Who’s been looking at your content….

 

If you are using social media for business purposes the chances are you’ll be sending out marketing messages. Whether it’s through tweets, Facebook posts or status updates and Pulse posts on LinkedIn, the aim is to share useful information, thoughts, ideas and experiences to get the reader interested in you, your business and your products or services. To get your content read.

That means you are communicating and whenever you are communicating there is one key rule to remember:

 

1 mounth 2 ears quote

 

Listen twice as much as you speak. Now when broadcasting marketing messages over the likes of LinkedIn, it’s not like a face to face conversation. You don’t immediately hear the response. What you have to do is go look for the response. Look at the analytics and listen to what they are telling you.

Post stats

Let’s look at one of my posts on LinkedIn:

Don't play hide and seek post image

Let’s look at the information that LinkedIn can tell me about that post. If you click on the “View Stats” button on the posts area or your profile to see the stats for your posts. Here’s what comes up for my post:

 

Don't-play-hide-and-seek-post-stats

 

It shows I had 478 views, 76 likes and 27 comments. Not too shabby! The graph shows a steady stream of views but with a huge spike in March/April. This tells me that my social media activity on other platforms to drive people to reading my posts on LinkedIn delivers steady results. But when I talk at events about posting on LinkedIn as I did around the end of March/beginning of April, I get a spike of activity.

 

Scrolling down I get more information on who’s viewed my post:

 

Don't-play-hide-and-seek-post-demographics

 

From this I can see that the talks I gave in Guildford and Leatherhead (comes under Kingston) were equally effective. But I can also see the types of audience my posts are attracting. That can help with tailoring your material to your audience and tell you whether you are even hitting your target audience. The categories could also help you to target the right prospects with LinkedIn searches by industry, job title or geography.

Scroll further down and you actually get to see who’s commented on the post – I’ll save my readers the embarrassment here.

Now, if you are following good practice, you will be responding to every comment with a personal message back to the commenter. But this is a great place to see all of them in a grid format and to respond to any you have missed. These people are your real connections. They have taken the trouble to read and engage with you.

You should critically appraise the stats on all your posts. Look at which ones get better interaction and try to identify why. Are particular segments of your audience interacting more with some post types than others. By analysing your stats and learning from that analysis you can improve the content and targeting of your posts.

Keeping front of mind

Many people post and then forget on LinkedIn. The post goes out to their network and gets an initial flurry of activity and then activity and interest dies away.

It doesn’t have to be like that.

The example post I used above is from September 2015, but shows constant low volumes of interaction. That’s because I send out regular tweets linking back to my old posts. Also when I talked at two events about posting on LinkedIn as I did around the end of March/beginning of April 2016, I mentioned the post and drove a spike of interest and traffic. Not all of that was from attendees. Their traffic showed up in their networks and enticed others to read the post too.

So don’t post and forget. Recycle, reuse and redirect to give your profile an extra boost.

Other stats

On the same page as the stats for your posts are two other sets of information.

The first is ‘Who’s viewed your profile’. Now if you are a free user, you’ll see the graph of number of profile views but will only be able to see the last 5 people to view your profile. Paid accounts can see everyone for the last 90 days. In my view, this is the single biggest benefit of a paid account. The graph shows not only the number of profile views but also the number and type of actions I’ve taken such as comments, shares, new connections made etc. This enables you to see if the interactions you are making are driving profile views and new connections.

A word or caution here. If you clamp down you security settings so that you hide your details then you will not see the details of those who look at your profile. Another good reason not to play hide and seek on LinkedIn.

The third and probably least useful tab is ‘How you rank for profile views’. This is a ranking of you against other professionals like you (as decided by LinkedIn’s own algorithm) or against your connections. LinkedIn also give you some tips on how you might improve your position by making changes to your profile.

That’s a quick overview of the stats available on our personal profile. Company pages stats are another topic for another time.

The keys to getting your content read and generating engagement on the back of it are:

  • Create great content in the first place – more on that next week
  • Have a hugely Powerful Personal Profile – get my ‘Key points…‘ guide for more on that
  • Connect with the right people in the right places – get ‘How to connect with anyone n the world‘ for more on that.

What’s your social media strategy?

 

Many businesses give up on social  media. Some never even try it. Why? Because it can be the biggest time waster or all time.

Firstly there are the distractions. Whether it’s the skiing wipe-out videos, the latest celebrity gaff or just the cute video of your niece’s first steps, many social media platforms provide an endless stream of stuff to watch or read. So, even though the intent was to stay focused on business, it is so easy to go off at a tangent when trying to come up with your next stunning tweet or post.

Secondly, you have to sit at a screen and interact. You have to come up with stuff to post, things to say etc. etc. And not just once or twice. You have to be at it all the time, or so it seems if you look at what the (supposedly) successful users of social media do.

Thirdly – which platform?   There are so many. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube……. The list is seemingly endless. Where do you spend your time most productively?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed and instead of engaging, to recede into inactivity.

You need a social media strategy

What you need is a social media strategy. Then you create your content and plan your posting and interactions around that strategy. So rather than staring at the screen wondering what to do first, you have a clear schedule of what, when, how and to whom.

But how do you create your own social media strategy? If it was that simple you wouldn’t be struggling in the first place, right? This is one of the first things I tackle with all of my 1:2:1 and group coaching clients. Without a clear strategy you’re no different to every run-of-the-mill business owner and you’ll be spraying random content around the internet hoping to attract attention. And none of my clients are run-of-the-mill business owners!

So we start by working out who we are targeting with our social media activities. Where do those targets hang out. Which platforms? How can they be identified? The clearer you get on your target audience, the easier it is to find them.

Once you have identified them and worked out where they are, you have to serve them interesting, useful content and engagement in their environment to entice them to come and join you in your environment. You are looking to persuade them to become part of your network, your following, your tribe. Depending on the audience you may not be able to persuade them to switch to another platform, so it might be a case of bringing them to your part of their existing platform. Your own Facebook group might be one example.

Your environment

That brings us to deciding on your own environment. Where do you want to bring people to? What are the key components of your social media world? I recommend my clients to have LinkedIn as a core part of their social media world. LinkedIn provides the ability to showcase your skills, knowledge and expert authority through

  • Having a powerful personal profile that delivers real value to the reader though downloads, videos and posts
  • Interacting with and commenting on other people’s status updates, posts and group discussions
  • Demonstrating the value you bring to clients through summary and experience sections that focus on the benefits of working with you

And all this is can be backed up by independent recommendations from past and current clients right there on your profile. What other people say about you carries so much more weight than what you say about yourself.

Your powerful personal profile is there for all to see and a reference point to prove your credibility in your market place. LinkedIn may not be the place to attract attention or even be the mainstay of interaction with your audience, but it needs to be there to provide that bedrock of credibility.

With the anchor point of your LinkedIn profile, you can then you can use posts, tweets, pins etc. to get noticed and drive interaction, knowing there is always the link back to your profile to demonstrate your expert authority.

For me personally, I use my LinkedIn profile alongside my website with my blog and service offerings as my core platforms. I then use posts and tweets on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to engage my target audience and encourage them to join my e-mail list. That way I secure the right to market to them.

To find out more about creating your own social media strategy and how you can leverage LinkedIn at its core  connect with me on LinkedIn and then message me to set up an initial discussion. Be different, be outstanding.

uk.linkedin.com/in/allenruddock

How to get prospects on to your list

 

The money is in your list and there are plenty of ways to grow your list very quickly. Most of them will lead to a poor quality list with very low engagement, poor profitability and the risk of being labelled a spammer.

Yes the money is in your list, but if it is a large list of poor quality leads, full of people that are never going to buy from you, then finding that money is hard and potentially costly. Even e-mail marketing has a cost to it. And the ultimate cost is getting labelled a spammer and having e-mail addresses and accounts barred.

Data suppliers

You see lots of people try to buy their list with cash. For example, you can buy data from data suppliers. The quality and currency (i.e. how up to date the data is) are extremely variable. And none of the people on the list have asked to be marketed to by you. So you can get large volumes of low potential data.

Expos

Another source can be the database of attendees at a trade show or exhibition. Better quality data in that there is a better chance of relevancy to your business as they decided to attend (always assuming there is a strong correlation between your business and the show’s target audience). The increased quality will come at a price though, with a much higher cost per prospect, but we are still talking pence per lead.

Other people’s lists

The next best source of bulk prospects is other people’s lists. This gets trickier to access and much more expensive depending on the quality of the list. If the list is any good, the owner will jealously guard access to it, only allowing people with high quality offerings the chance to use it. They will often charge a premium price and will control the communication. That way you only get the details of people that show an interest or buy. They may also want to work on an affiliate basis and affiliate fees for any sale are typically 30-50% of the sale value. With quality and relevance comes cost.

Build your own list

In reality, the only way to build a high quality, low cost list is to do it yourself. But how do you get prospects on to your list?

By delivering value.

Over and over again

Think about what it is that attracts you to the people you follow. Who’s newsletters and blogposts do you actually read and why. You need to deliver that same sort of knock-out value to your prospects. You need to give them the wow! factor. You need to demonstrate your expert authority in your field.

I do this through regular blog posts like this one. I offer advice and suggestions based on my own experience and the experiences of people I work with and around. I use real examples or case studies. All the time, I’m seeking to help. I always look to get my readers to engage and join in the conversation

Lead Magnet

But providing a good post is probably not enough in itself to get someone to sign up to your newsletter or blog. I give that extra incentive with a useful download or video that my readers can only get if they sign-up. This is your ‘Lead Magnet’. The useful and valuable thing that will attract prospects enough for them to give you their e-mail address.

I must stress the word ‘useful’. A report full of facts and opinions isn’t enough. It has to be something the reader can use. Something valuable. My ‘9 key pints to creating a powerful personal profile’ is full of things the reader can use to improve their LinkedIn profile. My video on ‘6 steps to growing your Twitter following‘ is just that – a proven process to increasing your following. Both are valuable to my target audience. They are absolutely some of my best stuff. You can get them by clicking on the links.

Examples of Lead Magnets

  • How to guides
  • How to videos
  • Online short courses
  • An introductory module from a paid for course
  • A survey with a copy of the report to all contributors
  • Free apps
  • Free samples of products

Many people hesitate to give away valuable stuff, especially their best stuff. They are afraid that people won’t need to buy. But if you give away examples of your best stuff with the clear demonstration there is much more where that came from, people will start to engage with you. Many will take the free stuff and never buy. But they would probably never have bought anyway, but they might tell someone else about it who might. It’s about spreading the word and building your credibility. If you have an abundance mentality you will attract more prospects.

Sign up for my lead magnets, look at the different processes and the content and think about how you could do something similar in your business. The links to some of them are below.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.