Why Facebook restrict your post reach

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Me - a 'Fearless' Keynote Speaker ! How did that happen ?

"Unaccustomed as I am ..."
This time last week I was looking forward to giving my first presentation as a Keynote speaker.  I was nice and early, all set up … even the projector linked to the PC (phew) and I was catching up on some emails and Social Media while I waited for the audience to gather …

An Oasis of calm.

That I was ‘looking forward’ to the presentation, ‘genuinely’ looking forward to addressing a room full of people, all strangers of unknown mixed abilities, some who would be cynical – hostile even – regarding my message, that I was looking forward to this is a staggering indicator of the journey I have been on over the last couple of years.

I have always been a techy, and my presentation - on how to make the most out of that LinkedIn account you opened but have done nothing much with – is a subject I know well, and my technical knowledge allows me to talk on Technical, Social Media, WEB, Cloud or IT matters very wide of the core subject being discussed.   And in the Engineering and Technical sales/marketing phases of my career I was at ease presenting complex technical matters to both technical and non technical audiences.

What was so different here then? I guess you can see it coming … it was the public speaking, not so long ago I was FIRMLY in the “Fear Public Speaking more than Death” camp.
Driving to the venue I confess to wondering why I was so calm and whether I would be OK when the time came.  But those thoughts didn’t take hold, I didn’t allow them too – some simple NLP stuff I picked up on this journey.

It dawned on me that personal development comes in many guises, reading, mentoring, coaching and training for sure, but also in my case it was the ‘doing’ that has helped.  While this was my first key note speech, over recent years I had presented many tutorials and training courses on Social Media and Business Development – and I guess all that practice gave me confidence.

So – my blog message – to all those I have trained, mentored or coached – the most important thing and the new closing message for all my training… “Now go do it”.

Well – Whatever next ?  As I find myself saying more and more…

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Showing your geographic contact details.... ?

I manage a number of Social Media Groups and Communities.  They are pretty dynamic groups with some excellent contributors and proactive members .... so you would think they take some managing?  Not at all, we have very few rules (no spam or blatant sales, keep it legal) and I rarely have to remove any content.  Of course I am regularly engaging with the groups - but then I would do wouldn't I?  So I don't see that as managerial overhead.

One thing I do do, I get to know every one that applies to join.  Doesn't take long, by definition they usually have various Social Media Profiles, so its a few clicks, a few minutes and I am up to speed.  And... BONUS - I grow my Network.

TIMEOUT to cartwheel for an observation, of course the points made above should encourage you to do more with groups, and consider administering your own group ?

Back on piste... Reviewing a recent applicant, and I found myself trying to find where they were from, geographically.  I easily found an email and mobile number, and could connect socially with a click... So they weren't 'Networking by Stealth' - which if you have been to any of my training courses or meetings you will know ... Doesn't work ;)

However there was no mention 'anywhere' of where they were geographically based.  And I found myself looking hard, checking Profiles, Blog posts, Group discussions, Tweets, I even checked their web site - I would have looked in the Yellow Pages if I had a copy ;)  And it was quite clearly a conscious and well managed decision not to reveal where they were based.

It was an entirely understandable position to take as this was an online 'virtual services' business, however I still found myself disappointed and a little curios [I flirted with saying 'suspicious' there] as to where they are based and why not let us know...

So, am I alone... what do you think ?  Is it preferable to clearly state where you are geographically based, or doesn't it matter?

I feel a Poll coming on ;)


Friday, 15 March 2013

Does Social Media take too long? - A Guest Blog from Jon Baker

Does Social Media take too long?

Jon Baker of venture-Now (see below) has written this guest blog for 24/7.

I've always been told, but now I’ve actually discovered that I get most benefit from Social Media when I engage in discussions, in a structured manner.

Underlying this is a need to have clear objectives, linked to your strategy. This article is about my daily one hour routine - my “socmed hour” (it’s normally more like 40 minutes by the way).

What’s your routine – or when are you going to create one?

My LinkedIn morning routine

  • Groups: I’m a member of many groups which I break into 5 categories. I scan one of those categories daily. It takes 10 minutes, the objective: Contribute to interesting discussions, share information etc.
  • My profile: Check to see who’s visited my profile. Often I’ll drop them a quick LinkedIn mail to say Hi. It takes 2 minutes, the objective is to engage with potential contacts
  • Group discussions: I review responses to any comments I’ve made in discussions. LinkedIn only emails me when somebody responds to one of my comments, I focus on those threads. Those emails go to a specific folder in my email, not my inbox. It takes 10 minutes, the objective is to engage with potential contacts and prospects.

My Twitter morning routine

  • Scan through the followers I’m most interested in. Respond to interesting comments. If you think there are too many tweets and not enough time, try using lists differently. It takes 10 minutes, the objective is to engage with potential contacts.
  • Produce 10 RTs: Scan through source material looking for interesting tweets and schedule RTs throughout the day (one of my favourite tools, bufferapp is great for this). It takes 10 minutes, the objective is to become known for providing useful material, attracting new followers and engage with existing followers.
  • Review best responses to RTs: Look at the retweets from the previous day, look for the one that created the most interest and consider using it as a LinkedIn discussion group topic. Total time 2 minutes and the objective is to source good material for LinkedIn
  • New Followers: Review the tweets from my new followers, respond to some and decide to follow them, or not. I take no more than 5 minutes, and engage with new followers

Twitter spare time.

A couple of times through the day I spend 10 minutes (and no more – use an alarm clock), look at tweets mentioning me and respond where appropriate.  Read tweets made by people I’m most interested in, respond where appropriate (A-listers). Time: 2-3 minutes. Favourite any tweets I see that I might later RT

LinkedIn spare time.

Look at my home page, like or comment on entries as appropriate, for no more than a minute.

LinkedIn weekly activities

  • Group discussions: Start an interesting, useful discussion in each of the groups I’m in every 2-3 weeks. These are based on useful material I can share, seeking views on issues. Using LinkedIn groups for growing business makes lots of sense. Time: 10 minutes. Objective: Engage with potential contacts and prospects.
  • Connections: Seek target connections and either connect, get alongside or develop the relationship off line. Time: 10 minutes (excl speaking offline). Objective: Increase business.


That’s about 4 hours a week (equivalent to one networking meeting) during which I get to influence and “meet” a lot more people than one face to face networking meeting.

Fundamental to this philosophy is that:

That's the thinking behind the way I use my time; what's yours?

Jon Baker is a 24-7 Group Director in Milton Keynes. He is a Business Coach, Sales trainer and experienced public speaker. He works with the owners of businesses that have 5 to 50 staff and helps them to create focus, clarity and more profit in their organisation.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

24-7’s philosophy on Social Media Training..

24-7 Business Networking help Small Businesses and SME's... create more LEADS, and make more SALES, using SOCIAL MEDIA!  We do this through high quality training showing you how to use Social Media and how to link Social Media into your marketing strategy, you grow your business in a focused way. 

This training is delivered as ‘byte’ sized tutorials in our Fortnightly Meetings and through a growing portfolio of Training Courses.

When it comes to Social Media Training, for the Cautious or the Capable, our constantly updated tutorials and training courses take you beyond your self taught knowledge, and shield you from the existing, changing and emerging technologies. 

We keep it SIMPLE, we keep it PRAGMATIC we show you HOW, and we HELP you to make the most of Social Media, quickly taking you from Cautious to Capable.

Our training is structured around our Social Media - Success Circle…

We have a strong and growing portfolio of Tutorials and Training Courses covering each of the five elements in the Success Circle.

Our Social Media Phylosophy can be explained using our 'Success Circle' ...

The 24-7 Social Media Success Circle
24-7 Success Circle

At the heart, before anything else (inclulding developing your business goals and strategies), you need to have a complete understanding of your Brand.  If you need help with this - give Mick a call, or seek out a good business mentor / coach.  You could also try reading a highly recommend book - Simon Sinek's "Start With Why".

Once you understand your brand, then you can work on your goals and the business strategies that you are going to deploy to achieve those goals.  NOW 24-7 can start working with you and putting together a Social Media Strategy that supports your Business Stratagies in achieving your Business Goals.  There has to be a clear tangible link between what you do in your Social Media and achieving your Business Goals.

Why do it? What do I want?  We help you consider the VALUE of what you are looking to achieve in your Social Media and how that will support your wider Business Goals.  Are you goals to get:
•          Leads
•          Sales
•          Known 
•          Web traffic
•          Increased profile
And we help you determine how much time, or resources, you can devote to achieving this.

Who do I need to connect to?  Having worked What you want from your Social Media te very strategic question 'Who do I Connect with?" should be fairly easy to answer.  Visualising your ideal client, developing the persona of the people that will help you achieve your business goals should be straight forward IF you have a clear understanding of your brand.  If you are struggling with "Who do I need to connect to?"  its very likely you haven't fully defined and understood your brand.

At 24-7 we help you consider…
•          What type of people are best positioned to help with your objective?
•          Which Social Media platforms are they on?
•          How can you connect to them?
•          Work out what they are interested in?
•          Work out what can you do for them?

Where do I find them?  Now you understand 'who' you need to be reaching out to, attracting, engaging and networking with you can consider where these poeple will be - online.  Which platforms is the obvious starting point.  But within the platforms, where do they go?  Do they read news, attend to their time line or maybe hang out in groups, in whihc case ... which groups?
•          Which platforms are they likely to be on?
•          What are they interested in?
•          Search your existing connections
•          Which Groups, Pages, forums etc

What do I say to them?  As your networks grow what you say becomes increasingly important, we help you consider …
•          What your network are interested in?
•          What your personal brand should be?
•          Where you can find interesting material for your network?    (Curation)
•          How you can easily share that material with them?
•          How you can write interesting material for them?      (Content)

How do I organise them?  Now you are growing your Networks in a targeted and focused  way, we help you consider …
•          How to manage your network using LinkedIn Groups, Twitter Lists,
      Google+ Communities /Circles to manage your network.
•          Automation tools to help you engage with your networks
•          Tools to find appropriate material to share with
•          How you can manage and listen to all that NOISE

How do I know it’s working?
 With your social media campaign under way – like all strategies - you need to measure to ensure how things are going, we help you consider …
•            What was the objective?
•            How can you measure your Social Media against your objectives?
•                Followers and connections
•                Interactions
•                The results of it all?
•            How do you adjust what you are doing to improve it?

And at the heart of the circle sits your Brand and Business Strategy - everything you do Social Media wise must be consistent with achieving the Business goals and objectives.

We are always looking to improve 24-7's support for Small Businesses and SME's, we have Social Media Training on hand with a growing syllabus of courses.  But what other training do you think Small Businesses and SME's could do with to improve their businesses and achieve their strategic goals and objectives?

Thursday, 28 February 2013

How come Google are so good at what they do...

Recently I was at a presentation by Google, at their London HQ, I was invited to hear about their plans for the future.  For me such a title from such an organization is pretty well aimed and guarantees I’ll be there. 

I came away with mixed feelings and a little disappointed in that I didn't learn much about future products, technologies or strategies.  But mixed feelings because I was quietly content that I was keeping myself on top of most things Google, including anticipating tomorrow.

So I didn't get the revealing insights to the future I was looking for.  However, I did learn, to my mind, why Google have done what they do and done it so well.  A few facts and features that I picked up …

  1. In January 2013 Google announced they had achieved $50Bn in revenue for 2012.  With 54,000 employees, that’s about a staggering £600,000+ contribution per employee.   
  2. Google don’t see themselves as a Search Engine, Social Media or Web business.  They see themselves as a Technology company.
  3. Half of their employee’s are technical
  4. These Technical Employees are allowed half a day a week to work on their own research projects, researching … anything they are interested in.
  5. These projects are reviewed and selected projects are developed further… By teams of these Technical Employees who are allowed a further one and a half days a week to work on these projects.
  6. Google Apps For Business, their cloud based solutions are an increasingly compelling option for any business.  At $50 per user per year (February 2013) it is virtually free !
I spent 16 years as a technical software engineer.   I know what motivated me, and how to build a focused and motivated technical team.  If you aspire to be world class and looking to attract world class people … Allowing your technical people to spend 40% of their time in research does it.

Little wonder to my mind why Google have done so well, been so dominant.   And I came away with a confirmed belief of just how well google have developed their tools and offerings.  And what about Google+ ?... Simple - 'Social' is central to everything Google are doing and planning, so Google+ will continue to be much more than a Social Platform.

Consequently, something for us to consider is the whole issue of change and change management because to many executive's, or over 30's, non techies and even those that can sense the future is all about being Social, its just so unfamiliar.  Not everyone understands it and may need help embracing it - otherwise they will hold their businesses back.

24-7 Business Networking are doing our best to help Micro Businesses and SME's... create more LEADS, and make more SALES, using SOCIAL MEDIA.  We do this through high quality training showing you how to use Social Media and how to link Social Media into your marketing strategy, to grow your business in a focused way. 

What barriers do you see to people adopting cloud technologies, or making their businesses more Social ?