We could go on and on about how important content marketing is to any small business marketing plan (and we have). Not only is it a great way to establish yourself/your brand as a thought leader in your industry, it’s also a very effective SEO strategy for boosting your rank on search engines. One of the big reasons content marketing is great for SEO is that it creates links back to your website from other places – social media, other people writing and referencing you, etc. These inbound links from other domains are very valuable for signaling to Google that your website is legitimate and important.
We’ve talked before about creating a LinkedIn Showcase Page for your small business. And what that’s definitely an important milestone in any business’s marketing evolution, what about the entrepreneur who started it? In many cases, businesses start out as one person offering a product or service – like a photographer, accountant, blogger, or a wedding planner. In these cases, the first step might be to make the most of something you should already have: your personal LinkedIn Profile.
The Inbox Diaries is a series designed to help busy entrepreneurs keep up with all the latest news in small business, marketing, and social media. I’m scouring my inbox every day for interesting tidbits – so you don’t have to.
This Week’s Stories:
Facebook Releases Slingshot App
Facebook’s much-rumored answer to Snapchat is finally here – and not all that much like Snapchat. Sure, Slingshot lets you casually share candid moments with friends, but Slingshot is more different from Snapchat than it is similar. Here are a few key features of the new app:
Have you ever taken a moment to think about how similar social media is to high school movie? No really, stay with me here. There is a central cast of five or six archetypal characters, and then all the satellite people whose names you know but you really don’t spend much time thinking about.
If Facebook is the popular quarterback, and Twitter is the super cool geek, and Pinterest is the artsy girl with paint on her overalls, then LinkedIn has always kind of seemed like the editor of the newspaper. Someone who is well-liked and respected, but lacks the style and star-power of the rest of the crew. Well, like any good high school movie, this social media story contains an exciting makeover that will (hopefully) result in a dramatic turn in LinkedIn’s popularity.
If you currently have a company page on LinkedIn, you might have gotten a little note in your email from the social network yesterday announcing that they will be phasing out their Products & Services Tab from all company pages by April 14th.
While this will likely elicit groans from busy small business owners who are tired of having to revamp their social media profiles to keep up with the constant updates, I promise this one is actually worthwhile. The Products & Services tab may be going away, but it’s being replaced by something much, much better, which we actually talked about a few months ago here on the blog: Showcase Pages!
What do you have in common with Richard Branson and President Barack Obama? Soon you’ll all be blogging and posting content on LinkedIn’s publishing platform!
That’s the idea, anyway. Since the late 2012, when LinkedIn introduced its publishing platform (which you might know as LinkedIn Influencers, LinkedIn Today, or Pulse), regular users like you and me have been able to glean wisdom from a collection of several hundred hand-picked thought leaders. Through the content hub we could find insights and long-form content that stood out from the links and status updates the rest of us could post.
When LinkedIn recently released its fourth quarter numbers, the professional-leaning social network reported having added 18 million new members over the preceding three-month period. That puts the platform up from 259 members to 277 (Mashable).
With numbers like that, you have to ask yourself: am I using LinkedIn to the fullest to promote my small business?
One great way small business owners and marketers can take advantage of this platform is through Showcase Pages. For our purposes here today, we’ll assume you already have a LinkedIn Company Page (if you don’t, you should make one, and then check out their 10 Best of 2013 for inspiration).
When it comes to creating community around your small business, there are lots of different routes to take. We’ve talked about creating community with offline efforts, in-kind donations, and rewards programs. Today we’re going to talk about creating a literal community using established social media tools.
There are three major providers of social media communities: Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. Because we are talking about communities with a business and marketing focus, we’re going to exclude Facebook for today, since you have to join or create a group from a personal profile instead of business page on this platform.
Surprise! You are now the proud owner of a newly-redesigned LinkedIn Company Page. (Assuming that your company already had a LinkedIn presence, since you’re a savvy social marketer.)
While this is exciting news – especially since the networking site previewed the new pages in August for a few top brands – some marketers were caught off guard by the change. Whether you were unplugged from your RSS feeds for a day or two, or neglected to log into your profile last week, your page may look somewhat odd at the moment.