Showcase pages on LinkedIn – what Value?

To showcase or not to showcase – that is the question!

Recently in an on-line forum I use as a resource tool, I ran across a question from another user asking about how to remove a showcase page.

I maintain one for my business LinkedIn page just to explain and demonstrate. For my purposes, that is the only benefit I see for them.

If you are a large company with a number of product lines that are diverse enough that someone wouldn’t want to see posts or information about your other products, it would be worthwhile to consider a showcase page. Several questions to ask yourself are:

  1. What kind of content will I post that is different than I would post to my general company page?
  2. Is there enough content to post at least a weekly update to the showcase page?
  3. Do I have the time or manpower to dedicate to posting on a showcase page in addition to the other pages I have on all of my social media channels?

If you have substantive answers for each of these three questions you may want to create a showcase page for your product or service identity in addition to your overall company page.

Here is what you would do:

  1. Go to your company page
  2. Click the edit
  3. Select Create Showcase page

Fill in all of the appropriate information and add an icon and header image.

Once created if you need to make edits or delete the page do the following:

  1. Click on your company page. Find the showcase page on the lower right side.
  2. Click on the Showcase page.
  3. Click the edit button.

Make your changes or go to the bottom right and remove the page.

Remember that if you are going to have a showcase page, it really should have some activity on it.

Not everyone is big enough or diverse enough to benefit from the efforts needed to create and maintain a LinkedIn Company Showcase page.

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Is Professional in your LinkedIn Headline?

If the word Professional is in your LinkedIn headline, you need to consider removing it.

If you are a professional singer, dancer, actor, sports figure, OK, you can professional dancerleave the word in your headline. But if you have any level of notoriety on a professional level, you probably aren’t using LinkedIn to help you advance your products and services.

One of the things that I advise in my LinkedIn workshops and one-on-one coaching is to remove the word professional from your headline. It is a dead give away that you are in job search mode. My thought pattern is this – if you were employed and were using your job title as your headline, does your job title say “National Sales Representative Professional”? If you are currently employed are you no longer a professional at what you do, when you were a professional when you did not have a current position?

Instead I suggest that you employ the keyword tactic. If you want to read more about this, read this article that I published. Using keywords helps you in the search algorithms and doesn’t make you look like you are looking for your next opportunity.

Other words that you should consider removing from your headline, especially if they are the majority of your headline, include:

  • Seeking next opportunity
  • Targeting XYZ Roles
  • Actively “anything”
  • Seasoned
  • Determined
  • Experienced

All of these words are a dead give-away you are in job search mode.

I also recommend that you don’t use them in your summary until, at the very most, if at all, the last sentence.
linkedin-keywords-2

Participants ask, what do they do about having a current job. Put it in your profile so that your profile gets to All-Star status, but grab and drag it below a job that is in your career field.

Remember that when you do land your next position and update your profile that you don’t lose all the effort you put in to update your headline with keywords.

If you need to work on your profile, give me a call. We can work in-person or via a webinar.

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LinkedIn Mobile versus Desktop for your Profile

Can you get the best results for your profile from LinkedIn Mobile?

I just read an article by Catherine Fisher from the official LinkedIn Blog. She has some really great points. This quote is perfect for expressing my opinion of LinkedIn as well.

The biggest challenge most of us face in today’s world is finding time. But making the time to ensure your professional story reflects your achievements and future goals is key to not missing your next opportunity.

Read the whole article here

While I totally agree with what Catherine says, I truly feel that what you can do with LinkedIn from your phone or tablet is a fraction of what you can do if you finesse your profile from a desktop or laptop. mobile vs. desktopI have even noticed a difference in the functionality of LinkedIn between a touch-screen and not.

There are so many things that you can do with LinkedIn. One of my most recent favorites is to add projects to your profile. This gives you the ability to describe a major project = accomplishment in your profile. And best yet is, if you worked with other people in the project, you get to include them in your project description. People who view your projects on your profile or the project on the other people’s profile get to see you too!

The things that I recommend you not miss in your profile are the things all star status on LinkedInthat equate to having a 100% complete “All-Star” status profile. How you use those sections is how much higher your profile will pull in search results. Just like Catherine, you need a profile photo, a summary, a key list of your skills, and a current job. What I also suggest is that you incorporate your searchable keywords in as many of those areas as possible, including your headline.

So all in all, I find that when I really want to work with a person to optimize their profile, I prefer to work on a desktop or a laptop than on a mobile device. LinkedIn is going to have to step up their game with the mobile app if they want people to use the mobile app more frequently.

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Customer Service and Social Media

How does social media impact your Customer Service?

Recently, I ordered carry-out from a local Mexican restaurant. The customer service wasn’t the best. I want to show you the impact of social media as a result of my poor experience.

I have written about customer service before, as it relates to my life and social media. You can read one post here that is a great example of how it can be done. Another article is here.

Before the days of social media, if you were happy with what happened at an establishment, you might tell 2 people. If you were unhappy, you might tell 10 people. Your circle of influence wasn’t that large. If you were really unhappy, the time frame of your sharing might be longer, so the number might rise to 20 or 30 people who heard about your bad experience. Once social media came around, that number that you reach is as broad as your knowledge of how to post a review about a business on the variety of social outlets where they can be found, or haven’t found yet.

Let’s go back to my sad story. Early this year I chose to go gluten free on the advice of my wheat-995055_1280homeopath. That means that I avoid wheat, barley and rye. I have found that I do react negatively if I ingest one of those. There is this thing called cross-contamination where even if I don’t actually eat it, if it touches the food I do eat, it can cause me distress as well.

All of that back story to say this – I ordered enchiladas to go (corn doesn’t affect me). I got to the restaurant. I gave them my order number. The lady checked my ticket. There was only one order waiting. She grabbed it and bagged up my chilies, chips and salsa, and my dinners. I paid my bill and left. (Notice I did not check inside the container.)

When I got home, 20 minutes later, I unpacked my order, opened the container and saw burritos. (Made with flour tortillas – flour is bad for me!) I called the restaurant. They immediately knew who I was because I got another persons order that was very similar – two meals, chips and salsa. They told me I was welcome to come back to get my order. I said, I would prefer not to drive round trip another 40 minutes. I asked if they would provide a credit the next time I was in. The young man told me “We can’t give you a credit, because you would get free food.” I told the young man, I would probably not come back – EVER.

I posted in a Facebook group called What’s Happening in Elgin. I gave them a negative review on Yelp and Google. I am writing about it here on my blog and will share this on Pinterest, Facebook, G+, and LinkedIn.

Now, here are my observations.

  1. People can be rude and crude. You may use foul language in person, FB cs 2but it should not be used to make a point in a public forum. You never know who is going to read your post. If you don’t care how you sound to others, that is fine, but it can come back to bite you in the behind. Would you want your grandmother to read what you wrote?
  2. People stick up for the underdog – not always seeing both sides of a story.
  3. Arguing on social media never usually works out. If someone complains in a public forum and you are the business, you should always take it off-line as soon as possible. You can respond by saying, please call me at xx number at your earliest convenience, I would like to resolve this matter.
  4. There may be a cultural difference or a generational difference between how people perceive good customer service or good will. Many of the people in the Facebook thread thought that it was totally my fault for not checking my bag before I left OR the offer to come back and get my original meal was dealing with the situation properly. The fact that I should have been overjoyed at the chance to drive back to pick up my meal was what they considered good customer. Would they have made me a fresh meal or would I have been given the original meal (which by the time I got back home the second time would have been over an hour old).
  5. If you “react”, wait before you post. Apparently the owner’s wife posted a negative FB cscomment in the thread, changed her mind and deleted it, but not before someone got a screen shot and reposted it. AND refer to point #3.
  6. Sometimes,FB cs 5 apologizing is all that it takes to right a wrong. While the owner of the business never actually apologized, the owner of the sister business sent me a private message. Refer to #3 above. I responded to her as soon as I saw the message, assuring her, that her facility was not in question. While this did not make up for the fact that I never heard from the business itself, it gives me faith that some people do pay attention to social media and what it can do to their business. Perhaps if I hear from the actual business owner, I might go in and take down my reviews.
  7. Posting an opinion on social media does not mean you are trying to close a business down. Remember my comment from earlier about telling 10 people if you are upset? Now, posting to social media about your experiences is the norm. Peer recommendations fuel whether you are going to use a product or service. Peer recommendations get you FB cs3everything from a new dog groomer to a Mexican restaurant. Many people ask how to do things, where to find things, sell items, or buy items. This is evidenced in the decline of classified advertising in newspapers. When was the last time you bought an item because of a commercial you saw? When was the last time you ate at a restaurant because you saw that a friend of yours had checked-in. The power of social media to drive people to a business is growing exponentially.
  8. People care. One person made the comment that this isn’t Chicago, no one cares aboutFB cs4 my reviews. I advise people all the time to check their reviews. If they have a negative review about their business, they need to work on getting others to add positive reviews. If you are not concerned about what is showing up on the internet, then you aren’t concerned about your business. Google reviews show up in Google searches and Facebook reviews show up in Bing searches. Yelp has a growing following. Reviews on platforms like Urban Spoon or other new platforms, may be out there and you don’t know what people are saying about you.  My answer to that particular poster that no one cares about my review is – you don’t know who I know. You don’t know my level of influence – my Klout. You don’t know who might see my comment and change their mind based upon my words or someone else’s opinion of a business you are about to frequent. Just because the place is a small local establishment, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t care about what people are saying. “They don’t need you” as one poster says, may be right, but if enough of me’s get treated improperly, it will have an effect upon that business.
  9. One comment can go viral – be ready for damage control. Again, refer to #3 above. SM commentsThere was an incident a few years ago where a singer’s guitar was damaged by an airline. He wrote a song and posted it to YouTube. Over 15 million views later, this is a great example of what can happen if you don’t care of business. Now my small local post only garnered a fraction of that kind of response, but it is still a relatively significant number compared to when something goes right.

Does what people might say about your business on social media impact your customer service?

Overall, this was a good exercise to see how social media and customer service work together. As some of you know, I speak publicly. I tell a story about my experience with a “utility” provider. I tell this story at least once a month for the last 3 years. This story is going into my repertoire as an example of how to control your reputation. A little positive public relations can go a long way!

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What? You don’t have a website!

A Website is the hub to your marketing. Or is it?

I met a woman recently who told me she deactivated her website because it wasn’t doing anything for her. I said, “You did what?” She told me that she relies upon her LinkedIn profile to do her marketing for her. I said, “We need to have a discussion about that!”website hub

After I walked away, I thought a bit more about it. LinkedIn does show up number 1, 2, or 3 in search results if someone is looking for you by your name. But it is not going to tell them about your product or services the way a website would. I advice jobseekers to at least have a blogspot blog to give them a space on the internet.

If you don’t have a website, or at least a URL driven email address, you cannot have a company page on LinkedIn for your business.

I wrote this article about your website being the hub of your marketing in 2013. I agree with that today. The other thing that I feel very strongly about is the fact that you need an email address that has a company URL associated with it. It legitimizes your business. If people see a gmail, yahoo, hotmail, or, heaven forbid, an AOL email address as your business email, they tend to think less of your business. I am not the only one that feels this way. Read this article from my friend at T.G. Consultants.

If nothing else, spend $10-25 and get a website tonight from a service like godaddy or wix. You can set up a site that links back to someplace else. But you at least have that branding going on that will only help your marketing efforts. If I can help you build a WordPress website to legitimize your business – or update it to this millennium – please contact me.

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