Marketing Tip #26 | 8 Easy Ways to Personalize Your Social Media Posts

8 Easy Ways to Personalize Social Media

We’re all human. We respond when we believe someone is reaching out to us personally. Especially in today’s mass email marketing and social media bulk posting, a message that speaks to an individual is rare – and usually appreciated.

Here are 8 easy ways you can personalize your social media posts and tweets:

  1. mention individuals – clients, potential clients, someone you met at a networking event, your lunch meeting
  2. post on a client’s page (or tweet using the client’s Twitter handle) to publicly thank them for their business
  3. post and tag photos from events and daily activities around your organization
  4. recognize volunteers and those in your network who have helped
  5. ask relevant questions – a client recently noted that she gets the most reactions and comments from her weekly “So, who’s ready for the weekend?” posts on Fridays
  6. conduct simple polls – Facebook Business Pages offer this option
  7. IMPORTANT: interact with online communities by commenting, liking, and retweeting others’ posts and tweets
  8. MOST IMPORTANTLY: respond to all posts and tweets from others that mention your organization with an acknowledgement comment as simple as “Thanks”, “Glad you enjoyed the session”, or” How can we help fix the situation?”
There you have it. Eight easy ways to personalize social media. Be sure to comment on the Reciprocate Facebook page and tell us your thoughts. Oh, and in case you’re wondering why we included the cute kitten in this post, it’s because the online world is obsessed with cats.  Just for fun check out this an infographic on Why We Love Cats So Much

Marketing Tip #25 | LinkedIn: The Power of Connections

The Power of Connections

We have yet to find an organization that can’t benefit from using LinkedIn. Success stories abound. According to a whitepaper by Hubspot, the majority of companies who are on LinkedIn have acquired at least one customer from LinkedIn.

How you can benefit

Creating a LinkedIn profile that is optimized using keywords is the first step.  Recently, Reciprocate created an optimized LinkedIn profile for a client who was just starting a foreign language based consulting business. In less than two weeks, our client signed her first contract — with someone who had discovered our client’s profile via LinkedIn’s Search feature.

Making connections is the next critical step. With only 16 connections, LinkedIn says you are just two degrees away from more than 1000 professionals.

With 220 connections, your friends-of-friends sphere of influence jumps to nearly 90,000!

While we believe in the power of connections, we don’t encourage anyone to become a L.I.O.N. (LinkedIn Open Networker — someone who tries to accumulate as many LinkedIn connections as possible.) Instead, just as in traditional networking, reach out and connect to those you know, like, and trust.

If you would accept a business card from someone, consider adding him/her to your LinkedIn network of connections.  Connect with your co-workers, industry professionals, customers, family, college acquaintances, friends, teammates, children’s friends’ parents, association members, neighbors — the list is seemingly endless.

As you grow your number of connections, you will find that others also reach out to you to connect. You never know who might just know someone who is looking for someone with just your skills and talents. And, because you are so well connected on LinkedIn, they may just reach out to you and strike up a virtual conversation that turns into new business opportunities or a new career path. That’s the power of LinkedIn connections.

Marketing Tip #20 | LinkedIn: A 4-Step Strategy

LinkedIn: A 4-Step Strategy

Last month, professionals were joining LinkedIn at a rate of two new members per second. To be effective on LinkedIn, you need to stand out from the crowd.  But how?
Here are four simple strategies:
  1. Optimize your LinkedIn profile to maximize your presence by using keywords throughout your profile.
  2. After you make major profile changes, check your privacy settings to ensure that your name, photo, headline, and status appear in the streaming Updates and scheduled LinkedIn emailed updates.
  3. Get active! Keep your name in front of connections with every update, status change, group participation, and other activity with your profile.
  4. Stay active! Schedule 5 minutes of “LinkedIn” time 2-3 times a week for maximum traction.

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Marketing Tip #14 | Turn Business Cards into Dollars

Business Card Marketing

Turn Business Cards into Business Dollars

You probably have at least one box of business cards sitting in your desk. Here are a few simple ways to turn those business cards into business dollars.

  1. Set a weekly goal for the number of business cards you will give to leads. If you give a card each time you receive a card, you can easily track the progress toward your goal. As an added bonus, when you get back to the office, invite these new contacts to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  2. To help meet your distribution goal, keep a supply of business cards in your wallet, car, briefcase, gym bag, computer case, and desk. Be sure to use business card holders so your cards stay crisp and clean.
  3. Provide family, friends, neighbors, and satisfied clients with a few cards each so they can more easily pass along a referral and your contact information.
  4. Depending on your industry, product and service, consider posting cards on bulletin boards in local coffee shops, community centers, libraries, colleges, and even Laundromats.
  5. Think outside the box and use guerrilla marketing techniques.
    A yoga instructor we know has successfully marketed her services by periodically visiting local book stores and leaving her business cards inside yoga and health-related books.

Your business cards can be one of the most productive marketing collateral you use. Consider them the seeds of your business, and scatter them widely.

This is the fourth in a series on Business Card Marketing. Read the rest of the series by clicking here.

Marketing Tip #11 | Build Your Network with 5-Step Business Card Marketing

5-Step Business Card Marketing

 Increase the Power of Your Networking

The practice of swapping business cards at networking events is a great way to make an introduction and to leave a lasting impression. Learning to use these cards effectively can increase the power of your network.

Step 1: Ask those you meet a simple question: “Do you have a card?” Chances are, they will offer you their card and ask for your card in return.

Step 2:  Always have a supply of your business cards with you, whether attending a networking event or even a kids’ school function. You never know where you might meet someone who can increase the power of your networking.

Step 3: After the event or at the end of the day, review the cards you’ve collected. Jot notes on the back of the cards to remember key information about each person.

Step 4: Spend the next few days building your network by inviting each of your new contacts to connect with you on LinkedIn. Personalize the connection invitation with a note about your previous conversation and mention the event where you met.

Step 5: As your new network accepts your LinkedIn connection requests, be sure to send them each a quick email to thank them for joining your network.

As for the physical cards, use a Rolodex or simply bind with a rubber band and a note indicating the date and location where you obtained the cards.

This is the first in a series on Business Card Marketing. 

LinkedIn: 3 Easy Ways to Stand Out

With more than 100 million people on LinkedIn, how can you stand out?

Differentiate yourself using these three easy techniques:

1. Personalize your connection requests

Modify each LinkedIn connection request. Instead of the standard “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” email,  tell your prospective connection why you want to connect. Some ideas:  where you met, what you like about her LinkedIn profile, how you know her, and, most importantly, why you want to connect.

2. Respond to connection requests

When you receive a LinkedIn connection request, respond promptly. Read the profile of the person sending the request. If you decide to connect, send a quick follow up email immediately after you accept the connection. LinkedIn makes it easy. Once you’ve accepted the invitation to connect, click “Send a message” to start your new relationship on LinkedIn.

Thank your new connection for her connection invitation. Comment on something you know about her — either from her profile or her background. By clicking “Send a message,” you are continuing the email string from the connection request and have the ability to scroll down to see the sender’s original message, making it easier for you to personalize your response.

If you don’t know why she reached out to you, ask!  Here is the response I received when I asked Jeff Hill, a recent LinkedIn connection of mine, why he reached out to me:

What made me want to link with you…first thing that got me interested was your last name.  Its kind of rare and I know a guy in Dallas with that name.  Then, I looked at your profile.  Wow!  Very nice!  16 people have recommended you.  Very, very nice.  Incredible, really.  Your use of the Summary section–awesome.  Tons of info; plenty of white space.

Wow!  How cool is that?  Thanks, Jeff! What a great way to start our LinkedIn relationship. Now instead of being just another connection, Jeff stands out because he took the time to differentiate himself.

3. Offer to help

Instead of asking for introductions to someone else’s contacts, be proactive. Reciprocate. Share what you know. Offer to help. Reach out to your connections — new and old — and ask them who would be a good connection for them.

Virtually introduce your LinkedIn connections who might have synergies. Both parties will be grateful to you for your thoughtfulness and will reciprocate freely.

Networking online through LinkedIn shares many of the attributes of traditional, face-to-face networking. Spending a few extra minutes to differentiate yourself in the sea of LinkedIn users will go a long way toward your success.

LinkedIn: Join now and be 1 in 100 Million

LinkedInIf you have not already jumped on the LinkedIn bandwagon, it’s time. LinkedIn just announced it has reached 100 million members, and one new member is joining every second. LinkedIn members, representing all Fortune 500 companies and millions of entrepreneurs, in industries from aviation to zoology, join LinkedIn for the common purpose of networking.

Karen Emanuelson is featured in the LinkedIn 100 campaignLinkedIn 100 Million Campaign

To commemorate its membership milestone, LinkedIn launched an interactive ad campaign featuring 100 of its members, including Karen Emanuelson, owner of Reciprocate LLC. Reciprocate’s success can be traced to Karen’s active participation in LinkedIn groups. She was selected for this campaign based on her 140-character success story: “I kick-started my marketing consulting business through LinkedIn groups.”  Karen is currently a member of 58 groups on LinkedIn and serves as manager of two of these groups, Social Media for the Blogger and LinkedMinnesota Entrepreneurs.
Click on the ad image above to check out the other 99 success stories. While you’re there, be sure to click on the blue “Submit Your Story” button for your shot at being included in the next LinkedIn advertising campaign. 

Contact Karen today to find out how you can take advantage of LinkedIn and LinkedIn groups to kick-start your company.


LinkedIn Strategy #3: Keywords

Keywords linked to LinkedIn success

Recently, I received a phone call from a local HR rep asking me to interview for a position — a position that paid $100K. I hadn’t applied and, at the time, I wasn’t even looking for a job! Turns out, the HR rep plugged a few keywords into LinkedIn’s search function and my profile came to the top! It wasn’t a good fit, but the moral of the story is that people are using LinkedIn to research and find potential employees and potential business partners based on words used in their profiles.

Makes you want to re-word your LinkedIn profile, doesn’t it? 

LinkedIn released a list of the top 10 buzzwords used in LinkedIn profiles. Here are the Top 10 Buzzwords translated into a LinkedIn professional headline: 

Problem Solver with Extensive Experience as a Results-Oriented, Innovative, Motivated Team Player. Proven Track Record in a Dynamic, Fast-Paced Entrepreneurial Environment

Unfortunately, this is about 50 characters too long to fit in the 120-character limit of a LinkedIn professional headline, but imagine what could happen if your professional headline included keywords that are actually being used to find people, products and services in your industry. These are the same keywords that are used in Google, Yahoo, and Bing searches everyday.

So how can you find keywords that could work for you?

Google has a very good instruction guide for creating successful keywords. You can use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to see which keywords are most popular for your industry. 

In addition to using keywords in your LinkedIn professional headline, Summary and Specialties and Employment title and descriptions, use these keywords throughout your website and online directory listings for even more impact.

LinkedIn: It is nice to share

 Share button available for LinkedIn

It’s nice to share — and LinkedIn now offers an easy way for visitors to your website and recipients of your email marketing campaigns to share your website pages, products, and services with others on LinkedIn.

What’s the advantage?

The LinkedIn Share button is powerful. It provides an easy way for others to post your company information as a personal update, as a post into a discussion group, and as an email sent to individuals.  With more than 85 million members on LinkedIn, this new Share button is a “must have” for every small business marketing effort.  According to LinkedIn, just one individual with 345 connections has potential connections of almost 6 million individuals!

How does it work?

Here’s what your readers will see when they click the LinkedIn share button:

4 Places to use the LinkedIn Share Button

  • Add it to your website
  • Include it in email newsletters
  • Add it to your email signature
  • Add it to your blog

If you are comfortable adding html code to your website, a visit to the LinkedIn publishers’ site provides three options for “share buttons” and instant access to the html code.  It took me less than 5 minutes to add the share button to my WordPress-based website as a widget. Check it out (above right, under the “search” box).  If you prefer, your web developer can add the Share button easily. Either way, make sure you include adding the LinkedIn Share button to your marketing “to-do” list.

If you are a small business owner or a member of a nonprofit organization and aren’t active on LinkedIn, you probably should be.  Check out these additional blog postings for other tips for maximizing your impact on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Strategy #2: Tell your story in 120 characters

With more than 75 million members on LinkedIn, how can you stand out from the crowd?  Start by telling your story in 120 characters that have people wanting to know more.

Which 120 characters?

Your LinkedIn “Professional Headline.” 

Your professional headline follows you everywhere on LinkedIn — when you post a status update, when you join a group, when you add or comment on a group discussion, and when you connect to someone else on LinkedIn. 

In addition to being displayed prominently under your name at the top of your LinkedIn profile, your professional headline pops up every time someone hovers over your name or photo anywhere on LinkedIn. LinkedIn uses your current position title as your professional headline unless you change it. To edit your headline, click the “edit” button next to your name when you are on the “Edit My Profile” page.

Which person are you more likely to want to connect to and network with?


Jeff Perry who piques your interest with his professional headline or David who just lists his title? 


It probably wouldn’t surprise you to find out that Jeff has 500+ connections on LinkedIn and David is struggling to reach 50.

The key to an effective headline is to be creative, yet professional. Create a headline that has LinkedIn members wanting to know more about you, your company, your interests, your passion. 

Using consistent keywords throughout your LinkedIn profile will help you rise to the top in LinkedIn keyword searches. Creating a captivating professional headline will be to your benefit every time someone hovers over your name on LinkedIn to find out more about you.

How creative can you be in 120 characters?

Here’s a few more curiosity-piquing professional headlines that stand out from the crowd that have  I’ve come across on LinkedIn:

  • Community builder, Storyteller.  Ryan Rudd
  • Courageous Coach, Precocious Procurer of Talent and Fantastic Facilitator  Ericka A Butler, PHR
  • Business Visionary…Able to bring competitive funding to almost any project worldwide.  John Busser
  • Catalyst for Revolution at Catura Creative   Michelle Schwantes
  • Forward Thinking Print Sales and Marketing Professional  Jared Martz 

Are you or any of your connections taking advantage of a creative, attention-getting headline? Share the best LinkedIn professional headlines you know in the comments section below.

LinkedIn: Maximize Your Impact

Reciprocate shared a few simple tricks to maximizing your impact on LinkedIn with members of the Saint Paul Firestorm. The presentation is below:

Pay particular attention to the areas of your profile highlighted with red arrows. Use key words here for maximum impact.

Additional information on building a optimized LinkedIn profile is available under the LinkedIn tab above. In particular, check out
LinkedIn: Network While You Sleep.

Reciprocate. Share What You Know.