Sometimes I just discover things by trying something new. Did you know that you can find people on LinkedIn using their partial email address?
I had met a lady whose surname I didn’t know – but I had her email on the meeting calendar invite – firstname.lastname@example.org [that’s not a real address]. And so I started typing it into the LinkedIn search bar and before I wrote the dot extension, pressed enter and her name and details came up. Handy.
When LinkedIn is not linked
I was researching Chris Reed whose speaking agency represents business women speakers. And couldn’t find him on my LI contacts – and so found the company instead, thinking that maybe I’d mis-spelled his name.
There he is, listed on the company site – but the links don’t work. Thinking this was a dastardly strategy he was employing to connect to people and then dis-connect, when he hits limits to connections. And so I wrote to ask him.
There’s currently a bug that’s impacting LinkedIn. People have been talking about it. Some people can’t find their connections and can’t even tag their connections on LinkedIn. Support team at LI are now working on it. It’s a pain now. Hopefully this gets resolved soon.
Chris J “Mohawk” Reed
You can have 30,000 connections on LinkedIn – so no chance I’m hitting the throttle back stage of connecting yet. And the ‘mystery’ is solved, although not resolved.
Sales Navigator plus plus
And if you aren’t yet using Sales Navigator for your new business development social selling on LinkedIn – do some research as it can be very useful.
But do also look at complementary services such as
ByPath.com uses Kompass data to overlay org charts to LinkedIn sales prospecting [Note: there is a NZ / AU local reseller I know]
MeetLeonard.com automation of repetitive tasks in LinkedIn like auto-sending bulk messages through in-mail.
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https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/LinkedIn-not-linked.png792656Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2019-04-10 15:19:042019-04-11 10:54:20LinkedIn changes you need
Following – these are your connections. [Note: it’s not who YOU are following – a bit confusing]
Followers – people who follow your updates. This includes all your connections.
Below each person’s profile and job title is a check box showing if you are following then or not; and the number of people who are following them.
This makes it easy to filter. And one click to follow them back.
What to do about LinkedIn Followers
Three things to do:
Browse the list for people who you’d like to connect with and who are following you
Decide on your criteria for following people – everyone, only those with key attributes, people who could be clients; people with high/low followers themselves etc
Make a diary log to check back regularly for new followers
LinkedIn works best as a business development platform if you have a clear client persona; have a clear content writing strategy [topics, frequency, audience]. Targeting the right audience with good content, regularly.
Unlike Twitter, LinkedIn does not have a ratio of following to followers throttle. And remember, following someone is a great way to get their insights, to become acquainted with their perspectives as a precursor to connecting.
Famous people have lots of followers. If you are trying to break into a marketplace and build a solid profile, my recommendation is this.
Follow people whose follower count is low-to-medium. Their news feed won’t be too cluttered and your content stands a better chance of getting noticed and commented.
I was checking the analytics on a client site and saw a referral from a website I did not recognise. And so I investigated it.
New referral site turns out to be spam
After typing in the reach-publisheral website address manually (I always do this in a new browser window), an automatic redirect came into effect and I ended up on Pingl.net [no, don’t follow that link please].
Black Hat SEO tactics
In the SEO world there are goodies and baddies…. and it’s a game of tension between the unscrupulous on one side and those who follow search engine websites’ guidelines on the other – refereed by Google and Bing.
Black Hat is the term given to tactics that are underhand and try to cheat the system.
White Hat is the opposite – those who work within the framework set by search engines.
Updates to search engine algorithms are usually driven by their desire to undermine black hat tactics.
After a quick search I found several other commentators had found referrals in their analytics also coming from Pingl. This rings alarm bells.
Who is Pingl?
A set of clever Black-Hatters masquerading as authentic “growth hacking” tacticians.
They use a technique called notification referrer service which is basically a spam referral to your website. By masking their site identity they make the link “appear” to come from another site – reach-publishinglo in my case (but others report variants on Ali Baba). This domain is setup with the sole purpose of sending you to pingl’s home page – it refers you directly to them.
Although you may be getting a lot of referrals from the masked page, it is not real traffic, and it can ruin your SEO – notably your bounce rate.
How to overcome referrer spam
Create filters in your Analytics to remove this traffic from your results in two ways
Campaign Source Filter – will stop all traffic from the source (pingl) site
Campaign Referral Path Filter – will stop single web pages
Languages Setting Filter – stops traffic from named languages (was useful for Russian spam in 2017)
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https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/pingl.png12082372Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2019-01-15 12:01:372019-01-15 12:58:31Referral traffic from Pingl is spam
As a marketer I love being marketed to and so when I got invited by Air New Zealand to “Find out what’s your travel style?” I clicked to do the self-test quiz.
Backstory – Customer Differentiation for CRM
Facebook advert for Air NZ Quiz
Brands need to be clear about different messages to different audiences. This is basic database marketing concept is easy to achieve using segmentation based on actions. The difficult part is identifying customer attitudes and desires which have not yet become actions.
Creating a differentiation matrix for your customer base is worthwhile and if you have never done one before, ask us to help you create it.
After you have actions plus attitudes then you can create a layered differentiation plan – plugging your customer journey and content plan with clear guidelines which your team will love because it makes it very easy to track progress towards your goals.
The team will have created the segments based on research data (Qual and Quant) but their challenge is how to populate their existing customers into the data grid. Here’s where the fun quiz fits. By running a campaign with a prize draw, they are creating a series of Golden Questions and the obliging customer fills in the quiz and creates a score which populates their preferences in the database. What follows is the clever part – using the insights gained, AirNZ will be cross-populating the insights into their current database of customers who did not fill in the quiz – by inference from other customers who look alike.
What I’m looking forward to is the communications that should follow – will I (A Lounger) get more customised messaging?
The Travel Style quiz told in screenshots
First up the quiz questions – you can guess the alignment between the four travel styles (lower down) and the questions if you choose to base your own quiz on this format.
Then the detail of the travel styles.
And lastly the up-sell in every travel style description – mine was for the Skycouch including a video and a transcript (very important for people using social without sound enabled).
Quiz step 1
Quiz question 2
Quiz question 3
Quiz question 4
Quiz question 5
Quiz outcome – Travel Lounger segment
Quiz result Savvy selector
Quiz result segment opportunist
Quiz result segment Goody gatherer
Skycouch advert from my segment profile
Skycouch video and 360 tour – with transcript
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https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Air-NZ-Holiday-importance.png17021125Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-08-29 12:08:002018-08-29 13:24:37AirNZ gamifys its customer segments
Algorithms, that’s what. Complex algorithms are what determines your unique experience on Facebook. Your news feed is catered specifically to you – based on what you like, how you interact and even search history from outside of Facebook.
When it comes to using Facebook for business, many strive to create content that resonates with their audience. Competitions, giveaways, new products – these are all important business updates that are shared on Facebook everyday. Techcrunch reports that there are over 50 million small businesses that use Facebook’s Pages app. For many companies, Facebook is one of their key business assets.
However, Facebook has made some drastic changes that will affect business pages on the platform. On January 11th, 2018, Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook announced algorithm changes that may indicate the start of what Michael Stelzner calls a “Facebook apocalypse”:
Personal posts from friends and family will have preferences over posts from groups or pages in your news feed
Videos will get less views – this is because video is content consumed passively
Focus will be on meaningful social interactions, so comments will be valued more than likes
As you can see, this is possibly one of the biggest changes that Facebook has ever made to the platform. Zuckerberg himself has even stated that he expects the market price will drop due to these changes. On the one hand, it appears that these changes are purely to improve user experience. But, it can also be debated that these changes are a move to encourage more businesses to turn to paid Facebook advertising to get the traffic they want. And, it’s highly anticipated that Facebook advertising costs will increase following the surge in advertising campaigns.
What does this mean for businesses?
These algorithm changes will start with your news feed, but this is only the beginning. Likely, it will be an update rolled out across all Facebook products.
For businesses, there are a few changes that will invariably happen – something to take into consideration when adapting your marketing strategy to adopt this algorithm change.
For pages that thrive on short, viral videos (think LADbible), they’re likely to be affected the most. Bloggers will also see a hit in organic reach, as will pages that exist purely to share memes, quotes and ‘tag-worthy’ photos.
How to create meaningful content on Facebook
These changes all hold one key goal in mind: to promote meaningful interactions. It’s more than just getting your audience to tag their friends or liking a picture. Meaningful, by Facebook terms, involves interacting with friends, family and other users in insightful conversations.
Here is what will no longer work:
Asking people to comment
Short text posts
Basically, posts that exist purely to gather likes will be phased out from your news feed.
What can you do to create meaningful content?
See first – prompt your audience to change their news feed preferences to see your page’s content first
Post less frequently, but with more relevant content
Start discussions on your posts that encourage your audience to talk to one another
Use Facebook Live to reveal exciting updates and news
Adopt a Facebook advertising strategy
This all seems fairly straightforward, but as Facebook continues to make these changes to more than just your news feed, it will be more important than ever to understand these each and every one of these variables that will be affected.
Ultimately, your audience on Facebook isn’t yours – it’s purely borrowed from Facebook. And now that Facebook has set the ball rolling, who is to say other social platforms such as Instagram and Twitter won’t follow suit?
Stay up to date with social media changes
We have a seminar coming up that will cover Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even Snapchat. There will be an insightful analysis on the algorithms that prioritise content, and what you can do to stay ahead of the crowd when it comes to creating meaningful content.
Click the button below to secure a ticket.
WTF Happened to your Social Media Traffic?
Date: Wednesday 18th April, 2018, 7:30am – 9am
Where: Ponsonby Community Centre, Glue Pot room – 20 Ponsonby Terrace
With many services out there for marketers, producing content and getting it to your audience has never been easier. However, not all services are trustworthy. We recently came to learn about TopBuzz, a platform that has divided opinions.
All started with an email…
A couple of weeks ago, we received an email out of the blue from TopBuzz, a content distribution platform, claiming to be ‘impressed’ by a video we did for a client. The email content was quite generic and seemed to be automated. TopBuzz said they were able to enlarge our video audience via their platform and we would be compensated for all the views we got.
A couple days ago, we received another email. This time, it was from a person claiming to be from this company, boasting about the number of active users and the number of views that all the videos get that are shared on their platform. She was very forward in her approach and encouraged us to become a ‘premium creator’.
Now, we did a little bit of research on these guys and it was scary to see what would have happened if we signed up with them.
TopBuzz key things we discovered:
According to past users of the platform, the communication from TopBuzz is poor and scarce if you ever try and contact them. If you have a problem with something, TopBuzz are unlikely to help and at best, you might receive template emails that are likely to be irrelevant.
This brings up the next problem. If you are unhappy with the platform…too bad. You can’t delete your account and your content will stay on TopBuzz’s platform forever.
However, it gets worse! TopBuzz can use any videos uploaded to their platform in whatever way they want. Say you work hard and make a viral video. If that video is on their platform, they can publish it as their own and you would get no credit. Unfortunately, most users only realised that this was their fate only after signing the contract without reading the small print in their T&Cs.
We were never interested in using this platform in the first place as the video we created for our client was content produced for a niche segment, it was an hour long and was a face to face interview. Targeting a mass audience and making revenue off views was not on the agenda, therefore, using this platform would have been unnecessary.
If you are producing viral videos, pursuing avenues through social media seems to be a safer option. For example, with Facebook, there are various pages that are dedicated to redistributing content according to different tastes.
Nevertheless, it’s important to be aware of dodgy services like this so be sure to do your research before jumping in!
When you start a group online in a public social platform, it’s easy. Nothing much happens until your group hits a ‘tipping point” of size + engagement + activity.
Facebook Groups logo
Different groups achieve this at different points in time. We have a sports group run for a client that has nearly 2,200 members and gets 2–3 posts daily from group members. It is now attracting ‘commercial’ elements such as an advert for privately owned equipment listed for sale.
Interestingly, that one post opened a floodgate of listings from others. It seems as though people felt that ‘permission’ had been given to dive in and sell to the group.
The client runs the group in public at his expense and he refrains from selling into the group more than once a month for his own products. It was clearly time for an intervention and setting boundaries about what is acceptable behaviour in this group environment.
3 Types of ‘Sales Pitch’
1) The first was the lady who listed the equipment for sale. I messaged her privately and she told me that despite getting a huge reaction from the group, it was a private sale and she sold it to a friend, offline. We let this pass as just a one-off. Clearly every member of the group won’t be listing items weekly.
2) The second was a lady who runs an Instagram account through which she gives ‘free training programmes’. We checked out what she does and came to the decision that she’s not making a living out of this. And so I am classifying her as a ‘volunteer’. But her actions need to be curtailed because regular postings promoting her services (even though they are free) would upset the balance of the discussion dynamic already established.
Actions to mitigate impact
We messaged the Instagram lady privately, explaining she can publish her stuff on the website via an existing ‘submit post’ feature where community notices are published. This is important because although it publishes to the blog, it is set up to avoid getting into the newsletter, the Facebook page and other communications channels. She does get indexed by the SEO spiders, gets link backs, but does not get referenced or categorised in the archive.
3) By contrast, the third type of pitch was a post by a commercial sports professional trainer. When we reviewed it, we found it is definitely a paid promotion designed to recruit readers from the client’s Facebook group into HER email list and commercial program.
Actions to Arrest Unwanted Activity
First I turned off comments on this post. Nobody can add to them, and this helps prevent Facebook showing it in feed updates. We also removed all her replies in the comments because they linked to her programme over and over again.
Then we wrote to her privately asking her to get in touch by email so she can pay to promote her products on our platforms, along with other commercial retailers (the website is advertising supported). I am waiting to see what her reply to this Facebook message will be – if she’s contrite and apologetic, I’ll leave her post published; if she takes no action to reply or is aggressive and rude, I’ll delete it and block her from the group.
Behavioural boundaries are yours to define
The underlying logic is that commercial enterprises pay, and volunteers can get access as part of the goodwill of the group. The commercial publicist had made no effort to engage and join in the group discussion – she just joined, dove in and started selling. That’s not how this group rolls.
Making the rules for the group is part of good practice in community management. You can publicise these with a pinned post, or a message to new members explaining what is and is not acceptable.
Enforcing the boundaries will help you to create the group and community YOU want. Know what actions you will take if the boundaries are crossed and also understand how to take discussions into a private space – you don’t want to have a public argument while you try to explain your motives. And you don’t even need to explain them, only the acceptable behaviours.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Facebook-Groups.png650664Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-08-29 10:00:002017-08-29 12:54:56YIKES! My Facebook Group Got Hijacked by Competitors
Campbell Naish, Partner at export strategy and marketing consultancy Katabolt, wrote a generous testimonial for Creative Agency Secrets. Many thanks!
Rebecca provided Katabolt with a valuable specialised set of marketing recommendations with a specific focus on services which was a great match with what we needed. Her B2B expertise and international experience and perspective helped our team refocus marketing plans and bring new skills into the fold. Thanks
Every business needs a strong plan of action to get and publish testimonials for the business from customers and clients. As the internet becomes the strongest recommendation engine, because it’s easily searched and free to use, your business MUST get a strong profile in places where testimonials and reviews can be seen and shared.
Don’t forget that recent reviews are more powerful than old ones. So this is a tactic you need to implement weekly or monthly.
We implemented TrustPilot for an ecommerce client who needed to improve visibility of its amazing customer service. Based around the world, TrustPilot has local sites for each country – this one was in the UK. The integration of their free version with ecommerce platform was seamless – every time a customer buys, they are invited to leave a review a fixed time period after the purchase is complete.
As a mail order business, the time delay between online purchase and receiving goods can be a while and so the flexibility to specify when the review request email is sent was appreciated.
On the reviews page, you can respond to each one which gives full visibility to your prompt response to feedback. And when you upgrade to the paid version, the option to enable reviews by product, not just for the company as a whole, gives a host of new options.
Read more blog posts about Step 5 Relationship Development by clicking the image below – it will take you to that category on our blog. Teach yourself how to build relationships with people who will bring new custom to your business.
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https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/LI-testimonials.png9301618Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-08-08 10:50:502017-08-10 13:35:16Giant thanks for this testimonial