5 Social Media Tips for Business (Plus Training Opportunities)

Because my NS colleague Colin Kelly was out of town, he recommended me for a visit BBC Radio Scotland’s morning show Mac & Co with Fred MacAulay on Monday. I’ve said it often, but I’ve just loved doing Fred’s fab show for years now – especially when these days it’s not about breakups but rather social media (much less depressing).

This particular topic was inspired by an email to one of the producers for a job as Social Media Manager for Man United. So I went in to discuss that role, and the role in general, as it might relate to SMEs (not just big brands).

Here are a few tips  that I never really  managed to give on the show, but I thought may be useful to someone out there who’s dabbling in Social Media or simply considering it…

1) KNOW WHERE YOUR CUSTOMERS ACTUALLY ARE

Knowing where your customers are is paramount. Is it a visual business pertaining to weddings? Then maybe Pinterest might be the best place for you. Are your customers CEOs of companies then a LinkedIn business page might work best. Are they young and on Facebook or Twitter? Then that’s where to be.

You may want to be on one, two, or three channels or you might just choose the best one to focus your efforts on, and do that one really well. It’s ok. Try and see what works best for you but be sure you…

2) HAVE A SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY, APPLY IT CONSISTENTLY & MEASURE IT

Know why you’re on there, what it is you’re trying to do/achieve – be it inform customers, get them to buy your product, or book your service, have them download your album or ebook,…Simply know what you’re hoping to achieve before diving in.

Make sure you’re managing your time and measuring your progress, but don’t always assume that it’s a big numbers game. Better to have 100 actively engaged followers (who actually care what you have to say) than 100,000 who don’t – (in my opinion).

So don’t rate your value just on how many followers, likes, circles you have – base it on any conversions you may have from them or engagement with them!

3)  IT’S ALL ABOUT USING THE RIGHT TOOLS

Social Media Management on Different DevicesUse tools that can help you monitor your name, your company name or relevant keywords (using geo tags if you’re a local business). There are far too many tools to list here but try out a few and see which ones work best for you. Personally I the ones I use (or have used in the past) include things like HootSuite, TweetDeck, Sprout Social – all which will help you immensely….on this next tip….

4) LISTEN / ENGAGE / RESPOND / CONSISTENTLY

It’s a total turn off to just be sold to all the time. If all you’re doing is some sort of broadcasting of salesy messages, asking people to like this, or download that, then all you will do is put people off.

So make sure you’re engaging with your audience amidst the “calls to action” that you may be posting/tweeting. Be authentic. Have a personality. Mix a bit of personal stuff in there amongst all the business stuff so people can connect with a real person. Remember that people do business with people they like.

Respond to questions, and especially criticism, as soon as possible. Be shown to be there and care. Take it off line as soon as possible.

Be consistent. You don’t have to post every single day though you’ll likely fair better if you do. At least aim for posting/tweeting – a few times a week if possible. Nothing worse than, as a customer we land on a page and the last update or tweet was months ago.

5) ASK THE PROFESSIONALS

If you don’t know what to do with regards to social media, then ask some professionals. Take training from certified trainers on the subject. There are a lot of FREE courses out there, and there are even grants to cover paid ones – (courtesy of the Scottish government) so do some research. There is no reason to not be learning about this stuff. If you don’t – you’ll likely be left behind.

FINAL TIPS: Why a business might be on Social Media

If you’re working on a social media strategy – here are a few reasons why you might consider going social:

– To get more sales

– To engage/respond/listen to customers (and find more by targeting through “GEO Location”)

– To drive traffic to a website (or channel: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter etc)

– To see what competitors are up to

– To build brand awareness

– For data capture – email addresses for newsletters or what have you

– To promote your business

– To find suppliers

– To network with other businesses

– To get advice/recommendations

– To get endorsements from customers

 

It might be some of these, all of these, or completely different reasons altogether.

Just work out what your own reason is – that’s what’s most important here.

If you’re interested in some one-to-one training then please get in touch with me. Or I can highly recommend NSDesign’s Embrace the Space all day masterclass. I myself will be attending their Advanced HootSuite half day course so I can learn more about this popular tool. We can all use a brush up on our skills right? Right.

Tomorrow I’ll jot down an update about the Scottish Business Awards – last Friday. (Former) President Bill Clinton was the keynote so as you can imagine that was a pretty “hot ticket”.

 

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4 Friday Social Media Shares to End the Week

 Happy Friday – boy has this week has flown by or what? Since the last time I wrote, I’ve delivered training for the first time in Greenock (on behalf of NSDesign for Business Gateway Renfrewshire), attended Scotland’s Technology Show, took on a new accountant, had meetings with some associates, delivered some one-to-one training and all the while am having my bedroom completely refurbished! Chaos, I tell you.

Anyway in my travels across the blogoshpere I’ve come across a few rather share-worthy links. First up was The 80 Rules of Social Media. Some of these are hilarious. Some of them I think he nicked from other people, but many of which I’d 100% agree with.

Share #1 The 80 Rules of Social Media

The 80 Rules of Social MediaJune 13, 2013 · jeremywaite.tumblr.com · The 80 Rules of Social Media The inventor of the web as we know it, Sir Tim Berners-Lee said recently that his next mission was “to bring about world peace”. Seriously. He believes that if people talk to each other, listen and understand each others problems, then they are less likely to shoot each other. So in order to guide you around the messy world of social media, and bring about world peace in the process, I have compiled this… Open this article

As everyone who’s anyone knows that to get noticed in blogs these days you need to have a number in the title (did you see mine today?) – so from the “80 Rules” we go down to just “29”.

Share # 2: 29 Ways to Stay Creative

 Wasn’t that a great, inspirational, little video? I think so! Now some more numbers…

Share # 3 Four Minutes of Radio Four

The final share of today (also has numbers in its title) is a pictorial shared by my friend Hamish on Facebook. Some of it made me smile (even snigger just a little). Hope you enjoy it….

Share # 4: 25 Reasons Why We Love Scotland

And I do love Scotland! Next week marks my 21st anniversary here. My how time flies when you’re having fun!

That’s it for today. If you come across anything that you think I might have missed, or should feature on the blog, then by all means catch me wherever you are on social media on the links above. HINT: Up where it says “Connect with Thea”…

This weekend I will try to work more on the page that details the types of training I can offer. I am really starting to discover the love of one-to-one training. It was an interest I don’t think I ever realised until recently. I think it is synergistic with my desire to empower others. That is my life’s mission I believe. How can I help you? Let me know!

Credits:
1) The 80 Rules of Social Media · jeremywaite.tumblr.com June 13, 2013
2) “29 WAYS TO STAY CREATIVE” · TO-FU Vimeo May 27, 2011
3) Radio Four in Four Minutes – Jake Yapp
4) 25 Reasons Why We Love Scotland – the poke
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Some Social Media Links to Start Your Week

Hello friends, family, snoopers, I’m sorry I have been rather remiss at posting blogs here of late. After spending three weeks in sunny Northern California, a week to recover, my bedroom being remodeled (stuck on the sofa since I’ve come back), I am finally getting back into the swing of work things. My apologies.

First up let’s start with something super practical to help anyone who posts any photos on social media. This infographic will help you get it right every time!

The Most Thorough Social Media Dimensions Cheat Sheet Ever [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Most Thorough Social Media Dimensions Cheat Sheet Ever [INFOGRAPHIC]June 7, 2013 · socialmediatoday.com · Like it? 13 comments 0 Posted June 5, 2013 Keywords: Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Platforms, Twitter, Social Customer, Social Media, Social Networks, cheat sheet Did you know that if you want your display picture on Facebook to show up exactly as you see it as a file on your computer, you have to upload a 180 pixel by 180 pixel copy of it to Facebook?The cover photo, on the other hand, displays at 851 pixels by 315 pixels.Or did you…Open this article

And next up is a piece called Eight Inspiring Themes From the Future of Digital Marketing.

In it there is a video called Jijack from Meat Pack…which seems a little dangerous to me. I have visions of people running madly about malls and high streets – that just seems a law suit waiting to happen, to me, but then I am American and we can be a litigious breed…

Eight Inspiring themes from the Future of Digital Marketing

Eight Inspiring themes from the Future of Digital MarketingJune 10, 2013 · Econsultancy · by Ben Davis 10 June 2013 10:08 0 comments Print Tweet I can promise you only inspiring case studies, titbits and mantras in this post. All taken from our future gazing conference, Future of Digital Marketing, which we held last week. Twitter Interesting stat: There are 10m Twitter users in the UK and 80% access the site on their mobiles. Bruce Daisley, Twitter, gave a massively entertaining talk about brands capturing the moment on Twitter. You can read Twitter’s whitepaper…Open this article

Well that’s all I have time for today (after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day)…

Will aim to be better at keeping the blog up to date – once or twice a week. Next time, I’ll also write a bit more about what bespoke training I can offer in terms of one-to-one which is the area I am concentrating on in my own business. Added to my “To Do” list are the need for new business cards and to get out there networking more…See ya around!

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Thea’s Social Media Round up of the Last Week (or Two)

A Year Without the Net? Sounds like Heaven (and Hell)

One of my friends, Heather, always says “Facebook is the Devil”…and sometimes, I actually agree with her. The shite-talking, narcissistic whines, the self-absorbed photos, the rants, the attention-seeking, roller coaster of emotions and that’s just me…Ha! Well sort of. Sometimes guilty as charged.

Really there are some days I’d like to come off Facebook, and indeed all Social Media, completely. No more friends or followers, no more likes, no more +1s or shares, no more happy couples/baby/kid/family shots, politics, religion, “get me a million likes and I’ll get this” type posts…

The irony is that my job IS the doing of social media – all day, every day. I seldom get a reprieve. So this morning when this one was shared it really struck a cord:

“It’s reprogramming our relationships, our emotions, and our sensitivity,”

And it has – well, mine anyway…

Check out this article I’m still here: back online after a year without the internet

I’m still here: back online after a year without the internet

May 1, 2013 · The Verge · By Paul Miller on May 1, 2013 10:40 am… One year ago I left the internet. I thought it was making me unproductive. I thought it lacked meaning. I thought it was “corrupting my soul.” It’s a been a year now since I “surfed the web” or “checked my email” or “liked” anything with a figurative rather than literal thumbs up. I’ve managed to stay disconnected, just like I planned….Open this article

But of course the flip side to this coin is that also the Internet can be fun, informative, thought-provoking (like the above article) and inspiring – to name but a few. it’s those sorts of content shares and articles that keep me logged on 24/7 (it seems).

So in a sort of “Thea’s Social Media Finds for the Week” – here some are.

1) The 17 Problems You Haven’t Had since the 90s.

Oh boy, this one made me giggle, so it did. Let’s face it, we can all use more laughter in our lives, can’t we?

17 problems you haven’t had since the 90s

17 problems you haven't had since the 90s

May 2, 2013 · www.morebeans.com · How time flies. It only seems like last week that Ant & Dec were in the charts. Oh, wait a minute… Whilst Dawson’s Creek may not have given us timeless drama or gritty realism, it wasn’t all bad. Michelle Williams has since been nominated for an Oscar, Katie Holmes has married (and divorced) the most famous scientologist on the planet, and Dawson’s crying face has become one of the best memes we’ve seen in ages. Seriously, the 90s problems meme…Open this article
Of a similar ilk, comes,…

2) Six Modern Uses Of The Yellow PagesSix Modern Uses Of The Yellow Pages

This one is from my fellow NSDesign consultant, Brian Tait, who shared it on his G+ stream a day or two ago. Really, I can’t believe they still print these things…It made me smile. Hope you like it too!

May 2, 2013 · The Poke: · May 2, 2013 Next > Simon’s Book Review by Doghouse Like The Poke on Facebook and you will never be bored again. Tags: comics, phonebook. Open this article

3) For something a little different…Particularly people who can be, well a bit anal about grammar, spelling and punctuation this one is for you.

Small business good punctuation guide > SmallBusinessHeroes.co.uk

Small business good punctuation guide > SmallBusinessHeroes.co.uk

May 2, 2013 · Small Business Heroes · A guide to impressing customers with your excellent spelling and grammar skills This entry was posted in Advice on May 2, 2013 by Heather. Perfect punctuation Did we mention spelling mistakes and bad grammar make us cry? That we shed a tear for every mis-used apostrophe? That we weep uncontrollably every time somebody says ‘’should of’ instead of ‘should have’?…Open this article

4) Another bit of humour found via a new Twitter follower Tim Grimes (love his domain name: timgrim.es) – with a Pope CV as if it were on Linkedin. Clever. I’ve seen a few of these (if not LinkedIn, than one that looks like an Amazon product page) – but this one did make me smile this week, so it gets included!

Pope’s Job On LinkedIn?

Pope’s Job On LinkedIn?

May 3, 2013 · www.timgrim.es

Open this article

I am not religious, and do hope that that last share doesn’t offend anyway. If so, so be it though…

I’ve saved the best for last.

I love music and I love movies but I loathe musicals – for the most part. So when I saw this on a friend’s Facebook page, I knew I had to watch it!!

5) From Honest Trailers it’s a piss-take on Les Miserable. A movie you couldn’t pay me to sit through – despite the cast and its accolades. Quite honestly, I laughed OUT LOUD through this whole thing – to the point I had tears streaming down my face…

I hope you find this one as funny as I did. Or even half as funny as I did.

That wraps up my wrap up for another week. I am off out into the semi-Scottish-sunshine now. In preparation for an up-coming walk – I have to do about 7 or 8 miles today. I’ve no idea where I am going. I guess I will know when I get there.

PS: This blog was written using SPUNDGE a tool I highly recommend to anyone who writes blogs or newsletters or deals with content of any kind. If you would like to be shown how to use the tool email me – simply my name at this domain name!

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Thea’s Ted Talk Tuesday – #1

Recently, I’ve been watching a fair few Ted Talks. I’ve always been interested in them but of late they’ve been quite a fascination – almost an obsession!

I think it started with my friend Heather recommending this one last month. I’d seen it last year (I think it was my cousin Lisa who recommended it then,…) But for some reason, when I watched it this year, it just really struck a cord. If you haven’t seen it – I do highly recommend it. It’s funny, thought-provoking and totally utterly human! It’s by Brene Brown and it turns out this talk has been totally life changing for her…You can find other more recent videos of hers after this one ends. They’re all worth watching in my humble opinion.

Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability

Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability

April 16, 2013 · www.ted.com · Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share. (Filmed at TEDxHouston.) Brené Brown studies vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. Full bio »

Open this article

It actually has inspired me to want to write a 20 minute (or more) talk to take to Edinburgh or some other Ted Talk somewhere. So that’s on my long-term goals now. If she is the Break Down Queen that I shall dub myself the Break Up Queen and do something of a similar ilk (more personal and less educational though as I don’t have a doctorate….yet). I could really just stop there, but I’ll throw in another short one that I like, for good measure.
It also struck a cord in me – but in a different way. Our lives are so busy, so wired, and down-right overwhelming, at times. In the job that I do, (which is primarily a lot of social media for a variety of clients), it can be a bit schizophrenic and challenging.
I am constantly spinning plates, or switching hats between profiles, and thus I can sometimes end up feeling totally depleted by day’s end.
This talk reminded me that, every now and again, it might be better to MONO-TASK. Focus on one thing at one time. Not my forte!

Paolo Cardini: Forget multitasking, try monotasking

Paolo Cardini: Forget multitasking, try monotasking

April 16, 2013 · www.ted.com · People aren’t just cooking anymore — they’re cooking, texting, talking on the phone, watching YouTube and uploading photos of the awesome meal they just made. Designer Paolo Cardini questions the efficiency of our multitasking world and makes the case for — gasp — “monotasking.” His charming 3D-printed smartphone covers just might help. Paolo Cardini is a product designer who asks serious questions about how we live — and answers them with whimsical and playful designs. Full bio »

Open this article

Well, that’s enough for now, I think. Will find two more I’ve loved recently for next week’s blog. If you have any TED TALKS you love then please let me know.
Tweet me @newthea – or use one of the other social media links found at the top (and bottom) of this site. Thanks!
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