Are You Using LinkedIn For New Business Development?

May 29, 2012

LinkedIn 277% More Effective for Lead Generation Than Facebook and Twitter.

In a study conducted by Hubspot, LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%, almost 3 times higher (277%) than both Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%).

200 million leads were generated on LinkedIn last year, according to their Advertising Chief, Jim Lister.

LinkedIn is an important social media platform for new business that helps you to:

  • Re-establish older connections with past colleagues and clients.
  • Find new connections and seek referrals.
  • Request and share recommendations.
  • Maintain top-of-mind awareness with prospects through status updates.
  • Gather the right kind of intelligence to make better targeting decisions.
  • Find and follow client and prospective clients using LinkedIn’s advanced search features. You can find people or companies in your geographic location, or within a particular industry or niche.

LinkedIn has been the “dark horse” of the social media platforms. This is partly because it is a difficult platform to master and networking isn’t easy. But LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, is stepping up improvements.

LinkedIn attracts dedicated users who are serious about business. Here are 12 LinkedIn improvements that will help you connect:

  1. More than two million businesses with company pages are now allowed to post status updates to their followers. Watch for prospect’s company status updates and engage with them.
  2. Targeted updates enable you to target your company’s status updates to specific followers so they can deliver the most relevant content to the most appropriate audiences.
  3. To help facilitate conversations, a new polling feature has been added to LinkedIn Groups that’s designed to get a quick read on an issue.
  4. Users can now create a custom group, very similar to a regular group, except you’ll be able to customize a space on the right side of the page. You can add video, integrate your blog, Twitter feeds or other RSS feeds. You can also easily add a poll, from which you can ask your group members questions.
  5. An option available with a premium account is the ability to send InMails, or private emails through the LinkedIn network. Whether you know a  person or not, you can contact anyone on the LinkedIn network, even if you don’t know them.
  6. New Group Search helps you to find the right conversation faster among the 1.2 million groups.
  7. The upgraded People You May Know feature makes it even easier to find and connect with people in your network.
  8. LinkedIn Alumni makes it easier for you to tap into this important personal network and review relevant associations.
  9. LinkedIn’s Follow Company button can now be added to their websites, making it easier for any consumer to begin following companies of interest.
  10. Your LinkedIn Profile now puts more emphasis on Skills and Expertise. This means you can showcase your abilities to easily connect with people who have similar skills or with companies looking for specific expertise.
  11. A new tab on your page called Follower Statistics, will add a new layer of reporting to the Page Statistics.
  12. You can now embed a YouTube video on your companies overview page as well as on each individual service page.

Are You Using LinkedIn to Generate Leads?

March 20, 2012

LinkedIn has always been one of my best sources of activity to my blog. It also allows me to network with others who have the same interest in groups that I join, and I can always count on input from those who are linked with me if I need something or a question answered.

That’s why it wasn’t a big surprise to me when a recent study by HubSpot said that LinkedIn generated the highest visitor to lead conversion rate of 2.74%, almost 3 times higher than both Twitter and Facebook.


Social Media Conversion Rates

I guess that shows me that the people who are on LinkedIn are there for business purposes and are looking to network. So here are some tips on how to leverage LinkedIn:

  • Invest the time - develop and nurture your community. Don’t post something for the sake of posting. If you don’t have good content, wait until you do.
  • Focus content on what’s working - if blog posts are getting the most traffic, concentrate on doing more of them. If webinars or podcasts create more activity, focus on them.
  • Don’t forget lead generation content - call-to-action items need to be included in the mix so you’re continually inviting people to engage.
  • Keep learning - don’t take any success for granted. Keep working to improve your content.

Those are some of my thoughts. What are you doing to take advantage of LinkedIn?


Is your Website Optimized for Mobile Users?

December 14, 2011

Here are some facts we can’t ignore: According to Hubspot, mobile devices will be the number-one way we access the Internet by 2013. Comscore just released a white paper that shows in the U.S. right now almost 7% of Internet traffic is coming from non-computer devices with mobile phones leading the way.

So it begs the question – is your website optimized for mobile users? I recently read an article by Jamie Turner in Social Media Examiner, 9 Tips for Optimizing Your Website for the Mobile Users that I thought was very helpful. Here are some highlights:

  • KISS - keep it SIMPLE.
  • Plan your site layout - keep pages to a minimum and the layout simple.
  • Match branding elements - make sure mobile site looks like your regular site (look and feel).
  • Avoid Flash and Java - Apple products don’t Flash and many phones don’t support Java.
  • Reduce the amount of text entry - use dropdowns, checklists or prepopulated fields when possible.
  • Use mobile redirects - make sure your site has the correct software so it can identify a mobile user and send them to that version of the site.

Have you made sure your website is mobile friendly?


Blogging: Helps Increase New Business Leads by 69%

October 20, 2011

Blogging greatly improves search engine optimization, which has proven to be a key lead generating factor for new business. Following are some highlights from a post from my social media mentor, Michael Gass.

How new business is being acquired for companies is currently undergoing a paradigm shift; instead of pursuing clients, it’s now more important for your prospective clients to find your co
mpany.

Blogs make their search easier.

 

 
2011 HubSpot ROI Study
In a recent 2011 HubSpot ROI Study, 69% of businesses surveyed said that blogging attributed to their lead generation success. The study also found that 75% of businesses believed SEO was a primary factor. The study shows companies that blog attract 55% more website visitors than non-blogging companies.

Blogs generate far more visitors by:

o Search visibility – blogs are organized to be search engine friendly. Plus the more content you have (well-linked), the more chances there are of attracting search traffic.
o Click-through traffic – through posting interesting articles a blog gives a reason for other people to link to you.
o Repeat traffic – regularly updated content and comments bring visitors back… and back… and back. Most company websites are not conducive to repeat traffic, particularly if your website hasn’t been updated in 5 years.
o Personality - create a blog around your company’s culture and let your personality shine through. People will be attracted to you. People like to associate with people they like. It’s hard to make friends with a business, but easy to warm to an individual with a welcoming personality.
o Viral effects – you create something cool and visitors tell their friends, who tell their friends… and so on.
o Authority/credibility – blogging allows you to become an expert in the minds of your prospective clients.

Company Website | Blog
Your company’s website functions well as an online brochure, a place for your credentials and credibility. A website doesn’t have the potential that a company blog has for significant online traffic and to provide prospects a reason to visit often. A blog can be the gateway to your company. Through content marketing, focused toward a specific target audience, a company’s blog can become a great lead generation tool for new business.

Your company’s website is about YOU, but your blog should be about THEM. Blogging keeps you focused on what is important to your prospective clients. It forces you to speak to their benefit instead of your company’s products and capabilities. Blog content, if developed correctly, will have more appeal to your prospective client audience because it is focused on their marketing needs and challenges.


How Are You Generating Social Media Leads?

August 10, 2011

Hopefully one of your objectives for social media is to generate new business leads. Obviously one of the ways is to be more active. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or your blog, you need to be visible and active in order to create followers.

Social Media Explorer shared some interesting stats on new research that bigger may be better. Here are some highlights:

According to Hubspot and Edison Research, the more frequent you post on your blog, the better the chances of getting leads. According to them, a blog has a shelf life of around 72 hours so it makes sense that more is better. It’s like anything else –  it’s a numbers game, the more you do, the better chance of catching someone’s attention on a topic that’s relevent to them. While it may not be possible to post each day, the more frequently you do, the better your chances of generating leads. The key is consistency.

frequency vs acquisition

The same holds true for Twitter. According to Elijah Young, those of us who have over 1,00o followers saw 6 times as much traffic to their account.

twitter reach and leads

Facebook fan pages result in better results. According to Hubspot, fan pages that have over 1,000 fans have 22 times the amount of traffic.

facebook reach and traffic

Additionally, the size of your Facebook fanbase will dramatically impact how many leads you receive. Businesses with 501 to 1,000 fans saw 4 times as many leads as those with 1 to 25 fans, and businesses with over 1,000 fans saw 12 times more leads. For tips on growing your Facebook fanbase, see this popular article by Mari Smith called 21 Creative Ways to Increase Your Facebook Fanbase.

facebook reach and leads

So what are you waiting for. The more you do, the better the results!


Content is King: 10 Tips on Effective Writing

April 13, 2011

Content is king as I’ve learned from mentor Michael Gass. He says it doesn’t matter how great a writer you are, if people don’t read it, then there’s no benefit to anyone. I’m sharing his 10 tips which I try to live by when writing for social media. I’m a living testament that if you follow the rules, your writing will be read and shared.

According to a social media study by King Fish Media, HubSpot and Junta42, original content, both branded and expert, is by far the most employed tactic for social media.

And … “businesses that blog get 55% more website traffic than those that don’t.”

Creating valuable content increases website traffic that will equate into new business leads. But writing for the web can be daunting, even for experienced copywriters. They are often the ones that struggle the most with making the transition from print to web.

“Content marketing is a commitment, not a campaign.” – Jon Buscall

You need to think carefully about structuring and formatting your online content to ensure your readers find it  and read it. Here are my 10 tips to help you write better for the Web:

  1. Provide a Reader’s Digest or Executive Summary version. Readers love bullet pointed and numbered lists. That’s why so many readers are attracted to post titles that offer 10 tips or 25 ideas, etc. The work you do on behalf of your readers to simplify will be greatly appreciated and keep them coming back for more.
  2. Key words in every post titles. Write for SEO. It doesn’t matter how great your article is if no one can find it. A simple tip to help boost your rankings in Google search is to identify and use certain key words in every post title. 90% of my posts will contain ‘ad agency new business’ in the title. It helps not only for search but will also help drive ‘targeted traffic’ as your posts are repurposed through Twitter. With only 140 characters that you can use for Twitter, that’s not much more than your title and a shortened URL.
  3. Lead with the conclusion. I advise that you begin each post by starting with the conclusion, a take-away or benefits statement. Just answer this question, ‘what is my benefit if I commit to read this post?’
  4. Break up long paragraphs. A reader’s attention span online is much less than for print. Readers tend to scan instead of reading word-for-word. Keep paragraphs concise and short.
  5. Be sure and provide hyper links to your sources. Don’t be afraid that you will lose your audience if they go to another source. Your blog should become a repository of helpful resources for your readers.
  6. Make your content scannable to the eye. Use bold, italics, quotation marks, indentation, etc. to make copy pop. A person should be able to quickly scan through your article and get the most important parts.
  7. Write in an Inverted Pyramid style. Similar to the way a newspaper reported would write, the most important copy should be at the top of your post.
  8. Use common language. This is an opportunity to do away with industry jargon and agency speak and write content that resonates with your intended audience.
  9. Get to the point, quickly. Online readers are extremely impatient. If you wade into a story and it takes 3 or 4 paragraphs to show how it relates, you will have lost your audience before you’ve made your point.
  10. Make your post visually pleasing. I always include a nice photo or graphic to further drive home the main purpose of a post. Using them will create interest and help draw in a reader.

Follow these 10 tips and it will help get your message delivered.


2011 Trends: Content Marketing is Critical for Social Media Success

February 17, 2011

 

Content is the most important asset in using social media for new business.

I think we all agree that one of the main reasons we’re in the social media scene is to generate new business. What we need to do is put our brand out there along with original content so our thought leadership will come through no matter what business you’re in. So when you’re planning your content this year, make sure to focus on what your readers want to know.

According to a social media study by King Fish Media, HubSpot and Junta42, original content, both branded and expert, is by far the most employed tactic for social media.

“Next year [2011], marketers will need to rethink their approach to advertising and marketing and intensify their focus on creating magnetic content that will naturally attract consumers, rather than relying solely on the interruption model of advertising, which consumers are responding to less and less. Think pull vs. push.” Geoff Ramsey, CEO, Co-Founder of eMarketer

Here are some Content Marketing resources that will provide you with some best content creation practices along with unique insights, practical advice and tips:

Tips on How to Get the Most out of Social Media Marketing.

More Corporations are Blogging: Is Yours?

5 Helpful Hints to Attract New Business Using your Blog.

7 Ways to use Twitter to Generate Traffic and Leads.

5 Ways to use Content Marketing to Attract New Business.

Click on the following link for a downloadable copy of the study by King Fish Media, HubSpot and Junta42, 2010 Social Media Usage, Attitudes and Measurability: What Do Marketers Think?

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