10 easy ideas to post on your Social Media

A lot of people we meet who aren’t yet using Social Media or haven’t fully integrated it into their marketing plans ask us what they should post on their Social Media channels.

There are literally hundreds of things you can post about but for some simple outgoing post suggestions for your social media, see below.   We recommend the 80/20 rule i.e. 80% sharing useful information and content and engaging with your audience and just 20% directed to your business.

1.  Promotional offers for your products/services

2. How your product/services solve your customers’ problems or help them

3. Comparisions of yours to other similar products/services

4. Reviews of your products/services or testimonials/case studies

5. Best of, top sellers or customers’ favourites

6. Your USP

7.  What you’re working on right now

9.  Industry news

10. Share photos or video of your people doing their work or using your products

We’ll post some more suggestions in the future, but hopefully these will give you some inspiration if you’re struggling with what to talk about.  Don’t forget, we’re very social and happy to join you in conversation, especially on Twitter, so do follow us @DotSocialise and

Wendy Ager @WendyAnnAger

Stephanie Darkes @StephanieDarkes

Ania Wilk-Lawton @AniaWL

Why and how to use Twitter Lists

Lists are extremely useful.  You can group people together in Twitter lists so that you can go and just see those people’s Tweets.  It’s also useful because you don’t have to follow the people you put into Lists and so you don’t have to follow them but still get to see their Tweets.  It’s another way of seeing people’s Tweets if and when you want to and you don’t have to be following them.   You can have 1000 different lists and put 5000 people in any of them, one or more.

You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. 

To create your own list,  go to the gear icon drop down menu in the top right navigation bar or from profile page just click on Lists.   That’s where you go to look at Tweets by people you’ve put in Lists and manage your lists etc.  

To add Tweeters to your lists, click the gear icon by the the Users profile and you’ll see ‘Add to List’.  

Whether to keep your Lists public or private is up to you.  If you have a bunch of confidential clients, influencers and competitors you want to ‘watch’ what they’re Tweeting about then you’ll probably want to make those private.   If you’re making a good list of contacts in one field or location that others might want to follow we’d suggest you make them Public, and that you name them clearly and positively and you’ll get other people following your lists.   

To follow other people’s lists, from their Profile click on Lists and subscribe.

 

For more on detail and help with Lists try Twitter’s “I’m having trouble with lists” information in the Help Centre.

Social Media Marketing for Croydon’s Meanwhile Use

 On Wednesday, 26th we shared our Social Media knowledge at the Meanwhile Use Croydon Marketing Day at Matthews Yard.    We were asked to provide advice on setting up a social media strategy and social media profiles.   

We stepped-in and ran the whole morning session based on our two presentations, with networking and coffee between.   Stephanie talked on creating a successful social media strategy and Wendy talked about social media profiles and improving your online presence.  There were a real mix of people in the audience, from those with an interesting idea for the Meanwhile Use Croydon scheme and some others interested in Social Media marketing for their businesses.  

It was the last day of workshops and finished with Sally Williams talking from Retail Revival.   The final applications for the Meanwhile Use Croydon competition are due in by 30th March.   

We are happy to connect you with a very supportive local online community in Croydon for campaigns, ideas and companies, so if you are on/join any of the Social Media platforms do connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+.  

 

You can now tag your friends on mobile Twitter images!

In a bid to keep up with Facebook, Twitter have incorporated the ability to tag your friends in your photos on your mobile with their ‘tap to mention’ facility.

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You can tag up to ten people in one photo WITHOUT using any of your 140 characters.. About time too, we say!

Twitter have also added a collage option allowing you to add up to four photos in a single tweet, if you aren’t seeing any of these changes, get updating!

But if you don’t want to be tagged, fear not! You can opt out.  Simply go to your Twitter privacy settings and change your default setting for photo sharing “Allow anyone to tag me in photos” to either only people you already follow can tag you, or turn it off completely. You can also untag yourself from any photos by tapping the three dots below the tweet and select “Remove tag from photo.”

Related articles
Twitter gets a new look… it’s Facebook: ‘Tags’ and ‘shares’ appear on micro-blogging platform

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

 

  

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?

10 tips on using Hashtags

 

The basics: A hashtag is a great way of grouping information together.   Just use # directly before a relevant work or phrase (with no spaces).  On Twitter it helps show up those words more easily in Twitter Search & you can also follow them on Facebook and Google+.  If you click on a hashtagged word in a message, it will show you all other messages with that hashtagged word.

For the basics, read this simple explanation by the Twitter Help Centre.

Our Tips:

1. Use a hashtag yourself where it makes sense, like current trends and topics.

2. Use the correct hashtag when joining a discussion or following a particular event/show/conference.

3.  Use hashtags to make recommendations like #GreatRead #NowPlaying 

4.  Use a hashtag to add context or irony to a message, like #fail and #justsaying or make one up to be quirky e.g. #funnythingsoverheardonatrain 

5.  On a Friday, use #followfriday or #ff to Tweet a message of support to people who you like to follow but PLEASE say why.  e.g. “#ff @DotSocialise team,  for great blogs on social media” – because it gives people the reason to follow them. 

6.  Set up your own hashtags, for events or for specific discussions create a Twitter Chat

7.  Try not to use more than 2 hashtags in one Tweet or it looks like spam and makes the Tweet difficult to read.

8.  It’s not imperative (hashtags aren’t case sensitive) but for ease of reading add capital letters e.g. #PurleyBreakfastClub (refer back to No 4!)

9. If there’s a trending topic relevant to your business/brand use the hashtag in your relevant Tweets to join in.

10. Read up on hashtag fails so you don’t get caught out.

 

For further reading for getting technical with Hashtags have a look on  Hashtags.org 

Coming soon: Online lie detector to test social media rumours

From the royal wedding announcement on Twitter, to the rumour of Rwandan President, Paul Kagame’s death, these days lots of news stories break and rumours originate from Social Media.  So, is it any wonder that a lie detector is currently being developed to help organisations including emergency services effectively respond to Social Media by verifying online rumours.

The project, called Pheme after the Pheme of Greek mythology,  is being funded by the EU and worked on by five Universities and four businesses including  Sheffield, Warwick and King’s College London.

They claim that the system could have helped verify online rumours during the London riots

Dr Kalina Bontcheva, Lead researcher from the Department of Computer Science at Sheffield University says:

“There was a suggestion after the 2011 riots that social networks should have been shut down, to prevent the rioters using them to organise. But social networks also provide useful information – the problem is that it all happens so fast and we can’t quickly sort truth from lies. This makes it difficult to respond to rumours, for example, for the emergency services to quash a lie in order to keep a situation calm. Our system aims to help with that, by tracking and verifying information in real time.”

The system is set to analyse the text of posts on Twitter and Facebook to get to the truth and route out accounts set up to share false commentary.

The project is set to last for three years and the hope is that from it a specialist tool will be produced for journalists.

It will be very interesting to see what comes of it – watch this space..

 

Related stories

EU project to build lie detector for social media

9 Breaking News Tweets That Changed Twitter Forever

Blocking Online Adverts – Is this good or bad?

Ever since installing AdBlock Plus to Chrome, and enjoying being able to happily watch WHAT I WANT on YouTube without being forced to watch adverts first, I’ve been wondering what effect this will have on the future of online advertising.   According to this Forbes post, Use of Ad-blocking is on the rise, the use of ad blocking is growing at a rate of 43% per year.

 

 

So, I’ve done a little research here’s what I found.

Where initially Adblock Plus would block all advertising, it now apparently has a whitelist of selected sites and services whose ads are allowed through the filter.  These do seem reasonable to me if you read about what they class as non-intrusive ‘acceptable ads‘.  

Obviously, it is controversial, as detailed by Dave Lee, BBC Technology News – Is it ethical to block adverts online? 

I had a look through the The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB)*, report mentioned (OK, so I didn’t read it all in depth – it’s extremely lengthy!) and found the following points make their case fairly clear. 

Below are extracts from the White Paper: Consumers driving the digital uptake – The economic value of online advertising-based services for consumers.

 P13 Point 4. Primary Research:  “…current ad-financed services generate significant value for the average Internet user, being an order of magnitude higher than what the same user would be willing to pay for eliminating the related disturbance of advertising and privacy issues.”

 P 14 Point 4.2: “Free ad-funded services generate the bulk of this consumer services surplus, highlighting the significant value of the ad-based revenue model for consumers.”

 P24 Point 5 : “the value obtained from using Web services remains six times larger than what users are willing to spend to avoid such disturbance. This means that the current ecosystem works quite well and that caution must be exercised in challenging the current system because of the risk of creating other imbalances.”

What this report seems to suggest/confirm is that Advertising basically helps pay for all the free stuff we get while using the internet, and the detriment is far, far, way out-weighed by the benefits.

So now I’m all for acceptable and non-intrusive ads, in order to keep a lot of what we use on the internet free.  

What do you think about blocking adverts and the future of online advertising? Comment below:

 

 *FYI The IAB is a UK-based trade association for online and mobile advertisers.

Making Social Media work for your business

If you want to really make Social Media work for your business you have to be realistic about how you go about managing it, here are some handy dandy tips to help you…

Use some great Software:

There are plenty of management platforms out there such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, it is a good idea to find one that you like and preplan some stock tweets / Facebook messages but I’ll let you into a secret; social media works best when it’s in real time…

Source: http://blogs.attask.com

Little and often:

You wouldn’t start a conversation on Monday, walk away from it and finish it on Tuesday, the person you are talking to would think you incredibly rude.  The best way to manage your online community is to do a little everyday.

*There are other advantages of working in real time, for example, with FB in particular @ tagging does not work through management platforms

 

Think about your content

Create a steady flow of fun, interesting content that people will be enjoy, find useful and will want to read.

 

Be engaging

Imagine you’re at a party, it’s an online gathering of people, if you’re a wall-flower no one will see you and no one will notice you, if you talk too much people will get annoyed and walk away. If you listen as much as you talk, make jokes and make people feel comfortable people will flock to you.

 

Source: http://www.bitrebels.com

Employ the right person to manage your social media:

For small to medium Businesses it is often advantageous to outsource to a Social Media Professional / Community Manager.  If you do decide to do this I would also suggest that you find yourself one who has an interest and / or experience in your field. If they are going to be talking about and representing your business, they need to be passionate about it!

 

Be courteous

The 80’s and the age of what I call shouty marketing is well and truly over, we are living in an age where businesses need to be more courteous and customer savy because when it comes to Social Media, as a business you need to create a buzz for your brand so that people want to follow you / like you / read your updates, if you spend all of your time shouting sales pitches at people you’re not going to make any friends fast!

 

If you need any more tips, you know where I am!