Simple ways to maximize your LinkedIn presence

love-linkedin

If the world of social media were an elementary school, LinkedIn would be one of the most misunderstood kids on the social media jungle gym.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network but yet many people don’t scratch the surface on it’s potential. As one of the most powerful search engines for online personal branding, LinkedIn provides a great way to bring your professional network to life.

Megan Porteous shares a few easy ways to maximize your LinkedIn presence below.

1) Connect promptly while your new contact still remember you

Don’t wait for more than 24 hours before connecting with someone on LinkedIn you’ve had contact with (this goes for both in-person or email correspondence). That way, your name and/or face are still fresh in their memory and they are more likely to click “accept”. In addition, make sure your LinkedIn profile picture shows your face clearly (no glasses or hats) so you’re easily recognizable.

2) Set a connection goal

LinkedIn counts a user’s connections exactly up until the 500 mark. After 500, the number of connections a user has is displayed by 500+. That could mean 501 contacts, or it could mean 1,500 contacts. Set a realistic contact goal for yourself, eventually aiming to reach the 500+ mark. Dedicate some time to growing your LinkedIn community. Go through your Facebook friends and add them to LinkedIn. Add former colleagues, classmates, professors, and industry partners. Add anyone who you stop and hello to while walking down the street. 

3) Connect with care

Your LinkedIn network is only as valuable as the strength of your connections.  For some professionals—like recruiters or salespeople—it is advantageous to connect generously. But for most people, it’s best to be a little choosey on your LinkedIn connections. If you have a bunch of LinkedIn connections with people you have never met before, there is no value in those connections down the road.

For example, say you want to connect with someone at MTV. You see that there is one person at MTV who you have a 2nd connection with. The 2nd connection could be an old co-worker who you had a great relationship with. You simply message your former co-worker asking for an introduction and viola, connection made! If you had a network filled with connections that you didn’t actually know, you wouldn’t be able to maximize your connections.

If you want to connect with someone and think it might be a stretch, be sure to personalize the message you send with the invite to explain why you want to connect—and why this person should want to connect with you (think equal value exchange).

4) Update your LinkedIn status regularly 

Each time your brand releases a new blog post, you should update your LinkedIn status with a link to the new post, regardless if you wrote it or one of your teammates wrote it. This helps drive traffic to your brand’s website and it also allows your name to show up on your connection’s LinkedIn timeline on a regular basis, keeping you top of mind and further legitimizing your professional presence.

5) Build relationship between people

Jamie Ginsberg, a friend of Digital Royalty and a LinkedIn wizard, can’t stress this point enough. Building relationships between people is a lost art form. See someone looking for an opportunity? Connect them with someone who may be hiring. This LinkedIn good karma will come back around when you are trying to connect with someone. This is the initiative that separates the rookies from the all-stars.

6) Prep for meetings and find common ground

Before a meeting or a conference call, do a quick LinkedIn search of the people who will be meeting with. This will allow you to find some common ground and/or learn about their background and roles within the company. Maybe you will discover that you went to the same school, maybe you see that the person likes hiking because they are a member of “Executives who hike” group. Who knows what you’ll find but personal connections can make those awkward conference calls a lot less painful!

 7) Maximize travel

Whenever traveling, both professionally and personally, update your LinkedIn status with a short bit on where you are going, WHY you making the trip and asking if people in the area would like to meet up for a coffee. You can also search your connections by city. For example, if you were traveling to Denver, you could search to see which connections lived in or near Denver. You could then message or email the ones who you’d like to meet up with because it’s important to not only reach out to someone when you need something. We all know that every good connection needs a little bit of work to keep it a good connection!

8) Engage with LinkedIn timeline

Each time you log in to LinkedIn, go through your timeline and at the very least, LIKE a connection’s post. If possible, make a comment on a connection’s post. The way the LinkedIn algorithm is set up, each time you comment or LIKE a post, you show up in your connection’s time line (keeping you top of mind!). Jamie calls this the 2-minute drill: two minutes of daily maintenance is better than logging in 1x per week.

Surveys Get Social with DoubleTree by Hilton

By Kirsten Stubbs

Like eco-friendly light bulbs and stocking up on economy sized packages of paper towels at Costco, even before social media can make you money, they can inherently save you money. And when it comes to market research, social surveying can save brands time and money with significant and valid results from a substantial sample size to help better serve customers.

Such is the case for DoubleTree by Hilton, the socially savvy hotel chain known for its comprehensive social media training at each of its 250 international properties as well as last year’s social-centric nationwide Cookie CAREavan Tour. The brand is now using social media to identify how it can improve travel for guests and continue to deliver the DoubleTree by Hilton brand promises. Additionally, the brand is using this unique method to engage and further enhance their online community.

In support of DoubleTree by Hilton’s slogan “The little things mean everything,” the brand is asking guests to answer a few simple questions on a Facebook tab for the chance to win a tin of their signature chocolate chip cookies. The instant feedback allows DoubleTree by Hilton to get a true sense of how their community defines and experiences travel. The tab is being marketed via promoted tweets and Facebook ads to create a comprehensive campaign bridging all of the brand’s social media platforms in a way that benefits both brand and guest.

The mix of valuable feedback for the brand and a sweet prize for guests, as well as heightened awareness of both, is resulting in exponential growth in DoubleTree by Hilton’s online community. In ten days following the campaign’s start, the brand’s Facebook likes have grown more than 30 percent, Twitter followers have grown more than 15 percent and their weekly ‘People Talking About This’ metric (the brand’s Facebook engagement) has increased by more than 427 percent, now encompassing a staggering 14 percent of their total Facebook fan base.

To hear more about DoubleTree by Hilton’s “Little Things” initiative, follow along with the conversation on Twitter by searching #LittleThings or read the recent HubSpot article featuring the campaign, or fill out the survey  for a chance at winning DoubleTree by Hilton cookies yourself.

Why Facebook Deserves a Jump High-Five

By: Kirsten Stubbs

Eight years ago MySpace was THE social networking site. I remember joining the website and unknowingly falling in love with a career field that didn’t yet exist. I spent hours branding my profile with self-taught HTML and micro-blogging before I knew what those terms meant. I also remember the obnoxious genesis of social media advertising: banner ads touting Flash games or free prizes for clicking. While many people my age were dabbling in what would be digital media (in between playing online Whack-a-Mole to win a car via banner ad), some ambitious kid at Harvard had a crazy idea called TheFacebook.com that unbeknownst to him, would re-imagine marketing and set a precedent for online branding.

Fast-forward to today, MySpace is on the verge of social networking obsolescence. Many of those kids who spent hours on end adding <br> and <a href=> to code while their parents yelled at them to go outside and get some fresh air (myself included) are now working in the digital world. As for Facebook, that crazy idea of that ambitious kid just celebrated its seventh birthday with an active user base of more than 500 million and a recent valuation of more than $50 billion.

The social landscape is changing at an incredible pace. To keep up with changing media and preferences, Facebook has constantly reinvented itself over the years. Periodic changes have ranged from superficial, (losing its “the” early on to become the more widely known Facebook.com) to functional, (losing the “is” in status updates, allowing users to highlight their actions in any tense) and game-changing (expanding from serving only Harvard to only Ivy League Schools, followed by only colleges and eventually everyone from your grandma to your third grade teacher).

Friends have become fans and fans have become “likes.” Mundane words like “wall” and “tag” have taken on whole new meanings. Facebook has become a global marketplace, a new advertising medium, a user-generated encyclopedia and content distribution hub. Nearly every facet of Facebook has changed in some way in the past few years, save the perpetual ‘poke’ feature for which it seems Mark Zuckerberg and crew have a soft spot.

The most lucrative evolution within Facebook, and arguably the greatest reason for its continued success, is its redefinition of marketing. While Facebook began with banner ads comparable to those on MySpace, the website soon figured out that for users to respond to advertisements and brands to generate revenue, ads shouldn’t feel forced or unnatural. Inbound marketing replaced outbound. The fan page was born – a way to organically draw potential customers in to learning about, engaging with and creating a community around common interests.

Fan pages eventually became “like” pages and consolidated every interest archived on Facebook. This shift made the pages seem even less invasive. Users could like celebrities, interests or brands regardless of the pages were a masked sales pitch or not. Pages soon received the ability to add customized apps, FBML (or Facebook HTML), and even video and games.

The evolution continues with the redesign of Facebook Pages, which signifies the next generation of social media marketing on Facebook. The Page is becoming more personal, more intuitive and more engaging. Among other features, Facebook is now allowing Page administrators to actually become the brand and navigate Facebook and interact with other pages accordingly. The new Pages even resemble profile pages, making Facebook marketing even less invasive and more personalized. At Digital Royalty, we firmly believe that a brand should span beyond a logo and become a personality – human, imperfect and real. The new Pages reflect this idea. Nice work, Facebook.

Between our iPhones, iPads and iPods (not to mention parts of life that don’t have an i-prefix), it’s sometimes hard to find time to step back and admire the journey innovative startups like Facebook have taken and how their effort drastically affects the field in which we work. We may have been annoyed by the change from the “fan” to the “like,” and outraged by the removal of the “pop” Facebook chat alert, but in light of the recent Pages redesign, I think we should all just say “Thanks” to Facebook. The website’s insatiable imagination is always keeping us on our toes. We “like” it.

Celebrity Shares Phone Number with 4.3 Million Fans

It happened so quickly, some of us may not have even noticed. But one night, several weeks ago, a president of a professional sports league sent out his office phone number to over 1 million fans. By accident.

What happened next? Well, the expected. The phone began ringing off the hook and fans retweeted the phone number, spreading it like wildfire. What was less expected was when the pro sports president began fielding these calls and carried on conversations with numerous fans for close to 90 minutes.

This was Dana White, President of UFC. What was Dana’s initial reaction? “If I’m dumb enough to tweet my number on here, I’m going to sit here and I’m going to talk to these people.”

At Digital Royalty, we listened to the overwhelmingly positive fan feedback and knew we could build upon this situation, learn something from the “accident” and make it something bigger. We used Dana’s serendipitous, misfired tweet as inspiration to develop a concept that will give fans unprecedented access to this larger than life personality. We always set out to bridge the virtual and physical worlds, providing value to fans when, where and how they want to receive it.

Dana now has a socially dedicated phone line with a number that will be available through all his social media channels, which total 4.3 million fans on Facebook and Twitter combined. Whenever Dana has free time to chat with fans, he’ll turn the phone on and invite the 4.3+ million people to give him a ring. Taking time to talk with fans is something that Dana really enjoys. This concept wouldn’t work without an authentic desire to connect with his fans.
When asked about accidently tweeting his number, Dana said: “And then when it was over I was like, that was cool, I’m actually glad that happened.”

On Saturday, Dana gave his phone number to the 4.3 million fans. Within 5 minutes, his number reached over 9 million people via social media due to celebrities retweeting the number. We shared the experience virtually by hypersyndicating video of this taking place for his entire network to watch. The fan reaction was just as we anticipated. Fans from the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada and all over the world called in to make their predications moments before the event. A powerful testament to social media providing a unique value to fans that can’t be found anywhere else.