Reasons to use LinkedIn for B2B Lead Generation

A Research Report for B2B Marketers by Leadformix reveals extensive reasons by LinkedIn is a great network and set of tools for B2B lead generation. 

Leadformix report can be accessed here.

Using LISTS to manage Twitter

Twitter can be a great tool for banter, relationship building, marketing and more. However it can also be a big time sink if your activity is not actively managed and focused, and return on time can be poor.

For example, your Tweet-stream can become very busy, taking up more of your time with distractions and you risk missing an important message.

You can be more focused, use your time better and see important messages if you use LISTS wisely.

Being on a list helps online reputation too. You will help  people you Follow by adding them to lists as it boosts their online reputation. And if you put out messages that others want to read as a priority then they will add you to their lists and give your reputation a lift.

You can also Follow a List someone else has created, saving you the effort of Finding and following individuals, so you can get results far quicker. See below for more on this!

With a bit of set-up and regular maintenance as part of your routine you should see more benefits and time savings from Twitter.

Here are some tips to get you started.

1. Create one or several LISTS for your Twitter account, either on  or in your desktop/dashboard application such as Hootsuite. If they’re public then think twice before creating a ‘customer’ or ‘prospect’ list.

2. Add key people you follow to a relevant list. Go through your ‘Following’ list, and as you follow new people also add then to a list where appropriate.

3. Add the LIST as a column in Hootsuite, or check it regularly in Twitter. Having created a list make use of it! Make it the first column on Hootsuite, rather than the Home Feed with everyone you’re following on it.

4. To be really smart, set-up an automatic publishing service. Try the Paper.li application to automatically create and publish a daily or weekly ‘paper’ by pulling together the top tweets from people in a list, ie. around a theme. A Tweet can be generated automatically to alert you and your followers. It’s a simple way to do Social Media Monitoring.

5. Every Friday, when you’re doing #FF (Friends Friday) and highlighting people worth following, why not add those people to your own ‘Friends’ list.

6. Save time and effort by following an existing list. Visit Listorious or other list site to see what lists are available. Choose to Follow a suitable list. Then add that list to your desktop ie. Hootsuite as a stream. This is an amazingly quick way to tap into Twitter for a topic.

7. Then for real benefits, in Listorious you can add lists you created or are listed in into their directory, or even approach curators of relevant lists and ask them to consider adding you to their list.

For more information visit the official Twitter Support page for Lists here.

Let me know how you get on via Comments below.

Mark.



Twitter – six steps beyond the basics

If you’ve mastered the basics of Twitter, (by following my Taming Twitter course or on your own) and built it into your daily routine it’s probably time to take stock. It may also be a great time to plan your next phase, to move yourself up through intermediate to advanced level skills, if you want to increase your returns.

Here are six tips and ideas to help you increase the benefits you gain from Twitter.

I’ll also post tips about your content plan and twitter housekeeping, so check for other posts on the ‘Hosted Apps and Tools’ blog.

The six tips are inevitably based on apps and tools. There are countless Twitter Tools available but here are some I’m finding very useful:

KLOUT – assesses your influence online. Scores of 75 are exceptional, and I’d say that above 40 is a great achievement. Below 40 and there’s room for improvement if you want to get real benefit from Twitter.  Register with http://www.klout.com , add your Facebook and LinkedIn details then track your score. See also my post on ideas to improve your influence.

TwitCleaner – one part of this tool assesses your profile and suggests improvements, or flags up areas or activity that might be compromising your reputation. The other side is covered in my post on Twitter Housekeeping.

Hootsuite – lets you manage 5 Twitter or other Social Media Accounts for free.  With Hootsuite I can easily post to different accounts and  set up different streams.  I can also monitor Direct and @ messages and respond, to develop dialogue and relationships.

To help to prioritise the incoming tweet streams here are two tips that I use:

  • Filtering my main stream by Klout ie. set at 40 to remove the noise of Tweets from low influence people. It also provides a source of ReTweets of people with higher influence.
  • Setting up Lists for Friends, Specialists etc. and then a Stream per list so I can periodically check per topic.

Paper.li – lets you create a daily or weekly online newspaper that is fed by a Twitter list you manage. It’s a very time-effective way to curate information and publish it. Read your own paper and let paper.li highlight key stories based on your interests.

Automate a Feed – you may want to ease the load by sending part of your content through automatically. Using Google Alerts and TwitterFeed or FeedBurner it is fairly easy to achieve this. Use with care to maintain content quality and ratio of manual and automatic content.

Go Mobile – I’ve added the Twitter App to my Blackberry so I can access the Twitter on the move, both via the Twitter App and Direct Tweets appear in my email feed too. Similar function will be available on other Smartphones.

Take an hour or so every month to review your account, and the tools you use, to improve the return you get from the time you spend on Twitter.

I hope that one or two of these tips prove really helpful to you.

Add a comment below to let me know how you use Twitter.

How to use LinkedIn for Business Lead Generation

LinkedIn is becoming a powerful platform not just for personal connections but, since November 2010, it has stepped up as a platform for promoting businesses, products and services too.

My 10 minute video will take you through the steps to set-up your company and your products and services, then outline how to promote them using the Free and the paid-for methods within LinkedIn.

And if you need help to implement this I  provide services to help you plan and execute the set-up and campaigns.

Mark.

Klout – what, why, how?

Klout is a measure of Influence or Social Proof that a person or account has in Twitter or Facebook.

This post provides answers to some of the more common questions and tips on how to improve your Klout.

What is Klout?

You may have seen the Klout score against Twitter profiles. It is an indicator of Social Proof or Influence, based on what other people have done with the person, profile or account which add an implicit endorsement to that profile.

Klout score goes from ‘ — ‘ or uncategorised, then from 1 to 100. The higher the score the more influence the person has.

A great example is Thomas Power of ecademy who currently has a score of 67.

It is not possible to directly improve your score, but there are some indirect steps that can be taken, as outlined below.

For Twitter Accounts the Klout algorythm includes, or takes into account:

  • List Membership – how many LISTS the person has been put on – indicating that people prioritise this persons tweets in some way – see my blog post on lists for more explanation
  • Total Retweets – the number of times messages have been retweeted
  • Unique Retweets – how many people have retweeted
  • Unique Message Retweets – how many messages have been retweeted
  • Total Retweets for a specific message – the chain of retweets
This breadth of measures avoids the scenario where someone can have say 2 accounts, repeat the same tweet on one account multiple times and retweet it like for like on the second account. The Klout algorythm detects real breadth and depth of interesting content and a large and engaged network of people.
For Facebook Accounts the Klout algorythm includes, or takes into account:
  • Total number of ‘Likes’ received
  • Total number of Comments received
  • Unique Likes – how many different people liked
  • Unique comments – how many different people commented.
So, as with Twitter’, this detects breadth and depth rather than one account Liking and Commenting on another multiple times.
Why does Klout matter?

The main reason is that it indicates quality when someone is considering whether to follow someone else. This plays out in two situations:
  • You are looking for people to follow. The assumption here is that you are choosing to follow people who you do not already know, as a way to increase the breadth of your own network. You may want to follow thought leaders in your neighbourhood, town, city etc, or people who share an interest, or who are thought leaders, specialists, gurus or experts on a topic. The Klout score is one way for you to select, or pre-select, who you want to follow.
  • You are hoping to be followed by others. If you aspire to be seen as a leader and build up your influence, whether it is so people with a shared interest find you, or for more commercial reasons such as to be able to prospect for new leads and to do lead generation, then a higher Klout or influence or social proof score matters.
There are tools that allow you to select people on Twitter by their Klout Score.
Similarly you can Select Tweets by Klout Score in dashboard applications such as Hootsuite.
How can you influence your Klout score?

If you’re using Twitter then at some stage you may want to move beyond using it as an instant messaging tool between you and your close contacts. In which case taking a deliberate approach to increase your Klout score will be a worthwhile strategy.
The simple strategy is two-fold – Content and Followers.
  • The better and more frequent your content the more people will see it, read and share it.
  • The more followers you have the more influence you have.
This creates a virtuous circle too – and at some point your account moves into overdrive.
A more comprehensive strategy would include these seven steps:
  1. Register your Twitter Account with Klout and also associate your Facebook account with this Klout profile to gain extra points. Then monitor your progress at least weekly so you track what works and see some pay-back.
  2. Make your content worth reading as this helps you get listed by others who want to read your tweets ahead of those from others. Encourage others to add you to their lists, and initiate the process yourself by creating a list and adding them. See my blog post about lists.
  3. Create a Daily or Weekly newspaper using Paper.li which sources content from a specific list that you create and manage. Then see who else publishes in your niche who has a lot of followers and create content and get onto their list on a reciprocal basis.
  4. Make your content worth ReTweeting! Include a mix of Tweets and copy that encourages people to share your Tweets with their followers. This could be original material you wrote on your Blog and Tweeted, or other worthwhile content you mention, like quips, motivational quotes, forthcoming events etc. Ask your close contacts to Retweet.
  5. Share the love – Retweet other people’s content in the hope they will Retweet yours in return. A Retweet says more than ‘Thank-you’ in social influence circles.
  6. Identify influencers, learn from them, study what they do and apply it to your own account. Check your stats in Twitter and your Dashboard (Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, SocialOomph etc) to see who has high Klout and who is likely to reciprocate to boost both your scores.
  7. Build up the number of people following you. Actively select and follow people on a regular basis and many will follow you in return.
Remember your objectives
Do remember your objectives and desired outcomes as it takes time to create content and manage and develop your Twitter and Social Media profile and you need to see a return. Maybe it is just about building your reputation and credibility. Maybe you want to drive traffic to your Blog. Maybe you are promoting products and services through Facebook. Maybe something else.
Having an external review of your Social Media strategy can prove extremely beneficial, to help you achieve the results you need and save you time in the process. I offer a Social Media Review and Action Plan service if you would find this beneficial.

LinkedIn – are you making the most of the new functions?

LinkedIn made some big changes in Nov 2010 which you may or may not have seen or heard about.

Headline changes in LinkedIn are the ability to create not just a company page (available since March 2008) but now also pages for products and services.

In addition there are new and powerful tools for either FREE or Paid-for promotion methods for company pages and for product or services pages. These could really help your lead generation, to reach your connections and the wider LinkedIn community and let them know how you can help them.

And as the LinkedIn network and its usage by “professionals” grows there are many benefits from reviewing how you are using LinkedIn for your own personal, career and project purposes, and even lead generation, depending on your goals.

I’ve created a webpage that summarises the changes for personal and business use and at entry, intermediate and advanced levels.

I’ve also created and included two Slidecast (slides plus audio) summaries to take you step by step through the changes.

Anyway, enough introduction, here’s the link to the page on my Hosted Apps and Tools website.

Let me know what you think, and do drop me a line if I can help you, or people you know, to get more benefit from LinkedIn.

Video Marketing – 7 benefits

Marketing with video is a great way for your prospects to find, know, like and trust you.

Video marketing also helps you stay closer to your existing customers.

NB. This message is also available on Slideshare as a Slidecast highlighting Video Marketing and these 7 benefits.

Here are just some of the benefits:

1. Video reaches a larger audience

Video enables you to communicate with people who prefer to watch rather than read. Video is easier to follow than text, especially for more emotional rather than factual message. Visual learners will find video more appealing and easier to follow. Giving your audience the choice helps both of you.

2. Video engages many senses

If a picture is worth a 1000 words, then video goes much further. Add music for atmosphere, voice for narration, people for connection, and make your marketing message delivery really strong.

3. Video anywhere, anytime

Video can be viewed on all kinds of devices these days, not just in the office or at home on a PC but while travelling and mobile ie. on ipods, mobile phones, laptops, tablets etc. Your audience can choose when and where they watch.

4. Video helps you achieve higher rankings in the search engines

Google Universal Search recognises and values multiple media. If your chosen keywords are used across text, images, video and elsewhere Google gives your web pages and website more credit and ranks it more highly.

5. Repurpose content into video

Convert your written content to video by adding a voice-over to make it a podcast or a Slidecast then upload it to one (or many) video sharing sites like YouTube. The advantage is that it takes less time to put existing material into video than to create new material from scratch.

6. Become known as an expert in your field

Use video to capture and share your knowledge and you’ll soon be known as the expert in your field or niche. If you can regularly add new content that your target audience will value you will soon become recognized as the expert in your market.

7. Easy to create and publish

Creating a video and sharing it has become much easier and less expensive. Video cameras start at under £75 or $100. Video editing software like Windows Movie Maker is probably already on your PC for Free. A YouTube account can be set up for free. To create a Slidecast or a Podcast is even less cost. All you need is a little time and an idea or a message that you want to communicate. Make a start, learn as you go and you’ll soon be reaping the benefits.

If you want to find out more hints and tips about video marketing then visit www.videoskilled.co.uk and sign up for the e-bulletin.


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