Happy Social Media Day 2014

SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT JUST A DAY…

Well, I nearly forgot that it was Social Media Day today – until I saw my friend Stephen post about it on his Facebook profile. Good to have that reminder. Being a Web and Social Media trainer, I couldn’t let the day go without highlighting it, of course.

So…Voila!

Happy Social Media Day - #smday 2014The thing is though, to my mind, every day is Social Media Day. These days we can not avoid using it – particularly in a business sense. Or we can but we’d be very foolish.

Our business may only be open 9-5 on weekdays, but that doesn’t mean the discussions aren’t 24/7. Or to put it another way, you may only be a B2B weekday business but there may be people searching for your product or service morning, noon and night, every night!

ARE YOU LISTENING?

So even if you’re not if you’re not actively posting or engaging on Social Media,  I’d hope you’re at least monitoring the conversations that are taking place. This could be as simple as setting up Google Alerts for your name, your company name, competitors’ names, or any relevant keywords.

In any sort of business? Then ignore Social Media at your peril

HISTORY OF SOCIAL MEDIA DAY

It appears to be the fifth year of Social Media Day. (Who knew? If I did, I forgot.) It was, somewhat unsurprisingly, started by Mashable to celebrate the world’s online conversations. Read more about Social Media Day over there.

Smart Social Media Tools and Tips

Thea Newcomb | Women Into Business Glasgow | WiB March 18 2014Last week, I delivered a talk: “Smart Social Media” at the Women in Business (WiB) networking event in Glasgow.

Also on the bill was a another, fellow sunny transplant, Australian, Ann-Maree Morrison from Labels4Kids. whos talk was firey, fun and fab!

So yes, all in all, was a rather like an international Social Media summit in Glasgow on Tuesday!

As Online Marketing is such a vast subject to cover, let alone in twenty minutes, attendees got a bite-sized-prezi-at-break-neck-speed! (Ha, sorry to the 80+ attendees).

For a recap to those who attended (or for those who didn’t but are interested), here is a run down of the talk and some of the suggestions that I made.

What is Social Media?

Different people have their own definitions to that question, of course. We went around the room and women fired out words like “Fast” and “Word of Mouth” etc..

Well, here’s a definition I made up:

“Social Media is communicating, listening, engaging, sharing, and marketing through online platforms (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+…)”

I stressed that the emphasis, at least to my mind, is on the engaging and sharing, and less about the marketing or promoting. 80-20 or even 90-10 rules apply here. No one likes to be sold to!

What is Content?

Next I asked the room what they thought “content” was. Content can be any number of things, some may be more obvious than others, but here are a few you can use to share on Social Media:

1. Text updates (with or without links)
2. Pictures with Text (in descriptions or on the pictures themselves)
3. Videos (highly recommended!)
4. Presentations (use things like SlideShare or Prezi)
5. Infographics (these are heavily shared when done right!)
6. Press Releases
7. Newsletters
8. Audio clips or Podcasts

Something else? Do you have other suggestions? Add them in the comments below…

Social Media Trends in 2014

Of course there are many “trends” that are happening in Social Media but I quickly cited four of them.

1) Mobile & Tablets. For using social media, but also viewing websites and buying online. Is yours optimized for mobile? Try it yourself, and have your friends/family beta-test it on theirs. How good is the experience?

2) Visual Marketing. “The only thing  shorter than a tweet  or a post is a picture.”   – Detavio Samuels. Yes, that about sums that up. FYI: For this, I had a picture of a rather hot, half-naked man sporting a kilt. (I believe that went down well – I certainly had no complaints)…   😉

3) Video. “According to WebDAM, visual data is processed 60,000 times faster by the brain than text, and videos on landing pages increase conversions by 86%.”

4) Google+. Well I would say that wouldn’t I? Given I am Glasgow’s Google+ Gal – soon to be training SMEs on Google Plus in Glasgow with my associate Brian Tait for Aillum.

Seriously though, I do know that poor G+ gets a lot of flack, it has its doubters, but I do feel it’s a place SMEs need to be if they have a product or service that people search Google for. If that’s you, get on it. As my Grandmother used to say “if it don’t do ya no good, won’t do ya no harm.”

NOTE: Please contact me if you’re in Central Scotland and are interested in the Google+ Training. You can email me my first name at this website or connect on any one of the social media channels at the top right!!

Social Media Tools

The Social Media tools I chose all had FREE and FEE versions and were ones I actually use regularly (most of them daily) for creating, sharing, monitoring and measuring social media activities.

1) HootSuite or some scheduling tool. Could be SproutSocial, TweetDeck or Buffer – but use something to help schedule tweets/posts. I’ve used all but the last one. I have heard great things about Buffer from my colleagues. Sprout is great but too pricy unless you manage a ton of social for clients. (IMHO).

My day-to-day effort is on Hootsuite with a pro account (which is only about 6 pounds!)

In addition to the scheduling, I also love that you can bring in “lists” and search by keywords and location. Very valuable to weed out the noise on social media (in particular Twitter). To be honest, I rarely look at my home stream – primarily just my various “lists” and my “keyword” streams.

2) Spundge – a tool that can help you curate content and archive articles for later use. I also use the pro account for that which has more features. I call it “Pinterest for content” as you create “notebooks” (not boards) to save articles, pictures, videos to. Spunge made some recent changes that I really don’t like, but the principle is still there and I still use it daily.

3) Manager Flitter is a “set of Twitter Tools loved by over 1 million people. Unfollow, Follow, Twitter Search & Analytics“. Basically I like it to help find who your key influencers are, and also to weed out the spammy or quiet followers. I subscribe to the “quality” over “quantity” on Twitter.

4) Bitly – Link shorteners. There are many others out there, but I use it and have stuck with it. It allows me to create a link that I can share across all platforms and then see which is working the best through it’s “Stats”. Very helpful to measure online activity!

5) Google Alerts – These are FREE email alerts that can sent to you any time your product or service gets mentioned. You can do alerts for your own name (maybe you’ve been quoted or mentioned somewhere in the press or on a site), your competitors, industry keywords, or whatever might relevant to you and your business.

SUMMARY

1) Know your Audience. Who are they? Where are they? Where do they hangout online?

2) What is your message? Who are you? What do you do? Why should people buy from you or use your services? Quality? Price? Variety? What is your USP?

3) Engage online. It’s not just about sharing content, it’s about having conversations. It’s about building relationships. Not just ROI but ROR – Return on Relationship.

4) Measure it! Look at your Google Analytics (everyone with a website should be using it or similar – it’s free and helpful!) Or study your Facebook ‘Insights’. You have to set up some KPIs to know what you’re doing is working or not! Or else why put in all of this effort?

5) Own it! Don’t try to be everywhere. Pick a platform where you think the most of your users are and really OWN IT. Light it up as best you can. Try different types of posts, different times of day. Remember weekends and night times as that’s when many users may be on.

I mentioned that I try to schedule a post every night on the So You’ve Been Dumped Facebook page at 9 or 10pm each night. That’s when the most of my audience is on!

So yeah don’t get overwhelmed with it all. Start with one and add more as you go and grow.

One thing I meant to say but didn’t – is that you may want to register your name on many social media platforms to claim it so someone else doesn’t! Even if you don’t plan to actively use it, grab it, fill out the profiles, use key words in bios and link back to your website  >>  Claim your username on Knowem.Com

FEEDBACK FROM TWITTER

Delighted to say Twittersphere went stratospheric after the talk. There were tons but here are just a few of the tweets:

 Thanks to @BGGlasgow @OryxSolutions @Labels4Kids @WeCanOrganise @WildFloursBakes @InternGenieUK @livenlearnuk @sept_marketing @SecretlilStars @misstracyruth @wiretrace …And to a few other lovely ladies where not even in the room: @bestevermassage @busitimesaver Thanks all of you!

Working Digital – Day One

Yesterday it was great to see the culmination of months and months of behind-the-scenes-work from Gary and Colin at NSDesign. Though always on the periphery of the actual planning of the event, I still felt a part of the Working Digital process. So it was really fantastic to be there as they kicked off the event.

After Gary’s initial intro, he handed over to Social Media “guru and Author” Eric Qualman – who wrote Socialnomics (which sits above my desk where I now type), and his latest Digital Leader. – speaking via a selfie video in Boston.

To say this guy was hyperactive would be an understatement to the Nth degree (and I thought Gary talked fast). But in any event, it was a testament to Gary that he managed to attach such a big social media name to his west of Scotland event!

Gary Ennis, Mike Stevenson Working Digital Sept 2013Up next, in the flesh was another uber-enthusiastic speaker Mike Stevenson from Thinktastic. Along with Gary two years back, I had seen Mike talk in Edinburgh at an event. Though I couldn’t have told you what he said back then, I have always remembered the FEELING that I had after his event. That feeling was of positivity. Something that he pointed out (and I tend to agree with) – that Scotland can be sorely lacking in at times.

I personally have found, in twenty-one-plus-years here that if you ask a Scot how they’re doing, invariably the most common answer is always, “Not bad”. As a predominantly positive person, that comment has always irked me, just a little. When I hear it, I tend to retort “So pretty good then?”…It’s all about the spin.

I believe some people in the room (and on Twitter) took Mike’s comments about Scotland in a slightly negative way – which was unfortunate (and only serves to prove his point). Among my favorite quotes in the world is “perspective is a mirror not a fact”.

My sentiment is “never take offense”. I believe it was Gandi that said “be the change you wish to see in the world” (though some people dispute that it was Gandi who said it). Mike is living that ethos and the world’s a better place for people like him. Positivity is contagious and unfortunately so is negativity. So surround yourself with the type of people you wish to be like. Sorry, I digress….I know.

Mike’s presentation was without slides (how old school!) and veered more to “painting pictures” in our minds. He urged us to do things “better, faster, easier” and in a “more fun” way. He also recommended that in the next 24-hours we take some sort of action toward achieving a goal. I’ve been following that advice already, and am now researching journal (diary) manufactures for some branded So You’ve Been Dumped ones. Wish me luck.

Won’t be making it down to Working Digital today but maybe tomorrow. For now, I will follow the hashtags #AskTheExpert and #WorkingDigital and the Working Digital Online content too. How about you?

New Training Website – Launching Soon

Well now that the company name has been chosen, the domain has been bought, a rough logo has been created, a new company website is soon to follow. . .but for now I thought I’d outline, in a bit more detail what Newcomb’s newco is really about.

NEED A BASIC WEBSITE?

wordpress logo - circle with blue WIn the West of Scotland? Do you want a simple, mobile friendly site, but don’t know where to start? Do you only have a small budget?

No problem…

Basically my core training product will be one-to-one WordPress in a Day – in Glasgow and the West.

I take someone who has absolutely no website experience (at all) and hold their hand as I walk them through setting up WP, adding pages, posts, and pictures too.

MY AIM?

For me, the key is to empower all of my clients to go away at the end of the day with a site they can feel confident in managing themselves. A client may still want to pay someone else to do it, but at least they won’t be held hostage to their site – unable to make even the most simple of changes to pictures and text. [If I had a dollar for every time I heard a horror story from a website owner who was, effectively, held to ransom by their web design company – I would be a millionaire today!]

SEO: SEARCH

Also on the day, I’ll be teaching basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) essentials required to be found on the Internet (read: Google). Well talk about a few of the simple steps that factor into search rankings – on page of and off page optimization (basically the things you can do to get higher up in the likes of Google). Don’t worry I won’t make it too techie!

SOCIAL

Finally, the last part of the course will be spent covering some “best practices” of whatever social media channels would best suit the individual client. Some clients may want to be on a few different channels – while others may feel that one platform is enough. So this part of the training will be totally bespoke to each, individual client.

The channels I can help (correctly) set up and train on are: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest*. (You can find me on all of the above – see my social media icons to connect with me).

Note: Incidentally, I would advise customers start with one or two and do them really well – rather than be on all of them in less effective way.

I look forward to meeting and possibly training some of you soon!

PS: The company name will be unveiled when the logo has been signed off – watch this space! 🙂

3 Inspirational Shares on Thursday

With so much content getting posted around the world each day, it can be a challenge to separate the wheat from the chaff…So I thought I’d share a few gems I’ve uncovered over the past week or two.

First off, yesterday morning, I started by my day by watching a (Google) Talk by a guy Gary Kunath. It was a full hour long and seldom (if ever) do I sit and watch something from start to finish like that (when it’s not a film or TV show).

But yesterday, I started watching it in bed on the iPad. It then went with me to the kitchen, and I watched it on the TV there, as I had my breakfast. Then I moved onto the computer when I got to my desk, and before you know it, an hour had passed and I’d watched the whole thing! And you know what? I will watch it again and take some notes because there really were some lovely “takeaways” in this. See for yourself…

 I rather loved that this Google Talk had a Ted Talk sandwiched in the middle. And it was a damn good Ted Talk too, wasn’t it? If you haven’t seen it, push play now, I’ll wait…

MOVING ON…

Today’s my last day working IN NSDesign – though I believe I will continue to work WITH the company in a training capacity. It’s just my last day with the guys in the office. It’s a bittersweet feeling leaving people who have been like family to me for three years to pursue your own thing. I’ve never worked in such a fantastic office – at a great, award-winning company, run by such a talented, fun, creative and inspirational guy — Gary Ennis, that is. (No wonder he won CEO of the Year this Year! He totally deserved it! Truly the best boss, ever!) Ok, enough gushing…

Alas, it’s time to take what I’ve learned over the last three years (and previous twenty or so) and set up yet-another-business.

For weeks now, in my spare time, it’s been the joy of business plans, trying to come up with a name (one that merges my two worlds CA and Glasgow), and pricing structure, meetings, networking to find potential clients…so it seems fitting that I share with you some inspirational business quotes now…

50 Famous Business Quotes!

50 Famous Business Quotes!February 14, 2012 · www.entrepreneurskorner.com · by Lee on February 14, 2012 There are times where you are just bored or simply just lack in motivation and enthusiasm and want to check some quotes to keep you going. We all get burnt out, so whenever your thinking to yourself: how can I keep going? Just read some of these quotes from the greatest business men in the world. Here is one to get you started : “A bank is a place which will lend you money…
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And for one more bit of content, I’ll leave you with this article that I came across earlier this week, (or maybe it was last week, days blur together – don’t they?) It totally encapsulates what I think and talk about a lot these days. How our social media lives are taking over our social lives. Digital seems to trump real on every corner. In real company, out in the real world (or even in our own living rooms) we’re staring at our small screens instead of the people in our vicinity. If you find that’s the case too, and it rather irks you, then you may enjoy this…

Turn off, tune out, drop in.

Turn off, tune out, drop in.July 17, 2013 · www.irishtimes.com · What do people want from life? It’s time to realise that the future will be experienced offline. Wed, Jul 17, 2013, 12:11 (Image: Pale Blue Dot) Authentic. Experience. Emotion. These are words that used to mean something, but have long since been co-opted by advertising agencies in order to sell you beer and deodorant. Authenticity is not brand heritage. Experience is not interacting with an app. Emotion is not crying at a YouTube video. Jonathan Safran Foer’s recent thoughts on…
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Also you may enjoy my recent rant Get Off Your Damn Phone too. Let’s re-claim our social lives and spend lives watching what everyone else is doing. Real Life Should Almost Always Trump Digital.

Until next time…

References:

  1. “Gary Kunath: “Mastering Life Balance”, Talks at Google” · atgoogletalks · July 17, 2013 · YouTube
  2. “50 Famous Business Quotes!” · Lee · Feb. 14, 2012 · Www.entrepreneurskorner.com
  3. “Turn off, tune out, drop in.” · July 17, 2013 · Www.irishtimes.com