Article Archive by Bea Halstead

August 27 2012

4 Tips for Optimizing a LinkedIn Company Page

by Bea Halstead

Businesses that are B2B marketers should consider the value of LinkedIn as a growing professional network for its potential to generate leads.  A recent infographic published by LinkedIn marketing, shows that LinkedIn generated 212 million business leads in the U.S. for 2011. They found that 46% of the audience follows industry discussions and 43% use LinkedIn to learn about companies.  It’s easy to make a case for participating in the network, when you consider that 60+ million U.S. members use LinkedIn as a professional resource. If you already have a LinkedIn company page, the next step is optimizing it.

You can optimize your LinkedIn Company page with the following features:

  • Add Unique SEO Copy – Create unique, keyword rich copy for the Company Overview, Description, Products/Services, Promotions, and Status Update sections.
  • Optimize Your Page Design – Create designs for up to three banners that include strong calls to action and visually support your business model. Include a Thumbnail on each Product/Service listed; up to 5 can be featured. Include a YouTube video about the Product/Service on each landing page. Add copy for a promotion about  to the service,  that links to your website.
  • Optimize Individual Profiles – Each company page connects to an individual profile, and more than one profile can be linked with the page as a contact resource. Each optimized profile can create and participate in Groups, Answers, Discussions, and Add Events.
  • Target Audiences – Once the LinkedIn “default” Company Page is complete; you can duplicate it and adapt the content toward target audiences. You may choose to alter your page’s banner design, featured services, and text that will only show for specific designated page filters. This will ensure that the customized company pages are specific to the industry, job function, geography, etc. of your choice.

These tips can be used to improve your LinkedIn Company Page, in order to make it more effective in generating traffic to your website and capturing leads. If you are interested in pursuing this type of optimization, but don’t have the internal resources to accomplish the outlined tasks, you should contact us for information about our LinkedIn Optimizer program.

August 15 2012

Google+ Local Merges with Google+ Business Pages

by Bea Halstead

Since the launch of Google Plus, we have covered what to expect with a Google+ Business Page and what has happened to Places Listings that merged into Google+ Local.   Recently, Google released the ability to merge the Google+ Local listings with a single Google+ Business Page.  This functionality is very important, since there are features available on a Google+ Business Page that were not accessible on a Google+ Local listing.  The advantages to merging your listings into a single Google+ Business Page include the ability to share updates with photos or videos and links, create Circles (segmented networks of fans), set up Events, host Hangouts that can be linked to your YouTube account and recorded, and include you customer reviews on an SEO optimized About section for your business.  We will continue to share more ideas about the social media marketing strategies for a Google+ Business Page in another follow up article.  Below are the steps to the verification procedure for merging one Google+ Local Listings into a new, more robust +Business Page.

Step One: Create a profile with a gmail address, this will be the owner of the page, make sure it is unique to the business and not a personal account. Create a Google+ Business Page, if you do not already have one.  Populate the “About Info” with keyword rich text and hyperlinks to your website.  Upload a profile photo and cover image that will enhance your brand’s exposure.  Start adding People, and Pages to circles that are in your scope of interests, to expand your Pages reach in the network.

Step Two: Select the “Verify Now” button next to your Google+ Page name.  You will be able to add managers to the Page, and they can perform this action as well.   You can add a personal gmail account to be a Page manager, but they will need to have a Google+ Profile activated.

Step Three: Verify your business address.  Select the “View Page” to see what your current +Local listing contains.  You will be able to compare what information has merged with your existing +Business Page, by keeping a copy of this screen shot in your records.

Step Four: Complete the verification process by requesting a postcard with a pin.  Once you receive the postcard in the mail, go to the link provided and validate that you are the business owner.  You’ll need to accept the terms and conditions before selecting the “request post card” button.

Once your Google+ Business Page is verified, your Page will be shown to anyone searching in Google Maps, Google Search, and Google Plus.  Your business’s reviews will migrate with the about information you have populated on your Page, and have the potential to also appear in search results.   It will be important to share updates frequently, so visitors to the Page have a resource for learning about specials, your company, or industry news and trends you provide to your fan base.  Google+ users will be able to leave reviews and give your business a rating directly on your page.  You might want to consider a way to reward customer reviews, so there is a good representation of positive feedback about your business.

We specialize in social media strategy and search engine optimization for Google+ Business Pages.  This network, has the ability to drive traffic to your location as well as enhance your website’s position in natural search results.  If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of Google Plus for your business, call us at 800.787.0497 for a free consultation.

August 10 2012

Easy Social Media Content Creation

by Bea Halstead

Social Media Marketing strategy includes a few best practices to employ in order for businesses to conduct themselves successfully.   The most important of which is engaging the network of fans that are interested in following your presence with content they will want to interact with.  Although the endorsement of your brand is apparent when a user follows you, there is also and understood conversation that will occur surrounding the overall interests in the industry you conduct business in.   Because your fans are interested in topics beyond just your propriety content, it is important to find ways to integrate external content like industry news, history, trending topics, and overall knowledge of the trade to leverage and encourage potential conversations and fan growth.   Becoming a source for your fans to rely on for additional content provides more opportunity for you to exposure your brand as a thought leader.  Some simple tools exist that can aid in creating this type of social media content.   Outlined below are a few tools that any marketer can use to get a daily resource for industry topics and trends from both businesses and individuals to share with their own network.

Google Alerts – This free tool is not new to many marketers, but probably isn’t used as often as it should be.  We recommend setting up a daily alert with your company name, to monitor reputation management.  You will want to set up alerts for industry keywords to be able to generate content based on these searches, which provide fresh content from various sources.  You may also consider creating alerts for you top competitors, to keep an eye on what self-promotional marketing efforts they are publishing online.

Storify – This small social network allows a user to search for a topic/keyword and then aggregate multiple sources into a single story.  We recommend trying out this tool because the search feature targets social media networks.  You start with a keyword search within Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Flicker, or Google to see results for Tweets, Images, Videos, Links, and Posts.  This content can be repurposed either in a single article or as individual posts to your network of choice.

– This new site describes itself as a “public discovery portal”.  It will allow a visitor to conduct a search that will stream in trending conversations from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and more by offering a live stream of photos, videos, and posts.   We recommend setting up a free account to have access to the built in Dashboard and Sonar features when linking your social media accounts and rss feeds to the tool.   This also includes a publishing feature, where you can post updates directly from the site to different accounts you have connected it to.

Tools like these are free and easy to use to target trends and create content that can be good to share with your growing social community.   Know what the audience is interested in with each network you participate in, so you will understand what content will be best suited toward starting conversations with them.  Make sure to add your own voice to these industry trends by asking questions and providing insight into the external content you are sharing.  If you are not sure about what content you should generate to share with your target audience, then contact us for a social media strategy that will enhance you company’s online presence.

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