How marketers are using Linkedin to gain more than a new job!

About Linkedin:

Linkedin is the world’s largest professional network 300 million members and in over 200 countries worldwide.

Their mission: connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. 

Now you know the statistics and mission, check out this quick video explaining what exactly Linkedin is and the purpose it serves:

It is quite clear that Linkedin differs from other social media platforms. Workload Innovation  released some really interesting statistics in their blog about the profiles of Linkedin users:

www.blog.workloadinnovation.com/
Source: Workloadinnovation.com

Linkedin is an effective way to promote yourself and your business:

www.LI-Sections
Source: LI-Sections.com

Although Linkedin is effective when seeking employment, marketers can exploit this platform set up their company and showcase page. Marketers can use the different sections to provide detailed information about their work/business and can promote new blog content, products and services. Marketers can advertise themselves and their skill set through their Linkedin account.

Utilising the company page:

According to kmsmarketing the company page on Linkedin can be used as an exhibition stand which marketers use to introduce themselves or their company can direct people straight to their website. According to Demand Media the company page is an effective way to establish credibility and expand marketing.  The company page provides marketers with the opportunity to interact with other members and groups and participate in discussions related to their industry and thus demonstrate their company’s and their own expertise. As well as promoting products and services Linkedin also enables marketers to add rotating banners as well as coupons and discounts, videos, and recommendations from customers, peers and colleagues.

Building relationships:

Linkedin is an effective tool in both building and maintaining important relationships. According to the Social Media Examiner Linkedin enables you to keep track of your long list of connections and even be alerted of when one of your contacts has an event happen, you can then pop them a note to acknowledge their success. You can also use tools to make your own private notes to remember key information about each person , so when you reconnect you can pick up where you left off and strive toward a stronger relationship. Linked also has a relationship tabs which is specifically designed to both build and maintain relationships. Check out this image below which provides a clear description of how these tabs work:

www.linkedin.com
Source: Linkedin

B2B Marketing:

Although Linkedin may not have the same reach as Facebook or Twitter, it is an invaluable tool for B2B marketing. Multiview discuss four ways to effectively use Linkedin for B2B marketing, which are as follows:

Join discussions groups – Marketers can build brand awareness for their company/business by actively participating in industry related discussion groups and thus express their own or their company’s insight and knowledge.

Share new content – Marketers are constantly generating new content whether it is for their own blog or company website. Linkedin provides the opportunity for marketers to promote original content to other industry professionals, as content can be shared on both corporate and personal pages.

Make direct connections with decision makers – Marketers can find decision makers at specific companies through their job title and description. This is extremely important and valuable for marketers as they can directly target their audience one on one.

Update the corporate page often – It is important that marketers update the company page and promote the most important information. The company page on Linkedin should be updates as the company’s website is. This enables B2B marketers to have consistency with their brand image and reach professionals that would not otherwise have found the company.

Linkedin can be used for much more than gaining a new job. As a marketer it is important to take full advantage of this FREE platform as a simple marketing strategy for your business.

www.wisdompad.org
Source: Wisdompad.org

Top 10 Tips for using Twitter to market your Irish SME

Why should a business bother with Twitter?

With Twitter currently having 284 million active users and 500 million Tweets sent per day, it is definitely an effective channel for communication and marketing. Forbes revealed that Ireland rank number 7 in the top 10 countries using Twitter. This is a great opportunity for Irish SMEs to connect with their audience and build relationships…free of charge!

When using Twitter it is important to use it effectively and gain its full potential. So what is the best way for Irish SMEs to use Twitter to market their business?

Here are 10 top tips to be considered:

1. Learn how to use Twitter

This may seem like common sense, but I am not just talking about learning the basics ie. Tweeting and Retweeting, it is important to learn the Twitter language and lingo, the ‘Twittiquette’. Having a good grasp on the Twitter language can help captivate your audience. Although you may be an expert on writing Facebook status’, it is important to understand that Tweets are very different. Check out this interesting video on the 11 rules of Twitter etiquette:

2. Define your brand and personality

It is important to immediately distinguish the personality of your brand and encompass this in your Twitter account. In order to do this Forbes suggest to do the following; Decide whether you want specialise in one subject to target a specific audience?, whether you want to be more general or Tweet about numerous topics?, whether you want your Tweets to be funny and casual or professional? This will create the feeling that people are talking to a person and not a ‘brand’ and thus create more personable relationships.

3. Determine your strategy

www.78p.tv
Source: 78p.tv

Now that you’ve learned the basics and established the personality of your brand the next step is to determine your strategy. If you wish to promote, sell and attract attention your strategy should be to communicate. However, if you are more focused on performing market analysis, keeping up to date with news and providing customer service your strategy should be to listen.

4. Create a memorable Twitter handle    

Your Twitter handle is your digital identity. Make it creative and easy to remember to set yourself apart from the competition and create your social footprint. Take a look at socialmarketwriting’s 6 Tips to Choosing the Perfect Business Name to create a unique and memorable Twitter handle to identify your business.                                                                      

psdgraphics.com
Source: Psdgraphics.com

5. Don’t just observe, interact!

It is important to interact with your followers to maintain traffic on your Twitter account. Make sure to Retweet and favourite Tweets directed at your business. This is a sign of appreciation to the people who take the time to Tweet to you or about you and  can demonstrate the importance of your customers to your business. This can also help build your follower base. According to Forbes there is a ‘favourites – follower rule’, where if I click favourite on your Tweet you follow me.  Use this to your advantage – favourite Tweets of those who you would like to follow you. Most importantly when people take to Twitter to make a complaint (which they do), do not shy away! Use Twitter to address issues, it as an opportunity to provide excellent customer service and demonstrate trust – the key to long-lasting relationships.

6. Don’t be boring

www.rightwaywebdesign.com
Source: Rightwaywebdesign.com

As well as Retweeting great content it is also important to create your own original Tweets, however make sure the content is relevant! Share interesting facts and statistics and use good headlines to captivate your audience. Use direct Tweets by Tweeting @theirname. This will enhance interaction and help build strong customer relationships.

7. Don’t sell

Although the main function of a business is to sell, Twitter is not the place for it. Marketing Donut define Twitter as an online networking event. It is okay to occasionally promote your products and services but do not be sales focused – this is not why people use Twitter and it can be off-putting. Focus on interaction, not selling.

8. Consistency is Key

www.hootsuite.insightfulcrm.com
Source: Hootsuite.com

It is important to be consistent with your Twitter activity. Inconsistency can make the business look unreliable and discourage followers to interact as they may be uncertain as to whether or not they will receive a response. This is not a good look for the business, especially if complaints are being ignored. If you do not have the time for this don’t worry. Hootsuite is an effective social media management tool that can post on behalf of your business and keep your Twitter activity consistent.  Not familiar with this tool? Check out Mashable’s Beginner’s Guide to using Hootsuite:

http://mashable.com/2013/09/18/hootsuite-beginners-guide/

9. #Hashtag

Hashtags are used to make words more searchable. The use of hashtags enable Twitter users to get involved in world wide conversations. It is important to create your own hashtag that is unique to your business. This will generate buzz around your business and marketing campaigns. This will also help you connect with users who have similar interests.

10. Don’t go to work without your tools

Now that you know how to use Twitter to successfully market your SME, it is important that you use the available tools to monitor your activity and performance. Here is Dailytekk’s list of the 10 best Twitter tools for business:

www.dailytekk.com
Source: Dailytekk.com

So there you have it the top 10 tips for using Twitter to market your SME. When used efficiently the results of using this free platform definitely outweigh the time incurred.

www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk
Source: Keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

Facebook – Playing By Their Rules Matters

Facebook’s continuous rise in popularity:

Facebook was first launched into the social networking world on February 4th 2004 and currently stands as the most popular social network site. Despite Facebook being around for over ten years, it is not going anywhere. The number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide continues to rise each year, with Statista illustrating an interesting bar chart to represent this:

www.statista.com
Source: Statista.com

Why is Facebook important for business owners?

With Facebook having the ability to reach this many people why stick to traditional marketing methods such as newspaper, magazines, radio or TV? These sources could not possibly guarantee the same reach with more and more people opting for convenience and getting their news online. Businesses are most certainly engaging with the online trend with Techcrunch revealing that Facebook is now a host for over 30 million businesses with 1.5 million advertisers.

Considering the amount of people actively using Facebook there is potential for businesses to benefit.  Both large businesses and SMEs have the opportunity to advertise their business to many consumers, promote their products or services and engage with consumers through interaction and competition. Therefore it is essential that businesses follow their rules. After all Facebook have the power.

What are these rules?

Facebook are most definitely assertive in what conduct is and is not acceptable on their site. Facebook make it quite clear that they care more about people enjoying their experience using the site than how companies can optimise their business through use of the site. As a Facebook user I have to admit I am quite thankful for this, how can we see what our friends and families are up to with businesses blocking our news feed? However as a business page administer I am sure I would not be quite as pleased. Facebook have put in place strict rules for even basic uses of the site.

Take a look at the basic usage rules outlined by Techcrunch with regard to businesses using the site:

www.techcrunch.com
Source: Techrunch

As well as these basic usage rules there are also strict rules and regulations with regard to promotions and advertising. If you would like to learn more about these rules and regulations check out Marketing Gum’s article ‘What you CANNOT do on Facebook‘.

What consequences can rule breaking incur? 

Although it may seem that businesses are breaking these rules left, right and centre, there are certainly consequences of being caught in the act of rule-breaking! “Facebook have the right to reject or remove pages for any reason“, and they are not joking!

Many businesses have expressed how they have lost their Facebook pages without warning! Have you heard of Social Fixer? They discuss how their page was deleted with no explanation or no warning. The administer of the page attempted to log in one day to find this message:

www.socialfixer.com
Source: Socialfixer.com

Velvet Burger is another company who suffered the consequences of rule breaking  and were thus forced to wave goodbye to almost 10,000 followers. Here is Velvet Burger’s explanation and farewell to their followers:

marketinggum.com
Source: Marketinggum.com

Just like that you can lose your page without warning! And according to Marketing Gum unless you know someone working for Facebook you will be looking at starting from scratch.

No matter how smart you think you are you will not fool Facebook! Bear this in mind before you risk losing your page and associated follower base.

The social media world is complex to stay the least. When using Facebook be careful, be cautious and most importantly be current.

Good Luck!

bizjournals.com
Source: Bizjournals.com

The Future of Social Media Marketing is Mobile

It’s a mobile world:

www.cmswire.com
Source: Cmswire.com

We are now approaching 2015 and I think it is safe to say we no longer live in a man’s world but a mobile world! Quartz revealed that that there are almost as many mobile phone subscriptions than there are people in this world. There are seven billion people on this earth with 6.8 billion mobile-phone subscriptions. With the advances in technology that these smart phones encompass, and the ease of using social media apps, it is fair to say mobile phones have become an extension of peoples’ hands.

What are people using their mobiles for?

People can feed their social media addictions without having to reach further than their pockets (or hands!) According to wearesocial.net, 77% of social network users are accessing social media sites through the use of mobile devices. Pewinternet.org conducted a study for 2013 to investigate how Americans are using their mobile phones. Here is a picture of what they found from this study:

www.pewinternet.org
Source: Pewinternet.org

Although text messages are the dominating use of mobile phones, this is closely followed by internet usage, emails and downloading apps.

The social media revolution:

Here’s a quick video that I like outlining some interesting facts about the ‘Social Media Revolution’.

Apps are winning, the web is losing:

Mobile phone users are not easily pleased and have high maintenance requirements. Mobile sites are no longer sufficient. They want convenient, fast and easy to use apps. Chris Dixon interestingly discusses in his blog that the future is mobile, and how apps are winning and the web is losing. He outlines statistics from Flurry Analytics demonstrating the dominating effect apps are having in the online world:

www.flurry.com
Source: Flurry.com

Speed is of the essence in this fast-paced society:

Speed is of the essence in this fast paced society and having to wait more than 4 seconds for a web page to load is too long for 75% of web users! I know what you’re thinking ‘4 seconds is a ridiculously short amount of time’, but is this something that we are all guilty of? Bearing in mind the excessive impatient nature of the modern day internet users, businesses need to be focusing on creating apps to engage with their target markets. Once an app is downloaded it is readily accessible on users’ mobile devices and provides an ease of users not having to browse the web for the website and potentially lose 4 seconds of their lives.

I know if I was a business owner I would be looking at social media platforms and mobile apps to eventually replace the business website.

mandmglobal.com
Source: Mandmglobal.com