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clip_image002The world has reached 7 billion people. There’s a very good chance that LinkedIn′s world-wide network will be your ticket to find that new career you want or that employee you are looking for.

It’s important that you make your LinkedIn profile as complete as possible. Here’s how:

  1. Be sure to include a photo.
    If you are serious about making connections and/or receiving job offers, uploading a recent photo for your profile is a must! People remember you better when they see your face. Give yourself a unique heading, make yourself memorable.
  2. Be sure your experience is updated.
    Don’t be shy, include your specialties, your goals as well as your professional experience (both current and past). Be sure to include specific accomplishments.
  3. Include individual courses you take under your education.
    It’s not only important to include your educational information from the colleges, universities or vocation schools you have attended, but also any course you have taken over the years. It’s especially important to include any course you have taken to update your knowledge and on the latest techniques of your field. Open yourself up to new opportunities.
  4. Request recommendations.
    Ask your colleagues, past colleagues, and/or clients to reinforce your professional qualities and experience.
  5. Utilize the opportunities available on LinkedIn.
    One tool LinkedIn offers you is their Career Explorer. Here you are able to explore your career options, learn more about these careers, follow companies hiring for positions that are of interest to you, and connect with actual professionals who are on LinkedIn.

1) Establish a Presence
This may sound redundant, but you need to be on the social media trinity: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. LinkedIn is great for professional networking. Facebook is a more informal way to connect, although the business pages are very much B2B. People can “like” your business page, which is great for branding. Twitter is the cocktail party in social networking; just keep the tweets business-related!

2) Engage Your Peers
Your peers are your potential customers, business partners or employers, so you need to engage them with articles, blogs, comments and postings. It’d s great way to establish your brand and position yourself as a thought leader.

3) Make Sure Your Target Audience Knows Where to Find You
You need to promote the links to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blog. An easy (and often overlooked way) is your AutoSignature. Make sure that you link your website and blog to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

4) Find Your Voice
As the French say: “c’est le ton qui fait la musique”. Decide how you want to communicate with your target audience. Do you want to keep it formal (for B2B) or informal (for B2C)?

5) Pace yourself
Avoid starting with many tweets and blog posts a week that are impossible to keep up. Too much activity can be overwhelming and lead to burnout. It’s better to set up a schedule for your social media and stick to it.

6) Keep It Simple
Tweets, postings and blogs should be fun and easy to understand. Try to avoid using complex language or concepts.

7) Visuals Rule
A picture can tell a thousand words. Use visuals in your blog and postings; people love it!

8) Engage
You are using social media, so be social! React, like, and comment to other people’s posts. Be generous and informative. Again, it’s a great way to brand and position yourself as a thought leader.

According to marketing guru, Stephan Spencer, now that YouTube is more popular than all the sites of the TV networks combined, it may well become more important for your brand or company to be on YouTube than to be advertised on TV.

How can you make your YouTube marketing experience a success?

1. Produce a video that is fun, something people will want to share with their friends.
The more a video is ‘shared’, the more exposure you’re getting. For the same monetary input, you’ll reach a much larger audience.

2. Be clear about the product you’re marketing.
While it may be great to have your video go viral, if you don’t properly showcase your product or service, it won’t bring in sales.

3. Encourage your viewers to participate and support you.
Remember to have a call to action; you want viewers to click through to your website.

4. Take advantage of YouTube tags.
YouTube viewers often search based on mood, e.g. funny video, happy music, etc., be sure to use these keywords in your tags. Also match your title and description to the tags for stronger SEO.

5. Use YouTube’s Guru channel and market yourself as an expert.
YouTube has channels that viewers can subscribe to or watch, their Guru channel is for how-to videos and advice. If you want to establish yourself as an expert in your field, posting advice on YouTube can boost your sales. Remember to embed your videos onto your website.

According to online statistics, using video marketing can boost interest in your product by 66%. So hop on the multimedia bandwagon, take out your webcam (or hire a professional), and join Generation Z.

Photo Courtesy socialsignals.com

A recent study shows that only 47% of companies use social media for marketing. The organizations that do use social media are happy with it. Among savvy social media users, Dell announced that it realized over $3 million in revenues from using Twitter alone. Other businesses report that their use of social media resulted in up to 800% more.

There are various excellent reasons to join the social media wave: lead generation, branding, customer loyalty, direct marketing and e-commerce are just a few…..

Make sure to formulate a social media policy, select the social media that fit your company and maintain them.

There are quite a few options to choose from – so select what fits your organization’s needs best:

  • Business profile on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook
    Start yourbusiness profile with a business account using your company logo as your picture (avatar). Unless you are your own brand (e.g., lawyer, artist, photographer, etc.), it’s wise to stay away from using your own headshot. Avoid mixing personal and business profiles or messages at all times.
  • Develop a marketing strategy specific to this media
    Avoid usingthe same message on Twitter that you developed for email blasts and postcard blitzes. The reason is simple: social media demands two-way communication. By nature, outbound media such as emails are one-way. Make sure to keep tabs on your viral marketing campaign; find out where your message will end up (and how!)
  • Start social networking with peers
    LinkedIn, Yammer and Facebook are great ways for P2P communications. Use them to leverage your networks to invite peers to attend your tradeshow, convention, or webinar. It’s also a great way to find out what other people are doing, and are excited about. Don’t forget: your peers love to share what they know!
  • Experiment with social media tools
    Use basic platforms like Twitter and Facebook and figure out all the features. Also use YouTube for video sharing, and Blogger and WordPress for blogging. They all add a human element to your business or service.
  • Proactively learn from the experts
    Sign up for a few free Webinars to get valuable advice. There are lots of free resources available on the Internet; all that is required is your investment in time!
  • Define relevant metrics and measure
    Organizations need some baseline measurements for checking your efforts; otherwise you will never know if you are making progress. You need to measure and learn what works for your organization and at what cost.

If used correctly, social media marketing can improve your business with new leads. It can bring traffic to your website and create buzz for your product or brand. It can also create inbound links to increase SEO ranking, and improve loyalty and trust with customers.

Is Twitter just for people who can’t shut up? Many tweets are irrelevant, and it takes some digging to get to the good stuff. That way, it’s not any different from looking for a good book. Between shelves of fluff, there are literary gems such as “The Perfume”, “Madame Bovary” and “To Kill A Mockingbird”.

Companies (and individuals) can of course choose never to send a tweet into cyberspace. But the problem is that companies will be left behind and their competitors will have the competitive edge.

Tweets are short (140 characters) and resemble sms-speak (not surprising, considering the original twitter concept) and have huge marketing potential.

Following is a short guide to tweeting (courtesy of www.ReputationManagementFor.com with some of my own additions).

1/ Tweeting
When you tweet, you’re sending a message to all of your followers (see 2/) and displaying the message on your Twitter Feed (a list of your tweets). Now, it’s extremely important that you bear a few things in mind when tweeting, as you can end up wasting a lot of time for zero productivity. Don’t over-tweet, but don’t tweet sparingly either. A Tweet a week does not an interest garner. These are some important things you’ll need to keep in mind while tweeting:

  • Don’t treat Twitter like an SEO exercise. Nobody cares for unexplained, uninteresting links, and if all you’re doing is linking back to your website, people will generally ignore you.
  • Don’t make ridiculous spelling mistakes. Tweets are only 140 characters long, and typos and other errors will reflect badly on your company. Spell it right; sell it right.
  • Try not to be too personal, or emotional. You’re marketing your brand, and while that doesn’t mean you should be robotic, attention-seeking will ultimately reflect badly.
  • Develop your own style, but unless you’re a professional comedian don’t make every post into a joke.
  • Make sure to hashtag important keywords in your tweet (see 4/).

Ideally, every time you tweet you want your followers to re-tweet (RT) your posts. That way, you are reaching the followers of your followers.

2/ Following
When you follow somebody on Twitter, it means that you’re going to automatically get updated with every tweet of that user. You can opt to get as many people to follow you as possible, or to expand your brand awareness and market influence to targeted users (journalists, institutes, bloggers, magazines, etc.).

The easiest and simplest way getting followers is to include obvious links to your Twitter account on your website, and any email correspondence you send out. If you don’t tell people to look for your Twitter account, you’re relying on people looking for you speculatively, and that can be a slow process. Also, you can enter your contact list from GMail, AOL, MSN, Hotmail and Yahoo! accounts to see if the people you already speak to use Twitter. Following people you know on Twitter will encourage them to follow you.

3/ @Mentions
If you have a look at your “homepage” on Twitter, you can see a few tabs below the Tweet box. One of these tabs says ‘@Mentions’. A @Mention is when somebody puts a ‘@’ sign, followed immediately by a username. When somebody @Mentions you in a Tweet, it’ll show up both on their Tweet Feed and on your @Mentions page (which your followers can’t see. A @Mention is useful:

  • To engage other users who are not in contact with yet. They’re then more likely to return the favor.
  • If you’re Tweeting their material. Their details do show up on a RT, but a @Mention will show gratitude and let the person know you’re passing on their content/posts.
  • When tweeting original content. Start the post with “RT” and end it with @yourtwittername. It makes it easier for people to find you and associate your Twitter account with the content being (re)tweeted.

4/ The #Hashtag
While we have already mentioned that this shouldn’t be an SEO exercise, that doesn’t mean that none of the same principles apply. The #hashtag is the king of Social Media Optimization – an opportunity to make use of ‘keywords’. People searching Twitter for posts on specific subjects will generally find #tagged posts first. Tips to use #hashtags:

  • If you want to talk about a #subject, #location or #person (without linking to their Twitter account), use the #hashtag.
  • A #hashtag can be used to emphasize a specific part of your tweet, and generally adds context to any content or comments you might be posting.

Twitter posts show up in Google search results. Although it is unlikely that a Twitter post will outperform a highly contested keyword by normal SEO standards, a clever campaign on a specific subject will get attention.

5/ Trending
Twitter keeps track of when a term (or #term) is being used a lot on Twitter. It records Trends that appear by geographical demographic, and a general worldwide tracker. Thus, if a #term (with or without the #hashtag) is popular in e.g., the US; users who’ve set up their “Trend Feed” to the US will automatically see a list of the “Trending Topics” for that country. Users can also click on a topic that is trending (e.g. budget cuts).

There are many innovative ways to turn social networking and social media profitable for business. On your Twitter homepage, you can link to your own website. You can also add Twitter to your website homepage. Your tweets will now automatically be displayed.

6/ Shortened Links
As mentioned before, tweets are limited to 140 characters. Most website links (e.g., to articles you RT) take up a lot of character space. To solve this problem, there are several free services around that automatically shorten your links. The most popular are tinyURL and bit.ly.

Wishing you Happy Tweeting!

(Cartoon courtesy of Johnny Ancich of Past Expiry)

clip_image001One of the best ways to promote a company is with opinion articles. Many magazines (online and hard copy) welcome well-written articles. These articles should not be biased though – nobody wants to read a (blatant) sales pitch. As marketing professions will tell you – educating your target audience/potential customers is an effective marketing strategy.
Before starting to write, identify the target audience. Who are the readers of the magazine you want to send the article to? What are their interests? Do you have a direct connection to the editor, or only via a PR company? Does the magazine allow hyperlinks? Do they also want original illustrations? In short – do your homework!
Many marketing and copywriters ghostwrite – they write the opinion pieces for a company’s CEO, CMO or CTO, and when published, it will be under their name.
Points of attention when writing an opinion piece:

  1. It must be informative. The reader should learn something from reading the article.
  2. It must be interesting. The text should flow and keep the reader interested to go on reading.
  3. It must be based on facts, and not assumptions. References to recent events that were covered in the global media are a good hook, as are reports of leading analysts such as Gartner and Forrester.
  4. It must be neutral. As mentioned before, nobody wants to read a sales pitch. A neutral article covering new or future trends, or “how to…” articles are popular. At the end of the year, articles about predictions for the coming year are in demand.
  5. It should have hyperlinks (if allowed by the newspaper), footnotes and references. It makes the article trustworthy and increases the chance for publication.
  6. Most magazines will ask for illustrations. Try to have original images in high resolution. No matter what industry you are in, the chance that your competitors use the same stock photos is high. Diagrams are always popular in tech pieces, as are product photos. Make sure to send different photos to various magazines – don’t forget, they all want to have original content!
  7. Custom write your story tailored to each magazine. Sending the same article to several tech magazines is professional suicide, especially in today’s viral media.
  8. Make sure to put a short bio with contact details at the bottom of the article.
  9. Follow up. Once you see that your article in published, drop a thank-you note to the magazine (or journalist). Blog and tweet about it, and make sure to include the URL of the publication.

Organizations, SME/SMB, celebrities, individuals – we all need and use social media to drum up clip_image002business, to find work, to fight for a cause, or to be part of a community.

But before starting to use LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, it’s important to formulate a strategy.

Formulate your goal
Why do you want to use social media? What do you want to achieve? Do you want to brand your company or do you want to establish yourself as a brand or as an expert? Or do you want to leverage the power of social media to find a job?

Identify your target audience
Once you know what you want to achieve, you can now define your target audience. Are you looking for work? HR managers and companies use LinkedIn to find new employees or freelancers. If you want to launch or support a cause or start a social campaign, your audience is mainly on Facebook. If you want to build your brand, the general public is your target audience.

Determine your USP
To be successful, you need to analyze both your strengths and your weaknesses. Define your Unique Selling Point (USP) – each one of us has unique assets (e.g., experience, skills, offering a great product/service).

Identify the best social media to succeed
For entertainers such as musicians, YouTube is ideal. Job seekers are advised to use LinkedIn and Xing. For cause marketing, Facebook is the best choice. Twitter is excellent for branding. For market research, all social media are effective to get quick and reliable results.

Formulate your strategy
Using social media means building an online presence. To be successful, a strategy must be formulated that outline how you want to present yourself, build your brand or represent your company. Decide on the content of your message (links, tweets, posting) and the frequency (monthly, weekly, daily, ongoing).

Stay active
Social media are real-time. Users must stay active to get their message across. You need to keep on communicating with your target audience.

Check what works – does your target audience find you? Do you get positive feedback?

Do you need to invest in promotion such as advertisements? Do you need to leverage Word of Mouth (WOM)? Do you need to adjust your strategy?

Want to learn more about social marketing? Sign up for our marketing & MarCom course!

Email: training@ourbestwords.com
Tel. 02-656 3369
Mobile: 054-810 8918, 050-529 0775
Website: www.ourbestwords.com
(Image courtesy of www.hetemeel.com)

As we all know that social marketing is the current and future marketing trend. It has several advantages compared to classic marketing:

Higher level of transparency

Customers, prospect, business partners, and employees are googling for information: e.g., legal complications, background, experience, recommendations. Companies therefore need to be transparent in order to build and maintain trust with their suppliers, customers, employees, stakeholders and target audience. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs are perfect to inform and communicate in real time.

Promotion is far less intrusive

Customers resent aggressive ads that are intrusive and interrupt. Smart companies know the behavior pattern of their target audience and make sure to engage them in a smart way with their brand. Social media provide a great promotion channel, since the target audience has control over how and when to be exposed to brand and product promotion.

Focus on target audience, not the business itself

Good marketing is interactive. Marketing campaigns should be aimed at and interacting with the target audience. Any campaign launched by the company must be built on the target audience, not the business itself.

Integrates online video

Video and mobile marketing are gaining ground. More and more companies are creating their own online video content. Especially testimonials and endorsements are powerful tools. They are easy to create and posting them on YouTube ensures instant and free promotion.

 

It rocks

Social marketing provides a golden marketing opportunity, but it must be done properly. It must therefore have repeatability; a one-time effort is not only a waste of time, but would also build false expectations and could therefore easily backfire. Needless to say, in the online marketing arena, any campaign must be relevant and memorable. The power of any online marketing campaign is its ability to go viral.

Leveraging new concepts
Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and YouTube are here to stay, so leverage them. More and more individuals and companies around the world are adopting them. They provide agile channels to reach potential customers, build brand loyalty, to keep connected with customers, and to find out what competitors are up to.

Cost-effective

The main expense for managing a social media platform is time when done in-house. But it must be correctly – it must remain relevant, consistent and persistent. Many companies therefore prefer to outsource.

Want to learn more about social media? Contact Our Best Words at info@ourbestwords.com