Is ‘Empathy’ a thing that you can measure?

 @LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

Unfortunately most of us are in a flight and fight status. This means we come from a place of needing to be heard instead of a desire to listen.

True empathy will only arise when you place yourself in selfless position to listen.  When you are an active listener you learn things you would never have learnt if you remain in a position of needing to be heard.

An example I share often is the first meeting at a networking event or maybe even a party. Almost in the first sentence spoken is the question, ‘what do you do?’. My advice always is to avoid answering the question and instead say, ‘why don't you go first?’.

And when they do go first, you follow it up with more questions, placing you in a great position to listen and learn. Often the speaker will even forget to ask you again what you do. They are so wrapped up in the moment of sharing their own story, loving talking about themselves and appreciating you for asking inquisitive and probing questions. Just nod knowingly and avoid responding. The speaker will feel listened to and you come across as having empathy.

The same approach is advisable for the social web.

Listen and ask more questions rather then transmitting your stuff in order to be heard.

Twitter is losing its shine and I wonder why? If you look carefully it's all about transmitting and needing to be heard. The social web has had enough of being transmitted to. We are naturally curious beings and as such the platforms, which have moved towards stories are on fire, because when your stories are being appreciated you feel that your viewers are displaying empathy towards you.

And actually ‘empathy’ = ‘love. 

What we want more than anything in the whole wide world is to be loved.

I wonder if you could answer just one question in the comments below please?

What's the one thing you love about being on the social web?

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and my meaning.

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling

Online is great and talking is even better. Everyone’s ultimate goal in business and life is to make real connections, where you meet someone face to face. Before that meeting a conversation is the ultimate icebreaker. I value my LinkedIn connections and realise that I don’t really know you or what your goals are and how I might facilitate or support those goals. Feel free to click through and book a call with me. I have blocked out only Fridays each week, excluding holidays, for calls. Hope to speak with you soon.

Originally published on Medium

Do you contemplate and consider carefully the content you create, curate and share?

Social Media encourages all to be spontaneous, to share something instantly and above all to be expectant of the reactions that we may receive as a result. 

So why do we need to contemplate and consider carefully the content we create every single day?

Because in doing so you are sharing with the world who you are, what you believe in, how you wish to be seen and above all how you wish to be judged. When we decide to be active on Social Media, we are developing and portraying ourselves as a ‘Personal Brand’. Yes indeed all of us are now ‘Brands’, so you better take that responsibility seriously.

As most of us on here (written for LinkedIn) are business professionals, either employed or running our own businesses, our companies are using marketing strategies and tactics to be seen and to encourage buyers to purchase from us. You know the saying, ‘buyers buy you first’.

This is where ‘Content Marketing’ as a strategy comes into play. If ‘Content Marketing’ does indeed cost 62% less than traditional marketing then this must be very attractive to all of us. I've never done any traditional marketing, as I've always believed it was too expensive for a very small business like myself. And maybe I'm not that good yet at ‘Content Marketing’ either as I haven't experienced the true benefits yet. But then again how do I truly know, because I'm not measuring it that well either. I must do more on both fronts. 

There are so many platforms these days to publish your content to.

I'm experimenting by using the following channels.

  1. My own blog. Receives very little interaction, although It’s a must these days, everyone needs to have their own hosted blog with its own domain.
  2. LinkedIn Publishing. A feature that was started for business influencers and then rolled out to the majority of members. Had massive traction in its early days and nowadays publishers hardly receive any likes or comments, unless you send your article to your contacts and ask them to like, comment and share. A strategy being promoted by many LinkedIn experts.
  3. Medium. Personally I believe the most exciting platform around today.
  4. Facebook notes. Only in the past few weeks have I started to experiment with it.
  5. Apple News. Publishes directly via my blog.

These channels are probably more than enough to be sharing original content on. And yes I do duplicate and no I'm not al all worried how I may get penalised by Google as a result, which some SEO professionals might suggest. 

How about you? What are you using to create, curate and share content across the Social Web?

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and my meaning.

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling

Online is great and talking is even better. Everyone’s ultimate goal in business and life is to make real connections, where you meet someone face to face. Before that meeting a conversation is the ultimate icebreaker. I value my LinkedIn connections and realise that I don’t really know you or what your goals are and how I might facilitate or support those goals. Feel free to click through and book a call with me. I have blocked out only Fridays each week, excluding holidays, for calls. Hope to speak with you soon.

Originally published on Medium

Do you really believe you’re getting better at it?

 @LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

Depends what you’re talking about right?

Well, I am talking about the quality of your content. If the stats are right and I have no reason to believe they are not, then you and me are checking our phones 110 times a day.

I seriously can’t think of 110 things that I have looked at on my phone, can you? I certainly haven’t shared 110 things. The other day my darling wife Clair received her year in review by Facebook. I don’t get one by the way, because I’m not active enough there! Anyway, her most interesting stat was that, over the year, she had liked 13,500 posts. Averaged out over 365 days, that is 37 posts each and every day and that means some days she will have liked much more and some days much less.

If you are a Marketer, a Social Seller, a Writer, a Digital Native, a Coach, a Trainer and more, you undoubtedly be looking at the Social Web to get noticed, to be heard and be searching for engagement.

Just consider the attention span of your readers. They essentially have about a split second, like a ‘Formula 1’ racing car split second to make up their minds, whether your content is worth engaging with.

I bet you haven’t even read this far. And if you have do tell!

I’m wondering if you’ve even realised how quick you check your phone and ‘thumb’ through the content. How much do you actually retain and what grabs your attention to want to engage with it? Not much right? So have a think, what does actually make you stop and read further. Is it a video, a great image, the crafty and sneaky headline, the compelling question or the incredibly useless tip list? Or maybe it’s just good old regular dogs, cats and food. Yep food is a strange one, really it is, but obviously it’s something we’re totally consumed by, food!

Right then did you get the answer yet? What engages you?

I’d love to learn and I am sure you would to, so help me and all the other marketers out there, share your answer below.

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and my meaning.

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling

Online is great and talking is even better. Everyone’s ultimate goal in business and life is to make real connections, where you meet someone face to face. Before that meeting a conversation is the ultimate icebreaker. I value my LinkedIn connections and realise that I don’t really know you or what your goals are and how I might facilitate or support those goals. Feel free to click through and book a call with me. I have blocked out only Fridays each week, excluding holidays, for calls. Hope to speak with you soon.

Originally published on Medium

The New LinkedIn vs the Old LinkedIn

LinkedIn, is about the change.  I thought it would be good to show you the upcoming differences.   If you are using the LinkedIn mobile app, you will be pleased to learn that it's very close in user interface to the app.  At long last!

Do you really think your content is so special?

Think again! I call it the 'Falling Tree'. There is a tree falling over in a forest somewhere on the planet. In fact there are probably many trees falling over in forests right now, maybe thousands and nobody is there to witness the event, nobody.

This is probably happening to your and my content right now. Our content are just trees falling over and nobody is there to witness it. So why do we spend so much time creating, perfecting, worrying and measuring? Because everyone tells us to?

 

There are so many coaches, trainers, authors, storytellers, SEO experts, influencers, copywriters and any other title you may care to conjure up, who are advising us to create more and more content, to pick the right times, the right days, the right platforms, the right demographics, the right advertising campaigns and all just to get our content noticed. 

You may have come across a term that is often used in the world of learning, 'Sheep-dip'. We are all being 'Sheep-dipped' by the experts who tell us what we should be doing.

Is it because we wish to achieve mass market domination? Granted probably only in your sector right, your Niche (Neesh or Nitch)?

I believe it's time to think about a different strategy, to think authentic, to think personal, to examine a different approach. 

What would it take to start a campaign in your organisation, no matter how big or small you are, where every single person who works for you calls a specific customer, a named individual, in your customer's company and asks them personally whether you're doing everything that they would expect from you? 

That would be different right?

No survey, no customer service call, no external company making the call. Every single person in your company.  And if that means it's only you in your company, then that's perfect too.

And there is only one question. Let's repeat it.

"Are we doing everything that you would expect from us"?

Can you think of some other non 'Sheep-dip' approaches that might get you to stand out from the crowd?

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and my meaning.

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling

Have you located your company’s Holy Grail of ‘Engagement’ yet?

With everything that's being thrown at us how are you truly differentiating yourself to ensure that your prospects, clients and readers (let's call them ‘engagers’) do actually wish to ‘engage’ with you?

We're all witnessing an amazing revolution in media. With media, I'm suggesting everything from the Press, TV, Entertainment, Online Video, Online Learning, Blogs, through to Social Media and beyond.

There has never been a more important time to truly understand how and where your future audience will be engaging with content. 

To start with, the producers of content are usually the ones that are engaging with it in the first place. That means you as a producer are always researching where the most engagement will take place with your content. By researching it, you will be engaging wit the content there. For example if you decided that you want to use Medium to post your blogs, you start producing content for that media channel and it's inevitable that you will be engaging with other content whilst you are opening an account and doing your research.

I call this ‘Empty Engagement’. Content producers looking at content produced by other content producers don't really engage with that content as such. They are just scanning it, to learn from and how they can best borrow the ideas and concepts for their own content production. 

In addition platforms have created clever bots that suggest what content producers you should be following, they may even auto follow categories and as a consequence the authors too. Clever stuff and ‘empty’.

Nowadays your process for obtaining engagement means you have to get close up and personal. This means reaching out in a personal way to your audience and engaging with them one person at a time.

I've been noticing how @buffer do this really really well. For the past 2 weeks, I jumped on their weekly #bufferchat. There I noticed that they respond to specific tweets by the contributors. Not just liking or retweeting, they do actually mention the individuals and respond very directly to their answers to the questions in the chat.

Pretty impressive actually. It confirmed for me that this personal touch and direct communication, one to one is truly the only way to get engagement growing with your audience.

I hope this gives us all something to consider, reaching out to specific audiences and grow engagement on a very personal level, one ‘engager’ at a time. 

I would love to hear what's working for you with growing engagement. Thank you so much.

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and meaning of the words and illustrations.

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling

One day we will all just be 'OLD'!

I agree it's a dreadful thought or is it? When we get closer to visiting our Maker, we start to forgive those that have done us wrong, we ask for forgiveness for what we may have said to or about those we did wrong, realising that actually we only have a few hours left on this planet. 

One day that is exactly what will happen to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. What they have said to each other will have hurt the other at some level, whether it was the truth or not, it doesn't matter. Throwing verbal abuse at each other is massive negative energy and will affect the other individual. Just think back to when someone verbally abused you. How did it make you feel?

Hillary and Donald are supposed to be the top leaders of the western world, they are supposed to be role models for other leaders, for teenagers and for children who aspire to achieve greatness themselves one day.

Many adults (we're all leaders in our communities by the way) around the world joined in with the verbal abuse, whether it was on TV, the press, Social Media, all of us showing younger people how to behave when things don't go our way. And the abuse continues and will continue for many years to come. This election will NEVER be forgotten, because we will be reminded of it, when every day the media will scrutinise every tiny little detail of Trump's Presidency. 

Can we truly look at ourselves in the mirror and honestly say to ourselves that we are outstanding leaders in this world of ours? Truly?

Watch this fascinating video interview with Simon Sinek, who stated that Donald Trump is a reflection of us. Ironically this interview was posted on YouTube on June 23rd, the day the UK voted for Brexit!

For me what the US Presidential Election of 2016 has shown me is that we as leaders have a very very long way to go to realise what true leadership is. And often we become great leaders when we reach a very mature age, an age when you realise how fragile this life is, an age when forgiveness comes easy, an age when you realise what you did and said wasn't actually that great. And by the way that age is obviously not 69 (Hillary) or 70 (Donald). 

One day we will all just be 'OLD'.

@stayingaliveuk

Are you really being heard?

When LinkedIn first released the functionality for all members to publish articles, the amount of views, likes and comments of those articles were in the multiple hundreds. It's very likely that this article will get less than 30 likes and probably less than 5 comments if any. Now, in order to get seen by the many, we're asking colleagues, connections and complete strangers to like, comment and share our content.

It's not that your content is less interesting or less useful, it just means that the amount of content being written, shared and distributed across all Social Media is colossal. All of us now scan news feeds in lightning quick fashion. We are attracted by images, videos, Facebook Live and other ways that Social Networks are experimenting with us to get our attention.

Just scan this Infographic below to learn how much data is being generated every single minute. There's just no way that anyone can absorb even a nano-second of all that data. Sorry there's no date on it, but it's likely to be around 12-months old, which means it's probably gone up by a third at least. Shame, no LinkedIn data!

All marketing departments in all organisations are searching for the Holy Grail called 'Engagement'.  In trying to locate it, they are all pushing out MORE content not LESS.  Every time a new platform joins the rat race, they're all over it, until of course it dies a slow painful death.  RIP Vine. Have you heard of Woo Woo? Watch the video below!

Really it's not about MORE, it should be about LESS, a lot LESS and also SLOWER a lot SLOWER. When you restrict the amount of content, the likelihood is that your audience will want more. When you are sharing with abundance, they will switch off. Scarcity is actually a strategy used often by many marketers when they are selling their products, so why not with content? Just saying...

The message here is all about taking care, a lot of care, when we create content and making sure that we are crafting a message that can truly be heard. When you take the time to do this, you won't have time to firehose content to your channels, you have to review what you're creating and be proud of it. 

So it's time to review what you're doing, what you're sharing and how you would like to be heard? And that goes for me too!

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and meaning of the words and illustrations.

@stayingaliveuk

Are you practising Mindfulness?

There is an issue with the word ’Mindfulness’. It sounds like ’Mind-full-ness’. It should be called ’Mind-emptiness’

As I viewed my Apple News app for my daily fix of world headlines, I’m totally blown away by almost every other article talking about the US Presidency. Whether it's tapes, emails, quotes, the constitution it's all over my News app. There's almost no space for anything else. I really should stop looking. 

But that's the problem, it's hard not to. We're so wired-in to streams of content from all directions, that trying to ignore it is almost futile. 

It really is like living inside a Star Trek episode featuring The Borg. 

This is their quote:

“We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” 

Seriously that's how I feel sometimes. And when someone says to you, ’did you see...’ and I act all clueless, they look at you as if you've committed a crime. So does that mean we all get sucked in to mindlessly having to read, watch and absorb content that we'd prefer not to?

Being distracted by so much content is becoming a task in itself. How to decide what to read, what to watch and how to relax is now as stressful as work. I'm convinced that there will be a new career in helping people to switch off from ’content overload’. Helping them to identify the real things that are truly important in their lives and will move them forward in achieving their goals and dreams. One thing’s for sure, spending mindless time on Social Media and watching TV is not going to deliver that for us.

So what advise should I give you? I haven't a clue yet is my honest answer, as I've also been assimilated. However my goal is to chunk my time in 20-minute slots. I now even teach people what to do on LinkedIn each day in just 20-minutes per day. Feel free to have a browse through the slides below.

When you chunk your time in say 20-minute slots you will not feel as overwhelmed by it all. If you do need your daily fix of news and social media, just spend 20-minutes per day on it, that's it no more and no less. 

Test it our for a day. 

  1. Catch up with the news for 20 minutes in the morning.
  2. Sit down for breakfast for 20 minutes.
  3. Catch up with email in the office for 20 minutes.
  4. Perform some of your outstanding tasks for 20 minutes at a time.
  5. Attend or chair a meeting, make it last just 20 minutes.
  6. Spend some quiet time during the day, take 20 minutes.
  7. Maybe go for a walk for just 20 minutes.
  8. Spend some time with your kids, even if it's 20 minutes.
  9. Catch up with the news in the evening for just 20 minutes.
  10. Workout for a power exercise session again just 20 minutes.

And I could go on. Chunk it down into 20-minute slots and you will be surprised how much you can achieve. Be patient with yourself, experiment and try it out, even if you don't apply it to everything. You could never watch a film in 20 minutes and that's okay. Just try it out on a few things, especially Social Media. I'll be doing the same!

Let's share how you're getting on and enjoy the process.

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and meaning of the words and illustrations.

@stayingaliveuk

Is anyone in love with Your Brand yet?

Shakespeare was way ahead of his time and he was maybe and probably THE best storyteller that ever lived. He didn't focus on his brand, maybe he didn't even know what his brand was. 

But he knew that people loved stories.

You may not even realise it, but you are the biggest story ever told. Everything about you, your journey, your experiences, your challenges, your failures, your successes and breakthroughs, your experience of love and of not love. All of it has made you who you are today. One BIG story. You are your own biggest brand.

I have a phrase that goes something like this. 

With the advent of Social Media you have now become a personal brand. You'd better take that responsibility seriously!

And why wouldn't you take that seriously? The way you show up on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. tells the viewer a story about you. One thing's for sure, they will judge you in an instant. Some positive and of course some negative.

It's no surprise therefore that every Social Network is focussing more and more on STORIES. 

Why?

Because they know that every single one of us crave stories. We search for them every single day and you don't even know you're doing it. We're literally hard-wired to look for stories. Not sure? Okay, this is what you might be doing every single day:

  1. Wake up and pick up your smartphone. Look for any news, check-out Facebook, Twitter and maybe even LinkedIn. It's not that much will have happened overnight, it's the stories that are breaking first thing in the morning. And guess what, all the news media have been working the previous day and also through the night to make sure that fresh news is there for you to satisfy your daily appetite.
  2. Some of you, although it's becoming less, will pick up a newspaper that the paper girl or boy left in your mailbox in the morning. Or you pick one up on your daily commute to the office.
  3. Even before that, you may be eating breakfast or drinking your daily fix of caffeine whilst watching the news on your TV news channel of choice.

On average you are spending one hour per day on Social Networks. You may be sharing your stories through photos, videos, live transmissions and on top of that you are reading even more stories. Stories that inspire, stories that make you laugh, cry and feel disgust, stories that will make you unfriend someone, stories that will make you judge. 

And all because you LOVE stories.

To be a great storyteller you need a great canvas. Your canvas are the Social Networks that you are part of and appear on. To begin with you can do a quick self audit with these key areas and ensure some consistency across all of them:

  1. Are your Social Network handles all the same?
  2. Is your profile photo the same across all of them?
  3. Is your strap-line or headline the same across all of them?
  4. Is your long description broadly similar, I know they all have different allowable character counts.
  5. Is your header or banner image the same across all channels, I know they all need different sizing, but the same is always best.

Whether you run your own business or whether you work for a great organisation, developing yourself as a great personal brand is the best story you can create for yourself. Success!

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and meaning of the words and illustrations.

@stayingaliveuk

Have you installed THE BEST Customer Service message button yet?

Twitter has given us all a brilliant gift.

‘A button for our websites to receive direct messages via Twitter.’

Twitter direct messages is very under-used I feel.  The only way Twitter users are utilising it is by auto-messages when you follow them. I’m sorry but that’s a massive turn off for me. It’s not personal, it’s not intimate and it’s not engaging. I have stopped responding to those, because I know there was no real individual involved in sending those.

If you are a business, no matter how small or large, you must be on Twitter and you must have a direct message button on your website. In my experience, I have sent countless customer service tweets to companies, which have resulted in a fantastic response and outcome. I really value it when companies respond to me using Twitter, it’s way better than the email, way better than the voice-automated call routing and usually far more personal.

And now that we can add a direct message button it means the customer doesn’t have to send those bitter tweets publicly, they can message you direct without all that embarrassment.

‘Provide your customers with a direct message facility and you will be able to jump on those questions super fast and privately’.

Right then some instructions on how to do this, because it took me a while to figure it out. Twitter’s instructions are not that crystal clear.

Go to your Twitter account. Desktop only. Click on your profile photo top right and from the drop down, select ‘Settings’.

Screen_Shot_2016-09-01_at_16_06_31.png

 

Select ‘Security and privacy’ from the left hand menu.

Scroll down in the right column and at the very bottom of the ‘Privacy’ section, there is an item titled ‘Direct Messages’. Select by ticking the box next to ‘Receive Direct Messages from anyone’.

This is THE most important step, as without it nothing works.

Stay inside the same screen (Settings) and select from the left hand menu, one from last on the list ‘Your Twitter data’.  Underneath Account history is your Username and User ID (I have blanked mine). You already know your own username and please make a note of your User ID. You will need both.


Visit https://publish.twitter.com/#. Enter your Twitter handle in the box below ‘What would you like to embed?’ Click the arrow or press enter.

Screen_Shot_2016-09-01_at_16_15_09.png

Next you will scroll down to 4 options for embedding Twitter code on your website. Please select ‘Twitter Buttons’.

This will generate a pop-up with 5 options. Please select option 5 ‘Message Button’.

This will generate a second pop-up. Please enter your Twitter Handle and User ID from item 5 and click ‘Preview’.

Next are some customisation options, for example you can pre-fill some initial text and decide whether you’re like a large button. Click Update and a preview will be displayed below, together with the HTML code that is needed to supply to your webmaster or you can copy yourself and add to your website, maybe on the contact page.

Now it's your turn, go to your Twitter account and start grabbing the information you need from there and then head to https://publish.twitter.com/# 

And if you enjoyed this tutorial and it worked for you, please send me a DM via Twitter. Success!

Have you been on a 'CONTENT' diet yet?

If you haven't already, I am sure you have contemplated it.  The name has a nice ring to it as well 'Digital Detox'.  There are now millions of self-proclaimed addicts to digital content. Soon to be billions.  And there are plenty of us that are in denial as well.

I want to make sure you have some facts to begin with.

Brandwatch shared some mind-blowing stats in March 2016. Here are just a few.

And you can find even more stats here: 

https://www.brandwatch.com/2016/03/96-amazing-social-media-statistics-and-facts-for-2016/

In years to come, all those content spewing platforms will be asking us our preferences.  Once they know our preferences they will only serve up those bits of content we have asked for. No more no less.  Unfortunately this means that we have to make a decision.  What do we really need to see on a daily basis?  Not what we want to see but what we need to see.  

There is a big difference, because as an addict we have many wants and we have to slowly wean ourselves off a lot of the content that we are already addicted to.  

The trouble with all of us, we are constantly in FOMO, 'fear of missing out'.  That's why we are addicted.  If you want to learn why, read my article, 'Do Social Networks Sell Drugs'.

By watching the video below you will also learn what the Internet is doing to our brains. 

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Each week I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, insight and meaning of the words and illustrations.

@stayingaliveuk

Have you ever compared Facebook groups vs LinkedIn groups? [Infographic]

When LinkedIn changed their groups at the end of 2015, there was outrage by the group managers and moderators. LinkedIn had gone one step too far in trying to make groups more accessible to more people. Result?  A lot of groups folded, moved to Facebook.

I'm noticing each day that Facebook are doing many things right, so I decided to examine the major functionalities and compare them on each platform.

I thought I would create an infographic.  Superman (Facebook) vs Batman (LinkedIn).

Points are awarded merely based on the amount of functionality options that exist on each platform. 

There is no doubt that Facebook has a significant advantage over LinkedIn in many areas and it makes it a far better and more enjoyable experience for the user and the manager.

Every business needs to have a Facebook group and indeed there are 620 million Facebook groups already in existence, compared to the very small 2 million on LinkedIn.

I hope you enjoy the infographic.  I would love to hear your comments and opinion on groups?

@stayingaliveuk

data about the no of Facebook groups dates back to 2010

Have you ever considered engagement?

The first English-language newspaper, "Corrant out of Italy, Germany, etc., was published in Amsterdam in 1620.  I never knew that and I was born there!  "Corrant", was a translation of Courante, which means running or stream.

Nearly 400 years later and we've all become publishers. Who would have thought that.  Now we're all desperately looking to find readers of our published content.  There are literally millions of us writing and publishing updates about our work, our lives and on top of that writing millions of blogposts all over the web.

Why?

There is only one reason and that is to get noticed.

We want to be found, to become more successful in our work, maybe to leave a legacy and some of us even want to be famous.  

And by publishing content we believe that we may achieve these goals one day but we often overlook the human interactions that are needed for our content to be taken seriously.  I am no longer active in LinkedIn groups because I see everyone posting their blogposts, not even asking for comments, not even asking a question about the content they are sharing. 

To believe that human interactions with your content will just magically appear by what I call 'spraying and praying' is a crazy strategy and although you may experience a couple of successes here and there, in the long-term it will fail.

By all means write content, create eBooks and even become an author and then start finding your audience by engaging with them first.  Find their content and engage with it by liking, commenting and sharing it so more readers will find it. Ask them questions about their content, you may even wish to be challenging at times or have a decent (virtual) debate about some of it. 

The other day I was chatting to Julie Bondy Roberts and we agreed that all our time spent writing and publishing content is actually a marketing expense. So multiply your hourly rate by the hours you spend publishing your content, maybe curating content and even sharing your story updates across, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, plus all the others. I reckon most are spending around 3 hours each day, 90 hours per month (including weekends). Just multiply by your hourly rate and it's a very big number!  Are you getting a return on that?

Just saying...

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Each week I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, insight and meaning of the words and illustrations.

@stayingaliveuk

Attention is a Currency

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Each week I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, insight and meaning of the words and illustrations.

Let's do the first one, which is actually the cover and a very important one.

The sentence I'd like to examine a bit closer is;

“Why now is the time to invest in digital experiences that matter.” 

Well, my consideration here is about ensuring that we start examining our digital time spent by ensuring that we only receive information and data we actually need.

And for marketers, which I can include myself in, we should be ensuring that we know our target audience (avatars) and share with them relevant information and data that will expand their knowledge, plus improve and speed up their decision making process.

Hence the ’matter’.

Now it's your turn. I'd love to hear your views and opinion about that sentence.

To assist you further you may wish to download a couple of eBooks via:
http://www.stayingaliveuk.com/33socialtips

http://www.stayingaliveuk.com/storytelling-ebook

Or share all your comments via Twitter @stayingaliveuk

Image credits: @gapingvoid and @linkedin

Did Microsoft break Skype's password recovery process?

Well it certainly looked that way to me.  My Skype app on my desktop just opens and logs-in automatically. I have never needed to enter my password, for years.  I wanted to get a link for my Skype name from Skype's own website and naturally it asked to me login.  I haven’t logged into Skype’s website for years, which was confirmed when my password wasn't auto filling after entering my email. Generally I save all my passwords.

After trying to log in 3 times, it suspended my account, gone. I couldn't login any longer on the Skype app anywhere.

After a fair amount of research, I discovered where I could reset my password. When I completed my email, it said, no such account exists.
When I tried a different one, I only have 2 emails, same answer. Oh shoot what happened?  There was still another route, but this is where it all totally broke down. 

Here are the key questions that you must answer to reset your account and be verified again.

  1. "What name, first and last name did you provide when you first registered". Fair enough that should be straight forward, I haven't changed my name.
  2. "What country did you select when you first registered?" Hmm, A little bit harder, but should still be correct, as I haven't lived in any other country since 2004.
  3. "What email did you provide when you first registered?" Now this one is quite a bit tougher. Actually I haven't got a clue, we all have more than one email address right? So it could have been one of three emails, not too bad, but genuinely I haven't a clue.
  4. When did you create your Skype account (mm/yy)? Busted!! Who actually remembers that? I could guess at the year, I was definitely an early adopter, so maybe 2004, 2005 or even 2006. I had to look up when Skype actually launched, which was 2003. So I would have to guess the year and try to give a few option, but as far as the month is concerned, no chance!

These 4 questions had the * against them, which means they are required and if you fail any of them, your account doesn't get verified, which of course was the case with me. 

In the slideshare below, you will see the full form and also my email correspondence with Skype customer service.  In fairness they varied the text slightly in every email, but essentially it said the same. “If you don't complete the form correctly you will remain unverified. Do go through the slideshare, you will love it!

 

At the same time I reached out to Twitter and although it took them a while to get back to me, have a look at how they resolved it. Very simple really.

Thank you to Twitter, for enabling a platform that just works for customer service. I guess its because you're visible there and they can verify you better compared to email, which anyone can send.

Big lessons: 

  1. Microsoft screws with their acquired platforms and stops us from getting anywhere to solve problems, it's the usual customer service loops, which I experienced years ago from Microsoft.  
  2. In the case of Skype, workflows become customer unfriendly and restrictive. With the exception of their Twitter support.
  3. Write down which month/year, I signed up for any internet based service. Yeah, that's never going to happen.
  4. Use Twitter for customer service, every single time, don't even bother with email or telephone support.

I think I will stick with Google Hangouts, Zoom and even FaceTime, instead of Skype in future.

@stayingaliveuk

Below is the Twitter DM messages with Skype Support, which thankfully resolved the situation.

What are your KPI’s for Microsoft & LinkedIn's marriage?

Now that we’re all over the shock of this surprise partnership and have looked at the justification both Satya Nadella and Jeff Weiner have so beautifully crafted in their slide deck (see below), we can start developing our own KPI’s to hold both Satya and Jeff to account and ensure they deliver to their promises.

So often do we hear heads of large corporates promise the world to us as consumers of their product, leaving us disappointed and disillusioned in the process when they don't deliver their promises.  So let's hold them to account.

Both companies have something we can not live without these days, but they aren’t really held to account by us are they?   The stock market holds them to account and here lies the problem.  Public companies exist to satisfy their shareholders. Forget about the hype and wonderful stories they spin about customers and employees. They are just fiction. Shareholders count, period.

Right,  so I have started my own list of KPI’s and I would love to hear yours too, please feel free to add yours in the comment field below.

  1. LinkedIn UI: The LinkedIn user interface and menu navigation is in desperate need of updating. It has to emulate the mobile experience much closer. I’ve seen some design evidence inside the slide deck, so it can’t be that far away.  Timeframe: By end of July 2016
  2. Regular SkypeEvery LinkedIn member will be able to add Skype on their profile (a space already exists) and it will integrate all your contacts who have Skype inside the Skype address book*, allowing you to instant message or video call one to one or group call right inside LinkedIn.  Timeframe: August 2016
  3. Skype for business: I have used Skype for business and it’s completely different compared to the regular Skype you may have sitting on your desktop. This feature has been long overdue inside LinkedIn and I highlighted this in a post last year. This needs to be made available to all LinkedIn premium members as soon as possible.  Timeframe: By end of September 2016
  4. Inviting and accepting invites: This might have nothing to do with Microsoft, but I am hoping when their engineers start examining workflows, they might uncover a workflow that is completely broken. This whole process needs to be overhauled, including creating a clear dedicated section inside LinkedIn for your network (similar to mobile) and a forced situation whereby you have to write a personalised invitation every single time. Timeframe: October 2016
  5. Microsoft Dynamics CRM: CRM has been a major issue for LinkedIn. There are parts that can work like CRM, but the dots are not joined up, so it remained as a bit of a maybe-run CRM. A CRM needs data and LinkedIn can provide that. All LinkedIn premium members need to be given a Dynamics CRM account as part of their package, integrated probably with Sales Navigator.  Timeframe: November 2016
  6. Yammer: LinkedIn attempted to create some sort of messaging system, but have failed miserably. Yammer was the first corporate social network, which unfortunately got bought by Microsoft and is available to enterprise clients now, never to be seen in the public domain again.  In order to compete with Slack, there is the perfect opportunity to integrate Yammer inside LinkedIn for all paying and non-paying members.  Timeframe: December 2016

These are my 6 KPI’s for the next 6 months or maybe you can call them wishes for the Microsoft & LinkedIn marriage.

Now share yours below.  Keep in touch via: @stayingaliveuk or email me michael@stayingaliveuk.com or chat via +44 (0)7866 471596

* I have been testing Skype by the way and found that Microsoft Account allows you to import your LinkedIn contacts or so I thought. See below screenshot of the error message I got! Tried about 8 times, without success.

Here is a video of the full announcement of Microsoft's acquisition of LinkedIn, including a short interview with Satya and Jeff followed by the investors call on Monday 13th June, 2016.

 

 

Are you still receiving TOO MANY LinkedIn Emails?

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On July 27, 2015, LinkedIn announced that they were reducing the amount of emails they would be sending to members. 

As a consequence they also stopped the daily email, which summarised Job Changes, Birthdays and Career Anniversaries. And in the months following all emails that are sent by LinkedIn have gone through a steady change in layout and branding. I have to say for the better. However I am still receiving lots of them each day and each week. How about you?

let’s have a closer look at this.

Below is a list of all the emails that LinkedIn currently sends to us (well, most of them that I received):

  1. Invitation to connect, standard template invitation.
  2. Invitation to connect, personalised invitation.
  3. [Person's name], has accepted your invitation.
  4. Invitation awaiting your response.
  5. Email message notification.
  6. Messages you've missed.
  7. Unread messages.
  8. Open profile messages.
  9. [Person's name], mentions you.
  10. What's new with your posts. Providing you are publishing on Pulse.
  11. New endorsements waiting. These are endorsements extra to the ones you have already listed. (Note: Only click through if you wish to add them to your skills list).
  12. Connections have endorsed you. These are against your existing skills list.
  13. Your connections have been mentioned in the news.
  14. Updates from Pulse. These would be based on your channel preferences, including posts by your connections.
  15. Groups trending discussions. Based on how many groups you belong to, you could be receiving several each day/week, unless you have switched off the email digest setting for that group.
  16. Congratulations on your new job.
  17. Someone has commented on your photo.
  18. Group comments in response to your discussion post.
  19. Latest leads (Sales Navigator only).
  20. Your account updates (Sales Navigator only)

Did I miss any?  Yes I probably did. Do please let me know if you have some that I didn't mention and send me a screenshot. Thank you!

how you can reduce the amount of emails you're getting from LinkedIn.

This advice is only valid if you've got the LinkedIn app. Nowadays we interact most of our time on mobile inside our social networks and I highly recommend that you spend more time on the LinkedIn app and that way you can stay up to date without being bombarded by emails.

Please watch the video to fully appreciate the changes you need to make in your settings inside LinkedIn. You can make these changes either on the desktop or inside the LinkedIn app.

Here is the full list of push notification on mobile LinkedIn app (iOS iPhone and iPad). You will see that this will provide you with more that enough information on mobile, instead of receiving all those individual emails. Click on the image to enlarge it further, but better still just go on your app and view it me>settings>communications>push notifications.

If you have any questions at all, feel free to reach out via @stayingaliveuk

Do you have a favourite Messaging App?

When I heard that Google is launching a new messaging app, 'Allo', I immediately thought of the British sitcom from the 80's by the same name 'Allo Allo'? Most Brits will remember it for sure. The  sitcom was set during World War II and chronicles the French resistance. Although everyone spoke English in the sitcom they all spoke in different accents giving the viewer a clue which language they were actually speaking. It was hysterical!

Anyway, the amount of messaging apps on the market is like all the different languages in the world, how are we going to make ourselves understood?

I am not looking forward to being exposed to yet another messaging app. It's going to be very confusing to decide which one is going to be the best and most popular.

Which one should we actually be using?

I know that WhatsApp is very popular and I have used it maybe 10 times, that's all. My primary messaging app is still the native iPhone messages app. At least it ensures I can reach Android users and also iMessage users on iOS, providing they know how to switch iMessage on, which still many don't! 🙄

According to Statista, WhatsApp is THE most popular with 1 billion active users each month, Facebook messenger is the next most popular with 900 million active users each month.

 Most popular messaging apps as at April 2016 - source: statista.com

Most popular messaging apps as at April 2016 - source: statista.com

Right then I, it's your turn. what are your favourites?.

I have compiled a poll, where I just need you to select all your favourite messaging apps or maybe just the ones you use the most. I believe we all use at least 3, but I won't know until I manage to get a good selection of results.  Please do share this poll with your network too.

Thank you so much for taking part. After a few weeks, I will make sure to publish the results here. If you would like to be notified of the results, please complete the short form below and I will make sure to notify you. Note: I hate spam and will NEVER use your email for anything else other than sending you a notification to come and see the results.

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If you'd like to be notified of the poll results, please send me your details by completing your name and email address.

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Did you know you could sync your Calendar with LinkedIn's App? (iOS Tutorial)

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Prepare, review and follow up on all your meetings using the LinkedIn app, even though you might not even be connected yet.

The LinkedIn app, released in the Autumn of 2015, has received a fairly significant update that has gone almost unnoticed.

If you have appointments in your calendar with either 1st or 2nd level connections and you have their email address in your Calendar, LinkedIn will locate them for you and serve up reminder cards in your 'My Network' tab. Note: The email must be a match on their LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn members often add their personal email as their primary not their business one. If you are in that camp you may wish to amend that.

Here are some text instructions for enabling the feature, which is very simple indeed. Below that there are some screen shots to accompany each action.  I have also recorded a video to walk you through it step by step.

  1. Tap the Me tab in the navigation bar of the app.
  2. Tap the Settings icon.
  3. Tap Sync Calendar.
  4. Tap Sync your calendar to confirm. 
  5. To remove calendar sources, follow the above steps and switch the sync calendar toggle to the left.
  6. There are also some real live examples of actual appointments from my calendar (or diary in the UK!), 'prep for your meeting tomorrow', 'prep for today's meeting' and 'you met with [connection's name and yesterday's date]. The last one prompts you to send a follow up email as well.

If you have any questions or queries reach out and I will be happy to answer them.

Twitter: @stayingaliveuk