#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!

 

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.

#joiningthedots – how one tweet can create credible coverage

Awards and Press#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:

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Without social media, this wouldn’t have happened.

It’s easy to make introductions at the virtual cocktail party on Twitter. #joiningthedots takes seconds, and it still amazes me what you can start with a tweet… Smile

As Paolo says at the end of his Google+ post: “That’s the power of online networking”.

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!

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

#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!

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!

Safely Sharing Access to Your Twitter Account

With all the excitement about our recent redesign, we haven’t had the chance to explain some of the other new features we added to CubeSocial in the latest update. Time to fix that…

Let’s say you’re a marketing manager and you want to enable other people in your team to tweet from your company Twitter account. Or perhaps you have a personal Twitter account and you’d like your assistant to be able to Tweet from your account from time to time.

Until now the only option was to share your Twitter password around your team and trust them with full access to your account.

Delegate Access to Your Twitter Account

Now when you go to your CubeSocial Networks and Services page, you can click on the Actions button to delegate access to one of your colleagues.

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Choose who you want to delegate access to and assign an access level. That’s right, not only do you no longer need to share passwords, you also can restrict access and, for instance, keep your private messages truly private.

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Add as Many Twitter Accounts as You Want

The other change you’ll see on your Networks and Services page, is the Add New button on the top-right. If you have multiple Twitter accounts for your company, just keep on adding as many as you like.

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We hope you find these new features useful. Let us know your thoughts below. Happy Tweeting!