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The Financial Advisor’s Quick Guide to Using LinkedIn Hashtags

What used to be known solely as the “pound sign” is now social media’s most ubiquitous little symbol.

The mighty hashtag: #

Whether hashtags are used on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, their main function remains the same — to categorize topics of social media posts. 

In this blog, I will uncover what financial advisors have to gain from including hashtags in their LinkedIn posts, how to choose which hashtags to use, and best practices to guide you.

First things first… 

 

Why should advisors use hashtags?

Did you know that a single keystroke can help more people discover your content on LinkedIn? 

That’s right — adding hashtags to your posts might be the easiest way to increase the visibility of your expertise. 

This perk is made possible by LinkedIn’s option for people to “follow” hashtags.

Say you decide to include #PersonalFinance in your post. Now your post will show up in the feed of everyone who is following that hashtag, regardless of whether or not you’re connected to them. 

Even people who aren’t following #PersonalFinance could discover your post if they search for that specific hashtag. 

Here’s a glimpse of what happened after I searched for #PersonalFinance.

Although my screenshot only includes one post, LinkedIn gave me numerous posts to scroll through. I can now choose to sort the #PersonalFinance search results by “top” or “recent.” 

As I mentioned earlier, using hashtags might be the easiest way to organically expand your reach and gain new followers of your expertise. Adding hashtags to your LinkedIn posts automatically makes them searchable and discoverable to potential clients who are looking for information on the specific topic that you cover in your content. 

There are also benefits to following hashtags. For example, if you have a podcast, you can keep an eye on hashtags that might introduce you to potential podcast guests. 

For instance, if you’re looking for a subject expert on long-term care insurance, you might follow the hashtags #LongTermCareInsurance to scope out potential guests and then strike a conversation with them through LinkedIn messaging. 

How to choose your hashtags

There isn’t a magical way to choose which hashtags to use. Unless you consider looking at your content from your audience’s eyes to be a bit of magic. 

When considering which hashtags to include in your posts, ask yourself: 

 

  • What is the main topic of my content? What are the subtopics?
  • Does my topic cover any current events or financial news?
  • Who is my audience?
  • Is my topic meant for a specific demographic? Is it related to a specific geographical area?
  • What keywords might my audience use to search for information on this subject? Are there popular abbreviations? What are the layman’s terms? 

 

If I were to write a post that promotes this blog, I would consider using any of these hashtags: #MarketingTips, #LinkedInMarketing, #DigitalMarketing, #FinancialAdvisors

During your hashtag hunt, use LinkedIn’s search bar to see how many followers different hashtags have.

While the number of followers for most hashtags will fluctuate, we notice that #FinancialAdvisors tends to have more followers than #Advisors. In order to get the highest visibility possible, we tend to use the former in our LinkedIn posts.

 

 

As you can see in this example, Top Advisor Marketing’s founder, Kirk Lowe, chose three popular hashtags for maximum reach. 

Another approach to choosing hashtags is to mix it up: Use some hashtags that are extremely popular with millions of followers and others that have a modest number of followers in the thousands. Include hashtags that are well-followed, but don’t waste time scrutinizing over numbers.

 

Best practices for using hashtags on LinkedIn

You can probably tell by now that using hashtags on LinkedIn doesn’t have to be complicated. First and foremost, it requires you to be thoughtful about your content and how to make it discoverable for your audience. 

Style and formatting is another important piece to consider. 

Make your LinkedIn posts ultra readable, clean-looking, and appealing by following these best practices:

 

  • Use 3-5 hashtags per post
  • Do not place spaces between words in hashtags
    • ✘ #Personal Finance
    • ✓ #PersonalFinance
  • Do not include symbols or punctuation within hashtags
    • ✘ #401(k)
    • ✓ #401k
  • This one’s a matter of preference, but we recommend capitalizing multi-word hashtags for easy readability and to ensure they’re read correctly
    • Example: #EstatePlanning
  • We suggest adding your hashtags to the end of your posts, as Kirk did in the example above, rather than as part of your text
  • Only use hashtags that are relevant to your content’s topic
  • Use a branded hashtag in order to build a following for it, but do not use only that hashtag. To help more people find your posts, use your branded hashtag in tandem with well-known hashtags, as shown in the example below with our branded hashtag #BeYourOwnLoud

The mighty hashtag is certainly your market strategy’s friend; it’s a no-cost way to get your expertise in front of more and new people on LinkedIn. 

Whether you’re completely new to hashtags or looking to make refinements, I hope this blog has served as a helpful guide to you. I wish you great success as you boost your visibility and uncover new opportunities by using LinkedIn hashtags.

 

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4 Ways to Create Holiday LinkedIn Posts in a Hurry

If your holiday social media strategy is looking as meager as Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, don’t worry! In this blog, I will show you four time-efficient ways to add a seasonal sparkle to your LinkedIn posts. 

I’m focusing on LinkedIn because this is where financial advisors are having the most networking success. However, all of these ideas can be modified for Facebook and Twitter. 

 

Supply List

  • Stress→ Just enough to give you a bit of fire without being debilitating.
  • Canva→ We recommend this tool to advisors all the time, and we use it for our own social media. Canva is a drag-and-drop design tool that gives you tons of templates for creating social media posts in a snap.
  • A camera→ The camera on your smartphone will work just fine! 
  • Hootsuite or Buffer→ Both of these tools enable you to schedule your social media posts to publish automatically. That way, you can be away on holidays and still have your festive posts rolling out. Hootsuite will allow you to post videos to a LinkedIn company page, but if you plan on posting videos to a personal LinkedIn profile, use Buffer. Both options offer free accounts.
  • The slightest bit of holiday spirit→ This will make the process even easier and more fun!

 

3 Themes for LinkedIn Posts

For your quick strategy, you’re going to create posts that fit into four themes: Office Fun, Community Zeitgeist, Holiday Hero, and Jolly Artist. 

How many themes you choose is up to you and your timeline. Read on to learn about these fast and festive strategies. 

 

Office Fun

As its name suggests, Office Fun is all about showcasing your team’s personality this holiday season. This theme might be the easiest to do because it just requires you to take photos or videos of your team celebrating the holidays. And from the testing we’ve done with our social media clients, this is the theme that social media networks engage with the most. 

However, this theme could actually be challenging if your firm doesn’t have holiday traditions; that’s why I’ve offered more themes to choose from. But why not take this opportunity to start a tradition or two?

Get your cameras ready to capture the following: 

  • Ugly Christmas sweater day/contest
  • Pajama day
  • Gift exchanges
  • A hot chocolate station
  • Office decorations (exterior and interior), including lights lit up at nighttime 
  • Office potluck
  • Decorating cookies
  • Decorating a Christmas tree
  • Volunteering individually or as a team
  • Food or toy drive
  • Team parties, including low-key lunches and full-on festive parties

What to write:

Don’t overthink the writing, but do make it audience-focused by asking your network a question that invites them to join the fun or share their own experience. 

Try this easy formula: What our team did + question for the audience

Take your post to the next level by adding a sentence about why the activity is meaningful to you and your team. 

Example #1: Posting about your team’s ugly Christmas sweater contest:

We got into the holiday spirit by wearing our ugly Christmas sweaters! Which one makes you cringe the most? #Team #Holidays

Example #2: Posting about your team’s support of a charity:

Today we had the opportunity to volunteer in the Leeside Food Bank’s warehouse. Which organizations are close to your heart? #Team #Community #Leeside

 

Community Zeitgeist

This theme calls for you to be in-the-know about your community’s festive events. It’s not as involved as it sounds, especially when you can check websites that are dedicated to listing local events.

I recommend searching for your city and any surrounding areas on Eventbrite, which also allows you to specify a date range. You can even search under categories, including “Holiday”! Yes, this website was made for times like these. 

Here are events to look for:

  • Theatre/plays
  • Craft shows and markets
  • Parades
  • House tours
  • Tree lighting ceremonies
  • Gingerbread house decorating

Since Eventbrite wants these events to get exposure, they’ve made it easy to share them on social media. Once you click on an event, you will see a “share” icon (it looks like an upload symbol) that will give you options for sharing on social media once you click on it.

What to write:

Let the event be the star of your social media post. Skim the event details until you find the main highlight of the event and then add a call-to-action. 

Try this easy formula: Event feature + call-to-action that includes location

Example: Posting about a gingerbread house decorating workshop for kids:

This free event sounds like fun for kids who love to decorate! Check out this workshop for gingerbread house decorating in Leeside! #Holidays #Leeside

 

Holiday Hero

This theme is not only fast to deliver on but it may just elevate your status to “Holiday Hero.” Your job is to be ultra helpful, like a little workshop elf. 

You’re going to become the go-to source for solving work-specific holiday questions, like what to bring to the office potluck, best gifts for colleagues, and easy ways to decorate your desk. 

This theme centers around work-specific holiday topics because I’m focusing on LinkedIn. However, you can broaden the topics for Facebook and Twitter by helping people solve their at-home holiday challenges, like what gifts to buy for kids of different ages.

Two ways to deliver on this theme:

  1. Visit North America’s most beloved sources on everything holiday-related. 

I recommend these websites:

Most of these websites will feature “share” buttons for social media, making it easy to post an article quickly. If you don’t see a “share” button or if you’re going to use Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule the article to post on social media, then simply copy and paste the link. 

      2. Take a personalized approach if you have time: 

Ask your staff to email you their favorite recipes. To execute this idea on LinkedIn, post the recipe and tag the employee’s name in it. Make your post eye-catching by adding a photo of the finished recipe if possible. 

You can take a similar approach to other holiday hacks by asking your team to share their advice on gift-giving at work (e.g. Secret Santa gifts for under $10), how to make your own ugly sweater, and what to write in holiday cards for clients. 

What to write:

Again, don’t overthink the writing aspect. Stick with simplicity by highlighting the problem you’re solving.

Try this easy formula: Problem + solution

Example: Sharing an article about gift-giving to colleagues:

Are you looking for a Secret Santa gift that is inexpensive but also genuinely useful? Look no further than this gift guide! [Add link] #Holidays #Team 

 

Jolly Artist

This final theme calls for Canva and a dash of creativity because you’re about to make social media graphics that feature holiday greetings. 

Here’s an example of a holiday graphic that was created in Canva:

In Canva, you can upload your logo and set your brand colors to align your graphics with your branding. I also recommend personalizing the graphics with holiday greetings to include “from our team at [name of firm].”

Currently, Canva doesn’t have templates that are sized for LinkedIn posts. But this gap is easily remedied by using their “custom dimensions” option listed under “Resize” on your design page. Add these dimensions: 1200 px. X 628 px.

You can use Canva’s library of stock photos and background options to add holiday magic to your graphics. Unsplash, a free stock photo site, also boasts lovely holiday backgrounds that you can add to your Canva designs. 

Ideas for holiday-graphic themes:

  • Holiday greetings: Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Feliz Navidad, Season’s Greetings, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.
  • Countdown: Create a series of graphics that count down until Christmas Day, Hanukkah, or New Year’s Day. Your countdowns can start 12 days, one week, or even 1 day in advance. 
  • Special days: Use the National Day Calendar to find national days in December (or January), like Giving Tuesday, National Cookie Day, Gingerbread House Day, and National Cocoa Day. (Bonus: you can incorporate these special days into any of the themes that are listed in this blog.)

What to write:

Since this is a fast strategy, keep your writing simple and let the graphics steal the show. But do make your post audience-focused by asking a question that invites them to join in on the fun or share their own experience. 

Try this easy formula: The significance of the graphic + question for the audience

Take your posts to the next level by adding your holiday hours and fun facts to go with your countdown- and special-days graphics.

Example #1: Posting your New Year’s Day countdown:

Only 2 more sleeps until 2020! Today’s reflection question: What challenges did you overcome this year? #NewYear #Holidays #SelfGrowth

Example #2: Posting about National Cookie Day:

National Cookie Day calls for us to whip up our best recipes to share with colleagues. Which cookie reminds you of the holidays? #NationalCookieDay

Your Next Step

Choose any or all of the themes and keep things simple! Schedule your posts by using Hootsuite or Buffer, but do assign yourself or a team member to monitor your social media posts for monitor engagement (i.e. likes, comments, shares). 

Get in the holiday spirit, chat with your LinkedIn network, and have fun! 

 

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What’s New on LinkedIn: August – October 2019

LinkedIn is constantly changing. It can be hard to keep up with the latest features and policy changes, so we’ve made it easy for you to stay up to date by creating a quarterly roundup of what’s new on this professional networking platform.

Over the past few months, LinkedIn has worked to make expanding your network offline easier than ever and has also improved its platform for job hunters and recruiters alike.

Read on for more noteworthy LinkedIn changes that happened from August to October 2019.

 

LinkedIn Events

According to LinkedIn’s research, people are twice as likely to accept connection requests from people they’ve met face-to-face. So, to help you meet other users in-person and take your professional networking to the next level, LinkedIn has introduced a new feature to its site: LinkedIn Events.

With LinkedIn Events, you can now create and join professional events. You can also:

    • Invite your connections
    • Manage your event
    • Converse with other attendees
    • Keep in touch after the event
    • Create private events
    • Use filters to find the right attendees
    • Track attendees and invites
    • Post updates
    • And more!

To create your own event, all you have to do is visit the Community panel on the left side of your news feed and click the +Create button. You can then create a description of your event, assign a date, time, and venue, and invite connections using filters like location, company, industry, and school. 

To keep your attendees updated with the latest news around your event, LinkedIn has also added an algorithm that “automatically provides timely and relevant notifications to attendees to make sure they don’t miss any important updates about your event.” 

If you’re not up to hosting your own professional event, no need to worry! You can find other users’ professional events to attend under your My Network tab.

 

Skills Showcase

LinkedIn has always been a platform where users can showcase their professional experience and skills. Now, users can back up just how great they are and prove their expertise with LinkedIn’s new Skills Showcase

This past quarter, LinkedIn launched LinkedIn Skill Assessment, a new way for users to validate their skills. Users can take assessments for various skills that have been created in partnership with LinkedIn Learning and subject matter experts. To pass, you must be in the 70th percentile or above, and only you will be able to see your results. If you don’t pass, you can keep your score private and try again at a later time. However, if you do pass, you will be awarded with a badge, which you can choose to display on your profile in LinkedIn Recruiter and LinkedIn Jobs. If you’ve passed an assessment for an in-demand skill, LinkedIn will additionally send you job recommendations as soon as they’re posted.

According to LinkedIn, making use of Skills Showcase can even help job seekers find a new position, as the platform has stated that “early results show candidates who complete LinkedIn Skill Assessments are significantly more likely (~30%) to get hired.” 

You can access assessments in the Skill section of your profile. Taking skill assessments will also unlock relevant LinkedIn Learning courses for free for a limited time to help you improve your skills. Assessments are currently available for skills like Adobe Photoshop, Java, Microsoft Excel, C++, and more.

 

Service Provider & Freelancer Search

Over the past few months, LinkedIn has made it easier for freelancers and those in need of a service to find one another on its platform. If you’re looking to hire a freelancer or service provider, you can now filter searches in the LinkedIn search bar by service providers, and LinkedIn will then provide you with a list of providers who have indicated that they are “open for business” and who fit your search criteria. 

You can also get recommendations from your network and the LinkedIn community for service professionals and freelancers by using the “find an expert” button in the share box when making a post. After sharing your post, your audience will then be able to comment directly on the post by tagging people, or they can share their recommendations with you through a private message.

 

LinkedIn Pages

This quarter, LinkedIn introduced new features to Pages to help companies make the most of their employees on the platform. Some of the new Pages features include:

  • Employee Notifications
    • Page Admins can now alert employees about important posts on their company Page. This feature will encourage and make it easier for employees to engage with their company on the platform and to share company content with their network. However, to prevent overuse of the feature, LinkedIn has limited notifications to once every seven days
  • Kudos and Team Moments
    • Page Admins now have a new custom content format called Kudos and Team Moments. This feature was built specifically “to welcome new team members, spotlight outstanding work, and recognize the people behind an organization’s pivotal moments.” Companies who use Kudos and Team moments may be perceived as more human and personable to prospective customers and employees. 
  • Completion Meter
    • To make it easier for admins to maximize the effectiveness of their Page, there is now a new personalized completion meter on Pages. This meter identifies incomplete or missing fields and alerts admins to new features to encourage them to make their Pages as complete as possible.

 

LinkedIn Advertising

As usual, LinkedIn has continued to upgrade its targeting tools for advertisers. Over the past few months, LinkedIn introduced new features that are meant to “help marketers who are looking for more powerful reach and insights for their LinkedIn campaigns.”

Among some of the changes made is the improved campaign forecasting panel in Campaign Manager. Now you can see your target audiences’ make-up right from your dashboard. You can also customize the panel to “surface specific professional characteristics” for your audience, like top industries, years of experience, or company sizes. 

LinkedIn has also reported that the updated forecasting panel works with Matched Audiences to “not only [serve] ads to the specific prospects you’re trying to reach, but that you’ll have the demographic insights to deliver the content and creative mix that will resonate with them.” 

Another new feature for advertisers is boolean targeting. LinkedIn stated that using “And/Or” targeting allows advertisers to reach the right audience “through more sophisticated combinations of profile facets like job function, seniority, and titles” within a single campaign. Boolean targeting also provides advertisers with greater flexibility to determine who sees their ads. 

LinkedIn’s demographic reporting has also been improved and now allows advertisers to “understand which audiences are watching [their] video ads, filling out [their] Lead Gen Forms, and opening [their] Sponsored InMail messages.” This data gives advertisers a better understanding of the performance of their campaigns so they can make strategic adjustments to get better results from their ideal audiences.

 

That’s it for now! We’ll be back next quarter with more LinkedIn updates. In the meantime, you can find our full LinkedIn changes report for August through October 2019 on AdvisorU.

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3 Wasted LinkedIn Opportunities

Did you know that LinkedIn can be a highly effective prospecting tool for advisors? 

LinkedIn is 277% more effective in generating leads than Twitter and Facebook, according to a Hubspot study. The study points out that LinkedIn users who visit websites come in more qualified and ready to buy

That’s right — LinkedIn may be the most efficient lead generation tool in the land of social media. So don’t leave any LinkedIn leaf unturned! Read on to learn about three big wasted opportunities and learn how to turn it all around.

 

1. You’re not sending a message when inviting someone to connect with you

 

Whether you’re reaching out to a center of influence (COI) that you met at a conference or a prospect that you found by using Sales Navigator, don’t you dare leave that message field blank. 

If you’ve already met this potential LinkedIn connection, use the message space to:

  • Remind them of how you met if you think it’s necessary
  • Reiterate how great it was to meet them
  • Pay them a compliment (e.g. “I was really impressed by your presentation, I was particularly intrigued when you said that…”)
  • Suggest another meeting or express the desire to keep in touch

Most advisors aren’t fazed by writing a message to someone they’ve already met. It’s writing to a cold prospect that seems more daunting. But this task becomes a lot easier when you have a template that you can customize.

Start by plugging these two talking points into your messages to prospects:

 

    1. Mention something you have in common from the get-go. Examples: they graduated from the same college as you, they work in an industry that you have experience with, you’ve volunteered for the same or similar organizations, etc.
    2. Explain why you are connecting with them. When you’re upfront about wanting to share your expertise, the prospects who connect with you will be more qualified than those who accept your connection based on a vague message.

 

Here’s an example of a message to a prospect, which you can use as a template:

 

Hi [first name],

I noticed you’re also a graduate of [insert name of your college]! I’m reaching out because I work with a lot of [College Name] alumni who are eager to create hyper goals-focused financial plans.

I’d like to share ideas with you on [insert your proudest offering here] from time to time. Hoping we can connect. Have a great day!

[Your Name]

 

 

2. You’re not making use of LinkedIn’s search features

Did you know that you can use LinkedIn’s search bar to see what your connections are talking about? 

On the desktop version of LinkedIn, find the search bar on the top left on your screen. It’ll be on the top middle of the LinkedIn app.

Click on the magnifying glass icon. A drop-down menu will appear with several filtering options, as shown in the image below. Select “Content.”

LinkedIn Image #1

LinkedIn will bring you to a new page. Now you can enter a keyword into the search bar and LinkedIn will show you all the posts that include that word. You can sort the posts by date, relevancy, connections’ industries, company names, and more. 

This is an excellent feature for seeking out COIs that could complement your expertise and bring value to your clients. 

If I were an advisor, I might search the term “divorce” to see if any divorce attorneys have created new content that they can discuss with me on my podcast or with my audience during a seminar. 

On that note, if I knew for sure that I wanted to seek out divorce attorneys, I could select “People” instead of “Content” and then type “divorce attorneys” in the search bar. LinkedIn would then generate a list of all the divorce attorneys that are in my network.

Play around with the search-bar features. This could be a good prompt for you to start relationships with COIs, reconnect with ones you haven’t talked to a while, and then combine forces to bring your clients well-rounded guidance. 

 

3. You’re not being generous enough

 

Let me ask you this: Are you trying to lure people in by giving them just a taste of your expertise? 

Stop the bait-and-switch approach start telling people everything you know. Why? Because you become important in someone’s world once they realize you know a lot. (Our founder Kirk really brings this point home in episode 196 of our podcast.)

This goes for everything you create, which might include blogs, white papers, podcasts, and videos. Pour your knowledge into these mediums and then share all of it with abandon on LinkedIn.

Put succinctly, start posting that stuff.

You can even post your entire white paper or a presentation on LinkedIn. On their desktop version, you can upload PDFs, slides, papers, and reports, which your connections can then download as a PDF.

To upload your documents to LinkedIn, click on the paper icon to the far left of the box that you normally type in to create a post. 

LinkedIn Image #2

I recommend sharing your seminar presentations and any slides that you show to new clients during the onboarding process. This is about giving people full access to your expertise so they realize that you have the answers to their biggest financial challenges. 

To make sharing your expertise sustainable and efficient, use a scheduler like Hootsuite to schedule LinkedIn posts. When you’re writing your posts, be sure to emphasize how your content solves your prospects’ challenges and then wrap it up with a strong call-to-action.

In addition to posting, send messages to your connections that include your content, such as specific episodes of your podcast. This probably goes without saying, but make sure the episode is relevant to that person. Instead of blasting out the same episode with a generic message, tell the person why you think they would find your episode about college-saving strategies helpful. 

There you have it! I hope you will take these LinkedIn pointers and run with them. Start making the most of this prospect-rich platform today!

 

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10 Social Media Tools to Elevate Your Team’s Skills

Communication has fundamentally changed. 

As an advisor, you must communicate with your clients and prospects in the medium they prefer, while they are there. This is the truth we live with today. 

I’m talking about getting your firm active on social media.

There are many companies out there who will take care of this for you. They will post for you, engage with your audience, run ads — well, they will pretty much be you online. You can pay anywhere from a small monthly fee to a large retainer for that level of service. 

But consider these two questions before you pay for a social media service. 

Do you really want to outsource? Or would you rather have things handled in-house where you can have more control over who you and your company are online?

If you’ve answered “yes,” to the latter, I totally understand. But where do you find people best suited for the job?

The best thing you can do is hire someone locally who knows your business model, your industry’s rules and regulations, and the best social media platform for communicating to your ideal clients. 

You can find these people but it is hard; they are highly sought after and, most of the time, they come at a premium. If you want to go down this path, post your job on ziprecruiter.com and LinkedIn.  

Once you’ve hired your social media specialist, pay them well, show them a lot of appreciation, let them do what they do, and understand that they don’t need to be sitting at a desk for eight hours every day to do their job. Give them flexibility. 

Sometimes you get lucky and you already have this person in-house. You might even be looking at them over your computer monitor right now. You know this person, you like this person, and, the best thing is, you trust this person. 

So how can you get them trained to do this new social media job? 

Here are some great places to start with social media training:

 

Free

  1. Google SEO and Analytics  
  2. Facebook Advertising 
  3. Instagram for Business
  4. Twitter for Business
  5. How to Use Hootsuite 
  6. Advisor-Centric Social Media Resources  

 

Paid

  1. Basic–Advanced Hootsuite Certifications ($99-$999)
  2. Digital Marketer NanodegreeDigital Marketing NanoDegree ($999)
  3. Boot Camp Digital Social Media Certification ($997)
  4. Advisor-Specific Digital MarketerTraining ($799 with an optional monthly office-hours option for $79/ month)

 

I hope these resources help your social media specialist embark on their role with enthusiasm, creativity, and confidence. Happy learning!

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What’s New on LinkedIn: May – July 2019

Social media platforms like LinkedIn are constantly changing. It can be hard to keep up with the latest features and policy changes, so we’ve made it easy for you to stay up to date by creating a quarterly roundup of what’s new on this professional networking platform.

Over the past few months, LinkedIn has updated its ever-changing algorithm, continued to improve its Pages, and has tweaked its advertising objectives to cater to more parts of the marketing funnel.

Read on for more noteworthy LinkedIn changes that happened from May to July 2019.

 

LinkedIn Growth

According to the latest statistics, LinkedIn is still on the rise. Microsoft recently released its latest quarterly report, and LinkedIn’s revenue increased by 25% during the last quarter, bringing in $371 million. The platform also garnered “record levels of engagement,” and had a 22% growth in sessions. On top of that, LinkedIn also announced that they now have over 630 million professionals on their network and over 34 million Pages have been created on their platform. 

 

Algorithm Changes

Over the past few months, LinkedIn made changes to its algorithm to help promote posts that encourage community-building. The algorithm that chooses which content will appear in feeds now incorporates the “prediction of professional conversation contribution” when selecting candidates. This algorithm is designed to better capture “the community-building aspect” of each update on the feed.

 

New Features

Here are some of the new features that LinkedIn introduced to its platform over the past few months:

  • You can now tag people in photos
  • In addition to “liking” someone’s post, you can now use reactions like celebrate, love, insightful, curious, and more 
  • You can now share videos in messages
  • You can now share PDFs and slides on the main feed, in groups, or in Pages

 

Pages

One of the more notable changes to LinkedIn Pages this quarter was the introduction of new call-to-action (CTA) buttons. You can now add a custom CTA button to your page, using one of the five button options: Contact us, Learn More, Register, Sign Up, or Visit Website. 

Along with the CTA buttons, LinkedIn has also introduced an analytics dashboard that shows Page admins how many visitors are clicking the buttons. If you’re interested in using this feature, you can find the click-through analytics on the left-hand side of your Page Admin homepage in your Dashboard or at the top of your Visitor Analytics tab.

 

Advertising

This quarter, LinkedIn introduced three new objectives to Campaign Manager: Brand Awareness, Website Conversions, and Job Applications. 

  • Advertisers can increase their share-of-voice by using the Brand Awareness objective, which features campaigns that charge by impressions (e.g., cost per thousand or CPM)
  • The Website Conversions objective allows advertisers to create campaigns that are optimized for specific actions on their websites (e.g., purchases, downloads, event registration, etc.)
  • The Job Applicants objective allows advertisers to make ads to drive applications either on LinkedIn or on their own website

That’s it for now! We’ll be back next quarter with more LinkedIn updates. In the meantime, you can find our full LinkedIn changes report for May through July 2019 on AdvisorU.

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Social Media Changes – March 2019

The social media world is constantly changing. It can be hard to keep up with all of the latest features and policy updates, so we’ve made it easy for you to stay in the loop by creating a monthly roundup of what’s new on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

This month, Facebook changed some of its advertising metrics, while LinkedIn made it easier to schedule meetings through Messenger. Meanwhile, Instagram made an exciting shopping update and Twitter continued to test a host of new features.

Read on for more noteworthy social media changes that happened in March 2019.

Facebook

New Ad Metrics

This month, Facebook announced  changes to how it will measure the relevance of ads. Before, Facebook used a relevance score to measure whether ads were relevant to the audiences they reached. Facebook has now broken down the relevance score into three categories to help advertisers get a better idea what tweaks they need to make to improve their ad’s performance.


The new relevance score will include:


  • Quality Rank — How your ad’s perceived quality compares with ads from your competitors.
  • Engagement Rate Ranking — How your ad’s expected engagement rate compares with ads from your competitors.
  • Conversion Rate Ranking — How your ad’s expected conversion rate compares with ads from your competitors.

Watch Parties

Forget live tweeting, Facebook is making strides to become the place to be for live chatting about televised events! This month, Facebook announced plans to expand its Watch Party feature to allows users to watch and discuss TV shows in real-time. Facebook will begin testing the new feature with live sports events like UEFA Championships League soccer matches so fans can have the chance “to cheer, debate and commiserate on Facebook while watching their favorite match-ups.” More features that might be added to the experience in the near future include trivia questions, fun facts, and live polls.

Facebook Outage

Did you survive the Facebook outage? In mid-March, Facebook and its other owned networks, including Instagram and WhatsApp, experienced their longest outage to date, or at least since Downdetector began tracking Facebook’s service levels in 2012. According to BNN Bloomberg, the sites went down at around 11:15 a.m. EST on Wednesday, March 13, and continued to be down until Thursday, March 14 — leaving users with little choice but to head over to other social sites like Twitter for online social interaction. Facebook has since cited the cause of the outage as “a shift in the setup of its computer servers.”

LinkedIn

Scheduling Meetings

Scheduling meetings online can be a hassle, especially when it comes to coordinating calendars — after all, we’re all busy people! But now, LinkedIn is making scheduling easier with their newest update to LinkedIn Messenger. Now when you’re chatting on LinkedIn Messenger to schedule a meeting, you can share your availability through a new “Availability” calendar button. LinkedIn will then access your local calendar to find available times and can also help you find a place to meet by allowing you to find and share locations in your chat.

Advertising

LinkedIn is continuing to refine its advertising tools. Just this month, they launched three new advertising tools to help advertisers increase the scale of their advertising and improve ROI.

These new tools include:

  • Lookalike Audiences, which combines the traits of your ideal customers with LinkedIn’s member and company data to reach new audiences similar to your existing customers.
  • Audience Templates, which provide more than 20 predefined B2B audiences with characteristics like skills, job titles, and group memberships to help you set up your targeting faster.
  • Interest Targeting With Microsoft Bing Search Data, which allows you to target people based on your audience’s professional interests on LinkedIn and according to the professional content they engage with through the Bing search engine.

Instagram

Checkout

Are you ready for some late-night impulse shopping? This month, Instagram expanded its shopping capabilities with a new Checkout feature, which lets you make purchases directly through the app. To buy products on Instagram, all you have to do is click the “checkout on Instagram” button on brands’ product posts. Once you click the checkout button, Instagram will lead you to color and sizing options before taking you to payment information. To make the checkout process even easier, you’ll only need to enter your name, email, billing information, and shipping address the first time you check out. You will also receive updates about your purchases right in the app, including shipping and delivery notifications. Brands set to roll out this feature in the coming weeks include Adidas, Burberry, H&M, Nike, Dior, Uniqlo, and with more to come. I don’t know about you, but my wallet is definitely not ready for this!


Username Changes

Have you outgrown your Instagram username? Well, now you’re in luck! Instead of having to create a whole new account, Instagram might soon let you choose a new username. The platform is currently testing a feature that would allow users to test out new usernames while keeping their old ones on reserve for 14 days — just in case you change your mind again.

Twitter

Twttr Prototype App

This month, Twitter launched its prototype app, Twttr, which they will use to test updates before officially rolling them out. Some updates currently being tested include nested replies in threads, hidden engagement statistics on tweets (like the number of likes and retweets), and the option to hide side conversations in threads. If you’d like to sign up for twttr and test out the newest features before they’re official, you can find the application for the app here.

Video Analytics

Twitter will soon debut an analytics tool that measures video engagement, called Timing is Everything. According to newsX, the tool is meant to help publishers “perform more efficiently and generate large revenue” and will show statistics like video streaming numbers and what time of day videos are getting the most views so publishers can maximize engagement and viewership. The more analytics, the better!

That’s it for now! We’ll be back next month with more social media updates. In the meantime, you can read our full Social Media Changes Report for March 2019 on AdvisorU.

Categories
BLOG

Social Media Changes February 2019

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The social media world is constantly changing. It can be hard to keep up with all of the latest features and policy changes, so we’ve made it easy for you to stay up to date by creating a monthly roundup of what’s new on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

This month, Facebook added new features to Groups, while LinkedIn spruced up their hiring tools. Meanwhile, Instagram started to push its spin-off app, IGTV, a little more, and Twitter began testing a host of new features to help make conversations flow better than ever.

Read on for more noteworthy social media changes that happened in February 2019.

Facebook

Groups

In their latest update for Groups, Facebook added new post formatting tools for administrators, along with new tools to help admins manage their Groups. These new features include tools for informing members when they violate a rule, the ability to filter content in their admin activity log by date, and the ability to search through membership requests by name.

The platform is also said to be launching a new pilot program that will allow Groups to collaborate with brands and will also allow Facebook Pages to join and participate in Groups.
 Other changes in the cards for Groups include the expansion of Group subscriptions to more partners and the expansion of the Group mentorship program to all Facebook Groups.

 

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Advertising

There’s going to be a big shift in Facebook advertising this year! According to Search Engine Journal, starting September 2019, all ad campaigns will be transitioned to “campaign budget optimization,” which will give advertisers “one central campaign budget across all ad sets.” With just one budget for a campaign, Facebook will then “automatically distribute the budget to top performing ad sets” to generate the best results while saving costs and time for advertisers. Right now, optimizing your budget is optional, and advertisers can set budgets for each individual ad set. With this change, optimization cannot be turned off and will apply to old and new campaigns.

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Android Location Controls

Starting this month, Android users will finally have more control over how Facebook tracks them and stores their personal information. With a new update to Android’s location controls, you can now choose if you want to allow Facebook to continue collecting location information about you even when you’re not using the app. Before, when location history was enabled, you would share your location even when not using the app, which allowed Facebook to store a history of your precise locations. If you’re an iOS user, don’t worry — these controls already exist for you!

LinkedIn

Hiring Tools

Finding job candidates or jobs will soon be easier than ever with LinkedIn’s new platform, Intelligent Hiring Experience. Tools like LinkedIn Recruiter, LinkedIn Jobs, and Pipeline Builder will soon be moved to the new platform to streamline the job/candidate hunting process.

Along with the new platform, LinkedIn launched new tools for job hunters, including one that provides “more in-depth salary comparison between current and prospective jobs” and will show users suggestions for “Jobs Where You Could Make More Money” within job listings. Another new feature includes push notifications for job postings and a new “Job Title Highlights” tool, which provides “a quick look at specific job titles to help you get ahead in your job hunt.”


Now, when you search for a job title, you’ll see:


  • The top skills possessed by people with that title
  • The top companies hiring for that title
  • And any first-degree connections you may have with that title

To access this tool, just use the search bar in the LinkedIn desktop site and search for a job title
. Happy hunting!

Groups

LinkedIn has also introduced new additions to LinkedIn Groups this month. The platform is starting to roll out a feature that will compile Group notifications into a single update so that Group notifications don’t clog up notification feeds.
 Also coming up in Groups is the ability for admins to notify members of important conversations happening in their Group and a new process for admins to review and approve posts for “a proactive way to ensure that the content which gets shared in their groups is relevant and valuable.” Also coming soon . . .  cover images!


Instagram

IGTV

You’ll soon be seeing more of Instagram’s spin-off app, IGTV, in your Instagram feed. With a new update this month, users will start getting videos from IGTV in their main feed among regular posts. These IGTV posts, however, will have a tag to identify them, and users won’t see any videos from people they aren’t following — unlike in the actual IGTV app.

Direct Messaging on the Web

Another new feature to watch for is the ability to use Direct Messaging on your computer! Instagram is said to be testing a new feature that will let users use Instagram’s DM feature on the desktop version of its site, which as of now remains rather limited, with no option to upload photos or message others.

 

Twitter

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Testing New Features

This month, Twitter started testing a host of new features that could indicate what’s to come in the future. Among the features being tested are:

  • Profile Overlays: a new feature that will enable users to preview other users’ profiles without having to go to their full profile page
  • Moderating Replies: a feature that will allow users to hide replies to their tweets, replacing them instead with an option to show the hidden replies for other users who still want to see them
  • Clarifying Tweets: CEO Jack Dorsey revealed that the company is considering adding this new feature that would be “kind of like retweet with comment . . . to add some context and some color on what they might have tweeted, or what they might have meant”


[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_code admin_label=”Code” _builder_version=”3.0.50″]<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>We’re testing an easier way to check out profiles on iOS without leaving your timeline! Simply tap any @ handle in a Tweet, take a peek, follow, and get right back to it. Let us know what you think! <a href=”https://t.co/dIUFxI2r4C”>pic.twitter.com/dIUFxI2r4C</a></p>&mdash; Twitter (@Twitter) <a href=”https://twitter.com/Twitter/status/1095784011845324801?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>February 13, 2019</a></blockquote><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –><script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –>[/et_pb_code][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”Row” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” background_size=”initial”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”3.0.50″ background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” border_style=”solid”]

Livestreaming With Guests

Ever dream of becoming a talk show host? Well, now with Twitter’s latest addition to its livestreaming app, Periscope, you can live out your dream! This month, Twitter added a feature that helps users become more interactive with their viewers by inviting them to join their livestreams. As of now, you can add up to three guests at one time in addition to the host, and if any guests leave, the host can replace them with other users.

That’s it for now! We’ll be back next month with more social media updates. In the meantime, you can find our full social media changes report for February 2019 on AdvisorU.

 

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Categories
BLOG

Social Media Changes July 2018

When it comes to the social media world, things are constantly changing. It can be hard to keep up with all of the latest features and policy changes, so we’ve made it easy for you to stay up to date by creating a monthly roundup of what’s new on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

Read on to learn about the changes that launched in July 2018.

FACEBOOK

Watch Party

This month, Facebook introduced a brand-new feature called “Watch Party” that lets you watch videos with your friends in real time. You can now create Watch Parties in Facebook Groups, where you can curate your own playlist of videos for your friends to watch and comment on at the same time. As of now, Watch Parties are only available in Facebook Groups, but will likely be expanded to other parts of Facebook in the future

Keyword Snooze

If you’re not up to date on your favorite TV shows and have to strategically dodge spoilers on the internet, Facebook now has your back! The platform introduced a new “keyword snooze” feature this month, allowing users to temporarily hide posts containing specific keywords. To use the feature, just click on the three little dots on the top right-hand corner of a Facebook Post containing the keyword you’d like to hit “snooze” on, and any further posts containing that keyword will be hidden from your News Feed for 30 days. For people like me who are always behind on their TV shows, this one’s a life saver.

Ad Transparency

In an effort to increase transparency surrounding Facebook advertisements, the platform will now offer more information about advertisers to its users. In July, Facebook added a new “View Ads” tool that lets you see a list of all active ad campaigns, even if the ads are not political in nature.

On a related note, Facebook is testing new label that will now appear on branded posts. The label’s purpose is to provide details about the arrangement between paid partnerships and the branded posts (i.e. publishers) that represent them.

[box] Do you have a Facebook addiction? Facebook is now working to help curb addictions to its platform by introducing a new  “Your Time on Facebook” feature, which shows how much time you’ve spent on the site during the past seven days. You can even set a time limit and the feature will alert you once you’ve spent a certain amount of time on Facebook. This feature is only on Android at the moment.[/box]

LinkedIn

LinkedIn Codes

LinkedIn recently added QR codes (or “LinkedIn Codes”) to each profile, giving you a new way to expand your network. Now you can add connections by scanning other people’s QR codes using the mobile LinkedIn app, emailing them your code, sending it through other apps, or by putting the code on your business cards for people to scan.

Captions, Quotes, Messaging & Drafts

LinkedIn also did a little revamping of their desktop version of the site in July. You can now do the following:

  • Add captions to the videos you post from the desktop version of the site by attaching a SRT (SubRip Subtitle) file along with your video
  • Highlight and share quotes from LinkedIn articles with your network on mobile
  • Save your posts as drafts
  • Use @mentions to bring someone into a group message or to share their profile in a message
  • Copy and paste images directly into LinkedIn messages

Campaign Manager

For those who run multiple campaigns on LinkedIn, the site has revamped its Campaign Manager to provide a “more intuitive experience” to marketers running multiple campaigns. The Manager now features breakdowns of campaign data and personalization options (for example, you can customize it to display the metrics you review most often), and there’s also a new navigation structure to allow you to switch between accounts and campaigns more quickly. The search feature has also been updated, and now data from a specific campaign can be found by searching the campaign name, ID, or ad format.

Instagram

Video Chat

If sharing photos and videos, posting live stories, or messaging on Instagram isn’t enough for you, you can now video chat with up to three other people through the app’s new Video Chat feature. The feature can be reached through Direct Messaging by using the camera icon, and you can also minimize your video chat and browse through the app while still talking to your friends.

You’re All Caught Up

While Instagram hasn’t brought back chronological timelines, they have tried to make it easier for users to keep track of what they’ve already seen by introducing a new “You’re All Caught Up” feature. The new feature will will now tell you once when you’ve seen all of the latest posts from the past two days, eliminating any uncertainty over what you’ve seen and what you haven’t.

Instagram Stories

There are also a couple few new features that have been added to enhance Instagram Stories. You can now do the following:

  • Add music to your stories on Android and iOS
  • Use question stickers to ask and answer questions from people watching your stories

Twitter

Ads Transparency Center

Twitter recently launched its Ads Transparency Center, which allows users to view ads that have been published globally. For political advertisements, users can view additional details like demographic targeting data, billing information, ad spending, and impression data per tweet.

Policy Changes

In an effort to reduce bots and trolls, Twitter now requires new users to confirm an email address or phone number to register for an account. Twitter has also been suspending more than one million accounts per day to decrease the spread of disinformation.  As well, Twitter is no longer counting accounts as followers if they have been locked because of suspected fraud. Because of this, you may see your follower counts take a dip.

Check back next month to see more of the what’s new on social media. In the meantime, you can find our full social media changes report over on AdviserU.