25 January 2013

ReTweet Etiquette

We all know retweets (RTs) are vital for spreading your message on Twitter. But there are rules of engagement or etiquette which many are unaware of. Do bear in mind that retweeting has its own etiquette or way in which things should be handled.  Observe these rules and see if you get more of an audience.

Golden RT Etiquette

  • Always thank those who retweet you, give credit.
  • Be reciprocal.  Always retweet a tweet from the tweeb who retweeted you. 
  • Do not retweet your retweeted tweets.
  • Do not retweet someone who is complimenting you, if you can resist.

How To Get Retweeted In The First Place

  • Provide valuable content to your followers.
  • Dont make it about yourself.
  • Promote others and their conversations.
  • Ask for retweets.  "Please Retweet" not "Pls RT".
  • Add a link to your tweet.
  • Use hashtags, one is OK, two are better. 
  • The best day for getting retweets is Friday, this drops off sharply during the weekend and rises during the week days.
  • The ideal time for retweets is noon to two o'clock in whatever time zone the majority of your audience are found in.
The idea for this post as kindly suggested by Rebecca @scarberryfields.  If you have an idea for a post that you would like to see or if you have a query just write a comment below.
Regards, Chris

6 January 2013

Customer Satisfaction And Social Media

What do you do when your complaint doesn't get heard?
We all know that social media is a great tool to use if you have a complaint about a product or a service.  It is easy to companies to monitor any negative remarks about their brand with tools as basic as Google Alerts.  But what happens when you are ignored and you know that the problem you are having is being experienced by many others?

In my case, I had an issue with my car before Christmas.  My car was 4 years and 10 months with 95,000 miles (155,000 km) on the clock.  My car let me down and let me down badly.   It was a premium brand car, a BMW to be exact.  The engine had developed a serious fault which lead to the partial destruction of the engine.  Again I wasn't expecting this from a premium brand car less than 5 years old or am I being niave.  I have to mention that this repair cost me $4,160 (€3,200) while the car originally cost approx. $64,000 (€49,000) so you can imagine my annoyance.  I paid for a repair which every other diesel powered BMW was having.

On the advice of a friend I trawled a number of BMW car forums and found that this was a common enough fault on 1 series, 3 series and 5 series diesel BMWs with the N47 engine built between March 2007 and May 2010.   I put this to my local BMW dealer but they didn't want to know.  I even found and internal document which highlighted the problem, do Google PUMA 13588845-03.  This I put to BMW Germany but they insisted that it had to be dealt with through the local BMW dealer.

I posted my story on a national consumer discussion board.  There I was contacted by someone who was running a petition to have the cars recalled.  He was looking for signatories who all had the same problem.  This petition was run through AVAAZ.org, the link was
I shared this petition with my Facebook friends.
I joined the BMW group on LinkedIn, but my comments were never published. 
I am in the process of writing to "BMW Car" magazine in the UK. They are known for airing the views of annoyed car enthusiasts.
As you can see I'm writing a blog post to register my annoyance. 

Have you had an experience like this?  What did you do to get it resolved?  Please comment below.
Should big brands be allowed to get away with this kind of behavior? 

The Problem of the N47 Engine
Since over a year it has been known that the timing chain in N47 engine fails.  Some mechanics put it down to the sprocket that drives the chain, others to the lack of chain guides.  Either way when the timing chain fails the engine becomes damaged.  If the chain breaks while travelling on the highway, the engine will be completely destroyed and will require replacement.  In my case this happens during city driving and resulted in the cam shaft and rockers needing to be replaced.  Nonetheless the engine needs to be removed, stripped and reinstalled.  My car was just shy of 100,000 miles when this happened but other cars with the N47 engine have had this happen at 50,000 miles. 
If you have a car with an N47 engine you should be very worried.

4 January 2013

Recent Changes to Linkedin

We all know that the LinkedIn profile pages changed dramatically in mid December.  I drive a lot of traffic from LinkedIn to my blog via the website/blog links under the "contact info" section.  It wasn't until during the holidays that I noticed that these links were broken.  They had disappeared for no reason.  A quick email to the LinkedIn helpdesk did get it sorted.  But this prompted me to write this post on the recent changes to LinkedIn.

What's New On LinkedIn
  1. The biggest change to the LinkedIn profile page has to be the "endorsements" under your "skills & expertise" section.  There is an argument raging at the moment that you shouldn't endorse anyone unless you have worked with them, but this isn't happening.  You will be endorsed by complete strangers who will expect if not hope for a reciprocal endorsement.  No one yet knows the advantage of having high number of endorsement for your skills but many seem to think that giving skills endorsements is a great way to backlink. The jury is still out on this.  Either way an endorsement will never out triumph a "recommendation".  I know its not something we are all used to doing but push to make at least 10 recommendations on your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Your "Activity Feed" is now front and centre under your LinkedIn business card.  Personally I preferred the long feed down the right hand side but hey.
  3. Your "profile strength" is now represented by now full a circle is on the mid right hand side. Realistically your profile strength seems to be a function of the number of connections you have as well as how complete your profile is.
  4. "Your network" is a series of circles around a centre circle.  Its an interesting app that highlights where the core of your connection lie be it by company, school, location or industry.  You could use this as a compass to ensure that your contacts are concentrated and have a core or you could aim for an even spread, depending on your connection strategy.
  5. You can now follow "companies" and your industry sector "news".  These are displayed at the end of your profile page.  If nothing else it shows there your interests lie.  I wonder where they got this idea from?  But I just noticed these are not listed on your public LinkedIn page.
  6. And of course you have a bigger profile picture.  So make sure you have one. Remember company logos wont do as people connect with people and other want to know that you are a real person.
  7. One thing I don't like if that is more difficult to get an overview of your connections contacts.  This makes connecting to fringes of your network more difficult in my opinion.

What's Disappeared From LinkedIn
  1. If you haven't noticed, all the applications bar the SlideShare application are now gone.
  2. What I miss most was the BlogLink which listed my latest blog posts on my LinkedIn profile page. To get around this I now list my blog title with a link under the new "Publications" section, after all it is an online publication.
  3. The other application which I previously used was "Reading List".  I have not heard anyone lament the loss of their favourite book list.  But if you do, consider listing your "reading list"  in a SlideShare presentation or linking the list on your website or blog to "Publications".  Under "edit profile" you can also add a link to your reading list for more importantly any supporting sales documents.

A Quick Note On Your SlideShare Presentation
I was always under the impression that a good SlideShare presentation was the perfect place to give your reader a snippet of your skill and expertise.  But I beg to differ.  The best SlideShare presentations which I have seen on Linkedin profile are ones that walk your ideal customer through your sales process.  By the time they have gone through the presentation they will know exactly what you will be doing for them and how the process works.  This removes all ambiguity and barriers to doing business.
One other important thing which I recently noticed on someone else's SlideShare presentation was that you can include an opt-in page into the middle of this.  Perfect for capturing the details of your prospective client.

You will find my LinkedIn profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/chrislentzy
Feel free to LinkIn. 
Do let me know what you think of the current LinkedIn changes by commenting below.