Tag Archives: LinkedIn

Ding Dong the Social Media Manager is Dead (?)

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According to Nielsen’s 2012 Social Media Report, more than 50% of consumers now use Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media tools such as to contact companies with questions or complaints. Yet, according to Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, the Social Media jobs market has undergone a marked decline behind which the slowdown ‘in Social Media managers is a sea change in the way that Social Media itself is used within organisations’.

The paradox however is that integrating Social Media in the workplace is hampered by a skills shortage. Social Media as a phenomenon and marketing skill hasn’t been around long enough for that. In other words, the demand for Social Media managers is there but as part of another role for which there aren’t yet many candidates. Companies more and more are expecting job applicants to already possess the skills, perhaps because of a misconception of how Social Media is and/or should be used for business. Whilst I have always been an advocate of the premise that websites are about a business and Social Media gives you an insight into the people behind the business, there’s a big difference between being a regular user of Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends, and using language and vocabulary effectively to communicate your business’ marketing messages and brand awareness through a Facebook Business Page, for example.

“The notion of a single person who spends their entire day on Twitter creating hashtags is dead”, says GigaOM. Being social is “part of everyone’s jot, or soon will be”. So much so that it could almost be seen as the people’s platform in that Twitter, Facebook and the like are no longer the almost exclusive domain of online pundits, rather they are gradually becoming everybody’s responsibility.

One could argue the positives of this, in that it means organisations are finally seeing the integral role Social Media plays in an organisation’s overarching communications and marketing strategy rather than an obligatory annoyance that gets in the way of the day job but which they either haven’t got the funds to finance somebody else’s management of or they lack the time and inclination and instead offer a lacklustre and ill-thought out series of messages and communication to their followers. In fact, a recent Harvard Business Review survey revealed that just 12% of companies using Social Media felt that they actually use it effectively *.

This is why, if are considering your business’ Social Media in-house, is to source the right training provider. And it may not be as simple as just hiring a specialist who is ‘good at Social Media’ or seeing one or more of your employees on a workshops in how to use Social media, but perhaps thinking about engaging with a niche specialist. Somebody who say, specialises in Social Media for accountants or solicitors if that’s what your business is, who has the testimonials and the case studies to back up this specialism. Using Social Media does not equate to using it well.

This can however be attributed to what I like to term the problem with Social Media being Social Media. In that it is an umbrella term many feel is not attributable to their line of work, i.e. the words Social Media are for them not synonymous with business. People like to put labels on things and perhaps a rethink of the job description ‘Social Media manager’ is also now necessary to ensure that whilst the role itself remains of paramount importance and vital to many businesses, it does not become obsolete or extinct because the terminology has got lost in translation.

Katherine Hanson is Owner & Managing Director of Soci@lite who provide Social Media Management & Training solutions for businesses.

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Tweeting Smartphone Dashboard not to be saved from the Deckers’ yard after all. Or is it?

A mere two years since their rumoured £25 million purchase of TweetDeck, Twitter have announced that they will not be supporting the platform beyond May 2013. This is despite also having commented only recently that “TweetDeck gives the Twitter experience more flexibility and allows advanced users to gain valuable insight into what’s happening at this moment on Twitter….the TweetDeck team has been steadily innovating and improving the product, and we expect to see much more of that to come.”

The announcement was somewhat overshadowed by Facebook’s news feed PR frenzy despite the hashtag #RIPTweetDeck circulating during the past seven days. According to TweetDeck, they’re going to focus their development efforts on a modern, web-based version whilst ceasing support for old apps such as TweetDeck Air and TweetDeck for Android and iPhone this month.

Since Twitter acquired TweetDeck back in 2011, the platform has grown as a way to organise tweets into manageable threads and lists but this wasn’t enough to dissuade Twitter from killing off TweetDeck for mobile devices and Facebook.  As an already active user of the far superior and more dynamic (in my humble opinion) HootSuite, this latest announcement makes little difference, but what of the users who live or die by TweetDeck’s smartphone app functionality?

HootSuite has long outshone TweetDeck for Social Media Dashboard features and continues to offer far more bang for your buck, boasting one sign in for not only Social Media trailblazers Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn but also Foursquare, Google+, MySpace and even blogging giant WordPress.

HootSuite not only enables you to browse, post messages and status updates from Social Media platforms but also to multitask by posting to multiple accounts, attach pictures and shorten links simultaneously and also schedule posts for later times and dates, to for later.

If this wasn’t enough, you can also monitor/track your links and click-throughs which prior to HootSuite could only be done via third party applications.

TweetDeck had made moves to expand from a Twitter-centric product to one that supported multiple Social Media platforms including Facebook, Foursquare and LinkedIn, but in reality its usage remained Twitter based and not heavily used by the others. But now even Twitter is following suit in three months’ time Twitter by dropping TweetDeck for iOS, Android and Facebook whilst the service will survive on browsers and desktops.

So if you’re a desktop Twitter only user however, you can look forward to fast web apps for modern browsers and a Chrome app offering features such as notifications, search term auto-complete, search filters to help its users find what they’re looking for more quickly and automatically updated Tweet streams. Mac and PC apps for TweetDeck are also in the pipeline, according to TweetDeck.

Twitter users looking for TweetDeck alternatives should try TweetLine and Plume if they are Android users or HootSuite and Tweetbot for iPhone, whilst Sprout Social is compatible for both iPhone and Android.

Check out TweetDeck’s own words on the changes in their blog post from 4 March 2013.

Did you know that Soci@lite trains SMEs in all things HootSuite and is a HootSuite Certified Professional? For further details on how Soci@lite could help your business visit http://www.social-ite.info/store/products/hootsuite-training

Whys & Wherefores of a LinkedIn profile

Many professionals see LinkedIn as ‘a place they keep their CV online and maybe have some connections with people they know professionally…not as a place to get business intelligence, to research problems, to establish an online presence where other people in the network can find them’, commented LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman recently. Nevertheless, LinkedIn has now established itself as one of the leading Social Media channels and is an interface for professionals who want to find out more about you – use it to benefit from the buzz about your business.

A LinkedIn profile helps you to:

  • Showcase your skills and experience
  • Be found for new opportunities
  • Stay in touch with colleagues and friends

LinkedIn is very different from more casual social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and the language used to communicate with fellow LinkedIn members more formal. As LinkedIn is a professional network, offer business discussions, events and opportunities instead of personal Updates. Be mindful of the purpose of LinkedIn – although it is great to share what is important to you on LinkedIn, achieving a balance is equally crucial.

LinkedIn is all about connections and nurturing your network so you should really be asking yourself what you can do for your contacts, instead of requesting that they do things to benefit you. Much the same as Facebook’s ‘Like’ button, you can ‘follow’ your favourite or similar companies to your own and receive automatic Updates in your LinkedIn feed. Read their pages and the profiles of their members – what keywords do they use? What LinkedIn groups do they belong to? What connections do you have to these people?

You are your Brand

Users with 100% complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn, which will not only open avenues to more connections, but demonstrate that you actively wish to participate and are ready to engage with fellow users.  A 100% complete profile (a prerequisite of which is a minimum of 50 connections), also automatically ranks you higher in search results because the more information you input with relevant keywords, the easier it is for people to find you which in turn influences how high up you appear in a search result.

Katherine Hanson - Soci@lite

Use a professional, clear and current photograph of your face which is appropriate for business. We are visual creatures and your photograph will be the first thing people notice before even looking at your work experience or qualifications, so first impressions really do count particularly if you have never met in person.

Choose a custom URL for your public profile, e.g. www.linkedin.com/in/katherinehanson. Google is more likely to display your name in a search and you will appear more reputable (assuming your profile is also complete of course). You can also better control what people see when they search for your name on search engines which will also return the most recent information about you.

Click here for a copy of my LinkedIn ebook:

LinkedIn Profiles & Company Pages ebook

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Soci@ite's Social Media Training image

LinkedIn Company Pages

LinkedIn Company Page logo

A LinkedIn Company Page is a very effective way to showcase your business, products and services and will encourage sharing of your content. You can also take advantage of a Company Page to increase engagement and ensure your company provides the most tailored and relevant messages, such as adding a logo and clickable URL and videos to make your Page more dynamic and interactive.

More than 150 million professionals are following 2 million or more companies on LinkedIn. Who are these followers?

They are job seekers, employees, potential customers, purchasing managers, current clients, or interested observers. They follow companies to stay in the loop on new developments, compare products and services, track potential business opportunities and keep an eye out for job openings. Members are not­ed of such developments via network updates or emails. When members want to know more about your company, they look to your Company Page on LinkedIn

A Company Page is comprised of five main sections:

1.      Overview

This tab provides a friendly introduction to your business. It’s a place companies can start spreading their message and opening up the conversation with members. Members will see:

  • A high-level overview of the business
  • Company posts on topics ranging from company announcements to product releases to industry news
  • Friends & colleagues who are connected to the business
  • Careers: This tab is a way for companies to interact with millions of passive and active job seekers on LinkedIn. The Careers tab requires a paid subscription by the company

2.      Products & Services

This optional tab can be made visible by company. It is used to highlight products or services. Members will see:

  • A showcase of products & services
  • Recommendations from LinkedIn members
  • Links to the members making the recommendations

3.      Follower Statistics

This tab shows total followers, impressions, new followers in the last 7 days, etc.

4.      Page Statistics

This tab shows page views, unique visitors, page clicks over the last 7 days. It also shows page views by tab, page visitor demographics and more.

LinkedIn Company Page Analytics image

5.      Insights

This tab shows employees with new titles, departures, where employees worked before and after and most common employee skills.

LinkedIn Company Page Insights image

LinkedIn Insights

This tab is only visible to administrators of the Company Page. Analytics help understand who is following the company, who is viewing the page, and what content appeals to them. If you check the stats that appear on your posts about 24 hours after your status update goes live, you can see what types of information and links create the most Likes, comments and clicks

LinkedIn Company Page Insights image

source: www.linkedin.com

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To read more about LinkedIn visit http://www.social-ite.info/services/linkedin.

Google+ Communities: for all the people you ought to know

Google-Plus-ShipGoogle Plus is the New Social Media Kid on the Block – it has only been in operation since June 2011 and is already the fastest-growing Social Network ever launched. More than 500 million people have upgraded, 235 million are active across Google and 135 million are active in just the stream.

Google Plus is now hot on the heels of the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and even added its own Company Page feature in addition to a Google Plus profile to rival these. Although Facebook is still the clear leader of the Social Media platforms for businesses, Google+’ USP is the ability of Google to synchronise search and Social Media into one package and give the other big Social Media players a run for their money.

Launched just last week (6 December 2012), Google+ Communities is the search engine giant’s newest tool:

From photography to astronomy (and everything in between), Google+ has always been a place to crowd around common interests and meet new people. What’s been missing, however, are more permanent homes for all the stuff you love: the wonderful, the weird, and yes, even the things that are waaay out there. With Google+ Communities there’s now a gathering place for your passions:

  • Discussion categories to find the conversations you care about most
  • Public or private membership for groups – from local neighbourhoods to regular poker nights
  • The ability to share with your community from any +1 button across the web
  • The option to start hangouts and plan events with community members

Google+ was launched with the aim of making online sharing as meaningful as the real thing, because the boffins at Google felt that online tools often miss the subtlety and substance of real-world interactions – this ethos has now followed through into live hangouts, the sharing of awe-inspiring photos and inner circles of friends, among others, which ‘help bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software’.

To try out the new Google+ Communities simply click on the left-hand side of your Google+ profile page

Google+ Communities

Better Business Blogging (part 2) – Why, When, How

A Note on WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular blog-publishing applications in the world used by millions of individuals, businesses & organisations. It allows up to 10 users – enabling different people to post different blogs at different times. Each user may be authorised with different privileges, e.g. publishing, editing, etc. It integrates elegantly with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms. You may use templates, search-engine friendly links and widgets (drag-and-drop sidebars, Facebook Like boxes, etc.)

It automatically skim reads your content and suggests relevant or popular keywords (as do Podcasts) to tag your articles with. You can publish material retrospectively based on original date, e.g. existing testimonials/blogs. You can make special blogs ‘sticky’ – which means you can choose what to promote regardless of publishing date and it give you free analytics to measure the impact of your blog and traffic to your website.

When might you Blog?

At least once a week, the more you Blog the more likely you will attract attention. You might want to use an editorial calendar to schedule content and vary types of post and their length. Choose a specific time and day of the week to create anticipation amongst followers and choose a keyword to focus on and then measure the results through the analytics.

A Pretty Good Tip! Plan your blog posts for the month and write and schedule as many as possible in advance – this frees up your time to deal with daily tasks and social networking.

Optimise your Blog Posts

Be Sociable – Sharing Buttons will extend your reach & encourage readers to share your content across their Social Media channels

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words – use compelling images to convey what the post is about, grab attention & emphasise points

What’s Your Format? – use bold, CAPITALS, italics & underlining to highlight text & draw your readers’ eyes to your main points

Don’t Hide Your Light Under A Bushel – begin & end with your main points – Google show the first 165 characters in search engine listings

Box It In – boxes around quotes and key points can similarly get the attention of readers

Bullet Your Points – posts containing bullet points tend to be linked to far more other blogs than posts of the same length that do not

Give Your Blog A Heads Up – Headings/Sub-Headings draw the reader’s eyes down the page to what interests them

Give Yourself Space – helps readers not to feel overwhelmed and draws their eye to what’s inside

Keep Paragraphs Short – your readers will get lost in large blocks of text – break it down and they’ll stay longer

The Value of Exchange

The relationship between your brand, employees & consumers which is more than just a single transaction or subscription.

Remember – you are writing for both your target audience/customers and for search engines. Brainstorm ideas with colleagues, family and friends if you’re not sure what to blog about, then when you write be yourself! Let your personality shine through and write in a conversational and friendly tone.

Avoid the sales patter & advertising – people trust peer recommendations more, instead invite conversation by asking questions, add social media buttons so readers can share your posts on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Decide on one key phrase or word for each post and include it in the title, content & tags. Link, Link & Link again!

Content is King – the more you post the more you will be found.

Network online with other bloggers and blogging communities, not just your followers, seek out like minded folk to interact with. Identify and follow those blogs you think will be most relevant to your business & provide you with the most information. Make sure that you measure the value of exchange not the return on investment – doing business with people that know, like & trust you will make you money – social media is merely the platform!

Get LinkedIn to the right training session!

Book your place by Tuesday 31 July and receive a 10% Earlybird Discount!

LinkedIn is your interface to professionals who want to find out more about your company, job openings, culture, recommendations from their network on products/services, etc.

Need to create a Company Page or increase your activity but not sure where to start? Want to get the best out of LinkedIn, raise your profile, expand your network and ensure your company provides the most relevant, tailored messaging?

Come along to my next LinkedIn Training session and see how it’s done at a fraction of the price you’d pay anywhere else!

You will learn how to:

  • ‘Follow’ your favourite companies and receive automatic updates in your LinkedIn feed
  • Use the Follow button to help users discover who they know at your company
  • Add the LinkedIn plug-in to your website displaying at-a-glance information to drive traffic
  • Create a Company Page to increase engagement and ensure your company provides the most tailored and relevant messages
  • Create a custom URL for your public profile, e.g. http://www.linkedin.com/in/katherinehanson
  • Export your connections to a spreadsheet and add them to your Marketing list or Newsletter
  • Utilise LinkedIn recommendations – nothing beats word-of-mouth recommendation versus a testimonial from a stranger
  • Use LinkedIn Groups to promote and track your industry and competitor activity
  • Use the Careers Tab to shape job seekers’ understanding of your company
  • Utilise ‘Updates’ to build new connections and discover what people in your industry are sharing

Details: Tuesday 14 August 2012 – 2pm to 4pm: Basepoint Business Centre, Aviation Business Park, Enterprise Close, Christchurch BH23 6NX

 

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Other Options:

  1. One-to-one Training – at your desk (or at here at my offices if you work 10+ miles from BH6 5AF)
  2. Remote Training – don’t live locally? Take advantage of my one-to-one Telephone & Video Training – contact Katherine for further details