LinkedIn: Back to basics

linkedin skills endorsements

Sometimes we forget about the basics.  I had a request from a friend so I decided to share the same information she needed with you:

If you forget your password, it’s easy enough to reset.

At the login screen – type in your default e-mail address and click on Forgot password?  It is important you put in the same e-mail address you set up your LinkedIn account.  If you would like to change your e-mail address, I will show you how to do that, but for now, you need to put in your original e-mail address.

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Once you have logged in, At the top right corner, click on the down arrow next to your name and select Settings

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On the next screen, bottom left corner, select Account

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Here you will see your LinkedIn basic settings.  You can add additional email addresses, change your default email address, change your password, and more.  This is also where you need to be if you have multiple accounts and need to close one or more accounts.  In fact, feel free to click around here, click on the Add & change email addresses (I would show you a screenshot of mine, but I don’t want to show my active email addresses.  The address shown in this email is not one I check regularly.)

Now that you’ve taken time to familiarize yourself with your LinkedIn basic account settings, now let’s look at the Email Preferences.   If you find you are getting a LOT of notifications, this is where you can tweak your settings.

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Like account settings, email preferences is where you want to go if you are experiencing an overabundance of emails:  I would recommend going to Set the frequency of emails first:

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If you make any changes here, be sure to SAVE CHANGES when you exit.  I’ll let you familiarize yourself with the rest of the options at your leisure – but be sure to go through them if you feel like you are getting too many emails.

We’ll discuss customizing your Profile and Groups, Companies & Applications in two separate posts at a later date.  I hope this post was helpful for those of you who are just starting out, or who may have not taken the time to go through these settings.

If you have a question, be sure to post on my Facebook fan page, or send me a tweet at @Knikkolette – I’ll write a post to answer your question. 🙂

Social Media Engagement Tools: Part 1

social media engagement

What are Social Media Engagement Tools?

Social Media Engagement  tools are communication platforms where users take action and can respond, engage, interact or communicate directly on social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, and more.  Users provide the login credentials and offer OAuth permissions and can Tweet, comment on a blog post or respond to a question in a forum without leaving the Social Media Engagement platform. These are highly customized dashboards where you can interact real-time and often offer multiple accounts, a shared workspace for many users and the ability to respond in multiple places with one click.  Don’t mistake these for Social Media Management tools, which are used to  primarily analyze activity.  Social Media Engagement tools are beneficial for anyone who wants to save time, stay organized, or especially has multiple accounts to manage.

Below are a few of the applications I have either used for an extended period of time, or have evaluated for the purpose of this post.  This is just part of the list, and I will do a follow-up article at a later date.

  • CoTweet  CoTweet offers many features, including scheduling, conversation history, email notifications containing your latest mentions, team collaboration tools, and easy access to Twitter follower profiles.  As the name indicates, this platform ONLY works with Twitter.   A couple more cons to CoTweet is when you have more than one account, they are not streaming through separate columns, you only get a tiny avatar next to each line.  This could prove problematic if managing multiple accounts and if you have bad eyesight!  Another con to this application is it doesn’t import your lists from the original Twitter web application.  It looks like you have to start from scratch, but I can’t tell for sure.   I attempted to create a new list with the same name of an existing list on the web app of  Twitter and it “encountered a problem”.   I then attempted to create a list not already established on either account and it “encountered a problem” again.  CoTweet offers a Standard and Enterprise edition if you want to do a product comparison.  I only evaluated the free application, but from what I’ve seen and compared to the rest, I would not recommend this one.   This app works on the web and iPhone.
  • Tweetdeck  I like this app and use it because it allows you to update all your friends easily on Twitter, Facebook,tweetdeck MySpace, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Google Buzz.  I’ve only used it for Twitter, but that’s just me.  All you need to do is compose messages in the update window, view your character count, and then click send.  Plus with just a few clicks you can add and shorten a link, send a picture, send your location or record a video to share.  I like the fact you can manage all your Twitter accounts from TweetDeck without switching between them. (I’ve had as many as 18 accounts on TweetDeck with no problem.)  View all of the information you need from all of your accounts at once,  cross-post tweets to different accounts with just the touch of a button.  Tweetdeck  is one of my favorites because regardless of the number of accounts you monitor, it’s always FREE.  This app works on Mac and Windows as well as Androids and iPhones.
  • Hootsuite  Monitor and post to multiple social networks, including Facebook and Twitter using the HootSuite dashboard.  Hootsuite allows you to create custom reports from over 30 individual report modules to share with clients and colleagues. Track brand sentiment, follower growth, plus incorporate Facebook Insights and Google analytics all without leaving the dashboard.  I started out on Hootsuite but as soon as they started charging for multiple accounts(over $1000 a month for the number of accounts I was managing) that turned me off and I was so upset I uninstalled their application!  When I re-installed this app it still had my old avatar and other old login information (I had since changed my Twitter password).   Updating the information was a little glitchy, but I was finally able to get a single user account imported.   Sure, Hootsuite offers great reports, but you have to go with their Pro feature and pay for them.  (I use other apps for my reports, so I don’t need to pay Hootsuite too.)  I know there are die-hard Hootsuite fans out there – are you one? (Be honest, is it because you are an affiliate?)  Tell me why you like it more than another Social Media Engagement tool.  I’m still not convinced Hootsuite is better than the competition.  This app works on Mac and Windows as well as Androids and iPhones.
  • MarketMeSuite I LIKE this app! A LOT! You have the ability to brand your tweets, GeoTarget Reply Campaigns based on your niche and location. (This looked particularly interesting to me for a couple of my clients.)  I liked that it showedmarketmesuite me who was not following me and allowed me to easily follow and unfollow users.  You can post to Facebook, schedule unlimited tweets, and there’s  even Google Calendar to schedule. The next feature I like and don’t like for the same reason.  When you add an additional Twitter account, you get an entire screen just of that profile with the same columns as the original account you set up.  It’s easy to toggle back and forth between multiple profiles.  What I don’t like about it, is sometimes I like to tweet the same post simultaneously from my personal and my business Twitter accounts, I don’t think you can do that with MarketMeSuite.  The pros definitely outweigh the cons of this Social Media Engagement tool and if you are looking for an alternative to Hootsuite and TweetDeck, I would say give this one a try.  MarketMeSuite does so much and is FREE.    This app works on Linux, Mac & Windows.
  • Seesmic   This is another great tool! Manage and post to multiple Twitter accounts, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and your Google Buzz accounts. I like that it imports your saved searches from Twitter’s web app and you can easily search, save and access all your searches. Saved searches will be also be saved on your Twitter account. (The only glitch to the search feature is it doesn’t work with refined searches.) You can create unlimited columns, view in minimal mode in each column, and threaded message conversations in your messages.  You get a rollover view of Twitter user statistics and view all of your Twitter users with a contact management system.  It’s easy to “like” and comment to your Facebook platform, and it imports your Facebook fan pages.  This is another tool that is a powerhouse, easy to maneuver and is FREE.  This app has a web app and works on Mac, Windows, Android, iPhone and Windows phones.
I know this is a lot to take in.  It took me a while to review these and will probably take a while before I release Social Media Engagement Tools: Part 2.   If you use these tools, I would like your opinion.  What do you like or what do you not like about them?  The following is a list of what will be reviewed in Part 2: Sprout Social, Twimbow, Brizzly, and  Simplify 360.  Do you use one I did not mention? If you use any of these or have a suggestion of another great Social Media Engagement tool and have a comment you’d like to share, I’d be happy to post it in my next review.  Voice your opinion! 🙂

Have Your Social Media Efforts Stalled?

social media stalled

What do you do when your social media efforts stall?

It happens to everyone.  It happened to me.  Even with my outline of articles to write, I still get writer’s block.  When that happens, I get less retweets, or links back to my blog which in turn causes my Klout score to go down.  What can you do to keep this from happening?  If you are an individual who is responsible for all aspects of your business it may be more difficult, but I’ve got some tips below.

If you have an outline of articles to write that’s good, but nothing says you have to stick to the outline.  If you are hitting that proverbial brick wall, take your niche and relate it to your current situation.  For instance, today my car battery died so as you can see, I’m relating my post about social media to being stalled not only in the sense that I had writer’s block, but also that I was literally stalled because my car battery died.  It took that physical action to “jump start” my brain (pardon the pun).

social mediaAlbert Einstein said: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  If you are finding your social media efforts are not changing  (and they can be monitored) then you need to change what you are doing.  Whether you change the time of day you are online, change the type of tweets you post, get more interactive with people on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.   If you were originally posting quotes and they did not get much reaction, try switching to something else that is more YOU, that fits your personality.  Remember, social media is social and not all business.  Don’t post 100% business and jump offline.

Try new platforms.  If you are only using Twitter and Facebook, sign up for Google+.  You would be amazed at the amount of exposure you can get on this platform.  It is easy to use, the search engines love it, so your posts will be crawled, and chances are a lot of your same friends will be there to introduce you to new contacts.  Don’t forget LinkedIn, even though this is definitely more geared towards business, it has its place and should not be ignored. YouTube is great for getting you viewed.  You don’t have to have a lot of expensive video equipment or fancy software to post on YouTube.  All you really need is your computer, a webcam, and I believe you can even use YouTube’s software, but I use Jing.

Frequency:  If you are only online once a week, double it.  If you are online 10 minutes a day, add five minutes.  If you are online 30 minutes a day, change the time of day.  Studies have shown the best time of day to be online is around 3pm.  You will note the link shows the study for Facebook, but the statistics hold true for Twitter as well.

Mobile apps:  If you have a smart phone like an iPhone or Droid you can install a Facebook, FourSquare, Twitter, even Linkedin application. Now you don’t have an excuse if you don’t have access to your computer or laptop.  You can now communicate with your online friends when you are waiting in line at the grocery store, why not tweet or post on Facebook?  I’ve seen people take photos of what they are having for dinner at their favorite restaurant and post it on their Facebook wall.

Join support and collaborative groups such as Kickin’ it with Klout on Facebook or Triberr if you have a blog and a twitter account.  If you are new to social media, groups like this can help by answering questions or help you get exposure to your blog, fan page, and more.

Have you heard the saying “A cobbler’s children have no shoes.”?  I like to help people. Sometimes to my own detriment.  I will “like” people’s posts, retweet and comment to the point I neglect my own blog or my own social media accounts.  This in turn can be looked upon as a negative because potential clients review my accounts.  Do you see where I’m going?   As a social media strategist, I need to follow my own advice (as many professionals do) and ensure my accounts maintain their high rankings, content and frequent postings.  As a business professional – YOU also need to ensure you tend to your own blog by writing your posts before socializing and interacting.   Don’t drain your social media battery by spending all your time on everyone else’s accounts and ignoring your own.  It’s O.K. to be social and help others, but you also need to ensure you maintain your accounts and your credibility.

If you have any more tips feel free to post them in comment section.   I always welcome feedback!  As always, if you have questions, feel free to post them on my Facebook fan page and be sure to find me on Twitter. 🙂

 

 

Support-A-Thon: Submit Your Free #Backlinks

support-a-thon

What’s a Support-A-Thon?

Well that was my question when I originally read the headline on Yomar Lopez’s blog.  I don’t know if he originally came up with the idea of thesupport-a-thon Support-A-Thon, but he definitely encourages us to take advantage of this marketing idea.  A Support-A-Thon is a free link exchange where participants actively help each other by posting links on each other’s social platforms.

What’s the purpose behind this Support-A-Thon?

As a participant (someone who submits your information) all you are asked to do is hand-pick a few other participants and share their links with your friends via your social networks.  Whether you choose to share by posting to Google+, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, makes no difference which social platforms as long as you share.  For the full story of how the Support-A-Thon works, please read Yomar’s post.

The following is straight from Yomar’s blog:

Why A Support-A-Thon Is For You

The goal here is to allow little-known business entities and creatives to share their online content with a wider audience.  This blog has gained great momentum and I’d like to share some of that traffic with you.  Of course, do not share your stuff here if you do not plan to support others here.  By joining our unofficial effort here, you pledge to…

  • Share the benefits, urgency, and highlights of any content you promote via the Support-A-Thon effort.
  • Never spam your links or the links of others.
  • Personally introduce content to the most interested, hand-picked targets.
  • Use StumbleUpon to Like content and share it to your network’s toolbars.
  • Cross-promote via a blog, site review, LinkedIn recommendation, etc., if you wish.
  • Leave quality comments on target content that will build conversations and add value to the content.
  • Introduce your favorite influencers to people personally, via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or other preferred social networks.
  • Promote the Support-A-Thon by using #supportathon where appropriate and perhaps blogging about it!

Link Building And Sharing Guidelines

When creating links outside of StumbleUpon (i.e. in blog comments, HTML-enabled profiles/bios, and discussion boards), it’s important to make them natural.  What is a natural link?  I’m glad you asked!

  • A link that leads to something relevant to the referring content.
  • A link with anchor text that describes the target content accurately and honestly.
  • A link given proper context so it does not seem like unsolicited spam or mere self-promotion (and people know what they’re clicking).
  • A link that adds value to the online conversation at hand.
  • A link that provides an action or connection that has been pre-approved.

Essentially, just like you are considerate and try to add value with your comments on other sites, you want to do the same with links.  If your links do not add value to content, have not been pre-approved, and break a site’s guidelines, chances are it is spam.

On the matter of pre-approval, most sites that enable links in comments, signatures, profiles, and other areas assume you know that it is meant to be used sparingly.  To avoid seeming like a leech, try to link to others and back to your top referrers more than you link to yourself.  Sure, this takes longer than other, more questionable link-building methods, but it ensures your links are not taken down.

So there you have it!  What a Support-A-Thon is and why you should participate.  I thought it was a splendid idea!  I love supporting others!  So please, post your information in the comment section.  Please know, however, I will be pre-approving the links in the comments so please, no spam, no “adult” sites, etc…

If you have questions or comments relating to something other than the Support-A-Thon link sharing, please post them on my Facebook fan page.  Thanks so much for your participation and support!

How Social Media is Like High School

What? How is social media like high school?

My son started back to school last week and as the rest of the counties here in Georgia start back to school next week, it gave me an idea to write a post of how social media is like high school.  The similarities are closer than you think.

Subjects are like the different social media platforms:

Twitter would be one of the fun, laid back classes with a cool teacher like art, music, or shop, LinkedIn would be one of the core classes like history or math.  You know… school.

Then you have the students and their different personality types:

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The New Kid:

This user just signed up and is still trying to figure out all the ins and outs of the various platforms.  Depending if he or she is an Over Achiever or a Rebel depends if he or she will try to learn all the platforms at once or one at a time.  This user hasn’t even decided if he or she even likes social media yet.

 

 

social media overachiever

The Over Achiever:

This user has the highest scores, highest follower count, a large number of fans, etc.   You will probably see this user’s profile photo on all the social media platforms.  When a new platform is introduced, this user is probably first in line to beta test it and conquer it.

 

 

 

social media cheerleader

The Cheerleader:

This user is always positive, helpful and promoting others.  He or she is as successful as the Over Achiever, but doesn’t have to work as hard because everyone is attracted to this user’s charisma and will mention this user’s name and do his or her promoting just because they like him or her.

 

 

 

social media rebel

The Rebel:

This user doesn’t care about the “rules”.  He or she likes to do things his or her own way.  They have their own opinions, will voice them and makes no qualms about it.  They don’t care about any of the social platform etiquette rules or best practices.  People will either really like this user or really dislike them.

 

 

 

social media nerd

The Nerd:

This user usually writes a program to do the type of posting or interaction he or she wants done, then once the programming is complete and tested successfully, he or she will come back and check it from time to time.  Or, the other type of user will write a program to “hack” the platform to get the most followers then sell them to everyone else.   This user has lots of ideas, important projects and doesn’t really have time to be bothered with social media, but wants to cash in on it all the same.

 

social media clown

The Class Clown:

This user likes to make people laugh.  They post jokes, silly videos, whatever will get the most response. This guy is always scoping sites for the video that will go viral or is trying to make the video that will go viral.  They are popular among all of the personality types.

 

 

 

Did I miss a personality type?  Perhaps it was yours? If so, let me know with a short description and I can do a follow-up post with a contributor area and a link back to your site.

As always, if you have a question, please feel free to post it to my Facebook fan page, or ask me via Twitter @YSMMogul or post a comment below.