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Mountain View, Calif. — April 27, 2011LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with more than 100 million members worldwide, today released LinkedInsights data that reveal interesting findings about the top names of CEOs. The LinkedInsights data also showed surprising correlations among the lengths of names that dominate certain fields. For instance, CEOs in the United States often have four letter names (like Jack and Fred).

 According to the LinkedInsights data, the top five names for male CEOs globally are:

  1. Peter  
  2. Bob         
  3. Jack   
  4. Bruce       
  5. Fred 

The top five names for female CEOs globally are:

  1. Deborah
  2. Sally
  3. Debra
  4. Cynthia    
  5. Carolyn

“It’s no secret that people often associate their title, employer and even their education as part of what defines them and their professional brand,” said Monica Rogati, LinkedIn’s senior data scientist. “What’s interesting about this data is that we were able to discover a correlation between a professional’s name and the industry or functional area in which they work.”

For instance, in the U.S., there’s an interesting relationship between the amount of letters and top names for professionals in certain functional areas. Sales professionals tend to have short names, around four letters (like Chip, Todd and Trey), while engineers tend to have longer names, around six letters (like Rajesh, Jeremy and Andrew). U.S. professionals in the food and restaurant industry tend to have longer French names (like Thierry, Philippe and Laurent).

“Typically hypocorisms, the shorter form of a given name, are used in intimate situations as a nickname or a term of endearment,” said Dr. Frank Nuessel, the editor of NAMES: A Journal of Onomastics (a publication of the American Name Society) and a professor of classical and modern languages at the University of Louisville. “It’s possible that sales professionals in the U.S. and male CEOs around the world use these shortened versions of their name as a way to be more approachable and accessible to potential clients. Interestingly enough, female CEOs appear to prefer to use their full names and not nicknames, which could signify that they want to be taken more seriously and want co-workers to think of them in a more professional light.”

 Since there are millions of professionals on LinkedIn, and not every Peter or Deborah is a CEO, LinkedIn suggests the following tips to help you stand out from the crowd of other professionals who might share your name, but not your profession:

Claim Your Name

  • Customize your LinkedIn Profile URL so that it’s your firstnamelastname, one word with no spaces (ex. Not only will it get your profile to the top of web searches for your name, it also makes it easier to link to your profile in your email signature or on your business card. You can make this change easily on your “Edit Profile” page. (If your URL is taken already, you can also do lastnamefirstname.)

Show Off Your Skills

  • Joe Smith 2.0 probably doesn’t have the same expertise you have; so make sure you add relevant skills to your profile. After you’ve logged in, go directly to LinkedIn Skills to place skills on your profile with just a few clicks.

Make Sure You’re Connected

  • Who you’re connected to can set you apart from the competition and open doors for you. The magic number of connections on LinkedIn is 50 contacts. Your network can be made up of clients, co-workers, former bosses, vendors, friends and even family. When you’re connected to trusted contacts on LinkedIn, your network can vouch for you and they can contact you when they see career opportunities that might be a fit for you. 

To learn more about LinkedIn’s listings of top names for professionals, check out our blog post. 

*Methodology for Research

For the research on the top names for professionals, the LinkedInsights data team took a look at the more than 100 million public profiles on LinkedIn. The team then determined the “top” names by finding the most over-represented names within a specific population or functional area (like “names for female CEOs globally” for instance). Functional areas were derived from the self-reported title that each member has listed on his/her LinkedIn Profile. (For example, professionals in the food and restaurant functional area would include chefs, servers, hostesses, sommeliers, etc.) 

About LinkedInsights

LinkedInsights aims to uncover valuable trends and patterns in the workplace that help professionals reach their career goals. The LinkedInsights team analyzes the aggregate movement of LinkedIn’s massive member base in order to find actionable insights that help professionals around the world better manage their careers.

 About LinkedIn

LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 100 million members in over 200 countries and territories. The LinkedIn website launched in 2003 and currently counts executives from all Fortune 500 companies as members. The company is privately-held and has a diversified business model with revenues coming from user subscriptions, advertising sales and hiring solutions. LinkedIn is headquartered in Mountain View, California.

from WrightDirection Marketing Daily is now available! The Demographics of Social Media~

Want to win in social media? Four ingredients for success

comments     Posted May 16, 2011 by Ted Sapountzis with 45 reads

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I wrote this post last September, aptly titled: Social Media Marketing: Think marriage, not a one-night-stand.  In it, I listed some of the pitfalls and misconceptions surrounding social media.  Eight months later, and after many discussions with my peers in the industry and experiments at my own company, I wanted to share my thoughts on what I am seeing as the four key ingredients of success:

  1. Secure executive support:  While this may appear obvious and trite, it is so true.  As much as we would like to think that if you build a strong grass root movement within your company it will succeed, do not be fooled.  While broad engagement in your company is critical, I would advocate that you not start until you have at least a few key executives on board.  This rang so true to me when I had the chance to visit Dell’s headquarters last February and hear Michael Dell speak passionately about this topic.   There is no doubt in my mind that Michael is the strongest supporter of this movement within Dell, but don’t take my word.  Read his views for yourself in this interview from 2008.
  2. Think carrots, not sticks:  Unless your corporate culture is true command-and-control (which in itself raises a whole lot of questions whether social will ever succeed at your company), you need to be creative and get people excited to start thinking about social the right way.  While the elusive ROI question still looms (and you of course need to get tangible business benefits), as we all know this takes time and perseverance.  So how do you begin to incent the right behaviors in this journey?   As an example, at SAP we used this ‘eye-candy’ infographic to start injecting rigor, changing behaviors and starting to measure the right things when we develop social programs around events.  It was not however these that got people excited, but rather the opportunity to also get one of these infographics for their own social programs (fully automated!), if they follow the right process.
  3. Leverage the initiated:  Even if you are early in this journey, I am sure you can find a handful of colleagues that ‘get it’ and are doing the right things.  It doesn’t matter whether you call them evangelists, ambassadors, or champions, the key is to identify who they are and leverage them.  Use them to help you refine (or even define) your overall strategy and act as your extended arms in your organizations.  Make heroes out of them, have them tell stories and help your company.
  4. Think big, start small, fail fast:  Yes this also seems obvious and trite.  It is however extremely important since (i) no consultant, guru, pundit has all the answers despite what they tell you and you will fail along the way and (ii) given that you have by now convinced your company to invest, you need to start showing results.  They key is to experiment and fail fast but always keep the goalposts (i.e., strategy) in sight.  If you are not convinced great things can come out of failures, watch this two minute video from Tom Peters talking about Walmart founder Sam Walton.

Over the next few months I plan to elaborate on each of these four points, but in the meantime I would love to hear your thoughts on whether these resonate based on your own experiences.

About Ted Sapountzis

Ted has been with SAP since 2004 and is currently responsible for scaling SAP’s social media practices in creating awareness, driving a dialogue and generating demand for SAP’s solution portfolio.

social demographics chart

social demographics chart

from WrightDirection The Influence of Foursquare