Regular 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.
And 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
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!
#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:
Without social media, this wouldn’t have happened.
As Paolo says at the end of his Google+ post: “That’s the power of online networking”.
If 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!
Hurrah 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
2,000 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!
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
Absolutely fabulous 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):
For more, see Joanna Lumley’s lessons for the ladies of Deutsche Bank by Sarah Butcher at efinancialcareers.
Business panel discussion
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
Emma Howard Boyd, Stewardship, Jupiter Asset Management
Daniela Barone Soares, CEO, Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation
Luke Johnson, Chairman, Risk Capital Partners
Closing keynote – Amy Cuddy, Associate Professor, Harvard Business School
Power-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
In Cuddy’s own words:
For more, here’s Cuddy’s TED talk.
Ever 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…
When I clicked through to Gabriel’s Twitter account, I couldn’t see a bio:
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:
Richard kept that promise
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:
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
Now go, and embrace the serendipity of social media for yourself!
In the last few days, #artcups have appeared on the Huffington Post, in Canada, Malaysia, Peru, Mexico… French, 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!
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:
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 THANK YOU and trust that we have a record of your comments saved to treasure!
In 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
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
Last 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)
and even when the congratulations haven’t been received in a sincere way, they have generated social media shares, competition and conversation
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.