LinkedIn Posting 101 – You Are Being Judged

While on LinkedIn, you may have seen battles surrounding what is considered appropriate content. You have likely seen the “Solve if you are a genius” posts, or posts about politics, or religion, or pictures of attractive women, followed by sporadic comments from people saying “This is Not Facebook,” and admonishing them for doing so.

I am not the LinkedIn Police, nor am I here to judge you.

But, rest assured, you ARE being judged.

As a marketing guy, I’m here to point out perception is reality. So, if you are on LinkedIn to network, keep your personal brand active, seek new employment opportunities, find new clients… you may want to keep the following tips in mind.

Be mindful of what you say and “Like”
Whenever you post a comment or like a post, your actions show in all of your connections homepage feed. Before you comment or like, consider… is this something you want everyone to see? Likewise, if you have a public profile, anyone can go to your profile page and see your recent activity. Current and potential employers and clients will be able to learn a lot more about you in an instant.

Personally, I know connections who tend to make strong comments about politics and religion. I know who “likes” every attractive woman’s posts. I know who spends time solving math problems and captioning photos. Do you think employers and clients will make their own conclusions on your personality or your work ethic? Right or wrong, they will.

Demonstrate your thought leadership
Since your potential employers and clients are seeing your activities, LinkedIn is the perfect place to share your expertise on various work-related topics. Write articles and originate posts that demonstrate your knowledge and your passion. Post intelligent comments on other people’s articles and posts that illustrate your expertise on the subject. Like and share articles and posts that relate to your field, or support people important to you – colleagues, clients, potential employers.

Join groups
Find groups that share your interests and passion. The more specific you are in your search, the better the results (“marketing” found 45k groups, “marketing new jersey” found 31). Share your articles and posts with your groups. Ask questions and leave comments. The more you interact, the more connections you will make and the more opportunities you will find.

Don’t alienate half your connections
Unless you are in politics and have a public personality, I recommend you leave politics off LinkedIn. No matter who you voted for, roughly half are going to disagree with your choice. Most of us would not be able to make a living if we lost 25% of our customers, let alone half. People are passionate about their political beliefs, religious beliefs and sports teams. Debating them on LinkedIn won’t change their minds, but it will give them reason to judge you and the company you represent.

Walk away
Frustrated with someone on LinkedIn? Keep in mind… commenting on a post you think is inappropriate for LinkedIn just shares that very same post on the feed of everyone of your connections, thereby providing the post an even greater audience. Instead, consider unfollowing that person. Not only is it much easier, but it looks better for you rather than trying to change their mind in a pointless debate.

Of course, not everyone is on LinkedIn for the same reasons. However, most of us can agree, LinkedIn was designed for people looking to network, learn work-related best practices and tips, seek employment opportunities or find customers. We each have our own brand. How does what you say and do on LinkedIn influence others’ perception of your brand?

Rick Verbanas has brought his passion for marketing to Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and not-for-profits. He strives to stay current in the latest marketing best practices, and provides a weekly roundup for your news and enjoyment. To subscribe to future blogs, please enter your email address on the left hand side of the page.

 

 

Tips on What to do When Sales and Marketing are Not in Sync

According to a 2015 report, the misalignment of sales and marketing cost businesses $1 trillion annually in wasted marketing efforts and decreased sales productivity.

Tell me if this sounds familiar…

The company wants to increase sales and has a sales team and marketing team to accomplish this goal. The marketing team is thinking long-term, wanting to strategically grow brand awareness in key verticals. The sales team wants to move quickly because they have quotas to meet. The sales team points to the marketing team because they feel there are not enough quality leads, while the marketing team explains they need a bigger budget and questions what the sales team is doing since so many leads are not being converted.

So how do you get sales and marketing in sync?

Depending upon where I have been in my career, I have been referred as a marketing leader who knows how to sell, or a sales leader who knows marketing. To me, my passion lies with marketing, but I have held sales roles and understand both sides of the equation very intimately. So, here are six tips if you find yourself tasked with getting sales and marketing aligned.

1. Establish goals and how to measure them. It is critical both teams have goals that serve the same common goal, and objectives that support them. Further, it is important to have Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) established to help measure the same metrics.

2. Define your target. Is the ideal prospect the same to both sales and marketing? Who are they and where can they be found? What is the best way to communicate with them? Inside information from the people on the front line – the sales team – will be crucial to helping marketing better understand the target, what messaging works, and what channels they prefer.

3. Share strategy. Sometimes, the best marketing plan can fail miserably… if sales isn’t prepared for it. Collaborate on what products or services are being featured, what the messaging and hook is, and which audience is being targeted and when. This way, sales can anticipate and understand the motivation of the buyer and be better prepared. Continue reading

Monday Morning Marketing Minute: Study On Ads Showcasing Diversity, When PR Spokespeople Become the News

Your weekly roundup of marketing news, tips and mistakes! 

Could Vimeo Business Be Your New Video Marketing Service?
The global video-sharing website Vimeo recently unveiled a business-focused subscription plan aimed at startups, small businesses and agencies. You can not only share videos with calls to action buttons and an email subscription service, but also track your viewers’ engagement in targeted email campaigns…

Study: Ads Showcasing Diversity Connect More with Young Consumers
In the past, industry wisdom has suggested that the best business practice is to separate politics from marketing entirely. That may become less prevalent, however, as young consumers become receptive to or even demanding of more nontraditional representation in their ads…

Marketing Mistakes  
Learning from mistakes is critical. Who said they had to be your own?

When PR Spokespeople Become the News
While no one can argue Sean Spicer has his hands full as the White House press secretary and communications director, it became worse when he committed a PR no-no and allowed himself to become the topic of news (and ridicule)…

Need Sales? Create Your Own Hallmark Holiday

There is a debate whether St. Valentine’s Day is a “Hallmark Holiday.” Some regard it as a made up holiday, much like Grandparents’ Day, Secretary Day and Sweetest Day, where companies like Hallmark commercially benefit. Hallmark denies such marketing prowess on it’s website, citing the history of the holiday, dating back to 498 AD. In either case, it should be noted – and hard to place a value on – a company is associated with several holidays.

This got your Guerrilla Marketer thinking…

How can this concept help drive your business? What “holiday” can you create which will generate buzz, increase awareness and drive traffic?

You may have already done the “Anniversary Sale,” or “Customer Appreciation Day.” Those are okay. However, I’m thinking larger. How can you turn a nationally recognized day, and turn it into your own?

For example, I know on the first day of Spring, Rita’s will give out free Italian Ice to everyone. Every year, this is their big push to let the community know they are open for business. In fact, this year is their 25th Anniversary of hosting this event – at now over 600 locations in 30 states and five countries. There will be lines of people, even in cold weather, waiting for their free cone. People driving by will wonder what is going on, perhaps noticing the location for the first time. And, for those who went last year, many will now associate the first day of Spring with this chain.

So, what holiday or nationally recognized day or date can you use to associate with your business?

Can the first days of Summer, Fall or Winter tie in to your business?

What about Continue reading

Monday Morning Marketing Minute: Super Bowl Ad Reactions, Full-Stack Marketing Trends

Your weekly roundup of marketing news, tips and mistakes! 

Heinz’s Brilliant Non-Super Bowl Campaign
Want to call in sick today? You’re not alone. After last year’s unforgettable Weiner Dog Super Bowl ad, Heinz decided this year to start a petition for having the day after the Super Bowl off, and it has gotten plenty of press…

Three full-stack marketing trends for 2017
What is “Full-Stack Marketing?” It refers to someone who has a ‘full stack’ of skills – creative, technology, and data – and can deliver in any one of the areas, or across all three. Here are three trends for 2017 according to the co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Emarsys…

 

Marketing Mistakes  
Learning from mistakes is critical. Who said they had to be your own?

84 Lumber Website Crashes After Commercial about Immigration
For an ad considered “too controversial” to air completely on TV and directing viewers to see the rest on their website… wouldn’t it make sense to have the website ready for all the traffic?

Super Bowl Ads 2017: The Good, The Bad & What Were They Thinking?

While the confetti is still settling to Super Bowl LI, I thought I would provide a few instant reactions to the commercials from the big game. Even though the Patriots overcame a 25 point third quarter deficit to force the first-ever Super Bowl overtime, many of the 110+ million viewers were also glued to the television set to see the commercials.

Didn’t get a chance to see the ads? Watch them here.

As a marketer, the Super Bowl is one of the top events I look forward to each year. The anticipation is, if you are going to spend a reported $5.5 Million per 30 second television spot, the most creative minds will provide the best commercials.

But… as Howard Cosell said regarding the best laid plans in football, “That’s why they play the game.”

Here are my instant observations. More analysis will come in a future blog.

The Good: T-Mobile, Mr. Clean, Febreeze, Squarespace and Tide get high marks.

T-Mobile ruled the night with several different campaigns all focused on the unlimited service they offer. Whether it was Justin Bieber, Gronk and T.O. depicting the history of the celebration dance, the unlikely pairing of Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg, or Kristen Schaal getting turned on by being punished by the other company’s overage charges, T-Mobile caught our attention and delivered their message loud and clear.

Perhaps no ad made the room stop and stare at the screen more than the surprisingly sexy cartoon character of Mr. Clean strutting his stuff while cleaning the house. Kudos to the creative team that came up with this clever commercial, including a laugh-out-loud moment at the end where Mr. Clean was actually a real-life, less-than-ordinary man, being passionately attacked with the line, “Ya gotta love a man who cleans.”

Speaking of commercials that made us laugh out loud, Febreeze bluntly came out and announced what their product is really being used for. Part of an overall campaign, this commercial specifically tied into the Super Bowl halftime break and challenged us if our bathroom was ready to handle what was coming.

The Bad: GoDaddy, Lexus and Honda missed the boat.

While it was appreciated GoDaddy didn’t try to use sex to sell their website hosting services this year, the concept of taking various elements of what is popular on the internet was poorly executed and fell flat.

I understand Lexus is trying to target a younger demographic and attempted to do so using dancer Charles Lil’ Buck Riley. But, is that really the right target audience for this $90,000 automobile?

I liked the Honda “Yearbook” commercial for its cleverness, creativity and use of star power. But what was Honda trying to sell here? “Here’s to chasing dreams…” The Honda CR-V? There was little to no connection between the message and the product, leaving me wondering how many Gen Xers were going to be motivated by this commercial.

What were they thinking?:  Continue reading

Monday Morning Marketing Minute – Tips to Navigate the New LinkedIn, Preview Super Bowl commercials

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Your weekly roundup of marketing news, tips and mistakes!


LinkedIn debuts new desktop version with ‘chatbots’, new search and more

Having trouble navigating the new LinkedIn? Here is an overview of some of the changes…


Here Are All the 2017 Super Bowl Commercials So Far
In the past few years, advertisers have started releasing versions of their TV ads in the weeks ahead of the Super Bowl to build up hype before the big game. Here’s a list and videos of all the Super Bowl LI commercials out so far…

Marketing Mistakes 
Learning from mistakes is critical. Who said they had to be your own?


Worst Super Bowl Commercials of All Time

Forbes interviewed industry experts who gave their list of Super Bowl failures over the years. Is one of your favorites on the list?

Super Bowl Commercials – What to Look for in 2017

Millions of people tune in to the Super Bowl every year, with last year’s event drawing nearly 112 million viewers. For many, the commercials are the biggest highlight. Besides being entertaining, I have often found the ads can tell us quite a bit about the state of our country, and current marketing trends.

At $5.5M per 30-second spot (nearly double the cost of the same ad in 2010), the big companies and wannabes are going to try to get the most creative minds in the industry to help tell their story in half a minute. Sometimes they win and, a lot of the time, they lose.

Sir Anthony Hopkins is not selling out in this 2016 Super Bowl ad for TurboTax.

Over the years, it has certainly painted a picture of what we like (food, beer, cars, etc.), but it also tells us what is happening in our society. 15 years ago? The Dot Com companies ruled the night. During the recent recession? Soda, chips, candy bars and fast food – inexpensive comfort items – took prevalence. Two years ago? Sentimental ads focusing on parents, kids and empowerment tugged on our heartstrings. Last year? Brands relied upon respected actors like Hopkins, Neeson, Mirran, Walken and Keitel to build credibility and sway opinion.

What to look for this year? If you are a marketer (or just want to sound smart around the water cooler), here are a few suggestions when watching the Super Bowl…
Continue reading

Monday Morning Marketing Minute – Marketing Effort Called a Disgrace, Four Trends for 2017

Your weekly roundup of marketing news, tips and mistakes! 

Four trends that will reshape marketing in 2017

What trends and technologies will keep marketers on their toes over the coming year? Hint: Chatbots, Ad blockers and videos will be big…

 

Could Your Marketing Job Become Obsolete Within The Decade?
Could you one day be replaced with a machine? The robots are coming for marketing jobs…

 

 

Marketing Mistakes 
Learning from mistakes is critical. Who said they had to be your own?

“Urban Decay’s Latest Marketing Effort Is A Disgrace”
Sephora didn’t learn their lesson after the backlash received for products named “Ghetto Fabulous” and “Celebutard,” as they recently have been lambasted for introducing “Druggie.” When they really needed some savvy public relations, they only sent this tweet for an apology…

2016… What Did We Learn?

The New Year is a great time for reflecting on the past year and setting goals for the new one. This is great, of course, for personal issues we want to improve. But, what about your business? Have you sat down and really looked at where you’ve been and where you want to go?

Last year, did you reach your business goals (gross sales, unit sales, market share penetration, new client acquisition, new locations developed, reduce costs, increase profits)? What do you think your greatest achievements were of 2016?

There is a common saying, “Celebrate your successes and learn from your failures.” Personally, I think we can learn from anything… if we ask the right questions. So, what made your victories successful? Sit down and really analyze what made something work. Was it the extensive planning, as well as preparing for various outcomes? Was it the new personnel you hired? Was it you taking a more hands on approach… or less? Was it that social media campaign? That PR blitz? That creative direct marketing idea?

On the other hand, what didn’t work? If you could do something different in 2016, what was it? How would you do it differently?

As George Santayanna wrote in his book Reason in Common Sense Continue reading