Monthly Archives: August 2011

How to make the best of your links on social media.

For me, links are a huge part of what Twitter is all about – sharing content like blogs, newspaper articles, videos and pictures. You would have to be very witty and wise to get by using 144 characters alone. But add a link and it opens up a whole new world – I have discovered some of my favourite blogs and web shops this way.

But do you know – some people say links put them off and they hardly ever click on them? Maybe these are people who use Twitter primarily via their phone – I know my phone supports Twitter badly and takes an age to open links if at all. How sad if all those wonderful links you put up on Twitter – full of useful sharable content were not being opened!

So imagine my joy at finding an application called Flipboard which lays out your social media as a magazine – opening up all those articles and blog posts on the page and displaying photos in all their glory. It becomes like a magazine curated by your friends.

I can hear you thinking – I’ve seen something like that before – but it is not one of those horrible paper.ly things – those are rather random and irritating – called things like The Smith Daily which are pumped out to all followers whether you want them or not. The Flipboard app is about you. It makes your experience better and if the content is poor then you are following the wrong people!

With an app like Flipboard around you can appreciate the full range of media being shared out there and with any luck people will be viewing your media-rich content in a similar way. It’s been downloaded millions of times and was named Apple’s i-pad app of the year, so let’s hope it’s here to stay.

Have you seen anything out there that has transformed your social media experience?

Internet Marketing the Full Story – Review

It’s easy to spot a successful person – they have a huge energy about them and it’s infectious – that’s the reason why people are prepared to follow them, buy their stuff and heed their words. Elton Boocock is such a person and in his new book, Internet Marketing the Full Story, he translates that energy into print – sweeping you along with no nonsense advice and relevant examples as you learn first to attract your customers, then convert, keep and measure them.

As someone who loves to blog about social media I must point out that this is not another social media guide, not at all. It really is the Full Story of internet marketing – the bits PR bunnies, social media junkies and journos like me sometimes miss out! Think of it as prequel to all the content stuff – a return to first principles – why do you want a website – what do you want it to do and how is it going to deliver the goals you set for it? With such foundations in place the social media fad of the week won’t derail you.

This solid guide is quite clear about the hard work involved when setting out your new internet marketing strategy or rejuvinating an old defunct one. As Elton says, there is no point in getting stuck in without knowing why you are doing it in the first place and he likes to ask lots of ‘who cares?’ type questions to keep you on your toes.

So, if you have read countless articles about keyword research or off-page optimization without really understanding a word, this will put those voodoo skills into a solid context and de-mystify them in the process. In fact I’d say this book is the ideal guide for someone looking to appoint web designers and/or internet marketers as it gives you the full 360 on what you need, what you can do yourself and what you are going to need help with in order to succeed.

Disclosure – I first came across this book after working with Elton on a video project – see the results of that collaboration here;

and here;

Elton founds and runs Urban Media – website design and internet marketing.

When your audience does social media for you.

It’s August and for one month only it’s ok to talk about your holidays – as long as we’re discussing social media of course – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

I have just come back from an amazing camp site in Dorset which, up until recently didn’t appear to have any social media presence at all. And yet, this rustic gem by the sea near Weymouth was chock full with punters enjoying a cheap, cheerful eco and child-friendly holiday. Could it be – SHOCK – that social media is not necessary to build full order books after all?

Well steady on there – I’m not going to go down that road. Social media is after all just a physical expression of word of mouth, which has been building brands for years and news of this gem has spread in quite a similar way!

We heard about  Eweleaze Farm  from friends who had been two years running and once you start talking about a place you realise that there is a whole community of fans who have either been or have tried to go, over recent years. Scarcity value helps – they only open in August and you have to book sharpish when they open bookings at the beginning of the year.

Eweleaze appeals to the new generation of campers who like it ‘cool’ and ‘festival like’ with few rules and lots of freedom, like the right to build fires and set up where you like. The place is awash with cute farm animals – expect to see pot-bellied pigs wandering past your tent, and there are hay bales for the kids to crash about on. The organic farm shop sells goodies like wood fired pizza and bakery goods as well as organic meat and basics (although only herbal tea) and there are oodles of eco touches like solar showers and pit loos.

If you are getting the picture you may be starting to realise that the people who come here are also highly likely to have large networks of like-minded friends who are going to be raving to about the place – probably on social media- as soon as they get home. I waited until I was in front of the pc before uploading my photos onto Facebook, but my husband was Tweeting campfire pictures and poetic ramblings about moons and red wine while we were still on night one.

Eweleaze does well out of communities and will do well out of online communities too. They are now on Facebook  and with only 30 friends I am guessing they have only just joined (31 friends since I liked them obvs)

I look forward to seeing their content and reminding myself of those perfect sea views – but my guess is that they won’t need to post that often because their community is already doing the social media work for them.

 

Why you can’t afford to be casual about LinkedIn

As someone who loves using all forms of social media; to make contacts, keep up with colleagues and help clients, I’ve found myself in an unusual position this week.

For the first time ever I’ve been looking at people on LinkedIn through the eyes of an employer and it’s scary!

I’ve taken on a project that requires extensive LinkedIn research which has turned my casual social usage into something else altogether. Here is what I have learned.

  • When an employer searches for people using LinkedIn, as with any online search they are using key words, so it is essential to get your key words sorted out if you want to be found and offered a job. I’ve been searching using one key term and if you are the world’s expert but you didn’t put it in your title, I may well have passed you by – sorry.
  • Clarity is essential. Instead of trying to sound as though you are brilliant at everything, be clear about the things you do well. It is tempting to want to cover all bases – but I know from my work this week, that when you are the person searching, you want the right words to leap off the page straight away or you move on.
  • Up-front honesty plays well. If you are looking for freelance opportunities, short-term project work or a full-time job, say so. It saves a lot of time!
  • No pic? Why not? I like a head shot and as many contact details as possible, including a phone number. If I were going to offer you a job, would you want me to spend  20 minutes searching for your number?
  • People look for potential employees on LinkedIn – you can’t afford to forget that even if you only use the service socially.

Now I’m off to de-clutter my LinkedIn profile – I wouldn’t want to miss that freelance writing or social media job, however small!