Scrap the iPhone 6 – this is even more exciting!

If you aren’t an Apple fan then maybe you haven’t waited with baited breath for, or watched in full the Keynote about the new iPhone 6.   However, there is something we feel is even more exciting about this launch, and that is the Apple Watch.

It’s interesting to note that this doesn’t look any bigger than my husband’s current Gadget Show-style watch, a Phosphor e Ink.

Phosphor e Ink

Phosphor e Ink watch

Apple say there’s an Apple Watch for everyone.  It certainly seems so if you are ready for it in early 2015.  You need an iPhone 5 or 6 to be able to connect and interact with it, but it is stand-alone too.   If you’ve got other Apple gadgets like Apple TV, then you’re able to interact with all that too.

The Apple Watch is waterproof and screens are protected by sapphire crystal or Ion-X glass for the sport version, and, of course, there’s the Edition version in gold!

It does look amazing and suddenly it feels like we really are now experiencing that fantastical stuff from the film Back to the Future.

Are you an Apple fan?   Have you watched the Keynote or looked at the capabilities of the new products?  We find it fascinating and can’t wait to see who will be wearing one in 2015.

If you haven’t seen it yet, go and have a look at the Apple Watch and/or watch the Keynote.

A great photo mode you could be using on your mobile

To create a great panoramic photo we used to use an image-stitching software tool for creating panoramic photos.  Basically, you take a set of pictures of the view, which is normally a big expanse before you, and use software such as AutoStitch to merge them into one panoramic shot afterwards when you get back to your PC. 

However, there is, for most of us, a great mode on our phones to do this right then and there.

The Pano setting is brilliant.  Find it!  It should give you basic instructions or guidance.  Sweep across the view to get the same effect.  The above picture was taken with an SLR camera and stitched, but with a good camera on your phone you can get a great Pano shot easily with no faffing around.   It will even, in some instances, cope with people moving around as you sweep across the scene.

This Pano mode is also great for a group shots close-up as well as for views.   You can even use it vertically to capture tall buildings.   You don’t have to all the way, you can stop where you want. You can get a bit of distortion depending on how wide a view, how close you are etc but do go and have a try in various situations if you have the pano setting.  It’s great for catching a group or crowd close together (preferably if they’ll stay still for a moment!) when ordinarily you couldn’t fit them all in, taking a picture of someone posing at the bottom of a tall building, and panoramic views.

You may find uses with this to show of your next exhibition stand, crowd at an event or workshop if you are running a business too.   Tweet them to us @DotSocialise

iPhone Pano

iPhone Pano

New changes to Facebook rules – HURRAY!

Facebook like, dislike image

Facebook like, dislike image

As a user, I was extremely pleased to read about the new Facebook Platform Policy (7 Aug, fully effective on 5 Nov 2014) stopping Pages apps requiring you to like a Page in order to enter competitions etc.  Like-gating, as it’s known, is now prohibited by policy.

What is it?

It’s when competitions and promotions require you enter by following their request of liking their Page.

However, there are many Pages not following the rules that already apply to promotions and offers.  This could be due to lack of knowledge and understanding, blatantly ignoring them or attempting to get hundreds of likes.  The latter doesn’t particularly help your marketing because if the person doesn’t really ‘like’ your Page, they with either unlike it or remain dormant, limiting the reach of your posts.  Remember it’s about quality not quantity.  You want an engaged audience, not huge figures of uninterested people on your Page.  After 5 November even if an existing app requests a Page like, it will be disabled by Facebook (in effect) and not count whether the entrant has or hasn’t liked the Page!  For a new app, we believe this is in effect already (from 7 Aug 2014) and some have 90 days to comply.

There have always been strict rules around competitions on Facebook.  To summaries these:

  • you must show all the terms, rules and eligibility to enter etc
  • must include an acknowledgement that it is not associated with Facebook
  • not request use of personal timelines (e.g. ‘Share on your Timeline to enter’ is not allowed)

See the rules in full in the Facebook Pages Terms.

Hands up if you are surprised by these rules?  There are plenty who don’t abide by them!

Another interesting rule that you may not have heard of is that third-party advertisements on Pages are prohibited, without Facebook’s prior permission.

The new rules that sparked this post applies to apps.  ‘You must not incentivise people to use social plugins or to like a Page.   This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page.   It remains acceptable to incentivise people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page.’   Read this and about the changes to Games apps here under Changes to Platform Policy .

So, in theory, we should see a lot less of the ‘Like our Page to enter’ competitions in our personal timelines.

As a Page owner if you have created a campaign or social strategy based on incentivising page likes through apps you may find have work to do!  But, in the long run, you will find other actions, probably more effective ones, to ask your audience to do, to replace that one.

The controversy over this is move by Facebook is really interesting. See the comments under the Facebook Blog, and Socially Staked.

When you consider how many Pages each individual has liked, narrowing down who sees what has got to mean users only really do click to like, in the future, those pages that you are really interested in, not just because they want to enter a competition.

We think this is a good move. What do you think?

 

 

Croydon Tech City, Just Croydon and our Tweetup

IMG_6825 IMG_6777

On Thursday, Wendy attended the Croydon Tech City season finale meeting at Matthews Yard, Croydon.  This is a movement founded by Jonny Rose, now joined by Sarah Luxford and Nigel Dias, promoting the growth of tech companies and start-ups to come and work in and/or from Croydon.

There are great, free, monthly meetings (though there’s not one in August, hence it being the season finale this month!) with presentations from players large and small involved in tech, tech start-ups or with views or influence over them.  Since the inception, 16 months ago, there’s been a Croydon Tech City Summit and social gatherings, the Code Club movement is expanding, giving the opportunity for kids from primary school-age learning to code and lots of networking and partnership discussions.

There’s always a really positive vibe, interesting people to meet from the large group of technically-minded people to other marketing companies, ideas people, to the odd financier.

We also discovered from one of the presentations on Thursday that the Just Croydon website had launched just 2 days before, a new social site for Croydon, and that their launch night is the same as our next Tweetup.   So, we would really encourage anyone and everyone interested in getting connected and improving Croydon in person, or online, to come down to Matthews Yard on 13th August.   The Just Croydon Launch is from 6.30pm for 7pm start in the studio with talks from Jonny Rose, Councillor Tony Newman and the Mayor of Croydon, Manju Shahul-Hameed.  

The Tweetup is just a social event, free and everyone is welcome to come along.   It starts from 7.30pm, or join up with us after the Just Croydon event, on 13 August.  See full details of the August Tweetup.  

Stephanie Darkes and Wendy Ager from Dot-Social will be there and we’re normally at the bar or outside.

 

 

 

Local social marketing tips

Because us Dot Social ladies come from Croydon, we know people who work or worked at Nestle and/or have a connection with Nestle because they used to have their UK Headquarters here and were the main private employer in Croydon.   They’re now down the road near Gatwick.  The Nestle building is part of the Croydon skyline, literally, and they lit up the Wellesley Road building at night with coloured lights.  They’re an American giant, but we have an indirect connection with them because they are local.

As online marketeers, we know the best way to gain positive attention is to provide great content and be a source of information relevant to our audience.  The problem is that nearly everybody (well, anyone with any sense!) is doing it.  This means even your best content may get lost in the crowd.

A very good way to stand out, especially if you have a local base, or connection with a particular area is by focusing your efforts locally.  Remember the saying, ‘Think globally, act locally‘.   Think about the big picture but if you’re starting out or a small business, you need to start small, and local.

Consider marketing yourself to smaller groups rather than targeting larger ones.  You can do this by joining discussions in local LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Groups, in smaller local Google Communities, or even at smaller business networking events.

People who know you are local are far more likely to read your posts and respond to them, connect with you and remember you if they feel that local connection.   We explained this at our recent Social Media workshop, that it can fall right down to the specific area in a town if you are a small, local business.  London is a big place, as-is Surrey, so although you might be intending to market to a global audience, if you are based in Guildford or Bermondsey, then say so.   Name the particular place and people will think of a connection with it, and it is that that makes it feel more personal and memorable.

With the corporate world and big businesses being seen sometimes in a negative light now and people turning to look out the bespoke, small, local business you’ll find, like us, a lot of people would rather do business with a local business than a big global corporate.  We see this all the time with requests on Social Media for recommendations for anything from a local plumber that needs to be local to a web designer, who doesn’t.

By the way, we can produce beautiful WordPress websites ourselves, but we don’t do plumbing – well, not yet!!

So don’t forget to talk about your specific location, your connection with places and also where you’re heading or where you’ve been.  Mention this on your social media channels as well as looking out suitable places to share your content with people online in smaller localised groups.   Think about your business according to both local and global considerations.

We organise Tweetups, which are a social gathering in Croydon. If you’d like to come to one and/or meet us, see the next dates and any of our other events on our Events Page.

What can people see on your Facebook Page?

Facebook Page Privacy jpg

When you’re logged into your own business or community Page on Facebook it’s good to keep in mind that you can probably see more than people who are viewing or have Liked your page can see.  There are also a few things you may not be able to see that others can eg a comment that’s been made private between friends about your page.

You can see all the posts on your page, even ones that have been ‘hidden’ but a visitor won’t see them.

Unless you’ve changed the settings, people will also see Other People’s posts to your page, and interactions THEIR friends have had with your page and who of their friends have Liked your page. If you want to change this you can either ‘Require your approval for others posts to your page’ or turn of the Recent Posts By Others box – See how to here!

If you have need to, you can remove someone from you page, or go further and BAN them! See more on that here.  You can also add a profanities filter or even ban the use of particular words!

You can set country and age restrictions of people who see/like your page, decide if you want people to tag photos and all sorts in Edit Settings and even make your page more visible.

At the top of your Page, click Edit Page then Select Edit Settings

Go and have a look NOW and see if you want to add/change anything on your Facebook Page!

 

We’re Dot Social on Facebook.  There we share our blogs and other useful marketing and social media tips. We are @Dotsocialise on Twitter, if you’d like to connect with us individually on Twitter, we are @AniaWL, @StephanieDarkes and I’m @WendyAnnAger.

 

 

 

A Croydon Tweetup at Matthews Yard

It has been a very long time since Croydon had a Tweet up and being the sociable and organised people that we are, the Dot Social ladies took it upon ourselves to organise the first Croydon Tweet up of 2014 at Matthews Yard last week.

For us, Tweetups aren’t for business purposes they are strictly social, to meet the scene behind the screen!

While there are lots of business networking events, there are less purely social meet ups; around Croydon we have Croydon Eats Out and Purley Breakfast Club as regular social events, and we’ve been to Croydon Tweetups in the past that have been purely social and informal occasions.  

That being said, there are a lot of people on Twitter interacting because they’ve got a business interest, so those connections and, “Hello, I’m X, what do you do?” introductions obviously lead to it being inevitable that some business networking occurs.  That’s great, and why not?!  But, for us, the main purpose of the Croydon Tweetups is just to meet and socialise with locals.  There’s no agenda, no timetable, no speakers and no pressure.  Just come and mingle and turn up and leave when it suits you.

This Wednesday was the first Croydon Tweetup this year and about 40 people came along.  There were a few presenters from Croydon Radio, which is based there, and a wide range of others.  There was a real buzz at the bar with everyone chatting and introducing those they knew and didn’t to each other.   There were only a few I hadn’t met before, and one guy who had definitely not found out about it on Twitter and isn’t on Twitter at all!

Thanks to the fabulous Matthews Yard for having us.  We love it there.  It’s such a great hub for business to personal, arts, music and community events and groups.

We intend to have these Croydon Tweetups regularly now, so keep an eye out for future dates on, or join, the official Croydon Tweetup page, see elsewhere online and follow us on Twitter.

If you missed this one, diary the next one which will be from 7pm on Weds, 9th April

 

  

Support Croydon’s Meanwhile Use

Meanwhile Use turns empty spaces and places into opportunities for communities and businesses.  It is the temporary use of buildings or land for a socially beneficial purpose until they can be brought back into commercial use.  The Meanwhile Use Toolkit provides help for those with an idea for a space in the London Borough of Croydon. 

The Croydon Meanwhile Use competition gives winning entries in various categories £700, and runners-up £400 towards their set-up. Finalists also have the possibility of getting one of three bonus prizes of up to £500.  

For those with an idea for a Meanwhile Use in Croydon there’s a host of available resources to help you including workshops, and that’s where we come in.  We’ve been asked to share our expertise on creating a social media strategy and social media profile set-up at the Marketing Day at Matthews Yard on Weds 26th March.    

Lets get some empty spaces in Croydon back in use, creatively too.  The winners will be announced at an Awards Ceremony at Matthews Yard on the 30 April, 5.30pm. All are welcome!

 

What do you love best about Twitter, Facebook, Linke….

What do you love most about the platforms you use?  It’s great to find out how other people use Social Media.   Often it shows us a new perspective, an insight or even a great tip we can use.

Here’s what I love most about the platforms I use most:

Twitter is by far my favourite because it’s full of conversations, quirkiness, news and information. It’s not limited like some of the others in that it’s reach is far and wide because anyone can ReTweet your message and one of their followers can ReTweet it again and so it goes on.   As much as it’s extensive, it can also be very localised, if you want it to be, by chatting with locals and using local searches.  You don’t have to be following someone or them you to be able to interact or share information with you, so the reach of your message is almost infinite. There’s always something interesting happening there too.    See more on this on my own blog How Twitter Changed My Life.

Facebook is where my friends are, well most of them, still.  It is where we catch-up, chat, share photos & organise things in groups from days outs to events and parties.  That’s what I do personally on Facebook.   In some business groups and on Pages I share relevant and useful content and find some very useful information, mostly from pages I’ve liked and am interested in.

LinkedIn really is for business and where I mostly find out most about my networking contacts, their background, their business, expertise and experience, if they’ve completed it! I also use the search facilities on there quite a bit and post in local groups, contact people through their message system who I haven’t got or stored their contact details.  You can also get quite hooked on ‘Answers’, where you can pose or answer questions on specific topics.

For photos I love Flickr for displaying, grouping, sharing and more and I’m beginning to see the excitement of Pinterest now.  I never got into Instagram and don’t see the point of re-duplicating uploading my photos again and I really don’t want to click through to them from Twitter either!

YouTube searches are phenominal now, and I am often looking up How tos and more on there.  With AdBlocker on Chrome it’s even slicker to use now too.  I’ve also blogged about whether it’s a good or bad thing to block online advertising. It’s not often convenient for me to watch video, which is why I still read much more information than listen to or watch online myself.

Google Plus still feels like a new playing field to me, with most people I see posting being ones I recognise from one of the above platforms.  Circles and Communities, to me, are just a replica of groups on Facebook or LinkedIn.  I know some people who say they absolutely love G+ but, as a friend & Tweeter recently said, “What gap does it fill?”.

So, what do you do on/with the platforms you use?  

What’s your favourite and why?

Google’s new email ‘Unsubscribe’ button

A couple of days ago, Google rolled out their new ‘Unsubscribe’ button. It comes up next to your emails from companies it thinks you might want to unsubscribe from. It’s a link that sends an automated email to the sender requesting they remove you from future emails.

I noticed my first one today.

It will make it easier to unsubscribe from marketing emails, but will it reduce spam? According to The Verge it won’t because it won’t pick them up as marketeers promotions and you don’t want an email sent back to a spammer, for fear of more spam! So, it will simply allow us to quickly and easily unsubscribe from marketing messages without having to scroll down to look for the unsubscribe link at the bottom.

It clearly won’t catch all of them either, as I’ve got a few others without the Unsubscribe button showing.

Google explain it a bit more here and call it Auto-Unsubscribe.