Social media

When the fan hits the Sh*t #TruSanFran #TruNY

I’m going to be running an extra track at #truSanFran on the 13th May and #truNY on the 18th May.The topic of conversation is what to do when people update your page with negative comments or try to goad you in to argument or defence of a position. When you open up yourself to comments and updates, you are always going to get some negative comments or feedback. This is not just a Facebook thing, although plenty of trolls live there. Twitter, in my experience, has the largest number of “smug” tweeters who are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to post sarcastic comments and appear to be clever. The question is how do you deal with this? When your fans are being disruptive and attacking you, what do you do? How do you respond if a blogger has you in their sites and is poking and poking?

Here is the problem. Any conflict is played out in the public eye, and conflict attracts plenty of rubber neckers. Rubber neckers are those people who enjoy seeing a good car crash, and enjoy the whole dram of a good scrap. They might not comment directly. but they will share, and like, and draw other peoples attention to what is going on. It is why many marketeers fear fear social media, because you give up the control of your brand in favour of democracy. Of course updates and posts can be deleted, but the memory lives on and they never really disappear  so just how do you deal with a troll?

My rule of thumb is quite simple, don’t poke a troll with a stick. Do your best to keep emotion out of it, however hard it might be. When you get emotional you get aggressive  and that’s just going to fan the flames. Try not to over justify. Answer with facts and thank the troll for their feedback. They will hate that you haven’t been riled or got upset, because that was their plan. Your other fans and followers will come to your defence. The grace with which you handle criticism gives you the upper hand. Only block or remove spam, offensive or illegal comments, because a community should be a democracy, and some negative feedback keeps you on your toes.

During the #tru US tour I’m going to be sharing some real troll stories, and getting your views on how to handle it best. I hope you can join us.


This post is dedicated to Marc Drees, who regularly refers to me as a self-promoter and rent a pen.


Going viral on LinkedIn with SlideShare

In May of last year LinkedIn acquired document sharing platform SlideShare for $119Mn, made up of cash and shares. The acquisition made a lot of sense, given that the integration between the two channels became increasingly deeper. SlideShare makes uploading documents for sharing very simple, and at $19 a month for the basic pro account, it’s inexpensive. (The free version is also functional if you want to try it out.)

I’ve been using SlideShare to upload documents and white papers to embed on my LinkedIn profile and other social places. Uploading a white paper takes about 2 minutes and looks brilliant. It’s easy to read on-line without the need to download, (although there is a download button), easy to share on any of the social channels, and easy to embed through a copied embed code. SlideShare also transcribe the content below the paper which is great for SEO. Users can follow accounts of content they like, receiving notifications every time new content gets added. Without any real effort I have gained over 800 followers. Anyone viewing content sees thumbnails of similar content on the right hand side of the screen which adds additional views, new followers and downloads.  This is an example of my most recent upload, a white paper for RolePoint on Social Referrals.

SlideShare has great analytics, tracking views, sharers,search terms, traffic sources and results , and the pro version enables you to add lead capture, contact buttons, HD video uploads, tracking of opens by prospects, on-line meetings and discussions, branding, branding, blocking of competitor content and larger uploads like e-books.

The real benefit comes from sharing SlideShare content as updates and discussions in targeted groups. The last 2 papers i have distributed in this way have trended and been promoted on the home page of both LinkedIn and SlideShare. The two channels compliment each other perfectly, and is proving the best way to share  papers, documents (like job specs), video and e-books to a targeted audience, combining the great visual look of SlideShare with the ease of reaching a very relevant audience through LinkedIn targeting. The RolePoint white paper featured in this post has been viewed 1,404 times, and is proving to have a much longer shelf like than other social channels,has been embedded in 136 other places and been downloaded 22 times. When you are generating targeted content, this is the best way to share it making it an essential part of your employer branding and content planning.


Very Cool #SocialRecruiting Tool From @Gwendall

I look at least 10 new apps and tools a day that all promise to be the next big thing. Usually they promise much and deliver little. They are usually an imitation of something else I’ve seen before, perhaps just a little improved. Every so often though I see something that I really think is worth sharing.

I’m a big fan of Marc Drees’s blog Recruitment Matters, with a little help from Google translate because it is all written in Dutch. The only recommendations Marc usually makes is why you shouldn’t use one product or another, and more often than not he is proved to be right. I’ve been on the receiving end a few times myself.

On the 19′th of January he recommended a new people social search engine, built by  Gwendall Esnault of Paris and New York. When Marc recommends something, you should listen, because he tests everything. This one really makes my cool tools list, (expect it to be coming to an unconference near you.) This is the message you get on the “about” page:

Because people search sucks.
We all have multiple identities online, but we have no way to map and search them all easily.
Falcon solves that. Welcome to the next generation of white pages.

I know we have seen similar tools like TalentBin and the SocialCV, but these are subscription services that require a licence and take a bit of getting used to. This is simple and free, and we like free.

Falcon is a Chrome extension that you add to your tool bar. You get a small red “F” icon on the tool bar that you can turn on and of as you need it. The Chrome store says that Falcon enables you to discover anyone’s social details on Twitter, Tweetdeck, Github, Dribble and HackerNews. The store describes Falcon as Rapportive for social networks. I’ve tried it out extensively on Tweetdeck, Twitter and Github. It takes seconds to show me the social profiles including a Twitter bio, klout description of what the target talks about, e-mail address, LinkedIn, FourSquare and Facebook profile and a host of other locations. (Some I’d even forgotten I had,) or the most part it is error fee. (See the exceptions below.) The search window pops up on the right hand side of the screen, keeping the original site open.

The only downside I can find is that you need to either hover over a name as an instant reference, or enter a social URL in to the search bar, so you need a start point. There is also the occasional glitch when the same nicknames are used by different people on different platforms.

That is really nit-picking, because apart from hat its brilliant and lightening quick. Search Tweedeck for geek words and instantly check the results before connecting or adding to a Twitter list for following in a column in Tweetdeck. This is an instant add-on to the Sourcers toolbox. Hat tip to Drees for the spot. Go download it now, and if you want more tools like this, I’m going to be sharing 20 at The Recruitment Agency Expo in London on the 26′th Feb. It’s free but tickets are limited.


PS: I will be continuing my review series next week, and I have 3 new case studies coming up. Keep following!


Visibility: The new influence (or why Klout is important)

Contrary to the popular myth, content is not king. It is important, yes, but not as important as found content. If I don’t see what you are posting, then you have no opportunity to influence me or change my thinking. The way the social media channels work now, I’m more likely not to see your content than to see it, and that changes things.
Whilst I appreciate what they have been trying to achieve, I’ve always taken my Klout score with a pinch of salt. My Klout score has always been a direct relation to the volume of updates I have been pushing out. Since I moved my principle channel from Twitter to Facebook, my score has dropped considerably, but have I become any more or less influential? I consider my real influence comes through my blog or the #tru events that I host around the world, and Klout doesn’t really factor this in, although my mentions might go up as a result.
Although the actual algorithm is shrouded in a bit of mystery, the guide to Klout lists the signals they use to calculate your score as follows:

Mentions: A mention of your name in a post indicates an effort to engage with you directly.
Likes: The simplest action that shows engagement with the content you create.
Comments: As a reaction to content you share, comments also reflect direct engagement by your network.
Subscribers: Subscriber count is a more persistent measure of influence that grows over time.
Wall Posts: Posts to your wall indicate both influence and engagement.
Friends: Friend count measures the reach of your network but is less important than how your network engages with your content.
Retweets: Retweets increase your influence by exposing your content to extended follower networks.
Mentions: People seeking your attention by mentioning you is a strong signal of influence. We also take into account the differences in types of mentions, including “via” and “cc.”
List Memberships: Being included on lists curated by other users demonstrates your areas of influence.
Followers: Follower count is one factor in your Score, but we heavily favor engagement over size of audience.
Replies: Replies show that you are consistently engaging your network with quality content.
Comments: As a reaction to content you share, comments also reflect direct engagement by your network.
+1’s: The simplest action that shows engagement with the content you create.
Reshares: Reshares increase your influence by exposing your content to extended networks on Google+.
Title: Your reported title on LinkedIn is a signal of your real-world influence and is persistent.
Connections: Your connection graph helps validate your real-world influence.
Recommenders: The recommenders in your network add additional signals to the contribution LinkedIn makes to your Score.
Comments: As a reaction to content you share, comments also reflect direct engagement by your network.

The important thing here is the emphasis on unique interaction and subscriptions in all of the channels, and your ratio of interactions to follower/friend/connection count. This is critical because edgerank (and whatever name LinkedIn and Twitter use to rank content), means that your content is only visible to people who interact with you. This is most evident on Facebook, but is relevant to Twitter and LinkedIn because your updates get pushed right down the stream or feed when there is little interaction. Equally, shares, likes and comments combined with authorship on Google+ will increase your ranking in personal search results amongst your social connections. Whichever way you look at it, interaction means visibility, and visibility presents the opportunity to influence.

Personally, I place the greatest importance on LinkedIn interactions, because my LinkedIn network has the greatest relevance to the areas I work in, and there is less interaction in this channel. I have calculated the relevance of my LinkedIn network at 70%, where as Facebook is closer to 45% (with a smaller network), and Twitter at close to 30%. (with my biggest network.). Whilst it seems Klout ranks all channels equally, your Klout score is a good indicator of interactions, hence visibility. If your not getting visibility, then you need to either reconsider how to get interaction from your updates by inviting comment or asking questions, or consider paying to promote your updates or tweets, which makes them visible to larger sections of your network. Whilst LinkedIn don’t yet offer “promoted” updates, I’m sure the facility won’t be too far away. It might well also be time to take more than a passing interest in your Klout score.


You can read the full guide to Klout scores HERE


Is This Social Media Nirvana?

Did you just become invisible?

There’s a thought that has been going around in my head for a while. It started at #truLondon from a comment I made in a track and has been gaining momentum that I want to share with you to see what you think. The concept is really simple, if no one can see your content you can’t influence them in any shape or form. It doesn’t really matter if you have 50,000 followers, friends, fans or connections, if no one is interacting with your content, you become invisible to everyone. Looking at this channel by channel. LinkedIn have been up to lots of tricks recently. Firstly they moved updates from your profile to your home page, with a Facebook type stream that promotes what is trending. Trends are determined by shares, likes and comments on your updates. The best way to trend is to post your content to LinkedIn updates first, and share the LinkedIn update on Twitter and Facebook, because every interaction to a LinkedIn link counts towards your trending score, whatever the channel.

LinkedIn have also been quietly changing profiles to a new design. There is lots of great data on the new design, but a few features seem to be disappearing. For a start, I don’t see any blog links or WordPress apps on the new profiles. I also don’t see Slideshare (though as LinkedIn own them this may stay). There are lots of cool new features that show a bit more about you, like how you are connected and the make up of your network on the new profile, but the only update that is visible is the last one.  The events section is disappearing mid November, so I’m expecting a few other things to drop out around the same time. The point of all this is that if you want to share an event with your network, then you are going to have to do it through an update. I think this is the driving force to get people posting updates, sharing and interacting. If you have new content, new posts, new events, etc., then it has to go through updates, part of the LinkedIn master plan to get us engaging in a channel that was becoming largely static. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the less active groups also getting removed. To get a new profile right now you have to ask for one, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see LinkedIn following the same path as Facebook did with timeline. Update in 3 months or else they will change it for you. Check out the new profiles and start thinking about how you are going to need to change yours.

On Facebook pages (personal and fan), you only see the updates you interact with. This is based on the Edgerank algorithm. Points awarded for comments, shares and likes in that order, that lose their value over time. Unless you subscribe to a feed (the least popular Facebook feature), you lose the updates from your stream if you don’t interact with the friend or page. This favors sponsored story’s as the most popular form of advertising on Facebook (ads are close to invisible on mobile), and also means that you need to be producing engaging content. No interaction, no visibility. I think this will be the biggest feature to drive the Facebook mobile app to enable likes and shares, as comments are only possible at the moment. Expect this change soon, now that Facebook updates are more than 60% mobile.

On twitter, what you see in your stream close to the top when you log in is sponsored posts, and those that you have interacted with in the past. Twitter shows you your closest friends first, as well as what is trending in your network. This is based on favorites, retweets, replies etc. It seems all the channels are favoring an Edgerank style ranking system.

On Goggle search, your results are greatly influenced by what you have responded to in the past by opening links, (which is why authorship on Google+ is so important). Preference is given to content that answers the search from authors you have liked before. Your social connections with the author also influences results, based on your relationship, and relationship is based on interactions. Yes, there will always be listings from people you don’t know, but people you do know and engage with will be showing higher up the rankings, because Google want to give you results that you trust, and that means people you know.

All of this points to one thing, if people are not engaging or interacting with your content, then it is going to become invisible. Forget SEO, forget huge followings, fan competitions to win an i-Pad if you like us and all that kind of thing, no interaction, no visibility. No visibility and no potential to influence, and this is only going to get more advanced in all the channels. Results are entirely dependent on interaction and engagement. Ditch your automated tweetadder followings, stop the gimmics for one off likes, become interactive and encourage interaction. Isn’t that the nirvana for social media? Engage or die!

Companies prefer smoking to social media

I opened my presentation at KellyOCG’s #TSS event in Dublin with a comment that seemed to hit home with the 60 or so HR folk in the room. My comment centered around being a smoker. I’ve smoked on and off since I was young. It is not something I’m massively proud of, and I’m constantly trying to give up. The point of talking about this is not a bearing of the soul about being a smoker, or another public declaration of giving up. I tried that for Stoptober, lasted about 3 days. I will try again.(Read here to know how ghost mv1 vaporizer allows its users to gain complete access by just using their phone).

My point is that in all the jobs I ever had, it was never an issue to have a smoke break. I was often joined by non-smokers because the smokers room was the one place people from different departments actually talked, and was the place where you went when you really wanted to know what was going on. Not many people smoke anymore, which is why some companies have tried to replace the smoke room with refreshment areas where people can hang out, talk, eat and have an accidental engagement. The same accidental engagement that used to go on in the smoking area. The place to find out what is really going on.

The opening to the presentation was not about the engagement, but that smoke breaks were seen as acceptable and reasonable in most companies, provided they are not abused. Contrast this with the attitude of “Facebook breaks” or social media breaks. Times in the day when employees can just check in, catch up, respond to personal messages, things like that. Mostly this is frowned upon as unproductive time wasting, nothing to do with work. A distraction, and those social media people can’t be trusted to do their work. I remember the same reaction when we first got e-mail and first got the internet. There needed to be rules and policies because people couldn’t be trusted, at least that was the message. All along though, I’ve always been allowed cigarette breaks provided I got the work done and didn’t abuse them. I was trusted to be sensible. I only ever smoked in down time, or as a “reward” when I finished a job or met a deadline. When I was busy with things to do, I didn’t smoke.

I’ve asked lots of HR professionals recently if they still allow smoke breaks in the day. The answer is always the same, with the exception of production environments the answer has always been yes, within reason. When I’ve asked about Facebook break question, the answer has been the opposite. Only a handful have said yes. Most just don’t allow personal social media time, and some even use tools to monitor it. Is Facebook really more of a time suck than smoking?

My thought is that if you are going to recruit socially then you are going to recruit social people. A grown up attitude and approach to personal social time shows trust. It might make a difference to the people you attract. It never ceases to amaze me how many companies only allow Facebook in recruiting, hiring from the channel then banning it on arrival. A bit hypocritical? Lets just trust everyone to be a grown up with open Facebook breaks and access, because when you trust people they rarely disappoint. Why is smoking acceptable but social isn’t?





The perfect #SocialRecruiting tool for agency owners

You remember this from the film Men In Black, a neutralizer to wipe the brain. After a few conversations this week, I think it is the only device, tool or application that would convince agency owners to take the risk and let their staff get social.

A few weeks ago I read a blog post that advised getting new starters to sign a contract to say who their contacts were on joining, and to hand over any connections when they left. The lawyers have been filling their boots (and wallets) over this fear. Devising contracts, handbooks and handcuffs to tie down new recruiters. I think it is just rubbish!

How motivating and welcoming is it to start your new job being told how you are going to have to behave when you leave, and that your new employers are already planning your exit and don’t really trust you.  It just doesn’t work. You set the scene of distrust, don’t be surprised if your recruiters do the dirty, particularly when you hired them for their contacts.

The simple message is:


Data is public, it is in the public domain, and the only people who can claim ownership on LinkedIn connections or data is LinkedIn. Here is a revolutionary idea, how about you trust your recruiters, and you build relationships with the contacts in the business. If owners invest time in to the relationships in the business, then who your clients and candidates are connected with on LinkedIn is not important. The revenue is in the relationship not the connection.

We don’t yet have a neutralizer, so you can’t erase what your leavers might know. Exercise some trust and reap the benefit of social recruiting, rather than being paralyzed by fear.


All the young dudes #SMWLDN

The folks who work in social media are changing: Back in the day, a whole 3 years ago we all started out trying to figure out all this social stuff. We thought it was important. We told anyone who would listen. We just didn’t know why.

I was reflecting on this at the closing party of #SMWLDN. Back in those days, we had made up job titles like chief engager and rock star and maven. We were a bit different. A wild bunch. We had to make our own work because no one would give us a job doing what we felt was right.We were not corporate in dress or thinking, more optimistic explorers and dreamers from a whole bunch of backgrounds.
Looking at the people at last nights closing party organised by Chinawag founder Sam Michel (@Toodlepip). Great job Sam at the end of a long week. How have things changed with the new generation of social media folk?

> They have real jobs with proper job titles like Social Media Strategist, Community Manager etc. No Rockstars or Mavens here.

> They wear suits (but not ties on the most part).

> They work for real companies. Mostly large corporates or digital media companies.

> They talk about real work and what they are doing rather than what they might be able to do.

> They are in demand by employers with a fierce competition for talent.

> They have studied marketing and/or social media (They teach it now)

> They are a lot younger than we were.

I make this point because this reflects the full integration of social media in to business, not just recruiting. This type of gathering confirms that social has moved from the fringes, and the domain of the adventurous, and firmly in to the main stream, and central to the way that companies engage about every part of their business with the outside world, recruiting is just a string of this. It is a cause of celebration.

In amongst the strategy, policy audience segmentation that is the common talk and thinking in social media and marketing circles, it’s important that we  don’t forget how we got here, by connecting, communicating and exploring. Through an attitude of test practice rather than best practice, constantly trying new things. it was this testing and exploring that got us to here and where we are now. The best practice came out of the exploration, and disrupting the way things are done, creating what has become best practice.  I hope that in the world of “corporate” social that there is room for continued experimentation and disruption.

Thanks to Sam for hosting a great party, it was a great evening to end social media week, and a celebration of how far social media has integrated in to business as our chosen way of communicating. A big hat tip must also go to Adobe and Nokia for sponsoring the evening, and much of social media week.






Being number one on Google (infographic)

I found this infographic when I was researching a post on Google and page rank. I think some of these points are really worth taking on board. How often do you look past the first few entry’s on Google, and most people start their job search on Google. If you like it please pin and share it.
Thanks to Brand Yourself for creating the infographic, and the Undercover Recruiter for sharing it on your recruiting board.