I often speak with agency principals that remain skeptical of the power of social media. When this happens, I like to share few numbers that I believe put things in perspective:
- Facebook has over 800 million registered users
- Twitters has over 200 million registered users
- LinkedIn has over 115 million registered users
- YouTube shows over 2 billion videos per day
The sum of those figures is clear: social media is pervasive and a critical component to any marketing plan. If you remain unconvinced, visit several of your competitors websites. I am certain you will find that many already leverage social media to build their web presence and engage prospects. So where should you begin?
Start Using LinkedIn
If you prefer to make a highly targeted effort within a limited time investment, LinkedIn should be your focus. For those of you who are not familiar, LinkedIn is the social networking site for professionals – the Facebook for business. LinkedIn provides you with the ability to network and connect with your colleagues, clients, family and friends. Most importantly, LinkedIn allows you to expand your web presence and find prospects.
Professionalize and Optimize Your Profile
Many high powered business executives have LinkedIn profiles that are incomplete, include grammatical errors, no picture and boast 4 connections. They have a valid excuse: no time. However, this is a missed opportunity that can be corrected expeditiously. In 20 to 30 minutes, a modestly tech savvy executive can complete these 5 steps to improve from novice to sufficient:
- Add a Picture – This often overlooked item is critical to creating a connection with those who visit your profile. Find a professional photo, or quickly snap an image at your desk. Image-less profiles are often ignored.
- Create a Professional Headline – A professional headline needs to explain who you are and what you do. ‘President at XYZ Company’ sounds important, but it is a weak headline (although fine for a job title). ‘Employee Benefits Expert & President at XYZ Company’ or ‘Construction Insurance Specialist | President at XYZ Company’ are much more effective.
- Complete Your Education & Experience – When a prospect finds you on LinkedIn, they are unable to look you in the eye and shake your hand. So give them ample opportunity to see that you are indeed an experienced professional. A great shortcut to completing this information is to upload a resume.
- Add Links – Someone who is interested in learning more should have many opportunities to find information. Include a link to your website, your blog and either a video or web seminar.
- Build Your Connection Base – Once your profile looks professional, start building connections. Begin with your family and friends, then move on to your industry colleagues and loyal clients. This will snowball build momentum. After you are comfortable with the connection process, reach out to all of your current prospects. This is a non-invasive way to reach them.
Now that you have a great profile and a vast number of connections, begin expanding your reach. This should include joining groups, integrating your blog, adding your Twitter feed and creating a Facebook page, all of which will be included in our advanced training session.