A Beginner’s Guide to SEO

a beginners guide to SEO

If you’re thinking about launching a business with little risk, the internet is an excellent platform to launch a business and have instant access to thousands of potential customers. The only disadvantage – anyone can do it so your business can be easily lost in amongst your competitors. That’s where SEO comes in. It’s the means whereby you show Google that you’re an expert in your field so they can rank you high in search results.

With 93% of online experiences starting on a search engine, working on the SEO of your website is an effective way to get you in front of your customers. In effect – search engine optimization needs to be an essential part of your marketing campaign.

Follow these tips to improve your SEO, get online enquiries and watch your business grow.

For great SEO results, content is king

Gone are the days of keyword stuffed webpages, spammy link building and black-hat SEO practices. Google has improved its ranking factors to penalize bad practices in order to get the loyal experts to the top of the search results. And – Google does this by indexing exceptional, useful content.

Get blogging

By blogging regularly, you get your business visible on Google by targeting a large number of keywords and getting more webpages indexed in Google searches.

Blogging is one of the most effective ways to get your target audience onto your website. In fact, 60% of consumers feel more positive about a purchase after reading content on a website; content is key. In effect – attracting customers on to your website via a blog post, is one of the best practices to get your target market to trust your brand and invest in you.

What’s more, HubSpot found posting 1-2 blog posts every month can generate 70% more online enquiries than businesses who don’t blog. If you are publishing relevant, useful blog posts 6-8 times per month, you can see an increase of 140% more enquiries.

Publish your content on other websites

In order for Google to place your website ahead of your competitors, you need to make Google value your website. Google calculates this by your domain authority. You can build your domain authority by getting your URL published on websites. So, the more Google sees you, the more Google values you.

Get your name out there by posting blog posts on high quality websites that are relevant to your brand. This will build links to your website and put you in front of an audience that are likely to click through to your website. For example, if you sell organic skincare products, get your content featured on health and beauty blogs and websites.

seo tips

Fix these Common SEO Mistakes 

  1. Not using Google Analytics

Monitoring your results on Google Analytics can help you see which keywords are converting and which  are not. You may find that you’re getting a lot of traffic from high-traffic keywords – but if they’re not converting into online enquiries, it’s worthless. By analysing results, you can tailor your content to include keywords to engage with the right audience.

  1. Not optimizing for local searches

If you’re business serves a certain area, optimising your website for local searches helps potential customers in your region find you. Begin by including your area in page titles and meta descriptions.

  1. Not optimizing the right keywords

When it comes to keywords, it’s best to be as specific as possible to get better search engine rankings and accurate traffic.

  1. Not using unique page titles and meta descriptions for every page & blog post

Every page needs a unique title that includes a keyword and a descriptive meta description that will attract a potential customer to click through to your website.

  1. Not using anchor text for internal links

When you’re linking to services or products in your web content and blog posts, make sure to use a keyword as the hyperlink. For example, instead of “click here” which holds no SEO value, use “social media management services”.

  1. Not creating shareable, useful content

To improve your domain authority and direct quality traffic to your website, you need to create extremely useful content that people will link on their websites and social media platforms.

For example, as a social media marketing company we publish tips & guides to provide our readers with content that’ll be a great value to their blogs and businesses, such as:

Top Five Tips for Blogging Success
A Beginners Guide To Periscope
5 Tips of Boosting Your Fashion/Beauty Social Media Page

Use these SEO Tips & Tricks

  1. Identify your keywords on Google AdWords

To find out your relevant keywords, sign up for a Google AdWords account and use the keyword planner tool to identify the most popular search terms for your industry.

  1. Use keywords in your page titles

Your page title is the first line of content that shows up in search results for your website. Every page needs a unique page title that includes a keyword at a maximum of 70 characters.

  1. Write engaging and optimised meta descriptions

Your meta description is the text underneath the page title in search results. Using 160 characters you need to attract potential customers to click onto your website. Include a unique selling point, what exactly you do and a keyword within the text.

  1. Include meta tags/keywords on every page

Assign every page with keywords that are unique to the page. Use a maximum of five keywords. Not forgetting that your chosen keywords also need to be included in the content of the page.

  1. Implement H1 tags in your page content

H1 tags is the largest HTML heading there is (they go up from H1 to H6). Using a H1 tag will help Google identify the keyword you’re optimising. In the HTML editor of your page or blog post, use H1 tags to lay emphasis on your primary keyword.

For example:

<h1>Social Media Management</h1>

  1. Add your keywords to your alt text in every image you upload

Like the written content on your website, you need to optimise images with keywords. When you’re uploading images, optimize a keyword in the ‘Alt Text’ of your image. The ‘Alt Text’ shows up when an image cannot be displayed. This also tells Google what you’re optimizing so they can index your images for Google searches.

  1. Title text

The title text describes the link’s content, to get the most SEO value, use keywords to describe the destination to tell Google to rank you for a particular keyword.

For example: when you’re hyperlinking a service, ‘Social Media Management’ will appear in place of hyperlinked text such as ‘find out more here’.

  1. Have a XML sitemap for your site

This is a map of your website and it tells Google what pages to index in searches.

  1. …as well as robots.txt

Robots.txt is a bit of code which helps search engines find your XML sitemap. In effect – this helps Google robots improve your rankings and help direct your target audience onto your website.

  1. Check your site speed

Slow loading times can make a user close your website. As Google wants to rank useful websites high in searches, your website needs to be accessible and easy to navigate. Factors to a slow web speed could be large image files, lots of adverts, unnecessary redirects, a shared web hosting provider (if you’re website gets a lot of hits), excessive scripts, broken links, too many plugins installed and a web design with a large file size.

  1. Optimise your website for mobile

In April 2015, Google rolled out an update that boosts the ranking of mobile-friendly websites in search results. So if you’re website isn’t optimised for mobiles and tablets, you could be missing out on a lot of traffic.

  1. Redirect links that have been changed or broken

If you have changed the URLs of your webpages or have URLs that don’t work, then links should be directed to a live page or a 404 page.

Want to find out more about SEO? We would love to hear from you! Feel free to comment below, tweet us at @purelysocialtip or send us an email beseen@purelysocialmedia.com.

How to Recover from a Social Media Campaign Blunder

How to Recover (1)

We’ve already written an article on How NOT to Fail at Social Media Campaigns, but recent social media news have inspired an article on what to do if you do happen to fail. As with everything in life, there are situations in which no matter what amount of planning goes into something, things still go awry.

You may or may not have heard about the Sleepy Hollow marketing blunder with their “Happy Headless Day” campaign. To welcome the new season of the FOX network show, Sleepy Hollow , based on the stories of the Headless Horseman from European folklore, FOX launched a “Happy Headless Day” campaign with witty puns from the show about the headless character. Unfortunately, this campaign launched the same day as the devastating news came out about Steven Sotloff’s death. Needless to say, the media took this campaign and ran with it warping the intentions of the “Happy Headless Day” campaign and putting Sleepy Hollow in a bad position.

The way FOX network handled the situation was perfect. This is their statement: “We apologize for the unfortunate timing of our Sleepy Hollow Headless Day announcement…The tragic news of Steven Sotloff’s death hit the web as the email was being sent. Our deepest sympathies are with him and his family, and we don’t take the news lightly. Had we have known this information prior, we would have never released the alert and realize it’s in poor taste.”

This is a perfect example of how a well-intended campaign can go awry purely due to unforeseen events. Had this campaign been launched 6 months prior, no one would have looked twice at it. However, due to the timing and the hungry media looking for a scandal, FOX network was put in a bad position.

So now, the question is this: What do you do if something like this happens to you? You’ve read our article on How NOT to Fail at Social Media Campaigns, did your research and are confident that your new campaign will be a success. Out of nowhere at the very last minute, something happens that sets your plans off track and puts your brand in a bad light.

1Immediate damage control. First things first, you have to immediately initiate damage control. This is one of the main reasons why you have to be ever-present in your social media accounts. If you or someone you delegate is there to catch an issue as soon as it occurs, you have a better chance of minimizing the amount of damage to your brand. If you set a campaign up and forget it, you’re bound to miss any feedback or backlash from your campaign. This will only cause negativity to fester and spread across your entire brand.

2Sincere apology. Emphasis on the word “sincere.” Whether or not you think you did something wrong, you need to understand this: once you publish something, it no longer belongs to you. If your public portrays something as offensive or insensitive, it is your job to understand their point of view and empathize with them. Try to understand why your campaign would make them upset, apologize and mean it, and if necessary, retract your campaign. This doesn’t mean that you need to take down your campaign every time you upset one person, but use your discretion. If the campaign makes a turn for the worst, you have to take it down.

3Plan for future action. If the reason for the blunder was an oversight, it may be necessary to add an additional step in your ad campaign clearance. For example, FOX network may now require someone to check through the news before launching a campaign to ensure that a campaign they are about to launch will not be offensive to anyone. If the reason was out of your control, have a team dedicated to monitoring the campaign from beginning to end prepared to institute any damage control immediately.

Unfortunately, no matter how much researching you do, there could be unforeseen events that throw your campaign off. The media will almost always find a way to warp information to fit their purposes, and trolls will do their best to make you look bad. There is hope, however, in your recovery. The worst thing you could do is ignore the problem and hope it goes away; that will only fuel the fire and allow people who are already mad at you to get even more upset and talk amongst themselves. Your presence is 100% necessary to help mediate the issue and smooth everything over the best you can. The problem will most likely not go away on its own in most cases. So, engage and speak up!

Don’t forget to come talk to us, too! We’re ever-present on Twitter and you can reach us in the comments below, as well. Also, we just launched our new site: http://purelysocialmedia.com, so check it out and let us know what you think. If you need any tips or advice on your specific social media situations, feel free to send us and email! We love to chat!

 

 

Generating Reports

*For a better view of graphics simply click on the image to enlarge

So, one of the best ways to learn something is to see it in action. In Sexy Little Numbers, by  Dimitri Maex, there is a great example of why you want to understand the numbers. Based on his teams assessment of Motorola’s 2006 phone sales in the China:

The expense of marketing as a whole generated 26% of Motorola sales. Advertising accounted for 55% of those sales, at only 11% of the total marketing budget! For every 10,000 yuan spent on advertising, 382 phones were sold. However the same spent on in store promotions only resulted in the sale of 96 phones. Assuming the industry average is a profit margin of 30% per phone sold, Motorola’s was more than double with every yuan spent on advertising yielding 15 yuan.

You have the ability to assess your efforts in a similar way. One, that will allow you to begin to make strategic decisions. One way to do this is to export the data you have from your various social platforms into Excel files (.xls). Start with one platform at a time, be sure to save your original data, simply copy and paste the data onto a new sheet to begin your analysis. For the purposes of this post we’re going to use Facebook as the platform we’re going to export our data from. You should know that you can export data related to your Facebook Page from two places, Ads Manager, which provides reports on any paid advertising you’ve done on Facebook, or from your Page’s Insights.

Ads Manager

From your Facebook Home Page/Newsfeed click on Ads Manager from the menu bar to the left of your feed, under Messages and Events. Once you’re in Ads Manager, select Reports from the left side menu bar. When you open the reports page it will default to your General Metrics for the last 30 days. Select the dates you want the report to generate from then proceed to determine what type of report you would like. Facebook allows you to view and export 7 different reports:

  1. General Metrics: provides you with an overview of each ad, reporting reach, frequency, impressions, clicks, money spent, and actions taken.
  2. Website Conversion: provides information on all ads that we’re driven to purchase or register on the landing pages you’re required to link to your ad.
  3. Placement Based Metrics: provides information on the placement of your ad, was it seen in the news feed or the right column space and was it viewed on a mobile device or PC?
  4. Responder Demographics: provides information on the people your content reaches, providing you with their age and gender.
  5. Page Actions; provides you with insight into the actions people are taking with your ads, how many are liking, sharing, comments and engaging with your content?
  6. Video Actions: looks specifically at the videos you post, how many people viewed or clicked on a particular video, did they watch the complete video, did they share like or comment?
  7. Application Actions: looks at the application associated with your page, for example you may use this when running a contest on Facebook.

FB Screen Shot 1

Page Insights

From your Business Page select Insights to generated reports related to your page and posts. Click export, this will open the Export Insights Data box. Select the dates you want the report to focus on, determine whether you want the report to be based on your page or post activity, then select the old vs. new export (doesn’t make a big difference) and click Download.

FB Screen Shot 2

Go a head and open the downloads of your data, don’t feel overwhelmed by all the numbers on the page. To begin to digest this information it’s best to work with Excel’s Pivot Charts. Simply select the information you desire to compare, copy and paste data by columns or rows, for the sake of this exercise I suggest picking two or three things to compare at a time. For example from the original document you may select the date column, the type column (photo, link, or status), and the lifetime post reach column to paste into a new sheet. On the new sheet select Insert Pivot Table using the data you just copied to the page. Pivot Tables can be confusing if you’ve never used them before, but in the latest Window’s version you can easily drag and drop information to determine where it can be viewed the easiest.  Once you generate your desired pivot table you can convert that table into a chart, which is even easier to digest. If you’re unsure of how to use pivot tables, there are tons of videos on YouTube that cover the subject. But when you finally get the hang of it here’s what you can do:

Analysis1

Chart A

Pivot7

Chart B

Based on Chart A we can see that the posts for this account performed better in Quarter 1 than in Quarter 2. With this one piece of information you could review all of your posts from the first quarter, looking for any patterns or theme. Run another report for Quarter 1 posts and you may discover that there is a time of day that works best for your audience or you may determine that certain events or posts really attracted a lot of attention from your audience. Chart B looks at the paid ads this account ran in Quarters 1 & 2. Based on the chart we can see that 2 ads did really well in relation to the cost of the ad. What we want to point out is the last ad, Website Clicks New…, and provide a little back story. That ad was part of a two week promotion for a paid live stream event. The cost of running this add was $166, that included the graphic art used in the promotion and the cost of advertising on Facebook through Power Editor. The results of this advertising we’re 7 attendees for the live in store event, 35 online attendees and resulted in this business netting $700. This resulted in about a 24% profit margin. This company was thrilled to see that a few minor changes to their Facebook advertising strategy could not only generate revenue but also drive traffic to their site and events. It just take some time and a willingness to experiment.

But maybe after reading this post you determine you’re just not up to this whole Excel thing… Well we stumbled upon a little free tool that can easily help you analyze your Facebook efforts, Wolfram|Alpha. Make sure your signed into your Facebook page prior to clicking the link. But it does do an excellent job with providing you with important data in a easily digestible manner. Here’s an example for the same account we used above:

Analysis2

Or if you utilize a third party sight such as Buffer, Hoot Suite or Sprout Social, you can generate reports through these sites as well that will analyze all of the platforms your have linked to that particular site. Here’s an example of what it looks like from Sprout Social:

Analysis3

 

As always we hope that you have found this post to be beneficial. Please be sure to leave us a comment below, we would love to hear from you!

Why are you on Social Media?

Why Are You on Social Media-

Last week we completed our Content Calendar series and it really got us thinking about a few things… Things about your business, how you use social media and why?

Over the past few weeks we’ve been in the process of discussing our services with some new potential clients and we’re starting to notice a few things… For one, many business owners know that they should establish a Social Media presence, at least that’s what everyone keeps telling them, but they aren’t really sure what to do once they are there. So begin by asking yourself: how should my business be represented on Social Media, and how should we position ourselves to stand out from the rest?  These can be tough questions to answer but are necessary to the development and execution of your strategy.

It is our opinion that the role Social Media plays in your business’ online presence can fall into one of two categories:

Your Social Media drives traffic to your website, playing a key role in lead generation and sales conversion.
or
Your Social Media simply supports and beefs up your online presence.

For example, there are some industries that are just ideal for social media. Fashion, beauty, physical fitness and photography work well because they are rich in visual content. Followers and fans of these industries get the behind the scenes tour for their favorite brands and personalities. Social Media is an opportunity for these brands to have fun and engage with their followers in a way that would not be possible through their websites. Unfortunately, this utilization of Social Media does not lend itself to every industry. For example what are the chances that you will be compelled to  follow an accountant on Facebook, an exterminator on Instagram or the local dry cleaner on Pinterest? Pretty slim to none, right?

Well truth is you just might depending on your interaction with that particular business. This is where category 2 comes into play. As we previously mentioned we have been in talks with two potential clients regarding how we can assist them in developing and sustaining a presence on Social Media, one client operates a young dental practice and the other sells various insurance packages to local businesses. Neither of these businesses would be considered glamorous in the world of Social Media Marketing and neither are rich in a steady flow on exciting visual content. Does this mean they shouldn’t be on Social Media?

Of course is doesn’t! It just means we’ll need to be calculated… We explained to these clients that they will need to shift their view of the role Social Media will be playing in their businesses from category 1 to category 2. For these types of businesses we’re not looking to drive traffic from a platform to a website, but rather we are looking to create a Social Media presences that allows visitors from their websites to get a good sense of what that particular business is about. There are tons of dentist out there, so how will a patient decide between them? Well for one they’re going to ask around, read reviews and visit the offices’ website. But what will be that determining factor that helps seal the deal…. It very well might be their Social Media presence.

We explained to these clients that Social Media is an opportunity for them to share with the world what makes them special and unique. Social Media is a great place to highlight their company culture, explain various policies and  showcase their knowledge in a particular area. It’s also a great way for them to interact with their customers in a more relaxed setting. Everyone likes getting a birthday card in the mail, but imagine receiving a birthday wish from your Dog Groomer via twitter. You’d feel pretty special and a bit tickled for the unique interaction!

There is an opportunity for every industry to utilize social media effectively , it just takes some creativity and a little trial and error. Defining what your intentions are when it comes to creating a Social Media presence will not only save you time but confusion as well. Don’t set out with the intention of  doing what everyone else is doing, take the time to study the social accounts of other businesses in your industry. What are they doing well and what do you feel they could lose? Figure out what works best for you and be prepared to try many different things before settling on the strategies and tactics that are ideal for you!

As always we are most interested in hearing from you! Have a comment you’d like to share, or maybe you have a question you would like answered. Leave us a message below or email us at purelysocialinfo@gmail.com. We can wait to give you the advice or help you desire!

Trading ca$h for followers

BEWARE OF TRADING CASH FOR FOLLOWERS (1)

As a business owner on social media, your followers are pretty much your bread and butter. It’s a given that without any followers on social media, you’re obviously not reaching your target market, but with all the wrong followers, it’s probably just as ineffective.  You’ve probably seen posts like the one below offering blank number of followers for blank amount of money and wondered: “should I do it?.” The short answer is no. From our research, there are several real services out there with which you can purchase thousands of followers for a set amount of money, so you can go from 0 followers to 5,000 followers in a short amount of time for the right price, to seem more legit, but why not?www.purelysocialmedia.com

  1. When you buy followers you don’t get to choose any demographics, so you’re just getting a bunch of random people following your page. You can be as diligent as you want to with your posts and provide the perfect information at the perfect time for your target market, but the problem is your pool of followers is a wreck. Even if all the followers you purchased are actual real, active accounts (which is highly unlikely), the chances that they are also your target audience is slim. As a result, you end up stuck with a bunch of followers that couldn’t care less what you’re posts are about, which brings us to the next point: interaction.
  1. Your social media influence scores are based on your interactions with others (Kred) and how you drive others to interact with you (Klout). If you’re active on your social media accounts and are constantly engaging with others, you’ll have a decent Kred score, but if nobody is interacting with you, your Klout score will suffer. If you had grown your following organically, you can be pretty confident that your followers are interested in what you have to say and motivated to engage with you. With purchased followers, you’re probably dealing with a lot of random accounts that are either mostly automated, fake, or dormant i.e, no one is engaging with you. This is not good; engagement is a key component of familiarizing yourself with your audience. When you engage with your followers, you can get a feel of who they are and can begin to develop your customer profile i.e, their likes and dislikes, feedback, preferences… all things that can help you to customize your product or service to better speak to your target audience.
  1. You could end up spamming your followers. Some of these services that allow you to buy followers automatically opt you in to send out multiple automatic direct messages to your followers. This not only includes the followers you bought, but ALL of your followers. This could damage relationships that you’ve previously established and cause you to appear incredible (not the good kind).

All in all, buying followers is more of an aesthetic solution. You will appear to have more followers and a high influence, but you will not be in line with your goals. Therefore, in our opinion, buying followers is pretty pointless. It’s much better to have followers that are truly interested in your business, or at the very least, your industry; otherwise, you’re wasting your time putting effort into your social media profile.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. Have you tried buying followers, or do you know anyone who has bought followers? What was the outcome?

3 Best Practices for Getting Started on LinkedIn

If you’re a business owner, chances are you have a LinkedIn account. In fact there is an even better chance that LinkedIn was one of the first social platforms you joined. And if you’re not currently on LinkedIn, you may want to reconsider that after this article… Let’s begin with some reasons why you should not overlook the potential of this platform.

Beginner's Guide to
For starters, LinkedIn has over 200 million active users in over 200 countries, and they are all there for one thing…. to Network!It is the world’s largest networking platform for professionals, with an audience that tends to be more educated and affluent when compared to some of the more popular social networks. And because of this, the platform is ideal for connecting with other professionals, finding a job or generating business opportunities. If your business is a B2B, then LinkedIn is where you want to be!

According to the Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Industry 2013 Report, 29% of marketers utilize LinkedIn for B2B in comparison to the 5% that use it for B2C. That means that for B2B, LinkedIn is just as significant as Facebook when it comes to social media marketing.Business owners we’ve spoken to have clearly stated that while they have pages on other social networks, they make money from LinkedIn!

And hey! why wouldn’t that be true? LinkedIn is, after all, the platform that says, “Hey, I’m serious. Let’s do business!” If you’ve ever taken the time to Google a client’s name before or after a meeting, the first result was most likely their LinkedIn profile. The appeal is in the ability to access your current network and connect to new networks, in one virtual place. In a way its your personal CRM with a social element. So here are some tips, to help you get started:

1. Invest In A Solid Profile:

Now that could be in time or money! Compile old resumes, sit down and take the time to really dive deep into your skills, strengths and hobbies. When you sit down to write this into the profile you want to keep in mind who your audience is, what are some of the challenges your customers face and how do you help them solve them? Who is your typical customer and what are the strengths of your business? Use this information to your advantage! You need to have a So What? mentality.

When your prospective customer reads your profile will it matter to them, what value or knowledge do you bring to the table that sets you apart? You know, you just probably don’t often take the time to reflect on it.  This is the key element that you don’t want to over look or half-ass. Think about it if your profile is half-filled out, you may be sending the message to your potential clients that you don’t finish what you start. A simple cut and paste of your resume just won’t do either, that will only show a lack of creativity. Your LinkedIn profile is not a resume or a bio, so put some thought into it. If you’re really looking for a killer profile hire someone to put it together for you, like The Written Coach.

2. Making Connections:

The very first thing we’re going to say on this topic is that LinkedIn limits the amount of connections you can personally make to 3000! So before you run off and connect with every single person whose business card you’ve ever collected, restrain yourself… Connect with individuals that  you either do business with or have the potential to do business with, sprinkled with those contacts that you believe have the ability to help you generate leads. If you hit the 3000 mark you’ll have to request additional connections from LinkedIn. Sounds like a pain to me… Just be mindful! Don’t let this make you feel limited, however. Consider adding a link to your profile at the bottom of your work email, inviting people to connect with you!

LinkedIn classifies your individual connections based on three levels of  degree. A 1st degree connection is either someone you have added to your network or they have added you to their network. 1st degree connections are directly connected to you, these are your family, friends, co-workers etc. A 2nd degree connection is a person connected to you by a 1st degree connection but not directly connected to you.  Lastly, a 3rd degree connection is someone who is connected to you by way of a 2nd degree connection. Remember your intention on LinkedIn is to grow your network… Why? Because LinkedIn rewards users with large networks with better search engine rankings. Do a simple keyword search within LinkedIn’s search engine and you will find that certain profiles rank higher than others.

making the connecion - LinkedinLinkedIn is not just a social network, it’s a database of skilled professionals, for professionals. In fact, a potential client may be searching for someone just like you but if you don’t share a common network connection or a LinkedIn group… you’re invisible! You are only allowed to access and communicate with the connections in your network. If you want to be found within LinkedIn, you need a large LinkedIn network.

Just know that whenever you invite someone to connect with you, you run the risk of your LinkedIn invitation being rejected. Therefore, we suggest adding a personal message to your invitations. Think about, who could resist adding a polite person who showers them with kind words? Consider:

“It was great meeting you at the networking event yesterday evening. I like to keep track of my contacts on LinkedIn. May I add you?”

or

“Hi Alex! I enjoy your posts on the Social Media Marketing Mavens Group. Would you mind if I add you to my professional network on LinkedIn? I have a number of connections that you may find useful in your networking.”

Beware, if you invite someone to connect with you on LinkedIn, and they click I Don’t Know this person or Report as Spam, the recipient of your invite is citing you as an ABUSIVE LinkedIn user! 5 flagged invites and  your LinkedIn account is set to “restricted.” Once restricted, you must enter an email address each time you try adding new people to your network. Talk about a major inconvenience!

3. Join Groups:

LinkedIn gives you the ability to join 50 groups, and we would advise joining all 50! Besides reaching out to all of your contacts, groups are an ideal and simple way to grow your network. Groups provide you with opportunities to establish yourself as a reliable resource, learn more about your clients, and find help when trouble shooting issues that arise in your own business. So join groups with large numbers of members… like hundreds of thousands of members! Look for groups that contain your potential and existing customers, as well as business partners and competition.

Take the time to review who the members of each group are. Are there any members who are adding real value to the group? Who are the top contributors? These are people you may want to consider adding to your network. Connect the group’s active contributors, these people understand the importance of growing one’s network and are typically more open to connecting. Group managers are usually good for this too.

Keep in mind as you begin to contribute to these groups, any discussion you comment on you will automatically be notified anytime someone else comments on the same post. So to avoid unwanted spam simply un-check the notification setting prior to posting your comment. To avoid receiving too many emails from all these groups in general, simply:

1. Click your name at the upper right hand corner of your LinkedIn screen.
2. Click Privacy and Settings
3. Click the “Groups, Companies & Applications” section.
4. Click “Set the frequency of group digest emails”
5. Scroll through the list and choose Daily Digest, Weekly Digest, or No Email (depending on your preferences.)
6. Click Save Changes when finished.

Last thing you should know about groups… The groups dedicated to LIONs, Leading International Open Networkers (LIONs), are individuals who love networking and are open to connecting with just about anyone. By simply joining these groups you are letting other group members know you are willing to network and connect openly.

We hope these 3 tips will help you get started on LinkedIn, whether your new to the platform or have a profile you simply don’t use! Please feel free to share you feed back or leave us a comment. We’re not perfect so if you feel we have stated something in error, by all means let us know!