by Kirsten Hodgson
There have been a few improvements to the social media networks over the past week. Google+ launched its business pages and LinkedIn announced that it had overhauled its Events feature and launched its new Group Statistics dashboard.
What do these updates mean for lawyers, accountants, engineers and other professionals?
Google+ business pages:
Even if you are not using Google+ nor have any intention of starting a business page, I strongly recommend you reserve your company name. This will ensure that if you decide to activate a Google+ page in future, your name is available for you to use (and has not been claimed by another party). To set up your Google+ business page, firstly determine whether you want it to be linked to someone's individual Google+ account. If the answer is 'yes' you can log into your personal account and create a new page. If the answer is 'no' you will need to set up a Google account for your business (if you already have one then great). You can then set up your business page.
The URL for setting up a business page is https://plus.google.com/pages/create
In the medium term the new, improved version provides huge opportunities for lawyers, accountants, engineers and other professionals to increase their reach in a targeted way. Once more people use the feature I can see it being really valuable.
4 ways you can leverage the LinkedIn Events feature:
1. Set up your own seminars and workshops as an Event on LinkedIn. You can then share these with your network (via the network update stream) as well as with appropriate groups and via Twitter and Facebook. I recommend you also ask others in your team to share the event details with their networks through the Status Update function. The easiest way to do this is to supply them with the text and link so they just have to copy and paste this information into the 'Share an Update' box, which appears near the top of your LinkedIn homepage screen. To set up an Event, click on the 'More' tab on the LinkedIn toolbar and select 'Events' from the drop-down box. Then click on the yellow 'Create an Event' box and follow the prompts.
2. Search for events you may wish to attend. You can search by keyword, industry, or geographic location. It's a great way to find out what events are taking place and to monitor competitor activity. To search for Events click on the 'More' tab on the LinkedIn toolbar and select 'Events' from the drop-down box. Type your keyword, industry or geographic location into the 'Search Events' box and hit 'Search'.
3. Find out who is attending an event. Over time I think this will be a really powerful tool. It will enable you to determine whether those you wish to engage with will be at an event. You can then look to connect with them prior to the event. For example, you may want to drop them an email along the lines of 'I see you are attending the X event on DATE. I will also be there and would very much like to find out your views on Y (or discuss the new legislation). Would you be free for a 10 minute chat over coffee during the lunch break on DATE?'
4. Promote your clients' events by sharing them with your networks on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+
LinkedIn Group Statistics
I have to say I quite like this feature. It allows you to see the demographic make-up of a group, where the majority of group members are based, the group's growth chart and a summary of activity over the past week. It's useful to help you determine if a group is right for you and the types of discussions likely to resonate with other members.
If you want to see the Group Statistics for a Group to which you don't currently belong, click into the group overview and then click on the Group Statistics box on the left hand side of the screen.
If you want to view the stats of a Group to which you do belong, scroll down the page until you see the 'Group Statistics' box on the right hand side or click on 'More' within the Group toolbar and scroll down to 'Group Statistics'.
It's good to see the social media networks looking to enhance their platforms – the challenge for us is to keep up with changes the networks make and to think about how these could help us in our businesses.
What do you think of these changes?
How else could they benefit professionals?
What other recent social media network changes do/don't you like and why?
Latest posts by Kirsten Hodgson (see all)
- How to use social media to get more traditional opportunities - July 5, 2016
- A plea to all those using LinkedIn’s publishing platform - August 26, 2015
- Winning work and expanding an accounting practice - August 19, 2015