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Hash It and Tag It: 7 Hashtag Tips for Businesses

It all starts with millions, or even billions of persons punching letters on a screen or on a keyboard. Some are ranting about celebrity gossip, others are talking about the latest episode of scandal and others are just trying to win tickets to that concert that’s been sold out for months.

The one thing that links one person talking about the same thing to another is a hashtag.

So do you know what a hashtag is?

Some of you reading this will be like “DUUUH who doesn’t know what a hashtag is pssh.” Truth is hashtags are widely used whether it be personally or through a business.

BUT

For those who don’t….

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I bet you’ve never thought of it like this before.

Think of our solar system, all planets move around the sun. Let’s think of the sun as a hashtag, it’s at the center pulling all other users that are interested in that conversation to it. In other words it makes your posts more visible. A person searching for a specific hashtag will see all posts where that hashtag was used.

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So as a business it is important to draw people to your topics online. Hashtags are also necessary for tracking the performance of campaigns and your overall efforts. We have been looking and many businesses and brands have been making a few simple and unforgivable mistakes with hashtags.

With that said it’s important for businesses to have a more comprehensive understanding of hashtags and how to use them.

  1. Always Have Purpose

It’s always best to develop your hashtag with a certain objective in mind. While at the same time remembering that hashtags have a specific purpose online. Picking a hashtag from thin air could be a major waste of time and would not have any use to you based on your objectives. Whether it’s to link conversations or for tracking performance or even just to extend your reach, this step will help you to choose the right hashtag for your business.

  1. Keep It Simple

When it comes to hashtags it is always best to keep it simple. When creating a hashtag it needs to be easy to spell and easy to remember. The longer the hashtag the harder it is to follow, let alone to use; especially on twitter where you only have 140 characters.

Bad campaign hashtag

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This hashtag definitely swept us away. It’s a miracle it didn’t take up the entire 140 characters.

 Good campaign hashtag

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See the difference? One is easy to spell and easy to use, the other is just…painful.

  1.  Keep It Unique

The hashtag you come up with should be unique to your brand or situation. There’s no use choosing a hashtag that is already widely used. Keeping it unique helps you to control the conversation surrounding your brand, as well as, to track conversations, performance and effectiveness of your campaign.

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We created this tag for our client in the Cayman Islands; it is a perfect example. It named the event with an easy to remember and unique hashtag. That was used exclusively by persons engaging with the event.

  1.  Proof Read It                                 

You really are doing yourself and your business a huge favour by checking over your hashtag. Read it, write it…Sniff it if you have to. Anything that can be misread or misinterpreted, will be. It also helps to capitalize the first letter of words in a hashtag.

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Talk about leading fans somewhere else! Here’s an example of a hashtag that was used to mean one thing to the user, but clearly has another meaning to the world. Save the date (#STD) becomes a nasty transmitted disease with one click. Yikes!!

  1.  Consistency Is Key

So you have a nice well thought out hashtag and you would like fans and followers to jump on it like ants on a piece of cake, right? Well all you have to do is use it. Hashtags can take weeks or even months to gain traction. So your hashtag has to be included in every single tweet related to your campaign, product, service or topic.

Please for the love of all things good, don’t leave off a letter or misspell anything, because then it becomes a completely different hashtag leading fans somewhere else. We don’t want that at all!

  1. Make It Searchable

After you create that awesome hashtag you’ll need to pair it with another hashtag or a pool of hashtags to get the desired reach. Your created hashtag may be new, so not many persons will be searching for it. This is where trending hashtags and other widely used hashtags come in.

These will give you the reach you need. The idea is to use hashtags you know persons will definitely be searching for. Hashtags like #Sports, #Marketing and #Tips usually do well on Twitter. On Instagram you have tags like #Instadaily, #PicOfTheDay and #Instagood to name a few. Then there are a few gems like #TGIF, #MCM, #TBT, #WCW that are used and searched no matter what platform.

  1. Don’t overdo it

Now that you know more about hashtags don’t go tag crazy and slap all the best hashtags in the world on your post. No!! Only use the best ones that are related to the topic or event. Using #Sports at a fashion show is a sure way to get unfollowed, so don’t do it. Try to keep it at 2 per post on Twitter and Facebook. For Instagram you can use up to 15 hashtags if you want.

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Like most things, hashtags take a lot of thought and a bit of planning. Follow these 7 basic tips and save yourself the trouble and embarrassment of a poorly thought out hashtag.

Shoot us a comment with the funniest or weirdest hashtags you’ve seen.

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Real Entertainment Television (RETV) Social Media Coverage of Reggae Sumfest 2015

Quick Summary

With their competitors Hype TV and BOJ TV doing live coverage of the 12th Annual Reggae Sumfest in Catherine Hall Montego Bay, RETV wanted to ensure that they had social media coverage of Reggae Sumfest Dancehall Night since the station promotes and carries dancehall music and they were also media coverage sponsors. This was to be done on their social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the focus being mainly on Instagram. After the success of Dancehall Night, the client decided that they also wanted coverage for International Nights 1 and 2. This case study represents the IPP execution of a live social media campaign in the area of entertainment.

  • Goal/Problem

To assess if maximum social media coverage was achieved by It’s Pixel Perfect for the project Reggae Sumfest from July 16-19, 2015 across three social media platforms for RETV Jamaica.

  1. Increase RETV’s followers on Instagram by 500 followers.
  2. To provide light coverage on Facebook and Twitter
  3. To provide media (photos & videos) of every performance for each night.
  • Context

What originally should’ve been a 3 day campaign turned into a 5 day campaign. The first two days were used for lead up promotion and ticket giveaways and the last three nights for live social media blogging executed on site at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay. Each night’s coverage varied with a minimum coverage of 8 hours and a maximum of 11 hours. Coverage on Dancehall Night included the use of two live bloggers and coverage on International Nights had one live blogger.

  • Strategy/Tactics

  1. Start the promotion two days before the actual event on all platforms
  2. Provide ongoing, concise and accurate updates of every performance
  3. To promote the Reggae Sumfest Recap that would come on RETV one week later.
  4. Post photos of RETV’s host, Alexia, and publicize her wardrobe sponsor for the weekend, Flirt Boutique.

 

  • Returns

Twitter

  • Followers increased by 77 

report

Facebook

  • There was no growth shown  on Facebook

Instagram

RETV’s Instagram followers increased by 542 followers at the end of Reggae Sumfest. On Thursday July 16 before Reggae Sumfest, they had 4,508 followers and on Sunday July 19 they had 5,050 followers.

Reports

The following photos were reposted by performing acts at Reggae Sumfest

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Common’s Supporting Vocalist Mumu Fresh

 

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The photo of J. Hud in black was taken by RETV (Source: Jennifer Hudson Instagram ) 

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dingdong

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Lessons Learned

  • Being further away from the stage in the VIP section gave a wider shot of the stage in photography.
  • Instagram proved to be the best platform for an event such as Reggae Sumfest as during the early hours of the morning (between 1 am – 7 am) interaction on Twitter and Facebook were low.
  • Having one social media manager at the event for International Nights 1 & 2 had its disadvantages as the main stages and the mini stages were too far from each other to go back and forth.
  • Start querying about accreditation/transportation/accommodations at least 3 weeks prior to an event.

Conclusion

Overall the social media coverage on RETV’s social media was successful. 90% of the performances were captured and the quality photos and videos made them stand out among other brands that covered the event. To make an event of this nature be more successful, social media preparation would need to start at least a month before the event.

 

Snap Chatting: 8 Tips and Tricks for Snapchat (iPhone)

Snapchat is a video messaging application that is quickly growing in popularity in Jamaica and beyond. As long as you know how phone cameras work, the app is pretty easy to use and should be most attractive for persons who enjoy taking selfies and capturing those special moments live. The mobile app is exciting to use particularly so for iPhone users on the unique experience that is iOS. With that said, we want to take that experience an inch further for you.

Many of you already know how to use Snapchat (or think you do) but we’re here to give you those secret tips we bet you didn’t know. Here are some tips and tricks that we believe should bring more fun to your Snapping experience.

Tips

More colours 

Believe it or not, there are more colours that can be used from the colour reel in your snaps. Take a snap and you will see a pencil icon in your top right corner, tap it and you will see a rainbow of colours available for your selection. What you will realize is that black and white are not exactly visible in the reel. If you place your finger in the rainbow of colours and drag it to the top left corner you will get white. If you drag your finger down and across you will get black. You can try to drag your finger elsewhere on the screen to see what new colours you can find. Not many have actually tried using black, grey or white doodles and if you are like me then you are tired of all the other colours; I sense an opportunity to be a trendsetter!

Here is an image from mplatco (makes snaps for GrubHub and NBCTheVoice) on how you find the two colours.SnapchatThis example aptly shows a tutorial on how to get dark red, black, grey and white colours to doodle with (mplatco, 2015)

Third party Snap-apps

One thing about Snapchat is that the snaps you take have to be sent or uploaded within the moment to get the desired effect from your following. This means you are unable to do more editing than what is allowed on the application (filters, doodling, text). However, third party applications have come to the rescue. There are applications such as Snap Upload and Upload’n’Roll that allows the user to take photos already in your camera roll and upload to Snapchat. These applications also come with custom filters for your pleasure.

Snapchat upload

Travel-mode

There is no secret about Snapchat’s reputation for eating up our data usage. Of course, this is very disappointing since we always want to catch the most intriguing moments to share with our friends. With that said, there is a hidden setting called ‘Travel-mode’ on the application that regulates the loading of Snap stories every time you open the application on the go. First, open the application and on the home screen (you should see a view of the camera) tap the ghost at the very top. You should then see a gear at the top right corner. Tap the gear then tap ‘Manage’, from here you can switch the Travel-mode on.

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Using back and front camera during recording

The Android users will be very jealous about this one. Using the iPhone, you can take your Snapchat videos and switch between front and back cameras while recording. While recording the video an icon should appear on your screen to swap between front and back camera which gives the option to alternate camera views. Unlike Android users, now you don’t have to twist your wrist in various directions to catch what is front of the phone and behind.

Tricks

Using two filters at once

Only in recent Snapchat updates have Jamaicans had access to additional filters. With more filters available the next step would have been to achieve a double filter in one snap. The developers have now made that possible by simply swiping across your screen (to the left) to navigate through the various filters available. Once you have found the filter you prefer, press and hold the screen with one finger while using another finger to swipe (to the left or right) to choose your second filter. I know, you can finally take a snap of your unique surroundings using our Kingston filter and the black and white theme – that’s the first snap I tried!

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Hands-free recording

Many of us prefer to complete many tasks on Snapchat without holding the screen. Firstly, the developers allowed us to watch snaps without holding the screen. Now you can record all your snaps without touching the screen on the latest iPhone 6 iOS. Go into your phone Settings, tap General and then enter Accessibility then scroll down to Guided Access. You will need to set a passcode which can be any six-digit code. Then re-enter Snapchat app and hold the capture button to start recording, while recording triple tap the Home button after which it asks for your passcode. Hit ‘Cancel’ and you will be able to rest those fingers while recording your videos; tapping the screen will not end the recording, it will end on 10 seconds. Once this is activated, you will be able to record without touching your phone until you disable. To disable this feature, triple tap the Home button and enter your passcode.

Note: This trick may not work on the latest iPhone Operating System.

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Using multiple colours in text

This is a great way to customize your text for emphasis. Just tap on your just-taken snap to add text but tap on the capital T in the top right corner to enable special text. The text will instantly get bigger and you are now able to add colour to these words. Now you can use multiple colours for different parts of the text, whether it be different letters or words. After adding colour to all the text entered, tap and hold the entire text then select the area of the text you want to focus on. Choose the colour you want in that portion of the text and you’re good to go!

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Sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you present it!

Multiple lines of text on Snap

You can type much more on your snap than before – this is probably the most mind-blowing of all the tricks listed here. You can post numerous lines of text in your snap but you will need help from the iPhone notepad. Go into the notepad and press the enter button as much as you want then select (copy) all the space entered. Re-enter Snapchat and paste the empty spaces into the text area. This means you have a large area to type whatever you want. This also means you have defeated those who are attempting to restrict the things you say. #PowertothePeople

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Increasing the lines of text you can type into, automatically means more text.

Too Cool For School: Fashion Do’s And Don’ts For College (Males)

As promised, we are back with more college fashion tips but this time for the guys. The typical male tends to take a more laid-back approach to his college fashion. While college doesn’t require you to wear a suit, men must aim to find the right balance between presentable, well put-together and casual. After all, you do want to make the right first impression (on the ladies) and don’t want to seem like you just rolled out of bed.

Here are our very basic fashion do’s and don’ts for college males to ensure you start the semester right.

DO practice good hygiene.

Though this goes for both male and female, it is more common among males to roll out of bed or leave the gym after a sweaty workout and head straight to class. Do take a shower (this includes washing your hair) and don’t forget the deodorant. It won’t hurt to use some cologne either, as this is the true attention getter.

men batheDO pull your pants up!

The sagging pants era has died out (thank God!), so please pull your pants up. There’s nothing attractive about seeing your underwear, or watching you having fun struggling to keep your pants from preventing you from falling. Wearing a belt is the best solution, or you can purchase pants that (idk) actually fit.  

pull up pants

DO dress up every once in a while.

Guys, we understand that going through the struggle of putting together an outfit every morning is not your thing, but it never hurts to dress up every once in a while. Upgrade that t-shirt to a polo, and throw out the sweatpants for a nice pair of jeans. You’ll be sure to pick up a few compliments throughout the day.

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DON’T wear graphic t-shirts bearing profanity, sex, violence,etc.

Graphic t-shirts are the rave, and wearing those containing fun sayings and designs is the in thing. However, though it may not be stated in the rule book that such type of clothing is not permitted, it is unacceptable when your lecturer has to stand in front of you and see some of these inappropriate images and writings. Like the girls and their stilettos, ditch these for the classroom and save them for the parties.  

DON’T wear shorts that are too short

The short shorts trend seems to have slowly been making its way into men’s fashions. Shorts on a guy is fine if the length is appropriate, but when it becomes way too short, it is no longer flattering. The general rule is that your shorts should hit about one to two inches above the knee. Keep it that way.

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As one fashion-blogger, Joshua Smith, wrote “always know where you are: flip-flops are for the beach, jerseys are for sporting events and free shirts are for the gym”. Do dress right for the occasion and don’t settle for being just okay.

 

Be sure to share your comments, thoughts and other fashion tips with us!!

 

Thank you to our fashion tips contributor:

Ashleigh Em

Writer|Fashion Blogger

www.ashleighem.com

 

Too Cool For School: Fashion Do’s and Don’ts For College (Females)

It’s almost time to hit the books once more, and one of the biggest problems female students face is how to dress for school on a daily basis. Without a doubt, college is nothing like high school, and though you don’t need to create an entirely new you, you will need to make some changes in order to look the part.

The following are some very basic fashion do’s and don’ts for college females to help get through the school year.

DO accessorize

Accessories work like a charm in adding some pizzazz to a plain and ordinary outfit. However, this doesn’t mean you should pile on every single jewelry you have in your collection. Less is really more in this case. Opt for some nice studs or hoops, add a long charm necklace, or get funky with some cute arm candy. You’ll be amazed at how this takes your outfit to a whole new level.

accessories

DO keep an eye out for sales

As college students, we know shopping for outfits for school can be quite difficult because of limited funds. One tip, is to take advantage of sales, both in stores and online, which allows you to stay fashionable on a budget while saving money. Be sure to purchase pieces that you can mix and match so you can switch things up a bit and create different outfits.

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DO dress comfortably

Dressing comfortably does not mean throwing on a pair of sweatpants or looking sloppy. It is possible to be stylish and comfortable at the same time. The key is to ensure that your clothes fit; not too big, but not too tight to the point where it restricts your movement or reveals too much. Ensuring that your outfit is appropriate for school will make you feel even more comfortable as you won’t attract any unnecessary attention, as well as wearing outfits that express your personal style will leave you feeling confident.

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DO use sunscreen

You can use a foundation or moisturizer that has SPF. There is no escaping the sun, so you need to protect your face, especially on campus where one must embark on long journeys in the sun just to get to class. Sun exposure also causes age spots and nobody wants that.

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DON’T wear leggings as pants

Substituting leggings for pants should never be done. No matter how attractive you think you look in them, it looks tacky and is inappropriate.  Instead, pair it with a long tunic, an oversized shirt, or even a dress or skirt for a casual look that covers your, uh, ‘lady bits’.

DON’T wear heels on campus

I don’t know about you, but wearing flats from class to class is hard enough, let alone heels. Unless you have an interview or a presentation that you need your heels for (even then, I suggest you bring them in your bag and slip them on when you arrive), you don’t want to be the talk of the town after you wobbled in them and fell flat on your face. Save your six inches for the club and save yourself the embarrassment.

DON’T reveal too much

Yes, I get it. You finally get the chance to say goodbye to school uniforms, and you’re so excited to wear casual clothes to school, you end up wearing nothing at all. Many colleges/universities don’t have a dress code, and so many girls make full use of this opportunity to stroll across campus with their chests and buttocks falling out of their clothes. Cover up and save those revealing outfits for the parties.

DON’T use heavy coverage

Opt for very light foundation and spot conceal where necessary. Too many girls make the mistake of going heavy on the make up. Less is more, also applies in this situation. You never want to look as if you’re wearing plaster on your face.

COVERAGELook out for fashion do’s and don’ts for college males later this week!

Thank you to our contributors:

Fashion tips

Ashleigh Em

Writer|Fashion Blogger

www.ashleighem.com

Makeup tips

Sue Gregg

Makeup Artist

IG: @suethemakeupgirl

7.5 easy ways to improve your instagram

         Instagram is your life through pictures and videos, collated,                                                           stored and shared online.                                                                    Gone are the days of having a physical album.                                      There is no need to print, post or email pictures anymore.            So how can you possibly choose a few memories to potentially share with 150 million active users, when everything in your life seems totally amazing and worth posting?

                                                         *pause*                                                             Don’t be misguided

Not everything in your life is worth posting, nor is it necessary to post the same thing from six different angles.

Knowing how to improve your posts on your instagram profile can increase your followers, likes and comments; build your confidence and allow you to have fun while taking pictures.

Here are 7 easy ways to find your best pictures for Instagram:

1. Selfies

Everybody loves a cute selfie. Take those great selfies by playing dress up and looking pretty.  Or take those shameless selfies with quirky expressions. You could even be creative and take a group selfie like Ellen.

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2. Post your interests

If you are a car junkie, fashionista, designer, makeup artiste, then this is a great way of gaining followers and clients. Post cool pics of your cars, fashion, makeup hauls and outfits of the day/night. You’ll be sure to catch the eye of other junkies like yourself.

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3. Use Filters/Photo Apps

Use 1 of 14 instagram filters to make your pic look more awesome. If you’re not satisfied with the instagram filters then use a photo app such as snapseed to add that extra touch to your photo. To post full length pictures then use instasize and for all your memories in one photo, use instacollage.

4. #Hashtags

Using hashtags are a great way of gaining likes and followers since IG users search for hashtags related to their interests. So for the fashion lovers, try using #ootd (outfit of the day) or give your crush a shoutout with #MCM (Man Crush Mondays) or #WCW (Woman Crush Wednesdays) and don’t forget #TBT (Throwback Thursday/Tuesday).

5. Food!

We all like food, so share your delicious meal from your favourite restaurant with your friends or show off your chef skills while you are home. They’ll probably envy you.


6. Capture Great Moments

Don’t forget to upload pics or videos or both from parties, out and about, award ceremonies, special occasions such as weddings, baby/bridal showers, graduations, etc

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7. Show off your body

Been working out or just naturally hot? Well upload a pic or two to get those likes. Just avoid thirst traps ….. or try to -winks-

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7.5 Bluestacks (Bonus)

For those who don’t own a smartphone or tablet, then you can try BlueStacks App Player for PC/Mac. Bluestacks is an emulator that allows you to run Android apps including Instagram!

2 thing to know about using Instagram on Bluestacks:

  • For Bluestacks to recognize the photos on your PC, download the ES File Explorer
  • Instagram on Bluestacks doesn’t allow you to record videos

We hope our 7.5 easy tips will help you to make better picture posting decisions on Instagram.

Be sure to follow us on IG: itspixelperfect

8 Ways to Maximise Your LinkedIn Presence

LinkedIn is THE professional social networking platform and also your online resume.

Have you joined?

Have you been getting invites?

LinkedIn has rapidly become the social networking site for businesses, professionals and recently college students. However, some young professionals and college students do not see the purpose of having a LinkedIn account. Or, if they do have one, it is outdated or doesn’t have the necessary tools to catch the attention of recruiters or clients.

Here are 8 ways to maximise your LinkedIn profile to properly manage your professional identity.

1. Use an appropriate profile photo

LinkedIn is all about professionalism so your profile photo should portray just that.  You need a photo that screams “Hey, I’m work material”. Use a photo that will catch the eyes of prospective employers or clients; in a good way.

So don’t use that lovely selfie that everybody liked on Instagram, that group photo you cropped because you looked good, a picture with poor lighting, one with your hand in the picture because you took it yourself, or that photo of you having a nice relaxing day at the beach.

Try using a black and white photo; there is something very classy about a black and white photo or a photo in business/ professional work attire.

     http://linkedinprofileservice.co/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/best-linkedin-financial-profile-example-300x200.jpg   Good LinkedIn Profile Photo

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Bad LinkedIn         Profile Photo

 

2. Have a great headline

This would be like your personal branding. Use keywords that can be easily optimized in search engines. For example: “Marketer”, “Hardworking”,   “Experienced”. Use titles and descriptions that potential employees or clients are likely to search for.

Can “Twerk Team Champ” be in your title? Absolutely Not!http://financialsocialmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/amy_linkedin_blog.png

3. Good Summary

Write your summary in such a tone as if you and the reader are having a conversation. Your summary should make the reader want to have a business relationship with you. This is where you can give people an opportunity to see who you are, your background, your goals and additional places they can find you online or contact you. An interesting summary creates an interested recruiter. This will increase your chances of being contacted.

4. Utilize the Skills/Expertise Section

Make sure to add skills that are relevant to your career or business, and skills that your colleagues or clients can endorse. If you aren’t receiving any endorsements, then I guess you’re not as skilled as you think or people don’t know of your existence in that area. Oh no! That’s never a good thing.

5. Join groups

Even though, it is a professional network, LinkedIn is still a social media network. Joining LinkedIn groups gives you an opportunity to meet and network with like-minded professionals who are constantly sharing information.

For college graduates or job-seekers, two groups to join are: “Job Openings, Job Leads and Job Connections” & “A Job Needed – A Job Posted

6. Use Photos and Videos

Don’t just talk about the work you’ve done, show it under your list of experiences. The use of photos and videos is an excellent way of showing how awesome your work is. It’s also a good way of attracting clients and investments.

7. Utilise LinkedIn Applications

Enhance your profile with applications that show off your work and interests. If you are a writer then you can add WordPress with samples of your previous articles. Slideshare or Box.netapp are great apps for photographers or videographers. Applications will allow you to embed your work onto your profile and make you stand out to recruiters even more.

8. Add Recent Contact Information

So a client or employer sees your awesome LinkedIn profile and wants to get in contact with you right away. HOWEVER there is no contact information available on your profile. If you are someone who doesn’t sign into LinkedIn very often then you’ll miss out on potential jobs. Make sure to have current contact information on your profile. You don’t need to put a phone number but definitely at least an email address. Don’t put an email address that you don’t use anymore and do ensure that it’s professional. ganjaman876@yahoo.com and hawtgyalshelly@hotmail.com? … I think not.

 

Regardless of whether you are in business, a budding entrepreneur, new to the working world or mostly do non-profit work, LinkedIn is a very good networking tool to help you achieve your professional goals. Unlike Facebook and Twitter which allow for personal networking, LinkedIn encourages professional networking. LinkedIn is heavily used by HR managers and new businesses looking for partners or new opportunities. It is in your best interest to have a professional LinkedIn profile set up.  Take advantage of this medium. LinkedIn encourages users to provide a highly professional look to their resume and/or profile on the networking site.

Follow these 8 tips and you would have definitely maximised your LinkedIn profiles, guaranteed to catch the eyes of the corporate world recruiters.