With groups, you definitely need to be strategic, so there’s four things I want to share…
join the discussion,
LinkedIn will only allow you to join 50 groups. Some of those groups are going to require that you be approved to join them, so you will submit your information and then you will get the approval later. Some of them you will be approved to join immediately.
1. Pick Strategically ~ When you are looking through the groups on LinkedIn, look through the topic areas that compliment your business. They don’t necessarily only have to be about your business, but something that compliments it. Where do you some of your customers and clients come from? An example, for me I teach and coach and implement for social media marketing, but I also am a sewer. Therefore I have also joined a couple of groups on LinkedIn that have to do with sewing. I have found customers and clients in the sewing niche. You are going to have to decide how much time you’re going to devote. Take a look at the groups, which ones are going to be the best and don’t join more than you can handle. Be strategic, pick the ones that you believe in the beginning are going to give you the most value for your time.
2. Share Information ~ This information can come from a variety of sources, but you’re going to have common interests with the people in the group, that’s why you join groups. You can share blog posts or you can share articles. If you are a prolific article writer, that would be great, you’ll have tons of things to share. If not, you can also review things that you particularly find interesting and it very likely is that other people in the group will find it interesting as well. And be sure to share things that are directly related to that group. I’m not going to go in to the sewing group and just start immediately blasting out information about social media. I’m going to go in and I’m going to talk about sewing because it is also an interest of mine. I’m going to find out if there are any people in that group who actually have businesses that might benefit from social media. Going in like a bull in a china shop will probably just get you ousted out of the group.
3. Join the discussions ~ Participate in what’s happening in the group, ask questions, post questions in the feed. You can watch for questions, you can put alerts on your computer so that you know when the discussions are happening within each groups. You might be able to answer a bunch of questions. If not, you definitely want to comment and give your opinion. Make sure you are adding value. Don’t go in and say “nice post”. That doesn’t add value. Be sure that you’re adding value, that people are going to want to read your comment and get something from it.
4. Network ~ Get to know the people in each group. Connect with them, send them invites to connect. When you send the invites to people within the group, what you want to do is you also want to personalize them. You want to say that you are both in the same group, maybe perhaps you liked the question they asked or a comment they made, or an answer they gave. Personalize any requests you send to people in the same group as you. LinkedIn groups are a really valuable source of clients, customers or contacts. Whether you end up doing business with them or not, there’s still some awesome people to met in LinkedIn, just go out there and get started.
Three tips for LinkedIn to get your profile noticed, get more connections and increase your to visibility is to use the question and answer, brain storm and post questions.
When you post questions for people to answer, you’re starting the interaction. Post your questions systematically. You can post questions based on your business or you can post questions based on different topics that you’re interested in. But post your questions systematically. Set up a schedule, when you’re going to ask them, what you’re going to ask them, and know what are you leading people towards. I like to ask social media questions because that is my business. However I am also interested in dogs. I have gone to LinkedIn for dog questions and received some great responses there too!
Brain storm by asking questions on LinkedIn. These don’t have to be questions to entice people into your market funnel. They can be questions that you need answers to. Maybe you’re looking for some help. LinkedIn is a great place to get those kinds of questions answered as well.
You need to be transparent about what it is you’re doing on LinkedIn. Are you looking for customers and clients. Don’t try and pull the wool over people’s eyes. Be transparent. Let them know you have a business, you’re looking for customers and clients. The beauty of LinkedIn is that is the type of people who are on there. They are business people who are looking for answers to their questions and they are looking for customers and clients for their own business. So please, be sure that you are very clear and transparent about your intentions.
You also need to make sure that you network and pay attention to answers. I find excellent ideas for articles based on questions and answers posted in the groups I have joined. You can find people in LinkedIn that are in your area, in your niche, in your specific area of expertise, and then you can find out what people are asking them. Develop the quality answers, create blog posts. You’re going to add your own twist on your own website. They can also be used to write your own articles. They can be used as material that is going to draw people towards you.
Get out there, network, ask those questions, answer questions, be transparent about what you’re doing and make sure that you take advantage of the answers that you’re seeing and that you’re receiving. LinkedIn is a very, very valuable way to find new leads, customers and contacts.
If you have been online for even just a little while, I am sure you’ve heard the advice that you need to listen. There are lots of people out there talking about lots of different things; you want to find out what they are saying about your product, your service, your company. Or, if you aren’t a big online presence yet, about your specific topic area, your niche.
You want to be able to have your finger on the pulse, know what is going on, with social media you will hear it from the experts all over the place. “You have to listen”. It is the number one thing that you need to do. The benefits of listening online are that you’re really going to know what is going on; in your target market, in your niche, in your subject area, in your family — you are going to know what is going on.
You’ll also be able to see any problems developing. Are people talking about you or your field in a negative way? Has the tone of the comments, questions or requests changed from positive to maybe a hint negative or really questioning? You’ll be able to see some of those problems coming, which means you’re going to be able to address them early when they are small rather than later when they are large. If you see something that is negative about your product or service, you’re going to be able to jump right in and do something quickly.
So, how do you listen online? I have four ways that you can do just that…
1. Google alerts. An excellent tool. You can set them up for any number of topics that you want. You can set up as many as 1000 Google alerts. And you can decide when you are setting it up, how often you want to receive those Google alerts. I have Google Alerts set up for my name, company name, keywords and article titles, it is your decision what you want to set yours for.
2. Set up searches on terms or key words in Twitter. Once you set it up, you can go in and monitor it. You will find out exactly what people are saying, when they are saying it, where they are saying it, how they are saying it. AND you will know at the speed of Twitter, what is happening.
3. Twilert.com. Is a web site where you can go and you can set up some Twitter alerts, so that you are not going to have to go back in and take a look at the searches that you have generated. They will send you the results and so that you know what ‘s going on.
4. SocialMention.com Social Mention takes it one step further in that it monitors all of your different social media. What is happening? Where are you being mentioned? Where is your product being mentioned? What key words — you will be able to go in and set up whatever you want.
There are hundreds of ways to listen online. These are four of the easiest and they are all free. You need to get started. Get out there, get listening, understand what is going on.
It is critical that you back up your social media conversations.
Do you really know the value or even what you have in there. Is there information on potential customers or clients that can only be found in your social media conversations?
What would be the impact if they closed down your Facebook account? What would be the impact if there was a big glitch again at Twitter and you lost all your Twitter conversations?
Take a look and decide just how important are the social media conversations to your business, and I’ll bet, like me, you discover that there is a heck of a lot in there that isn’t anywhere else. It’s not backed up, it’s not in your database. It’s not in your email, it’s nowhere else but in your social media conversations. That’s why it’s so important to get in there and back things up.
Originally, I thought it’s not that important, I don’t have much in there, and I’ll get to it later. Well, guess what? What you really need to do is to get yourself into the habit, develop the habit of backing it up now, when there’s not a ton in there. It doesn’t take long, and you’ll be able to see how it works, how it happens. It won’t be at a point where something’s gone wrong and, oh my gosh I’ve got to get this done as quickly as possible. Take the time, do it now, and develop that habit.
Personally, I store tons of things in social media, that whole initial contact. And I had no way of backing it up. Do you know how you store yours? Do you know what’s in your Gmail account? Take a look at where your traffic comes from, because as you grow, so will your traffic. So that little bit of traffic that you’re getting now, or even if it’s a lot of traffic that you’re getting now, find out where it is, start with that social media platform, that one that’s the most important today.
There are free services out there that will back up all your stuff for you, but there’s no guarantee, and losing your social media information is just like losing a customer.
I have five options, five ways that you can back up different social media platforms.
1) With Twitter, there is one that is called Backupify. When this first happened to me, that my Twitter account was affected during one of the people attempting to bust into, to hack into Twitter, and my Twitter account was down for three days and I had nothing, no backup at all. And you, I’m sure, will understand the huge sigh of relief when all my Twitter streams came back again. I was so grateful that Twitter was better at backing things up than I was.
2) Gmail: Gmail has Mailstore.com, and you can back up more than just Gmail, but it is a place to back up your email. If you’re like me and a lot of your first contact is in there, you direct people over to your website to get them into your database but they don’t, that first contact stays in your email. How do you back that up? Mailstore.com will be able to help you with that.
3) Facebook also has a process. You can go into your Facebook account and you can back up all of your Facebook, and they will send you an email when it’s done. I probably do mine about once every two weeks. It takes quite a while, and depending on the number of friends and the number of groups and pages you are a part of, it may take a while.
4) LinkedIn also has its own special process; you can actually export your information on LinkedIn over to another file that you can store. You may choose to store it as an Excel document; I choose to store mine on notepad.
5) WordPress has a plugin that allows you to set it and forget it. I get that email every day, that my WordPress is backed up, and I go in and delete the old one. I actually keep about a week’s worth, when a new one comes in, I go back and delete an old one.
Facebook is front and center of social media marketing these days, in so many marketing forums, that big companies are jumping online. They’re using Facebook all over the place. They’re creating fan pages. What are you doing to use Facebook to promote your business?
Use Facebook to promote your business.
1) With the new format in Facebook, you can actually put in advertisements in the comments underneath your photo. It’s an amazing way to let people know about your products or service. Make sure that you are tagging your photos with the appropriate key words so that people will find them for the reasons you want them to find them, and comment on photos using appropriate key words. Don’t just say things like, “oh, nice photo”. Comment on them using your key words, and yes, comment on your own photo. Comment on your own photos using key words.
2) Promote your business on Facebook by upload videos. And again, you need to tag those videos with the appropriate key words. Same as a photo, you get the option to put in specific key words that describe your video, your product or service that’s highlighted in your video. Remember to comment on your own video. Just like the photos, go in there and comment. When people go to a fan page or a Facebook wall, if there’s no comments, likes, or anything like that, then they’re thinking, “oh, well nobody comes here, so why should I”. When you make comments on your posts or you Like them, then the first glance at the page, “oh, people come here”. There’s some action going on. Well maybe it’s worth reading because other people are reading it too.
3) You can become a fan of a Facebook page that’s in your target market and then, what you can do is you can write on the wall of that fan page. Now there will be a few pages where they don’t allow that, but the majority of pages will allow you to write on the wall or post on the wall. You can write a review of the fan page. It’s an excellent way for people to understand your business, because of course, you’re going to write the review from your business perspective, correct? So go in there, become a fan of the fan page, write on the wall, and write a review. Talk about why you’re there, why you like it, what you anticipate using it for.