Jill Konrath and Ardath Albee released an e-book based on a survey of LinkedIn users and their conclusion is that top LinkedIn sellers view the social network as essential to their marketing efforts. “Cracking the LinkedIn Sales Code” shares some insightful statistics about how these top sellers use LinkedIn to nurture prospects and build their businesses.
Konrath and Ardath share five key findings in their report:
- LinkedIn “contributes” to opportunity creation.
- The most frequent LinkedIn activity is prospect research.
- Top sellers use more of LinkedIn’s capabilities than other users.
- Top sellers also pay close attention to their professional “presence” on LinkedIn.
- The biggest obstacle to using LinkedIn effectively is knowledge of its capabilities.
It is clear after reading the report that top sellers on LinkedIn have a completely different mindset than average users. They frequently close more sales than the average user and find more qualified prospects too. In other words, they actually have a LinkedIn strategy.
Konrath and Albee are careful to note, however, that merely using LinkedIn the same way that top sellers do won’t guarantee sales success. Putting in the time doesn’t translate into sales (BTW, top sellers spend 6 hours or more a week on LinkedIn).
When you consider that in a typical 5 day work week a power user will spend 1-1/4 hours per day on LinkedIn and contribute to 30 or more LinkedIn groups, then it’s clear that top sellers are people who are active on LinkedIn. It makes me wonder if they are active on other social networks too.
What do you think? Are you using LinkedIn like a top seller/power user?
Marketing on Facebook is an art, not a science. People will follow your business page, but they want it to be entertaining and engaging. They want something more than a little self-promotion. They want a page that acts like a community. They’re OK with your central control over the content as long as fans feel like they are a part of your community.
Here are 5 ways to spruce up your Facebook business page and keep your fans happy.
- Talk about other people. A lot. Don’t make your page all about you. Talk about your customers, your business partners, even your competition. Just don’t talk about yourself all the time.
- Post videos. People like images. They love moving images even better. You don’t have to post a video every day, but you can post one once a week. Less, if you want. But videos are powerful ways to communicate a message, and if you have the resources to produce high quality videos, they will work hard to promote your brand.
- Post about something else. I wouldn’t advise you to go off topic with every Facebook post, but you can do it once in awhile. People want to see your personality. They want to see the personality of the person running your Facebook page. So give them what they want. Post off-topic content every now and then, but keep it professional.
- Make unforgettable offers. Businesses offer discounts and run promotions. You can do that on your Facebook page. Of course, you can run general business promotions, but do something special for your Facebook fans. Offer a Facebook-only promotion.
- Tell stories. People love stories. Have your customers share their stories about using your product or service. Talk about events that have happened around your brand. Tell stories, and make them interesting.
When it comes to social media marketing, your Facebook page is one piece of the puzzle. Use it well and it will pay you back.
Social networking site LinkedIn started out as a place for hungry job seekers to find employment. Then it blossomed into so much more. They added forums, communities, a question & answer board, and a load of features for business people. And they started growing by leaps and bounds.
Not long ago they added a new feature that has grown quite rapidly – business pages. Recently, they hit the 3 million mark with business pages created. 500,000 of those were within the last 12 months.
From the way the service is growing, it wouldn’t be surprising to see another million business pages added in the next 18 months. Yours should be one of them – if it isn’t already.
Because so many business professionals are using LinkedIn, if you run a business to business operation, then you should be there too. One of the reasons so many business owners and executives are using LinkedIn is because it doesn’t have all the circus-like distractions that Facebook has, which more a destination for business to consumer operations.
Social networking is here to stay. You have to go where your audience is. You can’t be on every network. You have time to manage. Pick your venues wisely. LinkedIn is for businesses.
This is perhaps the greatest social media blunder in history.
MySpace decided to change directions – again – and when they did they closed off some features to users and deleted all of their old information. And what did they apologize for? A MySpace with limited features.
I don’t know about you, but that just doesn’t seem right.
Imagine going to Facebook and being told that all the posts, comments, photos, videos, and everything you’ve ever done on Facebook is gone. Kaput. Finis. You can’t get access to it, and you don’t know if you’ll ever be able to get it back. But Facebook apologizes for redesigning the site so you can’t create groups any more. Would that tick you off?
This little social experiment by MySpace should tell you one thing: You need to start saving all of your Facebook data.
In fact, you should backup all of your social media data every so often just in case your favorite social media website decides to follow MySpace’s lead. I think Cynthia Boris makes a valid point when she says
we don’t own our space in social media, we’re only renting.
If you thought otherwise, sorry to disappoint you. The social media services may claim that you own your own data, but if they can delete it at any time and not give you access to it, then does it do you any good to own it? Take some good advice. Do your own backups.
How many times have you said, “Facebook doesn’t support hashtags?” Probably a lot because a lot of people have been using hashtags on Facebook for at least a year now, and Facebook hasn’t supported them. Now, however, if you say Facebook doesn’t support hashtags, you’ll be wrong.
They started supporting hashtags yesterday.
From the announcement:
Starting today, hashtags will be clickable on Facebook. Similar to other services like Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest, hashtags on Facebook allow you to add context to a post or indicate that it is part of a larger discussion. When you click on a hashtag in Facebook, you’ll see a feed of what other people and Pages are saying about that event or topic.
Whether you’ve wanted Facebook to support hashtags or not, you can now do some of the things that you’ve been able to do on Twitter, Google+, and other social media sites, such as:
- Search for a specific hashtag from your search bar.
- Click on hashtags that originate on other services.
- Compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.
So, will this make your Facebook experience any richer? I’m guessing, if you like hashtags, then it very well could. One feature I like is being able to click a hashtag that originated elsewhere and seeing the stream. I did this just to test it and was able to click the results and go to all sorts of places – Amazon, personal blogs, Q&A sites, and more. I guess it works.
If you use Pinterest, you probably want to know what kind of images get repinned the most. This article discusses that.
In summary, images that get repinned the most at Pinterest include:
- Reddish-orange images. In fact, they are repinned twice as often as blue images.
- Multiple dominant colors. Images with multiple dominant colors get repinned 3.25 times more often than single dominant color images.
- Medium light images. These images are repinned 20 times more than very dark images. I have no doubt. A quick look at the two images on display should tell you why.
- Vertical images. Here’s an interesting one not related to color. Vertical images between a 2.3 and 4.5 ratio get repinned 60% more than very tall images.
- Images without background. Images with less than 10% background get repinned 2-4 times more than images with more than 40% background.
- Brand images without faces. This one is the most surprising statistic of all: Brand images without faces are repinned 23% more often than images with faces. How often have you heard that faces in photos is a good thing? Evidently, not on Pinterest.
If you’re going to use a social media site – any social media site – then it helps to understand what works and what doesn’t work there. This article should give you some insight into what Pinterest users like.
You’ve spent hours upon hours of time pushing your content through social media channels and analyzing the results. You get lots of traffic to your website only to see it bounce and go somewhere else. Is this how social media is suppose to work, or are you doing something wrong?
Traffic generation is good. I’m glad you are able to attract visitors to your website, but is your traffic targeted?
It’s better to get 100 highly targeted users to your website than to attract 1,000 non-targeted users. The targeted users are more likely to stick around and check out your content, maybe even buy something. Non-targeted users are more likely to go somewhere else.
It’s important to realize that just because you have a social media presence doesn’t obligate anyone to show up at your business website. People aren’t going to do that. But they will visit your website, and even buy something, if you have what they need.
Social media marketing is not about attracting the highest number of website visitors. It’s about attracting the right website visitors. If you aren’t doing that, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your social content and see if it’s doing the job you want it to do. You’ll get a higher click-through rate and more conversions if you focus on the traffic you want rather than the traffic you can scrounge.
Not long ago, Pinterest introduced what it’s calling Rich Pins. There are three types of such pins currently: Product Pins, Recipe Pins, and Movie Pins. Each type of pin adds specific types of information to the pin that could benefit your customers and ultimately lead to more sales for you.
Product Pins include information such as product name, price, and availability. That way, customers know before they ever visit your site what they are looking at and the potential investment on their part. As a result, you’ll likely see an increase in your conversions-to-referrals ratio.
Recipe Pins include the title of your recipe, ingredients, serving size, and preparation time.
Movie Pins show title, rating, director, cast, release date, and run time.
I have to say, if you run an e-commerce store, then you should add Rich Pins to your website. If you run a restaurant or share recipes, then Rich Pins would benefit you and your customers. In the movie business? They’ll help you too.
There are three ways to add Product Pins to your website: Embed, Schema.org, and RSS feed. You can add Recipe Pins in two ways: Schema.org or hRecipe tag. Movie Pins can be added using Schema tags, then you show them how your Movie Pins look through Pinterest for Developers and wait for e-mail verification.
Learn more about Rich Pins from Pinterest’s help pages.
Social media has become the big gorilla of online marketing. Unfortunately, it isn’t the panacea that a lot of hype makes it out to be. It can, though, be very rewarding if you work it the right way.
I’m not going to tell you which social media websites to be on. Instead, I’m going to tell you how to make the most of the websites you are on, and what to do if you are posting to certain social media networks. Here are three ways to improve your social media marketing experience.
- Be an authority and seek out relationships with other authorities. If you are not a highly respected authority, then you are second rate. That’s the taxonomy of the Web. So how do you do that? One very important way is to seek relationships with other authorities in your niche. If they follow you and share your content, then the search engines will like you better.
- Implement Google Authorship. Just by adding the Rel=Author code, along with an image and your byline, to your content, you are telling Google that your content is trustworthy. Trust is very important online. If your content can’t be trusted, then it won’t be ranked by the search engines and no one will find it. Google Authorship helps you do that better.
- Add A Twitter Card to your tweets. This is a fairly new tool for Twitter users. If you aren’t on Twitter, don’t worry about it (whether you should be on Twitter is another story). Twitter cards make your tweets more trustworthy. Untrustworthy content doesn’t get shared.
There you have it. Here are three ways to improve your social media marketing campaigns right now. Today.
I’m surprised that the number of small business owners who see value in Google is so low. But I think Frank Reed’s analysis is pretty sound. This is likely based on most small businesses having no clue what Google+ is.
Sadly though it goes even deeper because most don’t even have the knowledge of what Google+ is and why it can be valuable. Simply knowing what they are missing is the first step.
I disagree that Google+ is more valuable to large businesses than small businesses. That may not be what Frank Reed is saying, but it appears to be the case. This:
I would posit that Google+ is truly valuable to larger businesses. Why? Because they have the resources to take advantage of what Google+ offers a business in terms of its SEO efforts.
coupled with this:
But optimizing your Google+ presence requires the usual resources that most SMB’s struggle with which is people, time and money. SMB’s often don’t do what many see as what is best for them in marketing because they simply don’t have these resources.
is what I’m basing that on.
I do agree that Google needs to target agencies like Reciprocal Consulting. These agencies are the conduit between the small business owner and Google as search engine and Web portal. Google+ is a social network, but it is more than a social network. It isn’t Facebook or LinkedIn. There is an additional element of search that I think is lost on most small business owners.
So what’s that mean? I think it means that agencies also need to help small business owners understand the benefits of Google+. Those benefits are something akin to social + search. Even then, I’m not sure that gets to the heart of it.
You can’t hardly turn the TV on any more without hearing a tweet mentioned or see a Twitter account plugged. Major news outlets have Twitter accounts, and news is often first announced on Twitter. But that’s not enough for Twitter. They want to push further.
Twitter Amplify is Twitter’s advertising program, and they’ve announced some new partners:
- A&E (@AETV)
- Bloomberg TV (@BloombergTV)
- Clear Channel (@ClearChannel)
- Conde Nast (@CondeNastCorp)
- Discovery (@Discovery)
- Major League Baseball (@mlbdotcom)
- National Cinemedia (@NCMonline)
- New York Magazine (@NYMag)
- PGA Tour (@PGATOUR)
- PMC (@Variety)
- Time Inc. (@Time_Inc)
- VEVO (@VEVO)
- Warner Music (@warnermusic)
- WWE (@WWE)
- VICE (@VICE)
Twitter calls these partnerships two-screen partnerships. Brands promote themselves through Promoted Tweets to remind viewers to tune into their TVs at the appropriate times to view their favorite shows and programming. And then the shows often tweet during the airings as well as immediately before and after.
Everything from news programs to sports can be seen on Twitter’s new Amplify.
So how can you turn this into a marketing opportunity for your business? You could contact Twitter and ask how you can participate in the Twitter Amplify program. If it works out, you could expand your audience and reach new people through Twitter and your TV screen.
According to Constant Contact, LinkedIn is getting more graphic. This is a good deal for LinkedIn users, and if you’ve stayed away from LinkedIn because it was boring and didn’t seem to offer the same bells and whistles that other social media sites were offering, now you can jump on the LinkedIn bandwagon.
What makes this exciting is you’ll be able to upload videos, images, photos, and other graphics to each section of your LinkedIn profile. That will make your profile a graphic depiction of your resume and life right off the bat.
Savvy Internet marketing experts know that visuals keep people returning to your website and are more likely to convert once they are there. It’s been that way for years. So this new development at LinkedIn plays right into the knowledge and information that professional online marketers have been operating on for a decade, at least.
LinkedIn has been used primarily as an online resume service. Now, your resume just got a lot more graphic. But I also think the added visuals will turn LinkedIn into more than just a place to post your resume.
What do you think? Is this good for LinkedIn? Is it good for LinkedIn users?
As more people flock to Twitter for following their favorite celebrities and other people of interest, the social media site is becoming saturated with tweets, retweets, and hashtags. How can a serious-minded business person stay ahead of the curve and have a meaningful experience on Twitter? One way is to create Twitter lists.
A Twitter list is simply a list of other Twitter users who fit a particular mold. You can use these lists to create a specific-niche group of people to follow.
For instance, if you are interested in sculptors, you can create a list of your favorite working sculptors. Let’s say you have 15 sculptors worldwide that you would include as your favorite living sculptors. Create a list. This list makes it easier for you to follow those sculptors as you keep them grouped in that list.
The Twitter list also tells other Twitter users who you think are the important people in that niche. This is important for reputation purposes. If others agree with your recommendations, they are more likely to follow you.
Another benefit to lists is it puts you one step closer to those individuals. When you put someone on a list, you are one step away from them. You actually have a relationship, of sorts.
Twitter lists keep Twitter interesting. They also boost your reputation and draw you closer to the type of people you want to follow, and who you want to follow you.
The Facebook era of Tweetdeck is over. Actually, the third-party app era of Tweetdeck is over. No more Facebook integration and no more Android or iPhone apps, and no more Tweetdeck AIR.
The bright news is that Tweetdeck is working on an app for Chrome, which should include notifications.
What’s this mean for social media marketers who rely on Tweetdeck for posting?
First, it means that you’ll have to find another way to make your posts to Facebook. That’s bad news. If you are currently using Tweetdeck on your iPhone or an Android device, or still using Tweetdeck AIR, then you’ll have to migrate your usage to the web-based version of the product. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. If the Chrome app happens, then Chrome users will have an advantage.
Tweetdeck does offer a reason for their discontinuance of their smartphone apps:
Over the past few years, we’ve seen a steady trend towards people using TweetDeck on their computers and Twitter on their mobile devices. This trend coincides with an increased investment in Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Android –– adding photo filters and other editing capabilities, revamping user profiles and enhancing search. That said, we know this applies to most of our users –– not all of them.
Tweetdeck has spent the better part of the last year enhancing its web-based platform. The fact that they are still hiring developers means that we’ll see more improvements to that platform in the coming months. I’m excited to see what they come up with.
Is your content shareable? How do you know?
Creating content that is shareable is no easy task. There’s no magic trick either. It’s a strategy more than anything. You should consider how your content can best be shared before you create it. Don’t create it then wonder how you will share it.
The most important consideration in any piece of content is this: Does it make an emotional connection?
You have to connect with your intended readership. Pull on their heart strings. That doesn’t mean you should resort to sentimentality. What it does mean is you should let them know you are human, and don’t be afraid to address your topic from a real human need.
This can best be done if you put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What do they want? Answer that question and half the battle is won.
One effective way to appeal to emotions is to use humor. Keep it clean, but don’t be afraid to make your audience laugh. Laughter is great medicine. It also has a strong emotional appeal. People will remember you and they’ll want to spend more time on your website.
Nostalgia is another way to appeal to emotions. “Remember when …” posts are powerful because it puts people in a time and place that they remember fondly. If you can do that, then you can make a connection.
Remember, people make buying decisions emotionally. They also make sharing decisions emotionally. If you appeal to their sense of humanity, then you can get your content spread more widely.
According to Constant Contact, 74% of all social media users are using #hashtags. That’s interesting because at last count, Facebook hadn’t incorporated hashtags – yet.
They’re working on it, though.
So, what is a hashtag and how can you use it for business?
Simply put, a hashtag is a word or phrase accompanied by a preceding # symbol that is often used to track a conversation. For instance, if you want to know what people are saying about hashtags on social media, you can go to Twitter or Google+ and search for #hashtags. You can even subscribe to the threads to follow the conversation more easily.
As a business, you can enter conversations where hashtags already exist or create your own hashtags. For instance, the popular micro-job site Fiverr has the hashtag #Fiverr on Twitter.
This is another way to optimize your social media posts. By creating hashtags around popular topics related to your niche you can pull in people who may not already be following you on the social media sites where you have a presence. Be sure, however, that you use the hashtags appropriately. Don’t use them to spam people with related topics. That’s a sure way to tick people off and get a bad reputation.
Hashtags are powerful social media tools if you use them correctly. They’re easy to implement and could lead to some big boosts in your business.
Today is Twitter’s seventh birthday. ABC News thinks you should celebrate.
In fact, the news website lists seven ways you can celebrate Twitter’s birthday today. I’m guessing they picked seven ways out of a hat to parallel the fact that it’s Twitter’s seventh birthday. As a summary, here are the ways they suggest you should celebrate:
- Relive your best and worst tweets
- Make sure your Twitter account looks good
- Clean up your follow list
- Play around with some fun Twitter sites
- Add a video with your tweet with Vine
- Teach someone how to use Twitter
- Tweet the article
Don’t you love that last one? A little self-congratulatory, aren’t we, ABC News? Maybe a little bit narcissistic?
To honor Twitter’s seventh birthday, I decided to come up with my own list of seven ways you can celebrate Twitter’s birthday today. Are you ready?
Here’s the Reciprocal Consulting list of seven ways to celebrate Twitter’s birthday:
- Create a video for your tweet with Vine (hey, a good idea is a good idea)
- Follow seven new people
- Find seven things to retweet
- Create seven new links to tweet related to your business niche (but make sure they are not self-promotional)
- Link to your own website once during the day
- Tweet your location from your smartphone
- Wish Twitter a happy birthday in a tweet
Twitter can either be fun or a total drag. Make it fun. And use it effectively for your business.
Here’s another reason to use Google+, particularly the Hangouts feature. Google has added a new app called Capture. And what does it do? It allows you to take a photo of your Hangout in progress.
You might wonder, well, why would I want to do that?
If you are using Google+ Hangouts for business and you can schedule frequent webinars or other business meetings, then you can take photos of participants, screenshares, and other events within the Hangout then post them to your blog, Google+ stream, and other social media to promote your brand and events.
That’s just one use I can think of for the Google+ Hangouts Capture app. You can also use it to capture shots of documents you share, or that others share with you, for future reference.
I’ve said all along that Google+ Hangouts will get better. This is one example of Google’s attempt to improve its brand and social media community. Google+ Hangouts is one of the unique and innovative tools of the web. It’s great for business or personal use and there are no limits to what you can do with it. The Capture app takes a good thing and makes it better.
What unique ways can you think of for using Google+ Hangouts and the Capture app?
When it comes to social media, everyone has their ideas on how to do it properly. Most social media experts I know agree on a few things, but on the nitty-gritty details of running a social media campaign there is a lot of variation. Here’s one of the things that I see often suggested and just as often ignored.
So many small business owners take to Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn and jump in with a shout. They start promoting this and that about their business without really checking to see who is listening. A better way to get some mileage out of your social media marketing is to listen first, shout later.
Actually, instead of shouting, just whisper.
Let me clarify.
When I say listen first, what I mean is sign up for the service and make a few friends. You can interact with them, but don’t start any special promotions. Just spend your first few weeks listening. What are people talking about? What’s the tone? How often, and in what ways, do people interact on that particular service? What makes the various social media platforms different? Take note of that.
As you are listening, engage with people on the services. Interact with them. That’s how you make friends and build relationships. But hold off on the self-promotion until you’ve made some solid connections.
When the time is right, slowly add a few self-promotional tweets or messages. Don’t overdo it. Spend more time sharing useful information with your audience. Only promote the really good stuff you have. Spend the rest of your time listening.
How often have you said to yourself, “I wish I could track how many people are pinning the images on my website and how many people are seeing those pins?”
If you’re like most business owners, you’ve wondered when Pinterest would allow you to track that information and use that data as actionable intelligence. Well, wonder no more. Pinterest has announced that it does indeed now have an analytics dashboard for businesses.
To take advantage of Pinterest Analytics, you have to do four things:
- Set up a business account at Pinterest. You don’t have access to Pinterest Analytics as a personal user. You have to use it as a business.
- Switch over to the new look.
- Verify your website.
- Start tracking.
The three actionable data sets that you’ll be able to track through Pinterest Analytics include the number of people pinning your website, how many people are seeing those pins, and how many visitors you get to your website from Pinterest.
That’s all great information, but it’s not perfect. I expect Pinterest Analytics to improve as more businesses begin to use it and Pinterest gets helpful feedback from those businesses. I’d like to see the ability to get this actionable information for more than one website.
So there you have it. Pinterest Analytics, and now your social media marketing is getting better.