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Personalizing Your LinkedIn Requests

11 Dec
by Caitlin Thayer, posted in LinkedIn, Social Media   |  No Comments

If you’re on LinkedIn, then you’re probably hoping to use it to advance your career, connect with clients or find a new job. If you’ve put the effort into filling out your profile and looking up colleagues and friends to connect with, then please, take the time to personalize the LinkedIn request.

Nothing aggravates me more than when I get a request from someone to connect with and all I get is the generic, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” The worst. Especially if we’ve never met.

There are so many reasons why this irks me:

If I don’t know you, why would I connect with you? I know that many people think that because LinkedIn is the professional network, that people don’t mind connecting with people they don’t know because it enhances their network. For many people, this isn’t the case. There are so many people who only want to connect with you so they can try to sell you something, or because they want to be a “super-connector”. So if you’ve never met me before, give me a good reason to accept your invite. Tell me how you found me and why you’re interested in connecting. Like this, “Hi Caitlin, I saw your presentation last week, thanks so much! I would love to connect with you in case I have questions in the future. -Whoever you are”

If you send me a request to connect and you send me the generic message, it shows me that you don’t care. You didn’t put in the time or effort to personalize it, so if I don’t know you, this tells me that you’re looking to connect for selfish reasons. If I do know you, just change the message to a quick, “Hey Caitlin, We should connect! Hope to see you at the networking event on Wednesday. -Whoever you are”

See how easy that is? Take a few extra minutes to put the effort in and you’ll see a lot more people accepting your invites and wanting to chat with you.

Want to give it a shot? This is a test… connect with me on LinkedIn!

 

Connecting to Your Social Media

16 Jan
by Caitlin Thayer, posted in Facebook, Social Media, Twitter, YouTube   |  No Comments

If you’ve taken the first step and gotten your business or organization on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others, then pat yourself on the back because you’ve already got a jump on many organizations out there who are still trying to figure that out. What you don’t want to do is fall behind because you aren’t properly connecting all of your platforms.On your website it’s extremely important to make sure you have the links to all of your social media platforms. For anyone whose first encounter with your organization is via your website, you want to make sure you give them all of the information they’ll need to connect with you on all of the other platforms that you’re putting time and energy into. Give them the opportunity to help you spread the word about your organization and be able to tag you in any posts they make about you by giving them direct access to your social media pages. If possible, try to use the social media logos with a hyperlink to the pages, these are the most recognizable. If you just use words with a link, it could get lost in all of the other words on the page. Put the logos in the header, in the footer or on a sidebar so anyone who scrolls down the page will see them easily. I prefer the header, so if someone doesn’t take the time to scroll down the page they are still going to see them.

On Facebook, you want to create tabs on your business page for your Twitter feed, blog feed and YouTube channel if you have them. The Twitter tab will allow you to showcase your Twitter feed on your Facebook page. It will be very obvious to anyone who visit your Facebook page that you also have a Twitter account and *hint hint* they should be following you. This means, however, that if you have your tweets auto-feeding into your Facebook page, that you should probably stop doing that. No one will want to follow you on Facebook and Twitter if the content is exactly the same. See my previous post on The Art of Re-Posting. Also create a tab for your blog to feed into, and if you use Networked Blogs you can set it so it will auto-post to your wall as well.

Also on your Facebook page, in the info section make sure that you have the URL’s for your website, Twitter account, blog, YouTube channel… anywhere you’d want people to visit.

You want to do the same thing on your blog and YouTube channel. Find a place to incorporate a link to your Facebook page, Twitter account and all of the other social media platforms that you’re on. There is only space to put one link on your Twitter profile, so make that a link to your website, and when people click on it they’ll see all of your other social media platforms then.

And try some direct marketing approaches as well. Post your blog links and your Twitter link on your Facebook page every so often, post tweets asking your followers to join your Facebook page and read your blog, and blog about your efforts on Facebook and Twitter. Showcase a post you made that got a lot of great comments or highlight a Twitter conversation that occurred about your brand. Don’t be shy about promoting yourself.

It’s pointless to waste your time and energy on creating and updating your social media pages if you don’t let people know they exist. Make it as easy as possible for people to be able to find them, and it will make your job that much easier.

BizBuzz Social Media Conference – Hartford – 11/16

22 Oct
by Caitlin Thayer, posted in Connecticut, Social Media   |  No Comments

Official press release, with added Twitter handles and all added to the BizBuzz2010 Twitter list.

AGENDA SET for HARTFORD BIZBUZZ SOCIAL MEDIA CONFERENCE NOV. 16

  • Social Media Pioneer Brent Robertson (@brentrobertson) to Kick-Off Full-Day Conference

HARTFORD, CT, Oct. 223, 2010 – The BizBuzz Social Media Conference on Nov. 16 will bring together the pioneers and thought-leaders of the social media world for a day-long conference in Hartford.  The agenda’s been set and workshops and hands-on sessions will range from overall strategy to specific tactics.  Whether you’re a social media newcomer or a social media maven, this conference will allow you to pick something new and productive.  BizBuzz is presented by Site-Seeker, Inc. The event will be held at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The conference kicks off with a keynote address by social media pioneer Brent Robertson, President and Chief Creative Officer for the award-winning branding firm, Fathom. He will set the stage for the day-long conference with his presentation, “Building Sustainable Relationships with Social Media.” His concept of “Intersections of Affinity” builds on the idea that marketers need to identify and target the intersections where their audience has developed an affinity with an organization and use them as the launching pad for social media activities.

BizBuzz will feature three tracks: Nuts and Bolts, Marketing, and Business Management. Conference participants will have their choice of a full menu of presentations in each of these tracks and do not need to stick to one track all day. Presentations will include:

During the lunch hour, participants can take advantage of the “Practice Café” where they can meet one-on-one with presenters for short personal consultations on social media issues.

The conference will conclude with a panel called “The Future of Social Media is NOW” which will be moderated by Brian Bluff, Site Seeker, Inc. Panelists will include: Brent Robertson, Fathom Marketing; Danielle Cyr, Co-Communications; Alyssa Henry, Syracuse University iSchool and Kathy Hokunson, Site Seeker, Inc. Following this, participants can network together and with speakers at the TweetUp Networking cocktail hour.

Tickets will be priced at $140.00. Discount tickets will be available for students at $80.00, with a valid student ID.  Preregistration is encouraged, but walk-ins will be available on a first come-first-serve basis.  To register or for more information go to: www.bizbuzzsocialmediaconference.com.

About BizBuzz Conferences

BizBuzz conferences are presented throughout the Northeast by Site Seeker, Inc., and its other major sponsors.  They offer business owners and marketing communications professions a look at best practices for using social media productively.  All explore the impact social media has on marketing, advertising and PR and give participants a first look at the latest tools to engage the public.  Sponsors for the Hartford conference include Site-Seeker, Inc.; Digital Vertical Marketing; The Events Company; Visual Technologies; Plus Sign Graphics and Andrea Obston Marketing Communications.  For more information, including registration and sponsorship packages see: www.bizbuzzsocialmediaconference.com.  Follow BizBuzz on twitter: @BizBuzzConf.

Media contact:

Andrea Obston aobston@aomc.com

(860) 243-1447 (office) (860) 803-1155 (cell)

(860) 653-27612 (home)

For more information and resources on this client please visit the Andrea Obston Marketing Communications Online Newsroom at www.aomcnewsroom.com

PodCamp CT – Session Four – International Internet

16 Oct
by Caitlin Thayer, posted in Connecticut, Social Media   |  1 Comments

It’s called the World Wide Web for a reason.

The first step is to get in touch with the US, which means making your information available in more than just English. Translate your website into other languages using Google Translate and creating new pages for your site. (I have clients who use Babel Fish, the Yahoo version) The translation will never  be perfect, but it’s a huge step forward for anyone who doesn’t speak English.

One participant in the room disagrees with that, saying that as a non-native English speaker, seeing the “botched translation” ruins the language, and shows that the company isn’t willing to spend money on a translator but would rather have it done and have it be good enough. Our moderator (whose name I didn’t catch because I came in late, shame on me) replied that it’s a step in the right direction. It’s a process and it’s the first step in the process.

With all the tools we have to find out who visits our websites and blogs, we can find out where people are visiting our site from. If they’re visiting your site from a non-English speaking country and they don’t speak English, they won’t stay long. If you have the ability to translate your website into other languages, why not do it? In the United States such a large population of Latino/Hispanic it seems obvious to put your information in Spanish. (Reminds me of visiting Hawai’i and how every street sign is in English and Japanese because of the large number of Japanese tourists who visit.)

When you visit a large company like Lindt (who I used to work for) you can get a page where they tell you all of the other languages the site is tranlated into. And this isn’t Google Translate translation. They’ve spent the money to translate the site. 

Someone pointed out that not all of us sell a product, some of us provide information or education so this doesn’t necessarily help us. We can certainly provide basic information to someone in another language but we’re not going to able to answer questions or further the conversation with anyone else unless they speak English as well.

PodCamp CT – Session Two – SEO

16 Oct
by Caitlin Thayer, posted in Connecticut, Social Media   |  No Comments

Session #2 with @ahynes1, all about SEO.

To start of, figure out what terms you want to be highest ranked for. He gives the example of a San Francisco psychologist. When you search for San Francisco psychology, you get 1 million plus. So narrow yourself down. Group psychology specializing in x, y and z. Figure out what makes you unique. Use Google Adwords to search keywords to find out what people are searching for. It’s not what you search for, it’s what everyone else is searching for.

Make sure you’re using Google Analytics and check in regularly with what search terms people are using to find your website. The keywords you think people should be using to find you may not be the same as the keywords they’re actually using to find you.

@LifeWithWendy talked about writing her blog and having someone tell her that she needs to put the words “parenting solution” as much as possible so Google really knows what you’re writing about. @MattCrouch and @ahynes1 immediately nixes that and says essentially, content is king. Just make sure you’re writing good content, don’t worry so much about the keywords you’re using.

Don’t write blogs or publish content because you want people to read it. Write it because you want to write it. When you write with SEO or keywords in mind, you won’t do as well as when you write for the content. Google constantly changes their strategy on pulling keywords so don’t base your sites on that.

When you’re putting links on your blog, or others are linking to your site, the anchor text is really important. @ahynes1 gives the example: “To read the blog on social media, click here“, then you’re not helping anyone out because the anchor text is “here”. Make sure it’s “To read the blog on social media” so you’ll help the page ranking because it’s clear what the link goes to. How this all works goes a little bit over my head, but this is a pretty simple idea that anyone can incorporate.

In my first blog about session one of PodCamp CT about podcasts (see what I did there? :) ) where someone said that YouTube really isn’t the best video hosting site, now @mattcrouch is saying that YouTube is his choice because a) it’s the largest video site with the most traffic and b) promoted videos on YouTube are fairly cheap and a good idea for some businesses.

Wrapping up, @ahynes1 is explaining SEO long tail and how this can be used when developing your site with the right keywords. @mattcrouch says it’s important to do some pretty extensive keyword research before you create your website so you can keep the right keywords on the right pages and that will make it easier to be found in searches. @LifeWithWendy writes a blog about parenting. Everyone writes blogs about parenting. So @ahynes1 is saying narrow it down, from parenting to ADD parenting to parenting kids 7-10 with ADD. Now you’ve narrowed it down to the long tail and you’ll be found more often by the people you want. Don’t aim for the same things the big parenting blogs are writing about because you’ll never be able to compete.

Resources: SEO Moz, High Rankings Forum, WIEP.NET and use the SEO pack plugin for WordPress.

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