How To Take Action On Social Media Metrics

This post previously appeared on Locowise.com.

With your social media analytics, there is huge potential to make things happen. Some brands just don’t do it, and find that they are swamped in data that they never really use. 

There are some key areas in which you can get real value from your social media analytics however. Developing habits in these areas means that you should be able to act on the numbers and information on a consistent basis. This can only bring you some real ROI, so it is well worth focusing on the following:

SET SOME REAL BENCHMARKS

The best thing about data is being able to set yourself targets and benchmarks. With benchmarks, all you have to do is take a look at the numbers and information that is coming in from your data, and then use this information to create simple areas of focus that will help your social media presence grow.

There is one very easy way to do this with social media posts. All you have to do is use your metrics to gather some data on key variables, like:

  • Number of likes
  • Number of follows
  • Engagement rates
  • Impressions

Once you have gathered this data, you can then work out the averages. Having an idea of the averages means that you know where ‘you are at’. This means that you can then think about how to improve on those averages.

Let’s say that your posts gain, on average, 1000 likes per week. That is your benchmark figure. Create a target that says your average needs to be 10% higher. This does not include spikes or posts that go viral, just your average. 

By focusing on this as a goal you will improve overall performance. By having a higher average, you develop a presence that is simply growing year on year.

Use your metrics to set some real benchmarks that allow for consistent growth. 

TAKE ACTION WITH QUESTIONS

When looking at all of your social media metrics you will find that trends start to appear. All of that information turns into patterns, and you should be able to see how things are for certain posts, times of year and so on. Digging deep into these patterns is important. You can take action in this area by asking yourself the following questions when you are looking at your metrics.

  • Are there any spikes in what I am seeing? Where and when?
  • What am I missing? Is there a reason for the outcome? Or that one?
  • How close are we to the next target (re benchmarks)?
  • Which post format is most consistently engagement-worthy? 

By asking these questions and giving honest, clear answers, you are developing the ability to take action on your metrics. You are reading the signs and acting before problems occur. You’re also setting yourself up for success.

GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT

Metrics provide you with granular data too. When you’re looking at the posts that are genuinely bringing engagement to your presence online, this is the gold dust that should be at the top of your priorities.

There are too many brands out there that focus on the content that happens to be ‘buzz-worthy’. This means that they jump on the bandwagon of content around a celebrity or even a fleeting news event. This kind of content may even cause a spike or two in traffic and engagement. 

However, ignoring the content that your audience really gets involved with can be costly. By using your metrics to work out exactly what works with your audience, you waste less time and also give yourself a chance of holding on to an audience. This is really intelligent work, and not enough brands do ths.

Take action here by focusing at a granular level on the content that makes a difference, and really speaks to your audience. This approach pays off in the long run, when you have an audience that is showing up on a consistent basis because you are giving them what they want.

HANDLE COMPLAINTS AND ISSUES

Nobody likes complaints. However, social media is a great way to listen to complaints and action them quickly. A company that does not handle complaints quickly will lose audiences and customers in the blink of an eye. 

At the same time, you can keep your finger on the pulse by using metrics to monitor direct messages and support requests. You can even set it up so that you can work out the ‘temperature’ of sentiment from your followers. Doing this allows you to think long-term. You should be able to have an action strategy that preempts complaints more, and therefore makes your social media useful in managing your audiences and retaining customers.

FIND THE RIGHT ‘OTHER CONTENT’

Use your metrics to see which content is resonating with your audience, but on competitor accounts. By seeing which kinds of content appeal to your audience you can capitalise on this by creating similar content for your own feeds.

This is all about actioning what works for other brands in your space. It means you really do have your finger on the pulse of what works in your industry on social media.

SO LET’S RECAP

Perhaps the real beauty of metrics is the ability to benchmark. If you are able to do this on a consistent basis, you can use other metrics to get a handle on what works for your audiences and hit those benchmarks.

Your metrics are useful, but only if you take action in the way outlined above. Benchmark, focus, and use those metrics intelligently for best results.

Should We Use Our Own Hashtags Or Trending Ones?

This post previously appeared on Locowise.com.

I don’t have to mention that hashtags are important. They’re a huge part of social media marketing and have a great role to play in making content searchable and shareable. But they aren’t just about following the latest trending tags. Or are they? 

WHY CREATE OUR OWN?

We can create our own unique hashtags whenever we want. As long as they make sense to our audiences, we have absolute freedom on what we put out there. Yet some brands don’t create their own hashtags.

This could be a mistake. Creating unique hashtags can help a brand develop engagement, pure and simple.

WHAT IS A UNIQUE HASHTAG?

They are hashtags created with a specific purpose in mind. #Business, for example, can be used for pretty much anything business-related, but #ShareaCoke refers to a specific brand and is part of a specific campaign. Coke uses hashtags like that one because the campaign is built around the phrase. Also, no other brand is able to use it, it’s Coke’s invention.

A unique hashtag like that one speaks directly to audiences and it speaks to their loyalty. In a sense, it forms a unique message to customers. This uniqueness is needed to differentiate and add value to social media campaigns.

That is not to say that all hashtags should be unique to a brand, obviously. There is a ratio that needs to be understood and followed if a brand is to get the most out of the hashtag usage.

THE ‘REGULAR’ HASHTAGS

There are many generic hashtags, too many to get hung up about. There are ways to make sure you are using hashtags that will be seen by audiences, but that will also make sense for your brand.

To take this idea down to its basic level, consider the hashtag #followme. This particular hashtag is the most popular on Instagram, and it is used in millions of posts. But you wouldn’t use that on a branded account. If you did, you’d appear desperate and ‘spammy’. 

The aim is to find hashtags that are popular but still relevant to your brand and what you do. It would be even better if you were able to find hashtags that were hyper-focused, to the extent that they literally refer to what you do. While this may sound a little obvious, it is important to build your campaigns around tags that are genuinely sensible.

The best way to get started with this process is to look at your competitors. They will be using hashtags in their posts. You could look at what they are doing and emulate that. The reason why this is a good idea is because it is obviously working with the audience you are trying to engage with.

Don’t focus on just the types of hashtags either. Look at the number of hashtags they use in a post. That shows how much your audience can tolerate and still engage with the content.

When looking to create campaigns around hashtags that are being used by everyone else, it pays to get involved in some social listening. There are plenty of platforms out there that allow you to check streams and see which hashtags are proving to be most popular. It is very easy to do, and will give you a steady supply of hashtags that are worth using in your own posts for exposure and engagement.

Finally, always look into the related hashtags that platforms offer you when you start to enter your own in posts. These related tags are definitely worth including, simply because the platform (whether it’s Twitter or LinkedIn, or any other platform) uses machine learning to find the best hashtags that fit your content.

SO WHAT DO WE DO?

Hashtags should be used sparingly, but you do have to focus on what is working out there right now. The easy way to approach it is to find popular hashtags so that you have a good chance of being engaged with. Then, as campaigns progress, use unique hashtags that help to establish your brand.

As always, test what you do and make sure you change course if you need to. 

How To See Sent Invitations on LinkedIn (2021)

Do you know how to see sent invitations on LinkedIn? Are you using your LinkedIn account effectively to build your business? In this post I will provide an in-depth exploration on this subject and LinkedIn connections in general.

What is LinkedIn Basic?

The features of LinkedIn Basic:

  • Organize your network, build your profile, and connect with professionals.
  • You can give and receive recommendations.
  • A maximum of five introductions can be requested at once.
  • InMail messages can be received through your LinkedIn inbox (but not sent).
  • Receive weekly search alerts and save up to 3 searches.
  • Find out who has viewed your profile in the last 5 days.
  • You can see the top 10 people most viewed among your connections, and who is above and below you.

What is LinkedIn Premium?

There are four types of LinkedIn Premium accounts: Job Seeker, Sales Navigator, Recruiter Lite, and Business Plus. These accounts share many benefits:

  • Search unlimited profiles as a Premium LinkedIn member.
  • One important feature is you can directly message anyone with InMail.
  • See who has viewed your profile in the last 90 days, along with the keywords they used to get there.
  • You can also see how you rank against other professionals in your industry based on how many views you receive.
  • If someone searches for your name, expanded search listings will show more information from your profile including contact information.
  • How to write a more search-friendly profile summary using keywords.
  • If another LinkedIn member doesn’t have Premium, they can still send you an InMail via their message area
  • With Premium status, eight additional search filters are available: Groups, Years of Experience, Function, Seniority Level, Interested In, Company Size, Fortune, When Joined.

Create a LinkedIn Basic company page if you are just getting started on LinkedIn promoting your business. You may want to utilize LinkedIn Premium features, such as Unlimited Profile Search and InMail, if your profile and company page are both doing well and you want to use LinkedIn to build your lead pipeline. InMail, for instance, allows you to reach executives who limit who can connect with them as a result of their settings.

What are LinkedIn invitations?

This is best explained by LinkedIn itself, which says:

Invitations are how you make connections on LinkedIn. When one LinkedIn member sends an invitation to another person who then accepts the invitation, they become 1st-degree connections. If the person receiving the invitation isn’t a LinkedIn member, they’ll be prompted to join LinkedIn in order to accept the invitation. Each new connection can increase your access to thousands of professionals in your network.

That’s pretty much it. On the LinkedIn social network, invites are sent to people that are potential connections. When the invites are accepted, a connection is made and you can then expand your network.

How can I tell how many invitations I have sent?

For this you have to go to the invitations section of your account:

  1. Click on ‘My Network’ at the top of the screen
  2. Click ‘see all’
  3. This will bring you to a page where you can manage invitations and see all the invites you have received and those you have sent

I want to invite someone to connect, what are the best practices?

You might be tempted to just ask to connect with anyone that is involved in the same kind of work you do, or the industry you operate in, but this would be a mistake. The most important thing to remember about a LinkedIn request to connect is that it can be refused by any potential connection.

You might get lucky here and there, but usually if you don’t have some kind of relationship with the person you are trying to connect with, they may report you to LinkedIn.

There are many people out there who claim that they have sent out hundreds of connection requests per day and it hasn’t been a problem. However, if you do abuse the LinkedIn network there is a real chance your account can be suspended.

The first step to really start developing a new connection is to start a relationship on another social media platform. This is one of the best ways to push for a connection. Using a channel like Twitter or Instagram to get to know someone (even if it is just commenting) means you are taking the time to find out more about them.

After commenting/liking/introducing yourself outside LinkedIn, simply ask if they wouldn’t mind connecting on the platform. They are much more likely to say yes. To build a professional network on LinkedIn, just remember that you can’t take a scatter-gun approach to LinkedIn invitations.

There are other methods. You could try and email those contacts in your email list. While this is not a bad idea, it is important that you don’t send bulk emails asking to add people on LinkedIn. This is because it is impossible (unless you have a very small list) to personalize the messages. You could even end up sending these highly ‘canned’ messages to people who don’t want to be on LinkedIn, damaging your relationship.

Then you need to make sure that you send a personalized message on LinkedIn to the people you would like to connect with. This means using their name, highlighting how you know each other (including any prior contact on social media) and generally making it a personal message approach. LinkedIn is big on user experience,

How to see sent invitations on LinkedIn: What is the weekly invitation limit?

What is the invitation limit?

This has changed recently. You should know that everyone on LinkedIn has a cap of 30,000 ‘1st’ level connections. LinkedIn states this is to maintain quality control. Only recently LinkedIn also said that you cannot send more than 100 invites per week. It used to be 100 requests per day.

This new weekly quota seems to be an attempt to stop people from abusing the process. This is obviously fair enough, but it does have direct implications for outreach campaigns.

How to see sent invitations on LinkedIn: What happens if I run out?

This is when you contact Linkedin and talk to their team about it. As long as you haven’t been spamming people for connections then you should have a pretty easy time of it.

Manage invitations well and you won’t be sent to what is popularly known as ‘LinkedIn Jail’. This is when your account is suspended for exceeding invite limits or being a nuisance to other members. Keep on the right side of LinkedIn and you may find that they will add some more invites to your profile.

It’s important to not send requests to people you simply do not know. Like I said earlier, if you’ve put some work in and made contact outside of LinkedIn, you’ll have a better chance of connecting. If a member tells LinkedIn they don’t know you, you could be heading for trouble. The general consensus is that if you are ‘reported’ 5-7 times, you could even face serious account restrictions.

How to see sent invitations on LinkedIn: What if I invite the wrong person?

The wrong person generally means someone who just doesn’t want to accept your invite. There could be a number of reasons for this, including:

  • The user you are trying to connect with is not active, and provably hasn’t even seen your request
  • They don’t want to connect. Some people just don’t
  • The person doesn’t remember you

With new invitation requests, if it has been a week since you sent and still no results, withdraw that request.

How to see sent invitations on LinkedIn: How does all of this tie into lead generation?

Use LinkedIn for lead generation

The good news is that LinkedIn can provide the bedrock for some great lead generation campaigns by helping you reach out to ideal clients. You can quite easily find your ideal prospects on the platform, and send out an intro message quickly. It’s social selling at it’s best, because LinkedIn happens to include a number of decision-makers as members. Get your message right, and you could see an impact on your bottom line.

You will have a hard time finding new leads if you don’t get organized. While there are billions of people on LinkedIn, not all of them are the best connections for you. Regular monitoring of the people you have sent invitations to will ensure that you waste less time chasing after people who aren’t interested prospects, or don’t use LinkedIn on a regular basis.

Want to learn more about LinkedIn? Start with LinkedIn Marketing: Everything you need to know.

person holding a card with linkedin text

How to view your LinkedIn profile as someone else (simple steps)

Are you interested in knowing how to view your LinkedIn profile from someone else’s perspective?

You can use LinkedIn to connect with LinkedIn members who share your interests. You can also use it to find potential business partners. The more effective your LinkedIn profile is, the more chances you have of receiving more business opportunities. 

In this guide you will learn:

  • The importance of an optimized LinkedIn profile
  • The value in seeing your profile as someone else
  • Actionable steps that will help you optimize your profile quickly

What is an optimized LinkedIn profile?

LinkedIn is an American business giant. It has transformed the professional world. It’s a useful tool for anyone who wants to network and find opportunities.

An optimized LinkedIn profile shows your audience what you do, who you are, and what you are an authority on. It does this via complete and accurate information.

It enhances your profile’s ranking on LinkedIn searches (as well as other search engines) and builds trust among those who might want to connect. Whether you are using LinkedIn to reach career goals or develop business, your profile needs to be at it’s best. And the best part is, it’s easy to do.

Having an optimized profile allows you to:

  • Become an influencer and build your personal brand
  • Establish and maintain relationships with prospects (social selling) 
  • Increase customer trust by establishing relationships

When you have filled in all the relevant information on your LinkedIn profile, you’ll want to observe how your profile appears from the outside.

Pro tip:

Recent updates have also allowed users to display banners as part of their LinkedIn account. These updates are similar to those found on any other social network, like on a Facebook profile or on Twitter. It is also something you should consider when creating your profile since it can represent you professionally.

In order to view your LinkedIn profile as someone else, simply follow these steps

Select ‘My profile’ from the LinkedIn home screen. Do this by clicking on your profile photo in the top right corner to access your LinkedIn settings: 

When you want to see your LinkedIn profile as someone else, this is the first simple little step you need to take

  • Under your profile photo, you can choose to ‘Edit public profile & URL’. Just click it
  • This is how to view your LinkedIn profile as someone else. When you ‘edit profile’ in this way, there are also options to modify your public URL, and other options. It is then possible to use this information to share with others. These are the people that you would like to direct to your profile in the future.

 

Controlling what’s displayed on your public LinkedIn profile

If you know how to view your LinkedIn profile as someone else, you will be able to identify any mistakes that you made within your profile content or any experience gaps you might have. This is the primary purpose of viewing your profile in this way.

It’s important not to forget to include any work you’re particularly proud of in the Featured section, and to fill in the Interests box to give your profile some personality and depth. I would recommend that you look through some other people’s profiles so that you get an idea of how to showcase your own.

Description of skills and endorsements

There is also a section of skills and endorsements that you will be able to access on the website. There is an area where you can list your skills and invite your colleagues and professional network to offer you a ‘Skill Endorsement’. This is basically an endorsement of any skills you have demonstrated. It’s a good idea, and a great way to keep yourself open to new opportunities.

I recommend that you take a look at other people’s profiles as well (simply by clicking on ‘view profile’), especially those in a similar position to yours. Assuming that they are also having similar experiences as you are, they probably have gained other skills that you may have forgotten about. 

Use links wisely

To date, email addresses are not displayed on profiles. However, there are many people who include links to their portfolio or their business websites in the content of their profiles. This is an excellent way to encourage potential customers to contact them.

Once you have added someone to your connections, you can instantly message them. They can message you back too. I think this is a great way to connect, to share related articles or just to interact with others about networking.

Bonus: some quick tips for making a full profile (and a perfect one)

Now you know how to view your LinkedIn profile as someone else, boost your profile with these simple tips.

  • You must have a high quality background photo at the top of your profile page. With this and the profile picture, you capture attention, set the scene and convey a little bit more about what matters to you. Choosing the right background image is paramount to making your page stand out, engage attention and remain memorable
  • Profiles are incomplete without a summary. I find it amazing how many people still leave this field blank. You should not just list your skills or job titles in your summary. Instead, tell your own story in it. Tell the story of why those skills matter – and how they can matter to the people you work with. Don’t be afraid to put some time into your analysis. Draft a few drafts, and run your summary by your friends and family. You have the opportunity to create your most personalized piece of content marketing
  • Boost your network. You can grow your LinkedIn network quickly and easily by synchronizing your profile with your email address book. LinkedIn can then suggest other people to connect with. There is no way of sending out connection requests to a person’s profile without your permission, so you can vet all of the potential connections. You can also follow up in a timely manner with LinkedIn connections after meetings and conversations -it’s a fantastic, direct way of keeping your network active
  • Spotlight your services. With LinkedIn Services, consultants, freelancers, and employees of smaller companies can display their range of services. If you fill out your profile’s Services section, you’ll stand out in search results
  • Watch those endorsements. Once endorsements begin to roll in, you may notice that they take over the focus on your LinkedIn profile in ways that are not reflective of who you are. For instance, it is possible that your primary area of expertise is SEO, but your fan base among those you’ve worked with on events is more enthusiastic. By paying careful attention and editing your endorsements list in the Skills section of your profile, you can manage which endorsements are displayed
  • LinkedIn Learning is invaluable. LinkedIn Learning gives you the opportunity to add a course certificate to your LinkedIn profile once you complete a course. Your LinkedIn Learning account has a section for Learning History where you can also notify your network about your learning
  • Showcase your media. Your own marketing collateral can add a new dimension to your own profile. Case studies, white papers, and other brand content help you show what your company is all about, and give people an understanding of how you operate. It also conveys your passion and dedication
  • Share content from your feed. If you want to be in your connections’ LinkedIn feeds, make sure you’re adding value. It’s not enough to simply have a network of connections on LinkedIn. You can achieve this by sharing relevant content with your network. By frequently checking your LinkedIn feed, you can share content (with a specific person if you wish) you find to be meaningful and aligned with your views
  • Add some comments, and do it often. The first step is to share. Like with many other social media sites, commenting on your shares is a good thing. It gives you a greater presence within the newsfeed and makes it easier to explain why you value certain content. A well-written comment also allows you to share a variety of content. Perhaps you disagree with a point of view, but you still find it interesting. It is easy to establish your opinion and thought-leadership through a comment that expresses that viewpoint. Additionally, it’s more likely to draw additional comments, which in turn raise your profile in LinkedIn. If you write a comment, ensure you say something you’re comfortable with others associating with you
  • Follow Influencers. When you follow relevant influencers on LinkedIn, you get a range of interesting content in your feed. You can share this when it is relevant to your network. It is also an excellent way to highlight your passion in your LinkedIn profile

The above mentioned solutions should work to give your profile a boost, and transform the effectiveness of your LinkedIn networking.

LinkedIn is a powerful platform for many different reasons. But utilizing LinkedIn effectively begins with viewing your profile from the perspective of a different user, and ensuring that it is up to professional standards. The profile needs to be updated as regularly as any other social media account (such as a Facebook account).

Don’t forget that many LinkedIn users access the platform with the mobile app, so it’s all dynamic and fast-paced. It’s best to keep up.

Want to master LinkedIn? Subscribe for more tips.

person holding a card with linkedin text

How to view your LinkedIn profile as someone else (2022)

Are you interested in knowing how to view your LinkedIn profile from someone else’s perspective?

You can use LinkedIn to connect with LinkedIn members who share your interests. You can also use it to find potential business partners. The more effective your LinkedIn profile is, the more chances you have of receiving more business opportunities. 

In this guide you will learn:

  • The importance of an optimized LinkedIn profile
  • The value in seeing your profile as someone else
  • Actionable steps that will help you optimize your profile quickly

What is an optimized LinkedIn profile?

LinkedIn is an American business giant. It has transformed the professional world. It’s a useful tool for anyone who wants to network and find opportunities.

An optimized LinkedIn profile shows your audience what you do, who you are, and what you are an authority on. It does this via complete and accurate information.

It enhances your profile’s ranking on LinkedIn searches (as well as other search engines) and builds trust among those who might want to connect. Whether you are using LinkedIn to reach career goals or develop business, your profile needs to be at it’s best. And the best part is, it’s easy to do.

Having an optimized profile allows you to:

  • Become an influencer and build your personal brand
  • Establish and maintain relationships with prospects (social selling) 
  • Increase customer trust by establishing relationships

When you have filled in all the relevant information on your LinkedIn profile, you’ll want to observe how your profile appears from the outside.

Pro tip:

Recent updates have also allowed users to display banners as part of their LinkedIn account. These updates are similar to those found on any other social network, like on a Facebook profile or on Twitter. It is also something you should consider when creating your profile since it can represent you professionally.

In order to view your LinkedIn profile as someone else, simply follow these steps

Select ‘My profile’ from the LinkedIn home screen. Do this by clicking on your profile photo in the top right corner to access your LinkedIn settings: 

When you want to see your LinkedIn profile as someone else, this is the first simple little step you need to take

  • Under your profile photo, you can choose to ‘Edit public profile & URL’. Just click it
  • This is how to view your LinkedIn profile as someone else. When you ‘edit profile’ in this way, there are also options to modify your public URL, and other options. It is then possible to use this information to share with others. These are the people that you would like to direct to your profile in the future.

 

Controlling what’s displayed on your public LinkedIn profile

If you know how to view your LinkedIn profile as someone else, you will be able to identify any mistakes that you made within your profile content or any experience gaps you might have. This is the primary purpose of viewing your profile in this way.

It’s important not to forget to include any work you’re particularly proud of in the Featured section, and to fill in the Interests box to give your profile some personality and depth. I would recommend that you look through some other people’s profiles so that you get an idea of how to showcase your own.

Description of skills and endorsements

There is also a section of skills and endorsements that you will be able to access on the website. There is an area where you can list your skills and invite your colleagues and professional network to offer you a ‘Skill Endorsement’. This is basically an endorsement of any skills you have demonstrated. It’s a good idea, and a great way to keep yourself open to new opportunities.

I recommend that you take a look at other people’s profiles as well (simply by clicking on ‘view profile’), especially those in a similar position to yours. Assuming that they are also having similar experiences as you are, they probably have gained other skills that you may have forgotten about. 

To date, email addresses are not displayed on profiles. However, there are many people who include links to their portfolio or their business websites in the content of their profiles. This is an excellent way to encourage potential customers to contact them.

Once you have added someone to your connections, you can instantly message them. They can message you back too. I think this is a great way to connect, to share related articles or just to interact with others about networking.

Bonus: some quick tips for making a full profile (and a perfect one)

Now you know how to view your LinkedIn profile as someone else, boost your profile with these simple tips.

  • You must have a high quality background photo at the top of your profile page. With this and the profile picture, you capture attention, set the scene and convey a little bit more about what matters to you. Choosing the right background image is paramount to making your page stand out, engage attention and remain memorable
  • Profiles are incomplete without a summary. I find it amazing how many people still leave this field blank. You should not just list your skills or job titles in your summary. Instead, tell your own story in it. Tell the story of why those skills matter – and how they can matter to the people you work with. Don’t be afraid to put some time into your analysis. Draft a few drafts, and run your summary by your friends and family. You have the opportunity to create your most personalized piece of content marketing
  • Boost your network. You can grow your LinkedIn network quickly and easily by synchronizing your profile with your email address book. LinkedIn can then suggest other people to connect with. There is no way of sending out connection requests to a person’s profile without your permission, so you can vet all of the potential connections. You can also follow up in a timely manner with LinkedIn connections after meetings and conversations -it’s a fantastic, direct way of keeping your network active
  • Spotlight your services. With LinkedIn Services, consultants, freelancers, and employees of smaller companies can display their range of services. If you fill out your profile’s Services section, you’ll stand out in search results
  • Watch those endorsements. Once endorsements begin to roll in, you may notice that they take over the focus on your LinkedIn profile in ways that are not reflective of who you are. For instance, it is possible that your primary area of expertise is SEO, but your fan base among those you’ve worked with on events is more enthusiastic. By paying careful attention and editing your endorsements list in the Skills section of your profile, you can manage which endorsements are displayed
  • LinkedIn Learning is invaluable. LinkedIn Learning gives you the opportunity to add a course certificate to your LinkedIn profile once you complete a course. Your LinkedIn Learning account has a section for Learning History where you can also notify your network about your learning
  • Showcase your media. Your own marketing collateral can add a new dimension to your own profile. Case studies, white papers, and other brand content help you show what your company is all about, and give people an understanding of how you operate. It also conveys your passion and dedication
  • Share content from your feed. If you want to be in your connections’ LinkedIn feeds, make sure you’re adding value. It’s not enough to simply have a network of connections on LinkedIn. You can achieve this by sharing relevant content with your network. By frequently checking your LinkedIn feed, you can share content (with a specific person if you wish) you find to be meaningful and aligned with your views
  • Add some comments, and do it often. The first step is to share. Like with many other social media sites, commenting on your shares is a good thing. It gives you a greater presence within the newsfeed and makes it easier to explain why you value certain content. A well-written comment also allows you to share a variety of content. Perhaps you disagree with a point of view, but you still find it interesting. It is easy to establish your opinion and thought-leadership through a comment that expresses that viewpoint. Additionally, it’s more likely to draw additional comments, which in turn raise your profile in LinkedIn. If you write a comment, ensure you say something you’re comfortable with others associating with you
  • Follow Influencers. When you follow relevant influencers on LinkedIn, you get a range of interesting content in your feed. You can share this when it is relevant to your network. It is also an excellent way to highlight your passion in your LinkedIn profile

The above mentioned solutions should work to give your profile a boost, and transform the effectiveness of your LinkedIn networking.

LinkedIn is a powerful platform for many different reasons. But utilizing LinkedIn effectively begins with viewing your profile from the perspective of a different user, and ensuring that it is up to professional standards. The profile needs to be updated as regularly as any other social media account (such as a Facebook account).

Don’t forget that many LinkedIn users access the platform with the mobile app, so it’s all dynamic and fast-paced. It’s best to keep up.

Want to master LinkedIn? Subscribe for more tips.

Content Creation Ideas For Your Social Media Marketing

Creating content for social is a fun thing to do, at least for the first few weeks. And then you start to wonder where you can find more content creation ideas from. Don’t worry, and take a look at our list below to find some great places to get more content ideas.

Forums for content creation ideas

There are many forums online, including places like Quora, which is huge and has millions of questions being asked every year. 

The best thing about forums like Quora is that you can ask questions and get answers. From a content creation point of view though, you can look at the questions that are being asked in your particular industry, and then use those to fire up ideas for content creation. 

Whether it’s a blog post or an infographic, if you need inspiration there is a lot you can get from a forum that posts questions literally every minute.

Your audience and their social

Another great place to find ideas for content is social media itself. Your audience is there and they are interacting with the world. They’re talking about news items, events and they’re using hashtags. 

Latch on to this and do some social listening. This way, you’ll immediately know what your audience is interested in because you know what they are talking about.

Ask questions

In the social media content you create, whether it is a Tweet or a post on Instagram, you can pose questions to your readers and see what their responses are.

You’ll be surprised how many content ideas you get for simple answers to questions. And they are literally the start of a conversation.

Hashtags for content creation ideas

And while we are on the subject, hashtags are a great way to pick up content ideas that you know are current and resonating with your audience.

Follow people in your industry and soon you will see hashtags crop up. Then, find a way to create content that is based around those hashtags. With enough hard work in this area, you will soon be able to build up a whole bank of content ideas that will fill your content calendar for months to come.

Hashtags will give you access to popular content online, questions that people are asking and also the latest topics that are getting people excited.

YouTube videos

This channel will always be popular, and you can use it to find content ideas quite quickly.

YouTube can inspire you in several ways. Find videos that are popular in your industry, whether they are how-to videos, trend videos, or news videos. By looking at those with views, comments, and other engagement, you will determine which topics you should focus on with your content.

Your own website for content creation ideas

Using what is already on your website is another quick way to get some content together.

Frequently asked questions sections can be found on many websites because they get repeated questions and want to provide answers for visitors and prospective customers. Taking a look at your FAQ section, you might be able to expand on the topics with another form of content, including a video, a blog post, an e-book, or a guide.

And then…

Look at your competitors’ FAQ sections. Consider what questions they are getting all the time, and reply to those questions with content.

Finally, while we are looking at your site, examine your most popular posts, even from years past. You can reuse content by creating videos, podcasts, or articles on the same topic.

Related searches

Google has been running Related Searches for years now, and they are still one of the best ways to find content ideas.

Google a content idea or question and then check out the Related Searches suggestions below. This will give you ideas for what you might cover in your content.

Use your expertise with forecasts

Your brand or client is an expert. Use that. In your industry, what are your predictions for the future? Think about it for at least twenty minutes. Create content by breaking the list down into different categories. In order to prepare for the future, individuals are always seeking information.

These are just some of the many ways in which you can find new content ideas for your campaigns. Try them out, and as always, test to see which works the best.

Why have a LinkedIn Company Page? (LinkedIn help)

Why have a LinkedIn Company Page?

Why have a LinkedIn Company Page? Do you know why you need a LinkedIn Company Page? This post goes through an interesting development, with LinkedIn offering help and guidance on why you should have one, and how to optimise it when you have it.

LinkedIn, no matter how unfashionable it may feel for some people, has been working hard on building its audience. It’s enormous right now, and recent initiatives have seen it become a real powerhouse on social media, with a focus on building more engagement. Things look good.

It’s not far off 750 million members, which makes it pretty powerful. And the engagement it reports as a platform is shooting through the roof. LinkedIn can only get bigger too, because let’s not forget that this tremendous growth has come about during and after a pandemic. Now that the world is opening up, things can only get better for the platform and its users.

For social media marketers, this is an ideal opportunity. In fact, it could be the perfect point at which to aim to enhance your marketing efforts. In the past few months, LinkedIn has been helping users by producing case studies and reports that help them understand how to get the best out of the platform. Now, it has released even more information, this time focused on the Company Page.

The advice is pretty comprehensive, so we’ve tried to break it down into the following key points.

Why have a LinkedIn Company Page: tip 1

Having a LinkedIn Page worth following is the first step. What you want is to quickly and clearly convey what your business does and who you are here to help. Add your organization’s logo, overview, and contact information to your Page. Ensure that your business description contains relevant keywords, as LinkedIn Pages are crawled by search engines and can often rank well. 

In addition, add a “Follow” button to your blog, website, and newsletters so that visitors can easily subscribe. By enabling “Invite to Follow,” you can get your first-degree connections to join you on the network. Link to the LinkedIn Page of your organisation in your email  signature, or on other social media profiles.

Why have a LinkedIn Company Page: tip 2

LinkedIn is a resource for entrepreneurs, marketers, C-level executives, and others. To reach their professional goals, they are seeking original, insightful, and valuable content.

You should publish news, trends, and other relevant content to grab the attention of an audience in this niche. In small businesses, 88% of decision-makers assert that thought leadership content improves their perception of an organisation.

Content can be shared on the LinkedIn Page in many ways, including short-form and long-form posts, curating third-party content, showcasing employee voices, etc. You can use Content Suggestions to learn more about topics that resonate with your audience.

Why have a LinkedIn Company Page: tip 3

One-sided dialogues do not build communities. Engaging with others and contributing to existing LinkedIn conversations will improve the look and feel of your LinkedIn Page. Hashtags offer a simple method for doing so.

With up to three hashtags associated with your page, your page will be more discoverable by members interested in that hashtag. From the perspective of your brand, you will also be able to interact with the hashtag feeds and reply back to conversations.

If you have a large following, find and host events related to your industry through LinkedIn Events. This makes real-time engagement and interaction possible.

Oh yeah, and use analytics…

The Page analytics tools allow computer users or mobile app users to access detailed demographic information about followers and visitors. Furthermore, you’ll be able to identify which of your posts are generating the most engagement. This allows you to optimise consistently for better engagement with your audience.

Everything you need to know about LinkedIn marketing

LinkedIn Marketing: Everything You Need To Know

If LinkedIn marketing is something you haven’t really ‘got into’ yet when it comes to your business, don’t worry. 

It’s never too late to start.

But I’ve got an immediate piece of information that will help you become successful on LinkedIn today.

Here it is.

There are over 500 million professional people on LinkedIn.

However, most of them don’t have very active accounts.

Why is that important?

Accounts that look ‘inactive’ or ‘stale’ are skipped over quickly by searchers. Accounts that are optimised get tons of attention.

An inactive account, by the way, has:

  • No more than 1-200 connections
  • Missing photos on the profile
  • Absence of work experience details
  • No skills endorsements
  • Missing contact details

The simple truth is that an optimised profile is perhaps the biggest thing you can immediately do to make your LinkedIn stand out among those 500 million (and counting) people.

But we’ll get to the profile stuff in a minute.

First…

Why use LinkedIn marketing in the first place?

Most business owners and professionals start thinking about using LinkedIn in a serious way because something has happened to change their behaviour or thinking.

You might be growing, and needing new staff, and see LinkedIn as the perfect place to find that one professional that can add value to your team.

You might just be in need of better understanding of your market, your competitors, or your industry.

Whatever your aim with LinkedIn marketing, it’s important to remember a few tips on how to behave and interact on the platform. 

How you should interact with LinkedIn marketing

LinkedIn lets you make connections on behalf of a company or on your own.

Taking on a business persona when posting to forums or comments lets you maintain balance between your personal opinions and those of the company.

Your profile should always be your own and, although some companies ask you to emphasise that your views are yours alone, you have the right to express them.

If you are speaking on behalf of a company, however, you should follow the company’s social media policies and uphold the tone of voice.

LinkedIn enables you to post content on your company and product pages, as well as join groups and participate in discussions. This helps your brand achieve a wider reach.

Facebook, meanwhile, focuses more on interaction as an individual. You can set up a business page, but some groups won’t accept business pages, so you can only participate as an individual. This makes it harder to promote your company and increase brand visibility.

When you start out, you may have a personal profile on LinkedIn. However, if you’re an entrepreneur or in marketing, I recommend setting up a company profile. If this seems daunting to you, don’t worry – I have some help for you here.

Building a great personal profile for LinkedIn marketing

The saying ‘first impressions count’ still rings true today. If you scanned a selection of LinkedIn profiles you would most certainly form opinions on them; it’s how we’re made, right?

So, it’s important to consider your first impression, when enhancing your profile. Consider the following at a minimum before you start LinkedIn marketing activity.

1. Make sure your profile photo is professional (and not one taken on vacation eating ice cream).

2. Build over 200 contacts before you start outreach

3.    Complete your resume without any gaps

4.    Seek out recommendations from people you’ve worked with.

5.    Write a compelling ‘About’ section which describes your passions and skillset.

Creating a business page for LinkedIn marketing

Once you’ve got your personal page ready, you need to create your business page, if you don’t already have one. 

You can also create individual product pages if you want to create targeted content around each.

Your business page is where you’ll share content, news, and updates.

Where to start with your LinkedIn marketing activity

We recommend beginning with LinkedIn marketing by building connections.

The more connections you have, the greater the chance that your profile will be viewed. This is true for both your personal as well as your business profile.

LinkedIn rewards popular content by pushing posts with more interactions up the feed. Each of your updates will appear in the feed of your connections and followers.  So, the more connections you have, the more feeds your content will appear in. This makes it more likely to gain popularity with likes and comments.

Building your connections therefore helps you to gain greater visibility. And here’s my first neat growth hacking trick:

You can automate connection requests for free, with high success rates.

Dux-Soup offers a free LinkedIn marketing automation tool that allows users to carry out a LinkedIn search, look up members of a group, or upload a list of contacts from their CRM system. 

Watch the video on how to send automated LinkedIn Connection requests to find out how easy this is.

And here’s the second neat hack:

You can ask connections to follow your company page.

Dux-Soup can send automated personalized messages asking your friends to follow your company page. This simple action gets the best results from minimal effort.

Joining (and leaving) Groups

Once you’ve started developing your connections, you should join groups to extend your organic (non-paid) reach.

Look for active groups with like-minded individuals, and conversations that you can contribute to. Join groups that are moderated to reduce spam and have active participants, not those full of spammers.

We recommend that you monitor the group discussions for a couple of weeks and then leave any groups that don’t offer relevant discussions. It’s better to be engaged in three groups than not engaged in ten.

Another good reason to join groups is to have access to the group members list. With Dux-Soup, you can view the members list and engage with them – whether this is sharing content, connecting with them or messaging them with special offers.

That leads me to the next neat growth hack:

You can connect with members of groups even if you’re not a member

You may find it hard to get access to a group that you want to engage with. Well, the good news is that Sales Navigator will help, if you have it.

It’s worth it if you can’t get access to your target market. 

Basics of LinkedIn Feeds

When you’ve got your profile, business pages and groups up and running, you can start doing some basic things. Here I explain some of the things you can do with LinkedIn and what technical terms mean.

Feed

LinkedIn populates your home page with content from people you follow, along with sponsored content. There is a science behind which posts surface at the top of your page, based on how much engagement they’ve had, and how well liked they are.

Therefore, your own content gets more exposure when you share it in groups and on your personal feed. High quality content also boosts visibility.

LinkedIn ads that are paid for should contain the word ‘Promoted’ as you can see in the example below. Usually there will be a call to action such as ‘Sign Up’ or in this case ‘See More’. You can click through to learn more.

LinkedIn marketing: See that ‘Promoted’ bit at the top there?

Like /Comment /Share /Send Options

You can like, comment, share, and forward other people’s content. While this helps them to promote their content, it can also help you gain visibility as the company will start to pay attention to you.

Every time you comment or share someone else’s content, they receive a notification of this that acts as a complement and can be seen as part of the ‘courting’ process.

You ought to be aware of the fact that you will generally only be interacting with the LinkedIn users who manage business accounts. So, if you want to engage with a specific person, then you should follow them personally and comment on their personal posts rather than their business posts.

When making a comment on a post, it will be displayed underneath, making the comment visible to everyone reading it. This offers a good opportunity to demonstrate thought leadership with your LinkedIn marketing and even share some relevant content in relation to the topic that could point people to your website or blog. 

Just be careful not to appear too salesy as this comment will only appear to the content curator’s audience, which may not be your target market.

LinkedIn marketing: sharing a post to your feed

If you share a post to your feed, it will be added to your feed. You can also select just to share it with your personal connections or public by posting it to a group feed. If you comment on this post, you will offer up your thoughts and visibility within your target market.

When sending a post, you can message someone directly on LinkedIn with the content, and you can also share your message. This is great for your own blog posts, to ensure they reach specific prospects or clients. When working on a customer communication strategy this is a powerful tool for account managers to have.

With every social media activity you engage in, you are likely to get more support for yourself if you are generous in your interactions. For example, have you ever noticed that the most engaging posts often offer kindness and encouragement?

Searches

Once you start LinkedIn marketing you’ll find you’ll use searches quite a lot. These help you find people that match certain criteria.

You can start a search by typing something in the search bar above the home page. Then on the results page, you can refine your search.

Your results can be narrowed down by criteria such as industry, company size, location, and many others to make them more highly targeted.

Boolean Searches

The word ‘Boolean’ may seem foreign to you but it can help you to narrow your searches even further by adding a variety of job titles, etc. to make them more relevant.

This leads into our fourth growth hacking trick:

You can tag your lists using Dux-Soup for easy targeting.

Imagine you have built a really targeted list for your LinkedIn marketing, then you want to run a multiple touch strategy to them. Tagging allows you to easily find all contacts in a list and automate an outreach sequence.

I realise we’re getting ahead of ourselves here with automation, but for now the ability to segment LinkedIn searches means we can find them easily.

In order to automate the tagging of profiles (where you run a LinkedIn search and then results are all tagged automatically) you’ll need Dux-Soup’s Professional version, but with the free version you can manually tag 100 profiles a day (this is fine if you have small lists but can become time consuming for larger lists).

Once your profiles have been tagged, you can also use Boolean search to target multiple tags with the same campaign.

Pretty neat, right?

Just so you know, I’m an affiliate for Dux-Soup. I only work as an affiliate for companies and products I actually use.

With Content Marketing, Do No Evil

In these content marketing heavy times, it is important that companies don’t just ‘add to the noise’.

It’s easy to do.

Take the company that talks about itself all the time. On twitter it can’t stop updating with news about its latest clients, office gossip, and anything else that makes it’s loyal fans happy. Does that sound like good content marketing to you?

Or the company that has a blog that only ever updates with news about itself. This can mean anything from client case studies to pictures of its new office furniture (I’ve seen this happen a lot. It can get pretty ugly).

This has to stop.

Companies do indeed need to add content to their sites and other platforms on a daily basis. And there is a legitimate reason for every single company to do so. But you can’t just ‘talk about you’ all the time.

Been to a party recently? Remember those guys who just talked about their work, their latest purchase, the new phones they bought?

Is this what you are doing with content marketing?

Deliver value with content marketing, not noise

As professionals, we need to give people reason to think about us, and consider us when making purchases, but we also need to be nice to them. We need to create value.

When looking at the next phase of your content marketing strategy, consider the ratio of valuable, newsworthy content compared to content that is solely about you and your amazing company.

The news and industry content (or any other content that your market research has shown to be relevant to your customers) must far outweigh the ‘look at me’ content. I’m talking 80:20, and no more.

Is that possible? Definitely. There is a ton of stuff out there that you can be writing, tweeting and making videos about. It’s called the news.

Give your audience a break. Become a ‘media company’ and deliver the important news that your audience wants. Then add your own content about you, but sparingly.

Not convinced? Try this scenario.

At a party, whom would you rather talk to? The annoying, self-obsessed bore or the smiling, listening intelligent person who is genuinely interested in what you have to say?

When Blogging Gets Scary

If you are a blogger it can get quite scary if you’re just not delivering results.

It can feel like you’re in Blogging Hell. You have no audience, and your position is feeling decidedly shaky.

It may not seem like your fault that you’re in Blogging Hell. You may have tried your hardest to create posts that are exciting and memorable, not to mention ‘on message’. You may even have slaved away into the night to create a series of blog posts that you were certain would bring the blog some of that much-needed ‘authority’.

All to no avail. No one is listening, and no one cares.

Don’t give up. Think carefully about tackling the following three areas, and pretty soon you’ll have a blog that is found and engaged with. Don’t forget that blogging is one of the best ways to create an audience and to engage with that audience. Not to mention it’s good for making your brand grow.

Keep your word count sensible

Don’t go for huge blog posts that bore readers to tears. It used to be fashionable to create blog content that was ‘long-form’ (i.e. 1000 words and more). That has now died a horrible death. People don’t want this anymore. They want short and snappy. Keep it to a maximum of 550 words (or less, like this one) and you have readability. Any more than that and you have certain blog death.

Don’t do too much

There is a ton of bloggers out there right now who seem to think that they have to publish daily. By all means, if you’re the most interesting and engaging person in your field, do it every day. But if you’re not, keep it simple and blog a couple of times a week. Publish great stuff, but if you can’t do that every day, don’t go crazy over it. People will expect great content every day, and that is something only a highly qualified team can do.

Don’t be boring

If you hate your topic, stop writing. Stop right away. People can smell stale stuff, and if you’re obviously not interested in what you’re writing about, it will show. Get interested again if you have to by talking to clients and asking them what they want to see. Look at other topics and relate them to yours. Or curate content.

Go, create

Blogging should be fun and it should be easy. Keep it short, consistent and engaging, and you should be fine.