LinkedIn and HubSpot’s Love Child – The Marketing Skills Handbook

LinkedIn HubSpot Marketing Skills Handbook - A Deep Dive into Todays Most In-Demand Marketing JobsHubSpot and LinkedIn recently released some very interesting joint literature titled The Marketing Skills Handbook – A Deep Dive into Today’s Most In-Demand Marketing Jobs. Why does this concern you? Because you may be a company looking to hire a marketing professional, a marketing professional yourself or you’re just curious (as you should be). Read on, friends, for an overview and some of my own opining.

So this is the most exciting part, and I can’t wait to share it with you so I am just going to spill the beans now – HubSpot and LinkedIn report that SEO is the number one most-valued skill in marketing job candidates. Across the tech, financial services, education, retail and manufacturing industries, SEO is in the top 2 most-valued marketer skills. I am really glad to see this. SEO has largely been a buzzword, which hiring managers and job candidates alike throw around without any real regard for the skill. A firm grasp of SEO with a good helping of experience should indeed be expected of marketing professionals!

But, how does a hiring manager validate the claims of a job candidate? How does that individual prove that he or she actually has the SEO know-how they claim to have, or some of the other requisite marketing skills for that matter? Certificates, that’s how. Google offers one for Analytics and AdWords, HubSpot offers a few. Here’s a Quora post with suggested top marketing certifications to get any modern marketer going (links throughout the post may not work so just use your search skills to find them).

Despite the strong demand for SEO, it generally doesn’t show up in the top 3 skills. In addition to SEO, SEM is heavily emphasized (alongside SEO) and so is Marketing Demand Generation as well as Digital and Online Marketing.

The handbook also explains the increasing importance of the marketing department as data-driven customer intelligence takes the wheel. This is evident particularly in the fact that marketing titles continue to increase in prominence on LinkedIn. Additionally, the guide offers helpful tips for marketing professionals or enthusiasts looking to enhance their LinkedIn profile.

I have to note that HubSpot, premier inbound marketing platform visionaries, and LinkedIn, professional networking powerhouse, are like a match made in heaven for this study. How did the stars align so? I mean, it just makes sense, but still, whoever there is to thank for thinking up this joint study, I bow to you. Seriously.

Lastly, I just thought I would mention just how darn fun the design of this handbook is… right?

List of Skills Marketing Departments Want in 2015 from LinkedIn and HubSpot for The Marketing Skills Handbook

Skills Marketing Departments Want in 2015 | LinkedIn and HubSpot

-Sarah Le
View Sarah Roullard's profile on LinkedIn

FYI Social Media Marketing Acronyms List

The world of Marketing closely follows current trends and cultural tendencies. Acronyms are one of these cultural tendencies that marketers are keeping close tabs on, so much so that they are now a permanent facet of marketing vernacular. Marketers have adopted many of the common acronyms in their messaging, keeping a pulse on consumer behavior and interacting appropriately. Beyond that, Marketers create their own social media marketing acronyms to make internal communication faster and easier. It’s a good idea to know these acronyms as you may find them around the internet and in communication with marketing professionals.

Acronyms are particularly useful in social media where character limits often apply or time invested is minimal. You may find your consumers regularly using common acronyms on social media. I definitely recommend that you take a moment to understand their messages – you could otherwise be missing valuable insight into consumer behavior!

Don’t let this overwhelm you. It may seem as though there is a new acronym every week, and that may be true. I’ve found that once I nailed down the essential, basic social media marketing acronyms, I have been primed to quickly pick up new ones, which are often derivatives of those already in common use. Once you get the hang of it, you may even be able to decode new ones as they crop up, without any help.

Before you navigate to Urban Dictionary, take a look at this awesome list of social media marketing acronyms compiled by social media management platform Sprout Social:

 

Social Media Acronym Cheatsheet - Sprout Social

Courtesy of Sprout Social

Motivational Monday – Get Your Motivation On

I am sure there is an exception here but for the most part, we all struggle with motivation at work from time to time. Some of us may struggle with it more frequently than others. Building your motivation up from 0 to 100% can seem like the hardest task on your list.

I personally have a hard time looking at a long list of To-Dos and getting started. I first noticed the problem in college and let it linger on into my professional life before I thought, enough is enough! I’ve since developed some habits to help (I’ll note the activities I practice below) – but there’s always room for improvement, isn’t there?

Here are some resources to boost your motivation and get you excited for productivity at work.

1) Plan rewards between tasks.

A piece of candyBreak up your day with little rewards designed to get you looking forward to more than just completing each task. Setting up a rewards system is a proven psychological hack for getting through those rough times. These rewards can be 5 minutes on Facebook, a walk around the building, a snack, etc. Space out individual rewards between tasks with bigger rewards taking place after more difficult or longer tasks. Don’t cheat! Stick to your plan. Once you get one or two rewards you’ll feel your motivation climb.

 

2) Start with a fun to-do item first.

I often structure my day’s to-dos by putting an important but easy if not fun task as the first item on my list. The goal is to get that item done quickly and then experience the rewarding feeling of crossing it off your list. If you are productive right out the gate, you’re much more likely to feel motivated to get through the rest of your task list with enthusiasm and efficiency.

 

3) Create a “pre-game” routine to get you in the correct frame of mind.

A lot can be said for getting into the correct frame of mind to before starting. This can be said about any activity: working out, speaking, cleaning your house, etc. It’s easier said than done. That’s why some productive people go through a few ritual activities to get into the proper mental state. Here’s a great article that will help you develop your own pre-game routine.

 

4) Watch this video:

A motivational video may help you refocus and build enthusiasm for productivity.

5) Still stuck in a rut? Try meditation.

Uh oh, did this blog post suddenly get all spiritual on you? No, no. I’m not suggesting that you pursue the life of a monk. Believe it or not, many successful entrepreneurs and business professionals practice mindfulness meditation on a regular basis as a way to direct their focus throughout the day for maximum efficacy in each activity. There are many different forms of meditation. Through practice, mindfulness meditation helps you control your wandering thoughts. The goal is to strengthen your awareness and put yourself in the moment. To learn more about the practice of mindfulness meditation, it’s purpose and benefits, read this article.

 

Hopefully some of these tips help you! Have a happy Monday.

 

-Sarah Le
View Sarah Roullard's profile on LinkedIn

Avoid These Top 3 Branding Mistakes

The word branding may call to mind decades-old, even centuries-old brands such as Levi’s, Wells Fargo and Starbucks. A lot of thought and planning goes into developing a brand. Don’t let that discourage you from creating your brand. If your company can avoid making these top 3 branding mistakes, then you’ll be in business.

 

1) Not Understanding the Power of Branding

Sure you know that you need a logo and that logo needs to be on every website, social media account and piece of collateral associated with your business. But that’s not enough. Branding, at its core, is about a single message that is memorable and motivational to your target market. The result, coupled with marketing, is a brand that inspires credibility and encourages members of the target market to follow and invest in your offering.

Don’t let this concept intimidate you. Consider it a creative brainstorming process in which you develop your company’s core message that encapsulates your offering and why it is the g0-to product or service. This message will serve as the brand’s foundation. All branding and marketing content should emanate from that message. Start with that and move onto your slogan, elevator pitch, logo, collateral, etc.

2) Over-promising in Your Brand Promise

Good Branding - Don't make these top 3 branding mistakesWho hasn’t heard the age-old phrase of “under-promise and over-deliver”? The same applies to your branding. Try to focus on the one thing that your business does best and base your brand promise on delivering that “thing” but do it better than your customers expect. Promise what you can deliver, and only that, but then crank it up to the max in some way – make that deliverable top quality with something extra. If you can provide exceptional customer service on top of a good product/service, then make sure it’s done right with follow up calls or emails from a dedicated representative. If your company can produce the fastest then provide email updates with status to surprise your customers.

By over-delivering, you are providing unexpected value to your customers who in turn will spread their positive experience with others – the holy grail, word-of-mouth marketing! So be honest and specific about your brand promise then be ready to wow your customers.

3) Branding That is Too Scattered or Inconsistent

Your branding needs to be focused. If you’re trying to be all things to all people then you are just setting yourself, and your team, up for failure. Branding is all about focus. Determine the most compelling part of your offering and stick with that.

In addition, it can be difficult to ensure that the brand’s message comes across as intended in every circumstance when you have multiple employees involved in marketing or advertising. Consider creating a brand style guide for your team to refer to in order to keep branded messages, communications, materials, etc. consistent. The branding style guide should include a variety of instructions, such as the basics of how your logo should be used, brand colors, etc. You can also include copy-writing guidelines, which would outline the style of messaging in different circumstances. Include examples of proper use and misuse for each item in your style guide. To learn more about creating a brand style guide visit this helpful page at Web Designer Depot.

 

-Sarah Le
View Sarah Roullard's profile on LinkedIn

Outstanding Facebook Pages

Facebook logo - Outstanding Facebook PagesFacebook is a powerful tool that can carry a brand beyond the remote nature of its website home-base and into a highly social, discoverable space where that brand can find and build its community of like-minded supporters. Some pages are successful, many more are not. Below are examples of outstanding Facebook pages and what they’re doing right. These pages demonstrate what can be achieved through passionate, creative Facebook posting.

1) Humans Of New York

With over 10 million “likes” on Facebook, HONY is a groundbreaking photojournalism site that originally started out with subjects in New York City. Posts consist of individuals or small groups around the city and a short quote from the subject, with the occasional promotion of the brand owner’s photo books. The brand has recently broadened to a global focus as the founder travels the world with his camera for 10 months. HONY benefits most from the subjects themselves, however the photojournalist behind the brand also seeks out the raw, humanizing truth of his subjects. He’s capturing a person’s personality, even their soul, through his photography and interviews. Conversations crop up with almost every post due to the diversity and often controversial context of many photos and their messages.

What we can learn: Authentic messages, true to the page’s mission, are the mark of a good brand that inspire conversations and sharing.

 

2) Forest Freak

Environmental awareness and education oriented Facebook page Forest Freak posts daily reminders of the preciousness of our natural world. Their posts are inspiring and informative, consisting mainly of beautiful images of natural scenes. From time to time Forest Freak asks followers to share posts. This Facebook page has quite a following, boasting over 50,000 “likes.” This page draws people who are passionate about the environment and want to help spread environmental awareness.

What we can learn: Occasionally ask followers to share posts.

 

3) The Imagination Tree

Parents and teachers flock to this page to get educational craft ideas for young ones. The Imagination Tree has a popular blog counterpart. The brand was created by a teacher from the UK. She creates bright, exciting images of the crafts to accompany tutorials, which also offer explanations on how children benefit from each activity. Due to her background as a teacher, followers of the page can trust and depend on her to provide credible tutorials.
What we can learn: Tutorials with great visuals presented by an expert generate trusting followers.

 

4) Beautiful/Decay

This page features unique art from around the world. Posts exclusively link to articles on the Beautiful Decay website. The artworks are often shocking and depict odd, even confusing scenes. Almost every image will stop visitors in their tracks. Posts receive plenty of shares and “likes” but few comments. Still, at over 65,000 “likes” this page has quite the following.

What we can learn: Eye-popping images attract followers.

 

5) Carol Roullard Art

As you may have noticed, all of the pages listed in this article have a lot of followers. However, engagement is really what you want out of a Facebook page. The Carol Roullard Art Facebook page has much fewer followers in comparison but much the same level of engagement. In some instances, this page beats out the other members of this list for engagement. I help manage this Facebook page with my mother, Carol Roullard. We post pictures of her micro-crystal fine art, potential pieces, new experiments, event info, press, etc. Often times we pose questions to the community and ask what followers see in her work, as everyone seems to see something different in the abstract art. Followers respond positively to this. We often get a lot of comments and “likes” on posts that request followers’ input.

What we can learn: Don’t focus on follower count. Aim for engagement as it is the sign of a healthy community, which is the true goal of social media marketing.

 

 

6) Puppy Bowl

Proof that a successful Facebook page can be created from something truly bonkers, but in some way attractive to the masses. Mix humor with cuteness and you have the Puppy Bowl and its very successful Facebook page. Almost every post on the page features an adorable pup. As far as these outstanding Facebook pages go, this page is unique in that it has a powerful marketing campaign behind it due to its major television network roots. Animal Planet provides the marketing arm for the Puppy Bowl and so the Facebook page benefits in turn.

What we can learn: Cuteness wins hearts (and “likes”).

 

 

7) Hidden Los Angeles

The “things going on in my area” category, when done well, can be a highly popular resource for those living in and interested in a particular location. Los Angeles, being very expansive as well as a top travel destination in the world, is an easy target for the category. The page has well over 300,000 “likes” and lots of engagement, meaning that posts are relevant and high quality.

What we can learn: When you have your page’s mission, always reference back to it when determining each post. Followers will increase as a result.

 

Summing Up these Outstanding Facebook Pages

Across all of these outstanding Facebook pages you will see these key points for the page’s success: regular, frequent posting and adherence to a mission. Once a page has determined its goal, it can begin to post high quality content tied into the mission at a regular pace and new followers will come. Keep posts high quality and engagement will follow as well.

5 Misconceptions About Twitter

Twitter is considered to be at the top of the social media food chain. There are many misconceptions about the social media giant partly due to its prominence and also due to the obscurity underlying social’s efficacy. Below is a list of the top 5 misconceptions about Twitter.

1. Twitter is an inauthentic space for self-promoters

Users can build strong followings by connecting with their audience through legitimate, meaningful conversation around a particular topic. Despite the popularity of this strategy amongst social media influencers, much of the public views Twitter as a site rife with self-promotion. This conception has some validity as there are plenty of Twitter account holders who do post messages and content that only endorse themselves. However, there may be many more users who use the social network to post their mundane day-to-day experiences. Twitter should not be employed as a channel to vent your thoughts, either. There are many types of Twitter users out there. Sometimes different institutions try to to generalize the Twitter-verse into key types, like in this Forbes article, but you’ll find many variances amongst the concocted sets of personas.

2. My tweets should be saturated with hashtags

You know, hashtags, those hyperlink-connected words or phrases with a number sign in front of them found in many a tweet? They should not comprise every single word in a tweet. Tweets full of hashtags will annoy your audience and are likely to get disregarded. Hashtags should be used thoughtfully and minimally in tweets. A good rule of thumb is to include a maximum of 2 hashtags per tweet. It is also a good idea to research what hashtags are in use for your subject matter/industry.

3. I can reach celebrities and get responses

The perceived connectivity through Twitter and other social media is an illusion. Although everyone on twitter can reach out to others, including high profile users and celebrities, it doesn’t mean they will ever see your message or respond. Public figures and stars, even those famous for their social media usage, do not have time to reply to every mention and DM (Direct Message) sent their way. They may receive several hundred contact attempts daily. In many cases, particularly with celebrities, these famed individuals have PR agencies in charge of their social accounts. This isn’t to say that you can’t try to build a connection with high profile Twitter users, but much time, care, patience and a strong dose of sheer luck would be involved.

Twitter Logo - 5 Misconceptions About Twitter4. Everyone sees all my tweets and I see everyone else’s tweets

As of August 2014, Twitter reported 271 million monthly active users, with 500 million tweets sent per day. The average user’s tweets will likely get lost in all the noise. It’s good to have a realistic expectation for the response, or lack-there-of your tweets will receive. As a basic principle of marketing, increasing your brand’s visibility requires a strategy and time to implement it. With effort, persistence, authenticity and time you can get more eyeballs on your tweets.

5. It’s all the same

This is one of the most unfortunate misconceptions about Twitter and social media in general. Each social network is unique and requires its own strategy. Each social media platform provides different benefits depending on a brand’s industry. There are some similar functions to be found amongst the various social media sites, but the usage is distinct.

 

Twitter has grown to become one of the most prominent social media networking sites out there. The website’s growth in popularity has minimized the number of false impressions surrounding the social media giant, but still many misconceptions about Twitter persist.

One last tip: focus more on starting great conversations and tweeting quality content than just gaining followers. Your follower count will go up as a result, possibly more slowly at first, but the quality of your followers will be much higher than if you were to just connect with the #followback-ers… #JustSaying.

 

-Sarah Le
View Sarah Roullard's profile on LinkedIn

Small Businesses & Social Media Marketing Go Together

I’ll be honest, I love the small town feel I grew up with.  I can greatly appreciate the sense of comfort felt when walking into a local restaurant, venue, shop, etc. and feeling at home because I  know and trust the business just like I would trust a well-known neighbor.

Since we’re being honest, I know that as a business-owner you might feel the inclination to appeal to your customers as their go-to “mom and pop” shop while also yearning for growth.   I believe it’s all possible!  Social media marketing is the way.

I want to help you become the neighborhood favorite.  One-on-one communication has always been at the base of good business.  Your customers want to be in touch with you!  Its time to reach out to your community in new ways, making a real connection with each beloved customer and thus broadening your business horizons.

As a customer I always look for personal touches, smiling employees, and helpful customer service, the kind of aspects that small businesses are most well-known for. Social media provides a means for broadcasting these sought-after traits. Your satisfied customers may pick up on these broadcasts using social media and re-promote these business traits. If connecting with your customers and community to spread the message of your business in a new way sounds good to you, then let’s get started!

Get in touch with me today so I can help you connect with more of your community while keeping that small town vibe.

Visit the Contact Me page to get the process started!

-Sarah Roullard
View Sarah Roullard's profile on LinkedIn

Addressing Small Businesses

I’m here to help you and your small business communicate with potential customers in your neighborhood via social media.

..
What’s that?  You say you don’t think social media will help your small business?  Here’s some compelling data from small business trend reporting and resource site, Inc.com:

The 2010 Local Search Usage Study yielded some key findings, such as,

7 out of 10 consumers…


…are more likely to use a local business if it has information available on a social media site”

Consumer More Likely to Use Businesses Active on Social Media, by Courtney Rubin, Inc

Here is some additional information from leading social media review site, Mashable.com:

According to a study on the relationship between small businesses and social media done by The University of Maryland,

“nearly one in five small business owners are integrating social media into their business processes”

45% of surveyed respondents even believe theirsocial media initiatives will pay off financially in 12 months or less

How Small Business is Using Social Media [STATS], by Jennifer Van Grove, Mashable

This means that some of your competitors may already be attracting potential customers away from your product/service using social media.

Are you doubtful that your competitors are using social media?  Then there’s no better time to start than now as the first in your industry!

I’m here to help you.  Let me know when you are ready to take the plunge and get your company noticed using social media!

Additional Reading:

Visit the Contact Me page to get the process started!

-Sarah Roullard
View Sarah Roullard's profile on LinkedIn

Social Media for Social Good

Hello again!

Social Media has many purposes; connecting friends, sharing news, promoting brands, etc. One bright, revolutionary use of social media is to support charity giving and cause awareness.

Non-profit groups have taken charge of their social media accounts and banded together with celebrities, political leaders, and other prominent influencers, to create charity campaigns aimed at raising funds or awareness for a cause.

These initiatives are very similar to telethons, where the charity group works with key influencers to share a message and prompt action via one particular media outlet.  Sometimes these “social media-thons” take place over the course of a specified amount of time.  One example is Blog Action Day which occurred on Friday, October 15th, 2010.


The event was created by Change.org with the intent of inspiring conversation and action over the world’s diminishing quantities of fresh water.  Conversations took place across blogs, twitter, and other social media venues.  According to Change.org, close to 6,000 blogs across 143 countries reached over 41 million readers about our use of water and the great shortage occurring even now.

There are many other means of using social media for social good.  Here is a great example, explained in a Mashable news article:

BroadbandTV Corp. recently launched a YouTube destination to get your social good on. The site, named VISO Give, aggregates pre-existing video content from non-profits, sorts it by company name and type of cause, and lets you watch or search for your favorites.” –

Here’s a VISO Give-featured video by DoSomething.org featuring Nick Cannon, aimed at grade-school children and teenagers.  The video advocates that young listeners get involved in expanding environmental consciousness through making changes in school practices, such as eliminating Styrofoam from the cafeteria and turning off computers at the end when not in use.

(Video by DoSomething.org, via VISO Give)

To learn more about cause-supporting social media campaigns, visit the Mashable Social Good page by clicking here.

-Sarah Roullard
View Sarah Roullard's profile on LinkedIn

Visit the Contact Me page to get the process started!

Case Study: Food Truck Industry and Social Media

Hello and Happy New Year!  Are you curious about how different industries use social media to increase brand awareness?  Please watch the following two videos which illustrate how social networking is utilized to create and strengthen communication with customers.

Make sure to take note of how these small business leverage social media applications such as Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare to reach out to the community and create excitement over the brand.

Video by WalletPopVideo.

Video by Eye on LA via DonChowTacos.

Apologies for any hunger pains!

-Sarah Roullard
View Sarah Roullard's profile on LinkedIn

Visit the Contact Me page to get the process started!