Posts

Big Changes To Your Favorite Social Media Sites

This article originally appeared as part of our newsletter series on 21 October 2015.

Facebook

Verified Pages Verified Badge: Facebook rolls out page verification, 2015– This might be one of the biggest changes and it has been rolled out. Now you can verify your page in much the same way Twitter has verified accounts for celebrities and national brands.  That check mark adds credibility and can protect you from imposters.  You’re page is also likely to rank better in a search once verified.

To test the search option, I ran a quick test using an account that had never looked for a specific business (to avoid a skewed result). The search phrase was ‘Moore Sec’. While there were several that fit, the verified page showed first!

Verified Badge: Facebook rolls out page verification. Verification will protect your page from imposters and increase search rankings, 2015

How to set up verified status: Verified Badges

Reactions – Much has been discussed about a ‘Dislike’ button. The big concern for many of us in the biz was the negative effect such a button could have on page visibility if it was abused.  I’m quite happy that ‘reactions’ will be implemented. 

Facebook is testing 'Reactions' and we're not getting a 'dislike' button, 2015

Doodle – Facebook is updating photo sharing on mobile devices by allowing users to draw on, add filters and overlays in addition to stickers.  For more: Facebook adds Doodle.
.
Advertising Changes – Facebook is also opening up ‘Lead Ads’ to everyone and updating the Audience Metric for Insights.

Twitter

Moments – Twitter  has made it easier to keep up with what’s happening.  For marketers looking to leverage trending topics, ‘Moments‘ can make finding content easier – not that the old way was difficult.
.
Twitter introduces 'Moments' making trending topics more visible, 2015
.
Character Counts – Twitter recently eliminated the 140 limit for Direct Messages (DMs). While it could still lead to ‘spam’ pitches, I love the ability to have an actual conversation now!  As a side note, please do not use Auto DMs. They’re not social and I’ve seen a few backfire.
The big change we may see:  Twitter could be removing the 140 character account from ALL tweets.

LinkedIn12 Changes Coming Soon To Your LinkedIn Groups, by Mindi Rosser of The Conversion Company 2015

Groups – LinkedIn has made 12 significant changes to groups. If you’re a group admin you will already have seen them.  My friend Mindi Rosser details these changes and your action steps quite beautifully – so much so her article was the first guest post published on the Tactical Social Media blog recently!

This content is outdated and archived

 

By Mindi Rosser of The Conversion Company.  Her post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

 

If you checked your LinkedIn groups this morning…

…you noticed a message that looked like this:


If you clicked the Learn more link, you’d find out that LinkedIn groups are being overhauled. These changes will begin taking effect on October 14. The reason for these changes is to improve the quality of LinkedIn groups and help LinkedIn group members enjoy authentic interactions within their groups.

Spending about half my workweek within LinkedIn groups, these changes will significantly affect how I manage my LinkedIn groups and how I participate in LinkedIn groups.

Wondering how these twelve changes will affect you, your clients and your team? Here’s a snapshot of the changes, what they mean and which actions to take.

1. Standard and Unlisted Groups – These are the new group classifications. Standard groups are similar to what many of us are accustomed to in Private groups.

Unlisted groups are not appealing to most of us in marketing and sales because these will not be searchable. Only current group members and group managers will be able to invite members to these groups. These groups might be ideal for closed communities who’d like to have an invite-only private forum for discussions.

I am happy that Open groups will no longer be permitted, as these tended to attract the spammers and low-quality discussions.

Action Step: If you manage a private group, your group will change to an Unlisted group in a few weeks. (Not good for most of us trying to grow our groups and gain visibility!) You’ll need to change your group setting to Standard as soon as this happens. If you manage an open group, your group will automatically change to Standard when the changes roll out.

2. All groups will become private groups – Any discussions happening in groups will now become private to current group members. You can still post links to group discussions on other channels, but non-group members will not be able to see the discussions unless they join the group first.

Action Step: If you have been using a cross-channel strategy (i.e. posting discussions links on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook) to promote discussions in your LinkedIn groups, this will no longer be an effective strategy.

3. All groups will become members-only groups – No more open groups means that spammers will not be able to infiltrate groups, though the spammers already within groups will remain there (unless booted out!) I think that members will feel more confident contributing to their groups, when they know that not everyone can “get in.”

Action Step: If you manage a LinkedIn group, this may be a good time to re-evaluate your membership. If certain members are consistently flagged within your group or require heavy moderation, it’s time to remove them from the group. Having a large group filled with spammers will not provide as much value as a smaller group filled with engaged professionals.

4. Content Moderation – If you diligently moderate submitted discussions to a LinkedIn group, this change may initially frustrate you. All discussions will automatically be posted to your group without going through the moderation queue. This change is to ensure that discussions don’t get stuck in moderation and are posted in a timely manner.

Though I do understand the reason for posting discussions immediately—I’ve had my fair share of LinkedIn discussions approved weeks after initial submission and sending a reminder to a group manager—I am not sure I like this change. Members will be able to share off-topic discussions with the group, knowing that these will gain visibility before being removed or flagged.

Action Step: Group managers (especially those with active groups) will need to check their groups several times daily to ensure that content stays on-topic. It might also be a good time to post a revised Group Rules discussion to the group. Good news is that group managers will still be able to place unruly members in moderation. Group members will still be able to flag inappropriate content.

5. Better Content Filtering – LinkedIn has improved its filters to remove content that should be placed under “Jobs” or content sounds too promotional.

Action Step: When posting discussions, be careful about your wording in the discussion title area. Even if it’s an on-topic discussion (real life example: talking about how to recruit top performers in a sales group), it could be caught in the LinkedIn filters. Group managers should review all of their tabs to ensure this doesn’t happen to members’ discussions.

6. Removal of Promotions Tab – Most LinkedIn group members don’t check the Promotions tab in their groups because it’s not worth their time. Too often Promotions can be a receptacle for off-topic posts and blatant self-promotion. I’d agree that this is a smart move by LinkedIn, as I rarely check this tab in any groups that I don’t manage.

Action Step: Group owners, managers and moderators will still be able to moderate any discussions that are deemed Promotions by LinkedIn’s content filter. If these are approved, they will appear in the discussions area.

7. Removal of Subgroups – Many of the larger, broader groups use subgroups to organize their topics and help like-minded members connect. These will become independent groups, which may pose an initial problem for group owners during the transition. I think it’s a good move to separate the groups, as this will eliminate confusion for LinkedIn members who are new to groups. No need to become a member of a parent group to join a subgroup. A group is a group.

Action Step: Owners of parent groups could choose to rename their subgroups. A good way to “link” these groups to the parent group might be to include links to each of the subgroups in the About page description of the parent group. This will help members understand the hierarchical structure. The Group Information page is also a good place to include information about subgroups.

8. LinkedIn Groups iOS Mobile App – If you live on your iPhone, you might enjoy the push notifications to keep you up to date on conversations happening in your favorite groups. I’m an Android user, so I’ll be forced to wait until the Android version rolls out.

Action Step: Download the app and configure your settings for each group. Be sure that you’re only getting push notifications for the groups you care about, or you might be hearing that annoying notification buzz/beep every few minutes.

9. Posting Images in Conversations – You will now be able to post images to any new conversations, which means you will be able to include images when you reply to comments. This is an interesting feature, and I’m hoping it provides more value to conversations rather than becoming too much like Facebook.

Action Step: As soon as you see the “image icon” option, you should try out the feature. This may or may not be a feature to use often, as conversations could get a tad messy if members latch onto this feature.

10. Member Approval in Standard Groups – If you choose to transition to a Standard Group, you will notice that members will be able to approve their connections to join the group. Group owners and managers will be able to approve any requests to join.

Action Step: Group managers should be aware that spammers could approve other spammers to join the group. Reviewing all new members within the group will be critical to maintaining a high-quality membership.

11. Mentions in Group Conversations – On other social platforms, typing “@” before a person’s name will link to and notify that person of a mention. LinkedIn will now be incorporating this feature into group conversations (similar to LinkedIn’s status updates @mentions.) This is one of my favorite changes to LinkedIn groups, as it’s all too easy for group members to lose track of the conversations they’ve started or commented on. With the @mention, they will get a more personal reminder.

Action Step: Try using the @mention feature next time you comment on someone’s discussion. This is one way to build community with non-connections and connections alike. Group managers, owners and moderators will be able to use this feature to gently remind members, who’ve posted discussions and need to follow-up.

12. Groups Highlights and Email Digests – LinkedIn will help you to cut through the clutter of your groups by creating a digest of the most popular and recent conversations. Most members are already accustomed to getting the Daily or Weekly Group Digests, so this should be an improvement on that feature because LinkedIn should filter the spammy discussions. (I hope!) A personal Highlights page will pop up when you visit Groups to help you to discover discussions that are happening in all your groups, and this feature will also be available in the standalone groups app.

As someone who spends more than a few hours each week scouring groups for great discussions, I’m thrilled about the Email Digests and Highlights feature, especially if they can help me to find relevant, high-quality discussions.

Action Step: If you already are diligent about combing your LinkedIn groups for relevant conversations, this change should streamline your curation process. Be sure to check your LinkedIn Groups page regularly, so you will be the first to see the Highlights page.


Your Turn: Which LinkedIn Groups changes are you most excited about and why? Any other tips you’d like to share based on your experiences within LinkedIn groups?

Start getting more involved in LinkedIn right now by joining the Social Media for B2B Marketing and Sales Group and seeing how others are making LinkedIn work for them. Click here to find out more.

I like LinkedIn messaging.  It’s a great networking tool and can be every bit as powerful as face to face networking opportunities both in group and one on one meetings.  LinkedIn offers the ability to showcase one’s expertise, create authority and build great business and personal relationships.

Sadly, I’ve seen a shift over the past few years to more sales pitches in the form of status updates and messages, connections being made for that sole purpose and more bulk messages.  While bulk messages in themselves aren’t always a negative, when you’re looking to strengthen the relationships you have already established, lumping me in with 20+ other ‘Robert’s in your contacts is certainly not a positive way to connect with me.

The LinkedIn Messaging Protocol: While bulk LinkedIn messaging isn't always a negative, when you’re looking to strengthen the relationships you have already established, lumping me in with 20+ other ‘Robert’s in your contacts is certainly not a positive way to connect with me.

LinkedIn Messaging Etiquette

I received a LinkedIn message from an individual connection recently.  It was a Season’s Greetings eCard with a clickable link.  From a professional perspective, LinkedIn is about connecting and building relationships.  I think sending a Christmas message, and any personal message for that matter, is a great idea.  Connecting personally develops stronger professional relationships.  What bothers me in this case – not only wasn’t the post personalized, but it was sent, as I reference above, clearly from a block of the sender’s contacts as the majority of the names where ‘Robert’ or alphabetically close.  There was no attempt to even filter who received the message.

Regardless if the intent of the message, it came across as merely an attempt to keep the sender’s name top of mind.  Personally, I see this as spam.  Since every relationship I have on LinkedIn is considered before simply accepting, I’m hesitant to just remove someone from my list so I sent a simple message:

While I appreciate the card, I find being included on bulk messages like this to be spam. 

I would prefer to be left off such messages and those other than of a personal nature.

Thank you.

Robert

I expected a short apology and in the end, no true harm done and as they say, no foul.  What I received back, however, surprised me:

This is LinkedIn!! I prefer to only do or discuss business matters that are not of personal nature on the Professional Business Entrepreneur LinkedIn website. 

Just simply wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays hope the rest of the season warms you up from being so suspicious and you actually enjoy yourself!!

Not only did I not receive an apology, I was accused of being suspicious and not enjoying myself or the holidays.  What struck a chord with me more – this individual prefers not to use LinkedIn for business matters (when LinkedIn is a professional oriented networking site) and the sender wasn’t actually wishing ME anything.  It was a wish to a collective.  At least make it personal to me so I know you care about me as a connection.

I normally would have let it drop at this point but as a social media and marketing consultant I felt it was a good teaching opportunity.  My reply:

It’s not about being suspicious.  Your initial message was not personalized (something I teach being critical for developing relationships) and that message was only a link to an eCard. 

I have used LinkedIn messaging successfully to grow my businesses and consult with others to do the same. I regularly send greetings and other personal messages as well as those for business but I do so with each tailored to the recipient. If I include you as part of a bulk mailing it, to me it (and it should to you) shows I don’t value you personally. How does one grow a relationship if nothing is personalized and the recipient is just part of a collective?

Even the vast majority of my connection requests are personalized with how we know each other or why I want to connect if we do not.

Since this is a network to build relationships, I simply asked to be left off bulk messages as I find them to be spam. I would have openly welcomed a personalized greeting sent only to me.

Case in point, I did recently receive a similar message, replied with a thank you, spent some time on their profile and found they could be a valuable resource for a colleague whom I then referred. Why? They took the time to build that relationship with me.

Robert

…..to which I received no further replies.

So how do you send that ‘message’ to all of your connections?  A status update like Maria Orth’s may not be seen by everyone, but it is the right way to do it.

The LinkedIn Messaging Protocol: So how do you send that ‘message’ to all of your #LinkedIn connections? A status update like Maria Orth’s may not be seen by everyone, but it is the right way to do it.

Update:  Shortly after publishing this post I received another message, that while personally addressed, clearly falls into my ‘spam’ category:

I’m reaching out to you since to see if you might be interested in a ground floor opportunity, or know anyone who might be. I’m wanting to make you aware of this tremendous opportunity and would like to ask you an eye-opening question…

As an Entrepreneur, If you had the chance to get in on the Ground Floor of a company expansion (with a company that’s NOT Ground Floor) where you could generate monthly recurring residual commissions on mobile phone bills nationwide, would you want to know how to get in on it?

In addition to bulk messages, using LinkedIn’s messaging feature for the purpose of recruiting, or requesting that I turn over the names of my contacts, to help you build your network marketing business is spam.

A valid recruiting message is acceptable.  If you want to hire me or collaborate on a project, great.  Clearly this wasn’t.

I am happy to receive LinkedIn messages (and would like to connect and discuss any thoughts you may have – including about YOUR business or interests). Just don’t spam me.

The Take Away:

Regardless of the social site you use and regardless of whether the nature of your message is personal or professional – the end goal is to develop and grow relationships.  You do that by connecting personally.  Bulk messages have value when used correctly.  Just make sure you are using them correctly.