14 must-dos to improve your social impression in 2014

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Just like you I was totally tempted to surrender to the bubbly, mulled wine, cookies and cakes so I started with the yearly housekeeping and just then it occured to me that I am meant to do the yearly tidying to my social as well.

Well whilst you decorate your Christmas tree and warm up for the New Year cheer, this is a suitable time to do a little social media housekeeping. Here are top 14 stars to add glamour and sturdiness to your social cheer. Get them all done and you’ll enter the New Year with a stronger base.

  1. Verify your Google profile – Google+ made colossal progress this year. You can try some simple updates. If you haven’t already, customize your URL so your company page is legitimate and easier to find and share.
  2. Tarot card readings didn’t fetch you well this year? Try Twitter Cards? Well I find Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards very promising. They allow you to collect leads directly from tweets. Christmas is a great time to try new things, and these have no form for users to fill in – cherry on the top, isn’t it?
  3. Fine tune your content – Now is a good time to review all the content shared and plan ahead. Be creative. Experiment!
  4. Take a Google Analytics course – No business is complete without acumens. Insights is everything. Google analytics course will be a true investment of your time and money, well only the time as it’s free now.
  5. A lot can happen over LinkedIn –Sponsored Updates allow businesses to promote any post from their company page directly into a specific demographics’ news feed. Give it a go.
  6. Be the “Titleholder” – Had a good social 2013? Highlight your work with internal staging, newsletter and creative comms using Vine, videos, infographics. Celebrate your social triumph!
  7. “My father taught me many things … keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” (Yes, I was watching “Godfather” last night. Yes, Again!)Take a few steps back and get the wider view of the marketplaces. Understand what worked well for your competitors and what didn’t. Learn and take notes to fin-tune your social strategy.
  8. Play with video – Now you can create and edit videos on the Instagram app as well as photos. And what’s more, these videos outdo the 6 second restriction of Vine, so it’s worth testing which platforms work best for you.
  9. Get on the right side of the law – The legal systems of any nation wasn’t  made with social in mind so they have had to adapt. Get better prepared for legislation in 2014. An appropriate time to refresh and brush the legal knowledge. Research time!
  10. Re-state your statement  – Once you’re aware of the legal risks, you’ll no doubt want to get your housekeeping in order. Re-draft your social policy; it should cover everything from changing passwords to protecting the company against liability caused by your workforce. Many free and reliable workbooks are available online.
  11. Sieve and revive – Get rid of the channels which are not suited for your business and re-focus your efforts on active platforms.
  12. Surf the net for inspiration – This is a great time to do a bit of research. Some casual surfing can land you with great ideas for the next twelve months. Start by checking out what competitors have been up to!
  13. Social also needs some “alone-time”  – While business is not that chaotic and busy, reflect upon the risks and vulnerabilities in social. What worked for you and where could you improve? How will you go about making change? Who else in your company could you tempt with cake to get some guidance?
  14. Before you get Christmassy – Before you pour that drink to your success, plan the social media content and dispenser during the holidays. There should be Christmas in the virtual world as well. Isn’t it?

Wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happier 2014!

Give your B2B Sales a Boost with LinkedIn groups

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If you’re not a believer yet that Linked is a key networking tool, this shouldn’t be your first read. You will benefit better if you read this one first: LinkedIn is 10 today!

I guess now you are ready for this one.

LinkedIn is an essential networking platform for all businesses, just a little bit more for B2B. Marketing plan for any business isn’t complete without the salt of maintaining the LinkedIn presence. The Groups feature of LinkedIn has proven ROI for B2B sales. Taking advantage of this feature provides the potential to get your brand in front of a lot more people than relying only on your company page. If you haven’t already gotten involved in Groups, here are a few LinkedIn tips to get you started and give you a boost in sales.

Direct participation is the right participation

Active participation in your group means that you will attract more prospects. Future customers feel much more confident about brands that are obviously invested in their clients’ experiences and opinions. Express your interest from the get-go by setting up automated messages to send to LinkedIn users who join your group, giving them a warm welcome and inviting them to contact you freely with any questions or comments. Think of your members as prospective clients or customers. When they have questions, answer them promptly to exemplify the type of timely, quality service you provide for your clients.

Create engagaments, Communication should always be two-ways
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Encourage group members to get involved too. Keeping members tactfully engaged is the key. You will want to provide topics of discussion from time to time, but it’s also important to let group members lead a good number of discussions. This shows potential members that you are interested in what they have to say. Instead of seeing a veer of topics provided by you with a list of responses from members, they will see a group full of members engaging in interesting discussion with useful information. Make sure you participate in member-led discussions as well. Again, you want your members to know that you value them and their viewpoints. You can only demonstrate it by showing interest in the discussions led by them.

Be the leader in all ways

While member participation is key crucial to the success of your group, you must ensure that activity within the group is appropriate, informative, and doesn’t annoy current or prospective members. For instance, say there is a member who is constantly posting messages for self-promotion. This kind of spamming can get very old, very fast. When group discussions are littered with promotional jargon, people get bored and sometimes annoyed, which means they might possibly leave the group. If there are members who are acting inappropriately or posting the same things over and over again just to get their names out there, turn to them privately and let them know that their behavior isn’t conducive to the group’s purpose. Always take the responsibilities of the group leader just like you would do in real-life. Keep an eye on the activities in your group and moderate them judiciously.

Keep Content Relevant

People join groups for a reason. They are interested in a certain topic and either want to be involved in discussion on said topic or just get as much information and advice as they can from the sidelines. Therefore, only relevant content should be posted to your group. The best thing about groups is that you’ve got a ready-made audience there for the taking—possible future clients or customers who are interested in your topic and have joined your group voluntarily. These folks are there to read information that pertains to the category under which your group falls. You should act like a content police, don’t post (or allow others to post) anything that might digress from relevant subject matter.

Search for Leads

In addition to managing your group, you should also be looking for prospective members that could turn into clients. LinkedIn now has an Advanced People Search, which is extremely useful in farming for a specific group of people. For example, you can search for people who have a specific job title, such as CFO, or perhaps those who run companies with specific number of employees. LinkedIn helps you find the precise audience you have always desired but never knew how to contact. Inviting these people to join your groups will give them a preview of what they can expect from you and your company.

Advertise

LinkedIn now has an advertising feature. It is a paid feature, but the cost is comparable to Facebook’s ad feature, and the possibility of reaching your target audience is greater. The Groups feature allows your ad to be placed front and center on the pages of a group. For example, you can specify that you want an ad to be visible to members of corporate real estate groups or inbound marketing groups. These ads are customizable and are written by your company, but they do have to meet certain criteria to be established by LinkedIn.

Participate in Other Groups

In order to integrate your group with your profile and get more exposure, join other people’s groups whose topics fall under the same umbrella as yours. In addition, you might find that you can generate leads within other groups that have nothing to do with your actual business. Joining a group with members who have the same interests as you—sports/food/wine, for example—might give rise to business relationships. Cultivating friendships with like-minded individuals can lead to talk about business, which gives you an opening to see if you can be beneficial to one another in Business-2-Business (B2B) sales.

LinkedIn’s Groups feature has grown by leaps and bounds since it was first introduced, especially where group management is concerned. Many tools have been implemented to help you lead and monitor your group efficiently. Starting a group is easy, but you must be committed to managing it as well. Participation and steadiness are keys if you want your LinkedIn Group to help boost B2B sales.