Unless you’ve been buried away from the world for the past 4 years then you can’t have helped to notice that Social Media is everywhere! Television programmes come complete with their own hashtags, the news readers reference social networking sites constantly in their headlines, all professional events encourage you to join in on social networks and magazines guide you to find out more via social media. You can feel that you’re running after a moving train and it’s essential you jump on as quickly as possible. There is a a strong temptation to sign up for every site first and think about what you’re doing there later; after all no one wants to be left behind or appear out of date.
I am a real advocate of action, after all if you never do anything you never get anywhere, but action with a goal and a purpose is ultimately far more rewarding than action for the sake of doing something. Always ask Why? The main reasons why organisations and businesses join Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and the other key social networking sites are to:
Keep in touch with current clients
Share special offers and deals
Attract new customers
Raise awareness of the brand or business
Social media is not a quick fix and signing up with the expectation that you will get 10 new leads in the first 24 hours is unrealistic and will leave you feeling deflated and frustrated. At its heart social media is about building and maintaining relationships and you should be prepared to commit a minimum of 3 months to establish yourself and build a strong profile. Another key point to remember is that other marketing activity is still just as vital, social media is one part of it.
Once you are clear about why you are signing up and what you hope to get out of it then you will find it a much more satisfying and worthwhile experience.
September is a month for new beginnings and exploration and so if you are just getting started with social media for your business or you have been trying to get to grips with it for a couple of months …or years then stay tuned to this blog. Throughout the month of September I will be taking you through social media from A-Z. I know there are 30 days in September and only 26 letters of the alphabet so good news – I will have Sundays off!
I would really appreciate your company as I wander through the alphabet and please do join in by sharing your comments, views and thoughts.
For the past eight weeks Social-i has been running the Social Media School in central Bath at The Guild. The purpose of the school was to educate, inform and enlighten business owners about the potential of social media. As well as exploring key functionality and features of each of the social networks the sessions focus on strategy as well. We have had the enormous privilege of working with a wonderful cross section of businesses and have really enjoyed the sense of communal learning that has evolved. The feedback we have had has been really positive:
I learnt a large amount about elements I never knew were there!
The sessions were to the point and easy to understand.
Due to the success of the school we are thrilled to announce that it will be running again from Tuesday 22nd April. If you want to improve your use of Twitter, get to grips with LinkedIn, make sense of Google+ or make more proactive use of Pinterest come and join us. The school runs over 10 weeks, you are very welcome to join us for all ten weeks or you are equally welcome to pick and choose the sessions that you think will be most useful to you and your business.
Each session runs for 2 hours; 9.15 am -11.15 am, and costs £35 per session with the special offer of 5 sessions for £150. Click here to find out more or book your place.
The past two weeks have brought with them all sorts of new developments within social media, but to be honest it’s been all about Google this week; Google Glass, Evil Google, and new developments in Google+. You will be able to read all about it below. We have had some recent statistic updates and have seen some fantastic infographics, if you want to keep up to date with me outside of the bi-monthly blogposts then catch up with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+. In the meantime, here is the news round up.
1. Google+ Gets a New Look
I logged onto Google+ this morning and was surprised to see a wonderful, shiny new user interface and I have to say I like it, I like it alot. If you haven’t had a look yet then do log on and check it out. A summary from Social Media Today sums up the new look:
Google+ is now image-centric much like the layouts of both Pinterest and Facebook and features a multi-column interface instead of a singular stream. Google+ will also now add related hashtags to posts and images.
You can see the new look in the video below:
You will also find that photo features have been updated as have Hangouts – see the video below:
2. Paid Channels come to YouTube
There have been all sorts of changes going on over at YouTube, channels have been updated and you can now add a welcome video and encourage others to subscribe so they don’t miss future videos. If you want to know how to make the most of these changes then you should have a look at this post over at The Wall. YouTube has also introduced paid channels for a select number of businesses – to be rolled out further in the coming weeks, you can read more over at Mashable. Finally, as if that was not enough YouTube are offering a new channel gadget that allows consumers to buy your product from your YouTube page directly after watching the video about your product. You can read all about it over at Web Pro News.
3. Evil Google
Poor Google has had a rough week in the press, yesterday the MP Margaret Hodge accussed Google of “doing evil” and earlier in the week many were questioning the privacy issues surrounding Google Glass. Engadget explores Google Glass in the video below so you can gain a better understanding of what it is all about:
Many are very worried about the privacy implications of this latest gadget and are calling on the government to ban it. You can read more at Web Pro News.
4. LinkedIn Celebrates 10 Years of Linking up Professionals
Last week LinkedIn celebrated with it’s 3,700 staff the major milestone of 10 years. Many do not realise that LinkedIn arrived before both Facebook and Twitter and plays a major role in connecting professionals across the globe.
5. Recent Statistics
It’s always a good idea to keep in touch with what is happening across the networks when it comes to stats, so here are the recent figures for the top 15 social networks across the world:
6. Astronauts on Twitter
If you were a loyal Twitter follower of the Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Chris Hadfield and are sad that you will no longer be able to tune into live tweets from space, then this post from All Twitter will light up your day as it provides a list of other astronauts on Twitter that you can follow. Social Media Today has taken a more contemplative look at the effect Chris had and what we can learn from his social media success.
I absolutely love this story for the way it demonstrates the power of social media. The video below sets the scene but look out for #fitchthehomeless on Twitter. It demonstrates that Brands really can’t control what others say about them online as Ragan explores.
8. Jailed for Tweets
Some social media users tend to think that the social stratesphere is a separate world where responsbility and accountability don’t exist but every week we hear of stories where users are being asked to explain or defend their online actions. This week six have been send to prison in Bahrain for insulting tweets, read all about it over at Media Bistro.
9. Infographic of the Fortnight
I cannot get enough of potted histories and this infographic is a fine example of this genre: A Complete History of Social Media and the greatest thing about it is that it’s interactive!
10. Tweet Pee
Apps get better and better all the time, this week I found out about TweetPee, the clue is in the name, but essentially a sensor is attached to the baby’s nappy and when extra humidity is detected a tweet is sent to the parents account – time for a nappy change! Huggies have rolled this app out only in Brazil at the moment, you can watch the video below or read more over at All Twitter.
Well, you turn your back for 5 minutes and everything changes! These *ahem* past 3 weeks in social media land have seen nearly all the major networks make some signficant updates, this includes Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube. My head is spinning with all the changes. However spring has sprung and that is always a good time for a spring clean and a freshening up!
1.Google Reader is Shutting Down
This is the saddest news I have yet had to share with you. Google have announced that as from the 1st July Google Reader will cease to exist! I rely on Google reader so much and although the Google team claim that usage has dropped there are a lot of very sad users out here, so much so that a petition was set up within hours of the news breaking. If you do regularly use Google reader and you are now looking out for a suitable alternative then feedly.com is making it very easy for us to switch across and take all our feeds with us, it is a very smooth process. Media Bistro is also suggesting that you use Twitter as an alternative, read how here. Further alternatives are shared in this post and this post on Social Media Today. Good luck with finding an alternative.
2. Facebook Updates the News Feed
If you felt that your news feed on Facebook was getting a bit cluttered then you will be thrilled about the news that Facebook are rolling out a new look news feed with options for choosing what you see. This video explains it all:
You can read more about what to expect at All Facebook and if you want to join the waiting list for this new look the last video in this post will show you exactly what you need to do. If you are a marketer and want to know what this means for your Facebook Page then read this post at Hubspot.
3. Google+ Gets a New Look
If you have visited Google+ recently you may well have noticed that brand pages are looking a little bit different – much bigger images, a local reviews tab and a new look for the About Tab. Read about these changes over at Ignite Social Media. To see some examples of the new look this post will provide you some pictorial inspiration.
4. Twitter Turns 7!
This week we have been celebrating with Tiwtter as my most favourite social network reached seven years of age. The video below gives an outline of significant moments in Twitter history to date, the Guardain reflected on these key milestones with this post.
5. Pinterest Introduce Analytics
Pinterest are really going for it. Not only are we all able to update to the new look but for those among us with a verified website connected to our Pinterest account we now have access to analytics. This video will outline the new analytics feature and how to use it:
Jeff Bullas has outlined how this new tool can benefit your business.
6. LinkedIn Endorsements are proving Popular
How many endorsements do you think have been given on LinkedIn since the new feature was introduced six months ago? Would it surprise you to discover that 1 billion endorsements have been given? An incredible amount in a relatively short space of time, the lovely people at LinkedIn have created a brilliant infographic to break the information down.
There are many references to Facebook in this post, largely because they have been so busy recently. Not only have we heard about changes to the news feed but we can also look forward to a more customisable timeline. To find out more, visit All Facebook.
8. Your Facebook Likes reveal more than you know
We heard a lot last week in the news about what you may be giving away about yourself by what you choose to like on Facebook. Remco Janssen over at Social Media Today states:
In a Cambridge University research conducted in the US and published this week shows how much of your personal characteristics can be discovered through what you’ve liked on Facebook, and the results are compelling. The personal portraits that are painted from seemingly random information are creepily accurate, ranging from predictions about traits such as sexual orientation, to age, race and political affiliation. They can even correctly predict if your parents stayed together until your 21st birthday (or not) six out of ten times.
9. Infographic of the Fortnight
This infographic has blown me away, it is interactive and so informative, you should create a direct link to this and refer back to it constantly, an essential resource in my mind!
10. Pi day
Were you celebrating on the 14th March? It is now largely becoming known as Pi day and we have seen some very creative images and ideas on social media, I love this picture. You can read all about it over at All Facebook.