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



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 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.”


“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!

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

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).


Happy 10th birthday to LinkedIn

Believe it or not, the social network LinkedIn is now 10 years old. Started in May 2003 essentially as a recruitment website, it has now morphed into a fully fledged, business-focused social media site with over 225 million+ members worldwide.

To remind you what it has achieved over the past decade, they have produced their own video which you can watch here: 10 years of LinkedIn.

In our training courses, we often say there is no reason why anyone should have to go onto social networks in a personal capacity. The exception though is LinkedIn. Anyone who is a professional and wants to build their visibility online, grow their authority and network successfully needs to have a fully-completed profile on the site.

Furthermore, just as Facebook Pages are taking on consumer facing websites, in the same way, LinkedIn Company Profiles are doing the same in the professional services and B2B (Business to Business) space.

So think about ensuring that you and your business are visible on LinkedIn.

Plan, listen, analyse BEFORE you engage

The key theme of our book is based around the notion that anyone deciding to use social media for their business must Plan, Listen and Analyse BEFORE they engage.

Business plan

Time and time again in our training courses, we encounter businesses who have rushed into setting up social media channels without first figuring out what they will be using them for, who is going to manage them and who their audience will be.

As a result, a quick glance at the social media sites for the majority of brands reveals low engagement scores, a lack of decent content and ultimately, very little meaningful results for these businesses.

Social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have developed into highly sophisticated and targeted marketing channels which require considerable amounts of time and energy to make sure they are performing correctly.

This means that for the majority of organisations, you need to be allocating some form of marketing budget to ‘feed’ these channels.

Take a look at your own social media accounts. Do you know which of your strategic business objectives are being met by these channels and can you measure their performance? Chances are the answer to both of these questions is no, in which case you should consider creating some form of social media strategy.

You’ll find more insights, frameworks and practical advice via our book,

The Business of Being Social.