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The new LinkedIn algorithm is the kick in the pants I needed

The new LinkedIn algorithm is the kick in the pants I needed

by Phil Stubbs | @PhilStubbs14 | LinkedIn

There are many theories we could discuss about why LinkedIn created ‘algorithm-gate’. Basically – they want to share the love between everyone and not just the popular and interesting. Probably because they need to create more value, get more people active so they can charge more for the annoying and earn more from irrelevant ads we keep seeing on our feeds.

Some could say they’re pandering to the lazy who don’t post very often. We could suggest it’s to placate those that always have a toddler tantrum in no one likes, comments or shares any piece of content they post – nothing to do with it not being of interest! Our society seems to think that we can’t stand up and say “Hey, this is boring – I don’t want to see it” – in case we offend one person out of the 3.397 billion that are on social media.

I’m now actively using the options available for LinkedIn posts – I’ve pasted them below for you – to weed out the content I’ve been scrolling over in the past. Why the change? Well, it’s clear I’m seeing more irrelevant and boring content. There are only so many pearls of wisdom I want to read from the Dali Lama et al, or videos of a professional footballers two-year-old kicking a ball. They will be getting the ‘hide this post’ and ‘improve my feed’ treatment.

Persistent ‘offenders’ that never create their own content will get the ‘unfollow’ treatment. Just as I would expect people to unfollow me if they don’t enjoy my content, or find it of interest.

All blatant, cold, in your face sales pitches, will automatically get a red card and go into the incinerator.

Here are the options you can use for each post.

  • Copy link to post
  • Embed this post Copy and paste embed code on your site
  • Hide this post I don’t want to see this post in my feed
  • Unfollow XXXXX Stop seeing posts from XXXX
  • Report this post This post is offensive or the account is hacked
  • Improve my feed Get recommended sources to follow

Don’t feel like you have to ‘put up with’ content that LinkedIn feeds to you – clear it out and let it be replaced with something that’ll grab your attention. The more you do this, the better the experience will be. We have choices so let’s not waste them.

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How We Revolutionised Sales with Social Selling

How We Revolutionised Sales with Social Selling

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

Adam and I are sitting in Singapore after onboarding “team DLA” out here in the Far East with our Programatic Social Selling approach.

Against a back drop of a lack of leads and meetings for every company worldwide. We have spoken to people in Singapore, America, Australia, United Kingdom and Europe and every company we talk to say they need more leads and meetings. What about you?

In fact, no company ever said, we need less leads and meetings.

Here at Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) we have created a programatic approach, a process to social selling that creates a real return on investment (ROI). None of these short-cut social selling programs that create a return.  For example, the LinkedIn trainers that don’t understand change within an organisation, or the LinkedIn profile writers that don’t get the mindset change, or the social sellers that deliver over webinar. Such an approach has now been written off as ineffective.

With Programatic Social Selling people don’t believe us, so we sit them down and say :

  1. Do this, they do what we tell them.
  2. Do this, they do what we tell them. For us this is only three weeks into our social selling program.  It is at this point that the leads and meetings start.

Sitting in Singapore, just by doing the same, it worked.

BTW – Anybody who tells you that social selling takes a long time, really does not know what they are talking about.

If you are looking for leads and meeting, maybe a programmatic social selling program is for you? It creates the foundation for a prospecting future, that can be used by Sales to support their demand generation process.

We also have a network of global resellers, so wherever you are, you can implement a programatic social selling program but with localised.

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Have We Disrupted Recruiting with Social Selling?

Have We Disrupted Recruiting with Social Selling?

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

Here at Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) you are probably aware that we run strategy sessions for companies so that the Board (as we say in the UK) or the C-Suite (in the US) understand social. This isn’t a Twitter lesson for CEOs, this is a day (or two days) interactive session on how social can impact your business, the incremental revenue impact, the business benefit, the competitive advantage.

It isn’t a sales pitch, it’s an interactive sessions, where the team work together to come up with answers, you in affect, write a social media strategy, that we present back. Not a social media strategy, in terms of what time you will post on Twitter, but a strategy that covers the whole Enterprise. Marketing, Sales, Customer Experience, Human Resources, Procurement, Finance, Supply Chain, etc.

I only mention this as we were running on of these strategy sessions for one of the companies we are taking on a social transformation as part of their overall digital transformation. We hadn’t even started working with the Sales and Marketing teams where we often fine a big ROI (return on investment).

The VP of Sales took us to one side during the session and said, that he needed to recruit salespeople and the growth projection they were on meant he needed many sales people. He, like so many people meant he was going to need to pay substantial recruitment fees and he thought there might be a better way.  Can we use Social he asked? 

Of course, we can I said, write a blog and we’ll check it out for you.

So he did.

He posted a blog and posted it on LinkedIn and got 40 candidates contacting him direct. He thinks he has found the right candidates as well as having some more for recruitment later on in the year. This provides a saving of £60,000 ($78,000) something he will reinvest back in the business by recruiting a junior sales person.

Now, I’m not for a second saying that Social Media and Social Selling is or will replace the massive industry which is Recruitment, but if you are a small or large company, this is certainly an option. We are currently recruiting and are using Social and are getting some very interesting candidates. By the way, if you are in sales or are interested in working at the forefront of digital transformation through social, then get in touch.

I’ve also asked a few people “in the recruitment business” and I understand candidates like the way recruitment works. Which is where you give your CV to one person and then they try and then they represent you to multiple companies.  As a candidate, it’s pretty low risk and means you need to go about your day job with your current employer. There is a saying that 80% of jobs are never advertised and maybe with the number of people using social now to recruit, that maybe you are missing out on these jobs that are being offered through content marketing.

Interested in what you think, do you think recruitment has been disrupted or should it be disrupted?

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By How Much Has Your Event ROI Dropped By?

By How Much Has Your Event ROI Dropped By?

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

We were talking to a company recently and their central piece of their demand generation is events. They shared with us that the return they got on events had dropped 60% in the last 5 years and they were looking for suggestions.

I’m not sure what it’s like outside of the U.K. but I don’t go to events anymore as (for me) the presentations have just turned into sales pitches. There was a time where you could go to an event and learn something, but not anymore. 

Event companies tell me the margins are so thin on events, which is why they don’t pay for speakers. If you pay me to speak, I will create you an entertaining speech never heard before that your audience can take back to their work, you don’t pay me to speak then you get an advert.

Which means that the events margin are thin, so they don’t pay speakers, so the events speeches are adverts, so people stop going. We have a downward spiral. Event companies employ people to pitch, less and less people attend events.

The other thing that makes me wonder about events are the 1980s sales tactics. Do people really think that paying (expensive) sales people to stand on stand all handing out brochure is the way you sell today?

Anyway back to our client

The conversation went like this

C: Our event return has dropped by 60% over the last 5 years.

DLA: What is your objective of attending these events?

C: To connect with our clients and seek new ones,

DLA: Are they on Social?

C: Of course.

DLA: So why don’t you connect with them on social and nurture them with interesting, relevant, inspiring and educational content?

C: Never thought of that, but we have a small sales force.

DLA: Even better, your Sales force can “mark” people and nurture them. The great thing about social is that it allows you to contact many, many people at scale. We are a start-up but also a global company, through the power of social. We can “touch” literally millions of people at zero cost. (We spend $zero on our Marketing).

C: But what about the new business?

DLA: Once you are social, we can train you on Sales Navigator, then you can hunt for new business.

C: Sales Navigator is expensive?

DLA: If you switch your current event spend into social, this may sound to good to be true but you could double the return for half the cost. We won’t say now you should switch all your event spend, but once you see the return you soon will do.

C: So we can increase revenue from existing accounts and increase revenue from net new accounts, for less spend?

DLA: Of Course.

Whose doing this?

Here at Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) we “eat our own dog food” and we are more than happy to take you through what we do for zero budget and get 3 pieces of inbound everyday. Obviously the 3 pieces of inbound is a small number, as we are a relatively small company, bigger companies would expect to achieve more than this.

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Someone who is “big” in the social selling world has written something that I take exception to!

Someone who is “big” in the social selling world has written something that I take exception to!

by Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia | LinkedIn

Let me explain…

At Digital Leadership Associates we believe that “social” is the transformational technology of our age, we believe that many of the world’s most successful companies don’t “happen to be good at social as well as being successful” but that they are successful exactly BECAUSE they are social.

We believe that it is within every company’s (and every individual’s) capability – to promote themselves with social and to become “appropriately famous” by doing so. This is central to our belief system and we empower our clients to see that this is within their capabilities to do. 

Perhaps you are a client who writes their first blog to try and recruit good staff and immediately gets 40+ applications for 3 roles and is able to save £45k in recruitment fees? Perhaps you are a client who has been trying for 6 months to get in front of someone senior at a major tech company without success but by using our social selling techniques was able to get a meeting and close $1m in business within a month with that very person? Perhaps you are a multi-national company that increased penetration within a key account in North America by 300% in just 2 months? All three of these are actual examples of what our clients have achieved but we don’t ever claim credit for these because we EMPOWER our clients to achieve great things. We do this because we believe that being social is about helping individuals to change.

So imagine my horror when this “big in social” person wrote the following. “The challenge is feeding reps the right content. Your reps aren’t going to be the creators of content…”

This person is WRONG. They are wrong because that (reps and everyone else) creating content in their own words, with their own voice, for their own audience is the very point of social media and to simply give-up on this is shooting yourself in the foot.

We don’t run an agency, we don’t charge you a retainer to create content for you, we teach you how to do it yourself and then mentor you through the journey of this becoming a habit because if you get this right…you will definitely win.

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Social Selling – The Psychology Behind the Excuses

5 attitudes that say your organisation’s not ready for all-out social media

5 attitudes that say your organisation’s not ready for all-out social media

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

1.    There is no ROI in Social Media

I wrote this article in March 2015, nearly three years ago

Using Twitter to get C-Level Appointments a Case Study #Socialselling via @timothy_hughes

The article goes through how a friend of mine was (he still is) getting C-Level meetings using social media.

There is also my #TimTalk with @michaelnlabate @SAP where he talks about their implementation of Social Selling at SAP.  Luckily he was given permission to go public with the fact they are now getting 1 Billion (that’s a Billion not a Million) Euro in pipeline from Social Selling

I could go on, we are seeing people make 20 – 30% incremental (net new) revenue increase using social selling.  So if people in your organisation say that there is no ROI, you may find your competition are nibbling away at your customers!

2.     Social Selling Takes a Long Time

This is a fallacy spread by social marketers mascaraing as social sellers.  (Tip:  Always check a social sellers sales track record before hiring them)

If you have the basics in place then in fact you can get higher in an organisation faster than you can get with cold calling.

I for example in the early days of Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) when we needed to do cold outreach (we don’t anymore) contact the Managing Director of a multi-billion Telco company on a Thursday, the next Tuesday my co-founder, Adam Gray and myself had a meeting with him, his Marketing Director and his head of PR.

Another example is when we were training a large media company and the second training session into our 12 week program.  So only 3 weeks from the start of the program, one of the sales people got a meeting with a senior executive at Microsoft and was able to put $1 Million in his pipeline.

3.     We Cannot Measure what we do on Social Media

We have been using Brandwatch here at DLA since we started out, and while we don’t connect it to a CRM you can.  We are also now Microsoft Dynamics partners and we are able to demonstrate the direct connection between social media and drop the “leads” directly into the CRM.

What we also like is the ability of Dynamics is it’s ability to listen on-line, each sales person can checked the items it has found and say, yes or no and the system will learn through machine learning.  If intent data is found on-line and the sales person agrees this fits the right lead profile, this can drop into the CRM as a lead.

4.    My Customers are not on Social Media

We often hear this, in fact one sales person told me that all of his customers where over 40 and therefore not on social media.  I can only imagine his customers are like some sort of “Stepford Wife’s” organisation where you cannot join until your 40th Birthday.

We have also had a company tell us that their target person, Chief Finance Officer (CFO), in the town where they operated where not on-line.  This town is different were we told.  Like there was a line drawn outside of the town where CFOs would not cross.

These are always sweeping generalisations and can be turned around by asking questions.  You mean there is nobody under 40 in your accounts? etc.

We have also using Sales Navigator to show people who is online and how often they post.  For example, we found in the instance of the CFOs, we found the same ratio of CFOs online in that town as there are for the rest of the country.  The town is not different after all.

5.     You Think Social Selling is Just LinkedIn

While LinkedIn is a component to social selling, LinkedIn is only 30% of your social network.  If you think your network covers your presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Email, just looking at LinkedIn being social selling can leave a lot of money on the table.

For example, if you are calling upon a CEO that is the brother-in-law of your friend, you might not see that relationship on LinkedIn, but you would on Facebook.  A great example, of how LinkedIn only relationships places your pipeline at risk.

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