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Open letter to Microsoft re LinkedIn

Dear Microsoft

Congratulations on your purchase of LinkedIn!

I am sure you have lots of exciting plans for the ‘professionals’ network’ including additional features and integrating with your products - building in video conferencing using Skype would be amazing. But I digress, before all the shiny new stuff would you be so kind to fix a few things?

Don’t get me wrong. I love LinkedIn and find it extremely useful for networking and winning business. Only on Monday I was running a social media workshop at a University which was business I obtained through LinkedIn.

But there are some parts of LinkedIn that just don’t work; they are broken so it would be great if you could sort them out. Below are 10 for you to get started on. Thank you.

1) Reminders under Relationship on profiles do not work. I’m not the only one to notice this - read this in LinkedIn Help. I’m sure lots of people have missed follow-up calls and meetings as a result.

2) When adding a Comment it’s often helpful to add a link but this isn’t possible. Over on Facebook you can add links, images and even video.

3) The Headline on the Profile under Name is a useful way of making a personal statement. However, to add or edit is not easy as only the first few words are displayed and the complete headline is impossible to see. The field is not long enough and needs to be extended.

4) When I invite someone to connect and wish to state ‘We’ve done business together’ it would be helpful and logical if my current business - Intranet Future - was at the top, to make it easy to select. However, for some reason it’s 4th in the list of companies I’ve worked for. However, when I ask for a recommendation it’s correctly at the top.

5) It would be nice to be able to post an update on my Company Page or write a blog post for Pulse on the LinkedIn app on my Samsung S7. Neither are possible which is surprising given the importance of mobile.

6) I like to congratulate people when they obtain a new job but not sure why I often get a reminder a few days later asking me to do exactly that.

7) If you’re working through search results and following up by InMail there’s a handy box on the right showing the next search result. It would be handy to be able to look at this profile after sending each InMail. However, as soon as you send an InMail it disappears!

8) There’s an option to use return to send a message which is handy. But once selected you are then asked every time you send a message if you are sure you want to send the message!

9) Message history is often incomplete under Relationship and in Messaging. This can lead to difficulties if you start a conversation with someone assuming you’ve never spoken to them before, only for past messages to appear just after you’ve hit Send.

10) It’s an established feature of social networks that you select the date stamp to view the update on its own new page and indeed this used to be the case on LinkedIn. But click on the date stamp now and nothing happens, so it’s not possible to send a direct link to an update that could be of interest to a colleague or which you wish to post on social media or include in a newsletter.

I look forward to seeing you make progress with LinkedIn  and look forward to seeing you take it to the next level.

Yours faithfully

Jonathan Pollinger
029 2078 9139

Note to reader: If you have discovered over functions of LinkedIn that don’t work, please post them in the Comments below. Thank you.


Social media news that matters - 12 June 2016

Here’s my summary and opinion on the week’s social media news that matters including new developments from Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

You can watch my take on latest news on THE #SocialToday SHOW below. I do the show every Monday morning at 8.45am BST on Facebook Live. Feel free to ask me questions by posting in the Comments during or after the broadcast or under this blog post, or by tweeting me @intranetfuture.

Facebook - Facebook has rolled out the ability to use video when adding Comments to posts following on from the addition of emojis and stickers to Comments. Facebook’s Bob Baldwin states: “Videos in Comments are now available worldwide! You can upload them as replies to posts by people and Pages, as well as within Groups and Events. It’s supported on desktop web, iOS, and Android.” So if you want to reply to a client’s question on your Page or in your Group why not make an impression by recording a posting a video?

Some users are now able to upload 360 photos to Facebook. Simply, take a panoramic photo with a 360 photo app or camera and post it like a normal photo. 360 photos will have a compass symbol on the right hand side, signifying to users that they are able to tilt their phone or drag with their mouse to see more of the image. Photos can also be viewed using a VR headset such as the Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR. The video below explains.

Introducing 360 Photos on Facebook from Facebook on Vimeo.

Facebook Live - Facebook Live is now available in Groups. If you use a Group to grow a Community, provide them with extra value by using Facebook Live to run Q and As or to provide useful information.

Instagram - Instagram is now more popular than Twitter amongst advertisers according to a survey of 83 advertisers by Strata although the results are disputed by Twitter. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed cited Instagram as their platform of choice compared to 56% who chose Twitter.

It’s now easier to share photos from iPhones and iPads. Yo can now post directly to Instagram from Photos or other iOS apps. Users can select an image and use the share menu to post directly. It’s also possible to add a caption in the process without having to open the Instagram app.

Twitter - It’s been reported that 32 million Twitter accounts have been hacked with user names and password put up for sale. Although there is a question mark as to whether the data is authentic, Twitter has sent many of its users notification that their accounts have been locked for security reasons, along with a request to reset passwords. Even if you haven’t had an email this is a good time to reset your password and review your connected applications. Here’s how - Reduce risk of your Twitter account being hacked.

Twitter has introduced Twitter Insiders. According to Twitter’s blog it’s “a network of more than 12,000 Twitter users that participate in research studies… [and] act as an anonymous virtual panel from across the US and the UK, inspiring businesses to make a more customer-centric decision.”

Twitter has a shiny new Android app which has a neat and tidy menu at the top which makes it easier to move among the different sections of Twitter. It also features a floating action button which you can use no matter which part of Twitter you are on. It’s a big improvement!

Periscope - Periscope is providing support for Community Meetups with “tips, tricks and FAQs” to make planning and joining local events easy. Event organizers can submit their meetups to Periscope here. Periscope will then share details of the event on a web page and if you’re lucky will tweet about it to keep more people up to date. I’ve just registered Laptop Friday in Cardiff.

LinkedIn - LinkedIn Premium members now have access to Premium Insights on Company Pages. This is a new feature that provides “unique and timely data about the companies that interest you – their growth as well as hiring trends by function.” STOP PRESS: After publication of this blog post it’s been announced that Microsoft have purchased LinkedIn for $26 billion. More on this in my video above.

Number of the week - 40. Nearly 40% of Twitter users say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer. Source: Twitter and Annalect.


Social media news that mattered this week

Here’s my summary and opinion on the week’s social media news that matters including new developments from Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

You can watch my take on latest news on THE #SocialToday SHOW below…it’s in 2 parts due to a break in transmission! Feel free to ask me questions by posting in the Comments under this blog post, the video or by tweeting me @intranetfuture.

THE #SocialToday SHOW Part 1

THE #SocialToday SHOW Part 2

Facebook - Media companies have seen their reach on Facebook fall by more than 40% due to an algorithm change from the social media platform, according to SocialFlow. This could be due to Facebook preferring news publishers to use Instant Articles or its desire to promote content from individuals.

Facebook has announced new artificial intelligence functionality called DeepText which can understand with near human accuracy the content of several thousands Facebook posts per second, spanning more than 20 languages. Facebook is currently testing this powerful DeepText functionality within Messenger.

Facebook Messenger - Facebook has been pushing people towards its stand-alone Messenger app for some time and Android users visiting the mobile version Facebook’s website are now receiving a message encouraging them to move.

Facebook App users have been encouraged to leave since 2014 so it only seems a matter of time before messaging outside of the Messenger app becomes impossible. This is because Facebook is focussing its attention on developing the Messenger app into much more than just an app for communication.

The first share trade has been carried out on Facebook Messenger using AJ Bell’s share trading platform. The shares that were purchased? Facebook of course.

Messenger is revamping its emojis. It’s long been an irritation amongst users that emojis are not consistent across Android, iOS and other platforms but this has now been rectified. In addition, over 1,500 newly designed Messenger emojis with diversified skin tones and gender options are being introduced. These new emojis are available now to all Messenger users worldwide.

Instagram - The move to an algorithmic feed which was announced in March is now being officially launched with ‘the moments you care about first’ being shown at the top of the news feed. ‘Over the past few months, we brought this new way of ordering posts to a portion of the community, and we found that people are liking photos more, commenting more and generally engaging with the community in a more active way.’ However, the move has not gone down well in some quarters. In fact, there’s a petition against the move with over 330, 000 signatures.

Business profiles are getting closer to launch according to the Instagram for Business blog, As previously stated on this blog, the new business tools will ‘make growing a business on Instagram that much easier’ and will include a new contact button and Insights for measurement. In the UK we could be waiting a while as the roll out will start in the US.

Pinterest - As reported last month, Pinterest has been testing a Save button to replace the Pin It button and the change has now been made universally.

Pinterest has announced that users can now see all the boards across Pinterest into which other people have saved a specific pin.

Periscope -  Periscope has introduced a comment moderation system that allows users to report comments they consider to be spam or abuse.

Number of the week…is 60.
60% of 2000 people surveyed said it was important for small businesses to have a social media presence. The study also showed that 1 in 4 consumers uses social media to find small businesses for the first time. Source: Vistaprint Digital Services


Social media news that mattered (over the past 2 weeks)

Fresh back from a great holiday in Croatia, here’s my summary and opinion on the latest social media news that matters including new developments from Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Facebook Live, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. Due to my break I’m covering the past 2 weeks news.

You can watch my take on latest news on THE #SocialToday SHOW below. Feel free to ask me questions by posting in the Comments under the video or by tweeting me @intranetfuture.

You might also be interested in my Social Media Roundup which is sent out on Sundays and covers the news, provides tips, a handy tool and introduces you to a useful person to know - Subscribe


Facebook are teaming up with Microsoft to lay a high speed data cable across the Atlantic. The project called ‘marea’, which is Spanish for tide, will see a massive underwater cable stretch from Virginia in the US to Bilbao, Spain, transferring digital data across 6,600 kilometers of the Atlantic. Speeds of 160 terabits per second will be achieved which is 16 million times the bandwidth of your home broadband connection!

Facebook will soon start to display ads to non-Facebook users on other websites. At the moment only Facebook users are served ads on other websites. This will increase the range of options available to marketers for raising awareness of their products and services. It also signals Facebook’s intention to take on Google Adwords in this space. Andrew Bosworth, vice president of Facebook’s ads and business platform, said: “Publishers and app developers have some users who aren’t Facebook users. We think we can do a better job powering those ads. Our buttons and plugins send over basic information about users’ browsing sessions. For non-Facebook members, previously we didn’t use it. Now we’ll use it to better understand how to target those people.”

Fancy going to Paris or Brussels for £25? If you’re a Facebook user you can use Eurostar’s Snap service to book a cheap fare. The trade-off is that you specify am or pm but Eurostar choose the time.

[RUMOUR] Facebook are testing topics in News Feeds in Australia on both desktop and mobile so could they be rolled out for all? Topics such as Animals & Pets, Politics, Travel, TV & Movies and Relationships can be selected from a range from which users can then choose sub-topics.

Facebook Messenger

Following the announcement of support for bots on the Messenger Platform companies are starting to use the technology which automates activities such as searches, purchases and bookings. An example is Skyscanner where travellers can visit the Skyscanner Facebook Page and are prompted to enter their flight details. Once the information has been entered, the bot returns details of the cheapest fair available along with a link for the 10 ten cheapest. You can then visit skycanner.com to book your flight.

Facebook Live

Facebook Live now allows continuous non-stop broadcasting although the trade-off is that users can’t rewind or replay. Great for ‘live cam’ footage of events, weather, construction of buildings, aquariums and zoos.

Users can also view parts of a Facebook Live video that has the most engagement. With this new feature, you can essentially “see when the video gets interesting and skip there if you want.”

Facebook is rolling out an Interactive Live Broadcast Map which shows public Facebook Live streams that you can tune into in real-time from all over the world as well as who’s watching the video you’ve selected. There’s no word on when this new feature will be available globally.


Instagram is closing down its feed API on June 1 which services like Flipboard and IFTTT currently use to display the feed on other sites.


LinkedIn is providing free access to Lynda.com, the online learning company it acquired last year, for its premium members. This is a  major benefit if you intend to improve your skills and knowledge via online learning and another factor to take into account when considering whether to upgrade.

LinkedIn is also “rolling out several new features to make it even easier for marketers to manage and optimize their campaigns on LinkedIn.” Advertisers will be able to save targeted audiences for reuse in future campaigns and extend or reinstate past campaigns, as they currently can on Facebook. LinkedIn users will also now be able to like, share, or reply to comments on sponsored content and organic company updates.


Twitter have announced that user names in replies and media like photos, GIFs, videos, and polls will in future no longer be included in the 140 character limit of tweets. This is great news and will help conversations flow better.

It’s always irritating to have to cut a person or two out of a group conversation to get under the limit. This change will take place over the coming weeks. Other big changes are coming to Twitter. I’ll be covering these in my Advanced social media workshop for PR, marketing and social media professionals on 9 June in Cheltenham as well as explaining how marketers can take advantage of them.

Twitter has announced that all advertisers can now use Twitter’s Audience Platform to display ads not just on Twitter but on mobile apps and websites. Twitter has also rolled out “new creative formats to help direct response advertisers better connect with this influential, high-intent audience across both mobile and desktop.”

In a surprise move, Twitter has curtailed product development on its ‘Buy button’ and will now focus its development on product ads. They could well regret this with social commerce likely to prove popular on Facebook and other social networks.

[RUMOUR] Twitter is testing a ‘Go Live’ button for Periscope that will be available within the Twitter app. It’s likely that this feature will be rolled out to all users.


YouTube has announced the YouTube VR app which will “provide an easier, more immersive way to find and experience virtual reality content on YouTube” and “comes with all the YouTube features you already love, like voice search, discovery and playlists, all personalized for you, so you can experience the world’s largest collection of VR videos in a whole new way.”


WhatsApp messaging service is now available via desktop apps on Mac and Windows. You can download here.

Number of the week: My number of the week is 44. That’s the percentage of Americans who obtain their news from Facebook. Source: Pew Research Centre Poll

Not yet subscribed to my weekly Social Media Roundup for news and social media marketing tips? Do it now: Subscribe


Social media news that mattered this week

Here’s my summary and opinion on the latest social media news that matters including new developments from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.

You can watch me go through the week’s news on THE #SocialToday SHOW below. Please Like my Intranet Future Facebook Page and you’ll receive a notification when I go live in future. Feel free to ask me questions Live, by posting in the Comments or tweeting me @intranetfuture.

Please note that there will be no THE #SocialToday SHOW, news article or newsletter next week as I’m on holiday.

You might also be interested in my Social Media Roundup which is sent out on Sunday evening and covers the news, provides tips and introduces you to a useful person to know - Subscribe


Facebook have launched its photo sharing Moments app in the Europe and Canada but without facial recognition; users label photos with names of their friends. It’s been available in the US for nearly a year but needed to be amended to meet privacy laws in Europe and Canada. It works by grouping together ‘moments’ which you can then send to Friends.

Facebook will soon launch a 360 Photos feature will let people upload flat panorama pictures taken on iPhones, Google Photo Spheres or from 360 cameras. Once uploaded to Facebook users will be able to hold and drag to pan around the photos, or move their heads to look around them on devices like the Samsung Gear VR.

Facebook Messenger

Messenger Platform, Facebook’s new chatbot service, is going down a storm with developers with “tens of thousands”,  according to Head of Product, Stan Chudnovsky, creating chatbots for Messenger. That’s a lot of interest given the platform has only been live for a month. Any business can create a chat bot to carry out transactions such as booking a service or buying a product on Messenger but all chat bots need to be approved by Facebook.


Instagram has rolled out an updated icon and app design, as well as new icons for its other creative apps: Layout, Boomerang, and Hyperlapse. From what I’ve seen on Twitter, the changes have gone down well with users.

Ad retargeting, new features for custom audiences and location and time targeting are now available on Instagram. These give brands and businesses more accurate targeting of potential customers. If you are in the business of selling jewellery, clothing, shoes and other visual products, Instagram advertising is well worth investigating. If you need advice please get in touch.


LinkedIn will soon be adding salary data to vacancy information which will be a helpful move for job seekers.


Last year, Google started showing tweets in its search results and pretty soon Bing will be following suit. This is good news for anyone using Twitter marketing to promote their business.


Pinterest now allows affiliate links on its site following the installation of improved Spam detection systems. Previously they were banned due to abuse by spammers. Legitimate affiliates can add affiliate links behind photos and videos and earn revenue when users click on them and subsequently sign-up for services or products.

[RUMOUR] Some users have noticed that Pinterest has changed the label of ‘Pin It’ on images to ‘Save’ on the desktop. Could this be rolled out to all users? The move would make sense and put it on a par with services like Pocket and Facebook’s ‘Save’ feature.


You’ll soon be able to send messages within YouTube with the ability to attach videos. So for example, you can share an inspirational TED talk with a colleague and chat to them about it. The feature called ‘native sharing’ is currently being tested amongst a small group of users. Like ‘native publishing’ it’s a mechanism  for keeping users on a social network. In this case, there’s no longer a need to copy and paste a link into an email or other messaging channel and leave YouTube.


Amazon has launched a new video upload service called Amazon Video Direct to rival YouTube. It gives content creators the opportunity to monetize original content in several ways including ads. If you’re producing high quality business videos, this service is worth looking into it. Videos can be watched by Amazon Prime members and it’s available in US, Germany, Austria, UK and Japan - find out more.

Number of the week: My number of the week is 1 million. That’s the number of monthly users Samsung’s Gear VR has each month

Not yet subscribed to my weekly Social Media Roundup for news and social media marketing tips? Do it now: Subscribe


Social media news - 2 May 2016

Slightly later than normal due to the UK Bank Holiday, here’s my summary and opinion on the latest social media news plus new developments from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Periscope, Pinterest plus what could be a game changer from Google.

You can watch me go through last week’s news on THE #SocialToday SHOW below. If you watch the replay on a mobile device please click Follow (on Android) or Live Subscribe (on iOS) to receive notification when my live broadcasts start. Feel free to ask me questions by posting in the Comments or tweeting me @intranetfuture.

Facebook - Facebook announced their Q1 results and here are some key stats. Earnings were $1.51bn, a big increase from $512 million a year ago. The world’s largest social network continues to grow too despite reaching saturation point in developed countries. The number of users rose 3.71% with total monthly active users standing at a whopping 1.65 billion people. As if we didn’t know, Facebook is now the dominant mobile platform. 91.52% of Facebook’s monthly active users use a smartphone or other mobile device to access their news feed while 60% only ever use a mobile. In the UK, mobile only users amount to 80%. Advertising revenues fell following the Christmas bonanza but revenues are still over $1 billion per month.

Facebook as once again sponsoring National Small Business Week with a series of online and in-person events.

Facebook has introduced automatic captions for video ads, making it easier for businesses to create a video ad. Captions on videos and video ads are useful for viewers that don’t wish to play the video with sound on Facebook which is the majority.

Facebook Live is now available on Android in the UK for Pages but it appears not yet for Profiles. If you live in the UK and have Live on your Profile on your Android device, I’d love to hear from you.

Facebook has created apps for its main platform for Messenger and for Instagram for Windows 10.

Instagram - Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that the changes to Instagram’s newsfeed mean that priority is being given to posts with higher engagement, so it’s important to make sure your posts are interesting and or entertaining otherwise they will be less visible.

LinkedIn - LinkedIn’s first quarter results for 2016 show that it continues to grow steadily and has now reached 433 million users. Social sharing has increased more than 80% reflecting the increasing popularity of ‘posts’ (blogs on LinkedIn).

LinkedIn have launched LinkedIn ProFinder, a new professional services marketplace similar to PeoplePerHour and Fiverr. that helps you find the best freelance or independent professionals in your local area. It’s being  piloted across the US but if you’re a professional living elsewhere who wants to be listed you can register your interest. It’s an obvious move for LinkedIn given the data held on freelance professionals and it could prove very popular. If you haven’t updated your LinkedIn profile lately ProFinder is another reason to do so. Learn more at our LinkedIn workshops in Cheltenham and Cardiff.

Twitter - Unlike Facebook whose shared soared following their results Twitter’s shares fell 13.6% as the firm struggled to attract new users and advertisers.

In what is in itself a small change but one with significance regarding it’s purpose, Twitter has moved out of the social network category on the iOS app store and into the News section.

Periscope - Periscope has added new audience statistics including ‘time watched’ plus a graph of your viewers showing your broadcast’s moments with the most reach. Initially, on available only for iOS, these new features will be rolled out to Android in due course.

You can also now sketch as Periscope calls it or doodle on your live videos whilst broadcasting. Handy to highlight items on your broadcast or to illustrate a point.

Pinterest -  Ads have finally launched in the UK! Pinterest users with a business account can now setup up Engagement Campaigns and Traffic Campaigns. Pinterest is also launching featured collections in the UK which are curated collections of trending topics specifically tailored for the UK. They will also be available in France, Germany, Brazil and Japan.

Google - Google is testing a news platform called Twitter Posts which allows publication of 14,400 characters of text and the ability to publish up to 10 images or videos in any post. Posts last for 7 days. Following the opening up of Instant Articles on Facebook to all publishers, as reported last week, could this spell trouble for Twitter and news websites ?

Number of the week: My number of the week is 3 million. That’s the number of businesses that Facebook is serving with its video platform.

Not yet subscribed to my weekly Social Media Roundup? You can do so here: Subscribe

See you again soon on social media!


Social media news - 25 April 2016

Here’s a summary of the latest social media news focussing this week on new developments from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

You can also watch the recording of THE #SocialToday SHOW below where I give you my take on the latest news. If you watch the replay on a mobile device please click Follow (on Android) or Live Subscribe (on iOS) to receive notification when my live broadcasts start. Feel free to ask me questions by posting in the Comments or tweeting me @intranetfuture.

Facebook - Facebook have improved the functionality of Messenger once again by adding group calls. If you are having a group text conversation you can move this to an audio conversation. At the moment, there’s no group video chat but no doubt this will come sooner rather than later. In the meantime, Skype and Google Hangouts are probably the best option.

Facebook has rolled out Instant Articles for all publishers and bloggers. Facebook say, “Publishers of any type, anywhere in the world can deliver an incredibly fast and immersive reading experience for people on Facebook.” This is a hugely significant developments as it’s tempting brands and web site owners to publish on Facebook as well as or even instead of their own websites. You can find out more and sign up for Instant Articles here: https://instantarticles.fb.com. I’ve just signed up so well let you know how I get on in future THE #SocialToday SHOWS.

[RUMOUR] - How would you like to get paid for posting your regular content on Facebook? It’s rumoured this could soon be a reality, although perhaps just for verified users eg celebrities and high profile personalities. A questionnaire was sent to verified users asking if they would be interested in a number of opportunites to earn money from their personal presence including “Branded content (earn money when posting with brand you have a sponsorship arrangement with)”.

Twitter - I spotted this week that a new Tweet Activity graph and stats showing tweets plus number of impressions over the past 24 hours plus a link to top tweets - which takes you into Twitter - has started being displayed on my Twitter Timeline. I’ve not seen reference to this elsewhere so it looks like Twitter are testing a new feature. Have you spotted this in your Timeline?

LinkedIn - LinkedIn has launched a new app tailored specifically for soon-to-be college graduates, which will help them discover jobs. It’s available on both Android and iOS.

Pinterest - Pinterest has developed a new iOS app with a modern look and fast loading pins although it doesn’t appear to be available in the UK yet. The Android app will also undergo a revamp soon.

Pinterest has acquired Curator, a mobile presentation tool that helps users combine images, text and content from different source.
new modern look and fast loading pins

Katch - Katch which was a useful service that automatically hosted Periscope broadcasts has shut down, due to funding issues. My THE #SocialToday SHOWS that were stored on Katch are now available on YouTube and contain lots of social media marketing tips and examples.

Number of the week: My number of the week is 50,000. That’s the number of pounds offered for a new role of the Queen’s social media manager.

See you again soon on social media!


Social media for solicitors

Social media presents a tremendous opportunity for solicitors although in my conversations with legal eagles it appears that few of them realise this. There’s a common misconception that social media isn’t for them, that Facebook is for kids and not for a professional firm of lawyers. Solicitors often consider social media to be risky but the reality is that it’s no more risky for them than it is for any other business. When making a decision about using social media the business benefits outlined below should be considered along with any risks.

In the following article I’ll debunk the theory that social media isn’t suitable to those in the legal world and that the benefits outweigh the risks. I suggest that LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook can play a worthwhile part in a solicitor’s marketing strategy and I’ll illustrate how a law firm can make the most of the social media.

There are many business benefits for solicitors who engage on social networks which all contribute to what is probably the practice’s key goal - generating new business.

  • Finding and communicating with prospects
  • Building a good local reputation
  • Brand awareness and thought leadership to the wider community
  • Obtaining leads through social listening
  • Accurate targeting of prospective clients
  • Development of relationships with barristers and counsels
  • Increased website visits via links on social networks and improved SEO

Finding and communicating with prospects

Using LinkedIn you can seek out prospects using Advanced Search. This is a great feature which enables you to target and communicate with prospects. For example, if you’re a commercial lawyer and you want to contact Managing and Commercial Directors of local companies, you can do this in a matter of minutes. Once you’re happy with the search filters you’ve selected, you can save your search making it easier to get updated results the next time you need them. You’ll also be emailed any new results on a weekly basis. Using the results you can then communicate with a prospect by connecting with them or sending them a LinkedIn email. InMail is LinkedIn’s version of email and whilst you do need to become a premium member to access, it’s extremely powerful. It gives you the ability to directly communicate with the 400 million members on LinkedIn <tweet this>, even if you don’t know their email address or phone number. But make sure you don’t get for the hard sell so start a conversation or suggest a meeting to discuss how you might work together. Make sure you show an interest in your prospect and refer to shared contacts and interests to build rapport.

Twitter also has an Advanced Search feature although it’s not widely used as it’s poorly signposted. Like LinkedIn Advanced Search it also has filters so you can search by location. It has one-up on LinkedIn with the ability to locate ‘sentiment’ in tweets ie you can search for tweets that are positive, negative or which are questions. It can be rewarding to search for key terms that are questions. For example, searching for the word ‘solicitor’ in a tweet that’s a questions can yield leads like this:

Building a good local reputation

Using the Advanced Search features on LinkedIn and Twitter mentioned above you can contact local business people to network and provide value. For example, would they find a guide on the latest legislation on employment law useful? You can also enhance your reputation by sharing posts and tweets from local businesses on Facebook and LinkedIn and retweeting on Twitter.

You should follow (Twitter) and connect (LinkedIn) with local influencers. For example, if you practice personal injury law it’s not a bad idea to connect with health and safety experts, insurance firms, constructions workers and electricians.

Most areas in the UK have a #Townhour chat every week. For example, #CardiffHour is 8pm-9pm on Wednesdays. Take the time to join in at the appointed time and build your reputation by answering questions, retweeting using the relevant hashtag and tweeting useful content.

In terms of content, make sure you post and tweet about any activity or involvement in the local community. For example, photos from sponsored events and charitable initiatives are likely to prove engaging.

Brand awareness and thought leadership to the wider community

The key to raising awareness of your brand on any social platform is to show an interest in others and to get active. For example, sharing relevant and useful content by retweeting puts you on the radar of the person whom you’ve retweeted as well as providing useful content to your followers. Add an insightful comment to the tweet to demonstrate your thought leadership.

LinkedIn rewards activity more than other social networks. For example, liking an update will result in the person whose update you’ve liked receiving an update just like other social networks but in addition your action of liking will be published in the news feed of your connections.

You can also use LinkedIn posts to provide commentary and advice on the latest legal issues. Posts give you the ability to easily write blog posts or articles on LinkedIn. It’s a simple, easy to use system - upload a photo, write your title and the article, hit the publish button and you’re done. Posts are great for raising awareness as all your connections are notified when you publish a new post, plus might also be seen in the news feed. If you’re lucky LinkedIn will publish to people outside your network too. Encourage discussion and opinion at the end of your posts. For example, ‘I’d love to hear your feedback on how changes in your social media policy have affected your workplace. Please leave a comment below’.

The LinkedIn Group - Legal Marketing Network UK carries discussions on all aspects of marketing for law firms. It’s a good place to learn, contribute and network with your peers.

A LinkedIn company page (see example from Barr Ellison Solicitors below) gives your practice a corporate presence on LinkedIn from which you can post short news updates and links to relevant articles. A good strategy to employ with your company page is to encourage partners, associates and paralegals to share the updates from the company page onto their personal profiles and therefore onto their connections.

Obtaining leads through social listening

A key benefit of social media is the ability to listen to public conversations about your law firm. Make no mistake; you can be certain that people are talking about you online just as they do offline. Using a tool like TweetDeck (owned by Twitter) you can setup columns containing keywords in tweets. For example, to find conversations about your business you should setup columns containing the name of your practice and your website address. To find leads, you could setup a column with the phrase ‘recommend solicitor’. It’s worthwhile experimenting with different words and phrases as there’s no limit to the amount of columns you can setup.

You can also use a tool like Mention who say, ‘Monitor you and your brand’s online footprint, find buzz about your business, and generate awareness for your company.’ Subscriptions start at $29 per month.

Accurate targeting of prospective clients

Social advertising allows you to communicate directly with potential clients who are interested in your services. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all have advertising platforms that are easy to use and great value when compared to other forms of paid advertising. Your chosen platform depends on a number of criteria, but it makes sense to advertise on a social network that’s popular with your potential clients. The key strength of social advertising is being able to target potential clients on a number of levels. For example on Facebook you can select age, gender, location, relationship status, education level, profession and perhaps most powerful of all, interests and behaviours.

Facebook is suitable for solicitors providing conveyancing services and other business to consumer services whereas LinkedIn and Twitter would be better for commercial lawyers. On Facebook those in the solicitor’s locality who are ‘Likely to be 1st time buyers’ - a Facebook behaviour - can be targeted with posts from the practice’s Facebook Page. On LinkedIn all the details contained in users profiles such as locations, job title and industry can be used when targeting.

Development of relationships with barrister and counsels

If you’re a law firm who works with a barrister or counsel, you’ll want to maintain a good working relationship. Find out more about them by following them on Twitter and connecting on LinkedIn. Show an interest in their activities by liking and retweeting on Twitter and liking and sharing on LinkedIn. If you wish to communication in private you can use Twitter’s Direct Messaging which is no longer limited to 140 characters plus you can have group conversations too. LinkedIn also supports this functionality with the messaging function having also just been through a revamp.

If you need an introduction to a barrister or counsel, ask your 2nd degree connections on LinkedIn if they’ll make an introduction. LinkedIn is a great resource for networking and developing relationships with other legal professionals.

Increased website visits via links on social networks and improved SEO

Social media is becoming increasingly important when it comes to attracting more visitors to your website. It’s important to ensure that links to your website are included on all your pages and profiles as well as in posts and tweets as appropriate. If there’s more information on your website about the subject you’re talking about then make sure you include a link to the relevant website page.

As well as gaining visitors from those that click on links, social media can also help your website appear higher in search engine results or to use the jargon, it can help your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). It’s not only your website that appears in search results but your brand gets exposure from other web assets too. Your Twitter profile plus your tweets, employee LinkedIn profiles and company page are all surfaced in results and will help people find you.

Links themselves can help SEO, especially if others are sharing and retweeting your posts and tweets but you should also include relevant keywords in your social network profiles and in your social media content.


In summary, there are risks regarding professionalism and confidentiality but like any other company, a law firm should provide training and have a social media policy in place (I can help with both). For those advising on employment law, then you’ll already be advising clients on this area so you won’t have any problems drafting or updating your own policy.

As can be seen above there are many business benefits to be obtained for law firms and I’ve not included other areas where social media can help, such as customer services and employee engagement so the case for solicitors using social media is strong.

Are you a solicitor using social media? Let me know your experience in the comments below.


Social Media News - 10 April 2016

Here’s my take on the latest social media news focussing on new developments on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest.

Alternatively, watch the recording of THE #SocialToday SHOW below:

The social media landscape is fast shifting with changes happening every day and it can feel like a full time job to keep abreast of the latest trends and new features. So join me on THE #SocialToday SHOW every week to watch, ask and learn about the latest new features and how small business owners plus PR and marketing people can benefit -  just Follow me on Facebook.

Facebook - There are a whole host of great new features for Facebook Live. You’ll can now go Live in Facebook Groups and Events. In a Group you could broadcast about your shared interest and in an Event you could provide coverage of the Event to those that RSVP-ed but weren’t able to attend. I’ll be using Facebook Live in Events for THE #SocialToday SHOW and look forward to trying out Facebook Live in Groups for Laptop Friday.

The second new feature is the introduction of Live Reactions. During a Live broadcast viewers can express their feelings using animated Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry icons - the same reactions recently introduced into the News Feed.

The third new feature is recording and playback of Comments. People watching the replay will no longer miss Comments made during the Live broadcast.

The fourth new feature is Live Filters where one of fifth filters can be overlaid onto the video. Snapchat have a similar feature.

The fifth new feature allows viewers to invite their friends to join them whilst watching a Live video.

Sixthly (I did say there were a whole host of new features!) there’s a new dedicated place on mobile apps for Facebook Live where you can discover and search for videos. I don’t appear to have this yet on iPad in the UK but looking forward to using it soon. For broadcasters, it should mean lots more viewers. Popular Facebook Live videos will also be marked LIVE under Trending.

And finally, there a new Live Map on desktop where you can see who’s broadcasting across the world.

[RUMOUR] - Facebook have published 2 studies on their research blog - Do jobs run in families? and How strong and weak ties help you find a job. This is interesting given that Facebook are not currently in the recruitment business. Could it be that they are looking at taking on LinkedIn in this sector?

Facebook Messenger - Facebook have announced three new improvements to Messenger. Page user names will shortly be displayed beneath the Page name and customers will be able to find your business and contact you more easily using your user name. If your Page doesn’t yet have a user name, then now’s a good time to set one up. Secondly, customers can now contact you via Messenger link (m.me/username) or Messenger code (available from your Page’s inbox). Here’s my link m.me/intranetfuture my code is below. You can click the link or scan the code to start a conversation.

The third improvement named Messenger Greetings are customizable notes that appear in a new message thread before messages are sent by your business.

Twitter - Twitter have now made it easier to send a tweet via Direct Message with the addition of a Message button on all tweets. It should help to spark new conversations and develop existing ones.

Instagram - Instagram have doubled the length of time of videos you can upload from 30 seconds to 60 seconds.

Pinterest - It’s been a long time coming but having been launched in early 2014, Promoted Pins (Pinterest Ads) are being made available outside the US with the UK first in line. There’s no confirmed date yet but I would imagine it will be weeks rather than months before you’ll be able to promote your Pins.

Number of the week - My number of the week is 1 billion. Over one billion messages are sent between people and businesses on Facebook Messenger each month.

THE #SocialToday SHOW on Facebook Live will be broadcast at 8.45am on Tuesday. Follow me on Facebook and RSVP to the Event to ensure you don’t miss out!


Social Media News - 28 March 2016

Here’s my take on the latest social media news focussing on new developments on the key social networks. It’s a day later than usual following the Easter Holidays.

You can keep up to date with the latest social media news by watching THE #SocialToday SHOW on Mondays on Facebook Live - just Follow me. The social media landscape is fast shifting with changes happening every day and it can feel like a full time job to keep abreast of the latest trends and new features. So watch, ask and learn about the latest new features with tips on how small business owners plus PR and marketing people can benefit.

The latest THE #SocialToday SHOW video with my take on this week’s social media news can be viewed below:

THE #SocialToday SHOW - Tuesday 29 March 2016

My take on the latest #socialmedia news on THE #SocialToday SHOW. Comments welcome! Watch - Ask - Learn

Posted by Jonathan Pollinger on Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Oculus - The first consumer version of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset has been hand delivered by founder Palmer Luckey to Ross Martin in Alaska - watch video. Oculus was acquired by Facebook in March 2014. Consumers who pre-ordered their headset in January will start receiving them from tomorrow.

Facebook - If your uploading videos to your Facebook Page (and if you’re not you should be!) you can now see how they are performing on any particular day with the following metrics - minutes viewed, views (number of views) and 10-second views.

[RUMOUR] - It’s rumoured that new capabilities for Facebook Live will be announced at Facebook’s F8 Developers Conference in April. These will allow broadcast quality video streams through multiple cameras and other studio techniques.

In another move illustrating the importance of video Facebook has introduced a new feature called Profile Videos, which allows users to upload 7 second looping video clips as an alternative to a still profile picture. The video will play for anyone who visits your profile. It is thought that the profile videos will allow the user to show a part of their personality and add a new dimension to the profile.

Periscope - Periscope celebrated its 1st birthday on Saturday 26 March. It’s seen off Meerkat but Facebook Live is providing stiff competition and other big players are launching live streaming services.

Katch - Katch which is a great service for storing Periscope videos and is also one year old, now has a search function making it possible to search through its entire library of videos. You can view all my past THE #SocialToday SHOWs from that have I’ve filmed using Periscope at http://katch.me/intranetfuture. Since 16 March I’ve been using Facebook Live.

YouTube [RUMOUR] - Google is apparently testing a new live streaming service called YouTube Connect with the aim of taking on Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live. But with Periscope a year old and Facebook Live gaining ground is it too late to the party?

Instagram - Following the addition of a search engine to instagram.com notifications have now been added to the Instagram website. You can now view likes, new followers, mentions, comments and friends who have recently joined Instagram.

Twitter [RUMOUR] - Twitter is testing a new product called Twitter Stickers, which will let users edit their photos before and add decals and overlays to them before they are uploaded. It appears to be similar to the Twitter Camera feature, which has been available to verified users since January.

Number of the week - My number of the week is 777. Following a survey of marketing campaigns by Appboy it was found that emoji usage has rapidly increased by 777% year-over-year.

THE #SocialToday SHOW on Facebook Live video will be live again on Wednesday with a top social media tip so Follow me on Facebook and do tune in.

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