Posts Tagged ‘Linkedin’
You may be hearing a lot about blogging in business circles today, and for good reason. Blogging is very important if you want to create a strong online presence, improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and generate leads.
Every business wants to come up in page 1 of Google results. If you are blogging consistently, and the RIGHT way, which means knowing what your keywords are and using them in the right places, you can help yourself do just that.
Take a look at these top 5 tips on how to effectively blog for your business:
- Blogging Improves Natural Search. If you want to start coming up in Google search, the biggest bang for your buck is to blog every day! To blog the right way, be sure to put your keywords, or, (your customer “pain points”) in the title of your article and hyperlink them in the 1st few sentences of your article back to the most relevant page of your web site
- Links from Other Web Sites. Help Google find your articles by asking other bloggers to link to them. Plus, you should link to your own content from your Facebook business page, LinkedIn and Twitter. Blogging is MORE than just a “field of dreams”, you should build it, and they might come, (over time) but, help them get there faster by getting other sites online pointing to your content.
- Feature Others. A great way to get people pointing to a blog article on your site is to talk about them! If you did business with them, write a review. If you use their product, tell how you liked it. Include photos or videos (this is what people love to see and click on the most) and tell the person you’ve blogged about them so they will visit the article (drives traffic) and tell their connections about it too (drives more traffic). Plus, encourage them to leave a comment.
- Add the Blog to Your Domain. One of the biggest mistakes I see in blogging is when a business sets up the “free” blog and does not host the blog on their own domain (URL). Google loves to see a website change their content. If you’ve had the same old website for years and never edited it with new copy or images, chances are Google is not visiting you much. A Blog remedies that because each new “post” is a change to your web site and also adds a new page. Each new page is another opportunity to optimize for keywords, improving your SEO.
- Call to Action. Once you’ve made this investment of time creating great content, don’t miss the chance to capture a web site visitor. Include a strong “Call to Action” on your website, such as “Order now and get Free Shipping with this code”, “Sign up for our Free E-Newsletter”, or “Get our Free report”. Social media is very effective at getting people into your sales funnel. From there, continue with your traditional marketing efforts to convert them to a sale.
So, get out there and start blogging! You can generate leads and improve SEO, which all leads to improving your bottom line. Fairytale Brownies is a GREAT example of a successful business blog who was able to cancel their Pay Per Click marketing spend due to fantastic natural search results. Check out their blog!
If you keep hearing about Pinterest and want to hop on the bandwagon because you heard about the SEO benefits, it’s time to hop off. Pinterest is a social community, not an SEO tool.
With every social community, (the most popular being Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), in order to have your business succeed on a social network, you’ve got to be present, active and participate. This is where most businesses fail using social media. They think they can just open up an account and the business comes pouring in. Not so.
There’s no denying that Pinterest does have some SEO power because it can drive traffic to your site. Visits to your web site is just one of MANY elements of SEO, but, recent studies are showing that the bounce rate is high. So, people click to your site and click right off in a matter of seconds. You can’t make a direct sale that way.
Pinterest’s REAL power is building a visual representation of your brand. See Better Homes and Gardens on Pinterest as an example of a brand who’s doing it right. Choose good images to pin that are relevant to your business and whenever you see a box to fill in, always customize with your keywords and link people back to your blog (this is where the SEO part comes in). You should always write a pin description (it appears under the pin image and provides additional information about your blog post).
Make sure the image makes sense on its own, as some images only make sense in the context of the blog article. You may need to overlay some text onto the image for major impact.
As you are getting started in Pinterest, find followers who are genuinely interested in your site and build targeted connections for link building (that means, make friends online and then talk about how they can link to your website – Twitter is also great for this.) This is where the real SEO benefits begin.
Marketing is all about reaching the most targeted audience at the right time in their buying cycle. The reason permission based marketing (when someone opts-in to your list) is so valuable is that you often may not know when a customer is “ready to buy”, so making sure your target audience is engaged with you in the contact method(s) they prefer is key.
People need to see your message 7 – 10 times before they take an action, so the more methods they opt-in to, the better. If they see your Facebook post, email and LinkedIn Status update in the same week, you are increasing the “marketing impressions” they receive, so you have a better chance of being top of mind when they need you.
Try these 3 Ways to Stay Top of Mind:
- Email: Make it part of your marketing plan to send monthly emails. Even if your audience doesn’t have time to read them, or even click through, your name goes by as a touch point. Even if they hit the delete button, your name / brand has registered in their mind… keeping YOU top of mind when they need your product or service.
- Be Engaging: Create content on your blog, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn status updates that people will want to share or comment on. The more interaction you can get with your content, the more you will be remembered by your audience AND, get exposed to their contacts when they “share” what you’ve posted. Photos and Videos get the most activity.
- Reach Out 1 on 1: When you see an article that makes you think of someone, email it to them, or share it on their Facebook Wall. When you make an effort to keep others top of mind, they will do the same in kind just based on the fact that they appreciate your thoughts and effort.
Every business should have an online marketing plan that should include blogging, Facebook and email to get started. Twitter and LinkedIn should also be considered. If you are not sure how to reach your target customer, or you need assistance developing a marketing plan, we’re here to help.
(Image credit: warehousinglogisticsinternational.com)
The vast majority of Americans are actively using social media. Has your business acted on this fact?
If you looking for a way to keep pace with the quickly evolving field of social media marketing I highly recommend this webinar series for any business. As a social media professional, I always stay on top of the latest happenings with big brands and online social tools. This social media webinar series is something I attend every year and highly recommend to clients.
More than ever, it’s critical to keep up with social media changes, to stay competitive and to learn the tactics and strategies that produce the best results and the greatest return for your business.
If your business has not yet tapped the massive opportunities presented by social media marketing, read on…
Recent Statistics on Social Media Adoption
Here are a few reasons why you should invest heavily in social media:
Mass adoption of social media: Nearly 80% of all active U.S. Internet users regularly visit social media sites (Nielsen). And while consumers spend 25% of their Internet time on social sites, Facebook has become the most visited website in the world. Your customers are there.
Social media benefits businesses: Among marketers who include social media as part of their overall strategy, 97% agree that it provides benefits and value to their business (eMarketer).
Social media improves branding: In a survey of more than 700 marketers, 88% of respondents found that social media helps grow brand awareness. Social media also benefited marketers by allowing them to engage in dialogue (85%) and increase sales and partnerships (58%). An additional 41% of marketers said it helped reduce costs (Wildfire Interactive).
These stats are just a sample of the power of social media.
Are you “all in” with your social media activities? Want to fast-track your success?
Social Media Examiner Announces Social Media Success Summit 2012
“Social media has changed radically in the last 12 months,” acknowledges Michael Stelzner, (CEO and founder of Social Media Examiner). “Google+ entered the stage, Facebook introduced Timeline for pages, YouTube unveiled their new layout, Twitter got a complete revamp and then there’s Pinterest. It’s a completely different world and there’s a need to discover new strategies and new ways to market your business with these platforms.”
To equip you with the latest strategies for marketing with Google+, blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest, Michael Stelzner and the people you trust from Social Media Examiner have recruited 27 of the world’s most respected social media experts to share their newest tips and advice at Social Media Success Summit 2012.
If you’re not familiar with these events, they’re large online conferences (so you don’t need to travel).
Typically, thousands gather at Social Media Examiner Success Summits to discover new social media tactics, network with peers and discover how other successful businesses are using social media.
What People Say About Social Media Success Summit
Last year, 3,000 people attended the online summit.
Some of the organizations represented were Coca Cola, Visa, Microsoft, 3M, Honda, Kraft Foods, SAP, Wells Fargo, Disney, AutoDesk, LexisNexis, Four Seasons Hotels, Fuddruckers, EMC and thousands of small businesses.
Here’s what some of them had to say:
“Thoroughly wowed by the format and content. I will most definitely attend future summits,” Kim Kiefer
“Guaranteed to improve the way you approach social media. I’ll be back next year!” Derrick Sweet
“Phenomenal topics and knowledgeable speakers. The ability to ‘catch up’ on sessions thanks to recordings was a selling point for me due to scheduling,” Erin Caples
“This is the most comprehensive training I have yet seen on social media. The lineup of presenters was most impressive and the whole summit exceeded my expectations,” Suzanne Kiraly
Meet Your Presenters
Among the 27 social media experts who will be presenting at this summit are:
- Jeremiah Owyang, Altimeter Group
- Chris Brogan, author of Google+ for Business
- Mari Smith, co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day
- Brian Solis, author of Engage
- Scott Monty, head of social media at Ford Motor Company
- Frank Eliason, author of @YourService
- Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner and author of Launch
- Jay Baer, co-author of The Now Revolution\
- Jason Falls, co-author No Bullshit Social Media
- Mark Schaefer, author of The Tao of Twitter
- C.C. Chapman, co-author of Content Rules
- Dave Kerpen, author of Likeable Social Media
- Jesse Stay, author of Google+ for Dummies
- Amy Porterfield, co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies
- And experts from Dell, Ford, LinkedIn, Citigroup, Citrix and many others.
Why Attend Social Media Success Summit?
Here are a few reasons:
- Learn the latest and best social media business-building tactics.
- Learn about tracking and measuring social media return on investment.
- Learn how to sell with Google+, blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest.
- Learn how content marketing fits in with social media.
- You’ll have the opportunity to network via LinkedIn with thousands of people who are expected to attend.
- You’ll interact live with experts from big B2B and B2C brands such as Ford, Dell, LinkedIn, Citigroup and Citrix.
- Keep learning even after the summit is over—With the session recordings and the transcripts, you can keep studying the material for up to one year from the date of your ticket purchase.
Want to save some money? If you reserve your spot now, you’ll save 50%. Click here for details.
What do you think? Would you be interested in learning what the world’s top social media experts are doing that makes them so successful?
Leave your questions and comments in the box below.
As Social Media becomes more and more the norm in online marketing, there are many resources now available where you can keep current on social media tools, results and tips. I thought it would be helpful to share some of the resources I use. Visit the sites below and “like” them or subscribe to their blog via RSS, or ask to receive their e-newsletter. The more you know, the better you will be able to manage your own social sites for maximum engagement, “likes” and, (what everyone really wants), sales and revenue increases:
Social Media Examiner
Mari Smith – Facebook Expert
Search Engine Land
Darren Rowse – Problogger
Brian Clark – Copyblogger
Denise Wakeman – The Blog Squad
Lewis Howes – LinkedIn Expert
I’m really enjoying the great reminders and ideas speakers at the Social Media Success Summit #SMSS10 are sharing. Here’s my recap of the Social Media webinars from the Tuesday sessions:
Getting the Most out of LinkedIn
@LewisHowes has spent a lot of time using LinkedIn and he’s learned by trial and error the best place to focus. With 65 million business professionals using this tool, he believes it is the #1 social media site to build your business. You can export your contacts (to use in other marketing ways, like email) and the demographics of those who use it are people with a high net worth (an average Household Income of $109,000). These are business decision makers, so, if you make a good connection for a business partnership, you can most likely close a deal quickly.
Top 3 places to focus:
- Optimize your page for keywords.
- Join as many targeted groups as possible.
- Add Blog Feed and Video Apps.
How Big Businesses are Leveraging the Power of Social Media
This webinar had the marketing directors of Whole Foods, Best Buy and Home Depot talking about how they are utilizing social media. Many have “global” sites for the brand and also “local” sites for stores (since they are brick and mortar) – both in Facebook and Twitter.
They are using Flickr for photo streams, YouTube for both user generated and vendor generated content, in addition to their own videos which range on a variety of topics. They are putting their social media sites in printed circulars, in their windows (since they are store fronts) and sandwich boards in front of the stores.
Many are using twitter as a customer service outlet like Best Buy @twelpforce and some even have twitter accounts just for specific topics like Home Depot and their sponsorship of NASCAR racing @homedepotracing or Whole foods and their food and wine guys @WFMWineGuys. The big takeaway was to have fun with it and find out who is passionate about your brand and tap into that.
3 Reasons You Need a YouTube Marketing Strategy
@GregJarboe spoke about YouTube, pointing out that 86% of internet users are viewing videos each month and 81% of all videos are viewed on YouTube, so, you need to be there! Many people stop watching at the 10 second mark, so, your call to action and good content needs to be front loaded. You must optimize your video for keywords, so, be sure to put them in the Title, Description and Tags. If you need ideas for what to make videos about, visit the YouTube Creator’s Corner:
There is also an “insight” button in “My videos” of your account where you can see demographic info, referring URL info and where people are bailing out.
Bottom line is to add video frequently so people will subscribe to it (like your blog). And, every time you post a video on you tube, embed it in your blog as the views there count in YouTube.
Thursday night I was honored and excited to have been one of the over 400 women to attend the Business Women’s Mega Mixer in Downtown San Diego, CA. It was a great in person networking event to celebrate Women’s History month. I was even more excited to see an old boss and colleague, who I admire and respect as a powerful San Diego Business Women and leader, Barbara Bry, as the keynote speaker.
It was a great opportunity for professional women’s organizations and female owned businesses to network and make important business connections. I was able to meet about 50 women while I was there, and everyone I talked to said their business either had a social media presence, were just starting one, or really knew they needed it and was so glad I mentioned it to them because they were finally going to get on board! (It was the latter told me they would tuck my business card in a special spot that evening so it wouldn’t get lost because they knew they needed to call me.)
Social media is not the wave of the future, it is here now. Social media marketing is a must for any business. In addition to having a strong web site filled with your keywords optimized for SEO and a way to collect leads, every business needs a blog, Twitter and Facebook site. People are searching for your business online daily, and you can be much more easily found and virally recommended if you are participating in the social media spaces. The percentage of people using the yellow pages to find something is slim to none. People will ask a friend or Google it! Either way, with social media, your business can win.
So, how did Social Media help me learn about this great event? I was making connections in LinkedIn one day when I came across the Ladies Who Launch group, which as a woman business owner, really resonated with me. I joined their email list and it was their email newsletter that advertised the Business Women’s Mega Mixer.
Making connections and networking online in Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is powerful. Joining a actual in-person networking group is also a great way to reach out and make connections. Remember, every time someone sees your brand whether it’s through email, an online visit to read an article on your blog, direct mail, radio, TV or print, every “eyeball” helps to build your brand and keeps you top of mind. Social media is just one piece of your marketing strategy, but, a very important piece that in today’s world cannot be overlooked.
For those who know how to use it wisely, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for lead generation. It’s not just a place to put your resume or a job board, though most people tend to learn about it when they are job searching. It’s a very effective tool for targeted, free, online networking and lead generation.
LinkedIn is the largest online business networking site. Using the power of “who do you know,” you can make great connections and generate leads for your business, but, you must get involved to do it. This is the way all the social sites work, Facebook, Twitter, etc… You can’t just open an account and let it lie. Participation is key.
LinkedIn has approximately 45 million members, where Facebook, by comparison, has 300 million and Twitter is reported at 32 million. Just looking at the numbers alone, you can see that if you do not have a presence on LinkedIn, you are missing a huge opportunity to connect with potential customers and connections that can help further your business objectives.
Here are 7 tips to follow to optimize your profile, get involved with the community and connect with some experts in your industry in a targeted way:
- Fill Your Summary with a Keyword Filled Story:
That first section before the laundry list of every job you’ve had is the place to tell a story that is filled with keywords about you and your business. Always add a call to action at the end.
- Add Your Picture:
Social spaces are about connecting with people. You must add your picture to your profile. The human element is how people want to connect with you. Plus, if someone is searching for you specifically, this helps them identify you.
- Give and Receive Recommendations:
Just like references on your resume, get your top clients to recommend your work with a glowing review. And, do the same for them.
- Participate in “Answers”:
Read the status updates of your friends, and browse relevant groups to answer as many questions as you can. This keeps your name top of mind, just like a marketing campaign. Plus, all your answers appear on your connections’ home page.
- Post Questions:
This is a great way to connect with people and it helps reinforce your name as a “go to” person in your industry.
- Join Groups:
After you’ve added everyone you know, make new connections and keep building your network by finding groups that interest you and fit with your industry. Find out who is in your group and reach out to them. This is the most targeted marketing you can get!
- Add LinkedIn to your Auto Signature:
And, now that you are actively participating in this incredible social network, add your profile URL to your email auto signature. (And be sure to add any other social media space sites as well, like Twitter and Facebook). You want people to be able to connect with you on any and all social spaces they are using.
You can connect with me at: linkedin.com/in/joannwhetstine
Print is dead. Ok, it’s not really, but, it sure feels like it. How many people do you know who still use the printed Yellow Pages to find a business? I sure don’t. Those are dusty doorstops at my house. I don’t even know why I keep them. They should just go right into the recycle bin the minute they get left on my doorstep. I find everything I ever need online! All the time. I love the internet. And, if for some strange reason I can’t find the answer to my question in Google search results, (oh, yes, I’m loyal to Google!), I ask a friend to refer. Instead of picking up the phone, I text, email or post questions in LinkedIn or Facebook to my friends and business colleagues. And, that’s what social media marketing is all about: networking, building relationships and referring online.
Think about how you’ve purchased something recently. Something specific that you weren’t sure a store in town would have, or maybe it was here in town, but you didn’t know what store would carry it. Did you search for it online first? It’s very easy to search and even buy online, instead of driving all around town not knowing whether you will find the item you wanted or not. I did this a few times recently with local bookstore. I was feeling guilty that I would always just go to Amazon.com to buy the book, CD or DVD I wanted. So, I thought, no, this time I’m going to shop in town. And, you know what, twice I was disappointed because they didn’t have the item I wanted in stock or even in their computer system so they could order it and I could drive back and pick it up later. Online is easier. Online is convenient. Those who shop online enjoy the fact that the product comes right to their home, no fuss, no muss.
There are 70 million people conducting daily online searches on the internet. These people are searching for products, services and solutions to problems. The question I pose to you, is, if your customer searches for your products or services, can they find you?