How to receive Twitter Direct Messages from anyone… should you opt in?

DMsOnce 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.image

Twitter are also updating their messaging rules, so that you can reply to anyone who sends you a DM, regardless of whether or not that person follows you.image

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.

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

How social media helps you do more with less

Are you a small business thinking about using social media? Are you apprehensive about how and where to start?

Vodafone Your Better Business asked me what advice I would give to small businesses wanting to use social media for customer services, and summarised my answers into this two minute video:

When I refer to “query at three”, I’m referring to the fact that customers may now get in touch at three in the morning, because social media provides an option for them to get in touch at their convenience. This does not mean that customers expect you to respond at 3am, just as they wouldn’t have called you at that time in the days before social media… shame that my comments about customers not expecting small businesses to be online 24/7 didn’t make it through the editing process!

The video was filmed and originally shared last year, but I recently learned that it was getting another airing when a friend posted the link onto my Facebook page, and Natasha Davies joined the conversation via Comments to explain why… how appropriate that I should be notified via social media Smile

For the full report from The Perspective series, see Customer Service Beyond Today

LinkedIn Company Pages – how to say goodbye to your Products & Services tab

20140409 LinkedIn P&GWith less than a week to go until LinkedIn “retires” Products & Services, I have followed LinkedIn’s suggestions to copy and save CubeSocial recommendations, and request a copy from LinkedIn.

If you’re planning to do the same, you have five days until your Products & Service tab will be removed on 14  April, and until the end of next month to get in touch with LinkedIn Customer Services. LinkedIn have committed to have recommendation data as of 4 March, available until 30 May – but if you want complete data, you will need to act now…  

I couldn’t find any details of what LinkedIn’s copy would include or look like before submitting my request. While I can’t fault LinkedIn’s response time (just under an hour), I was disappointed to receive an Excel file – see extract below:

LinkedIn P&S.1

It seems that approximately 150 words / 1,000 characters (with spaces) have been allowed for the Description field, which has been populated from Product/Service Overviews. For most of our offerings, the end of our descriptions are missing from the LinkedIn file.

And because LinkedIn is restricting their scope to recommendations, despite retiring Products & Services, if you have any offerings that have not received recommendations, not only will the end of your descriptions be missing, but the beginning and middle will be missing too!

Names and contact details of the individuals who took the time to recommend CubeSocial’s Products & Services are not provided. Instead, LinkedIn provides a “Reviewer_Profile_URL” field, e.g. http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=82977862 is Freelancer Journalist and Editor Alison Coleman. It would have been much more helpful to see public profile URLs, e.g. http://uk.linkedin.com/in/alisoncolemanfreelance rather than have to click through an unfamiliar ID number.

Previously uploaded images for each Product/Service are not attached.

Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by LinkedIn’s seemingly generous deadline. Reduce the potential pain of saying goodbye to your Products & Services tab by getting in touch with LinkedIn as soon as possible. Not only will you receive a record of your recommendations, you will see what’s missing and needs to be copied before your Product & Services tab disappears.

I’m sad to say goodbye… we’ve really appreciated all the time and thought that you have taken to recommend our Products & Services, and, of course, all the B2B leads that your positive words have generated Smile THANK YOU and trust that we have a record of your comments saved to treasure!