Renee Prejean-Motanky

Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

Getting The Most Out of LinkedIn

In Business Strategies, marketing, Social Media, The Internet on May 11, 2011 at 8:26 am
Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

 I’ve heard a bezillion questions about LinkedIn, the most common of which is….”I signed up on LinkedIn, but I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it. Does it really have value?”

Think of it this way:  

  • Linked In has more than 20 million users with an average age of 41-years old and an average income of $110,000.00.  
  • Every Fortune 500 company is represented on Linked In.
  • 500,000 small and mid-sized businesses use Linked In.
  • More than 150 industries are represented.

So the answer to “does it have value” is a resounding, YES!  But it requires more than just “signing up” to have value.

You have to put the effort in up front when you set up your page  and then you have to remain active in a strategic way (that you’ve, of course, given some thought to on the front end.)  Once you’re comfortably established there are many valuable ways to use linked:

  • Prospecting. You can locate and introduce yourself to contacts in the accounts you are targeting. Communicating through Linked In significantly increases the liklihood to get a response over a direct email or phone call. You can learn a lot about your prospect by reading their profile (what they’re currently working on, their employment history, who they recommend and who recommends them, where they went to school, their personal interests, etc.)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Having a COMPLETE profile on Linked In will drastically improve your SEO results. You can include up to three URLs in your profile that are indexed by Google and other search engines, as well as create your own Linked In URL that is searchable. 
  •  Job Search/Recruiting and Reference Checks. If you are searching for a job or looking to hire someone, Linked In can help. Not only can you search for positions and candidates on Linked In, if you’re a recruiter you can verify job experience and contact other contacts within Linked In who were at a company during the same time for references. Or, as the job seeker, you can  pre-screen prospective bosses and co-workers.
  • Thought Leadership. LinkedIn has a Q&A section where members can ask and answer questions about pertinent topics. This is a great place to get some of your most pressing questions answered. OR, if you are trying to establish yourself or your company as a thought leader in a given field, this is the place for you to post brilliant answers to those who’ve posted questions. When doing so, you can include URLs and links to support your answer, or to drive traffic to your Website which will improve its SEO.

Linked In is a powerful business networking tool–one that no sales or marketing person should be without.

The site offers several membership levels, ranging from FREE  to $500 per/year.  It’s best to evaluate what makes the most sense for you and then Just Do It!

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Engaging Fans on Facebook

In Business Strategies, marketing, Social Media, The Internet on May 5, 2011 at 5:16 am
Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

 

Engaging the “social” customer is a topic that is getting a lot of air time these days and  for good reason. The more customers migrate to the social web the more engagement becomes a priority for successful brands and is tied to the overall customer experience.  Moving from a strictly transactional relationship to one of trust and engagement is fundamentally about customer experience and a positive or negative experience overtakes everything else.

Simply setting up a page is not enough.  It requires vigilance and energy with a mix of content.  A key point to be stressed is that social media efforts need to be tailored to what your target audience is interested in and it should be done in a way that stimulates discussion and interaction.  So you have to have a handle on what your audience is interested in.  Coming across like you’re broadcasting (the “old school” marketing monologue) is the kiss of death.

Marketing on Facebook is lots of fun and lots of work.  Here are a few “best practices”:

  • Post frequently  to keep content fresh. Generally the best times to post are mornings, around lunch time and early evenings. Posting too frequently is not advisable. Facebook is an engagement platform, so don’t broadcast.
  • “Like” and “Share” are powerful tools that can be used together to increase engagement. On your company web site and blog you can encourage the use of  “Like” for products and services, and the use of “Share” for asking questions and letting others showcase items that peak their interest.
  • Make your page interactive. Solicit interactions by asking questions.
  • Personal connections are powerful, personalize your posts… use names and other personalization often.
  • Respond to comments and do it in a timely manner. Conversation is engaging.
  • If you have company blogs syndicate the content on your Facebook page by using Notes.
  • Add value to the conversation and bring in outside content that is relevant to show folks that you want to provide value, not just sell them something.
  • People like free stuff, so offer coupons, discounts, specials if you can, but don’t over do it.
  • Mix in the use of other media like video. This helps engage customers.
  • Deal with negativity and misinformation openly and clearly. Don’t overreact or attack.
  • Share the love. promote and recognize other members of your community.
  • Make it easy to connect to your other social and online efforts by posting links to your other accounts like Twitter, YouTube,  your BLOGs, Websites, etc.
  • Include Facebook and Twitter tags on all of your traditional media.
  • Analyze and use the data to improve your Facebook presence.
  • If you make a mistake (and everyone makes mistakes), apologize!

What do you think?

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