Posts Tagged social networking

Emery Road’s Top Five Posts From 2009

Now that the new year is in full swing and most of us are back in the office, I thought it was time to revisit a few blog posts from 2009.

Last year was a year of creative thinking and exploring new and more effective ways to reach people in order for us to stay in business. Some of us scraped by on our boot heels and others were a bit more successful and ended the year with a bang with new business.

To all of you who made it: Congratulations! I wish everyone a great start to 2010. May your business grow with all of the new and endless opportunities a fresh, new year brings.

Emery Road’s Top Five Blog Posts From 2009:

Ten Tips for Creating a Website Your Visitors Will Want to Read – The ten most important things you need to know about content when creating your website.

The Why and How of Twitter – A popular post, The Why and How of Twitter is a brief introduction to Twitter as an effective marketing tool.

12 Ways to Promote Your Business – Have you taken advantage of these free (or low cost) ways to promote your business?

9 Etiquette Guidelines for Social Networking – Social networking isn’t just about making a sale. Sure, that’s all we want: more sales and more income. But you won’t gain more sales if you don’t first develop relationships. Check this post to make sure you’re making the most of your social networking experience.

How to Maximize Your LinkedIn Experience – There are a number of things you can do on LinkedIn for your business. Are you taking advantage of them?

Enjoy the new year! Warm wishes from all of us at Emery Road Writing Services.

About the Author: Jody Calkins is a freelance business writer who writes about business development, risk management, security protection, and business standards. Visit www.emeryroad.com for more information and samples.

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How to Maximize Your LinkedIn Experience

Are you utilizing LinkedIn’s full capabilities?

LinkedIn is a great tool for developing your web presence. While you may not experience immediate or direct benefits from your LinkedIn profile, having a robust profile will enhance your credibility with customers and clients.

To maximize your LinkedIn experience, be sure to take advantage of its full features. Here is a list to get you started on the right track.

  1. Set up a profile with biographical information
  2. Upload a photo or company logo
  3. Set up a company profile
  4. Connect with people you know
  5. Request recommendations from your connections
  6. Recommend others
  7. Get introduced to your network’s connections
  8. Find people with similar interests
  9. Ask or answer questions
  10. Join groups
  11. Start discussions
  12. Start a group
  13. Update your status for more exposure
  14. Post jobs
  15. Look for jobs/contract work
  16. Ask for referrals for needed services
  17. Link to your Twitter account
  18. Promote your blog or website
  19. Find events in your area
  20. Learn more about a company or individual

How are you using LinkedIn? Are you utilizing all available features?

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The Basics: Why Should You Use Social Networking Sites?

In this day and age, the Internet has become so widely used that if you’re not using it, you’re not maximizing your opportunities for growth. One of the ways to take advantage of this technology is to join social networking sites. There are a number of sites out there like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Plaxo Pulse. My favorites for business are LinkedIn and Twitter.

What Can Social Networking Sites Do For Me?

LinkedIn – LinkedIn allows businesses and business professionals to stay connected and learn more about each other. It also enables members to connect with professionals who are part of their target audience or industry.

Twitter – Twitter is another valuable tool that can help you stay current with your industry’s trends and give you helpful tips in other areas that you may want help or insight in.

What are the Benefits?

Exposure – Social networking can give you more exposure as an expert in your field and can put you a step above competitors who aren’t taking advantage of this new technology.

Validation – Participating in social networking can help validate your business in the eyes of your customers and prospects, giving them another way to reach you and to learn more about you and your business.

Information – There is a fountain of information available to you through social networking. Follow others who provide helpful tips and information and join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your industry or area of service to stay on top of industry trends.

How Much Time is Involved?

Participating in social networking doesn’t require a significant amount of time. You can spend as much or as little time on it as you want, depending on your goals. Define what you want to accomplish from social networking and then develop a plan that will help you achieve that goal.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

Social networking should be beneficial to your business and should not be a hindrance or a bridge-burning activity, so always be professional and treat others in a professional manner to maximize your experience with social networking.

Also, it does take consistency and a longer-term plan, so when developing your plan, allow for several months of consistent activity.

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9 Etiquette Guidelines for Social Networking

Like any business activity, social networking comes with a few guidelines in proper etiquette. Failing to follow these guidelines can burn bridges and cost you future business, not just in the short-term but long-term as well. Word-of-mouth works both ways—good and bad. You can count on bad word-of-mouth impacting your business far more effectively than good word-of-mouth can. When participating in social networking activities, follow the guidelines below to ensure you don’t burn any bridges along the way.

But first, determine what you want to accomplish from social networking. Do you want more business? Do you want to chat and socialize? Do you want to help others? Most people use social networking to get more business or to spread the word about a new product or service. Once you define your goals, you’ll be able to develop a plan to achieve those goals.

  1. Be polite and courteous to everyone. You never know who other people know. That one person you ignored, rejected, or offended just might know the owner of the company you want to win business from. Also, be friendly to those you’ve met before. First impressions are important, but so are future ones.
  2. Don’t judge or discriminate. Appearances don’t tell the whole story, and tying in with the first guideline, be nice. Getting to know everyone maximizes your social networking experience.
  3. Avoid the sales pitch. It’s okay to give your elevator pitch and talk about what you do, but don’t try to convince someone that your product is perfect for her, unless she wants to hear it. Know your elevator pitch and be prepared to answer questions.
  4. Establish relationships. Building rapport with others will be more effective in growing your business than giving them a sales pitch. Focus on establishing relationships with others to build trust, and the business will follow.
  5. Mingle. Don’t just hang out with the people you know. Talk with new people and learn about what they do. If you can, help them achieve their goals or point them in the right direction.
  6. Ask questions. By asking questions, you show your new acquaintance that you are interested in learning more about what he does. It also gives you a better idea of how you can help him, either by referring him to someone you know or keeping him in mind for future reference.
  7. Exchange business cards. If you are networking to get more business, always exchange business cards. You never know when it might pay off. Someday you may receive a call from someone you exchanged cards with a year ago asking you for a quote. It can happen!
  8. Send follow-up e-mails. Everyone enjoys receiving personal letters and e-mails. Sending a quick ‘it was nice to meet you’ e-mail to the people you met at a networking event is a nice gesture. And when you receive one first, send a quick note back. It doesn’t have to consume your day. Just write a brief e-mail, save it as a template, and personalize each message you send out.
  9. Don’t add to your mailing list. It is tacky when someone puts you on a mailing list, especially when you didn’t ask for it. Find other ways to increase your mailing list, such as including instructions to sign up for your mailings in your e-mail signature or adding a sign-up page to your website.

Remember, social networking is about interacting with and getting to know others. You won’t learn everything you need to know about a person during your first meeting, or even the first few. Continue to interact and get to know people and you will develop important relationships with people who are eager to help you grow your business.

About the Author: Jody Calkins is a freelance business writer who writes about business development, risk management, security protection, and business standards. Visit www.emeryroad.com for more information and samples.

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The Why and How of Twitter

Since Twitter’s inception, there has been a great deal of talk about the value and purpose of Twitter. While it is true that many individuals use Twitter to tell followers what they had to eat or what they did the night before, many folks (business professionals included) use Twitter for useful reasons. What useful reasons could there possibly be, you ask. Those who gain value from using such an interesting tool

  • stay connected with their target audience;
  • follow others in their industry;
  • learn valuable information they probably would not have been exposed to otherwise; and
  • gain exposure for their business.

Here are some tips on how to use Twitter:

  • Develop a plan. Decide how you want to use Twitter. Do you want to get to know your followers, provide valuable tips and information to help others, use it primarily as a marketing tool? Will you plan your tweets?
  • Decide on a username. Keep your username short and easy to remember. By keeping it short, you’ll increase your retweetability.
  • Create a profile. Write a biography that explains what you do. Make the most of those 160 characters and use keywords that clearly describe your business. These keywords will help with your search engine ranking.
  • Upload a photo or a company logo, depending on your Twitter plans.
  • Tweet. Communicate with others. Post tips, links to useful information, and other content that you think might be valuable to your readers. Let everyone know about new blog posts, news about your company, appearances in articles, etc.
  • Recommend others. Friday is well-known to Twitter folks as FollowFriday when people recommend that followers follow certain individuals. Recommend one person or company at a time and mention why people should follow them.
  • Respond to replies and mentions. It is a nice gesture to thank someone for retweeting or including you in a FollowFriday mention.
  • Tweet on a regular basis. You want your audience to remember you, so tweet a few times throughout the day.

The nuts and bolts of tweeting:

  • Be sure to use proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation when tweeting. Be professional and proofread before sending your tweet to the twittersphere. A bad tweet can haunt you for life as it gets indexed with the search engines.
  • Be tasteful. Again, you don’t want to post anything unprofessional or inappropriate, so take your message into consideration before submitting.
  • Avoid political statements. Politics should be avoided when it comes to business. You don’t want to offend your current or potential customers.
  • Keep your tweets to 120 characters or less to improve their retweetability. If your tweets are too long, people either won’t retweet them or they’ll butcher your tweet and you’ll risk appearing unprofessional.
  • Use a URL shortener to keep your links short and retweetable.
  • Provide valuable information. You want to earn respect and appreciation from your followers, so give them content they can benefit from. For example, if you own a fireplace store, you might offer tips on selecting the right fireplace, how to make the most of your stove, or how to save money on heating.

About the Author: Jody Calkins is a freelance business writer who writes about business development, risk management, security protection, and business standards. Visit www.emeryroad.com for more information and samples.

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