How to Optimize Events with Social Media [Infographic]

February 4, 2015

Guest post by Dave Landry.

Nothing promotes event marketing as well as social media. Many marketers use social media regularly, whether for networking or business purposes. As a result, social platforms are a great way to publicize events in real time.

How to promote events with social mediaIn order to generate social media buzz on your business’s upcoming event, create and share content in the weeks leading up to it. Connect with other event attendees on social media. Find event pages on Facebook or Google Plus and join in conversations.

During the event, post updates with photography or prepared graphics. Let those not present at the event know what your business is doing and generate additional interest for those who are.

Content is extremely important for social event marketing. When appealing to other businesses, it’s necessary to choose your presentation and share it optimally.

Blogs

Blog posts covering events either before or after the actual event date are a great way to keep your audience informed. They give an overall picture of your business’s activities as well as the important details. Event wrap-ups also serve to close the loop with new or existing clients or partners who weren’t able to attend the event.

LinkedIn

Marketing your events with LinkedIn reaches out to the right people including peers, partners, and current as well as prospective clients. It’s important to post company updates of upcoming events, and include updates from important trade shows or industry summits.

In order to reach users who don’t follow your company, join groups on LinkedIn related to industries and even specific events themselves. In the first case, join the MJSA LinkedIn group and post about your company’s attendance. For the latter, it may be very helpful to join a jewelry designer group and post information about tradeshows like MJSA.

If there isn’t an event page, create one. Whatever your company’s level of involvement in an event, groups facilitate connecting with those from other participating organizations.

Twitter

Twitter is perhaps the most important tool for communicating about events in real time. Your business presence on Twitter is crucial not only for presenting a specific side of your company through microblogging and thought leadership, it also serves as a platform for real-time events. Be sure to post new content regularly ramping up to the event date, and mention your partners and other influencers who may be attending the show.

Certainly, hashtagging is a fast and convenient way of cataloging information. Twitter’s instant and continual format has aided in breaking news, from uprisings to elections; this quality also lends itself to the purposes of planners and organizers who instate a Twitter hashtag for events. Take advantage of event hashtags by informing everyone at an event—such as, say, the recent Consumer Electronics Show—of where to find your company and why. Simply using #CES2015 grabs the attention of other marketers and representatives scrolling a trending hashtag for the latest pertinent news.

Using social networks for events is one application for which such platforms are ideally suited. See the infographic below on how to round out your event marketing strategy with strong social media activity.

How to use social media to promote events

Dave Landry Jr.About the author: Dave LJ is a financial expert who also studies and writes about social media’s use in business and marketing efforts. He is very excited to contribute to Webbiquity.

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10 Social Media Marketing Mistakes Businesses Must Avoid

February 2, 2015

Guest post by Gary Dek.

Social media is an integral component of any successful digital marketing strategy. With 74 percent of adults using social networking sites, the opportunity to increase your site’s online exposure to new customers cannot be ignored.

Top social media marketing mistakes to avoidWhile the ROI of social media marketing remains hotly debated, there is no doubt that it can be a great tool for optimizing your web presence—or total nightmare experience depending on the execution of your strategy. Here is a list of social media marketing mistakes to avoid, and ways to ensure your campaign’s success.

  1. Paying for fans and followers.

Having thousands of fans, followers, and likes leverages the power of validation and social proof, especially since visitors tend to take positive action when they see others have already shared the page.

However, social media sites have algorithms that track and analyze user engagement and interaction, including the number of people interested in an account’s updates as a percentage of total followers. When businesses have low engagement rates, platforms limit the reach of certain accounts because the numbers indicate low relevance and interest among followers. Therefore, fake followers only serve to hurt brands in the long run.

Instead of wasting money on paid fans, spend more time on creating your strategy and increasing your fan base organically. Considerations include:

  • Having specific, measurable goals with timelines.
  • Creating a system or set of policies for updates, such as the types of posts allowed and how employees should respond to feedback, criticism, or suggestions.
  • Identifying the appropriate corporate persona and tone via social media.
  1. Using too many social networks.

Research shows that marketers generally focus on three social networks: LinkedIn (91%), Twitter (85%), and Facebook (81%). However, the three social networks you should focus on depend on your niche or industry.

Recent research shows that the largest social platforms of 2014 were:

  • Facebook, 1.28 billion active users
  • Google Plus, 540 million active users
  • Twitter, 255 million active users
  • Instagram, 200 million active users
  • LinkedIn, 187 million active users
  • Pinterest, 40 million active users

If your primary demographic is women and your site relies heavily on images and graphics, you should allocate resources to Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. If you offer professional advice, services or products, LinkedIn and Twitter will yield the best results. The networks you dedicate time to should yield the highest ROI for your niche and target demographic; otherwise, your time, money, and resources would be better spent elsewhere.

  1. Failing to use (or optimize) hashtags.

Harness the power of hashtags by creating your own. If your own hashtag gets picked up, then you’ll have a viral thing going. It is critical that you create a hashtag that has a specific message, one that’s interesting, engaging and free of ambiguity.

Examples: #TweetFromTheSeat by Charmin (the toilet paper company) and #SFBatKid (remember Miles, the 5-year-old kid who had cancer and wanted to become a superhero for a day? He even caught the attention of President Obama!).

Brands should also be using trending hashtags. This can help spike your reach and inject your brand into trending conversations. So, how do you find trending hashtags that you can use effectively?

  • Use tools such as Hashtagify.me to identify hashtags that are related to your business.
  • Then use RiteTag.com to tell you when a hashtag is overused, and that you should choose another hashtag to piggyback off of. This way, your content won’t get lost in the sea of tweets and posts.
  1. Isolating social media marketing from other activities.

The focus on social media marketing is so high that some marketers forget the other assets of the business. In order for social media marketing to reach its full potential, it has to be tied in with a business’s website, blog, product pages, and other digital platforms—the essence of the web presence optimization (WPO) framework.

Setting up and growing a business blog is critical to your brand’s long-term success. After all, followers don’t want to click-through to product pages from Twitter, but are more than willing to check out interesting news, tips, advice, or guides.

For instance, if you manage a skincare product company, linking to a page selling acne medicine won’t get you many visits. On the other hand, blog posts titled “Top Skin Care Experts Reveal Secrets” or “How To Feel Confident In Your Own Skin” will get tons of engagement. The added benefit is that consumers will also develop positive associations with your brand.

  1. Overselling.

One of the biggest mistakes marketers often make is pushing their brand too hard. Don’t be overly promotional and forget to share some value-added content. This means brands shouldn’t only broadcast their own posts, products, and company-specific information. Showing the consumer you care about their well-being, regardless of whether they buy your product, is critical to developing a loyal fan base.

  1. Not using visuals to drive engagement.

The power of visual content cannot be overstated. For example, on Twitter:

  • Photos average 35% more Retweets
  • Videos earn 28% more
  • Famous quotes get 19% more
  • Tweets with numbers achieve 17% more
  • Hashtags receive 16% more

With a high volume strategy, the boost you can achieve with a visual aid is too good to past up.

  1. Including the full URL in the description.

When you paste a link in the status field, Facebook generates a clickable image/excerpt. The link you’ve pasted is thus redundant, should be removed and a catchy description should be incorporated. The bare link should never take the place of your description.

An expansion of this concept can be applied to Twitter—don’t use long, full URLs in your Tweets. Marketers should leverage URL shorteners (including Twitter’s own) to leave space for other users to respond or share. Also, URL shorteners such as Bit.ly or Google can help you track the number of click-backs.

  1. Sharing too much at once and overwhelming your followers’ feeds/streams.

Sharing posts one after another within a few minutes time is a good way to get people to unfollow you or overlook all your posts. Businesses should use scheduling tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite to space out tweets and posts for optimal sharing times. For Facebook, marketers can visit “Insights” then “Posts” to see what times most fans are online.

On the other end of the spectrum, sharing infrequently or irregularly will make your followers forget you. Create a regular posting schedule so your readers know when to expect new content from you.

  1.   Ignoring comments/tweets.

Whoever is responsible for your social media marketing strategy and message should be responsive to customers by replying to comments on Facebook, tweeting to customers on Twitter, thanking followers for Retweets, and proactively engaging with others, including influencers.

Similarly, brands must deal with negative messages as quickly as possible. If you ignore this aspect of your marketing efforts, you’re bound to lose credibility and followers. Sometimes turning a negative experience into a positive one by rectifying issues can earn a company life-long customers.

  1. Not measuring results.

To optimize results, businesses need to analyze their social media marketing efforts. Is your reach growing? Are you engaging more followers month after month, or are your engagement stats decreasing? Is your social message consistent with your mission statement and branding? If possible, can you calculate an ROI? What metrics are important to you?

Whether you’re getting positive or negative results, analyzing and understanding your performance is crucial to a successful marketing campaign. But remember, it’s not just about getting more followers, comments, likes, etc. You can be growing your account every month, but if your effort isn’t translating into sales revenue, lead generation, growing your email subscriber list or whatever your goal is, you are wasting your time.

Final Word

While the idea of going viral and earning thousands of shares and likes is exciting, businesses should always keep in mind that social media is a tool within a broad, overall marketing strategy—every aspect of which must be laser focused and executed. By avoiding these social media marketing mistakes, marketers can prevent setbacks and further grow their online presence.

What mistakes have you avoided or committed and learned from?

Gary Dek is a professional blogger, writer and SEO expert. He helps new and experienced bloggers grow their online businesses at StartABlog123.com.

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14 (of the) Best Email Marketing Tips and Guides of 2014

January 27, 2015

Though email is one of the oldest tools in the  digital marketing toolbox, it remains one of the most popular and productive. As reported here previously:

  • • There are nine times as many marketing emails sent each year as direct mail pieces delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.
  • • Email marketing delivers the highest ROI (about $44 per dollar spent, on average) of any digital marketing tactic.
  • • Nearly two-thirds of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an e-mail marketing message.
best mobile email marketing tips

Image credit: AdWeek

With familiarity however comes the danger of fatigue. So, marketers must continually to teach the old email dog new digital marketing tricks.

What are the best tactics today for cutting through inbox clutter? Persuading prospective buyers to opt-in to yet another email list? Designing attention-grabbing emails with compelling content? Optimizing content across devices? Avoiding common mistakes?

Find the answers to those questions and others here in more than a dozen of the best email marketing tips and guides of the past year.

General Email Marketing Tips and Guides

How Much Do You Know About Gmail? [Infographic] by The Wonder of Tech

Carolyn Nicander MohrCarolyn Nicander Mohr presents an infographic full of interesting stats and facts about Gmail, the world’s largest email provider with 425 million users. Among the trivia: Gmail includes an “undo send” feature many people are unaware of; you can do video hangouts with up to nine people from your inbox; and messages are always encrypted.

Quick Winds for Email Marketers in 2015 by MediaPost

Chad WhiteChad White serves up nine (mostly) low-effort tips to drive short-term improvements in email marketing results, such as providing an “opt down” option to receive fewer emails rather than unsubscribing completely, using HTML text rather than text inside images, and testing use of special characters in subject lines (“Special characters are the images of subject lines. If you haven’t A/B tested them yet, give it a try”).

The 10 most innovative emails of 2014 by iMedia Connection

Chris MarriottChristopher Marriott presents the 10 most innovative marketing emails of last year as judged by The Relevancy Group. Check out the winners (and why each was picked as the best) across categories including best abandoned cart email (FTD), best coupon email (Macy’s), best “welcome” email (AllRecipes.com), Best newsletter (Olympus Cameras) and more.

How to Create a Must-Read B2B Newsletter Every Time by iconsive

William-StewardWilliam Steward details four key steps to creating compelling email newsletter content, from focusing on education (“Try to inform your readers. What’s happening in the industry that they might be interested in? What blog posts have you written in the last month that they might find helpful? Have you released a new whitepaper, or research report?”) to avoiding too much imagery.

The Ultimate List of E-mail Marketing Tips by Digital Growth

Luke ChapmanLuke Chapman shares thoughts and content from a panel discussion on email marketing, covering topics such as why email remains a powerful marketing tool (“If your e-mails are well thought out and you can get the customer to open them, you have just opened a 1-on-1 conversation with them and don’t have to compete with other noise. The ROI of e-mail marketing is phenomenal if you do it right”), how to track the ROI, mistakes to avoid, and list building tactics.

Email Marketing Toolbox: 60+ Resources for Email Marketers by ProfitBlitz

Marc AndreMarc Andre showcases a huge collection of helpful tools and resources for email marketers, from email marketing services to plugins to CRM tools, pop-up creators, alternatives to pop-ups (for those who acknowledge how obnoxious those can be), landing page design tools, contest tools, web conferencing services and more.

Email List-Building Tips and Guides

50 Proven Ways To Grow Your Email List by NewsCred

Jayson DeMersObserving that “You may have already noticed that your website visitors aren’t automatically going to sign up for your list just because you have an opt-in box in your sidebar…Opt-in incentives need to be more enticing and more valuable, and this value needs to be clear. Your opt-in links and sign-up boxes need to be obvious, without being pushy or distracting,” Jayson DeMers lists 50 proven tactics for increasing opt-in signups, from adding a lightbox form or valuable incentive to being relatable (“Let potential subscribers know you’re a real person”) and giving potential subsciners a sneak-peak of what they’ll be receiving.

60 Experts Reveal Top 3 Tools To Grow Your Email List by Robbie Richards

Robbie RichardsRobbie Richards compiles expert tips on list-building tools from an impressive spectrum of digital marketing pros, including Adam Connell, Joe Pulizzi, Ann Smarty, Jeff Bullas, Kristi Hines, and Gini Dietrich (whose favorite tools are “1) Blog; 2) Twitter; and 3) Landing pages with rich content behind them”), among others.

OptinMonster Review: Growing Your Email Subscribers by Razor Social

Ian ClearyIan Cleary provides an in-depth review of OptinMonster, a WordPress plugin for building email subscriber lists. He explains how OptinMonster gets a reader’s attention while on your blog or website, how to set up the tool, create a design, and output settings (“You now specify some settings related to where the opt-in box will appear.  Does it show up for the whole site, or for specific categories and/or specific pages on your site?”).

Common Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

6 sins that email marketers commit every day by iMedia Connection

Mark Brown entertainingly outlines half a dozen bad practices in email marketing to avoid, for example: “Always use alternative functions. That kid who always makes the team but never gets to play is kind of like the alt text function. It’s a brilliant function and absolutely necessary, but is never really used — until it’s too late. Alt text is displayed when an image in your email fails to display for whatever reason. It is the only thing that stops your readers being presented with a screen full of the grey you associate with terribly mixed drinks and cheap cocktail bars.”

20 Email Marketing Mistakes that are Costing You Sales by SteamFeed

Greg DigneoGreg Digneo warns email marketers away from common mistakes, such as not having clear goals (“Ideally, your goal should be specific and measurable.  So saying “get more sales” is probably not a great goal to have.  However “Generate 100 leads and close 10 sales a month” is one that you can measure”), giving readers too many choices, and not optimizing for mobile devices.

Mobile Email Marketing Tips and Guides

How Mobile Readers Interact With Marketing Emails by MarketingProfs

Ayaz NanjiAyaz Nanji shares some interesting findings on how mobile users interact with emails. For example, mobile users are notably less likely to click on links within emails–but that’s necessarily bad, as many mobile users open emails on their phones and then return to the message later from their desktops. And “mobile readers who opened emails a second time from their computers were 65% more likely to click through, indicating that optimizing for both mobile email opens and later desktop interactions can have a significant payoff.”

What Is the Future of Email Marketing? Mobile vs. desktop trends report by AdWeek

Echoing some of the findings reported above, this article highlights takeaways from research across nearly six million email marketing campaigns. Among the findings: “Improve the content: First open results in fewer clicks on mobile. Readers are less likely to click through on the initial open from mobile devices than they are from their desktops. The standard for compelling content is higher than ever.”

Email Marketing: 4 steps to optimize a mobile experience for better conversion by MarketingSherpa

Selena BlueReporting that 49% of emails are now opened on mobile devices, Selena Blue provides four value tips for mobile experience optimization, starting with making use of pre-header text: “Many inboxes are formatted so that users can see not only the subject line, but also a line of additional text in the email. This text is pulled from the first bit of text at the top of your email. However…the default text for most templates is not very valuable messaging.” Instead, make your pre-header text “tie into the subject line, bringing [readers] in and encouraging the click.”

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28 (of the) Best LinkedIn Marketing Guides of 2014

January 20, 2015

As noted in several of the posts highlighted below, LinkedIn is no longer just a hangout for job-seeking professionals, who largely abandon it in between job searches. A wave of changes over the past couple of years have transformed it into a major publishing hub, a platform for personal branding, and a place to ask and answer questions from like-minded professionals across nearly 2 million LinkedIn groups.

2014 Top LinkedIn Tips

Image credit: Cox Business

What’s more, as reported here previously, LinkedIn is the top social network for B2B marketing; 83% of marketers say they prefer to use LinkedIn for distributing B2B content. And yes, it’s still a key site for job seekers and employers—91 of the Fortune 100 companies (along with thousands of smaller firms) use LinkedIn for candidate searches.

The site’s expanded features have created new opportunities, but using all of these new features—and using them effectively—can be challenging. What type of content works best on LinkedIn? How can you maximize the exposure of your content published there? How can you make the most of LinkedIn groups? How does LinkedIn advanced search work? What are the best practices for utilizing Showcase pages?

Find the answers to those questions and many others here in more than two dozen of the best LinkedIn guides of the past year.

Guides to Publishing on LinkedIn

How to Use LinkedIn Publisher to Get More Visibility by Social Media Examiner

Viveka von RosenLinkedIn expert Viveka von Rosen shares half a dozen “best practices for publishing your posts to LinkedIn for more visibility,” including knowing the elements of a good post (“A catchy title…Attractive images…Good marketing/sharing strategy for your post…Luck”) and deciding what to publish (“writing posts about LinkedIn influencers or influential people in your industry is a good place to start. If they decide to share your post with their network… kaboom! It might go viral”).

Writing and Sharing on LinkedIn Just Got Easier by LinkedIn Official Blog

Akshay KothariWriting that “Whatever your style, your subject, your background, we’ve made it easier than ever to share insights and ideas with the world in a blog post,” Akshay Kothari shares tips for making the most of LinkedIn’s redesigned publishing features, from picking a vibrant visual (adding a “cover photo to make your post stand out”) to concentrating more on the quality of the content than any certain length.

10 Tips for LinkedIn Publishing by ragan.com
***** 5 STARS

Kevin J. AllenKevin J. Allen passes along 10 tips for LinkedIn publishing success based on a study of “3,000 of the highest performing pieces of content published on LinkedIn.” Among the recommendations: keep headlines under 50 characters; use multiple images; don’t be afraid of long posts (those with 1,900-2,000 words do well); don’t use questions as headlines; and publish on Thursdays.

How to Write Your First Blog Post on the LinkedIn Publishing Platform by Neal Schaffer (on LinkedIn)

Neal SchafferAnyone can now publish on LinkedIn, but not everyone should–at least not without knowing the ropes. Social media expert Neal Schaffer explains the main features, including headings, formatting, quotes, links, and visuals.

7 Essential LinkedIn Marketing Stats: When to Post, What to Post and How to Improve by Buffer

Kevan LeeMoving beyond the basics in Neal’s post above, Kevan Lee shares some compelling stats about LinkedIn (e.g., “LinkedIn sends nearly four times more people to your homepage than Twitter and Facebook”) and explains how to take advantage of each finding (for example, “6 out of every 10 LinkedIn users are interested in industry insights”–so “industry and company insights should compose a fair majority of your posted content, and the overall content plan should feel relevant and actionable to your followers”).

How to Maximize Your LinkedIn Publishing Exposure by Social Media Examiner

Gregory CiottiBuilding upon the guidance from Viveka von Rosen above, Gregory Ciotti offers advanced tips for gaining larger readership on LinkedIn, using tactics such as “channel stacking: publish (or stack) topics on different days of the week,” researching winning topics, and planning publishing times to hit peak hours.

How To Dominate LinkedIn Publishing by Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenFrequent best-of honoree Heidi Cohen showcases several key statistics about LinkedIn publishing (such as that “LinkedIn content pages attract 7 times more views than the job pages because people only check job pages when they’re seeking a new job”), then explains how to take action to capitalize on each finding or observation.

LinkedIn’s Content Publishing Flood: 4 Tips for Staying Afloat by Content Marketing Institute

Mike BaileyMike Bailey details four valuable tactics for making the most of publishing on LinkedIn, while not succumbing to “the temptation to exploit a shiny new promotional tool.” His first tip is to share your expertise, as this is a common thread among highly engaging influencer posts: “Authors with hard business advice to offer are the ones who are read most often and generate the most engagement, with posts on ‘spotting talent,’ ‘acting ethically,’ ‘leading with purpose,’ and ‘building company culture’ topping the popularity list.”

Guides to Using LinkedIn Groups

How To Find LinkedIn Groups With Target—ed Prospects by Top Dog Social Media

Melonie DodaroMelonie Dodaro explains how to find groups using keywords, “look under the hood” at group statistics to help narrow the list, determine what a “good” group is, and leave an impression by adding value. Just one caveat to add here: newer groups may not have a lot of interaction (yet) but offer the opportunity to “get in on the ground floor” as a key influencer in the group. Don’t overlook these opportunities.

How To Become A Top Contributor In Any LinkedIn Group by Top Dog Social Media

Once you’ve found the right groups to target, Melonie Dodaro (again) outlines a nine-step plan to “become a top contributor in ANY LinkedIn group and then what you should do about it once that happens,” warning that “You’ll need a heavy dose of ACTION along with this knowledge before you see results.” Among her tips: “Pay close attention to the most highly engaging content in the group. What are the specific topics that are evoking strong emotions and discussions? What keywords seem to be popping up in popular discussions? Answering these questions will help you get down to the core interests of the group,” and then develop content likely to resonate with group members.

Guides to B2B Marketing on LinkedIn

What We Learned After Spending $50,000 on LinkedIn Ads by Social Media Today
***** 5 STARS

Dave RigottiThinking about trying out LinkedIn ads? Wondering if (and how) they work? Dave Rigotti here shares his lessons learned after spending $50K on LinkedIn advertising. Among his findings: LinkedIn is great for driving leads from gated content, though offers and ads should be switched out every six weeks or so, and “The CPCs are significantly (5 – 10X) higher than many other channels, but converts much higher than other social networks. In the end we see the cost/customer as effective.” However—beware of mobile users: “mobile accounts for 47 percent of total traffic to LinkedIn. While this is great for increasing ad impressions, this is generally bad for gated content.”

B2B Marketing: Dominate Through LinkedIn Showcase Pages by SalesPanda

Samit AroraThe English is little rough, but Samit Arora here does an outstanding job of explaining how showcase pages are different from other areas of LinkedIn (e.g., 2-column layout; no tabs for careers, products or services; link back directly to the main business page; no employee profiles are associated), how to create a showcase page, and best practices for B2B marketing using showcase pages.

Breaking Down the LinkedIn Social Selling Funnel by Social Media Today
***** 5 STARS

Melonie Dodaro (yet again) walks through a “7-step system (that) will help you go from finding prospects on LinkedIn to taking the relationship offline,” from using LinkedIn Advanced Search and groups to idenify prospects to engaging with them on LinkedIn and other social platforms before taking the conversation offline.

5 Reasons Why LinkedIn Showcase Pages are an Audience Marketer’s Dream Come True by LinkedIn Pulse

Celia BrownWriting that LinkedIn has “grown to be far more than a recruiting solution- offering opportunities for everyone from freelancers to Fortune 500 brands to connect, market, engage, and influence members of the community. And LinkedIn’s Showcase pages enable brands to connect with audiences ion the social platform where they are already learning, networking, and engaging with peers,” Celia Brown explains why and shows how to use showcase pages for industry thought leadership.

10 Steps To Use LinkedIn For Small Business by MarketingThink

Gerry MoranReporting on research from the Wall Street Journal showing that “80% of small business owners, with 200 or fewer employees, use social networks to find new customers and grow their revenue, and…41% of small businesses feel that LinkedIn provides them the most potential to generate business,” Gerry Moran lays out a 10-step plan for small business success on LinkedIn, from the basics (setting up a company page, connecting with local groups) through shining up “your LinkedIn curbside appeal” with a complete and optimized profile.

5 Ways to Grow Your Leads With LinkedIn by Social Media Examiner

Melonie Dodaro (one more time) looks at five ways to use LinkedIn to “better connect with leads and prospects,” such as saving successful advanced searches (“LinkedIn’s advanced search tool is also great for finding potential prospects. It offers excellent functionality with the ability to search for people by keywords, relationship, groups, location and industry”) and creating a sequence of messages.

Company Pages Products & Services Page – No Longer Supported by LinkedIn Help Center

While this is no longer “news,’ for those who haven’t adjusted to LinkedIn’s late summer changes, this post explains what’s gone, what’s taken its place, and how to adjust your business’s LinkedIn company page to take advantage of the new structure.

Expert Advice About LinkedIn For Business And Your B2B Marketing by MLT Creative

Writing that “One of the reasons LinkedIn works so well is that it tells us exactly how we’re related to the people in our network (1st, 2nd and 3rd level connections) and the best ways of communicating with them. To a first level connection we can simply send a message, 2nd and 3rd level connections might get an invitation or an introduction,” guest blogger Viveka von Rosen (again) succinctly explains how best to utilize this communications framework.

Guides to Personal Branding on LinkedIn

30 Things You Must Do on LinkedIn to Find More Success This Year by Email Marketing Tips Blog

Marya JanMarya Jan recaps 30 tips for optimizing your use of LinkedIn, from using your profile to differentiate your skills (rather than being boring), using the new header image, and providing case studies, to optimizing your profile (“Use [keywords] throughout in key places like your title, summary and work experience”) and maximizing your endorsements.

The Five Fundamentals to Using LinkedIn by Bryan Kramer

Bryan KramerBryan Kramer shares a handful of helpful tips for getting the most out of LinkedIn, from the standard (join groups, keep your profile updated) to the inspiring: “use LinkedIn to establish yourself as an expert. Getting recognized as a top influencer on LinkedIn can have a dramatic effect on your brand. Simply put, people love to identify with an expert. It not only inspires trusts within your prospective client base, but it can open doors in terms of new business ventures.”

How to Structure a Perfect LinkedIn Profile by Cox Business BLUE

Neil PatelNoting that 40% of LinkedIn users log in each day, and “you can reach at least 60% of your audience if you post 20 posts or more a month,” frequent best-of author Neil Patel presents an infographic illustrating the elements of a “perfect LinkedIn profile,” from using a current, professional profile image and “connecting the dots” in your background to asking for and giving recommendations.

Cracking the #LinkedIn Profile Code by Social PR Chat

Lisa BuyerFrequent best-of honoree Lisa Buyer taps LinkedIn expert Jabez LeBret for his guidance on the “four P’s” of LinkedIn profiles: personalization, professionalism (tip: to keep your profile professional, “write your summary in the 3rd person. As he put it, ‘Don’t write in the 1st person. Don’t sound like an a-hole'”), progress, and publishing.

Social Media: 4 steps to build your personal brand using LinkedIn by MarketingSherpa

Rachel Minion offers helpful tips for establishing your personal brand on LinkedIn, most critically optimizing your summary: “The biggest key here is you want to talk to visitors using a conversational tone that connects with them. Talk about yourself in the same way you would if I’m standing next to you. Allow the conversation to be easy to understand and interpret.”

3 Stunningly Original LinkedIn Headlines by Linkedinsights.com

Andy FooteAndy Foote illustrates how not to be boring on LinkedIn, using three outstanding examples (including Cindy Gallop, whose personal headline is: “I like to blow shit up. I am the Michael Bay of business.”), plus advice on how to think about crafting your own unique, non-boring headline, and why this exercise is worth the effort.

New LinkedIn Profile Features: 4 Tips to Optimize Your Presence by TopRank Online Marketing Blog

Evan ProkopExtending on the information in the post above, Evan Prokop outlines a four-step process for getting the most out of recent LinkedIn profile design changes, from the new image options (“think about what kind of imagery could add a tasteful yet personal touch and tell a story about you and your professional background”) to measuring and comparing your visibility (“The new ‘How You Rank’ report will show where you fit into the top 100 most viewed profiles among your company and first degree connections”).

The LinkedIn Profile Header – How to Improve Your Look by Integrated Alliances

Mike O'NeilMike O’Neil supplies detailed guidance on how to optimally use the LinkedIn profile header (for paid LinkedIn subscribers only), company pages, and showcase pages (“So, what goes in a header image?…You could upload a large image or graphic. Be thinking of something that fits your brand…This is a GREAT OPPORTUNITY should you choose to take advantage of it”).

6 Lessons to Make the Most of LinkedIn by LinkedIn Pulse

Eric HoltzclawEric Holtzclaw passes along half-a-dozen “important lessons…how to use LinkedIn more effectively,” such as segmenting your connections using tagging: “To be successful on LinkedIn you need to ensure all communication with your connections is as personal, specific and targeted as possible. Your connections need to be segmented in their specific fields so that at any given time you are able to effectively communicate with any one of your contacts.”

And Finally…

5 Reasons LinkedIn Has Lost Its Luster by {grow}

Eric WittlakeIs LinkedIn’s value and position as the premier professionally-oriented changing? Eric Wittlake contends it’s at least at risk, due to recent changes that have diminished LinkedIn’s value, such as the gamification of recommendations (“Now LinkedIn prompts us to endorse people for skills they don’t even have, but it’s far easier to click “Endorse” than it is to actually edit what you are endorsing someone for!”), the diminished value of connections, and “going Facebook” (with the addition of profile header images).

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19 More Outstanding Social Media Marketing Guides

January 13, 2015

While social media marketing has become commonplace, questions about how to optimize the use of social channels and networks, and how to stand out from the crowd, remain.

How often should you re-share content on social networks?

Image credit: KISSmetrics

The post 23 Outstanding Social Media Marketing Guides, published here a few weeks ago, answered questions about social media trends, the evolution of social media marketing best practices, and how to optimize use of visual content.

This follow-up post answers several more, such as: what are the best social networks for b2b social media marketing? What are the best and worst times to post updates? How can different networks be used most effectively for lead generation? Which tactics work best today for building a social media following and growing traffic?

Find the answers to those questions and others here in 19 more outstanding social media marketing guides from the past year.

Five Simple Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing Success by Marissa’s Picks

Marissa PickMarissa Pick (no relation, though I joke that she’s my adopted cousin) outlines a handful of rules for successful B2B social media marketing, among them “knowing what to do is just as important as knowing what not to do” (“Every social media campaign needs a strategy, and it’s crucial to understand your goals. Knowing what you want to accomplish and how you will measure success is crucial before you launch any campaign”), “engagement = essential,” and “know your audience.”

The Top 8 Social Networks For Business by B2B Marketing Insider

Michael BrennerMichael Brenner examines findings from Adobe regarding the top social networks for business in the view of CMOs, based on their value for SEO, brand awareness, customer communication, and traffic generation. In addition to the “Big Four,” the findings and associated infographic looked at SlideShare (the “new kid on the block”) as well as “niche players” Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.

How To Choose The Right Social Media Networks For Your B2B Business by Search Engine Land

Jayson DeMersJayson DeMers details seven factors to consider when determining where to focus social media marketing efforts (such as conversions and customer value: “Do visitors bounce immediately off your page, or are they reading your content, amplifying your message and becoming customers? A…detailed analysis can help you determine not only which networks are sending you traffic, but which ones are sending you valuable traffic”) along with seven types of social networks to leverage.

50 Expert Tips for Getting Started on Social Media by Constant Contact on SlideShare

This presentation provides dozens of one-sentence (mostly) social media tips from top experts inlcuding Rebekah Radice, Robert Caruso (“In social media, content leads to conversations, conversations build relationships, and relationships result in ROI”), Kim Garst, Mike Stelzner (“Study your competition and watch where they participate in social dialog. Don’t reinvent the wheel”), and Ann Handley among others.

The Dead Zones: When Not to Post on Social Media by Cool Infographics

Randy KrumRandy Krum displays a pair of infographics illustrating the best and worst times to post on social media. The worst times seem generally intuitive (e.g., Facebook between midnight and 8:00 a.m.), though a few are odd (don’t post to LinkedIn during the workday?!). The best times, meanwhile, are shown in pretty short windows (e.g., Twitter between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.). Interesting – though your mileage may vary.

Survey Reveals 11% Increase in Marketers’ Ability to Measure Social Media ROI by Social Media Explorer

Nichole KellyNichole Kelly dives into research findings from Social Media Examiner showing that more than a third of marketers now say they are able to measure ROI from social media activities; but 88% say they “want to know how to measure the ROI from social media” (so, a quarter of marketers say they can measure social ROI, but also don’t know how?); that half of marketers say they’ve seen improved sales from social media; and other interesting facts and stats, including my favorite: “85% of marketers have NO plans to use Snapchat. (Thank goodness!).”

16 Resources to Generate Leads With Social Media by Social Media Examiner

Debra EckerlingDebra Eckerling outlines a collection of helpful resources for generating leads through Facebook (e.g., how to set up a Facebook page for lead generation and methods for generating email leads through Facebook), Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Social Media Lead Generation: Best Tips From The Experts by Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen passes along guidance on “the best way to use social media to generate leads” from 22 social media experts including Michael Brenner, Jeff Cohen, Jason Falls, Neal Schaffer (“The best way to generate leads is to utilize sponsored posts on the relevant social media platform where your customers are utilizing best practices for that platform. Social networks are in business and want you to be successful in your advertising”), and Deb Weinstein.

10 Powerful Social Media Infographics and Resources to Build Your Following by SumAll

Brian HonigmanBrian Honigman presents 10 infographics covering everything from how to create the “perfect” post on various social media platforms and how to size profile images for popular social networks to social media facts and figures (hmm, that sounds familiar), user growth trends across platforms, and the best and worst times to post on social media sites.

7 Social Media Monitoring Tips To Help Your Business Spy Like The NSA by Top Dog Social Media

Melonie DodaroMelonie Dodaro shares sever highly useful tips for finding people who are sharing your content, discovering who is mentioning your brand or products, finding influencers in your industry, and find “super-targeted” followers such as who is following a particular person or brand and lives in a specific city.

The Art of Creating Perfect Social Media Posts – infographic by Digital Information World

Irfan AhmadNoting that “Each social media operates a bit differently, and each brand’s followers have their own preferences and moods…(so) there is no One-Size-Fits-All trick or strategy” for “perfect” social media posts, Irfan Ahmad shares the essential elements of a highly shareable blog post along with an infographic showing best practices for promoting content on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google+.

How to Easily Double Your Traffic from Social Media by KISSmetrics

Garrett MoonGarrett Moon offers helpful guidance on how to increase social media traffic by sharing each piece of your content more than once on various social networks, along with five tips on how not to overdo re-sharing and risk appearing to be a spammer.

5 Social Media Tasks You Might be Neglecting and You Shouldn’t by Reviewz ‘n’ Tips

Daniel SharkovDaniel Sharkov offers helpful tips on a handful of social media tactics you should be using, covering LinkedIn (“Did you know that unlike most social networks, a rather high percentage [about 20%] of your [LinkedIn] contacts actually sees your updates?”), StumbleUpon, Google+, Triberr, and Facebook.

Why social media is losing its sparkle by iMedia Connection

Rebecca LiebThe always fascinating Rebecca Lieb contends that “email and search now both enjoy wallpaper status. They’ve faded into the background. This is absolutely not meant to diminish the importance or significance of either as a marketing channel…(rather) ‘wallpapering’ is a sign of maturity and essential integration into the larger marketing organization,” and that social media is now approaching that status as well. What do you think?

Social Media 101: Branding for the PR-impaired marketer by MarketingSherpa Blog

Maria Lopez FernandezEveryone knows social media has become an essential channel for marketing and content distribution, but Maria Lopez Fernandez reminds readers that not all social networks are created equal: each has its own distinct characteristics, uses, and etiquette, and she provides guidance here on how to make the best use of Facebook, Twitter, and blogging – as well as how to put it all together.

The Ulimate Cheat Sheet for Social Media Dimensions by likeable media

Samy SimorangkirSamy Simorangkir shares an infographic which details the required image dimensions for social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest, along with half a dozen “additional rules of thumb to keep in mind” for optimizing profiles on the largest networks.

30+ Ways To Use YouTube Effectively by Small Business Trends

TJ McCueWriting that online video “is a terrific way for small business owners to compete with the big brands. But creating effective (as in watchable) content and then promoting it can be intimidating,” the brilliant TJ McCue has compiled a list of 30 resources for small business, from expert online training to helpful guides, infographics, online video editing tools and more.

5 stages to unlocking social media’s full potential by iMedia Connection

Scott FasserScott Fasser believes it’s a “colossal mistake” to try to use social media to persuade your target audience to buy. Instead, he lays out a five-stage process for businesses to evolve their social media activities from “nascent to awesome.” At the base stage, companies are listening to buyers and watching competitors; by stage five, a company is truly executing as a social business.

What You Need to Know About Open Graph Meta Tags for Total Facebook and Twitter Mastery by KISSmetrics

Jacek BlautJacek Blaut explains in detail how to use Facebook Open Graph tags to obtain “a degree of control…over how information travels from a third-party website to Facebook when a page is shared (or liked, etc.),” why marketers need to know about Open Graph, and how to implement these, as well as how to use Twitter Cards to “stand out from the crowd” on Twitter by generating additional content from your tweets.

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