LinkedIn Strategy: 5 Steps to Get Started

LinkedIn Strategy: 5 Steps to Get Started

Should you be using LinkedIn? That depends on what you want to achieve. I’ve been helping a couple of clients to develop a LinkedIn strategy, and in the process, have been creating my own. To date, I’ve spent less time on LinkedIn to focus on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. LinkedIn is perfect for professional networking, so I’ll be more active there going forward.

LinkedIn shines in that it’s a network for business connections, rather than a purely social networking site; you won’t find the animated GIFs and cat videos that you find on the other sites.

Let’s look at how you could develop your own LinkedIn strategy.

1. Set Up Your Personal Profile

If you’re new to LinkedIn, here’s a good way to get started if you’re active on Twitter. Larry Kim suggests treating LinkedIn more like Twitter:

“… there was a huge opportunity there to network in more meaningful ways with a far larger group of people than those I’ve already met and connected with.”

Here’s an excellent video on setting up your profile page.

2. Set Up Your Company Page

Once you’ve established your profile, and have made some connections, it’s time to set up your company page. To set up a page, choose Companies from the Interests menu. On the left, you’ll see recent updates to company pages, and on the right, a button to create your own.

LinkedIn has a useful best practices page for company pages.

3. Join Relevant LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn has thousands of groups you can join, and allows you to join up to 50. If you don’t have time for even one group, let alone 50, consider that:

  • You can contact people directly in groups even if you’re not one of their connections; and
  • Groups help you to be found — if they’re open, you can be found on the Web too, so you might get a search rankings boost.

Groups can be members-only, or open. On an open group, you can share your updates to Twitter and Facebook. “Open” truly means open, because discussions can be viewed by anyone on the Web. This can benefit your search engine rankings.

4. Integrate LinkedIn With Your Marketing Activities

On LinkedIn, your options for marketing include:

  • Your profile page;
  • Your company page;
  • A blog (yes, you can blog on LinkedIn);
  • Groups.

Blogging on LinkedIn is simple. Go to your home feed, and click the pencil icon in the Share an Update field. You can add an image, and format your text as you can in any blog editor.

Tip: your LinkedIn blog is ideal for sharing and repurposing material you’ve posted on your own blog, or elsewhere.

Monitor LinkedIn Regularly

You can stay up to date with LinkedIn via the Pulse app, and can like and share content,  with your connections via LinkedIn Connected.

As with all social media networking you get out of it what you put into it.

So, is LinkedIn for you? If you’re a writer, certainly. the more contacts you have the better, and if you’re an author, ditto. LinkedIn offers many groups for self-publishers, so you can stay up to date with the latest news, and find connections for cover design, editing, and marketing your books.

Get started on LinkedIn, and check it out; you can form connections with past clients, and new ones.

Let’s connect on LinkedIn.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Social Media Bravery With Negative Reviews

If you’ve published a book, started a business, or have put yourself out there in any way, social media can horrify you. Negative opinions hurt.

One way to handle negative reviews

Over the past month, a couple of my book marketing students have received negative reviews. While it’s fine for me to say: “DON’T read reviews if you think they’ll upset you — focus on writing your new book,” it’s not exactly helpful.

Then I found this article in SmartCompany about Zumbo, the celebrity pastry chef, who’s using his negative reviews as a marketing campaign:

“Overpriced, overrated and outrageous,” says one. “Definitely overhyped. My local bakery makes better macarons,” says another.

“Talk about overrated. We waited approximately 30 minutes only to be completely disappointed by the unimaginative and unimpressive desserts at Zumbo’s. We won’t return and I advise you not to bother,” says another reviewer.

 

Could you be not merely cavalier about negative reviews, but also embrace them?

It depends on how confident you are. From the article:

Zumbo said negative feedback also makes him work harder.

“It pushes you harder, even though you laugh at some of it you push yourself more,” Zumbo said.

Yes, negative reviews push you to improve, but they can also send you into a depression.

You can’t control what people think and say

You can only control what you do.

Here’s what I suggest to my students, if getting negtive reviews scares them:

  1. Use a pen name;
  2. Always be working on something new;
  3. If a negative review has a point (your formatting needs work, or you need an  editor), fix the problems. On the other hand, if someone says they hate your heroine, there’s not much you can do.
  4. Laugh about it.
  5. Forget about it. Stay busy. Ideally, you’re too busy promoting and working to even think about reviews, good or bad.

Can negative reviews wreck your sales?

That’s my students’ biggest worry. Yes, negative reviews can be bad business if you run a hotel, or a restaurant. With books? No one cares. All books receive a range of reviews. People are smart. They’ll figure out the real value of your reviews by reading them, and whether or not they want to read your book from the sample.

Publish your next book, and the next. Read the reviews, and if you can fix a problem, fix, if not, move on.

Social media can be a challenge, but you work hard. Don’t give unnecessary mind-space to someone else’s throwaway opinion. Keep working.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Quick Google+ Tip: Send Someone a Message

Google+ is a great social network, and it has these benefits — it can help your “ordinary” content to get indexed more quickly on Google itself. Don’t rely wholly on this attribute, but you’ll often find that your content on Google+ happily outranks your content elsewhere.

That said, Google+ can be confusing, because of the way it does things. For example, it’s not immediately obvious how you send someone a personal message, directly to them, that only they will see.

If you’re new to Google+ here’s how to send someone a private message in simple steps.

1. Log in to Google+

Log in, and you’ll see the “share” box.

2. Type your message

Google+: type your message

Type your message as you usually do.

3. Choose your recipient

In the “To” field, you’ll see recipients, such as Public, or Your Circles. Remove these recipients, then add your chosen recipient’s name, with the “+” sign. Type “+”, and some letters, and Google+ will make suggestions.

Choose your recipient

If you like, you can add additional recipients.

Have you completed your message? If so, hit the Share button, and your friend will receive your private message. It will appear in his Notifications, and he can reply.

Depending on his settings, he may also get an email message, and can reply using email.

That’s all there is to it.

 Little pitfalls to be aware of

If you’re sending a message to a client, which should be kept strictly private, be careful to remove everything else from to “To” box. When you’re in a hurry, you can unwittingly send a Public message. So double-check that you’re sending your message ONLY to the person you intend will receive it.

What if you want to send messages to a small group — let’s say, two contacts at Company X? The simplest way is to add both names to the “To” field in your message. But you can also create a private circle, with just these two people in it.

Your choice. If you create a private circle, all members of the circle will be aware of the others, and if you send a message to that circle, everyone in it will see your message.

Are you using Google+? It’s my favorite social media network, because it’s focused on interests. It’s easy to find Communities for almost any interest.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

3 Easy Facebook Marketing Tips

3 Easy Facebook Marketing Tips

Oh, the horror. Facebook is changing the way its newsfeed works. If you’re already feeling the pinch: you’re not getting the results from Facebook you want, you’re thinking about your strategy. Let’s look at some easy Facebook marketing tips.

Before we get into that, keep something in mind: Facebook is a walled garden. If your Facebook page is your business’s “website”, you’re digital sharecropping. To some extent we’re all digital sharecroppers of course, but as long as you’re aware of what’s happening, you can minimize the threat to your business.

1. Post Real Content on Facebook

Hootsuite said:

One of the main reasons why Facebook is changing its algorithm is because more and more businesses are posting sales-driven content, as opposed to resourceful content that will provide value to their audience.

Facebook’s aim is to ensure that advertising on Facebook happens on ads, for which you pay.

If you’re not sure who’s following you on Facebook and why, get to know your audience. Your Facebook audience is different from your audience on Twitter, and your audience on other social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram.

Consider ways to get your audience selling for you. Encourage them to post photos of themselves using your products. If you’re looking for a direct sales option on social media, Pinterest may be a better venue than Facebook.

2. Be Social: Engage With Your Audience on Facebook

Some companies do this brilliantly. They ask their audience open-ended questions, and respond to comments.

If you’re not doing it yet, consider this: you can get to know your customers on Facebook. When someone leaves a valuable comment, you can click through to their profile to see who they are. If you do this consistently, you can gather some valuable intelligence.

3. Play the Pided Piper: Lure Your Audience Onto Your Email List

Facebook promises to be more challenging in 2015. So your aim should be to get people onto an email list. Few companies make the best use of an email list. I have a suspicion of why that is: email campaigns take planning. Yes, email open rates are lower than they used to be. However, your best chance of increasing the value of your Facebook page’s visitors is via email.

As this Kissmetrics article points out:

…email allows you to make repeated contact, and that contact is “invasive”. It’s in their mailbox—their inner electronic sanctum. That’s very different from sending out a tweet or posting something on Facebook, where they may or may not see it, because it’s just part of a much larger timeline featuring hundreds of other people.

Bite the bullet. Take your email list seriously. Indeed, prioritize your email list. I subscribe to lots of email lists, both for my interests, and for research. I’ve noticed that some companies send out mailings several times a day. I may not read all their mailings, but I glance at them, and several times a week I click through to their website. These companies are successful. They’re focused on sales, and they know that their best chance of making sales comes via email.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.