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!