Posts Tagged ‘belgium’

What you always wanted to know about when to post on Facebook and LinkedIn

April 9, 2015

One of the biggest challenges on social media is when to post  to get maximum reach.  There is maybe one simple trick that will tell you when your connections and contacts are online: your birthday!  Or better, when people wish you a happy birthday which means they are online.  Time for me to do an experiment…

experiment

A few days ago (April 7th) it was my birthday. I took this opportunity to get an insight into when my contacts, friends and followers posted and mailed their best wishes.  The sample size is a few hundred messages (about a third of my complete network) which is representative for my network on LinkedIn and Facebook.  Twitter is the odd one out.

Here is what I observed:

LinkedIn

On LinkedIn messages started as of 2.21AM (A late night worker?).  However the real stream started at 5.54 AM but with a first peak between 8AM and 9AM.  The next burst came between 10 AM and noon.  As of lunch the mails dropped down considerably but evened out over the afternoon and evening.

linkedin posts

2 conclusions from these statistics and the fact that my network is evenly spread between Europe and the USA,

  • I can conclude that far more Belgians and Europeans than Americans use the tab “Keep in Touch”.
  • Also, my European network is stronger than my US network.

Facebook

On Facebook it started at 1AM (okay, that was someone who was up late 😉 ) but the real postings in Belgium started at 6AM.  The first strong push was between 7AM  and 8 AM slowly dropping down towards 9AM. However, my Spanish contacts got active at after 9AM.

facebook post

The highest activity was measured in the afternoon starting at noon and going up from there.  Things slowed down after 5PM.  Here, I must admit, my network is more Belgian based than internationally.

Twitter

Amazingly enough, twitter only started at 9AM but that is because Twitter does not send people messages when it is your birthday.  Here too the biggest number (how few those were) happened in the 2PM -5PM timeslot. But the number of messages is too small to make any real statement about when to post.

Conclusion

It is clear that if I want to reach my target audience posting between 7AM and 8AM (before work) and/or Noon – 5PM (at work?) are good times on Facebook.  LinkedIn seems to be used by my contacts in the morning  between 8 and noon.  As far as Twitter is concerned I have no conclusive data to make any recommendation.

What do you think? Does this hold true for you too?  How do you really know?

50 Shades of Content for your LinkedIn Company Profile

March 15, 2015

linkedin compWhether you like it or not sharing content on your LinkedIn company profile will help your company’s visibility and allow its employees to share valuable company approved content via their personal profile.  However, most companies and people have no idea what to share.  Therefore I have brought together these 50 posts from 33 companies and organisations as a source of inspiration on what to share on LinkedIn.  When you take a look at this list, I am convinced you will not be able to say that you have no content to share anymore.

LinkedIn company pages are essential for branding and for building and sustaining a following and community. LinkedIn is providing B2B companies with a unique opportunity to present themselves as thought leaders and generate meaningful conversation about their businesses. Sharing the above content will increase readership, create visibility and encourage employees to share the content in their professional network.

So what are you waiting for to post every day on your LinkedIn company profile?

I can do it too! 3 outrageous prediction for 2015.

January 2, 2015

madame soleilAs one year comes to and end and the new year is about to start, we find ourselves in the time when annual reviews and 2015 predictions are plenty.  I am slowly getting fed up with large number of posts about the future.  BTW, which of the 2014 prediction come true?  No one really checks.

It seems everyone has a crystal ball and is a futurologist or trend watcher.  Where did the time go when Madame Soleil was the person to go to to get predictions for the new year.  Nostalgia… I guess I must be a romantic.

Enough of “Video will be the preferred content form” or “Content Marketing finally matures” or “Everything mobile”!  I do not want to hear this anymore, but under the mantra “if you can’t beat them, join them”, here is my spin on the predictions for 2015:

My 3 outrageous predictions for 2015!

crystal-ball

Facebook will disappear this year!

For the last year or so, we have heard more and more people saying they want to stop their Facebook account because of the ever changing privacy rules or abundant advertising .  But guess what?  Facebook is not stupid and saw this coming.  So they are launching Facebook for Business now.  More constant and better money flow? Great move on their behalf except that most people use Facebook for private use (not business) and are shutting down their account.  Why should companies get started on Facebook for Business. I guess death will quick.

Google+ finally gets off the ground

All those sleeping Google+ users (Gmail users, Android phone users, YouTube-ers, Bloggers, et al) finally realize they already have a Google+ account. Moreover, since they are running away from Facebook, Google+ becomes the next safe haven where their friends will be posting their personal updates.  And yes, privacy is much better and less advertising.  So getting to 1.6 billion members in 2015 will be a piece of cake.  Sorry Ello.co or seen.it.

Microsoft buys LinkedIn

I can see you shake your head but think about it.  Microsoft already owns the largest Enterprise Social Network (Yammer) which focusses on the intra-company social media so it make sense to add an external social media network to it.  Business meets Business.  And yes, Microsoft has the cash to burn.  A marriage made in heaven for professional social media and networking.  The benefit for LinkedIn will be that finally the company pages really get developed to create more value to the business users.

What do you think? Do you agree with any of these outrageous social media predictions? Do you have any you’d like to share? Please share your comments below.

How social is the CIO-of-the-Year 2014?

October 1, 2014

The end of the year is slowly on the horizon.  And with that come numerous competitions for “best in class”.  One of these is the Datanews “CIO of the Year” competition.

CIO of the yearSometime ago (august) the list of the top 10 nominees was published.  Each of the nominees was selected for having a good vision, strategic insight, leadership qualities and personality.  And then is was up to the the public to vote who will be in the top 3!  The winner will be crowned on November 20th in Brussels.

I started wondering how these CIO’s would go about promoting their candidacy for the top 3.  One great place to do this is social media.  Think of the success of #TVVV or #BGT.   Since I had some reasearch (blogpost of April 2011) a long while back, I decided to take another look on social media.  After all these years I expected the presence to be much improved.  But no, it was again (still?) staggering to see their presence is very limited.

LinkedIn

All CIO’s have a reasonable complete profile and good amount of contacts.  However, few have discovered the functionality of sharing a Status Update which could be formidable weapon in their quest to become one of the Top 3 CIO’s.

Only one CIO noticed that I visited their profile and wanted to connect.  The rest did not even click back.  Well I guess who will get my vote.

Twitter

7 out of the 10 do have a twitter account which  I think is great. When it comes to tweeting few have masterd the art.  They all remain under 300 tweets (all-time) and 50% have not tweeted at all.  I just wonder if they know who is following they.

Facebook

Half the CIOs are on facebook. And of those who are, none of them have protected their friends and/or pictures.  I would have thought they of all people would know something about privacy.

Google+

CIO’s seem not to missed Google+ completely.  I think 3 have discovered it probably by accident but their profile lack content and general information.  It is as good as empty.  But then again, Google+ is considered to be the desert among social media platforms.  Maybe CIO’s will move directly to ello.co?

Other platform

When it comes to leadership one would hope that CIO’s run a blog but unfortunately, I was not able to find one.  Neither do they have a slideshare account or YouTube channel.  But one could say this is only for marketing.

cio logo
CIO messages2

Conclusion

Even though their companies are using social media heavily, CIO’s themselves still have not discovered Social Media – the cloud applications that outrun any other application domain.  It is clear that Social Media will have a minimal bearing on the winning of votes to be among the top 3.  This was a sad conclusion on most of the profiles of the 10 CIO’s

 

Are you into Twitterstorms and Tweetchats?

May 24, 2014

We all know that Twitter was conceived to exchange information in short message format.  But it has evolved to much more.  There are Tweetstorms, Tweetchats, Twitterwalls, etc., which are creating a lot of commotion about the usage of Twitter.  People are getting disenchanted with the users of these practices but are they really all that bad?  Maybe not? And what strategy should follow to counter these negative comments?

Twitterstorms

twitterstorm

A Twitter storm is stretching  the Twitter term Microblog to become a real (full) Blog.  Twitter was certainly not build for this with its 140 character limit.  However,  some people are splitting up their text  and start splitting their story into separate messages.  Each item is numbered so that the reader can follow the thread.  Of course, your followers are getting a lot messages in a very limited timeframe thus polluting their Twitterstreams.  However, with so many people on Twitter, it is great way to spread your story.  Will this change how people are using Twitter?  Maybe not…  Who knows you might even some extra followers, though  unlikely.

The biggest danger is that due to fast pace of tweeting, many of your followers might get disenchanted and start unfollowing you.

My thoughts: Personally, I think you have more to lose than to win by creating such as storm. If you have a (long) story to tell, I think you should be using a real blog and use Twitter to direct traffic to your blog.

Tweetchat

tweetchatA Tweetchat is live moderated Twitter event around a certain topic using a specific hashtag.  Tweetchats are planned events which are announced on Twitter and on websites.  Typically, there are 5 to 6 questions put forward that will be asked during the course of 1 hour.  To participate, all you need to do is tweet during the set times using the designated hashtag. Of course like with a webinar, It’s also possible to just follow the conversation by searching the hashtag without engaging.

One thing you have to remember, is that during a Tweetchat in which you actively participate, you will also create a large number of tweets thus also polluting the streams of your followers.  Again this might lead to people unfollowing you.  However, if they pick up on the hashtag and discover the great conversation, it could be considered as a good thing.

My thoughts: I have recently joined a number these Tweetchat sessions and it has brought me 3 pieces of value:

  • Information gathering – much like a webinar you get and can absorb knowledge about a certain topic. People share freely and publicly information.  A great place for learning!
  • Contribute, Collaborate and Engage – Twitterchats provide the ideal platform to exchange ideas, provide content, add value and bounce ideas off eachother, ask questions, etc. in a specific (public) spotlight.
  • Get more relevant followers – everyone on the chat can relate to the topic.  So by sharing relevant and valuable information with other members on the chat, you can easily discover new interesting people and increase your twitter followers.

Conclusion and recommendation:

I think you need to think carefully about starting a Twitterstorm or Tweetchat from your personal account.  There will big spikes in you twitter activity and we all know that your followers are not waiting for this.  Maybe the solution could be that you create a clearly defined account for these types of twitter activities whereby you make sure there is a good connection with your personal account.  This way you can participate fully and not disenchant your followers.

Finally, I want to end this post with 3 questions:

  1. What do you think about Tweetchats and storms? And my suggested approach?
  2. What interesting Tweetchats do know and do you participate in?  My favorites are: #s4lchat, #HSENTchat #contentmarketing and #HRchatBE (unfortunately stopped in march)
  3. Are you hosting Tweetchats with your target audience (clients, partners, etc.)

I love to hear your reaction!

Why “Who viewed my profile” on LinkedIn is crap!

March 13, 2014

When you use linkedIn we all love the feature “Who has viewed our profile”.  Though this is a key feature on LinkedIn and in a social selling approach, it is also a great source of frustration.

But first something else I am wondering about connected to “Who has viewed your profile”.  Recently I saw a post that someone who completes their “Summary” get 10x more views on LinkedIn.  Watch out there is a catch which I will come to later.  For now, no one nor any article can explain me if this is true or why?  Of course, I believe you need to complete this section in your profile since it is your evelator pitch.  But what the effect is on being found, I do not really get.  Well secretly, I do.  Anyone (from LinkedIn) care to comment and back it up with proof?

And now for my catches.

LI - profile view

LinkedIn is all  about networking.  And still people decide they want to remain semi-anonymous or anonymous.  It is my experience these people are either my competitors or recruiters.  I can’t t get my head around the fact they are not open to being identified.  I wonder if they go to real life network meetings with a bag over their head or hand you a business card from someone else?  Strange!  I guess they have a good reason which I fail to understand, but that is my problem and yes, my frustration.  Let me tell you I will let you know if I viewed your profile and who knows maybe we can help eachother!  That is the true nature of networking and LinkedIn.

LI anonymous

But recently I ran across another interesting  issue.  The count of people who viewed my profile seems to be different depending on the language interface I use.  Below is a screenshot of my profile views using the english (342) and dutch (559) interface.  Very strange indeed.  It seems LinkedIn makes me more popular in NL than EN. And yes, they are the same people.   Out goes my trust in LinkedIn statistics!  Anyone care to enlighten me?

LI - EN-NL views

Let me be clear, I am a LinkedIn addict and believer but sometimes we need to step back to put it all into perspective.  Of course, I will continue to use the “who viewed my profile” to reach out to people and conduct business.  I love to hear your views and comments!

10 Reasons Jobseekers Don’t Click Through on Recruiter’s LinkedIn Profile

December 15, 2013

There is a lot of advice on how candidates should optimize their LinkedIn profile so they can be found by recruiters.  I recently came across this post 5 Reasons Recruiters Don’t Click Through Your LinkedIn Profile which inspired me for this post.

Over the summer months of 2013 I have done some research how recruiters in Belgium present themselves on LinkedIn (750 profiles of recruitment professionals reviewed) and here are my conclusions (and also the reasons why candidates do not click on recruiter’s profiles).

LI - no-profile-photoReason #1: 50% have NO profile picture.  Recruiters want to see what candidates look like, but so do candidates want to know what recruiters look like.

Reason #2: They have no contact information.  And yes, only the 1st degree contacts can see you email/phone number but still as a recruiter you want to have the “good”  candidates find you easily.  Only 1 in 8 has their email/phone number visible somewhere in their profile!  Only 50% mention their website!

BTW. Few job seekers are not using the Inmail functions.

Reason #3: Only 33% have a personalized Vanity URL.  This could suggest a newbie or someone who does not care about their image or profile.

Reason #4: Few contact (Less than 250).  I understand you are careful with who you let into your network but less than 500 contacts does not foster any confidence that the recruiter is “well connected”.  It is also unlikely they will connect with you, even if they do not share who they are connected to..

Reason #5: About 50% have completed their summary information (your elevator pitch).  When it comes to their work history it seems they are not willing to provide much detail about it other than their title.  Less than 10% have discovered the multi-media possibilities of LinkedIn.  It seems the motto is “less is better”.  Again not fostering confidence.

Reason #6: Recruiters do not seems to share much which groups they belong to.  Most are part of 8 to 12 groups mostly general or peer groups.  So again, it makes it difficult for candidates to get in touch with them.  (Tip: remember, you can send free emails to all group members). Additionally, recruiters do not seem to follow any companies.  Most follow their own only.

Reason #7: Few recruiters are active on other networks such as Twitter, Facebook or Google+.  So Twitter handles can barely be found on their LinkedIn profile.

Reason #8: You have “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile” set to anonymous or semi-anonymous.  The candidate is not able to click back.

Reason #9: Recruiters barely use Status Update to inform their network they are looking for candidates or even better sharing valuable information about the recruitment business or processes.

Reason #10: Most recruiters have few endorsements (sign of unhappy candidates?).  And recommendations are even more hard to find.

When it comes down to company profile, recruitment companies do not stand out an example.  Here are some examples:

    • 76% have their logo on the company profile
    • 33% have a cover picture
    • 41% have Products and Services filled in
    • 22% have recommendations for these Products and Services
    • 33% use Company Status updates to inform their followers about new opportunities or to share information with their contacts.
    • 97% of all company updates NEVER get shared, liked or commented on
    • Less than 50% mention on their website they can be found on Social Media!

.I would like to end with 2 conclusions:

  1. Recruiters still social media (and LinkedIn in particular) as a one-way street where they control the drive direction.  However, social media is a two-way street with a lot of opportunities.  Most recruiters are aware they need to have a professional profile but they have a long way to go.
  2. Recruiters seem to forget they need to find new clients and opportunities to fill too, but their profile does not appeal to future clients.

What reasons do you have not to visit recruiter’s profile?  Love to hear from you!

If you are interested in getting a copy of the results of my survey (200 companies and 750 profiles reviewed), please mail me at mic@vanguard-leadership.be .

Are you automating your social media?

October 12, 2013

It is just over a month ago that Belgium had its first #kloutparty.  To attend you needed to prove (or not) your influence by having a high Kloutscore.

social-media-marketing-integration-automation-625x

Have you ever wondered how some of these young men and women have done it to increase their influence in a short period of time?  Do you really think they are on social media all day? Think again because there are some shortcuts…  Some are using social media automation tools.  Whether this is a good idea or not, you are the judge but here is a partial list of useful tools…

To start you can use the tools the platforms themselves offer.  For example, your LinkedIn status can automatically be posted through on your Twitter account; On Twitter you are able to send your post through to Facebook.  On Facebook you can schedule your posts in the future on your fan page allowing you to distribute messages throughout the day and when your fans are online and available.  Some people schedule messages on Sunday for the rest of the week.

There are, of course, also a set of tools that allow you to schedule posts on these platforms.  Listing all of them is not an option and would lead us to far but here are some examples: Facebook posts scan be easily scheduled using Postplanner, Tweets using Tweetlater and pins on Pinterest using ViralTag.  Individually these are good tools but they are limited to one platform.

Postplanner

Scheduling on multiple platforms can be made easy through applications such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and others.  They allow you to place one post on multiple platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and even Google+.  The biggest advantage is that you only have to enter the post once and it gets posted to all selected platforms.  The biggest drawback is that it is a same message everywhere and that is not always best practice.  The scheduling option is useful to optimize the spread of posts throughout the day or when your target audience is online.

Some people love to share information with their network.  They read a lot of stuff, discover new and interesting information and want to share it.  Even though most of the content platforms do have a “share” button, the readers do not want to overshare message in a short period of time.  In comes Bufferapp (aka Buffer). Buffer makes your life easier with a smarter way to schedule the great content you find.   Custom scheduling, multiple accounts and detailed analytics make this app your best friend when reading and sharing information.  With simple keystroke you fill up your Buffer at one time in the day and Buffer automatically posts them for you through the day.   This is a great way to spread your activity level through the day.

IFTTT

And then, there are some extreme tools that really automate your social media: IFTTT, Zapier, Socialoomph and many more.  These tools work on the simple principle of “Action & Reaction” of better “Trigger & Reaction”.  IFTTT and Zapier use “recipes” to automate social media activity meaning if you place a message on one platform it triggers an action on a platform.  An example: if you have a new follower (IF/Trigger) you could create a DM or Reply Tweet to welcome your new follower (THEN THIS/reaction).  Using these tools you can automate a lot of your social media activity from just one post.  However, I want to caution you here that these tools also hold certain dangers that could have a negative effect. An example: If your trigger is a #hashtag do not blindly Retweet this message as it could say bad things about you!

Personally I am not a big fan of automation but in certain cases I do use it once in a while.  It turns out that these are the action that I would do anyway and hold very little danger.  Which of these tools you will be using will depend on what your are trying to automate keeping in mind the advantages but also possible disadvantages.  As always there is no social media automation tool that fits all needs.  My personal favorite is Buffer.

Which ones are you using and what are your experiences?

Is paying for LinkedIn ego-tripping?

September 25, 2013

The large majority of people are using LinkedIn for free.  However, you get constantly bombarded with upgrade requests from LinkedIn.  And yes, a number of people are paying but it is really needed or worth it?

Let me be clear, if you are in recruitment there is no doubt that paying for LinkedIn is an asset but otherwise I think paying is more a status symbol especially when your target audience (eg. Belgium with less than 1.8 million members) is less than 2 miilion people.  Are you collecting badges?

If you are paying for LinkedIn, keep in mind that you will have to put in the work to use the functionality you are paying for and that cost is often overlooked.

The Facts

LinkedIn offers a bunch of different payment schemes.  From Premium over Sales and job Seekers to Recruiters.  With formulas varying between 20€ to 300€/month for different types of functionality.

But what are you getting?  You will see more than the last 5 people who viewed your profile, You will see full names in the 3rd degree, You can review more profiles, you have more saved searches and introductions, and yes, the all-important Inmails.

The Reality

After asking around most people seem to pay for one of these functions: who viewed my profile and send Inmails.

Looking at these and other paying features, you will find that a lot is never used or there are simple work arounds.  Let’s take a look at some of these paying items.

Ask yourself how many people have viewed your profile in the last 3 days?  I’ll bet you that it is less than 5 unless you post great stuff via your status update or change your personal profile data every day.  So if you are using LinkedIn intensively (as you claim), you will look at this daily or every other day and you will catch who viewed your profile. So no need to pay.

You want to send emails to people in the 2nd degree and beyond, Inmail is your answer.  This is an Email via LinkedIn that the receiver needs to answer within 7 days (or you get your credit back).  A subscription will give you between 3 and 25 Inmails per month.  This sounds great but after asking around it seems few people are actually using this to its full potential. Are you really sending 3 to 25 emails per month via this system on LinkedIn?  Okay, it is probably the best feature paying on LinkedIn but most people are not aware that they can be purchased separately for about 10€/Inmail thus payment for use versus a subscription might be a better option.

By the way, did you know you can send ANYONE on LinkedIn a free message if you are a member of the same group on LinkedIn?

An then there are other options such as using introductions to get a mail to a 2nd degree contact or the plain old Google Search option to find someone’s email address.  So here too the conclusion must be that you can live without.

In real life we ask people to introduce us to other people, but we rarely use this feature in on LinkedIn.  Again, how many introductions do you ask on a monthly basis? And yes the answer is that you can do this on a free subscription (3 per month).

And then there is the search and view of people’s profile.  You can click and see the first 100 profiles on a free subscription.  Do you really want to review the 299th profile?  Maybe your search criteria need to be fine-tuned.

Have you ever heard of “saved searches”.  If not, do not feel bad because you are not alone.  “Saved searches” will run a specific search combination on a regular basis (weekly/monthly) and send you a list of profiles that meet that criteria.  It is similar to Google Alerts.  Both are great tools to generate leads.  Again, you have 3 of these searches with a free subscription.  So why pay if these 3 have not been used yet.

The only conclusion I can draw from the above is that paying for LinkedIn is more of a status symbol than of real use with a good ROI.  If you are looking for real ROI, you need to keep your network warm while slowly expanding it with a purpose.

“Keeping your network warm” Tips

I would like to end this post on a constructive way to keep your network warm.  Are you willing to spend 20 minutes/day to have a real ROI from your network?

  1. Make sure your profile is up to speed and includes your contact information visibly.  Set your “how others see my profile when I click” to full view.
  2. Do regular “Status Updates” sharing both own information and information from others you want to share with your network.
  3. Use the renewed Network/Contact tab option “Daily” (Stay in touch with your network)
    1. Congratulate your contacts with their new jobs
    2. Wish your contacts a Happy birthday
    3. Congratulate your contacts on being x number of years in their job
    4. Review the new posts and comments in the groups you belong to and contribute where possible
    5. Check out who reviewed your profile
      1. 1st degree contact -> send a message to start a conversation
      2. 2nd degree contact -> if interesting “connect” or even better “ask for an “introduction” through a mutual friend
      3. Check out the results of your “saved searched” and act upon it.
      4. Review Companies that you follow for interesting content (for sharing)

Your moment to comment

Do I hear people grumbling or saying “yes, I always thought so”, I’d love to hear from you.  Do you agree or disagree with me?  And what are you doing to keep your network warm?

One thing is sure, I am not going to pay for LinkedIn (but never say never)