Tag: online reviews

#CelebrateSuccess – Ask for Personally Written Recommendations for LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a terrific resource for making new network connections, finding sales prospects, getting the word out about your product, and looking for employment opportunities. A well-written profile along with endorsements can go a long way toward helping you establish credibility and reach new contacts. However, as good as they are, the general LinkedIn tools are no substitute for personally written recommendations.

First of all, let’s remember the difference between an endorsement and a recommendation. An endorsement is a one-click checkmark-type confirmation that you are good at a particular skill. It’s a good thing to have, but it’s not comprehensive, and the person endorsing you can only choose from a pre-specified list of skills. A recommendation, on the other hand, is a written statement by one a person in your connection network. You can’t request that someone give you a particular endorsement, but you can reach out and request that someone you know offer their own personal recommendation.

The value of a LinkedIn recommendation is that it offers real insight into your product or capabilities. That means it’s important that your recommendations come from people who really know you. In other words, a general phrase (John rocks) or sentence (Mary is a really hard worker) by someone who you have only a passing acquaintance with won’t help much more than an endorsement. That means you should request recommendations only from people who can offer a genuine appraisal. Someone with whom you worked closely on a product development team will have much more to say about you as a professional than a fellow member of a social group!

LinkedIn has made it easy for its users to request recommendations. Just view a connection, choose “Request a Connection.” Select individuals who have genuine knowledge about your skills, products, or services. Recommendations are valuable commodities so you should take them seriously. If you are beginning a self-promotion strategy that includes soliciting recommendations, gather them over time. Your recommendations will include a time stamp so blanket bombing your address book may not be the best way to go about it. Start with the people who know you best and work your way through your list bit by bit.

Written recommendations can go a long way in making your profile more robust and authoritative. Those who offer them are putting their name on the line for you. Be sure to say thank you! Remember, you don’t have to be asked when it comes to offering recommendations so don’t hesitate to pay it forward by offering your recommendation in return.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

#CelebrateSuccess – Celebrate Your Reviews in Facebook & Google

For social marketers, there’s nothing more coveted than high-quality positive reviews. That’s because reviews help you rank in the search engines, show your best face, and assure potential customers that you are the go-to product or service provider.

The funny thing is, even when we get five stars, we don’t quite know what to do with them. Often those magic words will sit out there on Yelp or Google just collecting dust. Now’s the perfect time to put those hard-earned A+ ratings to work.

Here are five creative ways to celebrate success using your online reviews:

Say “Thank You!”

The very first thing you should do is say thank you. Whether that’s a shout out on the platform where the review was posted or by sending a note or gift, you should thank everyone who takes the time to give a thoughtful review. We like to create social graphics that include the testimonial and then do a shout out and tag the individual or company in the caption – both sharing the love and showing our appreciation at the same time!

Put Them On Your Website

There are various approaches to using testimonials on your site, but whether you choose to create a dedicated page, put them on sidebars, or sprinkle them throughout your content, you should be posting your positive reviews on your website.

Use Them In Targeted Emails

There are many ways you can take advantage of positive reviews in your email marketing. Some of the most popular are adding a positive quote as your email signature, using them to respond to triggering events such as shopping cart abandonment, and crafting a specific message around them.

Profile The Reviewer

What better way to celebrate a review than by shouting out the success of the reviewer. Introduce this angel to your community and see if you can help them succeed. If it warrants, you can turn it into a case study or white paper. Blog posts, press releases, and customer profiles are all good ways to use positive reviews.

Pay It Forward

If you are getting good reviews then you no doubt have a lot of people to thank. Celebrate the people behind the good news by highlighting the fruits of their hard work.

Of course, the above focuses on positive reviews. That doesn’t mean that you should ignore the negative ones. Take them to heart, thank the reviewer, and see what you can do to fix the problem. All reviews are an asset to your business. When they are positive, use them to tell your story and celebrate your success. When they are negative, learn from them.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

#SocialProof – How to Build Social Proof

We’ve talked about #SocialProof before. It’s the “psychological preference for doing what other people are doing, because if other people are doing it, it proves that it must be worthwhile”. It’s what gives power to celebrity brand endorsements and phrases like “Limited Edition”.
So how do you build an influence wave of social proof
First of all, you need to understand that it is far easier to jump from 20,000 YouTube subscribers, Facebook Likes, etc. to 50,000 than it is to go from 0 to 1,500. This is called a growth curve. You will need to grind to build your social proof from scratch.
Secondly, you must leverage the numbers that provide the most impact. If a brand new food blogger has 18k Pinterest followers on their niche boards, there must be something going on that they need to analyze and figure out how to capitalize on.
Here are thirteen types of social proof and tips on how to get started: 
1. Raw Quantity: The number of people engaging or interacting with you. Gather these numbers immediately. For physical/digital products, how many sales have you made? Blog or podcast: how many countries do people listen or read from? Social media presence: number of followers and number of posts fall into this category. 
2. Celebrity and Expert Endorsements: This could take up a post all its own. When you’re first building your social proof, the likelihood of a celebrity endorsement is slim. Experts in your field, however, are much easier to approach. These are called influencers and influencer marketing is its own niche.
3. Testimonials and Quotes: Authors use other author or industry professional’s quotes on their covers. Testimonials are a fantastic way to build social proof. 
4. Featured locations: Did you show up on a podcast? Have you been featured in a popular or industry standard publication? If not, why not contact larger publications for guest posting? They are often starved for online content, so take the time to target your niche. 
5. Certifications: completely self-explanatory. If you have any that can be used as social proof, display them proudly.
6. Referrals: the #1 trusted source of advertising as proven by numerous case studies. Start by creating a referral program where a referring customer receives a discount for their loyalty. 
7. Gazing: Use photos and images to draw the reader’s eye to your call to action.
8. Ratings and Reviews: One of the most important parts of your Online Reputation and also the fastest growing part of social proof in our mobile market. Encourage your customers to leave reviews, but be careful if you offer perks. This can seem scammy and have the opposite effect you’d intended.
9. Case Studies and Proof of Concept: Lead by example in using yourself as a case study or use other people’s transformation studies as proof. 
10. Limited Time Offer or The Fear of Missing Out: Give a deadline, and stick to it. Create exclusivity. Both of these combine to make a very strong case for social proof.
11. Social (Media) Proof: This is really difficult from the beginning. You can start by creating a hashtag that represents you and your business. Use it and encourage your clients and customers to use it as well.
12. Rankings: New product launch? Use a product launch site. Food blogger? Try to get on Food Gawker. Almost every industry has submission sites that can get your brand noticed and give you the ranking you need to jump to the top.
13. Integration and Platforms: If your product or service is used or integrated with others, show it. 
14.   SEO: The higher your rank on Google, the more automatic credibility you give your brand and your business. 
How are your doing with your social proof? Any questions? Tell us in comments and we’ll tackle them in a future post.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

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