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How to Use LinkedIn to Generate Sales Conversations

How to Use LinkedIn to Generate Sales Conversations written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

 

The video above is a replay of a recent live webinar I hosted with guest Viveka von Rosen. Combined with the text below you should have a pretty good feel for how to use LinkedIn to generate sales conversations.

LinkedIn is the oldest social network. Everyone seems to be on it, but no one seems to know quite how to use it to generate sales conversations.

To help us take advantage of this massive opportunity, today I brought in Viveka von Rosen. She is the co-founder of Vengreso, a leading digital sales transformation company. She is also the author of two books on this very topic, LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day and LinkedIn: 101 Ways to Rock Your Personal Brand.

She talks with us about how to use LinkedIn to generate real sales conversations by sharing meaningful, engaging content. While she speaks specifically to LinkedIn today, the principles behind her advice can be applied across all other social networks.

Why is LinkedIn Important?

Ninety-four percent of B2B buyers view multiple pieces of content from the vendor they ultimately select. This means that if you’re not sharing content on LinkedIn but your competition is, your prospects will likely pass you by. Additionally, 75 percent of B2B buyers conduct research in social channels for products and services.

Meanwhile, the percentage of salespeople actually meeting their quota has dropped over a five-year period—it’s down to 53 percent. However, those salespeople who are using social selling have a 50 percent higher chance of reaching quota.

Building Your Personal Profile

On LinkedIn, you can’t just rely on a company page; you need to have a personal page in order to really connect with others. It’s between personal profiles where the conversations that lead to sales really occur.

This means that you need to create a strong personal page that showcases your brand. If your personal page is unappealing, sloppy, or lacks the appropriate information, you could lose a prospect.

  • Does your profile build credibility? People want to do business with those they know, like, and trust.
  • Does your profile show how you solve problems? LinkedIn is not the same as a resume—people viewing your profile want to know how you can help them. Think about including real-world examples of how you’ve helped past clients address their pain points.
  • Does your profile create conversation? Your profile should have rich content that attracts viewers. Once they’re there, make sure there’s a way for them to reach you. It seems basic, but make sure your phone number or email are on your profile so that people can actually get in touch!

The Importance of Sharing Content

If you go into LinkedIn with tunnel vision towards sales, you’re missing the entire point. Think about LinkedIn as a networking event—would you go up to someone at a conference and immediately ask them to buy your product or service? Of course not! The same principles of offline networking apply on LinkedIn.

The best way to get to know people on LinkedIn is to educate your audience. This positions you immediately as helpful and useful, which in turn builds positive sentiment. Suddenly, you’ve transformed from pushy salesperson to an advocate and thought leader in your industry.

What Does Content for Sales Engagement Look Like?

When thinking about content, it’s important to consider both the content you create yourself and the content you share that comes from other sources. Each type of content has its own set of rules to create the greatest levels of engagement and generate real interest and real conversations.

Whatever type of content you’re sharing, you want to be sure you’re doing it consistently. You should be sharing content at least once a day. One way to help you reach this goal is to establish a sharing community. Contact friends and influencers in your network, asking them to make a pact to share each others’ content. This will give you a steady stream of curated content to share with your network and will help to ensure that the content you’ve created is getting a wider reach.

Status Updates

Status updates on LinkedIn are very similar to updates on other social networks. There are a number of best practices for creating status updates that will get greater reach. Following these tips can help your posts get ten times greater visibility.

  • Include hashtags. Hashtag communities is a newer feature on LinkedIn that allows business owners to follow the topics they find most relevant. If you create content with a particular hashtag attached, it will likely be shared with the individuals who are members of that hashtag community. This gives your content a wider audience beyond your personal connections. The trick here is to not over-hashtag. Aim for three or four hashtag community hashtags and one additional hashtag that is unique to your brand.
  • Make mentions. When you’re talking about someone specific in your post, mention them so that they’re notified. You can mention others who are not directly a part of the update, but who might find it useful. Again, moderation is key; keep mentions to a handful of people who are influential and will find the material relevant.
  • Use all the characters. You’re allowed up to 1,300 characters per post. Be sure to use them! More characters means more keywords, which in turn means greater visibility. Research has also shown that longer posts are more likely to be read.
  • Use emojis. Emojis can be a great way to add some visual interest to your post and set you apart from the sea of text-only updates. Keep your audience in mind, and select emojis that are appropriate for your business and clientele.
  • Add native video, images, and links. Doing so will limit you to 1,200 characters, but the added visual interest can also help you to stand out from the crowd.

Native Video

Native video is uploaded directly from your browser or your phone and imbedded in LinkedIn. It is not the same as sharing a link that sends users to an outside video site, which LinkedIn discourages as it drives traffic away from their platform. Sharing native videos gets you more views and attention on the site.

Because video content can take a bit longer to create, it’s not necessary to share video each and every day. But know that native video garners incredible results, so the more regularly you can create and post video content, the better.

From tips and tricks videos that can help your audience solve relevant problems, to interviews with thought leaders, to the relatively new “about us” videos that you can put on your company page, there are a lot of great ways to create native video.

LinkedIn Native Video Tips

LinkedIn Articles

LinkedIn Articles used to have far greater reach. In recent years, LinkedIn has shifted focus to other forms of content, and so posting articles does not have the same kind of power to create visibility as it once did.

However, if you’re already writing a blog post for another forum and want to put it into LinkedIn as an article, it can help to amplify your reach beyond your company’s website. The posts are searchable, can possibly be distributed on a pulse channel, and the content becomes a permanent extension of your personal brand.

Amplify Your Content With Ads

LinkedIn advertising can help you to raise awareness and get the word out about your brand to a new audience. LinkedIn now allows you to sponsor content on your company page, which can help to build followers and reach for your content.

LinkedIn Ads

There are a number of different types of ads available to companies on LinkedIn.

  • Sponsored content. When you share an article, video, or images on your company page and you want the content to get greater visibility, you use this type of ad.
  • Dynamic ads. This option allow you to personalize your messaging to prospects, with ads that appear on the side bars of users’ LinkedIn pages.
  • Text Ads. Similar to the dynamic ads, but smaller and not personalized. Split testing on text ads is very simple. These are best utilized for top of funnel content.
  • Sponsored InMail. This allows you to send targeted messages to those who are most likely to have an interest in your business.

Dynamic ads, text ads, and sponsored InMail are significantly more expensive, so for small business owners, sponsored content is generally the most viable option. There are several types of sponsored content you can create: you can drive traffic to your website or content, build lead generation forms to collect contact information, or increase video views.

LinkedIn Sponsored Content

From there, LinkedIn will prompt you to select the specific post or video you’d like to promote. Next, you can indicate to LinkedIn who your desired audience is and establish your budget for the campaign.

It’s better for you to be specific in identifying your target audience. Establishing five campaigns to 1,000 people each is more effective than creating one campaign for 5,000 people. Creating audience groups allows you to segment your audience, personalizing the description on the same content you shared with other audience groups. This personalization can attract greater attention from each subset of your audience.

The other LinkedIn ads trick is that if you want more views, you should select pay-per-click, and if you want more clicks, select pay-per-view. This is a way to get the most out of your marketing dollars.

LinkedIn Ads Best Practices

Mine Your Engaged Network

It’s not enough to just create and curate great content; once people begin reacting to what you’re sharing, you need to follow through! Keep an eye on who’s liking and sharing your sponsored content. Hover over their names to learn more about them: Do they seem like they might be a good prospect for you? If so, reach out with a request to connect, thanking them for engaging with your content and opening the door for further discussion.

 

How to Use Social Media for Your Marketing Efforts in 2018

How to Use Social Media for Your Marketing Efforts in 2018 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch About Social Media

I thought I’d drop in and give you my take on where we are with social media. It hasn’t gone away, it hasn’t died out, it has a place, and it’s here to stay, but let’s talk about how to use it in 2018.

It’s kind of funny, but some of the questions that I got when social media was brand new I’m still getting today:

  • How do I find time to do it?
  • What’s the ROI?
  • How do I make it pay?
  • Can I sell?

Those are the things that people asked in 2012 and 2013, but those issues haven’t gone away because people still see social media as this disconnected piece of marketing that you have to go figure out and play in.

The one thing that I said in 2012 and I’ll say it today, is that you need a strategy for social media.

Social media is just another channel, it is another part of marketing. So how does it fit into your overall objectives? You may actually end up realizing that you are wasting your time in a lot of what you’re doing with social media because it doesn’t help get your objective of growing your business or getting more clients or the things that we tend to want to do in marketing. I think a lot of people bought into, “I have to be there, I have to be in all these new places or I’ll be left behind.” In some cases, your clients aren’t there and you can’t physically participate and do well there without watering down your other efforts.

Why businesses use social media

Let me ask you this, what’s the main reason you use social media today? My guess is, some of you are going to say, “I don’t really know,” and I think that’s probably the most honest answer. I can tell you that brand awareness and community engagement and content distribution are the biggest reasons that people use social media today. Sales, lead generation, and customer support are not far behind because those are the things that we want to do the most, but I think you have to realize that there’s a place for social media today and you just have to understand where that is.

On the flip side, I read a statistic recently that 46% of consumers made a purchase as a result of watching a brand video on a social network, so it does have the power to help you meet your objectives. I think the thing that has become painfully clear today that maybe wasn’t a few years ago, is that it’s really not about the tools or the platforms. It’s really all about meeting your objectives.

Meeting business objectives with social media

So how could social media meet your business objectives? Well, first you have to outline what those objectives are. Is it to get a certain number of new clients, is it to launch into a new service area? Is it to launch a brand or a new product campaign?

If you think about those as some of your objectives then you could start saying, “Okay, well how could we tie that then to marketing objectives,” because sometimes it’s very difficult to go from launching a new product to how does Twitter help us do that? If you think about some of the marketing objectives, like:

  • Increasing awareness
  • Driving traffic
  • Re-engaging current customers
  • Generating leads
  • Growing revenue
  • Boosting engagement
  • Building community
  • Social selling

Those are marketing objectives that actually can be accomplished quite nicely through the right use of social media today.

Think for a minute. What would be your top three marketing objectives for 2018? Once you have those, it’s simply a matter of saying, “Okay, how could social media help me do that? Okay, here’s a list of specific tactics that we are going to use in order to have social media do that.”

Let’s say, you want to expand into a new market segment. Well, the strategy for that might be to use social media to discover and build relationships with influencers and so then you could just break that down to a project. Create a list using Twitter lists or using something like BuzzSumo.

Find the influencers, make it a plan to reach out to 10 of them a day about potential partnering. You just break it down into very specific things and just ask yourself again and again, “How can social media help me do that?” You may have noticed by now, I haven’t mentioned a single platform yet. I will actually get to that but I think that this is the element that is missing, that we don’t understand how we’re going to use it and why we’re going to use it so that we can make these proper decisions about when and where. What are some of the tactics or some of the things that you can do in social media based on the stages of the buyer’s journey?

For example, for our stages, I talk about the Marketing Hourglass; know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat, and refer. I’ll even add an eighth step to that. For a lot of companies, social media can be great for hiring as well. Paid social, paid Facebook ads, and paid LinkedIn ads can be a really great way for people to come to know you or know about your content. There’s no question that showing a personal side on a social platform is a way for somebody to kind of identify with or like your brand.

Telling stories in social media is a great way to build trust, which is a step we need. You can make offers for certain types of businesses having a special or a sale or a holiday event as long as you are providing value and engagement in other forms. This is a very legitimate way of using social media. Doing things once somebody buys from you, like creating a Twitter video and just saying, “Hey Bob, we really appreciated working with you.” Or, “Hey Bob, here’s your finished product. We’re shipping out today.” That kind of stuff is a great use of social media to generate repeat business.

Then, there are all kinds of ways that you can use social media. Say, creating a Facebook group of your customers or your champion customers and creating something special or different or unique or custom for them. Then from a hiring standpoint, the greatest thing is most of your employees are on social media so you can use their networks, in some ways, to help recruit and maybe create some sort of formal program. If you think about using social media not as just this megaphone that gives you an audience but for your very specific marketing objectives, business objectives, and then meeting certain intent throughout the customer journey, you can develop a strategy that makes some sense.

How I use social media

I’m going to wrap things up by just talking about a couple things that I’m doing. People, for some reason, like to know what tools I’m using or what platforms I’m using. I will say, for a marketing consulting business like mine today, we are focused primarily on Facebook and Instagram. We certainly participate in LinkedIn, but Facebook and Instagram are the ones that we spend more time because we feel like we can get the best type of engagement. We have limited resources so we want to go deeper in a couple places.

With the days of auto-publishing everything and going out and curating hundreds of posts, and making sure that you’re posting three times a day, Facebook has basically said, “We don’t want that. We don’t think that’s worth very much. If you do that we’re not going to show your content to very many people.”

Really, the approach that we have taken in Facebook is we want to promote on the business page. I have a personal page and a business page and those two both serve a business function for me. The personal page is more on the personal side of John Jantsch, the author, where the business page is meant to be more straight up Duct Tape Marketing stuff. Now, there’s some crossover upon occasion but that’s how we try to split it up. Now, as far as content goes, about 30% of the content is our ongoing content, the content that we’re producing on a daily and weekly basis.

About 25% is curated content from other sources, 25% is straight up business goals so we’ll promote a product, I’ll promote a webinar, I’ll promote something that I’m doing that I want people to take advantage of because they may opt-in. It’s straight up business goals that we’re trying to meet. We will boost or advertise most of the content. Then, we like to look at, say, another 25% is about people, and culture, and personal observation. We round that out with our ongoing content that is on our editorial calendar. A fourth is curated from other sources, a fourth is aimed at meeting our business goals, and about a fourth is just people, culture, goofy stuff. That’s the mix that we like to go with on Facebook right now. Seems to be a good mix to create engagement and to create views, and to create comments. Then, we do put routine or consistent advertising into Facebook as well, primarily as the two categories of our own ongoing content and of the content that supports our business goals.

As far as Instagram goes, Instagram recently introduced a business page type of account. You get some more insights and you get access to the advertising platform. I was on Instagram very, very early on and so I had an account that I just called Duct Tape Marketing. I used it as much as anything as a personal account but it had the Duct Tape brand.

I converted that to a business page and then I created a new page, John Jantsch, that I am sharing my primarily personal rambling of travel pictures and things of that nature and then sticking with promoting things much like we do with our Facebook content on Instagram on the business page. I recommend that you look into creating an Instagram business page if that is a platform for you.

Helpful tools to consider

As far as tools go, I am and have been for many, many years a big fan of Buffer. I think Hootsuite is still a great tool for publishing your content as well. I find myself actually publishing directly on the platforms now. It’s not maybe as efficient but I think you get the most bang for your buck.

Facebook seems to like you to do that, especially if it’s videos or native videos or native photos that you’ve uploaded from your computer. Those seem to get shown more than anything else. Facebook and Twitter actually have some pretty good insights. Now when you go over to the business side on Instagram you’ll actually get some analytics there. Really, from an engagement standpoint, either Buffer or Hootsuite are really great tools to monitor and respond and things of that nature.

That’s kind of my take on where we are in social media. It’s all still about meeting objectives, both business and marketing objectives, and looking at the platforms that really allow you to do that. Again, I think half of these tools that are out there will do most of what you want and so it’s a matter of making a determination about the business objectives and marketing objectives you’re trying to meet. Just set up campaigns, set up tactics that are based on your strategy and you will ultimately win.

Answer this one question if you’re trying to make a decision about social media today: is the use of this tool or this practice or this tactic going to benefit my customers? I think if you can say “yes” to that, then you will always find a return on investment.

How to Use Social Media in 2018

How to Use Social Media in 2018 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch About Social Media

I thought I’d drop in and give you my take on where we are with social media. It hasn’t gone away, it hasn’t died out, it has a place, and it’s here to stay, but let’s talk about how to use it in 2018.

It’s kind of funny, but some of the questions that I got when social media was brand new I’m still getting today:

  • How do I find time to do it?
  • What’s the ROI?
  • How do I make it pay?
  • Can I sell?

Those are the things that people asked in 2012 and 2013, but those issues haven’t gone away because people still see social media as this disconnected piece of marketing that you have to go figure out and play in.

The one thing that I said in 2012 and I’ll say it today, is that you need a strategy for social media.

Social media is just another channel, it is another part of marketing. So how does it fit into your overall objectives? You may actually end up realizing that you are wasting your time in a lot of what you’re doing with social media because it doesn’t help get your objective of growing your business or getting more clients or the things that we tend to want to do in marketing. I think a lot of people bought into, “I have to be there, I have to be in all these new places or I’ll be left behind.” In some cases, your clients aren’t there and you can’t physically participate and do well there without watering down your other efforts.

Why businesses use social media today

Let me ask you this, what’s the main reason you use social media today? My guess is, some of you are going to say, “I don’t really know,” and I think that’s probably the most honest answer. I can tell you that brand awareness and community engagement and content distribution are the biggest reasons that people use social media today. Sales, lead generation, and customer support are not far behind because those are the things that we want to do the most, but I think you have to realize that there’s a place for social media today and you just have to understand where that is.

On the flip side, I read a statistic recently that 46% of consumers made a purchase as a result of watching a brand video on a social network, so it does have the power to help you meet your objectives. I think the thing that has become painfully clear today that maybe wasn’t a few years ago, is that it’s really not about the tools or the platforms. It’s really all about meeting your objectives.

How to meet business objectives with social media

So how could social media meet your business objectives? Well, first you have to outline what those objectives are. Is it to get a certain number of new clients, is it to launch into a new service area? Is it to launch a brand or a new product campaign?

If you think about those as some of your objectives then you could start saying, “Okay, well how could we tie that then to marketing objectives,” because sometimes it’s very difficult to go from launching a new product to how does Twitter help us do that? If you think about some of the marketing objectives, like:

  • Increasing awareness
  • Driving traffic
  • Re-engaging current customers
  • Generating leads
  • Growing revenue
  • Boosting engagement
  • Building community
  • Social selling

Those are marketing objectives that actually can be accomplished quite nicely through the right use of social media today.

Think for a minute. What would be your top three marketing objectives for 2018? Once you have those, it’s simply a matter of saying, “Okay, how could social media help me do that? Okay, here’s a list of specific tactics that we are going to use in order to have social media do that.”

Let’s say, you want to expand into a new market segment. Well, the strategy for that might be to use social media to discover and build relationships with influencers and so then you could just break that down to a project. Create a list using Twitter lists or using something like BuzzSumo.

Find the influencers, make it a plan to reach out to 10 of them a day about potential partnering. You just break it down into very specific things and just ask yourself again and again, “How can social media help me do that?” You may have noticed by now, I haven’t mentioned a single platform yet. I will actually get to that but I think that this is the element that is missing, that we don’t understand how we’re going to use it and why we’re going to use it so that we can make these proper decisions about when and where. What are some of the tactics or some of the things that you can do in social media based on the stages of the buyer’s journey?

For example, for our stages, I talk about the Marketing Hourglass; know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat, and refer. I’ll even add an eighth step to that. For a lot of companies, social media can be great for hiring as well. Paid social, paid Facebook ads, and paid LinkedIn ads can be a really great way for people to come to know you or know about your content. There’s no question that showing a personal side on a social platform is a way for somebody to kind of identify with or like your brand.

Telling stories in social media is a great way to build trust, which is a step we need. You can make offers for certain types of businesses having a special or a sale or a holiday event as long as you are providing value and engagement in other forms. This is a very legitimate way of using social media. Doing things once somebody buys from you, like creating a Twitter video and just saying, “Hey Bob, we really appreciated working with you.” Or, “Hey Bob, here’s your finished product. We’re shipping out today.” That kind of stuff is a great use of social media to generate repeat business.

Then, there are all kinds of ways that you can use social media. Say, creating a Facebook group of your customers or your champion customers and creating something special or different or unique or custom for them. Then from a hiring standpoint, the greatest thing is most of your employees are on social media so you can use their networks, in some ways, to help recruit and maybe create some sort of formal program. If you think about using social media not as just this megaphone that gives you an audience but for your very specific marketing objectives, business objectives, and then meeting certain intent throughout the customer journey, you can develop a strategy that makes some sense.

How I approach social for my business and myself

I’m going to wrap things up by just talking about a couple things that I’m doing. People, for some reason, like to know what tools I’m using or what platforms I’m using. I will say, for a marketing consulting business like mine today, we are focused primarily on Facebook and Instagram. We certainly participate in LinkedIn, but Facebook and Instagram are the ones that we spend more time because we feel like we can get the best type of engagement. We have limited resources so we want to go deeper in a couple places.

With the days of auto-publishing everything and going out and curating hundreds of posts, and making sure that you’re posting three times a day, Facebook has basically said, “We don’t want that. We don’t think that’s worth very much. If you do that we’re not going to show your content to very many people.”

Really, the approach that we have taken in Facebook is we want to promote on the business page. I have a personal page and a business page and those two both serve a business function for me. The personal page is more on the personal side of John Jantsch, the author, where the business page is meant to be more straight up Duct Tape Marketing stuff. Now, there’s some crossover upon occasion but that’s how we try to split it up. Now, as far as content goes, about 30% of the content is our ongoing content, the content that we’re producing on a daily and weekly basis.

About 25% is curated content from other sources, 25% is straight up business goals so we’ll promote a product, I’ll promote a webinar, I’ll promote something that I’m doing that I want people to take advantage of because they may opt-in. It’s straight up business goals that we’re trying to meet. We will boost or advertise most of the content. Then, we like to look at, say, another 25% is about people, and culture, and personal observation. We round that out with our ongoing content that is on our editorial calendar. A fourth is curated from other sources, a fourth is aimed at meeting our business goals, and about a fourth is just people, culture, goofy stuff. That’s the mix that we like to go with on Facebook right now. Seems to be a good mix to create engagement and to create views, and to create comments. Then, we do put routine or consistent advertising into Facebook as well, primarily as the two categories of our own ongoing content and of the content that supports our business goals.

As far as Instagram goes, Instagram recently introduced a business page type of account. You get some more insights and you get access to the advertising platform. I was on Instagram very, very early on and so I had an account that I just called Duct Tape Marketing. I used it as much as anything as a personal account but it had the Duct Tape brand.

I converted that to a business page and then I created a new page, John Jantsch, that I am sharing my primarily personal rambling of travel pictures and things of that nature and then sticking with promoting things much like we do with our Facebook content on Instagram on the business page. I recommend that you look into creating an Instagram business page if that is a platform for you.

Tool to consider

As far as tools go, I am and have been for many, many years a big fan of Buffer. I think Hootsuite is still a great tool for publishing your content as well. I find myself actually publishing directly on the platforms now. It’s not maybe as efficient but I think you get the most bang for your buck.

Facebook seems to like you to do that, especially if it’s videos or native videos or native photos that you’ve uploaded from your computer. Those seem to get shown more than anything else.. Facebook and Twitter actually have some pretty good insights. Now when you go over to the business side on Instagram you’ll actually get some analytics there. Really, from an engagement standpoint either Buffer or Hootsuite are really great tools to monitor and respond and things of that nature.

That’s kind of my take on where we are in social media. It’s all still about meeting objectives, both business and marketing objectives, and looking at the platforms that really allow you to do that. Again, I think half of these tools that are out there will do most of what you want and so it’s a matter of making a determination about the business objectives and marketing objectives you’re trying to meet. Just set up campaigns, set up tactics that are based on your strategy and you will ultimately win.

Answer this one question really if you’re trying to make a decision about social media today is: is the use of this tool or this practice or this tactic going to benefit my customers? I think if you can say “yes” to that, then you will always find a return on investment.

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How LinkedIn Can Help with Your Online Branding

How LinkedIn Can Help with Your Online Branding written by Guest Post read more at Duct Tape Marketing

 

Every business wants to be seen. In this day and age, the best way to get noticed is online, especially through social media. Your online branding is important because it dictates who you are and what you do, and it’s the first thing any potential client will notice.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and LinkedIn are the main social media platforms, but the latter – LinkedIn – is one of the best forms of social media businesses can use to, not only to network with like-minded business people but also to help with their online branding as well.

There are a variety of ways social media can benefit businesses, but why LinkedIn? This is because it is considered business social media, which allows businesses to interact professionally online. And to stand out, you must craft a profile that stands out.

LinkedIn is based on business connections. All of the connections you have are considered 1st level connections. Anyone connected to them is 2nd level and then connected to them are 3rd level connections. This shows how wide-ranging this social media platform is, and the opportunities are endless.

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is the number one business social media platform, with over 500 million members worldwide. It is considered a professional tool used by many companies in a variety of sectors. It essentially exists to look like an online CV or resumé, which allows professionals to seek out new opportunities.

But it’s also beneficial to companies, not just as a recruitment tool, but to exist solely as a brand on the social media platform. A profile consists of several scripts (summary, experience, education, etc.) and the written content in each one can reflect the business as well as the individual.

As a member on LinkedIn, you can make connections with your connections (i.e., 1st, 2nd, 3rd level connections), and search for people who work in a sector you may be interested in. Mainly used for professional networking, LinkedIn allows professionals from any sector to find potential employees or potential business clients.

Who Uses LinkedIn?

It’s used by everyone and anyone in business who wants to be seen online and make strong business connections. With over 500 million people signed up, as of 2017, and 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn (statistic: LinkedIn, 2017), it has become the platform for professional business networking.

I’ve personally leveraged LinkedIn as a professional writer with the expert business growth consultant, Dr. Mark D. Yates. I’ve written content for businesses from multiple sectors. These could be digital signage, stud welding, lifts, scuba diving equipment, or polyurethane flooring. Because there’s such a variety of businesses to write for, there’s a variety of potential for anyone looking to promote, sell, or look for new clients.

The top 5 industries on LinkedIn are Finance, Medical, Educational, High-Tech, and Manufacturing, and 48% of all LinkedIn members use it at least once a day. (Statistic: SlideShare, 2016). Therefore, plenty of business owners, managing directors, CEOs, etc., can be found networking on this business social media platform, so your online branding is important.

Your Online Branding

Your online branding starts with visibility. How you look, or how you appear to others online. Using LinkedIn for your online branding is essential to be seen by professionals, or by people whom you want to see you.

When using social media for online branding, you should be doing this for the promotion of your company’s brand and yourself as a brand. It’s all about identity – Who are you? What do you do? and Why should I like you?

In doing this, it’s all about optimising your LinkedIn profile with professionally written, SEO-rich content, that reflects the individual as well as referencing the company at the same time. Having that personal touch instigates the emotional side of the brand, as it moves away from a faceless, corporate entity.

Social media marketing has made it essential now for businesses to have a personal touch to their visibility. Because the individual LinkedIn profile relates to an individual employee, it puts a friendly face on the company and makes it much more personal, too.

The things you can do on LinkedIn for your online branding are:

  • Optimise your profile
  • Make connections
  • Post consistent, quality content

LinkedIn is seen as the social media platform where businesses and professionals can network freely without having to travel anywhere. LinkedIn can help with your online branding primarily through visibility and recognition in a place where your reputation is at home with other like-minded businesspeople.

The Benefits

There are plenty of benefits to having LinkedIn help with your online branding. It’s a powerful sales, marketing, and branding asset that can result in exponential business growth and profit. LinkedIn can help with your online branding because it’s an effective tool for brand awareness and brand promotion.

The more visibility you and your company have on LinkedIn, the more people will know who you are and the positive impact you can have on their working lives. More connections mean more money. This is because the more businesspeople you network with online, the more likely you are to generate leads.

Lead generation can be turned around into potential clients and business, and it’s from this where businesses progress, move forward and achieve the success they set out to achieve. Businesses can gain quality leads simply through networking with other businesses online.

Businesses can network on LinkedIn’s Homepage, or ‘news feed’, or they can network to specific companies/sectors through LinkedIn groups. You can use LinkedIn to generate leads in three simple steps:

  • Become a group member
  • Create a piece of relevant content
  • Share the content in the group

So, get a professional-looking, well-written profile with a quality photo; network with your connections and on groups; share content consistently; and interact with people to show, not just what you sell, but who you are as a brand.


About the Author

Michael HollowayMichael Holloway is the Lead Writer at FBI Consultancy Ltd. He is a professional writer and author. His website is www.mjdholloway.com and his company website is www.fbiconsultancy.com. If you need to retain an interim director, business troubleshooter, business growth consultant, or LinkedIn consultancy, contact us on (+44) 0151 647 1716

 

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A Guide to Facebook Advertising

A Guide to Facebook Advertising written by Guest Post read more at Duct Tape Marketing

As users, we encounter Facebook advertising on a daily basis without much consideration of the thought, research, and effort that goes into the content in our feeds. When the tables are turned, and it comes time for business owners to build their own Facebook campaign, the world of social media advertising can suddenly become a baffling process.

There are overwhelming benefits to pushing through and learning the basics to create your own social media strategies. A study conducted in 2016 by eMarketer found that more than 95% of social media marketers considered Facebook to be the most effective social media marketing platform.

This huge support is largely due to the fact that successful Facebook advertising allows businesses to target their campaigns effectively; it doesn’t discriminate smaller businesses, as a few hundred dollars can generate significant conversions if used effectively; it’s a much more intuitive system to learn compared to search platforms such as Google AdWords; and individual advertisements are incredibly flexible and customisable, with 11 different forms currently available.

We’re going to assume that you’ve set up your Facebook Ads Manager account, and have selected ‘Create ad’ from the top left drop-down menu. Navigating to this stage is very straightforward, but there are plenty of step-by-step resources available.

1. Your Campaign Objective

The first question you will be asked is what you want your campaign to achieve. The options given will cater to just about any stage of your business journey, whether you’re just starting out or want to expand internationally. Most businesses select the ‘Conversions’ option, however, lead generation, boosting brand or local awareness, and increased engagement are also popular choices.

This choice is an important one and will help Facebook to auto-optimise your ad settings. Don’t forget to give your campaign a date-inclusive name in the next step, which will help you to navigate between campaigns as your strategy becomes more complex.

2. Your Targeted Audience

The aim should be to get your target audience sitting between the 500,000–1,000,000 mark. Too high, and you will waste a fortune trying to sort the wheat from the chaff. Too low, and you won’t reach your optimum impact potential.

Approach this section armed with some audience data and customise everything, from age and gender through to physical location, likes, and job titles. For first-timers, letting Facebook auto-select your ad placement is a safe choice.

3. Your Ad Type and Creative

The creative of your Facebook ads drive lead generation with copy, imagery and/or video. While images and headlines will be best at stopping people mid-scroll, it is equally as essential to capitalise on this pause with a captivating description and strong call to action. Your initial object will determine which type of ad you choose, in turn determining the optimum image specs, video length, and text breakdown.

  • For increasing website traffic or leads, choose between link click ads, video ads or boosted page posts.
  • For increasing product or sales leads, choose between carousel ads, dynamic product ads, Facebook lead ads, canvas ads and collection ads.
  • For increasing Facebook page likes or engagement, choose between page like ads and page photo, video or text ads.
  • For increasing application installations, choose between mobile, desktop and Instagram mobile app ads.
  • For increasing event attendance or in-store visits, choose between event ads, offer claims and local awareness ads.

In general, I recommend keeping each ad aligned with a single message, insisting that less is more when it comes to copy, while images should be bright and contain your single-minded value proposition to reinforce your text.

4. Your Campaign Budget

Facebook offers two options: daily budget limit and lifetime budget. The former allows you to nominate an average spend per day, for example, $10, which Facebook will spend in the best way possible. Despite the name, it is more of an average than a daily limit, as some days will be identified as better performing, so Facebook may decide to spend up to $12.50, while other days will be quiet and it will only spend $7.50.

Most experts suggest a moderate daily budget, set to an unlimited lifetime—which you can pause or cancel at any time—as a good introduction to Facebook advertising campaign performance. Leave the bidding to Facebook at this stage while you’re still learning what clicks are worth for your campaign.

5. Your Campaign Progress

Back in Facebook Ads Manager, your campaigns will be laid out before you so you can keep an eye on how everything is tracking. Play around with sorting via audience or objective, as well as focusing on individual ad sets. Explore your advertising metrics, such as cost per click (CPC), impressions and conversions, and as you become more familiar with your campaigns, you can update which metrics you can see.


Author Bio

Mike Bird is a co-founder of digital marketing agency, Social Garden, which specialises in data-driven lead generation & marketing automation to grow companies’ revenue in the finance, property and education verticals in Australia.

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