Wednesday, June 22, 2016

How to set a Spotify Sleep Timer on the iPhone.

While setting up my new iPhone - I smashed my last one to pieces recently - I discovered something last night that's so damn cool and useful I'm forced to immediately blog the b'jesus out of it and hail it from the rooftops.

For many moons it's been messing with my OCD that Spotify doesn't have a sleep timer. Audible does. Why not Spotify, probably the most used app on my phone? I've whined about it at length on Twitter and even added to a ticket via Spotify customer services, who sympathised with my plight but nothing's ever come of it. Fiddling with my iPhone last night I hit upon a revelation.

I'm not sure if this is new under iOS 9 updates, but it's new to me. iOS 9 is the newest update to iOS, and launched officially to the public back in September 2015. This is pretty hidden away, but it works - and, more importantly, it doesn't bugger up my alarm clock next morning or (so far) anything else on my phone.

So, have Spotify running with your sleepy bedtime playlist of choice then, from the main iPhone screen, go to the 'Clock' and go to 'Timer'.

Easy enough. Now go to the line that says 'When Timer Ends'. You'll see a load of tone options, but you want the one down at the bottom that says 'Stop Playing'. This seems to shut down the sound on ANY application with an audio component after a specified period. Now just set your desired period of time as normal in the timer and Robert is your mother's brother.

Hidden away, or what!?

That's it. Simple as that.

Ok, you'll have to do this every night, but, SPOTIFY SLEEP TIMER! Once set up the first time it seems to stay set, so you can just ask Siri to set a timer for 20 minutes as your crashing out and it'll do the job.

Tried and tested and now used daily. Go tell it on de mountain.

Oh, by the way, I got a bangin' replacement deal on my crushed iPhone. If you're looking for mobile phone deals then these folks are spacemen amongst monkeys. Cheap as chips at twice the price :)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Why Your CEO Needs a Completed LinkedIn Profile.

We do a lot of blogging and messaging at TANK for C-suite folks who want to have a presence on LinkedIn. Good on 'em. So they should. Taking part and being in the conversation is a big part of thought leadership and accessibility nowadays. If they're editing the messaging and putting in but don't have the time to write it or to spend faffing about with LinkedIn, we're a good solution.

Some, however, don't see why having a full LinkedIn profile is even a big deal. A paragraph in Summary, Previous Roles, Education, blah. It is and here's why.

Numero uno, they'll appear in LinkedIn search results. If someone searched on their last name and his or her Profile is incomplete i.e on ‘All-Star’ status, all the other CEOSmith's (or whatever) who are would rank higher and push him down the LinkedIn search rankings.

LinkedIn’s search algorithm actually work pretty well, filters by relevance and ranks a search by Connections in Common, Connections by Degree (1st, 2nd then 3rd Degree Connections) and (last but not least) Groups in common etc. All searches done on LinkedIn are bespoke and totally relevant to the individual searcher. Make sense?

Basically, LinkedIn's search algorithm looks for (and displays) results in this order: Profile Completeness (the fuller the better), shared Connections in Common, degrees of separation from Connections (1st Degree, then 2nd, then 3rd, yada, yada), then shared Groups in Common. If they don’t have a 100% complete Profile, their Connections or Groups don’t matter, they won't get seen.

Though the only person who can see Profile Completion (‘All-Star’ etc.) is the person who’s profile it is, the casual observer browsing a Directors Profile will certainly notice if some Sections are missing key information. It makes sense to be an ‘All Star’ to present well to anyone who comes across their Profile - say via the main company Business Page - without actually searching for it. Of course it’s possible the observer may not be ‘casual’ at all, they could be someone looking to connect from the media, a future customer/prospect, a C-suite business connection and unfortunately, we’ll never know how many opportunities we’ve missed because our LinkedIn Profile is incomplete… It’s all about impressions and we want the head honcho to appear as though he or she uses the platform, not that they just have a profile.

If you Google your CEOs name their LinkedIn profile should be number one on the first page of Google’s search results. If not it's because it's not complete and if it's there but not complete it currently clicks through to an obviously incomplete profile - either way that's not good. This is peoples first impression, online, of the head of a company. LinkedIn ranks higher than all other profiles including social networks and websites. If they're being found, but by via empty profile with no information, you're not controlling the message. Google loves LinkedIn when it comes to PageRank.

Extra Tip: Apart from being an ‘All Star’, we can fluff their Google PageRank and keep them there by loving crafting a full Public Profile and selecting ‘Full View’ in the Profile Settings then customising their Public Profile URL to be their actual name (or as close as we can get) - it all helps.

When it comes to LinkedIn SEO don't feel obliged to use all of the available space on their LinkedIn Profile to ‘stuff’ it with keywords thinking they'll rank in LinkedIn and Google searches. It might, a bit, but keyword stuffing makes a Profile look spammy and insincere. Far better to come across as a genuine and credible company representative by effectively telling our story and not gaming the system. A stunningly good LinkedIn Summary lets them put his best foot forward and offers sincerity (which is what we’re trying to achieve) - even the likes of Sir Richard Branson and The Zuck do this.

There are also some great organic ways to improve visibility for a company leader on LinkedIn (without resorting to keyword stuffing): Joining Groups, starting to engage in Discussions, being helpful to those communities. Creating original content and sharing it with connections - we do a lot of this (I'd tell you for who but then I'd have to kill you). We also share daily relevant content for our clients, just like we do on their channels like Twitter - and thank others when they do the same. With our CEOs help - and we do often need access to their opinion - we also Recommend and Endorse their Connections (if appropriate).

Getting our CEO (and our Marketing Dept., Sales Team, or any other sceptics) to understand the importance of a full profile and taking part is important.

Also, looking at a brand Page where the CEO doesn't have a profile picture messes with my personal OCD on a biblical level.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Back to Yank and Limey Podcasting.

My colonial friend Aliza Sherman (author, speaker and epic digital pioneer) and I have started podcasting again! It's been WAY too long.

Taking a look at digital life, social media, content marketing and working online, we're trying to do one a month. It's been 4 years since we did this and it's good to be chewing the fat with someone as savvy and experienced as her (again) on a regular basis.

Yank and Limey is very kindly supported by the good folks at Tank PR. We're keeping these deliberately short and fast to keep them accessible. Give it a shot if you get the chance. We're not going to run out of things to talk about any time soon.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

How to set up Basic Twitter Cards.

Setting up Twitter Cards is pretty easy, and the click through potential from having these hanging off every tweet sent from your site is, obviously, some serious long-tail. A lot of brands don't realise this is available, but it's free to use for everyone. It makes tweets expandable and lets content be visible inline in Twitter. You've probably seen them on other peoples posts.

There's a few varieties - you can get an overview of them here - but I'm just going to cover the most rudimentary. They can give people a much richer multi-media experience, with added video and audio, product content and the like. They give the consumer a little something extra and link directly through to your content.

a surprising little something extra

I have this basic version (a Summary Card - which has description, title and a thumbnail) installed on this blog. If you do nothing else, do this. The code is pretty basic. I'm just using a simple site overview across every page. Just edit the bold bits accordingly and add it to your /head tag:

Once the tags are live, you can test the card with the official Twitter Card Validator.  If you have a blogger blog (like this one) just go to Template, then go to Edit HTML, then cut and paste the above into the /head field. I hosted my image over on good old

Once it's all up and running and validated you can keep an eye on your analytics by being logged into your Twitter account and going to, then clicking on the Twitter Cards tab at the top.

If you want to see it in action, share this post on Twitter then click it to expand it once it's posted. Go on, you know you want to ;)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How to Download YouTube Videos for use in other channels.

Ok, so this one raises a plethora of copyright issues but that's something for you to deal with yourself. This is just a little trick I discovered I thought I'd share. It might be that a client can't find an original video you want to stream from Facebook (which is what happened in my case) or for whatever reason.

Go to a video. Go to the URL at the top of the page. In front of the word YouTube type 'ss' (after the www.) like You'll then be redirected to the service and you can choose the resolution you want to save out to.

They also support other video and audio channels - Vimeo, DailyMotion, Soundcloud, blah. Yeah, it feels a bit 'grey hat' but it might be useful. It's good one if you want to knock up animated GIFs to boost click-through on Twitter, or whatever. Give it a punt.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

How to Work out how old a Facebook Business Page is.

So I just figured this out - in a rush of Holmes logic - and though I'd share. This is going to be my shortest blog post, ever.

Sometimes, for whatever reason, you may need to know the age or your, or another persons, Facebook Page. It could be estimating growth off a similar brand, completing some documentation for the folks in PR, whatever. It's not as easy as just going to your first post, alas - if you try and scroll through all those posts you're likely to lag y'self to bits.

Instead, go to Photos, go to Profile pictures, go to the first image (down at the bottom), click on it and disco - there's a date just under the Page name (top right).

Unless the Page owner has deleted their first image (which is damn unlikely) it'll give you a reasonably accurate date of when the Page was first created.

If anyone ever finds this useful I'll be amazed, but there it is. If anyone else has any ideas for a quicker or more accurate way of doing this please gimme a shout in the comments ;)