social media

As Facebook Graph Search is gradually being rolled out, now is probably a good time to have a look at your privacy settings and ensure you’re comfortable with who can see your posts, pictures and personal information.

This infographic, courtesy of Marketo, shows how to customize your privacy settings in order to control who sees the content you post.

Please share this post with your friends and family as they could be among the 13 million Facebook users who have never touched their privacy settings.

 

how-graph-search-affects-your-privacy

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You know that Facebook business page that you’ve created – the one that you’ve spent hours creating interesting content for and have spent good money on Facebook Ads to build your following? Well earlier this year Facebook let slip that most users only see about 16% of updates from business pages like yours.

It’s a shocking statistic, isn’t it? The reason for this is Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm. This comes from Facebook’s desire to present you with the most relevant and valuable updates from your network and it isn’t something that marketers can afford to ignore.

So what is EdgeRank?

EdgeRank determines which posts you see and which ones you don’t from the value of your social objects — statuses, links, photos, videos.

Facebook views all of these inputs as “edges” and gives them a value based on the following factors:

1. Affinity score between viewing user and edge creator

2. Weight for this edge type (like, comment, tag, etc.)

3. Time decay is a factor based on how long ago the edge was created

What Does this Mean to You?

Affinity — How close are you to the user? Do they interact with you regularly on Facebook? If they do, that’s great! EdgeRank will probably show your content to that user more often. Unfortunately, affinity is only one way, so Liking everything your fans say will not improve your EdgeRank.

Weight — This relates to the level of engagement your Page has. Photos and videos usually create more engagement so Facebook may give more weight to these types of posts. It might be worth experimenting to find out if creating this type of content means it reaches more of your fans.

Time Decay — A great title, but all it really means is that the older your post is, the less chance it has of being in your fan’s home feed. What’s that saying about yesterday’s news being tomorrow’s fish & chip wrapper? This is why it’s important to post regularly on Facebook.

How Can You Optimize Facebook now you’re in the Know?

If you’re looking for engagement, remember to ask questions — instead  “Hope you had a great weekend” try “What did you do over the weekend?”

Facebook gives you the option of targeting your page updates demographically, so if it’s appropriate, segment your posts to increase relevance and foster engagement.

We’d love to hear how experimenting with your content affects the number of people who see your posts, so do leave a comment below, and don’t forget to comment regularly on our Facebook Page if you want to see our posts in your newsfeed!

 

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I think there are many companies who have got to this point, and it’s probably the worst reason to get involved with Facebook, Twitter and social media in general.

Let’s press the pause button and consider …

–          Your business goals

–          How will social media help you achieve them?

–          What does success look like?

–          What’s your strategy to get there?

If you’re struggling to answer any of these questions, then do give us a call and we can help through the process.

Once you’ve answered these questions then it’s time to implement, but do keep referring back to keep yourself on track with your strategy.

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Twitter icon
I’ve just been doing some research for a talk I’m giving in a couple of weeks time, and I came accross a blog post dating back to 2008 from Chris Brogan. I was surprised at how relevant it still is, so, bar a few points that I think we’ve moved on from now, I’m going to share it with you…

First Steps

  1. Build an account and immediate start using Twitter Search to listen for your name, your competitor’s names, words that relate to your space. (Listening always comes first.)
  2. Add a picture. We want to see you.
  3. Talk to people about THEIR interests, too. I know this doesn’t sell more widgets, but it shows us you’re human.
  4. Point out interesting things in your space, not just about you.
  5. Share links to neat things in your community.
  6. Don’t get stuck in the apology loop. Be helpful instead.
  7. Be wary of always pimping your stuff. Your fans will love it. Others will tune out.
  8. Promote your employees’ outside-of-work stories.
  9. Throw in a few humans to interact with.
  10. Talk about non-business too.

Ideas About WHAT to Tweet

  1. Instead of answering the question, “What are you doing?”, answer the question, “What has your attention?”
  2. Have more than one twitterer at the company. People can quit. People take vacations. It’s nice to have a variety.
  3. When promoting a blog post, ask a question or explain what’s coming next, instead of just dumping a link.
  4. Ask questions. Twitter is GREAT for getting opinions.
  5. Follow interesting people. If you find someone who tweets interesting things, see who she follows, and follow her.
  6. Tweet about other people’s stuff. Again, doesn’t directly impact your business, but makes us feel like you’re not “that guy”
  7. When you DO talk about your stuff, make it useful. Give advice, blog posts, pictures, etc.
  8. Share the human side of your company. If you’re bothering to tweet, it means you believe social media has value for human connections. Point us to pictures and other human things.
  9. Don’t toot your own horn too much.
  10. Or, if you do, try to balance it out by promoting the heck out of others, too.

Some Sanity For You

  1. You don’t have to read every tweet.
  2. You don’t have to reply to every @ tweet directed to you (try to reply to some, but don’t feel guilty).
  3. Use direct messages for 1-to-1 conversations if you feel there’s no value to Twitter at large to hear the conversation.
  4. Use services like Twitter Search to make sure you see if someone’s talking about you. Try to participate where it makes sense.
  5. 3rd party clients like Hootsuite and make it a lot easier to manage Twitter.
  6. If you tweet all day while your co-workers are busy, you’re going to hear about it.
  7. If you’re representing clients and billing hours, and tweeting all the time, you might hear about it.
  8. Use the URL shortening tool that Hootsuite offers, or one like bit.ly. It helps tidy up your tweets.
  9. If someone says you’re using twitter wrong, forget it. It’s an opt out society. They can unfollow if they don’t like how you use it.
  10. Commenting on others’ tweets, and retweeting what others have posted is a great way to build community.

The Negatives People Will Throw At You

  1. Twitter takes up time.
  2. Twitter takes you away from other productive work.
  3. Without a strategy, it’s just typing.
  4. There are other ways to do this.
  5. Twitter doesn’t replace customer service, but it can complement it.
  6. Twitter’s only a few million people. (only)
  7. Twitter doesn’t replace direct email marketing.
  8. Twitter opens the company up to more criticism and griping.

Some Positives to Throw Back

  1. Twitter works well as an opinion poll. Twitter can help direct people’s attention to good things.
  2. Twitter at events helps people build an instant “backchannel.”
  3. Twitter breaks news faster than other sources, often (especially if the news impacts online denizens).
  4. Twitter brings great minds together, and gives you daily opportunities to learn (if you look for it, and/or if you follow the right folks).
  5. Twitter gives your critics a forum, but that means you can study them.
  6. Twitter helps with business development, if your prospects are online.
  7. Twitter can augment customer service.

 

You can check out the original article here.

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Social Media Marketing is a very hot topic, and marketing professionals believe it’s here to stay. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and You Tube, amongst others, are utilised by hundreds of millions of people every day and numbers are growing continually, making this a potential online marketing paradise. But for many business owners, this very hot Social Media Marketing is an online marketing nightmare.

Many organizations and their owners, or marketing people, don numerous hats and they are so busy trying to keep the business running smoothly as well as profitably that they simply don’t have the time to develop an effective online marketing strategy, maintain it on a daily basis and keep up with the rapid changes that seem to keep being foisted upon us.

So, what’s the solution?

The cavalry is on its way! In order to satisfy this very real need, the age of Social Media Management was born.  At present, Social Media Marketing Managers are in extremely high demand, in the job market, with the demand far out weighing the supply of skilled Social Media Marketing Professionals. A Social Media Marketing Manager partners with individuals and organisations to develop and maintain the company’s online business presence thus enabling the overloaded business person to focus on their other daily responsibilities, safe  in the knowledge that their on-line presence is being managed in accordance with their agreed strategy.

The development of this sensible solution will allow Social Media Marketing to get significantly hotter, therefore enabling a company’s online business and marketing presence to grow unabated.

Needless to say… I’d love the opportunity to discuss how we could help take the load from your shoulders, and look after your Social Media Marketing. Call on 01462 615821 or email me

 

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LinkedIn logoFollowing on from my previous LinkedIn Blog, I wanted to add a very simple strategy for making the most of every opportunity.

I often get people requesting to add me to their network, even though I don’t know them from Adam. In the interest of building my network, I usually agree. I have to admit that, for a while, this is as far as it went until I began to realise that this was a missed opportunity.

Assuming these people weren’t randomly linking with anyone, then there had to be a reason for contacting me. It could be because several years ago I worked for a packaging company and they like packaging, but I think not. It’s more likely they’re interested in what I do now. So wouldn’t it be rude of me not to make contact and have a chat about Social Media, their needs and how we could help them? I think so!

Maybe you could adopt this strategy? I’m sure it would work for many people – how about you and your business? I’d love to know how you get on with it…

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LinkedIn has made cold calling a thing of the past for many of us – at least it should have. Unfortunately I suspect many people build their connections and then… well, nothing. LinkedIn is about as useful as a chocolate teapot if you only connect with people you already know – OK, maybe not a chocolate teapot, but certainly one with a dribbly spout. There are other teapots out there that do the job better if you just want to chat to people you know!

The search functions on LinkedIn are great for pinpointing the kind of people you want to do business with. Here’s a how to for you…

1. First you need to log in – see, not so hard, is it?

2. Go to the search bar and type in the search you want. Maybe you represent a packaging company and you want to make contact with company buyers. So you type in buyer and hit enter.

3. On the next page, down the left hand side you’ll see a whole host of search criteria designed to narrow your search. Some of this is only accessible if you pay, but the basic version is certainly good enough. I would suggest you refine your search to 2nd connections, as you want to meet people that you don’t yet know. Other refinements are down to what makes sense for your business – location and industry I would suggest makes sense for our sales rep.

4. For me, this search comes up with 633 results. Now I can work my way through and decide who is my best match, in terms of their role, and our products. When I’ve found someone who I’d like to talk to I can click on our shared connection and request an introduction. I could do that, or I could make contact with our shared connection to find out all I can about my potential client – are they the decision maker, are they on the lookout for a new supplier, what interests do they have… the usual stuff, and of course, are they willing to introduce me. This then makes it more of a referral instead of a shot in the dark.

It’s this last part that turns a list of names into a rich source of potential clients, information and referrals. Much nicer than driving to an industrial estate and knocking on everyone’s door in the rain, to see if they buy packaging, yes, I was guilty of that many moons ago. I’ve also taken my local phone book, picked a page at random and started a (fruitless) exercise of offering financial services to whoever answered the phone. I guess these ways still work, but LinkedIn offers a much better way; far more in keeping with the digital age we live in, faster, sleeker and more efficient – go on, give it a go.

 

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On an aeroplane you’re told that if the oxygen masks come down, you should put your own on before your children’s. As a parent, I know I’d find that extremely difficult, but I can see why it’s the right thing to do. So why is it that I find it so hard to put my needs before anybody else’s?

It’s the same in my business. I look after my client’s social media come hell or high water, it’s always mine that suffers. It’s a bit like the builder whose house is falling down around him – although, thankfully, my natural self-discipline wouldn’t allow me to get that bad!

So when I hear businesses telling me they don’t have time to “do” social media, I really do understand, but I also know how powerful it can be and that EVERY business needs to be on the social media scene if they still want to be around and trading successfully in 5 years.

To find out how I can help with your social media give me a call on 01462 615821 or email me now.

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Picture for a moment that you’re hosting a fabulous party. You’re standing in a group of friends, chatting and swapping tales. You start to share the one about your good friend Steve (who’s across the room) who fell into the sea on a boating holiday.

You have a choice to make. Do you say, privately, “See that man over there? That’s Steve, and one time when we were on a boating holiday…” or do you announce as you’re waving him over, “Steve, come here. We’re talking about your incredible boating escapade…”?

In the virtual party of social networking, you encounter this particular decision every day. When you talk about another person, do you write their username, which acts as a tag and a link, or do you simply mention them by their name? Both have their place…

If you’ve previously used Twitter, you will know how to name-tag somebody making use of the “@” symbol before his or her username. Less of us are aware that Facebook has a similar element.

On Facebook, when keying in a status or comment, enter the “@” symbol before you begin typing the person’s name and you will notice a dropdown list of matching friends and pages from which to choose. You can delete their surname by back spacing to make your post more reader friendly.

There are a few reasons why you might want to tag someone…

  •  To notify that individual/page that their name has been mentioned, in the hope that they may reply or engage with the message.
  • To draw someone’s attention to a post – like an email “cc”.
  • To make it easy for followers to click on through to that person’s profile.
  • To make it obvious to your followers whom you’re referring to.

On the flip-side, if you don’t wish the person to know that his name has been mentioned, maybe to save them from numerous email notifications, then don’t tag them, just use their name.

 On the whole, though, it’s good to remember that social networks are about interacting. You’re there to connect with people, and to connect them with each other, so I’m all for tagging people and opening up opportunities for engagement.

If you’re wondering how this relates to your business, call me on 01462 615821 or email me for more information.

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As I spend time on Twitter and Facebook, I’ve found so many business profiles with a flurry of activity for about a week or two (if that) and then nothing…Over and over again I hear the same story from businesses. We tried Social Media (SM), but it didn’t work for us. What they mean is, they decided they needed to be on Facebook and Twitter, so they got the youngest member of staff to set up their profile and they duly tweeted and updated for a couple of weeks. The boss noticed that only 3 or 4 people were following them (and 2 of those worked for the company!), so what’s the point in continuing? Their foray into SM then abruptly ended.

So where did they go wrong? Social Media Marketing is different from traditional marketing – you need to interact with people – hence the word Social. You need to actively find people or businesses that may be interested in what you have to offer. Talk to them about the things they’re talking about. It isn’t just about advertising your business; you need to be much more subtle than that. Show people that you care about them and they’ll care about you too, but the trick here is that you need to genuinely care. If you’re false, people will realise and it won’t work.

So, if you’ve dabbled with SM for your business, or you’ve realised you need to, then maybe some tips on how to build your following would help?

  1. Put your SM buttons and links on your website.
  2. Add your SM links to your email signature and all other electronic media such as newsletters – invite people to follow you or become a fan.
  3. Add your SM links to all printed media – headed paper, compliment slips, business cards etc.
  4. Invite your Facebook followers to follow you on Twitter and vice versa. If you’re on Linked In, make sure all of your SM links are on your profile page, and make sure your profile is complete.
  5. Add a blog page to your website, or set up a separate blog and link them. Update it regularly with interesting and engaging content. Search engines love fresh content!
  6. Search out people who may be interested in your product and follow them.
  7. Communicate with your followers – retweet often as this validates them and warms them to you. 

The main problem is that it takes time. I’ve heard it said that Social Media is like the grout between tiles, where the tiles represent all your other business activities. Throughout your day you need to be checking in to see what’s going on and finding opportunities to engage with your customers and potentials. This doesn’t need to take long, but a consistent and persistent approach is key.

If you don’t think you have the time to do justice to Social Media, give us a call to find out how we can help you – 01462 615821, or you can connect with us on Social media through one of the links above or email us.

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