The world of online sales is constantly changing, constantly evolving, and constantly becoming a more competitive and crowded market for sellers who are all trying to catch the attention of the same group of potential buyers.
A good social media plan should be a part of any online marketing campaign, but even with the usual suspects of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, the message can still come across as being a touch faceless.
Fortunately, there is one social media platform that is perfect for making personal connections with potential customers. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked by sellers who may not understand the real value of spending time on their profile, networking, and content.
LinkedIn was designed specifically to connect professionals in a suitable, dedicated online environment, and top sellers know this. That is why they may spend up to six hours a week on LinkedIn. It’s part of their social media plan, and here are some tips to help make it part of yours too.
Look your best before your guests arrive
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and nothing looks worse on business social media than an incomplete profile. Like any platform used in your social media plan, the single most important thing to make sure of on LinkedIn is that your profile is 100% complete.
A photograph is essential, as nobody will want to deal with a profile without one. Remember also that LinkedIn is a business site, and you picture should reflect that. Professional headshots work better than a picture of you waterskiing.
Add a summary with all of your previous work history, including volunteer work and internships, and anything else you think might make a potential customer want to work with you. LinkedIn will even tell you on the right hand side how close to being complete your profile is.
Once you’re sure you’re looking good, you can invite anyone you know to connect with you. LinkedIn allows you to import your entire email contact list, which saves you the time and effort otherwise spent looking for them.
On LinkedIn, content is still king
Just like any other platform that is used in a social media plan, uploading content is a surefire way of being noticed on LinkedIn. Video or relevant images work well, as does linking to articles that you think will be valuable to your potential customers. They could be useful pieces you’ve seen elsewhere on the web, or links to your own company or personal blog. Sharing your own content should of course be another part of your social media plan.
If you have something to say but nowhere else to say it, it’s possible also to publish long form articles straight onto LinkedIn and have them show up in a very large sphere of LinkedIn members. Doing so can help you get recognized as an authority figure on a certain topic, and at the very least be a way of getting more eyes on your profile.
Whether posting links, long form articles, or just short status updates, remember to always add media. Even a simple image will be more eye-catching than just text, and will be far more likely to be shared into circles that you might not yet be in.
Professional social network is social
Despite being designed for professionals to connect with each other, LinkedIn is still is a social network, and that means you should be using it to be social.
This doesn’t mean taking vital time away from everything else you have to do in the working day. As part of your overall social media plan, just seventeen minutes a day spent liking, commenting on, or sharing your prospects posts will make them notice you, and encourage them to return the favor with your content too.
This has two main benefits; you will remain at the forefront of your prospects’ mind, and your content will be seen by people outside of your own circle, with a personal recommendation by proxy from your potential client.
Another way of interacting with people in your community is to make sure you give as many recommendations as you truthfully can. Similar to liking and sharing content, people will return the favor, and more recommendations for you will mean more credibility, increasing the likelihood of prospects taking you seriously.
With other social networks, it can be difficult to add a personal touch to business profiles without losing the professional message. For salespeople, LinkedIn is the perfect way to promote yourself personally as a respectable businessperson, and should be included in any relevant social media plan. Just make sure you follow our tips to maximize your LinkedIn potential.
If you want your website to be noticed, you have to get on Google.
And if you want to get on Google, you have to make yourself as visible as possible to them and their web crawlers.
Then of course once you’re on, you’re going to want make sure you stay there.
Getting and staying on Google can be broken down into three easily remembered stages:
· Build (on-site SEO)
· Engage (off site SEO)
· Stay fresh (regular content)
Let’s elaborate and see what these points really entail.
Build – on-site SEO
Anyone who maintains their own website, be it for business or pleasure, should at least be aware that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a thing, even if they might not really understand it.
They also need to know that it comes in two flavours: on-site and off-site, and taking care of the on-site SEO while building your website is paramount if you want it to get on Google.
On-site SEO includes everything that your web design team can arrange for you, either behind the scenes or for public consumption; quality content with relevant keywords, page titles, Google text snippets, URLs, H1 or H2 headings, correctly tagged images, outbound links, and having a site map.
All of these will affect your Google rank, although some (content and titles) carry more weight than others (alt tags on images).
Engage – off-site SEO
As the name suggests, off-site SEO covers everything you can do in other places online to improve your own SEO and help you to get on Google.
One metric used by Google to measure your ranking is the quality of your inbound links; that is, links from other places directing people to your site.
The practice of link building has long been a big part of any SEO campaign, although the focus has now shifted to the subtly different but more interpersonal practice of link earning.
Advisable ways of earning the high quality links that help you to get on Google include reaching out to bloggers and asking them to link to your best content, or offer to write a guest post with a link back to your site.
Leaving useful, non-generic comments on relevant blog posts with a link back to your site also works, as does being active and respected on a forum that allows you to display your web address in your signature or in posts.
Building a community on social media is another great way to improve the engagement with your content, if you can encourage your audience to share it directly from your site.
Stay fresh – regular content
While on and off-site SEO practices help you to get on Google, the ubiquitous search engine also takes into account the freshness of your website and its content.
It makes sense; after all, Google wants you to keep using its service, so strives to give the most relevant, freshest results it can. Stale websites get punished by falling in the rankings.
Even if most of your website’s pages are static and don’t change, there are ways to maintain a steady stream of new content. The most common is a regular blog, with the opportunity for people to comment on the posts.
Depending on the nature of your site, running a forum is also a possibility and helps with the fresh posts and interaction that Google values so highly.
Get on Google, Stay on Google
Being found through organic search engine results is vital to your business, and that means one thing: you have to get on Google.
By following the three key stages of building, engaging and staying fresh, you’ll give yourself the best of chance of both getting and staying there.
Recently, The New Media Group launched a brand new website for our client – Open Hearth Studio. Run by Francis Bryant-Scott, Open Hearth Studio is a place where people in pain or distress can find comfort, new energy, new ideas, and help when it seems like nothing else is working through the practice of Art Therapy.
Located in the heart of Victoria on Oak Bay Avenue, Open Hearth Studios offers a warm and accepting environment for those looking for one-on-one therapy or a group workshop environment.
Our goal for this website was to reflect the same values and feel as Francis and Open Hearth Studio with warm colours, easy to follow text, and inviting images. It’s important to us to work closely with the client in order to mirror their offline personality with their online presence. We are proud to say that with this new launch we have achieved our goal.
If you’re in the Victoria area please check out Open Hearth Studios. Or if you like our work and are looking for a new or improved website please feel free to contact us to book a chat.
Client Testimonial: “I felt like I was in good hands. They were great at listening to what I wanted, and willing to go the extra mile.”
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