It’s All About a Catchy Headline…

Good. I hope I got your attention. Whether it’s a newspaper article, a blog post, or a billboard, headlines are what initially grab consumers’ attention. This is no different on the professional social networking site LinkedIn.

Do you have a profile? Are you a professional? Then you should. But when was the last time you updated your profile? If it’s been awhile you may want to log in and make some updates. The social network has undergone some changes and users should make sure their profile is the best it can be.

For a longtime people didn’t view LinkedIn as a valuable social network, as compared to networks like Facebook and Twitter. But the site has steadily grown and is now valued at over $18 billion. With over 200 million members, LinkedIn continues to put its stamp on the working world.

JobHuntingInfographicDid you know social media helps 1 in 6 job seekers land a job? And 93% of recruiters now use LinkedIn to find potential employees. And many of the jobs recruiters are looking to fill are higher level jobs that pay well. Just the other day I was talking with two human resources professionals at my company and they said the last two senior vice president positions they filled came via LinkedIn. It shocked me at first because I hadn’t really thought about online recruitment for management level positions, but it really is a great way to learn about someone professionally before spending a lot of money to recruit them via traditional methods. The moral here is make sure your LinkedIn profile is good because you never know which potential employers may contact you.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. As I said, it’s all about the headline. Make sure it’s catchy, yet informative and accurate.
  2. Get personal. While LinkedIn is a professional network, make sure your profile includes some personal information about your interests, hobbies, etc. These types of attributes can also attract potential employers.
  3. Spell check. There is really no excuse for misspelled words and bad grammar. Read, re-read, and then read again.
  4. Provide a call to action. Make it easy for people to learn more about you or how to contact you.
  5. Include information about education, awards, and recommendations. This will help build your personal brand and help you be seen as an authority in certain industries.
  6. Add keywords. Think about what people may be searching for on LinkedIn or on search engines like Google. If your profile has significant references to key terms, your profile is more likely to populate in searches.
  7. Stand out. With so many users, profiles can become monotonous. Remember, to keep it professional but look for different and creative ways to stand out from other profiles. Circling back to No. 1 a catchy headline may just do the trick.

In this multimedia world, it seems like common sense to keep personal and professional networking separate. But there are many people who don’t and make mistakes that can have a big impact on their careers. Here are some mistakes to avoid on LinkedIn:

  1. Not using a picture. People want to see you. They are more likely to pass on profiles without pictures than those with pictures. Remember, keep it professional though. Save the cute pet and kid pictures for other social networks!
  2. Post status updates. Potential employers want to see active profiles. Share information about yourself, the industry you work in, and maybe other knowledge you think will set yourself up to look like an expert.
  3. Using the default connection request. Personalize any connection request you send. Again, it’ll help you stand out more on a crowded network (I’m guilty of doing this, so looks like I need to keep my own advice in mind!).
  4. Include past jobs and volunteer work. Your profile should portray you as well-rounded. Include as much professional information as possible and the organizations you associate with. You never know what could peak a potential employers interest. It may be where you volunteer rather than what’s listed on your traditional resume,
  5. Don’t neglect privacy settings. If you’re looking for a new job, you may not want your current employer to see that your revamping your LinkedIn profile. Just something to keep in mind.

I’ll admit my LinkedIn profile isn’t the best. It’s a work in progress and that’s how you should feel about your own profile. Constantly be thinking about ways to improve it or utilize the network to connect with other professionals.

Connect with me on LinkedIn!

Questions to Consider:

What do you think is the most important aspect of a LinkedIn profile? What grabs your attention?

Have you ever been contacted via LinkedIn about a job and wound up taking/getting it?

If you’ve hired someone via LinkedIn, what grabbed your attention on their profile at first?

Other Resources:

Five Mistakes Journalists Make on LinkedIn

How to Protect Yourself on LinkedIn

Preparing for the New LinkedIn Design: How to Optimize Your Page and Profile

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Who doesn’t love good engagement?

engagement-marketingOkay, as a single, 29-year-old you may assume I’m talking about a traditional engagement story–and while I’ve seen my fair share of engagement ring Facebook posts in the last few years, this blog has to do with a different type of engagement. In fact, it’s the more important “engagement” in my opinion–engagement for marketing purposes.

As a social media content strategist for my employer, I sometimes struggle with generating engagement. It’s important to realize from a business standpoint, engagement is not driven by the amount of content posted. Engagement is driven by good content. And engagement can be measured differently. Likes, shares, and comments ¬†aren’t all equal, but all are important.

Facebook-EngagementSo, how can you improve engagement on your social media networks? Thanks to a thing called “EdgeRank” Facebook has created an algorithm to help businesses improve engagement on its social network. Here are some tips for navigating your brand’s ability to appear in users’ newsfeeds:

  • Keep posts short. Users don’t want to read a novel on Facebook. Posts between 100 and 250 characters get 60% more likes, comments, and shares than longer posts.
  • Be visual. Pictures always generate more engagement than strictly word posts.
  • Ask a question, have a call to action, or know what triggers your fans to respond. This can include simple questions, “fill-in-the-blank” posts, or “Like this post if you agree”-type posts.
  • Post daily, but remain relevant and timely. Don’t overload your fans’ newsfeeds, but make sure you consistently appear in it. Being relevant means staying true to your brand or mission, don’t venture off into other topics all together. And most Facebook users are active during 9-10 p.m., so make sure you’re interacting during the evening hours.
  • Be creative with promotions. Traditional push marketing messages don’t often work and can ultimately push more users away. Try having fun with your users and in turn this may keep them interested in your brand.

Has your brand had success with a creative, untraditional post in order to gain engagement? Share your experience.

Google+logoBut it’s not all about Facebook (despite what many businesses think). When it comes to engagement businesses need to embrace Google+, as well. A lot of people and businesses still don’t really understand Google+ as a social network and many don’t see its importance because it has less active users than more popular social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. But it is important. Bottom line. If you’re wondering what’s been going on with Google+, there have been some recent updates to the social network. And like Facebook, there is a method to the madness in trying to generate more engagement and, in turn, helping to grow your business.

Here are some tips to using Google+ to your benefit:

  • Include at least one image. A good picture will stand out more on the newly re-designed network. But make sure it’s a good quality image, that displays correctly. A poor quality image will not be received well by users.
  • A Google+ post is treated by Google like every other page on the web. That means, a post can be ranked and indexed by the search engine and can be displayed with search results to users.
  • Validate your profile. This will enable your image to appear next to a post in search results, which can greater attract attention on search result pages.
  • Include links and hashtags. But use the “featured link” in a Google+ post to increase page rank.

Whether you “get” Google+ or not, it’s important to realize it does help with SEO and search results. As a marketer utilizing this social platform can help generate new business and ultimately more brand loyalty.

What kind of Google+ posts does your organization share? Do you think it’s helping consumers “find” you or learn more about your organization?

Social networks are always changing and as marketers, we need to be seen as recognizing these changes and embracing them, so that our consumers will follow our lead. Social signals are what drive engagement. So, the more people who connect with your brand on social networks will help generate more connections through their other networks. In this social world, we are all connected, so why not become engaged?

Other Resources:

So What The Heck Is The ‘Social Graph’ Facebook Keeps Talking About

The Importance of Facebook’s Graph Search

5 Facebook Posts That Spark Massive Engagement

Why Google+ is an Inevitable Park of Your Content Marketing Strategy

10 Ways Google+ Will Improve Your SEO

How Authorship (and Google+) Will Change Linkbuilding