Coffee Shops or Social Media

I am a huge advocate of social media.  That is stating the obvious, since it is how I make a living. While saying that, I need to say it is not the only tool you should use to market your business or is it? This Forbes article struck a chord with me.Why Social Media Isnt Doing For Us What Londons Coffee Houses Did For 17th Century – Forbes.

According to the article, using social media may help you spark the creativity and gain the new Time2Mrkt New Ideasideas that you need to be more effective on your job. That is what the coffee houses of the 17th century did. The coffee houses were bemoaned as a waste of time, much like people bemoan Facebook or Pinterest calling them and social media in general a time-sucking black hole. But, how many times have you found the answer or the spark for something that you needed on one of the social media platforms? How often do you turn to YouTube for the how-to of something you need to accomplish or learn? I would have to say frequently.

Today in the coffee houses, most people have their faces glued to a device of some sort, so it makes it next to impossible to strike up a conversation with a stranger. Unless you are attending a networking event, you may not meet anyone new or be able to get the spark of creativity. For people like me that work independently, we need a resource for brainstorming. Sometimes I turn to groups on LinkedIn, sometimes, I float around on Pinterest or Houzz for construction ideas. I receive a number of e-news letters that sometimes give me the spark to write an article like this one.

Where does your inspiration come from?

You need endorsements AND recommendations

Endorsements vs. Recommendations

In September of 2013, I wrote an article about endorsements and recommendations. Since that time, LinkedIn has does some remodeling and the part of the article that addressed product recommendations is no defunct.

Let’s revisit endorsements and recommendations.

Who gives endorsements? Have you written any recommendations? Have you ever shared someone’s profile with another connection? Do all three from a visit to one of your connections profile. Pick the down arrow next to the “Send Message” box.Endorse Recommend Share Profiles on LinkedIn

Endorsements

LinkedIn’s search algorithms use keywords from three locations to help boost you in the search results. One of those areas is your Skills and Endorsements. If you aren’t using the endorsements feature, you could be missing a valuable part of your ability for people to find you in a keyword search on LinkedIn.

I would caution you to carefully choose the items for which you endorse others.  I suggest that you only endorse them for the skills they have selected instead of suggesting skills for them. I would also encourage you to endorse them for the skills that you know they possess. I hear from attendees in my class that they don’t like when people endorse them for things about which they have no knowledge whether the person owns that skill or not.  If you are one of those people, take a look at this post about managing your endorsements http://time2mrkt.com/linkedin/linkedin_endorsements/.

Recommendations

Recommendations are harder to come by.  Many people find it difficult to ask someone to say kind words about them. In our hectic lives, we often forget to say kind words about others. Use the recommendation feature to write a sentence or two about someone with whom you have worked.  The recommendation just needs to include a few of the keywords that the person has used on their profile.

If you are seeking a recommendation about a particular thing, you could send the request and include the keywords in the body of the request. Heck, you may even want to include an example sentence or two that the person could just copy and paste!

Sharing

One feature that I think is often overlooked is the Share Profile option.  Endorse Me for LinkedInThis lets you send the profile of your connection to another connection.  So many times, I am asked who do I know that does X. I go through my list of connections (that I have tagged) and share the profile.  Other times, a connection will ask me to recommend them to a group of my connections. I go to their profile, select share, and send it off with a short message about why I am sending the profile to them.

So many options from which to choose.  Which one do you need? All of them!

By the way, if you are feeling the urge, I could use a boost on my profile for just one of my skills. If you feel inclined, please visit my profile at http://linkedin.com/in/deereinhardt and click the Plus next to the word LinkedIn.

B2B vs B2C – Images

B2B vs B2C – Images

Continuing our B2B vs B2C discussion, our topic in this post is Image sites. The biggest names include Instagram, Flickr, Picasa and Pinterest.  Pinterest is big enough to warrant it’s own post, it will be next.

People are very visual. When I read the paper or a magazine, I scan the headlines, look for B2B vs B2C - imagesimages and if either of those things grab my attention, then I might read into the article a bit further or the whole thing. A picture draws the attention of a reader – that could be why picture books are so popular with small children.  They can’t read the words yet, but bright colors and imagery draw their attention.

Image sites all  you to have images posted, sometimes into photo albums that may (or should) include backlinks to your website.  According to an article from MediaPost, 70% of all interactions on social media sites now involve pictures.

How can that help your business?

B2B – Many vendors will post images of their products so that businesses that purchase will see the item. Consider showing the item in “action”. Share images of company events, participation at trade shows, or internal employee recognition occasions. Include links to images in your white papers and definitely in blog articles. Use images to announce new products, especially in press releases.

B2C – Image sites are much more suited to consumer sites. Take for example a restaurant or a bakery.  How many people post photos of themselves in a new outfit and take the store in an Instagram post. That is one of the reasons why Instagram now has 200 million users who have posted 60 million photos a day. Once you have found your platform of choice, encourage customers to share their photos and tag your business in them. While we didn’t mention Facebook as a photo platform, it is a huge player in images and probably one of the main reasons Instagram was snapped up. Share product images, people enjoying your products or services and participation at community events.

In my opinion, the clear winner in this category is B2C.

Why | Blogs | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Video
Google | Image | Pinterest | Location Sites | E-news

 

LinkedIn Groups Updates

Have you seen the latest LinkedIn Groups Updates

Today in LinkedIn, I clicked on Groups and noticed there has been a significant LinkedIn Groups Update.

See the image below, but to summarize:LinkedIn Groups appearance has changed

  • The groups to which you belong are listed across the top
  • Click “See More” to view all of your groups
  • Check the number of groups to which you belong – remember you can join up to 50 groups
  • Follow the conversations from your groups in a stream below the list.

Now one of the best things that this change has brought about is that if you want to start a discussion in more than one of your groups you don’t have to go from group to group to start the discussion.  For example, this is especially useful if you are sharing a job posting.  Click here to read about how to Share a Post that you see in your updates stream or from company updates.  What is great about the new feature is:LinkedIn Group Discussion

  • you type in your headline,
  • type in your message,
  • pick whether it is “General”, “Promotion”, or “Job” and then
  • Select the “Choose a group” to you see the drop-down list of your groups!

This is a great time saver if you don’t have an update to share from a company. It is a great way to gather information from multiple groups for research or to obtain an answer to a questions for which you just cannot find the answer. Share a workshop or other event to appropriate groups.

As a reminder, some groups moderate their discussions, so your post may not appear automatically. Be careful not to appear spammy so that you are cut out of the loop!

Happy posting!

LinkedIn – Send direct messages

In LinkedIn, one of the best features is you can communicate with your network.  How can you accomplish that besides posting a status update or creating a discussion in a group?  That is the topic of this post:

LinkedIn – Send direct messages

You have decided to point out a particular feature of your company, or perhaps a new showcase page for your company, maybe a featured post you found on LinkedIn. Other than posting it to a group discussion or taking the chance that someone will see your status update, you may want to send direct messages to specific people.  Now if you have taken the time to Tag your connections, you can send it to a tagged group of up to 50 people at one time.  If you haven’t tagged your connections (read more about doing that here), or you just want a few people from different within your connections you can do that as well. Follow these steps:

1.  Select the message iconLinkedIn Send Direct Messages

2.  Select Compose message

3. Start Typing Names

4. Use your address book for additional names (additional image below)  You are limited to 50 addresses in one email.

5. Compose your message – use a generic Salutation so that you can include multiple people without having to send each one individually.  If you are sending the message to more than 50 people copy the body of the message for the next email.

6. Who will see – At the bottom of the message window is a box to select or deselect that determines whether the other message recipients will see each others name.  If you want the message to appear as if it was a “singular” message, you will want to uncheck the box.  If you are sending the message to a group of people to whom you would normally send a message, you leave it checked.

7. Send your message. Repeat the steps until you have sent your message to everyone to whom you wish to send the message.

LinkedIn address bookAddress book lists your connections alphabetically.  Move through the alphabet as you add people to your “To” list. When you check the box next to their name, it automatically adds them to your list and tells you how many you have left in your “50″.

 

 

 

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