Archive for the ‘LinkedIn’ Category

Microsoft, LinkedIn and the Personal Touch?

December 8, 2016

Microsoft buys LinkedIn

Today I received a really nice personalised email from Mike.

Mike is an important guy in LinkedIn (I’m guessing) and clearly he and his communications team felt it would be appropriate to reach out ‘personally’ to communicate some messages about some rather important news.

The problem is I don’t know Mike, I’ve never had correspondence from him and in truth he is attempting to communicate to an audience (me and God knows how many others) who are cynical and probably won’t connect with his message because we know it is a giant company who just don’t communicate like that to customers.

I totally get why the email was sent and all of the logic behind the “personal” touch BUT when you do this you must be tuned into your audience and what they are thinking so that your message will connect instead of having the opposite effect.

I’m not sure if you think like me about these things but I’ll try to share my thoughts (I’ll put these in brackets) to highlight what happens when you get the communication wrong..

Mikes email:

Dear Greg, (do I know you?)

Today, Microsoft completed its acquisition of LinkedIn.

This is a major milestone for the technology industry and for our two companies (good for you!), and I wanted to reach out to you, (that’s lovely!) a valued customer of LinkedIn, (quite honestly I’ve never quite felt like that) to reaffirm our commitment to you and your business. (Yeah right..)

As we said in June, when Microsoft announced its intent to acquire LinkedIn, LinkedIn’s vision — to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce (what workshop came up with his one – are you taking the p#ss?) — is not changing (I can now sleep at night).

Additionally, LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and autonomy as a company (how long will this last?).

Finally, we remain committed to innovating with our partners to ensure LinkedIn’s products work with the tools and systems you use every day, from Applicant Tracking Systems, to Customer Relationship Management platforms, to Learning Management Systems, and more. (I’m breaking out the champagne!)

With the completion of this acquisition, you can continue to expect the great products and service to which you’re accustomed from LinkedIn. (if you say so yourself!)

You can find more details about today’s news here. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your account team or a representative here at LinkedIn. (Seeing as you emailed me Mike maybe I could email you directly? …nah, I know it doesn’t work like that)

We sincerely appreciate our partnership (hmmm- when did that happen?) with you and look forward to the successes we will share in the future. (this makes no sense whatsoever – even more champagne?)

Thanks,
Mike (from one first name to another)
Mike Gamson
Senior Vice President, Global Solutions (I bet you have a nice car!!)

Communication Breakdown..

I apologise for the sarcasm and maybe its just my mood today but was that email a whole pile of self serving me, me me rubbish?

You have to wonder if there is any point when communicating trying to pretend you have a relationship that you clearly don’t have and then smother this with cliche, marketing jargon that has been spat out of meaningless workshops where there wasn’t a genuine ‘customer’ in sight.

The purchase price was supposed to be in the region of $26 Billion – what happened with the communications plan?

Maybe just keep it easy? – issue a simple press release that says the sale has gone through

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Strategic Communications, Marketing, PR, Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Did you just press the “Accept” button?

July 14, 2016

I accept your connection request

I know, you are busy just like me.

You are burning through your emails and you see those ‘invitations to connect‘ on LinkedIn, emails.

You’ve decided that you are happy to ‘connect‘ so you press the ‘Accept’ button and you continue with your other work.

Pressing the ‘accept’ button is not connecting!!

Next time press ‘accept’ and send that person a message – You might: thank them and ask them how their business is going?

Oh my god ….people actually communicate on this platform, don’t faint!

It might even surprise you that they might reply to you and you find that you are well on the way to nurturing a new connection without even lifting your bum off the seat ..magic.

The worst that can happen as a result of that extra 20 seconds is that you have stood out and they might think that you are a nice person.

So..stop pressing those buttons online and start connecting!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

But what if someone says something wrong?

October 29, 2015

old way

I was in the middle of a social media training session with the senior team of a client and Mick, who was one of the elder statesmen in the group asked a question.

This brand new world is a scary place for Mick who has been doing his own thing in his own way for a long time and now that day has come. The company believe that they are missing out by not fully embracing technologies that might deliver them business and LinkedIn is the platform they chose for me to run a training session for them.

I’m guessing that Mick and probably some of the other guys have been hoping that this day wouldn’t come but eventually it has arrived and I was the ‘scary monster‘ who was standing up at the top of the room talking about this dreaded LinkedIn, the thing that they feared could possibly render all of their skills, crafted over many years out of date and useless.

His body language, disguised with a little bit of humour screamed “I am choking, please let me out of here!“.

He sat there during the session saying very little.

At the beginning of these sessions I spend a lot of time with the team figuring out what ‘stories‘ they want to tell about their organisation.

We are an experienced team, we have our own R&D department, our technology is ahead of everything else in the marketplace, how the company came about is very compelling, we work with some of the biggest companies, we are successful, we are expanding, there is a genuine 24/7 service and the culture is very strong.”

This is a company you would want to do business with.

We explored how we could communicate some of these things on an ongoing basis with a combination of blog posts, published posts, company and personal status updates on LinkedIn.

I always stress that you must be clear what your objectives are and the messages that you want to communicate. I talk about developing a ‘message board‘ that is built into the organisation social media strategy for the company and this should be shared with all team members to ensure they understand what the content guidelines are.

Out of the blue Mick popped up with a question: “But what if someone says something wrong?“.

I think he had accepted that it was time to face his fear and now he threw out his real fear that in ways has been fuelled by media reports about damage that has been done to organisations by stupid things being posted by people working there.

What could we possibly do to prevent that from happening?

Ironically he made this comment right in the middle of that part of the training where I am setting the content guidelines with the team.

On the phone, chats with team members, meetings with clients, conversations at conferences… we all have the potential to say something stupid or damaging but we are trained and trusted to do our jobs and represent the places we work for properly.

Social media is no different and you do have to trust your teams but you must give them clear guidelines and explain what is expected of them.

Unfortunately those ‘stupid’ mistakes happen when this is not done and when someone inexperienced (typically when someone is “good” on Facebook) and lacking in knowledge about the organisation is given free rein to post for the organisation. It can also happen when an outside agency is appointed to post on behalf of the company without proper briefing and controls.

Mick, you are right but we will make sure this won’t happen here!

p.s. Mick knows his customers and his organisation better than anyone and will fly once he loses his fear.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

The Golden Era of Social Media

October 14, 2015

Jack Dorsey - twitter

Will we look back at this time and talk fondly of the ‘golden era’ of social media….?

I write this as we have just heard that Twitter have announced that they are laying off up to 336 people, 8% of their workforce. When the most beneficial of all the social media platforms has reached this point it makes you wonder.

Like every other business they must make money!

Roll forward just 5 years. Will we be saying..

“It was an innocent time when for free we all opened personal accounts on Facebook, we connected with friends, shared and uploaded our pictures. It was pure, we were able to communicate and voice our opinions without interference.

Businesses jumped in and opened accounts for free and publicised their wares.

It was really enjoyable and effective with all of us being able to see content that we wanted to.

Mark Zuckerberg - Facebook

Unfortunately it all changed when it became big business (like every other business they had to make money!) and now it is just like a huge advertising platform, which no one bothers using any more because we stopped seeing the content that we wanted.

And what about Twitter …We had such fun opening accounts for free and following who we wanted and them in turn following us and interacting as much as we wanted.

Eventually they wanted all of our personal details for advertising purposes and business accounts became different to personal accounts.

Of course the ‘free ride‘ had to finish at some point – we were naive to think it could continue the way it was.

Looking back, considering all of the benefits I enjoyed I think I would have been quite happy to pay a subscription instead of seeing it ruined the way it has been.

It’s a pity it’s gone.

Do you remember when LinkedIn was free and you could connect and post content until the cows came home, all for free!

It’s ironic that it’s half as effective now as it was when it was free!

As for Instagram ..we had great fun posting fab photos and interacting and now unfortunately its full of adverts and corporates posting commercial pics that make our skin crawl!

As for things like Foursquare, Google+Snapchat, Pinterest and Periscope …. we used them all for about 6 months and then we got bored.

As for social media taking over from newspapers and traditional media – what were we thinking?

Did we really want a world where no one was paying journalists to investigate, where great writers and columnists could not make a living, so they stopped … Crazy!

It did seem like this would happen for a while because we stupidly thought that we could get everything for free – when did that ever make sense?

Inevitably Apple, Microsoft and Google have mopped up everything online and the lesson that there is no such thing as a ‘free lunch‘ has come true.”

I miss those days and wish I could ‘tweet’ again one last time.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

LinkedIn and Temptation

March 22, 2015

Temptation

I remember a few years back being asked to give some LinkedIn training to the senior team in a large company.

When I was asked to give the training my contact stressed that I wasn’t to mention that it was a popular platform for job hunting and for putting your CV ‘out there‘. Apparently their financial department had recently been poached en masse and they were putting this down to LinkedIn so it was a delicate issue.

I carefully went through my presentation and removed any references to job hunting or it being a platform for hosting your  ‘online 3D CV‘.

I duly arrived, started my presentation and just 30 seconds into the session the first question was fired at me “Isn’t LinkedIn just a great place for finding a new job?“!

It was clear I wasn’t going to get away with avoiding the ‘elephant in the room‘.

Personally I see LinkedIn as a lot more than a place for online CV’s.

It has been a fantastic way for me and Fuzion to highlight our services, to make new contacts and great connections and to really drive our visibility. We blog frequently and we push our blog posts on LinkedIn and it helps showcase out team and their expertise.

However I must admit that the ‘CV’ dimension and the increased focus on job adverts combined with the relative ease of finding and targeting possible candidates is starting to have a huge impact on employees and employers. It has had an impact on our business.

Unfortunately I feel it can be detrimental to both employees and employers and if we are not careful this will only get worse.

Temptation..

In the good old days (I started my first proper job in an accountancy office in 1982) we took a job and tended to stay with companies for quite a while. In many cases we worked our way up the ladder through a combination of experience and on the job training.

jobs

Generally the senior long serving team members would live and breathe the organisations they worked for and they tended to have a deep practical knowledge of them including the ethos and core beliefs that the places were built on.

When the job stopped interesting and challenging you, when you stopped learning or when the career progression stopped then it was a natural time to start looking for a new job.

At this moment you started flicking through the job pages in the newspaper on a Friday and you might even register yourself with an employment agency. It was a very considered process.

Now things have changed significantly ..every single day anyone with a LinkedIn profile (there are over 1.4 million people in Ireland) can receive a job enquiry, a little temptation is dangled in front of them and long before they have even considered looking for another job their head has been turned and they are unsettled.

Two of our team left in the recent past and the story was the same for both of them “You know me, I love it here. I wasn’t even looking but they contacted me and the offer was so good I couldn’t resist“.

While this is a detrimental issue for employers who now have to contend with much higher staff turnover it is even more detrimental for the individuals who are letting their heads be easily turned.

Before their full skill-sets are developed and they have a chance to grow in their roles they are off and starting again, never reaching their full potential anywhere.

Technology has clearly changed all of our lives and in the workplace these changes are very significant.

Avoiding temptation..

This new temptation is detrimental to everyone and we need to take a little control back to limit how detrimental it is.

For the individuals that are tempted have a really good think before you allow your head to be turned – is this temptation really the best thing right now for your development and your long term career?

For employers who are tempted – do you really want to take someone on who has their head turned that easy? This won’t be the last time their head will turn!

Temptation ..no thanks!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

The Power of Compliments

November 21, 2014

Compliments

I was checking my emails just now and I came across a fantastic message from a contact I have on LinkedIn, which cheered me up no end.

The very lovely and very generous Valerie (Ryder) O’Hanlon had picked up on the changes I had made to my LinkedIn profile and left me a message that put a huge skip in my step.

Thank You

Not only did she pay me a compliment, which is always great to receive but she also grabbed my attention by being nice, generous and friendly – in a sweep Valerie has moved to the top of my ‘nice people to deal with online‘ league table!

If we ever have a requirement in the HR Consultancy sector we know who to go to.

Paying a compliment is a really easy thing to do but it can also be  incredible powerful.

If you see something you like, think someone has done something worthwhile, noticed they have just got a promotion then take those 30 seconds to say well done!

Try it ..if you have a compliment to give, don’t hold back

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

 

 

 

Feeding the fly on the wall

October 5, 2014

fly on the wallIn many ways we are all a little curious..

What are they really like, what is she like, are they nice people, what is the spirit of the place, what do they really believe in, is it all about profit, what does he do in his spare time, what experience does she have, what happens behind the scenes, what is their process, how committed are they to results, what are they passionate about, what is it like to work there, what are the people like that do the real work that we never get to meet?

At times we would love to be a fly on the wall to see first hand what the real story is so that we could really get a sense of that person, that business, that organisation – can we believe in them enough to trust them and maybe even do business with them?

Next time you tweet, post on Facebook, write a blog post, publish a photo, update your bio or post on LinkedIn think about that fly on the wall and feed him well!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Contact me if you are interested in the Power You online reputation programme which I will be starting soon in Dublin and Cork: greg@fuzion.ie

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

Who does the world think you are?

June 19, 2013

Facebook advertisingApparently I’m someone who is interested in Adult Fantasy Games, the odd bet and I wouldn’t mind driving the new Volvo V40.

I’d like to go on holidays to Tuscany after needing the help of a Retail Consultant and playing some more adult fantasy games!

LinkedIn AdvertisingWhen I get serious I’m interested in ERP (excuse my ignorance but I have no idea what that is) for small business, a white board device for waking up ideas and I might even like to earn some extra money.

When I’m done with all of that I might like to find a new  file sharing platform while I take on my one year diploma course in Corporate Governance with DCU.

Finally I might be interested in switching to UPC.

Interesting person!!

Social Media Advertising

This is a sample of the advertising that is being targeted at me across Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

With all of the different social media platforms it is possible to do some very specific targeting with your advertising campaigns.

Facebook – this probably has the biggest targeting capability as it can focus on your location (as precise as towns), age, personal status and declared personal interests.

For the advertiser  it works on either a pay per click basis (you only pay when someone clicks your advert) or on impressions (the number of times your advert has been shown).

You set a daily budget and you also have the capability of setting a maximum amount per click. The big limitation with Facebook advertising is that most people are in a very social frame of mind when they are using the platform so it probably isn’t great for “heavy” topics.

With Facebook you can also enjoy an element of what I call “endorsed” or “trust” advertising – where you see an advert and it declares that one of your friends likes that brand/product. If you want extra oomph from your page posts you can invest a few bob to push them out to the people who have liked your pages and their friends.

We have found it to be quite effective for many of our clients.

LinkedIn – the targeting capability for advertisers is really good here with options around location (just country so far), age, seniority, the size of the company the person works for, job role, sector and you can even target Groups that have been set up. This also operates on a pay per click basis (these are quite expensive) – you set the maximum per click and a daily budget.

I haven’t used it yet for clients but I have experimented with it for Fuzion – we have won some business as a result.

Twitter ADvertisingTwitter – advertising on twitter is still in it’s infancy and my feeling is that targeting will be more difficult because a user provides limited information when they set up their account. However if you read the blurb twitter reckon you can target by gender, geography and special interests (it must track the content of your tweets  or maybe who you are following to assess this – it might be tricky to target the huge number of users on twitter who lurk and never tweet). You have a choice between promoting your account or pushing your tweets into peoples twitter feed).

We haven’t used twitter advertising for any clients yet.

Collectively across all platforms there is a lot of information and capability that can help you target customers – the skill is knowing who your customer might be and using the targeting tools to attract their attention.

For the record when it comes to me other than a trip to Tuscany (off there next week!), Facebook marketing and pulling my hair out with Sky last Christmas the world just doesn’t know me at all.

I definitely have no interest in adult fantasy games… (al least that what I keep telling everyone!)

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion 

Fuzion with offices in Cork and Dublin in Ireland provide Social Media Consultancy and Training services.

Flying solo or wearing the team shirt?

April 13, 2013

LinkedIn Posting

I don’t want them as one of my contacts” he said “why should I?”

I was in the middle of a social media training session with the team from one of our clients and it looks like we stumbled upon an awkward moment!

During these sessions I carefully work with the full team and we determine carefully what the objectives are for their social media activity.

The team had agreed that “raising awareness” for what the organisation does was a big issue and they were going to use social media pro-actively as a vehicle to spread the word.

We were in the middle of a practical session on LinkedIn and we discovered that the person whose account we were using for demonstration purposes had a large number of ignored connection requests.

But I don’t know them”  he said

Here you have people wanting to connect with you and you are ignoring them” I explained ..”not only are you losing an opportunity to connect and spread the word but you are giving the organisation a bad reputation by ignoring people

Hmm … The room was silent, he wasn’t budging!

How about, accept the requests, thank them for connecting and ask them how their business is going ?” ….. “after all, it’s not a marriage proposal” – I was trying my best!

Nope … nothing doing.

I had done enough talking and cajoling for one session so I left it – at the end of the day it is up to each organisation to set a policy for their use of LinkedIn.

The thing with LinkedIn is that people don’t connect with Greg Canty , they connect with Greg Canty, Partner with Fuzion. You and your role in the organisation are locked together as part of your identity.

The team may argue that their LinkedIn presence is their personal space – while this is true they are also wearing the team shirt and should turn up and play for the team.

What do you think ?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion with offices in Cork and Dublin offer social media training and consultancy in Ireland

Thank crunchy it’s Friday?

April 12, 2013

Friday feelingFriday afternoon and I was in the middle of a social media training session with the team from one of our clients operating in the professional services sector.

One of the directors was in the “hot seat” sitting at the controls of his LinkedIn account, which like most people with a profile he never uses.

He never posts, he never interacts but he does press the “accept” button with some of the connection requests he receives.

I encouraged him to post a status update ..”Go on, be yourself and post something“.

He surprised everyone by posting “Thank crunchy it’s Friday” ..

I asked the group what did they think ..two of his colleagues thought it wasn’t quite in keeping with their business and profession, another said he misspelt the word crunchy and some of the others thought it was a good thing to post..after all they explained it was Friday and that’s what most people at work would be feeling.

My own advice and my own experience would have me agreeing with the guys who felt “thank crunchy it’s Friday” was a good thing to post.

It’s really important that you are true to yourself, that you post something that connects with people, that you allow people to see the lighter side of your personality and that you don’t try to post something “heavy” on a Friday afternoon …the most important thing is that you make some noise and start posting on a regular basis so that you and your business will register on people’s radar.

Thank crunchy it’s Friday …what do you think?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer in-house social media training and consultancy services in Ireland