Google+ and LinkedIn – You’re Doing it Wrong
I’ve head it said too many times, “Google+ is a ghost town.” I’ve also heard “LinkedIn is fine if you’re looking for a job or a salesperson, but I don’t need to waste time on there.” Well both are true and both are false. Let’s get to the heart of the matter, these channels are both great resources, if and only if, you actually understand them.
This post isn’t a primer on Google+ or LinkedIn, you will need to know the basics of these networks. I’m going to point out some of the tips, tricks and hacks that work to get you the meaningful visibility that creates leads, substantial connections and new opportunities. So for this post, dispel the notion that Google+ is a ghost town and that LinkedIn is a salesperson’s database.
First of all, forget about either of these being good ways for your dear aunt Sally to see your weekend adventures in foodie-land or a way to see cute pictures of all of the babies in your friends’ lives. Both of these are serious business tools. Treat them as such.
Your Online Reputation
Keep your profiles professional. These networks are a great place to build and maintain a professional online profile and manage your reputation. If you think this is a “duh” statement, you’re already ahead of the game. However, if your profile contains a casual or unprofessional picture, or lacks basic attention to spelling and grammar, get some help. There’s no problem with not having a formal education. That’s not my point, but you should get help with presenting yourself as knowledgeable, intelligent and well-composed. People will judge you whether you like it or not. Knowing that you’re being judged, you need to look the part of the best of breed in whichever industry you’re in.
Connect with Others
Again, this is a “duh” statement, right? No way. You need to be in touch and connected with your peers, competitors and the public at large. Express your authority and connect with others who actually know more than you. However, most people fail with Google+ and LinkedIn because they never take their connections out of the digital realm. Whenever possible, make it a point to create real, offline relationships with the people with whom you’re connected. Invite people for a coffee, a beer, a pizza or a hookah.
I won’t tell you how much to post, when to post, how often to post or where to post. There will be a science that works for your business, and you’ll need to figure out what that is. There are some good guides out there, use them. More than any guide, you’ll need to see what works best for your business by reviewing analytics and data. Take the time to do that, it will pay huge dividends. I do suggest that you maintain a high level of consistency. If you commit to posting daily, do it. Don’t loaf off or leave a lull. Regular readers will be disappointed to see a lack of updates, other readers will find irregular posting to be amateurish. That means you’ll want to look at scheduling software. Many software solutions are available on a monthly subscription-basis, get one. Buffer and Hootsuite are two options.
Use images. Always. Find or design something that conveys your message, tells your story or otherwise grabs attention. If you post pictures of cats, please stop following my blog. Unfriend me. Stop following me. Remember, we’re being serious here. What gets clicks isn’t always what matters to your business. You need to be bold, stand out and make a name for yourself. Posting pictures of cute and fluffy kittens is a waste of your time and a huge disrespect to your audience. Don’t do it! Well, it works if your’e Petco, but not if your’e selling car parts. LinkedIn and Google+ require an elevation to the quality and direction of your content. The same goes for images.
Use Groups and Communities
On Google+ Groups are called Communities. On LinkedIn, Communities are Called Groups. They are essentially the same thing. This isn’t the wild west, there are rules and you need to learn them before you make your first post. Not following a community rules may get you booted. While getting booted from a group or community won’t break you, it certainly won’t engender you with the people that could be valuable to your business. So, look for a link to the posting rules. As far as finding groups, that’s a simple task. Search by topic, industry or even job title. You’ll find hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of people who are like you, who want to connect, collaborate and learn. Instead of starting topics, get involved in existing conversations. Don’t feel compelled to become a top poster, instead you should be focused on adding meaningful content to conversations. If someone asks a question that you have an answer to or an opinion on, chime in and drop a few words. Don’t spam. Don’t worry about linking to your business. Don’t spam your services. If you’re intelligent, composed and helpful, people will reach out to you. Join enough groups that you can keep up with. Quality is more important than quantity.
Don’t Forget About SEO
Social SEO is so important. No, SEO won’t make or break you, but you need it. You have to have SEO as a part of your marketing arsenal. Optimized social content is critical and a major selling point of Google+. It shouldn’t be any mystery that Google is going to pay attention to the social content you create on Google+. Don’t take my word for it, instead take the word of the good people at Moz who know way more than you or me about how Google+ and SEO work hand-in-hand.
So, here we are at the end of this blog post. Did you learn something? I bet you did. If you didn’t learn anything, awesome, you’re already a pro. Need help? Drop some comments below and we’ll chat.