Put YOUR Brand to Work for YOU in LinkedIn with a Company Page.

 Monday, November 21, 2011
 

LinkedIn recently announced their update to Company Pages that now helps companies and small businesses become more engaged on the network.  Having a Company page is a company’s profile of record on LinkedIn and is a powerful tool to speak to millions of professionals through word-of-mouth recommendations with trusted testimonials. It is very similar to a LinkedIn Profile for a company.

If you’re already a LinkedIn Member, Company pages are a new great way to research companies you are interested in, follow what they have to say through their updates and shared information, and see what kind of people work there.  You can even review products and services you use on a Company Page.

Company Pages present a great opportunity to reveal the human side of your company by allowing others to peek at the individuals behind your brand and highlight how members use your products or services. A Company Page offers tools to bring your brand to life and truly engage your audience.

Until now, company pages existed in isolation.  Businesses are now able to update their individual company page to enable followers to receive updates and insights about company news, employee moves, job opportunities and much more.  This is a brand new opportunity to showcase your thought leadership and expand your business.

Want to post a company status update for your Company?  Any company page administrator can post a note in the status box on your company’s overview page.  Keep your followers thinking about your company by sharing updates, promotions, announcements, news articles or videos. Updates will appear on your followers’ home pages.  Followers can comment, like or share updates. This allows you to develop a unique conversation between your company and your followers. Best of all, these interactions can be seen by your followers’ networks exposing your company to a greater audience. You can also view the LinkedIn Metrics to see what followers found engaging to optimize the conversation.  Get your company conversation started today by setting up a company page on LinkedIn.

Brands can now have company pages, and users can 'follow' the company page for updates from those companies. The LinkedIn network has more of a business networking and career focus, and the way that users connect is much more formal.  Users in LinkedIn often have fewer, more intimate connections than they would on Facebook or Twitter. The content shared and discussions started to engage your audience are usually more industry and business-focused which makes LinkedIn a great source for B2B Marketing.


Want to find and follow your favorite Companies?  You can locate and find interesting companies in one of two ways:

  • From any Member’s LinkedIn Profile.
    You can click through to company pages from any LinkedIn Member’s profile. Just mouse-over any company on a LinkedIn profile page and on the resulting popup, click through to a company page or click the “Follow Company” link.  If a smaller company has not claimed their company page, you may not find them.

  • From the LinkedIn Header.
    One of the easiest ways to find a Company Page’s homepage is in the LinkedIn navigation bar at the top of any page. You can also search by using the search box in the box in the navigation bar for any company.

  • From the Company Page.
    If you’ve found a company page of interest that you like by searching for a specific company name or keyword, just click “Follow Company” to stay updated on that company.

Having the ability to follow companies helps you track developments at companies of interest to you, including job opportunities or other business developments.

Now that you know how to set up a Company Page and Search and Follow Other Company Pages, listed below are Tips to Engage your Audience Listeners.


Five tips to “turbo-charge” your LinkedIn company status updates:

1. Say “Hello” to Start a Relationship.

Introduce yourself first by describing who you are, why you and your business are here and don’t start off with the sales pitch. Truly engage your audience. Get to know your audience. For example, an IT services firm should tailor its messages differently to their tech-savvy followers than an audience of  marketing executives.

Remember - your followers are already interested in hearing what you have to say so be brief, authentic, honest and relevant.

3. Think Quality - Not Quantity.

Offer insightful news, tips and other relevant information about your industry or business. Engage your followers with what you have to say and build relationships. Don’t just blast yoru readers with sales pitches or promotional messages.

Develop friends first! If you build your LinkedIn Company Page based on relevant content, the business results will follow. A humorous, effective status update can go viral and expose you to a wider audience as your followers “like,” share, or comment on company-driven content with their own professional network of followers.

A great example is Dell’s update about rival HP that created lots of buzz recently.



2. Mix Up Your Content with Varying Your Status Updates.

Company Status Updates are posts made by a company to share anything from company news about product releases to promotions to relevant industry tips and articles. Company posts are visible on the company’s Overview tab by any LinkedIn member. Anyone who follows a company will see the posts directly on their homepage. All LinkedIn members are able to view posts, click on embedded links or view videos and are also able to comment, like, or share a post.

In one post, consider highlighting a new product release, share an article link to press coverage or industry news and in another post, highlight a new product release or a list of hot topics or hot jobs. Photos are great! Try posting a YouTube video, opinion pole or even an infographic - even better.

Here are some great examples of spicing up your content and engaging you readers:

The Harvard Business School Executive Education that posts video Q&As with faculty, online newsletters, podcasts, and other multimedia content to engage with users.


Intuit posts a weekly news video broadcast to keep their followers informed:



4. Participate in Conversations. 

Ask for feedback from your followers and find out what they want from your company. Start by asking questions and then watch how your followers respond and interact with other readers who are commenting.

Answer their questions timely and highlight insightful comments and show your followers that you’re actually listening to what they are saying.


5. Analyze Your Engagement Often.

How do you know if you’re doing well? Utilize the Free Analytics Tool in  LinkedIn and check the stats that appear on your posts within 24 hours after your status update goes live. This will allow you to see what types of information and links create the most comments, likes, and clicks. Use this data to understand who your followers are, refine your strategy and optimize the conversation.

Use your time wisely and effectively in your social media marketing efforts. Remember: just because a social network is "popular," doesn't make it necessarily right for your business or industry. Use analytics as your guideline for what steps to take next. Monitor the traffic and leads you're generating from your online presence on each individual social media site. Is the return on investment (ROI) significant enough based on the amount of time and effort you're spending there? Is one social networking site performing better for you than another? These are all important questions to adjust your strategy accordingly so you can focus more of your time on the social networks that work for you and your business, and less of your time on those that don't.

About DJ Heckes, Author of Full BRAIN Marketing and Owner of EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts



DJ Heckes is CEO of EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts and Full BRAIN Marketing .  She focuses on educating and training companies to significantly improve their Small Business Marketing strategies.  DJ Heckes also presents customized training programs for Business Marketing, Social Media, Leadership and Trade Show Marketing. Learn more at www.EXHIB-IT.com  and www.fullBRAINMarketing.com.  Be sure to follow us!

DJ Heckes, CEO & Author
EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts
www.exhib-it.com
Full BRAIN Marketing
www.fullbrainmarketing.com




Maximizing LinkedIn to Build YOUR Business

 Monday, October 31, 2011
 

How many of you have asked yourself “I’m over 40 and I don’t understand this Social Media Stuff? Well, you are not alone as I have heard this statement so many times throughout my social media training workshops.

Try looking at social media as if a business cocktail reception party without restraints of time or space. Then ask yourself these questions before delving into Social Media without a strategic plan.

  1. What do you want to accomplish?
  2. Where do you want to go?
  3. Why do you want to go there?

Social engagement typically foals into three pillars

 Feedback = crowd sourcing ideas, innovation, marketing effectiveness, when you want to enhance customer experience. Decrease time to market for a new product or getting to market with a higher quality product or5 having better marketing effectiveness. Measurement or ROI in this space is very closely aligned with your business mission and if looking at general metrics, will not get to the ROI.

Advocacy = true word of mouth around an issue, an idea product or service. Measure things around brand consideration and brand preference and this is where conversions and sales may come in.

Support = when you have a peer to peer to peer support  model where you have one customer helping another to figure out the best way to use your product or service and in the support model you want to measure cost deflection for example.  This takes money out of the cost for providing support and you can totally socialize this function.

  1. Use LinkedIn for Lead Generation.

Participation is much more than just talking—that's what marketers and sales people have been doing for years. True participation is a mixture of:

  • Listening to current customers, prospects, industry experts and other influencers in the market space and internalizing what you hear to improve your business.
  • Speaking to the overall market conversation with quality, supportive and helpful content that people want to respond to, inquire about and pass on to others.
  • Caring about what is being said about your products, your company, your competitors and your industry, but more importantly, caring about helping your customers and prospects fulfill their wants and needs.
  • Sharing your experiences—positive and negative—and your insights as you grow your company and evolve your product lines.
  • Building relationships with market conversation Influencers, Participants and Listeners based on the mutual interest of the consumer problems that need to be solved with product innovation.
  1. Using LinkedIn to Develop a Customer Focused Culture with Extreme Focus.

The Three Key Questions

I am completely convinced that whoever “owns the voice of the customer” and uses that information to build an organizational culture of Extreme Customer Focus… will own the marketplace.

The following list I want you to ask yourself three incredibly important questions:

  • 1 What can I do with this?
  •  How can I make this work for my business?
  •  What can I do right away?
  • What is Extreme Customer Focus?
    • The family restaurant that has bathrooms cleaner than yours at home, with fresh flowers, free diapers, handy-wipes, lotion and mints.
    • The doctor’s office with a juice, coffee and fresh fruit while you wait (or better yet, that gets you in on time, every time).
    • The lawn care company that leaves a nicely arranged bouquet of fresh flowers from your yard every time they trim your plants.
    • The upper-end restaurant that gives you a hand-written thank you card with your check.
    • The drycleaner that simply sews on any missing buttons they find.
    • The downtown business that offers to “feed the meter” while you shop.
    • The restaurant that offers you a free dessert for taking 5 minutes to fill out an in-depth survey.

Listening and learning from and about the customer has taken on new dimensions with the advent of wide-scale use of social media. This concept has been added to questions on how your organization listens to customers.

  1. Why LinkedIn?

Have you ever Googled yourself?  If you are active in Social Media, your LinkedIn, Facebook and other Social Media Links will also show up which gives you more exposure in Google.

Check out the LinkedIn Stats and Who is actually using LinkedIn!


  1. Connecting  YOUR Way to Success Using LinkedIn.

Create a Compelling Prfoile and NOT a Resume rehash. I see many people list their Curriculum Vitae or a resume of information in Their Profile.  All I can say is Blah, Blah, Blah. 

Take Advantage of All of LinkedIn’s Features.

How many of you are comfortable with all the profile features?  Have you updated your profile 100%?  LinkedIn will keep the % for you so be sure to optimize and fill out all profile info.  Then SHARE your Profile when updated or make changes. See next to my photo what I have done in LinkedIn to optimize my profile.  I listed what I specialize in which is also optimized.

  1. Create Compelling Profile

In the summary is where you can really focus on optimized keywords.   See here I used

Trade show exhibits, trade show marketing, marketing, small business and also listed my credentials at bottom for certifications for the business.

Be sure to list Specialties with keywords as you can see on the top right here for what I did.  Yes, you can bullet the info to be easier to read.

Treat this area as your elevator speech with keywords that are searchable in your industry.

Did you know under the Skills area you can add your keywords here?  I listed 22 Skills to cover both companies.

Under my website I put keywords with Hyperlinks to the websites. Also see under interests w here I again listed Keywords

LinkedIn Is YOUR Online Rolodex so be sure to IMPORT your Email Addresses.

While researching LinkedIn and updating this Blog, I found this person who is a person well connected in LinkedIn that I found and I wanted to add him to my network.  I went through my 2nd degree connections and asked for an introduction as she was connected to Steve.  This is how you can really focus on growth.

It is just like referrals face to face but the new way on the internet.

  1. Manage YOUR Contacts Into Categories for Connecting with the Right Messages.

Ok, how many of you are over 500 connections???  Well, I am at 1820 and growing. I needed to organize my connections. 

How to do this?

You can purchase a program to do this for you called PROFILE ORGANIZER as an upgrade for Business Plan at $39.95/Mo at yearly contract or $49.95/Mo month to month or even an Executive Level for more money but you really do NOT need to.  Here is how to do it Free

Go to your Contacts tab at the top of YOUR LinkedIn Page.  Then go view your contacts and beside each name you will see Edit Tags.

Assign your categories for marketing.  As you can see from my connections, I have listed by groups, Out of State, NM, etc.  This will allow me to communicate more effectively with my network.

  1. Connect YOUR Way to Success with Status Updates.
  • 1 – 3 times per week
  • Start with a Lower Case Action Verb
  • Share What You Are Working On
  • Include Links to Articles, Presentations
  • Update Status – Strictly Business

  1. Recommendations.
  • Give Them
  • Ask for Them
  • Don’t Forget to Return the Favor!


  1. Tips for using LinkedIn.

  • Answer Questions to Highlight Your Subject Expertise
  • Communicate. Show Interest. Look for Ways to Help.
  • Be Yourself. Be Real. Spend Time Being YOU.
  • Don’t Always be in Selling Mode.
  • Have Fun!

  1. Promote YOUR Events.

Start with Individual, Community, National and then Global.

Businesses are increasingly adopting customer-focused processes to gain competitive advantage. But for building a business around customers, companies need to understand them. They need to engage in regular dialogue and conversations and keep people informed of what you are doing and planning.


Step 1: Adding an Event

Anyone can add an event and have it appear on their profile. To enter in a new event:

Go to the More menu at the top of your home page and then click Events.

Click the Add an Event tab.

Enter any information you have about the event.

If you want the event to appear on your profile, click I'm attending and then select Attendee, Presenter, or Exhibitor.

Click Publish Event.

A network update will be generated to your connections if you indicate you will be attending the event.

Event Attendance Display

Each event displays three buttons to select from to reveal your level of interest in that event:

"Attending" - This button offers dropdown options to select if you plan on attending, presenting or exhibiting at the event.

"Interested" - This button can be selected if you are interested in the event but have not yet decided.

"Not Interested" - This button can be selected if you are not planning on attending or are not interested in the event.

A network update will be sent out to your connections after you have clicked on one of the possible actions. Attendee names will appear publicly on the Events "Overview" and "Attendees" tabs.

NOTIFYING Your Network about an Event.

If you find an event you want to share, you can notify your network by clicking the Share link under the event summary on the event's Overview tab. This allows you to send a LinkedIn message to any of your 1st degree connections.

You can also let your fellow group members know of an upcoming event that may interest them by posting it as a discussion.

  1. Find the Value of LinkedIn Groups.
    1. Choose a Target Market
    2. Join Groups for those Markets
    3. Can Join Up to 50 Groups
    4. Actively Participate in a Meaningful Way
    5. Set Communications to Weekly

Here is an example of my KeepitQUERQUE Group.  I am President and I needed some volunteers for an event so I went in there to post a comment.

Here you can do your own search for groups to check out and request to Join.  Some are automatic when you join and others have to be on an approval system and you wait for the response for approval or not.

On the right you can see many of the groups I am involved in.  I am also in the WBC one.

Search by Industry, Key Words.                      

 Get Involved Within YOUR Groups.

  1. How to Listen – Start with Setting up Alerts!


Google Alerts = www.google.com/alerts

Yahoo Alerts:  alerts.yahoo.com
Technorati Alerts = www.technorati.com/watchlist - Powerful Social media Seawrchenging watches for your terms and updates you

RSS Feed Subscriptions to Search results Technorati, Feedster, Yahoo & Google News, Blog Pulse
Social Media tags: tabbulb.com, tagfetch.com, keotag.com

  1. Manage LinkedIn with LIMITED Resources and LinkedIn Profile Stats.

Go to the Profile Stats and view your connections and View the Stats


I hope you learned a lot about truly optimizing your LinkedIn Profile and will start updating your Profile today, start listening, engaging and joining groups.

About DJ Heckes, Author of Full BRAIN Marketing and Owner of EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts


DJ Heckes is CEO of EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts and Full BRAIN Marketing  .  She focuses on educating and training companies to significantly improve their Small Business Marketing strategies.  DJ Heckes also presents customized training programs for Business Marketing, Social Media, Leadership and Trade Show Marketing. Learn more at www.EXHIB-IT.com  and www.fullBRAINMarketing.com.  Be sure to follow us!

DJ Heckes, CEO & Author
EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts
www.exhib-it.com
Full BRAIN Marketing
www.fullbrainmarketing.com



How to Get The Most from LinkedIn

 Monday, September 12, 2011
 

What Can LinkedIn Do for Me?

LinkedIn has been around since 2003, and many people use it differently.  The question of what it can do for people seems to be a very popular question.  In short, LinkedIn is a professional networking site with an executive representation of Fortune 500 companies.  It is a great way to find people and is a great way to read someone's business history in a single screen. The site also helps you to understand who they know and network with.

Some interesting facts you probably did not know about LinkedIn:

- The average number of LinkedIn connections for people who work at Google is forty-seven.

- The average number for Harvard Business School grads is fifty-eight, so you could skip the MBA, work at Google, and probably get most of the connections you need. Later, you can hire Harvard MBAs to prepare your income taxes.

- People with more than twenty connections are thirty-four times more likely to be approached with a job opportunity than people with less than five.

- All 500 of the Fortune 500 are represented in LinkedIn. In fact, 499 of them are represented by director-level and above employees.

Top Reasons to Use LinkedIn

 1. Building your Reputation. LinkedIn is a great tool for people to outline their experience, accomplishment, organizations and network. Too often I have seen incomplete profiles. A crucial element to get LinkedIn to work for you is to make sure your profile is 100% complete. Include all your previous employers, groups you belong to, your "advertisement", websites and other important information. LinkedIn is also becoming a place where employers find candidates, so if you are job hunting, this may be the place for you.


 2. Find Qualified Candidates. You want to find the best candidate because it will benefit the company, but weeding through all the applicants can be exhausting. Well, how about using your network to find employees? LinkedIn has a great job posting board, which is also very inexpensive. Even if you don't want to field unknown candidates, you can send out an email to all your connections.

 3. Find New Connections. Have you ever felt like sometimes you see the same people at the networking events? Would you like to meet new people? Use LinkedIn and do a search. For example, let's say you want to meet Architects. I just go to LinkedIn and type “Architects” in the search box. LinkedIn will search your contact's contacts and return the results. The best part is it shows you how you are connected to the person, which can then be used for introductions. LinkedIn also provides results of what they call 3rd degree friends. Essentially, your contact has a contact that knows the architect. It seems complicated, but it is a great way to expand your network and your friend's network. Try a search, see what happens. LinkedIn also has introductions, a tool they offer to give you an introduction to a person you want to meet.

 4. Increase your Google Ranking. Ever wondered how people's names come up so high up on Google searches? I don’t have the secret Google formula, but can tell you a well written LinkedIn profile earns a high rank on the page. The more information you have on LinkedIn (or Blog articles), the better your Google ranking.

5. Scope out Competition, Customers & Partners.  Most people use Google or another search engine to see what information they can find out about their market. The market includes your customers, competitors and partners. LinkedIn is a great tool for research.  Another key advantage is to see what groups your customers or potential customers belong to.

 6. Groups. LinkedIn just added a new tool to search groups. The groups range from networking groups to Alumni groups to Company groups. Groups can be a great tool for networking. There are many different ways to use the groups and their members as leads into conversations. As a plus, when you join a group you can show the group on your profile. The benefit could be others see the group and find they have a common thread with you.

7. Recommendations. LinkedIn has created a system where your contacts can recommend you. Leverage the power of LinkedIn to get recommendations and be sure to give them as well.

8. Help Others. Use LinkedIn to introduce people you think would be a good match. You can easily do introductions to the people with LinkedIn's inMail. The nice thing about giving a contact more connections on LinkedIn is that no one wants to be the person with the least contacts....so help out a friend and send them a contact or two that makes sense for them. Part of helping others can be helping them use LinkedIn.

9. Use it on the go. LinkedIn is configured to be able to use it on your handheld device. While you waiting at the airport, doctor's office or another waiting area, log into LinkedIn and network from anywhere. Just go to linkedin.com.

10. Get answers to tough business questions with a little help from your real friends. Small business owners deal with challenging questions on a slew of topics each day. LinkedIn Answers and Groups let you find answers to those vexing questions quickly by tapping into the wisdom of your network (LinkedIn tells me there are over 200 different categories on Answers including one dedicated to small business and over 2000 groups on small business related topics). Wondering whether your recent office purchase is tax deductible? Check out hundreds of questions on related topicshere.

I hope this helps you take LinkedIn beyond the usual uses and makes you and your business even more successful.



Some New Things in Social Media You Will Want to Know!

 Monday, August 15, 2011
 

What’s new with Twitter Enhancements this past week? Twitter rolled out a new interface to access your accounts on twitter.com.  The prior tag @Mention is replaced with two new tabs.

  1. @Username
  2. @Activity

Similar to the Google+, these new tabs show you “new” people who have followed you along with “new activity” of people within your network. Here is an example of a strong twitter user with the new tabs along the top of the illustration. As you can see below, the new @Username tab shows which of your tweets are favorites, plus the latest retweets (from your tweets), tweets directed to you along with new followers.  The new Activity tab highlights the latest favorites, retweets and follows from the people you follow on Twitter.

Twitter now makes it easy to share your pictures. You can now upload images up to 3MB directly from your twitter account. Twitter scales the image to size for you to fit into the display pane on right side of your twitter.com timeline.  You can go to the Twitter Help Center and read about uploading and sharing images on Twitter.com. It is as simple as clicking inside the tweet box on your homepage or in the New Tweet Button. You will see two small icons in the lower left corner – one is for adding your location (a compass) and the other is for uploading an image (a camera).  After you click “add Image,” you will click on the camera icon to upload the image and you will browse to find the image and upload. Once you added the image, you will see the character count on then left of the Tweet button update. Add the text inside the box and hit the Tweet button. Once you are done, click on the Tweet to view the image in the display pane.  In some browsers, you may see the name of the file instead of the thumbnail. See examples below.

Twitter will reveal the official name of the Twitter Bird who is called “Larry.” You can see below a tweet revealing his name. With the Twitter bird making appearances pretty much everywhere, it was about time to give him a name.

Twitgram delivers messages to anyone on twitter and all you need is their @twitter_names.  This tool lets you write as much as you would like with no character limits! This allows you to send a tweet to any of your followers letting them know how to retrieve a message.  You can change this to anything you want, but leave the @twitter_name and [URL] which will be filled in automatically, so the tweet is delivered promptly to the persons you want.

Have you heard of the “Who Retweeted Me” tool?  This new tool that is supplied by HubSpot enables you to analyze your website and gives you some interesting stats including your 20 most influential tweeters with a link to thank them with a tweet.

Improve your LinkedIn Profile today. Your LinkedIn Profile is your online professional identity. This helps you not only connect with others but also helps you become found for career opportunities. When you edit your profile on LinkedIn, you will see an “Improve Your Profile” button with tips on how to get better visibility on LinkedIn.  See example below showing the new tab on and how to update your own LinkedIn Profile.  The Improve Your Profile Tool analyzes your profile and offers you personalized profile recommendations to help you improve your own profile. Clock on the Improve your Profile Button and Edit your Profile page.



LinkedIn also included a handy checklist guide that is displayed on the right side of the tool that highlights your recommended steps.  In the left column, they guide you through the steps with simple questions.


This new tool is constantly being updated and is customized for every member within LinkedIn. Be sure to check out your own profile and make some quick improvements today.

Have you ever heard of Klout? Well, there are 5 more networks added.  You can now connect Blogger, Flickr, Tumblr, Instagram and Last.fm to your Klout account to help keep track of your social influence. With these additions, Klout now tracks 10 social media network sites. On August 10th, Klout took a big step forward for measuring influence wherever it happens. Klout goes beyond a status update for measuring influence.  Check out their site and start using it today.

DJ Heckes, CEO & Author
Full BRAIN Marketing
www.exhib-it.com
Full BRAIN Marketing
www.fullbrainmarketing.com




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