Category Archives: Social Media

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:

Follow Alchemy on LinkedIn: Alchemy Communications Inc.

Connect with Kathryn Bechthold on LinkedIn

For More Information on Optimizing Your Brand  on LinkedIn 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.

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 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,

instagram tips for PR campaigns

5 Tips for Using Instagram for PR Campaigns

With over three hundred million active monthly users, Instagram has now overpassed Twitter.

~ IconoSquare

Instagram is a fun and easy social media tool to share photos and short videos that promote your PR campaign and tells your story in images, not words. When first launched, Instagram was primarily used by millennials – but Instagram usage has sky-rocketed and today is a popular site for:

  • Millenial Moms
  • Gen X
  • artists, celebrities and influencers
  • teens – 56.4% of all 14-17 year-olds
  • males – 51%

Statistics indicate 17% of all online adults use Instagram (JennsTrends) and major brands like NBC and Coke, nonprofits and educational organizations are using Instagram as part of their branding and PR campaigns to build their online audience. Using Instagram as part of your PR campaign requires understanding how Instagram users respond to and interact with images and developing an Instagram strategy for your PR campaign.

5 Essentials for Your Instagram PR Campaign

1. Curate what you share to Twitter and Facebook

Instagram has easy to use options that share your posts with Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Flickr. But don’t overshare and post all your Instagram images on your other social media sites: you will dilute your following.

2. Plan ahead

The power of sharing images and building your audience on Instagram is capturing the moment and sharing your PR event in real time – but the reality is that as you build your campaign you may find it more convenient to plan ahead and schedule your Instagram posts. While Instagram itself does not provide a scheduling option, there are tools available to plan and schedule your Instagram posts

  1. Onlypult – is a paid tool to schedule your Instagram posts in advance
  2. IFTTT – has free recipes that allow you share your Instagram posts to other social sites, such as schedule any Instagram post with the hashtag #twitter to share to your Twitter site as a native image (not just a link to Instagram).

When used together, Onlypult and IFTT allow you to schedule some of your Instagram posts in advance so that your PR campaign is running seamlessly while you’re busy with other tasks… like sleep!

3. IRT – Share in real time

Its convenient to plan ahead and schedule your posts for efficiency and greater reach – just because your audience is on Instagram at midnight does not mean you want to be online posting at midnight! But the real power of Instagram is sharing with your audience in real time – when someone likes or comments on your post, immediately reply and start a conversation to build relationships.

4. Build user-generated campaigns

Instagram is an ideal tool to promote PR campaigns focused on user-generated content. Develop a hashtag strategy and encourage your followers to post images using your hashtag, then recognize and reward their shares:

  • repost their posts on your Instagram page
  • comment and thank all followers who post and tag you or use your hashtag
  • tag users who share your hashtag or image to encourage more engagement

5. Cross-promote on other social channels

When you start your Instagram campaign, be sure to let your followers on other channels know you’re there and that you’re sharing content only available on Instagram. You can create campaigns, contests and promotions that are only on Instagram – give your audience a reason to follow you on Instagram and increase their loyalty and interaction as you build your following.

Instagram is an ideal social media platform to build awareness and following for your PR campaign. Instagram’s visual storytelling and high audience engagement encourage follower loyalty and build relationships.

For more information on using Instagram
Cision: Instagram for PR: 4 Campaigns to Spark Your Imagination
Maximize Social Busines:  How to Create an Instagram Strategy for Your Business


5 Ways to Use Twitter for Your PR Campaign

5 Ways to Use Twitter for Your PR Campaign

Twitter for PR campaignsTwitter just released an important update to its Retweet feature: manual Retweet with comment, or ‘quote Tweet‘. Quote Tweet is a useful feature to insert your thoughts or message into someone else’s post: in a sense, newsjacking their Tweet.

Twitter’s popularity and ease of use make it a popular tool to share and get information. Crafting a meaningful Twitter post in 140 characters can be challenging: a post that is too cute or too encrypted is too easily ignored. Creating and participating in Twitter conversations is a free, friendly and strategic way to start conversations and build relationships about an event, person or product. Its easy to use Twitter for your PR campaign: but its not as easy to use Twitter effectively for your PR campaign.

How to Use Twitter as a PR Tool

1. Retweet an influencer to get on their radar

Gain visibility and support from a public figure or influencer and their followers by Retweeting their post, or Retweet with comment. When you add your personal comment to a Retweet, you build buzz and visibility: hopefully the person you’re retweeting will see your retweet, as well as their followers. Your goals it get your PR campaign noticed and your message to go viral – listening to and engaging influencers including celebrities, thought leaders and media then commenting on and retweeting their posts is a decisive way to get into the conversation.

2. Embed images

PR is all about storytelling: and Twitter encourages users to share their story with words and images or videos. One or up to 4 images can be attached to any Twitter post. Your image can show words, pictures, links, hashtags – whatever you need to promote your PR campaign. Optimal Twitter image size is 880 x 440 pixels.

Note: attaching images to a Tweet uses some of the maximum 140 characters allowed per tweet.

You can also attach images to a direct message to a specific Twitter user.

3. Tag and mention other Twitter users

Your PR campaign can gain visibility and attract supporters by tagging or mentioning specific Twitter users in your posts. Tags are used when tweeting an image, mentions are in the body of the post. Not only will the person or organization you tag or mention see your post, your post will show in the feed of all their Twitter followers.

4. Monitor reputation and trends

Listening on Twitter is an easy and time sensitive strategy to track public opinion of an event, individual or brand’s reputation and interactions. Real-time information provides an opportunity to intervene and head-off a potential PR problem, or to monitor public opinion in a crisis. If you’re talking about your PR campaign on Twitter, but no one else is, that’s your signal to reroute your campaign strategy.

5. Live reporting via #s

Hashtags (#) are a Twitter tool that to organize and track Tweets. PR can start conversations, participate in ongoing and live-report an event by creating a unique hashtag for a PR campaign. If you hold a special event, encourage all your supporters to use the event hashtag to gain visibility for your campaign.

For More Info on Using Twitter for PR Campaigns
HubSpot: How to Retweet the Right Way (With a Comment) on Twitter