5 top tips for small businesses when using LinkedIn

LinkedIn the professional social media platform has been around since 2003 and has seen a huge growth throughout the year’s and now has over 200 million registered users.

We think LinkedIn is often an untapped resource for small businesses and we recommend our clients incorporate it in their social media strategy as it can have some great benefits for your business. We have listed 5 top tips to help you get started:

LinkedIn-Logo

Joining and creating groups

Joining groups that are relative to your business and that attract your market demographic will allow you to take part in discussions and become more visible to prospects.

Also creating a group that is industry specific and that target your niche can be beneficial and will establish you as an expert in your field. To ensure group gains popularity, make sure to update regularly and interact with the members.

Connecting with customers

Connecting with customer on LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to keep them updated on your company news and promotions. Once connected, make sure to encourage them to write recommendations on your products and services.

Also consider connecting with prospects as it gives you another chance to promote your products or services – why not drop them a quick message thanking them for the connection and give them a gentle reminder of your great value proposal!

Advanced search function

The advanced search function is a particularly useful tool when trying to track down people with certain skills that may be of interest to you or when trying to discover who the decision makers are within a company. Search criteria such as keywords, experience, current employer and industry will help you find the person or group you are looking to target with ease.

Make the most of LinkedIn applications

LinkedIn provides a great set of applications that can be very effective when showcasing your business. These applications are just extensions of a standard profile but can make yours stand out from the crowd. Some of the most useful apps are as follows:

Word press – Using this app allows you to display your blog on your profile and is often an overlooked opportunity by business owners. This will help drive more traffic to your website and help visitors to your profile learn more about your business.

Events – This works like a calendar for your profile and will display the events you are attending. This is useful for showing your network that you’re a being proactive within the industry and allows you to see the other attendees.

Slide share –This app lets you add business presentations and videos to your LinkedIn profile. This is a good way you to showcase your products and services, generate interest and establish yourself as an industry leader.

Portfolio –This app is really useful for web designers and other creative professional as it allows them to display a portfolio of their work on their profile.

Don’t forget, Google loves LinkedIn

Make sure you optimise the content on your company profile as the LinkedIn domain has a great reputation with the search engines. This is great news for small businesses as it can help get your business on page one of the search results however ensure you edit your LinkedIn URL, this is not just for vanity reasons but so as to make it search engine friendly.

LinkedIn also allows users to add up to three links to a profile which is free ‘link juice’ and will help give your page rank a boost – why not ask your team to add your website to their personal profile too!

Not a LinkedIn enthusiast? We can help…

If you need any help or advice with your social media strategy, please feel free to get in touch….

Source: http://www.addpeople.co.uk/blog/2012/11/5-top-tips-for-small-businesses-when-using-linkedin/

5 User-Friendly Tools for Building Your Online Portfolio

 

April 15, 2012 by 10

Social Media Money

Heather R. Huhman is the founder and president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. You can connect with Heather and Come Recommended on Twitter and Facebook.

In today’s digital world, your job search has to be as much online as it is on paper. Social media platforms such asLinkedInTwitter and Facebook can help you establish your personal employment brand and connect with potential employers — in fact, almost 90% of employers are using social media to recruit potential employees [PDF]. What better way to have all of your online and offline job search tools in one place than in a portfolio?

An online portfolio allows you to compile what makes you employable — it should include things like your resume, cover letter, references, certifications, transcripts and any examples of your work (including writing samples, press clips, artwork or lesson plans). Plus, you should include basic contact information, such as a phone number and email, and more modern information, like a Twitter handle, LinkedIn profile, or Facebook URL. Put all of this into one online package that’s easy to browse and voilà — you have an online portfolio!

Here are five great options that can host your online portfolio. There’s a breakdown of each one, so you can pick which one works best for you and your career goals.


1. WorkSimple


 

 

Summary: WorkSimple is the first work portfolio that helps you manage your career and performance inside your organization. Users have endorsements, followers, goals and accomplishments, which can help you build your professional and social reputations. Set your professional focus, add your goals, and get recognition for your work.

Additionally, WorkSimple allows users to brand themselves by sharing goals and contributions with co-workers in real-time. Essentially, it’s a Facebook Timeline for professionals.

Best Feature: WorkSimple encourages you to set career focus and add “Social Goals” that support your direction, which help you keep track of your accomplishments, efforts and successes as you build your reputation. Plus, you can get great feedback from co-workers.

What Needs Work: Those looking for a traditional portfolio to display resume, work samples and more may not find these features in WorkSimple.

Ideal User: A corporate worker who is tech-savvy and wants to establish goals and stay synced with co-workers. Like the other portfolio platforms, you can add images, but this portfolio is not solely image-based.

Cost: Free for an individual plan but pricing plans exist for team or company plans.


2. Behance


 

 

Summary: Behance is a platform for creative professionals to gain exposure and manage their careers. Users can create multimedia portfolios that showcase their work to millions of visitors.

Best Feature: Behance turns your work into an online gallery; It claims to get 15 times the traffic of all other leading portfolio sites combined (including Carbonmade, the next site on our list). Recruiters can find and track talent and post jobs for the creative professionals on the site.

What Needs Work: In order to have your own personal portfolio website, rather than just a profile on Behance, you need to join ProSite. This costs $11 a month, but it allows you to create a full website without coding, and it syncs with your Behance portfolio.

Ideal User: Any creative professional wishing to showcase multimedia projects — images, text, audio or video. The layout of the site is better for viewing visual projects, so anyone from graphic designers to photographers to industrial designers can benefit.

Cost: Free for a Behance profile, $11 a month for the ProSite.


3. Carbonmade


 

 

Summary: Carbonmade is an online portfolio platform that helps users show off their work — especially creative work like design, illustration and art.

Best Feature: Carbonmade makes portfolios easy. Users can create a profile in a snap, and the service offers tons of ways to personalize your portfolio. Plus, users can establish their own URL — for example, yourname.carbonmade.com.

What Needs Work: The site isn’t conducive to any text, audio or video work — a still image is best for this portfolio.

Ideal User: Again, this portfolio service is primarily for creative professionals. In comparison to Behance, Carbonmade seems even more geared toward visual art. Any professional who can share an image of their work — fashion designers, illustrators, architects and more — would find Carbonmade useful.

Cost: Free


4. Pinterest


 

 

Summary: Pinterest is basically an online pin-board. It’s primarily a social photo-sharing website where users can create separate boards for various things. For example, you could have a board for recipes, pictures of places you’d like to travel or, in this case, your professional creative work.

Best Feature: Pinterest is far more social than Behance or Carbonmade, so you can have eyes from all parts of the globe on your work. Plus, you can “pin” any image, and when users click on a pinned image, they’re redirected to the original website. For example, if you “pinned” a piece of your artwork from, say, your personal blog, you can attract more traffic to your blog.

What Needs Work: The platform was not made to be a professional portfolio site. Therefore, the site may have a different audience of viewers than an actual portfolio platform. Plus, like Carbonmade, text or audio works cannot be “pinned.”

Ideal User: Pinterest only allows photos or videos (which will be “pinned” as a still picture), so creative professionals with image-based work will find this site most useful. Any professional with visual work that can be put into image form can display their portfolio on Pinterest.

Cost: Free, but you do need to request an invite.


5. Dribbble


 

 

Summary: Dribbble is a “show and tell” for designers, where users can share small screenshots of their work.

Best Feature: The platform shows off your work with screenshots of your progress or completed project. Plus, it’s easy to browse other people’s work by tags or color.

What Needs Work: Dribbble isn’t useful for anyone with non-visual works; it’s really only conducive to visuals.

Ideal User: Anyone who creates visual work that can be shared via an image, especially graphic or web designers, illustrators and logo designers.

Cost: Free


Conclusion


All online portfolio platforms have their pros and cons, and different sites work better for varying types of professionals in myriad industries. There are many portfolio services to explore aside from the ones mentioned above, but what all of these sites have in common is that they allow professionals to display their work online and continue to build their personal brand.

Taken from:http://mashable.com/2012/04/15/online-portfolio-tools/