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Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn’

6 Top Myths of Social Media

May 6th, 2013 ::

mythsDespite the incredible amount of information out there on how to use social media for marketing, a few bad practices still linger. At best, following them makes you look like you’re new to social media, but at worst, you could get flagged for spam.

Here are the top 6 worst practices, or myths, in social media:

1 – You MUST be active on every social media network.

Well, sure, if you want to waste your time, go for it! But it’s highly doubtful your customers are active on every social network. Beyond Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you really have to do your research to see if your audience uses Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, etc. Some popular social media listening tools include Google Alerts and Social Mention.

2 – Automate all updates to save time.

The first rule of thumb when it comes to social media is to be social. Do you automate texts, emails, and phone calls to your friends? Of course not! You can’t have a conversation that way. You can automate certain things, like blog posts and major news releases to go out, but otherwise, treat social media like a cocktail party and be present.

3 – Auto-DM new Twitter followers.

Automatically sending your new Twitter followers a direct message (DM) is such an impersonal, spammy practice that it will leave a negative impression on your followers and make you look like you have no clue what you’re doing. Instead, send them a short, public note around your area of interest: “@newfollower Thanks for the follow! What aspect of social media are you most frustrated by?”

4 – Auto-publish the same content on every social network.

Again, this will make you look like you don’t know what you’re doing, because every social network is different. It’s OK to tweet and pin a few times a day, but it’s not OK to post on Facebook or LinkedIn a few times a day.

5 – Respond to all negative comments.

While it is generally a good idea to respond to negative comments in order to fix a situation, remember that some people are just mean. Instead of getting into a virtual shouting match, do what you can to address the complaint, and then leave it. That person will only look worse, while you’ll look better for taking the high ground.

6 – Just wing it.

If you want to actually generate results, you can’t “wing” social media. You need to have a plan. For starters, you need to know what content you will post where and how often. If you want to learn more, check out one of my recent blog posts, The Online Marketing Project, Part 2.

What other social media practices make businesses look like they don’t know what they’re doing?

Image courtesy of lifehappens.org

How to Take Advantage of the New LinkedIn Features

April 11th, 2013 ::

LinkedInOver the winter, LinkedIn updated their platform to make it more visual, interactive, and generally easier to use. Here are 7 new features that are a snap to work into your overall marketing and lead generation strategy:

Images and Videos

With the rise of visual content, LinkedIn joins Facebook and Twitter as the social networks look to leverage the high levels of engagement and shareability that photos bring to the table.

Profile photos are given greater prominence in your profile, so you haven’t added a photo yet, do it; otherwise users will encounter a big gray block when they view your profile. Not very engaging – or welcoming.

Because you can also add video, blogs, and presentations (LinkedIn owns SlideShare) throughout your profile, this is a great opportunity to pull in users and showcase your expertise in an engaging, accessible way.


LinkedIn has integrated a little customer relationship management capability with their new notes feature, which lets you add information to the profiles of your connections. It is a great way to keep track of where you met, who you introduced them to and vice versa, future opportunities to work together, etc.


LinkedIn always had a Search feature, but now it’s better, especially if you have a free account. With a free account, you are only allowed 5 introductions (using Get Introduced) a month. Now, you are essentially open to unlimited introductions, because you can search your connections’ connections by keywords and then manually ask for an introduction rather than using Get Introduced.

Interactive Profiles

With the old LinkedIn, if you did a search, a list of names would appear. Now, their profile photos will also appear–a boon to those of us who remember faces better than names. If you scroll over the photo, a mini-profile pops up, saving you the time of clicking through to the profile to make sure you have the right person.


If you haven’t noticed, LinkedIn looks more like Facebook now – your activity on the network shows up in your connections’ news feed. The more you share on LinkedIn, the more visible and thus top-of-mind you’ll be.

Sharing Bookmarklet

One of their new features makes it easy to stay active on LinkedIn – the Sharing Bookmarklet. Drag it to your browser so you can easily share articles, videos, and other content you come across online.

Common Interests

I really like the new Common Interests feature, as it allows you to turn a “cold message” into a warm one. If you don’t have a mutual connection, you can check to see if you have overlapping groups, skills or interests, so that when you reach out, you can really personalize your message (which you should always do!).

Have you used any of these new features yet? What have you found most useful?

Image courtesy of mashable.com

A 5-Step LinkedIn Marketing Strategy to Grow Your Business

March 11th, 2013 ::

5 stepsIf you’ve been thinking about increasing your use of LinkedIn to boost visibility, find new leads, and snag more business, this post is for you. I’ve written about LinkedIn before, but it’s changed since then – LinkedIn Answers is gone and the layout now resembles Facebook in that you can like, comment on, or share updates from your network.

To get started, I decided to do some research on just who is using LinkedIn to make a strong case for why we all should embrace it. Hold on to your hats, because the stats I found at Quantcast are pretty awesome.

  • LinkedIn users are affluent: 54% of LinkedIn users earn more than $60K per year and 36% earn more than $100K.
  • LinkedIn users are educated: 46% have a college degree and 27% have a graduate degree.
  • LinkedIn users love the site: Almost 25% use the site at least 30 times per month.

OK, so LinkedIn is definitely a good place to focus time and energy, especially if you have a robust network.

Here’s a 5-step LinkedIn marketing strategy to help you improve your visibility and get more leads as you grow your business:

1. Get in the habit of using LinkedIn on a regular basis.

LinkedIn will not work for you if you don’t take the time out of your schedule to nurture your LinkedIn presence. Whether you choose to spend time on it daily or weekly, get in the habit of sharing curated and original content and liking, commenting on, or sharing the content your network posts. Participate in groups (more on that below) and comb your network for leads (again, more on that below).

2. Expand your definition of who should be in your network.

I’m going to assume you already actively grow your network by sending personalized messages to the people you meet at events, conferences, etc., asking them to join your network. Don’t forget to send invites to friends and social acquaintances – they have networks too – along with clients, vendors, and partners.

3. Join active groups – and participate.

Instead of joining any group related to your industry or composed of your target audience, look for groups that are active with engaged members. Start joining the conversation, adding your viewpoint or expertise where appropriate. Don’t forget that you can also start your own conversations, but always keep in mind, you’re not there to sell your product or service, you are there to help others.

4. Consider advertising.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that LinkedIn is a better place to advertise than Facebook, because LinkedIn users are highly encouraged to complete their profiles. At Facebook, you’re not, so what users share in their profiles is all over the map.

With that said, you can highly target your ads to exactly who you want to reach – by industry, company, company size, location, title, etc. Once you start advertising, make it a habit to continually improve your ads to boost their effectiveness.

5. Look for leads and ask for introductions.

You’ve built a network for a reason, so use it! You can find leads within your network, in the newsfeed, on LinkedIn company pages, and in recommendations. Look for connections, and ask the people in your network for introductions. Immediately follow up with that person and let them know why you’d like to meet them and how working with you will benefit them.

Any other tips on using LinkedIn that I missed?

Image courtesy of simplyrest.com

Your Guide to LinkedIn Advertising

January 24th, 2013 ::

LinkedIn people puzzleIf you’re a B2B company, attracting new customers with pay-per-click (PPC) ads on LinkedIn rather than Google or Facebook may be the way to go.  That’s because you can target your ad to specific job titles, job functions, industries, company size, seniority, by LinkedIn Groups, etc. to ensure you are reaching either the end user or the person who makes the purchase decision.

Who you can reach on LinkedIn:

  • 175 million professionals worldwide, 40 million of whom are US-based
  • 7.9 million business decision makers
  • 1.3 million small business owners
  • 4.2 million corporate executives

How it works:

  • Choose your target demographic and location
  • Set a budget for clicks ($2 minimum) and the total you want to pay overall ($10 minimum)
  • Pay $5 activation fee

Types of ads:

  • Poll ads: Conduct market research and build brand awareness at the same time
  • Join group ads: If you have a LinkedIn Group, you can advertise it and increase your reputation as a thought leader
  • Social ads: These ads integrate member activities and information about advertising to target buyers based on what LinkedIn knows about your social network.
  • Video ads: This is the newest ad type, which lets you add your YouTube video or a 30 second video to ads.


  • Make sure you measure your click-through-rate (CTR) on a regular basis to ensure your ad is working; you want a CTR of 0.025% or better.
  • Ads with images get 20% more clicks.
  • Turn your headline into a question to garner more attention.
  • You can create up to 15 ad variations to figure out which image and text work best.
  • Target ads to one specific group instead of everyone; the CTO has different priorities and needs than the CIO.

Have you advertised on LinkedIn yet? What about Google or Facebook? What strategies have you used to increase your CTR?

Image courtesy of blog.hubspot.com

3 Reasons to Stick With Social Media Marketing

December 18th, 2012 ::

NumbersDiving into social media marketing is fun and scary at the same time. When you’ve been at it for a while and you’re not getting the results you want, it can be incredibly frustrating. Why so few likes, comments, retweets, shares? I totally hear you, believe me! Between trying to deal with Facebook’s EdgeRank and timing social media use so people will see your brilliant content, it is easy to give up.

Resist the urge – don’t give up! Here are 3 reasons why (statistics courtesy of HubSpot):

Your demographic is on social media

No matter who your customers are, they are using social media: 83% of 18- to 29- year-olds and 70% of 30-49 year olds are active on it. Even 51% of those 50 and older are active on social media. Whether your business is B2B or B2C, your customers will interact with you on social media if you share engaging, useful content.

Social media use is growing

Your customers are continually joining social media – and using it more and more. Consider these numbers:

  • Every 60 seconds, 66,000 things are shared on Twitter, 695,000 things are shared on Facebook, and 7,000 things are shared on LinkedIn.
  • Every day, 700,000 new Facebook accounts are created.
  • Every week, 7 billion (billion!) things are shared on social media.

The more active you are, the better your chances for engagement.

Social media marketing works

Just because you’re not seeing immediate results on social media (new leads, new customers, higher sales numbers), don’t give up. Marketers are reporting 3 significant results:

  1. 91% see improved website traffic due to social media
  2. 79% are generating more quality leads than those who don’t use social media
  3. 50% have successfully connected with new customers on social networks

Making sure social media marketing works for you is pretty straightforward:

  • Be real
  • Be remarkable
  • Show your appreciation
  • Make your fans and followers feel special

How has social media helped your business grow?

Image courtesy of englishwithjo.com

3 Simple Tips for Improving LinkedIn Lead Generation From an Expert

November 26th, 2012 ::

LinkedIn lead generationEver hear of Neal Schaffer? He was named by Forbes as a Top 30 Social Media Power Influencer. He is a prolific blogger at Windmill Networking, a popular social media conference speaker, and an award-winning author of two books: ”Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing” and “Windmill Networking: Maximizing LinkedIn.”

Basically, if you want to know about LinkedIn, you turn to him! Marketo recently published an interview with Neal about using LinkedIn for lead generation. Here are my top 3 takeaways:

1. Stop ignoring your company page

According to Neal, you have to do 3 things to take full advantage of your company page – all of which, I have to say, are pretty darned easy to do:

  1. Build a following with relevant status updates
  2. Include keywords everywhere for SEO purposes
  3. Get recommendations for each of your products or services (rather than your company as a whole)

2. Create content that answers questions

I really love this point Neal makes: People do not call you for an answer – they search the Internet for answers.  If you create content that 1) answers questions, and 2) is full of keywords, then people will find you and begin to view you as a thought leader.

3. Use LinkedIn Groups

Share the above content you create in relevant groups. LinkedIn Groups, as Neal points out, are where the professionals are online – they’re not necessarily looking for answers on Facebook, but they are within LinkedIn Groups.

Do the above, and Neal says that people will start finding you. Your status updates will pop up in their network updates.  You’ll be discovered through search results. You’ll drive brand awareness and lead generation in groups.

Do you use LinkedIn for lead generation? What tactics have been most successful for you?

Image courtesy of marsdd.com

Case Study: How One Small Business Used LinkedIn to Grow to $5Million in Annual Revenue

October 16th, 2012 ::

MoneyI love case studies, and this is why: where else would you learn how someone grew a business from nothing to $5 million in annual revenue using a social media site?   (This blog post is based on one that originally ran in Social Media Examiner.)

Here’s a little background: James Filbird moved to China in 2006 to work on a venture that fell through after only 9 months.  He wantd to stay, so he became a business consultant who helps inventors source products in China. He used LinkedIn to generate leads and grew JMF International Trade Group into a successful company.

Here are 7 things that Filbird did – all of which are easy to do:

1. He completed his profile.

Yes, that sounds like a no-brainer, but is your profile complete? The more information you can add, the better, as there are so many ways for people to find you – by location, areas of expertise, groups, alumni networks.

2. He kept his profile up-to-date.

Again, sounds basic, but it’s easy to forget to add a project win or accomplishment. Also, the more recommendations and endorsements the better, as that outside validation adds to your credibility.

3. He uses it every day.

This is something we should all do! Filbird spends up to 2 hours on LinkedIn every day, participating in group discussions and looking for people to connect with.  Instead of 2 hours every day, carve out time daily or weekly to use LinkedIn, whether it’s for 15 minutes or an hour.

4. He joined 50 groups (the max).

Filbird said that groups are “where the gold is – people looking for help.” Find relevant groups to join by searching with keywords on the Groups page.  Join the active groups that have more comments than discussions (look at the Activity tab in Group Statistics).

5. He takes part in discussions. 

He looks through the group digests he receives by email for a handful of groups, and adds valuable insights to any discussions he finds interesting.  The more you chime in, the better your chances of being viewed as an influencer in that group.

6. He connects with relevant people. 

This is a tactic I use as well – Filbird only connected with people who are relevant to his business, rather than anyone and everyone.  When you ask to connect with someone, it is always a good idea to personalize the message and remind the person how you know them or explain why you’d like to connect.

7. He moves conversations offline.

If a LinkedIn conversation is going well, Filbird asks them to connect via Skype.  For every 10 people he engages on LinkedIn, 1 develops into a relationship; when that conversation moves to Skype, 1 in 3 results in business.  That is a pretty good conversion rate!

Now are you convinced that spending time on LinkedIn is worthwhile?

Image courtesy of library.thinkquest.org

5 Common Misconceptions About Social Media – and Why They Are Not True

September 6th, 2012 ::


Because using social media for marketing is still a relatively young practice, many misconceptions about it continue to float around out there.  Here are 5 that I hear all the time, followed by the truth:

1. Social media cannot be used in my industry

Uh, really? Why not?  Your customers are people, and chances are they are already using Facebook and LinkedIn – and maybe Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest too.  Instead of making broad assumptions, get online and spend 30 minutes searching topics and keywords that are industry-specific. You might be surprised about who is talking about what.

2. My business is too boring to be good at using social media

Yes, it is much easier to come up with fun status updates, contest ideas, photos and videos if you are a salon and spa rather than an industrial metals manufacturer.  So get creative! Ask, “What does my target audience care about? How can I engage them with photos, videos, contests and games?”  For example: your employees could do a spoof on a song, changing the words so they are related to your company or industry.

3. Success is measured by quantity (of blog comments, Twitter followers – you name it)

Measuring the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts by tallying up the number of comments your blog gets, the number of Twitter followers you have, or the number of times a photo is shared is wrong in so many ways.  What you need to be measuring is the number of leads you are generating, the quality of the leads, and how many are converting into customers. Customers, not popularity, are what pay the bills.

4. I must have a presence on every single social media network

This is only true if your target market is active – in large numbers – on every single social media network.  They probably are not.  Find the 2 or 3 networks with the most activity, and focus on those.

5. I don’t have time for social media

You probably do, actually, and that is because being active is not that time-consuming.  Just as you devote time to checking email, answering customer queries and keeping up with industry news, you can carve out some time for social media.  Set aside 30 minutes to plan out an editorial schedule and decide what you will post when.  Once you do that, you will probably only spend 15 or 20 minutes total on your social media accounts every day.

What other misconceptions do you hear about social media?  Share them below!

Image courtesy of brainwormproductions.com

4 Easy Ways to Generate Leads on Forums

August 29th, 2012 ::


LinkedIn Groups, Quora and HighTable are all great Q&A forums that allow you to demonstrate your expertise – and demonstrating your expertise and thought leadership is a great way to generate leads and find new clients.

Here’s how:

1. Answer questions

Yes, this is probably obvious, but if you want to really make an impression, you have to go beyond a simple, one-sentence answer.   You should back up your answer with statistics or examples of how you’ve successfully done x for clients.  Offer tips on how they can do x, along with alternatives they may not have considered.

2. Comment on other answers

If you agree, explain why.  If you don’t, be polite and civil while you explain why it might be better to do x this way instead of that way.  As above, if you can offer tips on how to do x, all the better.

3. Look for questions on related topics

In business, there is a lot of crossover from one topic and area of expertise to another.  Take marketing.  Though I am a copywriter and editor, and I know a great deal about social media, branding and marketing strategy.  Look for questions on topics that are related to your area of expertise to broaden your reach.

4. Visit forums routinely

As with any part of your marketing strategy, consistency wins the day.  Just as you make time to check email and post on your business’s social media accounts every day, visit forums and answer questions on a regular basis, whether it’s once a day or once a week.

If you want to delve into forums deeper, you could start your own forum.  However, this is a bit of time commitment that requires continual marketing and engagement.  If there are no forums on your topic of expertise, though, it might be worth trying out.

Have you successfully used forums to generate leads?  What tactics did you find worked best?

Image courtesy of valdosta.edu

How B2B Marketers Are Using Social Media

July 30th, 2012 ::

Marketo published a great infographic (see image) they created with ColumnFive based on the results of a social media marketing survey that Social Media Examiner conducted.  More than 3,800 marketers shared how they use social media – and what kind of benefits they are reaping.

A whopping 93% of B2B marketers use social media, an increase of 10% from 2 years ago, and those marketers are experienced: 38.5% of them have 1-3 years of experience using social media.

See how you stack up against them:

Benefits of social media marketing

  • 69% gathered insights on the marketplace
  • 60% improved their search rankings
  • 56% acquired new business partnerships
  • 53% developed loyal fans

Top 6 social media networks used

  1. Facebook (87%)
  2. Twitter (84%)
  3. YouTube or other video site (56%)
  4. LinkedIn (87%)
  5. Blogs (66%)
  6. Google+ (44%)

Looking forward, they want to improve their efforts in 3 areas…

  1. LinkedIn use (76%)
  2. Blogging efforts (71%)
  3. Facebook fan building (68%)

…and they want to learn more about

  • Measuring social media effectiveness (77%)
  • Converting activities to sales (72%)
  • Learn best practices (74%)

So, how do you compare?  Leave a comment below and let us know what social media networks you use and how they are benefiting you.

Image courtesy of Social Media Examiner