Tag Archive: Business

New Company Profiles on LinkedIn

linkedin1.jpgEarlier this year, LinkedIn gave users the ability to follow companies in addition to following users. Originally, to follow a company profile on LinkedIn, was much like company pages on Facebook. You were able to receive a stream of news and information from the companies that you chose to follow.

Now, users can the follow how the company has grown on the site over time, as well as the employees of the company. News, information about the company, location, Google Maps, recent blog posts, recents tweets and company profile overview, are all now visible and some of the information available. You can also see the composition of the company’s employee base, including statistics about the employees’ job functions, educational degree, years of experience and university attended. Finally, users can see their connection with the company and its employees, and how it changed over time.

Also added to the company profile is a Careers Tab, which gives users a way to check out what job opening have recently been posted from that company, as well as learn about the company’s hiring practices.

These changes are a very welcome addition for serious LinkedIn users, as they emphasize what LinkedIn is all about: making it easier to connect with other professionals and companies as well as find new career opportunities. However, the new statistics provided by LinkedIn will also be invaluable for tracking how a company is evolving over time with regards to its employee base.

5 Tips for Dealing with Complaints on Twitter

 

We hope that you and your business will never need this information, but “just in case”, it’s good to be prepared.Twitter Complaint Every business, blogger, and the rest of us on social media have experienced it: someone just called you out on Twitter or in a blog. It’s all too easy to get frustrated and respond with something that will just make the situation worse (“I’ll give you a refund right away… oh wait, you didn’t actually pay for this!”) or to take it personally and get upset.

While there is no magic formula for dealing with complaints in social media, I do have a few tips that have helped me.


1. A Quick Response Goes a Long Way


Twitter ComplaintsI can’t tell you how many complaints I’ve seen turned around with a quick reply. If someone has an issue with your product or misunderstood your point of view, reach out and explain it to them. Most of the time when they realize that you’re actually paying attention and care, that makes all the difference (for the rest of the time, see number five).

Of course, this assumes you are actually paying attention. So if you’re not, you might want to look into ways to monitor your brand on social media.


2. You May Have To Respond As You, Not Your Company


When someone has a legitimate complaint, I’ve found one of the most effective things to do is reach out from your personal account. In my experience, when they realize they’re dealing with a real person who’s trying to help, people are more open and willing to listen. This shouldn’t be done for every complaint, as some people will never be turned around, but I’ve found when there’s a real, resolvable issue this method often works much better.


3. Give Yourself More Than 140 Characters To Respond


At times, it’s just impossible to help someone in 140 characters. Or it’s possible, but you would have to be really terse — which is definitely not going to make you seem understanding. Instead, ask them how to connect off Twitter (shocking, I know). Shoot the complainant an e-mail or even give them a call and you’ll be surprised how far a little outreach goes.


4. Let Someone Else Respond For You


If there’s no way you can respond in a helpful way — e.g., if it would make you seem self-serving or maybe you’ve already tried and failed — it can be helpful to have someone else speak up for you.

If you have haters, you probably also have fans, and they’re probably very willing to spring to your defense. Maybe they’ve even already done, in which case, their response might be much more effective than yours and you can just leave well enough along.

If they haven’t already responded, consider bringing the issue to the attention of a few of your fans. Do so carefully and cautiously. Only do it with people you have actual relationships with and only in a lightweight, non-pushy way. I find the best way is actually just to privately ask for feedback on a complaint — maybe it has merit and you don’t realize it or maybe they can help you understand what’s going on.


5. Know When To Let It Go


The truth is, you simply won’t be able to turn everyone around. The trick (I’m still working on it) is to not let it get to you. No business or person is going to make it without having a few haters — so if you have some, you might just be doing something right. Just don’t take that line of thinking too far!

Bottom line, the complainers won’t go away, but you can choose how you deal with them. Some of them will be legitimate complaints from reasonable people that will be touched when you reach out quickly and earnestly to help them. Others… well you know what they say: “Haters gonna hate.”

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Originally posted on Mashable.com Megan Berry is Marketing Manager for Klout, the standard for online influence. She also blogs at The Huffington Post and Brazen Careerist. You can follow her on Twitter at @meganberry.

4 Tips for Writing SEO-Friendly Blog Posts

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business. This post also appeared on Mashable’s website, where we found it and wanted to share the information.

In addition to writing for their human readers, web writers and bloggers have to consider the digital web crawlers employed by search engines like Google (Google). Your business can’t skip the task.

Since most would-be readers use search engines to find blog posts, you need to make sure that Google ranks your site highly when those readers search for terms related to your business and the content you’re writing.

You could spend thousands of dollars to have a search marketing firm optimize your business’s blog for search engines, but chances are that you can learn a lot of the fundamentals yourself, saving yourself a lot of money as long as you have the interest and the time. Here’s a basic primer on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your company’s blog.

1. Always Include Search Terms in Your Post’s Title

When Google reads a website to index it, it reads the code directly, not the snazzy presentation that humans see. The way most blogging platforms are built, the headline or title of your blog post is among the first things Google sees, and Google generally assumes the words that appear earliest are the most important. That’s why the title is the most important part of your blog post when it comes to SEO.

Think about who you want to reach with this blog post, and what that person might be searching for when looking for your business’s goods or services, then include critical words from that hypothetical search in the title. The most important terms should appear as quickly as you can reasonably fit them in. Just be careful not to make the title unreadable or awkward to human readers — that SEO effort will have been for naught if the reader is immediately turned off by the content once he or she finds it.

Here’s a pro tip: You’re not likely to win strong ranking for more than one or two search terms at once, so minimalism is a virtue here. Don’t get over-ambitious. Focus on one potential search term, then if you want to rank for a second term, write a separate and unique post specifically with it in mind.

2. Link Important Words to Earlier Blog Posts

Search engines generally assume that a blog post that has been linked to has more authority than one that has not. They also consider exactly what word or phrase linked to the post; a blog post about the iPhone (iPhone) is going to be more likely to show up in Google searches on the subject if another page links the word “iPhone” to the post.

You’ll get the most value from external links from sites that Google or other search engines already consider to be an authority of the subject (if the top blog about iPhones links the word to your post, you’ll get a huge boost), but all incoming links will still pass rank to your page, even those from elsewhere on your site.

So be sure and link important keywords to other pages or previous posts on your blog to gain some credibility and search rank. It will make a big difference. Just don’t overdo it; not only do human readers hate reading blogs so filled with links that they might accidentally click on something, Google may penalize you if you go overboard, too.

3. Hit the Tagging Sweet Spot

Most blogging platforms let you apply tags to your posts. Tags help organize your blog so both humans and search engines can find what they’re looking for. They’re terms like “consulting,” “local” or “technology” that reflect the topics and content of the post.

Google tries to recognize tags and use them to prioritize your site in its search ranking for those terms. The tags are usually links to other pages on your blog (usually a backlog of other posts with the same tag), and like we said earlier, linking search terms to other pages on your site helps too.

So by all means, add pertinent tags to your blog post, but be warned that Google and other search engines are wary of sites that try to game this system. They will penalize you in the search rankings if you use so many tags that the web indexing bots suspect you might be attempting to associate your content with unrelated topics just to score extra traffic.

The method for determining this is arcane, but a good rule of thumb from a pro blogger is that five to 10 appropriate tags are usually right in the sweet spot.

4. Use Google Insights to Find the Best Search Terms

You don’t have to play a guessing game about the best tags or search terms to link or put in your post’s title. Since Google is the most popular search engine, it makes sense to focus your efforts there. Whenever you’re not sure which terms to go with, hit up Google Insights, a web-based tool that compares the popularity of any search terms you want to know about.

For example, if your business is a coffee shop but you’re not sure whether would-be customers are more likely to search for “café” or “coffee shop,” Insights can tell you which one is more popular.

These four tips should get you on your way to having a more SEO-friendly corporate blog. Add your tips for search engine optimization in the comments below.