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Build Your Brand with LinkedIn Company Pages

Build Your Business Brand on LinkedIn with Company Pages.

LinkedIn has quietly been adding features to Company Pages. At first you could just get your company listed, as if in a big directory. Then they added the ability to create a company profile and add products. Then you could get those products reviewed. And now you can post status updates and engage with your clients.

So how is the best way to get started using these features to promote your business?

Well, as always, if you are a coach, consultant, trainer, healer, solopreneur or other helping professional, you will want to start building your brand with your profile. If you feel you've done that pretty well, you will want to branch out and add in the company pages.

Here's how to get started, step-by-step:

  1. To start you will want to create your company profile.
  2. Then add some products or services.
  3. Ask some of your past or present clients to write a review for your products. This creates "social proof" and adds to your company credibility. The more positive reviews, the more evidence potential clients have that you are likely to satisfy their needs as well.
  4. When you add a product or service, you can then share it to your status update, your groups or your connections. Here is a new piece of content that you can share with others to get some buzz going.
  5. When you create the product or service, you can create a promotion to go with it. The promotion shows up in the bottom right side bar. Its a great opportunity to add photos or video to promote a program or launch.
  6. The newest addition to the company page is the addition of the status update. This lets you get Facebook-like interactions with your LinkedIn followers. The downside right now is that the integration with automation tools like Hootsuite is not yet available. So you would have to manually post every update yourself or outsource your social media. Personally, I'm going to wait until the automation tools become available.
  7. Optional: Run a paid advertisement. This will get you visibility amongst your target demographic fast.

So that's it. It's pretty easy to get started using Company Pages on LinkedIn.

Let me know below how it goes for you and if you have any tips to offer others starting out.

How to Energize your Social Media Marketing

How to Energize your Social Media Marketing

Are you having trouble getting any activity going with your social media accounts? Not finding them to be particularly productive? Here are some pointers as to how to break through the noise and get some value out of your social media time.

Build Relationships

Your first priority should be building relationships. If you are posting and no one is responding, then you aren’t building relationships now are you? Just think about how you behave at a cocktail party. OK, well that might not work for everyone, but some of you will get that the conversation should be 2-way. You should be talking about 50% of the time and listening 50% of the time.

But how do you get that conversation started online?

Broaden your network

I found that social media really came alive for me when I became an open networker. That means that I will connect, friend or follow anyone who requests it. Okay so I did once decline someone whose entire stream was porn. But in general, if you aren’t a spammer, I’ll connect.

How has that helped? Well, I have thousands of people in my network rather than a few hundred. Now I have people that I haven’t personally met, but they understand the principles of networking which are “I help you and eventually you will help me”. Many of these open networkers are more active in social networks and more productive connections than the people I know in the offline world that aren’t active & open online networkers. Also, as an open networker, people can connect to me without fear of rejection. All are welcome.

It was a bit scary making the transition to open networker at first. I was afraid of spammers and yes, I do get unsolicited communications. Some are valuable, some are not. I sort through and trash the bad ones and act on the good ones.

I’ve had to refrain from sharing information about my family and children that I used to post and share more openly. Not knowing every person who connects to me requires me to be a little more protected of personal information. Other than that, I have found it to be a positive experience and have enjoyed the new friends, colleagues and partners I have made.

So how do I broaden my network?

Join groups and forums with people of similar interests or potential customers. If you are on LinkedIn, join the Open Networkers group and you will get a list weekly of open networkers you can connect with. On Facebook you can ask to connect with anyone you went to high school or college with, anyone in your address book, etc. You can connect to friends of friends. With Twitter there are lots of directories and tools to help you find connections that have similar interests as you or follow people you want to follow or who tweet from a location you want to target.

Be patient

Building relationships takes time. It takes more time online than it does in person. I believe that online is more leveraged and will help you scale your business, but it doesn’t replace the face-to-face contact. When you are first getting started in your business, face-to-face will get you more valuable feedback quickly so you can adjust your messages and style.

When you take your networking online remember it can take 6 months or more to develop a productive network, depending on how much time you attribute to it. Yes, you can get followers quickly, but you will not have a relationship with most of them so they will not immediately buy from you or refer you. They will trust someone a friend referred them to first, or someone they met in person, because it is easier to trust and communicate when you can also assess the non-verbal cues. But, you can only meet so many people in person. It’s easier to get your message spread more widely and to build a bigger list online. Online is where you build leverage and scale.

Provide Content

The best way to get people to connect with you is to provide great content. Content ideas include:

  • Tips
  • Information
  • Blog posts
  • Quotes and inspirations
  • Promos
  • Other people’s content, quotes and inspirations, blog posts, etc.

Engage your audience

The most important piece to energizing your social media networks is to engage them. What does that mean? It means you need to interact with them as you would in a face-to-face conversation. You need to:

  • Respond to comments they make to you
  • Comment on their posts
  • Answer their questions
  • Post your own Questions
  • Compliment others when appropriate
  • Be a person. Share who you are, your quirks and brilliance.

Notice that sending out promotions is only a small part of the content you are able to provide. The more you give the more you will get. Remember to give others a chance to shine and give them credit. People love to be complimented.

This all may sound overwhelming but there are ways to automate some of this and to systematize your processes so you can keep it in line with the time you have allotted. I spend about an hour and half on email and social media each day. I consider the two to be linked as many of my social media accounts shoot me an email when I need to respond to something.

Prioritize you networks

You can’t be super effective at managing 15 social media accounts unless it is your full time job. Feedback shows that most people can only effectively manage 3-5 accounts. The top 3 have become (not in any order):

  1. Facebook which is great if you have a consumer audience,
  2. LinkedIn which is super if you are b2b or looking for tips and support to build your b2c or b2b company, and
  3. Twitter which is great for live streams of information and making connections with people with similar interests (then the relationship often moves to a different forum for more in-depth conversations). It’s great for live event recording, customer service, timely announcements and other time-sensitive information.

There are a myriad of other social media platforms and which ones you choose to focus on should be based on who your target customer is and where they like to hang out.

Remember to bring your own energy to your social media communications. Share your expertise. Share who you are. Be genuine.

I know it’s a bit weird at first when you start communicating with a big black void. But there are people out there and you will be heard. You can be shouting at them, selling them or engaging them into a two-way relationship with you. Which one do you think will be most effective, most productive and most energizing for all parties?

How do I automate the marketing of my blog?

How do I automate the marketing of my blog?

Do you automate the marketing of your blog posts? Here’s what I’ve done.

My blog posts are relevant to small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to market their business better. As such, I have them automatically posted to places that small business owners can find them such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and more. I have spent some time automating this process so I can focus on the creation of content and not the marketing of it. Here are the methods and tools I used to automate the updates of my blog posts.

Twitter

I have two twitter accounts; the first, @expertmktgcoach, I tweet each post once, and the second, @debzimmer, I use to repeat the tweets throughout the day.

I use Hootsuite to import the RSS feed from my blog to twitter. This sends out one tweet per account. With Hootsuite, I can also schedule tweets on that second account so that the tweet reoccurs throughout the day.

LinkedIn

My blog headline posts to my LinkedIn status using Hootsuite. Hootsuite also sends the status to Ping.fm which updates numerous other sites that I visit less often.

My blog is then imported into my LinkedIn Profile using the LinkedIn WordPress Application.

Facebook

I use Facebook Notes to import my RSS feed into my Facebook Page. This creates a duplicate copy of my blog on Facebook. I can also use Hootsuite to import the headlines into my wall on my personal Facebook profile or public page.

Social Bookmarking

Using the WordPress Plugin tool for OnlyWire, my posts are automatically bookmarked to numerous bookmarking sites with which I have accounts. It creates bookmarks at more bookmarking sites than I can reach through Ping.fm. Ping.fm reaches other social media sites that OnlyWire doesn’t, such as Plaxo.

RSS Reader

I use Feedburner for those who want to get my blog posts in an RSS reader format.

Kindle

If you are a Kindle user, you can read my blog by subscribing through the Amazon Kindle Store.

SEO

Each post I write is search engine optimized. I use a number of tools including WordPress plugins to assist me with search engine optimization.

Email

There’s one more automation tool I’m considering but haven’t yet implemented. I see that AWebber is now integrated with Feedburner and can send the RSS feeds in email to your subscriber base. I think that sounds way cool. I just wish the tools I currently use offered that service.

That’s all I’ve got on blog marketing automation. Do you have any tools or systems you use that you particularly like?

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