April 2011 – Get more out of LinkedIn

Connections (courtesy ChrisK4u at Flickr CC)From a professional development and tourism industry networking perspective, LinkedIn is one of your best social media tools, but it’s easy to forget that in the “cool kids” hoopla of Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve updated your profile or done much poking around on the site, you may be surprised at some of the opportunities there. The LinkedIn Learning Center is a great resource for the details.

We often tell people that LinkedIn has gotten more “Facebook-y” with the addition of status update boxes, profile personalization, discussions within Groups and particularly the upgrades to Company Pages, which are somewhat similar to Facebook Pages although not nearly as interactive.

From a B2B perspective, LinkedIn is a superb way to connect with meeting and convention planners, and association executives who plan meetings. Economic development and downtown development organizations can also use it to help spread the word about business opportunities in their towns or regions.

Here are a few things to investigate….

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Top Moves To Power Up Your Personal Profile

**  Take the time to really fill out your personal profile, including keywords relevant to your expertise and the new Skills section. Personalize the profile URL to your actual name, have a decent-looking headshot photo (not some blurry thing taken from the end of your arm using your cell phone, sorry) and have a punchy summary.

**  Apply some SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to the anchor text for the links you’re allotted for your blog, website, etc.  Don’t just use “website” as the anchor text – try “YourTown CVB” or “YourTown Visitor Info” instead, although there is a character limit that may stretch your creativity.

**  Update your status box fairly regularly; it’s a free little billboard for your business activities and you can tie it into your Twitter account as well. Those updates go to the homepages of your LinkedIn connections, just like Facebook updates go to the News feeds of your Facebook friends.

**  You can personalize your profile with apps, including your presentations on SlideShare, your blog’s feed and an Amazon reading list.

Top LinkedIn Networking Moves

**  Participate in a few key Groups relevant to the tourism, hospitality or development industries.  Here are some ideas….

The continued usefulness of a Group is directly proportional to the willingness of the moderator/owner and members to control the loudmouths and spammers who inevitably show up.  Don’t be shy about dropping out of a Group that devolves into nothing but marketing pitches (but don’t forget that you can help, too, by using the “Flag as Promotion” and “Flag as Job” buttons.)

**  (Update: the Answers feature is no longer available.)  Provide helpful feedback and ask your own questions in LinkedIn Answers (do a search first to make sure the same question hasn’t been asked recently.)

There are categories for Q&A in Business Travel, Conferences and Event Planning and Marketing and Sales to help you get started.

**  (Update: the Events page feature is no longer available.) Use Event pages to RSVP for events and tell your network where they can find you, and don’t forget to create Event pages yourself, for those business-related conferences and meetings.

Get Your CVB/DMO a Company Page

**  Put up a Company Page for your organization – with recent improvements to the options you can add, it’s a no-brainer. Embed video, link to services with banner-ad-like graphics, get recommendations for your work and plug in the feeds from your Twitter account and your blog.

Examples:  Tourism Queensland (Australia,) Visit Philadelphia, the Fredericksburg CVB (Texas) and our own Tourism Currents Company Page.

**  Keep in mind that meeting planners may be interested in your conference facilities – give ’em the information and links that they’re looking for, right on your Company Page!

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Our Upcoming Webinars

26 April 2011 – Tired of people asking to “buy you a coffee and pick your brain?”  We are too, so we pulled together a little help for you – a toolkit. Becky wrote a workbook, both of us recorded some role-playing audio and at 3 pm CST on Tuesday, 26 April, we’ll show you how to Draw the Line Between Free and Paid with a live webinar on turning brain-picking into business.

Becky and Sheila at SOBCon party, SXSWi 2011 (courtesy Matthew Lemke)It will only be offered live this one time. Anyone who signs up after Tuesday will have to settle for the recording.

18 May 2011 – In partnership with DMAI’s empowerMINT.com, we’re going to teach Book More Meetings With Your Social Media Toolbox, a 90 minute webinar to help CVBs/DMOs reach meeting planners via social networking.

Mark your calendars now for 2 pm CST on May 18 – it will be recorded and available on demand as well!

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BlogWorld Tourism Track Update

In case you haven’t already heard us cheering about it on Facebook or Twitter, we have two confirmed co-facilitators joining us for the Tourism Track at BlogWorld and New Media Expo West, in Los Angeles CA, November 3-5, 2011.

Shanna Smith Snyder from the Abilene TX CVB (a 2011 Texas Social Media Award winner!) and Doug Anweiler from Authentic Seacoast Resorts in Nova Scotia will join us to help teach you more effective use of social media in your destination and hospitality marketing.

We’re also planning on a speed-dating session between our tourism attendees and some of the 8000+ bloggers and online publishers who go to BlogWorld.

Other co-facilitators will be announced soon!

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Commenting area

  1. Leslie Mathews April 25, 2011 at 10:35 am · ·

    Yeah! You have selected another great representative from Texas showing how you guys know how to “get er’ done” in the Lonestar State! Abilene has been kicking butt and taking names with their social media, especially when you consider the size of the city and their MSA – Yee Haw!

  2. Hi Leslie,

    We have a theory that being smaller is actually an advantage for destination marketing on the social Web – you don’t have the money to outsource it, so you do it yourself (a more authentic voice) and you take a personal, entrepreneurial interest in your success.

  3. Great topic! I really like how you clearly identify the key steps for utilizing LinkedIn for business and networking. Thank you!

  4. Sure thing, Roseanne – glad it was helpful.

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