Social Media: How to Stay Top of Mind by Using Buffer

Looking for an easy way to keep your social media pipeline full? But in the least amount of time possible?

You need to check out Buffer. It’s a social media app that makes it super easy to share any page you’re reading. Keep your Buffer topped up and then they “automagically share them for you through the day” (their words, not mine!). To get started, check out this video that shows you the importance of staying top of mind, and how to use Buffer to do that.

LinkedIn Beginner: 10 Tips to Get Started

LinkedIn Beginner: 10 Tips to Get Started

I’ve talked with a number of people lately about LinkedIn.

Many of these people have said, “I have a profile but I don’t use it.” Or “I’ve never gotten anything from it.”

Well, just like all things in life, you results are directly related to what you put into it.

If you’re a LinkedIn Beginner, these steps should help you optimize your profile and increase your exposure. Even if you’re not a “beginner” (per se), perhaps you haven’t touched LinkedIn in months or years iIt’s ok, you’re not alone!). These steps will help you revive your dormant profile so it’s lively and productive once again!

1. Update your LinkedIn profile photo

Make sure it’s a professional photo. It doesn’t have to be taken in a studio, but it should professionally represent you and the type of business that you’re in.

If you happen to be a creative type, it may be a little more off center, with a specific color treatment applied. Or if you’re in real estate, it may be a well positioned shot with a house blurred in the background. Be creative, but keep it professional and polished.

EXAMPLE: My LinkedIn Profile, and the profile photo that shouldn’t be!


2. Update your headline

By default, your headline is the title and company information you listed as your current (or most recent) position. You can change this to be something more descriptive, as this is one of the most important places that LinkedIn search pulls information about who you are and what you do. Instead of “Project Manager at XYZ Company” you may go for something like “Project Manager | Salesforce Administrator | Certified in Microsoft Dynamics”.

Think about keywords and descriptive phrases to use in this bio so someone gets an accurate glimpse of your unique skills and responsibilities. My friend, John Fulwider, is a great example!


3. Add a powerful summary

I’m amazed at the number of LinkedIn bios I review, and how many of them are lacking a summary. Or their summary is their current position.

While it doesn’t have to be long (and probably shouldn’t be too long!) it should tell someone what unique skills, experiences, and goals you have. Tell a story about how you got started in your industry and what keeps you there – why are you the best at what you do and why does it matter?

EXAMPLE: Kindra Foster, a senior writer and president of Foster Writing, does this well:


4. Publish a post

While this doesn’t have to be done right away, it is a great way to educate and engage your network of connections. Think of a topic that you can share specific insight on – not in a salesly say (Puh-lease! Don’t do that) but in a way that will bring value to your network.

If you are a chiropractor, share the common things you see people doing as they work at their desk that are leading to back pain. If you’re a sales representative for a printing company, share the common types of paper and the applications for each.

EXAMPLE: Joseph Knecht with Venture Tech, published a great article about start-up life. An introspective look at this topic provides valuable visibility for his company (that helps startups vet their idea, identify customers, and launch a product).


5. Share an update (and continue to, regularly!)

This is similar to a Facebook status update, but is designed for the professional world. If you find an article that was very helpful for you, share it here along with a short call to action such as: “Really enjoyed this article about time management and why it’s no longer a to-do list type of world [link here]”.

Think about the type of brand you want to portray on LinkedIn and keep the resources, articles and information you share relevant to your brand and influence.

EXAMPLE: Startup and marketing extraordinaire Brian Ardinger (founder of NMotion) always shares relevant information with his audience that reinforces the strength of his brand. Tip – he also uses an application called Buffer so that whenever he sees or reads a valuable piece of content, he can just click on a button in his browser to add it to his queue of posts!


6. Endorse at least 10 other professionals.

While endorsements are not a golden ticket to mastery, they do designate a high level of skill within a specific area or focus. When you endorse someone else, you’re validating their skill based on your experience. The endorsement also shows your network that you’re willing to share your experience, and the endorsement shows up in the news feed for both people.

Note: Be selective of this as you should not endorse randomly as just a method for increasing visibility on your profile.

EXAMPLE: A number of people in my network have endorsed my skills in marketing.

LinkedIn Endorsements for Ali Schwanke

7. Join at least two LinkedIn groups and introduce yourself

Groups are a great place to meet like-minded individuals, whether in your industry or in an industry closely connected to your work.

Back to the chiropractor example: perhaps you join a chiropractor-focused group and you can share tips for building a chiropractic business. But then you also joins a health and wellness group which includes professionals in a number of ancillary industries. There are local networking groups as well as national groups for progressive discussions and thought leadership opportunities.

The motto here is the same as a status update – provide value. Give. Don’t ask for business in groups. Aim to be a person of value. Be a resource.


8. Add Volunteer Work

Whether you serve on a nonprofit board or simply volunteer periodically, you can add a volunteer position to the “volunteer” area of your profile. This is a great way to add an update to your profile when you haven’t made a change for a while. Even consider adding past volunteer work.


9. Get a custom LinkedIn URL

Market yourself and your presence on LinkedIn using a custom URL, which you can change on your profile. This helps in organic search as well as sharing the link with others.

LinkedIn-Unique-URL-example Search-results-linkedin-unique-url

10. Promote your LinkedIn profile

Add the link to your signature and encourage people to connect with you. Now that’s just good networking sense!

Bonus: A post on the Social Talent blog will show you step by step on how to add the LinkedIn badge to your signature.

Others ideas?

Please share in the comments below!

Making the Most of Social Media at Your Library

Making the Most of Social Media at Your Library

Social media is often an ad-hoc job within organizations such as public libraries, community groups, nonprofits, and similar organizations. How do you make the most of your social media when you have so many other job responsibilities?

download-presentationI had the unique privilege of speaking at the 2015 Nebraska Library Conference in Lincoln, and discovered that while many library staffers are tasked with social media responsibilities, many are simply reacting to the need to post content. It’s part of their job, but they haven’t had the time to focus on the overarching strategy of social media for their organization. (Hint: Downloads at the bottom of this post. Or, click on the download button to get the presentation)

Social media at your library involves MORE than posting on Facebook.

I know, crazy right? Content does not begin at the posting phase. Content begins in a strategy meeting for all of the Harry Potter Maze at Denver Public Librarycompany communications and patron engagement. Many of the examples I found online when researching this particular niche (libraries) were fantastic ideas of events, displays, or campaigns that were not left to one or two lonely posts on a Tuesday or Friday afternoon. Something like the Denver Public Library’s Harry Potter Maze (which is stinking AMAZING) didn’t just happen. They started in with a content strategy that spoke directly to their target audience, that was also tied to event-driven communications, public relations, customer service, and more.

It’s integrated marketing at it’s best. But it’s hard to do.

So how do you make the most of social media at your library?

Well, that’s what we discussed at the session!

At the Nebraska Library Conference, my session covered 4 objectives:

  1. Outline the purpose of social media at your library
  2. Identify 5 best practices for social media marketing at your library
  3. Learn about 15 different content types for social media marketing
  4. Discuss the social media planning process & tools to make your job easier

Did you attend the session, or are you looking for the ideas to support these objectives?

We’ll you’re in the right place. Grab the resources below, and let me know if I can be of more help to you!

Download resources from the ‘social media for libraries’ presentation:

See something that we talked about, but can’t find it here? Drop me a line and let me know! I’ll get it to you!

How to Claim Your Listing on Google+ Local

How to Claim Your Listing on Google+ Local

Operating a Google+ Local page is vital for many businesses across the country due to the SEO benefits that it offers.

Creating one of these pages is relatively simple, especially if you have created other social media channels such as Facebook or Youtube. A key component for creating and claiming your Google+ Local listing is having Gmail account for your business. Setting up a Gmail account is simple (link?).

Once you have a Gmail account, you’ll be able to get started.

Register for a Google My Business Page.

1. You’ll have to choose what type of business you have:

  • Storefront: serve customers at a brick and mortar location.

  • Service Area Business: serve customers at their location of choice.

2. Enter your address in the locator. Google Maps will be a part of your Google+ Local page so that customers can easily find your location.

3. If you see your business listed, click on it and enter more detailed information to submit your business for Google’s verification process (see below).

  • If your business isn’t listed, click “No, these aren’t my locations” and you’ll be asked to submit more information about your location.



Once your Google+ Local page is created, you can verify your listing by postcard or phone call.

  1. Postcard. Google will send a postcard with a verification code to your place of business. Once you receive the postcard, you’ll need to enter the verification code into the My Business dashboard to complete your listing.
  2. Phone. Google will call your business phone with an automated message that contains your verification code.

Claiming an existing Google+ Local listing

If your listing was claimed by someone else, you can submit a form to Google with the correct information and they will go through the verification process again with you.

How to Claim Your Yelp Listing

How to Claim Your Yelp Listing

Yelp is a fantastic tool for businesses to get reviews from their clientele. Claiming your listing on Yelp requires a bit of digging, but once you’re able to do so, you’ll be able to change your business information (location, hours, specials, logos, photos) and respond to customer feedback.

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1. Detailed Yelp search. Often times, your business will already be on Yelp. Do a detailed search and see if your page exists. If your business doesn’t already exist, you’ll want to create a new business account on Yelp and submit your business information (which is outlined in step #3)

2. Business exists? Click to Claim on Yelp. Does your business already exist on Yelp? Woo-hoo! Log in as a business (make sure you use the business owners login, not the homepage as that is for customer). Once you click claim, Yelp will take you through their robust verification process. Yelp is among the more picky verification processes, so be patient. They will complete your verification in 3-5 business days, or you may be able to verify over the phone. Once your business is verified, you’ll be able to optimize your page by editing content, photos, specials and more.

3. Not on Yelp yet? Create a new Yelp business account. If your business isn’t on Yelp, you can create a new business easily. Again, once you submit your information, Yelp takes a detailed look to verify that it is correct. You’ll be able to optimize this information once everything is verified.

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In a future post, we’ll talk about reviews – how to respond, how to get more, and how to use Yelp paid advertising.

If you need further assistance, let me now and we’ll be sure to get your Yelp page maximized!