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Tips and Tricks for Linkedin Business

With over 270 million users and 3 million company pages in over 200 countries can your company or its employees afford not to be using LinkedIn in one way or another to enhance your companies marketing, sales pipeline or recruitment process?

LinkedIn by far holds the top spot of the “world’s largest professional social network” but I feel that it does much more than just networking. Once seen by many as nothing more than a great way to showcase your previous employment history, skills and educational background to your colleagues or potential employers it has now evolved into something quite unique.

 

 

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 8 Core LinkedIn Products:

LinkedIn Sales Solution

LinkedIn Premium Subscription

LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Job Seeker Premium

LinkedIn Job Posts

LinkedIn Marketing Solutions

LinkedIn Talent Solutions

 

LinkedIn for Business Development and Sales

From my own personal background of selling hundreds of thousands of euros worth of stock on a weekly basis mainly into Asian markets our company was introduced early to the benefits of using our LinkedIn profiles to reach out to current and potential clients. One of the main objectives for our business and our senior management team was to build a strong trusting relationship with these clients. As face to face meetings where not only expensive and time consuming we found LinkedIn was the ideal platform whereby we could communicate effectively our own personal background showcasing our expertise in our sector and in turn building trust not only with us as individuals but also in the range of products and services we offered as a company to our clients. With the emergence of LinkedIn Groups we found ourselves being exposed to more and more potential business partners and found it to be a great insight into the local market and trading conditions.

LinkedIn Fones4Life Radar Innvovations

Radar Innovations – Business Page

 

LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn Profile

 

LinkedIn for Brand Awareness

In late 2012 LinkedIn launched a redesign of its company pages feature. This was a vast improvement on its previous version allowing companies to share relevant interesting articles, blog posts, videos, product or service announcements, industry news and special offers. The company page is also a useful tool to position your company as an authority on your specific business sector.

 

 

linkedin-talent-pipeline

LinkedIn for Recruitment

LinkedIn has also proven itself to aid recruiters in the task of talent acquisition. With LinkedIn Recruiter, Recruiters can now easily search and communicate with potential candidates for their open positions. The recommendations feature also allows the recruiter an additional insight into a particular prospects abilities and previous work experience.

 

Susan Graye, the Hewlett Packard, Global Staffing Strategic Initiative Manager from the Houston, Texas area says, “she has been part of the LinkedIn network for over three years.”

During that time, she has used the LinkedIn network in a number of different ways to find employees including: searching by employer (current/past), using InMail, purchasing advertising, and networking.
Graye indicates that she has filled jobs from sales to executive level roles using LinkedIn. She thinks LinkedIn, “is a great venue to build and develop long term strategic relationships. It allows us to proactively network and learn on a continual basis.”

Source: http://humanresources.about.com/od/recruiting/a/recruit_linked.htm

 

Gone are the days when recruiters when hiring had to pay to advertise a vacant role and await the CV’s to arrive in the letter tray or inbox. This puts the power into the recruiter’s hands and allows them to quickly seek out the people who have the listed qualifications and experience required for there open position.

 

linkedin-advertising

LinkedIn Advertising

LinkedIn as an advertising platform is something which is often overlooked but with over 270 million users and its reach to specific industries and sectors for anyone selling Business2Business advertising on LinkedIn should be considered as part of there marketing strategy.

Although advertising is expensive in comparison to Facebook and has a far less audience your advert is being targeted towards an engaged audience in your selected target market and can be refined by Location, Company, Job title, School, Skills, Group, gender and Age.

The effectiveness of your Advert can also be measured either with LinkedIn’s own You can track your progress in the LinkedIn ads platform home screen. This will show you a graph mapping your progress.

Pulse

LinkedIn Pulse

Paying a hefty price of $90 million LinkedIn needed this feature to get its users engaged and returning to its site for its content. The amount of time spent on the site prior to the addition of this feature would have been limited to a few short visits a week.  LinkedIn I am sure are hoping to claw back this price tag with better advertising revenues based on better engagement and return visitor numbers.

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S.E.O. Tips for New Websites

S.E.O. Tips for New Websites

New websites need to know a few simple SEO tips to get found on the internet. These should start with making sure that your website is packed with information that is full of information that is useful to your potential customer and also easily accessible to search engine crawlers or bots. To do this a number of criteria’s have to be met.

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The first of these is Accessibility users and search engines must be able to reach all pages and content of you website easily, for the user they should not be coming across duplicate content. There should find ease of access to the entire website and they also should not be coming across 404 error massages.

404

 

For the search engine crawlers and bots the web developer should ensure each page has a proper title, each page should also contain different description metatags (this is the hidden code that suggests what description to use and what words people might use to find the website or page) Search engine friendly URL’s should be used such as www.rte.ie/sport instead of a numeric URL www.rte.ie/123456.

Keyword Targeting is the next step google keyword planner can be used for this. Having good keywords will increase hits on your website so whatever keywords you choose should appear in the metatags and also in the body of the text on the webpage, but be careful not to engage in keyword stuffing as google will penalise you for this.

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Content Quality your new website should not just contain text as this will turn user away very quickly, the text should be broken up with images, graphics and videos that are relevant to either the product or services that you are providing. Search engine have algorithms that are looking for true qualityand relevance of content not just content.

Usability the website should be professionally designed or if budget don’t permit a simple basic design template should be used. The website should be very user friendly and not over complicated.

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As usability is very important the website should be beta tested before it go’s live this can be done by surveying family, friends or using companies in the field to do this such as  Mashable.com http://mashable.com/2011/09/30/website-usability-tools/ or

powermapper.com: http://www.powermapper.com/products/sortsite/checks/usability.htm

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Social Media Accounts are thenext step as social media and SEO are coming together like never before with Google showing +1’s and showing what people share by default in search results when users are logged into their google accounts. Social media signals help search engines to better rank sites and also help your company with branding that impacts on customers viewing your site by sharing and potentially linking to them and sharing. The minimum you need are:

  • Facebook  with 1.15 billion user worldwide
  • Twitter with 550 million  user worldwide
  • Google+ with 1 billion enabled accounts
  • Linkedin with 260 million user worldwide
  • Pinterest with 20 million active monthly users
  • Instagram with 150 million active monthly users

http://www.jeffbullas.com/2014/01/17/20-social-media-facts-and-statistics-you-should-know-in-2014/

So with the number of potential customers out there that can view or share content from your website or social media accounts branding is very important. The experience of potential customers should be consistent across all platforms with the same company logos, pictures and videos to give the impression of professionalism. To achieve this a system should be put in place to monitor activity and mentions on these sites. There are many such management systems out there such as www.sproutsocial.com.

Link Building is the final step to do this you have to build good backlinks and it has to be done right.

“Backlinks enable you to keep track of other pages on the web that link to your posts. For instance, suppose Alice writes a blog entry that Bob finds interesting. Bob then goes to his own blog and writes a post of his own about it, linking back to Alice’s original post. Now Alice’s post will automatically show that Bob has linked to it, and it will provide a short snippet of his text and a link to his post. What it all works out to is a way of expanding the comment feature such that related discussions on other sites can be included along with the regular comments on a post.” Source Google https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/42533?hl=en

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Do’s and Don’ts to backlinks

  • Do start with business contacts and customers
  • Do be on industry specific lists
  • Do have relevant social and industry account links
  • Do use social media link acquisition
  • All always use content marketing

 

  • Don’t use reciprocal link pages
  • Don’t use low quality directories
  • Don’t use article marketing or spamming
  • Don’t us paid links
  • Don’t use open form spamming on boards or comment boxes
  • And above all don’t use link farms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digital marketing and you

Digital marketing and you

It’s seems like everyone and their dog is using social media these days and digital marketing is taking off at warp speed. Before taking the plunge into the digital world of the internet, a business needs to consider some important facts first.

Plan Before It Happens
plan

Before you start a blog, open up comments, invite customer engagement or reviews, make a plan for the kinds of engagement you expect and most importantly how you will handle any negative reactions when it happens, and it will happen. The old saying of “you can’t please all the people all the time” is worth bearing in mind.
Some things to focus on during the planning stages are…
1. Will you allow comments on your blog posts/articles or not?
2. Will you filter or approve comments before they go live?
3. Are you only going to allow positive comments?

As a business, your company’s brand is one of your most important assets so it is vital to create guidelines for online engagement with customers up-front and communicate those standards to every the employees dealing with the business’s online presence. This will help your team avoid panic when negativity rears its ugly head and will allow them to deal with problems in a professional and positive manner. Not all of these guidelines should be hidden from the customer either, and that way users aren’t surprised when profanity or threats gets their posts deleted.

It’s not personal so don’t make it personal
angry

This tip is short, simple, to the point but very important. Never get personal with a customer. Even if the customer is 100% wrong it’s best to let them vent and then try and sort out their issue when possible (see below). Getting into a slagging match on the internet will over ever result in your company coming across in a poor light. Correct any misconceptions or incorrect statements that are made but always be polite as driving away potential customers is the last thing a business wants.

Build Bridges and Solve Problems

Always respond respectfully to legitimate criticisms and try and solve the problem there and then if possible as offering to help will make a huge difference in the perception of your company. United Airlines refusal to deal with a customer’s broken guitar turned into a PR nightmare for them. Dave Carroll the guitars owner, not only made a hit song about the incident which he posted on You Tube that not only got 13 million views but also appeared on various American evening shows, news programmes, Time magazine and wrote a book on the subject. 4 days of the video being posted United Airlines’ stock price fell by 10% which was around $180 million dollars!

Stop digging if you’re in a hole
hole

Everyone make mistakes at some point in life and business but when it comes to the internet, the worst thing you can do is pretend that you haven’t. With the likes of google, Wikipedia and legions of internet experts, any company found making false claims can end up really paying for it due to how fast digital word of mouth spreads along people being able to take a screenshot of the webpage.
When Apple banished Google Maps from the iPhone, consumers were concerned. Apple’s own maps app turned out to be riddled with errors, and didn’t even include public transportation mapping. CEO Tim Cook had to issue a public apology, conceding that the maps “fell short” before suggesting users download competitors’ products from the Apps store. Cook specifically called out Bing, MapQuest, or going to Nokia and Google’s website.The product manager who oversaw the maps team was fired months later.

Simply owning up to the mistake, apologizing and making an effort to fix it is so much simpler in the long run.

The cost of digital marketing, can you afford not to pay it?

It’s now gotten to the stage that if your business hasn’t got a digital presence online you are in big trouble or going to be soon. With more and more consumers browsing and shopping not just from their computers but also using their smart phones and tablets, not having an online presence or any e-business facilities could be a disaster for your company. Businesses are now facing a future where as every digital marketer knows the value of content couldn’t be greater but what does this all cost?
Time as the old saying goes is money and are the only 2 currencies that businesses can trade with when looking into growing there business. If you don’t have time, then you must have money. If you don’t have money, then you must invest your time.

Time-is-Money

 

Nothing matters, especially for small-business owners more than finding the budget to implement new marketing strategies and improve their business. Although there are many roadblocks business owner’s face, money seems to be the biggest concern of all of them. Some key factors that need to make sure they are present if you want social media to work for you:

1 A Solid Social Media Marketing Strategy
A business is tied to an objective and so should its social media efforts. What are you looking to gain from an online presence needs to be carefully considered? Is it product promotion, sales or increasing brand awareness? Who is your target market? What is your competition doing? These are all question that must be answered before anything else is done. You need to clearly define your goals and the overall objective that you and your business are trying to achieve through social media.

2 Ongoing operation
Sadly, far too many business-owners think that social media is a one-time thing and take a “if you build it they will come” attitude. This is the wrong attitude as you need the customer to want to visit your website and ideally turn that visit into a sale and having stale and old content won’t do either of those things. The truth is that social media is changing every single day and consumers are looking for constantly updated content. Just as important, Google’s web crawlers or Googlebots are constantly seeking new content and not updating a website will affect its PageRank score.

3 Using the appropriate tools

social

Below is a listing of the more popular social media platforms and each of these social media sites will require a unique strategy tailored for each platform and why getting the correct marketing strategy is so important.

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
LinkedIn
YouTube
Pinterest
Tumblr

(more…)

Social Media Usage

Have Brands become lazy in their attempts to engage with customers?

 

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed a large portion of content being posted by brands through their social media channels have become irrelevant and unimaginative. I like seeing funny pictures of cats as much as the next person but do I really have to see post after post of cats displaying there dislike for Mondays or even their delight for Fridays. It would appear to me that brands are running out of innovative ideas and are just posting for the sake of posting.

At the recent DMX Dublin 2014 event Tessa Berrera, Head of Social Media at Lexis and the woman who headed up the Social Media team at Red Bull for Felix Baumgartner’s world famous Stratos jump, argued the importance of thinking content first, brand second. She noted, social networks were built for people and hijacked by brands. Red Bull’s social model reflected this with a target mix of 40% amazing content; 40% user generated posts and only 20% brand messaging. Everything marketers do should be driven towards increasing those ‘moments of luck’ when users engage with our brands.

Red Bull SEO Marketing

Felix Baumgartner – Red Bull – Spacewalk

Can brands be totally to blame for this? Not entirely. Recent statistics relating to Facebook popular Business Pages would indicate that in 2014 only 2% of organic content is displayed on Facebook fans timelines. If you want your content to be seen it’s going to have to be paid for to be likely to be seen by a significant amount of people. We all know by now that Facebook is a public company and they have shareholders who are going to want a return on their investment but you have to ask is it worth creating an innovative Facebook advertising campaign based on these figures.

However brands need to increase the amount of innovate and amazing content if they want any chance of there content to be engaged with by their followers.Throwing out non relevant, sometimes annoying content in our faces through there digital marketing channels is not going to assist them in increasing these engagement rates.

The official Fanta Orange Facebook page with 13 million followers the day after St Patrick’s Day sent out the following post

Fanta Orange SEO Digital Marketing

Fanta Facebook Header

Fanta Facebook Post

Fanta Facebook Post – 18 March 2014

With over 13 million followers this posted received, 0 likes and 0 shares. Admittedly we are all little less engaging the day after St Patrick’s Day festivities but with 13 million followers to have no engagement whatsoever on a post is almost unbelievable. Taking into account Facebook’s limiting visibility on brand pages this particular post from an international brand was just outright boring and received the engagement value its deserved, None!

Its Twitter page is far less impressive. With over 18,000 followers it hasn’t posted since October 22nd

Fanta Twiiter Page

Fanta Twiiter Page

This is a huge company with massive marketing budgets. Surely there is no excuse for such a poor Social Media presence.

One of the most popular and entraining content I have seen in the last 12 months on broadcasted through the major social media sites didn’t even happen to be an brand advert

With over two million views on You Tube alone this was one of the most viewed, shared and liked pieces of content by Irish internet users in 2013. Seen by many outside of Ireland this was a great advertisement for the friendly atmosphere Dublin has to offer. Who was behind it? Failte Ireland maybe??  Nope! No brand managers, no advertisers or PR agencies. Okay there was a little advertising on behalf of the speaker company but this wasn’t the initial intention.

This would have been a mammoth success if a brand had had the idea of orchestrating this event and promoting there brand.

QR Codes : the future of SEO and digital marketing?

Making use of QR Codes with SEO and digital marketing? 

From the realm of the smart phone, QR Codes (quick response code) are now starting to breakthrough into the real world, but what impact is this going to have on the ever changing world of SEO and digital marketing. Like any new tool it’s important to be aware of both the benefits and pitfalls to your company’s digital platforms when making use of these 2D barcodes. Due to QR Codes showing up everywhere from magazines to bus shelters at an alarming rate, now rather than later is the time for businesses to look into getting the most out these tiny black and white boxes.

QRCode (1)

QR Code

The reason why QR Codes are much more useful than the normal barcodes we are so used to seeing is that they can store much more information, including url links, geo coordinates, and text. But the other even more important key feature of QR Codes is that unlike barcodes, instead of needing a specialized hand-held scanner to scan them, almost all smart phones can scan them thereby literally putting your message into the hands of your target audience.

QR Codes are a huge help when marketing to the increasing amount of smart phone users as it gets them to your website without much effort on their part as with one scan, consumers can get access to your landing page or to any other pages with very little time and effort.

Last year, smartphone consumers increased their scanning of QR Codes by 1600%, typically to get discounts, get more information or make a purchase with 70% of QR Code consumers between ages of 25 and 55.

 graph

 Tesco conquerors South Korea

One of the best uses of QR Codes was made by Tesco in the South Korean market place. Being a late entry into the grocery market the country, Tesco faced the large problem of a supermarket not having enough brick and mortar stores and seeing as the mission of Tesco South Korea was to become number one without increasing the number of stores then took a very high tech yet novel approach. Tesco implemented the following idea “Let the store come to people” which took its already successful online shopping model and then brought it to the next level. By making use of traditional billboard style advertising on the subways listing the various products they sold, Tesco setup a virtual store which had consumers using their smart-phones to purchase the products they wanted.

Customers just scan the QR code on the billboards with their phones, the product automatically lands on their online checkout account and when the online purchase is done, it gets delivered to the consumer’s door. The result of this campaign was no need for a network of physical stores, conversions of customers waiting on trains to customers shopping online, an increase of online sales of 130% and Tesco becoming the number one online and number two offline supermarket. “QR-code-based shopping allows the customer to shop at more locations, many of which are more convenient than making a trip to the grocery store.” 

tesco

 Pitfalls to avoid

With more and more consumers shopping from handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets, just putting your companies QR Codes on everything under the sun is not going to be enough to turn a site visit into a conversion. Websites now more than ever need to be optimised for mobile viewing and not just the landing page. MI5’s recent recruitment campaign dedicated entire outdoor spaces to QR codes. This looked great until users went through the process of using the code and then found themselves on an unnavigable web page not optimised for mobile at all.

Another bad usage of QR codes was made by soft drink manufacturer VK. The QR campaign in question took users of the code to the promotions Facebook page but seeing as most smartphone users tend to use native social media app on their devices, taking them to webpage when they then have to enter log in details defeats the whole purpose of using QR Codes. Even worse, by logging into the social media site that way, it took the consumer straight into their Facebook feed and bypassing VK’s promotion page altogether!

Tips to help ensure a successful digital campaign using QR Codes

Mock up the experience before it goes live. Try it yourself, get other people to test it and test it on different phones. Use short URLs so that QR codes are as simple and machine readable as possible, bearing in mind the image may well be blotchy through newspaper and magazine reproduction. Make sure tracking is included in your URL, so you can demonstrate clearly how much response your QR usage has gained. Remember what we are really trying to do is to make sure that users have an easy way to respond to our advertising.

QR Code Generator

https://www.the-qrcode-generator.com/

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