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  • Michael Ham 4:39 pm on September 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Charity, , , , Raise awareness, ,   

    ‘We are a charity…how can LinkedIn help us?’ 

    A question that was raised some time last year and again just recently, so we thought we’d share some ideas through our blog.

    LinkedIn isn’t a platform for marketing and campaigns which is how Facebook and Twitter have been used to great success for charities and third sector organisations.  LinkedIn is however hugely powerful, and used to great success, to research and engage in discussion with target audiences in the corporate world.

    With regular LinkedIn usage by nearly 50% of the UK professional population, there is a huge opportunity to tap into and engage with a corporate audience.

    The end goal may be to convert participants into supporters/partners/donors, however in the first instance it is used to make them aware of who you are and what you do (from both an individual and organisational perspective).

    LinkedIn profiles hold a lot of information about people; what they read, who they know, where they have worked, what their passions are. Charities and third sector organisations who want to know their (potential) donors/partners and supporters better use LinkedIn; and this can be very targeted and specific.

    In terms of some simple direct uses:

    • LinkedIn can be used as a great tool for staff recruitment;
    • Promote charity events (through the Events feature, and to promote across networks);
    • Raise awareness and engage audiences in LinkedIn Groups;
    • Tap into networks of CSR professionals.

    The key thing with LinkedIn is to replicate your ‘real-world’ network and build further by pulling on your extended network.   Whilst building your network, you need to be active in the right places, with the correct frequency, and with the right collateral.

    If your current corporate supporters ask how they can help (which they do) then ask them to help promote their work with the charity to their trusted network.  It costs them nothing to retweet or like a LinkedIn post(s) about the charity.  It is also an ideal opportunity to promote their own CSR credentials!

    CAUTION: Avoid direct approaches for contributions!  Raise awareness of your cause through subtle updates about how you help people; key facts and figures; ask for help…and so on to captivate your audience and get them to buy into and support your cause.

    Less than 5 minutes of activities per day doing the right things can be highly productive.

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  • Michael Ham 1:40 pm on December 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Privacy,   

    New Facebook Profile Pages: Privacy Settings! BE AWARE!! 

    Facebook has started rolling out new look profile pages for everyone.  The new look is a lot more user friendly which has long been one of our bug-bears about Facebook, and promises a better overall experience of the site.

    However, once again Privacy Settings raise an issue.  There has always been an issue with Facebook and have featured in the media on numerous occasions, and we diarise to check our settings monthly, and advise all we come into contact with to do the same.

    So what’s the issue with the new Profile Pages?

    BE AWARE: If you choose to update, and move to the new look page, Facebook have stated that your Privacy Settings have not been affected…but they have!!!

    Here’s a quick guide as to how to ensure your Privacy Settings are set as YOU would like them to be:

    Firstly click on ‘Privacy Settings’ in the drop down menu   in ‘Account’.   

     

     

    Next click on ‘Customise Settings’(as pictured).

    Next go through and ensure ALL settings are set to your desired setting by using the drop down menus next to each area.

    The most important factor is to click on ‘Edit album privacy for existing photos’  

    You will now have the option to ensure all of your albums are set to the desired level of privacy.

    Hope this post has proven useful!

     
  • Michael Ham 2:16 pm on November 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

    Do you get any business benefits from using Twitter? 

    This was a question posed in a discussion in a group on LinkedIn.

    Here’s some thoughts I shared with the group…

    Twitter is great as a ‘signposting’ system to guide your followers to valuable information…such as a Blog, PR, news, video, new website etc. It’s hugely powerful for searching out conversations on specific topics.  It’s also great for searching for mentions about your company…

    Twitter is also great for promoting events; sharing your LinkedIn status; asking for help, the list goes on…

    I’d also add that you need to understand the different platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.), and the ‘netiquette’ for each one:

    Keep your message simple – Your audience doesn’t have time to read long and complicated messages. A complex message is hard to understand and to remember and hence it is less effective.

    Customize it – Every social networking site is different and hence has different expectations of you. The way your Facebook audience thinks is completely different from your audience on LinkedIn. So make sure to customize your message according to the place where you are going to present it.

    Make it about them – Your content (messages) on social media sites should focus on the needs of your target audience and how your products/services can benefit them. The best strategy is to write your messages in second person. Use words like “you” and “your” and make them about their problems and needs.

    Promote in the right places (fish where the fish are) – Make sure that you are promoting your message in the right place at the right time, to the right audience.  LinkedIn is probably not the best platform to promote a music event, you’re  probably better going to Myspace for that. Similarly it is hard to find business partners for your new venture on Facebook, maybe you should try LinkedIn.

    Reach out at the appropriate time – The best time to reach out to your audience is when they actually need you – like while making a buying decision or need some latest information about the industry.  Avoid bothering them with your promotional messages again and again as it will frustrate them and they will start hating your company.

    Twitter is an art.  Social media is an art. And like any other art, the more you practice (and the more you listen rather than broadcast), the better you will become.

     
  • Michael Ham 2:46 pm on October 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Can you and should you categorize social media? 

    Is it Marketing…or IT…or PR…where does it fit?

    This is a question which has recently become a hot topic (again) in the world of social media, so below is a post I made some 6 months or so ago…which is obviously still relevant!

    There’s a vast amount of validity in the statement that the reason we can’t effectively categorize social media is because it isn’t just one thing.  It’s different things to different people.

    We are trying to combine a number of technological advances with as many societal and business changes and call it social media.

    Even if social media hadn’t come along we would still be experiencing dramatic business changes (although maybe not as dramatic but still significant).

    Business processes are broken and have been for a while.  The culture divide between businesses and their customers has been getting worse for quite a while.

    Things needed to change…

    Social media has amplified that need and has made business transparent, and accelerated that change.

    So now that it’s here, and here to stay no matter how deep you bury your head in the sand, we need to next address the underlying problems.

    Social media can be the solution not the problem. There are lots of fantastic success cases out there for those who have.

    While everyone is figuring out how to categorize, optimize, operationalise social media, the real problems are still there.  Social media won’t fix a rubbish product or service, but it can help to fix problems with customer service, word of mouth, business development etc.

    Social media is not just another tactic in business, and nor is it something to be pigeon-holed in marketing, IT, PR…if it is, then you are not giving it the justice it deserves…social media is now fundamental to business across it’s entirety.  With that in mind, and because each business department will use it to achieve different outcomes, then surely it should fit across the business as a whole?

    I’d like to get your thoughts…

     
  • Michael Ham 2:25 pm on October 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    What’s the use of using LinkedIn’s ‘Company Follow’ feature? 

    That’s a question I was recently asked when people saw my status update on LinkedIn  recently and the fact that I was following certain companies/organisations.   When I was working in recruitment, this would have been a fantastic feature for me!

    When you follow a Company, you can be notified when:

    • Employees join, leave or are promoted
    • There are new job opportunities
    • the Company Profile has been changed

    When could this be interesting?

    1) If you are in sales or purchasing, you might like to be informed if your contact person changes position or leaves the company. You can then ask to be introduced to the person who gets their previous job so you can continue to easily work together.

    2) If you are in sales and it was not possible to do business with a company because of a certain person, you might have a new chance when that person changes position or leaves the organization.

    3) If you are looking for a new job, you can be informed when your favourite organizations posts a job.

    4) You can receive timely client/potential client updates as they happen rather than hearing about them well after the event…

    And the list could go on…

    How to set this up?

    1) Go to More > Companies

    2) Type the company or organization you are interested in

    3) On the Company Profile Page you see “Follow company”. Click it.

    4) Now you see “Stop following” and a small arrow. Click that arrow and choose “Notification Settings”.

    5) Fine tune which updates you want (see the 3 options already mentioned in the beginning of this post) and how you want them delivered (via “Network Updates” and/or via daily or weekly email).

    This is a very nifty and relatively recent upgrade to LinkedIn’s Company feature, and if you look at LinkedIn’s own company profile, you will see what other upgrades and modifications will be coming soon to the mainstream.

     
  • Michael Ham 11:57 am on October 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bio, , , , , ,   

    Dead behind the eyes… 

    This was an interesting ‘turn of phrase’ which came up when a marketing consultant we know described a certain ‘celebrity’.  When they were presenting an awards ceremony for a charity, they presented very professionally, but when you spoke with them they lacked any substance or interest; when you looked them in the eyes there was no ‘soul’ or life behind them…which got me thinking…

    Your presence on social media platforms could easily be described in the same way.  If there’s nothing behind the façade, and by that I mean evidence to back up what you’re saying about yourself (and your business), is your profile dead behind the eyes?

    Your social media profile will be far more attractive and compelling if you add some ‘substance’ and ‘soul’.  You can say some great things about yourself, but can you back it up?  Traditional marketing activities have done a great deal this way, pushing out information…with no engagement.

    Presentations, news on your website, press articles, blogs, case studies, video etc., add more credibility, depth and ‘soul’ to your façade.

    If you are seen to be giving advice, hints and tips, referencing others, it all adds up for the reader and makes you more engaging, interesting and compelling to follow, and ultimately, people will trust you.  To quote Chris Brogan, you’ll become one of the “people who use the web in a very human way to build influence, reputation, awareness, and who can translate that into some kind of business value.”  Become a Trust Agent.

     
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