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How many LinkedIn users are there in the UK?

Posted by on Mar 13, 2014 in Blog, LinkedIn | 2 comments

How many LinkedIn users are there in the UK?

LinkedIn has revealed it has 15 million members in the UK, just two years after it announced it had reached the 10 million mark.

In a fascinating infographic, the business-to-business social network revealed that membership includes:

59 body builders

66 rocket scientists

146 chimney sweeps

744 magicians

2495 detectives

4083 farmers

7090 hairdressers

12,530 journalists

48,679 solicitors

374,711 engineers

6 mermaids

and 14,000,000 so-called social media experts.

OK, so we made up the last one…

LinkedIn tell us that the number of students on LinkedIn has more than doubled in the last year as they recognise the opportunities to build a career on the network.

What is more telling, though, is that very few people are still using LinkedIn well. Out of the last 300 connection requests made to Status Social staff in the past two months, less than 2 per cent created a personal message. The other 98 per cent, meanwhile, wasted their opportunity to build relationships and grow their business.

One of our clients told us last week they’d got back 1888% of the cost of their LinkedIn training just three days after their workshop. Now that’s worthy of an infographic…

LinkedIn reaches 15 million UK members

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10 things to do before you start blogging

Posted by on Mar 7, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

10 things to do before you start blogging

Accountant Kimberley Shapcott took part in Status Social’s blogging for business workshop. Her ‘homework’ was to blog about her experience. Here are her impressions – and some great tips!

“Would you know how to start a business blog? Well I thought I did and I was probably wrong.

My morning at the Status Social blogging for business training workshop was a morning well spent. We covered a range of topics –  from who are you writing for, to how to promote your blog. There is definitely some science behind getting it right. You need to start as you mean to go on.

Here are the key ten things I learned at my blogging for business workshop:

1. Why are you doing it? Always know why you are doing your blog as it will help you direct what you are doing and focus on the important areas.

2. Know who your audience is. If you don’t know who you are writing it for then who are you expecting to read it.

3. Take some time to write it, to ensure that your audience will want to read it. It could take 20 minutes or it could take an hour.

Know your audience

Know your audience

4. Add a photo. We all know a photo says a thousand words and this is no exception.

5. Presentation is important. If it looks bad then why will anyone want to read it. This is what you are presenting to the world so make it count.

6. Make your heading pop. What will attract your reader to your article?

7. How are you going to keep them reading? Once you’ve got them why do they want to keep reading. That first sentence is very important so make it good.

8. Find the balance. Don’t write too much but don’t too little either.

9. Tell everyone so they know how to find your blog. There’s no point spending the time writing something if no one is going to read it so spread the message anyway you can.

10. Enjoy it. This is going to take time so enjoy the process as if you don’t enjoy it you won’t do it.

If you are looking at starting to write a blog for business purposes I would recommend you think about attending this course. It will give you some great ideas to help you get started in the right way. I’m now looking forward to getting my business blog going soon.

Kimberley Shapcott is one of the owners of Shapcotts Accountants in Derby. You can find out more about the workshop Kimberley attended here.

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How to use LinkedIn to attract big business

Posted by on Feb 2, 2014 in Blog, LinkedIn, Social media case studies | 0 comments

How to use LinkedIn to attract big business

So what do you do? It’s a common question in the world of business and I used to struggle to give an answer that summarised my job. “I do social media”, I used to reply, but it never seemed a very satisfactory answer. So now my answer isn’t what I do for a job, it’s what I can do for the person asking.

I was asked this question at an event in Derby recently. My answer: “I help businesses make money from social media.” The person who asked the question was one of the top people in sport in the East Midlands and he looked surprised. “Can you really make money from social media?” he asked.

You can, but social media often works best is where it’s mixed with events outside social media. Sometimes I identify a business I really want to work with and social media becomes part of my strategy to get that opportunity. LinkedIn is one of the strongest networks for doing this.

There was one particular organisation that we identified early on as being significant for the growth of Status Social. They are well known in Derby, have influence amongst other businesses, and they have an ethos of enthusing about others – so I targeted them.

I had met the top man of the organisation a year or so earlier at an event so I sent him a LinkedIn connection request, pointing out I’d looked at his social media and I could see room for development. I had no idea whether he even remembered me.

starbucks-frappuccinoHe replied within a few days. He was interested in what I had to say and invited me for a coffee in Starbucks. But in the meantime, he said, can we continue this conversation away from LinkedIn because he was more comfortable using email? Fair enough.

I met him for coffee, I sent him a proposal and he hired us to train him and his staff how to use social media to achieve his business objectives. Two years later that training session has led to us working with a variety of organisations, including a city university and tourist board.

So how did that contract come about? Event. LinkedIn. Email. Starbucks. Proposal. Booking. A real mix of strategic social media use and real life. When it comes to achieving your business goals, ask yourself, where does social media fit into the chain?

One of our clients is the Derby Conference Centre. Its sales manager Mark Averill has really embraced social media. He recognised how using LinkedIn alongside information available away from social media could lead to a great opportunity with clothes retailer TK Maxx…

Want to know more about how we can help you attract big business through LinkedIn? Then check out our LinkedIn training.

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A week in the life of a social media expert

Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

A week in the life of a social media expert

What is a week like in the life of a social media specialist? Status Social’s Mark Saxby was asked to write about his Monday to Friday for the Derby Telegraph….

MONDAY

Will this week actually take place? I don’t mean will the world end, more that will I actually do any work in the next seven days? My wife and fellow director Kerry is due to give birth any day and I’ve got my hospital bag packed (includes gardening glove to stop Kerry’s nails digging in, and paracetamol – us dads need pain relief too). No twinges so it’s off to work we go.

I get stuck into our three-week campaign for Visit Derby and Visit Peak District and Derbyshire to draw people to the CAMRA National Winter Ale Festival. We’ve been tweeting beer lovers across the UK with personalised messages to encourage them to stay in the city. One Londoner tweets to his followers:

Like your marketing tweet

I love reading tweets like that!

TUESDAY

My day starts at The Council House for a Derby City Council event about funding opportunities. We’ve been promoting the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund on social media since last year and it’s great to see it creating so many jobs in Derbyshire.

Back to the office where Kerry sits – still no twinges. While Kerry trains George, our newest member of staff, I help my colleague Tania put together a presentation. She’s off to do a social media talk in Amsterdam to a group of international marketers. I feel envious – it could have been me if it wasn’t for Baby Saxby…

WEDNESDAY

Social media training Derby (4)Today we’re running a How to Get Customers on Facebook workshop for small businesses at our Friar Gate Studios base. Five organisations, ranging from a Derby wedding stationary supplier to a Skegness caravan sales company, are taking part. We ask our traditional workshop question: Who is the most famous person you’ve met? Surprisingly one says Michael Jackson – a first for the 1000 business people we have trained over the last three years.

Back at home, Kerry and I debate what we will call our baby if it’s a son – it’s so difficult to find good boys names – especially when Kerry is SO fussy.

THURSDAY

As social media marketing is all we do, we frequently collaborate with other businesses. Today we’re working with our neighbours Revolver Revolver to use LinkedIn and Twitter to get businesses in Derby to an event. In ten days we’ve increased the number of attendees by 1400% and the client is impressed.

Cocoabake chocolateWe’ve got a University of Derby student, Dan, doing work experience with us. A local chocolate maker visits with ideas for corporate gifts, including Marmite chocolates. We daren’t try them but Dan loves them.

I leave work early for an X-Ray on my knee after my latest bike accident. I often tweet about my accidents and get recognised because my face is well-known on social media. In one recent visit to Quad, a man who I’d never met, said: “You’re the man who‘s always falling off his bike.” Now that’s fame…

FRIDAY

Up early to Derby Theatre for Marketing Derby’s Annual Business Event. David Williams’ speech which includes his dreams of transforming the city centre waterfront is a stand out. But the thing that got me most excited was Marketing Derby’s announcement that they had been named the best inward investment agency users of Twitter in the UK. I turn to the lady next to me and whisper, “we trained Marketing Derby”. Within minutes of the presentation ending she has asked for my business card and booked a training session for her and her team.

Meanwhile, there’s still no sign of the baby…

Find out more about Status Social and what we can do for you.

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Should my business be on Google+?

Posted by on Jan 3, 2014 in Blog | 2 comments

Should my business be on Google+?

Is 2014 going to be the year for Google+? It’s grown to be the second largest network in the world behind Facebook but it’s still not really taken off in the UK. Could 2014 change all that?

Google+ has failed to grab the imagination of many traditional social media users. It is not very easy to understand; it’s yet another social network to learn about; it seems to be a bit of a rip-off of Facebook and Twitter.

But are those accusations fair and should businesses take Google+ seriously?

Watch our video Should my Business Be on Google+ below

Yes, Google+ can be difficult to master – but then from a business point-of-view, so are the other networks when it comes to achieving business goals through them.

google+-rich-snippetsYes, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of familiar people using Google+ – but then it is growing in popularity. We’ve experienced an increase in people spending more time on the network towards the end of 2013. Plus do you want to engage with the same audience you’re already communicating with elsewhere or reach out to new potential customers?

A rip off of Facebook and Twitter? Closer examination will definitely prove Google+ is not that.

But there is one REALLY BIG reason why every business should be on Google+ – it’s owned by Google. Most businesses want to be high up in Google search rankings and Google+ gives us a chance to influence that. A lot of what happens on Google+ can affect our position on Google either directly or indirectly.

Google authorship

Let’s look at Google authorship for example (see above image). By connecting our Google+ account to our website, we have the opportunity to have our photo appear alongside our content in a Google search. This is said to increase the likelihood of your content being clicked on by up to 30%.

Like all social networks, Google+ is only worth doing if it’s going to be done well. So for some, they may decide Google+ is not something they want to invest time in. Others may decide they would be better spending less time on Facebook, Twitter, etc, and more on Google+.

Status Social’s Mark Saxby recently delivered a talk called Ten Social Networks that could Transform Your Business. He spoke about each network off-the-cuff for 2.5 minutes, before the end was marked by the sound of a musical crocodile (don’t ask). Here’s what Mark had to say about Google+ and its potential effect on your business…

Need help with Google+? Check out our Google+ training workshops here.

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Facebook is dead – long live Facebook!

Posted by on Dec 24, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Facebook is dead – long live Facebook!

Will 2014 mark the long-awaited demise of Facebook? People have been predicting the death of the world’s biggest social network for many years now. At a recent event, one particular woman got rather animated…

“People are going off Facebook,” she started to argue after I included it in my social media presentation. “My children don’t like it anymore and I hardly go on it anymore so it must be on its way out.”

We do like to knock success, don’t we? Predict the end of popular things. After all, if we look down the annals of social media history, they are littered with the gravestones of once popular networks. MySpace, Bebo, Friendster.

What all those networks had in common was their lack of change. Users got bored and when something else came along – they switched.

Facebook changes

www.someecards.com

Yet we pretend we don’t really like change. When Facebook updates there is always a cry of anguish from its fans. Many threaten to leave. Others complain bitterly. On Facebook.

Do they leave? Of course a few do, but only a few. Because like a familiar pair of worn socks, Facebook is too comfortable to put in the social media dustbin. Where else do you go? Google+ is too complicated, Instagram is for photographers, Pinterest is too female, Snapchat is too… well, snappy.

Meanwhile, we know that Facebook is continuing to gather new users, especially in parts of the world which were previously dominated by other networks.

Facebook 2014

www.mashable.com

And guess what? Facebook is planning more changes in 2014. It’s part of their bid to be ‘the best personalised newspaper in the world’. Will we welcome the changes? Possibly not. Are we happy with Facebook increasingly thrusting adverts in front of our faces. Definitely not. But will there be a mass exodus from Facebook because of the way the network evolves? NO WAY!

Meaning that over 2014, Facebook will continue to be THE place where consumer-facing businesses can continue to engage with fans, build relationships, grow brand loyalty, create advocates and generate sales.

Author Mark Twain wrote in the New York Journal of 1897: ‘The report of my death was an exaggeration”. You could say the same about Facebook.

(Gravestone photo credit: S Braswell with Facebook logo added by Status Social)

Find out more about our bespoke Facebook workshops and public Facebook workshops here.

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