As my final semester of college comes to an end, I’ve had the chance to reflect on all the opportunities I have been given along the way that exceeded just my education. While I have had prior internships, HMG Creative was a unique challenge for me that I will be forever grateful for. Working with HMG, I got exposed to inbound marketing, a topic that I had not yet covered in school or working for other agencies. Not only has HMG connected me with the digital industry, it has motivated me further to pursue a career in this field.
Do you have a LinkedIn account? If the answer is yes, continue on. If no, stop what you’re doing (presumably reading this blog post), and take 5 minutes to create an account – trust me – you’ll thank me in the future.
Now, safely assuming everyone reading this has a LinkedIn account, the question remains: “How can I make the most out of my time on it?” It doesn’t have the entertainment appeal of Facebook or Twitter, it doesn’t have the visual appeal of Instagram or Pinterest. Truth be told, it might not be the social media site you spend hours a day on. But that being said, the value you get out of 30 minutes on LinkedIn may be far greater than the 2 hours you spend mindlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed.
Maybe you stumbled upon this post because you check the HMG blog regularly (if so, kudos!). But most likely, you saw one of our posts on either our Facebook or our Twitter linking you here directly—the effects of social media are everywhere. A couple of months ago, we posted a blog post about the importance of having a good web presence. To expand on this, having an online presence across a multitude of social media platforms enables us to have greater reach, interaction and overall engagement. Here are a few brief tips to consider when establishing and maintaining your online social media presence:
If you’ve never heard of this odd application before, never fear (I was just introduced to it a few months ago)! Once you get started, it’s a piece of cake. For those of you that love organization, it’s a wonderful tool for you to manage all of your social media platforms in one easy place. Although there are a few different types of HootSuite accounts, the version we will be investigating will be the basic account.
So let’s start with the basics. All you need to do is go to hootsuite.com and create an account. This doesn’t require much but an email, name and password.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll start by adding a social network. As you can see, the three networks you are initially offered are Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. By clicking on “add a different social network”, you are given many more options, such as: Google+, foursquare, WordPress, MySpace and mixi.
Choose the account you wish to sync first, allow HootSuite permission to that account and voila! You should see something like this:
You can either compose or schedule a message by clicking in the “Compose message” box. You will need to select your account by searching in the box which is right next to message composition. To schedule, choose the calendar icon and pick your desired date and time.
If you would like to make any changes or view your scheduled items, choose the arrow icon located on the far left Dashboard.
To add on additional accounts. Select the “+” tab at the top of the page. You will then see the option to “Add Stream.” With the basic account, you are allowed up to FIVE different streams. (Other accounts will allow for more streams depending on the price.)
You should now be able to complete the basic functions of HootSuite! Can I get a woot, woot?! If you’d like to learn more, you can always check out the free online tutorial they offer every member or contact us and we’d be happy to help. Good luck!
We live in a digital age, the age of communication and instant information. What once took hours, even days to reach people across the globe now only takes a few quick keystrokes and a matter of seconds. But don’t let me bore you with what you already know. What I’m really trying to get at is the fact that, when approached correctly, social networks are viable channels for sales and endless opportunities are within arm’s reach. All sales and business development professionals should consider leveraging this global social trend to broaden their sales funnel or you may one day, find yourself obsolete.
Back In The Day
In our grandparent’s time, business was conducted on a very personal level. The local baker knew what type of bread each family preferred, the butcher began cutting your favorite cuts as soon as he saw you walk through the door, everyone and I mean everyone, knew each other. This was relationship building at its best. Businesses across the globe lost this personal touch as time went on and our world grew a little bigger and busier. Until now.
7 Billion Strong
Yes, our world is no mere village, with over 7 billion inhabitants of planet Earth we are larger and more spread out than ever. Yet, with the advent of social media and its popularity, we have built a global network in which we are all connected; social communities like Facebook , Linkedin and Twitter unite millions of active citizens from all corners of the globe. In addition, smartphones are becoming commonplace in people’s lives allowing interconnectivity with the world whenever and wherever you are. This remarkable and ever-changing technology leads to one thing: communication. And as a business owner, salesperson or marketing executive this is key to reaching a broader audience and more importantly, building a closer relationship with your existing clients and prospects. Learn more about Advanced Telecom Systems to find out its benefits.
Laying The Groundwork
Get to know your social network, it’s great to have 2,000 followers but it’s best to have 200 that you truly know and engage with. Find out about their life, their work and their hobbies. Talk to them as you would a colleague or close friend; let them know you’re listening and that you care about what they have to say. After all, people just want to be heard. This is all part of that “relationship building” I was talking about earlier. So once you build that foundation of trust and friendship, you’ll be more credible when you pitch your business and its services. I say pitch with light reserve as you shouldn’t be pitching your business on social networks- it’s spammy. However, leads don’t always just fall in your lap so use your social network wisely to target specific companies or individuals who could benefit from your product or service. In addition, a humble tooting of your horn from time to time is highly recommended. Design an awesome project that just got posted in the city’s newspaper? Sealed a deal with a major distributor? Your new hire is kicking butt left and right? Toot that horn, baby! You’ll find that not only are people more likely to ‘Like’ and share your post but it also may strike a chord with a reader causing them to pick up a phone and call you directly.
Regardless of what channel you use, never forget that personable, peer-to-peer communication is key. Remember, it’s not about you, your business or your products it’s about your followers, their life and their interests.
LinkedIn is the go-to website for most B2B marketers when it comes to networking and expanding their client base. But is it really the best place to get the job done? According to some studies, Facebook offers just as much if not more opportunity to reach your professional audience. Let’s take a look at how the two sites stack up side by side.
Facebook Pros and Cons
The social media giant clearly leads the field in terms of B2C marketing. But how about that professional audience you’re trying to reach?
- Pro: Facebook’s huge user base means that more professionals are on Facebook than on LinkedIn in terms of total numbers. Those professionals don’t turn off their business acumen when they’re on Facebook, so you can still market effectively through the broader platform.
- Pro: Facebook allows direct marketing through Facebook ads, meaning you’re no longer dependent on buyer engagement in order to reach potential customers.
- Con: Facebook posts may or may not appear on your fans’ walls, depending on their level of engagement with your brand.
- Con: Marketing efforts must compete with non-professional posts. Music videos, cute puppies, and pithy quotes are all clamoring for the attention of your potential buyers. Your posts have to be good enough to earn a viewing amongst all the ruckus.
LinkedIn Pros and Cons
Most professionals rely heavily on LinkedIn for job seeking, hiring, and networking. But is it an effective way to market to business professionals?
- Pro: Professionals tend to gather at LinkedIn. Nearly 60% of B2B marketers are on LinkedIn, meaning you’ll reach more professionals there at any given time than you will on any other social network. You can also count on your target audience checking in pretty regularly, with most users active between noon and 3 p.m.
- Pro: It’s easy to network with serious professionals, view their profiles, and connect with the movers and shakers in any industry. Profiles contain lots of rich data that proves invaluable in your marketing and networking efforts.
- Con: Total number of users, number of minutes spent on the site and number of high-level professionals fall far below the same stats on Facebook.
- Con: Most people don’t think of LinkedIn as a marketing platform. Instead, they typically use it for job seeking and networking with others in the industry. That doesn’t make it a deal-breaker, but it is something to consider.
LinkedIn has established itself as a valuable tool for business professionals, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best tool for every job. It’s important to consider which social media platforms offer the best opportunities for marketing to your business clients and then choose the one that makes the most sense for your business.
Twitter and Facebook have been well-established as the twin pillars of social media for what amounts to eons in the rapidly evolving technological world. Now, after an epic Google Buzz fail, Google has launched their newest attempt to run with the big dogs: Google+. The questions being asked by many businesses include “Do I really need a third networking site? Will it be a good investment in the long term? Does anybody actually use Google+?” Let’s address these questions one at a time.
Do I Really Need a Third Networking Site?
“Need” is a relevant term, but Google+ does offer some unique features that Facebook and Twitter don’t:
- Circles—Circles allow you to categorize all your contacts into groups. You can share posts with all your contacts or you can cater your content to those within a particular circle.
- Hangouts—Hangouts are like video chat on steroids. They allow you to chat with up to nine other Google+ users, even those who aren’t currently connected to you (a great feature for brand exposure). Hangouts are ideal for webinars, group discussions, and question/answer sessions.
- Google Indexing Benefits—Google is the search engine king, and you can bet they will integrate Google+ into their indexing algorithms. For the best exposure, you have to play the game their way.
- Saved Searches—Type a keyword into the search feature and find all content relevant to your brand or another topic of interest. These searches can be saved and displayed in your sidebar to keep you up-to-date on all the latest conversations.
Will Google+ Be a Good Investment in the Long Term?
To date, Google+ remains significantly smaller than Facebook. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. On Facebook, you’re competing with a huge conglomeration of events, photos, updates, and more; Google+ tends to be more informational, meaning that you can get your message out to the people who really want to hear what you have to say. It’s also a good bet that Google+ will eventually be integrated with all of Google’s other offerings: Google Places, search, images, and more. All of which makes it a good investment for businesses.
Does Anybody Actually Use Google+?
So far, 90 million users have accounts with Google+. And because every gmail user automatically gets an account, you can expect that number to grow. Sixty percent of those users log in every single day (compared to just 50% who log into Twitter every day), and eighty percent log in once a week.
Google+ is a growing network whose ultimate reach has yet to be established. Its unique features make it a good investment for businesses as social media becomes increasingly integrated into the daily lives of average people. Should you invest? You bet.
With more than 100 million registered users, LinkedIn is the number one professional networking website online today. As the popular site becomes more commonly referenced as a hiring and promotion resource, businesses should be familiar with how LinkedIn can help build their brands and increase company awareness. Ready to get started? Let’s dive in.
Flesh Out Your Profile
The most important thing you can do to boost visibility on LinkedIn is to flesh your profile out as much as possible. Make sure profile completion is at 100% and be sure to include as many skills and experiences as possible in order to increase your likelihood of showing up in search results.
Create a Company Page
LinkedIn’s Company Page feature helps you network with other businesses, gets you listed with Google’s search engine, and creates a platform for you to promote company news and services. Your company page includes information such as a company description, specialties, logos, Twitter and RSS feeds, company news, career opportunities, and more. Fill out each section of your company profile as completely as possible to boost visibility and attract page views.
Build Credibility with Groups and Answers
These two features are essential for building brand awareness. Let’s take a closer look at how they can boost your credibility:
- Groups—By joining a LinkedIn group or starting your own group, you can connect with others in your field or with potential customers. Taking an active part in group discussions also demonstrates expertise in your field. If you’re starting your own group, be sure the headline communicates clearly what the group’s purpose is in order to attract the right types of contacts.
- Answers—The Answers section enables you to provide input on questions relative to your field, thereby demonstrating your knowledge of the subject matter and increasing the relevance of your comments throughout the site. Posting on other members’ questions also increases your visibility and can establish you as a credible, thinking leader within your field.
Promote Your Company Profile
Once you have established your brand within LinkedIn itself, you can begin promoting your company profile on other venues. Invite followers with a button placed on your website, blog, email communications, and other points of contact.
Ultimately, the best advice I can offer regarding LinkedIn is this: keep it current. By making sure your profile remains up to date and that you’re interacting regularly, you can ensure that you stay visible to the people you want to reach.