[By Jeff Androsko]
Getting inbound links to your website can be pretty tough without decent interaction and a solid community following (inbound links are from a third party that direct traffic to your website).
With RSS feeds ("Really Simple Syndication"), you can easily keep up with and interact with other blogs. It's basically an email subscription that provides you with the latest post of the blogs you like to read.
So why interact with other blogs and web content? Why not just read and maintain your own? Simple...
- Interacting with other blogs can create a portal to your website...
Commenting, sharing and liking other blogs can intrigue other readers and followers. This can position you as a contributing authority and make readers curious about your company or brand; a kind of give-and-take in the blogging community.
- RSS feeds train you to build your community...
With the feed right in your email, you'll have easy access to the blogs you follow; making it super convenient to visit the direct link of the blog entry and leave comments. It also gets you in the habit of interacting because of the frequency and visibility of other posts.
- Building a community gets you found...
With a growing community, it becomes exponentially possible for you to be found in search engine results and social media posts. The more your links are shared, the more you'll be seen.
So you see, as a part of Integrated Marketing Communication and the inbound marketing model, blogs are a powerful and magnetic tool. Combined with solid website S.E.O., a working and dedicated social media plan, and consistent website maintenance and content creation/promotion, you can build your following from the ground-up.
[By Tony Popowski]
LinkedIn recently hit a major milestone. The world’s most popular business social media marketing site now has over 100,000,000 users. If you still think there aren't leads on LinkedIn, get with the program!
Whenever I'm on LinkedIn, I'm noticing a disturbing trend: professionals aren't focusing on creating a strong profile that represents their brand. Your profile is your representation on the social networking site and people are going to judge you (and your company) based on what your profile conveys.
When I provide social media training for clients, I always tell them to think of LinkedIn as an actual live networking group. Basically, you should compare everything you're doing online with your profile to a real life networking scenario.
If you haven't been seeing LinkedIn success lately, you might be committing one of the five most common mistakes on LinkedIn Profiles:
1) Not Giving Your Complete Name
LinkedIn gives you the option of giving your full name, your full first name and initial of your last name, or leaving your name out completely. Unless you're in the CIA or FBI and need to fly under the radar, you should be giving out your complete name.
Comparison: Going to a networking group and writing "Anonymous" on your name tag.
2) Having An Unprofessional Picture
This one gets me every time. If you're on a business social networking site, your picture should be on the professional side. You don't have to be wearing a tuxedo or formal dress, but select a picture that's friendly, inviting and makes you look good. For some reason, I'm seeing a lot of pictures out there of people with their pets. I understand that you love your kitty, Mr. Snuggywugglekins, but your LinkedIn profile isn't the place to show your dedication.
Comparison: Going to a networking group... and bringing Mr. Snuggywugglekins with you.
3) Forgetting To Complete Your Profile
LinkedIn has a nifty tool on the sidebar which tells you if you're 100% done with your profile or not. Furthermore, it tells you the steps to obtain 100% completion. The little details count on LinkedIn, so don't overlook anything.
Comparison: Going to a networking group half dressed and without business cards to give out.
4) Discussing Controversial Topics In Your Status Update
Everyone has passionate opinions about politics and religion. That's what makes America so great. However, there's a time and place for everything. Unless your position requires you to discuss hot button issues, LinkedIn is not the forum to post your opinions about your senator or give your thoughts about religion. While it's great that you're proud of your religious upbringing or political convictions, this could turn off potential prospects.
Comparison: Going to a networking group and immediately shouting out, "Who wants to talk about health care reform?"
5) Just Talking About Yourself
While it's important to establish credibility on your profile, it's a mistake to just put up your sales pitch. LinkedIn isn't an online resume anymore - it's an online introduction. Use your summary to identify your target audience's "points of pain" and then demonstrate how you can help them. Don't just ramble off every accomplishment you've ever had like winning the "Gym Dandy" award in 6th grade.
Comparison: Going to a networking group, walking up to a person and screaming in their face, "I'm Tony. I'm the greatest marketing professional that ever existed and here's the reasons why."
LinkedIn has the potential to help you find new leads and nurture them along the sales cycle. However, good LinkedIn usage starts with a good profile. That means no Mr. Snuggywugglekins!