If your social media strategy is a generic set of rules and practices that you use whether you're on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest, there's a very good reason that you aren't getting the results you want: One size very rarely fits all, despite what clothing marketers claim about their gloves and hats.
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LinkedIn is an absolutely essential part of any professional's online presence, whether you're the CEO of a multinational corporation or a freelance mommy blogger working in your PJs while keeping one eye on your toddler. That's not the main point of this post, but I'd thought I'd start there just in case you haven't fully committed to the idea yet.
Social Media Week 2013 has officially wrapped up here in Chicago and I'm happy to say I survived, barely!! It's these conferences and idea sharing sessions that inspire me and get me re-invigorated. I met some wonderful people and I have to say that these people are not just colleagues, but friends! As I reflect back on the week, I wanted to share some statistics...
How do you prefer to login to web sites that you commonly use? I'm "old fashioned" in the fact that I will create an account and login separately of Facebook and Twitter login options. Here are some facts and figues on what people are doing when it comes to the Social Login craze... Let me know your thoughts on the social login option. Can't wait to hear what you have to say!!
Socialty loves info graphics!! So much so, that we have a whole board dedicated to info graphics on Pinterest!! I recently found this info graphic about social media that I found interesting. Many small business owners know "just enough" when it comes to social media. However, they may miss their target audience by focusing on the wrong social media outlet. The following info graphic may point you to the correct site, but navigating the site and using it properly takes a skilled hand, like Socialty. You all know what we do, right? We handle all your online marketing and reputation management for your small business. When you're ready for the next level, contact us, we know what you need!
Follow us - Like Us - Plus Us - Stalk Us - We dare you!!!
Life isn't always fair, and if you're a business owner we're sure you know that the business world is a lot like life. You have to deal with a lot of different problems, you have to be prepared for a multitude of possibilities, and a business will usually go through a crisis or twelve every year. Socialty wants to relieve some of your stress by helping to expand and maintain your business. Having a website and using social media platforms make the playing field more level for small business owners around the world. Your online presence helps you to foster good relationships with your customers and to spread the word about your brand to new people.
Twenty-five years ago it may have been sufficient for your parents to write down names and numbers in a Rolodex or to input them on an Excel spreadsheet. (Raise your hand if you remember Lotus 1-2-3!)
Social media services like Twitter and Facebook can help you build your clientele, but then it's also critical that your business plan and budget include making the effort to work on the upkeep. Maintaining your existing customers as repeat visitors is usually tied to consistently updating your social media accounts, and that's where Socialty can give you some expert help!
You don't live in your parents' business world and nowadays almost every small business can benefit by using social media. But sometimes it's hard to take that first step. One legitimate concern is “Am I spreading myself too thin?” If you can't find time to utilize Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, perhaps the best choice is to get a pro to do it on your behalf. Sometimes you want to get it done, but it's a matter of money. However, as the old saying goes, you “have to spend it to make it.” And although social media may seem like a waste of time to some people, there are mountains of studies and plenty of evidence that the SMART, WELL-MANAGED and PREPARED business managers are catching up with the rest.
The trick to social media positioning really comes with understanding that customers and clients everywhere are basically alike. They want to be respected, valued and treated like their dollars matter. Using social media is great even if you just post the same boring printable coupon 5 times a month, but it's REALLY awesome if you can have a lively, thought-provoking discussion about your service, or a fun and entertaining blog article for your customers to send along to a friend!
Your business won't necessarily need to set up five social media pages across all the different sites. It's unnecessary and usually it results in less than satisfactory results. Instead you can have Socialty establish a Facebook timeline with a beautiful image gallery, or a popular Twitter feed with a lot of new followers. It takes time to build success and it's worth it to focus on quality, not quantity.
Whether you want Socialty to help you develop business contacts on LinkedIn or to help with attention-grabbing corporate e-mails, it's important as a business for your social media to reflect your values and beliefs. That's the easiest system to build trust and establish real and lasting relationships with customers. Sure, you can see when a longtime client is having a birthday. With Socialty you could also have the ability to rest easier, knowing that every one of the clients who follow your social media will receive a birthday e-mail and a special offer to go with it!
The theme to a long-running sitcom went like this:
“Sometimes you want to go Where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came.”
So make sure your customers feel like that.
And don't just charge ahead without a strong plan for social media positioning. On Google search for “social media foul-up” and you'll get over 20 million results. Stay connected with clients but do so with the confidence that your business won't be fodder for a funny story starting with, “Hey, did you see that tweet they sent out?” Socialty Inc. can help you KEEP SOCIAL AND CARRY ON!
Which social media sites are right for you and your business? We recognize that a single approach to marketing will never fit all situations because every business is different. The greatest benefit of letting Socialty fulfill your online needs is that we can use our knowledge, skill, experience and talent to determine if certain sites do or don’t match your needs! Several months ago, the online site CMO.com published its annual Guide To the Social Landscape. Each year the guide, which is published as a downloadable infographic, lists the major players in online social media and grades them on strengths and weaknesses that are important to companies wanting to leverage social media for advertising and marketing.
The 2012 guide features 14 social media sites – from heavy hitters such as Facebook and Twitter to lesser knowns like Quora – and grades them in four categories: customer communication, brand exposure, traffic to your site, and search engine optimization. To explain further, CMO’s list looks at the potential for a company to build business utilizing a site in each of those four ways, and then uses the simple grading scale of “good,” “ok,” or “bad.”
First I thought we might take a look at the sites that were graded “good” across the board. To my surprise, none of the 14 social media sites achieved that spread! That’s probably a great sign that CMO’s list is trying for fairness. While leveraging these sites can be good for your business, the use of each social media site has limitations when trying to manage your online marketing activities.
Four sites did achieve the high grades of “good” in three areas and “ok” in one. These are Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and YouTube. All four scored high marks in regard to customer communication and brand exposure. Facebook and Twitter were stronger in building traffic to your site, while Google+ and YouTube were more useful for search engine optimization.
I don’t think the high marks for those well known and recognizable names are shocking to anyone. A mild surprise was SlideShare – a site that’s rated very highly by CMO’s Guide To the Social Landscape. In its first year on the guide, SlideShare (which has been around since 2006) is called “an awesome communication method for companies” and “a great place to promote your brand.” It’s rated “good” for customer communication and brand exposure and “ok” for building web traffic and for search engines. Subsequent to the release of this year’s guide, SlideShare announced on May 3 that it was being acquired by LinkedIn. Business Insider reported it to be a cash and stock deal worth $119 million.
So far, the social media sites we’ve been discussing have all had two category strengths (communication and branding) in common. StumbleUpon comes from the other direction. In fact, it’s rated “bad” for customer communication. The guide states “reaching existing customers can be random and costly.” For branding, it’s “ok” with the site’s targeting praised for its accuracy. Cost, however, is a drawback. According to the guide, StumbleUpon is “good” for both building traffic to your site and for search engines. StumbleUpon is among those sites that are a bit hard to explain to non-users. According to Wikipedia, “StumbleUpon uses collaborative filtering (an automated process combining human opinions with machine learning of personal preference) to create virtual communities of like-minded Web surfers.”
Similarly, Digg is a social media site where its users submit an outside webpage, and then vote the page up or down (called “digg”ing or “bury”ing, respectively). This is done through voting on digg.com or by websites adding “digg” buttons to their pages. CMO’s Guide To the Social Landscape ranked it generally “ok,” but “good” for brand exposure, which is attributed to the opportunity for promoting articles via Digg. The guide pointed to declining traffic across Digg as its primary weakness.
Also among the social media sites that received mixed ratings:
- Flickr was “good” for SEO. The guide points out that “proper optimization can rank well in Google Images.” Unfortunately “even with tens of thousands of views” very low click-through to your site earned a “bad” rating.
- LinkedIn was also “unlikely to drive any significant traffic to your site” (a “bad”) but received a “good” for brand exposure, especially if utilizing its company page features.
- Pinterest was rated “good” for brand exposure and driving traffic to your site. The guide suggests “Contests” for the former and adding “Pin It” buttons to your pages for the latter. However, this social media service was rated “bad” for both communicating with customers and link values decreasing, stating “Pinterest recently n0-followed its links.”
- Quora was “excellent for communication with high-level customers” and sharing your expertise (a “good”) but the drawbacks include most traffic staying put on the Quora site and no-follow links (a “bad” and an “ok”).
- Reddit was “good” for driving traffic to your site but the guide mentioned not to “try too hard and get banned.” It was rated “bad” for increasing your brand exposure as most of the content is from major news organizations. Plus there’s a problem with image attribution which knocked Reddit down to an “ok” for SEO.
Only two social media sites received fairly negative ratings in this year’s Guide To the Social Landscape: Delicious (“Not enough brand recognition to make [it] worth your time”) and Instagram (which received a “good” for brand exposure but literally doesn’t have ways to communicate with customers, drive traffic to your site, or a way to incorporate SEO).
Visit the Guide To the Social Landscape at:
Keywords: social media, online traffic, brand exposure, websites, communication, ratings, socialty, search engines, marketing, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, SlideShare, StumbleUpon, Digg, Flickr, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Quora, Reddit, Delicious, Instagram
At Socialty, we have a simple, yet elegant, mission: to help small businesses manage their social media campaigns and online reputations. Socialty creates dynamic content, manages your presence and engages users to create word of mouth buzz. We use an online approach that focuses on sites such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. Today let’s take an in-depth look at LinkedIn, one of the fastest-growing social media sites. LinkedIn maintains a specialist approach to social media marketing.
On October 16, LinkedIn held a press conference to announce its new profile page design and other changes, upgrades, and statistics.
Chief Executive Officer Jeff Weiner began the event (also streamed online from company headquarters in Mountain View, California) by saying that LinkedIn is “about connecting talent with opportunity at a massive scale.” The social media networking site and its features aren’t “just tools that enable people to find their dream jobs,” Weiner said, “but tools that enable people to be great at the jobs they’re already in.”
The CEO then shared LinkedIn’s company mission statement: “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” He then emphasized the word professionals, and said that is the context with which LinkedIn creates value for its members as a social media service. Worldwide there is “one social platform – LinkedIn – that has that exclusive focus on a professional context.”
Weiner stated that LinkedIn has over 175 million registered members, and has added 50 million of those in the last year alone. LinkedIn is currently adding an average of 2 new members every second. Interestingly, Brazil has recently become the fourth nation in which more than 10 million LinkedIn members reside. The other top countries are the United States, India, and the United Kingdom.
LinkedIn ultimately helps professionals “connect, find, and be found by other professionals,” said Weiner. It has become “the professional profile of record.”
The CEO pointed out a phenomenon, saying that people update their profiles when they aren’t looking for work. He contrasted this to a traditional resume, which is often only dusted off and updated when a job change is wanted or needed.
Weiner went on to talk about the increasing importance of what LinkedIn calls “mobile solutions,” using the social media site via smartphones and tablet applications, especially via the iPad. He announced that mobile utilization (how often LinkedIn is being accessed by a person using an app) has increased from 10% last year to 23% now. In other words, LinkedIn is being used more and more by people who aren’t necessarily sitting at a desk in an office.
Weiner seemed proud to announce that over one million unique website domains have deployed a “Share On LinkedIn” button. This allows any LinkedIn member to easily post links from interesting or enjoyable online content to their own LinkedIn page, which then is viewable by that member’s professional contacts. Also, thousands of companies are utilizing a button to “Apply With LinkedIn” which makes filling out online job applications easier.
Over the last few months, LinkedIn has improved or introduced several features, said Weiner. He included:
- A redesigned homepage at http://www.linkedin.com/
- New capabilities for receiving optional notifications
- New capabilities and apps for smartphones
- Apps for the iPad tablet
- The Endorsements feature (which allows members to vouch for other members who have a certain skill or ability)
- A feature allowing members to “follow” professional luminaries
- Long form content publication made affordable/free for those luminaries
- “Engagement increases” such as status updates, “like” buttons, and the ability to comment on other peoples’ content
The press conference was then turned over to Deep Nishar, Head of Product for LinkedIn. He led off with a statement of the company’s product philosophy. It is to “build insanely brilliant and simple products that change people’s lives.”
Nishar then announced statistics provided by comScore, Inc. (http://www.comscore.com/) – LinkedIn has 135 million unique visitors per month and ranks 26th overall in the entire world (as of August 2012).
One month ago, said Nishar, the site launched a new design for the “LinkedIn Company” pages. It features insights into what is going on at a given company, and potentially it can share fresh information. On one corner of the page, the new design features “How You’re Connected,” listing “First Degree Connections” (people you know), “Second Degree Connections” (people those people know), and total employees of that company who are members of LinkedIn. Nishar added that the new company pages also feature a products section and a careers section, and that currently there are over 2 million “LinkedIn Company” pages.
Nishar then spoke about “LinkedIn Today.” He called it the “defacto professional trade magazine” for members and stated that by utilizing the knowledge of who members are, what members’ networks are, and what industries they are part of, it provides a tailored view of daily news they should be reading. It “gives insight and helps [the members] do [their] jobs today.”
The Product Head then mentioned that LinkedIn recently launched its “Top Leadership Series,” a sort of long-form blog which is being written by “150 of the most powerful business luminaries” from around the world. They represent 11 countries, he added, and they post “about what they care about to share it with the community.” The group includes a Nobel Prize winner and a MacArthur Fellowship “Genius” grant winner. The group as a whole has authored 29 books from the New York Times Bestseller List.
Nishar also expressed his pride in the “Endorsements” feature, repeating that LinkedIn is adding 175,000 new profiles per day (about the same as 2 per second), and announced that profiles on the site are now being viewed 25 million times every day.
When you choose to bring your social media campaigns to Socialty, you can definitely count on our company’s expertise to help you to create, freshen up, and then to maintain a dynamic profile page on LinkedIn.
In 2012, it’s more important than ever that you and your company’s interests be represented accurately and honestly on websites such as LinkedIn. Isn’t it time for you to contact us? Then you can “Keep Social and Carry On!”
Watch the entire press conference at:
Keywords: LinkedIn, members, social media, professional, socialty, connections, page design, media campaigns