LinkedIn Publishing

Approved LinkedIn logoMove over, status updates! LinkedIn now allows users to publish long-form posts on the site, giving users another way to share their expertise and professional insights. Why publish on LinkedIn? Business2Community has laid out some of the benefits:

  • Published posts become part of your professional LinkedIn profile, which builds credibility
  • Published posts are shared with your network, building trust and establishing you as an industry leader
  • Published posts showcase your expertise to secure new clients, build your network or find your next job
  • Published posts allow others to "follow" you who are not in your network, increasing your influence as your posts appear in their LinkedIn news feeds

Before you write your post, keep in mind these best practices for LinkedIn Publishing:

  • Keep posts between 400 - 600 words
  • Upload images to bring your posts to life
  • Add a bio to the end of each post with information about you and a link to your website
  • Double check your post for grammatical and spelling errors
  • Reply to post comments to establish new connections
  • Share your posts on social media sites

To publish a long-form post:

  1. Click the pencil icon next to the paperclip in the 'Share an update' box on your homepage
  2. Type your post (you can include hyperlinks, images and videos) *Remember, don't publish anything you don't have permission to share
  3. Click Publish

Have you used LinkedIn Publishing to build your personal or professional brand? What do you think?

HOW TO: Mention Your Connections on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has made it easier to start conversations and share knowledge through the ability to mention your connections and companies in conversations.  LinkedIn mentions will make it easier for you to start conversations with your network while also enabling you to respond in real-time when someone begins a conversation with you. How does it work?

  • Begin by typing the name of a connection or company in your status update box or a comment field on the homepage.
  • Select someone from your list of your connections that appear in the drop-down, complete your status or comment and post it.
  • The person or company you mentioned will receive a notification alerting them that they have been mentioned.

In addition to first-degree connections, you can also mention other LinkedIn members engaged in conversations in the comment section of posts on the LinkedIn homepage.

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5 Steps to Get Your Small Business on LinkedIn

Is your small business on LinkedIn?  If your customers are other businesses or have specific industry interests, you might want to give LinkedIn a second look.  A recent study showed that small business owners find LinkedIn to be the most beneficial social media platform - with 41% of respondents singling it out. Not sure where to begin?  Once you've set up an account, follow these five steps from Inc. to get the most out of your LinkedIn page and spread the word about your business:

1.  Highlight Your Content

Your cover photo is the first thing people will see, so be sure you have one!  While you're at it, you can now upload photos and files to share with your followers.

Next, fill out your company profile as completely as possible, especially the "Products & Services" section.  This section is also a great place to promote any presentations, webcasts, or guides you've produced.  Include a call-to-action like "view now" and have a link to the page on your website where the content lives.

2.  Start Sharing Updates

Post relevant business articles that you come across and share all your corporate blog posts.  You want people who are visiting your page to see lots of activity.  Your updates also will show up in the activity feeds of your connections = more exposure for your business and more chances they will get liked and shared.

3.  Invite Your Personal Connections

This is a no brainer - ask everyone on your personal Facebook, Twitter, and other networks to check out your company on LinkedIn and connect.

4.  Use LinkedIn Social Plugins

These plugins are simply buttons that tell people you're active on LinkedIn.  There are "follow" buttons and "share" buttons.  Add these plugins to your website, blog posts, and in your email newsletter campaigns to get people following you and sharing your content.

5.  Join a LinkedIn Group

There are LinkedIn groups for almost every industry profession and skillset.  Why join a group?  It's an opportunity to make new connections, flaunt your expertise, keep your finger on the pulse of what's going on in your industry, and share your content.

Like any social network, people aren't going to flock to your LinkedIn page overnight. Give it a few months and track your engagement levels so you know whether or not you're accomplishing what you want.

Social Media Content Ideas

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Social media networks require constant attention and that can be a struggle for busy business owners.  Finding content ideas leads to the intensive process of creating, publishing and promoting that content.  In an information hungry world, fans and followers want information and they want it now! According to Jeff Bullas, there are four main types of content that you should be considering creating:

  1. Educational content
  2. Informative content
  3. Entertaining content
  4. Inspiring content

Remember that content on the social web needs to be multi-media rich and include media such as photos, videos, images, and infographics.

If you're having trouble finding the inspiration to come up with different types of content and information to keep your social networks and blogs fresh, here are some new social media content ideas:

  1. Create Lists - Give people a list of things to do
  2. Provide "How To's" - Show people where to start and the steps along the way
  3. News - People want to know what is happening whether it's in their industry or city
  4. Images - Create content that takes screenshots of uses images to convey an idea, concept or story
  5. Solving Problems - Provide step-by-step instructions about the major issues that plague your industry
  6. Quotes - Nothing like an inspiring quote to put gleam in someone's eye to start their day

What content ideas have worked for you?  Please share them in the comment box below.

'Tis the Season for Holiday Social Media Marketing

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The holidays are a great time to connect with current and potential customers.  The theme of kindness and sharing is all around us and your social media marketing should reflect your holiday spirit. We know that sometimes the toughest part of putting together a new marketing plan is getting started, so we've compiled a list of holiday content ideas for you.  Use this list to jump-start your December holiday social media marketing.

  • Post gift ideas/guides broken down by gender/age/price
  • Share your holiday traditions
  • Offer advice on various holiday challenges (wrapping, cooking, dealing with in-laws)
  • Thank your customers
  • Ask fans to share their favorite gift as a kid
  • Post pictures of your gift wrapping
  • Create a poll of favorite holiday traditions
  • Highlight your seasonal services
  • Rewards for Foursquare check-ins
  • Ask fans to share pictures of giving gifts from your store
  • Guess how many ornaments are in a jar
  • Create 'How To' guides of your products/services
  • Share photos of what it looks like outside your window (weather, decorations)
  • Host an ugly sweater contest
  • Share behind the scenes photos of decorating your store or the company holiday party
  • Ask fans to share photos of recent purchases
  • Donate proceeds from a certain shopping day to a local charity
  • Create deals specifically for fans and followers
  • Share your favorite holiday recipes on Twitter in 140 characters or less
  • Record a holiday YouTube video with a hidden discount code

How are you using social media to celebrate the holidays?  Share your ideas in the comment box below.