On Wednesday 13th March 2019, there was a mass outage across both Facebook and Instagram. We saw the hashtags #FacebookDown, and #InstagramDown trending on Twitter and users across the world were hitting refresh and pounding the post button to no avail.
Some organisations offer ‘Beta’ tests to try and figure out any glitches as they develop their software or digital platforms, others just go for it. Facebook is known as a platform that has a ‘build it – if it breaks we’ll fix it’ approach to their development. For us, when we see glitches on Facebook and Instagram we get excited – it’s a sign of something new coming!
‘Don’t build your house on another man’s land.’
We’ve often used the above phrase when speaking to business owners, encouraging them to ensure they are not solely reliant on social media platforms (or other third party software). The idea being that they use social strategies to build their own databases and take their relationships offline as much as possible.
What if LinkedIn went down and never came back up again?
When Facebook and Instagram were down yesterday, for some users it was a few hours – for others it was most of the day. If these two platforms had been taken down permanently it would have massive immediate impacts on our business – but thankfully the spread of our services means that we would quickly have the ability to overcome this, it might shift our focus, but it wouldn’t shut us down. (I may be a little naïve saying that – but I choose to be optimistic!)
It did make me think, though – many of the businesses we work with have a keen focus on LinkedIn, especially when it comes to nurturing relationships and also from a business development perspective – or rather the people within their businesses depend on LinkedIn as a tool in order to fulfil their roles. However, strategies are not being implemented to ensure that the relationships they build are taken offline. Shouldn’t having and implementing these strategies be second nature?
Manage Your Data
I could probably write at length in regard to the benefits of using a CRM – in truth, however, it isn’t my area of expertise. So I will keep this short…
• Don’t keep everything in one place.
• Do have a backup.
• Do make sure it is as secure as secure can be!
Make Yourself Known
Ready for a shocking statement?… Simply being connected to someone on LinkedIn does not mean you’re best mates, or that they even know you! (Keep reading after you’ve recovered from that.)
I often use the analogy of a business card to explain how to make the best of LinkedIn.
I meet you once and give you my business card. It goes in your pocket or in a drawer, and either ends up in the recycling bin or in a pile of other business cards.
What if I could do something to magically make that business card jump to the top of the pile every few days? Or resurrect itself from the bin? You’d soon notice it.
When I make a connection with someone, I want to get in front of them as much as possible and in as many ways as possible so I become memorable. When they need me, I want to be in the front of their mind. How do I do this? I use a multitude or resources – not just one platform.
Pick up the phone!
The World Wide Web turned 30 this week. In fact, it turned 30 yesterday. What strategies were in use 30 years and a day ago that would still be relevant and useful today? We shouldn’t have to suddenly regress, and lose the advancements tech has given us. However, there are skills and strategies that have always and will always work.
“The younger guys in my team just won’t get on the phone – they don’t know how to speak to people”.
This was said to me by a prospective client during a meeting this week. We were talking about their sales process. What works, what doesn’t and what gaps they needed to fill. I asked what they were doing in the business in order to overcome that pain; the answer was nothing.
I’ll be honest – My question wasn’t appreciated as the prospect felt it was “ridiculous that people needed to be taught how to conduct themselves on the phone”! (The meeting sort of went downhill from there!)
Meet In Person
Every time I connect with someone on LinkedIn, I try to figure out if there’s a way of ever actually getting face to face with that person. (I admit, sometimes it isn’t possible.) It is really uncomfortable putting myself out there and asking a stranger to meet me for coffee – I may live in a social media dominated world, but that doesn’t mean I’m an extrovert! That said, just posing the question has left me having fantastic dialogues with new connections that have allowed me to learn more about them than I would have done from their profiles alone. I’m sure they would also say the same about me too! Meeting in person doesn’t have to be a 121 of course. It works just as well catching up at industry events or local business expos, etc.
I’ve tried really hard to keep this short. There are so many tangents I could follow in relation to this topic! Before writing this article, I’d posted in a couple of places online. Firstly, on LinkedIn, then in a Facebook group that is for the readers of Recruiting Brainfood, and also in a private social network intended for Recruiters, called Recruiting Gym. (Feel free to click through and join those conversations!) Below are some of the responses my questions received…
I’d love for you to comment below and add your thoughts on the topic!
“I have a lot of connections and use LinkedIn a lot, but for me, all the important people I have phone numbers for and talk to offline. I think it’s really important to TRY and not rely on LinkedIn or any other social platform as your entire business plan.”
– Teri Ethrington, Apsco
Surely relying on any one channel is risky… but then if you have a CRM system arguably, they could go down too. It’s worth exporting LI contacts regularly and making sure key contacts are saved elsewhere.
It’s a good question Christina!
– Amanda Davies, ISV Software