Tag Archives: Social Media Management

Is Your LinkedIn Picture Helping or Hurting Your Job Search?

 

iStock_000008874687XSmallIf a picture’s worth a thousand words, then your LinkedIn profile shot must be nearly as important as the profile itself; you want a compelling resume and some judicious keywords, sure, and ideally you’ll have endorsements aplenty… but if you’ve also got a lackluster or unprofessional photo, then all your optimization efforts may be for nothing.

Some of the basics of LinkedIn profile photos you probably know: Get a professional headshot, if possible. It’s a worthy investment in your career. And always avoid photos that look like they were taken on Spring Break. “Slovenly” and “dead-drunk” are not the adjectives you want people assigning to your LinkedIn page!

But even beyond these basics, there is much strategy that goes into selecting the best LinkedIn profile picture—and if you select carefully, you can get a picture that actually enhances your career prospects rather than holding you back.

Acing Your LinkedIn Profile Pic

Some suggestions:

Appear approachable. Yes, you want to come across as professional, and no, you don’t want to look like you’re at a frat party… but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer a smile or try to convey some warmth and friendliness. Remember that people are looking not only at your skills and credentials, but also at what kind of a co-worker you’d be—and nobody wants an unapproachable colleague.

Don’t be upstaged in your own photo. Including a photo you took during your trip to the Eifel Tower is fine, but make sure it is a picture of you—not a picture of the Tower in which you happen to be waving in the background.

Be truthful. It’s the same advice you’re given when you pick a shot for your online dating profile: Don’t misrepresent yourself by picking a photo that’s 30 years old! You don’t want recruiters to be shocked or caught off guard when you go in to meet with them in person.

Dress code matters. You know that old advice about dressing for the job you want? Well, it applies to your LinkedIn profile picture.

Avoid selfies. Even if you’re a particularly good self-photographer, it’s usually pretty evident when a photo is a solo job—and there’s still a great deal of stigma attached to selfies. Avoid any unwanted connotations by getting someone else to take your photo.

Be smart in picking your profile picture—and yes, at the same time, make sure your profile is properly and fully optimized. To learn more about the latter, contact the Grammar Chic career team at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Job Search, Resume Writing, Social Media

5 Tips for Addressing Bad Yelp Reviews

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It’s the 21st Century business owner’s worst nightmare: You sign on to your company’s Yelp page and see that someone has left an absolutely scathing review. This can obviously take its toll on your ego, but this is about far more than mere vanity. The truth is, negative Yelp reviews can have a real, bottom-line impact on your business; they attract search engine users and effectively set the public perception of your brand.

But while a bad review can have devastating effect, it can also provide you with a great opportunity to do some customer outreach, damage control, and brand enhancement. It all boils down to how you respond.

  1. First, put the review into perspective.

There’s no question that a bad review can be harmful to your brand. We don’t want to sugarcoat it, but we also don’t want to overstate it. A litany of bad reviews could honestly sink your company, but a single bad review amidst dozens of positive ones is probably not going to be a big deal. Regardless, it’s important not to panic, or to let your emotions carry you away. Respond rationally and with a level head.

  1. Do your research.

Also respond with all available information. Read the review carefully, noting its tone, the specific complaints, the date of the review, and any other information about the incident posted. Make sure your response addresses the review with precision and accuracy. If you come across like you Just Don’t Get It, it will only make things worse.

Also research the Yelp reviewer, if possible. (For anonymous reviewers, you’ll be out of luck.) Is it someone who always leaves nasty reviews? If so, then maybe that can help your anger subside. You could just be dealing with a mean-spirited person, quite frankly. No reason to get your feelings hurt over that.

  1. Show some customer service.

Whether you feel like the negative review is warranted or not, it’s important to seize the opportunity to treat your customer respectfully; apologize, and ask what you can do to make the situation right, or at the very least offer an explanation and sincere remorse that the customer’s experience was not better.

  1. Remember who you’re writing for.

In any and all writing, audience is important. When you’re addressing a Yelp review, remember that 90 percent of the Yelp audience is people who just read reviews, not people who write them, and that most of these people still have an unformed opinion of your company. That’s who you’re writing to, really. That’s who you’re trying to impress. Showing warmth, patience, and a customer-centered perspective can more than make up for the bad review itself.

  1. Don’t engage hotheads.

Every now and again, you may see an all-caps, foul-mouthed review that’s obviously just designed to be incendiary. Yelp does a pretty good job of filtering these out, but if you do run across one, it may be best not to engage at all. It’s hard to come across well when you sink to the level of addressing flamers and hotheads.

A bonus tip: You can enhance your brand’s reputation and minimize the damage of a bad review by providing your customers with plenty of positive content. To learn more, contact Grammar Chic today at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

 

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7 Online Reputation Management Guarantees

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You know what they say about sure things—death and taxes and all of that. Guarantees and certainties are especially hard to come by on the Internet, where the rules change every day and there are always exceptions.

Yet, when it comes to building and protecting a sterling reputation for your brand, there are a few things that can be said without hesitation.

  1. You will get Googled.

By now you shouldn’t doubt it: Consumers who have easy access to the Internet, on their smartphones or tablets or PCs, will absolutely use search engines to research your company. And how many consumers do you know who don’t have Internet access through their smartphones or tablets or PCs?

People want to know that they’re spending their hard-earned money on something reliable. And for better or worse, they trust Google to tell them that.

  1. Your Page 1 Google results matter.

Not so much page 2, and definitely not page 7, but that first page of Google… that’s the one everyone’s going to see. And what it says will set the first impression of your business. In a very real way, those first ten or so search results will determine whether people feel confident doing business with you, or otherwise.

So what’s on your first page of search results? The company website, Facebook page, and LinkedIn profile? Great! Some competitor sites, bad news headlines, or negative Yelp reviews? Not so great.

  1. You can sort of control what’s on your first page of Google results.

It’s not precise and it’s not guaranteed—Google’s algorithms work in mysterious ways, after all—but there are certainly actions you can take to ensure that solid, strong, brand-enhancing content shows up for your business. The first step, of course, is to actually create content, and plenty of it: Blogging, robust evergreen Web content, and even press releases can be beneficial. Also make sure you’re cognizant of SEO concerns—though we’ll let you in on a secret: If you focus on quality branded content that your human readers will use, you’re probably going to be okay.

  1. Regular social media posting is vital.

You’re not just going to undergo Google scrutiny. You’re going to get checked out on Facebook, too, and perhaps also LinkedIn. We’re not saying you have to post ten times a day to every single social network in existence. We’re just saying that online reputation management is proactive. It’s about going out of your way to demonstrate thought leadership. And social media offers you a perfect platform to do so.

  1. Listening is key.

Don’t just talk at your social media followers. Hear what they have to say—and, unless you’re dealing with trolls and flamers, respond in kindness. Remember that online reputation management and social media marketing are both flipsides to customer service.

  1. Reviews matter.

Truly. What your Yelp page or your Google rating says about you goes a long way toward building customer confidence—or not. Directing your customers to leave reviews, perhaps even offering some incentive for honest feedback, can be a huge way to bolster online reputation.

A caveat here: Reviews really do matter, though not necessarily to the point some ORM firms would have you believe. A hundred nasty reviews can sink your business; one or two negative reviews, amidst 30 positive ones, aren’t going to ruin you. Don’t freak out.

  1. Messaging is Job #1.

The secret to protecting your online reputation, in a nutshell: Ensure that everything your brand says on Twitter, Facebook, the blog, etc. is on-message, aligned with your corporate values, mission, and voice. Choose the kind of brand you want to build, then stay true to it.

For all of this, content creation is critical—so don’t mess around: Contact the Grammar Chic content writing team today at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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How to Make This Year’s Content Marketing Better than Last Year’s

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More than two weeks into 2015, most of us are starting to settle into a groove. We’re out of the holiday hangover. We’re back on our grind. We’re either steadfastly clinging to our New Year’s Resolutions, or else we’ve ditched them completely and are just trying our best to plow forward.

But hear us when we say this: It’s not too late to fine-tune your 2015 content marketing initiatives. It’s not too late to make this your best, most effective content marketing year yet.

At the very least, you can make it demonstrably more effective than last year. We’ll even tell you how.

Think in Terms of Goals

We’ve said it many times before, but setting goals is an essential part of content marketing. You need some benchmarks by which to measure your progress and determine your true ROI—likes, Web traffic, engagement, conversions, or whatever else.

It’s not only important to set goals, but to reflect on them. Think about last year’s goals. What were they, and how did you succeed in meeting them? Were they realistic? Too hard, or too easy? What do last year’s goals tell you about where you need to be, and where you can reasonably expect to be, at the end of 2015?

Audit Yourself

Another way to improve your content marketing performance is to conduct a content audit. Go back and read through as much of last year’s content as you can—Web pages, blogs, and on down the line. Be honest with yourself about how good it is, and how it could be improved. Remember: If your content doesn’t resonate with readers, you’re not going to get much of anything out of it.

Think not just in terms of quality, but also category. Are you covering all the bases of your business and niche—or are there topics you need to be hitting on more?

Organize Your Approach

Finally, you can get a leg up on your content marketing just by getting better organized. We recommend two tools, in particular. Start with an editorial calendar. At the bare minimum, spend some time brainstorming possible blog topics, and create a schedule of posts that will last you for a couple of months.

In addition, we recommend implementing buyer personas. If you haven’t created these, use our guide to help you. Getting to know who you’re marketing to can go a long way toward making your efforts more successful!

The Grammar Chic team can help you with any of these things, of course, and we can also assist with content development, distribution, and analysis. Contact us today for a free consultation: www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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