Tag Archive: Linkedin

  1. Which Social Media Channel Is Right for My Business?

    Social Media

    In this day and age, you’ll be hard pressed to find a brand that doesn’t have a presence on social media. If you’re a brand that’s just starting out or a veteran in your marketplace looking to expand into a new platform, you may be asking yourself: Which channels should I be focusing on?

    Ask many people and I guarantee the answer will be; “As many of them as possible.”

    This, however, is quite often not the case. Social media success is not marked by having your brand on every single platform, nor by haphazardly posting in order to simply fill a newsfeed. Quality is better than quantity, no matter if you are talking about the content you are producing, the time you are spending on each platform, or the number of platforms your brand is active on.

     

    When trying to figure out where you should be spending your time, try to answer these three questions:

     

    1. Where are your target personas spending their time?
    2. Where does your message resonate the most?
    3. Can you create relevant content that broadcasts your message efficiently and accurately?

    A financial firm that primarily focuses on B2B marketing would probably see a higher return on their time by writing informational articles and engaging with industry professionals on platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter than it would be trying to build an Instagram presence. Why? Instagram is primarily a photo and video-based social media channel, and a financial firm may not naturally lend itself to sharing visually interesting content. Meanwhile, an architectural firm could realistically provide industry insight and project updates on Linkedin and Twitter while also curating an Instagram feed that appeals to an audience who admires the elements of design so prevalent in that field.

    Finding the right social media platform for your brand is dependant upon the needs of your business and your ability to provide content. Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry. Below, I have highlighted the best uses of each of the leading social media platforms.

     

    Facebook

    Facebook has had a tumultuous year but it still remains the most prolific and influential social media network. According to Hootsuite, 1.47 billion people are daily active users and there are 80 million small to medium-sized business pages. With that being said should you have a Facebook page? Short answer: Yes.

    But should you expect it to be a successful way for you to market your business? Well, that depends on how you use it.

    With Facebook’s pivot toward their “Groups” functionality and the importance, it places on “meaningful conversations,” you might find it hard to reach your audience members through all the noise if you don’t engage in paid advertising and boosted posts on the platform. That being said, if you are a business that hosts a lot of community events, relies on community feedback, or you are trying to sell a product directly to consumers, Facebook’s reviews, events, and Shopify integration functionalities are second to none among other social networks.

    Twitter

    As reported by Hootsuite, 75% of B2B and 65% of B2C businesses market on Twitter, and 85% of small to medium-sized businesses believe that Twitter is an integral tool for providing customer service. But with the average half-life of a single tweet being just 24 minutes, how does one ensure that their brand’s message is being communicated effectively through the platform?

    The hard truth is, unless you are devoting a significant amount of time engaging with others and consistently tweeting on the platform you very well might just be screaming into the void. The crux of a great Twitter presence is not necessarily using it as a megaphone to amplify your message but more like a two-way radio to interact with your customers, your community, or like-minded businesses.

    Instagram

    With over one billion monthly active users and 70% of US businesses utilizing the platform, Instagram is the third most widely used social media platform in the world, according to Oberlo. As I explained earlier, if you do not have the visual assets (photography and video), this platform might not be for you. Instagram users want a visual and artistic representation of your brand. This requires a constant flow of new and exciting photo and video content for users to engage with.

    If you can swing it, I suggest utilizing a healthy mix of user-generated content to encourage tagging and engagement, professional photography that really tells the story of your brand, and candid “of-the-moment” shots that give your brand authenticity.

    Over the past few years, Instagram has made it easier for business to see direct ROI from utilizing their platform. From integration into Facebook’s Ad manager, swipe up to link out features on Instagram stories (for accounts with over 10k followers) and direct shopping on Instagram for approved business, there are many opportunities to utilize this platform to benefit your business.  

    LinkedIn

    If you’re a B2B marketer, LinkedIn is definitely the place for you. According to Foundation Inc., 80% of all social media generated social media leads come from LinkedIn. But like any platform, it’s all about what you post. LinkedIn presents the unique opportunity to position your brand as a thought leader in your industry through posting LinkedIn Articles and thoughtful company updates. But more than that, the platform also allows your employees and executives to leverage their own LinkedIn presence to further bolster your brand’s credibility.

    Deciding where you should spend your time and money on social media is always daunting. However, as long as you set clear goals, understand your audience, and know the best uses of each platform, you’ll be growing your audience and influence in no time. But remember the key principle to social media success: Quality is always better than quantity.

  2. LinkedIn Image Dimensions Update

    Imagery has proven, time and time again, to be a vital element of catching your audience’s eye; this does not change when it comes to your company’s social media profiles.

    Many social media channels contain page-spanning images that add a huge opportunity to quickly draw attention and add some branding flair to your page. Unfortunately, if your dimensions are off by just a hair, you can wind up with a pixelated, poorly framed mess that does more harm than good.

    Consider this fair warning: LinkedIn is about to drastically update how header images appear on your company profile.

    Instead of a banner-like cover photo (which businesses typically use to showcase their tagline or company name) this image will be a 1536 x 768px background-style image, which may be a big problem for those whose current image is designed to fit the old standards and dimensions. Moving forward, background images should avoid using text or logo treatments, as these additions are sure to clutter up the page, or worse, will be cropped out on various devices. Instead, we suggest choosing an image that is both clean and keeps to your brand standards.

    Here’s a look at the current company page layout:

    Old LinkedIn Layout

    And here’s a glimpse at the new one. You can see that the focus is more on the aesthetic of a background image, rather than that of a traditional “cover photo:”

    New LinkedIn Layout

    Looks aren’t everything, but they definitely matter when trying to woo new customers with an attractive social media page.

  3. Conquer LinkedIn In Just 10 Minutes A Day

    You’re a businessperson. Your phone probably rings 10 times before 9:30 AM, and you can’t even bear to look at your e-mail lest another crisis arrive signed with a frantic, “Best.” I understand — you’ve got a full to-do list. The last thing you need to do is get involved with social media, even though your marketing team is practically begging you to (that’s one of the unanswered emails in your inbox, isn’t it?)

    Social media can seem overwhelming at times and it may constantly fall to the darkest corner of your priority list. But guess what? It’s not going away anytime soon. Social media sites such as LinkedIn have become the way to increase your personal and professional online presence, create new business opportunities, and stay up to date on the “need to know” in your industry. Don’t let yourself fall behind the pack simply because you think you don’t have time.

    In a good day, you have maybe 15 minutes to hop up from your desk to grab a snack, a glass of water, or take a brisk walk before your legs fall off from sitting for too long. The good news is it only takes up to 10 minutes a day to create a following on LinkedIn!

    Is This Really Necessary?

    Short answer: Yes.

    Why do you need to be on LinkedIn? Because your peers are. Because more and more every day, it’s where connections are being made, deals are being closed, and opportunities are arising. And its use is evolving all the time.

    LinkedIn is for Professionals

    LinkedIn isn’t like Twitter or Facebook. You don’t have to whip out a clever quip in 140 characters or less. LinkedIn posts don’t lose relevancy in the blink of an eye. You don’t have to impress your followers with photos of all the influential and awe-inspiring people you’re meeting on a daily basis. LinkedIn is a place filled with people just like you. Businesspeople and professionals log on to share information about their companies, their professional lives, their industry knowledge — basically all of the things that you’re already thinking of 24 hours a day. So why not?

    Let’s Get Efficient

    If you haven’t already, download the LinkedIn app on your smartphone or tablet. Go ahead, I’ll wait….

    You know those times when you’re standing in line at Chipotle, sitting on mute on a conference call, or stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the interstate? These are all times when you are inevitably on your handheld device anyway, so log onto LinkedIn for 10 minutes and engage! Pulse (LinkedIn’s recommended news channel that automatically appears on your homepage) will do all the searching for you. It shows you articles that it knows you’ll be interested in.

    Tap an article, skim through it, and if you like it, share it! Let the author know that it was an insightful read or that it related to a problem that you just had the other day. Trust me, authors love your comments (No, really. We do. Wink.) and they’ll never be annoyed at hearing how their article impacted your day or even if you disagree with every point they’re making and think they’re full of bologna. The point is to start a conversation, even if you only have 10 minutes to do so.

    You Can Contribute Too

    Let’s kick it up just one more notch before you go back to all of your responsibilities.

    How to add a post on LinkedIn

    Got a blog post or article that you’ve written? LinkedIn has these handy “posts” where you can dust off that old content and repurpose it in a great way. Simply hover over the text box where you would normally post an update and click the pencil icon. Here, you can copy and paste content from a previous piece that you have published (just make sure to give credit and link back to the original source). Now, you’re not just commenting on others’ hard work, but adding to the pot as well!

    Now, businessmen and women just like you waiting in line for a delicious burrito can take 10 minutes, skim your article, and let you know what they thought about it. You may even make some new connections out of the deal.

    Just 10 Minutes a Day

    You probably read this article during today’s downtime, so I totally understand if you start tomorrow. But the next time you find yourself waiting around, pull up the LinkedIn app for just 10 minutes. Engage with content. Post your own! Add it into your daily routine. You’ll find that creating an active presence on LinkedIn isn’t nearly as time consuming (or pointless!) as you thought it was.

  4. LinkedIn Blogs: Why The Cool Kids Are Doing It

    If you’ve logged into LinkedIn within the past year, you’ve been greeted by Pulse news recommendations customized “just for you!” as the featured content in your LinkedIn feed.

    How to blog on Linked In

    What began as a digital publishing platform for news sources and exclusive LinkedIn “Influencers” (see what they did there?), is now one of the most effective yet under-utilized social media tools for positioning yourself as a subject matter expert.

    Our Experiment: Publishing on LinkedIn

    As a digital marketing agency, we like to testdrive new techniques on ourselves before making recommendations to our clients.

    In September, we published Principal Kelly Lafferman’s blog on both our website and as a LinkedIn post as an experiment. We wanted to know how much farther our reach would extend by adding this platform to our posting regimine.

    Boy, were we happy!

    Repurposing and publishing the post for LinkedIn took less than 15 minutes (Geico, LinkedIn is coming for you) and garnered fantastic results. Not only did the post earn syndication in the “Marketing & Advertising” Pulse channel and an additional 1.6K views for our content, nearly 300 LinkedIn users engaged with the post through comments and Likes which created additional awareness-generating news feed stories. Kelly’s LinkedIn connections and Twitter follows, mentions and shares also reaped positive results.

    That success left us asking, why wouldn’t we recommend this to everyone we know?

    How to Blog on LinkedIn

    There are already fantastic tutorials available that can help you publish your first post on LinkedIn, so I won’t re-invent that wheel.

    What I do want to stress is how easy and effective it is to repurpose your existing blog content as a LinkedIn post to position yourself as a thought leader. (If you need a refresher on why content marketing and blogging are essential to your digital marketing mix, feel free to peruse the rest of our blog.)

    Your blog post may need a minor facelift before you copy and paste into the LinkedIn publishing tool (especially if you’re following SEO best practices), but I promise it’s worth your while.

    Here are the top 4 changes to consider:

    1. Post Title – Most SEO-friendly blog titles are keyword rich, but may lack a strong literary hook. Jazz up your post title to something eye catching or slightly controversial to snag as many readers as possible.
    2. Links – SEO standards suggest balancing external links (those outside your website) with internal links in your blog content. However, if your goal is to drive people back to your website from LinkedIn, it’s ok to tip the scales in your favor. Consider integrating more relevant links to your website and blog when possible. It’s also good form to set all links to open in a new browser tab or window from your LinkedIn post.
    3. Add a Closing Question – Update the last line of your post to a question that invites feedback. Similarly to Facebook, the more comments (and other engagements) the post receives, the higher its ranking.
    4. Add an Author’s Bio – Most WordPress blogs integrate your author bio outside of the post itself. Dont’ forget to add this back into the content of your post when sharing on LinkedIn. Give your readers the opportunity to learn relevant or interesting details about you in 30 seconds or less. (Don’t include a full CV here.)

    Now get out there, and start sharing!

  5. When You See It – Why High Quality Images Should Be a High Priority

    Imagine you’re the customer. You search Google or even Facebook for a local bike repair shop and come across some options. Which are you more likely to click on: a blurry photo of a broken bicycle with grainy text designed across the top promoting a 10% off deal, or a bright, high quality image of a man riding a bike with a text headline in the page content saying something like “For all your bike repair needs?”

    Industry research says, that even though one company offers a discount, most of us will engage with the better quality marketing than the poor resolution effort. For businesses who do the majority of their marketing online it is crucial to understand why this happens, plus how improving the quality of your online marketing efforts will help you Win more business right away.

    A common reason your business might want to use lower resolution photography or creative is website speed and performance, especially in regards to viewing on mobile. Makes sense, right? Since it doesn’t take as long to load the pixels, and the end user can get to the digital content faster, why not skimp on file size in favor of boosting performance? According to Google, load time is still the primary way to maximize page views, citing specifically that a loading time increase from 0.4 seconds to 0.9 seconds decreased traffic by 20%. However, you have to ask yourself if boosting performance is worth a negative user experience. Though it may technically be a solution for getting pages to load faster, you should never substitute quality for performance without knowing what you’re doing. Poor quality usually means poor engagement. 

    So, what’s the solution? There are ways to decrease image file size without negatively affecting the image quality. One way is designing your visual web assets (logos especially) as vectors. Vectors use math to replicate the image by whatever new size specs being applied, so they always stay sharp and in focus. This is different than something in a predetermined pixel ratio which will blur or pixelate when sized incorrectly. You can also make edits to brightness, focus, compression and more, as well as setting specific pixel size ratios when saving your image assets. 

    What if you don’t have a staff of savvy designers and photoshop experts? Don’t worry, there are also tools online for easily editing and creating visual marketing pieces and editing photos for use on your site or social media campaigns. Check out tools like Canva and Piktochart, which are great for simple graphic design that anyone can do, even those always-trending infographics. PicMonkey is a handy tool to resize images to the most popular social media site specifications. Looking for an on-the-go solution? Look in to mobile apps like PicLab HD.

    In addition to the importance of high quality we also have to mention the importance of simply being found. Some simple tips to leverage organic SEO on a highly visual, image-heavy site are easier than you may think. When naming the image files use the you want to attract. This is an often overlooked solution but is a definite factor in increasing SEO. Also if you have a headline or marketing offer, don’t include it only as a designed element in the file. Be sure to include it as page text so Google can find it. You’d be surprised how often this is missed, but take a look around online or the social media pages of your competitors and see if you find any guilty parties of this marketing faux pas. 

    Speaking of social media. One of the easiest ways to ensure your photos and designs are going to look their best on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, is to design them to the correct specs in the first place. Take a look at this handy cheat sheet from Constant Contact for all the current image specs.

    The 3M Corporation revealed in a recent study that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. Utilizing the best photos and designs available will only enhance your online brand experience and customer experience. Low quality images will alienate savvy internet users (probably your best likely potential customers) and can even damage your brand. Remember stay focused. Literally!

  6. It’s About Time: The Perfect Time to Post on Social Media

    If you’re a business owner, you probably recognize how important a social media presence is and may already be using social media to market your business. But why do some posts seem to work better than others? Why do some posts bring in lots of business, site traffic, sales, interaction, all of the above – while other posts just go flat? While content may still be king, it’s timing that is at war for the throne. Want to be social media royalty? Follow these tips for the perfect time to post on social media!

    Tip 1: Get the Day Right!

    When it comes to posting for your business on social media, not every day has the same rules. You could be posting the sale of the century, but if you’re not conscious about when you post, few people may even see it. For Facebook the highest day for likes, shares and comments is Wednesday. If you’re looking for retweets and follows, you have more options with Twitter. Scheduling tweets for Monday – Thursday will ensure your best results each week. LinkedIn also sees better activity in the middle of the week, while visual platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr do better at the end of the week and on weekends when most Americans aren’t at work.

    Tip 2: It’s About Time!

    Early riser? Well, not all of your fans are on board, but some of them are. Posting before noon will ensure the highest activity on your Pinterest page, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts. Post as late as Midnight through 1:00AM for Pinners, while the 7:00AM through 9:00AM range is crucial for activity on LinkedIn.  9:00AM to 11:00AM is prime time for your Google circles.

    The majority of activity and engagement is on social media in the afternoon. The sweet spot for Twitter is immediately after lunch until 3:00PM. Facebook follows a similar timeframe, but will continue activity online a little later in the day until 4:00PM. LinkedIn surfaces between 2:00PM and 6:00PM, while Tumblr and Pinterest rule the night hours.

    There are also dead times on social media to avoid for posting major announcements and campaigns. For best results on Facebook, try not to post before 8:00AM or after 8:00PM. On Twitter, avoid posting before 9:00AM and after 8:00PM, as well. See a trend? Think about the times you are online or checking your phone. These timeframes are directly connected to the standard American schedule and remain true for most students, as well as those on the clock. Unless it’s breaking news, always post when your fans are listening- not just when you’re ready to talk!

    Tip 3: Know Your Audience!

    Although the above statistics should apply to most brands, businesses, and social media behavior in general, never discount what your audience behavior is already telling you. Catering your posting strategy to your specific audience will have produce exponential engagement right away, especially when national trends will fluctuate more often than your audience behavior does.

    One easy way of testing this out is through Facebook’s Insights tool. From your admin dashboard, Page Insights will provide access to valuable data. Get to know your audience better by exploring the “Posts” tab  and view valuable insight on timing your posts and content to correlate with when your fans are on Facebook  through the “When Your Fans Are Online” tab. Measuring your results is as simple as looking a little further down on this same page. Look for your organic reach, which will confirm if you are in fact getting in front of your fans, and review the data reflecting likes, comments and shares. Once you’ve found the sweet spot for maximizing eyes and action, you have gained a genuine edge over your competition, plus a more effective connection to your audience!

    Note: While Facebook’s built-in tools are helpful, it’s also a good idea to subscribe to a third party service that provides the analytics you need for each social media accounts all in once place. We recommend checking out Hootsuite, LikeAlyzer, Fanpage Karma and Must Be Present.

    Tip 4: Don’t Overdo It (Or Underdo It)!

     To truly see results from sticking to a social media schedule, be careful how often you post as well. Even if you’re posting relevant content during your popular time frames, posting too often or not enough may turn away fans and followers.

    Research suggests that brands should limit their posts on Facebook to once a day. Check out at this chart from Socialbakers showing how often some of America’s mega brands are posting to Facebook.

    They also suggest that 3 tweets a day is the magic number for Twitter. Unless your site is a media outlet posting constantly in tandem with the published content on your site, stick close to 3 tweets a day during your heaviest times of engagement. {Pro tip: the lifecycle of a tweet tends to be less than 18 minutes before it peaks, while the average post on Facebook could reach their midlife crisis at the 90 minute mark. Keep these statistics in mind for maximizing results from your social strategy.}

    It’s wise to employ a multi-faceted strategy, factoring in each individual platform and the insights from that audience, as opposed to syncing multiple accounts together. Yes, it is convenient to see a post published on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ all at once, but this form of content scheduling behavior results in churn (your fans unfollow and unlike you).

    Tip 5: Do What They Like!

    Another use for social media insights is to view which posts your audience responds to best, such as links versus images, or posts with text only. Doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t work will save time and resources, as well as increase your social activity. From adding images to including custom infographics,  there is always a way to increase post engagement. Try these cloud-based services for more visual resources: Infogr.am, Piktochart, and Canva.

    Yes, time is money; however, free, organic social marketing should be at the top of your marketing strategy. There is no better way to interact with your fans and customers or to have fans and customers interact with your business. Pay attention to what your audience says and when they’re listening and you will maximize your social media presence towards increased business results.

    Sources:

    http://socialmarketingwriting.com/category/social-media/page/4/

    http://socialtimes.com/best-worst-times-post-social-media-infographic_b141745

    http://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-frequency-guide

    http://tracksocial.com/blog/2012/06/optimizing-facebook-engagement-part-2-how-frequently-to-post/

    http://www.socialbakers.com/blog/147-how-often-should-you-post-on-your-facebook-pages