LinkedIn Infographic

Today’s post, LinkedIn infographic is the third in the series.  You can view the first two, Twitter Infographic and YouTube Infographic by clicking on the links.

LinkedIn continues to be the only major social network focused exclusively on business professionals.  Its not as casual as Facebook and not as flippant as Twitter.  Today’s infographic focuses on how to be “the man or woman” on LinkedIn.  It includes 10 tips that will help you:

  1. Optimize your profile
  2. Extend your reach
  3. Leverage the tools

All three are equally important if you want to drive new business from Linkedin.

If you have a great profile and no one sees it you’ve accomplished nothing.  If you have a great network and belong to several groups you’ll still miss out on opportunities if your profile is lacking.  Finally, if you are using the available tools such as Answers, Polls, Status Updates, etc. but still have a poor profile, you may drive people back to your inadequate profile, but you’ll likely find that you have nothing to show for your work.

Your profile is the hub of your Linkedin existence.  Its your landing page.  It should tell people who you are, what you do, how you help people, where they can get more information, and even how to take the next step if they want to engage you or your products and services.

Next I would start naturally building your connections.  Connect to you natural network, to people you meet at networking events, and even reach out to those you would like to know.  Start looking for groups to join such as:

  1. Those where potential your customers or clients are
  2. Industry related groups where you can make connections that can become partners, vendors, or referral sources
  3. Alumni groups, whether corporate or school based, where you can reconnect to old friends or find new ones
  4. Topic related groups where you can expand your knowledge
  5. A group that you start and grow

Finally, kick start your activity by answering questions to help others and demonstrate your knowledge, engage in group discussions by joining existing conversations or start your own, post status update to share content, ask questions, or share success stories, and finally using the search function to prospect.

Success takes time so be patient and consistent in your activity.  My LinkedIn infographic should help you get started (click image to view full size).

 

linkedin infographic1 LinkedIn Infographic

 

Social Media Sonar provides the following four resources for FREE… 1.  The Blog, 2. The Online Marketing/Social Media Blueprint, 3.  Conversion Rate Optimization Guide, 4.  Resource Center.  If these help you implement your own online marketing program, great. We love helping people. If you decide you need some help, great. We love new clients.  Contact Us if we can help you.

 

Why LinkedIn is Important to Small Businesses

linkedin for small businesses Why LinkedIn is Important to Small BusinessesIn the summer of 2006 I read an article about a networking site that was for business people. I had heard of MySpace and Facebook, but those were networks for high school kids and people in college. A network dedicated to business professionals was definitely worth checking out. That network was LinkedIn.

I signed up for an account and started looking through it to see if I knew anyone and to also see if there were any ways to use it as a prospecting vehicle. After numerous searches my conclusion at the time was that this was a good site for people in technology industries but not necessarily relevant for anyone else.

At the time you could connect to other business professionals, participate in Answers, and join groups (although there really wasn’t any additional functionality to groups).

Five years later I have a different perspective, having used the service to build a network of business professionals and driven new business from being a member of the site. I wasn’t wrong in my initial assessment; it’s just that LinkedIn has evolved into a great tool through the increase in membership and functionality. It just had to mature a little bit, much like the internet of the late 90’s.

In the late 1990’s the internet was starting to gain traction and companies were starting to get in on the action. For a while, having a website was a cool thing to do but not a make or break decision. That changed and eventually having a website was as much a credibility play as it was a functional part of any businesses marketing efforts.

Social networking/media has followed the same path, although at a much quicker pace. Two years ago having a presence on the various social networking spaces was a cool thing to do for a business but once again not a make or break decision. Today if you’re not on a social networking site like LinkedIn you’re missing the boat.

Social Media/Networking has expanded the opportunity to [Read more...]

Online Strategy Using Social Media

cohesive social brand Online Strategy Using Social MediaStrategies are like excuses.  Some people have them some people don’t.  Some are good and some not so good.  Some are so good that you file it away should you need it in the future.  Today I offer you an online marketing excuse of a strategy that incorporates social media.

2 Parts of the Strategy

The strategy that I’ll layout has two parts to it:  1.  Build a Cohesive Social Brand; 2.  Syndicate Content.  Then as you can see in the video I’ll show you how the two components work together.  The goal is to generate an impact in your social media marketing while also looking to benefit from being indexed by search engines.  Its a push / pull strategy that relies on one key component …quality content.

In today’s post I’m going to walk through part one.  Tomorrow I will add part two, Syndicating Content.  Of course you can watch the video and see everything at once.

Cohesive Social Brand

There are thousands of social media and networking sites out there and you could drive yourself crazy trying to sign up for everyone.  You should focus on establishing a presence on the major sites and then add in some specific sites that fit your niche.  Each of these components should [Read more...]

Fake LinkedIn Accounts

As an open networker I tend to receive anywhere from 100 to 150 invitation requests each week. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed some suspicious items about many of these invitations:

  1. Either no profile photo or a stock photo
  2. Use of the words “Independent” or “Student”
  3. Or no title at all

As I began looking at the profiles it was clear that these were basic accounts with little more than name and title. On about 50% of the questionable account there were three urls included but not much else.

I can’t say with 100% certainty that these are fake accounts but they look suspect. In the video I show [Read more...]

Showing How Social Media Works Beats Selling the Hype

Most companies providing social media solutions are busy selling the statistics and the hype. They’re quoting stats such as the 3 year growth on Facebook, that Dell earned $3 million dollars from using LinkedIn, the number of new LinkedIn members … and so on and on.

Don’t get me wrong, I love statistics. But “how can you use social media to grow your business?” That’s where it gets exciting because most of the tools are free or relatively in-expensive in terms of cost. You just have to be willing to invest the time required to engage and interact.

So while many people are focused on talking about how they can help small businesses, we choose to show small businesses how to do it themselves.  We knew that those who can, will do it themselves, and those that understand the need for social media, but lack the time or resources, will seek to outsource the work.

As a full fledged member of the David clan (small businesses), we continue to help businesses understand how to use the Social Web, making sure they understand the need for a strategy, and the tactics to accomplish their goals and objectives.

In business there is a process of familiarity that most people go through prior to making a purchase. The first step is they have to know that you exist. Next they need to like you or your product or service. Finally they have to have some level of trust. If they know, like, and trust you then you have a shot at earning their business.

Social media provides numerous opportunities to introduce you or your company to other, to capture their attention through sharing content, or build goodwill through being a resource. [Read more...]

LinkedIn Open Groups

Are LinkedIn Open Groups Great for Members or Great for Spammers?

I’ve seen a lot of back and forth discussions about the new LinkedIn Open Groups.  A lot of the negatives that I see people mentioning stem from the thought that this will further encourage spammers to post promotions and add little value to discussions.

LinkedIn Rant w/ a Solution

In 2010 LinkedIn decided to remove the New Article board from groups or per what they put out “combine the news board and the discussion board”.  At the time people were pretty good about posting discussion questions on the discussion board and links to blog articles, online news releases, and articles to the news board.

I assume LinkedIn felt it would be natural to combine the two opening up a new board called Promotions to give group members a place to promote products and services.  They were wrong. [Read more...]

Social Media Allows David to Out-Market Goliath

Ten years ago LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook did not exist. Twenty years ago hardly anyone had a personal computer. Thirty years ago Cable Television was just starting to come into it’s own. Forty years ago you had 5 channels or less on TV dependent upon how well the tin foil on the rabbit ears worked. What you know today will change tomorrow.

Most of our client’s are small to mid-size companies that cannot match up against their larger competitors in terms of money, labor, and resources. To out-market the competition they have to out-smart them.

In a recent article Malcome Gladwell discusses how David’s can improve their chance of beating Goliaths. Normally David is successful less than 30%. But, when David understands that he cannot compete on Goliath’s terms (think normal industry practices) and chooses an unconventional strategy, the success percentage more than doubles.

Recently someone asked what it is that Social Media Sonar does. Our answer was that we help David out market Goliath using traditional advertising, marketing, and social media.

We still believe that traditional means of marketing including direct mail, radio and television ads, and even newspaper ads have their place.    Social media, though, allows us to cost effectively build a community of people, communicate one to one or en masse, engage in conversations, generate leads, and drive revenue.

It is understanding how it all works together in a comprehensive strategy that makes it work. You can choose to use traditional advertising and marketing, social media, or both.

LinkedIn Labs Tests Out New Tools

linkedin labs LinkedIn Labs Tests Out New ToolsThis is likely my last post of the year and being that Christmas is only hours away I’m going to share a little LinkedIn gift with you. Many people are not aware that LinkedIn has a site where they feature internal projects. These not-ready for prime time tools may or may not be relevant but they are interesting.

Once a month LinkedIn celebrates “In Day” where LinkedIn employees are encouraged to research, experiment, and create concepts outside of there normal routine. Adam Nash explained the concept in a post on the LinkedIn blog, “This concept began with an impromptu hackday held over the 2007 holiday break and has now grown to a company-wide event (including an American Idol style panel of judges). Teams are given just five minutes to demo their hack in front of the entire company, and judges get just two minutes to ask questions.”

These are a few of the tools [Read more...]

Post Blog to Multiple LinkedIn Groups at the Same Time

One of the things I like about social media is that as a developing medium it sometimes takes a little creativity to accomplish what you might want. Recently we had a client that engaged us to help drive traffic to their internal jobs postings. One of the first places I thought of posting these opportunities was in the jobs board in LinkedIn groups.

We did a search on industry groups and selected twenty to join. These twenty groups have over 300,000 members. The only thing left to do was to post each job opportunity in each group.

We started with 20 jobs to post and doing simple math meant that posting 20 jobs in 20 groups would require 400 posts to groups to complete . Thats a lot of time that really was not in the budget. Surely there had to be an easier way. [Read more...]

What’s the Point of Social Media?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself that question? How did you answer it? What if we ask someone else? Are they likely to give the same answer or a different one?

We’re also likely to give a different answer than people at the top social sites would give. So lets look at the point of several sites.

  • LinkedIn: To help professionals network and deepen the relationships they already have or are just developing.
  • Facebook: It’s changed in scope from its origins but Facebook allows us to engage with our friends and families on a more personal level sharing experiences, video, photo’s, etc.
  • Twitter: Twitter lets us stream micro thoughts to others and see what others are thinking or up to.
  • You Tube: Allows you to post to share experiences, entertainment, outrage, etc with others. [Read more...]