Bury St Edmunds social media expert Kim Morrison has some tips for successful online networking with LinkedIn
Social media networking, online networking, forum networking -- You're supposed to do a little networking on a daily basis, but are you placing your concentration in the wrong place?
If you spend most of your day on Facebook instead of using LinkedIn and you offer professional or B2B services, yes you are.
LinkedIn is an online professional networking site that should not be ignored. Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites are fine to participate in, but no other is as professional or strictly business as LinkedIn.
Don't go on LinkedIn and expect to discuss private information about your family, your children -- no nights at the pub discussions here. But you will be able to learn a whole host of information related to your business as well as make connections with potential customers if you actually complete your profile and participate.
Many people only half create a LinkedIn profile, don’t add a profile photo, and then they don't participate at all, so their profile remains largely dormant. Then, they wonder why social networking marketing doesn't work for them. Many will blame the network instead of looking to themselves about why something isn’t working.
The fact is, if you just do a little bit on LinkedIn every day with the Basic, free account, you can get new business via LinkedIn. Here are some tips to get you started:
Create a full profile
Fill out your profile completely, including a professional headshot ideally on a white background and smiling.
Invite Friends & Colleagues
Start your connections off the right way by inviting your friends and colleagues to connect with you.
Recommend & Get Recommended
Giving recommendations on LinkedIn is a serious business. The more recommendations you can get and give that are honest and complete the better. And remember: If you don't ask, you won't get!
Join & Create Groups
LinkedIn has a plethora of informative niche groups. Every member can create their own group which can be open or private. Ensure that you join groups and/or create your own group and then participate as much as possible.
If you do nothing else each day, participate in at least one discussion for 5-10 minutes a day, or answer one question per day. Participation is the most important thing that you can do to promote your business without being obvious on LinkedIn.
Provide content that engages your audience as this is key to building your network. Engagement is one of the main goals of social media marketing. In fact, according to LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, 50% of LinkedIn members will buy from companies they have engaged with.
Content plays an important role in attracting your audience. Creating engaging content is key to keeping them. You can do this in many ways.
1. Tell a story. Storytelling can and should be a part of every piece of content you produce. You can incorporate how you came to the solution, your process along the way or some story on how you helped a customer solve their problem with your solution.
2. Use images with your posts that tell a story. Don’t just show your product on a plain white background. Instead show images of customers using your product.
3. Create compelling headlines and engaging first sentences. The first line should grip your attention: interesting, unusual, emotional, and shocking are all human emotional needs that grab attention.
4. Personalise it. Even though LinkedIn is where B2B professionals hang out, people still want to do business with real people. Let your personality and your brand’s personality come through in all your content.
There’s a lot more you can do on LinkedIn and I’ll cover that in another article but following these tips will get you started on the right track.
Facebook Redesigns Mobile App and Desktop Site Around Stories, Groups, and Events: Facebook unveiled a redesign that’s simpler, faster, more immersive, and puts the focus on Stories, Groups, and Events. Facebook users should begin seeing the new look in the mobile apps this week. It will expand to the desktop site “in the next few months.”
Facebook Makes It Easier to “Meet New Friends”: Facebook is currently testing a Meet New Friends tool in select markets. It eventually plans a wider rollout and integration with Groups. This new feature allows users to browse people from shared communities such as school, workplace, or city, and makes it possible to discover new connections on Facebook.
Messenger Introduces Lighter, Faster Mobile App and Upcoming Desktop Site: After simplifying and decluttering the Messenger interface in October 2018, Facebook is re-engineering the architecture of the platform “from the ground up” to be faster and lighter. The stripped-down version of Messenger will focus on chat, highlight your “close friends,” and feature video co-watching capabilities. The redesigned Messenger experience will roll out to mobile later this year with an updated desktop site to follow soon.
Facebook Adds New Business Tools: Along with the revamped interface, Messenger is providing a new set of plug-and-play solutions aimed at making it easier for businesses to drive in-store traffic, generate leads, and provide customer care. These include an appointment-booking function, a lead generation template built directly into Ads Manager, and easy authentication.
Facebook Allows Page Admins to Change Their Display Name and Photo on Messenger: It appears that Facebook now allows page admins to select their display name and photo when they use Messenger on behalf of their page or business.
Facebook's Cryptocurrency Project Could Change the eCommerce Landscape: New details have emerged about Facebook's cryptocurrency exchange project, which could become a major consideration in the near future. Its cryptocurrency offering would enable users of Facebook's apps to easily exchange money between friends, without additional fees. The main focus for this option would be the Indian market - India sees the highest amount of funds sent between family members via remittance, which the proposed process would facilitate.
Facebook Announces Bans of Well-Known Extremist Commentators: Facebook has announced that it's banning a range of well-known extremist commentators as part of its ongoing effort to rid its platform of hate speech.
Instagram Adds Ability to Shop From Creators: Instagram users will soon be able to shop fashion looks directly from creators’ Instagram photos with a new product tagging tool. The company will begin publicly testing this feature next week “with a small group of influencers” before rolling it out to the global community. Instagram notes that those participating in the test are also part of the test for in-app checkout, so users will be able to shop and finalize a purchase without leaving the app.
Instagram Adds Donation Stickers to Stories: Starting this week, Instagram users in the U.S. will be able to raise money for non-profits they care about directly within Stories. A new Donation sticker joins Instagram’s library of interactive sticker options. This option is currently only available in the U.S., but Instagram is working to bring it to more countries.
Instagram Introduces New Camera Design With Create Mode: In the coming weeks, Instagram will have a refreshed camera design that includes a new Create Mode. The new camera will make it simpler to use popular creative tools like effects and interactive stickers without having to start with a photo or video. Instagram states that the new camera and Create Mode are expected to roll out globally “soon.”
LinkedIn Engagement Continues to Rise, According to Latest Update from Microsoft: LinkedIn's revenue has increased by 27% for the quarter, while the platform continues to see 'record levels of engagement', with on-platform sessions growing by 24%. Couple that with LinkedIn recently reaching 610 million members and the signs look positive.
Snapchat Announces New Shopify Ads Integration, Expanding Advertising Opportunities: Snap Inc. has announced a new advertising partnership with Shopify which will enable small businesses to purchase ads on Snapchat.
Snapchat Announces Bitmoji Characters for Snap Games to Add More Personalization: Snapchat is adding a new option which will enable users to add their own Bitmoji avatars as playable characters in Snap games.
Twitter Launches Simplified Process to Report Voter Misinformation: Twitter has launched a new option to help users report tweets which attempt to mislead voters with a view to skewing elections.
YouTube Announces Changes to 'Preferred' Ad Offering: YouTube has announced some updates to its ad offerings and premium video at its eighth annual Brandcast event. YouTube has outlined changes to its Google Preferred offerings to help advertisers tap into key, trending content on the platform, and maximize their ad efforts. YouTube's doing this through updates to its Preference Score algorithm - or 'P-Score' as it's now named.
YouTube Also Announces Plans to Make YouTube Originals Free to View: YouTube has now made it official, saying that this will be put into effect soon (though no specific date was given). By making its Originals free, rather than subscriber exclusive, YouTube will be able to better monetize them through audience scale, as opposed to driving revenue through a subscriber model
WhatsApp Debuts Business Catalog and Expand Payments Globally: In the coming months, WhatsApp users will be able to see a Business Catalogue when chatting with a brand. With Business Catalogues, businesses can showcase their goods where people can easily find them.
WhatsApp also plans to expand in-app payments globally and introduce ads to the platform in the coming months.