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14 Tips to Build Your Personal Brand on Linkedin And A Character Count Cheat Sheet


 

How-to-promote-your-brand-in-LinkedIn-image1Linkedin is a great channel for personal branding and can help you build a powerful presence on the most popular professional social network for over 300 million professionals.  LinkedIn can be  extremely useful for job search, networking and also for lead generation—especially when you’re aware of all the I love LinkedIn!hidden tricks. Here are fourteen tips and a cheat sheet for Linkedin character counts to help you optimize your Linkedin profile without having to call your techie friends.

Linkedin Character Count Cheat Sheet

Before you get started, here is a cheat sheet of each area so you know up front how many characters or keystrokes each field allows. Letters, numbers, punctuation and spaces count towards character count.

  • Name: 60 maximum characters.
  • Professional Headline: 120 character limit.
  • Summary: 2,000 character limit.

Contact Info:

  • Website Anchor Text: 30 maximum characters.
  • Website URL: 256 maximum characters.
  • Phone number: 25 maximum characters. Only your 1st degree connections can see this information.
  • IM (Instant message): 25 maximum characters. Only your 1st degree connections can see this information.
  • Address: 1000 maximum characters. Only your 1st degree connections can see this information.

Experience:

  • Company Name: 100 maximum characters.
  • Job Title: 100 characters.
  • Position Description: 200 minimum and 2000 maximum characters.

Other Areas:

  • Personal Interests: 1,000 Characters
  • Skills and Endorsements: You may add up to 25 skills using 61 characters per skill.
  • LinkedIn Status Bar Update: You can use up to 700 characters unless you want to update your Twitter status at the same time. Twitter updates are limited to 140 characters. If you go over the 140-character limit, only the first 140 characters will be visible on Twitter.

Here’s Your 14 Tips:

1. Completeness. Make sure that every section of your profile has been completed and that there are no blank spaces or obvious gaps. Your LinkedIn profile is your online resume, so treat it with the same level of seriousness you would your normal resume. Here’s what you need to have completed to have  an ‘All-Star’ status:

  • You need to add your industry and location
  • A current position
  • Two past positions
  • Your education information
  • A minimum of 3 skills
  • At least 50 connections
  • A professional profile picture that represents your industry. This is critical for your Linkedin success! For example, if you are a Creative Director, you might want to have more of an edgier photo as opposed to a CEO, who would want to have a suit on in a traditional pose. Having the same picture on multiple social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ will help build your personal brand. Whatever you do, don’t use a selfie, your company logo, you and your furry friend or something like the below photo. These types of photo’s could damage your personal brand which defeats the whole purpose of being on Linkedin.

    A definite "No" for a LinkedIn profile photo.

    A definite “No” for a LinkedIn profile photo.

2. Create Your Vanity URL. When you create your LinkedIn profile, the default URL that you get doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Instead of a URL with a million confusing numbers at the end, you need to create one like this: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lisadougherty. This URL is far more friendly from an SEO point of view and is a vital opportunity to have your profile rank higher in Google and to make it easier for people to find you. Go here and click “customize your public profile URL” on the right hand side.

Linkedin_Custom URL 4272013 64435 AM.bmp3. Get Recommendations. It is important to have at least three recommendations from colleagues, management, people you manage, vendors or customers. Recommendations now appear right below your job description for a certain position. Linkedin no longer requires three recommendations anymore to have a complete (or “All-Star”) status but it is still considered a best practice. Recommendations are written for specific roles and show up underneath each position in which they are written. They are very different from Endorsements and serve a different purpose.

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4. Get Endorsements. Endorsements are one-click acknowledgments from your network showing that you are being recognized for a certain skill. If you would like to learn more about Endorsements, check out this earlier blog post. The reason endorsements are  important to your profile is for search results. The more endorsements you have for a specific skill, the more likely that you’ll come up in the search results when someone is searching for that skill. For example: I have 99+ people who have endorsed me for Social Media Marketing. When a hiring manager or recruiter is searching for people with the skill ‘social media marketing’, it is more likely that I will come up somewhere on the first few pages of the search results.

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5. Create “Sexier”  Website/Blog Links. Don’t list the generic “website” but brand it with your company name or blog name to make those links more appealing to people who view your profile. For example, if you want to include a link to your blog, rather than choosing LinkedIn’s standard “Blog” anchor text, customize it to include keywords that indicate what your blog is about like, “Social Media Blog or BrandLove, LLC Blog.”  This will help optimize your profile and drive Google PageRank to your other web properties. Each profile can display up to three website links like this, and they can be customized by editing your profile, clicking edit on your website links, and selecting “other” in the drop-down menu to customize the anchor text.

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6. Rearrange Your Profile. LinkedIn enables you to reorder the sections of their profile in any way you prefer. When in edit mode on your profile, hover your mouse over the title of each section. Your mouse will turn into a four-arrowed icon, at which point you can click then drag and drop to another position on your profile.

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7. Search Engine Optimize Your Profile. You can also optimize your profile to get found by people searching LinkedIn for key terms with which you want to be associated.  Add these keywords to various sections of your profile such as your summary, specialties, job title, career history and personal interests.
8. Use Keywords in Your Headline. The headline (up to 120 characters) is the first thing people see when they go to your LinkedIn profile. Unless you change it, your headline will appear as your current or last position held. Since this headline will appear in various places on LinkedIn, you want it to be more descriptive. The Linkedin algorithm seems to put a lot of emphasis on the words used in the headline when ranking people, so make sure it includes your USP, benefits your company offers or your geographic location if you serve a specific area.

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9. Add Projects. I highly recommend adding a projects section to your profile, especially if you are a Consultant or Freelancer. By adding this section, it will allow you to name your project and input a URL. This then turns the title of the project into a hyperlink, leading the viewer to the project’s website and thus creating an inbound link. You can specifically relate your project to a position that you hold or have held. This can be a great way to show off your expertise in a current or previous position by showing viewers evidence that you know your stuff. The best part is that you can add “Team Members.” If you are connected to your collaborators on Linkedin, you can add them here and their name will appear as a hyperlink to their LinkedIn profile.

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10. Join Groups. If there are groups related to your industry or niche then make sure that you join them and, if at all possible, be an active participant in them. This raises your profile to get it noticed by other industry contacts and you’re also adding value to LinkedIn, which in turn, adds value to your own profile. Just remember, if you’re going to participate in group discussions, groups are about COMMUNITY not YOU. You should participate by all means, but to support the community not sell yourself or your services. Did you know? If you’re a member of the same group as another user, you can bypass the need to be a first degree connection in order to message them. In addition, group members are also able to view the profiles of other members of the same group without being connected. Join more groups to enable more messaging and profile viewership capabilities. You can join up to 50 groups.

11. Build Your Network. Once your profile is in good shape, work on building your network. Here are some things to keep in mind: when asking to connect with someone, use “we’ve done business together” rather than “friend.” Be sure to personalize any requests to connect with how you know the person or where you met or who you have in common.  If you do decide to try to connect with someone that may not know you well, be absolutely sure that you defend your network invite in the personal note section, such as saying you just purchased their book or saw them speak at a major conference. If you invite people to your network and they mark your invitation as someone they do not know, you will be banned (temporarily) from inviting new people to your network unless you know their email address.

12. Use Linkedin As A CRM Tool. I know this really doesn’t fit into building your personal brand, but I thought this hint would be helpful as you’re building your network.  You should know that Linkedin has a feature that allows you to segment your connections. Once you’ve made the connection, make sure you “tag” them into certain folders turning Linkedin into a very powerful CRM tool that allows you to target messages to individuals or groups of people. There isn’t an easy way to go back and tag your contacts except one by one, so I highly recommend doing this as you add more connections.

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13. Add Media To Your Profile. Images and/or documents add a visual appeal and will make your profile stand out among the rest. To add media samples to the Summary, Education, and Experience sections on your profile:

  1. Move your cursor over Profile at the top of your homepage and select Edit Profile. I highly recommend using Internet Explorer. I am not able to do this using the Chrome browser.
  2. Scroll down to the section you want to add a sample and move your cursor over the add media icon (looks like a square with a plus sign).
  3. Select Upload File if you’d like to display the media sample on your profile OR select Add Link if you want to link to content that exists on another web site. If you chose to add a link, type or paste the link to your content into the Add a link field. If you chose to upload a file, select the file from your computer. A picture of your file will display with pre-filled Title and Description fields. You can customize these fields. Here are the acceptable file formats: Documents: .pdf, .doc, .docx, .rtf and .odt   Images: .png, .gif, .jpg and .jpeg
  4. Click Save. An update will appear on the homepages of your network, letting others know you added the media file or link unless you have this feature turned off.Fullscreen capture 5282014 110736 AM.bmp

 

 

 

 

 

14. Jazz Up Your Profile With Symbols and Bullets. Using  bullets, symbols and visual cues in your LinkedIn profile will definitely help to make yours stand out from the crowd in a positive way especially if you use them conservatively. Click here for a ‘How To.’ Like anything else, just make sure you don’t get too crazy or too cute with your choices in symbols. And, most importantly, make sure you don’t overuse them. You don’t want your profile  to appear unprofessional. This will cheapen your personal brand which you’ve worked so hard to fine tune.

I would love to hear if  these tips worked for you, questions you may have and any Linkedin related success stories. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to follow @BrandLove on Twitter, “Like” BrandLove on Facebook, follow BrandLove on LinkedIn and add BrandLove to your Google+ circles. There are many more tips and tricks on my other social networking sites. Thank you for reading this post and feel free to share it with your friends. Your support is much appreciated!

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Filed under Branding, Digital Marketing, LinkedIn, Social Media Marketing, Social Recruiting

New Facebook Feature: Photo Thumbnails in ‘Notifications’ section of Your Admin Panel


Facebook has added thumbnails to your fan page Admin Panel under the ‘Notifications’ section so you can instantly see which photo your fans are liking and commenting on. This feature has been added to not only the photo’s you’ve uploaded on your business pages, but also includes pictures you’ve liked and commented on other business pages. This is great news! However, I’ve noticed that this feature is only visible on one of the pages that I manage, but not the other. Have you seen this feature yet?

If you’re not already a BrandLove, LLC Facebook Fan, please “like” my page. There are lots more social media tips and information. My fan page is updated daily. Thank you for your support!

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What the Heck is a Twitter #Hashtag? And a Handy #Hashtag Cheat Sheet.


If you are a novice Twitter user and have been wondering what the # symbol means, this post is for you. #Hashtags are simply text or key words and can be placed in the beginning, middle or end of a tweet and are integral to the Twitosphere*, helping users categorize trending topics. For example, using #ff or #followfriday** is a #hashtag. Just decide on the keyword you are targeting, place a pound sign in front of it, and you’ve created your first #hashtag.

Clicking on a #hashtag in a tweet shows you all the aggregated tweets on a topic from the Twitosphere.  This is a great way to search for people with common interests or in a job search. You can also use a third-party monitoring tool such as HootSuite to search for #hashtags. Just decide on the keyword you are targeting, place a pound sign in front of it, and you are all set! 

#Hashtags are created organically by Twitter users; some are used regularly and others come and go—like one created for a specific event.

*On Friday’s, using #followfriday or #ff in a tweet along with 1 or more @names means you recommend those people as worth following.

**Twitosphere means Twitter users from all over the world.

To find more social media tips and tricks follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you in advance for your support!

Cheat Sheet of #Hashtags.

To Find an Employer

These are the tags to plug into Twitter’s search engine to connect you with companies with openings.

  • #hiring: Here it is, your No. 1 word to find a hiring company is … hiring.
  • #tweetmyjobs: It’s a pretty clunky phrase, but #tweetmyjobs has been tagged nearly a million times, so include it in your search.
  • #HR: The folks handling the headhunting for the company will be from human resources, so go straight to the source.
  • #jobopening: Now we’re talking. This tag is almost exclusively used by people offering people work. Easy.
  • #jobposting: “Jobposting” is another efficient tag to search, only it’s used a bit less than #jobopening.
  • #employment: Often listed along with #jobs at the end of a tweet, #employment is a major keyword used by businesses in the market for talent.
  • #opportunity: There will be some quotes and other tweets that don’t help you, but there will be plenty of hookups toemploymentopportunities.
  • #recruiting: Search this hashtag to find not only employers that are hiring, but inside info on the recruiting techniques they’ll be using.
  • #rtjobs: Many Twitter users are there helping you out by retweeting job openings they come across.
  • #jobangels: The JobAngels are a volunteer group working to help unemployed people find jobs, and they have a strong presence on Twitter.
  • #jobsearch: Sometimes this will be the only hashtag a hiring company will use, so be sure to make it one of your search terms.
  • #joblisting: Attention! I’m a hiring employer and this is my way of telling you that I’ve got a job right here just waiting to be filled.

To Attract an Employer

Strut your stuff and get yourself out there with these hashtags to help employers find you.

  • #hireme: Don’t beat around the bush. #Hireme is short, sweet, and to the point.
  • #MBA: Have an MBA? Shout it out in a hashtag to direct employers to your top-shelf business acumen.
  • #linkedin: If you’re unemployed, you’re no doubt already networking away on LinkedIn, so let them know you have a viewable profile.
  • #profile: While you’re at it, go ahead and tag “profile” too, and couple it with #facebook, #linkedin, #monster, or any other place your details are posted on the internet.
  • #unemployed: It’s what you are, so own it and let employers know you are totally available for engagement.
  • #resume: If you’re tweeting about your resume posted online, be sure to hashtag it.
  • #CV:Curriculum vitaeis basically a more fleshed-out résumé, but#resumeis nearly twice as popular. Use both to be safe.
  • #needajob: Thousands of the unemployed have tacked this phrase onto the end of their tweets in the hopes an employer will stumble across it in a search.

To Find a Certain Type of Job

If you don’t want just any old job, try searching these hashtags for that special placement you have in mind.

  • #freelance: This is a hugely popular tag used by job hunters who want to leave the option of part-time, freelance work open.
  • #homebusiness: If you’re eyeing a job being self-employed, try searching this term for entrepreneurship ideas and tips.
  • #greenjobs: Here’s one for the truly unselfish people who put the environment before employment.
  • #dreamjob: If you aren’t sure what you want to do with your life, search this tag and get some ideas of what other people would do if they had their druthers.
  • #hotjobs: Hot jobs call for a hot hashtag.
  • #consulting: Another in the potentially temporary job category, #consulting is a nice tag to widen your net and earn some income.
  • #consultant: It might seem silly to use two tags that say virtually the same thing, but those three letters might make the difference in connecting you with your new employer.

Environment, Social Justice and Human Rights.

  • #humanrights: Use to discuss human rights or oppressive actions taken against individuals.
  • #poverty: Use this to start or join a discussion about poverty.
  • #hunger: Discuss subjects related to hunger.
  • #aid: Discuss financial or humanitarian aid.
  • #sustainability: Discuss topics related to sustainability.
  • #health or #healthcare: For use with tweets related to health.
  • #green: This popular hashtag relates to the green movement and, more broadly, environmentalism.
  • #eco: This hashtag is focused on improving the environment

On a Lighter Note, Funny Hashtags.

  • #MomQuotes: This hashtag was created by Jimmy Fallon for his “Late Night Hashtag” @LateNightJimmy bit on his show. Everything a typical mom would say categorized into one great hashtag.
  • #GenericTweet: Simply pokes fun at those who tweet about nothing special (we’ve all done a boring generic tweet without realizing it.)
  • #LessAmbitiousMovies: Think of a movie- then change its title to something less ambitious. It’s a fun little game to play with a group of friends as well.
  • #TwoThingsThatDontMix: It’s simple- what two things just don’t work well together?
  • #SoEmbarrassing: People sharing their embarrassing stories in less then 140 characters are always fun.
  • #FailedChildrensBookTitles: Here is your chance to recast your favorite book in the worst possible way.

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Social Media Stats For Convincing Your C-Suite to Invest in Social Media Marketing


If you’re having trouble convincing your executive team that your company needs to invest in social media, here’s a few hard facts to help you make your case more convincing. It’s so much more effective than whining to your boss, “But we really need a social media presence. Everyone else is doing it!”

  • There are 2 million companies on LinkedIn. [Source: mediabistro.com]
  • Pinterest has over 10.4 million users.  [Source: mediabistro.com]
  • Twitter has 140 million active users, who post a total of 340 million tweets every day. (Source: The Next Web) 
  • Facebook has over 845 million monthly active users. (Source: Facebook)
  • LinkedIn boasts more than 150 million members, including executives from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies. (Source: LinkedIn)
  • Google+ has over 100 million users. [Source: http://gigaom.com]
  • Google+ accounts for about 0.22% of referral traffic.
  • Pinterest is retaining and engaging users 2-3 times better than Twitter was at a similar time in Twitter’s company history.
  • YouTube has over 800 million monthly users who upload an hour of video per second. [Source: http://gigaom.com]
  • 79% of European and 86% of U.S. online adults engage with social media. (Source: Forrester) 
  • 81% of small businesses now use social media — up from 73 percent earlier this year (Source: Constant Contact) 
  • 82% of the world’s online population is reached by social networking sites, representing 1.2 billion users around the world. (Source: comScore) 
  • Nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent online around the world is now spent on social networking sites. (Source: ComScore) 

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Get Up Close And Personal With Facebook EdgeRank


What is Facebook EdgeRank?

EdgeRank is the algorithm Facebook uses to give determine how likely it is that an item will appear in a news feed. Understanding this algorithm is crucial for staying on your fans’ feeds, and therefore, continuing to share lead generating content. The news feed shows the top posts from a user’s network, filtering out more than 99% of content. So, the question is, how do you make sure your content makes it into that <1% of content securing real estate in the news feed? Here’s what you need to know to make Edgerank work better for you.

Affinity. This is the interaction between you and your followers. Those who post on your page or comment on something you posted will help raise your score. Remember to reply to your fans or just say “thanks.” It is also important to remember that Facebook wants you to post comments and replies directly from their site. This means using any third party applications, such as TweetDeck, Hootsuite, etc., will actually lower your EdgeRank.The reason for this is because of the popular gaming applications like Farmville and Mafia Wars. So, by lowering the affinity score on all third-party applications, this prevents them from having a higher EdgeRank.

Weight. This is based on content. Posts that have photos will get a higher score than compared to a simple update. Also, leaving a comment on a post carries more weight than “Liking” it because of engagement. It takes more effort to comment than simply clicking on the “Like” button. Always remember, when posting any photo, link or video, add an explanation or opinion. Those that don’t have any added words get the worst engagement. In fact, posts that have more than 141 characters (which is more than what you can post on Twitter) end up receiving the most engagement. So don’t be afraid of longer updates. Also, be sure to mix up your text-only posts with these visually engaging ones.

Time Decay. This is the age your content.Newer items are more likely to appear in the news feed. Over time, older items drop out of the news feed. Facebook never has content more than 24 hours old.

EdgeRank loves content.

EdgeRank loves to find the best content to include in users’ news feeds. Therefore, you need to share lead generating content. EdgeRank loves content that ignites interaction and is relevant to the community. This type of content includes compelling and creative posts, with the occasional personal post thrown in. For engaging content, try:

  • Creating posts that offer value, rather than sales pitches
  • Ask a direct question and provide answers
  • Post videos directly instead of links to articles with videos, so users can watch the video within Facebook
  • Posting at different times of the day and on weekends
  • Asking open-ended questions and inviting comments

Free EdgeRank Checker Tool.

To learn more about your own EdgeRank, consider trying out EdgeRank Checker, which provides a free tool and insight into how you’re doing.

If you’re not already a BrandLove, LLC Facebook Fan, please “like” my page. There are lots more social media tips and information. My fan page is updated daily. Thank you for your support!

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Tips to Humanize Your Brand on Social Media Platforms


Humanizing your brand simply means trying to interact with each customer on a personal level with the ultimate goal of building relationships and a community of
brand advocates or “influencers.” I like to say, creating Brand Love! For a company to implement a human style, there needs to be a shift in how it responds to customers, particularly via social media. Here are 6 ways to help you become more “human” to those who use your brand and/or services.

  1. Use your name. Putting a name on your blog posts, tweets or status updates shows your audience you’re not a robot or an automated stream of sales pitches and company news.
  2. Post pictures on Facebook.  Let people see what the inside and outside of your office and the employees who work at your company look like in their working environment. Don’t just be words on a screen! Consumers love brands they can relate to—brands that feel accessible and human, that they can easily connect with. 
  3. Retweet. If someone says something to you or about your company via Twitter, give them a shoutout. Say thank you. Send them a reply. People like to know that their being heard!
  4. Be Present. If you’re going to create a social media presence, you need to engage within the community you’ve created. Those that don’t might be better off with no social presence at all. The reason: to be on social media but not present is a broken promise. 
  5. Add Your Personality. You can be professional without being overly formal. Use your true voice! Being funny and using layman’s terms humanizes you.
  6. Let Your Customer’s Shine. Nothing makes a customer feel better than being acknowledged — or better yet, honored — by a company. Find a way to give kudos to your loyal fans!

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Tips for Sharing Content on LinkedIn


Sharing content on LinkedIn is simple:
  • Just paste a link in the box and watch the magic happen – then add a comment to put your own spin on it.
  • Choose whether to share with just your connections, to groups you belong to, or to everyone who visits your profile.
  • Try sharing news articles, job postings, career developments, and any content related to your area of professional interest.

Sharing Bookmarklet

One of LinkedIn’s many tools is this convenient bookmarklet that lets you share anything on the web with your network and groups. Once you’ve installed it on your toolbar, just click it when you’re on a page you’d like to share.

For Firefox, Chrome, and Safari

Drag this link: Share on LinkedIn to your browser toolbar.

Screenshot of Network Updates

For Internet Explorer

1. Right-click this link: Share on LinkedIn.
2. Select “Add to Favorites”.
3. Click “Yes” if you see a Security Alert popup.
4. Select “Favorites Bar” from “Create In”.
5. Click “Add”.

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