Thoughts on the new Twitter redesign?

LinkedIn tip
Recently, many university pages have been updated to a new look that includes a more advanced search feature. Use the alumni search feature to find connections from college, and even high school.

LinkedIn update
LinkedIn is shifting its focus away from certain individual products to concentrate on long-term investments this year. Some products that will be shutting down include Intro, Slidecast, and support for old versions of the iPad app.

See the announcement, changes, and shutdown dates at the LinkedIn Official Blog.

Twitter tip
The foundation of a successful Twitter account is a reputation for being a reliable source of information for your network. False information spreads quickly online, so do your best to verify everything you tweet and only share from reliable sources.

Twitter update
Twitter is currently testing a major profile redesign that looks a lot like Facebook and Google+. This new look is quietly being tested in a small, random pool of users so you are unlikely to be affected just yet.

See what the Twitter redesign might look like upon its wide range release at Mashable.

Don’t use any of these LinkedIn buzzwords in 2014.

LinkedIn tip
In the United States, “responsible,” “strategic,” and “effective” were the top three most overused LinkedIn buzzwords of 2013. If any of them appear in your profile, consider updating it in 2014. (P.S. “creative,” “patient,” “expert,” “organizational,” “driven,” “innovative,” and “analytical” were also in the top 10.)

LinkedIn update
LinkedIn is becoming a reliable information and news source on the web. Influencers, companies, and publishers are able to share posts and stories. Check out the most engaging stories of 2013, and follow one or two of these influencers or publishers.

Check out more at the LinkedIn Official Blog.

Twitter tip
Search a #hashtag using Twitter search to keyword specific posts. Similar to LinkedIn search, you can save your searches on Twitter. After completing your search, click on the gear in the top right corner, and click “save search.” Now you’ll be able to view your most frequent searches at any time!

Twitter update
On January 6, Dr. Janet Yellen was confirmed as the new Chairperson of the Federal Reserve. How did Twitter react? 10,000 tweets in the first 30 minutes. Remember to get involved and participate in trending topics and conversations on Twitter.

Check out more at the Twitter Official Blog.

Why most customers are now checking your online reputation

Customers and potential clients value reputation and frequently check online before doing business. In a new digital age, it is easier than ever to evaluate a company’s and an individual’s reputation online. Keep up with that is said about you or your business – a simple Google search can accomplish this. The positive? Activity on a social network like LinkedIn and Twitter hold immense value in Google’s page rank and can actually push other results further to the bottom of a search. Make sure your social networks display the most appropriate representation regarding your personal brand so others can find a positive reputation of you online.

Full article regarding online reputation available here. 

How to network using LinkedIn groups

How to network using LinkedIn groups

A recent article posted by Social Media Examiner offers five tips to make the most of networking on LinkedIn groups. You can join up to 50 groups. Since participation in 50 is a lot of work, we recommend maintaining regular activity in five to 10 groups. This will help you get the most benefit out of those groups and help you build personal relationships with other group members.

Use LinkedIn search to find relevant groups to join
LinkedIn search received an overhaul recently that includes enhancements regarding keyword and Boolean search operations. You can search for relevant groups based on your networks and even discussion topics within open groups. Boolean search operators allow for smarter search. Per the LinkedIn tip we included last week: a tip guide from LinkedIn Corporate Solutions.

Review the “Groups You May Like” suggestions
LinkedIn does provide suggestions for groups based on your network, recent activity, profile and other group memberships.

Evaluate the quality of a group
It’s important to join groups that are high quality and offer substance to your network. Be sure to evaluate the statistics of the group, like demographics and activity, as well as an active manager. The referenced article also suggests additional questions to ask in order to evaluate a group’s effectiveness and credibility.

Consider joining corporate-sponsored groups
Corporate-sponsored groups are typically well managed and have strong dialogue with intriguing weekly discussions.

Adhere to LinkedIn group participation best practices
LinkedIn actively fights against promotional posts and spam. Discussion posts containing the words me, my or I typically don’t show up and instead end up in the Promotions tab.

Additional best practices include asking questions, providing answer to others, sharing interesting and relevant content, and providing links to reputable sources or articles.

In closing, participate and develop a presence by participating in group discussions. As you develop personal relationships with group members, consider making them part of your LinkedIn connections.

Stay ahead of the social media curve

I really liked this article recently posted by wealthmanagement.com that praises early adopters of social media. While you and I may not be a part of the coveted 8% of advisors that met the criteria to be considered an early adopter, we can learn to build on some characteristics of one.

Use social media daily
We recommend spending between 15-30 minutes a day. Develop a plan or a checklist and stick with the routine every day and week. Adding connections, sending messages and reviewing scheduled content can all be included in this plan.

Gather information on clients
The article notes using LinkedIn and other social networks as a way of profiling clients while gathering information about them. While establishing a personal relationship, advisors can uncover potential second- or third-degree connections.

Research prospects
Through researching potential connections on LinkedIn, Google and other social networks, you can get a better understanding of the person to help you make a good impression.

Uncover business opportunities
There are many people who can provide you a jumping point for new opportunities: family, friends, alumni, former colleagues and other centers-of-influence. Run advanced searched on LinkedIn and follow local companies.

Get introduced offline
Another helpful article from wealthmanagement.com can help you use LinkedIn as an online tool to get offline personal connections.

Acquire new business
Get involved. When a new opportunity arises, follow these steps and take the relationship offline.

Some secrets of social networking pros

As this InvestmentNews article points out, financial advisors should look to integrate social media into their everyday work flow so it becomes part of a routine. At minimum, take 30 minutes each day and an additional 30 minutes each week to strategically plan your social media efforts and content.

The referenced article points out more ways to set yourself apart from other financial professionals. Most importantly, look to share relevant content regarding hobbies and community affairs. Educational materials that can help clients or prospects with finances and other aspects of their lives are also key. Build your network around your passions and it will become easier to integrate it into your business.

From online to offline thru social media

While it’s important to foster strong relationships online through social media, it may be even more important to transition those online connections to offline. Your ultimate goal should be to find and research affluent connections, cultivate a friendship that will lead to more face-to-face interaction. Social media does not change that; instead, it is a competitive advantage that can be used as a communication tool to help build that network.

I really liked this article from WealthManagement.com. The author offers great suggestions for directing conversations toward offline connections.

Please note: I derived the action steps exactly from the original text as these are great suggestions for future interaction on social media.

Quality vs. quantity
There are two approaches to online networking. Quantity is key if you purely want to grow your numbers. While a lot followers and likes is important, we more-so value quality. It’s much more rewarding to advance personal connection through relationship marketing. Focus on building a few relationships at a time and strengthen existing connections.

Action step: Connect with all clients, prospects, and centers of influence (COIs) on social media.

Use intelligence to build rapport
Use social media as another component of your relationship management strategy, suggests the author. Use LinkedIn and Twitter to start conversations in an effort to learn more about clients and prospects. By managing your relationship on a personal level, you will have the opportunity to gather additional information. Use LinkedIn and Twitter, in addition to Google and Internet searches, in your research.

Action Step: Before your next meeting, identify a topic you can bring up in conversation based on the information you’ve gathered from their profile, post, or comment.  

Value conversation
Now that you’ve established the personal element, be pro-active by engaging with a business focus. The author suggests asking your connections if there is anything in particular they’d like to see you post more about.

Action step: Contact three clients you are connected with on LinkedIn and have a value proposition conversation.

Get personally Introduced
If you notice that a potential client or a target connection has a mutual friend, see if you can be personally introduced by the mutual party. You can either do this personally via phone call or in-person, or LinkedIn offers a feature called “Get Introduced” for meeting new connections.

Action step: Ask for one LinkedIn personal introduction a week.

Use LinkedIn as an excuse to get face-to-face with prospects
LinkedIn is a great conversation starter and the perfect opportunity to take the next step with a phone call. The author suggests saying something like: “Knowing everyone personally in my LinkedIn network is important to me.”

Action step: Contact two LinkedIn COIs/prospect connections a week and use the LinkedIn excuse for getting together.