You Have a LinkedIn Profile. Now What?

If you’re reading this, you no doubt have a LinkedIn profile. What you may not have is a full understanding of LinkedIn’s hidden powers — how it can transform your online presence from an afterthought into a model of thought leadership.

Here’s a quick example. LinkedIn offers two fields for your title: one is your career title (how you describe yourself at parties); the other is your job title (what your business card says).

To illustrate: have you ever heard of the guy known as the “Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs”? Here’s a hint: you know him by his job (rather than career) title: the “National Security Advisor.”

Sadly, when it comes to social media, most people conflate these two appellations. As a result, they miss an invaluable opportunity to optimize their brand in search results — not only on LinkedIn, but also in Google.

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What Your Twitter Bio Says About You

Twitter Bios

News outlets should be mortified by the way they describe themselves on Twitter.

Every high schooler knows that you can’t choose your nickname. Happily, social media offers a remedy for people of all ages: the chance to write your own bio.

This ability to self-brand is priceless. Yet many fumble it. In fact, major media outlets approach their Twitter bios as if they were students cramming to finish their homework on the bus, rather than world-class wordsmiths. At a time when publishers are increasingly interested in driving social traffic to their sites, such box-checking results in a lost opportunity.

Does this description hit close to home? Does your Twitter bio read like a homework assignment dashed off en route to class? Fear not: here are 11 ways to burnish your brand.

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This Tiny Twitter Trick Will Make Your Content Snackable and Thus More Sharable


Whether you love it or love to hate it, the New York Times is the king of digital journalism for a simple reason: it’s always innovating. Beyond making “snowfall” a verb, the so-called Gray Lady has in recent months overhauled its website, introduced new revenue streams, produced a viral video based verbatim on a deposition, bought its own native ads, launched an explainer microsite, and built a suite of apps.

These bells and whistles aren’t just pretty ornaments for a press release, but enlightening enhancements for the everyday user. Indeed, there’s something for every audience: the designer, the stockholder, the videographer, the advertiser, the reporter, and the reader on the go.

For the social media strategist, the paper’s most significant innovation is a tiny tactic that makes stories easier to tweet. Often overlooked, this trick ought to be standard practice on every major website today. Let’s take a look.

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The Easiest Way to Get People to “Like” Your Content: Ask Them To

Like Me, or Else

How to be a showman without becoming a showboat. Or: How to make your message hot without looking like a hot dog.

“Politics is a direct-response business,” declares the digital director of President Obama’s re-election campaign. “People do things if you ask them to do it, and … don’t … if you don’t ask.”

Exactly! In fact, this is true not only in politics, but also in social media. If you want your readers to click “like” or “retweet” or “reblog” or “pin” or “plus,” you gotta ask for it. Not for nothing do two of the web’s most popular sites — BuzzFeed and Mashable — serve up big buttons at the top of each article, beseeching you to “share me now!” What’s more, these icons now include the number of shares in real time, boxing you in with peer pressure: “Don’t share me — I dare you!” This is marketing at its finest: so subliminal, you think you’re making a considered choice.

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How to Think of Social Media

To convert a prospect into a client is a special skill. Sometimes you get lucky and the company has already been contemplating the services you offer. Typically, however, a prospect hasn’t envisioned the various ways you can support his brand.

This is why, when we first sit down with someone, we begin by contextualizing what it is that we do for a living. Instead of tossing around lingo such as “hashtags,” “Klout,” or “search engine optimization,” we present five simple slides on “how to think of social media” (see above).

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12 Case Studies to Get Your Client on Board With Social Media

The Conversation Prism

How to sell social media.

In business, definitions are everywhere. They’re your first line of defense in mission statements, job descriptions, expense accounts, statements of work, accounting principles, and the like. If you can’t define something, you’re left with Potter Stewart’s famous but ultimately unhelpful maxim, “I know it when I see it.”

Understandably, this is why a plethora of pundits have sought to corner the elusive term, “social media,” within a dictionary. For instance, Duct Tape Marketing defines the phenomenon as “the use of technology combined with social interaction.” Wikipedia prefers “Web-based and mobile technologies.” Booz Allen Hamilton points to “electronic tools, technologies, and platforms.”

Got that? If you don’t follow, your clients won’t either.

While definitions are important, to sell the field that everyone talks about but few can illuminate, we social media strategists need to reframe the conversation. Instead of striving for Merriam-Webster precision, we would do better if we focused on case studies.

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