Monthly Archives: June 2011

UnLink! How to remove members from your LinkedIn network


You see that invitation from a “competitor” hanging there in your inbox. You’re pretty sure they are there only to grab your network connections and recruit you but, in an effort to do the same to them first, you click on the button allowing them to join your network and see your connections. Literally within 24 hours you begin receiving the recruiting messages through LinkedIn from them.

Since you are already familiar with the person you can simply ignore them. But what if they are a sales person for a company like, say, Northwest Financial and they pay you a visit then suddenly all of your friends on LinkedIn say, “Who is this guy from Northwest that says you referred him to me?”

It happened. Twice. The first guy finishes his pitch with me then whips out a print-out of my LinkedIn contacts and starts asking if I know these people. Aggressive guerrilla marketing. I like it when I am teaching it or doing it. Sometimes it feels a little invasive when it happens to me. So I offered the kid a job. Then I removed him from my network so he could no longer see my connections.

Removing contacts from your network really is simple. You just need to know where to look. Follow these 4 images and you’ll be trimming and culling in seconds flat.

Click on the “Connections” tab

Click on the “Remove Connections” link

The psychology of begging for comments

You’ve seen them. It’s those posts that say, “Please leave your comment your input is crucial to my life.” Those are the blatant ones almost anyone can recognize. There is another, too. The more covert approach is to write a post, even a tweet, designed with the sole purpose of provoking a response. Today we look at these.


Acceptance on and offline - same

“I like yellow. What is your favorite color?”

There is a belief, by a few, it is better to receive comments – thus placating the lack of personal esteem – than to deliver quality content. This stems from a general feeling of inadequacy or low self-respect. More often than not these are the same people who comment on other’s posts with vague relevance to the actual content. Is this a problem? Not for us, but certainly it is a great indication of the psychological condition of the person. Perhaps even a plea for help not just a cry for acceptance.

“I went to the Astros game and had a hot dog. Do you like chili or sauerkraut on your dogs?”

Certainly this approach works better than, “Will you please leave a comment so I can at least have the impression you respect me enough to comment on something I write?” In the end it really is the same technique. Is it bad? Probably not. This is, after all, social media and the same behavior happens in society. We all have that friend who sends out 100 invitations to their own birthday party, orders their own cake, hires the caterer and even has an open bar. Score. We need more friends like that!

Do these types of posts pleading for comments do any good?

Klout and vacation effect

I did it. I took a full week vacation with my wife. Ten days to be exact. Although I took measures to make sure I was staying active in social media there was a failure especially with Garious. Either way the experiment was a success and a couple of tools helped me recognize the impact of being unwired for ten days.

Klout vacation impact

Klout vacation impact

When I left home on the 8th day of June my Empire Avenue stock was valued over 60. Upon my return I tracked the largest number of sales since I began and my value had fallen to 48. Sure, it’s “just a game”. Oddly this game gives some of the best real-time tracking of influence and activity of any other free tool on the web.

More importantly, perhaps, was the very obvious drop in my Klout report. The image says a lot. What it says is if you do not stay active and regular you will see a negative change in your engagement scores which are, at least to some degree, accurate reflections of your social impact.

How to avoid and compensate

My intention was to have scheduled blog posts and a few automated tweets to keep others engaged and to check my streams when I had connectivity. In fact I purchased a Xoom just for this purpose. Unfortunately, or in the case of vacation, cell service is somewhat spotty in the mountains of Alaska once you get about 50 miles out of populated areas.

Successful selling in the social space

It almost sounds like a dichotomy. Selling and social are often regarded as polar opposites. For the truly successful brands they know social, marketing and selling all work together. Although I may change the word selling for the word buying but the title would not be as easily understood.

Success doesn't really live on a whiteboard

Let me clarify the use of the word buying versus the word selling. Old school sales training usually included the phrases, “stop selling when they start buying”, “if you’re still selling they aren’t yet buying”, “you can’t take any orders while you’re selling”, and other equally termed phrases. So to say “social selling” really could have a negative connotation while “social buying” does not. We can thank, in part, Tupperware and Mary Kay Ash for introducing us to the in-home sales party.

Today’s social environment can change with the wind. In the morning everyone can be energized by the previous night’s Idol finale and by afternoon be outraged over the invasion of one country by another. Gone are the days of isolated pockets of information and reverberation and welcome the Jungian collective consciousness at the speed of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, EmpireAvenue, and the list grows on.

There is a psychology and a science to being a transactional force in the social space. We know this from years of experience beginning in the 80′s en mass, with what is now universally referred to as “spam”. It is called spam because, like the product it is named for, it does not contain exactly what you were expecting. In the early days the online community was brutal. If a member posted their email address or contact information (there were no websites at the time) in a forum of any kind other than porn and dating they were instantly hailed upon with great verbal force and generally suspended (kicked) or banned by the SysOp for that group never to be allowed to participate again.

The social space was much smaller and tighter knit in those days. As BBS and CompuServe gave way to IRC, Prodigy and AOL things began to change. The runup to the blossoming of the World Wide Web in the mid 90′s was an amazing explosion to experience. During these times spam became UCE, Unsolicited Commercial Email, and spammers went to court and even jail for wire fraud and other charges of evil doing. It was all a part of the growth process which we are still in the very earliest pioneering of. We’re still an embryo.

Today, 2011, I can touch millions of people from a device that fits in my pocket and downloads data as quickly as my home PC … which I unplugged over two years ago. I can create content, just like this article, and host online video conferences without any wires connected to any devices. We can all turn on our video feed and have a live conference with audio and video for pennies – something which once carried a price-tag unreachable by even some mid-sized businesses and was out of the question for small businesses.

Now we have Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, LinkedIn, and have recently added EmpireAvenue to the mix. The social space is expanding at a speed before unknown in the growth of any movement or organization. You can announce a tweetup in 4 hours at a local restaurant in almost any city of size and have a dozen or more people show up. You can announce a free concert by a local favorite band and 24 hours later sell it out. You can post a video of a cat hugging a kitten and in 24 hours it will have been viewed by over 1,000,000 people. That’s million in the event you are numerically challenged.

So what are some of the important points of selling in the social space?

Social marketing points for BlockBuster

Using automated social engagement without creating noise?

Calling me an avid FourSquare user would not be accurate but I do check-in several times a week of late. I don’t really go that many “cool” places so my check-ins are like the grocery store, the bank, getting a hair cut, work, and the gas station. Which, in my case, generally means the QuickTrip around the corner from my home.

With the Georgia sun beating down and the temperature near triple digits today I decided I wanted a fountain Coke Zero. Oh, I had one in the can in the fridge but there is something about that highly carbonated water and syrup mixture the can just does not quite capture. So, off I went to the store and decided to check-in on FourSquare while there in hopes of, just maybe, reclaiming the mayorship. See, I’m not the only sad-sack because someone else is actually the mayor of my QT. At one time it was my friend Kathy Drewien but she abdicated.

When I returned home I heard Tweetcaster notifying me through my Evo of a new tweet. Logging on to the web version I found the tweet you see to the right. Now while I was at QT I noticed the Blockbuster video box on the sidewalk out front. There it was all neatly tucked next to the cases of bottled water. Almost, I say almost, I took a photo of it to go into my FourSquare check-in. Alas, I opted for the wall sign.


BlockBuster #winning in Social Media?

The tweet was from Blockbuster. I had posted my check-in to Twitter, not to Facebook, and Blockbuster had left me the response you see in the graphic.