#Artcups – The Movie

2014-07-29 20.15.51Regular 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.

imageAnd 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 Smile

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!

 

Publishing on LinkedIn – Three Surprising Tips

20141107 LinkedInThree surprising tips, in my third post about Publishing on LinkedIn… do good things always come in threes?

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?!

Tapping into the social media treasure chest

imageIf 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!

Publishing on LinkedIn – Pros and Cons

20140415 LI invite to pubishWhen LinkedIn started the rollout of its publishing platform earlier this year, I asked: is publishing on LinkedIn a privilege or a pain?

A few months on, most seem to think the latter! But there are some positive experiences to share too…

Tipping the scales towards Pain:

imageCharles Christian, Award-winning legal technology journalist
I’ve published there but think LinkedIn has lost the plot, and object to the fact that premium users get to be influencers.

 

imageJulian Summerhayes, Consultant | Coach | Speaker
I think people will regret publishing on LinkedIn. What I’ve seen so far doesn’t fill me with much hope that people have thought about their buyer persona, the digital buyer journey and how LinkedIn has treated its users in the past with dumping certain aspects of the platform.

image

Janet Bebb, Social Media Trainer, Content Manager & Consultant
I’ve not got round to publishing yet. Reason – not even blogged on my own site so hardly likely to blog on LinkedIn. Negatives: Seeing some peoples articles that I’m 1st line connected to that I’d rather not! Benefits: just that, it can get you back in front of your contacts!

image

Aynsley Damery, Partner, Tayabali Tomlin
Honestly, a pain in addition to the TT blog, status updates, posts, tweets, etc. Agree with the valid concerns in your blog! For me, the idea is good, but… need to focus on 1, 2, 3 [what to write; how to find the time; and being mindful that the content is not under your control].

image

Tara Taubman, Founder at FlyAKite.org
Technically, just ok. Had trouble editing my first post from iPad and some comments won’t show on iPhone. Also, in a very short time, one day, LinkedIn is saying more than 250 views, so I am a bit sceptical.

Tipping the scales towards Privilege:

imageJennifer Janson, Managing Director at Six Degrees
Despite the fact that I regularly post on the Six Degrees blog, I only rarely get comments. Within 24 hours of adding my first post to LinkedIn, I had comments which included lively debate among the readers. I think that’s priceless. It might mean that I am doing something wrong on my own blog, or more likely, it means that there truly is power in the LinkedIn network.  Although it will add greater demands on my time, it’s a wonderful way to stay connected with my connections on LinkedIn, in a meaningful way. I do worry about the fact that my content might one day disappear on the whim of someone at LinkedIn, but while the publisher platform is there, I am going to do my best to use it.

imageDeb Dobson, Marketing Technology Manager at Fisher & Phillips LLP
My firm and I have been busy writing on the platform. We are seeing an increase in views, engagement and followers. It’s easier to get in front of a target audience and if a post gets picked up by a LinkedIn Pulse Channel than it really gets distributed to those following specific topics. One post got picked up by two channels that were definitely the audience the post was meant for. I would encourage the doubter to consider it one more place to publish on in addition to website/blog. We are using standard [rather than premium accounts].

image

Paolo Fabrizio, Social CRM I Blogger I Speaker
My opinion was and remains very good. In particular, I’ve experienced positive results in terms of reach, networking and engagement. I set a clear strategy before posting my first article. That was: 1) Writing on LinkedIn only in English; 2) Not copying or mixing any content of my Italian blog; 3) Covering the same topics (social customer care, corporate blog, online reputation). If you don’t have a clear strategy, you won’t get any result. In such cases, just don’t do it!

How are you finding publishing on LinkedIn? Do your experiences tip the scales towards privilege or pain?

Social Media Beyond Marketing

imageHurrah to Deloitte UK getting that social media is just another way to talk! Their new video – The Growing Power of Consumers features Nick Turner, Digital Lead for Consumer Business, but the principles he mentions also apply to the B2B world:

1. Engaging needs to go beyond the marketing function, it requires collaboration across different departments in managing different touch points. 

You don’t meet marketing departments at events, you meet human beings. You may have no interest in following a law firm on social media, but would tweet with a lawyer with expertise in your industry. Social media is not “just marketing” or “something that brands use”. 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 and a Twitter account.

2. Technology and analytics can help integrate and track interactions across all touch points and channels, to guide real-time targeted responses.

When I left Morgan Stanley I had less than a dozen connections in LinkedIn, and had never used Facebook or Twitter. I was initially very uncomfortable about social media being real-time and public… until I realised the flip-side: that social media was searchable, and you can find contacts and conversations of interest. Social media is a wonderful research resource, helps you do more with less and increases serendipity. You can virtually join events that you’re unable to make in person and conversations can continue long after the event. I could go on…

3. Reputational risks need to be managed.

Nick Turner refers to Social Command Centres. Others refer to CLOs (Chief Listening Officers). Not being on social media doesn’t mean that you’re not being spoken about online. The first step is to find out what conversations are already going on about you, your colleagues and your firm. If no-one is mentioning your firm, why not?  

It’s time to understand which social media platforms are relevant to you, and how to build and optimise profiles on those platforms. This doesn’t mean that you need to be everywhere. Discover where your contacts hang out on social media and prioritise. Speak where your contacts want to listen and engage.

4. Content creation should be focused on inspiring and informing contacts and prospects, not just selling to them.

Plan your content. Set a strategy. What you are going to talk about? How will those topics be interesting to your target audience? Who will be the ‘faces’ of your business on social media? What constraints, if any, are required on what can be said in public? 

Effective use of social media means creating content that is provocative. That is, content that provokes a reaction so that readers want to share it with their friends or engage with you on the topic. It’s better to have a strong opinion and be prepared to defend it rather than sit on the fence. 

5. Arm contacts with the right information, improve trust, and increase loyalty.

Old rules, new tools! At its heart, business is about relationships, relationships are built on conversations, and (say it with me!) social media is just another way to talk… with the added advantage that it’s searchable and accelerates the know-like-trust-buy-advocate cycle Smile

It started with a tweet… #artcups

20140501.1 LC artcupEver since a random tweet led to CubeSocial’s first breakthrough, I have encouraged start-ups and professionals to embrace the serendipity of social media.

What do I mean by this? Having just translated the Russian headline “Работник лондонского Starbucks стал знаменитостью благодаря рисункам на стаканчиках” into English (London Starbucks employee becomes a celebrity thanks to cup drawings), let me explain by reference to Gabriel Nkweti Lafitte’s amazing #artcups

A couple of weeks ago, a friend that I’ve been encouraging to tweet more often let me know that that she was back on the case:image

… then shared her first photo on Twitter:image

A couple of tweets later, I was being introduced to the artist:image

When I clicked through to Gabriel’s Twitter account, I couldn’t see a bio:image

… but did notice this older tweet on his timeline, which led to a conversation about how social media could help: image

As we chatted I learned that Gabriel had “been doing this for years. Can’t help myself. I NEED to draw or write” and that his intricate cups could “take around 12 to 40 hours”…
I HAD to let others know:image   image

Seconds later, I received a number of replies in rapid succession, including:imageimageimage

Richard kept that promise Smile 

Over the next couple of days, Richard widened the conversation to include Simon Redfern, Director of Communications at Starbucks (some tweets, mostly offline).

Less than two weeks after those first tweets, Gabriel’s first piece of press:image

… which trended above Banksy on the day (and is currently at 3.4k shares):20140508 Metro

Gabriel’s #artcups have since caught the attention of BuzzFeed, the Ellen Degeneres Show, Epicurious, GizmoDiva, Starbucks Newsroom… the list just keeps on growing…

Of course, none of this would be possible without Gabriel’s talent – but it’s nonetheless amazing to think that all this coverage can be traced back to a single tweet!

#joiningthedots: you can tweet with Gabriel @_nkweti and via #artcup and #artcups. To see more of Gabriel’s work take a peek at his Facebook page 
… and I’ve just received a tweet about his new website going live today Smile

Now go, and embrace the serendipity of social media for yourself!

Update

In the last few days, #artcups have appeared on the Huffington Post, in Canada, Malaysia, Peru, MexicoFrench, Italian, Spanish, Dutch… but still no news about Gabriel’s work appearing on ceramics. If you would like see ceramic #artcups, please add your support below. If we can get all your comments in one place, hopefully powers that be will recognise and respond to the demand soon!image

Publishing on LinkedIn – Privilege or Pain?

20140415 LI invite to pubishBack in February, LinkedIn announced that it was opening up access to its publishing platform to all 277 million users. Before then, LinkedIn had only allowed a small group of selected influencers, such as Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Jack Welch, to write and share long-form blog posts.

20140416 LI Publish.1LinkedIn said that the rollout would be staged, starting with 25,000 English language users. Those with publishing power see a small pencil icon to the right of their Share Box when they are signed into LinkedIn.

The first time you click on the pencil, you will be taken through a Publishing on LinkedIn tutorial… what you should write about, what happens when you publish and “A few things to keep in mind” – reminding you to get permissions and give credit.

20140416 LI Publish.5

If you’re keen to get started and don’t yet see a pencil, you can apply for early access here: http://specialedition.linkedin.com/publishing/

Of course, the official line from LinkedIn is that it’s “a great opportunity” (to strengthen your professional reputation by sharing your perspectives with your network) and when I was granted publishing rights, the email I received from LinkedIn was headed up as “Congrats Linda! You’re invited to publish on LinkedIn”.

Congrats? Perhaps I felt a flicker of flattery, but mostly I pondered:

  • What I would write on LinkedIn… in addition, or instead of, to this blog;
  • If in addition to, how I would find the time (#needmorethan24hoursaday now!); and
  • Having just said goodbye to CubeSocial’s LinkedIn Products & Services tab, what if LinkedIn similarly changes its mind about this feature and “retires” everything that I publish – all LinkedIn publishers need to be mindful that the platform, and therefore the content, is not under their control.

What do you think? Are you one of the first to publish on LinkedIn? How are you finding it? A privilege, or a pain?

#startup your social media

2012-12-28 23.54.10In one of my first interviews about my start-up journey, I mentioned how much I have to thank social media for. After an intense and inspiring day mentoring dotforge start-ups this week, here are my top tips for increasing your profile and serendipity on social media – whether you’re building a start-up or advancing your corporate career.

1. Social media is just another way to talk: I often hear people refer to social media as “marketing”, “something that brands use”, “irrelevant”… but 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. 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 Twitter account!

2. Speak where your contacts want to listen and engage: You don’t need to be everywhere. Discover where your contacts hang out on social media and prioritise those platforms. As a social CRM and social media consultancy, some think it is unusual that we don’t have much of a Facebook presence – but many of our contacts, who are predominately from professional services firms, simply don’t want to talk about work there.

3. Think – old rules, new tools: Traditional best practices still apply, but you can reach a larger, yet more targeted, audience. Social media accelerates the know-like-trust-buy-advocate cycle. The real-time and searchable nature of social media means that you can find contacts and conversations of interest. By demonstrating your expertise and personality, you can become the host of the virtual parties that matter to you – with prospects/investors/employers approaching you, rather than you needing to find and pitch to them Smile

4. LinkedIn is your virtual shop front, Twitter the virtual cocktail party, and Facebook the virtual house party: Dress/speak appropriately! Make sure that your virtual shop front has a great address and would encourage your ideal client/employer to walk through the door. Twitter is incredibly powerful for building your profile and network because who you follow is not connected to who follows you… as with real-life networking events, you can join any conversation uninvited, as long as you have something interesting, insightful and/or amusing to add. Many of our professional services contacts demonstrate their expertise by hosting events. Twitter is a great way to build interest, conversation and engagement before an event, which in turn increases attendance, and social sharing during and after; whereas the same contacts/firms may use Facebook for charity events, summer parties, etc. once relationships have been firmly established.

5. Be social via and on social media: Social media is a wonderful research resource. I now routinely read the websites, blogs and profiles of contacts before speaking with them for the first time – whether in person, or online. Time can be saved and conversations made more relevant when you already know someone’s areas of interest and mutual connections. Relationships that might have taken years to build can now be formed in a matter of months, sometimes even weeks. Don’t join conversations and meetings without this easily available intelligence. And whenever possible, help to #jointhedots / in #joiningthedots – if you take a peek now, you’ll find all the fantastic entrepreneurs and start-ups I met this week Smile

Getting started with Twitter – top 5 newbie questions answered

imageAs a Facebook Novice to Social Media CEO I’m frequently asked about my conversion from social media cynic and how I got started with Twitter.

Here’s a roundup of the most popular questions and my responses:

  1. Where to begin? 5 must-dos
  2. How do hashtags work? A case study (see the comments section for a link to another example)
  3. What are these “mystifying acronyms”? #FF, DM and RT explained
  4. Why are full stops added before Twitter usernames? Who sees what you’re tweeting
  5. Am I stuck with the username I chose on sign up? How to change your username

Should this list be extended to a top 10? What else would you like answered?

If you and/or your team are getting started with Twitter and would like some social media training or 1-to-1 coaching, get in touch.

How to change your Twitter username

image

So you’ve created an account, worked though the 5 must-dos to get started with Twitter, then realised that your username is tricky for people to say or spell, or not a tweet way to raise your profile. Don’t worry, it’s very easy to fix…

1. Go to Twitter, click on the cog (top right), then Edit profile:

image

2. Select Account, then change the username listed (mine’s LindaCheungUK to match with LinkedIn – you can also claim your LinkedIn public profile as your own):

image 

image

3. Save changes at the bottom of the page:

image

That’s it! If the username is taken, you will be prompted to choose another one. Usernames can contain up to 15 characters.

Changing your username will not affect your existing followers – they will simply see a new username next to your profile photo when you update.

If a CubeSocial contact changes their username, a new contact card will be created by tweet conversations, then you can simply merge the new with the old Smile

image