Is Twitter a Better Job Tool than LinkedIn?

Everyone knows LinkedIn is the social media king when it comes to job search, candidate search, and promoting a company or business. But I learned something recently that shocked my knowledge and made me question my social media industry knowledge – Twitter might be a more effective job tool.

Via Pixabay by Nemo

Via Pixabay by Nemo

Some background: A couple of months ago I received a mysterious email from a local startup, asking if I could come in for an interview. I spoke with the woman on the phone, came to their office for an interview, and have been working with them as a brand consultant and social media manager ever since.

I assumed when I was headhunted that the startup found me on LinkedIn. After all, I just started publishing on the platform and it is THE career networking site. I was surprised to find out a few weeks later that she actually found me via Twitter. Amazed, I asked what she did. The startup searched for social media in combination with my area – Kansas City, MO. I was one of the names that came up and my Twitter profile and messaging was the most appealing to her out of all the candidates.

Not only did this interaction make me extremely proud of my profile engagement, but it also opened my eyes as a social media manager. Companies who go digital head straight to LinkedIn to create a company page, get their employees on the site, and headhunt for new opportunities. Individuals who want to network for career advancement and are actively looking for job opportunities get on LinkedIn, customize their profile, and start applying to job openings.

Via Pixabay by tiffanytlcbm

Via Pixabay by tiffanytlcbm

Here is the problem – LinkedIn is so business professional that it is stuffy. There is an unspoken code of ethics, as if the users are constantly in their job interview mode (you know, that mode you get in when you are great at everything and can adapt to whatever the job interviewer wants). LinkedIn is flooded with people vying for positions and trying to B2B market effectively. It can be hard to sort through the noise to find people, especially since LinkedIn’s search function and strange connection rules make it hard to reach people.

Yet Twitter is the opposite. Even if people are looking for job opportunities, they go on Twitter to share industry knowledge, talk about their real lives, and communicate with others in similar professions. Twitter users are more real. They are not actively trying to find jobs on the platform, but do hope someone loves their content enough to follow them.

That means Twitter users are on their A-game to be the best selves they can be. This is different from the fake job interview-self that is the greatest at everything. Twitter users vent when they are frustrated, brag when they overcome challenges, and share personal photos and stories of their life. If you want to get to the heart of who someone is – go to Twitter.

Via Pixabay by Unsplash

Via Pixabay by Unsplash

That is what the startup I joined decided to do. Without even realizing I was being headhunted, I was appealing enough for that company that they considered me the perfect fit and solution to their problems. On LinkedIn, I am too focused on bragging about myself to do much else.

Remember this when you get on social media. People can find you anywhere online. Reserving one part of your personality for LinkedIn while putting another side on Twitter does not separate the two versions of yourself. Whatever you put online reveals who you are. This same rule goes for brands. People can easily find you on multiple platforms and will compare that messaging you send out. Even though each platform has a slightly different audience and messaging construction, you cannot treat them as separate worlds that will never touch. Be authentic on every platform and you will see your goals achieved.

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How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms for Your Business

So you realize that you need to be social. But where do you start?

It can be overwhelming. There are numerous platforms and every social media advice website will tell you something different. Here is what it comes down to – you need to evaluate your brand message and your marketing goals and find platforms that match the “persona” of your business.

“But how do I know which platforms match my business?” Luckily, I am here as a social media expert to break it down the main platforms for you.

Via Flickr by marcopako

Via Flickr by marcopako

Facebook. Many say Facebook marketing is as dead as paper marketing, which, if you follow my posts, you know is not the case. It is good to have some Facebook presence no matter what your business is (however retail, restaurants, and local businesses do the best). It’s a numbers game – there are over 1.2 billion active users as of January 2014. You can’t ignore that big of platform. Granted, Facebook’s algorithms make it hard for your messages to reach that platform, but if you do a little bit of research you can greatly use organic reach Facebook to your advantage.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Twitter. With the right hashtags, you can do anything on Twitter. Yet the best businesses on Twitter are the opposite of the best businesses on Facebook. This is because retail, restaurants, and local businesses have a dedicated customer base while other businesses have more casual relationships with the audience. This is where Twitter comes in. Twitter allows you to connect with other businesses, prospective customers, and industry enthusiasts who will promote you for free – as long as you use the right hashtags. I insist the majority of my clients get both a Twitter and Facebook. They are the two powerhouse platforms you can’t ignore.

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

LinkedIn. LinkedIn is THE platform for B2B marketing. Yet LinkedIn can be tricky. You need to have one employee be the “face” of the company, meaning they create, manage, discuss, and make connections on the company’s behalf. It can be tricky to outsource your LinkedIn marketing. Usually it is best to do in house after researching the best way to use LinkedIn as a connector tool, not as a spam marketing robot.

Via Flickr Zack D. Smith

Via Flickr Zack D. Smith

Google+. I admit, I have a love-hate relationship with Google+. There is a lot to be desired and I don’t see its use as a social media platform – outside of its affiliation with Google. With Google’s search engine rules, having a Google+ page is practically a must. With a Google+ page, you get higher search engine rankings and more credibility in Google’s (AKA – Internet God’s) eyes. If you rely on high search engine rankings for your business, get a Google+ page.

Via Flickr marioanima

Via Flickr marioanima

YouTube. YouTube is more of a supplemental platform for your marketing plan. Only certain brands are good for YouTube. If you have the opportunity to make instructional videos, product reviews/highlights, or “commercials” online with your product or service, then YouTube is a great platform for you. Just make sure your videos are professional and high quality!

alicegop

Pinterest. Pinterest is a great platform if your business is highly visual. If you have high quality product photos or offer services that are eye-catching, get your boards started! The pinning platform is best for craft, home decor, home improvement, wedding, food-related, and retail businesses.

Via Flickr Play Among Friends

Via Flickr Play Among Friends

Instagram. Like Pinterest, Instagram is great for highly visual businesses. The difference in Instagram – you need to be very interactive as well. On Pinterest, you can get away with throwing up content without a whole lot of interaction. On Instagram, you have to be involved. You have to know the best filters, know the hashtags, and know your audience as well as constantly communicating with your audience.

Via Flickr by manoftaste.de

Via Flickr by manoftaste.de

Blog. Bottom line – blogs are important for pretty much every business. Blogs are your opportunity to showcase your knowledge about your industry. The golden rule is to never write an entire blog post as self-promotion. You should always blog to give away “free samples” of information to your audience so they want more.

Originally posted on LinkedIn

Why You Need to Outsource Your Social Media Marketing

Back when email was on the rise and everyone was head-over-heels in love with this quick new form of communication (after you waited for AOL to log you in using dial-up for about half an hour), many businesses scoffed. “We don’t need this email. It’s a fad that will pass. Customers would rather call us on the telephone!”

Those businesses learned very quickly they do need email to reach a large portion of their customer base and those who did not perished. History repeats itself and this time social media marketing is the new “fad” businesses are reluctant to pick up.

Via Flickr by tashmahal

Via Flickr by tashmahal

Some businesses outright refuse to add social media accounts for their businesses. Others hastily create accounts and pages and often do them wrong (such as creating a Group instead of a Page on Facebook).

There are also many businesses that realize they do need to have a social media presence, but try to do it in-house to save money. Here is where the majority of businesses go wrong. It may seem easy to create a business profile and update it every now and then. You do it every day on your own Twitter and Facebook accounts, why should your business be any different?

You feel confident at first, filling out some basic About Us information and sharing your first post. You might think it’s a good idea to link your Facebook and Twitter posts to save time. You might decide to update once a week or every few weeks with text updates on sales or sharing funny cat videos you find online. When you don’t have time to post, you let your employees take over. People start liking and commenting, which you love looking at. Every now and then a customer might complain in a post on your page that is promptly deleted so your business doesn’t look bad.

It seems things are running smoothly on the social media front. However, your business is not growing at all. Your time on social media seems like a waste and you don’t know how other businesses are accomplished on these platforms. This is because you don’t understand everything you did wrong like I just did.

Nicole Yeary2

Via Flickr Nicole Yeary

As a social media marketer for a huge variety of different business industries, both big and small, I can look at your profiles for five minutes and understand all the mistaken steps you took. I will start brewing ideas on how to fix them and optimize your account.

Many customers prefer to communicate through social media and get updates from their business on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and more. When you ignore these platforms or use them incorrectly, you come across as inauthentic, inconsistent, and uncaring about customer needs. Hiring a professional social media marketer allows your business to become a likeable brand on the internet. Your customers will turn to you for their questions, concerns, and investment in your industry.

Professional social media marketers have studied the nuances of every platform extensively. They know the exact formula for posting on each platform and the language preferred by those users. They understand how each social media site is different in expanding a business’ reach, what kinds of posts get the most engagement, and how to create and time messaging. They can also analyze your account and audience to find out when your customers are online and most likely to see your messages.

Social media experts will interact with your audience as a business and customer service representative to increase your customer loyalty. Marketers will learn everything about your business to create a brand personality for your social media presence that is likeable and engaging. They will collaborate with you to get the most out of your website, blog, special offers, sales, events, and more. On top of that, social media marketers are constantly analyzing your platforms to see where improvements can be made.

Via Flickr ChrisL_AK

Via Flickr ChrisL_AK

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? For social media marketers, it is another day at the office. For you, it takes a lot of research and all of your free time, if not more.

This work is not as expensive as you might think. No matter how big or small your advertising budget is, you can find ways to afford social media marketing. At the very least, you can shell out a one-time expense to get consultation on the basics of social media marketing.

I have base prices for my services and different package options for all kinds of businesses. However, I can also take any monthly budget you set and tell you exactly what I can do for you with that amount. I also offer consultation on the basics of marketing tailored for your business needs and goals. You can view my social media marketing service options on my website. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments or to email me at h.s.hobbs@gmail.com!

Originally posted on LinkedIn

 

Making Content Shareable on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is known as a platform for employees to show off their skills and ambitions in order to get jobs or network. It is also a great way to share conversations about professional topics with nearly two million groups. When using LinkedIn for business marketing, you may not be seeing the results you want out of your shared content. There are a few things you can do to improve your shared content marketing strategy.

Via Flickr Link Humans UK

Via Flickr Link Humans UK

Why your content is not being shared can be contributed to the change in Google’s content standards. They are focusing on quality content. Google has complicated algorithms that search all content on the internet. One of the things they look at is keywords and make sure there is no keyword stuffing in the article. Content also cannot only be optimized for keywords; it needs to be quality. You can make these changes to your LinkedIn content to make it more shareable and Google friendly.

  • Make content industry specific.
    No matter how “boring” your industry is, LinkedIn gives you plenty of opportunities to create great shareable content. Look for groups with your target keywords or that are about your industry. This will help you find passionate people that will tell you your industry is far from boring. They will give you inspiration for great content. You also have the option to curate excellent content. This is how you can quickly and easily make blog posts relevant to the LinkedIn group. There are many tools online that allow you to create streams of content on specific topics and share them in a group.
  • Include photos with calls to action.
    Whenever you share an article on LinkedIn, no matter where, the site will post the image in the article as the preview. This is a perfect place to include a call to action because the reader’s attention is already drawn there. Tell readers to click there to learn more about the specific topic.
  • Share guest posted content.
    It is very easy for LinkedIn to flag your content as spam even if the content is extremely valuable. This is because other businesses have ruined the promotional content game. Some marketers have spammed groups with links back to their website, making moderators in groups very cautious about shared content. To share your content without getting it flagged as spam, focus on sharing guest posted content. Moderators will accept this because a guest poster will not be trying to showcase and advertise your brand throughout the content.
  • Write about LinkedIn.
    LinkedIn is a valuable business tool, but many users feel like they are missing out on all the LinkedIn has to offer. If you take the lead and write content about how to best use LinkedIn, it will be more valuable to users. Writing this kind of content can help your business reach wider audiences, increasing the lead generation potential.

    What is great about this kind of content is it cuts through the clutter and appeals to everyone on LinkedIn. It will engage your target audience and drive them to action. Make your content about specific points on LinkedIn, such as reviews of which groups are the best for certain industries. Not all of your content should be about LinkedIn, but some of it can be a great way to grab attention.

  • Combine your LinkedIn content strategy with your overall marketing strategy.
    In order to make content successful on LinkedIn, it needs to correlate with a big picture marketing strategy. The content needs to help drive traffic, leads, and sales to your website at the end of the day. Allow your content to drive traffic to your website without creating spam.

What kind of content do you love and hate to see on LinkedIn? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!

3 LinkedIn Tools Your Business Needs to Use

LinkedIn is the ultimate social media platform for B2B companies. Traditional social media rules don’t apply when it comes to this platform. Businesses need to be more innovative when using LinkedIn. Luckily, these three tools will help you make the most out of the profitable business platform.

Via Flickr koka_sexton

Via Flickr koka_sexton

LinkedIn Groups and Answers

This tool allows you to target people who are already looking for your product or service. Instead of pushing people to get interested in your brand, you are pulling people in who already have an interest in it. LinkedIn lets you find these people and join in their conversations that are related to your products or services.

Via Flickr clasesdeperiodismo

Via Flickr clasesdeperiodismo

LinkedIn Advanced People Search

This tool allows you to build a network of prospects that benefits your brand in the long run. Add people that are part of your target audience and begin to communicate with them without being overly pushy. Being too pushy will result in a backlash against your brand. A premium account will help make this process quicker and allow you to balance on the fine line between communicator and salesman.

Via Flickr ekelly89

Via Flickr ekelly89

LinkedIn Advertising

This tool is completely worth the cost a business page has to pay. The tool targets people on LinkedIn by job function and gives a great ROI. A self-advertising begins at $2 per click, giving better results than when a business targets the mid-bottom section of an organizational pyramid. To target the upper section of a pyramid for high B2B results, look into LinkedIn custom ads and solutions. A minimum budget of $2,000 is needed for this kind of advertising, but it gives you better reach and higher leads. This is the best way to beat out the competition.

Which tool do you find most effective for your B2B company? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing.

4 Changes You Need to Make to Your LinkedIn B2B Marketing Plan

LinkedIn is the best platform for social networking for business online. Many businesses and employees are building their LinkedIn profiles in order to network more effectively and generate leads. Many people on LinkedIn, however, are not getting the most they can out of their LinkedIn page. There are certain changes you may need to make to your LinkedIn page in order to increase your B2B marketing prospects.

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

In order to make the most out of your LinkedIn page, there are four changes you need to make to your B2B strategy:

  1. Optimize your profile. You need to provide a solid description of what products and services your business provides in case someone finds your page. Make this description concise and informative. It should be a snapshot of what you do, not every single little feature your business has. If a prospect is interested, they will contact you for more information.At the bottom of your profile under Advice for Contacting, make sure to list every way possible to contact you. People have different preferences for methods of contacts, so give them a lot of options. Include your website, email, Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media platform with contacting capabilities.
  2. Brand the company page and be active on it. You need to have a products and services tab and post frequent status updates. It is also a good idea to get existing clients to write recommendations and endorse you for the skills you offer. This is a good way to get some buzz generated and be a contributing factor for clients deciding if they want to buy from you.A company page is also a great way for existing customers to ask questions or get support. Make sure to always communicate professionally and with the brand identity in mind. Once you develop a good following on LinkedIn, you can provide special offers on your statuses only for people on LinkedIn.

    Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

    Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

  3. Convert weak social ties into strong ones. Most of the time, your B2B prospects do not convert to customers immediately. Create a LinkedIn group and have all of your prospects and existing customers to join this group. Once prospects see how much your current customers love your products or services, they will convert easily. This has an added benefit of providing a community for your product or service.
  4. Be patient. Profits and leads take time to develop. Being patient while being active on your page will give you ROI in time.

Which aspect of your B2B marketing plan have you seen the most success? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing.

3 B2B Marketing Features on LinkedIn

The business to business brand marketing strategy is rising in popularity across social media platforms. Even though most platforms can be used for successful B2B marketing, LinkedIn is the best social media platform to use. Not only is LinkedIn geared toward all businesses and professionals in every industry, but it also provides networking – a vital marketing strategy.

LinkedIn is similar to using Facebook for marketing, but instead of talking about the latest celebrity gone crazy, LinkedIn content discusses the dangerous importance society places on celebrity idols. LinkedIn is a sleeker operation of the professional business, giving users more marketing and networking opportunities than other social media outlets.

Every business who has a B2B marketing strategy needs to use LinkedIn to be successful. There are many features on the social media site that build brand awareness and assist with content marketing, including company pages, profiles, and groups.

Company Pages

microsoft company page

Starting a company page on LinkedIn is the best way to get your brand out on the market. A company page allows you to share job opportunities about your company and talk about the behind the scenes operations going on. Talking about your company on the page will allow other businesses to see what goes on behind the B2C marketing and trust your brand more. It also gives potential employees interest and knowledge about your company.

LinkedIn is the perfect place to post self-centered information on the company, such as product releases and press releases, which should not be on a company blog. Users can follow your page to get updates on the company, and any employees on the website will automatically follow the content.

Profiles

profile linkedin

Employees who work for your company should be on LinkedIn with profiles. Their pages should be professional and positively reflect the company. The employees are one of the most important factors in the image of a brand and they will help raise awareness of it thanks to the vast networking capabilities of the website. Make sure all employees are linked to the company page correctly so the correct name and logo appear on their profile. This is key to the brand.

Groups

linkedin groups

Groups is a section of LinkedIn that acts like a discussion forum on the internet. Yet groups are not informal and full of attacks like internet forums are. Instead, they are similar to breakout session at a conference. Groups can only be joined by profiles, not company pages, so owners and managers need to set up their own profile in order to participate.

Once you have a personal profile set up, find groups that relate to your business. For example, if you sell clothes on a retail website, join groups about retail marketing or eCommerce schemes. There will be hundreds of groups to choose from, so join groups with more members and posts each month.

Are there any other essential LinkedIn marketing features I missed? Let me know in comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!