Friday, February 27, 2015

LinkedIn - The Underused Social Media Network

We all know that social media marketing is a must for at least five reasons:

1. Increased visibility
2. Increased traffic and rankings
3. Building authority
4. Making connections
5. Finding potential clients / customers (leads)

The biggies in the social network channels are Facebook and Twitter, with Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn following behind.

But, should this be the case?

LinkedIn in particular is about finding jobs and staff. Whether you’re looking for a job or seeking to hire employees, it’s the place to be. It’s also the network that’s much more focused. There’s ‘no’ “what I had for breakfast” or “look at my vacation photos.” It’s certainly not like Facebook.

LinkedIn launched in May 2013 as a networking site for business folk looking to connect. And, it still holds that title.

LinkedIn’s Pulse

Knowing that content (information) is what people and businesses want, LinkedIn jumped in the publishing waters and created a platform for users to publish articles. Pulse was launched November 2013.

The Pulse purpose is to provide LinkedIn users with relevant, focused, helpful, and up-to-date information. This platform has made for a ‘stickier’ LinkedIn.

But, it’s also beneficial to users. Like article directories and blogging platforms, users can post full length articles to Pulse. This helps generate visibility and build authority. Using this platform is a great way to become known as an influencer in your particular field.

Why Use LinkedIn?

Numbers don’t lie, so here are some statistics from Business 2 Community demonstrating LinkedIn’s power:

  • There are 259,000,000 users on LinkedIn
  • There are 2,100,000 groups
  • LinkedIn gets 184,000,000 unique visitors each month
  • LinkedIn gets 172,000 new signups every day
  • LinkedIn has 3X higher visitor-to-lead conversion rate than Facebook and Twitter
  • Just over 44% of users have increased their face-to-face networking effectiveness
  • Ninety-four% of recruiters use LinkedIn to examine potential candidates

These statistics are impressive and B2C has lots more you can check out at:
LinkedIn, the Missing Piece of Your Marketing Puzzle

My Experience

First, I have to say I don’t use LinkedIn that much. While I do share my content and that of others to my LinkedIn feed, I only occasionally comment on forum conversations.

I do though publish on Pulse. But, again, only occasionally.

Even with my haphazard use of LinkedIn, I acquired an ongoing business writing gig through it.

Based on the statistics above and the work I got through this channel, I will be stepping it up on LinkedIn. I’ll post more frequently to Pulse and be more active in group conversations.

I’ve come to realize that you get what you put into these social channels.

Summing It Up

As with any marketing strategy, it’s important to test your effort’s results.

It’s impossible to be involved effectively in every network out there, so it’s important to test the waters and see which one provides the best ROI.

LinkedIn is an effective place to get involved with others in your field - become visible to them. Get in on a couple of conversations. Try publishing to Pulse. Make it a part of your content marketing and inbound marketing strategies.

Then, test it out and see if it’s worth your time and effort.

I’d love to know what your LinkedIn experience has been.

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MORE ON INBOUND MARKETING

5 Super-Tips to Monitor and Test for Social Media Marketing Success
3 MAJOR Don’ts in Your Email Opt-in
What is Website Optimization and the SERP?




Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Once You Have Social Network Followers, Then What?

One of my email subscribers asked me about Staged. It’s a social media engagement service that gets you Followers. But, unless you have the budget, it can get expensive since there’s a monthly fee.

I’ll call the subscriber John Doe for this article.

The other part of John’s question was that although the service did get him a lot of Followers on Twitter, how could he monetize them.

The first thing I asked John was if the Followers the service got him were targeted. In other words, were those Twitter users potential customers. Or, at least relevant to his niche/industry. Followers who could add to the conversation.

On my own social media marketing, I’m picky about who I Follow. I only Follow targeted users. I do this because I want potential leads / clients. I also want Followers who can add to the targeted conversation. In my case, the conversation is content marketing and inbound marketing.

I told John that although he gets Followers, whether on his own or through a paid service, he still has to produce quality content that will lead those Followers back to his website. And, where ever he brings that traffic to, it must be monetized.

So, if John brings the website traffic to his blog posts, those posts must have a CTA (call-to-action). It might be a prompt to join his mailing list or to get a free consultation. The same holds true for sales pages or product pages. The pages must be effective enough to convert.

Bottom line, the number of your Followers isn’t as important as the quality of those Followers. It goes back to the blogging strategy of quality over quantity.

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Want the lowdown on social media marketing basics, along with the other three fundamental inbound marketing strategies? 

Check out Inbound Marketing Secrets in Just 4 Weeks.

It a 4-week, interactive e-class that  covers Website Optimization, Blogging Smart, Email Marketing, and Social Media Marketing.

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MORE ON INBOUND MARKETING

Twitter as Part of Your Social Media Marketing
The Top 5 Email Message Formats
Optimize Your WordPress Blog Posts

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Business Success - Do You Really Have the Power? (8 steps to help you get there)

I read a great article over at Matt Lloyds Blog. It explained why some are able to create a successful online business and others can’t. It was a l-o-n-g article, but it was worth the read.

To break it down and give you the gist of what Matt said, we do have the power. We are in control of whether we become successful or not.

We have to stop making excuses and playing the ‘woe is me’ card. Stop the negative thought process that thinks and says ‘others can do it, but not me.’

I completely agree with this philosophy.

It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are, you have the ability to learn what you need to learn to do what you need to do to be successful.

Maybe you want to be a working freelance writer who actually gets gigs and earns a good living.

Maybe you want to be an author of an award-winning book and make money from that book, or use it to make money from opportunities that arise from writing a great book.

Maybe you want to have a successful business with 5, 10, 100, or 1000 employees.

Maybe you want to build a ‘passive income’ business that will contribute toward a comfortable lifestyle.

Whatever you want to do . . . whatever you REALLY want to do, is possible to do.

There are so many quotes that agree with this:

1. “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your powers you cannot be successful or happy.”
Norman Vincent Peale

2. Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” Willie Nelson

3. “Your beliefs and thoughts can be molded in order to manifest certain results in life.
Matt Lloyd

So, it’s easy to see that you absolutely need a positive mindset. But, you also need more than that.

You can wake up every morning and say I’m going to make $500 today, but if you don’t work toward that goal, guess what? You won’t make a penny.

It’s your thoughts in collaboration with your actions that will give you the ability to succeed.

8 Steps Towards Success

1. Decide what you really what to become or do.
2. Find out what’s needed to become what you want.
3. Learn whatever you need to learn to get started and move forward.
4. Take it a step further and become an expert in one particular niche or industry.
5. Prepare a detailed business plan with short and long term goals, along with actionable steps to accomplish those goals.
6. Work, work, work.
7. If you need help, get it.
8. Analyze how you’re doing. Do more of what’s working and get rid of what’s not working.

If you’d like to read Matt Lloyds article, visit:
The Head Trash That Keeps You From Making Millions

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MORE READING

Is Facebook Worth Your Social Media Marketing Time? What About Twitter?
Even Tiny Action Steps Can Produce Huge Results
Blogging – Does Anyone Read What You Write?




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Friday, February 20, 2015

4 Social Media Marketing Tips To Being More Productive

An article at Social Media Examiner discusses the habits of social media marketers that help boost productivity. The post is interesting and covers six tips - I’ll cover four of them here.

1. Number one is a give-in: you need to know your audience and cater to them.

This goes for any form of marketing – you need to know who your audience is and what they need or want.

It’s pointless to send messages to the technology industry when your platform is on health writing.

It’s pointless to send in-depth SEO marketing posts to an audience that’s just getting their feet wet in the marketing arena.

It’s pointless to send ‘how to find a mate’ posts to an audience who wants to learn marketing strategies.

You get the idea.

Your platform needs to be focused on what your target audience wants.

Along with this, the Social Media Examiner post points out that your audience’s needs may change. You need to keep current on all things pertaining to your industry / niche and with the changing needs of your audience. Keep ahead of the game and help your audience do the same.

Let your audience know you’re the ‘go to’ person in your niche.

I do lots of research to come up with helpful posts for my readers. I also share helpful posts I come across in that research. If you think an article you’re reading will benefit your audience, share it.

2. Build relationships.

Marketing on social networks isn’t just about ‘hit and runs.’ You shouldn’t just post your content and run. You need to build ‘meaningful’ relationships with customers, other businesses, and anyone else within your business realm.

To build these relationships, you’ll need to offer helpful information that is actually useable. You want to inform, teach, and help those in your network.

Along with this, you need to engage with other users. Share the posts of others. Help promote a product or service you know to be helpful. Take the initiative to help others in your networks.

I spend around 30 minutes each day to schedule my posts, share the posts of others, and to engage with others in my social network sphere.

Social Media Examiner says to, “be a giver as you interact” with your audience. “Offer your time, resources, knowledge, encouragement or support.”

This helps build relationships.

3. Making money also needs to be a factor.

While you should earnestly want to help those in your audience, it’s also important to spend your time fruitfully.

Not many can selflessly spend time helping others. Businesses need to make money to survive. 

To keep this in the forefront of your social media marketing strategy, promote what you’re selling. Whether it’s a product, a service, a workshop, a presentation, include it in your social media postings.

Now, to do this, you need to upload lots more helpful information compared to promotional content. A standard ratio is 85% useable content to 15% promotion. You might even lean more toward 90/10.

You don’t want your audience to feel you’re using them for your own gains. Give lots and lots of quality information. Be helpful.

I post around 12 to 15 posts of my own to Twitter each day. I also share posts of others that I come across in research. In addition, I Retweet and Favorite other users’ Tweets.

I probably share 10 to 15 posts of others each day in addition to my own. This is being active and engaging. My connections know I offer valuable information on a regular basis. This allows me to promote what I’m offering without seeming overly promotional.

4. Monitor your results.

This is a must for all your marketing strategies. If you don’t monitor what you’re doing, you’ll never know what’s working and what’s not.

Monitoring your results is time well spent. Don’t forego this step.

Even if you don’t want to spend hours on analytics, you can simple monitor your website traffic and its sources. And, you can easily see if you’re getting sales from your efforts.

If you’re not seeing the results you need, change course. Try another strategy.

These four tips will help you be more effective, more productive, in your social media marketing. Get started today!

To read the article at Social Media Examiner, click the link:
6 Habits of Social Media Marketers

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More on Inbound Marketing

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Google’s Panda Crawls Your Pages Looking for Ranking Factors (Good or Bad)

Josh Bachynski, over at the TheMoralConcept.net, wrote an amazing post on Google’s Panda.

What I love is in his opening line, he admonishes Google Panda for being, lack of a better word, unethical, “Google sets the Panda SEO rules according to their subjective standards which they do not outright publish other than a list of vague, unhelpful, questions.”

This is exactly how I feel and I’m sure how most of you do too.

Since Google won’t enlighten its users with information to create a ‘high quality; site, Josh took it upon himself to research bits and pieces of information to create a somewhat understandable guide to keeping in Google’s good graces, in regard to the Panda algorithm.

One of the most important things I found in the post is that “panda does crawl pages looking for ‘good’ or 'bad’ onpage factors to give it [the site] a ‘quality score.’”

What does that mean for you and me?

Every little bit of content, in every nook and cranny of your website, will fall under Panda’s scrutiny.

Not that I write content that should be deemed as ‘poor’ or ‘spammy,’ but even using permission-based article reprints is cringed upon. Even repeating keywords and specific content on multiple pages is a problem.

You can read this post about using duplicate content here:
The Google Panda Algorithm, Your Website, and Duplicate Content

And, content not having enough substance (word count) is frowned upon.

What does this even mean?

This makes the writer think twice or three times or more about every move she makes. This makes the writing process much longer.

Can I write a 200-300 word Tips post if it gives clear-cut and helpful information to my audience? Will Panda give me a ‘thumbs-down’ for it?

Can I post a meme quote with just a little additional content to enlighten the reader? Or do I have to write a full-blown article with it?

How much significant content do I need to write for a lead-in to a curated post?

Supposedly, Google wants it to be all about the reader. Write for the reader, be helpful, engaging and all is well.

But, that’s not really the case. Google wants you to jump through hoops while trying to write an informative article for your audience. If you slip, BAM, you’re on the naughty list.

You also have to watch your keywords usage and even your URLs are under scrutiny.

In essence, you're not writing for the reader anymore, you're writing for Google.

Boy, Google has sure taken the ‘joy’ of writing out of writing. Now, it’s writing with restrictions.

I thank Josh Bachynski for taking so much time and effort to create his helpful post. At least it sheds some light on what Google is looking for.

Summing it All Up

It really is now about writing with restrictions. Ignorance of Google’s guidelines (rules) won’t help you. It’ll just get your rankings dropped. So, keep abreast of white-hat SEO strategies.

I highly recommend you read the post for yourself:
The Complete Google Leaked PANDA Do and Don’t LIST - 2011 to Present

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Create a PowerPoint Presentation - Repurpose It Into a Slideshare

Visuals are powerful. They’re one of the highest converting marketing tools there are.

Along with video and animations, Slideshares are a great content marketing and inbound marketing tool. They help boost visibility, website traffic, and authority.

Don’t think you can create one?

Well, it’s easier than you think.

The Slideshare presentation below has step-by-step instructions on creating a PowerPoint presentation and repurposing it into a Slideshare. Two marketing tools with the effort of creating one.

According to information on the Slideshare site, “Slideshare was founded in October 2006 and acquired by LinkedIn in May 2012.”

The site allows users to upload a number of things, such as PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, videos, documents, and even webinars. And, uploading is SIMPLE.

Once you upload your content, you can edit the title, add keywords and a description,

The site says that in the fourth-quarter of 2013, it “averaged 60 million unique visitors a month and 215 million page views. SlideShare is among the top 120 most-visited websites in the world.”

Okay, back on track.

Check out the Slideshare and let me know if you found it helpful – if it gave you the information you need to create your own PowerPoint presentations and upload them to Slideshare.




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MORE ON CONTENT MARKETING

5 Super-Tips to Monitor and Test for Social Media Marketing Success
Tips on Becoming a Better Writer, a Better Marketer
What is Website Optimization and the SERP?

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Stop Congress from Interfering with Our Internet

On Feb 26 the FCC will vote to save net neutrality or let Comcast and other ISPs create Internet slow lanes. Some members of Congress, on behalf of their Cable donors, are trying to stop the FCC from protecting the Internet we love. There isn't much time to stop them, contact them now.

This is every internet user's problem and fight. Get involved now!



According to Battle for the Net, "Last year, more than 40,000 websites participated in the Internet Slowdown to demand real net neutrality. It worked! But monopolistic Cable companies are pouring millions into a last ditch effort to derail the FCC's historic vote. Help us flood Washington, DC with calls and emails to show lawmakers that the whole Internet is watching, and we're literally counting down the seconds until we get real net neutrality."

Telling everyone about the vote is a key part of winning real net neutrality.

Go to https://www.battleforthenet.com right now.

Your help is needed. You can join with your email address or with your Twitter account. Whichever, just join.

Again, go to https://www.battleforthenet.com to stop Congress from interfering with with how we use the internet.

Karen