Monthly Archives: December 2013

Create and maintain a Facebook fan page like “Dan Steer Music” – day 3

3 days ago I started a Facebook page for my music. As a social media trainer, I thought it would be good for me to practice a little more what I preach, maybe learn some more. This post tells the story so far…

By the way, if you haven’t liked the page or shared my first video song yet, do it now 🙂

…seriously: Go there now. Its nearly Christmas, after all…


A Facebook page is a great tool to create visibility and reach customers, reinforce brand and create conversation about your products and services. Doing it well is key and with these posts, I hope to give you an insight on what that means…


Step 1: Define your objectives before you get started

As with any marketing campaign, its important to know what you are trying to achieve. Clear measurable objectives will give you direction for your page activities, motivate you and give you guidelines to see if it was worth it.

In my case, I want to build visibility for my music activities and position myself as a story-telling musician who writes nice songs and can actually play live. I have set the following targets:

  • 100 page likes in 1 month; 1000 likes in one year
  • Reach minimum 200 people per video post to the page
  • Book a gig via a Facebook connection within the first year
  • Sell 100 copies of my “Greatest Non-Hits CD” via Facebook (when I finally finish it)
  • At the moment, I have not set any other measurable objectives about the number or type of comments received on the page, although I do intend to use that content to gather feedback on my songs


Step 2: Create your page

This is easy enough. Go to and follow the steps. To think about:

  • Don’t cheat with the options. Be honest about the type of activity you are creating.
  • Add a simple description. If you are doing it for business reasons, make sure you are “on-brand” and include relevant keywords to potentially improve SEO results.
  • Choose a URL that is as descriptive as possible and includes good searchable keywords for people to find you. I chose DanSteerMusic as, frankly, if you were searching “Dan Steer” and “Music” that’s pretty clear. Of course, the trick is to find an address that is still available…
  • In the settings of your page, if you want to have conversation and “open posting” leave the options so that people can freely post things
  • Add a page “profile” picture. If you don’t do this, people will not recognise you or your page in their timeline. And frankly, it just looks really unprofessional.
  • Add a banner – I was lazy here, but at least its something (if you don’t know why I said that, why didn’t you visit and like my page yet!!!?!)
  • You will be given the chance to invite people already. Don’t do this yet!! Read on ….


Step 3: Create some simple first content (before you invite people to like the page)

This is important. If you invite people to like the page and there is nothing there, why would they like it? In my case, I added a first video of one of my songs, performed live in the bathroom 5 minutes before. (Intrigued? You shouldn’t be, because you should have looked at the page already!!!).

Make sure your first content is not something like “Oh look, its me, I’m on Facebook”. You need to stay on-brand for your product or service, especially at the start.


Step 4: Now you can invite people to come and see the page. And you should.

As Jan Vermeiren said in “How to Really Use LinkedIn”, the success of any network or community depends on the golden triangle of asking, giving and thanking. More on that in a moment .. … for now, just go and ask every “on-brand” Facebook friend you have to like the page. They won’t mind.

Facebook offers you the opportunity to use an email contact list to invite people to the page. If you are running a business and you have a good contact list, don’t do this yet. Wait. It can be your secret weapon when you have something really classy to share, like a competition or event. Save that until later, because your contacts surely don’t want you to spam with email…


Step 5: Plan a blend of first content

It is my opinion that your Facebook content should be a nice blend of visual, text, video, short and long comments. I also think that you should not be “saying” the same thing all the time.

This is particularly important for people who are selling products – don’t just keep pushing your product. Go for a blend of 70:20:10…

  • Make 70% of your posts about the brand – if you are selling shoes that are about “outdoor adventure”, “fresh air” and “fun” post things about “outdoor adventure”, “fresh air” and “fun” – who cares if it mentions shoes or not? Your fans will make the connection…
  • Make only 20% of your posts about your products. This way people won’t find you too pushy.
  • Include 10% of more personal or employee related stuff. Its OK to say you are celebrating someone’s birthday in the office today. Its important that there are faces behind the product.


Step 6: Think about when and where you will publish things

There are good moments and bad moments to publish content to Facebook. And you also need to consider the workload. My advice?

  • Follow these guidelines from Mashable about when Facebook users are most active
  • Don’t forget that what you publish will disappear from people’s timeline at a rate that is relative to the number of active friends they have. This is the half-life principle. So you will need to find the fine line between repetition of your posts and spamming people.
  • Plan your posts in advance. Do this once a week, thinking about what you will publish and when. This is a good practice to maintain a good blend. It’s also more efficient in the long-run.
  • If you are posting for multiple time-zones, don’t leave out people. For my professional Twitter account, I am posting for Europe and the US, so things are still going on until about midnight.
  • Try using a “hub” like HootSuite to schedule posts in advance.
  • Cross-pollinate your posts. Add a Facebook button to your website and link people to your Facebook page via other social media like Twitter or LinkedIn.


Step 7: Back to that golden triangle principle… 

As you start up your page, it will be important to really ask, give and thank in order to create engagement. Since different people are engaged in different ways on social-media platforms, its important to work on this. I’ve been a bit short on giving in my start up, but I have done a few of these:

  • Identify people in your network who have lots of friends and ask them to share the page. Be precise in your request, eg “Can you please share my last video from my Dan Steer Music page and ask your Facebook friends to like the page or share the film themselves?”
  • If anybody likes or comments on any of your posts, you must thank them. Do this with a comment and mention/tag their name when you do so.
  • If someone likes your page, send them a message and make the same request outlined above.
  • If someone shares you page, like their share.


These actions should become religious as you manage your page. If people don’t feel engaged, they won’t bother coming back.


Step 8: Measure things and adapt your activity

After 3 days of activity, here are my results:

  • 35 page likes
  • ..of which 29 come from my own circle of Facebook friends (I’m SO happy about the 17% of strangers ! )
  • My first song video was liked 7 times
  • ..and shared 19 times
  • .. and seen by 363 people
  • My second post (a text link to another site with a few songs on) remains un-liked, has been seen by 17 people and shared once


The point of measuring is to see what works. I’m not going to make any assumptions just yet (its too early) but after a while, it will be important to assess:

  • What moments work best for your posts?
  • What kind of posts get the most interaction (likes, shares, comments)?
  • Which posts drive the most traffic to your website, sell the most products, improve your SERP ratings etc…
  • Who is sharing your content and who is not?


At the moment, I don’t have enough likes on my music page to correctly view Facebook “Insights”, but that tool is incredibly useful. Here’s an overview of what you can learn from “Insights” about which post-types work best.


Step 9: Don’t give up!

If you’ve done all this and you are satisfied with the results, keep going and consider some of these ideas to promote your page (for free):

  • Mention it in your email signature
  • Use that email contact list for a “big push”
  • Cross-pollinate on other platforms and in the real world. For example, if you have a shop, put your Facebook address on the receipts. If you have a Twitter account, mention the page in your profile…
  • Run a competition, where the winner is the one who gets the most likes for something posted to your page
  • Talk about your page


I hope this page was interesting and you can find some good ideas for your own page creation and maintenance. I am going to keep experimenting and hope to come back in a few months with a more indepth set of tips on what really works and what doesn’t after the initial set-up.

I won’t ask you again to like my page.



Thanks for reading,





2 weeks, 2 continents and 22 sessions in learning and technology

In January, I will be going to ASTD TechKnowledge 2014 in Las Vegas (speaking as well) and the Learning Technologies conference in London. Over 2 weeks on 2 continents I will follow 22 sessions with some of the industry leaders, looking at the future of learning and learning technology. I have planned my 2 weeks to get new high-level information on a broad number of topics, as well as an in-depth/next-step look at some others. Here is the plan for the sessions I will follow in addition to keynotes…


The learning profession – trends and the future

  • The future learning shift and the changing learning function
  • Designing with and for learning data
  • Learning to learn


Learning technology innovations

  • Augmented Reality and Google Glass
  • MOOCs: Strategy vs. Pedagogy
  • Tin Can API and capturing experiential learning
  • Disruptive technology and learning
  • The future of learning content strategy
  • Aligning software to learning and performance


Learning design and formal learning solutions

  • Screen-casting best practices
  • QR codes for training
  • Storytelling across multiple media
  • Game design
  • Badging
  • Leveraging devices for mobile learning


..stay tuned for more news soon!




Three people with one vision for learning

In this month’s “Stimulearning” magazine, you can find my article on the L+D Talks that took place in October of this year, translated into Dutch. I wrote about the event and the content of Charles Jennings’ and Donald H Taylor’s speechs. Kristof wrote about Manon Ruijters. This post delivers the English translation of my part… Enjoy!


In the last few years, there has been somewhat of a revolution in the learning world. Training professionals are repeatedly being told that training doesn’t necessarily lead to learning and that learning is not only about training. The possibilities are infinite to help people build their competence at work.


Donald H Taylor says is time to change. If learning professionals continue to sit in the training ghetto, moving more slowly than the world around them, they will eventually face extinction when they could have been driving the organisation forward. The major changes in technology and how knowledge is handled have created a new environment with new demands; demands which it seems the learning profession itself admits to not being able to face today, and which organisational leaders claim indispensable to achieve the growth they need to face the challenges of tomorrow.


In the September issue of the StimuLearning magazine Dr. Manon Ruijters, a consultant at Twynstra Gudde, already underlined that we need to stop focussing on pushing training and formal learning to people and focus instead on creating conditions in which people can bloom. Our obsession with creating standardised professionals (who tick all the right boxes in the competence framework) must develop into a more holistic vision that pulls up and supports on-going learning from the ground up. Supervisors and employees must learn together what is right and wrong, what works and what does not and the ways in which we can develop. The role of the learning professional must therefore evolve into a more conversational style, supported by effective workplace support and encouragement that can take best learning practices from everywhere for the benefit of the whole organisation.


Charles Jennings says that learning is a far more diverse activity than training professionals have suggested in previous years. Only 10% of workplace learning actually happens via formal intentional organised education sessions that are structured by someone other than the learner; 20% of learning happens via our non-formal interactions with other people; the other 70% on a day-to-day basis (sometimes without intention) through our experience of day-to-day tasks, challenges and practice. Yet in contrast, the majority of our learning budgets remain driven towards creating learning tracks that seek to deliver competence to the learner in a formal way: Training, e-learning and such. If we want to reap the potential benefits of the full 100%, L+D people need to focus more on creating and supporting learning environments that capture and support learning through social exchange, work narration and a plethora of other work-based media and approaches.


With these three visions of learning, the singular message is clear: We need to do things differently. That was the subject of the Stimulearning L+D talks in October…




Charles Jennings on “Unleashing the Full 100%”

This post is part of 3 covering my review of the Stimulearning L+D talks of October 2013. The full article was published in Dutch in the Stimulearning magazine, December 2013.


Charles Jennings used to be a professor and is attributed with the creation one of the first online learning modules. This happened long before 2013 and sometime after the black and white picture he showed us of him playing guitar (“every waking hour in his 20s”) in the last century. Taking “the graveyard shift” in our October L+D Talks, Charles introduced the 70:20:10 model and told us that it is time to think differently about organisational learning.


Jennings founded the 70:20:10 forum to help learning people develop and share strategies to unleash the huge amount of non-structured non-formal and non-intentional learning that happens in organisations. Underlining the non-existence of peer-to-peer academic studies to show accuracy of the numbers 70:20:10, Jennings insisted that there is nonetheless a lot of empirical evidence to show that high-performing people learn a huge amount more from work and practice, rather than structured learning. That is to say: Without you the learning professional having to get involved. The goal of the forum and 70:20:10 strategies is to create a framework for extending and improving that organisational learning, pulling more profit from what is already going on.


Jennings admitted that actually he is “not terribly interested in learning, but … passionate about performance” but added that it seems to him inefficient to “leave good food on the table”. If we focus purely on designing and delivering structured learning programs (the 10%), we may miss many opportunities to add-value in other areas. Quoting a “Bersin by Deloitte” study, Jennings said that that companies who have strong informal learning capabilities are 300% more likely to excel at global talent development. So what can we do around and outside of structured content-driven learning? During the talk, we saw that the possibilities are enormous. People learn in so many ways and support in those activities can (and should) be provided by the learning professional.


According to Albert Einstein “learning is experience, everything else is just information”. The key is to draw from those experiences to profit the individual and his network. Creating new and challenging experiences for workers, expanding the scope of work, adding in elements of change and adversity or simply giving more time to reflect or try something new are simple ways to help people grow in their competence.


And if individuals are growing, the network can profit. Creating conversation via enterprise social media platforms, work narration or more structured events like Reuters’ pizza sessions or the US military’s “Action Review Sessions” can help to spread knowledge and experience within the organisation.


But in line with Donald H Taylor’s opening speech, Jennings insisted that we are not only talking about “doing more stuff”. In fact, what we need is a change in mind-set and a more professional approach. He is still surprised to hear that organisations that have clear strategies for sales and marketing, operations or product development still don’t have a strategy for learning. Yet business leaders and HR directors all agree that if we are going to achieve future business targets (12 months from now) we need to either grow the workforce or work better. People surveyed by the “Corporate Leadership Council” said that in the future we will need a 20 to 25% performance improvement, but that we won’t be recruiting 20 to 25% more people. As Liz Wiseman would say: “The time for addition is over. We need to multiple.” If we want better retention, more output and business results, we need to change the way we work and learn.


Charles Jennings wants to see learning organisations that respond faster to changing business conditions. He wants us to help integrate learning into the everyday workflow. He wants better transfer of structured learning into the workplace. He wants L+D to align more to real business priorities. He wants to unleash the full 100%.


He wants a lot. But is he wrong?



Donald H Taylor on “Raising the Level of the Learning Profession”

This post is part of 3 covering my review of the Stimulearning L+D talks of October 2013. The full article was published in Dutch in the Stimulearning magazine, December 2013.


According to Donald H Taylor, there have been a lot of changes in learning in the last 5 to 7 years. Many of these are due to the arrival of new technologies that allow learners to serve themselves. Taylor says it is time to raise the level of the learning profession.


In the latest survey of “Top 100 Learning Tools” published by the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies, nearly everything is electronic. Social media tools feature high on the list (Twitter is number 1) and Donald H Taylor says this is an indication of how learning will continue to evolve in the future. Even if “nothing beats a pen and paper and a little conversation”, we have moved on considerably in the past few years with regard to acquisition of knowledge and skills. But Taylor is not so sure we have moved on with our culture as learning professionals.


In the 1980s, before Tim Berners-Lee’s revolutionary work, there was no World Wide Web. We had books and training. If you wanted to know something at work, you went to the library or you asked for training. The trainer would tell you what was in the book and control the way you read it (“we’ll be looking at pages 20 to 64 on day 2”). If you had questions, you were told “it’s in the book”. The trainer had probably even written the book.


But today, everyone is writing and reading in his own way. As the Ruder Finn Intent Index states, the top reason to go to the internet is learning. We have blogs, micro-blogs, YouTube, Wikipedia and a multitude of other media, which we can access from any device immediately. “Frictionless information handling” is the new norm. So trainers (and the whole learning profession) need to evolve. But for some reason, the learning profession doesn’t believe it’s true. They think of self-learning as “a nice start, but not 100% reliable”. They still want to control things.


And today’s working environment is very different to the 1980s. At the end of the last century, we saw a switch in the value of companies from tangible to intangible assets. Asking the L+D Talks audience what else had changed in the last 5 years, we heard that people expect things to happen faster, learning has to be more adaptive, better linked to strategy and focusing on lean investment and more return. CEOs of the Big Four all same the same thing: human capital, talent or knowledge is the top 1 or 2 concern; they recognise the need for good learning strategies, but they don’t believe that HR and Learning is agile enough to deal with it.


According to Donald H Taylor, these changes will continue evolving in the same way. Executives want more skills to deal with more problems, with less cash and less time. So the challenge for the learning profession is to find ways to deal with that, getting out of the training ghetto and helping the organisation and its people to change.


Taylor talked about how environments and people might change: Fast or slow. The people moving faster than the environment are considered as “pathfinders”. Like “Instagram” and “Facebook”, they create new ways of doing things that are ready to go when the environment catches up; they pave the way for the future. At the other end of the spectrum are those who don’t change in line with the environment. Like Kodak and the short-hand typists of the 1940s, they will end up out of work. So the goal of learning is to be fast and agile enough to keep up with an ever changing environment.


One major area in which Donald H Taylor says we need to improve is in our general business skills – performance improvement, analysis + strategy, interpretation of information and business acumen. According to the Learning and Performance Institute’s Capability Map (27 skills in 9 groups), the learning industry itself accepts that it is good at design and delivery, getting better at social learning, but still lacking in business intelligence, communication and marketing of learning solutions.


To better engage with the future, we need to focus on getting ourselves to a professional level with these skills in this new environment.



ATD ICE 2016 Sessions #S4CE #TU102 #W100: Practical Usage of Social Media for Formal Learning

In 2016, I will speaking 3 times at the ATD 2016 International Conference and Exposition in Denver.

2 full sessions on the practical use of social media in formal learning

  • Tuesday TU102 = the full session with all the practical example
  • Wednesday W100 = repetition of that same session

..and on Sunday, a short speech during session S4CE Community Express, Learning Technologies Fast Track.



Get the new slides

Watch the pre-session introduction video on YouTube

  • 84 seconds explaining what we will be doing in the session

Get ready to use the Socrative Student App

Download the Aurasma App on iOS or on Android




All references + tools mentioned in the full concurrent sessions


Background ideas (not shared in my sessions)


Interesting examples of social media in learning (not shared in my sessions)


Great books about specific social media tools:


My Prezi presentations on related topics:


ps – I reported on almost all the sessions I followed at previous A(S)TD ICE and TK conferences – if you want to read them, follow this link:ATD TAG.


Thanks for reading!


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