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How to Attract the RIGHT Social Media Followers for Your Business

Via:posted by Meghan Keaney Anderson, Feb 08, 2012, at blog.hubpost.com

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The benefits of an extensive social reach are clear, but how do you attract the right followers for your company? As with most inbound marketing, relevancy can make or break the effectiveness of your strategy. So to ensure you have a social media following that helps you advance your marketing objectives, start by identifying a set of core topics that reflect the interests of people who typically become your customers.

If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can use the Keywords App and the Social Media Prospects App to help with this. For example, we at HubSpot would choose the terms inbound marketingsocial mediamarketing automation, and so on to help identify the most appropriate followers. Getting your keywords right from the onset will make it significantly easier to find the most productive connections across social media sites. From there, it’s just a matter of navigating your way through each social network. To make your job easier, let’s break down what to look for on the four major social networks: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Finding the Right Connections on Google+

When you first sign up, Google+ automatically scans your existing connections to see if any of them are using Google+ and invites you to connect with them by placing them in one of your Google+ Circles. While this isn’t a bad way to make sure you’re staying engaged with your current audience, it doesn’t really expand your reach or introduce you to new people. To do that, you’ll need to submit your keywords for a more detailed Google+ search.

Top Influencers: You can find and search a list of top influencers through SocialStatistics.com’s Google+ statistics.Narrow down the top influencers by location — a feature that is particularly useful for local businesses. For example, a local business in our neck of the woods could narrow down their search to the top Google+ users in Boston.

Targeted Connections: Following top influencers alone, however, may not extend your reach very much, since top users often get too many requests to reciprocate. To achieve a broader reach, use Google+ search with the keywords you established to find other individuals who are interested in the things that matter to your company. HINT: When using Google+ search, you can get even more specific by enclosing terms in quotes — like “market research” — or excluding terms with a minus sign — like “market research” –stocks.

Keyword-Driven Circles: When you find people discussing your keywords, selectively add them to your Circles. Think about naming Circles based on the shared interest area so your overlapping focus area is clear. To keep new connections engaged, just add a “+” or “@” in front of their name to tag them in a future post.

Finding the Right Connections on LinkedIn

Some people conduct a people search in LinkedIn for job titles, but this often casts too large a net for productive connections. Instead, try using the keywords you’ve identified to help you find connections through some of the subgroups and topic threads on LinkedIn.

Groups and Answers: LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Answers both provide great opportunities to find the right connections for your business. You don’t need to start a group to get the full benefit of LinkedIn Groups; in fact, you should start out by searching for and joining groups that are relevant to your business, and then connecting with group contributors. You can use the same approach with LinkedIn Answers. Connect with people who are already talking about your core topics, and pose your own questions and connect with the respondents. The trick to making connections on LinkedIn is to avoid cold connections. Make sure you contribute to the group or comment on an Answers post before trying to connect with the individual who placed it.

NEW! Connect via Skills & Expertise: In beta right now, LinkedIn has a new tool called Skills & Expertise that enables you to search for individuals and companies based on the skills and interests they list. Let’s say you want to connect with people who are interested in market research or have a background in it. You can search LinkedIn Skills & Expertise to find groups, companies, and individuals associated with that topic.

skills linkedin

Finding the Right Connections on Twitter

Top Influencers: Much like Google+, it’s fairly easy to find top influencers for a given topic on Twitter. You can find them by taking a look at Twitter’s recommended lists of who to follow for the topics you’ve selected, or by searching Tweet Grader’s Twitter Elite or Klout for top users. Again, remember to balance these “top tweeters” with more targeted tweeters who match your interests, despite their audience size.

Targeted Connections: Once you get past the big influencers in your space, take a look at the lists of people who follow them. Or, search Twitter for mentions of your keywords and follow individuals who talk about those topics frequently. Sometimes connections with lower follower rates can actually be better influencers for your company, particularly if they display a meaningful connection to your company and will become enthusiastic brand advocates online.   

Beware of Auto-Follows: There are a lot of third-party Twitter applications that promise to rapidly scale up your followers by auto-following. Not only does Twitter actively discourage and remove you from search results when you use these apps, but this type of automation is also not a productive practice for your company either. Don’t get mixed up with followers that use these applications.

Finding the Right Connections on Facebook

Making brand new connections on Facebook can be a little bit trickier because it doesn’t have the culture of business networking that LinkedIn does, nor does it have the non-reciprocal follow expectations as Twitter and Google+. Still, there are a couple of good tactics for making relevant connections to your Facebook business page.

Leverage Your Existing Fans: Whether you start off with 12 fans or 200, it’s worth engaging your existing fans in the effort to grow your page’s reach. Give your fans content that is worth sharing; as each successive fan shares your content, your page’s exposure will grow. A referral from a friend can be far more effective and targeted than any other outreach you do on your own.

Facebook Ads: If you’ve determined that Facebook is the right channel for your company and you have the budget to put toward paid promotion, you can use Facebook’s advertising center to zero in on the right audience and promote your page. If you’re promoting a page, target your ad to a very specific segment of viewers and ask them to Like your page right in the ad. For more on this, take a look at HubSpot’ free ebook on getting Facebook advertising right.

Use the Right Incentives: Holding a sexy giveaway promotion may get you a lot of Likes, but it may not be the right types of people doing the Liking. Facebook page incentives can come in many forms; make sure you’re deploying one that reflects the interests of your core audience. For example, if your company builds custom closets, you may want to give away a tip sheet on getting organized to anyone who likes your page. HINT: HubSpot customers should check out the Facebook Welcome App, an add-on tool that helps you set up incentives like these on your page.

Doing This All in a Scalable Way

When you’re first getting started, growing your social media community can seem like a daunting task. The best way to tackle it is to dedicate ten minutes a day— no more, no less — to finding people online that would add value to your community and, in turn, get value from connecting with you.

Set small goals. Aim to add ten new followers to your networks a day and keep them engaged by scheduling interesting posts throughout the week. HubSpot users should take a look at the new Social Media Publishing App to streamline this even further.

Finally, use analytics to keep track of how your efforts are affecting your reach, website traffic, and lead totals so you can adjust your efforts accordingly. In the end, social media outreach isn’t all that different than making connections in the real world; be friendly, persistent, and intentional.

How do you choose who to follow on your company’s social media accounts?

Photo by: Luc Legay

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Company Page in 15 Minutes

Via: Posted by Rebecca Corliss, Dec 16, 2011, at blog.hubpost.com

LinkedIn company pages are becoming an increasingly popular tool for marketers to engage with their networks, generate leads, and showcase their products. In HubSpot’s specific case, our visitor-lead conversion rate for LinkedIn is double that of any other social network. Pretty hot, right? To help you get some similar benefits, here are 10 quick tips to help you optimize your business’ company page in 15 minutes. Ready? Go!

10 Steps to Optimize Your Company Page in 15 Minutes

1. Activate status updates by adding admins - including yourself! This is the first step to getting some serious value from your company page. Go to “Edit,” click “Designated Users Only,” and then select connections you want to be able to edit your page and publish status updates. Here’s a special tip: make sure you add yourself, otherwise you’ll have to ask one of the new admins to go in and add you. 
LinkedIn Add Admins

2. Commit to posting a status update twice a day. To some, this is relatively ambitious. However, if you can go in and post a link to a blog article in the morning and perhaps a discussion question at night, you’re on the right track! Consistently posting will help you grow your LinkedIn reach, as well as regularly get traffic to your website from LinkedIn.HubSpot LinkedIn Status Update
3. Add your blog RSS to your page to auto-populate your blog’s content. This is a five second no-brainer. Do you want your blog articles to be automatically posted to your company page to help send traffic to your website? Thought so!

LinkedIn Blog RSS

4. Create a helpful “Company Overview” description, with the most

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Infographic: How people really use LinkedIn

Via: posted by Kristin Piombino, January 12, 2012, at ragan.com

Ever wondered how often people change their profile picture, or how many times a week your co-workers log on to the professional networking site? This graphic has the answers.


How does the average executive use LinkedIn?

He or she logs on anywhere from a few times a week to daily, is a member of at least one group, and does not pay for a premium account.

An infographic from Lab 42 illustrates what LinkedIn users do on the professional network, and why they use it.

According to the graphic, 42 percent of users update their profile regularly, and 37 percent frequently update their profile picture. However, 12 percent say they haven’t changed their picture since they joined the site.

Ninety percent of LinkedIn users think the professional network is useful, primarily because it helps them meet potential clients, is more professional than Facebook, and allows them to locate new hires they might not otherwise find.

Interested in how people use LinkedIn the most?

  • Top-level executives primarily use it for industry networking and promoting their business.
  • Middle management executives use it to keep in touch with people and network within the industry.
  • Entry-level executives use it to job search and network with co-workers.

For more stats, check out the graphic: 

(View a larger image.)

Heatmaps Reveal Where People Look on Social Media Sites [Research]

Via Posted by Corey Eridon at blog.hubpost.com 

heat map eye

Have you ever heard of heatmapping? It’s some pretty cool technology that lets you see where people are looking on a website. If you’re ever testing a new website design or creating a really important landing page, you can use heatmap technology to see where peoples’ eyes linger. If they aren’t looking at the areas on the page you want to emphasize, you know you might have some design flaws.

I told you that story to tell you this one. Mashable commissioned EyeTrackShop, a startup that performs heatmap studies for marketers, to see where people look on popular social media sites. They covered everything from Facebook and Twitter to Pinterest and Reddit, and though the sample size is pretty small and doesn’t always include the business pages, the results are interesting for social media marketers nonetheless. You can see the heatmaps for all of the social media networks they researched on Mashable, but we’ll focus on what they found for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. And of course, the marketing takeaway from all this heatmap research.

Facebook

Facebook’s heatmap shows people spend the most time looking at the profile picture and the first two posts on the page. The profile information at the top of the page also ranks high, as does the list of friends on the side. As you move past the halfway mark of the page, visual attention drops significantly.

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EyeTrackShop also shared a metric called fixation order, which is the order in which most people looked at areas of interest on the page. Interestingly, most people on Facebook started by looking at the middle of the page where status updates are posted, then went to the left panel where friends are listed.

facebook fixation

Google+

Despite being larger, the Google+ profile photo doesn’t attract as much attention as the Facebook profile photo. The most attention was paid to the name, tagline, and first post. Like on Facebook, someone’s Circles was also of interest.

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7 Epic Marketing Uses of LinkedIn Answers

Posted by Kipp Bodnar Wed, Dec 07, 2011 @ 03:15 PM originally posted at HubSpot Blog

With more than 120 million business professionals registered, LinkedIn is an online marketing must for B2B marketers. While personal and business profiles get most of the attention on LinkedIn, the social network has several other valuable features that can shine for inbound marketers. One of the biggest opportunities for inbound marketers is LinkedIn’s Answers platform.

LinkedIn Answers allows members to ask and answer business-related questions. Sure, marketers can use the tool to answer questions and promote their business’ industry expertise, but the potential awesomeness of Answers goes far behind that obvious use case. With all of this awesome, public data, it’s about time marketers learned how to get the most out of LinkedIn.

7 Unexpected Yet Epic Ways to Use LinkedIn Answers

1. Use Questions to Generate Blog Post Content Ideas: Consisting of countless questions and answers across different topics, LinkedIn Answers is a treasure trove of content ideas. A big part of successful business blogging is starting with a strong idea that resonates with your target audience. LinkedIn Answers gives you just that. Look at the questions posed for your industry, and check out those questions’ answer counts to determine which topics are sparking the hottest conversations. Then use those topics as fodder for your business blog.

2. Develop Clear Marketing Personas Based on Prospect Questions: Marketing will fail without a proper understanding of your target audience. As a marketer, it is critical to have a clear persona (or personas) for your target customers. You need to be able to answer questions such as: “What are my customers’ key business challenges?” This, along with many other questions, can help you develop a clear marketing persona that guides all your marketing strategies and tactics. Use the advanced search feature in LinkedIn Answers to find questions and answers directly from your target customers. Stop guessing now. 

LinkedIn Answers Advanced Search resized 600

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Profession or generation? How important Twitter to you?

Old media executives too busy, private for Twitter

 
French advertising group Publicis Chief executive Maurice Levy speaks during the Reuters Global Media Summit in Paris November 30, 2011.  REUTERS/Mal Langsdon

French advertising group Publicis Chief executive Maurice Levy speaks during the Reuters Global Media Summit in Paris November 30, 2011.

Credit: Reu
t

LONDON | Fri Dec 2, 2011 2:13pm EST

 

(Reuters) - Twitter gives an instant snapshot of the buzz around television shows, computer game launches and even new ads, but many media executives are simply too busy to tweet or engage with the microblogging service very much themselves.

 

Digital reluctance is particularly strong amongst “old media” leaders, who told this week’s Reuters Global Media Summit they were uncomfortable with sharing personal information, especially in 140-character bursts.

 

Maurice Levy, chief executive of advertising group Publicis, said Twitter and its social networking sister Facebook were simply not for him.

 

"I hate the idea that I would have to share things which are not for sharing or which are superficial," he said in Paris.

 

He said he kept tabs on social media in a professional capacity but he did not need to tweet to understand the importance of Twitter.

 

"I understand how to wash dishes. I don’t do it regularly," he said.

 

His rival Martin Sorrell, of WPP, who has never been reluctant to air his views on television, was not keen to join Twitter’s 200 million users either.

 

"I have enough to do answering your emails," he said. "I’m 66 years old. I’m almost in the glue factory."

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LinkedIn - 135 million worldwide members. Basic training for the personal marketer

LinkedIn Marketing Infographic

Over 30% would prioritize social-media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility over salary in accepting a job offer
Stats of the Day: 50 New Social-Media Stats to Kick-start Your Slide Deck
By: Sarah Evans Published: November 18, 2011
 
Sarah Evans
On her social-media and PR blog, Commentz, Sarah Evans and her staff compile a lot of stats. Each quarter, she cherry-picks the most relevant for marketers to share with Ad Age.
1. eMarketer estimates there will be nearly 21 million Twitter users in the U.S. by the end of this year, and a sizable minority of those will use the service at least in part to follow brands. (eMarketer)
2. Forty percent of bloggers consider themselves professionals. (MediaBistro/State of the Blogosphere 2011)
3. There are now more than 800 million active Facebook users, with more than 200 million added in 2011. (Social Media Examiner)
4. B2C Facebook results are 30% above average on Sundays. (Convince & Convert)
5. Tweets last up to 67 times longer for users with higher Klout scores. (Mashable)
6. Nearly every large charity and university in America is on Facebook. Less than 60% of the Fortune 500 are. (Grow)
7. B2B marketers are spending millions of dollars annually on social-marketing programs, though nearly 30% are not tracking the impact of social-media programs on lead generation and sales. (TechJournal/Pardot)
8. Thirty-four percent of marketers have generated leads using Twitter, and 20% have closed deals using Twitter (AllTwitter)
9. Roughly two-thirds of social-media users say that staying in touch with current friends and family members is a major reason they use these sites, while half say that connecting with old friends they’ve lost touch with is a major reason behind their use of these technologies. (PEW Research)
10. The vast majority (95%) of the parents of 10-year-olds on Facebook were aware when their child signed up for the site, and 78% of those parents helped create the child’s account [despite rules that prohibit children under 13 from joining the social-networking site]. (CNN Tech)

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Social giving takes off- How important is FB for fundraising?

Elizabeth K Posted on: Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Social giving takes off

the rise of social giving

People are asking their friends and family for donations more and more through social media. Here’s what we found out about social giving, and how much it’s growing. For more information on how to take donations through Facebook using JustGiving, click here to download instructions.

The rise of social giving - JustGiving infostats

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