There are lots of rumblings these days about the future of Twitter! Listen as our three podcasters consider the possibilities about where the tweeps will go. A friendly, humourous and balanced discussion with lots of different viewpoints about a topic that is pressing and relevant... especially for anyone wondering what to do with their Twitter account!
About our podcasters:
Marc W. Halpert
Managing Partner, connect2collaborate
Marc is a LinkedIn coach to individuals, outsourced trainer to groups and firms, in all cases sensitive to my clients’ need to give themselves permission to tell why they do what they do, how they are amazing-er than the competition, to enhance their marketing strategy and more readily earn incremental business.
Garry J. Wise
Senior Counsel, Wise Law Office
Garry Wise is a Toronto employment and litigation lawyer. He launched Wise Law Blog in 2005 and was among North America’s earliest, trailblazing law bloggers.
Garry was inducted into the Canadian Law Blogs (CLAWBIES) Hall of Fame in 2017.
Garry continues to maintain an active presence on social media platforms with daily updates on legal news and information.
Practice Management Coach, Bekhor Management
Sandra is a business coach to small to mid-sized professional practices. Many lawyers, architects, consultants and other professionals get to a point in their career where they feel like a passenger in their own business. Together, we develop strategic practice management tactics to get them back in the driver’s seat.
You're listening to Get in the Driver’s Seat! We’re telling stories about leadership moments in small to mid-sized professional practices. I’m your host, Sandra Bekhor, Practice Management Coach for lawyers, architects, consultants and other professionals at Bekhor Management.
You earlier alluded to your start at LinkedIn by talking about your Rolodex and my immediate reaction was do we need to translate what that means for for a youthful audience?
Do you want me to define it? I'd be happy to.
You may not know. It's something that was this big that actually does everything that your contacts do on your iPhone.
I had three of them. I had one that was the best buddies Rolodex. I had the middle buddies Rolodex. And I had the one that if I threw away those cards I forget them forever, but I just needed to keep them.
I'm Sandra Bekhor. I'm a coach and a consultant to small to mid-sized professional practices. Many lawyers, architects and other professionals get to the points in their business where they feel like a passenger on their own bus. What we do is we work together to develop strategic practice management tactics to get them back in the driver's seat.
Hi I'm Garry Wise. I've been a Toronto employment and litigation lawyer since 1986. I launched Wise Law Blog in 2005 and was among North America's earliest law bloggers. I was inducted into the Canadian Law Blogs (CLAWBIES) Hall of Fame in 2017. I continue to maintain an active presence on social media with daily updates on legal news information on various platforms including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
I am Marc W. Halpert, a LinkedIn coach to individuals, outsourced trainer to groups and firms, in all cases sensitive to my clients’ need to give themselves permission to tell why they do what they do. My name is Marc Halpert.
What a power trio we are!
So we're gonna be talking about something that is kind of hot off the press! Just over the past few weeks there have been a lot of rumblings on social media about people abandoning Twitter because of the Elon Musk purchase. We're going to be talking about this kind of like the good old days of blogging where you talk about something right hot off the press and say okay well where do we think this is going to go? What's going to happen? But part of our discussion isn't just about Twitter, it's also about what happens to other social sites and are there similar issues happening with any of them? We're particularly interested in LinkedIn of course. So why don't we kick it off with some musings from Garry? You do a lot of political writing. What do you think about this? All of this noise that's happening about Twitter?
Well, it's a work in progress right now. First of all. So, we're watching it evolve in real time. Twitter has some emerging issues that I'll touch on briefly. But they're a reflection of the chasms in American political culture right now. We're seeing the divide between left and right, information versus disinformation. A lot of questions around the filters that maybe ought to be there, around inappropriate and offensive content with the countervailing view from some that really tends more in the direction of a Libertarian, radical freedom of speech where nothing should be stifled and shut down. While this is a really interesting discussion and debate among users, what's really happening in the background is far more interesting. As Twitter becomes questionable or even a toxic environment through the lens of some advertisers, they
are shying away. and I read yesterday, that I think up to 50 percent of the advertising revenue at Twitter has now been at least halted temporarily, possibly permanently.
There's discussion about whether, if the content issues continue to be difficult, the Apple Store is going to even carry the app for Twitter. All of these things could at the very least be existential problems for Twitter. But for professionals who are using Twitter we are beginning to have I think the same questions the advertising executives are having. Is this a place where we want to be seen? Is this something that's consistent with our brand values? Is all the noise a distraction from the professional and informational content that we're looking to share? In my view
that sets the stage for what's happening as it's happening. I can say just from my own observations from day to day, today this is increasingly where people are doing their farewell posts. People are saying goodbye Twitter! It's been great. You've been wonderful. I'm going to miss you so much. And then they're moving on to other sites including emerging sites.
One called Post that seems to be gaining a lot of traction. Another called Mastodon that I signed up for. But I'm finding it kind of impenetrable in terms of understanding how to navigate it and the need hasn't arisen yet to figure it out. But I'm seeing a lot of people talking about those sites. Time will tell where it goes. I'm kind of in watch and see mode myself right now. If nothing else, it's really an interesting dance that's going on. But I don't know where it's going to lead.
those are all interesting points Garry. I'm on Post. I just joined Post actually. Yesterday, I set up an ID. I have my blog posts. I blog every weekday morning. My blog posts are going to start appearing on Post. I tried to get onto Mastodon. I could not noodle through which server on Mastodon would accommodate me. I thought I found one but it rejected me and I don't take rejection well. So I decided okay the heck with Mastodon. I'm going on I suppose.
It has a dedicated site for Canada.
Oh okay. Well they don't have one for the US North coaches. So I couldn't figure out where to make it go. I thought I found one and I put it up on my company name. But it was on the server that only takes individuals. So that's why I got booted out. I'm learning as I go. But I'm finding on Post that a lot of the people I normally followed already are on Post and stay on Twitter at the same time. Now, I'm the same way. I blog every day and my blog automatically updates LinkedIn, Facebook, my company page as well as Twitter. But all of a sudden I realized that I'm gonna stop pulling back from Twitter and see if anybody misses me. No one misses me. It's like the boy who cried wolf.
Sandra, have you checked out Post yet or any of these sites?
I did. I took a look at them. I have not joined them. I'm reluctant to join them. I'm reminded at every turn this is not the first time we face one of these you know times where there's possibly a big change happening in our marketing environment. I'm reminded at every turn where I went kicking and screaming into a new thing. I didn't want to be on social. I didn't want to be blogging. so I make my choices very carefully because I know it's going to take a lot of my time. If LinkedIn is going to survive this next round of shake up, I'm happy. I'm happy on LinkedIn. I don't need a second important site in my arsenal.
To your point, it depends upon the market that you're aiming at. All right. So we're all aiming at a corporate market. I think that's pretty fair to say. If you're aiming at a corporate market, Facebook's not the place. Twitter might have been the place. But if
Twitter is going to eclipse or go away or just become a piece of its old self, then I think what I'm seeing changing on LinkedIn recently is going to pick up that slack, obviously.
What are those changes that you've seen?
I think there's a lot more communication capability on LinkedIn that's being added. You can now video chat on LinkedIn, like we're doing right now on Zoom. So it's maybe a substitute for Zoom. You can bring all sorts of people together in a conversation in ways you couldn't do before. There are all sorts of changes, like 10 a day going on right now on LinkedIn. I think what they're finding is what Microsoft, the owner of LinkedIn, is finding that there's a reason to make this huge investment, that it may pay off and it's finally come to roost. So they're making lots and lots of changes.
The algorithm has changed dramatically since November. But daily this thing is changing. A lot of smart people in Europe are playing games with the algorithm to see what makes your post resonate to the most people. All the old rules are changing back to the old way we used to be about a year ago. So we don't know everything. I think what we need to do is accept the fact that Twitter may be taking a bit of a halt and allocate our energy and our intellectual capability to attract more professional eyes and minds in the place where eyes and minds go. Even the press is now looking more towards LinkedIn than it ever was before, because it's the substitute for Twitter. I hope I'm right.
I would like to distinguish between programming capability and culture. We all know that LinkedIn has amazing capability and they keep adding, as you just rightly pointed out Mark, you're the guy who knows. You know what's coming on LinkedIn. You really understand the offering. But as we've discussed before, there's a culture every one of these social media sites has. I've been seeing a lot lately about how people actually hate LinkedIn and that's very strong language. I'm seeing lots of articles 'I hate LinkedIn', here's why. There's lots of people joining in on that. From what I've been seeing a lot of that is coming from new grads, millennials. They just don't want to get on board. They're not playing the game. I don't know how much of it is coming from people who are more our generation, who are settled into their careers, using this to build partnerships and continue to grow. But I wonder if that means that LinkedIn is not a good fit for these people who are leaving. What do you guys think?
I'm one of these people who's on LinkedIn, but I haven't really warmed up to it the way that you and Marc have, Sandra. I'm there, but I don't see it as being vital to my outreach. I've always said to people about what social media activities they should or shouldn't be doing, first and foremost do something you enjoy. If you're on a platform that you really like that has a lot to offer, you're probably going to want to be there. You'll participate more and it'll be a better fit for your practice and for your marketing. if that's one of your one of your intentions.
Twitter, I think, because of my particular interests which are everything from politics to sports to music to legal issues to health issues, Twitter was always just a great potpourri of all of those interests. To the point where I think that there's almost a desensitization that comes from reading horrific news in one post followed up by a cute dog photo and then followed up by another horrific flood somewhere and then followed up by oh Springsteen's on Howard Stern, let me watch that. There's a certain rhythm that gets into reading these things, where you're taking it all in, but not taking any of it in. But having said that, while you're there and while it lasts, it's a really interesting place to be. But I don't want to encounter toxicity and I certainly don't want to be encountering trolls. To the extent that Twitter may be going in that direction it's not a great thing. Like you, Marc, I've tested Post just by observing. I haven't posted anything there yet. But the culture seems to be more tame. The information is very similar. There aren't enough people there to cover all of the topics I'm looking to cover. But I'm finding it to be a pretty easy gravitation away from Twitter toward that if that's where we go. But if LinkedIn resonates with you as a person who wants to be on social media, then that's the place to be. I'm curious, Marc, we haven't spoken before about your presence elsewhere. I know Sandra's been on all the sites and she's had an extensive blog as well for a long time. Why did the two of you land on LinkedIn as being the optimal site to focus on?
Oh man there's a good story. All right, so back in 2000 I had left corporate America and I took my Rolodex with me. Then in 2007 everything fell apart. I mean the economy. Then the bust and the bubble and all that. People started moving around
and I couldn't keep track of everybody. A friend of mine who I met in 2000 said to me hey remember that time I told you about LinkedIn? Well now it's 2007, why don't you grow up a little bit and why don't you join this thing, which isn't really booming? He was a perfect example. I met him in 2000. He had three jobs, between 2000 and
07 and he had three different email addresses, three different addresses, three different phone numbers. We didn't really do cell phones as much as we do right now. So I said you know what you're an example of why I need to keep touch with the really great people that have been in my life, who no matter where they go in their career. So that's why I got involved with it.
Sandra, why don't you talk about why you gravitated to LinkedIn? I want to come back and answer something that Sandra said about toxicity and about people changing away from LinkedIn, being sick of LinkedIn. So go ahead.
Yeah and I'm with you Marc, I want to talk about that too afterwards because it deserves conversation, the other side of that. I will talk about what brought me to LinkedIn. But I also want to say just to preface the second discussion, I know what people don't like about LinkedIn and I don't actually share it. I'm still happy on the site and we'll talk about that at length later. What brought me to it, I still remember actually. Maybe I'm dating myself. But I still remember when I would get these invitations from very close friends. So it's not like spammy invitations. Join my network on LinkedIn. I would ignore them. I was like don't give me one more new thing to do. So at that time, still getting off the ground, I guess I saw it as a resume site and it wasn't applicable to me. At some point, I started to hear more buzz and I thought okay well let me investigate. I got into it and I started to realize that they had amassed enough people that it became almost like an everyday trade show. So the opportunity was there for the taking. You make of it what you will. If you show up, you can turn it into something and if you don't show up well that's on you. So I have found it to be a terrific tool and I don't just mean what happens in public.
The stuff that you see on the feed. I also mean the engine behind the scenes, being able to message people, being able to build stronger relationships with people who you don't even necessarily feel close enough to send an email to. I saw your post and doing a private messaging thing. There are so many things that you can do on LinkedIn to bolster your business simply because your market is there.
You make a good point. Garry, to your point about how there's a potpourri on Twitter of just about anything, I am seeing that on LinkedIn. The research on the algorithm is saying the more personal stuff you put on LinkedIn, the more you're gonna get reach and that is a that's a sea change. That's a really big change. So I have a friend in New York and she posts about her grandchild, she posts about observations she has while walking in the woods. She's posting really deep, interesting stuff. Not like I was really happy to talk at a conference, here or there. I mean yeah we all do that. Okay it's important to say that we're active. But it's really important to get us out from under the shell that we have in business. We're real people and if ever there was a time for us to express our differentiators, it is now.
My answer to that is go back to your goals. So if your goal is I want to be able to reach my target audience for my referral network, find out where they are. If they happen to be on LinkedIn, okay well what's stopping you from using LinkedIn differently? What's stopping you from coming up with a better strategy? If everybody is doing this oh look at my last award and look at my last article, well if you do something better, aren't you going to pop? Actually isn't it good for you that the people in your feed aren't using it as well as you are? You're the one that's gonna rise. So it's an opportunity.
The other thing I want to tie to this is, you were saying Marc, that you noticed a culture shift where people are being a little bit more open-hearted, a little more vulnerable in their posts and I have seen that too. Garry, you're going to be able to expand on this. I've seen a couple of lawyers sharing very touching and disturbing stories actually about how they were mistreated at their previous jobs. They don't mention names, so it's not like they're bad-mouthing someone in particular. But they are telling a very raw story about how somebody mistreated them in a professional environment where they really didn't expect it. They're they're talking about mental health issues, they're talking about work-life balance. Somebody posts about I'm gonna be pregnant, now I'm having twins. I don't know what to do. I'm running a practice and the comments, I mean these people are getting tons of comments, genuine discussion. When we talk about engagement in marketing, that's engagement.
That's the perfect segue to take us full circle back to where we started because when we started this we were talking about how the three of us decided to have a conversation about what do the Twitter users do if they're feeling upset about all the changes happening with the Elon Musk purchase. Do they go somewhere else? Do they stick around? Is it going to tarnish their reputations? Do they go to LinkedIn and do people on LinkedIn have similar issues? We just had this wonderful discussion. It would be sort of a nice way to close off if each of us has something to say about what do we recommend for any viewers who are wondering about change because essentially that's what we're talking about. We're talking about changes to the business environment that impact your marketing. All three of us have gone through many rounds of change, maybe not inspired by political things like this one. But still change. We have navigated it successfully. Maybe each of us could give one tip. What would you suggest for people contemplating change? Throw it back to you Marc?
If you're contemplating change and whatever the net result is of what you look like after that change, you have to take a sort of out of body approach and say would I buy from me if I didn't know me? Would I want to contact me on my new revised LinkedIn profile that demonstrates the change I've been through, whether it's the pandemic or it's you've changed your career, you've changed your industry? Would I be interested in me if I didn't know me? If the answer is no, you have some explaining to do. You gotta go back to the well and recreate it. If your answer is it's good, but it could be better, that's the dilemma all of us have. You're changing, you're morphing all the time. Keep your profile up to date with where your head is at and where your business is. So that's the advice I would give, two things. One is be as fascinating as you are in real life as you read on LinkedIn and be sure that you're keeping it up to date with all the changes you're undergoing.
Start somewhere to to use a phrase that Sandra uses quite a bit, to just start somewhere. While I agree with you a hundred percent that the more planning you do, the better, I almost feel in some ways like the intensive planning should happen in year two not year one of a program because planning out a whole strategy when you've never put a real post up or a series of posts up that set out what you want, that's difficult. Start somewhere. Start with what you enjoy. Marc, if it's what you're suggesting, which is start commenting in a real way so that you're adding value to an existing post or starting your own. Sandra, your perspective is make sure you put yourself into it and it's real as well as being planned out and not necessarily flying by the seat of your pants. For me, it's like okay I've been doing it for a long time, some stuff works, some stuff doesn't work. But I enjoy the space. It's just fun to participate in it. The one thing I can say with certainty is all three of us are having fun doing this.
Isn't this fun? We had just a great afternoon here. This is great, a great meeting of minds if I could say that and we gotta cut it off because it's got to end at some point otherwise we'll talk all evening and then into the night. We'll do more.
I'm going to look for my Rolodex. See if I still have one.
Mine are long gone.
Thank you very much to our listeners who joined us. Thank you so much and hope to see you again, Mark. Sandra, I'll probably see you soon.
Thanks you guys for spending some time with me. I really enjoyed it.