Social Media

Top 5 Ways to Market Your Business With LinkedIn

Posted in Social Media on May 10th, 2010 by Keith – Be the first to comment

By Lewis Howes
Published February 22, 2010

LinkedIn is the most powerful social networking site to help you grow your business.  It makes Twitter, Facebook and YouTube seem like social networking sites for kids.

If you want to hang with the big players—a place where connections are made, leads are generated, and deals go down—then you need to spend more of your time on LinkedIn.

Although other sites have their purpose in the business world and many people utilize multiple social networking sites, LinkedIn is still the number-one place to market your business.  Here are ways to use LinkedIn and get results:

#1: Use LinkedIn Groups & Receive Tons of New Leads Daily

How would you feel if you had a sales funnel that brought in roughly 50 to 100 fresh, highly targeted leads every day? You’d feel pretty confident about putting food on the table next week, right?

Well, creating a LinkedIn group gives you the ability to generate an amazing number of leads from high-end decision makers.

Here are some great groups to closely examine:

Here’s how to maximize your LinkedIn group:

  1. Add keywords in the description of your group to increase your search rankings on LinkedIn’s search section.
  2. Add keywords in the title of the group to be found on Google.
  3. Add your company website or blog to the group to drive traffic to your site.
  4. Add your blog RSS feed to the group so every new article is automatically posted to the home page of every group member.
  5. Send a weekly message that adds value for group members and drives traffic back to your site.
  6. Connect people in the group by making introductions to those who could potentially do business with one another.

All of these points will help you generate more leads for your business.  If your sales funnel is set up correctly, you will have more than enough prospects to grow your business.

Make sure you create a group that fills a need for the audience you’re targeting in your business field. This will ensure that every person who joins the group is a qualified lead.

#2: Ask Questions & Build Your Credibility

I’ve asked a number of questions using LinkedIn Answers because it’s a great way to get the answers you need from some of the top experts in the world.

One question I’ve asked was, “How often are you answering questions for others on LinkedIn?” I received about 20 responses, but one answer stood out from the rest.

I had an individual share that he spent about an hour a week answering questions and he was getting three to five new clients a month bringing in roughly $3,000 to $5,000 extra in monthly revenue.  Not bad for answering a few questions, huh?

Here are some tips for answering questions:

First, set up the “Answers Application” on the bottom right-hand side of your home page for the subjects you know best.

linkedin answers application

This image shows a sampling of the categories you can monitor.

Then, when you see a question pop up that you know the answer to, follow these steps:

  1. Research the person who asked the question, and find a way to tie in a personal response with something from their LinkedIn profile.
  2. Be as helpful and resourceful as possible when answering the question.  Give tips, website links with additional information, or even recommend someone who is the best expert on that topic.
  3. Leave the answer with an open invitation for more communication by asking them to contact you privately if they need any extra help.

All of these tips will help you gain the most out of answering questions, and will help you build powerful relationships that will grow your business.

#3: Create Powerful Events

Hosting an event is a great way to build your business (see events under the ‘More…’ news in the LinkedIn navigation bar).  LinkedIn has an events platform that allows you to target thousands of professionals for free.

I threw close to 20 events around the country last year and I used LinkedIn to promote them, getting approximately 500 paying attendees per event.

Due to the viral nature of LinkedIn, once someone RSVPs to your event, it shows up on the home profile of everyone that person is connected to, spreading the message for you.

Creating an event on LinkedIn is simple.  Answer a few questions and start promoting your event.  Send an invitation to the people who would be interested in the event based on region or niche. You will notice a wealth of opportunities from hosting your own event.

cleveland linkedin event

This image shows what the events page looks like in LinkedIn.

#4: Run an Advanced Search in Your Target Market

It’s so easy to generate leads from LinkedIn.  The advanced search function helps you get in touch with the exact people you’re going after.

Simply click on “advanced” on the top right side of your home page next to the search box.  This will take you to a clean page where you can input anything you need to find the exact lead you are seeking.  You can search by industry, keywords, company and title, to mention a few.

linkedin advanced searchLinkedIn Advanced Search

#5:  Send Personal Messages

Once you find leads, you want to send them personalized messages.  The best way to drop any walls—and give yourself the best chance of making a sale—is to connect with someone on as many personal levels as possible. Look at their profile, find out which companies they’ve worked for in the past, which school they attended, what groups they’re in, listed hobbies and who your mutual connections are.  Then, write a personal message like this one:

Hi Tom,

I noticed that we’re both connected to Mary, Jeff and Bob; we both played basketball back in college; and we’re both in Toastmasters International speaking club.

I would love to connect with you to learn more about your experiences at Xyz Company. I believe there are a number of ways we could help one another.  Would you be free for a brief chat in the near future?

Looking forward to connecting soon and I’ll be sure to tell Mary I contacted you. I’m sure she would love to know I reached out to say ‘hi.’

Thanks,
Lewis

Personal messages seal the deal and give you a greater chance of future opportunities.

Now Go Grow Your Business With LinkedIn!

If you follow these tips, you’ll begin to understand why LinkedIn is the best social networking site for building your business. There are number of ways to attract leads, connect with powerful decision makers and market your business. LinkedIn’s niche-specific filters and search features can help you reach the right people in your field.

Make a point of staying active on LinkedIn. Continue to update your profile and add new contacts. The more you put into it, the more the entire network will work for you.

Are you using LinkedIn? How is it working for you? I look forward to hearing what success stories your LinkedIn network brings you. Share your comments below.

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About the Author, Lewis Howes

Lewis Howes is the co-author of the LinkedIn success book, ‘LinkedWorking: Generating Success on the World’s Largest Professional Networking Website.’ He also founded the Sports Executives Association and SportsNetworker.com events. Other posts by Lewis Howes »

10 Things You Can Do With LinkedIn Motivational Quotes

Posted in Social Media on May 10th, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

By Keith Millar

RECENTLY A MEMBER of professional social media network LinkedIn asked in one of the forums “what is your favorite motivational quote?” Some thousands of posts later the list has taken on Everest proportion.

Here are 10 Ideas you could apply with this exponential list that Ziggy Ziggler and James Rohan would be proud of:

1.   Publish your own book of motivational quotes and give to your clients.

2.   Create a montage of quotes in a poster and offer as a premium, or bonus with purchases.

3.   Run a poll of the Top 10 quotes posted to date.

4.   Use your favorites as the core message in a blog post you author.

5.   Use each of the best quotes as themes for your team meetings–and how lessons from this quote will build  relationships within your team or with your customers

6.   Use as the motivational theme for your actions for the week.

7.   Use as screen savers

8.   Tweet to the blogosphere.

9.   Make into flashcards and use for training sessions

10.  Use as an icebreaker at conferences where guests are given one quote and must find and pair in the room with another given the same quote.

With your imagination I am sure you could add to the list.

We would love to hear what they are?

LinkedIn Profile Critique: Thom Allen

Posted in Social Media on April 19th, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

A local friend, asked me to critique his LinkedIn Profile.  

Let’s get started, from the top of the LinkedIn Profile to the bottom:

  1. GOOD: just the name – not an email, not how many connections you have, not telling me you are a LION, etc.  Clean, not distracting, not noisy.
  2. OK: I like to think of the LinkedIn Professional Headline as an opportunity to share your very condensed elevator pitch… not just tell me your job titles.  Imagine we meet and you say “Hi, I’m Thom, web designer, information architect, entrepreneur.”  That doesn’t do much for me.  Think of this as an opportunity to give me a marketing message.
  3. NICE: it’s a good picture – the key is that it’s a closeup headshot… that’s what LinkedIn (and I) want to see.
  4. NOT BAD: updated in the last 4 days.  This is a great opportunity to tell your LinkedIn contacts what you are up to – I’ve been amazed at how many people actually see your status updates.  Think about keeping this updated at least once a week (or tying it in with your Twitter Tweets).
  5. HMMMM: I got a lunch invitation, which lead to two speaking opps and some book sales, because I had CEO in my profile.  But aside from that I encourage people to put something more value-add as a title.  Don’t make something up just for SEO, but I wonder if you change the title to something your target audience is searching for if they won’t find you more often?
  6. HMMMM: I don’t like the LLC… it does nothing for me.  I have no idea what your company does… where can I find out more?

 

  1. HMMMM: 13 LinkedIn Recommendations is fine – nothing wrong with that.  However, since you have 500+ connections I would hope to see more Recommendations…. just my thoughts, like I said, 13 is OKAY, especially if they are well-rounded and well-crafted.
  2. NOT BAD: 500+ is fine, but the thing that makes me question the quality of any of those is the ratio of Recommendations to Connections.  At least I look at that and say “okay, he knows some stuff on LinkedIn, enough to be connected to a lot of people.”
  3. OUCH!!: Dude, get my DVD.  Or listen to any of my podcasts or webinars.  This is one of the easiest, fastest things to change.  Go to your Profile page and next to the links click the EDIT link, and then in the drop down click OTHER, and then freehand something more descriptive about your company “My iPhone Development Company,” your blog “My Professional/Photography Blog,” and … My Facebook?  How about “Connect with me on Facebook.”
  4. NICE: Cool, and you are very active there.  I LOVE this new field so I can learn more about you, and interact with you better on Twitter.
  5. PERFECT: You got your vanity URL… nice job.

 

  1. WEAK: “I’ve pretty much been developing”… you can tighten that language up.
  2. WEAK: “I’ve done everything from coding to design, to product management.” Clean that up but break it down more.  ”As a professional developer I’ve _________, which helps companies _______.”  ”As a software designer I specialize in ________ and am passionate about _______, which results in ________.”  ”As a product manager for various companies I’ve been able to _________ which resulted in ________.” (see notes below, after the 6th bullet point)
  3. WEAK: “I really want to work with” I would find another way to word that… sounds begging.
  4. WEAK: this sound like begging too, but you haven’t given me any reason (any meat) to really think you are going to be my CTO or VP.  Also, it would be nice to know what size company you think you are a match for – Fortune 100 or small company?  Funded or entrepreneur… etc.
  5. WEAK: See your full profile?  I thought I was on your full profile… where else do you want me to go?  There is very little meat here for me to really know if I want to move forward with you as my CTO or VP.
  6. WEAK: Oh yeah… “as a complete afterthought… ”  … this is like listing “and I know how to use Microsoft Office products…”  … it is a “maybe this is an important skill.” If you are good at it then include it somewhere in the Summary.

When you write your LinkedIn Summary I want you to think about using the entire allotted space, which is 2,000 characters.   Tell me stories (like I show in #2, above).  Think Problem-Action-Results.  Give me MEAT.  This summary is way too short to really tell me much about you.

  1. GOOD: This is a feed from your blog.  I am not sure how many people actually pay attention to this, but realize it’s on your Profile so make sure that what you are writing about is on-brand with the rest of your LinkedIn Profile.
  2. HMMMM: Not sure why this even shows up, I thought it only showed up if you added slides… apparently not. Anyway, I LOVE the idea of YOU adding a visual presentation to your Profile, and this is how to do it.  So make up a 15-20 slide presentation about you and your strengths and put something there… !

 

You are missing an opportunity to put MORE information about your current company, what you guys really do, who you serve, what your role is, etc.  Look at the difference between the first company (1) and the second company (2).  Why are you giving more info about (2) than (1)??

This list of Groups gives me a really good idea of what you like, who you hang with, etc.  It is on-brand and not distracting… not bad

There you go – how’s YOUR Profile?

10 Social Media actions you can take now!

Posted in Social Media on April 19th, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

By Social Small Biz on January 4, 2010

In many ways 2009 was the year that social media came of age. 2010 is therefore likely to be the year when more and more businesses start giving it a try.

 

1. Secure your name – with more and more people and businesses now using a range of social networks, it is important that you protect your brand by ‘taking’ a presence on the popular and emerging portals. Even if you don’t intend to use it straight away, at least it will be there for you in the future

2. Decide your objective – what are you aiming to achieve through social media? Sales? Brand awareness? Make sure you have an idea about this before you start

3. Find your customers/clients - with so many possible social media tactics and portals out there, it is important to do your research. One of the best ways to do this initially is to ask your customers what they currently use. Do they prefer Twitter or is Linkedin their primary social network of choice?

4. Just give it a go – sometimes with social media, the best way to learn is just to get going! You might want to set up a personal account first to try and get the hang of things before launching in from a business standpoint

5. Start small - there is no need to go in full throttle from the start. Begin small scale and work out what is best before increasing your activity

6. Focus on content - content is king online and often the key to success is creating great content that your audience will want to read and share. Whether this is blog posts, videos or tweets, coming up with something engaging is vital

7. Put in place measurement targets – as with all marketing, measurement is important. Put in place some initial targets – these could be qualitative or quantitative – e.g. website hits, sales, followers on Twitter etc.

8. Monitor what is being said - keeping an eye on any mentions of your brand on the web is vital to social media marketing. You can check out our selection of top free monitoring tools

9. Keep an eye on the competition – competitive advantage is important in business. So keep an eye on what your competition is doing online through social media. Is there anything you can replicate? Are they behind the game? Can you secure an early advantage?

10. Share your experiences with others – The social media community is very collaborative, especially in these early days. So why not share your experiences – good and bad – with others. We plan to run some small business social media case studies in 2010 so do get in touch if you have something to share!

What action will you take in the immediate future?

Show Me The Metrics

Posted in Social Media on April 14th, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment


By Niall Cook
Worldwide Director of Marketing Technology, Hill & Knowlton

Many agencies are fudging the issue of how to measure the impact of social media and word of mouth marketing. Yet, as long as the objectives are clear, there is a plethora of metrics that can be used to demonstrate return on investment.

As far back as 2004, observers tolled the death knell of cavalier spending:

“For years, corporate marketers have walked into budget meetings like neighborhood junkies. They couldn’t always justify how well they spent past handouts or what difference it all made. They just wanted more money – for flashy TV ads, for big-ticket events, for, you know, getting out the message and building up the brand. But those heady days of blind budget increases are fast being replaced with a new mantra: measurement and accountability.”[1]

Fast forward to late 2009 and a survey undertaken by Visible Technologies and SiriusDecisions finds that twenty-one per cent of US business-to-business companies admit to not tracking the success of their social media marketing activities. So what went wrong?

Social media may well be experiencing a honeymoon period that currently excludes it from the same levels of measurement and accountability demanded from other marketing activities, but surely that can’t last long. For it to find its way into the marketer’s toolbox, even if it is eventually dismissed as a passing fad, it will still need measuring. Smart marketers should therefore incorporate metrics into their social media strategies today, and not wait to be told to do so tomorrow.

So let’s dispel the mystery that seems to surround social media metrics. Firstly, a metric is nothing more than a measuring system that quantifies a trend, dynamic or characteristic. Metrics are used because they are objective, can be compared across different geographies and disciplines, and provide a common language by which anyone in the business can assess performance. Perhaps it is that last point that makes so many reluctant to set metrics for social media marketing objectives.

Secondly, smart metrics start with SMART objectives: if the objectives are not specific, it is impossible to know what to measure; if they are not achievable or realistic, there is little point in measuring them; and if they are not timed, there are no parameters. It’s also worth remembering that not all objectives are financial; they may be reputational or even educational and, in the case of social media, are probably more likely to be.

Thirdly, when we talk about social media marketing metrics we are concerned primarily with campaign/channel effectiveness, but these sit within the context of broader marketing and business metrics that every marketer should already be tracking. So when people ask about the return on investment of social media marketing it is really the wrong question. They should be asking how social media marketing is contributing towards the return on investment of marketing as whole.

So what metrics are appropriate? In their Measurement and Metrics Guidebook, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) offers an overview of the kinds of social media marketing metrics available, as well as some of the methods that can be used, summarized below.

Metric Applies to Measured by
Advocacy Intent and/or behavior of making recommendations Net Promoter® Score
Brand Advocacy Quotient
Online Promoter Score
Conversation Value Value of positive or negative brand-related conversations Net Promoter®
Economics
Media Mix Models
Conversation Volume/Share Quantities of word of mouth within a period of time Syndicated research
Bespoke research
Informal tools
Cost Deflection Removing hard and soft costs from existing process Cost deflection calculation
Cost Per Conversion The cost of getting one person to take a desired action CPC calculation
Marketing Mix Modeling Relative impact of different contributors to success Bespoke research
Reach How far a marketing message has spread Network reach calculation

Ultimately, some argue, the only metric worthy of any merit is return on investment (ROI).

ROI = (Gain from Investment – Cost of Investment) / Cost of Investment)

However, caution should be exercised when dealing with ROI as the only metric to measure social media marketing. When senior executives ask, ‘what’s the ROI of this social media stuff we’re doing?’ what they’re often asking is how its performance can be measured. In this sense, ROI is used as a collective term for metrics like those above, and the most appropriate one must be chosen on the basis of the original objective of the campaign. If, for example, the objective of a campaign were to achieve an increase in sales by 60% within twelve months then ROI as the metric would make perfect sense. However if the objective were to increase awareness of a brand amongst a particular customer segment, even if the purpose of this increased awareness was to effect sales, an ROI metric would not be able to tell you whether or not you had succeeded.

The days of fudging social media metrics are over. There is a wide variety of well established and, in most cases, easy to apply metrics already available, but they must be selected based on objectives. Which begs the bigger question: do you know what you’re actually trying to achieve?

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[1] Brady, Diane, with David Kiley and Bureau Reports, “Making Marketing Measure Up,” Business Week

Article taken from Ampersand – http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ampersand
URL to article: http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ampersand/show-me-the-metrics/

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