LinkedIn Makes Networking Easy

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The easiest part of having a personal brand is using it… or at least it should be. Unfortunately, between endless meetings, home life and trying to maintain your sanity, it can be hard to put yourself out there. Networking events are a great way to use your personal brand, you get introduced to a bunch of fellow industry professionals all at once. Then you can use these connections to find out new information, share your experiences and more. However, your busy lifestyle might make it impossible to get to an event like that on a regular basis. Enter LinkedIn.

LinkedIn easily fills this gap by providing one awesome asset: groups. Groups on this social network make it easy to connect with other industry professionals, share ideas and get updates on what your professional connections are doing. Once you are on the platform, identify about 3 groups that fit well into your networking goals. These should be related to your industry, interests or new information you would like to know more about. Check on what’s going on in these groups regularly and add your insight where possible. If you find yourself losing interest in the group or unable to add valuable insight, leave the group and find another that will be better for you. There is no point in being a part of multiple useless groups.

Make checking and commenting on these groups a weekly priority (or however often you can fit it in). You will find out more about industry trends, helpful information and the best connections for you. All leading back to making your personal brand more visible and growing your network in a positive way.

There are other great ways to use LinkedIn as well, but groups are arguably the best tool to use for networking.

Delete Your “Professional” Facebook Profile

Don’t be mistaken, potential employers will look for you online and use everything they find to make their hiring decision. They usually expect to find at least a Facebook profile about you. Knowing that, you may have gotten the idea to make a professional profile for the public and a personal profile for your friends and family that you set as private. However, you really shouldn’t do that.

One way to look at it is your personal brand should include every aspect of your life. Your personal profile on any site should be another aspect of you. Facebook is your friends and family side, LinkedIn is your professional side and your other networks fall where they may. Any way you cut it, when you start hiding aspects of yourself you start to look suspicious. Besides, no one believes you only go on Facebook to post industry articles and pictures of nice office attire. So that professional Facebook profile isn’t really doing much for you.

Maybe you’re worried because your profile is ridden with profanity, weird pictures and crude articles, and you should be! That is not the type of content you want attached to your name online and it could hurt your chances of getting hired. The best thing to do is clean up your profile. A good rule of thumb is to delete anything you would be nervous to show your grandma. Once you do that, delete the people that post the things you want to keep off of your profile. Instead connect with people that produce content that you’re interested in, but remember the grandma rule, if she shouldn’t see it, you shouldn’t share it.

This sounds easy enough but it can be hard to let go of friends and people that you like, even if it’s just on Facebook. However, those connections could be hurting your chance at a dream job, so you’ve got to make the tough decisions.

The main idea here is to maintain professionalism on your personal profile on Facebook or any other site. Nothing attached to your name should take away from your personal brand. There is no need to hide your personal life, but you do need to put your best foot forward.

1 Step to Getting Noticed in Your Industry

You have your own words of wisdom about the work that you do, right? Well share them with people that want to hear what you have to say! The more you write, the more chances you create for people to notice what you do and how well you do it.

This crowd of people dying for your content may not show up right away, but once you start posting regularly an audience will begin to form. Now, getting them to stay is a different concept. Everyone needs advice, tips or clarity at some point in their lives and if you regularly provide that to your audience, before long you will get noticed.

Just remember:

  1. Quality over quantity – Don’t commit to writing 20 posts a day just to have more content. Make sure you are adding value to the lives of others, not wasting their time.
  2. Length is not important – In the online world, attention spans can go quickly. Make your content bite-sized and it might help your words go further than they would have before. You can add more information by providing links to other useful content.
  3. Optimize – Once you develop a rhythm for content creation, make sure your content is findable. Have a few ways of pointing back to your content by promoting on your social media profiles and/or website. Find more ways of optimizing your content here.
  4. Don’t get discouraged – The effort you put in will lead to your results, if your content isn’t performing well maybe it’s time to buckle down and put more into the work you produce.

Ready, set, CREATE! Unless you’re in need of inspiration, in that case, Brian Clark has has some ideas for you.

Do you have more advice or tips for making the most of industry-related content? Post them below to share your wealth of knowledge!

5 Tips for Social Media Marketing during the Holidays

Social Media Marketing for the Holidays

It’s that time of year again, the cold winds are coming, holiday cheer is on the rise and all sorts of holiday parties are right around the corner. Many retailers began the season early, with holiday decorations for sale displayed at the end of September, so if you haven’t started your holiday marketing you’re already behind. Not sure how to get started? Here are 5 tips for making an impact on your audience this holiday season.

  1. Get in the holiday spirit with a new cover photo – Using your cover photo as an ode to the holiday season is a great way to market to new visitors on your page. Don’t put too much into it, but having a call to action or a discount identified right in the cover photo could be a great idea for your Facebook page. Hubspot offers some awesome and free holiday stock photos to use for your new cover photo.
  2. Increase engagement with holiday updates – The space for your Facebook or Twitter updates is a great place to ask your audience relevant questions about the holiday season. Use words like “Post, Comment, Take, Submit, Like and Tell Us” for these updates and see how positively effects your engagement.
  3. Use a Facebook campaign – For the time being, you don’t have to go through a third party to create a Facebook contest anymore. Instead you can create your own giveaways and contests your way instead of forking out dough for someone else to do it. Give your fans something special this year with a holiday promotion on your Facebook or Twitter page. According to Digital Sherpa, these are the top 3 types of promotions:
  • Sweepstakes
  • Photo contests
  • Audience Quizzes

For a full breakdown of each of these read Digital Sherpa’s blog post on Facebook contests.

  1. Add personality with Employee shout outs – Employees that do a great job should be rewarded and holiday employee highlights are a great way to do it. Plus, it humanizes your brand – this puts faces to the company name, adding a sense of comfort to your brand.
  2. Another great idea comes from MoxieDot’s Kelsey Jones: create social media marketing that ties into a blog post, website or in-store visit. For example, use Facebook to create a call to action for customers to say a certain phrase when they come into the store for a percentage off of their purchase. It can also work for your online store or website. For more on this read “How to Tweak Your Internet Marketing Efforts for the Holidays”.

If you found this helpful please share on your social networks and follow the blog. Also, get answers to your questions about using social media for business from the doctor herself: Ask Dr. A.

Thanks for reading!

How to Use LinkedIn for Business

Social networks keep you up-to-date on all your friends in one place, deliver news quickly and can help you to find a job. Of course, these benefits depend on which social media networks you use and how you use them, but each has features that are useful in different areas of your life. Which brings us to the question, how are you using LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is the most popular social networking site to connect with business professionals, colleagues and companies of interest. Want a collection of articles that are popular in your network? LinkedIn has that. Are you looking for a place to talk to other people in your industry? Find a group on LinkedIn. Wondering how your old college roommate is progressing in his or her career? Look that person up on LinkedIn.

All of that and there is still more opportunity to use the network for business needs. Many business owners are using the site already to help their businesses, in fact, LinkedIn accounts for 64% of corporate site visits from social media websites. That is more than Facebook and Twitter combined!

Get started with using LinkedIn for business today with these five simple tips:

  1. Start a company page – If you already have one great, start using it on a regular basis. If you’re just starting one, that’s great too. There are a lot of features on these types of pages that will be useful like open, free promotion for your business, status update targeting and followers that are really interested in your company.
  2. Get into a group or 4 – Look for groups that are based around your industry and groups that your customers are likely to be in. Choose wisely, it is important that you actually find these groups interesting and not just a place to find potential customers.
  3. Valuable content is key – When in groups or updating your company page, step into the shoes of your potential consumer and provide information that they will find useful. Hint: It has nothing to do with your latest product discount
  4. Participate in your groups – It was important to find groups of interest because you need to monitor these groups for questions or topics that come up and are relevant to your expertise. This way when providing information you will be a hero, not the person blasting out a link to their product website every week.
  5. Make sure it’s working – Monitor the results you’re getting by setting targets for a specific period of time and judging with numbers how well you meet those targets. Some things you may want to look at is follower count for your company page and how many times your content was shared in the platform.

For a longer list and more information on all of this, see Steve Rayson’s article on improving LinkedIn marketing.

If you found this helpful please share on your social networks and follow the blog. Also, get answers to your questions about using social media for business from the doctor herself: Ask Dr. A.

Thanks for reading!

How to Avoid a Social Media Fiasco

This is bad, really bad

In the ever changing world of social media there is one thing that stays the same, human error. In social media, it may not even be an error, but a personal attack on a brand by a disgruntled employee. While there is no way to completely control what your employee say online (which could have negative effects if you try) there is a way to prevent public social media faux pas from ruining your company. The answer is to create a more social-media-friendly atmosphere for the wonderful people that work for you. Make them company advocates on social media, they work there everyday they should be able to speak about all the great things your company does. Dorie Clark, a contributor to Forbes online, wrote an informative article about, “The Best Way To Prevent Social Media Disasters“. Here I turn this into 5 easy tips embrace employee brand advocacy on social media. Make social media work for your company, not against it:

  1. Set clear guidelines – Employees should know what is and isn’t appropriate when it comes to using social media at the work place, for work or for personal use when it involves the company name. Make it clear how you want your company name to be used and when it is inappropriate to do so. Make sure they understand that, while there are rules, no one is watching their every move on social and waiting to pounce on them if they make a mistake.
  2. Mistakes happen, you can deal – In the social media world, a mistake can happen so quickly, you won’t know what hit you. Be understanding of this fact, and create a procedure for dealing with it. Avoiding social media at all costs will not help you in the long run.
  3. ROI in social is a long time coming – You may not see your “advocacy program” making a huge difference on bottom line, but it sure won’t be taking away from your goals in social media. The more “voices” talking about you in the social universe, the more free publicity you are getting for your brand.
  4. Get involved in social yourself – There are so many ways you can get “into” social. Create a profile on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Start a blog. Start a video blog. Do something if you want your employees to get involved in social media advocacy for your company. If you do it first, they will do it to.
  5. Interact with them – This one I added myself, but it is a big deal to get online kudos. That is why there is a “like” button, a “favorite” function and “reblog” abilities on social networking sites. When you retweet something that “David” from your company said about the brand, that retweet, or online kudos to David, means even more.

If you found this helpful please share on your social networks and follow the blog. I’ll answer any questions for me at: Ask Dr. A.

Thanks for reading!

How to “swing” on Vine

Dunkin Donut’s on Vine

Are you swinging on the Vine? Do you want to know more about the app-based platform? Great, because today we’ll share a few ways to make sure you’re not jumping into Vine blind. See what I did there?!

Our fabulous friends over at 7th Chamber have shared a beautiful infographic on how brands (and people alike) should behave on Vine.

To see the full infographic visit: http://www.the7thchamber.com/2013/09/brands-on-vine/.
To see the full infographic visit: http://www.the7thchamber.com/2013/09/brands-on-vine/.

The Tips:

  1. Hashtags are a must. Going with the whole vine in the jungle analogy, hashtags really get your videos swinging into the conversations going on here. No tags or worse irrelevant tags will make people ignore you. Don’t be ignored!

  2. Informative how-to videos do well. Even in 2013 no one likes lectures, surprised? Of course not; so if you can teach your audience something in 6 seconds you will be of value. Don’t put a how-to video up for kicks, show the world how to do something related to your industry, something that they secretly wanted to know all along.

  3. You need a distribution strategy. Now that you’ve made an awesome Vine, figure out how you will get eyes on your content. Putting it on Vine is great, but your other channels can tie back to what you’ve put out on this platform. Also, this works to grow your audience on Vine; your fans from other platforms will follow this new content.

  4. Match your content to call to action. If you want people to submit something cool for your brand, have a Vine video that will inspire them to do so.

  5. Creativity is key. The one tried and true thing about Vine is people love something new and they will share it if it’s cool enough.

Hope these tips help you to navigate through the Vine jungle like George himself!

If you have a question for me, submit it here: Ask Dr. A.

Having Effective Social Media Profiles

You are on all the social networks, but how do you know that what you’re doing is effective?

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You have to measure your social media impact, but first you should review your social media goals. Put in your mind what you were looking to get out of social media to help you decide which metrics will show you how well you’re reaching your goals. Then it’s time to build a social metrics strategy.

Begin with the four points outline by Nichole Kelly in “4 Ways to Measure Social Media and Its Impact on Your Brand”.

  1. Measure exposure

  2. Measure engagement

  3. Measure influence

  4. Put it into the lead generation funnel

Exposure is how many people your message reached on the channel. This is measured in different ways depending on which social media platform you are working from, which is good and bad. Good because each platform gives you at least a count so that you have something to work with and bad because the numbers are all you have to work with in many cases. Facebook counts for you the number of fans reached at the bottom of each post. With Twitter track who retweeted your content and how many people follow them to calculate reach. For other platforms see Nichole Kelly’s breakdown.

Follow how many people actually interact with your content through likes, shares, retweets, notes, etc. Most platforms give you a simple count here as well, but once you begin to track these numbers you can see the picture of how much your posts are capturing your audience’s attention. To find ways to increase engagement with your posts check this out.

Influence is not a tangible element to measurement, it is something you figure out for yourself once you begin to track the numbers. To determine your influence, keep track of your amount of engagement divided by your amount of exposure, then multiply it by 100. This metric tells you if your posts are performing at a high or low percentage. Compare it to several of your closest competitors and get a sense of how you are performing in a specific social media platform. Are the numbers telling a positive story (high influence) or a negative one (low influence).

Now you can think about how your content can generate leads for your brand. Many companies start here but that is not the way to go because it puts marketing before problem solving. When you do this, you work harder with having to pull the audience to your brand, instead of having them seek you out as a solution. Answer the questions your audience has and you the leads will come to you.

If you have a question for me, submit it here: Ask Dr. A.

How to Blog for Business

Get your voice heard with a blog!
Provide your expertise with a blog!

You should consider creating a blog for your business because of three key things:

  • Blogs give you a chance to be an “expert” in your industry
  • If you answer the questions your customers have about your business before your competitors they will give you their business
  • You create a community that appreciates the content that you provide

Want to get started?

Read this collection of blogging tips from social media experts.
Read this collection of blogging tips from social media experts.

There is a wealth of knowledge on the shape your blog should take after you get started, but here are 5 things to think about first:

  1. Shama Kabani from BizJournals, says writing in an easy-to-read format is key. Technology has made it easier for people to consume content on the go, but different screens can make it hard to produce the best formatting for all of your content. Take it easy on the fancy formatting and you should be good to go!
  2. Be a brand journalist, by creating content that is applicable to questions and useable in more than one platform. Tim Gray is a major supporter of this type of content creation. He says that you have to become the media in your industry.
  3. Coupled with the previous tip, create blog posts around a specific question that your audience has asked. Search the web for reviews or forums about your industry and create a blog post that answers the questions that you find there. Marcus Sheridan, avid blogger and social media leader, explains the purpose of thinking this way about your blog.
  4. Learn about blogging, don’t just jump right in without reading up on how the pros are doing it. Speaking of pros, they are the ones most excited in the discussion of using blogging for business purposes. Influential marketers, blog constantly and maybe you’re not focused on being an influential marketer, but if you want your social media efforts to work for your business you should do what puts you at the top.
  5. Be a person, no one wants to talk to a robot. Nor do people find much value in an over-produced blog of opinions. Think of your posts as a message to one person and it will naturally sound more real.

Hope you found this helpful. If you have a question for me, submit it here: Ask Dr. A.