Tag Archives: LinkedIn

Branding You: Seven Steps to Building Your Online Brand Using LinkedIn

What’s the first thing you do before you meet someone?

Most people pull out their mobile to “Google” the person’s name. Nowadays, it is a necessity to monitor your online brand. When it comes to managing your brand for “You, Inc.,” what do you stand for?

My question stems from a recent presentation I did at Georgetown on how to build an online brand using LinkedIn.  As an alumni, it’s important to me to share my work-related experiences with students as they navigate the often murky, unpredictable job market. Grad school is challenging enough, but coupled with figuring out how to get a job afterwards is both frightening and frustrating. Answering both practical and specific questions on “getting a job in marketing or communications,” my presentation focused on breaking down how to craft a killer LinkedIn profile. Because if you cannot cut through the noise and standout from other graduates, getting that elusive job becomes harder than your Capstone project.

So, what if you’re not a grad student, is it worth worrying about your brand? Is personal branding really that important? I think there are several reasons why to answer this with “yes,” but the most succinct answer can be found on Wikipedia,

“Branding has reached a new level of imperative because of the rise of the Internet. The growth of the virtual world created the necessity of managing online identities. Despite being expressly virtual, social media and online identity has the ability to affect the real world. Because Individuals want to portray themselves a certain way to their social circle, they may work to maintain a certain image on their social media sites. As a result, social media enables the creation of an online identity that may not be completely true to the real self.”

Branding is more than logos, sharp messages, and collateral. Ultimately, what you put online and what people experience about you is your brand. Period.

Still want more? I shared a few colleagues personal branding advice and tips a few years back.

Other throwbacks worth a read:

Five Social Media Tips for Millennials

Eight LinkedIn Profile Tips to Tie Storytelling to Your Personal Brand

Eight Tips on How to Present at Your Next Industry Conference

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Fun Fact Fridays: 23 Tips to Overcome Your Fear of Social

Fun Fact Fridays: 23 Tips to Overcome Your Fear of Social

Last week, I attended the Vocus Demand Success conference. Fantastic event. My favorite part of any conference is the opportunity to meet new people and share ideas on how to do things. Lots of things like digital journalism, e-mail marketing, content creation, and social media.

Lots of folks were talking about social media, starting a company blog, and other fun marketing best practices. But, I could tell there was some skepticism in the crowd when hearing the presenters speak. Not always, but there were a few folks who would share, “well you had resources” or “In my organization,…”

But I think all of this stems from one issue.

Rachel DiCaro Metscher 23 tips to mange the fear of social media

artwork by flip-wood.deviantart.com

Questions, concerns, and fear all stem from the same source: control or the lack of it.  The reason why most organizations resist using social media or embarking on a blog is

1) What will we do (Lack of a Plan)?

2) What will we share (Content)?

3) Who will manage the message? Who will run the editorial calendar? Who will edit my copy (Control)?

4) If we put our ideas down on paper will it stink (Lack of Ideas.  At least a clear direction of what you should write about)?

5) What if people don’t like my content (Understanding your Audience)?

So how do you overcome fear if people will resist the change your want to create? Here a few of my favorite tools to deal with the fear monster:

  1. Learn to paint the picture of what your ideal social looks like. Love this Tedex from Nancy Duarante on how to tell a great story.
  2. Outline your goals and objectives (P.O.S.T).
  3. Before you begin, assess where you been and where you want to go, a.k.a audit.
  4. Plan some more. Most projects don’t see the light of day because you didn’t do your homework. You already know you won’t get all your resources for this project so plan for it.
  5. Change is Hard, but it will get better.
  6. Welcome Haters. They motivate you to do better.
  7. Accept Failure. Failure can teach you a lot of what not to do the next time.
  8. Priorities. Help those around you and yourself. Pick three area/projects and as you progress you can add more.
  9. Focus on your wins. Small wins lead to big wins later.
  10. Do Internal PR campaign on your wins. Sharing where you have been and where you are going helps others get it.
  11. Keep Your Head up! Easier said than done, but social communications is hard work! Really you are in the business of change management.
  12. Ted Rubin shares how to get over the “what if”
  13. Find a support group of other like-minded folks. LinkedIn has tons!
  14. Network with people who are doing social communications successfully.
  15.  Mark Ivey wrote a great article highlighting the importance of communicating in social media
  16. Get an executive champion.
  17. Constantly evaluate where you are in relation to your goals.
  18.  Put your big girl pants on. This isn’t for the weak of heart.
  19.  In order for this to work, you need vision. Goes back to point one.
  20. Coffee or caffeine. You will be busy managing this change management project.
  21. Social Communications isn’t one and done. Social takes time.
  22. Create advocates
  23. Be disruptive
  24.  Bonus

Fun Fact Fridays: Nine LinkedIn Tips for Introverts

This week, I helped one of my coworkers who is a self proclaimed introvert with his LinkedIn profile. As we began to talk, I realized some of our conversation would make a great post on how introverts can tell their personal brand story using LinkedIn.

You may gather your energy through reflection and dwindle during conversation, but you too can participate using LinkedIn. So, here are my tips to my introverts who are looking to use LinkedIn to engage in social media activities and build their social presence.

  1. Tell Your Story. So, first thing first. Social Media is not about broadcasting or the Me Show. It is about sharing, educating, and learning from others. So make sure your profile has a real photo of you and is complete.
  2. What’s in a Title? When I look at your LinkedIn profile, what three things do you want me to take away? Are you’re a B2B rockstar? Content Marketing Mastermind? Use keywords in the headline so people can find you.
  3. Share things that matter to you. You are not broadcasting; you are sharing your knowledge. Don’t think of your status as bragging, but rather teaching folks about what you know. Building expertise is key to creating your personal brand.
  4. Join a Group. Great advice from my colleague Marlysa Lohr Connolly. Groups are typically created around an industry, conference or company. Basically, they’re a smorgasbord of information. Joining LinkedIn groups privy members to a wealth of knowledge from like professionals who are more than happy to share industry news, tips and answer relevant questions. rachel_Metscher_social_media_PR
  5. Use your strengths. So, if you are an introvert, you already are thoughtful and purposeful. Use this to your advantage. Most likely you will careful research posts and articles. LinkedIn plays to your strengths. Folks that follow you will appreciate your insight!
  6. Listen before your begin. So, by nature you already like to observe before jumping in. Start checking out other profiles you want to emulate and watch how they participate.
  7. Once you’re ready, Update your status at least once a day at a minimum. You should be updating your profile in the morning, during lunch, and in the evening if you feeling specially bold.
  8. Pay it forward. This is from Heidi Cohen post on social for introverts. Social media’s about the community, not you. Help others with targeted information, reshare other people’s more interesting posts, and comment on other people’s status. Also, think about recommending former and current colleagues, staff and bosses on LinkedIn.
  9. Don’t forget to have fun. I know you are serious, but have some fun. Connect with other like minded folks and share, grow and learn.
  10. Sharing is Caring. Don’t forget you can share other people’s statuses and make comments. This goes back to my third point. Share what matters to you, but don’t forget the whole premise behind social is to connect. Find other like minded folks and share away.

#FunFactFridays: Things I Carry for Success

This week on LinkedIn there was an article titled, “Things I Carry..” describing what many business luminaries carry everyday that make them successful or cannot live without.

This article prompted me to think what I couldn’t live without. So, I am adding my list to the mix:

  • Moleskin notebook– kicking it old school with writing down ideas, notes
  • Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, SlideShare updates- technically I don’t carry these put I make a point to read them regularly
  • Positive Attitude
  • Photos of my family, husband, and dog
  • Humor
  • Trade magazines, Wall Street Journal
  • Coffee- I can’t start the day without it
  • IPhone charger
  • Sticky Notes

What’s on your list?

Social Media Needs to Involve Others, but There’s a Catch (Part 4)

In my past entries I explained the four things I learning while implementing a corporate social media strategy.

4)    Social Media Needs to Involve Others, but There’s a Catch

My final point or tip I learn is that everyone needs to participate in social media, otherwise your efforts will be 1) minimized and 2) only seen as a marketing or communications “thing.” Let’s be clear that I am not advocating that everyone in your organization needs to “tweet” or post your company’s business on their Facebook. Rather instead of focusing on the 100 percent, focus on those who are interested and want to participate. If they “raise their hand” make sure your provide them with social media guidelines or a playbook. This doesn’t need to be the length of War and Peace, however, should provide your employees with guidance on what not to do and what is considered acceptable.

A good example is Red Cross Social Media Playbook.

If that’s too in-depth, here is what I focused on with our company (outline):

  • FAQ
  • When You Engage
  • Procedures ( essentially, what you should and should not be doing)
  • Our style guide on social media
  • How we response to flagrant or negative comments (response)

The above may be too much or too little, but ultimately you want to give your people some guidance before letting them loose. While social media may be free, the impact on your brand is forever. Anything that lives on Twitter or LinkedIn is for everyone to not only see, but also make an impression.

Ultimately, while it is create to have hundreds of your employees be your brand ambassadors (think Zappos), you still need to tread with caution. Not because your folks will do the unthinkable, but because if you do not set the expectation of what you expect from them, you will be disappointed or worse embarrassed. Not everyone thinks before before they post. You would be surprise on the number of inappropriate or ridiculous posts I have seen with folks who thought they were living the brand.

It is worth a conversation with your HR team too. Make sure you work with your internal stakeholders to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Part 1:4 things I learned during my first year of implementing a Global Social Media Strategy (Part 1)

1)   Change is Hard

I had overlooked the fact that many of my constituents had been running their “social media strategy” organically. The fact that someone else was coming into their territory and changing their business practices was not received well. In fact, many of them question my strategy, even though our divisions had never written a plan or given much thought as to why they were using social media. Other than other companies are on insert social channel and we should be too. Yay for differentiating.

Change is hard and no one raises her hand and say, “ yes, I like to lead a project in which no one is interested in. Sign me up for that!” Instead of giving up, I used the first 6 months to getting our corporate channels in running order. It was lesser of the two evils as I was able to make immediate changes. I evaluated what channels we used based on what allowed us to be successful in terms of our goals: engagement and brand awareness not what was the new shiny object. We increased brand mentions, followership and influenced in 6 months by double digits. This increase began to intrigue our internal folks. By building our credibility, I was able to leverage this into working with our stakeholders on their channels.

My organization at the beginning of our social media experiment had more than 45 channels and growing. I evaluated social media channels on simple measurements: 1) are we actively using this 2) do people react or post comments 3) is it worth our time?

Using this logical approach, we began to shed social media channels in which we 1) were not active  or 2) no one was actively engaging. Now, in the beginning, I receive a lot of resistance on delete accounts that were not active. My rationale was simple: If no one has posted any content in a year or years, do you really think people are still actively looking for what you post or say? Most people couldn’t answer yes.