#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 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! 

#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

Valentine treats… with a CubeSocial orange tweak!

2013-02-14 09.37.51Happy Valentine’s to you, and Happy Birthday to us! Are you feeling the love today? We are… and we’re not afraid to show it!

Two years ago today we moved into our office, with our first hire, and explained what we wanted to build and be. What an amazing two years it’s been since then, and it’s all thanks to you! Please consider this a virtual Valentine card from all the team, packed full of affection and appreciation Smile  

2013-02-14 10.24.07You’ve done so much to help shape what we do, and how we’ve grown, and while we can’t share the specifics just yet, it’s thanks to you that we’re about to enter an exciting new evolution. How? Our conversations, your feedback, our working together… have highlighted something that’s missing for professionals. We’re busy building something for you to demonstrate and earn money from your expertise, to grow your business. A Valentine treat in the making. All will be revealed soon!

Apologies to those who think this blog post too gushing, or who are feeling a bit bah-hambug this Valentine’s Day. Please be our Valentine, join us in celebrating our birthday, and feel the love!

2013-02-14 09.16.322013-02-14 09.07.22PS. These birthday treats arrived yesterday, the book via a tweet from @dordje, the card via @AjeetMinhasGTB. Thanks David and Ajeet – how lovely, and appropriate that they were both via social media 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

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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:

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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):

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3. Save changes at the bottom of the page:

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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

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PR Agencies: How not to use Social Media

 

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If you’re a PR agency encouraging your staff to find and win new clients through social media, here’s a cautionary tale about how not to do it.

Earlier today I received a tweet “wondering what the best email to drop you a line on?”. It was from someone that I had never tweeted with before, so I was curious.

The Twitter bio told me the individual worked for “one of the UK’s fastest growing and most influential PR agencies”. The associated Twitter timeline showed character, but not the kind I was expecting:

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Rather than jump to any conclusions, I thought to double-check – perhaps the account was for personal use and I wasn’t the intended recipient of the email request:

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Everyone in the office turned round to find out what was going on when I laughed out loud on receiving the response:

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So, a representative of an “influential” PR agency, who has no idea how to represent herself or her employer online, would like to represent me…

Thanks, but no thanks!

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?

Best Practice: How to Manage Ownership of Social Media Contacts

As a financial services, legal services or other professional services business planning your social media strategy, you’ll want to think about who owns employees’ social media accounts and all their relationships.

In the services world your business is only as good as the people you employ and the skills they have. To showcase your business properly you’ll want to have all your employees on social media to display their expertise and amplify your message.

But you don’t want the connections they make to walk out the door if the employee leaves. (There have already been a few lawsuits about it.)

Here’s the answer – just as we all have a business email address and a personal email address, employees should have a business social media presence and (if they choose) a personal social media presence.

Media companies have been leading the way here. Take the BBC’s technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones for example. You can choose the formal @BBCRoryCJ, or the dog-enhanced @ruskin147.

BBCRoryCJ

Ruskin147

Other media companies are taking the same approach. Here’s Channel 4’s Jon Snow.

JonSnowC4

Now the corporates are starting to follow suit in applying this best practice. Earlier this month Morgan Stanley Smith Barney launched 17,000 twitter accounts on the world– all suffixed with MSSB as a clear corporate branding.

Morgan Stanley Twitter

The Bottom Line: Business Best Practice

  1. Define a brand prefix or suffix that all your business social media accounts should have.
  2. Get accounts provisioned by internal operations staff and handed out to employees as part of the normal staff induction process
  3. Update your employee handbook (or social media policy if you have one) to make clear that company social media accounts, social media interactions and connections belong to the business not the employee.
  4. Then, if an employee leaves the company, they leave behind their company social media accounts, just like they leave behind their company email account.