Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Speaking of Social Media...

Several weeks ago I was asked to participate in a panel discussion on social media in the business. Specifically this panel was to help students learn how to utilize social media for job searching. The panel discussion was held at University of Cincinnati last week and it was a great opportunity for me to share my knowledge and passion of social media. It also made me realize a few things...

We live in a world dominated by technology (not part of my realizations) and it's safe to say that technology is not going anywhere soon. However, I'm amazed at how many people don't realize how to take advantage of it and also self-sabotage themselves. Many of the participants in the panel really didn't understand how to use social media platforms to help move forward in their career goals. However, the biggest thing people fail to realize is that your online persona (or lack thereof, which also says something) is a reflection of your personal brand. It can be just as important as your resume.

For example, when I review resumes, the first thing I do (if the resume is appealing) is google the person. I can tell you from first hand experience if the person's online social media does not reflect the same image as the resume (professional, digital expert, etc.) it creates red flags for me. I received a resume recently from a digital expert and they didn't have a LinkedIn account, that's a little contradictory to me.

This concept can also be taken into consideration with clients. Maybe you are not job hunting but what if a client is considering doing business with you... what will they find if they google your name, not your business name but your name as the owner or representative? Will it reflect the same image that you are conveying through your business brand? These are all very valid questions that I think most people forget to ask. As we progress into a more high tech reliant world I think it's going to become increasingly important.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Are You LinkedIn Optimized?!

Did you know that you can optimize your LinkedIn page? I told someone this the other day and I got the most random blank stare... "Huh? What? Really?" was the response. I assumed that this was common knowledge. Apparently not.

So what are your key skill sets? Are they all listed on your LinkedIn page? They better be! Oddly, I see plently of LinkedIn pages that are empty and/or sparse. Optimize your page for best results. Use keywords and keywords phrases that best match your skill set. You can add different sections to your resume including "skills", "certifications", "experience" etc. So why not make sure that your skills are highlighted in multiple areas? If you have certifications list them in the obvious category but also list them in the experience section.

When employers or even potential clients do a search, the pages that are the best optimized will show up at the top. Statistically people are more likely to click on the top search results. So why not increase your liklihood of exposure and optimize your page? Don't leave LinkedIn to chance, do some work and make it work for you. That's what it's there for. If you have specific questions about optimization feel free to ask!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Understanding Social Media for Business

I notice that a lot of newcomers to social media marketing truly don't understand how to utilize social media for business purposes. Too many people try to use the same concepts on their business pages as they do on their personal pages. Unfortunately that's going to get you nowhere fast.

It's important to understand that when creating content for your social media that you take into account your audience. What are you offering to your audience? How do they perceive you? What is the brand image that you are conveying? All of these questions can help you decide what is relevant content to post to your businesses social media pages. The biggest difference between posting on business pages and personal pages is that on a personal page it's all about you. Most people don't take into consideration their audience when posting on a personal page, it's striclty based on "this is what I feel like sharing at the moment". This concept cannot be applied in a business space.

When putting together a social media strategy focus on creating relevant user content. But it doesn't stop there, once you have your content you have to constantly evaluate what is working and what is not. Are people interacting with you? Are they clicking your links? Are they asking you questions? (If the answer is no, then it's time to re-evaluate your content). These are different ways to gauge whether your content is relevant. Remember that their is no silver bullet. You must constantly monitor and adjust your message to make sure that it fits your audience and adds value to their experience.