Pulse is a useful tool for keeping up with what’s going on your industry, both within and outside LinkedIn. The new social features also give brands and company leaders new opportunities to reach important audiences, both through participating in discussions and curating interesting content.
This is a great option for brands with multiple, distinct audiences who have different interests but don’t necessarily have the critical mass of content to have their own dedicated publishing hub. LinkedIn members can keep up with news they’re interested in, without being turned off by other content that isn’t relevant to them. To get started with an initial set of Showcase pages, look for topics that are central to your business and tap into the passions of a specific audience group. Built-in analytics tools make it simple to gauge interest and track audience growth. Another advantage is that agency partners (such as PNConnect team members) can also be added to a Showcase page as administrators and can take the lead on content publishing and curation.
As with the LinkedIn community as a whole, contributing regularly and engaging in discussion is key to long-form publishing success. Be prepared to answer questions or respond to comments, and continue to participate in relevant LinkedIn groups and discussions. It’s also important to balance these efforts with a true owned channel strategy. For now, it’s useful to think of LinkedIn as its own ecosystem: Content published there will take on a life of its own within those walls, but it’s not an all-in replacement for a rich catalog of content on a brand’s own site.
I believe that the best leadership comes from having a vision, and giving people the guidance they need to help fulfill that vision and the room to take that guidance and run with it. Needs vary from person to person, so recognizing when to step in and when to step back is important. The when to step back piece is harder – not from a micro-management perspective, but when I can see failure on the horizon my natural instinct is to protect. I am a mom, after all. But, I know that just like a kid learns to walk by falling a million times, we all learn as much from what doesn’t work as what does.
My desk is a disaster area. I do have an innate skill of being able to find anything on it. In fact, it is my party trick. I also have a selection of different types of candy in my office. This attracts all kinds of people and results in many spontaneous idea generation sessions and many debates over the relative merits of Swedish Fish versus Reese’s Cups.
I love notebooks. If someone wants to get me a gift (all you vendor reps take note), bring me a nice 5” x 8” spiral notebook with thick cardboard covers and lined or graph pages. I don’t want anything fancy on the inside – no flourishes or inspirational quotes please. I like spiral because they lay flat and you can tear out pages easily to give someone. The thick covers keep them from getting messed up when I throw them in my bag.
I am very visual so I write down everything so I can see it. I remember things by the act of writing them down. I have notebooks full of stuff that I will never refer back to – but I could. I make lots of brackets, arrows, boxes and lines for emphasis.
I am a great believer that if you can get it done quickly – get it done now! Writing something on a to-do list that actually takes 5 minutes or less – make a quick call, send an email, talk to someone about a task – is a waste of time in itself. I do have a list but it tends to be very short and have very big things on it. The little things get done along the way.
My philosophy is that once you are on a client’s team you should treat their business like their own. One of the truly special things about being in a consulting-type business is that you get to know the ins and outs of loads of different industries.
Generally my work with a client begins well before our first meeting. I try to get some information about them, their competitors and their industry under my belt before that first meeting, so that I am armed with questions and conversation starters. I like to read what they are reading. I look at how they are competing, how their stock is doing, who are the major players in their space. I look at their business before I look at their communications.
I am actually compulsively neat at home so every once in a while my messy desk gets the best of me and I literally sweep everything off into the trash can. I usually do it when people are in my office and are having a hard time balancing laptops and coffee mugs on my desk. I just do a clean sweep. The reaction is really funny.
I do the same thing with email. I get hundreds of emails a day, so the only way that I can survive is heavy use of “delete.” I am a serial deleter. I don’t keep much. This annoys some – like my husband – who will ask me hours after sending something to look at it, and I have to tell them I deleted it.
I search for inspirational work from Porter Novelli colleagues and the world at large every day. I scan a number of daily emails including The Hub, Digital Doughnut, Harvard Business Review, 4A’s Smartbrief, AdFreak and PRWeek Breakfast Briefing looking for interesting nuggets that will challenge and inspire me and my team. I try to post one thing a day out to my team that will get them thinking. Other than that the Starbucks ladies know my name and my order. I am there nearly every morning at 8 a.m.
To reach and interact with homeowners directly, the PN team recommended the FHFA host a Google+ Hangout. In the Hangout session, moderated by Zillow, FHFA spokesperson Meg Burns explained the benefits of refinancing with HARP and answered questions directly from participants. In the week leading up to the event, the team spread the word through paid media, including paid search, display, and Facebook promotion. Additionally, they supported the event with earned media and marketing efforts including email, blog posts, press releases, website placement, and a Facebook app.
The paid media and marketing efforts increased awareness of the Google+ Hangout efficiently, garnering more than 8.5 million impressions and 3,000 clicks, with a cost-per-click of $0.62.
In addition to keyword targeting and segment-targeting around refinancing and mortgages, Facebook’s new advertising capabilities allowed for more specific third-party behavioral targeting to reach homeowners and people who were receptive to online mortgage offers, and the HARP Facebook app alone led to 3,260 users. In total, the Facebook activation drove 63% of the campaign’s engagement results. To make information accessible for online users, all search and display ad traffic drove to the Zillow HARP education page while Facebook ads directed to the tab on Zillow’s Facebook page. Post-campaign analysis on the paid portion compared which ads, headlines, and keywords performed best for future optimization.
In the end, hundreds of people tuned in to watch the Google+ Hangout, submitting a total of 54 questions. Hangout participants were not only interested, but fully engaged.
The most prominent channel page element is the “channel art,” a banner-size graphic at the top of your channel. For best results across browsers and devices, make your channel art 2120 x 1193 pixels, with the key elements centered in a 1280 x 350 safe area that will be visible at all sizes. Channel art also appears in “hover cards,” visible when a user mouses over a channel name.
When unsubscribed visitors come to your channel, a “channel trailer” will play automatically at the top of the page. For your trailer, consider creating a short welcome message that explains what your channel is all about, helps viewers navigate your content, and encourages subscribing to the channel. Alternatively, rotate the video featured in this prime real estate to highlight recent important and high-quality content.
YouTube success depends not just on video quality, but on words. Spend some time getting titles, descriptions, and keywords right. Keep SEO in mind, but never forget the first impression you want to make on viewers. Make the title descriptive and inviting, and ensure that the most important information appears in the first few lines of the description, so it will appear in search results.
Additionally, give attention to hyperlinks at the top of video descriptions. Around 200 characters will appear above YouTube’s “show more” line on the video’s page, and adding a full URL with http:// will create a live link. Consider adding a link to a related video or your main Web site.
Whether or not you see productive discussions on YouTube, you can foster video engagement on other channels as well. Where relevant, share your videos on your blog and other social networks.
For more information about our team and approach, or to learn how we can help your organization with digital strategy, development and measurement, please visit the PNConnect site.
Andy Stoltzfus in San Francisco, Dave Coustan in Atlanta, and Tom Harris in Raleigh collaborated on this month’s Feature about recent changes to LinkedIn. Miguel Rubio Espinosa in Madrid and Mark Avera in Atlanta shared Insights on optimizing YouTube profiles. Chris Thilk in Chicago and Chad Hyett and Robert Veliz in New York City contributed stories and insights for the Social Networking Stats and Noteworthy News sections, and Amanda Wu provided the latest stats. Allison Brill in Washington, D.C., shared updates and insights on Advertising Trends, in addition to our Case Study on HARP. Megan King in Washington, D.C., took the hot seat for this month’s “On Workflow,” with Chris Edwards providing the accompanying photos.
Josh Hallett in Winter Haven, Florida, provided our cover photo. The background photo for our Welcome is courtesy of Little Visuals; the #140characters photo, @DisneyParks; and the economic graph in the Feature, faberNovel. Some backgrounds courtesy of subtlepatterns.com.
Thanks to Jennifer Laker, John Ciacia, Peter Schiebel, Jeremy Harrington, and Sean O’Shaughnessy from the Platforms team for providing design and development support, and to Mary Gaulke, Dave Coustan, Tom Harris and Lauren Sandelin for editorial oversight and proofing.
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