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!

 

Facebook buys WhatsApp, so what?!

If you’re not a user of WhatsApp, then this is not really news for you.  

WhatsApp lets you text with other users regardless of the platform for FREE, even internationally.   It has great group chat features and some other additional features.   

However, if like the Dot Social team (Wendy, Ania & Stephanie) you are a regular user, you may have heard or be interested to know that Facebook has bought WhatsApp.    The first I heard of it was a post by Mark  Zuckerberg on Facebook himself yesterday – ‘We’ve agreed to acquire WhatsApp and that their entire team will be joining us at Facebook…”.

While at the moment the impression given is that WhatsApp will remain unchanged, there are the sceptics out there who are discussing and will be watching and waiting to see if there will be new charges and/or if it gets integrated into/swallowed up by Facebook.

For now WhatsApp say – Here’s what will change for you, our users: nothing.

Only time will tell in the end I suppose.

Dot Social has expanded

In 2014 we welcome two new partners to Dot Social.

I am very excited to announce (if you haven’t already noticed) that we have expanded.  I’d like to welcome to the team; established marketeer and generally fabulous Wendy Ager (if you have any connections to businesses in Croydon you’ve probably come across her at networking events on Twitter) AND photography / graphic design aficionado and e-learning expert Ania Wilk Lawton to provide an engaging visual and web design element to our services.

Three times the expertise.

‘Three Marketeers’ ready to help you fulfil your digital marketing requirements and help you use Social Media to progress your business.

Let me introduce you to the team:

Wendy Ager is a prolific online networker and established Marketeer, she specialises in Twitter, writing, copy/ for online or Linked In, business marketing & business coaching. With 4000+ followers on Twitter, she knows how to work it!

Ania Wilk Lawton has a passion for visual and creative services, running an established photography business alongside her involvement in DotSocial. With additional experience and a deep love for all things WordPress, she can make your business look good!

And myself, Stephanie Darkes Digital Marketer and Social Media Superstar and lover of all thing creative.  I have over 10 years experience in a wide range of areas from implementing and managing marketing campaigns across multiple social media platforms for SMEs to writing for local publications and blogging.

Collectively we have nearly 10,000 followers on Twitter and 3,000 on Facebook.

And we are ready to help you!

Facebook Updates – Tips from them!

In the ever-changing world of Facebook it’s hard to keep up with what might make your posts seen or not, and even the most supportive and fanatical Facebook marketeers don’t really know, and must find it hard to keep up!  

The best way to be sure has got to be to check with Facebook themselves. Below is an extract from their Newsroom from  21st Jan 2014 on creating content for your Facebook Page.

“Many Page owners often ask what kind of content they should post. This is difficult to answer, as it depends on who your audience is and what they want to see”…

“The best way to share a link after this update will be to use a link-share, so it looks like the one below. We’ve found that, as compared to sharing links by embedding in status updates, these posts get more engagement (more likes, comments, shares and clicks) and they provide a more visual and compelling experience for people seeing them in their feeds.”  

You can read the full Facebook post from their very own Newsroom here.   I hope this helps you. 

For more information from us, find us on Facebook!

Wendy Ager, for Dot Social

Anyone can ‘do’ social – but not everyone can do it well

I’ve heard it said time and time again that ‘anyone can do social’ and it’s true, pop onto your Facebook profile and you’ll find any number of relatives from 15 to 80 sharing and chatting. But would you let your errant Aunt run your business’ Facebook page? Or would you let your tearaway teenage niece get her hands on your business Twitter profile?

The answer of course is ‘no you wouldn’t’ (unless you had some kamikaze tendencies).

The point is that yes, anyone can do social but to ‘do’ social successfully for business, they will need the following basic skills:

1. Good written language skills
Everything you say online is representative of your business, it is very important that you come across online professionally.

2. Empathy
They need to understand other people, and know how to talk to people in a way that allows them to get the best from a situation.

3. Creative Imagination
A lot of work around Social Media focuses on content creation, they have to be able to come up with great, interesting ideas.

4. Most importantly they have to like socialising
Sociopaths don’t bode well on Social Media sites, they will have to like a good natter.

And that’s just the basics! After that they will need:
1. Training on the platform/s of choice
2. An understanding of the ethos of the company
3. A knowledge of the correct tone for the message.

Yes, anyone can ‘do social’ but when it comes to YOUR business you need to make sure you get it right!

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!