The comment struck me. What did he mean? One valued social equity while the other did it for the love of money? The elevator was a short ride; otherwise, it would have been interesting to engage in a conversation about the fact that LinkedIn is no ordinary company. His ‘capitalist’ daughter probably leans more toward social than he realizes.

LinkedIn is a social company. What does that mean? It connects and brings like-minded people together. LinkedIn’s core values center around relationships, innovation, transformation, collaboration, integrity, results, humor and most of all: passion. The elevator door opened to a floor filled with vibrant white walls with the vivid LinkedIn blue. Bouquets of white and blue balloons dotted the greeting area. As we walked onto the floor you could feel the energy and passion; it was contagious. A long white table with three young women greeted us, giving us our name tags, gift bags and directions to breakfast. We made our way down a hall to a large glass door which opened to a larger area with open ceilings and big windows overlooking sky scrapers; canary yellow and white couches lined the walls. In the center of the room stood a big open kitchen with a long table filled with pastries, muffins, bagels, fruit, juice and coffee.  On one side of the kitchen was a counter with refrigerators filled with cold beverages, yogurts and snacks; above baskets of cookies and protein bars, fruit filled the shelves.  Adult children laughed and talked with their proud parents while others snapped selfies and posed for pictures by the corporate LinkedIn Logo. On the opposite wall, employees’ photos danced as children playing with their toys, bikes, parents and friends. It was followed by their LinkedIn profiles.    We noticed our son’s absence. “Mom, I’ve been really busy.” He’s in sales.  At home, I hunted down the only possible picture to go along with this story.

It was relatively easy to match the successful adult-kids with their equally successful parents. As selfies snapped, two camera men from NBC walked the room with their video cameras recording while photographers captured the moments. Many hovered by the LinkedIn logo waiting for a picture together. Some were being taken on tours to see where their kids sit. The entire place was open style with desk cubes on the perimeter and large tables in the center of the room filled with markers, crayons and color paper. Floor to ceiling glass enclosed conference rooms and fabulous doodle drawings, sayings and art work filled the walls. I heard one mother ask, “How can they work in this environment?” I spied a few air hockey tables, some games and basketball nets.   The two most striking things that I noticed was not a single clock donned a wall and the lightening was brilliantly bright. It was like working outside in the sunlight. Young, happy faces sat behind computer screens. We were ushered into a large room with white folding chairs. In front was a big screen displaying additional childhood photos.

A total of 200 parents from all over the country sat on the three floors which make up LinkedIn Corporation.  We watched a video featuring young children talking about their career dreams: educator, researcher, computer scientist, and engineer. Each described how they wanted to make a difference in the world. It showed them as children, then as young adults fulfilling their dreams. It is exactly what our children are doing right now. They are sharing their dreams with those who made it come true; their parents.   LinkedIn is no ordinary company.

CEO, Jeff Weiner,welcomed parents via video message, driving home the previous video that our adult children are living their dream, making a difference in the world while earning a living. Some of the best talent spoke from the panel. They work in sales, engineering, relationship management, publishing, advertising and marketing.


LinkedIn officially launched in 2003. At the end of the first month in operation they had 4500 members; they never looked back. Today they have 332 million subscribers and are growing at two members per second. Ninety-two percent of Fortune 500 companies use LinkedIn Talent Solutions to hire. Four million companies have a company page on LinkedIn. Not too shabby for an 11 year old company.

During the panel discussion, each employee gave an overview of their position, how long they worked at the company and what it means to be working at LinkedIn. They shared something that was not on their LinkedIn profile. They spoke of the generosity which embodies the LinkedIn for Good Program.  Employees can apply for grants to help them make a difference in the world, while at the same time follow their dreams. One employee talked about her mission to start a cancer clinic in Africa; LinkedIn helped her realize that dream. A senior team executive spoke about her vision. She always wanted to sing professionally. LinkedIn gave her an opportunity to follow her passion and she now sings on the weekends in NYC and gets paid too.

As the panel discussion drew to an end, it was time for Q&A. The moderator asked if anyone had questions. After a moment of silence, a father in the back of the room stood up and asked, “Can you give me two sources of revenue?” Nervous laughter filled the room. “Sure, I can do better than that,” she said without missing a beat:
1) Talent Solutions-helping companies find the best talent.
2) Marketing Solutions-helping brands target their ideal audience.
3) Sales Solutions- turning cold calls into warm leads.
4) Premium Subscriptions-enabling professionals to be more productive.


She gave specific examples of how each drew its revenue. Coincidentally, the stock is doing well. In this moment, feeling the need to bridge a technical if not generation gap, the moderator asked, “Any other questions?” After another moment of silence, I raised my hand - how could I not? After spending my entire career in technology, seeing firsthand how the Internet and social media has transformed the way we live, learn, find love, pay our bills, make plans and connect with family and friends. We are looking at the face of a new economy. I asked if they could speak to my experience that people are either passive or active users on LinkedIn. People use it in many different ways, it depends on what you are seeking or more importantly what you are willing to give. You see LinkedIn is no ordinary community; it is a community, a social-economy, where people from around the world come together to forge relationships, create new ideas, businesses and opportunities. They advance, transform get involved in things that are bigger than themselves. They seek to support, foster, watch it grow, and along the way, they prosper. It’s a new world, a new economy; we got to experience it for a day. It was real Zen moment.







Doreen Nicastro is the mother of


GREAT footnote to the story.  Jeff Weiner CEO of LinkedIn read and shared it with his network!  Over 2000 people have seen it.



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