The Recommendation Generation

When searching for products and services many of us now turn, not to our friends, family and colleagues – but to our trusty relationship with Google.

It’s pretty much second nature for a significant amount of us (76% of consumers

best selling social media bookaccording to ComScore) to turn to our devices, be they are smart phones, tablets, laptops or desktops to seek out what we are looking for.  And due to the abundance of information out there and indexed by Google, we are rarely disappointed.

If searching, exploring and researching online is therefore such an accepted part of our consumer behaviour, then it’s important that you do everything you can to encourage the people that find you – that you are indeed a safe and trustworthy option.

This is where ‘recommendations’ come in.  People are far more likely to trust what others are saying about your products or services than they are if you are simply spouting forth how wonderful they are.  You are after all the brand, the business owner, the service or product provider, of course you are going to advise your audience that you are great.

Think about your own consumer behaviour, if when searching online for a product or service you come across a site where there are customer testimonials – be they in written format or video format or perhaps it’s product star ratings you see – helping you to navigate which services score highly – do you feel comforted?

Even better are those sites which showcase independent reviews – review services such as Feefo or TrustPilot where the business can’t just showcase the good news stories and hide the bad, because the reviews are managed by the independent review service – then all reviews get shown, giving a transparent and authentic view of the service levels or product performance.

In ‘The Business of Being Social’ – we share insights and stats into the importance of testimonials and reviews – gaining trust – social proof or validation etc.  Now that people are reading and reviewing our book on Amazon - those reviews are proving to be a useful resource for others – a comfort for new consumers and a catalyst for visibility on Amazon and more sales.

If you are in the business of providing products or services, then our question to you is – ‘What’s your rolling program for collecting and showcasing powerful, transparent and purposeful testimonials and feedback?’

If the program doesn’t already exist – then it’s time to put one together.

@michellecarvill is co-author of The Business of Being Social, Director at Made Simple Group and Founder and Director of Social Media and Online Visibility Agency, Carvill Creative.

Who’s got a copy of our book then?

Great to see social media exec at The Made Simple Group tweeting about receiving his copy of our book. Also – one of our clients, Shelfstore - tweeted a pic of our book on their shelves too.

Momentum is growing for sure. We already have four excellent reviews so far – all 5* – you can check them out on Amazon here.

Also – one of our clients, Shelfstore – tweeted our book on their shelves too.

If you have pics of our book in interesting places – then do share…tweet @bobsthebook.

matty book Shelfstore book

Launch Party – The Business of Being Social

So… what a fun event our book launch turned out to be.

Everyone enjoyed the presentation we gave sharing insights into how we came about writing the book, the gap in the market we were aiming to fill – and the practicalities of writing of book, when you’re running your own business and have small children.  The presentation ‘The Making of The Business of Being Social‘ went down really well – (and everyone particularly liked our Bloopers video- lots of hearty laughter… thanks guys).

And the stage was set in the wonderful offices of Laytons Solicitors, 2 More London. The views, as you can see from the photo gallery – were absolutely spectacular. And the word ‘WOW’ was commonplace as guests arrived. Such a vantage point from which to enjoy canapes and wine and watch the sun going down over London’s panoramic skyline – and experience the changing light on Tower Bridge.

The Business of Being Social – On the Shelves Today!

Woo hoo. You can now buy our book - it’s finally hit the shelves.

We completed writing the book at the end of September 2012 and then had somethe business of being social, social media book, harnessing the power of twitter for business, linkedin for business, facebook for business and youtube. editing opportunities early in 2013. We are eager to get our hands on a printed copy – rather than a manuscript – we hope you are too.

We’ve posted some useful tips extracted from the book – below – these really are just a tiny snippet. There’s heaps more within the book.

Of course, we’re going to say to you get out and buy the book – and we’d love to get your reviews on Amazon too.

You  can also check out our RT to win via @bobsthebook on Twitter. You may be able to win yourself a copy, via a simple Retweet.

Enjoy reading – and we’ll be keeping you posted sharing daily updates.


Tips for Social Savviness


  • Never post anything defamatory or offensive – the law of the land applies on the internet
  • Remember that your social media utterings are your reputation on the worldwide web – you are what you share
  • Never post a comment you wouldn’t say to someone’s face
  • Make sure your privacy settings are set to maximum
  • Keep a watchful eye on your children’s internet activity – that includes mobile phones with internet as well
  • If you are an employer, have proper guidelines for your staff
  • THINK about what you are posting (especially younger social media publishers) – what you post today could come back to haunt you in years to come, so exercise caution.


LinkedIn – A Savvy Way to Get Round Limited Searching Without a Paid For Option

For those of you that have been using LinkedIn for a long time now – (after all it is 10 years   linkedin search, xray search, linkedin help, linkedin tips old) – you’ll have noticed that just last month – things changed dramatically with regard to the ‘search’ facility.

Yes, with the basic (free) version of LinkedIn you can still do Advanced Searches – however, the information you now receive back is far more limited within the free version than it ever used to be.

Does this mean you have to get out those credit cards and upgrade to a paid for premium version of LinkedIn?  Not necessarily. It depends what your objective for being on LinkedIn is. And there are there are still ways you can by-pass some of the limitations now placed on the search in LinkedIn’s free version – by being a savvy searcher.

Using X Ray Search

Google is a wonderful tool – and there are some very sophisticated ways of using Google Search (and if you are interested this Google Hangout Training Course  -‘Understanding The Power of Google Search’ is an exceptional piece of content).

We can also use the power of Google to help us when our searches hit brick walls via LinkedIn.

Here’s how.  Let’s say I am looking for an Accountant, within 100 miles of London, in Financial Services.

I do an advanced search on LinkedIn and the person I want to connect with comes up – however, I can’t see any of his contact details or how to get in touch with him – and he’s a 3rd degree contact so the best I can do is connect to someone who knows someone he knows (not very targeted).

linkedin help, linkedin tips

However, to find out a bit more information – I can run an X Ray Search via Google.

Optimise the Results by Switching to Private Browsing Mode

Before you run the search I’m going to show you in Google – be sure you switch to private browsing mode in your browser. Why – well, even if you log out of LinkedIn – sometimes LinkedIn knows that you are still a member. Therefore, often the results you get back aren’t as insightful to those with free membership of LinkedIn – as to those that don’t have membership.  So you can effectively trick LinkedIn into thinking you are not a member.

Private Browsing in Different Browsers:

  • Chrome calls it Incognito – and it is the three stacked lines to the far right of the browser. Click that and 4th row down you’ll see Incognito window mode – switch to that and you are ‘incognito’.  You switch back by simply clicking the new window mode.
  • IE – click the cog icon and select Private Browsing.
  • Firefox – You see the words Private Browsing
  • Safari – Click the cog and select Private Browsing.

Now you are in private browsing mode – simply type the following into your Google search bar:

John “GL Accountant” “CEE/Alpine at Lumesse” “Hemel Hempstead”

And be amazed.  What you will get is the full profile – access to email, Twitter and websites – so connection can be made directly.

Simple.  If you liked this insight – do share it.

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest and the many other networks are making changes all the time. Keeping on top of all the changes and leveraging the platforms for your own business purposes is tricky – hence why we created this blog to support our book, The Business of Being Social.  Stay tuned to this blog… and we’ll keep you tuned in on all the latest changes.  And of course, for practical insights into leveraging social media for business – buy the book. (Subtle plug… not).