Taking it on one spoonful at a time!

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5 Things I love about the new LinkedIn set up

linkedinIf you haven’t seen it yet, LinkedIn has a brand new look! The new layout is closer to what we are accustomed to seeing in our use of sites like Facebook and Twitter. The old layout was what I would consider choppy and a bit distracting.  Ad’s and suggestions consumed a large portion of the pages and quite frankly derailed a users focus to the point of coming up for air an hour later wondering what it is you came for and what you actually accomplished.

The new layout makes visual sense and seemingly has a much better flow.  The annoying ads and suggested contacts are now in one place.  Now I come and actually achieve what I set out to get done.   Five of the the new layout features that I really like include:

  • “Always on top” Navigational menu at the top menu bar.  This menu doesn’t disappear if you cease to hover over it and sub menus don’t just pop up.
  • Improved navigational set up making it easier to see and search your network.
  • Clear count of your connections.  The old layout of the network connections page didn’t list how many connections you had not to mention you had to keep turning the page for the next 10 people.  The new layout is a continuous scrolling list that make it easy to find someone, message them or disconnect from them.
  • The job list for the companies you follow and for the preferences you set up are easy to see, change and save.  Also, the “Post a job” feature is in a place where it finally makes sense.
  • All of the notifications are easy to see, respond to when YOU want to respond to them instead of taking up real estate on the side bar of your profile page.

Long story short is that I approve of the new layout.  I find it easy to navigate around and it is inviting.  It takes your mind off the choppiness of the layout and puts it on finding what you came for.  Bravo LinkedIn.  It’s about time you caught up with the times.


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GiftasticThere are some people on twitter who are animation power users.  Every Tweet and blog that get published include fun little snippets of animation that skyrocket their commentary and catch the eye of everyone in cyberspace who follows.  It’s a tactic that gets much attention and draws readers to follow, share and comment on.  If you’ve wondered how they insert those humorous and poignant animated snippets, wonder no more!

GIF’s are a relatively new feature on Twitter for 2016 that most assuredly catches the attention of many.  To some, these have always just been a picture file type that have their use in certain situations but mostly get ignored.  Not anymore.


Now, whenever you’re composing a Tweet or Direct Message, you can search and browse the GIF library. If you’re looking for the perfect OMG or funny dance move to express exactly how you feel, just click the new GIF button. You can then search by keyword, or categories of reactions or whatever is appropriate.  The returned grouping leaves nothing out and gives you many options that will give your tweets the perfect touch.  If you have been looking for a new way to reach out and engage with your followers or attract new ones this is a great update that you should try out.



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What is Your Social Media Crisis Plan?

social media crisis If your business uses social media you are hopefully actively engaging clients on a regular basis.  This is a great way to increase visibility, share what you are up to and stay at the top of your clients minds.  Social media comes with its own set of risks. Negative content, such as bad customer reviews or unfavorable comments, may appear on your company’s social media sites. While social media allows a company to more directly interact with both existing and prospective clients, you should expect that customers can and will use your site to share positive experiences and also air grievances. It’s also important to be aware that incidents, especially negative ones, travel like wildfire and can be viewed globally in a very short amount of time which can potentially lead to disaster if not managed correctly.

Consistently monitoring the activity on your company’s social media sites is key. Devising a plan to respond to any positive or negative content to protect your company’s reputation should be at the top of your to-do list.  One step can be to have a social media policy in place in order to mitigate risks from within and to set boundaries for your employees.  Another critical step is to have a crisis plan to appropriately address feedback & comments that come from your customers which are posted on your sites.  Below is an action plan flowchart to help you determine what the right course of action might be depending on the situation.

If you have questions about social media use, policies or improving your social outreach, you can call the FBinsure main office at 508-824-8666 and speak to our Digital Experience Coordinator, Brenna Gimler or reach out through email:


social crisis flowchart

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Facebook Filtered Messages

Facebook filtered messages.Whether you are new to Facebook or it’s old news to you, you may not know about messages that get filtered.  Have you ever been told by your someone that they sent you a message but you never saw a message?  Before you accuse them of lying, hold on and read on!

Chances are that you aren’t connected to them on Facebook. This isn’t always the case, but most likely the answer.   Recently, Facebook changed the way they managed private messages sent from users who aren’t connected to you via ‘friendship’.  To see what you may have missed, go to your Facebook page and click the messages icon at the top navigation bar.

In the message box you will see: Recent, Message Requests, Mark All Read and New Message.  At the bottom of any messages that populate the Message Requests you will see a funny little option entitled “See filtered requests”.


When you click on this option it takes you to a page where messages get stored that are filtered by Facebook. You most likely never saw these messages and many times they are from someone who messaged you while requesting to connect.  You can handle these any way you choose including whether or not to accept their friend request.  Since there is not notification for these messages, you should check them regularly so you don’t miss anything that might just be important.


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Blogging: Finding Best Practices

blogging best practicesYou don’t have to have a journalism background to be a great blogger. Consider the suggestions below to improve your writing:

  • Read other blogs. You’ll learn from others’ successes (and mistakes) and sharpen your own skills in the process.
  • Always keep your audience in mind and write content for them, not for you.
  • Try to offer a unique opinion or point of view. No one will have a reason to read your blog if your content is similar to other articles they can find online.
  • Avoid overtly plugging your products or services. Instead, discuss trends, offer expertise, or provide your insight on recent news.
  • Include statistics and links to other resources or blogs (assigning appropriate credit) to give more credibility to your blog.
  • Make sure your content is easy to read. Online, people don’t spend much time on one page, so it is important that your content is easy to digest. Don’t write in long blocks of text. Instead, use bullets, numbered lists, subheadings, bold and italics and short paragraphs.
  • Spend time on each headline. Make your headlines worthy of the great content you write. Also, keep your headlines searchable by including relevant keywords about the blog post topic.

Always proofread your blogs. If possible, have someone else review them as well, to check for typos and to make sure it reads well.  For more information on blogging or social media management you can reach me here on LinkedIn through messaging entitled social media inquiry, via email or on Twitter @Brennagimler

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Did You Know?

I have used Google for quite a while now and it is my preferred search engine.  I frequently search for pictures to go with my posts and blogs because readers gravitate to pictures and because it catches peoples attention.  There is one little trick that makes searching for a particular type of picture rather helpful.

If you find a picture on Google that isn’t exactly what you need but is similar, there is an easy way to have Google search for others that may be a better fit for your needs.  Here’s how:

In this example I like the green and black version of the “Did You Know?” image.



By clicking on it and dragging it toward the Google search bar it initiates Google’s search by image feature.  google2

Drop the image in the box and Google will then search specifically for that image and others that are similar.   You can see the image you dragged to the bar in the search bar above your returned & suggested images:



If your day is anything like any of mine, it is spent searching and writing and posting and creating.  All of which I usually use a picture with which means it takes time.  This is a super short cut to finding what you need in a much more timely manner.

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LinkedIn Relationships Tab- Oh Happy Day!

There is a super new feature in LinkedIn that I think I am in love with!  When you log into LinkedIn and pull up the profile of someone you are connected to,  you will notice a new tab located right next to the contact tab under their profile picture entitled Relationship.  I’ll use my awesome Boss as the example for this blog.



When you select the Relationship tab you now have the ability to add information that is visible only to you that will help you to  not only improve your networking skills but you will be able to strengthen relationships by making important notes that help you to stay on top of your game.  You can now:

  • Make notes about your relationship with this person or perhaps notes about their location, work shift, things that are important to them that are worth remembering
  • You can set reminders like you do in Outlook or a CRM database about important events or calls or meetings that you don’t want to forget.  The capabilities here are a little limited as you can only set reminders for a day, a week, a month.  You can set a recurring reminder which also has limitations by the month but you can use the custom feature to set reminders by the day.
  • You can now note how you met that person and who it was that introduced you.  This is a great feature considering all the meetings, conference calls, trainings, jobs and even vacations that have helped us to make the many connections that we have. Sometimes it can get challenging when someone you know you have met but cannot put your finger on where or why reaches out to you.
  • You can associate a Tag to your contacts to link them to groups or companies or make up a special tag that may be relevant only to you.
  • Finally and one of the best things I like is that it keeps track of how long you have been connected and on what date that connection was made.

This new feature may be especially helpful if you are going to get creative and say keep track of birthdays, anniversaries, events that your prospects are going to or hosting so you can set reminders to follow up with them and inquire how it went or maybe to attend yourself.

The time it will take to fill in some details for your key contacts will be well worth it when your opportunity presents itself to you and you kill it.  Good Luck!