3 Ways to Get the Most from LinkedIn Groups

If your LinkedIn strategy does not include participation in LinkedIn groups, you are missing a powerful way to use the platform for your digital strategy. A complete LinkedIn profile and list of connections is great, but groups bring more opportunities.

There are groups for different subject areas, industries, professional associations, alma maters and more.

You need to be strategic to be successful with groups. Here are three important things to keep in mind.

Join Several Groups

Start by joining several groups. Select them based on your interests and because one or more of your connections or desired connections are members.

Only as a member will you be able to determine the level of activity, topic covered, and tone of the exchanges. You can maintain interest in the groups that are a good fit and drop off of ones that don’t contribute to your goals.

LinkedIn groups are communities, some of which are tight knit and lead to real-life relationships. It can take time to become a part of them.

Introduce yourself to fellow members. Start by making comments on posts that offer helpful insights.

Add posts that will be helpful to other members. Avoid direct sells of you or your services. The key is to build relationships that will lead to more connections, not direct sales.

Browse discussions and threads to get an idea of which questions have been already asked and answered, and which questions that haven’t been brought up yet. Before you jump in, you want to be familiar with the lay of the land.

In addition to content insight, gauge cultural norms of the group. How often do individual members post? What kinds of posts generate interest? What is the tone of the conversations? Etc.

A Strategic Approach Wins

These three tips will help you use groups to build genuine relationships that can help you to grow your position as a subject matter expert and the awareness of your brand and business. As with all relationship efforts, taking a strategic approach leads to the greatest successes.

5 Common Website Mistakes That Are Killing Your Impact

Guest Post by Natalie Rose, NOVA Web Group

Your website is a critical part of your business. It is the place where people connect with you online. It needs to represent you well, yet many sites make mistakes that kill their impact.

Here are five common errors I see at websites. Fix them and you will have a site that supports your business goals.

Mistake #1: Website Doesn’t Work Well on Mobile

The number of people who visit websites from mobile devices has steadily increased for the past several years. Google (and others) have made it clear that sites that do not work well for mobile visitors will not be ranked highly in search results.

Your site must work well on mobile.

Your website needs to be responsive to the platform and browser being used by visitors. Visitors from desktop computers and mobile devices need the same, excellent user experience. All elements need to be seen on the screen, navigation needs to be usable, and content needs to be easy to read.

Mistake #2: Website Isn’t Secure

Every website needs to be secure. Just a few years ago this wasn’t the case, but it is reality now. If your website URL starts with HTTP rather than HTTPS, you need to make it secure ASAP.

Browsers show scary warning messages when users access a non-secure site. Google now ranks HTTPS pages higher than non-secure pages. Bottom line: If your site isn’t HTTPS, you’re going to get left behind.

Mistake #3: Too Sloooow

People do not wait for websites to load. Period.

According to Kissmetrics, 47 percent of visitors expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds, and 40 percent of visitors will leave the website if the loading process takes more than 3 seconds.

Your site needs to be optimized to load quickly. Don’t assume your page loads quickly because it is fast for you. As someone who visits often, the site will be in your cache.

Google offers a page speed tool so you can get a speed rating. It also offers suggestions for making things load faster.

Mistake #4: Website Clutter Makes Nothing Visible

Your business is important. You have a lot of information to share. Beware, because a cluttered website can really confuse visitors. Instead of learning a lot, they may leave in frustration.

Your website needs to be easy to understand. Visitors need to find a place to begin and a simple path to what interests them. If there are too many options on the page, they may never find what they want.

Think of your website like a physical store. You don’t pile everything at the front door and expect people to sift through to find what they need. You prioritize, with the most important items up front and the rest organized into aisles for visitors to discover.

Mistake #5: Website Lacks a Call to Action

Someone visits your site. Great! What do you want them to do? This call to action is crucial to meeting your business goals.

If you want to be able to contact visitors, you need to get them to leave their information in a form or sign up. If you want to make a sale, your site needs to drive them to the purchase process. Your site needs to make it clear and easy for visitors to take the action you want.

 

Snag Blog Readers with Twitter

Twitter has largely settled into a social media platform for news and events. It also presents an opportunity to increase your blog readers.

Establish a Presence on Twitter

First you have to establish a presence on Twitter. Make sure your branding makes a solid connection between you, your business and your blog. Don’t create confusion by using different names and imagery. Consistency is important.

Don’t forget to put your website URL in your Twitter profile. You can use the URL that goes directly to your blog if that is a focus for your business.

Gain followers by following people and businesses that you know. Once you start this process. Twitter will recommend people to follow. Act on any suggestions that make sense.

If you have a following (or even if you want to build one), incorporate these tactics into your Twitter use and you are sure to see your blog traffic rise.

Now you are ready to use Twitter to gain blog readers.

Pin Your Posts

Twitter has a feature where you can pin a tweet to the top of your profile. When people go to your profile to learn more about you, they will see the tweet that you’ve pinned first. Use this to share your latest blog post or a popular one.

Use Relevant Hashtags

Adding hashtags to your tweets can help them to be seen by more people. Use hashtags that are relevant to the blog post that you are sharing and that are used by your target audience.

Tweet Often

If you don’t tweet often, your tweets will get lost in the stream. Tweeting often and at different times of day maximizes your visibility. Followers will see your tweets no matter what time they check their feed.  A scheduling tool like Buffer, Tweetdeck, and Hootsuite makes scheduling easy.

Set Up Twitter Cards on Your Site

Twitter Cards are a form of SMO – Social Media Optimization. The SMO tags tell Twitter what image and text to show in a preview for your website. This makes your blog posts look much more appealing when they are shared on Twitter.

The simplest way to get your Twitter cards set up is to install the Yoast SEO plugin, which many people already have installed on their WordPress site for SEO purposes.

Include an Image in Every Tweet

Images make your tweets more eye-catching. Always use an image with your tweets.

Create Click to Tweet Links

Click to Tweet links are shareable links that allow people to tweet out a pre-populated tweet with just one click.

Click to Tweet helps you generate the links and also gives you access to some stats on the links. Once you’ve created them, you can put these links on your blog posts. There are also WordPress plugins that you can use to put these links on your blog.

Promote Older Content

Promote all your content, not just the latest post. Promote all your posts that are still relevant. Scheduling tools like Buffer and Hootsuite can do this work for you.