Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How To Make LinkedIn Work For You

LinkedIn is among the most popular professional social network globally and I am sure you too have your published profile on LinkedIn. Well, in case you don’t have it, this is the just the right time to have your LinkedIn profile; more so if you are always keen to connect with more and more people from your field of work.

Ok, this is not a step-by-step guide to setting up a LinkedIn profile. This is more about tips and suggestions that will help anybody make the best use of LinkedIn for what it is actually supposed to do – professional networking and helping you stand out or get positively noticed in your professional world.  

So, here we go:

1.       Have a complete profile.
Well, it’s not really difficult - we just need to follow the instructions and provide the data required for the profile to be complete. Ok, agreed that it can be tiring and boring as well if you have lot to write about but then, it is Your Profile, so just do it!

2.       Have a professional profile pic.
This simply means that you put up a smart picture of yours preferably taken in your professional setting. You want to catch the eye of people in your profession and for the right reasons. Please remember, LinkedIn is not a dating site, nor a friendship platform!

3.       Ensure that your profile is concise, precise and attractive to read.
The simple way to create an attractive profile is to keep it simple!
Ø  Use simple language all through your profile
Ø  Give a precise overview of what you do
Ø  Try avoiding giving out each & every detail of your work
       You will come across many a profile where people have almost published a work report that is best suited for appraisal meetings. Personally, I feel it is best to talk just enough to get people interested in my work…..not more.

4.       Have a One-Line resume as the Headline of your Profile.
There can be no better way to attract the right kind of attention and plenty of attention than to have a profile headline that lets people know what you do or what you are.

5.       Put your best foot forward.
A very good thing about LinkedIn is that it allows you to move the different sections of your profile up and down as per your liking. This feature allows you to place/highlight the best portion of your profile in the top section so as to gain maximum visibility.

For example: if you have received awards, organizational/industry-level recognitions or have been felicitated, you can put them under the ‘Honors and Awards’ section and place the section up ahead. The way to do this is to click ‘edit profile’ at the top and then click and hold on the top bar of the section to move it and release wherever you want that section to be.

6.       Be an active member of the groups that you join.
Being an active member of the groups helps enhance the credibility along with establishing your reputation as an expert in your professional field. Answer questions raised in the group forums, put up meaningful questions in forums, participate in polls, and give your comments and advice wherever applicable.

In addition to all these, make sure you keep updating your info, keep connecting with people through various groups….in short keep networking!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What Content? The Social About Online Content.

With so many changes happening to the way search engines are valuing websites and the power that platforms like facebook & twitter lend to people’s conversation, very few things remain the same when it comes to online marketing. 

So, what happens to the old world diktat – ‘content is the king’? Will content cease to be the all-important aspect of online marketing strategy? 

The simple answer to the question is NO. Content will not cease to be less important. In all of the madness of innumerable Google updates, the multitudes of social media platforms and their ever-increasing influence, content still remains as important as ever and will remain so in the future as well. The only thing that has changed is the way content is used. Content is now more interactive, conversational, an exchange of thoughts, ideas & gossip; it is now completely social, it is more REAL!

So, what’s so social about online content?

Ok, let’s think of the internet to be like a big big party! So, the interactions on the internet are nothing but discussions that usually happens whenever people meet. If we think this way, we realize that what a person talks is most important for a conversation to be held. In other words, the content that a person has to talk about, to share, to show will decide whether people are listening to him/her.

Popular forms in which people like to savor content these days are videos, pictures, texts. All these three forms complement each other and work well when used in tandem.

So, if you are a brand that wants to share wonderful content, information with your consumer and people in general, or whether you are a marketer who is looking to engage people in a more effective way, or you just like to be in the thick of things and wants to be the most popular person amongst friends; make note to include more pictures and videos in your updates on various social media platforms, emails, or blog posts.

The trick is to not overdo it, but use the proper content mix, keep it as fresh and original as possible!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Marketing Online – The Need to Be Careful

Today, the action in the online media is as important as what’s happening in print or television or even more so, as I believe.  

The fact that it is interactive make it all the more powerful since now people who receive the message can do a lot of things with the message – they can become firm follower of the message – giver, propagate, recommend if they are happy or turn away, send negative reviews, influence their circles to not to follow the message-giver.
It is not as if people on the social media sites are there specifically to do this. However, it’s the inherent human need to converse, to be heard, to have a social standing and to be an influencer that makes all of us talk. As marketing professionals or brands we need to make sure that our messages are tailored for them (targeted to right audience) as they talk so that they invariably will talk about our messages (relevancy) & talk good if the message has been useful for them (value for them).

The key element for marketing online is to deliver the right message to the targeted section – but not in the conventional way of Talking to Them, but by Talking With Them!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Why Social Media Marketing?

Within Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, Pinterest, and Foursquare, I am sure we all will be able to connect somewhere right now! That’s the power of social media – we all are a part of it!
No wonder then, today, social media marketing is creating as much buzz as the most popular social media marketing campaigns. So, what’s this all fuss about social media marketing? I am sharing few of the reasons, which I think are responsible for the rise of social media as a powerful tool for marketing.

Social Media is powerful
The unbelievable growth of different social media platforms has ensured that everybody is getting online and talking…well almost everybody (there are still many parts of the world without access to the internet).  People all the time, are exchanging news, sharing information and in turn, influencing their peer circles or getting influenced!

The most convenient Branding tool
Well, companies and brands are no different from people…now with social media branding is as simple as joining in the right conversation on the net, listening to people, being responsive to steer or keep the conversation flowing in a favorable direction and adding value to the whole interaction!

Least Expensive means of Marketing
Whether you are selling products, or services, or ideas or even soliciting help for social cause, social media offers the least expensive means of getting yourself heard and get people interested.

Real-time feedback
One of the biggest advantage of social media marketing is the feedback that we get – it is fast, real-time, which helps us know if we are going wrong with our marketing initiative.

You can always change course!
Yes, you got it right! The conversational nature of most of the social media platforms allows one to make corrections if the marketing strategy has gone wrong or a campaign is doing badly. Staying alert to what people are saying is crucial.

Well, these are my thoughts; I am very interested in knowing what you think; send in your comments and feedback - I would love to hear from you!