7 Tips to Build Your Best Personal Brand on LinkedIn

 linkedinLinkedIn is no doubt the most credible of all social media networks making it essential to demonstrate your best personal brand online. Remember that before your business meeting, client presentation, or interview most people will have already scoped out your LinkedIn profile and you want it to highlight your extraordinary professional accomplishments, work-ethic and expert knowledge.


1. Write an Awesome Headline for Your Profile

How do you stand out? What is your best skill or asset you bring to your work? Put those words in your headline. Don’t just list your current company and position that will still show up below. You want to catch people’s attention, for example “Dynamite Social Media Expert Will Build Your Brand in One Month.” You can bet people will click on that LinkedIn profile.


2. Copy the Masters

If you’re wondering what your profile should look like find several people who have the jobs you want or work in the same field and mimic their profile. Notice the key words they use for their specialty skills, look at what applications they’re using and the number of recommendations they have. This will be a good point of reference for how you should design your profile.


3. Lead the Way as an Industry Expert

One of the goals of being on LinkedIn is to show that you’re an expert in your field.

This includes adding your blog, portfolio, and presentation applications to your profile; not just the links. This will show people the type of work you excel at and where you can help. Highlight your professional achievements and share press releases or articles written about you—it’s okay to brag. You’ve earned.


4. Get Recommendations

One of the best and most valuable ways to build up your profile is through recommendations. Whoever recommends you is giving you their personal endorsement. This is huge for your brand development. If you have more than 10 recommendations people will take notice and chances are they’ll want to work with someone so highly recommended.


5. Participate in Group Discussions

It’s important not to just join groups of interest, but to actively engage in them. Start off by introducing yourself to your fellow members. Give some background on yourself, what you do and what you hope to learn by joining the group.  Next ask a question. What is a trend you’ve noticed in your office or company?  What changes are taking place? Make sure the question is not something you could discover by Googling it. Ask a question that will get a discussion stirring and then comment on current conversations. If you’re vocal about your opinion people will regularly seek you out for it and it will build your credibility in the professional world.


6. Share Your Knowledge

The moment someone sees you as a resource your value on LinkedIn spikes. By posting great content articles in your status update or engaging with others by commenting on their posts you are strengthening your credibility. People will want your advice or knowledge if you constantly share good information.


7.  Earn Recognition for Your Expertise

The best way to become an expert is to show you’re an expert. Answer questions posted by other people in the Ask a Question area and you will earn a profile badge that highlights your expertise. It will also show all of the questions and your answers. It’s best to answer questions in variety of different areas so people can see the extent of knowledge. Answering these questions will help build up your authority and again demonstrate that you’re an expert.

Kaite LeimkuehleKatie Leimkuehler is a Social Media Strategist, Trainer and Speaker who coaches businesses and individuals on how to utilize social media marketing. Previously she worked as the Manager of Social Media and Communications at the International Interior Design Association and prior to that was a Community Manager at the Chicago Tribune. She was also chosen as a social media panelist in KI’s NeoCon Social Media Webinar. You can find her on Twitter, LinkedIn and on her website.

Kelly Lieberman From #Pinchat Is Our Guest Tonight On #TurnitSocial

Kelly Lieberman, Social Media Manager and Consultant and host of the popular weekly #Pinchat on Twitter will be our guest tonight at 8 pm EST on #Turnitsocial !  Pinterest is now the number 3 Social Media site after Facebook and Twitter so , if you are not currently  utilizing  Pinterest as part of your Social Media  marketing strategy, then you should join us tonight for an informative hour of conversation and great Pinterest Tips.

Randy Thio from Ideabloke and I will be hosting #Turnitsocial tonight and you can follow us on Twitter at @ideabloke @turnitsocial @tribe2point0

If you need more information on how to join a Twitter Chat, you can view here.


How To Make Social Media Engagement Work For You!

engaging in social mediaBack in 2009, I enlisted a colleague to help me start up a Twitter account. At that time I viewed twitter as a silly waste of time. Fast forward to 2012 and Twitter has become one of my favorite social media platforms and a primary networking outlet for me. Additional platforms that I enjoy and use often include Facebook and LinkedIn.

Google+ is growing on me as well and with the addition of the rel=author function, I’ve begun using Google+ more often.

People often ask me, “How did you get Twitter and Facebook to work so well for your business?” Explaining this in one word is quite simple: ENGAGE

Over the years I’ve received countless emails and DM’s from others thanking me for the simple act of replying to them. I sometimes respond, “There’s no need to thank me. Why would I not reply to you?” The typical answer is, “Oh – you have no idea how many people do not. I get so frustrated by it! What am I doing wrong?”

These folks are likely not doing anything wrong at all. If they reach out to someone with a tweet or DM, email or Facebook note and hear nothing back, it’s probably not about them at all. Many business owners and social media professionals stand by the old rule that all inquiries should be replied to within 24-48 to show maximum professionalism. On the other hand, there could be a number of reasons for the lack of replies such as:

  • The company account is being run by someone in another country and they don’t know how to respond to the inquiry.
  • The company account is being auto-run and no one gets replies.
  • The company account is being run on a part time basis and replies are few and far between.
  • The person running the account is more interested in being heard than in ‘listening,’ helping or engaging.
  • The tweet, email, DM or Facebook note simply got lost under many others – we all get busy.
  • There could be other facts involved, also, from a sense of elevation to family issues and more.
  • I read a tweet recently that said, “Not everyone wants to engage here! Some of us are just here to observe and monitor the space for marketing research.”

A lack of engagement can be the result of a number of factors. That said, this is one area in social media that can quickly set you apart from your competition!  Simply replying to others (in a positive and helpful way) has brought me additional business, wonderful networking opportunities, guest post offers, new friendships, charitable giving opportunities, donations for fund-raisers I’m running and much more.

People appreciate feeling heard, listened to, replied to and engaged with. On twitter I attempt to reply to tweets and DM’s immediately. If I receive messages while I’m sleeping I reply as soon as I get back to work and see the correspondence. I respond to emails within 24 hours, any time possible. Sometimes my reply must be, “No, I can’t do that. I’m sorry!” However, I usually offer the person an alternative solution or varying idea to solve their problem. Even if I cannot help them, someone else might be able to, right?

For instance, I often receive emails asking that I advertise someone’s business for free. I reply, “We have paid ad spots if you’d like to learn more about that. If you are seeking free advertising, I’ll send you over to an article that I wrote about ways small businesses can promote for free. Hopefully that will help you.” Many times these same people come back for services later on, based on my willingness to help them even when they did not want to pay for services to begin with.

Think… Givers Gain. It really does work! In addition, what do you have to lose by being kind and helpful, right?

On Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ I generally reply to all comments and messages within 24 hours if not sooner. I’ve found that when people comment under a post of mine, they hope to either get a ‘thumb up’ or a reply comment in return. If I do this quickly they feel as though they are really a part of our community and their presence is appreciated. Soon enough they are commenting more often and engaging with our community in a deeper way.

In closing, you might like to consider the following word play for the word ENGAGE:

E= Eager to reply

N= Never ignore

G= Givers Gain

A= Always respond to legitimate inquiries (not spam)

G= Get back what you give

E= Early replies gain respect

Off you go now – engage and grow!

Shara Lawrence-Weiss is the owner of Mommy Perks, an online community for parents, grandparents, business owners and friends. Shara has a background in early childhood, education, freelance, nanny work, special needs, marketing and business ownership. She is currently serving as the secretary of her town charity group and the treasurer of the town library board. She lives in a small town near the woods with her husband and four children. Shara and her husband volunteer for town fund-raisers with the kids and mentor numerous at-risk teenagers. Shara is also active on Facebook and Twitter.

Why is Pinterest So Addictive

pinterest is addictive

As a busy professional woman you would think that I would not get so addicted to the new social media site Pinterest which users mainly use for recipe swaps, DIY projects and decorating tips, au contraire.  For me exploring Pinterest and becoming a pinner helps me identify with things in my life from the past, present and envision for the future.  It also allows me to connect with others who have the same likes or dislikes as I do, and these likes and dislikes are not the same as likes 0n Facebook.  If you want another excuse I also hail from Alabama, one of the states statistically with the most pinners.

For me Pinning allows me to gather ideas for my present everyday life and to dream about my life in the future, especially when I am thinking about my first to London I will be taking later this fall.   Pinning for me is an outlet from the stress of other social media sites and it allows me to give people insight into who I am on a personal level.    Something I have avoided in my professional life before now.

For example,  I love Autumn/Fall so I have been pinning and re-pinning for a good part of a week about things that mean fall to me.  Whether it’s fall fashion, to décor to holidays, I get to explore visually the things I like about the season.   I also love to interact with others across the Pinterest network who are pinning about Fall to see what they like and to get ideas.  I also like recipes.

Gone are the days for me that I will sit and clip interesting recipes to try, and I don’t want to put them in a book that gathers dust.  Pinning recipes is a way for me to keep up with what’s hip and new in the food world.  I don’t cook that often, but when I do and it’s usually around the holidays, I like having interesting recipes to try.

Many marketers aren’t exactly sure what the pay-off of Pinterest is just yet.  In a recent article 10 Things to People Love or Hate About Pinterest, at Mashable.com even pinners question the glitches the Pinterest website seems to have.

Mashable talks about two consumer marketing monitoring firms who have looked at the site’s glitches and user interface.  Some of the statistics are staggering at best with 60% women and 40% men using the site, and acording to the infographic report that Netbase and SAP posted, Pinterest is the fastest growing social media site on the web .  Last year the site tracked 10 million monthly visits in the United States alone over any other website.

Two of the top five things people love about the site are sharing recipes and the comments that come along with sharing them and how easy it is to help plan and organize items from decorating, to shopping to crafts to weddings.  The top least favorite thing that people like about Pinterest is that for companies and others, we’re not too sure how pinning equates to more business for our business.

I for one believe that the complaint of monetization will work itself out.  Because I believe eventually consumers will buy something they have seen on Pinterest. I know, if there is something I really like and want to know where I can get it, I click on the photo to go to the website where nine times out of 10 I can see where to purchase the item and I visit the site at least once before I decide to purchase it.

Still other statistics I have seen on Pinterest talk about sentiment to brands.   Let’s face it people pin from sites and brands they know and love, and brands are now getting into the game with their own Pinterest boards.  Consumers like me, are recognizing this and are gravitating to their boards.  Brand loyalty may be where in the end businesses and consumers see the benefits of the hours upon hours of pinning items they like.

About Author

Kara Kennedy, a native of Birmingham, has worked extensively in the areas of Public Relations, media and marketing, and is currently the Director of the External Affairs of Samford’s Brock School of Business. Shortly after joining the Brock School of Business in June of 2007, she headed the PR team that implemented the successful strategy to brand the Samford School of Business the Brock School of Business.  Kara handles all of the events marketing, media relations, public relations and online digital strategies (including social media) for the Brock School of Business.

You can reach Kara on Pinterest and Twitter or email here at kara_kennedy@kennedyresourcedevelopment.com


5 Tips for Twitter Engagement

5 tips for twitter engagement
Are you setting all of your Tweets on Autopilot?? If so, you MUST pay close attention to the following.
People are social beings. They like to share and connect with people. Most of all, they like to be  HEARD. So, if you all you are doing is tweeting inspirational quotes and auto tweets about your business, then you are missing out on the most important aspect of Social Media.

Social Media is not just an option anymore for your business, it is a very critical part of branding and gaining a presence. (Will touch on this in later posts) One thing that you MUST know is that conventional advertising is going to become obsolete and the key is ……. ENGAGEMENT and Word of Mouth!!

Twitter is a fast and effective way to get your message out and get people to connect with you!

Here are 5 Tips For Twitter Engagement:

1. Spend at least 30 minutes each morning and evening Tweeting to others LIVE.
2. Respond individually to people that reach out to you. LISTEN to what they are saying to you and respond!! Show that you hear THEM.
3. Look for people that you have not chatted with recently and reach out to a few new ones that interest you or are tweeting something that you would like to mention. Expand your circle of engagement!
4. Do not make a habit of just sending out group tweets with no message. I see this all the time and have a few followers that line up my “mention” area with a succession of names and no content. You must also add tweets that are valuable to your followers!! Socializing is a great part of it but also give them information that is worthy of mentioning!
5. Tweet with Enthusiasm and Passion- The tone and content of your tweets is what draws people to respond as well as retweet you!

Hope this helps and look forward to your Tweets! You can tweet me at @Dede_Watson .

There’s a New Chat in Town- #TurnitSocial

We are entering a new phase at Turnitsocial.com and want to start sharing with our friends new things that are happening in Social Media. Thursday, August 30 at 8 pm EST we will be hosting a new Twitter Chat, #TurnitSocial .  We plan on bringing to the chat some really interesting guests, topics and latest Social Media news to help you with your business!

Randy Thio, from Ideabloke.com will be our cohost for our first #TurnitSocial Chat! We will talking about Pinterest.

Hope to see you August 30 at 8 pm EST and every Thursday thereafter! If you would like to be on a weekly email reminder, you can send me a message at dede@dedewatson.com

Does Buying Fake Followers Hurt or Help Your Goals?

Normally, I am a very positive poster  and supporter on Facebook and Twitter.  This past month though I have become very anxious and disappointed in the increasing abuse of “buying” twitter followers, which are inactive or fake profiles. This practice upsets me for 2 reason: First, it is unethical in my opinion and a misrepresentation of one’s value to the community. The second and primary reason that I am over the top in my disapproval is that it sends a message out to the business world that social media is really “fluff” and little substance.

Social Media is just starting to gain real credibility and traction and we are finally being seen as a growing necessity for businesses to continue gaining exposure in the marketplace. Print and television advertising will continue to decline in the future and hence the need for social media services. What happens when businesses feel that we are not a viable form of promoting and branding for their needs?

It is not just politicians and celebrities that are putting an overinflated spin on their popularity, but it is our own social media community that is at risk of damaging our reputation and that of credible people with the desire to boost their own follower count. Many of the abusers are  social media influencers and I say shame on them!

I have made a decision to not support these “bad” practices by “unfollowing” people that I suspect of buying fake followers. Here is what appears to be a fairly accurate tracking tool to spot people that are buying fake followers. If you see someone who’s followers grow by 10,000 plus monthly, there is a more than probable cause to suspect they are not all real.

With all the attention lately on “buying followers,” there is hope that people will start seeing the negative impact that it can have on their image and focus more on quality and not make social media a popularity contest!

Top 3 Things NOT To Do with Hashtags!

hashtagsIt is probably safe to say that very few people knew what hashtags were 3 years ago. Even people that were starting to dabble in social media and blogging were relatively uninterested in the usage of hashtags. The past 12-18 months,  hashtags have become more relevant to social media with the need to both differentiate and trend.

There are a few solid reasons that you SHOULD use hashtags, such as to create a specific chat for your topic of interest or  to highlight the point you are trying to focus on in your message or tweet. On the other hand, there are many things that people are doing that are abusing the fundamental reasons behind hashtags and this is both a time and message killer!!

Here are the Top 3 Things NOT to do with Hashtags:

1. Using more than 2-3 hashtags in Tweets.  This practice  can become mind clutter. Meaning if I have to decipher 3 or more #hashtags within a tweet or message with very little content, then I am going to lose interest in what is being said. I see so many tweets with 3 or more hashtags throughout a tweet that give very little value to the reader. There is a 17% decrease in engagement when using more than 2 hashtags! “THINK” about what your message is and which #hashtags are most relevant to your brand and particular tweet.

2. Loading your profile  with ##hashtags. I must admit that when I see a profile that doesn’t really tell me anything about you, then I am very skeptical to follow you. Why should I follow someone that provides no intelligible information about who they are. More importantly, what value do you offer ME?? Remember that in social media; it is not about YOU the provider of the content, it is about ME!!  Secondly, profiles that offer little more than #hashtags are a “red flag.”  Spamming comes to mind when I see them!

3.  Adding hashtags that are not relevant to your post. Doing this with a #trending subject might be appealing if you want masses to see your tweet, but what value does it really offer you or your audience. People searching for key terms are normally looking for that! Stay focused on what you are tweeting about!

**FYI- Do a #TwitterSearch with and without the hashtag and you will find that the key term you are entering will show up both ways!

Getting the most bang out of 140 characters can sometimes be challenging, but remember in the wonderful world of  microblogging, Less is More!

Twitter Insider: The Proven Formula for Posting Effectively

“I don’t get how this Twitter thing works. Why would people care about what I ate for lunch?”

This is usually the first thought that comes to the mind of a social media newbie when discussing Twitter. There seems to be a common misconception that Twitter was invented to share culinary choices. And while I enjoy a good sandwich tweet as much as the rest of you, I have yet to be drawn in by a BLT or chicken salad discussion on Twitter (unless it contains a link to a yummy recipe!).

If what you eat is the subject of all your social media posts, no one will want to follow you or engage with you. You will not attract a community of your target audience, and the people you do attract will not feel loyal to you or want to invest in your services.

If you are an entrepreneur, author, speaker, or service provider, you are likely using social media to attract ideal clients, build a targeted community, and increase your expert status. To reach these goals, you want to post accordingly. However – that does not mean you post about your business all day every day.

So what types of subjects or topics should you be posting?

I want to make it easy for you. So I’m going to give you a formula.

The proven GhostTweeting formula for social media posting:

  • 50% of your posts should be around your main area of expertise
  • 20% of your posts should be about supportive areas of your expertise (related, aligned topics that support your subject of brilliance)
  • 30% “Character Development” – let your audience get to know you

When you post valuable information on your area of expertise, your audience learns to trust you. Your “guru” status grows every day.

Posting topics related to your specific expertise shows that you are well rounded. This increases engagement. You community begins to see you as a trusted resource.

But there is also room to share personal information about your interests, family, and hobbies. We all love to make warm connections, so don’t be afraid to reveal a little about yourself in the Twitterverse.

“Oh, you have an obsession with scrapbooking? Me too. Where do you get your stamps?”

“I let my dog sleep in the bed with me, too. People say I’m crazy just like you!”

“I know how you feel! I’m on my third cup of coffee, also.”

These posts are not about business, and they aren’t intended to get business. They are all about connection and engagement. Your best clients are the ones who start out feeling like you get them. Do you get that?

So now that you have a formula to follow, go connect, engage, and inspire!

About the Author

Nika Stewart is Co-founder & CEO of GhostTweeting.com. From her early roots as an event planner and award-winning interior designer to her more recent successes as an internet marketing leader, national speaker, and business coach, Nika brings a wealth of knowledge and resources to her company. You can also reach Nika on Twitter and Facebook.