Category Archives: LinkedIn

Social Media and Your Small Business

Many small businesses are utilizing social media outlets these days in order to drive their traffic and increase their sales. If you have not yet considered joining the social media world for your marketing needs, you should consider doing so now.

Here are other ways social media can benefit your small business:

Social media allows for a greater business outreach: With social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, you are better able to get your business out there to the world, reaching customers near and far, as opposed to just locally.

Social media can help to build your reputation: Not only is social media a good way to manage your online presence, but it is also the perfect opportunity to gain your customers’ trust and loyalty. By giving your business a social media presence, more customers will be inclined to trust your brand, as well as look to you over your competition, especially if they are not as socially present as you are.

Social media can help with customer support: By being available 24/7 with social media outlets, such as Facebook, you can assure your customers that they can reach you when necessary. However, it is critical that you address your customers’ posts and messages as soon as possible in order to maintain your customer service reputation.

Social media can sell your business: Not only can you better advertise your product or services by using social media, but you can also provide opportunities for your customers to purchase your products or services as well. This will provide a much more pleasurable experience for your customers, which will likely keep them coming back.

If you are interested in learning more about what Windy City Strategies can offer your business’s internet marketing strategy, then contact us today.

LinkedIn Pages For Business

LinkedIn is becoming more and more popular across social networks for a way for business people to connect with one another. Having a business page to highlight your company can increase your brand awareness and sales in different ways direct marketing, pay per click advertising and search engine optimization cannot. Here are a few techniques you should consider and use when it comes to setting up your LinkedIn page or managing it.

  1. Your Summary– Make sure this section of your page is a well written paragraph that explains what your company does and is engaging for a potential client to read. Make sure you are clear about your products/services in this summary.
  2. Branding– Every business page features a heading photo.It is important to make sure this photo represents your business and is a familiar image. Possibly using an image from your website or same cover photo from your social media platforms.
  3. Keywords– LinkedIn pages are great for SEO. Make sure to fill your page with keywords that are important for your business. This will help your page appear higher in an organic search.
  4. Content & Updates– When writing updates and posting articles, you will want to make sure the information you are posting about is relevant and unique to your business. Providing readers and followers with a wide variety of content topics will help people stay engaged with your page.
  5. Responsiveness– It is important to make sure you are interacting with people who are posting on your updates. If your writing great content, people will want to comment & interact with you.

One additional way to build up your LinkedIn page is to share your page with others. You can add the link to your website, in an email signature, having your employees link to your page and asking clients to share your information as well.

For more information about optimizing your LinkedIn page, or other Internet Marketing techniques, contact Windy City Strategies. We look forward to helping your business succeed online.

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Utilizing Your LinkedIn Profile To Draw More Potential Customers!

Many professionals are still not convinced of the power of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a large professional social network that provides a way to connect with your professionals and help you stay in touch with the millions of users using this platform.

LinkedIn is used to share your ideas, exchanging knowledge, and many opportunities that are offered. This could help you find groups of interest as well as finding a job in your field.

The first step to drawing people to your LinkedIn profile is by creating a powerful one. Start by adding your professional headline, this is the area right underneath your name, 120 characters that describe who you are and what you do. Many people have their “Title” at “Company” but this is a great area to add a tagline and a couple keywords.

The next step that people notice first is your picture, name and professional headline. Whether you are responding to a message or inviting someone to connect with you; you are using that information to invest the time to make it engaging.

Many people skip over the description field of their experience section, this is the place for you to talk about what you have experience in. You will have 1,000 characters in that area to talk about your keywords. As you describe what you do and what your company does, using these keywords they are going to naturally settle right in.

Now on to your background section of your profile, be sure to use most of 2,000 characters that are offered to you to expand on who you are and what you do. With the interest’s section that is found at the very bottom of the profile, right under additional information, is the only section on LinkedIn where you can put your keywords. Limited to 1,000 characters to add both personal interests as well as a list of keywords you use for SEO.

When using the right keywords in these sections, you have a better chance of your profile showing up when anyone does a search on them. LinkedIn is actually one of the networks that can drive more traffic than Google+ and Bing. You need to make sure that you, not your competition, are being found by your prospects.

For more information about how to utilize your LinkedIn profile contact, Windy City Strategies!

Social Marketing with Marketing Automation

If you are already marketing on social networks, you know very well that it is a vital part of building and keeping relationships.  Marketing automation can almost double your social marketing effect.  With strategies like these and the help of Windy City Strategies, social marketing can help you build and maintain lasting, personalized relationships with your customers.

If your social marketing is fully integrated with your marketing automation, you can also use it to develop relationships with early-stage prospects, gather data, nurture leads, and turn customers into advocates.  Featured below are ways that marketing automation can amplify the power of your social marketing.

Segment and trigger based on downloaded content.

Marketing automation allows you to segment your leads, enabling you to deliver the most relevant content to each segment of your database.  Once you’ve identified your leads on social, you can use marketing automation to segment and trigger based on the type of content people have downloaded on social media platforms.  Get a strong indication of buying intent by combining knowledge of these interactions with your record of other engagement activities, such as:  Email clickthroughs, downloads, visits to your website.

Publish landing pages directly to Facebook.

With marketing automation, you can publish your own landing pages to tabs on your company’s Facebook page.  These pages don’t redirect users to your site, but allow you to gather data from customer behavior in the same way that you can gather data from a page built on your marketing automation platform.

Use social sign-on.

This one’s sneaky.  Marketing automation makes it easy to insert a social sign-on or single sign-on, which current and potential customers can use to access gated content.  The individual chooses a social profile to sign-on through, and that information automatically populates the form.  If you’re using marketing automation, these forms will also capture demographic information from the user’s social profile.  For example, if a person signs in through their LinkedIn profile, your marketing automation system can collect their contact information directly from LinkedIn.

Integrate intelligent share buttons.

These are social sharing buttons that can be added to web pages or Facebook tabs.  Visitors can click on them to share a page on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.  When a visitor shares, your marketing automation system can capture data about the sharer, which networks they used, their social reach, and the share messages they used.

By Bjorn Torling

Connecting Business to the Consumer Via Internet

Creating a personal relationship and keeping costumers updated on current events, products, and promotions is a very important part of running any business.  Thankfully, with the proper use of social media and internet marketing, all this and more is possible.

Building public relationships

The Internet provides an important platform for building and stabilizing relationships with customers. When a customer has purchased a service or product from a business online, from that purchase a business can ensure a relationship with the customer by sending a follow-up email to confirm the transaction, thank the customer, and inform the customer of other goods they may be interested in purchasing that the business can provide.  This allows a business to take in extra revenue and build that oh so important relationship with the consumers.  Blog creation can ensure that you will always be available to satisfy any customer’s needs and offer more of a business’s services or products to its devoted customers.

The Social Media advantage

Marketing on the internet allows your business to take advantage of the growing importance of social media.  According to an article on the Harvard Business School Executive Education website, a group of consumers that responded most strongly to the influence of social networks generated increased sales of around 5 percent.  Businesses should take advantage of this type influence on consumers by incorporating social networking tools in your Internet marketing campaigns.  When companies issue press releases  they increase their chances of being more well known to the public.  Higher publicity means more business.

Windy City Strategies is a professional and personal company that can provide your business with all of the necessary internet marketing strategies that will allow your company to build personal relationships with the public and stay in touch through social media.

Social Media Management

With so many social media platforms sometimes, it’s hard to stay on top of them all. Managing social media is tough, and more than ever businesses are hiring social media managers. If your business is considering hiring a social media manager, Windy City Strategies suggests ways to scout out social media experts. The following skills are crucial to an effective media manager.

1. Strong Semantic Skills: Writing is a major element to social media. Communication is key when you’re trying to get your business’s message across with quality content. Whoever you hire, their language skills should be at a professional level. Having the understanding to use the correct tone and vocabulary for your audience and writing for a niche while still having range is important. It makes your business approachable and gives your viewers an understanding.

2. Customer Service Experience: Having the skill to write clearly and concisely a necessity, but you don’t want a slew of hot headed replies on your social media sites to tarnish your image. Words are powerful, so your social media manager should understand how to handle complaints.

3. Their Social Media Networks: Understanding and knowledge comes best with experience, so ask for their social media links. If  they’re active on social media already, then they should already know how to use the platforms. Using it for a different purpose will be easy, and they’ll require less training time. You can also see if their social media practices align with your plan.

4. Familiarity with Internet Marketing: Your social media manager should understand how they fit into your business’s presence online. Your business’s branding across all sites are key to Internet marketing campaigns. Letting your manager know how his or her posts fit into your business’s image gives a clear sense of what’s being done.

5. Commitment: Social media takes a lot of time; you probably already know if you’re searching for a manager. Whoever you hire, however, should also know what’s expected of them. How often do you want to them tweet on Twitter, post on Facebook, pin on Pinterest, write a blog? What about retweeting, live posting, responding to mentions, commenting back? Getting all of this completed can take time, so hiring part time or on commission can be difficult.

To improve your business’s online presence overall, contact Windy City Strategies today.

Sonar App Offers Aggregate Geo-Location Notification

You walk in to your favorite restaurant in the city. You pull out your phone to brag to your friends, and possibly see that someone you know is there, too. So, what do you do? Check in to Foursquare, Google Places, Facebook Places, Yelp, or one of the many other check-in options?

Sonar, a new geo-location notification aggregate, can now do better – telling you which of your Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn friends are there – and tweet them directly to let them now you’ve arrived. This all-in-one functionality is terrific obviously, but relies on all of your contacts actually utilizing one of these services to check in themselves.

And how many people are going to check in via LinkedIn? Well, perhaps a business conference, I suppose?

It’s an example of an awesome possibility that will only become awesome once these services start auto-checking you into places – which admittedly, is uber-creepy.

Apply with LinkedIn Button Allows for One-Click Applications

This is really clever.

LinkedIn has released an “Apply with LinkedIn” button that any employer can list on their job listings page. With a single click, interested individuals can submit their LinkedIn profile (edited as needed) to this prospective employer.

The downside I see behind this is that making it SO easy to apply is going to force your HR rep to wade through way more resumes than currently. On the huge plus side, your talent pool just got a whole lot bigger, full of LinkedIn candidates, who tend to be at the higher levels of professionalism.

I’m really impressed, and would be surprised if I don’t see this button start popping up everywhere.

LinkedIn Anticipates 3 Billion Dollar Valuation

LinkedIn, the most prominent social media network for business professionals is preparing to list their IPO (initial public offering) on the New York Stock Exchange. The goal is to raise as much as $175 million with this initial public offering, through releasing 7.8 million shares at $32-$35 a share. This would valuate the company at more than $3 billion, and release 21.7% voting power to new shareholders.

Does a $3 billion valuation make sense? Well, LinkedIn earned $15.4 million on 2010 on net revenue of $243 million. So, from a Warren Buffet perspective, the answer is an overwhelming “NO!” But, there is no doubt that LinkedIn is positioned and primed as the #1 social networking site for business professionals. But, knowing exactly what that online monetization looks like in the future – in order to agree with a $3 billion dollar valuation (12 times their yearly net revenue) sure seems like a gamble at this point.

Give Me 6 Tweets for a Facebook Share

When you talk about a movie you just saw or a product you just bought via your social media channels, what is that worth?

Well, according to Eventbrite, a Facebook share is worth 6 tweets. That’s in street value terms of social commerce, mind you. Specifically, Eventbrite sells event tickets. And they have measured how social media shares of one’s ticket purchases lead to additional revenue. A Facebook share is worth $2.52 to Eventbrite. An e-mail is wroth $2.34. A Linkedin share is worth $0.90. And a tweet is worth $0.43.

People take recommendations from their friends more seriously than recommendations from strangers. So, social media sharing could eventually evolve into a primary source of revenue for e-tailers and retailers alike.