Archive | October, 2015

LinkedIn Groups Get Makeover

26 Oct

LinkedIn Groups got a makeover  recently, along with and its first-ever iOS mobile app. Some of the changes are extensions and modernizations of existing features, but other improvements could help Groups members keep the ideas and conversation flowing.

The professional social network recently made some policy changes to Groups, and it is now following up with an iOS app and new look and feel for the desktop experience. Some longtime Groups users see the redesign as a welcome change, while others are unimpressed.

People with common interests have connected on LinkedIn Groups for more than a decade. After it launched in 2004, the feature quickly became one of the platform’s most popular, fastest-growing and widely adopted offerings.

LinkedIn Groups members can now add images to their posts and mention other users. The company says it cut back on clutter, spam and promotional content within Groups. The navigation panel is also simpler, and LinkedIn significantly increased the amount of open space on the pages.

The design changes are among the most notable tweaks to LinkedIn Groups. The clean layout made it easier to find the Groups users are  regularly participating in each day.

The posting process on desktop remains mostly the same, but the iOS app experience improved. Information is more accessible and interacting with Group members seems easier. It also seems that a 50-Group-per-user limit appears to have been removed.

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How to Lead the Competition in Social Media Marketing!

19 Oct

For new businesses, social media is a go-to platform to attract clients/customers.

But we all know that it’s not just new businesses that are using it to promote themselves.

Established companies and brands are spending millions of dollars just to engage with their users/customers via this platform.

With that kind of money, what can you do to stay ahead of the competition considering those Goliaths with unending financial resources?

If you play your cards right, you might just outpace them.

Do you have the right amount of content every week?

Social media content can make or break your social media marketing effort.

If you don’t have enough content for the week, you should stop and take a break.

To be ahead of the competition, you must have more than enough content in place.

You should have a detailed social media calendar to help you track your brand’s objectives and monitor current events in your niche.

Your content may be informative but it must be relevant to make sure that it can grab the attention of your target audience.

 

How do you alleviate those careless mistakes you’ve made?

Making careless mistakes can hurt your social media marketing campaign.

As part of your company’s social media team, it’s your job to clean up the mess.

If your company is a huge business, you can easily hire someone to monitor your brand activity and clean up those mistakes that your brand has made.

However, if your company is not big enough to hire those PR agencies, you can try out some tools online that can get rid of your social media faults.

With these tools you can avoid other clients to find your embarrassing photos or updates.

Do you use social media management tool?

Managing your social media accounts can be tough. That’s why it’s just reasonable to rely on automation tools.

They can free up your time to do other things and focus on engaging with your fans.

Social media automation tools are something that you should use to help your SMM campaign.

One of my favorite tools is Buffer.

I love the idea of MeetEdgar but it’s quite expensive.

Hootsuite is another wonderful tool that you can use to automate your SM updates. It has free and paid plans.

Final Thoughts

Staying ahead of the competition can be tougher these days. But with the use of those tools, you can easily take up the task of monitoring and managing your social media accounts that can enhance engagement and build a huge network.

Making Your Social Media Effective and Efficient

12 Oct

Most of us own a social media profile, whether we post the odd ‘tweet’, ‘like’ a few comments on Facebook or regularly update our LinkedIn profile. From sharing thoughts, photos and videos with friends and relatives, social media has become an essential method of sharing marketing insights and a huge part of SEO and online marketing.

But are you making the most of social media in order to market your business effectively? Here is some advice about how not to miss out on making the most of such a top marketing tool:

Post frequently across all of your business’ social media platforms

Although it sounds glaringly obvious, there are so many companies with sparse social media profiles, due to a heavy workload and tight time restrictions. You wouldn’t hand out an advertisement leaflet with blank spaces and, ultimately, the same applies to online social media profiles.

Two posts a day makes for an active social profile and offers an optimal amount of posts, however, one post a day is ample for businesses with less time to spare.

Whatever number of posts you choose to publish each day, posting five times one day and then not visiting your profile for two weeks is a really ineffective way of using social media.

Struggling to find time to work on your social media profile? Facebook scheduling is a great way to manage your Facebook page and, since Facebook is still one of the most popular social media platforms, is definitely a great place to market your business.

Whether you choose to create a weekly Facebook schedule, or create Facebook posts for this time next year, Facebook scheduling is an absolutely brilliant, and basic tool, to fill your Facebook profile.

Helpful hint: Facebook scheduling can work for businesses that peak in the summer. Why not schedule your Facebook posts during the quieter winter months, to encourage a business boom in the busier summer months?

Don’t link your business page with your personal profile

In some cases, you may find that linking your business page to your personal profile is beneficial. For the most part, however, it is unprofessional to post the same content across your personal and business profiles and, in addition, confuses your marketing initiatives.

Ultimately, sharing your business’ posts on your own personal profile will reach friends, acquaintances and family members, rather than current and potential customers.

Focus on your customers, not the masses

Gain an understanding about what your customers are genuinely interested in regarding your social media profile, and succumb to their wants and desires. It is more beneficial to your business to have two hundred engaged customers regularly looking at your social media profile, than two thousand followers who like your page once and never return to your profile again.

What’s more, it is so much more rewarding to see that one of your posts has reached 150 people, has 6 likes and 10 comments, rather than 3 people reached and no post clicks.

Ultimately, if people keep coming back to your page, your marketing efforts will be more effective, whether you have 40 or 400 followers.

Combine photos with interesting, useful and relevant content

The most popular posts tend to be those that include a photo or video. Where an image is worth a thousand words, think of an image as a way to gain more clicks. A capturing, unique image will also attract people to view the post and read the associated content. Make sure your content is interesting and relevant, and you’re onto a winner!

Add a boost to your posts

Think ‘boost’ in terms of engaging your audience. Responding to their comments and likes will keep them coming back. Quick replies to likes, comments and emails, as well as relevant shares, retweets or ‘favourite-ing’ will only add to you business’ credibility.

Of course, Facebook offers you the opportunity to literally ‘boost’ your posts, which ultimately takes your relevant, interesting and unique post (that is suited to current and potential customers!) and sends it out to people who may be interested in your business.

Ultimately, the key point to take from this article is to ensure that your social media posts are unique, relevant and interesting. That way, you’ll ensure that you’re using social media as an effective marketing tool, and not taking such a useful marketing resource for granted.

Helpful Tips to Improve your Social Media Marketing

5 Oct

Using social media as part of your marketing arsenal is not just smart; in today’s landscape, it’s necessary.

But true, valuable social media marketing takes more than just an established Facebook page or occasional tweet. To see real results, it involves a strategy and tactics.

Get more value from your social media efforts—and focus your efforts into more prosperous directions—with the following five tips.

1. Add Value to Your Profiles

Stop thinking of your profiles as an obligation and start thinking about them as an opportunity.

Your profile should do more than serve as a placeholder; use the space to add true value for your reader. What does your business do? Why should someone follow you (what’s in it for them)? This is your opportunity to sellyourself—so take advantage. And remember, your readers have short attention spans, so be direct.

For example,

“Serving Nashville homeowners for 15 years” doesn’t say anything about what you do or how you’ll help the reader—it simply serves as a tagline. To be frank, it’s a bit lazy.

Instead, try something like, “Helping Nashville homeowners to keep bugs out—and happy memories in—for more than 15 years.”

It gives an idea of what you offer, addresses the audience, and provides an idea of the benefit.

Or, try offering an incentive—for example, “Keep your home bug free for less! Follow our page for free DIY tips and a new coupon code every Friday!”

Character counts can be a bit limiting, yes—but using those characters smartly will serve you (and your potential clients) well.

 

2. Don’t Be a Zombie

Anyone can use social media—but not anyone can use it well. The difference between having a presence and having a presence that works for your business often lies in one simple thing: not being merely present.

What does that mean? Well, as I like to put it, don’t be a zombie.

People follow—and work with—other people and businesses that they feel an actual connection with. That means that you need to interact with your readers, for starters—but also that you need to do so in a human way.

Consider dropping the formal business tone—you aren’t pitching a presentation here, you’re trying to have a conversation. So don’t be stuffy; be yourself!

3. Find Your Focus

Before you start posting away on every known social media platform, just hit pause and consider what you’re hoping to accomplish. There are so many different sites now—and each with its own quirks and benefits—that trying to use them all is like trying to boil the ocean.

Instead, take some time to build at least a basic strategy. For starters, consider who your audience is—then determine which platforms they most identify with (and use).

For example, if you’re targeting late teens or young adults, Instagram may be a fit. Targeting an older business professional crowd? You aren’t likely to have the same success on Instagram, LinkedIn or Google+ might be more up your alley.

Once you know where you’re posting, make sure you know who you are. Your goal is to become an “expert” and influencer in your niche… so determine exactly what that niche is. Then, find your own voice and use it to explain your own unique ideas and thoughts—there’s little value to come from simply restating what others in the field have done or said.

In a word, focus. Focus your audience. Focus the social media platforms you use. Focus your niche. And focus your posts to that niche.

4. Leverage Trending Topics

Even the most creative among us will burn out trying to constantly think of new, fresh topics. Instead, make use of what’s already going on around you. Trending topics provide the automatic advantage of tying your content to something that people are clearly interested in (otherwise, they wouldn’t be trending topics).

The trick is to relate your own ideas or offerings to that topic in a way that is

  1. Transparent,
  2. Relevant, and
  3. Interesting

As for finding what those topics are:

If you’re on Twitter, you conveniently have a list of trending topics displayed right on your dashboard.

Buzzfeed is a great site for viral content—often that comes straight to you via your Facebook or other social media feeds.

Reddit gives convenient tabs that allow you to quickly find topics sorted by newness, rising content, top content, and other categorizations.

Since hashtags have become so commonplace—in and out of Twitter, try Hashtags.org. Notably, there are fee services for Hashtags.org if you want to promote or measure your own hashtags, but there is a free component to simply find what’s hot in the now.

Finally, Google Trends is a quick and easy way to find what people are searching for—in general or by topic
5. Make Use of Video

When social media first started, it was all about static updates but today’s social media landscape is filled with multimedia content. Think of how toshow your audience rather than just tell them.

How-to videos, parodies, funny animals juxtaposed with content—the ways to turn your content into videos is endless. Is everyone going to turn into a viral success? Well, no but if you hit the right audience, you can create great impact in your space.

One thing to note—a simple talking head is unlikely to get you too far. Instead, think of ways to create content that directly benefits the viewer.

Think product demos, how-to videos, or give glimpses into life behind the scenes anything that adds value or insight into something that they might find intriguing is a step in the right direction.

Bottom Line

As with anything, your bottom line should be about quality—not quantity.

Don’t focus on the number of posts or the number of social media sites that you participate in. Instead, focus on interacting—consistently and in a way that adds value—on the right sites for your purpose.

And, be more than present, but a part of your own conversation and find ways to provide value to your readers and co-conversationalists. Do this, and your efforts will start to pay off.