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Could you give up ‘vegetative TV’ and read more?

Great to see another 5***** review for The Business of Being Social – so far a 5 star performance all the way. Long may that continue – but of course, it’s only early days.

the business of being social social media book of the year

The fact that people find the book so ‘dip in and outable’ reminded me how I use books.

I’m an avid business book collector – I love learning from others. I come from the position that it doesn’t matter who you’re speaking to, if you’re open to listening, you’ll always learn something. And this position continues into my reading. The challenge I had, was not the appetite to want to learn and an ever interesting pile of titles – but rather, finding the time to get through them.

My New Year’s resolution was to give up ‘vegetative TV’ and instead turn those hours vegging in front of a TV screen, into positive book reading action.

Over the past year (so far), the only TV guilty pleasure has been 6 hours with The Great British Bake Off – and that was largely due to it being a ‘family’ ritual.

I’ve covered books with stickers, markers, notes – taken photos etc – and have created my own ‘note book’ on all the useful findings from the many books I’ve read. It’s also given me loads of ideas for how to improve any future books I write (and yes, there is one in the pipeline already). Ensuring that there are practical exercises, useful references and space to think and apply the lessons. 

Here’s the latest review.  And my question to you is, how do you use books?

“I’ve found this the most useful book to dip in and out of, it sits on my desk at work and is ready for when I need it next. I have my favourite go to pages tabbed and passages highlighted. It covers the basics and then goes into detail on strategy without being too heavy, it’s perfect for beginners or those who have a basic knowledge and want to take the next step.”

Until next time.

Michelle x



Wowed just by the contents page!

You know that I often speak about the power of content and now I also want to remind you that – if you’re writing a book, don’t underestimate the power of contents pages.

Think about your own behaviour – when you pick up a business book, (either to browse on or off line) you’re likely to paw through the contents pages to see what delights may unfold within.

Contents 5

The latest Amazon review for our book is titled ‘Wowed just by the contents page‘.  This delights us – because actually, when writing a book, you start with the skeleton. What needs to go into the book, the ordering of content, a logical flow is critical.  There’s got to be a natural start, middle and end (just as with any great story).  Of course, with a practical social media guide book such as The Business of Being Social – then each chapter delivers value and insight – so it’s great that the content pages really do sell what’s in the book – and importantly, that the book stands up to the expectation of those content pages. There are no less than 4 pages of contents in our book – which as authors, when you scope them out – it’s a pretty daunting task to think – now we need to get writing to ensure we cover all those aspects in practical detail – bringing the book to life. 

Here’s the great review…

“I was wowed just by looking at the contents pages of this book. It’s incredible how much information is in here and with social media moving so quickly it still gives up to date information. I have an understanding of the platforms but still learned a lot from the book, the content and video chapters were hugely beneficial to me and undoubtedly will now help me in my business too. Definitely recommend to anyone looking at growing their social media following or even VAs and social media consultants too.”

contents3Contents 4

Wonderful to hear – and so far, so good. Every review we’ve received (albeit only 4 live on Amazon for the new book so far -v- 69 for the previous book) – is a 5 *****.  So thank you – and if you are reading the book – then do keep them coming.

Best wishes



Content Is King – so are you ‘content’ with your content?

I had the pleasure of attending a two day content marketing immersion last weekend.

What? You immersed yourself in content marketing for two whole days – I hear you ask. And yes, that’s exactly what I did. And it was great. Always good to learn from others – bookshare ideas and insights and hang out with like-minded individuals.

One of the longest chapters (apart from Twitter and LinkedIn) in The Business of Being Social – is the Content chapter. And why? Because content is critical to social media and modern day marketing.

My mantra for many years has been ‘you are what you share‘ – and the beauty of the technologies we now have at our fingertips is that they have opened up barriers to enabled ‘anyone’ to become a publisher. (Rightly or wrongly – it is as it is).

There’s an interesting fact that today we publish more content every 48 hours than all of the content ever published online up until 2004 combined. Thanks to blogs, social media, technology – it’s safe to say that pretty much every topic has been covered – regardless of how niche.

What this means is that your content really has to hit the mark when it comes to grabbing the attention of your audience. We’re content rich and attention span poor.

For effective content marketing right now – understanding your audience, understanding what’s important to them, what they like to consume and where they consume is therefore – critical.  Of course, whilst this is a basic premise of marketing – not many in the digital world are traditionally trained marketers – and so this critical aspect, gets missed.

You can’t be content just pushing out blog posts each week on something you know you know about. You need to be close to your content – and understand exactly how it’s working. We always get asked the question ‘what’s the ROI (return on investment) of social media’? My suggestion is that you don’t just measure that critical ROI – but you also start measuring the ROI of your content too.

Content needs to perform. It needs to engage. It needs to compel and it needs to move your audience closer to you – so that you become their choice.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you content with your content?
  • Is it performing the way you need it to?
  • How do you measure it? 
  • What’s your content ROI?
  • How do you know it’s working?
  • Does it share valuable, useful insights for your audience?
  • It is on message with your brand?
  • Does it compel audiences to fall a little bit in love with you?
  • Does it leave your audience hungry for more?

If you are comfortable you’ve got it all covered – great. But whichever way you look at it – content really matters. So don’t just be content with your content – be 100% enamoured.

Over to you…

Michelle x




Praise from Ollie Sharp – UK Sales Manager at LinkedIn

Last week I held a keynote at LinkedIn’s SocialRecruitIn event. Fab event and you can see more from the day here. I finally had the pleasure of meeting Ollie Sharp - UK Sales Manager at LinkedIn.

I’d been tweeting with Ollie for a few months – as he advised David and I that he found edition 1 of The Business of Being Social to be highly useful – and that he was making all members of his UK sales team read it.  In fact, the main reason I’d been invited to talk at the event, was down to Ollie’s recommendation.

When David and I wrote the book, we really positioned it for business owners or those wanting to learn more about the channels. What we didn’t think about at all – was the impact our book could have on how the social media channels we featured within the book themselves, could actually use our ideas to better position their offering to their audiences.

It’s wonderful to hear that LinkedIn took sentiment from our teachings to make some changes to their proposition.  Both David and I are hugely proud of that.

Here’s what Ollie Sharp, UK Sales Manager – Staffing and Search at LinkedIn,  had to say…

“The Business of Being Social has become a useful resource within the LinkedIn sales team. The book really helped us to understand the bigger picture of social media and it was instrumental when we changed the way that we work with clients. It helped us to develop how we consult with our clients and advise them on how to build a social media strategy. We were missing the critical aspects that social media channels enable – such as continuous conversations, brand proposition and getting employees on board to strengthen both brand and message. From our learnings from the book we now advise companies to build their followers, engage them with content and this will enable them to do what they do best – recruit! The Business of Business Social is now a must read for all new recruits into my LinkedIn sales team – and has become an integral part of our training. Highly practical – yet at the same time, highly insightful. A really useful tool for all businesses, either starting out or looking at how to optimise their social media activity.”

Wonderful – even more than we set out to achieve.

Michelle x



The Business of Being Social 2nd Edition – First review and it’s a 5*****!

Always delightful to great off to a great start… David and I are delighted with the 5***** review for the book. Let’s hope there are as many as for our first edition.

“There are so many books out there that claim to teach businesses the art of using social media platforms, but they are full of wordy jargon-filled passages which give most non-web professionals a headache.
This is such a refreshing read, breaking each chapter down to focus on a specific social platform, and explaining why businesses should use the platform, not just how.
It covers the basics, like describing each platform and what they are used for – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+ are all covered, but it goes deeper and explains how businesses need to communicate with their customers, how to engage, lead a conversation and get the best from a strategy. As a small business owner I found this actually quite a compelling read, and I have used it for creating strategies for using social media, and how to get the best out of it. Hands down the best social media book for businesses if you don’t want a heavy read.”

Wonderful – just what we set out to achieve.

Michelle x

The Business of Being Social – 2nd Edition is here…

Yay – it’s happened. The Business of Being Social 2nd Edition is here.

Why a second edition and not a brand new book? I hear you say…

Well – whilst the skeleton is similar – and some of the aspects from the original book have been retained, the majority (around 85%) is brand new.

2nd Edition of The Business of Being Social

2nd Edition of The Business of Being Social

A lot has changed in the social media space in the past two years – and so this 2nd edition features not only all the relevant updates to keep the content, fresh and relevant and as highly practical as possible – but it also includes two whole new chapters.

  • Social Media Advertising
  • Becoming an Adaptive Social Business

When we wrote the book almost 3 years ago now – when we were training and consulting with organisations and business owners, the question was ‘why should we do social media‘.  Just a few years later, the question is now more likely to be ‘how can we do social media effectively‘.

The answer to both questions will be uncovered throughout the 13 chapters.

So – grab your copy today – and be sure to leave a review. We had so much praise for our original book, which spurred us on for book number 2 – so enjoy and let us know what you think.

Happy reading…

Michelle x





Watch out for the second edition of The Business of Being Social

We’ve got some exciting news to share with you. Co-authors Michelle Carvill and David Taylor have completed work on the second edition of the Business of Being Social.

The book, which has a total of 61 four- and five-star reviews on Amazon, has been extensively updated and, as promised last year, has two new chapters – Becoming a Social Business and Using Social Advertising.

Due to be published in September 2015, the Second Edition will come in at 25% longer and will feature a wealth of new material including a host of new case studies plus radically updated Facebook and LInkedIn chapters.

The book also sees a transformed Other Social Media chapter with useful sections on getting the most out of Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat and even the new kid on the social media block, Ello.

The revisions have been so extensive that in many ways, it should be treated as an entirely new book, more in tune with the business world of 2015. As we write in the new introduction:

“For those in business, it has also moved out of the marketing silo. As you will read in this book, there is barely an area of corporate life that hasn’t been impacted upon by digital technology and the new ‘sharing economy’.

“The result is a massive shift in the ways that all organisations, no matter what size they are, do business. From recruitment to public relations and from customer service to research & development, companies are having to find new ways to communicate both externally and internally.”

We’ll keep you posted once we have a confirmed publication date. In the meantime, do continue to check out Michelle’s blog here or go to David’s LinkedIn Pulse page here.

Exciting new social media developments

You may have noticed that things have been pretty quiet over on this blog over the past few months.

Well, the authors have been hard at work writing their next book – Be Safe Be Smart Be Social – which is a social media book aimed at parents, teachers and anyone working with children.

We also intend to update the Business of Being Social in 2015. There have been so many new developments that we want to revamp the chapters and add in a new section on Social Business and Social Advertising.

To date, we’ve sold well over 4,000 copies of the book in the UK and abroad. We’ve also had great feedback from readers on Amazon, who’ve awarded us 49 four or five-star reviews.

In the meantime, if you want the latest news, check out Michelle’s blog at Carvill Creative here or go to David’s LinkedIn Pulse page here.

Farewell product and services tabs on LinkedIn Company profiles. Hello Showcase pages!

In just over two weeks, LinkedIn will be removing the product and services tabs from Linkedin Company profiles.

These have been a useful way to highlight the different facets of your company and have allowed engagement in the form of sharing and the writing of recommendations.

However, from 14th April, this service will be phased out and replaced with Showcase Pages, which represent a real step forward for the site. So please note that p. 148 of the book is now out of date.

Showcase Pages are to Company Pages what microsites are to websites. They are a way of showing off different elements of your company, be it offices, departments, services, products and brands.

In the same way that Facebook is aiming to take on customer-facing brands’ websites with their Company Pages, LinkedIn is employing a similar strategy with B2B brands.

Combined with Sponsored Updates, the site now not only gives companies a great place to post their content, but they also allow you to promote this to a targeted audience.

Want to know how you can make best use of these new Showcase Pages, then click here to read a great blog by Hubspot which talks you through the process.