Posts Tagged ‘statistics’

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…


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:


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.


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.


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.


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?

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!

Are CIOS lost in the social media cloud?

April 25, 2011

source: shutterstock

Cloud Computing is one of the hottest topics in IT.  As more non-IT business people are getting tech and internet savvy, they are bringing in cloud applications into the enterprise to solve their specific problems.  A lot of time this is even done without support from IT.  This is known as stealth cloud computing.   CIOs under the pressure of shrinking budgets are struggling to embrace the cloud computing concept and trying to figure out how to integrate this into their product offering to the business.  Some are succeeding, but most are struggling.   But the biggest cloud application to enter the enterprise today is social media and this is being ignored by a lot of IT managers. More and more social media applications are being used by different departments in the enterprise thus requiring IT managers to chain their point of view.

To understand social media the statement “practice makes perfect” stands out.  But how much practice are CIOs putting into to understanding social media.  Are they becoming a social media champion or hiding in the basement?


In an independent market research exercise, over 100 CIOs of top companies in Belgium have been analyzed for their social media presence.  The research has focused on the business side of social media which includes LinkedIn, Twitter and Blog presence.

As could be expected nearly all CIOs have a profile on LinkedIn (97%). When it comes to Twitter 67% has no account.  21% has a clearly identifiable account.  The remaining 12% are accounts that could belong to a CIO but no picture or clear reference is made (only a likely similar name of the CIO was found).   Finally only 7% seem to have personal website of blog page.

Digging a little deeper in Twitter (all 33%), it reveals that 32% have never sent a tweet, The next 26% less than 5 tweets from which we can conclude that twitter is not really used.  There is one CIO in the list of 100+ analyzed that stands out with over 3000 tweets.  The same picture comes up to when looking at the number of people CIOs follow, 16% have no followers or follow someone and 70+% have less than 50 with the majority under 10.


Sticking your head in the sand and ignoring social media, as some large enterprises have opted to do, probably isn’t the solution. Whether it is internal use of social media or external branding and sales, CIOs have a critical role. CIOs should help HR, marketing, sales, product to leverage social media for company’s advantage. CIOs are expected to provide the technical strategy and tools to execute social media strategy and provide results on its effectiveness while avoiding security breaches or a social media meltdown.

Now that CIOs have conquered social networking using LinkedIn , the next step is to demonstrate they understand social media by starting a blog (add value by sharing) and a Twitter account (info sharing and traffic generation).

Not getting recruited via social networking? Do not worry, you are not alone.

January 8, 2011

The results from a recent survey (September-October 2010) from Executives Online Ltd ( puts a bit of shade on the so much hyped social networking as a means to efficient recruitment. This is the second year the survey was conducted.

Over 1200 senior executives were surveyed and asked about their opinion and effectiveness of social networking in their personal and professional life.  In concurrence with many surveys in this area, including the study done by Mic Adam from Vanguard Leadership of July 2010, LinkedIn was deemed by most professionals as the most interesting social networking site with Facebook coming in as a good second and Twitter as a third.   All these platforms grew in importance over the last 12 months.

As can be expected, LinkedIn is viewed as the most useful platform for recruitment (90%) while the other platforms are struggling to get to 50%.  This is understandable since the audience surveyed is executive level.  Facebook is still viewed as purely private networking while Twitter is a big unknown to many.

With the hype around social media in general, more and more people are resorting to these platforms to find a new job but few have actually succeeded at securing such a position.  I think this really reflects the practice in the recruitment market. The numbers do show a 50% increase over last year’s results which holds a good promise for the future.  Let’s be honest, social networking still has to find its ‘balanced’ place in the mix of tools used by managers and recruiters both professionals and corporate.

When it comes to hiring via social networking sites, the numbers are even lower.  Fewer than 5% of the respondents have actually tried to hire through social networks and even fewer have hired people recruited through social networks.  So the conclusion is that the supply of job seekers far exceeds the demand (job offerings).  However, here too the numbers are on the rise.

Even though there is certainly an uptake of social networking for recruitment, there are some serious showstoppers which hold true for all trades when it comes to social media.  They can be summarized as follows: lack of authenticity, the myth that social networking is for younger and less senior people, and most importantly, the time factor since keeping a social media presence takes time to maintain and follow up.  This is where a lot of falls apart.  Managers and recruiters, just like marketeers, are finding that using social media & networking is a time consuming activity but keep in mind that going to network meetings is too!

Even though these numbers do not seem to live up to the hype, I feel they really reflect the reality of today.  There are,  of course, today recruitment agencies as well as private companies that are getting more than 15% of their new hires through social networking, it is realistic to say that social networking recruitments will be responsible for 10% of the new hires in the future.  The traditional method will continue to exist and possibly regain their strength.

The full survey can be found at:

Do you have a success story and want to share your secret on how to get recruited via social networking,  I would love to hear about it.

Contact Centers disconnected!

October 10, 2010

This week I had the pleasure of sitting in a panel at the Belgian national conference for contact centers.  Since the theme of the conference was “look who is talking”, it seemed appropriate the discussion touched on social media.  To my big surprise, social media seems to be an unknown and much feared topic within the contact centers environment.

Will virtual communities replace contact centers?

The biggest fear seems to come from the fact that people are going to switch from a contact center to virtual communities to get their questions answered or to find information.  To a certain degree this is true but I am convinced that there will always be a place for these contact centers.  Not everyone is online and some of us rather talk to a human being via the phone. Some companies are using Skype-like solutions to talk with their customers as Rabo Bank from Holland demonstrated.

Conclusion 1: Customers will use the channel that fits their needs and behaviors to find information.  After the hype, a new balance between will established and social media will be part of it.

Conclusion 2: Contact centers should add the social media channel to their product offering to be more attractive to both the company and the customers.

Contact centers are not connected to social media while their clients and employees are.

My quick research and market study project confirmed that less than 50% of the members of the Belgian contact center association (90 companies strong) have a social media profile.  Of those who do have one we can safely say that they operate in an international environment.  Checking some of the monitoring, the results are in line with my previously published study (40% twitter response and less than 5% Facebook response)  Keep in mind that most of the companies that replied are international companies.

The main reason for this disconnect seems to be the fear of the negativism.  Contact centers do have a “bad” reputation and they are not looking for yet another channel to get bashed.  Plus there are not that many public success stories around social media in contact centers.  The fear of the unknown and inexperience are a close second and third in terms of why contact centers are not on social media.

Conclusion: It is safe to state, that these most of the companies are not connected to or do not even monitor what is being said about them in social media.  It is certainly not a service they offer to their clients. An opportunity lost? Or a unique selling point for further business?

Modern media and technology require a super agents in the contact center.

Here it becomes really clear that contact centers underestimate the qualities and skills of the people they hire.  They forget that most people (and there are over 3.5 million Belgians on Facebook – just to name one) are taking part in social media before or after working hours. I am sure that some even take part during working hours through their mobile devices.

Conclusion: What is really needed is a good code of conduct, call it is a social media policy, and some advice on how to behave correctly on behalf of the company (language, tone of voice, etc.) in the same manner they get when they are behind a phone.

What is next?

In the new balance of contact channels, it is clear that social media will find its place.  It will not replace the contact center but it will help further redefine their operational model.  Contact centers should embrace social media to both serve their client companies as well as find new employees that understand fully this medium.

Implementing a social media policy and monitoring tools should be at the top of the agenda of priorities for 2011. These are going to be key to the success and level of professionalism of the contact centers.

There is no way around it, join or lose customers!

I would love to hear you your feedback, experiences and comments.

Mic Adam

Are you a conversationalist on LinkedIn?

August 14, 2010

As part of my social media monitoring research I have also analyzed the conversation activity on LinkedIn.  Conversations happen at Group, Poll and Answer level.  For groups I focused attention on Belgian groups (with 800+ members) to find out how good a tool LinkedIn is to leverage the knowledge of the crowd.

Here are some remarkable results:

  • Groups: 78% of all discussion posts remain UNANSWERED.  15% have less than 5 answers.
  • Polls: 71% of polls get between 1 and 20 votes.  Only 2% remain unaswered!
  • Answers: Only 12% go “Unanswered” while 44% get less than 5 and 35% between 6 and 20 answers.

The group statistics intrigued me and asked for some more explanation.  I challenged a few groups by posting a discussion about the fact that LinkedIn Groups are a waste of time.  I got 12 answers (in 5 groups – proving my point?).  I want to share the content of these answers with you:

  • There are the non-believers (and I am NOT one of them) because of their lack of persistence or success and they gave up.
  • LinkedIn is really a tool used to CONNECT with other people which explains why the post “Who will directly connect with me and I will not reject you” is the most popular discussions in a large number of groups (even worldwide!).
  • People are TOO BUSY to read and react to the posts or they get too many mails with updates from the groups they below to.
  • Discussion topics are started in the WRONG GROUP and with the wrong audience.
  • People feel the point of the discussion topic is either to SELL you something or to be proven right and thus refuse to react.
  • People do not feel comfortable SHARING their ideas or COMMENTING on ideas with strangers.

So the conclusion is really that LinkedIn is the perfect business tool to connect with other people who you might meet face-to-face to sell your product or service to but not to share ideas with on large scale online.

Enough of the negativism and let’s be positive…

In order to improve the quality of LinkedIn for you and your peers, it is my recommendation that every time you login to LinkedIn you take the time to comment on and contribute to at least one post, vote on one poll and answer one question – total time investment: 15 minutes!  There will be a return on this investment by more people connecting with you which is why you were there to begin with.

Just imagine if in a group of 800 members that log on once a week and follow the recommendations from above, the wealth of information we would have access to? Is that to much to ask?

I love to hear from you with comments, feedback, push back and suggestions.  You can also reach me by mail (

Learning goes social

July 25, 2010

As a follow on to my blog post of July 2nd (, I want to expand the subject with newly acquired information from the conference where I presented my research and survey on social media in Learning and Training.

There are a few conclusions I heared and want to put forward:

  • There are certainly a number of good examples around of how (e-) learning can happen using social media.
  • There seem to be no negative stories around especially in the training sector (Domino Pizza’s example overlooked?), but that is more because the professionals in this domain are thinking along the next point in the list.
  • Learning should be kept within the firewall and not use publicly available tools.
  • Platform vendors seem to think they have included social media in their products.
  • Platform vendors seem to be re-inventing functionality of social media tools rather using existing platforms.

Focusing on the positive, as I mentioned, there are some good examples out there of how you can use social media in a training and development environment.  Here are a few examples.

One area where social media could play a big role is in induction training materials.  Learning to understand the new organization you will be working before you actually show up should have enormous payback.  Here are 3 elements that come to mind:

  • You can start the process before the person actually starts working for you.
  • Video, org charts, contacts, mentors and products can be provided to smooth out the initial period.
  • It will increase the retention

Video is certainly the best media to use in social learning.  Companies like Black& Decker, Waterford Wind Turbines or BT (Dare2Share – have demonstrated that social media is a viable channel to learn.  Each of these examples have demonstrated a great ROI whether that is in $ or in less downtime.  The type of training needed is different.  Here is a concept: Teach people how to make and upload a good video…

I think Winston Churchill was right when he said “I hate to be trained, but I love to learn”.  Social learning is something that needs to come from the grass roots up where people help each other rather than being told to use social media to actually sit down and learn.

Your feedback and comments are welcome.  You can reach me via a number of ways:


Mob. +32 478 50 41 35



Find me also on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Netlog, etc.

LinkedIn statistics with a twist…

July 18, 2010

A few weeks ago, I ran across an article on the relationship between the number of contacts and  income.  The article was published in the Belgian national press referring to a Dutch blog ( which claimed the content came from LinkedIn.  Unfortunately, I was not able to trace it back to the original document.  We all know that the number of contacts has nothing to do with your income.

This triggered 2 research studies.  In the first one, I looked at the usage of social media by Belgian recruitment companies including a complete analysis of the profile of Belgian recruiters.  The report will be published at a later date.  During this study I noticed that  a lot of people do not show their picture leading to a second mini survey where I looked at the percentage people put their picture on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn states it has around 70 million users (about 700.000 in Belgium), but from my personal usage and surveys, I would like to shed a bit of different light on this number.  I recently sent out an email to 300 of my contacts from LinkedIn.  Unfortunately, I had about 1/3 that bounced.  I wonder if this is an indication of what people really experience and how active/up-to-date the profiles are.  Additionally, we all know that some people have multiple profiles.  My recruitment survey indicates that it is about 4%.  Taking these results and applying them to LinkedIn, I would say there are about 45 million (450.000 Belgians) real users.

Some other interesting facts were found when looking at LinkedIn profiles of Belgians.  Here are some numbers of people that do NOT have their picture on LinkedIn

  • 20% of my personal contacts (1400+)
  • 32% of marketing managers
  • 39% of marketing directors
  • 51% of all recruitment professionals
  • 60% of sales managers have no pictures

I wonder how these numbers stack up in other countries.  As always, your feedback and comments are welcome.

Results Social Networking Survey – Part 2

February 28, 2010

The popularity of social networking is unstoppable.  With worldwide over 400 million Facebook accounts (2 million plus in Belgium), 50 million LinkedIn accounts (600.000 in Belgium), over 1 billion tweets/month the statistics are mindboggling.  Studies show that we spend over 5 hours per month in social networking activities (source: Nielsen Company, 2010).

Where my initial survey focused on identifying some basic parameters such as which social networking and how people participated, the follow-up survey focuses more on certain habits when taking part in social networking activities. With over 250 responses, I can claim that it is representative.

One of the side conclusions of the follow up survey is that about 10% of the e-mail addresses used in business focused social networks do not work!  These are dead accounts.

The majority of the surveyed audience indicated that business was the major driver to get involved in social networking, and the behavior reflects this:

Question 1: What is the frequency of your participation to social networking?

Daily Weekly Monthly
Business (e.g. LinkedIn) 40,90% 42,30% 16,80%
Personal (e.g. Facebook) 32,20% 34,20% 33,60%
Multimedia (e.g. YouTube) 16,00% 44,00% 40,00%
Communication (e.g. Twitter) 27,20% 23,90% 48,90%
Blogging (e.g. WordPress) 12,90% 34,10% 52,90%
Gaming (e.g. WOW, Farmville) 10,00% 14,00% 76,00%

The top 3 categories (Business, Personal and Multimedia) from the previous survey are hereby confirmed and from the looks of it 2/3rd of the interviewed people go to these applications at least once a week.  Business social networking seems to become a daily activity and part of the professional’s daily work routine.

There are number of concerns that companies have when it comes down to using the company’s infrastructure.  The concerns extend from hardware to software.  Previous survey demonstrated that participants use both the company PC (85%) as well as their personal PC (72%) to get involved with social networking.  Not only CIOs and IT managers must be concerned about security and identity theft but also companies must be aware that people using their business email address can be a liability as proven by the following 3 questions.

Question 2: What email address do you use for business social networking?

Personal Email Address 41,10%
Business Email Address 57,50%
Not Participating 1,40%

Question 3: What email address do you use for personal social networking?

Personal Email Address 64,50%
Business Email Address 12,10%
Not Participating 23,40%

The good news is that people try and keep their personal from business social networking but this does still leave the door open for identity theft and other malware attacks.  We have to keep in mind that if you are using your company email address, it might be considered that all your posts are in name of the company since most people do not use any disclaimer in their comments.

In terms of the identity we take on in the different networks it seems we are very ethical.  An overwhelming number of people do the social networking under their own name.

Question 4: What identity are you using in the different social media?

Real name Alias/pseudonym Not participating/Do not know
Business Social Networks (LinkedIn, Plaxo, Xing, Etc.) 97,20% 0,50% 2,30%
Personal Social Networks (Facebook, Bebo, Hyves, Netlog) 65,90% 5,10% 29,00%
Communications Social Networks (Twitter, WordPress, Blogger) 26,20% 13,60% 60,30%
Multimedia Social Networks (YouTube, Flickr, Picasa) 24,30% 23,40% 52,30%
Collaboration Social Networks (Stumble, Digg, Wikipedia) 12,10% 7,90% 79,00%
Review and Opinion Sites (GoogleAnswers, Yelp, Mouthshut) 8,00% 7,90% 83,20%
Entertainment and Gaming (SecondLife, WOW, Sims) 3,70% 10,70% 5,50%

The answers to the next 2 questions are really more disconcerting.  When it comes down to protecting ourselves and the company we go very lightly over a number of topics.  The first item is accepting “blindly” the Terms of Service of the social networks when you sign up.  Over 55% down not even stop and think what these terms are or mean.  Less than 10% do read them…

Question 5: How long do you take to read the “Terms of Service” when accepting to participate in a social network?

No, I just press “I accept” and hope for the best 41,10%
Yes, read first line (5 seconds) 14,50%
Yes, briefly (30 seconds to 1 minute) 36,00%
Yes, very carefully (more than 5 minutes) 8,40%

From a legal point of view this could be used against the person or his/her company.  Some of these “Terms of Service” have specific rules and regulations e.g. you can not use an alias, or have to be a certain age, are not allowed to do certain things, etc.  This could come back to bite you in the end.

When it comes to modifying the security settings we fare a little better.

Question 6: Do you modify the standard security setttings?

Yes 44,90%
No 31,30%
Sometimes 23,80%

Still a third of the surveyed people admit to using the standard settings hoping that the provider will automatically choose the best to protect your identity.  Think again before you leave these doors open…

Finally, I tried to understand whether people would want to get trained on the subject of social networking or a specific application.  My feeling is confirmed that we are a “we-do-not-read-the-manual” generation.  As with any gadget or software we buy, we tend to think we do not need to “learn” how to use it.  Just think about the last time you bought a digital camera, car, DVD player, etc. Did you read the manual?  Nope, you just switched it on and it worked.  You only go back to the book (or the internet, since you do not know where you left the book) when you are really stuck.

Question 7: Would you want to have some training (possibly paid for by the company)?

Yes 41,60%
No 58,40%

Looking at type of training in demand, LinkedIn is the #1 by far on the list.  This followed by Twitter and Xing/Plaxo.  This confirms the business direction of social networking amongst the people surveyed.

Question 8: Would you want to pay for it yourself?

Yes 17,30%
No 82,70%

The answer is clear!

As more and more people are getting on board using different types of platforms, social networking in the workspace will not be able to be contained or blocked.  It is becoming a strong marketing tool that any company will want to use.  Whether it is regulating the infrastructure bit (hardware and software usage, email address usage, etc.) or the operational bit (when, how, where, etc.) the need for some guidelines, call it a “social networking policy”, are needed more than ever.

Social Networking Policy – Burden or Blessing?

February 4, 2010

Doing research on social networking policies, I come across a lot of information about companies closing down access to social networks (personal and professional).  Some statistics go as far as saying that 50%+ are blocking these sites (

Great! No need for a social networking policy, I hear you say.  Wrong!  Your company’s image can still be tarnished in a number of ways by your “social networking ignorant” employees (pardon the expression).   By the way social networking is not only done by the sales and marketing departments…

Social networks are a given and everyone wants to participate.  Just take a look at these statistics ( from Facebook.  There is an interesting piece of information at the bottom of this page which I will come to in a minute.

Your employees are going to particpate in social networking whether you like it or not.   Closing down access might not be the best route to take.  Here are two examples of where dangers lie.

First, we are encouraging people to work from home to reduce traffic, CO2 and even time usage, but is that not an ideal opportunity for anyone to spend time on social networks?

Mobile phone and facebook

Secondly, the usage of smartphones especially promoted to take part in social networking  are here to stay and guess what? They can be and are used during office hours.  How are you going to close this down?

So thinking about a social networking strategy must be on your agenda.  To protect your company’s image as well as have clear rules of engagement with your employees about the usage of social networking.

Follow a positive approach meaning inform, collaborate and agree with all parties involved (not just HR putting together a number of restrictive rules) what makes sense for your company.