Regular readers will know how much I love the serendipity of social media, and that I have previously explained this phenomenon by referring to Gabriel Nkweti’s amazing #artcups – fearful that mine would suffer any damage, it now has its own artcup armour!
The campaign for Gabriel’s work to appear on ceramics continues, but it’s clear that Gabriel has Starbucks’ attention – earlier this month, an art installation of his work was featured at the Starbuck Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle.
And nearly a year to the day since I was first introduced to Gabriel and his work, I was delighted to hear that Starbucks has made a video about G’s Art – of course I was notified by social media
Here’s the video. Of course, none of this would have happened without Gabriel’s talent – but it’s nonetheless incredible to think that all the coverage and recognition received can be traced back to a single tweet!
Once upon a time, in a social media land far, far, away… you could only send private messages to those who followed you on Twitter. That changed earlier this week, when Twitter announced that you can now receive Direct Messages (DMs) from anyone, even if you don’t follow them.
To receive DMs from anyone, go to https://twitter.com/settings/security to access your Security and privacy settings, then select the box next to “Receive Direct Messages from anyone” – it’s currently the last option in your Security and privacy settings. Twitter say that the option is rolling out, so if you don’t see it yet, check back in a week or so.
To highlight this new option, the DM icon will appear on Android and iPhone profile pages of people you can send DMs to, making it easy to see who has already turned the feature on.
To stop someone from sending you DMs, you can block the user, or unfollow them and delete the conversation. Blocking a user prevents them from sending you DMs, regardless of whether or not you have enabled the “Receive Direct Messages from anyone” setting.
So, that’s how you can opt in to receive DMs from anyone… but should you?
There’s clearly a good use case for business Twitter accounts. Customer support can require information that needs to be privately shared. Businesses can now communicate directly and privately with contacts, without needing to ask them to follow them first.
And I can also see how this option will be helpful for journalists, to keep potential stories and sources under wraps.
But for others… what’s the upside? I would love to hear why you’re opting in if you are.
In the first post, I asked if being one of the first to publish was a privilege or pain.
In the second, I looked at the pros and cons.
This third post comes via Jennifer Janson, who contributed to the second, and tweet alerted me to 10 Data-Driven Steps To Dominate LinkedIn Publishing by Melonie Dodaro.
Dodaro’s infographic is based on “the 3,000 most successful LinkedIn publishing posts”. Surprisingly, the ten tips include –
1. Longer is better in LinkedIn publishing: 1,900 – 2,000 word posts significantly outperform shorter content.
2. Sitting on the fence is a good thing: Neutral posts perform more than 70% better than those with either positive or negative sentiment.
3. Questions don’t make great titles: The more successful posts had statement headlines.
So… don’t ask questions, don’t have an opinion, and don’t use one word when you can use more?!
The network collaborates to encourage women to find role models and mentors, share best practice through networking, and provide a supportive environment to connect. CWT’s purpose is to send a strong message to the market that IT is an attractive place for women to work.
When I first jumped off the corporate train, I was surprised to notice the interest/curiosity that my gender could create in the start-up world. I’ve since come to realise that the interest/curiosity usually multiplies when it is revealed that my start-up is a tech one!
So, big thumbs up to CWT
CWT are hosting their 13th event: Professional Networking – Building Your Online Network and Managing Your Social Media Presence, this Wednesday, at Intel. I am delighted to feature as their keynote speaker, in a line-up that includes:
- Eileen Brown, who created CWT in 2007 when she worked at Microsoft;
- Katie Barnsley and Mark Walton of LinkedIn; and
- Angela Harkness and Cheryl Laidlaw, who will be encouraging CWT members to “Get educated, get social, get Google+”.
For more on the event, see: Agenda
Male or female, working for a CWT company or not, you’re very welcome to join via the hashtag: #CWTNetworking (when you click this link, you’ll see the most recent tweets).
See you at Intel and/or at the virtual cocktail party via the hashtag soon!
#ConnectedBiz is the Twitter hashtag for Enterprising Barnsley’s annual conference Connected Business – Making Online Work For Your Bottom Line.
The event tomorrow will be Enterprising Barnsley’s third conference, and I’m delighted to be asked back after speaking at their first event in 2012.
Clockwise from top left in Enterprising Barnsley’s photo of the line-up:
- Me and CubeSocial – I’m going to be speaking about the evolution of LinkedIn, and questioning whether LinkedIn profiles are now a business basic or burden;
- Adrian McEwen, MCQN – will talk about the rise of interconnected smart devices and how the ‘internet of things’ could impact business in the future;
- Greg Williams, WIRED – hosting the conference;
- Simon Biltcliffe, Webmart – will share his experience of taking advantage of digital resources in order to grow his business; and
- Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC Technology Correspondent – conference keynote.
If you didn’t make the kick-off event, here’s what I had to say on the power of social media for business: Video
And regardless of whether or not you can join in person, do join via the hashtag: #ConnectedBiz (when you click this link, you’ll see the most recent tweets).
Looking forward to being back in Barnsley and seeing you all soon!
#joiningthedots has been central to CubeSocial, ever since a random tweet led to our first breakthrough: a 45 minute slot on BBC Radio to talk about our business – before we had determined what our business would be! People often ask us how that came about, and the answer is a random tweet.
A financial services journalist tweeted about passing though “grim” Basingstoke on a train and asked if there was anything good about it. I replied asking if she knew that I had moved there. If yes, how rude! That led to an email exchange which resulted in me being asked to write an article on ‘Why I left the City for a start-up in Basingstoke’. Two days after the article was published, the BBC phoned.
So I was delighted to learn of another #joiningthedots success story last night. Of course, I was notified by social media – first by Google+, then by a tweet, both from Paolo Fabrizio.
Paolo’s Google+ post was headed up “The power of online connections: from a tweet to a Forbes article” and included a screen shot of the tweets which resulted in an excited reply with a Forbes link:
Without social media, this wouldn’t have happened.
As Paolo says at the end of his Google+ post: “That’s the power of online networking”.
I will be speaking alongside MoFo Women London’s chair, Sue McLean, on how to incorporate social media into business networking.
In keeping with the spirit of the event, Sue invited me to speak after seeing my recent interview by Lexis®Commercial about the use of social media by law firms on Twitter. How appropriate / What an handy example for the event!
Echoing Socially Aware’s announcement, if you:
- don’t know your ‘like’ from your ‘hashtag’;
- have a LinkedIn account but aren’t sure how to get the most out of it; or
- use Twitter in your personal life, but struggle with how it works in a business context
… join us. It would be great to see you there
For more details, including how to register, see: MoFoWomen
If you’re not based in London / can’t make 6pm in person, join via the hashtag: #MFWsocial (when you click this link, you’ll see the most recent tweets)
And if you’re curious to learn more about hashtags, take a peek at these blog posts:
- A hashtag case study;
- The difference a day and the right hashtag can make;
- It started with a tweet… #artcups;
- #AMBAspring – how the conversation can continue after an event
Once you see how hashtags work, I hope to see you enjoying and benefiting from them!
The image on the left is a screenshot from my phone. At first glance, at the From, the LinkedIn headline and formatting, it looks genuine.
However, I always make sure to pause because clicking on a link, and during that pause I was surprised to see the email addressed “Dear LinkedIn User” rather than to my name .
As I was in the office, I thought to have a second look at the email from my computer. While the From had looked genuine on my phone, it did not on my computer screen:
Thought to share and say beware!
If the heading looks familiar… it’s because you’ve seen it before! I was recently interviewed by Lexis®Commercial about the use of social media by law firms, and this heading is from Paul Caddy’s article.
Click here to see the full interview – while it focuses on law firms, the themes covered apply to all professional services firms:
1. Social media is fast becoming a hygiene factor in business
Can you imagine telling an important contact that you don’t have email? Can you visualise their reaction? Many will now look at you in the same way if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile or a Twitter account.
2. Social media is just another way to talk
At its heart, business is about relationships, and relationships are built on conversations. Conversations first became virtual via letters, then telephones and faxes, then emails… and now social media.
3. Find out what people are saying about you, your colleagues and your firm
Not being on social media doesn’t mean that you’re not being spoken about. Head over to Google and search. Next, see what bloggers are saying on Google Blog Search. Then go to Twitter and search there. Each result or conversation that you find is an opportunity to influence. If no-one is mentioning your firm, why not?
4. Find out which platforms your clients and prospects are using
You don’t need to be everywhere. Discover where your contacts want to engage and prioritise those platforms. LinkedIn is your virtual shop front, Twitter the virtual cocktail party, and Facebook the virtual house party. Twitter is a very powerful platform for professionals. As with real-life networking events, you can join any conversation uninvited, as long as you have something relevant and/or amusing to add. You can also boost the ROI of events by integrating social media.
5. Think glass half-full
Some are afraid of social media because it’s public and real-time… which means that social media is searchable: you can find contacts and conversations of interest; reach a larger, yet more targeted, audience; and accelerate the know-like-trust-buy-advocate cycle. By demonstrating your expertise and personality, you can become the host of the virtual parties that matter to you – with opportunities and prospects coming to you, rather than you needing to find and pitch to them.
6. Plan your content, set a strategy
- What you are going to talk about? How will those topics be interesting to your target audience? Effective use of social media means creating content that is provocative… content that provokes a reaction so that readers want to share or engage. It’s better to have a strong opinion and be prepared to defend it rather than sit on the fence.
- Who will be the ‘faces’ of your firm on social media? What training will those individuals need? It may seem like a lifetime ago, but it’s not so long since people needed training on how to use faxes and emails!