Posts Tagged ‘Social Media Marketing’

Get These Phrases Out of Your LinkedIn Headline!!

April 10th, 2013

We got a great laugh with this article, originally published on Executive Resume Expert. We hope you get a good laugh – plus lots of great tips – from this article.
Originally published here: http://executiveresumeexpert.com/2013/03/06/worthless-phrases-in-linkedin-headline/

The 5 Most Worthless Phrases in Your LinkedIn Headline

LinkedIn HeadlineYour LinkedIn Headline is arguably the most important piece of real estate within your Profile.

Yet, most users remain confused about its true function, and what to use (in place of the default, which is your current job title).

Within LinkedIn’s search algorithm, your Headline ranks #1, meaning that out of all the other information you’ll add to your Profile, the words here are weighted more heavily as search terms.

In addition, your Headline is the first (and possibly the ONLY) piece of information other users will see. It’s displayed in a search list, under your name in an Invitation, and in numerous other prominent places on the site.

Here’s my list of the most meaningless words you can use in your Headline (all found in actual Profiles!) – plus some suggestions for stronger alternatives:

1 – “Top 1% (5%, etc.) Viewed Profile.”

Sure, this is an accomplishment… but not of any magnitude worth touting to employers.

Here’s why: if you’re an Operations Director, and put only these 2 words in  your Headline, plus the same title for your past 4 jobs and NO other information anywhere in your Profile, you’ll probably rank in the Top 1% for “Operations Director.”

In other words, reaching 1% this way would require hardly any effort.

However, if you’ve inserted 2,000 to 3,000 other words that describe your career level, achievements, and scope of authority, your Profile View ranking will take a dive due to reduced keyword density.

Still, you’ll be more findable on skills and other keywords (because recruiters often specify a mix of search terms when sourcing candidates)… and you’ll make a better impression on employers.

Therefore, an impressive Top Viewed ranking is just that – impressive, but not helpful in your search and not worth using precious, keyword-heavy real estate (even if you want a job writing LinkedIn Profiles!).

Disclaimer: I’m ranked among the Top 1% as well (but you won’t find it in my Headline).

2 – “Results-Driven.”

Just like on your resume, it’s important to use terms that distinguish you from the competition. This phrase and others like it (“dynamic” or “visionary,” anyone?) have become so embedded in boilerplate resume-speak, they’re essentially meaningless.

Plus, can you picture a recruiter using “Results-driven” as a search term? I didn’t think so.

Instead, consider adding a short phrase to your Headline that actually describes results, slipping in a keyword or two (“Marketing VP Improving Social Media Engagement”).

Even a short, powerful note on the ROI from your skills (“Sales Manager | #1 Revenue Record Across Americas”) can make a better impression.

3 – “Experienced.”

Unless you’re a student, this word doesn’t count for much in describing your career. Most professionals, by way of their job titles and career history, ARE “experienced” in their chosen fields, so you’re not laying claim to a unique skill.

Make your Headline more search-friendly by using a mixture of current and target job titles (“Senior Director, VP Sales”) to show your career goals, or a short description of your achievements (“12%+ Annual Sales Growth”).

Either way, showing your career aspirations or accomplishments will actually prove that you’re experienced and worthy of employer attention.

4 – “Father,” “Husband,” “Wife,” etc.

I’ll say it again – LinkedIn isn’t Facebook, and it certainly isn’t Twitter (where these types of mini-bios are common).

On LinkedIn, other users are most interested in your career level and ability to produce results in a professional environment. Leave the family references for a more personal venue.

5 – “Unemployed.”

If you’re not using your Headline to strengthen your brand message with keywords and job titles, you’re missing out on potential traffic and employer interest. “Unemployed” is hardly a search term, and it certainly doesn’t speak to your expertise.

(It might, however, convey desperation.)

Instead of wasting Headline space with it, try sending the same message while specifying what you offer employers (“IT Director Seeking Infrastructure, Operations, & Development Leadership Role”), while injecting strong keyword content.

As you can see, there’s many ways to capture and express value to an employer with your Headline.

Take a few minutes to add some creative phrasing and keyword content for better ROI from your Profile.

Know When It’s Time to Quit Using a Social Network

February 27th, 2013

There are DOZENS of social networking sites out there, and a new one popping up everyday. Not all will work for your marketing initiatives or your business needs. But it never hurts to try and experiment. When do you know it’s time to give up on a social network?

Hubspot’s article gives the right advice on reading the signs.

So, you want to stop wasting so much time, money, and resources on your social media marketing efforts. But, undoubtedly, you’ve heard numerous social media “experts” say, “You need to be on every single social network!” Well, that’s terrible social media advice, and you should simply ignore it.

While it’s a good idea to experiment with various social networks, you also need to make sure you’re following your analytics closely to assess if your efforts are aligning with your company’s goals, reaching your intended target audience, and actually moving the needle.

So whether you’re simply questioning if one of your social networks is really worth your time or are seriously considering pulling the plug on a seemingly under-performing one, here’s what you need to know first to decide if the time really is right to cut it out of your social media marketing mix.

Set Your Social Media Marketing Goals & Metrics

First things first. You’ll never know if your participation in a given social network is worth your time if you never set any goals for what you want to accomplish with it. What do you want to get out of your business’ social media participation? Determine which of the following metrics will help you align with your company’s goals and prove the success of your social media efforts:

Traffic

If you’re a small business just getting started with inbound marketing, a good goal to start with would be to simply drive traffic to your site from the social networks you participate in. After all, you won’t be successful with generating any leads or customers if nobody is even visiting your site from social media to begin with. Additionally, if you’re an ad-supported website, you’ll want to focus on growing your traffic numbers because more visitors means more advertising dollars.

Leads & Customers

You want to prove that your social media efforts are worth the return on your investment, right? Surely, you also want all those visitors from social media to provide you with their contact information so you can nurture them further down the funnel? Sharing links to your marketing offers and educational content with your audience on social media is a great way to generate leads that you can convert into customers, and establishing lead and customer goals will help you prove the ROI of your social efforts as they contribute to the bottom line.

Reach

If you want to continue growing and scaling your social media marketing efforts, increasing your social reach is an important goal to focus on. Think about it: If you’re constantly sending your messages to the same folks over and over again and failing to attract new fans and followers that you can convert, over time, your success in generating new leads and customers from your social media marketing efforts will decline. The greater your social media reach, the easier it is to influence other metrics like traffic or leads. If you’re looking to grow your overall reach, you’ll want to focus your efforts on attracting more fans and followers for your company pages. You’ll also find some great tips to help you increase your social reach in this post.

Buzz/Engagement

If you’re looking to increase brand awareness, buzz is something you should pay close attention to. Are people talking about your brand on social? Are your average number of mentions growing and scaling? Is that hashtag you’re using gaining some traction? If you want people referring your brand to their friends on social media, measuring buzz through metrics like mentions, comments, shares, and Likes will be a great focal points for you.

Sentiment/Customer Happiness

Is the buzz you’re creating of a positive or negative sentiment? Do people love your marketing, or are they unimpressed? How about your company as a whole? If you’re focused on improving customer happiness, take a look at your negative feedback over time in Facebook Insights, for example, and make it a priority to decrease this number.

Keep in mind that, based on your company’s overall goals and the performance of each social network as individual assets, you can certainly set more than one goal for your social media efforts.

Experiment With Your Social Media Marketing

So you claim your social media marketing efforts aren’t worth the time and energy you put into them. That’s a fair concern if you’re currently seeing little to no results, but that also doesn’t mean you should necessarily cut the cord on a social network if you haven’t given it the old college try. By that, I mean you should experiment!

Try out a variety of different forms of content and positioning on your individual social channels to test what works, and what doesn’t. Keep in mind that every social network is different — something that works well on one social network might not necessarily do well on another. It’s your job to figure out what those nuances are and cater your social media marketing approaches accordingly. Furthermore, don’t simply stick to what worked once and do it over and over again, because you’ll run the risk of completely boring and wearing out your audience. In social media as a channel in particular, you have to always be innovating, changing, and experimenting.

Try hosting a brainstorming session with some colleagues, creating some fun new images for Facebook, trying out some different tones or positioning in your tweets, or relating to your audience in different ways on Pinterest. Discover what your audience responds well to through gauges such as comments, Likes, shares, retweets, number of visits, lead volume, etc., and take note of any trends you see … but don’t only stick to those trends. Keep innovating based on what your audience responds well to. Does your audience tend to prefer pictures of people around the office, or do folks prefer funny memes? Do you get more retweets from your audience when you share blog articles or fun quotes? You can find details about post engagement through Facebook Insights, HubSpot’s Social Media tool, or Twitter’s analytics. If your engagement is completely dismal, it’s possible that you simply haven’t grown your reach enough and have too limited of an audience to entertain and target specific messages to. In this case, it might be time to take a step back and reevaluate your goals.

It’s good to get a grasp on what your audience enjoys, but it’s also important that your efforts are driving real results. Which leads us to our next step …

Measure Everything to Diagnose & Fix Inefficiencies

Now that you have a general understanding of which particular posts your audience “Likes,” let’s move on to how you can align these types of content with your company’s goals — and measure their success. If your primary goal for social media is to generate leads, you’ll want to look beyond what’s flat-out entertaining and start looking at what drives real results for your business.

Remember to create and include tracking and campaign tokens for every one of the links you post on your social channels. By including your medium (social), your source (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), and your campaign (this differentiates between individual initiatives within a channel, such as LinkedIn Announcements vs. Company Pages vs. Groups), you will have much greater insight into what parts of each channel are performing well, and which are simply not worth your time. Here’s an example of a tracking token you might tack on to the end of a link might look like:

/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter &utm_campaign=inboundchat

Once you start using your tracking tokens on a regular basis, you’ll begin to build a database of clicks, leads, and customers over time. Then, you can dig a little deeper and get down to the bare bones of where your issues (or successes) lie. Out of everything you’ve posted on social media in the past month, how many visits and contacts/leads are you generating? If you use HubSpot software, for example, you can find this information through HubSpot’s Sources tool:

HubSpot's Social Media Tool

In the example above, we’ve selected three different social networks to focus on. You can see that Facebook and Twitter are helping to generate a huge number of website visits, and a substantial amount of contacts as well. That’s great, but you can’t forget about your conversion rates. And you’ll notice LinkedIn has a much higher conversion rate than Facebook and Twitter. And while Facebook and Twitter may be the more impactful drivers of visits and contacts in terms of volume, you should also be considering the quality of those visitors and leads. And because a high conversion rate is a clear indication that your messages are aligned better with that particular audience, you definitely don’t want to ignore that.

So what can we fix here? Let’s work on growing reach, which will help generate more traffic, which will also help to increase lead generation — which aligns with your company’s overall goals. But before we jump in, let’s take a deeper look at our campaign tokens to understand exactly which initiatives within LinkedIn are performing well, and how you can leverage that to improve for the future.

HubSpot's Social Media Tools

Well — would you look at that! Not only do LinkedIn Announcements generate the most visits and leads, but they also have a high conversion rate, too! And to think … you were considering cutting that social network solely on accounts of its low lead volume! Nonsense! Hogwash! Poppycock!

If there’s a will, there’s a way. Your next step here would be to optimize and experiment with your LinkedIn Announcements to learn what works best with your audience so you can get more bang for your buck. And although this is the biggest opportunity for your brand, you shouldn’t ignore those other parts of LinkedIn as lead generation tools. In this example, LinkedIn Company Pages are performing with the second highest number of visits, and the second highest number of leads, but that conversion rate isn’t great compared to the conversion rate of announcements. Do you think there’s an opportunity to improve that visit to lead rate of your Company Page? I’d say so. So don’t knock it ’til you try it.

Set Benchmarks … and Compare Them

Now that you have an idea of how well your channels performed last month, you can get a much better idea of what to tweak for the future. Keep track of your visitors, leads, and visitor-to-lead conversion rate each month to see how you’re progressing:

Social Media Metrics

You’ll want to keep track of your progress for each social network over a few months’ time so you can get a sense of what’s truly working as compared to your target goals and metrics … and what is not.

You should also be careful you’re not basing your decision to nix a social network solely on the success of generating leads and customers. Keep in mind that attracting social media fans and followers who won’t ever buy for you definitely has its perks. You also have to remember that social channels can work in tandem with your other marketing channels to help make a greater overall impact. So if one of your social channels helps drive a great deal of traffic to your blog, but isn’t the greatest for converting leads into customers, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing! Think about how you can leverage your social media channels to achieve the greatest overall impact.

Let me explain through an example. To promote one of our recent blog posts, we created the hashtag #SocialMediaMyth as a way to track the social promotion of our “30 Terrible Pieces of Social Media Advice You Should Ignore” blog post.

#socialmediamyth

 

Now, take a look at the impact those social media promotion had on the blog …

 

30 Terrible Pieces of Social Media Advice You Should Ignore

 

If this is the case for you and your company, try adjusting your goals. For example, you might aim for more leads and conversions on your blog, and more visits from your social channels. Chances are, all that traffic you’re generating from social media is helping more visitors to learn more about your company, and getting them in front of the calls-to-action (CTAs) on your blog that will convert them and move them further down your funnel. Maybe your social media accounts are the most effective as traffic drivers, not lead generators. As long as they help you meet your end goal, there’s no shame in that.

Make Data-Driven Decisions Based on Your Results

So let’s say you’ve set (and maybe modified) your goals based on what your company needs and based on each social network’s true super power. You’ve also successfully experimented with your social media marketing, month over month, to determine what works and what doesn’t with your audience, so you can tailor your messaging from there. Furthermore, you’ve tried scaling your reach, and you’ve diligently measured your efforts from all angles, every step of the way to track key engagement metrics, leads, visits, and more. You know exactly what each social network does well, and why. Yet somehow, your results still aren’t proving the ROI of your efforts on a particular social network.

If you’ve done everything you can to try and improve the effectiveness of that social network, it might be time to cut the cord — or at least spend less of your precious time dedicated to it. It’s okay. You two have had a good run, but now it’s time to move on. Put more time into creating an incredible social machine on your better performing networks, rather than trying to squeeze even the slightest bit of performance out of a network that’s falling behind.

Originally published by Hubspot on Feb. 2th, 2013. Read the original article.

SEO and Social Media System for Llama Expeditions

August 23rd, 2011

llama Expeditions Eco tours in Perullama expeditions ecotours in peru

Client: Llama Expeditions
Challenge: Improve existing SEO and develop world-class Social Media System
Switchblade Solution: Llama Expeditions had completed the launch of its gorgeous website. Now it just needed to get some traffic! We came to help out its founder, Diane Valenti, and took her mediocre SEO to new heights! We revamped her keywords and gave her our tricks and tips, then we glamorized her social media system with equally gorgeous Facebook and Twitter facades, profile images, and custom tabs that drive traffic to her website. We also set her up on additional social networks to expand her outreach to her target audience. She was writing captivating and informative blog on traveling to Peru, and not getting it out there beyond her blog page. We also set her up on monitoring tools, and in the process she discovered several articles written about Llama Expeditions that she didn’t know about!

It has only been less than 3 months since we started, and we never promise to get you on the first page of any search, but in this short period Diane has been amazed by the sudden spike in traffic and all that she has learned about social media. Just wait til we get to the good stuff!!

Muttville Achieves Landslide Victories in BayWoof’s “Beast of the Bay 2011” Awards

March 3rd, 2011

 

Congratulations to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue for their overwhelming victories in BayWoof’s “Beast of the Bay 2011” Awards! Voted Best Rescue Group and Best Canine Cause, Muttville has the special honor of winning both these awards two years in a row. This year, they won both categories by a whopping 46% and 40%, while 2nd place winners trailed at around 28%.

 

Social media and networking amongst their passionate volunteers surely played a significant role. Muttville does not necessarily stand out in their statistics for followers in comparison to Bad Rap, Wonder Dog Rescue, or Grateful Dog Rescue. Bad Rap has over 44,000 “Likes” for their Facebook page in comparison to Muttville’s 2200 “Likes”. Where Muttville does relevantly stand out in the world of online marketing is the quality and consistency in their messages.

On the surface, it might have appeared to be a challenge to implement a social media strategy system that would be executed solely by volunteers. In these last two years that Switchblade has been overseeing Muttville’s marketing strategy, it actually has made it easier. While volunteer staff may revolve and donated hours can be sporadic, having a consistent system in place with schedules and categorized messaging for blogs, posts, and tweets keeps activity flowing, where volunteers can contribute to a grid of opportunities.

We recently reported Muttville’s achievements in surpassing 1000 Twitter followers, 2000 Facebook followers and quickly approaching a remarkable 1000 dogs rescued. Muttville also averages over 2000 unique visitors to their website per week with over 10,000 weekly page views. The actual numbers aren’t a big deal, but the statistics in achieving these numbers is what makes a difference. Muttville is by far the youngest organization amongst their fellow nominees. Founded in 2007, Muttville has barely reached four years old this past February. Bad Rap and Grateful Dog have been rescuing dogs for over 10 years and 20 years respectively.  Where youth may have played an interesting role in Muttville’s fast-growing achievements is in the foresight of Founder and Executive Director Sherri Franklin to realize the importance of embracing online marketing and educate herself in social media practices by attending seminars and contributing to the marketing activities.

Aside from all the social media and marketing statistics, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue holds a unique niche in the dog rescue community: Saving senior dogs! This worthy cause has become popular and recognized in the Bay Area substantiated by their “Best Canine Cause” Award. “I heard that we are the trendy and cool group to join,” said Muttville volunteer and publicist Patty Stanton. “We’re proud to share our good fortunes, like when we won a car on the ‘Oprah Winfrey’ show or when Gogol Bordello donated a show to us at Slim’s.”

At the heart of it all is, in fact, heart. Switchblade included, supporters and volunteers all do their part for Muttville because of passion, dedication, and just plain ol’ love for the old dogs. Thanks Muttville. And congrats!!

Be a Better “Tweeter” Now

April 19th, 2010

If you’re using Twitter and not finding the results you were hoping for, optimize your profile with these 10 to-the-point, actionable steps:

•    Consider changing the placement and increasing the size of the social network profile buttons on your website
•    Add a link to your Twitter profile on all marketing collateral including your email signature (ask your staff to do so also) – WiseStamp.com helps to professionally display all your social media profiles
•    Join directories like wefollow.com, justtweetit.com, twellow.com, geofollow.com and tweetfind.com
•    Follow relevant organizations and possibly their followers, or whomever they’re following
•    Develop a schedule/grid of tweet topics to be executed throughout the week (i.e. event announcements on Monday at 2p, notes from the CEO on Tuesday at 11a, inspiration quotes on Wednesdays at 9a, industry statistics on Thursday at 10a, etc)
•    Create a bank of tweets, information that can be released throughout the week (don’t underestimate the time it takes to find relevant content!)
•    Consider originating tweets from Twitter versus another catchall program so that the tweets are not cut short (140 characters)
•    Engage in Twitter conversations by retweeting relevant posts, @md311.phpwebhosting.com mentioning/responding to others’ tweets
•    Comment on trending topics when applicable, locally or worldwide; highlight associates/organizations on #FollowFriday
•    Personalize the profile with a photo of an actual person as the profile picture, or an event with people as the background; don’t forget to allow a little personality to show in your tweets with mantras, mottos or pictures of every day life