Learn how your employees can ‘elevate’ your company on LinkedIn!

18 Apr 15

Does your LinkedIn company page have less followers than your employee’s personal profile?

Are your employees getting more engagement with their update status than your company page posts?

linkedin elevateMost businesses, unless you are a well-known brand, struggle to increase the number of their followers on their LinkedIn company pages organically. Without spending money on LinkedIn Ad’s to help build the numbers of your company followers you will find they will grow steadily.

Our personal profiles on LinkedIn are something all employees of a business should consider creating and optimising. They will help to increase the presence of the business brand.

We are able to build our connections on our profiles more easily by uploading our email connections, people we meet networking from their contact details on business cards and other members of a joined group.

A new update from LinkedIn reveals that they are going to be rolling out a new app called Elevate. Elevate is a content sharing application that will allow companies to leverage the social media activities of their employees to drive more leads and enquiries to their business.

Elevate will help employees create and find good quality content. It will also enable them to share directly to their social media profiles: twitter and LinkedIn and indicate the best time for them to do this! The most important feature is that it will measure the impact of the content they are creating and sharing.

At the moment Elevate is invitation only but LinkedIn plan to roll out the new tool later in the year.

In preparation for the roll out for Elevate, make sure your LinkedIn profiles are fully optimised and complete. Also if you haven’t already created your LinkedIn company page it’s time to get started!

The team at ZC Social Media help individuals and businesses to setup their profile and presence on LinkedIn. For more information email info@zcsocialmedia.com

We can now broadcast LIVE videos on twitter via Periscope!

11 Apr 15

How exciting! I am loving this new app connected to twitter called Periscope.

Periscope is a mobile app we can download from the Apple iTunes (Only available for iOS at the moment).

It is a twitter owned tool that allows us to broadcast LIVE from anywhere in the world allowing our twitter followers to watch, engage with a comment and send a heart to show they like what they see.

Periscope can notify us when the people we follow on twitter are LIVE broadcasting as well.

The comment feature in periscope allows us to start engaging with the broadcaster in real time, allowing us to be part of the LIVE situation.

So how can we use Periscope for business?

There are many ways we can use Periscope for our business to expand the reach of our message and presence.

The most important thing we have to remember is that we need to provide valuable content to our audience.

Behind The Scenes

You can do a LIVE stream of your company and team behind the scenes at your workplace! Let your fans see your typical day in the office. This will build up a rapport with your community and they will start to build that know like and trust with you.

Company News

A perfect place to LIVE broadcast your latest company news. Share and wait for the feedback. Great for announcements and hot off the press news!

New Product Launch

Are you releasing a new product or service? Would you like to share it with your followers LIVE! Get more reach and more exposure by sharing a demonstration and the features of the new product. You can also allow your followers to comment and ask questions on certain features.

Clinics or Q & A Forums

Run a LIVE Q & A Forum for your followers or even call it a clinic. Answer their questions in real time and also expand the reach of your knowledge to their followers too.

Share an experience

Share a business situation, speaking opportunity or trip with your peers who would love to do something similar. Allow them to experience the situation with you. Gain that engagement of your followers who may ask more questions but also build a stronger connection with you for sharing.

I can think of many more ways where you can use Periscope in your business, the above ways are a great way to get started.

How about you give it a try?

Let me know how you get on. Share your success, challenges and questions with me in the comments below.

LinkedIn: Get the world’s largest professional social network working for you!

8 Mar 15

Is your 5 year old LinkedIn profile uncompleted, unloved and generally uninspiring? Maybe you don’t have a profile at all. Fear not! Here you can find out how LinkedIn can help you build a presence in the professional world, helping you to stand out from the crowd.

Key facts

  • Over 225m professionals use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas and opportunities
  • LinkedIn allows you to: stay informed about your contacts and industry; find the people and knowledge you need to achieve your goals; and control your professional identity online
  • Lots of fantastic features include a profile, news feed, company pages, influencers messaging tools, company pages and community building, to name a few
  • Hubspot says that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at driving B2B sales than Facebook and Twitter

LinkedIn is a great resource as it provides you with a full database of profiles at the touch of a button. The platform is a great way to network and stay connected with useful contacts, and can hugely enhance your credibility, helping to establish you as an authority in your industry, product or service. 

Where to start?

The most important function is the personal profile – your shop window to the world!
Firstly, create a new profile (if you haven’t already). Next, set about populating as many of the information fields as possible:

  • Image

A profile picture is a must! Ensure that it looks professional, personable and recognisable.

For consistency, make sure that you use the same image across all the online platforms you are using.

  •  Header

Found directly underneath your name, getting your header spot on is key! Many people simply add their job title to this field, which is absolutely fine. But to make a great impression, try adding something with a little personality. You have up to 120 characters to play around with so make the most of each one! Including keywords and location will make you more searchable so keep in mind what your audience is looking for when they search. For example, in place of “Marketing Manager”, you might use “Experienced Marketing and Communications Professional specialising in Social Media, based in London.”

  • Current/Previous work

Ensure that these fields are completed. Prospects want to know that you’re experienced!

  • Vanity URL

A vanity URL such as linkedin.com/in/ZoeCairns gives a professional look to your link, which you can promote on your CV, Twitter account, website and other platforms. Amend this in the section directly below your profile picture.

  • Summary

Your summary should include interesting copy which talks about you and highlights what makes you/your company and products/services so special. Use keywords frequently and include a call to action such as “Get in touch for more information.” Avoid using large chunks of text. This field can also be used to list your specialities.

  • Experience

This field is where you can talk about your current role. Here you can provide detail of your day-to-day work. Make it engaging and include keywords specific to your service/product/industry.

  • File uploads

This section allows you to promote your portfolio and serves to bolster your summary with real-life examples of your work. These could be factsheets, e-books, documents, brochures, images or videos. Be sure to caption each file with a short explanation.

  • Contact details

When your profile grabs the attention of your prospects, you want them to be able to easily contact you and so it is essential to complete this field. Include details such as email address, work telephone number, address, work-associated Twitter account, company website or blog.

  • Past roles

Detail your previous experience fully. Even if you don’t think it is completely relevant to what you do now, you’ll never know when a mutual interest might pop up. Don’t forget to explain any gaps in your career, e.g. travel, voluntary work or maternity breaks.

  • Additional information

Volunteer Experience and Causes These humanise you and show your diversity as a professional.

Projects can be used to show an insight into your work. Update these often.

Courses are a great way of showing that you’re always looking to improve yourself and your prospects.

Skill and Expertise / Recommendations and Endorsements Skills are simply keywords that can be endorsed by others with just one click. You can list up to 50 skills. Recommendations are real written testimonials from your connections. Request them from clients or work colleagues on a reciprocal basis. Usually if you recommend or endorse someone, they are likely to return the favour.

Finally, do you work in a different language? Have you published essays, a book or a white paper? Are you a member of your industry’s governing organisation or any large networking groups? Have you or your company won accolades or awards? If the answer to any or all of these questions is ‘Yes’, you should list these in your profile.

Now check your search rankings!

Profiles are ranked in search according to keyword density, profile completeness and shared connections.

Type in the keywords you want to be known for to the search bar at the top of the page. Are you at the top of the list? If not – go back through your profile and increase the number of keywords in your copy! 

Need help to perfect your LinkedIn profile?

For more information on how you can make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the crowd, contact ZC Social Media. We provide a range of services specifically for LinkedIn, from individual profile overhauls, company pages and advertising to corporate consultancy sessions and training. Get in touch today to find out more!

Zoe Cairns | info@zcsocialmedia.com | www.zcsocialmedia.com

Are you a victim of Catfishing?

3 Mar 15

Do you even know what Catfishing is?

The term Catfishing comes from the 2010 American documentary film titled Catfish. Despite the awareness this created, even year’s later people are still falling victim to this phenomenon.

As reported on BBC Top News Story today Ruth Palmer’s identity was stolen online to set up fake accounts on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. Ruth’s photos and personal information was used to set up fake accounts for online dating and blogs. This is known as Catfishing.

Catfishing is where internet scammers take your personal information and photos from social media networking sites and setup online identities to hoax people into a romance or scam.

Could you be the next victim?

catfishing

Are you a victim of catfishing?

The BBC South East TV asked me as a Social Media Consultant how easy this is for internet scammers to carry out identity theft.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0539kk8/south-east-today-03032015

It is easy to be a victim of Catfishing when you don’t understand the privacy settings within your Social Media accounts.

Even though you may have set your privacy settings to private on your Facebook personal profile it doesn’t mean that all your posts are protected from predators you do not know.

You need to make sure that when you are posting new updates, pictures and information that you select the privacy of that particular post when you click on “post”. This can be found next to the blue post button when you update your status.

Don’t be the next victim of identity theft where you may experience the humiliation, pain and lies from the misrepresentation of your appearance. Check your privacy settings on your social media profiles and those of the posts when you upload. 

Are you ready for Thought Leadership?

9 Jan 15

If you’re looking to build a brand and establish yourself or your company as a Thought Leader where do you start? How do you become that person in your niche that everybody looks to for pivotal information in your niche?

To start with, let’s look at Thought Leadership and assess why it’s an important part of building your brand, and then let’s look at how you become one and the benefit it can bring your business.

What is Thought Leadership?

As recently as a couple of years ago “Thought Leadership” was a buzz word that was often misused or misunderstood, but now it’s an integral part of content marketing. In simple terms, in order to be a Thought Leader your content and ideas need to be perceived as innovative and timely. Your content needs to cover trends and topics that are influencing your business niche or industry, and generating engagement and feedback.

 

Why is Thought Leadership Important?

Social Media is all about building relationships, and there’s no better way to build a relationship with your audience than to inspire, educate and inform them. Thought Leadership helps to establish new conversations with your followers, and is also an effective way to sustain the conversation. It’s a valuable tool to help you retain and grow your following.

How to become a Thought Leader

When you initially establish your presence across your social media networks, one of the first things you should do is to identify and connect with existing Thought Leaders in your industry.

These could include government agencies, industry organisations, trade publications, education or research institutes and individual movers and shakers in your niche. These companies or individuals are immersed in the industry, and maintain a long-term view or horizon of where the industry is heading.

Follow these industry leaders and share their content. Don’t sit on the periphery of the action, dive right in a join in the conversation. Establish your stance, have an opinion, and create innovative concepts and ideas yourself. Before too long, others within the niche will begin to follow you, and look to you for your insights.

Leveraging Thought Leadership

Monitor the topics that gain the most engagement, and use those as inspiration to create content for your blog or website. You may have topics that are dear to your heart, but social media is about giving your audience what they want or need, so it’s important than your focus on the “giving” aspect of social media content marketing.

Create quotable conversations in your social media networks, and evergreen content on your blog, and you’ll attract the attention of niche bloggers who include you in Thought Leadership content roundups. These bloggers are a critical part of building your brand presence and establishing your expertise. They will help you spread the word and ensure that your message gets out to your target audience.

Be Authentic

Although the focus of your content needs to be to deliver what your audience needs, you also need to be cognoscente to be true to yourself.

Your messaging and stance across your social media networks and website needs to be consistent with your brand messaging. If you’re faking your brand positioning, you’ll be found out and your branding will be compromised.

Everyone should be a Thought Leader for his or her brand, but it’s up to you whether you want to be an industry Thought Leader as well.

3 Steps to Audience Focused Social Media

1 Jan 15

Promoting your business on Social Media takes continued commitment. It’s not a houseplant that you can water once a week and forget about it. It’s a family pet that needs daily feeding and attention.

The key concern I hear from small businesses about maintaining a presence on social media is the level of commitment it takes for minimal return on the investment. Frequently, this is because they’ve taken the shotgun approach to Social Media.

 

What is the Social Media Shotgun Approach?

This approach is when a company set ups social media profiles on all of the key networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. Then starts posting content to all of them without a clear plan or goal in mind.

Initially this may seem like a good approach, but this Social Media model is hard to maintain. Before long, businesses start to feel overwhelmed by the amount of effort it takes to maintain their networks.

Gradually, social media activity transitions from being the coddled family pet into that thirsty houseplant drying up on the windowsill.

Even if you’ve gone down this shotgun road already, all is not lost.

Focus on your Audience

Social Media is all about your Audience. Who are they? Where are they? How should you engage with them? Nail down this three-point plan and you have an approach that is manageable on a long-term basis:

1. Who are your Audience?

If you don’t already know who your core audience is, take a step back to identify them. Demographics can be as simple or complex as you want to make them. Starting out with basic criteria like Male vs Female and Age demographics is a simple beginning that can be expanded over time.

2. Where are your Audience?

Once you identified your core audience, you can assess which social media networks they spend their time on. Each network attracts a different audience mix. Once you’ve identified who your audience is, you can focus your activity in the right place.

If you’re trying to establish your thought leadership around retirement plans, you’re probably not going to get much engagement on Instagram, but if you head over to Google+ you may have more success.

By focusing your Social Media efforts in the right place, you’re creating a targeted approach for your activity that should lead to a greater return on your investment of time and effort.

3. Engage with your Audience

It’s not called Social Media for nothing, and your activity on any of the networks shouldn’t be something you do “at” your audience, but “with them” to create and build a community. One of the key elements of engaging with your audience is listening to them. What questions are they asking? What conversations are they having? By understanding their challenges and needs, you can better determine how your product or service can be the solution.

Don’t just settle for growing your followers. Once you have them, you should engage with them on a regular basis. Leave comments for them. Like, +1, retweet and share their social media activity. In return you should see the level of engagement for your activity increase.

Track Engagement

The best way to measure the success of your social media activity is to track the level of engagement. You can do this as a weekly or monthly level, and see what type of content is resonating with your audience.

When the content you’re posting is receiving interest and engagement, suddenly the time and monetary investment you’re making in your social media networks becomes targeted on results and very beneficial.

Social Media is not a quick-win process. It’s a slow steady journey that constantly needs monitoring and adjusting. Are you ready for the responsibility?

Do you have a Social Media Strategy?

Are you looking to achieve more with your Social Media activities?

www.zcsocialmedia.com

Get Social Kent – FREE Open Day 27th Feb 2015

29 Nov 14

Build online business relationships; become Social!

Friday 27 February 2015
Mercure Maidstone Great Danes, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne, Maidstone, ME17 1RE
9.00am – 3.30pm

About the Event

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and ZC Social Media are bringing together a day packed full of Social Media content, expert advice, tips and strategies for you to take and use straight away in your business.

This is going to be the BIGGEST Social Media Event in Kent!

Social Media GlobeThe ‘Get Social’ Kent event will have a variety of ways in which you can learn;

  • Keynote Speakers will provide you with an insight and practical ways on how you can start being more social, get more engaged with your online community
  • Expert Q & A Panel will bring together Kent’s Social Media experts to answer your burning questions and challenges from the social media world
  • Social Media Clinics will enable you to get hands on experience in a workshop environment and start putting some ideas and tasks into place
  • The Social Media Exhibition Room will be full of Social Media and Digital experts where you can ask away your questions and find out more about their services and products
  • All you need to bring is your notebook, pen, plenty of business cards for networking and motivation to take action!

About ZC Social Media

Zoe from ZC Social Media is an International Social Media Speaker/Trainer and Consultant and has worked with many companies, brands and Fortune 500 companies to make sure that they have a strategy and know how to implement high profile campaigns to get the maximum from their Social Media activities.

Zoe Cairns will be sharing the message about Social Media and how it can be used in business. She has travelled extensively to many places to speak at events including Poland (where she was commissioned by Seldia EU to attend a Roundtable Conference to speak to European Parliament and Government), Amsterdam (The Social Media Strategies Summit), India (Socialathon 2014 for Digital Market Asia), Ireland, and all over the UK.

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