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.

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?!

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.

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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!

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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].

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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].

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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?

Morgan Stanley joins the virtual cocktail party… with chaperones

imageMorgan Stanley’s ears must have been burning! I was talking about their social media use just last week, with an international consultancy that currently trains their consultants to tweet from a library of pre-written messages. 

The conversation reminded me of Morgan Stanley’s Green Light for Social Media – Bankers or Bots? because Morgan Stanley were heavily criticised for adopting the same approach when they approved 17,000 financial advisers to use Twitter and LinkedIn back in June 2012. If every tweet that you share is scripted and pre-approved, how can the contacts that you’re trying reach know that there’s a real person tweeting?

It’s taken two years, but this week Morgan Stanley finally gave their brokers freedom to tweet self-authored messages. Advisers who have at least 15 followers are now allowed to create their own tweets… if they attend an online training course, and get each message approved before posting, which “could take several hours”.

It is a step forward, but can you imagine going to an event and every time that you wanted to start or participate in a conversation you had to stop and ask a chaperone to approve what you were about to say?

Having spent 15 years in the City, 13 of those with Morgan Stanley, I’m fully aware of the challenges. Of course there are compliance issues and regulatory requirements to manage, but professionals know what they can and cannot say publically, and technology can ensure that appropriate records are kept.

The speed and reach of social media can exacerbate fears, but I have yet to discover a concern that does not also apply to emails and calls. I had a recorded telephone line at Morgan Stanley. I knew that my email account was monitored. But I did not need to ask for permission before making a call or writing an email.

Social media is just another way to talk. As with telephone/fax and email before, you will need training if it is new to you. After that, if you’re trusted to attend and speak appropriately at real life cocktail parties, you should be trusted to do the same at the virtual one!

#AMBAspring – How the conversation can continue after an event

AMBAspring

#AMBAspring was the Twitter hashtag for the Association of MBAs’ Spring Refresher at Kent Business School. I was one of four speakers – between us we were to “cover the core modules taught in today’s MBAs… innovation, entrepreneurship, marketing and finance”.

There was limited conversation on #AMBAspring before the event, so I arrived prepared for cynicism and heckling… let’s just say that there were a number of spirited exchanges!

But a shift was happening. And slowly but surely, the shift that was happening in the room could be seen online… new Twitter accounts were created, those who were already on Twitter welcomed the newbies and connected them with other attendees, reviews and reflections of the day were posted and shared… all via a hashtag that may have been considered to have already served its purpose.

And it didn’t stop there Smile

I was delighted to see the hashtag mentioned again a month after the event when I was tweeting from the #LeanInLondon launch:

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Social media makes it easy to keep #joiningthedots – make sure to continue and grow the conversations (and networks) that are of interest to you!

#WEB2014 – How do you inspire?

WEB20142,000 Women in European Business gathered at Deutsche Bank’s Conference on 4 June to hear “trailblazing individuals who leave their mark both on society and in business” answer this question. The evening was choc-a-block with lessons learned, inspiring stories and valuable advice…this blog post provides a roundup, despite my usual means of note-taking being restricted by these pre-event signs – Argh!Please switch off
When I shared this photo on Twitter, with “Hmm, that’s going to make it tricky to tweet” @TDRsalon immediately replied with “When will they learn!”. Regular readers may be surprised that it’s been three years since I voiced my frustrations to The IoD and they committed to change their announcements to “please leave your phones on”.

Frustrations aside, an excellent event, with fantastic speakers and panellists…

Interview with Joanna Lumley – conducted by Mishal Husain, BBC News
Joanna LumleyAbsolutely fabulous Smile Within seconds of stepping onto the stage, anyone who wasn’t previously in love with Lumley, fell. As Husain introduced Lumley there was the clunk of a bottle falling against some glasses somewhere in the audience. Lumley immediately responded with “steady darling!”. In amongst all the laughter and loveliness was an abundance of gems (Lumley knew Husain’s grandparents – handfuls of emeralds were involved):

  • My mother told me: there is nothing you can’t do, so do it; she also told me to stand up for the underdog and face the bullies.
  • If you’re going to take on something, don’t let them finish the sentence – just say that you’ll do it. Have no fear. You mustn’t give up. See it to the end.
  • Ab Fab took six weeks a year. £3,000 per episode, £18,000. People should know. They think you earn millions.
  • Don’t be afraid of getting old! It’s thrilling. I may be the only person in London who’s kissed every single James Bond – each was special in his own way…
  • Mistakes? Not listening… when caught, say: Go on!
  • In response to: Why a bridge in London, rather than, say money for Birmingham? – If you want to raise money for Birmingham, raise money for Birmingham. I’m raising money for the Garden Bridge. Do what you can. You can always do something.

For more, see Joanna Lumley’s lessons for the ladies of Deutsche Bank by Sarah Butcher at efinancialcareers.

Business panel discussion
Panel

Husain asked the panellists to share key lessons learned, skills required for leadership, and the most valuable piece of advice that they had received. From left to right (sorry, I didn’t take a shot including Luke Johnson):

Ann Cairns, President, International Markets for MasterCard

  • Women often apologise for doing their job – stop saying sorry.
  • You’re only as good as your boss thinks you are. For the best advice, ask your ex-boss. Once you stop working for them, they tell you everything!
  • Leaders must have a clear vision – they need to communicate it well, and give people the ability and responsibility to execute.

Emma Howard Boyd, Stewardship, Jupiter Asset Management

  • Seek out what’s important to you.
  • Giving back is essential for leadership.
  • When applying for a job, women want to meet all the criteria and not look at it as a challenge. Be very clear and precise when seeking a new role.

Daniela Barone Soares, CEO, Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation

  • Focus on transferable skills. My transition from Investment Banking to Save the Children proved that my skills were transferable.
  • You need both mentors and sponsors, You need to ask.
  • Work out what motivates and drives you. Leaders have to have self-awareness – know your strengths and what trips you up.

Luke Johnson, Chairman, Risk Capital Partners

  • I do worry about failure, but it’s only from trying things out that you get to the winning formulas. Innovation and experimentation are necessary for us to advance. You learn more when things go wrong. You will always recover from failure. Success is moving from failure to failure without giving up.
  • Everyone should have a go at running a business at some point in their lives. I believe that entrepreneurs are vital for job creation, they are key to the UK economy.
  • Most valuable advice? Two pieces: (1) start a business; (2) never give a personal guarantee.

Closing keynote – Amy Cuddy, Associate Professor, Harvard Business School
Power-posingPower-posing! I was aware of nonverbal communication and body language affecting how others see us… but can we really change our own minds by changing our posture?

Cuddy’s research shows that standing in a posture of confidence (even when you don’t feel confident) can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in your brain. It can take as little as two minutes.

Testosterone = dominance and confidence. Cortisol = stress.
Increased testosterone + Lower cortisol = Increased power/leadership/success Smile

In Cuddy’s own words:

  • Years ago, following Joanna Lumley would have made me want to hide, now I’m inspired.
  • When animals feel power, they stretch, expand and take up space. When we win, we automatically do this – arms up in the V, chin slightly lifted – we can’t help ourselves, it’s hard-wired. The instinct is so  strong that congenitally blind people also strike the pose when they win. It doesn’t matter that they’ve never seen it.
  • What do we do when we feel powerless? Again, both animals and humans do the same thing. We wrap ourselves up. We make ourselves small.  
  • What should you do before difficult situations? … two minutes of power-posing improves all elements of the equation, increases creativity and your pain threshold. Our bodies can change our minds, and our minds can change our behaviour.
  • Presence creates power, and power creates presence. Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes.
  • Power posing doesn’t change what you say, but how you say it. It’s not about faking it until you make it, but faking it until you become it.

For more, here’s Cuddy’s TED talk.

Great conference Deutsche Bank, thank you. Power-poses all round!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?

LinkedIn’s most viewed profiles for 2012 – spam or smart?

20130208 LI top 1pc emailLast Friday I received this congratulatory email from LinkedIn. I was initially flattered to be in the top percentile, then focused in on the reason behind the mailing – LinkedIn had “reached a new milestone: 200 million members”. Having done the maths, I shared a screenshot on Twitter and Facebook with the comment “Email from LinkedIn… Should I be flattered, or frightened?” The response was immediate and wide-ranging – a wonderful mixture of sincerity, skepticism and sarcasm!

It seems that there have been emails for 1%, 5% and 10%. People have been questioning the validity of the percentages attributed, and how special being one of 2 to 20 million really is. Spam? Or smart marketing?

Many have shared their top percentage on social media using the pre-typed messages provided alongside LinkedIn’s Senior Vice President of Products & User Experience’s letter (reached via “Read More” on the congratulations email)

20130208 LI top 1pc read more

and even when the congratulations haven’t been received in a sincere way, they have generated social media shares, competition and conversation

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Of course LinkedIn has a feature, only available to Premium accounts, which enables those paid members to see who has recently viewed their profile. Members with Basic accounts are frequently sends teasers to “Upgrade… to see the full list”.

By congratulating the most viewed, this campaign has generated reaction (be it pride, envy, or cynicism) and discussion about what it means to be in those top percentiles… highlighting the paid-for feature, and potentially increasing curiosity and conversions. I wonder if LinkedIn will reveal how successful this campaign ends up being in terms of upgrades. 20 million emails could suggest spam, but I’m going with smart.

How #youdrive ratings and advertising

imageShortly after spotting David Cameron’s first tweet on Saturday, I was intrigued to see #YOUDRIVE trending as a promoted hashtag. A few clicks later, I was being encouraged to “take part in a social media first”.

The Mercedes campaign featured three adverts to introduce the new A-Class to young professionals. The premise was a cat and mouse chase – UK rapper Kano was trying to get to a secret gig that the authorities were keen to close down, and viewers could vote via Twitter to steer the action real-time.

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Viewers were given two opportunities to select outcomes during two ad breaks in Saturday’s The X Factor. The finale was shown during the Sunday night show – it recapped the first two episodes before the final reveal.

imageIn contrast to the live online reaction to David Cameron joining Twitter, the initial response to #youdrive seemed incredibly positive, especially with Mercedes’ target audience.

What particularly caught my eye were the tweets preferring the adverts over the programme that they were being aired in: “Only want to watch #youdrive advert tonight. Xfactor’s boring #switch”… “Hurry up, I just wanna see the adverts #youdrive”…

A year or two back, I rarely watched any entertainment programmes live. I would record and fast forward through the adverts. Now, some programmes just aren’t the same if I miss the live hashtag insights and conversations.

As with email, then mobile phones, Twitter is increasingly just one more way for us to talk. The popularity of hashtags such as #bbcqt (BBC Question Time), #scd (Strictly Come Dancing) and #xfactor make it clear that social media has already changed our viewing habits. How much will social media and campaigns such as #youdrive change how advertising evolves?

Too many tweets might make a… David Cameron joins Twitter

imageNine months after @David_Cameron joined, and was verified by, Twitter, the first tweet from the account was sent this weekend (a few minutes before 6pm, on Saturday 6th October).

The first tweet made reference to a radio interview in 2009 in which Cameron was asked for his views on Twitter. Cameron used bad language in his response and had to subsequently apologise for his choice of words. I was curious about the timing, as I had been surprised to learn just a few days before that Maria Miller, who wasn’t on any social media when we’d met at the Basingstoke Business Leaders’ Forum, had also started tweeting.

Curiosity about timing aside, my first thoughts were mostly positive – it was about time (many other world leaders are on Twitter and Cameron is the 370th UK MP on the platform), it could provide some interesting insights and exchanges, and the opening tweet suggested that the account would have some personality.

Two days, and four further tweets, later, I’m a lot less positive. Here are the tweets:

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The tweets have been written in the first person, but with very little sense of them being personal. It’s social media. Yes, the account needs to be professional. But being professional is not mutually exclusive with being personable and having a personality.

Three of the tweets included links to carefully staged/managed photos, which jarred in their formality. They provided a poor contrast to How Jonathan Ross helped me see the business value of Twitter through his informal photos, and emphasised the extent of the gap with regards to engagement and advocacy.

Perhaps Cameron and @conservatives team should ask @Wossy for lessons?!