Friday, June 8, 2012

Using Facebook and Linkedin for Business

We're back with our Hubspot Inbound Marketing University segment.  Today's class is on creating and using Facebook and Linkedin profiles and pages.  Although this class was targeted more for an audience that didn't have much (or any) experience with these two social media applications, there are some tidbits that can be pulled from the class.  I've outlined them below, so take a look and let me know what questions or comments you have.  Here it is:

Notes from the Linkedin and Facebook for Business Course

Instructor: Elyse Tager


Key Takeaways

Culture Matters.  

Every social media site has a different culture.  Facebook and Linkedin are no different.  You need to cater your message depending on the forum.  Linkedin is more structured, more formal.  It is a business culture.  Facebook is more casual.  It was started for a college student audience, and has evolved with a more.
    1. Know what you can do - Learning Center on Linkedin, Facebook About Page
    2. Learn by following - Don't re-invent the wheel.  Emulate other pages that do it well
    3. Participate in your community
    4. Define the outcome, pick the right tool, and measure

Set Your Objectives.  

There are various outcomes that can be gained from using Facebook and Linkedin for business.  It helps to define your objectives ahead of time.  Some common examples are:
    1. Establish credibility
    2. Establish thought leadership
    3. Branding
    4. Gain Knowledge
    5. Customer Service
    6. Crisis Management
    7. Lead Generation
    8. Internal Communication

Connect.

The primary purpose of these sites is to connect with others.  Make sure you do so early and often.

Create.

The catch phrase is "Content is King", and it's true.  You can't expect people to just want to follow, friend, or connect with you for no reason.  You must provide valuable content.  Below are three things to keep in mind with respect to content:
    1. Frequency 
    2. Be of value 
    3. Link to other content

Engage.

This one is important.  The beginning is usually the most fun when all your close contacts connect with you.  However, eventually, you'll hit a wall.  This is where it'll get tough.  You must engage with your community.  Some ways to do this are:
    1. Pose questions
    2. Answer questions
    3. Post often on your page (remember that content is king)
    4. Comment often on other pages

Linkedin Summarized.

What can you do on Linkedin?  Here are few of the main things cited from the course:
    1. Home Page - Use it.  View your news stream, read your inbox, see your profile views
    2. Optimize your profile - Be specific about your location and industry.  Be careful about what you share (tweets, etc.).  Website, use a custom title along with your url.
    3. Personal Profile - summary, education, projects, interests, security settings, apps
    4. Company Profile - Description, Logo, Employee Info,
    5. Company Search - Browse by Company, Industry, Within Networks
    6. Building Your Network - Consider volume vs. quality/relevance of network.  Upload corporate databases to Linkedin, then let Linkedin suggest other profiles to connect with.  Search for old contacts, peruse members of relevant groups.  Keep it updated!
    7. Groups - You can be a member of up to 50 groups.  You can search groups, join groups that your connections are in.  Use these to find new connections.
    8. Ask/Answer Questions - Questions are collected by category.  Establish/showcase your knowledge and expertise by answering questions.  Don't overuse this for self-promotion.
    9. Service Providers - This is a tab on a company page.  Find providers, become a provider, ask for recommendations
    10. Advertising - Linkedin Direct (smaller budget) other for larger budgets
    11. Polling - Survey your networks.  Can only use one at a time.  The jury is still out.

Facebook Summarized.

What can you do on Facebook?  Here are the examples given from the course:
    1. Build a personal profile.  Decide level of professionalism.  Basic info, contact info, education, contact info, privacy settings (facebook is getting pretty good at this)
    2. Connect with Friends (think strategically)
    3. Build a Company page/Fan Page (Professional Profile).  Establish a Category (not very robust).  Edit page (continually evolving), add media, add events, start discussions, set a schedule.  Get fans, add admins, promote fb page everywhere.
    4. Events - Use to schedule/invite to events
    5. Create Ads - target audiences  
It's important to note that both of these sites are constantly being updated.  I believe this course was given before Facebook rolled out the new Timelines feature.  While the technology and details will change, the main ideas from this course will remain constant.  Update your profile, give relevant information, create valuable content, and engage with your community. Do those things and you'll have valuable Facebook and Linkedin experiences.