Why Facebook restrict your post reach

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Top 8 Mistakes of A LinkedIn Profile Photo

Importance of your LinkedIn Profile Photograph

I LOVE Infographic's.  Good Info graphics, obviously - I just find it easy to grasp the information being shared, particularly data and numbers.  I think that puts me into the psychological learning category - Visual-Lazy... Sounds right ;)

Recently, with our members and students, we've been looking at content, and encouraging our members to keep their various profiles up to date... Which starts with their profile photo.  I posted a blog on the subject Does your Profile Photo Matter?

And, today I came across, this great little Infographic, informative, accurate and humorous... Tick's all Michael's boxes :D

Dear reader, I present to you, by Jamie Shanks, 8 mistakes people make with their LinkedIn profiles. A fairly comprehensive list, although I would add the wide angle holiday shot with our hero a dot on the horizon, skiing down a mountain or waving in front of the Eiffel Tower / Big Ben / White House / Great wall / Taj / Ayres... etc.  

I can confirm I have witnessed all of these...

Here's the link to the original article : http://www.salesforlife.com/linkedin/8-things-to-avoid-in-your-linkedin-profile-photo-infographic/


Lets connect -

I am on LinkedIn here  https://uk.linkedin.com/in/mickholloway

I am on Facebook here - https://www.facebook.com/mick.holloway

I am on Twitter here -    @mick_holloway


Thursday, 27 August 2015

Pitching a new follower on Twitter #EPIC #FAIL ?

Pitching a new follower on Twitter #EPIC #FAIL ?

Once again, I'm pondering, asking myself a question I have asked myself an awful lot, and an awful lot more lately...  Is It Me?

Could it be?  It could be, maybe so!

What now, what just happened Mick?... I hear you ask.  Well thanks for asking, because this would be a short Blog if you didn't.     I'll tell you what just happened...

Image of some fools Gold - depicting my work is far from done

Twitter relax the rule over the number of characters you can send in a Direct Message (DM).  No longer are you limited to 140 characters.  I get that, its a good strategic move.  Remember you can only DM people you follow and they have followed you back.  People you are engaging with (or should be) so why not relax the message size and accelerate the relationship - allow more, rapport?

Day one, a new follower on Twitter.  I go check them out, as I do, and I find things of interest, synergy and reasons to follow them back.   Which I do.  Tick, one more worthwhile connection, adopt smug mode and reward myself with a coffee, it's tough work... I've earned it.

On returning to my desk, caffeine levels slightly improved, there's a DM from my new connection. Get in there, see, SEE, knew I chose well, I was right, good call - here we go another Networking connection of value, to learn from, to help as I can, to grow with etc etc .

You can see where this is going, no doubt.  It was such a disappointment.  My first DM greater than 140 characters and it was 1021 characters of crude, direct sales pitch, <sigh>.  Worse, it was selling me 'Done for you' outsourced Social Media services.  A couple of things...

1. Someone hadn't read my profile.
2. Someone was just grabbing followers = I'll pick one from - 'Block', 'Remove', 'Mute', 'Unfollow'    
3. Someone, maybe, doesn't understand Social Media?
4. Nelson will get his eye back before I would let them near my business, let alone my social media.

My work is far from done, we train entrepreneurs and SME's how to use Social Media Effectively and Efficiently.  Connections and relationships then if its right the sales funnel appears all on its own.

Long story short- Pitching on a DM to a new connection is a wrong as it gets, so last century - I wonder if they are on MySpace?

Love this quote "Its called Social For a Reason" (I first heard this from @childsdesign).

A new follower pitches you in their 1st DM Tweet - How NOT to do #Social #Media?  Click to Tweet 

Is It Me?   LOL - Of Course Not ;)


Lets connect - I am on LinkedIn here -  https://uk.linkedin.com/in/mickholloway
I am on Facebook here - https://www.facebook.com/mick.holloway 
I am on Twitter here -    @mick_hollowaywww.24-7.so

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Do you do One to One's?

Well? Do you? Do you have one to one meetings?


Coffee is your friend 

As important as I believe Social Media is, and as important as it is to my customers, it is still one part of your marketing mix...  So, social media is not the panacea, you still have to keep up other marketing activities - put another way, don't expect your LinkedIn connections to tweet you a purchase order.

So, no surprise that I am a HUGE advocate of meeting people one to one.  I can honestly say I have never had a one to one that was a waste of time. I've had not so good ones, where the other person pitched me from 'hello' - I still learn't an awful lot - 1st time it happened I learn't how desperate the pitcher comes across for doing this and made a 'note to self' to never pitch.  Second time, I started honing my skills, leading by example, gently swerving the other party away from pitching me towards a much more rewarding conversation about 'them' and their wants needs and desires.

Strategic Tip - I haven't met anyone that doesn't like talking about themselves or their business.

Practical Tip
- If you are being pitched, ask them why they started the business, its on topic and they won't spot the 'swerve', listen to the answer.  Then continue asking what goals they have, listen to the answer.  Then how is it going, what challenges they have and how are they going to achieve these goals... keep listening - because by now that "Carlos FanDango - Time limited, Just For You Mick, Bank Holiday Special Offer --- Not Everyone Is Getting", will have been long forgotten and replaced with a conversation from which you will learn so much more, start a meaningful dialogue / relationship and very likely reveal any opportunities.

The main reason my one to one's are so rewarding is the due diligence both parties can do before committing to meet.  Thanks to marketing and social media, the information is out there, I can learn much about the other person before deciding to invest in a meeting.  Before suggesting a meeting I can be confident they will agree (warm calling) - because I will understand what the benefits will be for both of us.  Often I state openly up front the reasons why I would like to meet - set the agenda, quote the benefits.  In case your wondering .. I do ok, 'most' people are happy to accept the invite and meet.

All that said, meeting new people is rarely a waste of time, taking a chance can be rewarding too - amazing even...  Take yesterday, the inspiration for this blog.  A friend of mine, on vacation in Turkey, had the briefest of conversations with a lady from the Netherlands ... I do mean brief, on a speed boat towing his kids around a bay on a para chute - as you do.  This ladies work with young people and sports psychology really resonated with my friend and loose commitments were made to follow up when they returned from holiday.

They did follow up, the Dutch lady was planning a trip to London with a colleague of hers, and a couple of weeks later I find myself in that there London having a coffee under the Gherkin, people watching waiting for our new Dutch acquaintances to arrive.  Why was I there?  My brief was just to listen, learn, understand and maybe look for opportunities.  What the hey, its just a one to one, he's a good friend well justified to ask for of a few hours of my time, and he asked so nicely :D  He also spent half the journey into London preparing excuses in case it was a waste of my time, bless.  He need not have worried, I had researched this ladies work and I knew it was in the least going to be 'interesting'.

They arrived on time, we talked.  It was relaxed, casual yet intense, we talked for 3 hours.  The work these people are doing is astounding.  Their training and teaching techniques were fabulous and the results they get equally impressive.  Two and half hours in, I had quietly dropped out of the conversations - not because I was bored, disbelieving, cynical etc, I was away, long gone ... thinking FAST and HARD through what I had seen and heard.

I so wish you all could have been in that cafe witnessing the return on my investment in this one to one, I rapidly went from doing a sanity check on an idea, a 'favour' for an apologetic friend, to diving in head first to a new way to learn, to teach, to train.

My ROI was many fold.

1.  I know 24-7's approach to teaching Social Media works, I have struggled with expressing why it works so very well.  A MAJOR benefit of 24-7 membership and I still struggle to express the 'How'!

Until now I would refer to Herman Ebbinghaus's work, but now!  Now, I have a new model to both express 24-7's philosophy AND encourage our members to achieve, to DO, "one powerpoint slide one sentence" - DONE.  It fits on a business card!  And hopefully, if my new friends are willing, a new model to help develop into new markets.

2.  I learn't, lots, I am going to learn more about their work, and ways we can use it to improve 24-7's training methods.

3.  The meeting went so well, I am convinced there are benefits, and even opportunities, for my friend for his own idea's, and I have told him so.  He is also well placed with helping them with their aspirations....  Maybe 24-7 can help them too.

4.  My one to one model survived another meeting - Opportunities, Shared Knowledge and Benefits everywhere - no one pitched anything, ever.

5.  My connections grew by two.  Highly capable and competent, driven, interesting world class people.

So, do you do one to one's?  If not, tell me in the comments below, why not? Because, lorks-a-lordy are you missing out, on so many levels.  Here's an offer, LOL - its not a pitch!!  Lets have a one to one and we can talk more on why I think this way... If you decide it wasn't an hour well spent - I'll buy the coffees.  If you are not in the UK!  Lets do it online, I am available 24-7 :D

Strategic Tip : JDI.....

Do you have one to one's? Do you have enough one to one's? Can you have enough one to one's?  Click to Tweet 


Lets connect -
I am on LinkedIn here -  https://uk.linkedin.com/in/mickholloway
I am on Facebook here - https://www.facebook.com/mick.holloway
I am on Twitter here -    @mick_holloway

Monday, 3 August 2015

LinkedIn Pulse - Part 2

Part 2 of my look at LinkedIn 'Pulse'.

My last Blog - Should you have your finger on the linkedIn 'Pulse' ?  discussed some of the benefits of using LinkedIn's Pulse.  I ran a little experiment between posts on Blogger and Pulse.  Not massively scientific, more a quick check...

Any way - here's my (modest) results after a couple of weeks :

A couple of observations: 
-  Not a great deal in it with regards to the number of views.  
-  The LinkedIn post did very well on Pulse, understandably.
-  The pulse posts achieved far more engagement, likes and comments.

While there was not a great deal in it with regards to the number of views, I should point out that I re-purposed a few of these blogs, the original blogger post have been around for up to 12 months.  

To re-iterate a couple of the benefits...
1.  I get to see who has liked and commented on my LinkedIn Pulse Posts, so following up is possible.
2.  LinkedIn will have delivered my post to interested people outside of my network. 

All things considered, I think these are encouraging results and given the benefits, I will continue sharing content on LinkedIn's Pulse, especially blogs on  'linkedIn', as ever the key to making this all worthwhile is to follow up.


Friday, 3 July 2015

Should you have your finger on the LinkedIn 'Pulse' ?

As you know I publish my blog using blogger - big reveal huh ;)  Recently though I have been increasingly impressed with LinkedIn's ability to deliver appropriate news and blog posts via their 'Pulse' hosting platform.

Finger on the LinkedIn Pulse

The more complete your profile and the more active you are on LinkedIn, the more LinkedIn can learn about you, things you do, things you like, groups and people you engage with.  LinkedIn have always been pretty good at analysing profiles (See how I resisted the temptation to say 'profiling profiles' - I have Ninja levels of self control), remember LinkedIn's roots were in recruitment - and they are still very good at matching profiles with vacancies.  Some of that $9Bn IPO seems to have been invested in very smart algorithms for really understanding ... us.

So, at least for me, LinkedIn was delivering good material that I was interested in... Now, that's really attractive for someone like me, into the whole Inbound, Social Media, Organic Content led marketing.  Not being the bluntest tool in the box, I figured I ought to check this out.  If I could bank on LinkedIn delivering my blogs to interested readers, connections outside my network, what's not to like about that?

A quick review of the history and what Pulse is and is not...

LinkedIn Pulse Post
LinkedIn presenting 'on topic' articles
Pulse was an iOS news feed app, a business in its own right, in 2013 LinkedIn acquired the business for $90m initially integrating with the LinkedIn platform and allowing an elite few 'influencers' to host blogs on the platform.  In early 2014 access was rolled out to all English speaking users.

A blog hosting platform, a social platform and a news feed in one, should be epic, shouldn't it? Simply and easily you can publish your blog and LinkedIn will notify your network THEN LinkedIn distributes you work wider afield to appropriately interested parties outside your network, simply extending your reach for you.  If Carlesburg hosted blogs... !!

Layout and formatting is limited, but intuitive, its like one big text box.  And your blog can include pictures, video and hyper links back too... wherever you wish.  And here we come across the first downside of Pulse as a blogging solution - these hyperlinks back to your web site don't bring any 'Google Link Juice', or Page Rank benefits.  LinkedIn label these so the search engine bots ignore them (if you want to get techy - read up on 'no follow links').

Moreover, there's no scope for peripheral messages, up sells, links, calls to action, branding etc etc that you can have on your own blog page.  LinkedIn own that real estate, and like Youtube, your post will be followed immediately by someone elses, and you have no control over that either.

So why host on LinkedIn Pulse, there's limited branding and marketing, up sell or cross selling opportunities, no link juice benefits?  Is it enough to drive traffic where you wish to send it, and the extended reach LinkedIn offers by delivering your post to interested recipients?  It all depends on what you are looking to achieve, peripheral marketing and link juice may not matter to you - if you are looking to raise your profile with an extended network for instance.

This extended reach really resonated with me - I sensed LinkedIn would be good and able to 'aim' well on my behalf, after all I liked the material Pulse delivered to me, and I wasn't following those authors!  Question was then - would my posting on Pulse result in more engagement?

Mick's LinkedIn Pulse Posts

I had to know, so I started using Pulse... I'll let you know how it went in part two of this blog... I have always wanted to end on this line ...

To be Continued...

(Bucket list -=1)


Friday, 26 June 2015

Don't think your profile photo matters ?

Don't think your LinkedIn profile photo matters ?

Example LinkedIn Profile Photo
At our 24-7 Social Media Training and Networking events, we always review someone's LinkedIn profile. Its not a dire experience... honest, everyone starts all anxious, then really love the feedback, which  
incidentally is always constructive) its great to hear what our experts think, but better to hear what your colleagues and peers think.  
Today at our 24-7 Newport Pagnell UK group we spent 10 minutes 'just' discussing someone's profile photo. Here's the thing, firstly no one made the group focus on the photo, it just happened that way, all of a sudden we realised we had been discussing this photo for 10 minutes. Secondly, it was actually quite a good picture, the observations, comments and discussions were fabulous.

So if you think no one bothers that much about your profile photo, think again.   The way I see it you have a few choices here -  

The Professional Head and Shoulders shot, a good investment.  Photographers know how the laws of physics apply to light, and the engineering limitations of a camera, they understand composition and they have an eye for detail.  You will be well lit, composed, your eye's will be open, the background will not distract, there will be no light reflecting in your glasses, no photobombing - you'll look GOOOOD.
Your LinkedIn Profile is no place for a Selfie

DIY with a smart Phone.  The quality of the smart phone camera's is just fine, so this is an OK solution, just think a while about the composition, look for well lit places, simple background - the background will likely be in focus, 10p bet you won't be considering focus, white balance and depth of field.  And get someone else to hold the camera - please, I'm not up for debating this one, ok?  This isn't the time for a selfie!! 

Use a Holiday Pic. OK - where to start... Actually I am writing this at 16:00 on a Friday afternoon and we are too close to the weekend to phaffff about.  Could you use a Holiday Pic - No.  Move along now, there's no more to see here ;)

No Photo - LinkedIn claim search results with photo's are 7 times more likely to be clicked on than those with no photo.  Not sure I need say more do I?  I do !!  OK, well how about this, if you don't provide a photo, linkedIn will use a silhouette, a bland grey (and I have read its a male) silhouette, not at all subtle ... think sore thumbs and standing out like.  Don't shout at LinkedIn - its your profile - get a picture ... and anyway - if you don't post a photo on your Twitter profile they use an EGG !  Think on how that works as a first Impression!

  Need I say more?  I DO!!  OK... Whats the message you are giving out if you cannot even bother to post a photo?  Most mobile phones have HD camera's, if yours doesn't or you don't have a mobile or tablet, at your next networking event (we all network don't we? ... NO! - Well go see www.24-7.so) just ask the person next to you, stand in front of a plain wall, smile and think of that breakfast, it will soon be over and you won't feel a thing.  
So, if you haven't already, go get yourself a photo for your profiles - just gimme 10 minutes to post my old Panasonic DMZ DZ-10 camera on Ebay, great for LinkedIn Profiles, I'll send y'all the link... 

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Is Twitter's Periscope Livestreaming app a business tool? Why not !

Periscope, for business?  Why not !

Mick's Twittter Account - https://twitter.com/Mick_HollowayAt the time of writing Periscope was the latest tool to hit the Social Media Streets.  Only a month old and already its 'livecasting' abilities are being applied to a fabulous range of innovative - as well as strange, funny and... copyright infringing uses.

So what opportunities have the entrepreneurs seen?  Here's some idea's that have presented themselves through observation and experimentation.

1. Product Launches.  The BIG boys cracked this ages ago, Apple launch events have cult like following, as do Google I/O, 007...  Now we can get involved, ok we won't have the audiences, but we can create some noise and more importantly some fresh content.

2. Promotions.  Got a deal, got some news... maybe a call to action as part of your product launch?  Brands are already livecasting ... well anything and everything, Adidas Sports wear used Periscope to livecast Footballer James Rodriguez signing a contract with them, Hilton Hotels livecast concerts from their venues.

3. Blogging, or Vlogging as they call it.  An obvious use for Periscope, easy, quick and real time - so arguably more real / authentic.  Periscope settings let you save the video to your iPhone or Android device.  Motivated to share something, click, point, speak, couldn't be easier... You're warming to this now aren't you ;)

4. Exclusive content.  Your top tips, inside info or special events, encourage engagement and reward viewers with special or exclusive content.  West Ham Utd Football club live stream behind the scenes events including Man of the Match awards and presentations.

5. Tutorials, training or demonstrations.  Live, real time, anytime any place.  The relaxed casual tone can work very well.

6. Q & A.  Maybe for the bravest of you, but realtime Q&A sessions are very effective.  Viewers questions scroll up the screen so there's no hiding place everyone see's the questions - even the awkward ones.

7. Live events.  Share that high tech hot topic seminar...

Twitter Periscope Example

So, having watched a few Priscope Livecasts .... I have some advice... some top tips, from a viewers perspective ...

1.  Use a tripod. . . unless its clearly an action shot ... Please .. no wobbly hand held streams.
2.  Make sure you're connected with WiFi or 4G... Please nnnnnnoo freeeeeeeze framessssssss
3.  Frame to maximise the top 1/3rd of the screen.  Viewer comments obscure the bottom 2/3rds
4.  Make the title work, attractive and with a call to action.  Its all users see until they click through.

Finally, remember, Periscope is a world wide platform.  While you can broadcast to a private, select audience, and you can block individuals in real time, if your going public - the age old catch phrase applies ..."What happens on Periscope... Stays... Public - World Wide".

Have I mentioned our "Periscope for Estate Agents" training course yet ;)

Friday, 6 March 2015

Has Social Media taken Marketeers on a 360 degree journey?

Has Social Media taken Marketeers on a 360 degree journey?

Recently I am reading more articles about how search engines are getting better, smarter and delivering increasingly relevant results.  I have been reading articles like this for 15 years (that's pretty much when Google came onto my radar), lately these articles have made for more exciting reading with the emergence of automated Image Recognition, BIG DATA (see what I did there with the font) and new techniques for fast searches of these huge amounts of data.

Big Data in a nut shell - the Social Media giants and the Search Engine major players have been collecting data about us, lots of data.  Data from ... everywhere.  The usual suspects are 
browsers and web sites, but they are also getting data from our spending, credit cards, loyalty cards, mobile devices, our cars, our phones, tv's - even our central heating thermostats (google own Nest) soon our fridge will re-order eggs from Ocado (or Tesco's, Asda etc) arrange a convenient delivery date and time and post a note in our diary - because it can.

But its not just the Big Data that I am reading about - what triggered the thoughts in this blog was an article discussing the Automated Image Recognition technology being developed allowing the search engines to extract contextual information from still photographs and video.   So now a photograph can be automatically analysed to determine its actual context / content regardless of how we label it - if its a picture of a cat, its a picture of a cat.  

Basically, the decision on what is relevant content for an audience is now squarely with the Search Engines and Social platforms, no matter what key words you use, now they decide - queue an algorithm update from Google.

Bringing this all together, 'they' have huge amounts of data on us, combined with clever, fast, pattern matching search algorithms = extremely accurate search results, based on what we are interested in matched to what the content is actually about.  Organic results from Organic searches on honest Organic data.

So our social proof is going to be increasingly important as only interesting content will be delivered to interested people.  Its not just the search engines that are doing this - the Social Media platforms like Facebook are filtering who see's our posts.  I have blogged on how Facebook are doing this, you can find that article HERE
Social Media "More than just posting on walls"

So, there's where I come to my idea that Marketeers have gone on a 360 degree journey.  The art of Keywords, SEO, meta tags, the 'art' of optimising web sites, blogs and content to convince search engines to rank your material higher is increasingly being trumped by the simple actual relevance of the content to the target audience.  And now that relevance includes search engines and platforms interpreting the meanings in a picture or video for themselves.

Welcome back traditional marketing skills of understanding a target audience, creating and sourcing appropriate content and placing this where it will get seen.  That its now online is academic, the web is completely transparent.

Any one want to buy a Crystal Ball, one careful owner? 

Monday, 26 January 2015

Are Facebook bullying us by restricting our post reach?

You think Facebook are bullying us by restricting our post reach?

When presenting on the subject of Facebook for business, I am often asked about Facebook's strategy for throttling back the number of people that will see your post, the reach, its now down to a few % of your followers.

Many think this is Facebook bullying us into paying for adverts or to boost our posts.  While I agree that it does seem like facebook have moved the goal posts and are then monetizing their position - particularly when many have been investing a lot of time, effort and money in growing their followers. 

FaceBook Company Page Header

But, apologies to those that like too bash Facebook, this isn't what is going on here - Facebook are merely giving 'their' customers what they want, a good experience.  Which is a timeline of content they are interested in.  And they are right, Social Media is, and should be, all about focused, interesting, organic content and an engaged audience.

I admit to being 
disappointed that Facebook seem so ready to compromise this insightful strategy - in that you can pay for an advert or boost the reach of your Post...  

The thing is, this is how Social Media is going (tribe led) and all the platforms and tools are at it - so don't think you can swerve this and bungee off to carlos-fandango-NET or google+.

If you want to read more here's a good article on how, more importantly WHY, Facebook are managing what posts people see. The Guardian http://bit.ly/1uQOSIE