Tag : Social Media

Using Google My Business to Generate Leads

Have you googled your business lately? Every small business can make a killer digital display, like the one below, that shows up on Google. By using Google My Business

The Ultimate Guide to Google My Business

Google My Business is a free marketing tool that connects customers with businesses. By spending a few hours creating an account, you can drastically increase your chances of being found online and collecting revenue. Use this free and quick scan to get a report on all your online directory listings.

The 10 advantages of Google My Business.

Google says 50 percent of mobile consumers that search for a local business visit it within a day of the search, and 18 percent of consumers make a purchase. Sound like something your business should be a part of? Absolutely.

Google My Business will do more than create the display above; it has a lot to offer.

It’s free. Yes, FREE.
It serves as the ultimate business directory with pertinent business information accessible to customers instantly.
All of the information you list is clickable. Customers can click your phone number to call on their smartphones, or tap your website address to see your site.
The information looks great on any device, including smartphones.
Both local and online businesses can use it.
You can post pictures and videos to your page.
You can access metrics to see how many people are looking for and finding your site.
It drives traffic to your website.
Customers can read and add reviews.
You have one centralized dashboard with access to Google+, Insights, Reviews, Hangouts and Google Analytics.
Set up:

1. Get started by signing up with Google My Business.

2. If your business has a physical address, you’ll enter it. If your business is online, you’ll create a brand page

3. If you don’t have a Google+ account, you’ll have to set up one up at the same time.

Verify your business by postcard or phone. None of the information you enter will appear online until you verify your business.

5. Enter business information.

Tips to enter attractive information on your page.

From the main dashboard, you’ll see this info bar at the top.

From this location, you’ll enter or edit the following:

-Identify photos. These photos include your profile picture and logo.
-Interior photos. Shots inside your store or business.
-Exterior photos. Shots of your building.
-Photos at work. Pictures that represent what you do.
-Team photos. Pictures of you and your employees.
-Additional photos. Any pictures that don’t fit into the categories above can go here.
-Google suggests adding three photos to each category. Some of the pictures, like your profile picture, have suggested dimensions too. It’s best to start with a picture that’s landscape (horizontal) and crop or enhance it with a tool like PicMonkey.

Make sure your pictures are clear and crisp. It probably goes without saying, but don’t use any picture that you wouldn’t put on a paid advertisement.

These statistics provide inside information that allows you to make decisions and customize content to your niche audience.

Aside from your business information, you’ll see several other features on your dashboard. Here’s a look at the additional components on your dashboard, along with things you need to know about each section:.

It provides a more in-depth look at your website traffic, whereas Insights is just looking at the traffic garnered on your Google My Business account.

Pick a business category, or several.
There are hundreds of business categories to choose from. You want to describe what your business is, not what it does. You would enter “Pet Supply Store” not “Pet food and toys.”.

Google Analytics.
Google Analytics provides the master key to all things analytics. This tracking tool, which is also free, provides statistics on your website traffic and audience. You can integrate Google Analytics with VerticalResponse to see how your emails impact our site traffic too.

Every small business can make a killer digital display, like the one below, that shows up on Google. Google My Business is a free marketing tool that connects customers with businesses. Google makes business suggestions to users based on the information you provide. If your business isn’t on Google+, you’ll create an account at the same time you set up your business page. Google My Business can connect your business with customers on the other end of those searches.

Insights.
How many people have seen your digital display? Are people interacting with your posts on Google+? You have access to a wealth of analytics under the “Insights” tab.

Reviews.
Google My Business hosts a review page so your customers can leave public feedback. You can monitor and respond to reviews through your dashboard.

Encourage customers to leave reviews. Remind them at the checkout, or send an email asking them to leave feedback with a link to your Google My Business page.
If you get bad feedback, don’t panic. If it violates the review policies, you can flag it and Google will review it and take action.
Respond to positive reviews too. Thank customers for taking time to share their comments.
Start a hangout.
Need to host a quick conference call? You can start a Google+ Hangout, which is a free video chat service, right from your dashboard. It allows you to talk with up to 10 people and share screens.

Conclusion: Four out of five consumers conduct local searches on search engines to try and find the right business to meet their needs. Google My Business can connect your business with customers on the other end of those searches. With just a small investment of time, you can create a free way to attract customers.

You can enter more than one category too. If your business specializes in more than one category, add it.

You can customize the information you see. Just pick the stats that you want to compare and they will show up on a chart. It’s an easy way to compare stats.

Business summary
Phone number
Website
Business category
Hours of operation
Address (if you have a physical store).
Pictures or a virtual tour.
Some of the information that you enter is self-explanatory. Your phone number is your phone number. We have a few tips to maximize your business introduction, category, and pictures.

There are three main sections: visibility, engagement, and audience.

Here are a few tips when it comes to reviews:.

Uploading pictures.
There are more photos to upload than just your profile and cover art here. Pictures are broken into six categories:.

You can post to a Google+ account right from your dashboard. You can type in an update, or share photos, links or videos. You can even create an event with a simple click.

Google+.
If your business isn’t on Google+, you’ll create an account at the same time you set up your business page. While many businesses flock to Facebook and Twitter, Google+ is the up-and-comer in the social world. Searchmetics predicts Google+ will overtake Facebook in social sharing by 2016.

Business introduction.
Provide a clear, concise summary of your business. A sentence or two will work. Use descriptive words that paint a picture for your customers.

Why is this so important? Google makes business suggestions to users based on the information you provide. If you enter the wrong category, it’s not likely your business will show up in the recommendation area.

Visibility shows you the number of views that your profile, photos, and posts get. You have access to graphs and can change the data to show the last 7, 30 or 90 days.
Engagement shows you how your audience is interacting with your posts. You’ll see stats on +1 clicks, shares, and comments. You can set the graphs to show the last 7, 30 or 90 days.
Audience shows you a breakdown of the people following you. If you notice customers are interacting with your Google+ posts mostly on Friday, save your best content for that day. If your Insights show a strong presence in anther country, consider sharing more links that pertain to those customers.

Facebook Ad Mistake

The #1 Mistake With Your Facebook Ads

Facebook ad targeting is powerful. That, in conjunction with these simple yet effective notes from Mari Smith, will likely lead to a significant boost in your Facebook ad performance.

With that being the case, why do Facebook ads fail? That targeting potential, those intricate audience reach possibilities and insights, they’re largely not being used by brands advertising on Facebook.

Mobile app advertising agency, Consumer Acquisition, tested 100,000 Facebook ads and recommend that you don’t rely on stock imagery. Use images of regular, every day happy women or children, depending on your industry and offer,” Smith said.

Of course, this is just my research – this is not a wide-scale study. I sought to reiterate my findings by asking a Facebook marketing expert for her thoughts on the matter. That expert, Mari Smith, provided the below response.

“Ads that look and feel salesey and hypey do not perform as well as ads that are friendly, relationship oriented, and more informal. On Facebook’s Q4 2014 earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg stated that the company’s goal is to reach a point where the ads are “as relevant and timely as the content your friends share with you.”.

For every Facebook ad you’re served, each time a sponsored post shows up in your News Feed, there’s a background logic at work which determines why you’ve see it. Sometimes the explanation will be entirely logical – I’m a fan of basketball so I’ll sometimes get ‘people who are interested in basketball’ as an ad targeting option, which makes sense. Other times – in fact, in the vast majority of cases I investigated (70%), the ad targeting I’m seeing is like the above.

Not all of them were targeted like this. The ads that reached me that were of most relevance, based on my interests and activities, either came from social media companies (who you ‘d expect would have a fair idea of how to use advanced targeting):

Good Facebook Ad Audience
Facebook ads can be targeted down to most minute of interests and behaviors, the most intricate audience matches can be used to reach highly relevant audiences with your paid campaigns. Lookalike audiences (which Hootsuite have used in the above example) are one way to go – they examine your existing customer e-mail lists and find similar people, based on their Facebook details – that’s one way to ensure you’re reaching more relevant audiences. On top of that, profiling your own Facebook community, researching the communities of your competitors, examining the commonalities and correlations that exist between your customers – this can lead to more targeted, and more effective, Facebook ads because you’re reaching people based on what they’re interested in, not on vague outlines of who they are.

Because Facebook is arguably the most advanced advertising platform ever created. Over time, Facebook’s been able to construct intricate profiles of who we are, what we like, what we do – pretty much everything about us can be gleaned from our Facebook activities. With that level of possible insight into each one of its 1.55 billion users worldwide, surely Facebook ads, when used well, can reach the right audiences.

If this advertiser were to see poor results from Facebook ads, I wouldn’t be surprised – and as noted, the vast majority of ads I see use this type of vague audience targeting, targeting. Maybe, though that’s also fairly presumptuous – all I can say, for sure, is that the majority the ads being served to me and the various other profiles I had access to over the last few months are not using any advanced targeting – they’re all broad, vague, and no doubt significantly less effective as a result.

” Another reason for Facebook ad failure is the ad and landing page are incongruent. If the web page doesn’t connect with the ad in terms of visuals, ad copy, offer and simplicity, the user will quickly click off.”.

For reference, ‘People aged 25 to 44 in Australia’ is a total potential audience of 6.4 million – so it’s a very broad range, something Facebook does try to warn you about in the ad process.
“Facebook ads don’t work”. “Facebook’s stealing our reach and forcing us to pay for ads”, “Facebook paid ads don’t deliver great results”. And while I don’t doubt that some are seeing poor ad results through Facebook, in general, my internal response to this is criticism is “you’re probably not doing it right”.

That’s three paragraphs of absolutely golden advice from one of the best in the business – if you want to improve the results of your Facebook ad efforts, this serves as a perfect blueprint from which to work from.

” I agree with you on the poor ad targeting. I ‘d like to add further thoughts about visuals and landing pages,” Smith said.

These ads tended to be more in tune with my interests and actions – some of those through the Ad Exchange partners, in particular, were highly targeted. The takeaway from this is brands need to learn about Facebook ad targeting.

New Social Media Trends Image

5 NEW Social Media Features That You Need To Know About

5 NEW Social Media Features That You Need To Know About | By: Alex Kubicek
As part of our ongoing effort to provide you with the best coverage of the latest social media news and insights, we feel it’s important to cover all of these updates and tests – but sometimes they’re not worthy of a their own individual post.

There’s always something new in the social media space. Every day there’s a new announcement, a new feature – some of them are major and some less significant. Then again, the impact of each change is relative– what may be small to the general user may be huge to someone else.

To keep you up to date on these smaller changes and features, here’s a rundown of five upcoming or “in test mode” features that are currently being trialed by some of the major platforms – starting with Facebook, which is trying out a couple of new options.

1. Job listings on Pages

Facebook is testing out a new job listing option for some Pages. As highlighted by Matt Navarra, some Pages will now see a new ‘Jobs’ tab in the ‘Manage Tab’ section of your Page.

Such an option has been available previously through integration with third party providers, but this appears to be the first time Facebook has provided a native tool for this purpose.Facebook Job Posting

The shift to more data-driven recruitment insights is likely to be very lucrative for LinkedIn– if Facebook could work out a way to get into the same area, it ‘d be another option for the platform to consider, keeping more people on platform more often.

A jobs tab would be another indication that Facebook’s looking to intrude on LinkedIn’s territory. As we reported back in April, Facebook’s Data Science team have been conducting research on career-related insights that can be gleaned via Facebook’s interest graph, and with the introduction of Facebook’s professional platform ‘Workplace’, such a move makes even more sense. Increasingly, human resources decisions are going to be fuelled by machine learning systems, and Facebook could logically contend with LinkedIn on this front if they determined that their algorithms could find relevant signals within their vast amounts of user data.

2. Instagram Live

Reports from Russia have indicated that Instagram is testing out a new live-streaming option built into Instagram Stories.

Really, this is not overly surprising– back in August, as part of the launch of Instagram Stories, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom noted that they’ve been considering their own version of Live on the back of Facebook’s bigger streaming push.Instagram Live Image

” What’s important to us is to figure out how it fits into Instagram because you don’t just want to, like, adopt a technology and say ‘great, now we have live’. We have to figure out it exactly how works inside of Instagram and how it’ll be different to all the other offerings.”

With Stories, it seems they may have worked out where that functionality might fit. Reports at this stage are fairly thin so we’ll have to wait and see how it develops.

3. Facebook testing removal of Page Like counts

It seems Facebook might just agree with me– as part of a new test, Facebook is removing the Page Like count entirely.

Back in July, I wrote a post which questioned whether Facebook Page Likes even matter anymore. The summary of my query is this: with Facebook’s algorithm reducing the organic reach of Pages, and the ability for users to unfollow without un-Liking a Page (and for Pages to buy Likes), the Page Like count is no longer an indicative measure of engagement. Really, a count of actual Page followers or engagement per post would be of more value.

Facebook Removal of Likes Count

A wider roll-out of this option would certainly spark interest. As noted, Page Likes don’t hold as much meaning as they used to, but they still provide an important ‘social proof’ function– you’re more likely to trust a Page with 10,000 Likes than one with 10.

It’s not 100% clear why Facebook’s conducting this trial, or how widespread it is, but they have, reportedly, confirmed that such a test is underway.

Still, Page Likes can, of course, be bought, so it’s possible that they really aren’t adding any significant value. That said, Facebook would probably need a replacement metric to help users determine a business’ legitimacy – you could just look at the activity on their most recent posts, but a follower count or some sort of engagement measurement might also do the trick.

4. Pinterest introduces ‘Pin Collective’.

Pinterest has been working to make their platform a more viable option for businesses, introducing a range of new advertising tools and features which better enable brands to showcase their products to the platform’s 150 million active users.

To help further capitalize on this, Pinterest has introduced ‘Pin Collective’, “a hand-selected group of publishers, production shops and independent creators who know the nuances of what makes content successful on Pinterest”.

Pin Collective Image

Through the Pin Collective, brands can work directly with these creators in order to get advanced insights into how to make best use of the platform and create Pin content that resonates with their target audience.

There’s a lot of potential in Pins, but it can be a difficult platform to master. Pin Collective offers a new way for brands to start off on the right foot and get advice from those who know the platform best.

This hipster tattoo guy looks like he means business.

5. Scheduling Facebook Live broadcasts.

Facebook recently announced an update to the Facebook Live API that enables Page owners to schedule their Facebook Live broadcasts – including a new tool which sends out an announcement post with an option for users to get a reminder of when your broadcast is active.

Facebook Live Scheduling Notifications

To schedule a Live broadcast, Page owners need to click on ‘Publishing Tools’ at the top of their Page, then select ‘Video library’, then ‘Live’.

Scheduling will only be available to Verified Pages initially, rolling out to all Pages “in the weeks to come”. The option is not being made available to personal profiles at this time.

” You can schedule a live broadcast up to one week in advance, and people can join your lobby three minutes before your broadcast begins. Once you’ve scheduled a live video, you’ll be able to share a link to the broadcast or embed it in other places, such as websites or blogs.”.

Facebook Live Scheduling

From there, you’ll be able to enter your stream credentials (e.g. steam key, Server URL), write a description for your broadcast and add a custom image if you choose.

There’s always something new in the social media space. Every day there’s a new announcement, a new feature – some of them are major and some less significant. As we reported back in April, Facebook’s Data Science team have been conducting research on career-related insights that can be gleaned via Facebook’s interest graph, and with the introduction of Facebook’s professional platform ‘Workplace’, such a move makes even more sense. Back in July, I wrote a post which questioned whether Facebook Page Likes even matter anymore. The summary of my query is this: with Facebook’s algorithm reducing the organic reach of Pages, and the ability for users to unfollow without un-Liking a Page (and for Pages to buy Likes), the Page Like count is no longer an indicative measure of engagement.

The “What” & “Why” Social Media Management Costs What it Does

How much am I looking at when hiring a social media management team? This is a very common question when starting to look at scaling your business in today’s technology advanced marketplace.

Social Media and Digital marketing practices take time & resources far beyond the average business owner’s understanding. And guess what…

…that’s okay!

The State of Twitter Address

With the release of Twitter’s earnings today, this is the perfect time to take a step back and examine what’s happened on the platform in the last quarter.

We’ll examine some significant updates, which you’ve surely noticed. We’ve also compiled thoughts on the state of Twitter from some of the foremost industry experts including Kim Garst, Ted Rubin, Larry Kim, Peg Fitzpatrick, and more!

Linkedin Mistake To Avoid Image (1)

5 Posts to AVOID Sharing on LinkedIn

Do you ever pause just before hitting the Share button when posting on LinkedIn?

Have you ever wondered if what you’re about to post will hurt or improve your personal brand and authority on LinkedIn?

It can be hard to know what are the best kinds of content to post and which you should avoid, especially when the topic is current, relevant and, perhaps, even controversial.

While controversial posts will often get the most engagement and comments, do you really want people to associate that topic or content with you?

You may even be thinking that if you just share the post and don’t provide your own opinion or comment that people won’t think that you’re for or against a particular side. But often just by posting, your connections will make assumption and form an opinion, which may or may not be in your favor.

I am going to show a number of example posts and share why you may or may not want to share these types of posts on LinkedIn. Remember that LinkedIn is very different from Twitter or Facebook, it’s a professional network, full of potential prospects who may not share your world view. And by posting in a way that conflicts with their views, you could hurt your ability to connect and build a relationship with them.

When in doubt, the best rule of thumb is to always keep it professional and avoid all negativity.

Here are 4 types of LinkedIn posts you should avoid sharing as well as four examples that can help your engagement and build your personal brand.

1. Controversial Posts

As LinkedIn is a professional network full of clients, potential clients, industry peers and other people in professional relationships with you, it’s a good idea to avoid topics that tend to polarize people, especially controversial ones with a negative connotation.

This is not because these topics are not important or relevant, but because LinkedIn’s not the correct platform for those discussions.

Because these topics do polarize people, it can invoke the age old “you are either with us or against us”. In these scenarios, if you fall on opposite sides of your clients or other professional relationships, this can hurt your business and your personal brand.

It’s better to avoid posting, or even commenting on, these types of posts altogether.

Twitter negative post

2. Political or Religious Posts

These are two topics that people feel extremely passionate about. Just like with controversial topics, these types of posts tend to see people join one camp or another, and your connections can take great offense if you believe differently than they do.

Again I would recommend that you avoid posting or commenting on these types of posts.

3. Sales Pitch Posts

While LinkedIn is the best platform for B2B, it’s most effective when you use it as a platform to build relationships, rather than as a place to broadcast your sales material.

While some businesses can make sales directly on the platform, most will need to build relationships with clients so they can move the relationship to the place where they can have a sales conversation, usually offline.

Any ads and sales pitches in status updates will often be ignored by your connections and can, in some cases, hurt how they see your brand.

Focus on providing value and being the go to resource for your ideal clients, so that when they need someone who does what you do, you’re the first person that comes to mind.

social-media-roundup-bad-social-media-10-728

4. Too Much Personal Information Posts

I’ll say it again – LinkedIn is a professional social media platform. It’s not Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Snapchat.

While you should be social, you can be social AND professional at the same time. That means no cat memes, no posts of what you ate for lunch (unless it’s relevant to your profession), no drinking/partying pics and absolutely no negativity.

In the example post below you will see as one commenter points out that the author of the update has given out sensitive information that allows viewers to determine her underage daughter’s age, name, city and industry of employment. This is information that she probably did not intend for the potentially hundreds (or more) strangers in her extended network to see.

4 LinkedIn Posts That Can Help You Stand Out & Improve Engagement

1. Timely & Relevant Posts

There’s no better way to create conversation with your connections (helping you to stay top of mind) and increase your engagement than to post on timely and relevant topics in your industry or the professional world in general.

The key is to pick topics that are generally positive in nature and that in some way affect you (and some of your connections).

Here are a couple of status update examples that share a relevant and timely topic that have received a lot of engagement.

2. Conversation Inspiring Posts

While you want to avoid negative, non-business related topics, it can be good to post on topics that can inspire productive debate on important issues in your industry or the business world.

Both the content and how you present it should be thoughtful and inspire productive conversation rather than emotionally heated debates.

3. Professional Wins & Changes Posts

As this is a social network, and you’re looking to build relationships with people (which requires them to get to know, like and trust you), you also want to include a personal element in some of your posts.

A great way to occasionally add a bit of yourself into your LinkedIn status updates is to share relevant professional or work related wins and changes.

This could be a new job, a promotion, getting a new client or a lesson learned.

4. Personal Touch Posts

You might be thinking, “but you just said to keep it professional”.

And I did.

But very occasionally and done correctly, it can be beneficial to share a little piece of your life outside of your work with your connections.

While both this example and the earlier example with too much personal info have a work related theme (which is ideal), the difference between the examples is that in this one, the author doesn’t give away information that could endanger his daughter. The post also leaves you with a great bit of wisdom (which could only come from a small child).

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Wrapping Up

I hope you’ve found these examples of what not to post and what to post on LinkedIn helpful.

A great way to test if something would make a good update would be to ask yourself, “is this something that I would want posted and associated with me on the front of a large and popular newspaper?” If you still feel passionately about posting something controversial, ask yourself if you’re willing to lose customers or potential prospects who might disagree or be offended by your point of view.

While opinions and experiences will vary, these general guides should help you stay on track to maximize your LinkedIn presence.

Have you ever posted something on LinkedIn and received negative backlash from it? Let me know in the comments below.

New Facebook “Name Tag”

Recently, Facebook rolled out a NEW search feature to easily and quickly find content from your favorite Pages without having to type in the brand‘s name.

You may have noticed it…

It’s located directly under the business name once you go to their Facebook Page.

 

Facebook name tag image

 

This new feature helps both the user AND the business.

As we all know, social media algorithms are designed to help folks solve queries, so, it’s our job as a business to design a way to use that to our advantage…Facebook gave us a hand.

As a business, you are able to use this feature to help tag your updates and traffic campaigns within the content. This way, you are able to get organic “juice” at the same time that you are helping the general public find you faster to solve their question.

And let’s face it, some of us just have LONG names for our businesses, right?

So, Facebook, once again, found a way to benefit the user as well as the business. By typing in the “@” symbol and a company’s shortened tag (Like above), users are able to locate your brand much faster and therefore, get the answer to their query much faster.

This will also help build trust and authority with your audience.

Now, some of you are probably wondering, “How do I get one of these?”

Good question! The short answer is, “You don’t.”

Why?

Because Facebook was kind enough to add a piece of code to their platform that, get this, programs it FOR YOU! Pretty wild, right? “Finally, Facebook threw us a bone and did some thing for us that helps our business at the same time!” Yep!

Now, I know that some of you are wondering where your new tag is…

…well, like everything else with Facebook, they role it our slowly to see how it “takes” within the business community. So, if you don’t have your tag yet, you will shortly 🙂

Currently, since Facebook is awarding them to you, you are unable to change them manually, however, I suspect that after the initial roll out, and a positive feedback is given, Facebook will provide you with an area to manually alter your tag.

 

Here’s to Your Success!

Alex, MPeMG

Now Would Be a Good Time to Publish with LinkedIn

With Microsoft’s latest purchase of LinkedIn, one of the largest business social media platforms today, it would be a good idea to start becoming much more active with the juggernaut publishing platform.

…Wait, I can publish content with LinkedIn, not just share content, or post quick updates?

YEP!

I’ve always said you don’t have to be anointed as an influencer to build online influence! It’s up to you to contribute to your audience, share valuable experiences, and create solid content that shows your thought leadership.

The LinkedIn publishing platform gives you the opportunity to expand your reach in a major way. Since all LinkedIn members have access to the platform, it’s critical for you to create high-quality content that differentiates you.

Your published posts show up at the top of your LinkedIn profile.

With the LinkedIn publishing platform, you can follow other publishers and build your own followers in the process. While your LinkedIn followers have the potential to see your LinkedIn posts, they aren’t official network connections. (It’s similar to LinkedIn’s current model for following LinkedIn-appointed influencers.)

Any posts you publish on LinkedIn are tied to your professional profile and show up near the top of your profile. This means your thought leadership insights are showcased when someone views your LinkedIn profile.

The first post we published to LinkedIn helped me attract over 200 new followers, and my profile views were up 38% week over week! These stats tell me that the LinkedIn publishing platform is going to be a great place to share longer-form, thought leadership content.

(Related Resource: Digitally Speaking – “Plain English” Online Marketing Resource & Training Library)

#1: Create Valuable, Attractive Content

Before you start posting, have a plan in place. What content is most useful for your audience? Is your post too salesy? Although there’s no formal editorial process, LinkedIn makes it clear that sales-oriented content won’t be tolerated (after all, that’s what the advertising platform is for).

LinkedIn has some helpful guidelines in their Help Center about what to publish. This is a good reference for understanding how to frame your content so it resonates with and adds value to both your established audience and your potential audience (which will now be even greater than your existing LinkedIn network).

Make sure your posts are scannable.

The general guidelines we’ve seen (including LinkedIn’s) recommend keeping posts between 400 and 600 words and publish weekly. However, you could certainly experiment with these parameters and determine what works best for you.

Like other social networks, people want to consume information quickly. Make it easy for them by creating scannable, attractive content. A few best practices are using a compelling headline, placing an eye-catching image at the top of your posts, bolding important text and breaking up longer paragraphs.

Feel free to enhance your articles with YouTube videos or content from SlideShare to make them as interesting and useful as possible.

When you’re ready to write an article on the LinkedIn publishing platform, it’s pretty easy. Go to your LinkedIn home page and look for the pencil icon in the box at the top where you would typically share an update.

When you click the pencil icon, you’ll see the publishing editor. This is where you create your post.

LinkedIn’s publishing editor is very simple to use. It’s similar to the WordPress editor or Microsoft Word. You can type or paste your text into the editor and format it right there.

Does your LinkedIn post have a bio section? You’ll need to create a bio at the end of each post. Your bio should include a sentence or two about who you are, what you do and who you help, a link to your website or blog or even a specific call to action.

It’s a good idea to make the most of all of your resources. In my bio below, I’ve linked my name to my Google+ profile, and on my Google+ profile I added LinkedIn to the list of sites I contribute to. This ensures that Google picks up my authorship profile for my LinkedIn posts.

Be sure to create a bio section at the end of every post you publish!

Before you hit Publish, please be sure to review your post and check it for grammar and spelling (the Preview option is helpful here). But if you don’t catch everything, you can go back and edit your post any time.

(Related Resource: Digitally Speaking – “Plain English” Online Marketing Resource & Training Library)

#2: Share Your Post Everywhere

To maximize your reach and engagement inside and outside of LinkedIn, share your post on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. If you have a LinkedIn company page, share it there as well (assuming your post is relevant to your company page’s followers).

This kind of aggregate social networking adds credibility and encourages more shares and engagement across the social web. In turn, all of that engagement sends social signals to Google’s search algorithm and can help increase your visibility in online searches!

#3: Manage Your Post Comments (Very Important!)

You’ve written a useful post, you’ve promoted it far and wide and people are reading it. After all that effort and exposure, don’t forget to check your comments!

In the Comments section of your post, you can respond to and interact with members who are leaving feedback or starting a discussion.

Don’t forget to respond to comments on your posts!

In most cases, those who commented on my posts were people I’m not currently connected to. That means the post is getting visibility beyond my first-degree network, and yours probably will too. Unfortunately I did see one or two spam comments when I posted, but you have the ability to hide and/or flag these.

#4: Evaluate Content Performance

LinkedIn immediately starts to show you the number of views, social media shares and comments your post generates. I admit that it’s exciting to see those metrics changing right before your eyes in real time!

Use your LinkedIn post metrics to determine how well your content is resonating with your audience. As you build your professional content library, compare your posts to see which ones outperformed others.

When you have a feel for what’s working for you, take some time to review the posts of your favorite official LinkedIn influencers and your competitors. Evaluate their posting schedule and which posts got the most views and engagement. Consider how you can use similar tactics for your own success.

Evaluate what your favorite influencers are writing about.

Seeing what’s working gives you an idea of what people are responding to and you may want to consider using similar topics or how-to’s that appeal to your own audience.

Learning from the LinkedIn influencers who have gone before you can help you craft a more successful content strategy of your own!

Keep Your Existing Blog!

It’s critical to remember that LinkedIn’s publishing platform shouldn’t serve as your content publishing hub. It’s a place to syndicate and further showcase your existing professional content from your blog.

Remember, you don’t own your LinkedIn presence or the content associated with it.

I recommend publishing the original post to your own blog first, then publishing it to your LinkedIn profile in its entirety.

You may want to vary the two posts a bit, however. Perhaps write your blog post to your specific audience or niche, and when you publish it to LinkedIn, change it to appeal to a broader audience.

The LinkedIn publishing platform is an important part of any marketer’s content strategy. I think it will be interesting to watch the network grow as an online content destination for professionals.

Talk Soon!

Jos. M. & Alexander J. Kubicek, CMC & CCAS

MatchPLUS eMarketing Group, LLC

P: 412-374-1558

C: 412-215-3650

www.MPeMG.com

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Access 26 Million Prospects With Snapchat

If you’re not already familiar with Snapchat, you should get acquainted. Snapchat is a mobile photo-messaging app that allows users to take photos and short videos that remain viewable to recipients for approximately 10 seconds; after that, the “Snap” disappears into the dark tubes of the interwebs, never to be seen again.

Snapchat demographic stats

To expand its services, Snapchat has added live text, chat and video calls between contacts, which has helped increase use of the application among younger audiences. Just check out these stats:

Snapchat has roughly 26 million users in the United States

77 percent of college students use Snapchat daily

58 percent of college students would be likely to purchase a brand’s product or service if they received a coupon on Snapchat

That’s a huge audience of potential customers. If you’re not already using the app as part of your own marketing strategy in 2016, you should be. Check out this guide to help you get started:

Highlight special events.
If you’re hosting or taking part in live events (grand openings, anniversaries, trade shows, charity events, etc.), then Snapchat is a great tool to leverage. It gives your audience members direct access to your live event, no matter where they are.

The NBA used snapchat in this manner during draft picks, All-Star games and finals. During the 2014 All-Star Game, the Association launched its brand on Snapchat, where fans were able to get up close and personal with players during the game. They also got tight Snaps of the game’s Slam Dunk Contest.

Tease new products to your fans.
Some brands still worry that social use can be self-destructive and lead to a host of problems with managing user engagement. But others are jumping in, because marketers can make a serious impact with product launches using apps like Snapchat.

Snapchat is an ideal opportunity to start teasing out videos and pictures of new products. Because these images last a few seconds, you can expect a fair amount of buzz and chatter to surge around your new offering.

Pull back the curtain.
Snapchat can also be used to take your followers beyond raw products and services so you can engage the community more. Take them behind the scenes to show off your company. Have fun, and use the caption and drawing tools within Snapchat to show off your personality and corporate culture. This is a great opportunity to show your fans how different your brand is from your competitors’.

Best Seller Red Carpet Image

If you want to mix it up behind the scenes, rotate control of your Snapchat account among trusted employees. Give them each control of it for a day or so. This adds a great deal of variety and flavor that your fans will enjoy. Just be sure to set some guidelines to keep “bad stuff” from popping up.

Keep it Disney.
Snapchat is about as casual as social media platforms can get. Your followers aren’t interested in corporate stuffiness– they’re looking for color, action and fun. Give it to them.

At the same time, you still need to maintain some professionalism due to the nature of the audience. Snapchat followers are younger: according to Snapchat, the average user age group is 12-34. That means “keeping it Disney” with content that is clearly for a general audience.

Tell a story.
Videos in any medium should be kept short and snappy, and that’s certainly true with Snapchat. Regardless of the medium, your audience is out there looking for brief content to digest while in line, sitting in class or on a short break at work. Feed them brief content and they’ll gobble it up.

Snapchat works because the videos you take are limited to 10 seconds. Take that and run with it, because you can make multiple video clips and string them together to tell a story that your followers can go through all at once when they have the time.

Push the incentives
Here’s where Snapchat can get you real foot traffic if you own a physical business: incentives. Incentives are a classic marketing strategy, and have become an expected staple within social media. Businesses often host giveaways and sweepstakes asking fans to like, retweet, share and comment for a chance to win something big.

Snapchat can be used the same way. In fact, an impressive 58% of college students stated they were more likely to buy from a company if they received a coupon via Snapchat.

Just Snap It

So can Snapchat actually drive customers to your business or to your website? The answer is absolutely “yes.” If you haven’t started using Snapchat as part of your marketing strategy, you’re definitely missing out on the opportunity to connect with relevant members of your target audience.

Talk Soon!

Alex, MPeMG

Co-Founder & CMO

MatchPLUS eMarketing Group, LLC

(412) 374-1558

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The Social Media Grind

Today’s blog post comes from Steve Cartwright. He is a great contributor to the community of Digital Marketing and we felt that this short piece would shed a light on the “Social Media Grind.”

 

It seems as if everyone uses social media and as a business owner it makes perfect sense to use social media marketing to get the word out about your business, products and services. However you also need to understand that social media marketing has the potential to draw you in and become a major time waster and even worse still your customers can often see you doing this. If you want to ensure that social media is not controlling you at work, follow these tips.

Social Media Zombies

Have a Plan of Action

If you fail to plan, you are going to waste an awful lot of time on social media so don’t do anything without a plan, as this will help ensure social media marketing will work well for your business.

Create a Social Media Publication Calendar

Plan your posts ahead of time and schedule posts in accordance with what you specifically want to promote, making sure all of your updates have a purpose. If you have a calendar with pre-written posts, you can easily schedule them to work to meet your business goal.

Avoid Time Sucker Activities

It’s way too easy to get suckered into yet another personality quiz or discussions about what one of your friends had for dinner, or perhaps you’ll get suckered into playing some sort of game or commenting on some cute picture or a million and one other things. It’s fine to do all of this, but do it after work is complete and you are on your own time clock.

Outsource Scheduling

Once you create a publication calendar that matches your promotions you can give the list of updates to someone else, your virtual assistance for example to schedule and monitor. However, don’t make that an excuse not to engage personally and share your opinion.

Take Time to Comment and Engage

Even if you outsource parts of your social media marketing, be sure to personally comment and engage your followers so that they know you are a real person to trust and know you.

Do More of What Works

If you do something that works, do more of it and less of what isn’t working for you. Monitor the metrics of everything that you do so that you are positive about what is working and what is not working, simple isn’t it?

Each Post Needs a Reason for Being

Don’t post something without a purpose. If you don’t know why you are posting it, don’t post it.

Don’t Forget Your Call to Action

Everything you do should have a CTA. Whether it is to share, follow, or click, ensure clarity about what you want your audience members to do. If they know what you want them to do, they’re more likely to do it.

Using social media correctly to market your business is an essential marketing technique today in the world of advertising and marketing. Social media marketing can be very effective and pretty inexpensive if you are careful not to waste time and effort on messing around and doing things that have no purpose.

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