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personal brand on linkedin

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Nail Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn to Grow Your Network with Nicole Osborne

Could your LinkedIn profile use a little sprucing up?

If so, you’re in luck!

During this month’s #ContentWritingChat, we had a LinkedIn pro join us to share her best tips! With this advice, your profile is sure to shine and help you attract tons of new connections!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Nail Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn to Grow Your Network with Nicole Osborne

Our guest host this week was Nicole Osborne. She’s a Chartered Marketer and the founder of Lollipop Social. She’s been working with businesses for nearly 20 years to help them get “sweet results” with their social media marketing. And now, Nicole is helping you through our chat!

Q1: How can LinkedIn benefit your marketing?

Perhaps you’re not on LinkedIn? Or maybe you have a profile that you’ve been neglecting? Either way, you might be wondering how LinkedIn can be beneficial for you. Here’s what you need to know:

As Nicole pointed out, there’s a good chance your audience is on LinkedIn, which is plenty of reason to be there yourself! She feels it’s your chance to grow your network, position yourself as a thought leader in your industry, make connections, and generate leads for your business.

Ben knows LinkedIn can be great for many brands, especially those who are B2B. It’s your chance to reach a wider audience and introduce them to your offerings.

Jason said LinkedIn is a great way to establish your brand authority. You just need to share valuable content regularly and focus on engaging with others. In time, you’ll begin to see results!

Warwick feels LinkedIn provides a simple way to deliver your message to your audience, as you can easily share both long-form content and videos.

For John, LinkedIn is a great platform for sharing long-form content, as well as finding clients for your business. He’s found many opportunities this way.

Whether someone is looking for a service or a job, many are turning to LinkedIn. If you’re there and have an active profile, there’s a good chance you’ll be discovered.

Q2: Why does creating a top notch personal brand for LinkedIn matter, especially if you are the brand?

So, why does building your personal brand on LinkedIn even matter? Here’s what some of our chat participants had to say:

Nicole knows it’s important to show off your skills, your personality, and your credentials. That’s going to help attract people to your profile in the first place. By building your personal brand on LinkedIn, you can stand out from your competitors, establish trust with your audience, and get your content noticed.

Warwick brings up a great point about how you shouldn’t leave your career to chance. Instead, you want to take control of your digital presence and ensure you’re giving people a strong impression. Through LinkedIn, you’re able to establish both your authority and credibility.

As John said, people want to interact with personal social media feeds more than company pages. By building your personal brand there, it helps you form that connection and establish trust with your audience.

Andrea agrees, stating that people don’t choose brands, but they choose people. Having that relationship with the person or team behind a logo makes a huge difference.

Sarah pointed out that if you and your brand are the same, this is a much easier task. Simply focus on marketing yourself as the expert in whatever it is you do and people will start to see you as such.

Q3: How can you identify your personal brand values and content approach to achieve an authentic style?

To create content that resonates with the right people, you need to be yourself and communicate your brand’s values. These tips will help you do that:

Nicole shared some helpful tips that’ll guide you in figuring out what your personal brand values are. She said to think about your why, what you stand for, and what makes you different. If that’s a challenge for you, ask someone in your life like a friend or family member who can offer honest feedback.

From there, Nicole says to pick three values that showcase how you want to be perceived.

Once you have those values in mind, think about what that means for your clients and how you can reflect those values within your content.

Start with what you know, instead of trying to be something you’re not. If you aren’t true to yourself, people will see right through.

These are fantastic questions that Jason shared! Answering these will help guide you in building an authentic personal brand on LinkedIn that truly resonates with the right people.

Find a way to stand out on LinkedIn, which you can do by sharing your thoughts and opinions on topics. If you have something valuable to say, don’t be afraid to speak out. And of course, you always need to interact with others on the platform.

Julia’s advice is to be strategic about what you post on LinkedIn and when you’ll post it. She also feels consistency, quality, and originality are important when crafting content for the platform. Make sure you’re also connecting with others as well!

Q4: What are your top tips for creating a personal brand on LinkedIn?

To nail your personal brand on LinkedIn, keep this advice in mind:

Nicole suggests being sociable, tapping into people’s emotions, asking questions and adding value, using a great photo of yourself and on-brand visuals, and trying out the new features.

Warwick knows it’s important to have a point of view. That’s important because you don’t want someone to think you’re just like everyone else on the platform. Be yourself and voice your insights on topics that are important in your field.


Always be yourself. And of course, make sure you know who you’re trying to reach and what you hope to achieve with your content. That will always guide you along the right path.

Don’t be afraid to experiment to see what truly resonates with your audience.

Make sure you give your followers what they want! Jeff’s advice is to share actionable advice instead of vague tips. Give up what you know to better serve your audience.

These are great tips from Julia that everyone should be implementing on LinkedIn!

Consistency, content, and connect are the three C’s of LinkedIn for Andrea.

Having a consistent voice for your brand goes a long way in making sure your content is easily recognizable.

Engaging is key, no matter what social media platform you’re using!

Q5: How can you optimize your profile on LinkedIn to increase its impact?

One important factor in your LinkedIn success is to make sure your profile is optimized. A great profile is going to stand out from the crowd and help you make new connections. Check out these tips to spruce up your profile:

Nicole shared some must-do tricks to help you optimize your LinkedIn profile. She suggests making it searchable with the right hashtags, experimenting with different headlines, telling a story that makes your audience care, and more.

Don’t forget to maintain your bio. You want to keep your profile updated, instead of letting it get out-of-date. Make sure everything is easy to consume as well, otherwise people won’t be bothered to read what you’ve published on your page.

John’s advice is to use keywords in your headline without being too long, stating the problem you solve for your audience within your summary, including your contact details early on, and using emojis to spice up your lists.

Use keywords in your bio that are going to reflect the services you offer, write a great introduction about yourself, and post articles you’ve written, awards you’ve received, and places you’ve worked. Make sure you use hashtags too!

Warwick suggests pinning media to your profile, writing articles or repurposing content, and using keywords to help people find you.

A recent image and fresh content are key! Take Lexie’s advice and keep your profile updated.

Q6: How can you use video to make your brand more relatable on LinkedIn?

We all know that video is pretty powerful and it can play a major role as you work to nail your personal brand on LinkedIn. But if you’re wondering how to make sure your videos are getting great results, keep these tips in mind:

Nicole knows that video is a fantastic opportunity to help your audience get to know the person behind the service. Things don’t have to be perfect with video. You just need to do it and see how your audience responds.

Julia’s advice is to keep your videos under six minutes, use captions, and add titles and effects to keep things interesting.

Tony said to use video to inform, not sell. By informing your audience, you’re building trust, which leads people to buying anyway (when done right).

As Sarah said, who doesn’t love video? It’s a chance for your audience to get to know you better, so take advantage of it!

Tell your story and share your knowledge with the videos you post on LinkedIn.

These are some awesome video ideas from Andrea. Give people the behind-the-scenes look into your work, create a tutorial, share testimonials, or introduce a new product. The ideas are endless here.

Q7: How can you increase engagement with your posts on LinkedIn to increase the visibility of your brand?

Is there anything worse that when your LinkedIn posts go unnoticed? As far as social media goes, probably not! To make sure your personal brand on LinkedIn is getting the attention it deserves, here are some tips:

Nicole suggests engaging with five posts before you post your own, avoid sending people off LinkedIn with external links, post your blogs as long-form articles and tag contacts, and check your notifications twice a day.

Always think about what your audience wants and create with them in mind if you want your content to succeed.

John shared some great tips that are worth trying out!

Don’t be afraid to tag people and employers when relevant. Use hashtags as well. Both are ways to helps you expand your reach.

Comment on posts from others and share their content. They just might return the favor!

Andrew says to diversify your content. Share blogs, graphics, videos, etc. to see what performs the best. You can also ask open-ended questions to get the conversation going.

Q8: How can you build up thought leadership on LinkedIn to grow your network?

We all want to position ourselves as thought leaders within our industries, right? Well, this advice will help you craft a LinkedIn presence that does just that:

This advice from Nicole will really have you standing out on LinkedIn!

As Julia said, don’t be a copycat!

Sarah suggests bringing a new take to an old thought. Your audience will appreciate it.

Providing updated, valuable information is key to building your thought leadership. Make sure you’re engaging as well!

Want to join us for the next #ContentWritingChat? Mark your calendars and be there on Twitter for the first Tuesday of every month from 10-11 AM Central! Just follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for all the latest.

LinkedIn for your brand

#ContentWritingChat Recap: The Best Strategies on How to Use LinkedIn for Your Brand with Warwick Brown

What are your thoughts on LinkedIn?

Are you actively using this platform as a tool to build your brand online?

If not, you might want to reconsider! It can be a fantastic way to generate brand awareness, as well as bring in leads for your business.

However, the key to success with any social media platform is to know how to use it effectively. And that’s exactly what we talked about in this week’s #ContentWritingChat!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: The Best Strategies on How to Use LinkedIn for Your Brand with Warwick Brown

Our guest host this week was Warwick Brown. He helps account managers find success by sharing tons of skills and tips with them. Warwick has also been a member of the #ContentWritingChat community for some time now, so it was great having him step into the guest hosting role. He’s very knowledgeable on LinkedIn and he shared a lot of great tips during the chat. So, let’s go ahead and dive into the recap!

Q1: How does LinkedIn feature in your content marketing or social media strategy? Is it a priority?

To kick off the chat, we had to see just how many people were already taking LinkedIn seriously. Responses were all across the board, with some who love LinkedIn and are active on the platform, and others who aren’t fully invested. Here are a few of the answers we received:

For Warwick, LinkedIn is his biggest priority when it comes to social media. And that should really come as no surprise, otherwise we couldn’t have invited him to speak on the topic for our chat! Because of his passion for the platform, he’s learned a lot about using it effectively.

Warwick went on to say it’s a great place to hang out and find like-minded people within your industry. It can be fantastic for anyone looking to make new connections.

Jade said LinkedIn is a top priority for him as well. He’s very active there and see a lot of engagement as a result.

For Amanda, LinkedIn has been helpful in reaching potential clients and connecting with other freelancers.

Corina said LinkedIn is a must for her as well, primarily for making new connections.

Gene said he’s trying to learn more about the platform in the year ahead.

Suze is also wanting to learn more about LinkedIn to use it more seriously, as she sees the potential it has to offer.

For Narmadhaa, LinkedIn isn’t exactly a necessity.

The main reason many people hold themselves back from using LinkedIn is because they aren’t sure how to use it effectively for their brands. Rachel feels the same way.

Q2: Do you publish content on LinkedIn articles? What do you like (or dislike) about the publishing platform?

Next, we moved into talking about publishing content on LinkedIn’s platform. It’s something that many people have experimented with, but is it worth investing your time into? Here’s what some of our chat participants had to say about it:

Warwick feels LinkedIn has one of the easiest content publishing platforms. He finds it to be very user-friendly, which could make it worth trying out.

Janine also loves how easy it is to publish on LinkedIn, mentioning how straightforward the feature is to use. She’ll share blog content through LinkedIn.

As Ben pointed out, this is a great platform to share your thoughts and position yourself as a thought leader within your industry.

Amanda said she’ll publish specific LinkedIn articles on occasion, but she struggles with an issue many other content creators face… Not having the time to do so consistently!

Maria tries to post articles to LinkedIn often, so she’s obviously seeing great results from her efforts.

For Jenn, she gets a little creative when it comes to her LinkedIn articles. She said she’ll provide two or three paragraphs as a teaser to the full content, which will be shared on her blog. It’s a simple way to drive more traffic to your website.

Unfortunately, Andrea didn’t see the best results when publishing original content to LinkedIn. Repurposing blog content, however, has been well-received.

Even Julia has published to Pulse before, but she’s scaled back her efforts there. Previously, she’d post once per month to the platform, but now only does once per quarter.

Q3: Have you used video on LinkedIn? What were the results?

Video on LinkedIn has been a hot topic lately. Have you tried it out yet? That’s what we asked everyone during the chat and here are some of the responses:

It should come as no surprise that Warwick has been testing out video on LinkedIn. He’s also been seeing some great results from it with 2,000+ views on his videos.

His advice is to keep your videos short, use captions, and post only one or two a week. You don’t have to go overboard when it comes to video content. He also suggests making sure your videos provide value to your audience or teach them something. You can also spark a debate with your videos.

Andrea has repurposed some blog posts into short, native videos on LinkedIn. This could be a great way to get started with video on LinkedIn.

The team at Source Media has noticed videos are getting more engagement than the other posts they’ve done. That’s a good sign that it’s wroth the effort!

Scott has also been happy with the results he’s seen by sharing videos on LinkedIn. He’s been seeing a great amount of views, as well as engagement.

Ben hasn’t tried video yet, but he’s seen the value it’s provided to others. And who knows, maybe this chat will inspire him to post his first LinkedIn video!

Brent also hasn’t tried video, but he has noticed they grab more attention that text or photos. It’s worth giving it a shot to see how your audience responds.

Q4: Do you think Groups are dead? What’s been your experience?

Have you tried out any LinkedIn groups? Do you have thoughts on them? Check out these responses from the chat and you can decide if joining LinkedIn groups is a smart move for you:

Warwick said he’s disappointed with groups on LinkedIn. He doesn’t see much engagement taking place in them, so he feels they need a major revamp in order to be successful.

Chaim pointed out that groups are hard to find, which could be one reason people aren’t actively using them as much as LinkedIn would probably like.

Shelly isn’t convinced that groups are worthwhile either. In order for a group to take off, meaningful conversations need to be taking place and this doesn’t seem to be happening in most cases.

Lexie pointed out that LinkedIn groups aren’t dead, but Facebook’s groups have certainly taken over. It seems to be the go-to for building connections.

Michelle feels that LinkedIn’s groups are nearing the end of their run.

On the flip side, Ben has found groups to be very useful. He’s been able to initiate conversations and receive plenty of value from some of the groups he’s participated in.

Jade also likes to refer to groups for information. It can be a helpful way to learn something new if you know where to look.

Jenn hopes LinkedIn groups aren’t nearing the end because she’s found them to be very beneficial.

As Narmadhaa pointed out, it all depends on the group. Some may be active and highly valuable, while others are total flops.

Q5: Have you heard of the LinkedIn Social Selling Index? Do you use it and why?

If you haven’t already, you’ll want to check out LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index. After asking this question during the chat, it became clear many people hadn’t heard of this tool or use it before. Here’s what you need to know about it:

Warwick feels the SSI tool is worth checking out! He shared the link so you can access it and get your score. It’s a great opportunity to see where you can improve on LinkedIn.

For Jade, he’s seen his score as high as 83!

Ankitaa discovered SSI earlier this year. It can be a great way to see what’s working in your LinkedIn strategy.

Q6: What makes a good LinkedIn profile? What are your tips?

If you want to stand out on LinkedIn, you obviously want to polish up your profile a bit. It needs to be able to catch the eye of your intended audience and keep them around! To help you out, check out these tips you can implement:

A good photo is obviously a must because this is the first thing people are going to notice about your profile!

Warwick also says to ditch the CV. He recommends talking about how you enjoyed a previous role and what you did, but doing so in a conversational way. He encourages you to tell stories because this is going to make your page more exciting to read.

Just two of the tips that Chaim offered were to make sure you have a professional headshot and use your headline as an elevator pitch.

Make sure you optimize your profile with relevant keywords to help you be discovered.

Use LinkedIn to inform and engage with your audience.

Jade said a professional photo and brief descriptions of prior jobs are a must. He also said to post relevant, original content as well to share your knowledge.

Iain’s advice is to update your connections with the progress you’re making. He said to let your passion for the projects you’re working on shine through. That’s a surefire way to see results.

Brent said to write a headline that explains who you help and what you do. Overall, your profile should explain your vision, who you are, and why you do what you do.

Make sure you stand out from the crowd. Jenn said to use your headline to communicate more than just the position you currently hold. Use it as a chance to grab the attention of others.

Q7: What are some mistakes you’ve made (or seen) on LinkedIn?

We all make mistakes when it comes to social media, but it’s certainly one thing you want to avoid! To help prevent you from making any major blunders, here’s what you should keep an eye out for?

Warwick shared a number of major LinkedIn mistakes with us, but his number one is not having a point of view.

He also said you shouldn’t send people away from LinkedIn. His advice is to share more photos and videos, as well as write articles on LinkedIn. This can drive greater results than just sharing links. Warwick also said that never commenting is a mistake as well because you want to add to the conversation.

And the final mistake he shared was not having fun! He said there’s nothing wrong with telling stories and being light-hearted.

Not headshot, no bio or introduction… That’s a red flag for Julia as a ghost profile. Make sure you’re filling out your profile, otherwise people won’t bother.

Gene said not being active is a huge mistake. Make sure you’re putting in the time to grow your connections.

When a company doesn’t have a LinkedIn page, but there audience is there in full force, that’s a big no-no! It’s also not doing you any favors to have a company page that isn’t active.

Q8: What are your tips for growing your network and making relevant connections?

You’ll obviously want to build your network on LinkedIn, but how can you make sure you’re seeing results? These are some great tips to use:

Warwick’s advice is to: see what’s happening in groups, respond to messages, check out who is viewing your profile, and check your activity stats. These are tasks you should be doing weekly.

Kathryn said you need to have a plan in place for your LinkedIn strategy. Without a plan, how will you know what purpose your presence there is serving?

Don’t forget to engage with other people!

Ankitaa also agrees that engagement is a priority.

Amanda suggests building your connections by starting with people you already know. This is a great way to get the ball rolling, then you can work on expanding your network even more.

Want to join us for the next #ContentWritingChat? We’re hanging out on Twitter every Tuesday from 10-11 AM Central Time. Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat and we’ll see you there!

CTA ew content strategy

where to publish content

A Data-Driven Answer on Where to Publish Your Content, & the Downside of Being Everywhere

From the moment we wake up, we consume a crazy high amount of content.

It’s nuts.

In just one minute: 7 million Snapchat videos are posted. Over 2 million Instagram posts get “hearted.” Facebook gets over 4 million likes. Nearly 350,000 tweets happen. Google translates 69 million words. (Contently)

In one day: two million blogs are posted.

So it only makes sense that you should share your awesome content on all of those platforms in order to have the greatest reach.

In a world of endless options for publishing content, we should publish anywhere and everywhere, right? (FOMO!)

Not necessarily. Let’s keep talking.

where to publish content at

Where to Publish Content: Why The Answer Starts With Where NOT to Publish 

One of the challenges we face as content marketers is the rise of social media platforms and the fact that readers don’t just start there – they never have to leave.

We use social media for news, to keep up with trends, to connect with other people, and to follow our favorite brands, which means we’re more engaged than ever before. But we also run the risk of getting stuck in a rut with the billions of others who are plugged in worldwide.

statista

From Statista

Your content may be magnificent, praiseworthy, and top-notch. But that doesn’t mean you should utilize every blogging and social media outlet known to the internet in order to share it.

The more content you publish, the better, but where should you sink all your valuable content marketing efforts into?

Here’s Where to Publish: 3 Areas of Focus We Recommend

When you are ready to share amazing content, here are three of the best places to create and publish on.

1. Your own blog and site

Honestly: this is your real best content publishing real estate.

Upkeeping a blog is key.

Look at these stats:

1) B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not.

2) Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.

5) Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.

6) Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information.

Hubspot

Treat it like your #1 content hub. Grow and expand it, weekly if not daily.

Here at Express Writers, we publish the majority of the content on our site. The combined abilities of our experienced writers allow us to create quality content that brings in revenue while also helping our audience. We post a few times a week, with posts between 1,500 and 4,000 words. Once a week, a Twitter chat recap in our dedicated chat section is also created and shared. Our content is consistent, well-researched, and published following a specific timeframe. Topics are planned and thought out with care.

Our branded content has ended up being a major, major source of our entire company revenue (to the tune of 90%). More on that in my case study.

Your blog content can be an amazing resource for your audience. Here’s why:

  • Blogging can increase your search engine optimization (SEO), especially when you use keywords in the right way and create content in long form.
  • Blogging gives you content to promote across social media channels.
  • Blogging allows you a space to put valuable calls-to-action, which have the potential to generate leads and grow conversions.

A. How to write a strong blog post?

Hubspot offers some simple tips on how to write a blog post that begins with understanding your audience and ends with choosing a catchy title. You can read more about that here and grab some free blogging templates while you’re at it.

The best blog posts always have a clear topic and engaging title; the audience is drawn in and stays engaged because they have been captivated by the introduction.

The content is well-organized and relevant to the issue being addressed.

Experts across the industry craft quality blog content for their sites, including:

  • Neil Patel – co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmeterics
  • Barry Feldman – speaker, author, and creative copywriter
  • Seth Godin – author and founder of Squidoo

B. How often to post?

You may be wondering how often to publish on your company’s blog. While every company is different in size, strategy, and industry, there is some research that can help us answer that question.

In one study from HubSpot, the results showed that B2B companies that published over 16 blog posts per month received more than 3 times the amount of traffic as compared to companies that only published 4 times per month.

For B2C companies, those 16-times-per-month rate saw over 4 times the amount of traffic.

In another study, over 90% of Hubspot’s blog leads and more than 75% of post views came from old posts.

Posting quality content multiple times per week may be just what your readers are looking for, and if it’s awesome content, they will keep coming back for more. Read more about how to write content for a blog over here.

The time, effort, and work put into your own content makes your blog site YOUR real estate.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Why publish your best on someone else’s real estate? – @JuliaEMcCoy” quote=”Why publish your best on someone else’s? – @JuliaEMcCoy”]

2. Guest blogging in your niche

Before you decide where to guest blog, you should set a goal for your blogging.

These goals could include anything from setting yourself up as an authority in your industry to driving readers to your own site.

Check out how we achieve results from guest blogging: my content, for example a column I keep with 2 posts/week on SiteProNews, has netted us a lead worth $5,000.

content life cycle

When you begin with this sort of focus, it can help narrow your scope as you write.

Guest blogging in your niche is a great opportunity to share your authoritative view on a number of topics, but you must find platforms where your audience is already located.

You may find opportunities by searching for blogs that invite guests to post – just do a keyword search using words from your industry combined with “guest post” or “guest blogger.” From here, you’ll find guides, and the publications publishing them will more often than not accept guest bloggers in this industry. (See result #2: that’s CMI’s guest blogging guidelines!)

keyword search for guest blogger

A recent Google search for “content marketing submit a guest post” presented almost 3 million results. (!!!)

You can also look on the social feeds of your buyers. Check out Facebook feeds and Twitter posts – what content does your demographic share? Your potential audience is already reading content across these mediums, so it’s a good place to start.

At Express Writers, we have seen some serious return on investment from just one guest blog post. I already showed you the Life Cycle graphic, but check out my post for more about it.

What are some of the “secrets”?

  • Focus on less channels, not more.
  • Focus on a relationship with a real person, not a contact form.
  • Focus on the platforms in your niche.
  • Focus on giving your best, most useful content.

Guest blogging in your niche is also a great way to connect with other marketers in your industry. You never know where a relationship may lead or when you will need their advice for your own content development.

3. Be on Two (Very) Authoritative Platforms

Sharing your content on authoritative platforms not only sets you apart as an expert, but allows your voice to be heard by a larger audience. There are benefits when you publish on sites like Medium and LinkedIn.

Why? Because you are demonstrating your expertise through the delivery of valuable content – it’s showing an audience versus just telling them.

1. Medium

Writing, publishing, and promoting content on this platform means you’ll join the likes of Sports Illustrated and the White House.

medium-homepage

Yes, the White House. As in, the State of the Union addresses and policy announcements.

When founder Ev William first launched the site in 2012, he noted that Medium is a place where writers focus on the words while also serving as a place of collaboration so you can say what you want to say.

Wordstream shared 10 reasons content writers should publish on Medium. They include:

  • The simple import process.
  • A built-in audience through Facebook and Twitter.
  • Engagement tools, so you can see who’s reading and how many.
  • Minimum effort – no original content required.

Read more here, including how your valuable content can be discovered by publishers who scout for authors on Medium.

2. LinkedIn

linkedin pulse

This virtual gathering of all types of professionals also serves as a publishing platform. In February 2014, LinkedIn Pulse went public, allowing writers from a variety of industries to share their thoughts with the click of a button.

In order to write successful content on LinkedIn, there are some suggestions noted on the site to help get you started:

  • Offer advice for career advancement.
  • Describe challenges in your profession, both current and future.
  • Discuss how your industry has changed since you began.
  • Give solid advice to one who hopes to enter your field.

Posts should be long-form and are bolstered by relevant images or videos. While there are no limits on word count, the more helpful content you can share, the more value you can bring to the table.

And don’t forget – editing is your friend!

Case Study: Where We Publish Content at Express Writers

I lead our inbound content strategy (and write a lot of it, with other staff members).

Here’s a visual representation of what my schedule when publishing content looks like.

As you can see, a large portion of our content is dedicated to our site. Hence the huge amount of inbound leads we receive (case study on that here).

express writers content schedule

What About New Platforms? Answer These 3 Questions to Make Sure it’s Worth Your Time

New platforms for content publishing may arise out of the night like a sparkly, shiny marketing tool that calls to you and beckons you to come forward and share your valuable writing.

Don’t fall for it.

When Blab.im was released as a video discussion website and livestream app, people loved it and spent a lot of time on the site – an average of an hour a day. The platform took three weeks to build and went from 0 users to just under 4 million in less than a year.

In August of 2016, the website was shut down, and along with its departure went all of its users’ content.

This is proof that just because you can doesn’t mean you should. So how do you decide what to keep and what to toss?

Ask yourself these three questions first:

1. Does this platform fit my niche?

If it does, you are more likely to attract qualified leads and find the right audience for your topic. Content shared on LinkedIn is not going to look the same as content shared on SnapChat, so think carefully before jumping into a new platform.

2. Who is my intended audience, and do they spend time there?

In order to know if your audience participates in a particular platform, you have to first know who they are. Define who you are trying to reach and then find out where those individuals spend their time.

Copyblogger reminds us:

“Before you can get someone to buy from you, you need to know what to say to them, and how to say it. You’ll never get that right unless you know who you’re talking to.”

3. Will my presence there help me meet my content goals?

If your goal is to increase brand awareness, a focus on guest blogging may be more worth your time than a case study. If you are looking for engagement, being active on social media channels could help your content go viral faster than a podcast.

The Downside to Being Everywhere

Content marketers are busy people, and we’re not just talking about the actual content creation part.

This may be your only job, or it may be in addition to that other job you work. You may or may not have a spouse, kids, a home, and other interests that demand your attention. It’s possible to stretch yourself too thin as you try to be every solution to everyone, and burn out.

There is a downside to being everywhere.  

Can Being Everywhere Lead to Being Nowhere?

When you are just starting out – and even when you’ve been at this content thing for a while – it is easy to fall prey to the notion that your content should be everywhere.

After all, isn’t that how we make an impact?

Actually, the “Be Everywhere” strategy can take you down a long, winding road to the town of Nowhere. No one wants to be here. It’s marked by content creators who have spread themselves so far that they have little to give.

Nowhere is a land of few listeners and even fewer conversions.

Over at Entrepreneur, Jeff Stephens reminds us why trying to be everywhere can lead us to nowhere:

  • Every platform requires time, focused effort, and a learning curve while you try to get to know a new audience.
  • Focusing on too many channels distracts us from what really matters.
  • Being everywhere wastes time and means you are nowhere fully.

For more inspiration on this, listen in to my podcast with Mark Schaefer, one of the top business bloggers in the world, where he discusses the downside of not focusing on and mastering just a few channels – for many years with Mark, it was just one channel, his blog!

The solution to being everywhere is to find the place where you really need to be, and target your content across those channels.

Does targeted content distribution matter?

Among marketers, 53% say that target content distribution is a factor that has contributed to their increased success.

At the same time, the average number of content marketing tactics used is seven, with the top being social media and blogs.

2017_B2C_Research

Graphic from Content Marketing Institute

Intentionality in choosing your distribution channels will not only benefit you – saving time, energy, and resources – it will benefit your audience, as well.

They will get your best content, the content that has been crafted with a focus on their needs and real solutions.

Only you can decide which channels are beneficial and which ones need to go. But whatever you do, don’t get lost in the land of Nowhere. It won’t bring value to your message and it certainly won’t benefit your readers.

Gain Focus with a Solid Content Marketing Strategy & Know Where to Publish Content

In order to know where you want to go, you need a plan for getting there. That’s where a content marketing strategy comes in, although the majority of marketers do not have one.

Only 37% of B2B marketers and 40% of B2C marketers have a content marketing plan in writing, while 70% of us are creating more content this year than in 2016.

Study after study has shown that success comes when we write down our goals, go back to review them, and share them with others. It is not different for content creation.

No matter how small or how big your team is, a written content strategy can make a huge difference in how you reach and who you reach with your message. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

  • Define your goal – why are you producing content?
  • Conduct your research – who is your audience?
  • Evaluate your content – check out what you did last year, and see if you can switch it up.
  • Secure a content management tool – try HubSpot’s software, CoSchedule, or WordPress.
  • Brainstorm content ideas and types – outline the blog post that’s been simmering, start crafting that e-book, and put together an infographic if these types of content are what will work best for your audience’s needs.
  • Publish your content – Post it on your website, social media channels, or on a guest blog. Create quality content on a consistent basis. Don’t offer your audience something generic that they can find anywhere. Be specific and be intentional.

The Truth About All Those Platforms

If we were to sit down over a cup of coffee and list all the platforms available to content marketers, it would be extensive.

  • Social media sites
  • Video sites
  • Email marketing
  • Webinars
  • Graphic tools
  • Paid promotion tools
  • Blogging channels

In addition to the countless number of publishing sites we already have, there are new ones popping up all the time. Where you should focus your efforts depends on your goals, your audience, and your resources.

And all of those platforms? Just because they are there doesn’t mean they are the right ones for you. The last thing you want is to put all your efforts into something that doesn’t reach your target and ends up taking you to the town of Nowhere.

When you know your readers and you know where you want to go, where to publish will make much more sense. Combine this with a confidence in your abilities, and you can be on your way to publishing the right content in the right places.

Find Your Rhythm, Know Where to Publish Content that Works for You

Challenges for content marketers abound, whether you’ve been in this field for a week or a decade.

Where to publish your content can only be decided by you, but these tips can go a long way to help.

With a bit of thought and planning, find your rhythm, choose the best outlets for your audience, reach the right people – and do amazing things!

engagement cta

how to write content for LinkedIn

How to Write Content for LinkedIn

Today, LinkedIn has 467 million users.

If that weren’t impressive enough, there are 2 new LinkedIn members added each second.

As such, LinkedIn has quickly become one of the best platforms out there for content writing, and it’s a great place to gain leads and build recognition for your company, cause, or topic.

Like all things, though, learning to write content for LinkedIn is a skill, and you’ve got to develop it in order to excel at it.

With that in mind, here’s a simple, one-stop shop to help you get started crafting content for LinkedIn, in my next #howtowrite blog post in our series.

how to write content for LinkedIn

10 Tips for Writing Content on LinkedIn

To write great content on LinkedIn, follow these ten simple tips:

1. Tailor your voice to LinkedIn’s demographic.

The audience that uses LinkedIn is geared toward the world of professionalism and business, so it’s wise to treat them accordingly. Instead of writing your LinkedIn posts like you would for Facebook or a similar platform, be sure that you’re gearing them toward the unique community LinkedIn offers.

This means keeping your content on-topic, professional, and authoritative. It also means ensuring that you’re adjusting your voice wherever and whenever needed to continue meeting your reader’s requests and demands.

Want more on the subject of “how to write?” I wrote a book all about it!

2. Post frequently enough to be noticed.

On LinkedIn, just like any other social media platform, it’s critical to learn to post often enough to get noticed, but not often enough that you bother your colleagues or drive leads away. Keep in mind that LinkedIn uses an algorithm that determines what shows up on network updates, and that posting too frequently can damage your impression numbers.

To determine how often you should post, consider LinkedIn’s top influencers. While they post several times a week, they’re not posting each day, and they have a deep understanding for their natural publishing maximums. To put this another way, you never want to post so often that you fatigue and bore your readers!

3. Add visuals to all of your LinkedIn content.

The more visuals you can add to your LinkedIn content, the better. While you don’t want to turn the material you publish on the platform into a storybook, it’s smart to accent each post with a relevant visual, since this will help ensure that your post is featuring nicely in LinkedIn’s publishing algorithm, and that it’s as attention-grabbing as possible with your audience.

4. Pay attention to your headlines.

Headlines, in the world of LinkedIn, are essential. To perform as well as possible, they should be attention-grabbing, short, and to-the-point, but they should also give the high-level professionals that populate the LinkedIn platform reason enough to click.

If you’re confused about what makes a great LinkedIn headline and what doesn’t, take some time to consider the headlines of top LinkedIn influencers for an example. Take, for instance, this HubSpot headline, which features numbers to grab attention, a valuable promise, and an image to complete the post:

how to write content for LinkedIn

5. Keep your posts to the right length.

Post length makes a big impact on LinkedIn. While it’s a platform that’s more geared toward longer content than Twitter or a similar social platform, it’s also smart to remember that the right length content makes all of the difference. With this in mind, keep your LinkedIn posts to the right length.

In addition to ensuring that people will read them, this will also go a long way toward keeping you on-topic and deeply involved with the material you write about.

6. Use quality links to improve your content.

Links make a massive difference in the success or failure of your LinkedIn posts. To make them as good as possible, use links to demonstrate your points, showcase key sources, and reach out to relevant sites.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to “link stuff” your content, just to showcase your ability to do it, but you DO want to be liberal about your use of links, and ensure that you’re doing what you need to do to show your readers and Google that you’re capable of linking well.

7. Complete your LinkedIn profile.

Your LinkedIn profile is one of the first places people will land when they’re looking for information about you and your company. With this in mind, be sure that you’ve completed and optimized your profile accordingly. This means that your profiles should feature a relevant profile picture, all your relevant contact information, and a complete list of recent accomplishments and skills. Don’t forget to update your profiles as needed to ensure that it stays current.

8. Publicize your posts.

LinkedIn posts can make a splash both inside and outside of LinkedIn. To get as much traction as possible from each post you write, be sure to publicize it both on LinkedIn and outside of the platform. This will help gain as much traction as possible for your post, while also ensuring that it gets the audience it deserves.

9. Embed relevant video information.

If you have a relevant video or SlideShare presentation that you can add to your LinkedIn profile, do it. In addition to helping you earn a broader audience, a step like this can go a long way toward building your authority on LinkedIn, and helping you stand out as a leader in any given field.

10. Adjust as needed.

The final tip for how to write content for LinkedIn is to adjust your strategy as needed. LinkedIn, like all social platforms, changes on a regular basis and your strategy will be best off if you can adjust it whenever it isn’t working, or isn’t working properly.

Keep in mind that the LinkedIn audience is unique and discerning, and the more willing you are to optimize your content for them, the better.

How to Write Content for LinkedIn, The Easy Way!

While writing content for LinkedIn may seem hard, these simple tips make it easy and effortless. As one of the most valuable networking and connection platforms out there, it’s clear that LinkedIn is far too important to pass by, and marketers who learn to write effective content for the platform will fare well both now and in the future.

Do you need a skilled writer to help you craft quality content for your social media platforms? Check out our Content Shop to learn more today!

publishing content on Linkedin

How Using The LinkedIn Publishing Platform Can Impact Your Business (With Pros & Cons)

Alecs is the Client Accounts Manager at Express Writers and has years of copywriting and journalism under her belt.

LinkedIn is among the most popular social media outlets available today because of the unique premise it presents to its users, including the ever-growing LinkedIn publishing platform.

On LinkedIn, you are judged not on what you look like, but on what your accomplishments are.

It’s one of the most useful social networking sites for large companies and HR departments looking for the next big star.

It’s even better as a tool for getting content out to the masses while ensuring that it’s still accredited to you.

LinkedIn lends itself to the publication of long form content because it’s a site made up of readers, thinkers and doers.

People who plan before they act.

The more information they have the easier it is for them to make a decision. However, as LinkedIn grows, publishing on this godsend of a platform might not have the same sort of impact it once did.

publishing content on Linkedin

Learn the pros and cons before you dive all in on LinkedIn’s new publishing platform.

Examining the Positive Side of Placing Content on The LinkedIn Publishing Platform

LinkedIn serves as the single best way to get in touch with professionals in a particular field. Because of the interactive style of long form posts that the social media network allows on its publication platform, you can engage in discussion very easily with other members of the same industry or field.

From a professional’s perspective, this can only lead to good things. Differing opinions can stimulate debate and can lead to getting new insight on something that they thought they knew inside out.

The wide reach of the platform combined with the type of users you are getting access to makes it ideal for a young professional trying to get noticed in his or her field of choice.

3 Key Benefits of Being On The LinkedIn Publishing Platform

Publishing long form content on LinkedIn benefits the user by:

1. Relevant Outreach

Recently, LinkedIn announced that it crossed a million members publishing on their platform. When compared with other social media networking sites, one million sounds like a small number. However, if you consider that the people on this social networking site is made up of decision makers (about 45% of LinkedIn is in upper management) that number starts looking a lot larger. Since LinkedIn opened its long form publishing platform to users in February 2014, over 130,000 posts per week are made utilizing the site’s publishing platform. That’s quite an accomplishment for a little over a year of service. This is a testament to the volume of experience that the LinkedIn community has to share with the wider world, and make no mistake, the users really love sharing their insights.

2. Equal Reach Regardless of Station

What makes LinkedIn’s platform such a roaring success? Unlike other blogging sites where you would need to find people to read your work, usually in response to you reading theirs and leaving feedback, LinkedIn’s community usually starts the ball rolling for you. It’s the kind of publishing platform where even the smallest voice has the same potential outreach as the largest. With a user base of over 364 million total movers and shakers of industry plugged into the social network, it makes it much more likely that people who count will see what you post. For an ambitious person, publication on LinkedIn gives them far more potential for their work than any other type of social network.

3. Ideal for Starting Discussion

Because of the blog-type nature of LinkedIn posts, industry professionals can chime in with things that are presented in a publication that they agree with and point out the items that strike them as odd. The rapport that it can generate is what LinkedIn was aiming for when they developed the platform to be like this. The Executive Editor of LinkedIn Daniel Roth is noted as saying that LinkedIn’s publishing platform was meant to be a tool to turn insight into conversation. Based on how many relevant conversations it has started over a number of fields, it is safe to assume that they accomplished their goal.

The Downside of Publishing on LinkedIn: 2 Main Points

It’s not all roses in this part of the social media world, however. It may seem as though LinkedIn’s publication platform makes it ever so easy to get a ready audience for your posts. At the start of its availability for all users, long form posts usually guaranteed a pretty large reach. However, as time went on the amount of people it reached started dropping drastically until December 2014 when outreach seemed to come to a screeching halt. What could have caused this is anyone’s guess, but there are a few good estimations as to what may have affected the number of people being able to view individual posts, such as:

1. Rise in Competition

More and more users started publishing long form posts that grabbed the attention of readers and because of this the total audience would be split among the writers with the best posts. This would have been a factor if the quality of all posts were kept the same. As content producers, we should know that being able to maintain the quality of your own posts over the space of a month can be difficult, not to mention the posts of hundreds of individuals. While this might be an easy method of explaining away the massive drop in interaction for some users, it seems as though it’s too simple a solution for such a complex problem.

2. LinkedIn Pulse

LinkedIn likes taking care of its users. That’s why it developed LinkedIn Pulse, as a method of showcasing the best in long form publications from the user base. Before Pulse came along you were just as likely to get your content seen as a user that has a higher quality post.

However, because of Pulse, those users would generally be highlighted more and far more users would read their posts as opposed to yours, provided theirs is of a higher quality. LinkedIn Pulse is not necessarily a bad thing, since it pushes the envelope on what LinkedIn is likely to accept as good content. If you want the views, make sure your content is the best that can be found on LinkedIn for your niche.

Four Ways LinkedIn Affects Your Business

linkedin update

As we said before a lot of professionals utilize LinkedIn as a means of developing their own content marketing strategy. Whether it’s for use in finding new talent or simply exploring the available jobs in their region, LinkedIn serves as a jumping off point that professionals and companies alike can go to check out what the field has to offer. There are a number of different types of LinkedIn users and each one utilizes the platform for their own ends. Some of these include:

1. Individual Professionals

Engineers, architects and professionals from any industry find a home on LinkedIn as a place where they can present their ideas though the long form publishing platform and gain a following. This can lead to a number of different opportunities opening up for them throughout in and around their locale. From consultants, especially, being able to showcase their talents through long form posts and a ready availability of previous projects gives them an advantage over other professionals in their field that don’t use social networking to meet new clients.

2. Large Businesses

LinkedIn is one of the largest pools of ready workforce in the world that is not constrained geographically. It is probably the richest grounds for finding new talent in a field. Companies such as Shell, Fugro and ArcelorMittal have already realized this and their job posting board is prolific, with jobs that range across countries where they have holdings. Because of the multinational nature of these countries they can find a suitable candidate in another country they operate in and transfer them to where they are most needed. LinkedIn gives them the cream of the crop as far as hires go.

3. Small Businesses

Even smaller businesses get in on the deal with the hiring market. Because their area of influence is smaller, the amount of talent they have in their pool is considerably less. However, thanks to the location features that LinkedIn has built into its architecture, it’s easy for even small companies to find the perfect worker for the job they want filled.

4. Business-to-Business Marketers

One of the groups that benefits the most from LinkedIn is the B2B marketers. Their entire market is situated handily in one single social networking website making it easy to get in touch with them and to run a carefully planned content marketing strategy to make those companies aware of their existence and the products they offer. It’s a win-win situation on both fronts since the businesses get a supplier that is easily reachable for arranging details.

So, Is The LinkedIn Publishing Platform Worth It?

The crux of the matter is whether long form content (or content of any form) on LinkedIn is worth it anymore.

With the decrease in visibility and the promise that only the best of the best will be showcased in LinkedIn Pulse, does it really matter to create content on LinkedIn?

The answer is yes, it is still very much worth it.

Although you may not get the same sort of audience your content is used to, the audience that you do impact is still better than impacting no one at all.

You should try to make your content of the highest quality to find yourself on Pulse, but failing that, still make it a high enough quality so that your readers get something out of it.

Create good content now and, even though LinkedIn might not reward you for it, your industry just might.

Photo courtesy

Featured photo original design (c) Express Writers

In-line second photo Inc.com 

LinkedIn posts

LinkedIn Posts: Today’s Newest & Greatest In Content Marketing

Did you know that LinkedIn allows actual blogging ON their platform?

In February 2014, numerous sources, including Search Engine Journal, announced that LinkedIn’s blog platform was now open to users, not just influencers. According to SEJ, “250,000 members [would now] have the ability to publish content on [the platform].” If you missed the news or haven’t had time to look into it, you’re not alone. We didn’t until just recently. And our conclusion is that this platform is an untapped breakthrough asset in content marketing, and too many people aren’t aware of it! What have we discovered, and what do you need to know? Let’s take a look:

Our LinkedIn Posts Case Study

Once we learned that blogging was allowed on this powerful business platform, we jumped right in. We had to first “apply” to be contributors and were successfully approved. We immediately started publishing a handful of posts, including this one about copywriting; and we kept a close eye on the provided analytics, curious to see just how large of a reach we would see. Here are the results, just 3 days after posting! Over 1,000 views, 60+ likes, and comments on our very first LinkedIn post: posts stats We also discovered that LinkedIn will FEATURE your posts publicly on your profile, like so: LinkedIn profile LinkedIn sent us some insider emails after we published some content, with these helpful tips: LinkedIn tips

Tapping Into LinkedIn as a Content Marketing Asset

Our case study indicates some solid potential. LinkedIn posts get a lot of views and shares for content, much more than a single blog would get, especially if your network is extensive. And if you’ve been a marketer for over a year with a LinkedIn presence, you probably have a decent network. Let’s face it; those of us already using LinkedIn likely have an extensive network, and growing that network is super easy using their platform and our own connections. Strengthening your profile will contribute to this, and all of this adds up to one epic revelation: you have an untapped audience at your fingertips! A few Dos, Don’ts and common sense tips are important to review before using this platform. LinkedIn has been built on a very simple concept: career growth and advancement. Therefore, it only makes sense that, according to InformationWeek, the “blogging tool [is for posting] career advice and insights to share with your connections.” How can you best use this tool? Let’s take a look at the top tips:

  • Write about what you know. According to InformationWeek, your LinkedIn posts should reflect your profile. In other words, write about what you know. Consider choosing topics that range from the career challenges you’ve faced, the opportunities you’ve successfully seized, and important trends in your industry or field of expertise.
  • Be professional. Obviously, you don’t want to knowingly (or unknowingly) break your company’s privacy policies. The rule of thumb when blogging on LinkedIn is to stay professional at all times. Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t bring up in normal conversation with an individual you just met at a professional event or conference.
  • Keep to the point. InformationWeek reports that, according to LinkedIn data, an ideal post will be approximately 700 words in length. The idea is to compose a blog long enough to cover your topic and position without running the risk of losing the reader’s interest. You can add a combination of images, videos, SlideShare presentations and external links as appropriate.
  • Be a sport and comment. If you have any blogging or social media experience, you already know that audience engagement is important. Unlike some other networks, LinkedIn is closed and requires an account for complete profile viewing AND commenting. Therefore, the comments you receive on this platform are likely to be high-quality. Not only are they absolutely worth your time to respond to, but commenting will boost post engagement, thus promoting it beyond your network.
  • Pay attention to your analytics. As you saw from our case study, LinkedIn isn’t shy about disclosing how many people clicked on, liked and commented on your post. Take these analytics into consideration as you prepare future blogs. What topics triggered great engagement through comments or brought in more likes? Use popularity trends to guide future content choices.
  • Share your content. InformationWeek noted that people don’t have to set-up a LinkedIn account to read your posts. And once you publish, anyone—from your connections to your followers—can see it. You should share the links to your posts outside of the LinkedIn network. Before posting, you should have the option to automatically post to Twitter. Once a blog post is live, you can share it with audiences on your other social networks by using the available media buttons. This type of out-of-network sharing can assist in increasing your LinkedIn network.

Seize the Opportunity

With the rise of today’s self-publication mediums, everyone wants to be a publisher. It’s no secret that content drives marketing and sales because people flock wherever it is. It’s also no secret that building an audience is hard work. While LinkedIn’s platform offers an opportunity to seize a new, untapped audience, you should plan content with care. The last thing you want to do is alienate your audience or damage your Google ranking. What are we talking about? The dangers of duplicate content! Remember the tip to share your LinkedIn posts with your other social networks? While this is a great piece of advice, we have to stress the need for continually focusing on the creation and production of FRESH copy. In other words, don’t jump onto this platform by reposting a piece of content you’ve posted on another network. Yes, you can repost your work, but you run into two huge risks:

  1. Audience estrangement: “Did I see this before?” It’s the question you NEVER want a reader to ask. It’s recommended to post unique content to each of your social networks. Otherwise, readers who follow you on three different networks will see the same content three times over.
  2. Decreased Google ranking: Duplicate content annoys users, therefore Google frowns on it. Posting the same blog across every platform you use can result in decreased SERPs.

Instead of excitedly jumping onto LinkedIn and posting content you’ve used elsewhere, quell your excitement. Invest a little time into brainstorming and posting fresh copy. You’ll be investing in building your online presence with value. Your networks (and Google) will thank you. According to Diginomica, “LinkedIn’s decision to roll out its publishing platform to all members [was] the right one.” The platform offers you access to more “decision makers” than any other platform. If you’re looking to grow your online presence and advance your career right alongside your business, this is a blogging platform you DO NOT want to overlook.

#WLW14

The World’s Largest Webinar: #WLW14 with Hubspot, LinkedIN, Facebook & Twitter Leaders

Were you in the loop on the webinar that happened this Wednesday? Over 34,000 people signed up and listened in, breaking the world record for 10,899 participants, set by Hubspot just a few years ago in 2011.

The Best Social Media Webinar of All Time

We were there, and the event was worth the hype. No less than three of today’s top social media platforms had a senior director or marketing head present during the webinar, with Hubspot hosting: Russ Laraway, Twitter’s Senior SMB Director; Jed Clevenger, Facebook’s Global Head of SMB Channel Marketing; and Scott Engelman, Head of Online Marketing at LinkedIN. The host was @Dan Zarrella, Hubspot’s own Social Media Scientist. Check out the event page on Hubspot.

 
hubspot 2014
 
Since the webinar was not recorded, we took direct notes while listening in. Here are our favorite tidbits from the experts who spoke. Enjoy!

Twitter Company Page tips shared from @Russ Laraway: “Your first impression on Twitter counts. Use your bio to be descriptive and reflective of your business. Give people a compelling reason to follow your account. Include URL to an important landing page, your store hours, and anything that makes it easy to find you. Feature your logo and visual elements to describe your company. @Bonobos is an excellent example that does all of this for their Twitter profile. Be relevant on mobile. Twitter was born on mobile; 75% of users are mobile; think of your Twitter profile as your mobile website.”

Business Facebook Page tips by @Jed Clevenger: “We have over 1 million active advertisers. Setting up your Facebook page is huge for your business. Three things to get started:

  • Fill out complete and accurate information about your business: type, location, hours, URL, contact information. This establishes your business on Facebook, makes it indexed to search.
  • Have great cover pictures and cover photo. Customers want to see that you’re legitimate.
  • Use our free Facebook tools: contact importer, where you can upload all your contacts, and friend invites, where you can invite all your friends.

Test new types of content and spend time in your Page Insights to get information on your posts, audience, and traffic. SweetHaus used no advertising dollars to grow their account to over 3,000 likes: promoting to existing customers and finding new customers.”

LinkedIN Company Page tips from @Scott Engelman: “Write a company page that is informative and engaging. Use keywords that are relevant to your business to get your company in search results. Think of what image to use—an eye-catching image that invites visitors to learn more. Once it’s set up, invite your company network to follow. Engage with your followers by posting updates.”

Of course, we loved this question:

So much of marketing in social media is copywriting. Should my Twitter campaign copy be different from other copy? Russ, Twitter guru, answered: “The short answer is no, but it’s safe to acknowledge that Twitter offers constraints – 140 characters. Generally speaking, consider email marketing. I bet everybody here does this. With email marketing, you’re creating and constantly refining a list of interested parties; create content; send it out regularly, with minor adjustments, you can use this for your Twitter audience. Your followers are your lists. Work on shorter-form for Twitter. Most of you will create bigger content pieces like blogs, newsletters, e-books, think of these as base documents that you can carve into bite size pieces and use Twitter to drive those bits. For example, take a newsletter. Instead of tweeting the link with “check out the newsletter,” tweet a tip about the newsletter, a series of tips all day, and link to it or that excerpt in it. You can get a lot of mileage out of what you’re already producing this way, just modify it to make it work on Twitter.”

How do you get engagement with your tweets? A great question, and it got a great answer from Russ Laraway: “Forgive me for being obvious, but you can get more engagement with your tweets by giving your audience what they want. Really think about the 80/20 rule. 80% of your content should NOT be focused on what you are selling. Non-direct selling, direct offering of value that is informative and helpful. What can your followers benefit from? Best practices, industry trends, are examples of great kind of content. Tweets that include rich media are more than likely to be shared. If you upload an image that tweet will do twice as well. 20% of your content SHOULD be focused on what you are selling.”

I can’t seem to grow, how do I get a relevant following? Russ answered: “It is true that it is really important to build a great follower base on Twitter. Remember, followers are optional. The users on Twitter regularly refine who they follow. There is no friction to stop following an account. So, users are very careful about the accounts they follow. Your followers will be interested to hear from you with regularity. Use the profile tips from earlier for a compelling profile, and jump in on industry conversations with hashtags—like the smart marketers hash-tagging #WLW14!  For example, if your target audience is educators, reach out to Alexander Russo and build a relationship with them. If you just tweet out valuable content in order to get a retweet, you’ll get more relevant followers over time.”

How do I target content for Facebook industry audience? Jed says: “A lot of the same principles from Russ for Twitter can be applied here for Facebook. We encourage you to start testing your way into great content. We have tools similar to A/B testing. From your page, any post you publish can be available to the public, but not all the public. Target your post by location, country, state, city, language, gender, relationship status, educational status, age—there is a ton of targeting option. Speak with an authentic voice to reach core audiences.”

How do I use hashtags successfully? Russ said: “Hashtags are best used for tweets driven for engagements. Leave them out of tweets driving direct responses. Don’t squat on a hashtag by just using it. Offer some value when you use it. Anyone can create their own hashtag: just make sure it’s easy to understand, and you’ll get good results. If it’s not widely used, think about trying to build momentum around it. We’ve created the #WLW14 hashtag and incorporated it into other avenues: email, marketing, etc. Build a community around your hashtag.”

And Dan at Hubspot added: “Social media is awesome because advertisers can do really smart advertising!”

Using sponsored updates on LinkedIN, LinkedIN expert Scott says: “Sponsored updates are a great way to extend your reach and get the best content in front of a target audience. We recommend starting with an organic company post, that has the highest engagement, and use sponsored updates to extend the reach of that post. Use industry location, job function, company size to target these sponsored updates. This allows you to get in front of your audience in an organic way. The power behind this targeting is the accuracy of the data: you can target your exact audience. Finally, sponsored updates allow you to get into desktop, tablet and mobile audiences.”

On Facebook app success, Jed says: “Facebook has four pillars for Facebook ad strategies. 1) Ad formats – 20% of all user time in ads are spent on Facebook, in the newsfeed. Create newsfeed ads. 2) Targeting – You’re targeting people, not cookies. You can target them in a safe way. Our targeting includes demographic (age, interests, etc.); custom audiences (from email lists, app users, etc.); just-launched website custom audiences (target people on Facebook who were on your website); look-like audience creation (find other people on Facebook with similar characteristics). 3) Conversion tracking – drop a conversion pixel on your website to track everything.  4) Measurement – use your page insights and manager. An example: Little Passports grew their customer base 300% and cut back on costs by 60% using Facebook advertising. They saw a huge uplift in sales and is their life in sales.

Some of the biggest takeaways were about images, which are vital in your tweets, Facebook shares, and LinkedIN posts:

  • Russ says: “Use images in tweets. You’ll get double the engagement. Get deeper: create images around hashtag vortexes, and make it aligned with what is popular with your audience. You can even pair this with an offer and then track it with Twitter’s tracking capabilities. Chegg is a great example. Using this resulted in 13,000 post engagement purchases, a 23% engagement conversion rate.”
  • Jed says: “Use bigger and better images. Use pictures that relate to your posts and companies. Use newsfeed advertising.”
  • Scott says: “Remember, audiences are professional on LinkedIN. Keep this mindset in mind. GE uses creativity in their images that still stay professional.”
  • And Dan says: “Followers on platforms are different people. Always be experimenting. Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed.”