post to LinkedIn groups
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How to Share Status Updates with LinkedIn Groups

post to linkedin groups2Got an event you want to promote to more than one LinkedIn group? Want to share a great quotation with several LinkedIn groups at the same time?

LinkedIn makes it easy to share articles with more than one group at a time. You’ve probably seen the LinkedIn share button on blog posts before, right? And if you’re reading a discussion in a LinkedIn group, you can easily share it with another group by hovering your mouse over the bottom of the discussion to bring up the “More” tab. When you click “more,” a dropdown menu comes up with an option to “share link.” As you can see in the image below, you can check the box that says “Post to group(s)” and then type in the name of the groups you want to see the article.

post to LinkedIn groups

No Link? No Share

If you start a discussion in a LinkedIn group and don’t add a link to it, the option to share to groups goes away. When you click on the “more” tab now, you only get the options to “Flag as promotion,” “Flag as job,” or “Delete.”

The only way I’ve seen to share with multiple LinkedIn groups from a group is to copy the status update, go to the next group you want to see the information, and paste the content as a new discussion.

There’s just one problem with this tactic. It is tedious and time-consuming!

Hootsuite to the Rescue

I’ve been asked about this problem by several people lately, and I will tell you what I told them. The only way I’ve found to share an update with more than one LinkedIn group at the same time is to use a third-party tool that allows posting to LinkedIn groups. The one that I use is Hootsuite. As you can see in the image below, I selected three LinkedIn groups in the Hootsuite dashboard. I typed in an update and now all I have to do is either send it now, or schedule it for a future date.

Hootsuite and LinkedIn groups

That’s my solution. Have you found another way to share with more than one LinkedIn group at the same time? If so, please share it in the comments below.

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3 Video Marketing Tools to Enhance Your Business

video mktg toolsVideo is undeniably a powerful marketing tool, especially for small businesses. You don’t need a big budget to create videos that will drive traffic to your website or sell your products. That doesn’t mean any old video will work. It can’t be boring! Here are a few tools to help you create videos that will interest your prospect and lead him or her to buy:

Viewbix – This is a great tool because it lets you easily embed a call-to-action right on your video. The Viewbix player displays a video that is already hosted on YouTube or Vimeo. It features a “click here” button that is customizable and allows you to link to a web page. If you’re offering a free report on your website, anyone who watches the video on your Viewbix player can click the button and go right to your landing page.

You can also have viewers sign up for your email list directly from your video player. Viewbix supports Aweber, Constant Contact, iContact and MailChimp. The paid version lets you include Facebook, Twitter and Share buttons, as well as video analytics.
Viewbix video player

GoAnimate – Ever wanted to create an animated video? Now’s your chance. You can create short videos using templates provided. All you need to do is write the script. After it’s finished, you can share the video on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ or grab the link and post it on your blog, etc. There are free and paid versions of this tool. I tested it out recently and was able to create the following video in less than 5 minutes: (click the image to view it) goanimate

Screencast-o-matic – I’ve used this tool for quite some time now to record videos of my computer screen. It comes in handy for tutorials. I recently created one to show a client how to create a blog article in WordPress. There’s no software to install, and it’s easy to use. You can upload videos directly to YouTube for free. If you choose the paid version ($15 for one year!) you can also upload to Google Drive, Dropbox and Vimeo. Plus, it comes with more editing tools. I know many people recommend Camtasia for screen capture, but that software runs about $300. If you’re looking for something cheap, give Screencast-o-matic a try.

What video marketing tools have you had success with? Please share them in the comments below.

YouTube Channel
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Making the Most of the New YouTube One Channel

YouTube logoVisit one of the many YouTube channels lately and you’re going to notice a new layout. The video site has revamped the look to make your branding work across a variety of devices, including smartphones and tablets. You can show off more content to fans, and you can reach out to non-subscribed viewers. Continue reading “Making the Most of the New YouTube One Channel”

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How to Ensure Your Video Sales Letter Converts

By Gloria Rand

Video Sales LettersLooking for a way to sell more products online? Use a Video Sales Letter. Why? Here are 3 reasons:

  • It’s easier to get your point across with video than with text or audio
  • You can build trust and connect with potential customers
  • Video converts better than straight text

Don’t get the wrong impression. It’s not that easy to generate sales with video. Otherwise, everybody would be doing it.  Continue reading “How to Ensure Your Video Sales Letter Converts”

backlinks
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Why You Should Avoid Building Poor Quality Backlinks

backlinksOne common SEO mistake small business owners and solopreneurs fall victim to is building poor quality backlinks. Often times, these business people maintain their own websites, yet they don’t fully understand what backlinks are. Continue reading “Why You Should Avoid Building Poor Quality Backlinks”

Creative Ways to Use Pinterest
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3 Creative Ways to Use Pinterest

Creative Ways to Use PinterestNeed some inspiration when it comes to creating Pinterest boards? Check out these examples for ways you can engage with your community, prospects and customers:

Holiday Promotion

Home improvement retailer Lowe’s has created a board that is timely and creative. It’s called “No More Ties Please” and features pins of gift ideas for Father’s Day.

Naturally, some of the pins are for items you can buy at Lowe’s like grilling equipment or gift cards. But Lowe’s has also included clever pins from other sources like lilluna.com’s Candy Bar Poster Print or a recipe for Bourbon Whiskey BBQ Sauce from allrecipes.com/.

Community Involvement

The Mountain View, CA police department came up with a unique way to engage its community. They created a Pinterest board for lost and found items. Since most of the items they recover are bikes, the department thought it would be easier to reunite these items with their owners via Pinterest. According to Lt. Chris Hsiung, “The unique thing about Pinterest is that because it is photobased we’re able to show people property. If we show them the 10 speed bike and they can identify it, it makes it much easier.”

Client Love / Testimonials

Want to show your customers some love? If you’re a B2C company, you can create a board that features pictures of your customers using your product, like Ben & Jerry’s does with their Fan Photos board.

If you’re a B2B company, you can create a similar board and pin pictures of your clients, their logos and/or their products, like I did with this board:

This type of board serves you and your clients because if a client’s image gets repinned, they get more exposure to a new audience, and you benefit because you can demonstrate who has bought your particular product or service.

Have you come across any other unique Pinterest boards? Share them in the comments below.

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3 Ways Your Boutique Hotel Can Use LinkedIn Channels

linkedin channels logoIn my last article, I talked about how LinkedIn has added a contact management feature that lets users keep track of how they met their connections. LinkedIn recently added another new feature to its repertoire called Channels, which can be very useful for boutique hotels and other small businesses.

Channels contain articles on a variety of topics from LinkedIn Influencers and top news sources, and can be found in LinkedIn Today. The first time you access Channels, LinkedIn will recommend 5 channels for you to follow. My choices were “Editor’s Picks, Your Career, Technology, Leadership & Management, and Recruiting & Hiring.” Not sure how they determined these picks, but I suspect technology was chosen because I focus on SEO in my business.

You can follow additional topics by clicking on the blue “plus” sign in the upper right hand corner of the individual channel. Once clicked, the plus sign gets replaced by a green check mark. To unfollow a topic, simply click the check mark.

LinkedIn Channels

Once you select your channels, LinkedIn will provide a list of Influencers to select as well. Then, you can view your news in LinkedIn Today, which will display featured articles in the various channels you selected, and from the influencers you’re following.

How do Channels Help my Boutique Hotel?

Channels can help your boutique hotel in a couple of ways:

#1 – They can keep you up-to-date on developments in the hotel industry.
#2 – You can share relevant articles with your connections on LinkedIn, and your other social networks such as Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.
#3 – The articles may help spark new article ideas for your hotel blog.

Let me know how your hotel plans to use LinkedIn Channels by commenting below.

LinkedIn contacts
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Using LinkedIn for Contact Management

LinkedIn logoLinkedIn has been on a roll in the last year, tweaking its services and recently, I got my first look at the changes they have made to Contacts.

The social networking site has now made it easy to bring together all of your address books, emails and calendars and keep them up to date in one place. It’s designed to help improve how you stay in touch with your LinkedIn connections. For instance, you’ll get notifications when someone changes jobs, or has a birthday, so you can send them a greeting right away.

The change is especially noticeable when you visit your contacts’ profile pages. Directly underneath their profile picture, there is a new box that indicates your relationship to the person, and includes areas where you can write a note, set a reminder, and indicate how you met. This is priceless for keeping track of prospects that you meet at a networking event. Even though you’re adding this information underneath someone else’s profile, the information is visible only to you:

LinkedIn contacts

LinkedIn has a new contacts app available on iPhone, but there’s no mention of Android yet. I hope they will come up with one soon, because I would love to try it out on my phone!

Watch your email for the invite from LinkedIn. I almost missed mine, since the subject line contained the number “2” and nothing else! (I’m sure this was a mistake.) I think these new features are an excellent enhancement to the service.

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Think like a Photographer when it Comes to Social Media Marketing

cameraWhen I was growing up, there were no digital cameras. I had a Kodak Instamatic camera that would take 12, 24 or 36 pictures at a time, depending on the size of the film cartridge used. Once you reached that limit, you had to remove the film and insert another roll. As a result, you had to be choosy about what pictures you took, especially if you were running out of film and didn’t have another roll handy.

Today, my digital camera lets me take hundreds of pictures before the memory gets full, so I can keep snapping pictures till my heart’s content. But that also means I have hundreds of pictures to look at when I come back from vacation, which can be quite overwhelming.

The number of social networking sites available today can be overwhelming too. Many small business owners fall into the trap of thinking they need a presence on all of them to be effective. I’ve been guilty of thinking that way too. I recently hired a virtual assistant to help me with my own social media marketing, because it’s time-consuming to come up with posts for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. and run my business at the same time.

Here’s a little secret. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can limit yourself to one or two different platforms. The best photographers take time to craft their shots, and choose only the best images to present to the public. You should do the same. Take time to craft good quality content that will be appreciated by your audience and engage them. If your business lends itself well to visuals, spend the majority of your time on Pinterest. If your audience is B2B, spend more of your time on LinkedIn.

Experiment to see what type of content appeals most to your target audience and gets them to engage with you. Try out different types of posts, photos, contests, even ads. Test and re-test. In time, you’ll develop a good eye for what works.

Image courtesy of ammer / freedigitalphotos.net

Pinterest Contributor Board
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7 Ways to Get Started with Pinterest

7 Ways to Get Started with PinterestWant to start using Pinterest for your business, but not quite sure how to begin? I picked up some great tips from Pinterest marketing expert Melanie Duncan at the recent Social Media Marketing World conference. This visual bookmarking site is a powerful way to drive traffic to your blog. One of my clients has found that 99% of the traffic to her blog comes from Pinterest, compared to other sources like Facebook. Continue reading “7 Ways to Get Started with Pinterest”