Social Media A to Z

Define the Terms. Learn the Lingo. Discover Influencers. Master Marketing.
And Get Daily Updates On How Social Media Impacts Our World!

Marketing Insights

OK, I’m On LinkedIn, Now What?

linkedin-network-1940x1122

Tapping into the networking world of LinkedIn

In the world of business, connections mean everything. We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Well, with LinkedIn, it is a bit of both. The connections you make now in current jobs may help pave the way toward new, exciting opportunities and/or careers. And, when a tough situation comes along, such as loss of employment, you can be certain that your network will be who you will count on for your next job. In fact, an Adler Group survey back in February 2016 stated that 65-75% of job seekers found their next job through networking (only 10% found a job on a job board). Here are some other interesting stats to consider from LinkedIn (LI):

  • 93% Employers Have Used LI
  • 89% Hiring Managers Have Used LI to Hire
  • 94% Recruiters Used LI to Vet Candidates
  • Executives from all Fortune 500 Are on LI
  • 90 of Fortune 100 are on LI

Even books for job-seekers such as What Color is Your Parachute, by Richard Nelson Bolles, which has been in print since 1970, has dedicated a chapter to LinkedIn.

So you’ve followed the trend and you created your LinkedIn profile…now what? Here are some useful tips on how to get the most from your LinkedIn page.

Customize Your URL

When you initially create your LinkedIn profile, you end up with a long URL which consists of your name followed by a series of numbers. It’s a link only someone with a photographic memory will remember. This is easily fixable. Just move your cursor over Profile on the top left and click Edit Profile. Scroll down below your profile picture and move your cursor to the right of the URL and a little gear icon will appear. Click the gear and in the upper right you will see Your public profile URL. Click on the pen icon to the right of your URL and then you can customize your URL. Keep in mind, LinkedIn is supposed to be for business professionals, so having URLs such as www.linkedin.com/MyLittleBooBooKitty isn’t the best idea. Keep it simple and professional. A simple, URL can gain you more visibility and help enhance your personal brand. Once your new URL is ready, don’t hesitate to put it at the top of your resume.

 Make Your Photo Count

People like to put a face to the name. Make sure your profile has a clear photo of you. Potential employers are seven times more likely to view a profile with a photo. And, please, don’t post that photo of you wearing that goofy hat from the party, or posing with a bunch of friends, or in front of a cluttered or busy background. Your profile photo should be you looking your best and don’t be afraid to smile. People are more drawn to a happy face. Keep clothes conservative, business casual, with no overly bright or dark colors, or shirts with sayings or team logos. Your photo should display how you want your next boss to see you. There are even some sites like Photofeeler.com where people can rank the quality of your photos. Not a great site for the thin-skinned, but a great place to find out if you’ve choose a winning shot.

Complete Your Profile

Similar to your resume, your LinkedIn profile should tell people the essential skills you have that drives you apart from other job candidates. One difference is that on LinkedIn you can write your profile in first person. But, before a potential employer even gets to your previous job experience and education, there are two other crucial areas of your profile that must shine bright; your Headline and your Summary.

Your Headline is your personal brand. List the functions and specialties that make you the valuable employee that you are. For example:

Lutz Finger

Getting Data & Insights To Work @LinkedIn Entrepreneur, Angel Investor, Quantum Physicist, Author

 

Now, though most won’t be able to list quantum physicist as a job title, you still have excellent qualities to highlight the best of you with awesome, searchable keywords. You should avoid using certain symbols such as “&” and “/” in your Headline, as it may affect a keyword search. The Headline will also include you current and previous employers and educational institutions you attended.

The Summary is the highlighted information that you would include in a cover letter. It usually covers four areas: Profession, Skills, Environments and Strengths.

Profession

Give a detailed description of your job title in present tense. If you are a vice president, for example, don’t just say “I am the vice president at PepsiCo.” Rather, “I am the vice president of PepsiCo’s distribution division and I lead a team 65 employees and two managers…”

Skills

Skills should include all the expertise you have in a particular area and any certifications or training you have completed.

Environments

List all types of organizations such as Fortune 500, non-profit or government agencies that you have worked for and, also, if you were part of a small group, large group or an entrepreneurial environment at any time.

Strengths

What makes you unique from the other candidates with your skill set? Maybe you have a great temperament, are a problem solver or have specialty computer skills that gives you an edge. What makes you marketable?

Engage

Become a recognizable person in the feeds of your connections. Post comments in the update section that highlights your skills and write some more in-depth articles detailing subjects where you have expertise. Make sure you add a great photo to compliment your article.

Like and comment on other people’s posts and recognize their skills as well by endorsing them at the bottom of their profile. This may encourage others to return the favor and endorse you. Just make sure you list the skills you most want to see endorsements for at the top.

Under the Interests tab at the top you can pick companies you are interested in and follow them. You can also join Groups. Groups are where people gather to talk about subjects of common interest. So if you are into digital marketing, find a group on digital marketing where you can share your knowledge and learn and comment on other people’s posts as well.

Engaging with others is a great way to get noticed, gain connections and network. There are also groups dedicated to job seekers.

Premium

If you are looking for work or to change careers, consider investing in LinkedIn Premium. It cost $29.99 a month, but it just might be worth it. With the Premium package you can see a full list of who has viewed your profile. If a potential employer or recruiter has viewed your profile, it shows that there is already some interest in your skills. Premium allows you to use InMail to send messages to people even if you are not connected with them. This can be a good way to reach out to recruiters and human resource personnel. Just make sure you use the etiquette approach and don’t just ask for a job. Introduce yourself and give some information about what you do and the skills you have. You may get some feedback on current job openings and how to apply.

In addition, you can search jobs by salary and get a more detailed advanced job searches to help narrow down to exactly what you are looking for. But, one of the biggest advantages to paying for the Premium service is access to IN Learning courses. Learn WordPress, Social Media Marketing, Art Direction, Graphic Design and so much more with online course you can complete at your convenience.

Improve your profile, engage, hone your skills and whether your goal is to increase your network, change careers or find a job in your realm, you will be on the right track.

 

Sources:

www.linkedin.com

http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-a-few-important-linkedin-stats/

Lee Hecht Harrison – Advanced LinkedIn

Marketing Insights

The Joy Of Instagram: Using Filters and Other Tricks

ffe9bdb05113Taking cool pictures and posted them on Instagram can be fun, but do you feel like your friends pictures look just a bit better? They are probably adding filters to give their pictures just that little bit of edge they need to push them into the “stunning” category.

Here are a list of the filters and what effect you can get.

  1. Clarendon: Lightens up your highlights and makes shadows more prominent.
  2. Gingham: Adds a brighter, yellowy look to enhance your darker photos.
  3. Moon: Black & White images with deeper shadows.
  4. Lark: Intensifies colors. Great for outdoor shots for bluer blues and greener greens.
  5. Reyes: Retouching filter that desaturates. Great for portraits for that airbrushed look.
  6. Juno: Another good one for outdoors. Brings out the deeper tones.
  7. Slumber: Desaturates for a warmer feel.
  8. Crema: Desaturates for a vintage feel.
  9. Ludwig:  Great for city shots. Intensifies colors.
  10. Aden: Adds pastel effect. Lowers contrast.
  11. Perpetua: Adds green to make photos more vibrant. Great for beach shots!
  12. Amaro:  Adds centered light and darker edges.
  13. Mayfair:  Also lightens center, but with more pinkish tones.
  14. Rise: Centers lightened with yellowish tones. Give a warm look.
  15. Hudson:  Centers lightened with blueish tones. Gives a colder look.
  16. Valencia: Brightens up your dull colors. Great for showing off your new look in a selfie.
  17. X-PRO II: Gives a spotlight circle with darkened corners and bluer tones.
  18. Sierra: Softens photos with yellow tones.
  19. Willow: Black & White with softened look.
  20. LO-FI: Saturated colors and blurry effect.
  21. Inkwell: High contrast Black & White photos.
  22. Hefe: Gives you more saturation in a boxed shadow effect.
  23. Nashville: For that soft retro look.

Not enough filters? Well click your manage filters tool and open up a whole world of other filter options to add such as 1977, Kelvin, Skyline, Brooklyn and many more!

In addition to adding these wonderful filter effects, you can click on the wrench icon and adjust many things about the photo. Use your Adjust tool to create a tilted effect. You can also adjust brightness, contrast, warmth, saturation and color. Add fade, highlights, shadows, vignette or add tilt shift or sharpen your images. Use the Structure tool to add detail to your photos. Great for landscapes and flowers.

With all these fun features to explore using Instagram, you’ll be sure to dazzle your friends and family and look like a pro photographer! Enjoy!

Marketing Insights

Be a Social Media Winner: Connect With Contests

3d illustration of the words Enter to Win

It’s a fact that people love games of chance even if the odds are stacked against them. Just take a look at the lottery or the Las Vegas casinos. Last year it was estimated that Vegas racked up around $375 billion in gambling sales. In most cases it doesn’t matter whether the prize is money or a key chain—people love the thrill of winning.

Just like the casinos, people flock to the internet to enter sweepstakes, win prizes at trivia or hope for the big payout in fantasy sports. Setting up contests on your social media pages are a great way to attract more followers to your brand and keep them coming back for more.

There are different types of sweepstakes from the simple “Like” our page for a chance to win to more complicated ones involving essay, photo or art contests with rules to follow and real prizes to win.

What is Your Goal?

Are your looking to introduce a brand? Then possibly a “Like” our page for a chance to win is just what you need. If you are looking to build engagement and interact with customers, then a Photo Caption contest or Best Pet Photo contest may be just the thing. Prices can include reduction in price coupon, T-shirt or even cash prizes. It’s all according to what your company can handle. Keep in mind, the more complicated the contest, the more complicated you make it on your business and employees who manage your pages. More complicated sweepstakes may also contain legal rules and regulations such as age limits and other requirements. Bigger companies may want their legal team to look over contest proposals before initiating them.

 

How Do I Build My Contest Page?

 

You can create simple contests on your Facebook business page using https://apps.facebook.com/my-contests/. For $8 a month (if you subscribe for a year), you can use their template forms combined with images and/or video to create the perfect contest for your audience. You don’t need any programming skills to get started. You can use Excel to analyze results and your contest displays nicely on your desktop, laptop and mobile devices.

Woobox

Woobox

Woobox is another option for creating sweepstakes and giveaways on Facebook. Woobox allows you to embed your contest right on your website too. Once users click on the contest tab, they can be drawn right to your Facebook page and you can require them to have to hit “Like” on your page in order to enter the contest. Woobox also allows for cross promotion sweepstakes. Say you’re a graphic design company and you want to cross promote with your favorite printer, you can do all of that and more at https://woobox.com/sweepstakes.

Wishpond

Wishpond

Wishpond helps you with your contest set up on Instagram or Pinterest. Run a hashtag, photo or essay contest, create a coupon, video contest or group offer. Wishpond costs a fee depending on what you are looking for and has 14-day free trials. You can create a landing page and generate leads for $45 or get more complicated with API access, custom Javascript and custom CSS. Find Wishpond at https://www.wishpond.com/.

No matter what you are looking for in a contest, you can find what best fits your business.

Marketing Insights

Business Tips: Avoid These Social Media Habits

Social Media Social Networking Technology Connection Concept

When it comes to your social media plan, it’s important to remember that a bit more etiquette is required when posting for your business than your personal pages. And also remember that certain ideas that might fly for your physical business, may not work so well in social media. Here are a few things to avoid on your social media business pages.

  1. Don’t be a spammer

“But I’m a business. I need to sell, sell, sell!” Just like your physical business, being in-your-face pushy is a big turn-off for consumers. Take department stores for example. Walking into a friendly department store with pleasant music playing and plenty of sights, sounds, and smells to explore sure beats getting bombarded with product-pushing salespeople, right? The same goes for your social media pages. Sure it’s OK to mention a latest sale, but you can also mix it up with some fun photos or quotes. How about a photo of the staff wearing some funky, fun hats that you sell? You can also encourage fans of your business to send some of their photos wearing their own crazy hat and post them on you Facebook or Instagram page. This will show that shopping at your business is not the same old boring thing, but a fun way to spend the day!

  1. Don’t slam the competition

Posting negative things about your competitor is just not good business practice. It shows poor sportsmanship. Being the better business without slamming your competitor is a better way to go even if they take the low road and slam your business. Try to take a more unique approach in social media than your competition. If they are posting memes on their Facebook page, use your Facebook page to be more engaging with your customers. You can pose a question like “What’s your favorite type of pie at Thanksgiving?” Or, “What is your favorite winter activity?” Showing that you care about your customer’s interests can be a good way to secure returning customers and also bring in new customers. It’s also a great way to survey your customer’s pleasures. Hmm, better stock up on pumpkin pie and sleds this year!

  1. Don’t ignore your customers

Social media is not just for posting pictures of food and cat videos. For a business, it’s a direct customer service link. One bad review on social media can cause a ripple effect and loss of many customers. So if someone posts: “Harvey’s Hats Stinks! I’ll never shop there again!” it’s important to respond publicly in a positive manner with something like: “I’m sorry you had a bad experience at Harvey’s. How can we help resolve your issue?” This not only publicly offers the unsatisfied customer a chance to resolve the problem, but it also shows other who saw the post to also see that you are making the effort to take care of a problem. It also can result in the unhappy customer, becoming a happy one and removing their post or posting a follow up comment like: “Thank you

Harvey’s for taking care of your customers. I will be sure to buy my next hat from Harvey’s!”

Social media can be a handful for any business to handle, but we have to face the facts, it’s a way of life now and we have to get out in front of it and prepare as best we can.

Marketing Insights

Sharing is Caring

 

Ah, remember the good ol’ days when it didn’t matter whether you were a small or large business on social media? Back when content reach was limitless, the playing field was level, and bringing in new business was just a matter of using clever words, eye catching photos and fun contests? Well, unfortunately, those days are over as many social media outlets have turned to the “pay-to-play” option in order to get your promotional posts seen.

So what are small businesses to do if they can’t afford to pay for ads? Certainly, there are other ways to reach potential customers without paying? Right? Right.

Shared Content is Gold

There are creative ways to get around these new pay-to-play formats. One is to get your content shared. Sharable content is a valuable commodity on social media and there are certain approaches that have proven effective and others, well, not so much. Unfortunately, one of the least shared types of posts are those directly promoting your business. Ouch! These types of posts are a turn off in most cases. And even if your current followers love the offer, they may just opt to give you “like” instead of a “share” because they don’t want to appear to their followers as if they are advertisers themselves.

Think Outside the Box

But How Do I Get People to Like My Brand If Advertising is Not an Option?

One thing that does work when it comes to getting more shares is posting informative and interesting content. Post content that your followers will love to pass along to their followers, and so on and so forth.

For example, say you work for a coffee company. Most likely, the majority of your followers have already tried your product and have liked it enough to follow you on social media pages. Now, the goal is to reach more potential customers; those who haven’t tried your product.

Posting a comment such as “Try our new dark roast ground coffee and get 10 % off your next purchase,” may get some likes among current followers, but most likely won’t get many shares. Now imagine posting a photo with a fun fact, such as:

coffee

 

Believe me, your coffee-loving followers will share this interesting factoid with their followers, and your reach will include potential new customers who will notice your subtle branding in the lower right corner. Much better than an in-your-face sales pitch.

Try Infographics

Another type of post with a proven high share rate track record is one containing an infographic. An infographic brings together creative images/illustrations and statistics to present information in a fun way. For example, what goes great with a cup of coffee? How about a slice of pie? Here is an infographic fromCouponCabin.com that they posted close to Thanksgiving that featured the most popular types of pies.

theres-always-room-for-pie_50ad832198395

You can create an infographics pretty simply and reach more potential customers through sharing. There are some free programs including www.piktochart.com and www.visualize.me that you can use to create your infographic, or you can utilize programs such as Photoshop.

Keep in mind, there is no shame in asking your audience to share your posts. You can also refer them to a Pinterest page for a retrospective of all the fun facts and infographics you have posted about your brand or service. And there is also no harm in sharing posts from other brands. For example, recommending a bakery for some tasty pastries to go with your coffee brand. Hopefully, the bakery will return the favor and recommend your coffee. So remember, post and post often! At least twice a day (10 a.m. and 3 p.m. they say). Stay tuned for more great tips like this to avoid the pay-to-play jungle!