Category Archives: LinkedIn

Social Media Tips from Debbie Friez of BurrellesLuce

Discovered this terrific Slideshare presentation from local social media expert, Debbie Friez, Vice President of Major Accounts at BurrellesLuce.  She offers terrific tips for getting the most out of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  Check it out!

Advertisements

Need to Know Updates to LinkedIn Company Pages

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

If you’re going to build a presence on social media, it really helps to have a savvy graphic designer and a YouTube video producer on board, because these branding elements are becoming increasingly prominent on the major channels.

Earlier this year, Facebook created the “Cover Image” requirement.

Not too long ago, Twitter introduced a similar “cover image” option.

Now LinkedIn presents one, too!

Of course, all these images are different sizes and appear in different contexts, so they all require different graphic design approaches.

As you know, we help clients build and update their LinkedIn Company profiles.   At Fletcher Prince, we believe it’s vital for every company, association and nonprofit to build a robust presence on LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional online network.  LinkedIn has more than 175 million members in over 200 countries.  In 2012, LinkedIn users will conduct more than 5 billion professional searches.

LinkedIn has made some changes to the look of LinkedIn Company profiles, so I wanted to let you know about these changes.

1. Cover images.  One important feature is that Company Pages now offer a “cover-image” style rectangular image to show off your brand. That’s especially  nice on this platform because the two logo images you are required to provide for a Company Page are quite small, and it is a design challenge to make them appear legible, for some brands.

Here’s how a LinkedIn Company Page looks without a cover image.  Like a department store window with nothing in it — a missed opportunity!

And here’s how a LinkedIn Company Page looks tricked out with a new image — much better!

2. Company Status Updates.  Just as you can update your Twitter profile or Facebook profile, LinkedIn Company Pages now allow you to update your Page with a short message, which can include a link.  The posts can be up to 500 characters (including spaces).

Up to 20 status updates will be active at a time.  LinkedIn users and followers can “like” your status update when they see it on the stream on their home pages or when they visit your Company Page.

Yes, you now have another task to add to your social media “to-do” list!  Aim to update your Company Page with status updates several times a week, at the beginning and end of the work day during the work week, when people tend to check in to LinkedIn.

As elsewhere, the updates should be short, relevant, timely, and useful.  And don’t post every hour.  If you  post an excessive amount of status updates, your Page may be deleted.

You can use status updates to post news about your company, job openings, industry news, press releases, blog posts, etc.  Build power in the update by including a link and call to action. Stand out on LinkedIn by posting YouTube video links and drive more traffic to your company videos.

Now this is where you are really going to need to update your LinkedIn Company Page “profile” images to something quite legible — which for most of you is going to mean a logo design service.  That’s because these Company Status Updates will appear in the stream and your logo will appear right alongside it.  So these logos are more prominent than ever on the “new” LinkedIn.  Don’t try to make an existing logo fit in each of these custom dimensions.  It just won’t work.

3.  Prominent advertising on Company Pages.  Another new change is that you will see a LOT more advertising on LinkedIn Company Pages, including every product and service page, right margin.  The best way to cope with this is to add YouTube video for each section.  The YouTube video will take priority location on the Page location.  Without it, the advertisement appears “above the fold.”  So, it looks like this:

But when you complete the Products section, and add video, then your video appears in that space, and the advertisement is bumped down “below the fold.”  So, it looks better, like this!

This is the perfect location for product-service videos, brief customer testimonial videos, and case-study style videos, all of which you should have on your YouTube Channel, anyway.  In fact, to take full advantage of LinkedIn Company Pages, your company is going to need a fully-operational YouTube Channel, so talk to us about making that happen for you, if you haven’t started yet.

Many companies do not take advantage of these opportunities, and they should.  It’s free to set up a LinkedIn Company Page, just as it is free to set up a company profile on most social media platforms.  To take full advantage of LinkedIn Company Pages

  1. Fully complete each available section with text and links.
  2. Engage a graphic designer to design LinkedIn-specific elements.  You will need logo images in two sizes, a cover image, three hyper-linked banner images, and thumbnail images for each product and service.
  3. Include (or ask us to produce) a YouTube video for each available section.  Let visitors see your brand first, not someone else’s advertisement.
  4. Encourage your employees to follow your LinkedIn Company Page by marketing it internally (ask us how).
  5. Add a LinkedIn Company Page “Follow” button to your company website.

With my writing skills and social media experience, and David’s graphic design and photography skills, and our combined video production capabilities, we can make your LinkedIn Company Page a stand-out online marketing channel — worthy of your company’s or nonprofit’s reputation — for an affordable, fixed fee.  David and I have 28 LinkedIn recommendations for our work.  Please contact Mary@FletcherPrince.com or call (571) 269-7559 to schedule an appointment to discuss how we can help you build and update your LinkedIn Company Page.

Make your LinkedIn Profile More Searchable in 2 minutes

Make your profile searchable!

Is your LinkedIn profile easy to find?  Is it compatible with emerging social media platforms?  Optimize your personal LinkedIn profile to work with new social media platforms by completing the following easy steps:

1. Log in and click “Edit Profile”
2. Scroll down to the bottom of the blue highlighted box (top of your profile and click “edit” next to “Public Profile.” IF you have a string of numbers and characters next to your name, you need to change this to something more searchable, and more compatible with the new social media platforms. This is how you do it…
3. Change your “Public Profile URL” to something like this: http://www.linkedin.com/in/maryfletcherjones

Note: you can only change the last part of the URL, it has to be one word only, and it should be as close to your professional name as possible, for search.

This is a little change that will make a big difference!

Protecting Your Professional Reputation…Online and Off

LinkedIn Badge

If you own a business,  reflect for a moment on all the things you do to build that business.  (This is a good exercise if you work for a company you don’t own — just replace “business” with “professional reputation”).

The way you feel about your business or reputation, it’s almost like a family member, isn’t it?  It is for me.  Think of all the care that goes into it.

If you’re like me, you put a lot of hard work into your business…

  • You obtain a business license, and adhere to all the legal and financial requirements associated with owning a business.
  • You have your logo, website, and business card designed, so people can recognize you and your brand. And that’s just the start of all the marketing your probably do!
  • You set up profiles for your business on LinkedIn and Facebook.
  • You go to professional networking events and make presentations.
  • You keep a sharp eye on the competition, but you also build partnerships.  Relationships built on trust and mutual support.
  • You reach out and help others, as others have helped you.

And you wouldn’t let anyone take that away from you, would you?

Today, my post is about being careful with your business, and with your online reputation. Not about being paranoid, just about taking care about who and what you associate with your business.  Because your reputation is the most valuable thing you have.

Reputation and visibility go hand in hand.  If you develop a presence on social media — as well as offline, you and your business become more visible.  There are ways to manage that visibility to benefit you.  Having a robust presence on all the social media related to your business is critical.  It will help you build and preserve — and even protect — your reputation.

But you do not have to give away the store!  This week, as I was sending holiday cards from Fletcher Prince, I took a careful look at my personal LinkedIn contacts.  Since Fletcher Prince has a fully developed public profile on LinkedIn — including video — I realized I didn’t really need to share my precious contacts and professional support network with people I didn’t know that well.  I’m not a selfish person, but I started thinking about the ways someone I didn’t know that well could use their so-called affiliation with me, and I decided it was time to be a little more discerning (By the way, if anyone calls you saying they do know me, you know you can always call me to verify that, right?)

So while my personal LinkedIn profile remains public, my contacts were shaved down to people I really do know well and who are quite familiar with my business and what I do.  If I hadn’t already established a very thorough presence on social media (Googling my name as an exact search term yields more than 65,000 search engine results), I might think twice about that move, but as it is, I feel I can afford to be a little more exclusive, at least in this area!

I thought about it again today when I got a very interesting phone call and business proposition — on a Sunday morning no less — from someone I had just met that week at a conference who asked me for my card.  I’m sure you have received those out-of-the-blue sales calls.  Well, this was like that, but different in an important way. What was interesting about this was how this person conducts his business.  He may be on the up and up on everything else, but he did admit to me that he is using a non-permission based list to send commercial email to a database of more than 10,000 contacts.  And he knows that it’s wrong.  I tried to explain to him how SPAM is illegal, but although he knew what he was doing was “technically” illegal, he still felt that his approach was just fine, and after all, no one had bothered him about it.  I tried to explain to him — as gently as I could — how I could not associate my business with a practice that is breaking a federal law.

Federal law. It’s not like going a few miles over the speed limit.  People have received prison sentences and multi-thousand dollar fines for sending SPAM!

I didn’t say it but I thought it: “I have not worked this hard to affiliate me and Fletcher Prince with anything illegal.”

As I gave him my polite “no-thanks” and ended the call, I thought about how many times my blog readers have been probably approached with proposals that could adversely affect their own businesses.

If you have been following any of my recommendations this year, then you have worked very hard to cultivate something of great value.  My little reminder to myself and to you today is to protect that!  You can still be “out there” and telling your message, but guard the interests of your business as you would care for a dearly loved child.  Don’t let anyone tarnish your reputation, or that of your business.  If you lose money, you can always make more.  But if you lose your reputation, that is much harder to regain.

And my second reminder, as we do a lot more networking and getting together with clients, is to remember that this is a season of good will.  You have done good work, and you deserve to be recognized for it.  So don’t be shy to ask for LinkedIn recommendations, YouTube video testimonials, and feedback from your carefully cultivated contacts and colleagues.

And be generous with your own sincere LinkedIn recommendations of others.  My challenge to you this week is write at least one LinkedIn recommendation for a colleague or client, and to at least consider the value of a video testimonial.

There is no better insurance for your business (other than business insurance 😉 than well-nurtured professional contacts, LinkedIn recommendations, and YouTube video testimonials.  Do what you have to do to obtain these, and disregard the advances of those who do not know or understand your business, your values, and your professionalism.

My 25th LinkedIn recommendation! Feels great…

Laura Fall

Laura Fall, Fall Properties

“Mary has provided our company with valuable tools to promote our business and reach our client base. Technology is so fast paced and can be overwhelming to a small business. It is essential to be connected to people online and Mary has equipped us with the skills we need. We will continue to reach out to Mary for her consultation and I recommend her to any individuals or small businesses who wish to grow their online presence.” August 19, 2010

Top qualities: Expert, Good Value, Creative

Laura Fall hired Mary Fletcher as a Business Consultant in 2010, and hired Mary Fletcher more than once.

My 24th LinkedIn recommendation…woo hoo!

“Recently, Mary provided social media training to me and some other IPRA members. She is great! She knows her subject and is extremely generous in sharing her time, along with her expertise. Today, I had the opportunity to recommend her to a colleague, Claire Dangler, who also needs training.” May 18, 2010

Top qualities: Personable, Expert, High Integrity

Rita Mhley hired Mary Fletcher as a Social Media Trainer in 2010

My 23rd LinkedIn recommendation…I’m celebrating!

“Mary did a great job getting our company positioned on the internet with vehicles such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. She worked well with all members of the Fall Properties staff and became our trusted advisor on all internet matters. We highly prize her insight, creativity and good business sense. We looking forward to having her help us on an email marketing campaign.” April 26, 2010

Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Creative

Bruce Fall hired Mary Fletcher as a Business Consultant in 2010

%d bloggers like this: