Category Archives: Content Development

Use LinkedIn to Build Your Brand

How to Use LinkedIn to Build Your Brand

Your LinkedIn Profile: Go Big Or Go Home

~ Forbes

Many professionals create a LinkedIn profile, and then let it sit there. Unlike many other popular social networks, LinkedIn is designed for professional and business networking. If you want your LinkedIn page to work for you, invest some time in setting up a professional LinkedIn profile to increase your visibility and invite your target audience to connect with you. Then, use your LinkedIn page to grow your brand and build relationships.

5 Tips on Using LinkedIn to Build Your Brand

 1.  Shows your Expertise

Your LinkedIn Profile is the header information on your LinkedIn page. Having the wrong LinkedIn profile sends out the wrong message. Maximize your LinkedIn branding by designing a profile that delivers your message.

  • Your profile photo is your 1st impression: LinkedIn users respond to professional, not necessarily formal, profile photos. LinkedIn is not the place for your photo holding your cute kitty: unless you’re a vet. Family photos are better suited for Facebook and other social channels.
  • Complete your profile: don’t leave blanks in LinkedIn’s prime real estate. If you don’t have something to say about yourself, you need to determine what are you trying to accomplish on LinkedIn.
  • Keywords are critical to quickly saying who you are and what you do: be descriptive, not a bragger.

tip: Choose View Profile As to see what your LinkedIn profile looks like to a connection or to the public.

2. Optimize Your LinkedIn Summary

LI Summary provides up to 2000 characters for you to customize your message. What do you want people to know about you, your brand and your services? Here are some Summary tips from LinkedIn for Business expert JoAnne Funch:

  • Start the Summary with your contact information: email and phone number
  • Include a call to action: what do you want the reader to do?
  • What problems do you solve?

3. Connect and Join

LinkedIn users evaluate you based on who you connect with.  Find people you want to build relationships with: who you want to follow and exchange ideas with.

  • Personalize your invitation to connect: do you want to be branded as a spammer? Why do you want to connect?
    • Do you share common LI groups?
    • Are you in the same industry?
    • Are you a fan of their articles?
  • Know why you’re connecting. The number of your connections shows in your profile: while 500+ looks impressive, 100 good connections that build your business will be more effective than 500 strangers you don’t learn from, and you spend time scrolling past.
  • Join LinkedIn groups in your industry or your target audience. Your groups show up at the bottom of your LinkedIn page.

4. Share

LinkedIn is where you can establish yourself as an SME: Subject Matter Expert:

  • Contribute high-quality articles to LinkedIn Pulse, LinkedIn’s publishing platform.
  • Post on SlideShare, LinkedIn’s visual platform:
    • Share Slideshare posts on LinkedIn and add relevant SlideShares to your LI profile.

5. Contribute Insightful Articles and Comments

Regularly post status updates, comment and share on your connection’s updates, and contribute to group discussions. Your posts and comments influence your ranking on LinkedIn, and increase your online visibility.

  • Share your blogs, guest posts, interviews and other relevant authorships.
  • Curate industry topics and add insightful comments and post in updates or in your groups.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool to build your personal brand. Basic LinkedIn is available for free, and LinkedIn for Business has paid options to grow your business including relationship management tools and advertising. The first steps to building your brand on LinkedIn is to optimize your profile and engage with your audience.

Let’s deliver mutual value and connect on LinkedIn:

Connect with Kathryn Bechthold: https://ca.linkedin.com/kathryn-bechthold

Follow Alchemy on LinkedIn: Alchemy Communications Inc.

Connect with Kathryn Bechthold on LinkedIn

For More Information on Optimizing Your Brand  on LinkedIn
Ragan.com: 5 ways to use LinkedIn for content marketing
LinkedIn for Business: LinkedIn Summary: Your Prime Advertising Space

author: KKathryn Bechthold CEO Alchemy Communicationsathryn Bechthold, Communications expert in Calgary, AB. Owner/CEO of Alchemy Communications Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instagram PR strategies that work

Instagram PR Strategies That Work

Instagram has over 300 million monthly users, and grew x3 in the past 2 years

Are you trying to build a following on Instagram? Instagram is the most visual platform on social media: with an active, engaged community. Don’t be afraid to experiment on Instagram: if it doesn’t work, try something different next time. If you’re new to Instagram or trying to grow your community, here are some Instagram strategies for your next PR campaign that are proven to work, from the smart folks at KISSmetrics.

10 Instagram strategies to boost your next PR campaign:

1.  Instagram has 100% organic reach

Your followers will see your posts – so post often!

2. Photos get more engagement than videos

So post more photos than videos, but mix it up!

3. The best captions for e-commerce are long descriptions, not questions

Be sure to use hashtags in your description: Instagram makes it very easy to sort and search topics by hashtag, ie #PurveyorofPR

4. Photos that are primarily green get more engagement than other colors

Experiment with different colors of background and text to see what colors your audience responds to.

5. Photos with no filter get the most engagement for e-commerce

Filters are fun to design creative photos – but if filters lessen your engagement, don’t use them!

6. Wednesday has the highest engagement rate on Instagram

Highest Instagram engagement by day of week is close: it only varied from a high of 4.9% to 4.4% on the lowest day. But to get the biggest bang from your post, try Wednesday!

7. Post yellow or blue photos to encourage viewers to buy your product

Understand the psychological influence of colors on your audience so you can optimize your visuals for maximum engagement.

8. Worst day to post on Instagram is Monday

With an engagement rate of only 4.4%, Monday has the lowest engagement rate on Instagram. But its only .5% behind the highest day, Wednesday.

9. Instagram has a real-time feed display

So your posts get equal visibility as accounts with larger audiences – there’s no bias for bigger brands.

10. The best times of day to post are

  • 4pm – 6pm
  • 6am
  • 2am

Post when your target audience is on Instagram! But if your audience is active on Instagram at midnight, and you’re sleeping, we’re a fan of Onlypult to schedule Instagram posts.

Here is KISSmetric’s infographic The Science of Brands on Instagram

The Science of Brands on Instagram

 

For More Information on Instagram PR Strategies
Alchemy Communications: 5 Tips for Using Instagram for PR Campaigns

author: KKathryn Bechthold CEO Alchemy Communicationsathryn Bechthold, Communications expert in Calgary, AB. Owner/CEO of Alchemy Communications Inc.

How to Pitch Media Using Twitter

How to Pitch Media Using Twitter

thousands of journalists use Twitter every day to post breaking news stories, comment and share news items, ask for sources for their articles, praise colleagues’ work, or have conversations with each other

~ SHIFT Communications

PR professionals build their business on developing a strong relationship with the media. With our never-ending reliance on social media to find breaking news stories, the media relies on social media to track down trending news. Whether you’re a public relations expert or small business owner or an author trying to promote your book: journalists are on Twitter, and they’re constantly looking for new and interesting stories, products and people. There are some basic rules you should follow if you’re going to use Twitter to pitch the media.

Dos and Don’ts to Pitch the Media on Twitter:
10 Tips from PR and Social Media Pros

1. Look professional before you start trying to make professional connections. ~ SHIFT Communications

2. Find the actual journalist, rather than the publication. ~ Ragan PR

3. Make sure it’s news. ~ PR Daily

4. Don’t ask a journalist you’re not following to DM you. ~ Mashable

5. Don’t abuse the word “EXCLUSIVE”. ~ PRNewser

6. It helps if the client you are pitching is on Twitter, too. ~ SPIN SUCKS

7. Understand their interests. ~ ADWeek

8. Start by explaining what’s in it for the journalist or blogger. ~ Cision

9. Personalization is key. ~ Command Partners

10. Don’t pitch on Twitter – build relationships. ~ Crenshaw Communications

media interview tips and advice - free ebook

TIP: Congratulations: your pitch worked, and you have an interview with a journalist – now what? Download our free ebook: Media Appearance Preparation and Tip Guide filled with PR pro Kathryn Bechthold’s expert advice for media interviews.

 

 

 

For More Information on How to Pitch Journalists on Social Media
Chicago Tribune: Don’t Strike Out With Your Social Media Pitch
Social Media Today: 6 Ways to Pitch Journalists on Social Media

author: KKathryn Bechthold CEO Alchemy Communicationsathryn Bechthold, Communications expert in Calgary, AB. Owner/CEO of Alchemy Communications Inc.

Optimize Your Branding to Increase Your Online Visibility

Optimize Your Branding to Increase Your Online Visibility

If your brand is unique, your message shouldn’t blend in

~ Kathryn Bechthold, CEO Alchemy Communications

For marketers it can be tricky making sure your name is out there, but you aren’t appearing too spammy or salesy by plastering your logo on every available surface. PR pros and marketing experts often overlook some very simple yet strategic ways to maximize your branding for increased online visibility.

3 Simple Tips for Visual Branding

1. Watermark your Visuals

Your visuals are shared across social media – that’s your goal! Imagine that clever meme you created going viral… but no one knows its your creation. Your visuals can be:

  • repinned on Pinterest
  • retweeted on Twitter
  • regrammed on Instagram
  • reposted on Facebook

Many times the identity of the original poster of a visual is lost in all the social sharing. To avoid getting your visual hijacked, always brand your visuals: add your brand logo, name, social links, hashtag or website to your visual. Don’t go crazy and add them all: just chose one strategy, and stick with it!

if your business is unique your message shouldn't blend in ~ Kathryn Bechthold

2. Create a Unique Brand Hashtag

Your event, brand, product or campaign can have a unique hashtag that you use across all social media channels, on your visuals, promotional materials, news releases: anywhere you want to promote your brand. And each time your social post is shared, the brand and your message grows!

TIP: Make your hashtag memorable. As CEO of Alchemy Communications I’m a #PurveyorOfPR  – check us out on Twitter!

3. In Images, Size Counts

You can design the very best infographic or image, and no one will ever see if it the visual isn’t the sized for that social media channel. Unfortunately each social channel has evolved to have uniques size criteria for your profile photo, cover image and posts. When you write a blog post, to share it across social media channels might require 5 or 6 different images to meet the social criteria. Unfortunately when it comes to visual content marketing, it is not one size fits all.

This optimal image size cheatsheet from Social Media Today will help you design images that are the exact size you need

optimal image size for visual marketing

For More Information on Visual Branding
Canva: 20 Actionable Tips to Build a Visual Brand Identity
HubSpot: How to Build a Strong Visual Brand on Social Media

author: KKathryn Bechthold CEO Alchemy Communicationsathryn Bechthold, Communications expert in Calgary, AB. Owner/CEO of Alchemy Communications Inc.

tweets with visuals have 150 percent more retweets - Buffer Blog

3 Easy Ways to Make Your Social Media More Visual

90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual

~ HubSpot

The data is conclusive: adding visuals to your social media posts increases the likelihood they will be read, clicked and shared.

There are many options to add visuals to your blog posts and social media:

  • infographics and charts: communicate data with images instead of words
  • video and animations
  • photos: stock photos or original photos,
  • memes: photos with text written over them
  • graphics and animations: drawings which may include text, movement or sound
  • slideshow: a series of images

There are some great free and paid tools and programs available to create awesome visual content for your blogs and social media, including:

  • Canva: freemium tool to design beautiful graphics, cover images, infographics and so much more
  • PicMonkey: freemium photo editing tool
  • Vine: free app for creating short looping 6-second videos
  • PowerPoint to turn presentations into slides
  • WordSwag app overlays text on your images
  • YouTube video editor lets you do some basic editing to your videos

3 Shortcuts to Add Visuals to Your Posts

Many tools offer features that are easy to learn and quick to use, and you can develop a basic visual in less than 15 minutes. But what if you don’t have 15 minutes: and you have to get a blog or social media post live now? Here are 3 super-fast, simple and professional shortcuts for adding visuals to your blogs and social media posts.

1. Insert a Quote

Quotes Are Highly Shareable

~ Social Media Examiner

Quotes attract attention and encourage sharing. Most blogging platforms offer a quote feature that highlights the quoted text and makes it stand out from rest of the text. WordPress has quote plugins that emphasize the quoted text: I used the WordPress text editor quote option as a H3 heading to make the above quote stand out: it took about 3 seconds.

2. Share a Statistic

Visual statistics are quickly understood and remembered. People love to share statistics. Create a visual statistic with DummyDesigner/Stats. The feature image for this blog took less than 30 seconds to make and shares an important visual marketing statistic: Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets (Buffer). Dummy Designer also quickly creates quotes which you can attach to your social media posts. This quote image took less than 30 seconds to make!

visual content marketing

3. Display a Screenshot

Feature your product, demonstrate a how-to or show information discovered online by taking a screenshot and then inserting that image into your post. You can use the screenshot as-is, or enhance it by overlaying text or adding design. It took me less than 60 seconds to take this screenshot, crop it, and draw the circle around the important text using Awesome Screenshot.

How to add visuals to social media posts

Visual marketing is a critical and effective element of your communications strategy. Not all images have to be elaborate or be a significant time investment. Have a few basic visual creation tools and visual marketing strategies in your PR arsenal to design and deliver visual marketing for your social media and blog posts.

TIP:  Infographics are an ideal way for small businesses and nonprofits to communicate complex data to their audience. Your data is translated into visual content with compelling images that your viewers can easily read, comprehend and share. Visual content is highly ranked on social media: a quality infographic can increase your SEO efforts and target traffic to your website.

Visit our portfolio and contact Alchemy PR to create an infographic that delivers your message: info@alchemycommunications.ca

For More Information on Adding Visuals to Your Social Media

HubSpot: A Handy Little Guide to Creating Visual Content for Social Media
Jeff Bullas: 10 Types of Visual Social Media Posts That Get Shared Like Crazy

author: KKathryn Bechthold CEO Alchemy Communicationsathryn Bechthold, Communications expert in Calgary, AB. Owner/CEO of Alchemy Communications Inc.

Onlypult for Scheduling Instagram Posts

Tool Review: Onlypult for Scheduling Instagram Posts

Onlypult is a convenient and effective social media solution that saves time when creating and scheduling Instagram posts. 

~ Maximize Social Business

One of the first rules of PR is show, don’t tell. And one of the hottest social media tools for storytelling with images is Instagram. According to Forrester, Instagram is the king of social engagement, and delivers 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. Clearly, Instagram is where you want your PR campaign to be!

It’s always best to tell your story in real-time (IRT) on Instagram, and interact with your audience in the moment. However, as I mentioned in 5 Tips for Using Instagram for PR Campaigns it’s simply not always possible to promote and update IRT! Instagram does not have an option to schedule posts in advance, not do any of the major social media planners such as HootSuite or Buffer. At Alchemy PR we’re a fan of Onlypult, a social media management tool for Instagram.

The main benefits of Onlypult are:

1. Post Instagram images from your computer – you don’t need to post to Instagram with  your tablet or smartphone.

2. Schedule Instagram posts in advance – you can schedule one or more Instagram posts to go live at times that are optimal for your audience, complete with text and up to 30 hashtags.

Onlypult offers a free 7 day trial, then coverts to a paid plan, starting at $12/month to manage up to 3 Instagram accounts.

Here’s How Onlypult Works:

  • log into your Onlypult dashboard from your laptop
  • upload images from your computer
  • add text and up to 30 hashtags
  • schedule your image to post now or up to

Onlypult Pros

  • schedule posts individually, or use Onlypult’s Planner feature with your preferred posting times
  • supports images of different size and shapes – the Instagram app only supports square images
  • built-in filters
  • supports up to 30 hashtags
  • calendar view of upcoming and previous posts and interaction (all posts: not just those posted via Onlypult)

Onlypult Cons

  • doesn’t support video (soon, I hope!)
  • analytics don’t offer much information
  • features are not well-cocumented and are hard to find, such as changing time zone

how to use Onlypultnote: I was a bit skeptical about Onlypult at first – their site looks great and the tool worked really well during the trial, but the content has more than a few grammatical errors. However, Onlypult was developed and is hosted in Russia, which explains the errors.

For More Information on Instagram
Peg Fitzpatrick: How to Start Prioritizing Your Instagram Strategy

author: KKathryn Bechthold CEO Alchemy Communicationsathryn Bechthold, Communications expert in Calgary, AB. Owner/CEO of Alchemy Communications Inc.

get more clicks with Twitter cards

Want More Clicks? Optimize Your Tweets with Twitter Cards

Twitter Cards allow you to add far more content to your title and description, as well as bigger images. This means more exposure, more space to get your message across, and increased clicks to your site.

~ Kim Garst, social media expert

Do you sometimes wonder if anyone is reading your Tweets? You spend time crafting the perfect clever 140 character post… then… nothing?

Do you want more clicks? Twitter cards are a free tool that allows users to interact with your business directly from Twitter: they look like an image or an ad, attached to your post. They make your post stand out in the Twitter stream, so users are more likely to read and click. Here’s an example of a post by Kim Garst using Twitter cards:

Twitter Card by Kim Garst

Twitter cards are your call to action: they can drive traffic to your website and grow your business, such as:

  • watch YouTube videos or SlideShare or Vines
  • sign up for an email
  • visit a website
  • read a blog post
  • download an app
  • display a full-size photo or graphic

Twitter has cards for 10 different types of user experiences including photos, apps, and videos. Statistics are proving that users like Twitter cards :

  • posts with website cards have +43% engagement.
  • lead generation cards get +42% engagement
  • tweets with rich media get +313% engagement and +52% more retweets

Twitter has cards for 10 different types of experiences including photos, apps, and videos. There are 3 different ways to install Twitter cards:

  1. add code to your website: see the Twitter cards developer page
  2. for website and lead generation cards go to the Twitter Ads Dashboard to make them (note: these are paid Twitter ads)
  3. if you have a WordPress.org site there are plugins to install Twitter cards, Twitter recommends 3 Twitter card plugins: Jetpack, JM Twitter Cards and WordPress SEO by Yoast

Once you’ve designed your Twitter card, you have to get Twitter’s approval to to use the Twitter card via their Card Validator (think of it like getting Facebook ad approval). Twitter says getting card approval could take up to a week, but most users says its usually less than a day to get approval.

You still need to design compelling posts so users want to click on your Twitter card. Once you’ve started using Twitter cards, you can measure your success with Twitter Card Analytics.

For More Information on Twitter Cards
Social Media Today: 8 Types of Twitter Cards Business are Using
Buffer: The Everything Guide to Twitter Cards

author: KKathryn Bechthold CEO Alchemy Communicationsathryn Bechthold, Communications expert in Calgary, AB. Owner/CEO of Alchemy Communications Inc,