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LinkedIn isn’t like most social media platforms out there. You can’t just transfer the same strategies and types of content you post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter over to LinkedIn and expect people to be interested.

This is because people don’t use the platform the same way they use other social networks. Obviously, they approach the platform with a more professional, reserved presence that speaks more to their career goals and market knowledge than personal photos from vacations or the latest memes.

Still, LinkedIn can be an incredible tool for growing your business, whether you are in a B2B industry or primarily provide services or products to consumers. The key is knowing how to change up your typical social media strategies for the new platform.

Thankfully, Leisure Jobs has created a detailed cheat sheet which breaks down everything you could need to know about how to do LinkedIn right. It includes every area you could imagine, including personal profile construction, business listing strategies, some quick secrets to standing out from others on the platform, and much, much more.

You can see the infographic below, or check it out here for the high-resolution version.

LinkedIn is expanding its ad targeting options to allow advertisers the ability to better target their ideal audience.

The professional social platform has launched lookalike audience targeting which allows you to create an ad audience similar to your dream customer.

As the company says in their announcement:

“LinkedIn’s lookalike audiences combine the traits of your ideal customer with our rich member and company data to help you market to new professional audiences similar to your existing customers, website visitors and target accounts.”

Specifically, the company highlights a few ways lookalike audience targeting can help businesses improve their advertising:

  • Reach high-converting audiences: Discover audiences similar to those who are already interested in your business.
  • Get results at scale: Extend the reach of your campaigns to more qualified prospects.
  • Engage new target accounts: Target your ads to additional companies you may not have previously considered. These companies match a similar company profile to your ideal customer.

In testing, LinkedIn says lookalike audience targeting led to a 5-10x increase in campaign reach without sacrificing ad performance.

At the same time it announced the launch of these new targeting options, LinkedIn also revealed a few other improvements to their ad platform:

Interest Targeting

While interest targeting has been available on LinkedIn since January, the company says it is now increasing the targeting capabilities of the feature.

Through a partnership with Microsoft, LinkedIn will now allow advertisers to target users based on not only their LinkedIn profile information but through the professional topics and content they engage with on Bing.

Audience Templates

LinkedIn has also created some new features specifically aimed at new advertisers. Audience templates provide advertisers with a selection of more than 20 premade B2B audiences. This way, you can start targeting your ideal audience without having extensive knowledge of ad targeting.

The templates cover a range of characteristics, from users skills, job titles, groups, and more.

In the announcement, LinkedIn says the new features will all be rolling out over the next two weeks.

LinkedIn has released a new ebook aimed at helping social media managers market their businesses across the platform. It also contains some very interesting stats that make a strong case for why you should consider including the platform in your array of social media channels.

Specifically, the ebook includes the following statistics across three categories:

Traffic and Engagement

The company says engagement is “booming” across the platform, citing these numbers:

  • LinkedIn now has 610 million registered members
  • 40% of users visit every day
  • Comments, likes, and shares are up 60% year-over-year
  • Views in the LinkedIn feed are up 60% from last year
  • Mobile sessions are growing 57% year-over-year
  • Over 130 thousand articles are created on the platform every week

Business Leaders

LinkedIn isn’t content to just have a big user base. Rather, they have focused on building “the right audience”:

  • Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members
  • 61 million users are senior-level influencers
  • 40 million users are in decision-making positions
  • About 45% of LinkedIn article readers are in upper-level positions (managers, VPs, Directors, C-level)

Generating Results

The previous two areas have helped LinkedIn create a platform with users who are highly engaged, meaning marketing efforts are more successful and generate more meaningful results:

  • 45% of all social media traffic to a company’s homepage comes from LinkedIn.
  • 71% of people use information from LinkedIn to inform business decisions
  • LinkedIn is the most trusted social platform globally, according to Business Insider’s Digital Trust report
  • 50% of users are more likely to buy from companies when they have engaged in their social channels

LinkedIn’s ebook contains lots of other interesting data and recommendations for how you can leverage this information to create effective marketing strategies for the platform. Check it out here.

LinkedIn is working to make itself a worthwhile advertising platform for brands, and that includes launching new targeting options for advertisers.

Starting over the next week, advertisers will be able to target ads on LinkedIn based on users’ professional interests and behavior.

As the company says in their announcement:

“We’re excited to announce interest targeting in Campaign Manager. Interest targeting lets you reach members with relevant ads that match their professional interests — based on the content they share and engage with on LinkedIn. With these added options, you can more easily achieve your campaign objectives and grow your business.”

You can target your ads based on over 200 categories such as artificial intelligence, global economy, and customer experience.

Specifically, LinkedIn says brands can benefit from Interest Targeting in a few ways:

  • Serve relevant ads and content that match a member’s professional interests. Interest targeting can help you shape brand perception with different professional audiences by associating your brand with the topics that they care about. For example, if you sell Cloud Computing services, you can target members interested in “cloud computing” and create a campaign with Sponsored Content ads that show how your solution is helping business do more with their data.
  • Deepen your influence with the buyer committee within your target accounts. Today, many of our customers use LinkedIn’s powerful account targeting to inform their Account-Based Marketing campaigns. Now you can kick it up a notch by using account targeting along with interest targeting to reach an audience of potential buyers who have already expressed, or are likely to express, an interest in the content that’s relevant to your business.
  • Reach those interested in pursuing a certificate program. You can also use a combination of degrees and interests to reach the audiences who would be a naturally fit for higher education programs.

Interest Targeting is currently rolling out on LinkedIn and is expected to be available to all advertisers within the next week.

Everyone knows social media is fickle. You can share something you think is great and get no response, while an offhand post that you threw up blows up with likes, comments, and shares. So what makes the difference?

Of course, there are countless reasons that some things perform better than others on social media, but one of the biggest factors is likely something you haven’t considered – timing.

Timing really is everything on social media, but it can be hard to discern exactly when the best time is for you to start posting. The right time on Twitter may not be the right time on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. Complicating things more, the best times are different for varying industries.

So, how do you figure out when the right time is for you? You could just try different things until something works, but I suggest using the infographic below to take a more informed approach.

The infographic from CoSchedule combines all the best data about timing on social media to give you a complete guide for discovering the prime time for your social media activity. Check it out below or head over to CoSchedule’s site for a more in-depth breakdown.

Social media has undeniably become one of the strongest channels businesses can use to reach out and engage with their audience. But making social media work for you means knowing which platform works best for your business.

You might think that all social media sites are essentially the same, but making that mistake can mean squandering marketing and ad budgets trying to connect with an audience that just plain isn’t interested.

The truth is every social media platform has a unique audience who interact with each other in ways specifically molded by the site they frequent. Trying to talk to Twitter users the same way you talk to Facebook users will make your message fall flat, while Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat users all have their own cultures built from the platform.

So which is right for you? It all depends on your business, your values, and who your audience is. The infographic below from Visage will walk you through the basic pros and cons of each of the most popular social media sites, along with some key stats about each social network.

Identifying the best social network for you will help you get the most out of your marketing efforts and find the most responsive audience for your brand.

pros-cons-social-networks-infographic

Social media is all about crafting an image and that starts at the profile and cover photos. These pictures are the first things visitors see when they come to your profile, and it is essential to maintain a consistent image across social media. Unfortunately, trying to prepare your photos in the ideal sizes and specifications for the wide array of social media platforms can be a headache.

Every single social media site has their own specific sizes for images and many of the specs can seem almost random. Facebook requires 851px by 315px, while Google calls for 1080px by 608px and images on LinkedIn are supposed to be 646px by 220px. You can spend your time trying to come up with a mnemonic device to try to keep all the different image specs straight, but chances are your time is better spent elsewhere.

Thankfully, the team at Spredfast created a handy infographic which lays out the most recent photo specs for pretty much any social network you are likely to be on. The graphic details all the ideal photo sizes for profile pics and cover photos, as well as detailing the optimal sizes for posting photos to make sure cropping won’t ruin the image.

 Social Image Size Infographic

All week we try to keep you up to date with the most important SEM news across the web, but inevitably there are smaller stories that fall through the cracks. That’s why we compile all the most important news we missed this week all in one convenient place every Friday. After a quiet week before, nearly all of the major platforms have made announcements this week. Let’s start with Google and work our way down.

Google Starts Warning Searchers About Mobile URL Redirects

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Google has been warning webmasters about faulty mobile redirects for months, including suggesting they may one day start receiving penalties for sending mobile searchers to the front page of a site rather than the content relevant to their search. It appears Google has opted for another solution, which allows mobile searchers to decide if they want to proceed.

Google alerted webmasters this week that smartphone searchers will begin seeing warnings for sites with redirects that don’t take them where they want to go. An example of how these warnings will appear is above. On a Webmaster Central blog post, Google stated:

We’d like to spare users the frustration of landing on irrelevant pages and help webmasters fix the faulty redirects. Starting today in our English search results in the US, whenever we detect that smartphone users are redirected to a homepage instead of the page they asked for, we may note it below the result. If you wish to proceed to the page, you can click ‘Try Anyway.’

Google Adds World Cup Street View Tours and a Loch Ness Easter Egg

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Just a week before the World Cup kicks off, Google has added street view images that will allow users to tour all 12 stadiums that will be used for the tournament. Whether you want to stand in the middle of the field and do a little spin, or preview the view from the stands, you’ll be able to give a look from anywhere within the stadiums.

Google has also added significantly more images from Brazil’s painted streets and other sites across the country, but perhaps one of the most popular finds on Google Maps this week is an Easter Egg found far away from Brazil.

If you’d rather hunt legendary monsters than watch soccer, Google Maps is able to give you directions to Loch Ness. If that isn’t enough for you however, Google says you can always catch a ride on Nessy.

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If you get directions from Fort Augustus to Urquhart Castle in Google Maps, you will get the option to travel via Loch Ness Monster. You just have to click on ‘Route Options’ and then choose ‘Fewer Transfers’ or ‘Less Walking.’ Though you have to wonder how no one has managed to get a picture of Nessy while hopping a ride down the Loch.

Bing Celebrates Its 5th Birthday With Some Memories

Bing turned five earlier this week, and to celebrate it has posted a retrospective of the last five years. Bing is also offering Bing Reward credit perks to any user who searches on the site before June 9th.

The retrospective covers all of the ways Bing’s appearance has changed over the past five years, but it also covers how it has worked to achieving its initial goals of leveraging semantic search, introducing new verticals, and generally expanding how search could function in our lives.

Bing Shows Off New Dynamic Carousel For Music Video Searches

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Bing has prided itself on being ahead of the curve in respect to music and music video searching and discovery, and its latest feature continues to expand on the functionality it previously offered for music video searches.

Bing has recognized that people search for music videos very differently than they do other video content. By exploring these changes in user behavior, Bing was able to determine that music video watchers wer significantly more likely to hang around and check out other content instead of moving on once they found the video they were looking for.

To give users easier access to all the music videos they may be interested, Bing has implemented instant access to an artist’s top hits as soon as you search only the artists name. Bing describe this as a dynamic carousel, because it allows you to open up songs and videos from teh carousel and play it within the same window. You will never have to keep going back and forth between choosing the video you want to watch and actually watching it.

The carousel also allows you to view all of an artist’s albums and watch the videos for those songs as well.

Pinterest Continues To Work Towards An Actual Ad Platform

Pinterest Promoted Pins DIY

Pinterest has made its intention to establish an ad platform for their social network very clear ever since it unveiled Promoted Pins. However, Pinterest is working slowly to guarantee that the ads shown on their platform won’t stick out or detract from the experience, and as such it has been very hands on and selective about who it allows to run ads.

Now, businesses of all types have been given access to a do-it-yourself Promoted Pins tool that allows them to promote their own pins to more people and increase visibility. Similar to most other social ad platforms, these will work on a cost-per-click basis through ads.pinterest.com.

Pinterest also announced they would be expanding the analytics tools offered to users, giving them more insight into who is clicking and re-Pinning your content. You can get more information from their announcement.

LinkedIn Joins The “Large Cover and Profile Photo” Club

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LinkedIn announced earlier this week it would be making a major design update to user profiles, which will feel very familiar to anyone who uses Facebook, Google+, or Twitter. Currently, the layout is only available to premium users, but LinkedIn says it will be available for all users after a short period. It isn’t entirely clear why LinkedIn would stagger the rollout of this layout change, but you can add it to the list of social media sites that are beginning to look very, very similar.

There’s Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest. All offer something unique and a unique demographic to those that create a presence for their business there. So which one is best suited for the needs of your company?

Jen Wilson, of Business Journal, recently published an in-depth look at who exactly is using each site and what type of company will flourish there. Here’s a quick rundown of the findings.

Facebook: Best suited for established brands with a dedicated following that will share success stories. Ages 18-55.

Twitter: Great for developing relationships with customers and for PR. Younger demographic than Facebook with an added bonus of well-known personalities among the users.

LinkedIn: B2B sales is perfect here, but it can also be used to establish yourself as an expert in a given field. Wide age range, but users are college educated and often advanced in their careers.

Google+: Tech companies, internet services and gaming works great considering there’s a high concentration of young, tech savvy males here. Also, get a boost in search as your picture appears with your articles or web site.

Pinterest: Any image driven company, specifically fashion or design but could even be adapted for certain types of sales. The best place to market to women under 50.

There’s a legitimate concern when marketing your business through social media that you will overstep your bounds and actually turn off users while you’re trying to attract them. Remember, in today’s climate, people don’t trust and simply don’t like salesmen.

Rachel King reports this was a hot topic at SugarCon 2013 over at ZDnet. Mathew Sweezey, a so-called “marketing evangelist”, had some suggestions to keep you from becoming creepy in your sales pitch to consumers. They could be of value when diagnosing your current social media philosophy. Of note, Sweezey doesn’t believe in connecting with consumers through Facebook because he feels it is more of a private, personal community than Twitter or LinkedIn. There could be some debate on that point, but at the very least you should approach users differently on different social media platforms.