Tag Archives: Facebook

Better Business Blogging (part 2) – Why, When, How

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A Note on WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular blog-publishing applications in the world used by millions of individuals, businesses & organisations. It allows up to 10 users – enabling different people to post different blogs at different times. Each user may be authorised with different privileges, e.g. publishing, editing, etc. It integrates elegantly with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms. You may use templates, search-engine friendly links and widgets (drag-and-drop sidebars, Facebook Like boxes, etc.)

It automatically skim reads your content and suggests relevant or popular keywords (as do Podcasts) to tag your articles with. You can publish material retrospectively based on original date, e.g. existing testimonials/blogs. You can make special blogs ‘sticky’ – which means you can choose what to promote regardless of publishing date and it give you free analytics to measure the impact of your blog and traffic to your website.

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5 Social Media What Not To Dos

Social Media: a Free Lunch or the Thief of Time? | Soci@lite BlogThese days, it can be hard not to feel bombarded by Social Media, what with 900 million active users on Facebook and 200 million plus on Twitter. The majority of the small business owners I train or work with certainly feels a heightened sense of obligation and urgency to navigate the Social Media landscape. But, in the rush to, they invariably end up making critical and costly mistakes for their businesses. Check out these five common mistakes and Soci@lite’s suggestions for how to avoid them:

1.  The Best Things Online Aren’t Free 

Social Media does not cost anything other than in time and effort. It’s free to join Facebook, create a Twitter profile or set up a blog – fantastic news for small businesses, right? Not once you factor in the constant commitment that Social Media demands, from updating your channels with fresh content to engaging with your followers and industry peers, not to mention keeping tab on your competitors.

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Ding Dong the Social Media Manager is Dead (?)

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According to Nielsen’s 2012 Social Media Report, more than 50% of consumers now use Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media tools such as to contact companies with questions or complaints. Yet, according to Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, the Social Media jobs market has undergone a marked decline behind which the slowdown ‘in Social Media managers is a sea change in the way that Social Media itself is used within organisations’.

The paradox however is that integrating Social Media in the workplace is hampered by a skills shortage. Social Media as a phenomenon and marketing skill hasn’t been around long enough for that. In other words, the demand for Social Media managers is there but as part of another role for which there aren’t yet many candidates. Companies more and more are expecting job applicants to already possess the skills, perhaps because of a misconception of how Social Media is and/or should be used for business. Whilst I have always been an advocate of the premise that websites are about a business and Social Media gives you an insight into the people behind the business, there’s a big difference between being a regular user of Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends, and using language and vocabulary effectively to communicate your business’ marketing messages and brand awareness through a Facebook Business Page, for example.

“The notion of a single person who spends their entire day on Twitter creating hashtags is dead”, says GigaOM. Being social is “part of everyone’s jot, or soon will be”. So much so that it could almost be seen as the people’s platform in that Twitter, Facebook and the like are no longer the almost exclusive domain of online pundits, rather they are gradually becoming everybody’s responsibility.

One could argue the positives of this, in that it means organisations are finally seeing the integral role Social Media plays in an organisation’s overarching communications and marketing strategy rather than an obligatory annoyance that gets in the way of the day job but which they either haven’t got the funds to finance somebody else’s management of or they lack the time and inclination and instead offer a lacklustre and ill-thought out series of messages and communication to their followers. In fact, a recent Harvard Business Review survey revealed that just 12% of companies using Social Media felt that they actually use it effectively *.

This is why, if are considering your business’ Social Media in-house, is to source the right training provider. And it may not be as simple as just hiring a specialist who is ‘good at Social Media’ or seeing one or more of your employees on a workshops in how to use Social media, but perhaps thinking about engaging with a niche specialist. Somebody who say, specialises in Social Media for accountants or solicitors if that’s what your business is, who has the testimonials and the case studies to back up this specialism. Using Social Media does not equate to using it well.

This can however be attributed to what I like to term the problem with Social Media being Social Media. In that it is an umbrella term many feel is not attributable to their line of work, i.e. the words Social Media are for them not synonymous with business. People like to put labels on things and perhaps a rethink of the job description ‘Social Media manager’ is also now necessary to ensure that whilst the role itself remains of paramount importance and vital to many businesses, it does not become obsolete or extinct because the terminology has got lost in translation.

Katherine Hanson is Owner & Managing Director of Soci@lite who provide Social Media Management & Training solutions for businesses.

Social Media: a Free Lunch or the Thief of Time?

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You wouldn’t do your own books if maths isn’t your strong point or design your own website if you barely know your way around Microsoft Office, so why would you even attempt to manage all of your Social Media? And, as a business owner, you invariably lack the time and inclination anyway, right?

If you’re going to commit to Social Media then you need to truly commit because infrequent participation will not work; the immediacy of Social Media also dictates that your content should never really be more than three to five days old.

Yet, that Social Media is free remains one of the biggest misconceptions surrounding this form of marketing. The platform(s) you use might be but your messaging is not. Even if you are looking after all of your marketing internally the cost is still there in the form of your precious time. And, the more invested your business becomes in its Social Media presence, the more resources and time you need to devote.

Whether you outsource to a Social Media Manager or use somebody internal, the reality is that as a business you need a dedicated person to push all of these efforts. Regardless of how much time your business is spending on Social Media, make every moment count so that it doesn’t become the thief of your time.

5 Social Media What Not To Dos

These days, it can be hard not to feel bombarded by Social Media, what with 900 million active users on Facebook and 200 million plus on Twitter. The majority of the small business owners I train or work with certainly feels a heightened sense of obligation and urgency to navigate the Social Media landscape. But, in the rush to, they invariably end up making critical and costly mistakes for their businesses. Check out these five common mistakes and Soci@lite’s suggestions for how to avoid them:

1.  The Best Things Online Aren’t Free 

Social Media does not cost anything other than in time and effort. It’s free to join Facebook, create a Twitter profile or set up a blog – fantastic news for small businesses, right? Not once you factor in the constant commitment that Social Media demands, from updating your channels with fresh content to engaging with your followers and industry peers, not to mention keeping tab on your competitors.

Potentially, it could be taking you or a member of your staff (if you’re doing well enough to have one) as much as ten hours a week to manage all of your Social Media accounts – you do the maths! Consider outsourcing your monthly Social Media activity to somebody with the time, the tools and the inclination.

2.  Don’t Compare or Compete with the Giants

If you’re running a small business, the hard earned money you’ve allocated for your own marketing budget is merely a drop in the Atlantic for the likes of Coca Cola and Starbucks and there is little if anything you can do to change this. The good news however, is that your business doesn’t need to even attempt to keep up with the big brands, particularly when it comes to contests and campaigns.

Whilst incentivisation via giveaways and competitions is one of the most effective ways to generate new likes and improve overall engagement, small businesses should not feel pressurised to offer flashy prizes that are well beyond their budget. Instead, consider giving away one of your services or a free e-Book instead of a free iPad. This may not the sexiest prize and is unlikely to generate universal interest amongst your potential followers, but whoever does participate is already a captive audience, enthusiastic ambassador for your business and a potential client.

3.  Value of Exchange versus Hard Sell 

images (7)  This is perhaps the most difficult lesson for the small business owner to learn and take on board without a large marketing budget to spend. Whilst it is a marketing channel, Social Media requires an altogether subtler approach, in other words no Buy Me Now buttons or blatant promotional copy.

If your Social Media strategy is purely about marketing or sales then you need to rethink it NOW. Whilst it holds true that you can increase your sales figures from Social Media, this should not be your focus 100% of the time. As a general rule of thumb, only 5% to 10% of your status updates, Tweets, etc. should be selling.

Social Media is all about building relationships and growing trust, from answering questions to providing helpful information, to acting as a trusted resource and an industry authority. These are the activities which will grow your bottom line in the long run, albeit it in a slower fashion.

4.  It’s Not About You! 

Other business owners often comment to me that they don’t want to put what they had for dinner on Twitter. And my response to this is always the same – you wouldn’t walk up to somebody at a networking event and tell them what you had for dinner last night or what you watched on TV, so why do it online?!  And there’s nothing more irksome than being on the receiving end either. We’ve all been stuck at an event or dinner party with the self-absorbed person who talks at not to you and only about themselves to boot.

To be liked online, you’ve got to be a good listener, genuinely interested in what others have to say, gracious about constructive criticism and not dominate the conversation. Ask questions and encourage participation and comments, engage (within reason) with everybody who posts on your wall and share great content of others in your industry, in fact anything that you think will resonate with others or be interest or use to them.

Put simply, the same etiquette you employ offline applies online – don’t do or say anything you wouldn’t in person and you will be fine.

5.  Quality not Quantity 

Linkbaiting imageThere will always be some new up and coming network threatening claiming to be the next Facebook or Twitter and unless Social Media IS your business, you will never be able to keep up with it, but guess what? Nor should you.

Doing Social Media well does not mean being anywhere and everywhere. Instead, it’s about choosing one or two of the most relevant and effective channels for reaching your customers and focusing on them.

It is better to have no Social Media presence at all (although highly unadvisable!) than a neglected account as this will reflect badly on your business and, rightly or wrongly, result in a perception.  And let’s face it; online more than anywhere else, perception is everything.

Again, if you don’t have the time and resources to actively manage and participate on your Social Media channels, consider outsourcing your monthly activity to somebody with the time, the tools and the inclination.

I hope that you have found this article useful – please feel free to leave me comments or questions. In closing, it’s important to remember that the business principle of 50 years ago still ring as true today – doing business with those that know like and trust you will make you money, Social Media is merely the platform. Keep these principles in mind when planning your Social Media activity and you will be a guru before you know it!

Can’t see your Facebook Recommendations Box?

For some reason, Facebook only allows Recommendations for Pages that have not only provided a physical location but chosen to display a map. In your case Rona, the Recommendations Box is visible because you are using the Maps Tab – if you removed this from your Tabs then the Recommendations box disappears. Attached are some screenshots to demonstrate this on my own Facebook Page.

You have the option of up to 12 Tabs (the boxes underneath your cover photo) on a Facebook Page, but if for example you did not want your actual address to be prominent, you could display the Map as the lowest Tab as I have chosen to do (because I run an online business from home so my physical address is largely irrelevant). As Facebook will only display four Tabs at a time anyway, the majority of people do not look beyond these on somebody’s page.

For the purposes of this training, I have disabled the Recommendations Box on my Facebook Page so that I can demonstrate how this works.

disabled recomms

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add map tab

show map on this pag

map tab visible

recommns now visible

Once you have followed the steps let all of your followers know so that they can start to leave Recommendations on your Page!

Tweeting Smartphone Dashboard not to be saved from the Deckers’ yard after all. Or is it?

A mere two years since their rumoured £25 million purchase of TweetDeck, Twitter have announced that they will not be supporting the platform beyond May 2013. This is despite also having commented only recently that “TweetDeck gives the Twitter experience more flexibility and allows advanced users to gain valuable insight into what’s happening at this moment on Twitter….the TweetDeck team has been steadily innovating and improving the product, and we expect to see much more of that to come.”

The announcement was somewhat overshadowed by Facebook’s news feed PR frenzy despite the hashtag #RIPTweetDeck circulating during the past seven days. According to TweetDeck, they’re going to focus their development efforts on a modern, web-based version whilst ceasing support for old apps such as TweetDeck Air and TweetDeck for Android and iPhone this month.

Since Twitter acquired TweetDeck back in 2011, the platform has grown as a way to organise tweets into manageable threads and lists but this wasn’t enough to dissuade Twitter from killing off TweetDeck for mobile devices and Facebook.  As an already active user of the far superior and more dynamic (in my humble opinion) HootSuite, this latest announcement makes little difference, but what of the users who live or die by TweetDeck’s smartphone app functionality?

HootSuite has long outshone TweetDeck for Social Media Dashboard features and continues to offer far more bang for your buck, boasting one sign in for not only Social Media trailblazers Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn but also Foursquare, Google+, MySpace and even blogging giant WordPress.

HootSuite not only enables you to browse, post messages and status updates from Social Media platforms but also to multitask by posting to multiple accounts, attach pictures and shorten links simultaneously and also schedule posts for later times and dates, to for later.

If this wasn’t enough, you can also monitor/track your links and click-throughs which prior to HootSuite could only be done via third party applications.

TweetDeck had made moves to expand from a Twitter-centric product to one that supported multiple Social Media platforms including Facebook, Foursquare and LinkedIn, but in reality its usage remained Twitter based and not heavily used by the others. But now even Twitter is following suit in three months’ time Twitter by dropping TweetDeck for iOS, Android and Facebook whilst the service will survive on browsers and desktops.

So if you’re a desktop Twitter only user however, you can look forward to fast web apps for modern browsers and a Chrome app offering features such as notifications, search term auto-complete, search filters to help its users find what they’re looking for more quickly and automatically updated Tweet streams. Mac and PC apps for TweetDeck are also in the pipeline, according to TweetDeck.

Twitter users looking for TweetDeck alternatives should try TweetLine and Plume if they are Android users or HootSuite and Tweetbot for iPhone, whilst Sprout Social is compatible for both iPhone and Android.

Check out TweetDeck’s own words on the changes in their blog post from 4 March 2013.

Did you know that Soci@lite trains SMEs in all things HootSuite and is a HootSuite Certified Professional? For further details on how Soci@lite could help your business visit http://www.social-ite.info/store/products/hootsuite-training