Say “Hello” to my little friend…

Financial Services Professionals LinkedIn Mobile App Update

I thought one of the greatest acquisitions by LinkedIn was in 2014 when they brought Connected into their suite of products. Since then, I’ve been reminding every financial services professional I encounter to download the separate Connected app to their iPhone/Android as a quick and easy way to stay in touch with their LinkedIn connections. Why would I do this when there was already a main LinkedIn mobile app? Well, to be honest, it kind of sucked…and this separate app was great for us in the relationship business.

Then they heard our cries…

Well, LinkedIn heard our battle cries and redesigned their mobile app. When you have million of users wanting something, you listen! So effective March 21, 2016, they will be retiring the standalone LinkedIn Connected app. Everything you need will be found in the newly redesigned LinkedIn app. Go ahead and delete it today because the new and improved LinkedIn mobile app is pretty freaking awesome!

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So, Sheryl, where are my contacts now?

With the new LinkedIn mobile app, you’ll find all of your contacts under “My Network”. Here, you’ll see work anniversaries, new positions, birthdays, etc. With a tap of your finger, you’ll be able to reach out quickly and congratulate your connections on any changes going on in their professional lives. And yes, you can customize those messages, which you couldn’t do previously on the old app.

While in there, you’ll also be able to add people and search for current connections; all within one application versus several standalone products. The LinkedIn Help Center is a click away for any specific questions too. Simply go to https://help.linkedin.com and look for anything which might be eating at you!

Change is good for everyone even if it’s a little uncomfortable at first. The social media networks do listen to our needs and build/rebuild products to more closely answer the challenges we face. This application change is an example of crowd-sourcing requests at its finest.

If you have any questions about this or any other social media-related needs, feel free to reach out and ask. We are all in this together!

Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today!

Sheryl Brown | @BIONICsocialite

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Beginner’s Guide to Messaging: We’re all doing it, right?

message in a bottleWhen I’m not on the road spreading the good word of social media and financial services, then you can find me sweating behind the handle bars of a fake bike listening to awesome music. I love to spin.  Fortunately, I work with several people who also enjoy spinning.

As I was walking to get some water, I stopped by a co-workers’s cube and asked her if she was going to spin on Saturday.  She wasn’t sure and said, “I will message you on Facebook and let you know.”  I nodded my headed, took a few steps to the water cooler and then thought, “How many people did this today?

Messaging has become a relevant verb in our daily lives.  Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and even Pinterest all have messaging features that allow people to communicate privately from the masses.  So why not just email someone?  Or text them?  And how many people are actually doing this?  So, let’s discuss.

Why not just email someone?  Let me ask you a question:  do you like receiving or sending email?  Didn’t think so.  Email has a lot of “baggage” that is just not attractive anymore.  Lifehacker.com had a great article a year ago that talked about the different messaging apps and why people are attracted to them.  You can find that piece here.

Messaging apps clean it all up and force users to get to the point (many of them limit your character space), they make use other apps like Dropbox for attachments and you can do it all within your favorite social networking platform so you don’t have to leave one to go to another.  Efficient!

It’s important that financial service organizations recognize this trend and adapt.  Many of the archiving and retention platforms like Smarsh, Actiance and Hearsay have already started and allow you to track these conversations compliantly by registering your accounts through their dashboard.

Why not text someone?  Well, you could but that’s a separate application on your phone.  People want to stay in the app that they are currently in and really do see email, text, message, etc.as unified communication methods that transcend one another.  Compliance officers though…not so much that they agree with this thinking!  They want everything SEPARATED!

Appending to my last point about email, archiving and retention platforms cannot track text messages.  For that reason, many registered reps will see in their communication guidelines that text messaging is not allowed for business.  This is where messaging apps could be  more helpful. By keeping your messages on a monitored and controlled social networking platform like LinkedIn connected to Smarsh (or any variation of this) could serve you very well and even replace a large part of your texting.

How many people are messaging?  In a word…LOTS!  MarketingProfs just shared an article on the topic where Ayaz Nanji wrote about the data compiled by Flurry.  These apps are being used more often than any other on the smartphone and their retention is supreme.  [In other words, we think messaging apps are awesome and are going to keep using them!]

I think messaging apps are going to be the way of communication more often chosen by financial service professionals in the coming months.  They are easy-to-use and we just need to get more monitoring around them so compliance feels comfortable about those isolated conversations.  The apps themselves are definitely not going away though.

What are your favorite apps?  Do you enjoy messaging?  What do you like or not like about it?  I encourage you to share in the comments below or reach out on social media and let us know.

Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today!

Sheryl Brown / @BIONICsocialite

#RANT: Don’t you ever do this!

Rant Rant RantLast week was my birthday!  I turned 44 years old and was amazed by how many people reached out on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to wish me incredible blessings in the coming years.  Thank you to all who made my day –  I was honored!

Through all these incredible blessings received….you guessed it.  I received the below message and immediately wanted to make sure you knew….Don’t you ever do this!  Incoming #RANT!

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You see, Terry and I have never met.  This was someone who requested a connection on LinkedIn.  I accepted as she is connected to one other person I know well, so I thought I would check it out and see if we had anything in common, except the only two messages she has sent me is about her business.  Not once has she tried to get to know me (remember SHE friend requested ME on LinkedIn, not the other way around).  Who does this?

The operative word in the term “social media’ is social.  This is where you chat and get to know people.  Do you think this person would walk into a dinner, meet someone for the first time and say, “Contact us for a free 15 min consultation for career coaching!“?  If she did do that, wouldn’t you walk away and think, “Weirdo!”   So why do people think this is OK to do on anyone’s LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook?  It’s not ok!

Please, don’t ever do this!  For goodness sake, be human!  Get to know people and once you’ve developed a base in that relationship, then you have the ground to stand on to talk about your business.  No one should ever just go in and start selling you – that just feels slimy and is a huge turnoff.

If you have questions on ways you can reach out to new folks – ask me.  I’m more than happy to help you get your foot in the door with people.  The above message is most certainly NOT the way to do it.

Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today!

Sheryl Brown / @BIONICsocialite