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.

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.

5 Ways to Influence your Influencers on Social Media

You’ve done your research and you know who you would ideally like to connect and network with on social.  Armed with who – here are some tips to help you succeed in developing purposeful networks:

  1. Retweet and share their content.  If you are trying to court your influencers, what better way to show them that you are tuned into what they are saying than ‘retweeting’ their tweets to your audiences.  Each time you retweet – the originator of the tweet receives a notification to let them know.  That way, you are drawing attention to the fact that you are interested in what they have to say.
  2. Compliment them on their content.  We all like to be flattered – and we all like to think that our content is purposeful and resonates. If one of the influencers you are trying to connect with shares something – reply and make a comment – or retweet and add your own view eg:  Love this, great article or a simple ;) .
  3. #FF (Follow Friday).  On Fridays there’s a etiquette on Twitter, whereby you share the @handles of all those that you think others in your audience should take a look at.  It could be that you have particularly enjoyed their tweets that week – or you just love what they say generally.  Again, mentioning your influencers in this way – means that they get notified that you are advocating them.
  4. @ them.  You can send a public message directly to them (as you can only send a private direct message if they are following you)  – if you use their @handle at the very beginning of a tweet – then only their followers and your followers get to see it. So they will again, be notified that you are sending a message to them.  Eg:  Loved your latest book – Chapter 2 really insightful and useful. Great work.
  5. Say thank you.  Really simple, but often forgotten – if your tactics steer your influencer to follow you – then be sure to go back to them to say a simple thank you for connecting.  I’m  not suggesting you should thank all the people that follow you – as that could get a little sycophantic  – but if they are an important influencer that you have converted into a follower – then be sure to start nurturing your relationship and start out in the right way.

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

Facebook to Drop Sponsored Stories in April 2014

If you’re not aware about Sponsored Stories, then to simplify things for you – these are ad like updates shown when a user’s Facebook friend interacts with a sponsored Page, App or Event.

They will appear in your Facebook News Feed because a business or individual has paid to highlight them in the hope that there’s more of a chance others will see them and click ‘Like through to the Page as well.

However – it has been known to many, that marketers and Facebook users have had a love-hate relationship with Facebook’s Sponsored Stories. Proving to be a source of confusion for the marketers (who want to get as much out of their advertising budgets as possible – and a source of annoyance for News Feed noise.

Facebook has announced in a blog post that they plan to put an end to Sponsored Stories altogether – so if you’re looking to purchase a Sponsored Story then you better do it fast – because by April 9th 2014, this feature will be completely removed!

What will this Mean for Marketers? What is the Next Step?

The company confirmed that they were planning to drop Sponsored Stories back in June 2013 – however it wasn’t until recently that we have an official date for when they will disappear from the site altogether (April 9th 2014).

Currently it’s not that clear as to what will replace Sponsored Stories – however what we can tell you is that the existing Sponsored Stories will transition into the ad format “Social Context.”  What ‘social context’ means is that – if your friends like something, then it may get shown to you too on the assumption that you also may like it.  The ‘social’ element of ‘social context’.

The removal of Sponsored Stories only changes the way these ads are delivered to Facebook users, not the fact that the information can be collected and used. A key difference with Social Context ads however, is that they will appear in the right hand sidebar, rather than directly in your News Feed.

So rather than have your News Feed bombarded with ads – the Social Context ads will run in the usual right hand bar where we have become used to seeing  all Facebook’s advertisements.

Social Context will be offered as an option to advertisers alongside other advertising options. With Social Context, Facebook will continue to gather information on users and deliver that information back to those users in the form of ads.

Here’s what Facebook announced in June:

“Wee’re bringing the best of sponsored stories — social context — to all ads. Since this update makes sponsored stories redundant, we will no longer offer them as a stand-alone ad unit for marketers. Social context will continue to appear with all ads where eligible. Our social advertising honors the audience that people choose, so nobody will see information in social context for an ad that they couldn’t already see.”

See the diagram below to see how this should work:

facebook image for blog

As you can see, social media advertising is a constantly-shifting medium, especially as the industry is always growing. So the best thing that you can do is try to keep up with these changes and learn how to stretch each pound as far as possible.

Tip: Don’t give up -Facebook is known to be one of the best ways to reach a large number of customers all at once.

Facebook Update: Edgerank is Dead

In Chapter 5 of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube for all Businesses – we discuss Facebook’s algorithm, Edgerank.

What are they talking about? -  I hear your brains a pondering.

If you think about Facebook as a huge database (which it is) – then given the scale of Facebook, you can imagine that ordering the data so that updates and comments etc can be delivered to the relevant people is a significant task.

Instead of having a ‘everyone sees all’ activity schedule – (which would be totally unmanageable given the size of Facebook – and how frequently people use it) – then instead, Facebook has to determine who is going to see what.

And of course, it’s not people that decide who see’s what – but instead, the role is in the ‘chips’ of mathematical algorithms that are accessing a number of factors around the content – and then serving the output.

Historically, Facebook promoted Edgerank as their algorithm. An algorithm which considered 3 key factors (each in themselves a complex calculation):

  • Affinity score – between viewing user and edge creator (translation – how engaged you are with specific connections)
  • Weight for the edge – ie: the quality of the type of content – eg: a comment, a tag, a like, a share etc
  • Time decay – factors based on how long ago the ‘edge’ was created

(See Page 102 in the book for more info).

Whilst these elements are still part of the algorithm that Facebook uses to determine who sees what – it is now widely published and accepted that there are significantly more factors now considered.

In fact – it’s rumoured that there are over 100 factors (and in some reports 100,000!).

Either way – the key element remains in that you need to be working hard on Facebook to generate engagement and then keep that engagement going.

Asking questions (getting people to engage with your Page), quality content and building an influential audience still count.  I suspect as Facebook continues to be a noisy space – then more creativity in to how you corner the eyeballs and activity is going to be needed.

5 Star Praise for The Being of Being Social

David and I often preach about the importance of ‘advocacy’ – and how importance advocacy is in building trust.

After all, only 14% of us trust advertisements, whilst 84% of us trust peer–to-peer recommendations.

Of course, whilst David and I believe that our book, The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube for All Businesses -  (the book we wrote, which was published late May this year) – is a great book – what’s more important is what others say about it.

So far, so good. Sales have gone really well, it’s had to be reprinted within the first 6 months – and we’ve got a whopping 56 reviews on Amazon – scoring 4.7 out of 5 (currently, the most reviewed book of it’s type).  And the majority of reviews are 5*****.

We’re delighted – and here are some of the ‘headlines’ from the reviews. So, if you are looking for a practical guide to help you get started with social media channels or to plan your social media strategy – then take a look at what others have to say about our book.

Meanwhile, sincere and warm thanks to everyone that’s purchased, read, shared and reviewed.  Be social and keep sharing…

“Practical and theoretical advice for the professional social media user… .”

“Step by step guide to a vital skill.”

“A must for any small or tall businessman, or woman.”

“Excellent Book.”

‘Brilliant for getting started in Social Media.”

‘Solid, simple and straightforward.”

“Very instructional.”

“Whether you’re experienced or not in use of social media as I guarantee you will learn something.”

“Decent round up of how to utilise Social Media.”

“Thorough, measured and extremely useful.”

“Excellent information and advice.”

“Broken down into manageable sections.”

“Excellent.”

“A must for businesses who want to start social media marketing and don’t know where to start.”

“For businesses wanting to develop a solid social networking platform.”

“Really helpful and practical. Highly recommended.”

“Being social uncovered… The basics and more.”

“An excellent introduction to social media.”

“A great present for social media hopefuls.”

“One Stop Social Media.”

“Guides you through the hype.”

“The Must Have Social Media Guidebook for business.”

“This book is extremely well written. it makes a potentially complex subject easy to read and motivating. Highly recommend!”

“Finally a strategy based social media handbook!”

“Excellent – very good summary and written to inform.”

“Comprehensive and Excellent.”

“Great book for students.”

“Comprehensive guide on using social for business.”

“An essential guide to planning a social media strategy for your business.”

“Best book on social media I’ve ever read!”

“Jam Packed with Advice and Tips.”

“A book for all PR’s bookshelves.”

“Practical, comprehensive advice.”

“Absolutely recommend!”

“Important Stuff.”

“A perfect book for all Social Media needs.”

“Great book, well worth reading.”

“Brilliant read!”

“All you need to know about Social Media.”

“Great book for businesses who need help with their Social Media.”

“Why learn from your own mistakes when Taylor and Carvill can help you to navigate this modern landscape.”

“Finally a practical, business focused social media guide… .”

“Excellent read – am now social media savvy!”

“Simple yet revolutionary way through the jungle of modern marketing.”

“***Must-read for social media users***Highly recommended.”

“Best I’ve read on using Social for Business!”

“Great book, simple to follow and the case studies really help.”

“This book should be essential reading to anyone who wants to get started in social media but doesn’t know where to start.”

Up to 55 Amazon reviews for The Business of Being Social

We’re really thrilled to see that The Business of Being Social now has 55 reviews on Amazon – with 40 of those five-star. Reviews are the lifeblood of books and while we are proud of the book, it’s great to see that others agree with us.

We thought we’d post the latest review by Hugo Minney in full as it neatly sums up what this social media book is all about. Take it away Hugo:

This book is about making money, not wasting it.

It would be easy to spend pages and pages explaining what tweeting is, and how much fun it is. It would be easy to jump straight in at the “How” (as in, “this is HOW you do it”), forgetting that a busy business doesn’t really want to spend any time at all on something that costs but doesn’t deliver a return. So this book doesn’t do that.

It starts with a foundation – this is what businesses do, and this is what they should do, and most importantly, this is what they can expect to get back (WHY social marketing).

Then it goes on to explain, step by step, WHAT social marketing is. The undercurrent is that humans have communicated and carried out commerce for years – well hundreds of thousands of years actually – and it’s only been in the last 2-3 hundred years that we’ve tried to rely on push marketing or loud posters selling snake oil.

If you can’t necessarily prove the benefits of marketing this way, that’s probably because it’s difficult to prove. Social marketing, with all of this modern technology, is a return to old-fashioned conversation and commerce, which is why it caught on so quickly and is proving so successful.

With the foundations in place, Carville (sic) and Taylor can explain HOW to do social marketing. And they point out that it’s very much like a good old-fashioned conversation. In a conversation, you won’t make friends or influence people if you simply race in and start shouting.

The rules (for success) are always the same – decide what you want, listen to find a group of people who seem like the right crowd, converse to build relationships (usually by agreeing with the people closest to your point of view), and then, and only then, have you won the right to tell them about whatever you are selling.

Carville (sic) & Taylor repeat this again and again – don’t start posting or tweeting, decide what your objective is. Lots of companies don’t know what their aim is, so they are remarkably accurate at getting it. Your objective is probably to sell more product to this target client base. OK where do you find the client base?

Are they on twitter with a hashtag that they tend to watch and chat under (a hashtag seems to be a little like a chat room – a marker that you can search for to follow conversations about a particular subject). Are they on facebook, or linkedin, or Google, or somewhere else? You don’t want to waste time building relationships with people who, no matter how much they like you, simply have no use for your product. Find your potential clients, and build the relationship.

They discuss the characteristics of the different media – on Twitter you probably have to post every few hours, on Facebook every day or so, on LinkedIn every week, and so on. They discuss what you post – a bit of humanity, a bit of professionalism. Above all, be yourself (but not unprofessional).

They also discuss blogs and other ways to build a community, a committed group who not only will buy your products, but will tell you what else they want so you can sell it, and will tell you what’s right about your product (do more of this) and what’s wrong (put it right). A community of friends who are all friends of you.

A very useful book. Also very well written and easy to follow. One to keep on the shelf with markers in for future reference.

Click here to read all the reviews – including the less flattering ones! Thank you to all of you who have left comments – they are all appreciated!

Targeted posts rolled out to majority of Facebook Pages

In the Facebook Chapter of the book, we talk about targeted posts, content that can be targeted directly using a range of demographics.

Until recently, only pages with more than 5,000 fans had access to this feature. However, now as long as you have 30 fans, you can take advantage of this facility.

Targeted post

To get this feature, you need to go into the settings of your Page and ensure your post privacy gating is turned on. Click here to read how to do this.

You’ll then see what looks like a target in between the scheduler and the geolocator in your updating window.

Targeted post 2

If you click on this target, you’ll get a drop-down window (see left) which gives you a number of different demographic options for your targeted content.

Once you’ve entered the required criteria and added your content, you then click on Boost Post and a new window will appear in your screen.

 

Targeted post 3

Select the People you choose through targeting option, set your budget and away you go.

Facebook will tell you the estimated audience for your post. You can also track its performance using Insights.

So if you are looking to reach out to a new, highly targeted audience, or possibly improve your EdgeRank score, then this could be a very cost effective form of advertising on Facebook.

One word of warning though. You need to be posting a high quality of content – strong images, video, infographic etc. – and the image you use should contain no more than 25% text.

LinkedIn to introduce promoted content for Company Profiles

It seems that LinkedIn is taking the lead from Facebook and is introducing promoted content for Company Profiles.

According to Mashable, the social network will allow brand’s to promote their content to a wider audience than just those who follow their Profiles.

It quotes David Hahn, LinkedIn’s vice president of product management, who says: “Marketers can target Sponsored Updates to any segment of our premium audience based on professional profile data across more than 225 million members.”

In the same way that Facebook is looking to take on customer facing (B2C) websites, LinkedIn is doing something similar with professional services or B2B websites. This latest development makes it possible for brands to make themselves even more visible on this increasingly vital online platform.

However, having Sponsored Updates means that the content you post must be interesting, engaging and relevant to your target audiences or you will be wasting your money.

And you should also ensure that your Company Profile is well optimised and does your brand justice. Check out Chapter 7 in the book for more information on how to do this.

LinkedIn sponsored