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4 Tips to Make Your Content Marketing Stand out

Posted by advantagemarketing on February 2, 2017

Woman hand holding a white spech bubble with a illustration on blue background. This illustration has a yellow crown and content word into window computer.

Every B2B company needs a solid content strategy, including a social media strategy. This is the age of what social media-marketing expert Mark Schaefer refers to as content shock — where there is so much content that it overwhelms readers.

How can you stand out in this veritable sea of content that has flooded the internet? Is it even possible? The content marketing gurus at Hubspot and BuzzSumo have joined forces to conduct research into what works and what doesn’t in B2B content.

1. Size Doesn’t Matter

For years in B2B blogging, it was thought that long-form posts performed better — and while that might be true in some aspects, social media isn’t one of them. Long form posts did not receive any more shares than short-form.

2. LinkedIn Has Proven Its B2B Social Value

B2B content dominates the LinkedIn playing field — with an average of 25.7 shares, compared to 9.8 shares for B2C content. With all the tools that LinkedIn provides that are geared towards business and thought leadership, it really does make a perfect home for your B2B company’s content.

3. Don’t Count Facebook Out Yet

Facebook currently has 1.71 billion active users every month. With such a huge audience potential, how can you pass up this social network?

4. People in B2B Companies Want Content That Will Help Them Succeed

Focus on posts that will help your reader succeed. Whether it’s a numbered list or a how-to article, make it engaging and geared toward reaching one of a reader’s goals such as gaining more customers, increasing office efficiency, or succeeding in a leadership role.

Don’t go it alone! Contact us for help with your content marketing.

Source: business2community

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, content marketing, Facebook, LinkedIn, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, small business | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

7 Easy LinkedIn Profile Updates

Posted by advantagemarketing on August 11, 2015

Update your LinkedIn profile

Update your LinkedIn profile with these quick fixes

We all know that LinkedIn is a great way to build your professional brand and connect with others. You probably already have added your work experience to your profile and gotten your recommendations – if for no other reason then LinkedIn routinely nags you about these items.

But if you haven’t updated your profile in a while, you may not be presenting yourself in the best possible way. These seven quick fixes can refresh your profile, make you easier to connect with, and boost your position in search rankings, without a great deal of time or drudgery. (To make these changes, be sure you are in LinkedIn’s Edit Profile screen for your profile.)

1. Show your creds right up top. Include your credentials next to your name (e.g., CPA, MBA, etc.)

2.  Update your photo – SMILE!!!

3. Use your 120 headline characters more effectively. Include your title, company, and keywords. Some examples:

Senior Tax Manager, ABC Accounting, LLC | Tax Planning| Audits | Tax Compliance | Real Estate Taxes | Tax Research
Staff Accountant, ABC Accounting, LLC | GAAP | Financial Reporting | Account Reconciliation | Accruals | Bookkeeping

4. Create a custom URL for your Public Profile. This is easier to read and remember than the default URL LinkedIn sets up for you. For example: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorainekasprzak. Get step-by-step instructions on customizing your Public Profile URL.

5. Make it easy for others to get in contact with you by adding to your contact information. Be sure you have:

Included your company address, phone and website, and a Twitter name, if you use Twitter too.
Included your email – which will be visible only to your connections.

6. Add or edit your Profile Summary to highlight your accomplishments. You will want to:

Summarize your work experience – use keywords and focus on the results you’ve achieved.
Add a short summary of the company you’re working for and the solutions it provides to clients.

7. Showcase your work in your Profile Summary or Experience sections. Add an article, video, or slide presentation that highlight your excellent, valuable work.

Let these quick fixes inspire you to build an even stronger LinkedIn profile by adding volunteer activities, honors and awards, and more!

Posted in B2B marketing, brand building, Business, career, LinkedIn, Marketing, personal branding, small business, Social media marketing, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Test Your Social Media IQ!

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 27, 2014

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Now that it’s summertime, we thought it might be fun to have a quick quiz about social media. Let us know in the comments section how you score!

1. Who is the founder of Facebook?

a. Al Gore      b. Mark Zuckerburg      c. Bill Gates       d. Steve Jobs

 

2. Which social media uses 140 characters?

a. Facebook      b. Google+      c. Twitter      d. InstaSelfie

 

3. What should you NOT do on a social media site?

a. Comment on and “LIKE” others’ posts

b. Post inappropriate photos of yourself or others.

c. Provide interesting content such as quizzes, news or links

 

4. Which social media channel reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than any cable network?

a. Houzz      b. Instagram      c. Twitter      d. YouTube

 

5. This is the world’s largest professional social network and is a fantastic place to find a job or to recruit.

a. LinkedIn      b. Facebook       c. Twitter       d. Pinterest

 

6. Which of these statements is NOT TRUE?

a.  YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.

b.  Houzz provides architects & contractors with the opportunity to showcase their work to home owners and design enthusiasts.

c.  A new member joins LinkedIn every second.

d.  Pinterest is predominately used by men looking for recipes and wedding dresses.

 

7. This social media network has features such as Pages, Profiles, Circles, Community, and Hangouts, that let you interact with customers and friends. It can also raise your Website in Google’s rankings.

a. Pinterest      b. Google+       c. LinkedIn      d. Facebook

 

Answers:  1. b    2. c    3. b    4. d    5. a    6. d

If You Got:     You’re:

6-7 correct     A Social Media Whiz

4-5 correct     Smarter than a 5th Grader

2-3 correct     A Social Media Beginner

0-1 correct     At the Starting Gate

 

Posted in Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Social media marketing, Traditional marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Leveraging Social Media – an AEC Professionals Circle Program

Posted by advantagemarketing on April 2, 2014

AEC New JerseyAEC Professionals Circle New Jersey is offering a program on social media and its potential to bring your company business. The event is called “Leveraging Social Media and Technology to Build Your Business,” and I’m so pleased that Advantage Marketing is teaming with AEC NJ as an event sponsor!

AEC Professionals Circle is a New Jersey-based organization that provides educational and networking opportunities to Architects, Engineers and Contractors.

The event will be held on Tuesday, April 8, and offers two 3-hour working sessions plus a lunch and evening networking. The folks at New Millennium Millwork are hosting the event at their Riverdale, New Jersey, facility. Frank Morales, Sandler Coach & Mentor, is the presenter and he’ll be doing a deep dive into LinkedIn and all the strategies and techniques that you can use to grow your personal network and prospect for business.

At Advantage Marketing, we’re known for helping our professional services clients craft content that positions them as the experts people want to hire, so I’m doubly excited to be premiering our Sticky Content Plan at this event. The Sticky Content Plan helps our clients build the information resources that bring customers to their doors. (You’ll be finding out more about the Sticky Content Plan in upcoming posts.)

We’ll also be running a fun social media quiz and offering prizes. We’ll be selling our guide, “Turn Your Practice into a Client Magnet” – which will soon be available online.

If you’re an architect, engineer, or contractor here in New Jersey, and you haven’t yet been to an AEC Professionals Circle event, this is the one to attend! AEC’s founder Shallon Gammon of Guiding Graphics, shared these top 10 reasons why this is a not-to-be-missed event:

10. Earn one CEU Credit while networking with decision-makers.

9. Learn HOW to build your network—online and in person.

8. Learn how to post your 30 second Elevator Pitch ONLINE.

7. Demystify Social Media channels and decide which one(s) will bring in new business.

6. Learn how you can have all of your documents, quotes, estimates, specifications, client information, and more for all of your projects with you, at all times.

5. Leverage your LinkedIn profile to promote your personal “brand” and proactively prospect.

4. Systematize attending networking events and consistently set and achieve realistic goals.

3. Find the right vendors to outsource services you’re not an expert on.

2. Acquire new customers through online recommendations, postings and word-of-mouth.

1. Learn how you can empower your friends, clients, prospects, and business associates to consistently give you referrals.

Here are the links to register:

RSVP for a Session: http://conta.cc/1fXBLLj

RSVP for the Social Event only: http://conta.cc/1cQF08r

Hope I see you there!

 

 

Posted in Business, content marketing, lead generation, LinkedIn, Marketing, Networking, personal branding, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Social media marketing, Thought leadership, Word of mouth marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lead Generation and Trade Show Marketing for an IT Client

Posted by advantagemarketing on March 11, 2014

lead generation

Aujas, our California, New Jersey and India-based client, needed a lead generation and brand building strategy for the IBM Pulse conference and exhibit at the end of February. Teaming with their practice heads around the globe, Advantage Marketing brainstormed and developed their messaging, and then created display signage and service briefs to support their brand and promote their services.

We also ran Twitter and LinkedIn campaigns to promote their show presence. Aujas garnered well over 50 leads and lots of positive attention for their brand.

Thanks to Guiding Graphics for the design work and Graphic Marketing Group for printing – most of which was completed during one blizzard or another this February!

Need help with lead generation and brand strategies for trade shows or other marketing campaigns? Contact us for a complimentary initial consultation.

Posted in B2B marketing, brand building, Business, Consulting, lead generation, LinkedIn, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Professional service firm marketing, trade shows, Traditional marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Big Blue Blogs? IBM Goes Social

Posted by advantagemarketing on September 15, 2011

By Loraine Kasprzak, MBA

IBM and social media

Watson. Big Blue. Lotus. What comes to mind when you read these words? Most of us associate them with IBM, the Fortune 50 technology and consulting company. What you might not associate with IBM is social media, but the company is going social in a big way. By 2012, 90-95% of IBM’s marketing budget will be spent on social and digital tactics, including social and online media, blogging, online communities, and content delivery.

I had the opportunity to talk to Leslie Reiser, Program Director for Worldwide Digital Marketing, IBM General Business, about how IBM is using social media and digital marketing today. Leslie’s team markets IBM’s solutions to mid-market B2B companies.

Here’s the first part of our conversation:

How is IBM using digital and social marketing?

The Watson supercomputer – besides winning Jeopardy’s Man vs. Machine Challenge – is a very good example of how we approach social using a Paid-Owned-Earned Media model. There’s a Watson Facebook page and Twitter presence, a website, plus YouTube videos and online community. There’s press and blogger coverage along with paid advertising.

For mid-market solutions specifically, we started with infoboom, a community where we could listen to and provide content for leaders of midsize businesses. This is evolving to a new stage of social collaboration* with a simplified social media presence where we have fewer Twitter handles and just one Facebook page and a LinkedIn group.

Our websites are now optimized for search. So now clients can find us more easily, and partners can interact more easily. Clients can come directly to one of our sites, find us via search, or come in through paid ads and landing pages.

We also rebuilt our middle market portal so that it can provide deep-level solution content. We are making it as seamless as possible for a client to go among the deeper content, wherever it originates. Based on the behavior and intent of the user, the portal gets them to the right content so that they get what they need. For example, if someone is looking for a cloud solution, they can find the discussion threads all in one place at the portal.

With over 400,000 employees worldwide, IBM has considerable intellectual capital. How are you leveraging this in your social marketing?

People are looking for expertise, credibility and authenticity from us.  We identified our “rock stars” – the true experts in the company – and assessed their social media readiness and what they could share. We began evangelizing these people and their knowledge – promoting our expertise and credibility.

We also developed an expertise locator tool – it’s internal now, but we’re beginning to surface it outside the company. It includes profiles of employees – that they add themselves – by skill and willingness to be available by expertise and proficiency.

Getting so many employees on board with social must be a big task. How are you doing it?

It’s no doubt we’re a large company, with disparate goals across brands, teams, and regions. We knew starting out that we’d have to integrate social behavior into the corporate culture, if we hoped to be successful. We needed to address a traditional management culture so we got our senior execs involved and sold it to them first. This way they’d get their people involved.

We put social in terms leadership understands by establishing a consolidated dashboard with social sharing and engagement metrics to demonstrate the value back to the business. Not every social media aspect has a direct ROI, but we can show impact to the business through KPIs.

Our employees have different social proficiency levels and limited time and resources to participate in social behaviors. We needed to bring everyone along the learning curve and encourage participation, so we came up with a flexible model that all employees could leverage.

We also set up social marketing guidelines. Employees company-wide must sign and adhere to these guidelines. These aren’t “do’s and don’ts;” they’re meant to encourage IBMers to blog and participate in internal and external social networks.

We also have our Social Business portal, which is an internal site where employees can access tools – blogs, video, and podcasts – that they can leverage in their social networks. For example, employees could access the IBM Centennial materials via Social Business and then Tweet or blog about our milestone.

Another thing we did was get IBM alumni involved – there’s a very strong group who’re involved on Facebook and LinkedIn. This has been a great way to extend IBM’s capabilities. There are some very notable IBM alumni – such as Irving Wladawsky-Berger – who have an independent, well known presence in industry.

Next week’s post: IBM’s “lessons learned” in going social

* According to the infoboom site, beginning on October 1, 2011, infoboom will merge with several new and expanded IBM midsized business social media channels. The site won’t be available after Sept. 30, 2011.

 

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Posted in Business, LinkedIn, Marketing, Social media marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

How Businesses Can Take Advantage of Social Media

Posted by advantagemarketing on May 10, 2011

Discussing social media on WDVR FM

Technology Today host Rich Kazimir and I talked about how businesses can use social media to connect with customers

I was a guest last week on WDVR FM’s Technology Today radio broadcast. Host Rich Kazimir interviewed me about how small businesses can take advantage of social media. Here are some excerpts from our conversation.

Rich:  Can you start by telling us what social media is?

Loraine: The simplest way to look at social media is as a collection of tools for interacting online. That can be by posting content like photos or articles, or sending out short messages, called updates, to people who are following you. This is called social networking. The big social networking tools are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. And, of course, blogging.

There are other tools that help you track and share content you like – that’s called social bookmarking. Social bookmarking tools include Reddit, Stumbled Upon and Digg.

For business owners, social media is a great way offer valuable content that engages prospects and customers.

Rich: So if you had to summarize social media in a few words, you’d say…

Loraine: It’s a collection of tools that enable business owners to interact with their clients and prospects online.

Rich: How should business owners be thinking about social media?

Loraine: Business owners need to understand that social media is a conversation; it’s not a one-way push of their company’s advertising message. They need to think of it like a cocktail party – how you’d join a conversation when you walk in to the party. You wouldn’t just barge in and start talking. You’d listen – comment – ask a question – then offer your opinion.

The best way to use social media is to integrate it with your company’s other marketing tactics – like your website, trade show, or public speaking engagements.

Rich: Where should a business owner focus, especially when they’re getting started?

Loraine: First, owners need to understand that social media is content driven, and they need to have good content to contribute to the conversation.  So they need to start with a plan for developing content and what content they will use.

Owners should also realize that they don’t need to be on every social networking site. They can start by finding out where their customers and prospects are – then that’s where they need focus their efforts. It’s a good reason to give clients a call and ask them, are they reading blogs? Posting tweets?

Once owners know where their customers are, then they can go ahead and set up their own accounts on these applications – whether it’s Twitter or Facebook or another app. It’s free to set up accounts and if the owner is reasonably comfortable around email and the Internet, then they should be able to learn these apps pretty quickly. All the apps have online tutorials which make learning them a bit easier.

Rich: Can you give our audience some examples of companies who are using social media effectively?

Loraine: I’ve seen both large and small businesses use social media effectively as part of their marketing. Comcast mines Twitter for customer service issues and then responds fairly quickly… Office Depot just started a contest that integrated Facebook with email marketing – it’s their 2011 Official Small Business of NASCAR contest. This is targeted at growing their small business customer base.

A couple small businesses I’ve seen would be WebUndies.com – one of my clients – who is working on integrating their current email marketing with Facebook and Twitter to grow their customer base. I also work with an IT security startup – Aujas – and they are using an electronic newsletter, website, WordPress blog, as well as a white paper marketing campaign and industry trade shows.

Rich: I’ve seen businesses start to use social media, but then they seem to lose momentum and stop putting out new content. How can businesses stick with it?

Loraine: Losing momentum is a big problem, especially when a business owner has so much else on their plate. One thing an owner can do is see what content they already have developed for their business and repurpose it. For example, a how-to manual or a non-confidential email to a customer can be the basis for great blog posts.

It’s also perfectly ok to hire knowledgeable content developers who will work with you to develop your message – to write blog posts or tweets.

Rich: Aren’t there also tools that can help a business owner with social media – like Tweet Deck? Can you talk about those?

Loraine: Tweet Deck, Social Oomph, Hoot Suite are all great tools for helping an owner schedule and promote their content through Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. They’re all free tools too – some have premium paid subscriptions, but the free accounts work well.  These tools also have online tutorials, which can be a big help.

Rich: What would you recommend as the starting point for the small business owner listening tonight?

Loraine: Definitely start by asking your customers what social media they’re using. Learn those tools and get your company profiles set up. Then you can see what content you already have that you can repurpose. You’ll be off and running.

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Posted in Business, LinkedIn, Marketing, Social media marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Quick Start Social Media Coaching for Executives, Professionals and Small Business Owners

Posted by advantagemarketing on April 12, 2011

social media coaching

1-on-1 coaching can help you come up to speed quickly on social media

Are you new to social media and not sure where you should start or how social media can help you achieve your business or professional objectives?

Try some one-on-one coaching. It can help you come up to speed quickly and use social media tools more effectively.

Advantage Marketing offers Quick Start Social Media Coaching for executives, professionals and small business owners.

“Busy executives often don’t know where to start with social media – it can seem overwhelming because there are so many different platforms,” Loraine Kasprzak, Advantage Marketing Managing Director, notes. “Quick Start Social Media Coaching simplifies social media and help execs use these tools to further their business and professional goals.”

The Quick Start individualized coaching sessions cover LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, the three social media platforms most commonly used by business professionals and B2B marketers. “We work with our coaching clients until they understand the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ and feel comfortable using these tools,” says Loraine. She has personally trained many executives and small business owners on social media tools and strategies.

With the Advantage Marketing Quick Start Social Media Coaching, business executives and professionals can

  • Learn LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter basics
  • Discover how to set up and optimize their social media profiles
  • Start building their network of connections
  • Learn how to interact with their network effectively
  • Find out how using social media can support their business and professional objectives

Advantage Marketing is offering special pricing for a limited time to introduce this new service. For more information or to register for one-on-one sessions, contact us via email or call 908.233.6265.

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Facebook, LinkedIn, Marketing, Social media coaching, Twitter | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

 
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