Social Media Best Practices: The REAL Way to Use LinkedIn

Posted by BSG Team on Apr 13, 2016 3:00:00 PM

LINKEDIN-BEST-PRACTICES.pngYou know you are supposed to be on LinkedIn, but sometimes it just feels like a lot of work for very little return.  The key is to know the right tricks to make LinkedIn work for you. Are you taking advantage of all of LinkedIn’s content marketing features? What LinkedIn has to offer may surprise you.

With just a few small changes to how and what you post on LinkedIn, you can build brand awareness, generate leads, and drive more revenue.

1.  Share From Your Company Page

Your LinkedIn company page is where you meet prospects and build relationships with clients. This is your opportunity to share content that is valuable to your audience, answer questions, and solve problems. You can build relationships with your followers and nurture brand awareness with your ideal prospects.

Ideally you should post three to four times a day and always respond to followers’ comments.

Here’s what you should share on your LinkedIn company page:

  • Links to your latest and best white papers
  • Ebooks
  • Case studies
  • Bright visuals
  • Industry articles
  • Helpful how-to content

Quick Tip* Change your header image every six months to keep it fresh.

2. Post to SlideShare

Do you know what Slideshare is? If you don’t then you are missing a huge marketing opportunity. LinkedIn SlideShare has more than 70 million monthly unique visitors, and averages well over 4 million visitors a day.

Ideally, you should upload new content weekly. Also, highlight decks on profile pages, group content into playlists, and add lead forms to help achieve lead-generation goals. You can also link your SlideShare presentation to your website to gain a quality inbound link.

Here’s what you should post on SlideShare:

  • Company videos
  • Webinar and conference recordings
  • Product how-tos and tips
  • Company presentations
  • Infographics
  • Well-designed short and informative content
  • Webinar decks

Quick Tip* Use the clipping tool to highlight and share content you’ve produced with your networks.

3. Publish on Publisher

More than 1 million people have published more than 3 million posts on LinkedIn’s publishing platform. About 45% of readers are in the upper ranks of their industries, including managers, VPs, and CEOs, the very people you want to network with.

Publish at least once a month, or even more if you feel inspired. You can get the LinkedIn Pulse app for Android or iOS to see what type of content is currently trending in your field. A few hours a month should be enough to see a marked improvement

Here is what you should publish on LinkedIn Publisher:

  • Professional expertise and experiences
  • Industry trends
  • Mistakes made and lessons learned

Quick Tip* Link images and keywords back to your company blog or eBooks to increase traffic back to your site.

4. Promote With Sponsored Updates

LinkedIn sponsored updates allow you to publish relevant content and connect with a targeted audience of professionals beyond your LinkedIn company page followers.

You can also use direct sponsored content, a type of sponsored update, to share content directly in the feed. This enables you to AB test content in real time without having to originate posts on your company page. You can create personalized messages to target specific audiences.

You can generate quality leads by sharing insights that professionals seek. Then watch that content spread via the peer sharing that occurs naturally on LinkedIn.

Here are a few suggestions for what types of content to sponsor:

  • Company news
  • Blog content
  • Industry news and research
  • Case studies
  • Webinars and content produced by business leaders (both within and outside of your company)
  • Eye-catching visuals and statistics

Quick Tip* Most engagement with sponsored updates comes via mobile devices, so ensure your website or landing page is mobile responsive.

LinkedIn sponsored updates and direct sponsored content should follow these basic rules:

  • Use a compelling visual (1200 x 627 pixel image).
  • Keep your captions short and sweet (under 150 characters).
  • Add URL tracking codes to measure post-click. You can track site visits and conversions.
  • Run 2-4 sponsored updates a week.
  • Run sponsored updates for about three weeks, test and retest.
  • Set up campaigns by audience. Target the audience with the highest engagement rate.

5. Join the Conversation

Companies often talk about “establishing thought leadership” online.  LinkedIn groups are a perfect way to join the conversation and engage your community.

Participating in groups can be very rewarding. But their success depends on the time, energy, and effort of the group moderators.

Here are some suggestions to find success with LinkedIn groups:

  • Create a group for your company and assign ownership and duties.
  • Ask for opinions and provide unique insights, but avoid self-promotion.
  • Keep your content focused.
  • Manage and monitor post submissions daily.
  • Highlight top contributors.
  • Promote your group across social media channels for increased membership.
  • Join other relevant industry groups. Start conversations about industry trends and challenges.
  • Ask questions!

Quick Tip* LinkedIn Groups: A Moderator’s Field Guide is a great resource to learn how to engage and grow your group.

There is so much more to LinkedIn than meets the eye. It offers a plethora of ways to get your content noticed. Properly used, it will help you develop brand awareness, build valuable relationships, and drive quality leads to your website.

Tell us what do you think. Are you using these LinkedIn content marketing tools? Do you have any tips to share? We would love to hear from you.


Topics: Social Media Best Practices

4 Simple Ways to Increase Your Social Media Reach

Posted by BSG Team on Mar 23, 2016 2:38:02 PM

social-media-marketing.pngUltimately businesses are on social media for one thing: to generate leads.  But no social channel can be an effective lead generator without a following, which means your business needs to work hard to gain as many fans and followers as possible.

It may be tempting to purchase them to get a leg up, but when it comes to followers, both quality and quantity count.  Purchased followers are either fake or low-quality profiles that do nothing more than artificially inflate your follower count.  Earned followers, on the other hand, will actually Like, Share and Comment on your posts, learn about your business and possibly do business with you in the future.

To help you get started, here are four simple tips that will allow you to turn your social media channels into lead generating machines. 

1.  Prioritize Social Networks

Focus on the social networks where your fans are most likely to be.  You should create and maintain a presence on the top social networks, but you should put the most focus on the networks where your target buyers are spending the most time.  This is key for another reason. It takes a lot of time and resources to keep up multiple social media accounts, so make sure you’re using your time wisely and prioritizing the social networks that matter.

2.  Optimize Your Social Profiles

Whether you already have profiles for business or are still creating them, it’s important to think about how you can optimize them.  Ways to optimize your profiles include:

  • Choosing an easily identifiable username
  • Uploading a recognizable photo such as your company logo
  • Including clear and concise descriptions of your business
  • Leading people back to your website with a trackable link
3.  Add Social Sharing Buttons to Your Content

social_sharing_buttons.pngMake it easier for your visitors to share your content on their personal networks with social sharing buttons. It encourages people to share your content, which means you’ll have the potential to reach a broader audience – one that extends beyond your direct network of fans.  Be sure to add social sharing buttons to blog posts, landing pages, email newsletters and any other content you produce.

4.  Share Useful Content

Give people a reason to follow you by sharing valuable and engaging content. Avoid product-focused material and make educational information the focus of your tweets, posts and updates.  Our friends at Hubspot suggest you follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of the content you share on social media should be helpful and valuable to your audience, and 20% can be self-promotional.

Building your social media reach takes effort, but if you put in the time, you will definitely see results.  You can also contact us if you need help developing your social media marketing strategy.




Topics: Social Media Best Practices

10 Tips to Get the Most Out of Facebook for Business

Posted by BSG Team on Dec 2, 2015 11:30:00 AM

Facebook_For_Business_Tips.jpgIt’s been said that anything worth doing, is worth doing right. And that’s especially true when it comes to marketing your business on Facebook.

With more than 1.5 billion active monthly users, the social network can help you promote your business and drive traffic to your website. But it is becoming increasingly more difficult to stand out in your followers’ News Feeds. Use these Facebook best practices to break through the noise and make the most out of your posts.

1.  Use a Recognizable Profile Picture.  This is the first step in letting people know who you are. Your profile picture is at the top of your page and is the thumbnail for all your posts. Make sure it clearly represents you.

2.  Fill Out the About Section. A preview of the about section is visible under your profile picture, meaning it’s one of the first things people see when they scan your page. Use it as an opportunity to share relevant information about your company.

3.  Coordinate Your Cover Photo, Pinned Post and Profile CTA. These are the most immediately visible parts of your page. Use them to maximize engagement by coordinating your messages across them.

4.  Target Your Posts. Facebook has tools that allow users to segment organic posts by different demographic variables such as gender, age and education. Use these tools to reach the right audiences with the right content.

5.  Include Pictures, Images and Videos in Posts. Content that includes visual elements, graphics and video can generate up to 94% more views.

6.  Post at the Right Times. Research has shown that posts published between 1pm and 4pm have the best click-through and share rates.

7.  Boost Popular Organic Posts. Increase ROI by promoting content that you already know is popular. It will expand your reach and get more people to your page.

8.  Analyze Page Performance. Use Facebook Insights and Tracking URLs to determine which posts work and which don’t. Tailor your content accordingly.

9.  Focus on Quality of Posts Instead of Quantity. Don’t overwhelm (or annoy) your audience by posting more than a few times each day. Research shows that companies with fewer than 10,000 Facebook followers receive 60% fewer interactions per post when they post 60+ times per month.

10. Respond to Comments Within a Reasonable Period of Time. 42% of consumers who complain on social media expect a response within an hour. Whether comments are positive or negative, don’t ignore them. It may create anger or disappointment.

 If you want to make Facebook a bigger and more productive part of your communications and marketing efforts, contact us. BSG can help you increase your social media ROI!

Topics: Social Media ROI, Social Media Best Practices, Facebook for Business

Avoid These 5 Social Media Mistakes

Posted by BSG Team on Aug 14, 2015 11:05:19 AM

Twitter-FailIn this new social world, businesses big and small have more opportunities than ever to connect with consumers. But the increased opportunity for communication has a downside.  There are also more ways to alienate (and even offend) customers. Here are five things your company should never publish on social media: 

Political beliefs. They say you should never talk politics or religion at the dinner table.  The same goes for businesses on social media.  Although it may be appropriate for your company to weigh-in on a topic affecting your industry, refrain from taking part in political discussions that have nothing to do with your business.  Politics are polarizing.  There is no reason to stir the pot.

epicurious-boston-tweetIll-suited tie-ins to current events.  There are ways good ways to acknowledge what’s happening in the world and there are bad.  And if you’re not careful, efforts to capitalize on a current event can come across as tasteless or disrespectful. Food website Epicurious enraged its followers when it issued tweets like this after the Boston Marathon Bombing: In honor of Boston and New England, may we suggest: whole-grain cranberry scones!

If you’re looking for a tie-in to a current event, take a page out of Oreo’s book.  The cookie brand generated a lot of buzz with this tweet during the 2013 Super Bowl blackout:  You can still dunk in the dark. The clever tweet, which was designed, captioned and approved within moments, capitalized on the moment for a big payoff.  It was the most talked about ad after the Super Bowl and was retweeted 10,000 times in one hour.

Your own personality. Don’t confuse who you are with what your brand represents.  If you are posting on behalf of your company, keep your own personality out of it. Your company’s social media accounts are venues to showcase its personality not an opportunity for you, as an individual, to reach a larger audience.  This is especially true if your personality and the brand’s don’t line up.

images-13Opportunities for snide remarks.The Internet can be a cruel place and it’s always open season for snark. If you give the masses an opportunity to poke fun, they’ll take it. McDonald’s learned this lesson back in 2012 with its #McDStories Twitter campaign. The company thought it would inspire heartwarming stories with the hashtag. The Twitterverse sent back stories like this instead: Dude, I used to work at McDonald’s. The #McDStories I could tell you would raise your hair.

McDonald’s pulled the campaign within two hours but the damage was done. Crowd-sourced campaigns are difficult to control or stop. The hashtag continued to gather steam.

Shameless self-promotion. Social media isn’t a place for traditional marketing tactics.  It’s a place for personal interaction, entertaining content and useful information not pushy advertising.  Pop-up ads and other outbound marketing tactics are disruptive, unsolicited and annoying. Instead, connect with consumers by developing informative content that makes people feel like it was created with their interest (not their wallet) in mind.

In conclusion, don't let these tips scare you away from trying to reach consumers on social media.  They are just reminders to play it safe.  If a post ever gives you pause, don't post it.  It's very easy to ruin reputations -- it's always better to be safe than sorry.

Topics: Social Media Best Practices

Want More Clicks? Change the Time You Tweet

Posted by Michelle Lazarus on Aug 6, 2015 10:10:21 AM

Last month, we brought you an infographic based on social media scheduling app Buffer's study on Twitter timing. That infographic looked at the study as a whole. This infographic, based on the same study, focuses solely on what times people tweet specifically to get clicks around the world. Interestingly, the times vary depending on what area of the world you reside. 

Check out our new infographic on worldwide Twitter timing for clicks:



Topics: Social Media Best Practices

5 Facts on Twitter Timing

Posted by Michelle Lazarus on Jul 17, 2015 4:49:00 PM

Want to be more popular on Twitter? Sure, we all do! When Buffer, a social media scheduling app, studied their worldwide posting data, there were some surprising findings.

Did you know that the most popular times to tweet vary around the world, and are different in practically every time zone? You may be surprised to learn that if you want more clicks, you should tweet between 2 and 3 AM. Want more retweets? 9 PM is prime time.

See the below infographic, based on the Buffer study, to learn more.




Topics: Social Media Best Practices

Improve Your Facebook's Organic Reach

Posted by Michelle Lazarus on Jun 12, 2015 1:12:28 PM

Organic reach on Facebook refers to how many people you can reach for free by posting on your page. Many businesses have noticed that their organic reach is declining in recent years. Facebook has cited an increase in posts and likes as the reason for the declines - lots of business pages competing for attention in newsfeeds causes overcrowding. In addition, of course, Facebook needs to make money.

So, how do you improve your business's organic reach? This infographic, available for download below, has some fantastic tips. Download right now, and start seeing dramatic results in your Facebook's organic reach today!




 Click here to download

Topics: Social Media Best Practices

How Executives Are Using Social Media

Posted by Michelle Lazarus on Apr 17, 2015 12:11:15 PM

Click To Read About How Executives Use Social Media

Topics: Best Practices for Businesses, Social Media Best Practices

Get the Most Out of Your Social Posts: Tips on What to Post and Where. Part 2

Posted by BSG Team on Apr 16, 2015 10:35:05 AM

In addition to the many big names in social media, various other platforms are seeing more and more traffic. These sites are growing fast, with tons of interested users signing up every day. Here are some tips about how to effectively use these social platforms.


Snapchat: Snapchat is an application that allows users to share video, pictures and text. The catch is that all data sent to a user’s recipients can only be viewed for a very brief period of time (1-10 seconds) before the image/video vanishes forever from the Snapchat server. This unusually short frame of time requires any user looking to promote their brand or business to do so efficiently and intelligently.

  1. Find ways to embrace the time limit. The self-destructive nature of Snapchat is seen by many as a detriment, but it doesn’t have to be. Utilize the app to give viewers quick snippets, or previews, of your product. Also, much like with Instagram, you can create contests for your viewers to engage in. Videos and/or photos of consumers using your product could help to build your client base and garner more notoriety.

  2. Use video to engage your audience. Yes, the video disappears once it has been viewed, but that still gives you a few seconds to make a glaring impression on a possible customer. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, a video, no matter how short, allows you to actually verbalize your message or pitch to potential clients. Snapchat is all about being casual, so don’t fret the seeming lack of professionalism of the app itself.

  3. Consider these figures: Approximately 26 million people in the U.S. use Snapchat and on a daily basis, roughly 400 million snaps are sent out. This could be a huge opportunity for anyone looking to grow their business or brand. Yes, the photos and videos disappear almost immediately, but that still gives you precious seconds to make a lasting impression on your audience.



Quora: Quora is a question and answer website where a community of users create questions to be answered, edited and organized. The site aims to connect people through shared interests and allows its users to write and share new content with like-minded individuals. 

  1. You can establish thought leadership by simply answering questions within your particular niche. Even though Quora is not designed with small-business owners in mind, building a presence on the site and establishing contacts and a reputation can lead to success. Like most social platforms, Quora allows users to converse and connect, therefore allowing room for small business owners to grow their name.

  2. Integrate Quora with your website and other social media platforms. People can follow your conversations simply by selecting the “create a follow button” on the Quora website. The site also enables you to share your conversations with your Facebook and Twitter followers with relative ease. You can also share your questions via these other websites to enhance search engine indexing.

  3. Build your network with users who share similar interests. Like any other social media platform, Quora enables you to find and converse with like-minded individuals who share the same goals, interests and tastes as you do. Just by simply following other users, you can initiate countless dialogues and build relationships with other business owners.


Tumblr: Tumblr is a social networking platform with a specific focus on microblogging. The site allows users to post multimedia and other content in the structure of short-form blogs. Tumblr users generate upwards of 900 posts per second and there are around 120,000 signups every day.

  1. Because Tumblr content is commonly appealing in a visual sense, and images and video are included in almost every update, this platform can be best utilized as a showcase for your products. You can include videos that illustrate your product/brand and ways to use it. Animated graphics, infographics and behind the scenes footage from your company can also help to showcase to users what your product/brand has to offer.

  2. Connect Instagram to your Tumblr account to maximize the amount of viewers seeing your posts. Your Instagram photos can be shared to your Tumblr followers with simplicity.

  3. 50% of Tumblr users are under 25 years of age, so the site can be used to effectively increase exposure of your product/brand to a younger audience.

  4. Tumblr users, much like those of the other major social platforms, tend to bask in any and all attention that gets thrown their way. Find a clever way to engage your audience directly with popular and trendy memes or design campaigns, thus promoting active engagement among your followers, as well as the whole of Tumblr users.


Vine: Vine is a video-sharing app that is similar to Snapchat in that it allows users to share short videos that don’t last very long. What differentiates it from Snapchat is that Vine videos continue to replay (like gifs) over and over on a continuous loop. They can be easily embedded onto any webpage and even more importantly, they are viewable directly on a user’s Twitter timeline.

  1. Vine, since being introduced in 2013, has emerged as one of the web’s most useful marketing tools for business. Amongst myriads of Twitter timelines filled with text, a feed loaded with Vine videos tends to stand out.

  2. Similarly to Instagram, Vine allows users to “like” and comment on any Vine they watch, thus promoting a sharing forum that can enable community building, as well as opportunities to search out similar, like-minded professionals who fall within your product’s niche.

  3. Ask your audience to get creative and become involved in your products. Vine, like many of the other social platforms, lets people be creative, despite the short six second lifespan of a Vine video. Vine is a great tool for collaboration and interaction. Post your Vine videos as widely as possible, as the app is gaining traction in the social arena and its numbers of followers are on a rapid incline.



Digg: Digg is a social networking site that features news stories submitted entirely by its users. Using links from all spectrums of the internet, Digg gathers news stories from everywhere and builds its own list of stories that are in the process of going “viral.” Every story that is posted comes with a “Digg button” which allows other users to either upvote or downvote the story. Those with the most upvotes are relegated to the “Top News” section of the site. Despite many complaints about Digg since its reconfiguration in 2012, it remains the internet’s most popular social news site (it still receives 2.5 million visitors per month).

  1. If your blog post(s) make it to the “Main Page,” lots of traffic can be driven to your personal blog or that of your product/brand. Digg can also help you to find other like-minded individuals who post similarly interesting blogs. You can share submissions and comment on comparable stories that relate to your brand and this allows for networking amongst similar bloggers to take place.  

  2. It is best to engage with users and brands that share your niche’s focus. By exchanging comments and opening up active lines of communication, Digg can help you to reach out to more and more people who are interested in your product.

  3. The new Digg allows publishers to enhance their targeted following (like Twitter), without having to promote content to Digg’s front page. When you submit, or “Digg,” your content, it will be shown to your following on their “My News” page. Even if you are not a “power user,” the new Digg’s features and functionality seem to cater to the average user and thus, levels the playing field for first-time users who are simply trying to get exposure for their brand.

Topics: Best Practices for Businesses, Social Media Best Practices

Get the Most Out of Your Social Posts: Tips on What to Post and Where. Part 1

Posted by BSG Team on Apr 10, 2015 11:13:00 AM

Social media platforms are not created equal and social posts are not one size fits all.  As such, it takes a high level of panache to master the dos and don’ts of posting and sharing content. Here are some tips that outline which types of content work best on some of the major social media websites.



  1. Post videos directly to Facebook via your news feed. Studies have shown that Facebook is stealing traffic away from sites like YouTube, due in large part to Facebook’s autoplay feature, which essentially grabs your attention before you even realize what you are watching. Video posts have a larger organic reach than text-only statuses, link photos and photo posts. You can post videos natively (directly to FB, without links to other sites, as described above), choose and post a featured video or create a video playlist.

  2. Increase your posting frequency. This no-nonsense tactic can dramatically affect any lowered Facebook reach that you may notice. Interestingly enough, negative feedback isn’t necessarily associated with an increased posting frequency.

  3. Use your creativity to integrate Facebook’s Trending Topics. Once you click on one of these trending topics, you will automatically notice posts from other people that you are connected to. Taking advantage of Trending Topics can make your posts feel personal and natural, which is a great alternative to them resembling spam.


  1. When it comes to sending direct traffic to your website, LinkedIn does so at a rate that is four times higher than Twitter and Facebook, making it the number one social referral source. Because an assortment of leads can come from social media sites, understanding the data that shows where leads are headed is very important. LinkedIn traffic is far more likely to go directly to your homepage, as opposed to some satellite page like a blog post or a resource page. So it behooves you to optimize your profile with consistent messaging, thus ensuring that users are carried from your LinkedIn profile to your corporate homepage with just one click.

  2. Industry insights are the most demanded content. According to statistics garnered directly from LinkedIn, 6 out of every 10 users are interested in industry insights. Aside from insights, users reported high interest in company news, as well as new products and services. This means that sharing your expertise will help you to appeal to a large audience. It’s important to be helpful and transparent and to make insights the majority of your posted content, all the while ensuring that your general content plan feels relevant to your followers.

  3. Avoid posting during off-peak hours, like late afternoons, evenings and weekends. Besides, doesn’t it make more sense to publish when people are actually around? LinkedIn has found that their busiest traffic times are Monday through Friday, during the morning and midday hours. In general, the highest traffic is seen during usual business hours. Matching your posting times with the rhythm of the LinkedIn audience can help bolster your level of exposure.


  1. Track and follow the top trends. The best social media marketers are constantly aware of which hot trends are active on Instagram and by participating in those particular conversations, they increase their exposure. Growing your brand’s awareness may be as simple as monitoring popular trends and hashtags. This will also enable you to stay on top of trends that are specific to your community, thus allowing you to increase interaction with those particular fans.

  2. Be smart about which hashtags you use. Being aware of what trends your community is following, as well as the hashtags they are using, should influence the type of hashtags that you use. They are an effective and necessary tactic to bolster your Instagram marketing plan. If your brand is holding a contest, for instance, creating the most suitable and pertinent hashtag can lead to a successful campaign. Also, taking the time to learn which hashtags are the most common throughout your particular demographic is another way to ensure that traffic heads in the direction of your brand.

  3. Post content that has authenticity. Your content needs to be representative of your brand’s lifestyle. Instagram should be used to showcase your way of life and should inspire your community, rather than existing solely as just another place to put your ads.


  1. In order to get more engagement, try using tall, infographic-style pieces. Because it’s easier to scroll vertically than horizontally, taller images are easier to read than wide images. On Pinterest, taller images contain more content and statistically, they tend to get more repins than images that are shorter in size.

  2. Limit your descriptions to between 100 and 200 characters. Just like Instagram, Pinterest allows users to provide captions and other textual content alongside their visual content. By including text, you are giving context to your images, which in the end will help search engines and humans to find your product/brand.

  3. Promote your pins elsewhere. Like with any other social content platform, you have to promote your boards and pins to make the most out of them. There are several options available, including sharing links to individual pins on other social networks. You can also embed your lead generation boards on your website or blog. The more people who see your pins, the more leads you can generate to further your business/brand.


  1. Provide opportunities for people to learn. This can be accomplished by providing posts that provide new knowledge to your followers. Whether it is information on social media tips, a new product update or new tools for learning, Google+ users have made it clear that they desire to acquire knowledge.

  2. Google+ allows users to share gifs with your followers. This can be a huge advantage if utilized correctly. A gif is its own device which requires nothing of its viewer and they have performed well on Google+; better in fact, than most ordinary image posts.

  3. Provide content about Google+. Because it is a relatively new social media venture, it may be a good idea to speak about Google+. This is an effective way to secure a receptive audience. The Google+ audience desires new information about the platform they are using, so integrating Google+ content can be a smart strategy for creating successful and more importantly, shareable content on this network.  


Topics: Best Practices for Businesses, Social Media Best Practices

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