Lessons in using LinkedIn for networking

Posted by on May 27, 2020 in LinkedIn, Social Media Marketing |

LinkedIn has become one of the most widely used social media and networking sites for professionals, and while it is not as formal as corporate communication, there are some lessons to learn in using LinkedIn as a networking tool. How to use LinkedIn successfully in networking:    LinkedIn is a powerful connector (as long as you’re using it correctly)  Professionals are incredibly responsive on LinkedIn and if you approach it correctly, you will be able to build your network effectively. With all the handy features (such as filtering by location, industry, current company and more) you can curate the group of people you want to access and connect to easily. It’s like your dream team of networking partners all gathered at one event, but they are there all the time. The key here is getting this group to interact with you.  It’s all about the approach As with most networking attempts, the approach can be the deciding factor in the exchange. On LinkedIn you need to interact as if you were on social media, but in a professional setting. You’re your connection messages short, clear and to the point while inviting your potential connection to start a dialogue. Make it personal by mentioning connections you may have in common or commenting on the person’s achievements, research or interests. Don’t leave it up to automated messages  LinkedIn doesn’t play well with automated messages, and using automated messaging extensions may get your profile banned because using “bots or other automated methods” to “send or redirect messages” is against LinkedIn’s Dos and Don’ts. Branding is still important  First impressions count, even in the world of online networking. You need to carefully curate your brand image on LinkedIn just as you would on social media and in face-to-face interactions. Create your profile content with intention, check for errors and keep the visuals professional and relevant. If you don’t have professional headshots, you can still get a clear, professional looking photograph with a little bit of research and a smartphone camera. Put in the effort with your profile to make it an extension of your brand. Commit to the long-term process  Although you might see an upswing in the initial stage of your networking and leads generation campaign on LinkedIn, the significant results will only come after around 2-3 months of consistent work. In this time you may need to evolve and refine your approach based on what you can see is working and what is not. Keep doing research and trying out different strategies until you find what works for you. Get ready to close the deal  Whether you are using LinkedIn to network in your individual capacity or using it as a...

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5 Tips For An Instagram Page Worth Following

Posted by on Jan 30, 2019 in Instagram, Social Media Marketing |

Instagram is all about looking good. So, the more aesthetically pleasing your feed is, the more likely you are to attract followers. Except, it is not always that simple. With the increasing number of users and brands on the platform, having unique content is just as important as ‘looking pretty’ if you want to stand out. With these tips, we will help you strike a balance and create a stunning Instagram feed.     Know Your Target Audience   If you know who you are speaking to, then you will know what to say. Making sure your content is relevant is vital to not only attract customers, but also to keep them. One way to help organise the types of content for your target audience is using “content buckets”. Content buckets (or content pillars) are defined topics/themes that identify the types of posts your audience would love to see.   Use Content Pillars   Content pillars are also a great tool to streamline your brand’s message on Instagram by focusing on key themes and topics that resonate with your target audience. For example, a business can establish a few core themes for their content such as: Products and services, Company culture, and Customer activation. Under these main themes, they can include topics like ‘store locations’, ‘service offerings’ and ‘product features’ under Products and Services. From there they can decide the specific types of content to feature, whether it is video, GIFs, still images, etc.   Choose An Overarching Instagram Aesthetic   Five seconds is all you have to convert users into followers, so first impressions count. That is why having an appropriate and consistent aesthetic for your feed are important. Depending on your brand personality, you might go for something dark and sultry, sleek and minimalist or bright with lots of natural lighting. Whatever it is, make sure it is aligned with your brand. Rope In A Graphic Designer Great design is important, so it is worth it to get a graphic designer involved when establishing your Instagram aesthetic. They can ensure your feed is on-brand by giving your posts visual consistency. Designers are also able to look at the nitty gritty of whether you have the correct colours or fonts and if your posts are easy to read.   Promote Your Products Like A Pro   Used the right way, Instagram can act as a trendy catalogue for your products. Here are a few examples of how you can get creative with your product posts: Product Shots: These highlight the product on its own. For these, it is great to use a simple mono-coloured background. Micro-Shots: These are close-ups of things that you want to draw attention to....

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How to Make Instagram Work for You

Posted by on Jan 25, 2019 in Instagram, Social Media Marketing |

Instagram has grown exponentially since its launch in 2010. According to Buffer.com, worldwide, there are more than 800 million Instagrammers, sharing upwards of 250 million pieces of content daily. So when marketing on the platform, it is vital to have an effective Instagram marketing strategy to cut through the noise and attract the right customers. Why Use Instagram? Instagram has a huge user-base (300 million daily active users to be exact). So, naturally, marketers should be scrambling to find customers there. Better yet, 70% of Instagram users report having looked up a brand on the platform. Instagram, like most popular social media sites, is a great place to gain influence over your consumer base by gathering a loyal following. The unique part of Instagram is its visual appeal. Research has shown that the brain conceives visuals faster than any other type of content. It is literally the best place to make your brand ‘look’ good. Here are a few ways to make Instagram work for you:   Switch to a Business Account   If you have not done so already, we suggest switching your existing profile to a business account. It is simple, just go to your settings menu, scroll down and select ‘Switch to Business Profile’. Business profiles have a number of handy extras like Instagram ads, analytics tools (Instagram Insights) and a contact button to boost your conversion rates.   Offer Discounts   On Instagram, discount offers work well when accompanied by sharp imagery. Who does not want 40% off a stunning pair of shoes or a delicious looking smoothie? It is a great place to show off your product and provide an incentive for your customers to purchase it.   Use Instagram Stories   One of Instagram’s newest and most interesting features is ‘Stories’. With content that lasts only 24 hours, you do not have to worry about it fitting into your Instagram aesthetic, it can be spontaneous and there is more room for creativity. Live video, boomerangs, GIFs and face-filters are just a few of the things you can feature in your stories. You can give your followers exclusive behind the scenes insights into your brand during live events or even just a regular day at the office (showcasing company culture).   Partner with Influencers   Leveraging an influencer’s audience-base is an easy way to reach more customers on Instagram. They trust them, and so, by association, will likely trust you. It is as simple as them giving a shout out to your brand and product on their page, doing a product review or offering discounts using a unique promo code. Influencers are a marketing goldmine on Instagram. If you want to get the best...

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Why great Instagram captions are worth the effort

Posted by on Aug 10, 2016 in Digital Media Marketing, Social Networking |

Gaining followers on Instagram isn’t only about taking the photograph and editing it to perfection. The quality of your photos and captions can be the difference between getting a few more followers, or getting more followers interested in your brand and the human side of your business. Captions are an opportunity to explain a bit about the picture, or say something humorous, not just an afterthought. When composing your Instagram caption, think about the following: Write down a few versions of your caption and think about them for a while before posting. While Instagram might be about documenting your images in real time, the level of engagement your posts receive matters more than the chronology. Put the important stuff in at the start of your caption – the character limit on Instagram (2 200 characters) doesn’t really matter, it’s more about the cut-off after three or four lines of text in your user feed. Put any CTAs or important content at the start and save the hashtags and links for the end. Use Call To Actions in your caption – this can be a question to spark a conversation, a directive to click on a link in your bio, or an invitation for your followers to tag their friends. Using verbs in your caption increases the likelihood of sharing. Don’t use more than 4 hashtags. Like Twitter and Facebook, a hashtag ties the conversations of different users into one stream, so as long as your account is public, anyone searching under a certain hashtag will find your Instagram post. Too many starts to look spammy, so don’t be tempted to use a string of searchable hashtags. Use a lighter tone than you would on other social media platforms – keep it light-hearted and fun, to show off the more personable side of your business. Puns work well, showing cleverness with a twist of humour. Use emoji’s to add some personality. They are undisputedly successful with smartphone users, so they resonate well. They also take up less space, allowing you to ‘say’ more in your first few lines. Your caption might need to be long, like if you’re posting an entire recipe with your image, but if you’re unsure, keep your caption brief. Let your visual do the talking. For more on social networking and using platforms, like Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter to give your business a voice, contact us. There’s a mine of information out there, and we’d love to assist in crafting a digital marketing strategy that works for your...

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Part Five: Training and ‘Best practice’

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 in Social Networking |

Social media”best practices” change constantly. And to expect that the entire organisation will be equipped with the knowledge to appropriately participate would be, in most cases, incorrect.  Companies must assess the”must dos” to share with employees such as compliance and ethical considerations, and they also, increasingly, need to keep employees inspired by refreshing them with new ideas and best practices in the social space. Train for social media etiquette Decide what your company feels are the best ways to communicate in social media. This may be always responding within a certain time frame, only responding to questions that can be answered publicly or even teaching employees how to use the most popular channels for maximum impact. When more people become involved in social media activity, more personalities and communication Styles become representative of your brand. Equip these people with the proper ways to speak and respond on social channels, as well as the expectations and preferences of your online networks. Train for social media business goals This may sound self-serving, but the communication of various internal teams should, when appropriate, tie back to the roles and goals they have as employees. The sales team should not be responding to members of the media asking questions about corporate news, and the HR team should not try to answer product or service inquiries. Defining the ways that each group can best help further business goals while also helping to communicate with networks to create positive experiences helps both your company and your networks. Social Media Training Provide company guidelines and etiquette Identify business goals and manage the process Webinars, classes, best practices, communication tech training and adopting Social Media practices Company-Wide, use industry experts to provide up to date training on an ongoing basis Next steps: Is your company ready, culturally, to expand social media into all parts of the business? Who are the internal teams that should be using social media? Who is/are the best people to serve as internal stakeholders for training and guidance? A huge aspect of rolling out social media across the enterprise entails being able to manage this activity in a coordinated way. For most companies, this means having the tools and systems to scale activity. Using a social media management dashboard offers the opportunity to be efficient – but it also means employees must know how to use the technology effectively to do their jobs, alternatively outsource your social media marketing in order to entrench the processes whilst creating a ‘test and learn’ culture within your...

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