10 Marketing Tips For Facebook This Holiday Season

10 Marketing Tips For Facebook This Holiday Season

Is Facebook part of your holiday marketing plan? Are you looking for tips to improve your holiday campaign? In this article, you’ll discover 10 Facebook tips to widen your visibility and reach during the holiday season.

Plan Your Holiday Marketing

Before you utilize the power of Facebook, take the time to plan your promos and content.

#1: Create a Content Calendar With Key Dates

Looking to increase holiday sales? Make sure you know the key dates. Create a word document or spreadsheet, or use a project management tool to keep track of what holidays you want to cover on social media.

Remember, you can play off of all of the holidays, not just the traditional ones. Consider getting a copy of Chase’s Calendar of Events each year or at least look at the special month holiday celebrations.

To really stand out, be the first in your industry to start posting. For example, ecommerce site Nanigans is at the top of my mind, since they were one of the first I saw post this season.

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Once you decide which holidays your company will celebrate and highlight with your content, work backward to ensure timely, relevant content is created, tested, and scheduled.

#2: Emphasize Strong Visual Elements in Your Content

When planning your holiday posts, keep in mind that Facebook is a visual platform. Use videos, animated GIFs, and images to grab attention.

For example, My Baking Addiction used this image of crumbly mini cherry cheesecakes to stand out in the news feed. It’s a bright visual with an interesting perspective that received more than 4,000 reactions and over 600 shares. In fact, nearly all of their posts are images and videos that make your mouth water.

baking-addiction

#3: Share Your Brand’s Story

Use the end of the year as a time for your fans to get to know your business and the people behind it.

For instance, the Arlington Club, a restaurant in New York City, highlighted the backstory of Executive Chef Frank Cervantes. This image post featured a photo of the chef and a quote explaining what started him on this career path.

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Invite people into your business’s world. Take the opportunity to share a milestone with your audience, do a series of posts showcasing your employees, or both.

Australian fashion retailer Country Road shared its brand story in a visually rich Facebook ad campaign to promote its Holiday 2015 campaign. The campaign proved to be almost five times more effective at driving in-store sales than online sales. Country Road wanted to position itself as the store for holiday gifting to maximize Christmastime sales across its women’s, men’s, children’s, and home ranges.

country-road

#4: Connect Emotionally Through Content

There’s a reason Facebook added reactions (love, laugh, wow, cry, and angry) to the Like button. People want to express their emotions when a story evokes different feelings. Your business content has to compete with posts from your audience’s friends and family.

Engage your audience by creating highly relatable, emotional, human-interest content that will tug at people’s heartstrings, draw them in, evoke sentiment, or make them laugh. You want your audience to see a post and think, “Hey, that’s me, too!”

Iberia Airlines created an emotional video ad series featuring Santa Claus handing out presents to families during a flight. The company wanted to develop an internationally engaged community, on the move, reuniting with friends and families scattered across the globe to celebrate with loved ones. The video campaign garnered 4 million views and a reach of 46 million.

People check Facebook to see what’s happening in their friends’ lives. So when you create posts or ads, make sure you’re contributing positively to their day and their Facebook experience.

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#5: Craft Content for Maximum Shares

The goal of any post is to get a lot of engagement since engagement (especially shares) leads to even more comments, likes, and shares. Be intentional with the content you create.

Ideally, I recommend you craft content that’s worthy of amplifying with paid reach. In other words, whether you choose to put budget into a post or not, each piece of content you publish should pass your “boost-worthy” test. Before publishing, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this post potentially “thumb-stopping” for my audience?
  • Does it capture their attention sufficiently to want to stop, read/watch, engage, and/or share the post?
  • Is this post in context within the news feed? In other words, while Facebook users’ friends are sharing warm personal stories and fun videos, does this post fit in, yet still stand out?
  • Does it offer educational and/or entertaining content?
  • Does it meet the needs of your audience and their audience?

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Taste of Home knows their audience. Their Top Christmas Candy Recipes post last year exceeded 9,500 shares. Reactions were close to 10,000. Mixing an entertaining element with an emotional connection is a delicious recipe for getting more shares. This will bring even more attention to your business.

Leverage Facebook Tools and Features to Deliver Your Message

Once you have your key dates and content in mind, use Facebook tools to amplify your message and reach more people.

#6: Host Virtual Events via Facebook Live

With the growing popularity of Facebook’s Live video broadcast feature, now you can easily host virtual events such as a virtual office party or customer appreciation party via Facebook Live. Create a Facebook event on your business page and invite your friends and fans. Facebook recently started rolling out a new feature that allows you to pre-announce your Live video event and garner an audience ahead of time.

During the event, you can do random giveaways, play games and offer prizes, or both. Other options include a live Q&A, flash sales available only while you’re live, and a treat (discount) for those watching after the fact.

Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart hosted a fun live Holiday Workshop with decorating ideas from The Home Depot using Facebook Live video on her fan page.

live-events

 

Of course, you don’t have to get as fancy as Martha. A simple and sincere Holiday greeting, like Michele Ruiz did here via Facebook Live, can draw in your fans.

If you plan to host an in-person holiday party, why not invite fans into your world by broadcasting via Facebook Live video? It will give people a taste of off-the-clock fun at your business.

Facebook is investing heavily in garnering more awareness and users for its Live video feature, including launching an international ad campaign on television, buses, and billboards. Facebook is also paying celebrities and media outlets to use Live video. So now is the perfect time for you to jump into the world of Live video on Facebook.

#7: Create Facebook Offers

Facebook enables you to create an online or in-store offer to share on your business page.

Click Offer in your status bar. Next, choose Online or In Store, and then select an option from the Offer Type list, which can be Percent Off; Amount Off; Buy One, Get One; or Free Stuff.

ms-facebook-offer

For an online offer, include the URL. Then enter the details of your deal. Add a title (up to 50 characters), description (up to 500 characters), and up to five photos. You’ll see a preview for desktop or mobile view as you add information.

Facebook offers are an easy way to share special bundles, discounts, and incentives with your audience all year long. However, it’s even more relevant during the holidays.

#8: Cater to Mobile Audiences With Facebook Ads and Posts

Most people are on mobile so be sure your ads, posts, and any related landing pages are optimized for it.

This fun image post from Target with different Thanksgiving pie options looks great in both the mobile and desktop feeds. It’s a cute post that brings humor to most people’s favorite Turkey Day dessert.

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This Thanksgiving post by Target shows well on both desktop and mobile feeds.

Mobile ads are important for targeting people shopping on the go. However, they’re also valuable for directing people to your brick-and-mortar business. Use the Local Awareness feature to target audiences when they’re near your business. You can even give them directions to your location right on their phones.

Facebook ad units that tend to perform well on mobile include video, slideshow, carousel, and canvas. Make sure the web page your audience lands on after clicking your ad is fast-loading and quick and easy to understand.

Remember, mobile-friendly does not apply only to Facebook ads. Make sure all of your content is designed for people browsing Facebook on their mobile devices.

#9: Use Engagement Custom Audiences

A relatively new type of audience that you can reach with Facebook ads is called engagement custom audiences. These are people who have already shown an interest in you by watching your videos, interacting with one of your other ads, or sharing your website links on Facebook. You can draw engagement custom audiences in further by placing additional paid content in their feeds.

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Set a custom Facebook audience based on engagement.

Here are the targeting options currently available for creating engagement custom audiences that you can use for your Facebook holiday ads:

Video ViewsCreate variations of audiences comprised of people who have already viewed one of your videos, whether the video was organic or promoted. Views are at least: 3 seconds, 10 seconds, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 95%. The longer your video, the less likely people will have watched to the end, so it’s better to select 25%, for example.

Dennis Yu gets even more advanced and granular by targeting people who have watched 3 seconds but not at least 10 seconds; or watched video A and B but not C. You can target any type of ad to these audiences.

Lead Ads: Someone may have looked at your lead ad but didn’t complete the form (enter their email address). Target people who’ve interacted with your lead ad since they’re already familiar with you and have cared enough to click once.

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Narrow your custom Facebook audience by percentage of video watched.

Canvas Ads: Similar to lead ads, target people who have interacted with your canvas ad but haven’t taken any action yet.

Link SharingLink targeting is brand new and available to only a limited number of advertisers so far. You’ll be able to create an audience based on people who shared your content on Facebook. If someone has gone to the trouble of sharing your content, they’re likely interested in learning more about what you have to offer.

Anyone who has interacted with your Facebook content is likely already familiar with you. Target them further through custom audiences, especially the new engagement variables.

#10: Retarget Your Website Visitors

It can take many touches for a prospective customer to get familiar enough with you to take the next step. People don’t always make a purchase decision on the first visit, so remind them who you are through retargeting.

Your ad performance and conversion will be much more effective when you use the Facebook pixel and retarget potential customers who already visited your website. In fact, Facebook is now beginning to give priority to ads that are connected to a properly installed Facebook pixel, even including boosted posts.

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Select View Pixel Code from the Actions menu to view your Facebook Pixel code.

First, ensure you have the Facebook pixel installed on your website. Go to the Pixels section in Ads Manager and select View Pixel Code from the Actions menu. Copy and paste the code to your website.

Also, use the Facebook Pixel Helper browser extension to double-check that the pixel is correctly installed and firing properly. The icon on your browser should light up.

Now you can go into your Ads Manager and create a variety of website custom audiences based on time on site. The choices are most active users: top 5%, top 10%, and top 25%.

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Create a custom Facebook audience based on website visit data.

Someone who spends 2 minutes on your site is a hotter prospect than someone who visited for just 10 seconds. This is a wonderful new feature that Facebook added earlier this year.

In Conclusion

The period leading up to the holidays is the largest consumer spending time of the year. People buy gifts for others and themselves. Since they don’t always know what they’re looking for, help them.

Use the holidays as an opportunity to shine a light on your business. When you understand and integrate what Facebook offers in terms of ad tools into your marketing campaign, it can make the difference in having a successful holiday season.

What do you think? How do you use Facebook for your holiday promotions? What are some of your success stories? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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5 Strategies: The Power of Social Media to Generate B2B Leads

5 Strategies: The Power of Social Media to Generate B2B Leads

To define the high-quality leads, you need to weed out the bad ones. Don’t waste time collecting on unqualified leads. You always want to concentrate your efforts on the leads that are most likely to say “yes” to your product or service.

With several social media platforms continuing to rule internet marketing and lead generation world, they are one of the most consistent ways to gain high-quality potential customers you should be devoting your attention to.

With this reassurance, how do we now proceed with lead generation through social media? Here are 5 strategies to help you get started.

1. Align your business with the right social media channel

Not all social media platforms will be compatible with your business. The ideal social media for you depends on your target demographics as each social media platform also has their specific audiences. First determine which platform is best for your business and select just one to start with. If you try to focus on too many networks at once you will find it very challenging to achieve consistent results. Once you find what work then you can scale it and move on to the next one.

2. For B2B leads, start with LinkedIn

It only makes sense to concentrate your B2B efforts on LinkedIn given that it is the platform most professionals network and connect on.

To generate high-quality leads, you will need to grow your own network by connecting with others as you would in other social media channels. The difference here is that, unlike Twitter or Facebook, you are not here to socialize as is anyone else. LinkedIn is where professionals go to further their careers or business, and not connect with people who share a similar hobby.

Optimize your profile with a professional-looking headshot. A white background would be ideal. Corporate attire is recommended but smart casual works as long as you look clean and put together. You don’t need a trained photographer as most camera phones these days already take impressive photos.

Polish off your profile with an impressive “professional headline” and well-structured summary that is easy to read and engaging. Just because this is a professional network doesn’t mean your summary needs to be lacking in personality.

Create your own group:

Do you sell products to retail companies? You could create a group for leaders in the retail industry.

Are you a supplier to local businesses? You could create a group that has your location in the group name.

Do you sell products to marketers? Create a group for marketers.

Once you’ve created a group, you will need to target the right people to invite to your group. Invite potential leads, and eventually, you can connect to their connections who are likely to be from the same industry.

Breathe life into your group by posting relevant content.

Creating your list of high-quality leads:

LinkedIn has a little under half a billion users. It’s not impossible to challenge yourself to compile a list of 500 – 1,000 potential customers. To find them:

  •    Click the “Advanced” link located on the side of the search bar at the top
  •    Narrow down your results by Title, Location, and Industry

What you’re looking for are CEOs, Founders, or even Marketing Managers – anyone who holds a high enough position to make judgments on switching suppliers or vendors.  

B2B marketing comes with plenty of challenges and reaching the actual decision-makers of a company is one of them, but this is where your efforts on LinkedIn can pay off.  

Remember that group you created earlier? If you were to reach out to your list of leads now with your title to say that you were the founder of the group that they are now also a member of they will perceive you as more of a peer vs. someone trying to sell them something.

3. Connecting with your potential leads directly. Offer freebies of your product.

For your LinkedIn prospects, open with a convincing message inviting them to connect with you. Mention that you feel that your connection will be beneficial to both parties. Alternatively, you can check out their profile first and find something you have in common. It could be that you went to the same university or live in the same state.

Once they’ve approved the connection, continue to engage with them. When you feel the time is right, offer them a free sample of your product or service.

4. Investing in lead-generation on Facebook

Generating any usable leads via Facebook is going to require you to spend. Fortunately, Facebook ads are half the price per click compared to Adwords. Sure, there are free services you can use on Facebook that can help you reach your target market but just like any other method, you’ll get optimum results with their paid tools.

Facebook’s paid advertising process, when done right, can generate valuable leads for you. This method identifies your target market based on everything from age bracket, gender, location, educational level, and profile interest.

You decide if you want to promote your products or services directly or simply create a lead generation sales and marketing funnel. Lastly, you can split test everything from your ad messages to interests and images.

5. The new player in lead-generation – Twitter

Twitter may not be the favored channel for B2B lead-generation but there’s no harm is covering every angle. Twitter now allows businesses like yours to show specific Tweets to your target audience even if they don’t follow you.

The catch? You have to pay. Consider it advertising.

And to make it interesting, Twitter urges businesses to create ads that Twitter followers will most likely favorite, comment on, and retweet by introducing a quality score.

Much like Facebook, Twitter offers target marketing. Your ad will be seen based on your specified criteria. You can reach a specific audience by choosing the “add tailored audiences” under “add interests.” Tailored audience will allow you to create a list of ideal users that you can target on Twitter. Adding that tailored audience to your campaign settings mean you can now target them with specific Tweets.

Conclusion

You can expect to generate substantial leads when your practice the strategies we’ve mentioned. Lead generation with social media isn’t about luck, hoping that the perfect leads will be at the right place at the precise time that you post your ads. It is about doing the research and formulating a plan based on a combination of proven tactics that will work for you and your business.

If you have anything to add or need to learn more about lead generation and social media, feel free to connect with us here.

Jason Gordon, Founder – Strong Social

24 Important Do’s and Don’ts to A Powerful LinkedIn Profile

24 Important Do’s and Don’ts to A Powerful LinkedIn Profile

My approach to LinkedIn was just like everyone else’s. Quickly create a profile and then build a network, starting with friends and co-workers.

My goal was to reach the prestigious 500-person contact list. Anyone who’s anyone on LinkedIn has at least 500 contacts. But then what?

I saw no change in my business, and my friends preferred Facebook over LinkedIn. I realized that all my efforts in finding 500 business associates had been a colossal waste of time.

But once you learn how and why to use LinkedIn you will quickly realize that it surpasses all other social media platforms in the networking category. Recent statistics are staggering:

  • There are over 433 million LinkedIn users.
  • Two new people sign up every second.
  • Members account for 106 million unique visits.
  • LinkedIn boasts that more than 80% of business leads are generated there. All other platforms combined make up the remaining 20%.
  • 77% of users research people and/or companies before making contact.

Your contact list, no matter how big or how small, can generate the business you want, if you use the platform properly. The prospects are there, you just have to figure out how to reach them.

The first step is to make sure that your profile presents well and that you appear to be a professional business person, because first impressions truly are important. The better the profile, the better the chances of you being seen and taken seriously.

We have compiled all the important elements of a powerful LinkedIn profile with suggestions on how to implement each.

Here are the exact steps to follow.

1. Create a compelling headline.

Use action words and descriptive language that will immediately grab the attention of the reader. But be careful not to become so eloquent that everyone except Mensa-level scholars will be able to understand you.

2. Use a professional picture.

Wear appropriate clothing and go with a head and shoulders shot. Smile. If it’s too early in your career to hire a photographer, find someone who takes good pictures. Stay away from selfies, because they look like selfies. Research shows that profile pictures result in a 40% InMail response rate (more on InMail later) and increase your chances of getting viewed by up to 11 times.

3. Add a background photo.

This one is challenging, but important. A strong background picture will add 1,000 words to your profile (if indeed, a picture is worth 1,000 words). It should explain further who you are and where your passions lie. It should be business related, with a personal flair, if possible. A group shot shows action, involvement and teamwork. Working a trade show or volunteering at a community event are also terrific images displaying your work ethic and commitment.

4. Provide complete contact information.

It’s amazing how often someone views a profile, wants to connect with that individual, and then can’t figure out how to find them. This is one place where there’s no such thing as too much information. List your name, business and cell phone numbers, Twitter handle, website address and any other safe method of contacting you that you can think of. If you [make it easy], they will come [forward], to paraphrase a line from an inspiring movie.

5. Craft a short, eye-catching headline.

This is the one or two line description under your name. Think of it as a headline from your favourite newspaper or magazine. It needs to grab the viewer’s attention and draw them further into the profile. It is a pint-sized sales pitch that offers a benefit. This is where you need to be creative. Don’t describe yourself as the “Owner at ABC Painting”, but say something like “Making Your Walls Come Alive, at ABC Painting”.

6. Tell your story.

This section is called the Summary, where you get to talk about yourself. And every word counts. You want to highlight your skills, knowledge and experience and then explain how they can benefit your potential customer. Speaking in first person will make your story more intimate and personal. Some LinkedIn members like to profile themselves in third person, from someone else’s perspective, which ends up sounding like someone else wrote it. But whatever format you choose, tell the truth, try not to embellish too much and remember that bragging is not professional.

7. Customize your profile. 

LinkedIn allows you to make your profile more professional and easier to share. Most LinkedIn members don’t bother with this significant step, so taking a few minutes to enhance your profile will set you apart from the pack. Learn how to customize your profile here.

8. Optimize your profile with key words, blogs and regular updates.

If you want people outside your network to notice you, diligently practice search engine optimization. Use keywords liberally, especially in your summary. Write blogs and publish them on LinkedIn. Update your profile by routinely adding new skills, joining associations and finding new ways to improve your profile overall. LinkedIn is your friend, and provides all the tools you need to make you stand out in the marketplace.

9. Focus on your skills.

Know your strengths and then tell the world. LinkedIn allows you to list up to 50 of your best attributes specifically related to your career. Start by determining your top ten and listing them on your profile. By adding skills, your profile has 13 times more chances of being viewed. Then ask your contacts to endorse you. Be bold, but be nice. Endorsements have a way of perpetuating themselves. Unbelievingly, ten million endorsements are shared every day on LinkedIn.

10. Write recommendations.

If you are connected to someone who exhibits special skills or exemplary customer service (and you will be) write a recommendation they can post on their personal profile. Your recognition of their efforts will make their day, enhance their profile, spread your name around and, hopefully, earn you a recommendation in return. Quid pro quo.

11. Publicize your projects.

LinkedIn offers many sections you can add to your profile. “Projects” is one of the best. It shows how you have used your skills on a specific task, the experience you gained as a result, and the team you worked with. You can also link each job to alternate websites, providing even more information.

12. Post publications.

If you’ve written anything noteworthy, or someone has written something about you, be sure to include it in your profile. It doesn’t always have to relate specifically to your career. An article about you volunteering at a local event, for example, will definitely enhance your stature as an involved, community-minded person. This is not the time to be shy or humble.

13. Join groups.

All those logos at the bottom of your profile dramatically show your interests and causes. Not only those groups related to your career, but also organizations reflecting your interests, hobbies and more. A word of warning though; follow the groups you join. It would be embarrassing if a potential employer or client asked you about your involvement with their favorite association, which they saw in your group, and you didn’t know what they were talking about. You can join up to 50 LinkedIn groups. Only 16% of LinkedIn members have joined the maximum number.

14. Mention any honors and awards.

Maybe not your Grade 4 spelling bee championship but you have received a few accolades in your day, right? Industry-related recognition is important, but don’t disregard sports, community or educational honors as well. You’re not bragging, you’re simply reporting.

15. Share your interests.

You don’t need to go into great detail, but sharing your passions not only humanizes you but gives you a starting point with someone of similar interests. They can be a great ice breaker. Your pastimes also make excellent SEO keywords when people are searching for specific characteristics or interests.

16. Showcase your volunteer experiences.

Giving back to others is a strong characteristic of a good person. In fact, LinkedIn says that 42% of hiring managers surveyed said that volunteer experience is as important as work experience. And one in five has hired someone based on their volunteer experience.

17. Check in regularly.

For LinkedIn to be an effective business tool, it must be used consistently. Only 40% of LinkedIn users check the site every day. Make a habit of endorsing or recommending your contacts. Look for new connections. These can all be done easily, anytime you have a few extra minutes in your day. But to really get noticed, you need to post articles. Sharing is good, writing is better. Regular posting gets you recognition, views and engagement. In fact, to reach 60% of your LinkedIn connections, you need to post at least 20 times each month. That’s a major commitment.

Instead of viewing LinkedIn as a time-wasting, energy-draining social media tool, you can see that it would be invaluable in growing your business if done right.

On the other hand LinkedIn is a social network, which involves social intercommunication. Even though you cannot see the person you are connecting with, you should still treat them as if you’re sitting across the table from each other. With courtesy and respect. You can spend all that time creating a magnificent profile and then invalidate all your efforts by making these mistakes below.

These are 7 blunders performed by LinkedIn members, often unintentionally.

1. Not responding to emails or InMail.

You will occasionally receive unsolicited, hard-sell sales messages from strangers. Yes, it’s okay to ignore them. But there are times when someone in your network will send you a message or request. Professional courtesy dictates that you respond quickly. It doesn’t hurt to have a standard response prepared so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time answering.

2. Ignoring an invitation email from a LinkedIn member wanting to join your network.

You should not connect with anyone without first checking their credentials but if they appear to be a good fit, accept their request. If they look like a charlatan, don’t feel bad about ignoring them. But it’s those people in the middle who are tough to neglect. Perhaps they are just establishing their LinkedIn network with few contacts and a terrible profile. It wouldn’t hurt to send a note to the person you’re connected through and explaining that you will consider the request if the new member develops a stronger profile.

3. Overlooking endorsements or recommendations.

When someone in your network recognizes one or more of your skills and endorses you, take the time to send them a short thank you. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just a simple acknowledgement that you received the endorsement. It’s also a great way to stay connected. Acknowledging recommendations however, is essential. When someone takes the time and effort to sing your praises, the least you can do is thank them. I feel that recommending them is better, if they are deserving.

4. Shamelessly selling your product or service in your initial contact.

You’ve probably received one of these carnival-barking sales messages from someone you have not established a relationship with. You researched their profile and accepted their invitation and, the next thing you know, their sales message is taking up all your screen space. It’s a bold move that alienates potential customers. Don’t do it.

5. Mixing politics or religion with business.

Never forget that LinkedIn is a business network. It’s not the place to share your views on political parties or world religions. By doing so, you will lose half your audience, perhaps more.

6. Liking or sharing inappropriate content.  

We all have our favourite vices. Most are harmless, but whenever you like, share or comment on a LinkedIn article, all your connections have access. What you like provides insight into what kind of person you are.

7. What’s in it for me? This is a legitimate question, because LinkedIn is all about you.

It provides a formidable opportunity for you to present your talents and experience, to a worldwide audience. No other media platform comes close. But to benefit the most from your profile, develop online relationships. Look for ways to help others in your network. Perhaps you can introduce them to a contact that will give both parties a win-win. In fact, because you nurtured the relationship, it is actually a win-win-win.

As you start to implement the suggestions listed here and avoiding the mistakes, you will find that your LinkedIn social standing progresses favorably. Slowly but surely.

When you become more comfortable using LinkedIn on a regular basis you will find that your contact list will increased dramatically. You will also learn to connect with quality people, where both sides can benefit.

So now that you’ve had a chance to look at all the benefits of a LinkedIn account, are you convinced that it will work for you? Start small so you don’t become overwhelmed. Return to your profile regularly and keep adding new information. Join some groups. Then start liking other people’s posts. Soon you will be writing your own.

And as you discover all the benefits of your LinkedIn account, you may develop some tips that are worthy of sharing. I’d love to hear them.

Jason Gordon, Founder – Strong Social