5 Ways to Build Your LinkedIn Network

With more than 277 million members, LinkedIn is the number one professional networking site on the internet. A hub for experts and key-decision makers from all business sectors, the platform provides ample opportunities to grow your prospects and drum up leads. On LinkedIn you can establish your professional credibility, promote your business and build meaningful relationships with potential clients.

5 ways to build your linkedin network

However, your presence on LinkedIn is near enough worthless unless you have a network to share it with. Your network is your opportunity and the larger and more relevant you can make it then the better your chances of fostering some really great results. Need some help? Here are 5 tips to help you build and grow your LinkedIn network:

1.   Optimise Your Profile

With a fully updated and keyword-optimised profile, you can:

  • Encourage members to connect with you
  • Get found more easily in search

In your profile background and experience sections provide an insight into who you are, what you do, what your passions are and what opportunities you’re looking for. If you look interesting and open to ideas then members are more likely to connect with you. Also ensure to update your profile regularly. You never know how that recent project or job promotion could make you more appealing to others.

5 ways to build your linkedin networkTips:

  • Use language that’s easy to read
  • Use bullet-points to split up large chunks of text
  • Upload lots of content to your profile, e.g. images, videos, eBooks
  • Fill out all sections to get an All-Star profile rating

It’s also important to use lots of your keywords on your profile so when people search for people like you, you’ve got a better chance of showing up. For example, if you’re a Marketing Director, some of your keywords might be: Marketing Director, Marketing Strategy, Business Development, B2B Marketing, Marketing Communications.

Where to include your keywords:

  • In your headline
  • In your background and experience sections
  • In your skills & endorsements
  • In your interests

Tip: Don’t over-do it with your keywords. Remember, you want your profile to be readable and interesting so you can make a great impression.

2.   Build Connections Constantly

LinkedIn provides you with ample opportunity to find new connections and invite them to your network. You can:

  • Browse your ‘People You May Know’ recommendations
  • Import your email contacts
  • Upload files of contact
  • Browse members of your groups
  • Find Alumni
  • Carry out an advanced search to specify job title, location, industry and more.

Plus, the more frequently you check your recommendations or scan your email contacts, then the more connections you’ll make and the bigger your network will become.

Tip: Only connect with members who can bring value to your network. For example, Thomas James from the other side of the world working in childcare is far from relevant to your latest web development plug.

3.   Personalise Your Connection Requests

Every time you connect with someone on LinkedIn, personalise the message with your invitation. This will help you stand out from their other generic connection requests and will improve your chance of getting your invite accepted.

Some good things to include in your message:

  • A short introduction to yourself
  • Your reason for wanting to connect
  • A benefit of connecting

Tip: If your invitation is accepted, it’s also a good idea to follow-up with a message expressing your gratitude. This is your opportunity to start building a relationship.

4.   Join Groups

5 ways to build your linkedin network

Join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your industry or your business goals to reach a wider audience and gain more visibility for yourself and your brand. It’s also vital that you contribute regularly to your groups and join in with discussions to appeal to your group members and increase your connections.

What to contribute:

  • Your latest blog posts
  • Interesting articles
  • News about your business
  • Invitations to events
  • Questions to generate discussion.

5.   Share Updates Frequently

Groups are not your only opportunity to drum up engagement. Share frequent updates to your timeline to get more visibility in front of your connections. If someone likes, comments or shares your post then it could show up in the timelines of their connections, exposing your profile to an even wider audience. Share the types of quality content that you share in your groups and include hashtags to focus your updates around your business area.

What you share will define you as a credible authority in your industry and help you to build a relevant audience. Remember that LinkedIn is not for the personal or trivial updates about food and cats that you find on Facebook. Give out resource to appear valuable.

Tip: Always include a question or a call to action in your status to involve your audience and encourage interaction.

Final Thought:

LinkedIn is your stage but you won’t appeal to your audience unless you put on a good show.

 

 


New Facebook Video Ads Platform

Facebook are always on the lookout for their next game-changer and in early March of this year, they took on the television by launching a new video advertising platform. Termed by Facebook as Premium Video Ads, this feature taps into the popularity of online video to offer advertisers another opportunity to reach their audience with engaging content.

Sold in 15 second spots, video ads are currently only available to a select few U.S partners but the network does have intentions of rolling it out to all advertisers in due course. When these videos appear in news feed, they automatically play in mute. This attention-grabbing tactic encourages users to click on the video to watch it in full screen with sound for the full ad experience.

Demo:

The ads are purchased in the same way as ads on TV, a move which is part of Facebook’s aim to simplify their ad buying process. In their blog post, the social network stated that the idea of these ads is to “reach a specific audience over a short period of time.” Ads are purchased based on Targeted Gross Rating Points with delivery measured by Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings – advertisers pay only for what’s measured.

Facebook are taking on this new project with a strong focus on content quality. Working with a company called Ace Metrix, the network will assess the creative and engaging levels of each video ad, taking into account factors such as meaningfulness, watchability and emotional resonance. Not only will this maintain the quality of user experience but will help advertisers to maximise their ROI.

With Premium Video Ads, brands on Facebook can expand their reach and engagement levels through a media that makes up a third of all online activity. Video is popular, Facebook know it and advertisers will flock.

What are your thoughts about this new feature? Do auto-play video ads sound annoying? Are Facebook harming their user experience? Leave us a comment below…


Facebook Combats Spammy Posts

In their latest algorithm change, Facebook are cracking down on spam. The social network will focus on 3 practises that are clogging up news feeds, as part of their wider aim to improve the quality of user experience on the platform. As stated in their latest blog post, the network aims to reduce the prominence of like-bating, duplicate content and spammy links.

Like-baiting

Like-baiting is the term for posting images, videos or links that encourage or ask for likes and shares. This content is posted with the aim of it circulating more widely than usual and in Facebook’s eyes, is seen as a cheat of the system.

Calls to action such as ‘like if you love bunnies or share if you love chicks’ can help to thrust posts to the top of news feeds, meaning they get a much wider reach. With low-quality posts like these taking prominence, more relevant content is drowned out, leading to a less enjoyable experience on the network. In fact, feedback has shown that users regard these types of stories as 15% relevant than other posts which receive a similar amount of engagement.

In the spirit of Easter, here’s our mock-up of like-bait:

facebook combats spammy posts

Duplicate Content

Facebook will de-emphasise content that is posted by people or pages multiple times. User feedback has shown that this content loses its relevancy the more it shows up and causes users to complain. During early testing, the network has recorded that with less duplicate content showing up in feeds, users are hiding up to 10% fewer stories.

Spammy Links

Many stories in news feed often use misleading language to encourage clicks through to pages that include frequently circulated content or ads. A typical example of this is a link to a photo album titled ‘The Funniest Images Ever’ which actually takes the viewer to a website full of ads.

Facebook can measure whether users further engage with the post (with a like or comment) after clicking through. If a link doesn’t receive high engagement then this sends signals to Facebook that the post could be spammy, enabling them to reduce the visibility of this content in feeds. During early testing, the network has already reported a 5% increase in people clicking off-site links  - a great improvement that shows users are finding the remaining content in their feeds appropriate and trustworthy.

Essentially, Facebook are upping their game to better detect low-quality content and block it from reaching a prominent position in news feeds. The company have stated that this move is aimed towards providing users with the right content at the right time and that it won’t affect pages which genuinely encourage discussion.

What do you think about Facebook’s latest move? Is this good news? Share your thoughts with us below…


5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Blog

Blogs – most of us have heard of them and many of us read them on a regular basis but do we all feature a blog on our business website? Considering the whole host of inbound marketing benefits, it seems surprising that there are still so many websites going without this nifty platform. Whether you’ve never thought about getting a blog, you’re thinking of getting a blog or you simply don’t understand the point, here are Pinnacle’s top 5 reasons why your business cannot afford to miss out:

1.   An SEO Dream 5 reasons why your business needs a blog

As a company that specialises in search engine optimisation, we cannot praise the blog platform enough. Search engines such as Google love websites with frequently updated content and a blog is hands down the easiest way to accomplish this. Post regular content and Google will recognise your updates, improving your online visibility in search and driving more relevant traffic to your site. Plus, posts that are optimised with your keywords for your target audience can also show up in search. Don’t be surprised if your next customer finds you via a blog post.

2.   Showcase Your Branding

Whereas your website is primarily a platform to promote your products or services, a blog gives you the opportunity to showcase your brand’s personality. Visitors to your site can gauge what you do but it’s not until they read your blog that they get a real sense of makes your brand valuable and unique. With readable, interesting and enjoyable posts that promote your brand’s character, you’ll build a more ‘real’ business reputation and appear much more approachable to your potential customers.

3.   Enhance Your Business’ Credibility

Through blog posts you can expand on the products and services that you offer, to go deeper and offer more helpful information. At the same time, your post will help you build your status within your industry, Post quality content that demonstrates your expertise and you’ll improve your business’ credibility.

5 reasons why your business needs a blog4.   Connect With Your Visitors

After a visitor has browsed your site and found out what you have to offer, they might want to discover more about who you are and what you’re like as a business. So where do they go? They check out your blog. It’s this platform that bridges the gap between your business and your potential customers.

If you post quality, enjoyable content that includes valuable information then you can make more of a connection to your audience and encourage them to engage. Plus, a regularly updated blog shows that your business is active and proactive – you’re posting content to reach out and help your customers and in return, they are more likely to reach out to you.

5.   Shareable Content

A blog goes hand in hand with your social media strategy. Social media is all about offering valuable information to your audience to encourage their engagement. Why link to other sources of information when you can link to your own, to show off your very own value and expertise?

When you share your blog posts across social media, you’re promoting the value of your business and improving the likelihood of your potential customers choosing you. What’s the added bonus? The more you share, the wider your audience and the greater your site traffic.

How can we help?

Blogs are a cost-effective means of reaching a wide audience, promoting your brand and driving traffic to your website. But if you don’t have the time or resources to run a blog from in house then don’t fear because we are here to help! Get in touch with us to discover how we can provide a fully out-sourced, managed solution for your blog.