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Social Media

How to Use Instagram for your Business

By | Social Media | No Comments

With every new social media tool, there’s a learning curve to using it to benefit your business. It might be intuitive to use it personally, but if it’s not, the business angle can be a bigger leap.

Here are five tips to help you make the jump:

  1. Establish or convert to a business account. Here are the detailed instructions from Instagram. 
  2. Create a strategy for capturing or gathering photos of your work. What’s the most visually compelling way to share the story of what you do?
  3. Follow your intended audience, and others in your space. With whom are you trying to build relationships? What relationships already exist? Make sure, as you move forward, that you are tagging and engaging with your community.
  4. Use hashtags to make sure you show up in the feeds of people following a hashtag. For local business, I follow the #charlottesville and #cville hashtags. This is a great way to find new people to follow.
  5. Remember that Instagram is a very different platform from Twitter or Facebook. I don’t recommend automating because links in posts on Insta do not work (you must put a link in a bio or create action buttons to enable linking for users) and generally, linking to content on other platforms is a good idea! It’s more work, to be sure, but I still recommend posting customized content to the platforms you choose to use for your business.

How about you? Have you been using Instagram for your business?

How to Block Someone on LinkedIn

By | Social Media | One Comment

A conversation on Twitter evolved, in which someone expressed a wish not to see certain people suggested to them as possible connections on LinkedIn. It was merely a matter of a person having former colleagues she loathed, but it brought up an interesting idea.

Can you block people on LinkedIn? And if so, how?

You certainly can block people! If you are connected to them, you will disconnect and they will no longer be able to see your profile or updates nor you theirs. It’s like you’ve ceased to exist for them! Unless, you know, you run into them on the street or in a coffeeshop. I can’t help you with that.

But I can help you escape them on your social network for business. Here’s how:

  1. Navigate to the person’s profile. If you don’t want them to see that you have looked at their profile, first go to Settings –> Privacy –> then scroll down to How Others See Your LinkedIn activity and change Profile Viewing Options to Private Mode for the rest of this activity.
  2. When you’re on the person’s profile, click the More… box to the right of the Message box.
  3. Scroll down to select Report or Block and then a box will open, asking you what you want to do. Here’s where you can select Block, if that’s the most appropriate response.

Congratulations! You are now more free of that person than you were previously. Enjoy replacing them with a better, more worthy business connection.

Rubbernecking in the Wake of the #MeToo Movement

By | Communications, Social Media | No Comments

I used to think a person finds out who their true friends are during a divorce. I was wrong. The real friends stick around after you’ve met someone new and start dating and are happy and in love again. I was surprised at the people who were more interested in the falling apart of my life than the building back up. I thought about the way we share our lives on social media, though, and became less surprised.

There’s a perception that people create these carefully crafted, happy looking lives with great vacations and beautiful families. Everything, as seen in Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts looks just perfect. To me, that’s sharing only the shareable — not sharing what the user considers private. So yes, to some, that might look manufactured. And so, when a person’s life undeniably falls apart, we’re curious. Did we miss some clue in the photos on the Instagram account? Why were those last vacation photos all solo selfies?

We’re in the beginning of a movement that is going to have a lot of those online images crumbling. The #metoo movement, and today’s recognition of the Silence Breakers as the Person of the Year in Time Magazine is huge and will have an ongoing impact. It is only a matter of time before our colleagues, friends, friends’ husbands and partners lose their jobs or are called out publicly for sexual abuse or harassment.

I hope that we can refrain, as a culture, from social rubbernecking as peoples lives crumble around us. No, of course no one’s life is perfect, even if their social media would otherwise indicate. Victims will share what they wish and we should be respectful of that. Families of abusers are often collateral damage in these situations. Let’s let them be.

Maintaining the Sanctity of the Business Network on LinkedIn

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I have had a great deal of success using LinkedIn as a business development tool. When I first began using LinkedIn, I set out to maximize the time I spend there and to keep my profile consistently up-to-date. I learned all I could so that I could teach others how to effectively use it and frequently teach workshops or coach individual client contacts to get the most out of LinkedIn.

I’m a big believer in thoughtfully developing one’s business network and so after a number of out-of-context requests to connect from strangers, I published this update.

Dear people who wish to connect on LinkedIn: I think you’re probably great and a good contact for me to have. Unfortunately, we’ve never met, and when you sent your invitation, you didn’t send a note. I don’t know why you want to connect with me and doubt very much we will interact since you didn’t see fit to share that with me in our initial chance for interaction. I simply don’t connect with people with whom I don’t have a real, meaningful connection. It’s not a dating site. It’s not Twitter. It’s LinkedIn, the social network for business. You’re welcome to follow me on Twitter @marijean and maybe you’ll introduce yourself and we’ll get to know each other and that might lead us back here. But for now, I’m not going to accept your request.  Sincerely, Marijean

 

It seems I struck a nerve because so far, more than 6,400 users have seen the post, with several likes and comments. It also generated some online conversation, which I would like to open up here. Do you agree with my position on LinkedIn relationships? Why or why not?

 

5 Reasons Not to Be a LinkedIn Hater

By | Communications, Social Media | 2 Comments

 

 

I was in a client meeting not long ago when the use of LinkedIn was mentioned.

“I hate LinkedIn,” a meeting participant said. Here’s why I think that’s a mistake:

1. Search plays a big role in the management of your reputation. When someone googles your name, (particularly if your name is unusual) your LinkedIn profile does appear.

Whether you like it or not, if you have created even an incomplete profile, it will show up in search engine results. If you have no profile at all, you are only frustrating the person who is trying to locate you (and what if they have a really great business deal or offer to extend to you; what then?)

2. Recommendations are third-party endorsements that say that you are who you say you are. Think about it; you wouldn’t hire someone to do plumbing or painting at your home without a referral from someone else, right? It speaks highly of you and your business to have a few recommendations from clients and colleagues visible in your searchable profile. (They’re also good to read if/when you’re having a really bad day.)

3. Avoid that awkward blind-date scenario by allowing a new business contact (with whom you’re meeting for the first time in person) to see you and know a bit about you beforehand. It’s a courtesy in today’s business world, and expected. A fully completed profile should have a photo of you so if you’re meeting for coffee, your contact will know who to look for.

4. Maybe it’s not you (maybe it is), but someone in your company is responsible for website traffic. Give them a leg up by listing the company website and going the extra mile by giving it the right name instead of accepting the default settings of “My Company” and/or “My Blog.”

5. LinkedIn is easy; it’s people you know (not those you don’t or those you used to know, long ago). It’s not scary and does not have the privacy issues that Facebook often faces. No one plays games like Candy Crush or posts quizzes on LinkedIn. It is a social network designed for online business networking; that’s it. Its simplicity and clarity of mission make it an important component of your overall social media strategy, whether that strategy is personal or on behalf of your brand or company.

LinkedIn has stood the test of time and consistently added smart upgrades to remain current but true to its original purpose. Don’t hate LinkedIn; it’s there for you to use to succeed. See you there.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/marijeanoldham