I bet your social media marketing strategy doesn’t use LinkedIn to anywhere near its full potential

I bet your social media marketing strategy doesn’t use LinkedIn to anywhere near its full potential

In social media marketing strategies Facebook or Instagram are often the ‘primary’ social media channel.

Don’t forget about LinkedIn –

Since launching in 2003 and attracting over 400 million global users, LinkedIn has became ‘the’ social networking site for professionals.

LinkedIn’s current user base is around 400 million global users, of which around 31% are aged between 30 and 49. If you operate in the b2b environment, then LinkedIn should probably be your primary social media channel!

LinkedIn has a lot to offer – it’s more than just a job searching tool!

Your LinkedIn social media marketing strategy should involve more than just logging in every so often to connect with a few people!

Here’s how to use LinkedIn more effectively in your social media marketing strategy –

Having a complete and up to date profile and making lots of connections is obviously a great place to start on LinkedIn. However, your LinkedIn strategy should involve more than just making connections.

Most people are guilty of logging in to their profile once or twice a month, connecting to a handful of people and then doing little or nothing else.

There’s more to LinkedIn than just making connections.

Social Media Strategy - things that you should be doing on Twitter

Help with marketing – Thinks that you should be doing on Twitter

LinkedIn aims to be ‘the’ place on the internet for professionals. LinkedIn provides training courses, groups and news stories as well as a broad range and variety of user generated content.

LinkedIn could be viewed as a search engine for connections? It’s a great place to search for prospects or influencers. It’s a fantastic channel for personal 1-2-1 marketing.

I like to view personal 1-2-1 marketing as more of a long term strategy. It’s never a good idea to try and instantly sell to a new LinkedIn connection. There’s nothing worse than receiving an automated message from a new connection asking if you want to attend their next event or buy their latest product.

A better approach would be to engage and nurture connections over a period of time.

As with traditional marketing, you’ll get a more positive response if a contact is ‘warm’ instead of ‘cold’.

As part of your social media marketing strategy you should be producing regular content.

Content is crucial on LinkedIn! Content should focus on communicating your personality and values along with enhancing your position as an expert in your industry. Content on LinkedIn can be published on both your personal and company pages.

On LinkedIn you need to be active! It’s a great idea to join groups and become involved in discussions. You should also be commenting and endorsing on a regular basis.

Approach LinkedIn with the aim and objective of helping your connections! What can you do to help somebody on LinkedIn?

You should only ever try to turn a LinkedIn ‘connection’ into an ‘opportunity’ when the time is right. You should only try to take ‘warm’ or ‘hot’ connections to the next level. If you get this right – then nobody should ever turn down your request.

A strategy for social selling on LinkedIn might look something like –

1. Connect with relevant people
2. Post relevant updates and content
3. Nurture and Engage
4. Make Contact

The cost of the premium LinkedIn options often puts people off. If you operate in the b2b business environment then it might be worth looking at something like Sales Navigator.

Some of the benefits of LinkedIn Sales Navigator include –

20 InMail™ messages

Advanced info on who’s Viewed Your Profile

Sales Insights

Unlimited people browsing

Advanced Search with Lead Builder

Lead recommendations and saved leads

As part of their Sales Navigator marketing, LinkedIn claims that top social selling professionals are 3 x more likely to exceed quota.

The Secrets of Social Media Marketing Strategy

Help with marketing – The Secrets of Social Media Marketing Strategy. Click here to find out more.

There’s been quite a lot of changes recently on LinkedIn. I quite like the new look and feel! I think the changes have made the channel more intuitive and easy to use.

Changes to company pages have caused quite a bit of confusion. In essence LinkedIn is becoming more like Facebook –

On Facebook you have a personal account where you can make friends with people and follow business or brand pages.

On LInkedIn you have an individual account where you can make connections with others and follow company pages.

Lets get connected! You can find me on Twitter at Perro_Andy. #freemarketingtips

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Is Instagram part of your social media marketing strategy? Here’s how to get more followers.

Is Instagram part of your social media marketing strategy? Here’s how to get more followers.

Whenever I talk social media marketing strategy, Instagram always comes up!

Instagram used to be known as ’the’ channel for ‘young and cool’ people – but now more businesses are starting to use Instagram as part of their social media marketing strategy.

Instagram’s personal and business users are high engagers – over 300 million users currently share over 60 million images a day.

As a social media channel, Instagram is really quick and simple to pick up and use. It’s also fun, free and very addictive!

Easy to use and cost effective, Instagram advertising enables businesses to effectively target their specific niche audience.

Instagram doesn’t always ‘convert’ – it probably won’t drive as much traffic to your website or blog as Twitter or Pinterest, but it’s a great channel to build trust and communicate your personality.

If Instagram is part of your social media marketing strategy, then here’s how to get more Instagram followers –

Spend some time working on your profile

Keep your bio short and sweet! Make it appeal to your audience and clearly and concisely communicate what your page is about and how you are different or add value. Include a call to action and a link to your website or blog.

Get organised!

Scroll through your feed and analyse what you’ve previously posted. Be brutal! If an image isn’t quite right or looks out of place, then delete it.

To turn visitors into followers, your feed needs to look as coherent as possible.

Social Media Strategy - things that you should be doing on Twitter

Help with marketing – Thinks that you should be doing on Twitter

Promote your Instagram page

Add an Instagram link to your website, blog and email signatures. Announce your presence on Instagram across other social media channels.

Also think about promoting your account across non digital marketing materials.

Understand your audience and define your style accordingly

When new visitors land on your profile, they should be able to instantly understand who you are and what you offer.

What style will your posts follow? Some users opt for a limited or restricted colour palette – even just black and white images.

On Instagram being ‘niche’ is often a good idea. Don’t try to be everything to everyone.

Focus on quality of image

Quality of image is crucial! Don’t post lo-res, blurred or badly composed images. Make sure your images are as ‘professional’ as possible.

If Instagram is the key channel for your social media marketing strategy, then it might be worth investing in a smart phone with a great quality digital camera.

You could also consider using photo editing software to further enhance your images.

Don’t get carried away with filters! Use filters that reflect and compliment your brand and message. It might be a good idea to limit your posts to one or a few filters.

Be consistent

There’s no golden rule on how often you should post – but I always advise that it’s best to be consistent. Commit to something – post daily, every other day or weekly?

A consistent approach will be more beneficial than random sporadic posting.

Engage with others

Don’t forget that Instagram is social media! Dedicate some time to interacting and engaging with your existing following as well as others.

Like, comment on other posts and reply to messages. Try not to use standard replys – your approach should be to be as ‘human’ as possible.

Use hashtags – but don’t get carried away

Include popular and relevant hashtags in the captions of your posts. This will help other users to find and appreciate your content.

However, don’t use too many hashtags. Instagram posts with lots of hashtags can appear ‘desperate’ or ‘sales focussed’.

Set targets and focus on the right metrics

It’s important to have goals, aims and objectives. If you don’t know what you want to achieve on Instagram, you won’t ever know what you’ve achieved!

Your social media marketing strategy should be part of your overall marketing strategy.

Have fun! Go for it!

Be creative! Push the boundaries and operate outside of your comfort zone!

It’s important to remember that although Instagram is still social media, it’s very different to Facebook and Twitter.

The Secrets of Social Media Marketing Strategy

Help with marketing – The Secrets of Social Media Marketing Strategy. Click here to find out more.

I use this simple approach to Instagram social media marketing –

Stand Out – communicate your authority and personality
Attract – the right type of followers for your business or brand
Grow – attract more followers quickly and organically
Convert – your followers into customers

As with all marketing and social media marketing activity, you will only get out of Instagram what you put in!

There’s no magic wand! It always takes time! I recommend working through these tips to help to get more Instagram followers.

Let me know if I’ve missed anything? Do you have any other Instagram tips that you think should be added to this list?

Lets get connected! You can find me on Twitter at Perro_Andy. #freemarketingtips

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Back 2 basics – how to blog quicker, smarter and more effectively!

Back 2 basics – how to blog quicker, smarter and more effectively!

Everyone should learn how to blog! If you’ve already started blogging, then there’s always room for improvement!

A blog will naturally take some time and effort to set up, but when you’re up and running it’s a great marketing tactic that can support and enhance your overall marketing and digital marketing strategy.

Blogging is a great way to cost effectively market your business! Publishing regular content will help to improve your overall online presence and drive more traffic to your website. Becoming a better blogger will bring personal satisfaction as your writing skills improve. Blogging is also one of the fastest ways to become recognised as an ‘expert’ in your field.

Blogs are a highly reliable and trusted source of information online. Around 80% of online users read blog content.

Here’s my back 2 basics guide on how to blog quicker, smarter and more effectively –

Why should you learn how to blog?

If you start a blog, you will –

Become a better writer.

Learn more, as you naturally research for your posts.

See things from a new or different perspective.

Boost your digital marketing strategy.

Increase self confidence and achieve personal satisfaction.

Increase self discipline.

Push you further, or completely away from your comfort zone (this is a good thing!).

Stay in touch with your personal online community.

Improve your seo and help to drive more traffic to your website.

Build and engage with a wider audience.

Create unique content that can then be shared on your social media channels.

Build credibility and authority.

Help you to become an expert, or the ‘go to’ person in your field.

Inspire and help others.

Check out this recent blog post –
How to be inspired to write amazing blog posts

I’ve created a simple 5 step approach to help you to get started with blogging –

If you’ve already started your blog then it’s still worth revisiting this list.

Step 1. Choose Your Blogging Platform
Step 2. Set Up Your Blog
Step 3. Decide What To Blog About
Step 4. Publish Your First Post
Step 5. Continue To Publish Great Content

Steps 1 and 2. Choose Your Blogging Platform and Set Up Your Blog

I generally recommend that WordPress is the best platform to use for a blog. Unless you have a unique specific requirement that WordPress can’t accommodate, I’d start with WordPress.

WordPress, the worlds most popular content management system, currently powers around 75 million websites. It’s often the ‘go to’ platform to start blogging from.

WordPress bloggers need to choose between WordPress.com or WordPress.org. This often causes confusion, as there’s some important difference between the 2 options.

On WordPress.com it’s free to set up and host your blog, but overall functionality and flexibility is limited. Also, you would need to have ‘.wordpress’ in your name, so you can’t even control or move your own blog.

I advise bloggers to use WordPress.org and self-host their blog. There’s a small monthly fee associated with domain name registration and hosting, but increased functionality helps to create a more professional appearance. Unlike on WordPress.com, you actually ‘own’ your blog and have flexibility to move in the future.

Here are some of the other main benefits to using WordPress.org to drive your blog –

WordPress is very easy to install. Most hosting providers now have an automatic WordPress installation feature.

Content is easily managed and updated through a simple interface, which is very similar to standard text editing software.

If you do get stuck and require additional support, then there’s lots of material available from magazines, books to blogs and online forums.

There are many templates and themes available to customise the look and style of your blog.

There are lots of other compatible online tools and plug-ins, integration with these is often seamless.

Excellent search engine optimisation principles ensure that WordPress blogs rank highly on search engines.

Find out more at https://wordpress.org.

blogginghowtoblog

Discover how to blog like an expert. Check out these other blog posts.

Step 3. Decide What To Blog About

Blogging is all about connecting with your audience. It’s important to understand who your audience are and what they want (or need) to know.

Your audience should be niche. If you try to communicate with everybody, you’ll end up communicating with nobody.

Some considerations might be – How can you engage an audience? What tone and style of language should you use? How can you solve their problems?

I recommend creating around 6 – 10 ‘topics’ or ‘categories’. These should help to drive new ideas for blog content.

Here’s some popular choices –

How To
Tutorial
Case Study
Product
Solve A Problem
The List
The Check List
Myth Buster
A Glossary
FAQs
Infographic
Fictional
Research
Guide
Inspirational
A to Z
Series
Behind the Scenes
Opinion
Interview
Story
Review
Recommendations
Questions and Answers

Step 4. Publish Your First Post

What should be included in your blog posts –

Headline

Think carefully about your headline! The main purpose is to influence and encourage your audience to ‘click through’ and read more.

Find out more about the importance of the headline –
How to write headlines that will encourage your audience to read your blog posts

Intro

Your intro is usually the next section to be read after your headline. It should concisely communicate what your audience will ’take away’ from your post.
Images

The quality of your images can make or break a post. All blogs don’t need to have images, but they should be used whenever possible.

Video

As with images, it’s a great idea to embed (as professional as possible) video in your blog posts.

Text

Try to use short paragraphs to make your posts more inviting and easier to read. Headings, sub headings and captions can also be used throughout to not only improve the appearance, but to make your blog posts easy to read.

Links

Your blog posts should contain appropriate links. Don’t give your audience too many options – only use links that you really want to be clicked on.

Social Media Sharing

Your posts should include social media sharing icons. This will encourage and make it easier for your audience to share your content.

Comments

Allowing your audience the chance to leave comments is a good idea. Your blog platform should allow you to approve comments before they are displayed.

The ‘Call to Action’ –

A ‘call to action’ (sometimes referred to as a CTA) is an instruction intended to provoke an immediate specific response.

It should be the next ‘natural’ step that you want your audience to take. Therefore, it’s important that the ‘call to action’ is strong, visible and appropriately positioned within your post.

The ‘call to action’ is usually (but not always) displayed at the end of a blog post.

In digital marketing and on a blog post, a ‘call to action’ will usually direct the audience to ‘click’ on something.

Your ‘call to action’ could be –

Other blog posts that your audience might want to read

A link to your website or social media platforms

An eNewsletter sign up or opt in form

A link to your online store, with a discount or coupon code

A free download or a free limited period offer

Here’s some tips to help your blog posts to get found on Google –

Establish a relevant key word or key phrase
As part of your overall marketing strategy, you should have a list of key words and key phrases that you plan to be found on.

Select only 1 key word or key phrase for each blog post. It’s important not to ‘key word stuff’. If you select multiple key words and phrases and pack them into a single blog post, then it’s likely that Google will penalise the post.

Include your key word or key phrase into relevant parts of your blog post –

The headline (or title) of your post

Headings, sub headings and body text

The url of your blog and / or the individual post

Categories and tags

The name, alt tag and descriptions of your images

Please note: It’s important that you don’t ‘key word stuff’. Always write firstly for your audience not for Google. Ensure your content is well written and authentic. Key word stuffing will annoy your audience and ensure that your posts are penalised by Google.

Some other tips to help your blog to get found on Google –

Make sure your blog is mobile responsive. Websites that aren’t mobile friendly wouldn’t rank as highly on mobile devices. As traffic from mobile devices is set to increase even further in the future, it’s important that your blog is fully mobile responsive.

Include internal links. It’s a good idea to include links to other relevant pages within your website or blog. This will show authority on your chosen key word or key phrase. You could also include external links.

Make sure the length of post is good length. As a general rule, your post should contain between 300 – 700 words. Less than 300 words won’t provide enough content for Google and more than 700 words will probably discourage your audience from reading.

Step 5. Continue To Publish Great Content 

Follow these tips to become a better writer –

Be authentic – Write for your audience, not for yourself, your peers, or Google.

Don’t sweat the headline – Leave your headline until the end – a great headline will become more apparent when the copy is complete.

Get organised – Use the same notebook or an app like Evernote to record your thoughts and ideas.

Get to the point – Be concise. Don’t waffle.

Create your routine – Find the best space to work from (this will be different for everyone).

Get on with it – Don’t stare at a blank page for too long! Get some ideas or a rough outline down as soon as possible.

Have a blogging day – Write and schedule several posts in one day.

Be disciplined – Sometimes it’s easy to ‘overthink’ things. Sometimes it’s best just to ‘get on with it’!

Start with the words – Pictures, infographics and video should be added to the end of a finished piece.

Use consistent language – Develop an ‘appropriate’ list of adverbs and other phrases that you will frequently use.

Research and be inspired – Subscribe to and read other interesting blogs.

If you’re still learning how to blog or are a more experienced blogger – these are my top blogging tips –

The headline is crucial! Craft intriguing and interesting headlines that will encourage your audience to ‘click through’ to read more.

Use social media sharing icons on all of your blog posts. Encouraging your readers to share your posts is always a good idea. The sharing icons should be positioned prominently on the page.
Ensure your blog posts are fully optimised for Google. Your blog posts should contain your key words and phrases in areas including the headline, first line of text, headings and sub headings, categories and links, alt text on images and other internal and external links.

Use a strong ‘call to action’ (CTA) on all of your blog posts! Don’t neglect the call to action! CTA’s are the best way to encourage your visitors to do exactly what you want them to do!

Share your blog posts at least once on all of your social media networks.

Publish your best posts on platforms like Medium.

Guest blog! Approach other bloggers and ask if you can create content for their blog.

Maximise email marketing. On a regular basis email all or even just your best blog posts to your subscribers.

Repurpose your blog content. Your blog posts can easily be transformed into a series of social media posts, infographics or video.

Keep an eye on your statistics. If you know what topics, categories and type of posts work well, then you should be creating more like this.

Here’s how to blog smarter and more efficiently! The best tips to repurpose content

howtoblog blogging

Discover how to blog. Check out my mini guide – Who else wants to blog like an expert?

It’s easy to slip into bad habits. Here are some things that you should avoid (or completely stop) doing –

Constantly Selling

Your goal should be to generate valuable content – don’t try to sell to your audience at every opportunity.

Misunderstanding Your Audience

Do some research – find out more about what your audience want or need to know. Don’t always assume that you already know this.

Constantly Reposting Old Content

It’s really o.k. to reuse the occasional old post. If you do this, I recommend revisiting, adding to or rewriting the post. If you are copying and pasting existing content, then try to improve it.

Posting Anonymously

People connect with people. To successfully engage with your audience, you’ll need to let them know who you are.

Publishing Really Long Posts

Don’t rant! Get to the point! Make sure your posts are concise and not long essays.

Including Too Many Adverts

Don’t go overboard. Avoid anything that doesn’t reflect your personality and values. If you have monetised your blog by selling advertising space, then tread carefully and be selective.

Ignoring (or using poor quality) Images

Images make a huge difference. If your posts use images, they’re more likely to be read and shared by your audience. Preview your post before publishing to ensure that your image hasn’t distorted or pixelated.

Forgetting About Social Media

Include social media sharing icons on your posts and encourage your audience to share your posts.

Keyword Stuffing

Everybody wants (or should want) to get found on Google. If you concentrate on generating quality, authentic content, then Google will automatically index your blog appropriately.

Posting Incomplete Content

Don’t forget to add things like categories, tags and other data that will help your audience to find your posts.

Neglect Call To Actions

It’s important to strike a good balance! No one wants to be constantly sold to, but it is important to include a relevant CTA. Don’t be afraid to ask your audience to take the next step.

Ignoring Comments

how to blogDon’t start something if you don’t intend to finish it. If somebody comments (however positive or negative) then you really need to respond.

In Conclusion –

I hope you enjoy writing, publishing and sharing content! Like many other things in life, if you don’t start doing this now, in a years time you’ll certainly wish that you had!

When I’m working with someone who is starting a new blog, my advise is always to develop a strategy and set realistic targets and objectives. However, sometimes it’s a good idea to jump in, make some mistakes and learn a lot from the experience.

Your strategy is important, but you’ll learn so much from experience!

Share your experiences of blogging. Let me know if you think something should be added to this blog post.

Lets get connected! You can find me on Twitter at Perro_Andy. #freemarketingtips

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