UK4Business were brought to my attention by my Dad. He had received an email offering ‘LinkedIn for Business’ training to his company and had decided to consider the idea for his sales people.
Knowing that I use LinkedIn as part of my job and regularly train recruiters to use it, he wanted to ask me about the email and about LinkedIn in general.
The email from UK4Business was very detailed. It listed all the things covered by the training and seemed very comprehensive. It also told me that they offered other courses in Facebook for Business and Twitter for Business.
I decided to look at their website before telling him to “go for it”. I only had a print out of the email, so couldn’t follow the hyperlinks within. I Googled UK4Business Linkedin Training in an attempt to find their website. They didn’t come up on the first page of results. That was my first alarm bell.
I eventually tried the domain that had sent the email and checked out UK4Business.com. It was the right site and it looked pretty good. Details of the courses, dates, prices, contact details and testimonials. Everything seemed to be in order.
I wondered if I had heard of or met their trainers so headed over to LinkedIn and searched for UK4Business. I found one profile for a David Miller with no picture, no work history beyond UK4Business, no connections and no company page at all. Quite peculiar for a business offering LinkedIn training and stressing the importance of growing a network and making the most of your company page. I couldn’t find a LinkedIn group or any LinkedIn event pages for the business either.
They provide other training in Social Media for business but I could find no Facebook page for UK4Business. A Twitter account called @UK4Business does exist but at the time of writing it has no followers, no following, has never tweeted and its avatar is the default egg image. I have no way of knowing if this is anything to do with the training supplier of the same name as the profile has no bio or link back to their website. The bottom of their website lists “Knowledge 4 Business” and “UK4B” as other trading names, they don’t have a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter either.
I decided to look for David Miller on Twitter. As there were a lot of results for this common name, I used Followerwonk to look for profiles in the name of David Miller that mentioned LinkedIn or Social Media in their bio. I found one in the UK with the username @mbwconsulting. He claims to be a social media consultant, ready to help your business. He has sent some tweets, but not since January 2010 and no replies, mentions or links are visible in his most recent updates. The vast majority of his tweets are quotes from famous people. He also had the default egg avatar image and does not link to a business website.
UK4Business also plan to offer training in Google+, YouTube and WordPress. I can’t find them on these platforms either. A user called UK4Business does exist on YouTube but it seems to belong to someone based in Egypt.
I am always deeply suspicious of those offering training in something that they do not use effectively themselves. The UK4Business website seems so thorough and has lots of testimonials from satisfied customers though – it couldn’t be all bad. Two of the recommendations came with links directly to Twitter profiles, so I tweeted to them asking what they thought of the training.
I have waited for over 12 hours but have had no response as yet.
I decided to call the phone number on the website and ask UK4Business what the thinking was behind having no presence on Social Media themselves.
I was told that Social Media Bureau provide the Social Media training. It was also explained that UK4Business paid a company to set up a lot of their Social Media properties when they first formed and have now entered into a dispute with them, meaning that nothing is currently set up.
I would have thought that a business actively selling these services would have been able to set up their own accounts on Social Media. Employing someone else to do so on their behalf seems odd.
Having looked at the trainers from Social Media Bureau, I have no doubt that the training offered is very reasonable, as the testimonials suggest.
The gentleman I spoke to on the phone accepted that they could very well be losing business due to people like me looking for them on Social Media and not finding anything. I imagine most companies would perform this bare minimum of due diligence.
The moral of the story? If you offer services in something as public as Social Media – make sure you are seen to use it! If not, you might lose business for no good reason.
Have you taken any UK4Business training?