LinkedIn Business Networking Success Tips

LinkedIn can be a great way to use social networks for professional gain. At first, in may look daunting to a person who’s used to Facebook’s visual interface and lots of entertaining, fluffy posts. The tone on social media sites vary according to the users’ motives, and LinkedIn is definitely about getting ahead in business-building your brand name, reputation, and customer base. Here are some of the top tips for getting the most out of LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Strategies for Dominance

Optimize your profile with keywords. Especially in your headline, your current work experience, past work experience and summary. Google Adwords is a great tool for keyword research.

Use a professional headshot. Your half-naked pose or picture of you at the bar will not impress. At least, not in the right way.

Complete your profile. Make sure to fill out all the sections and add projects, publications, awards, certifications, whatever you can to fill it out as completely as possible. You can use the Complete Your Profile button to get walked through this.

Take a look at some profiles of your top competitors. Not only does your profile need to be written with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, it should use effective marketing language with flair.

Build your connections number. 500+ seems to be the magic number everyone needs to have in order to be taken seriously. In this case, it’s quantity over quality, I doubt that most people actually know all of those connections personally. I imported my email contacts as a .csv file and hardly had anyone I knew accept my invitation to connect. I know some of them probably didn’t have a LinkedIn account or weren’t active users, but others, well…sheesh. The real topper is when you send a connection request to your coworker that doesn’t get accepted. Nice teamwork there, huh?

I eventually joined some open networking groups and that got me to 500+ quickly. (I did notice a couple of the coworkers who initially snubbed my connection request had a change of heart after I had 500+ and sent me one. Kinda made me feel like one of the nerds at school who suddenly gets invited to sit at the popular kids’ table at the cafeteria and now everyone likes you.)

Give endorsements. Sure, it’s nice when people endorse you back. However, if they don’t, don’t let that discourage you from taking the initiative in endorsing others. I always return endorsements as long as their profile looks like it matches the skills. It’s just the right thing to do for etiquette’s sake, and hopefully good LinkedIn karma.

Post updates. The Pulse feed is a good way to get visibility. I’d like to have time to post more often, but I try to share a blog post at least once a week.

These are some basic tips to get you started off on the right foot. Do you love or hate LinkedIn? If you do, please share your reasons.

Social Media Networking – Why We Need It

There are some obvious answers. Other motives go way deeper into the meanings of existence and human interaction.

Business Marketing and Social Media

Businesses marketing needs to use social media to stay competitive these days. The days of letting your fingers do the walking have given way to fingers doing the clicking. Even the local mom and pop stores in the neighborhood have Facebook pages now. It’s about establishing a brand name and gaining a online reputation. For those who are service providers, it’s essential to establish your authority in your field. While you may not have a book on the shelves or articles in print publication, having content posted online can be equally effective in establishing your credentials and image as a leader in any given area.

Personal Networking and Social Media

There are more complex reasons behind personal social media engagements. Some are related to business motives. Others can be boiled down to a basic human need to connect with another human being. None of us likes the feeling of being all alone in the world. Whether we use site likes Facebook and Twitter to stay connected to distant friends and relatives, or play a popularity numbers game through a certain number of friends, likes, and followers, it still is a way to avoid experiencing loneliness.

Not all posts through social media channels are updates on someone’s daily life or links for entertainment value. There are posts that genuinely seek to promote worthy causes, help others, etc. However, what motivates a person to share informative content in a public forum? Isn’t it a way to feel good about oneself, through gaining the recognition of others for being helpful, caring, knowledgeable, and so forth? This leads to the question of why the opinions or thoughts of others matter to us. Now we’re back again to the basic premise that no man is an island unto himself. We need to be connected to others, and rely on them to an extent for our self-esteem and self-worth. Hopefully, we don’t allow others to define us too much.

Effects of Isolation

I’ve read that there’s an area of the brain, in the back of the head, near the base where it connects to the spine, that atrophies with lack of human interaction. This has been cited as one of the reasons people will seek negative attention if positive attentions can’t be gained. Prisoners isolated in solitary confinement sometimes go insane. Newborns won’t thrive without contact with another human being.

Some of us may live cocooned lives, barely ever leaving the house. However, I suspect that those who do are unable to live without a phone or computer. How comfortable are you with being alone? How much do you care about what others think of you? Could you live on an island like Tom Hanks in the Castaway movie and not talk to a soccer ball?

Online Marketing Pet Peeves and Turnoffs

There are some online marketing strategies that I find highly irritating. Am I the only one? It sometimes seems that way, since they must be getting results if they appear so often. The following are my top offenders:

The Half Hour Audio Teaser

They’re going to share their secret to fame, fortune, happiness, success, etc. with you. How they lost 10 pounds in two days, the stock that’s set to skyrocket 100 times in value, how to make every person of the opposite sex fall at your feet. You’re dying to hear the big reveal, but first you have to listen to thirty minutes of a spiel that’s designed to prime you for the final pitch. If you have the time and patience to listen to the speaker drone on, he’ll keep leading you on with promises about how he’s going to get to the point and share the valuable secret soon. (Who is this guy anyway? The same annoying voice seems to be used in all of these things. They probably never show his picture because he’s afraid of death threats.) If you’ve got the stamina to hang in there until the end, you wind up feeling like you did when someone in your early dating years strung you along with empty promises. You’re wearing a big “S” for sucker on your forehead when you finally find out that in order to get the top secret information, you’re going to have to pony up the price of a subscription to their newsletter, buy their book, or buy a membership to join their group. I don’t understand how someone can still trust them to deliver information that lives up to it hype after they just spent all that time stringing them along with their teasing.

Online Marketing Daily Spam

One of my very first followers on my blog was from a guy who lives a “location-free lifestyle.” Okay, so he’s a homeless guy with a computer, but I was impressed that he was able to make enough of a living with just his laptop to travel the world. To show my appreciation, I reciprocated and signed up for his newsletter. That’s when I found out the hard way how much time a homeless guy with a pc has on his hands. I started getting tons of emails, sometimes more than once a day. If people are nice enough to subscribe to your newsletter, don’t abuse their email address. I shouldn’t be hearing from you more often than I do my family members and closest friends.

These are just some of the online turnoffs I encounter most. Feel free to sound off and rant about yours. Maybe I’ll even seem less crabby when you do.

Blogging Tips for Blog and Online Marketing Success

A blog is an essential online marketing tool these days. However, if you handle it poorly, it can backfire and damage your reputation. Here are some social media marketing tips to ensure your blogging is effective.

Blog Writing Tips for Blogging Success

  1. Write original content. Copy and pasting someone else’s content is a huge no-no. Not only is it illegal and unethical under copyright law and plagiarism rules, but the search engines are very adept at recognizing duplicate content and will penalize your site for it.
  2. Use quality, optimized images. Make sure they’re royalty free if you haven’t made them yourself or paid for them. Canva and PicMonkey are two popular image tools. Your images should have some visual appeal, something that catches the eye and draws a viewer’s attention to it. All images need to have alt tags and meta descriptions that contain the proper keywords. They also need to be sized properly for the target platform. For example, Pinterest favors taller images, while other sites favor wider images. You can use a plugin like WP Smush.It to reduce the load time of your images.
  3. Keep your content fresh. Posting only one a month or less won’t be often enough to get you the results you want. Google will rank your site lower if it sees the same stale content on there.
  4. Keep your target audience in mind. For example, a legal blog shouldn’t use lots of obscure Latin terms and legalese if it’s aimed at clients in the general public. Figure out how to match your tone to the style best suited to the readers you want to reach.
  5. Proofread. Use of proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation is important for a professional image. Especially if you’re trying to market writing services, a missing comma an cost you a potential customer. However, even if you’re selling widgets, sloppy writing may convey an unprofessional, sloppy impression of your business to your audience.
  6. Provide interaction. Your posts should give the reader an opportunity to provide feedback. Popular plugins for reader interaction are comment boxes and social share buttons, but there are also other options. If you use a comment plugin, be aware that spammers can target these, so you should protect your site with an anti-spam plugin like Akismet or Captcha. You may be very surprised, and not in a good way, by the number of spam comments you’ll receive without a safeguard in place. Deleting hundreds or thousands of spam comments definitely isn’t one of the joys of blogging.

These are some basic content writing tips that are essential for bloggers on all topics. Of course, there’s more to optimizing your blog and engaging with readers, so stay tuned for my follow up posts on blogging. Do you have a favorite blog? One you want to pick on-even mine?