Shining Your Light On Twitter

You may have noticed that Twitter is relentless – both in noise and speed.

As a small business it is hard to see how you will ever get noticed!

But there is a tool that can really help but many overlook … When used correctly Twitter hashtags are a great way to market your business.

Hashtags make it easier to network, to promote your brand and business, to share your content, to recruit the right people, and to learn and develop your business skills.

Tweets with hashtags get double the engagement compared to those without. And what’s more, if you start using them properly you’ll see your Twitter engagement soar and your social media traffic increase.

Here are just a few of my favourites …

Great for all things with an Entrepreneurial flavour …

#Entrepreneurs

Meet other users who are starting or running their own business

#Innovation

Get tips from industry innovators

#Growth

All things growth and expansion

#StartUps

Advice, news and resources for new businesses

#SmallBiz

#SME

#SmallBusinessUK

#UKBusinessHour

Small business tips and conversations

I am a total Growth and Motivation junkie after all …

#Success

#WontStop

#Mindset

#BeBolder

#Hustle

#Freedom

#FindAWay

#Believe

#Motivate

Leadership always goes down well …

#Leadership

#Inspiration

#LeadFromWithin

#Ambition

#Innovation

More Generic Business Tags…

 #B2B

Business to business

#B2C

Business to consumer

#BizTips

Business tips

#Business

Business news or resource

Some More Specific Business Skills …

The list here is endless, there simply isn’t anything you can’t find a specialist for on Twitter

#Marketing

#Inbound

#Brand

#Copywriting

#ContentMarketing

Marketing news and best practices

#SocialMedia

Social media strategy tips

#Sales

All things sales

#Networking

Tips for networking best practices, both online and offline

Looking for something in particular …

 Try combining these with other hashtags depending on what your interest is

#DIY

Combine this with other hashtags to learn new business skills

#HowTo

Combine with other hashtags to learn new strategies

#Tutorial

Find specific tutorials by combining with other hashtags

Online Networking with your peers …

 And if you are keen on doing some online networking here are some of my favourite National UK Networking hours … there are so many local ones I couldn’t possibly list them all here but they are well worth looking out for.

 #Bizitalk

Used by small businesses as a way of networking and connecting with one another

#BuyBritishBrands

Wednesday 8.30-9.30pm

#ConnectFriday

Friday 10-11am – networking for ‘green’ businesses

#EcoHour

Friday noon-1pm – eco friendly talk

#EnglandHour

Sunday 9-10pm – networking hour for English businesses

#FlutterBiz

Wednesday 6-7pm – twitter networking within the UK

#HRHour

Wednesday 11am-noon – HR networking hour

#MondayMadness

Monday 8.30-9.30pm – general UK business

#SmallBizHour

Tuesday 9-10pm – networking for small UK businesses

#SpeedNetworking

Saturday 6-7pm – networking for UK businesses

#UKBizLunch

Everyday 12-1pm – lunchtime networking

#WineOclock

Everyday Monday – Friday 6-7pm – networking hour for businesswomen

#WomanInBiz

Everyday Monday – Friday 6-7pm; and Sunday 8-9pm – networking hours for businesswomen

Maximising Your Social Media Mojo

I am sure that anyone reading this will understand when I say that social media can be a fickle beast, some days you are gaining followers at a speed that you can’t keep up with and some days it doesn’t matter what you do you just can’t seem to engage with anyone.

Great fun at best, really quite frustrating at worst.

Now, I am an avid people watcher. In my work it is a bit of an essential skill to notice the unsaid and to have a great sense for what is going on behind the scenes. Aside from the day to day work benefits this affords me, it is a skill that has stopped me from walking into many a minefield of office politics!

It occurred to me some time ago that it is not altogether unlike my approach to Social Media, a process of trial and error but if you are paying attention to the subtleties and are open to making adjustments when required depending on the needs of your audience you will eventually master the process

1. Work Out Your Why

Ask yourself why are you using social media?

If you know your why the how should always be a lot clearer!

Knowing your ‘Why’ is something you could explore for all aspects of life but my why for social media is for my little business – my twitter feed for instance is a the live bit of my homepage that gives my potential customers a clearer idea of who I am and what I know about/ am interested in. It isn’t about gaining lots of followers, although people following you is a great feeling, but this might be one of your drivers. It doesn’t really matter what your why is, the important thing is to understand it so it makes the how obvious.

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it!

Do you want some guidance on finding your why? Simon Sinek is someone you should definitely check out …

2. Do Regular Engagement Checks

Pay attention … take some time out periodically to skim through your recent posts and take in what is getting traction, what is being shared, what is getting lots of likes and what is inspiring people to follow you?

Now I am not obsessive about this. You don’t have to look far to find lots of articles about how to gain thousands of followers in no time at all and get a constant stream of leads … Personally I think that kind of hard sell can be quite off-putting.

However you approach it engagement is rather like an iceberg I think, I read a lot of articles posted on Twitter but I don’t always like or share them. Just because people aren’t actively engaging don’t assume they are not reading and paying attention to you.

I had a call from a new client once who had realised that she really needed a Virtual Assistant and called me as she had seen many posts of mine on Twitter. I was the one who came to mind so it was my website that she visited, yet she had never liked or shared a single tweet.

The moral of the story, don’t assume a lack of physical engagement means no one is listening to you and get discouraged. However, that said, when you do get indications your audience likes a certain type of content … pay attention!

Twitter Analytics are great, and all the platforms have similar functionality.

3.       Get organized.

If you find yourself scratching your head about what to post on social media next, this tip is for you. It’s time to create a content bank.

This process takes two forms for me …

Internet Explorer – most people don’t use it anymore having been overtaken by Chrome and Edge but it is still there sat on your desktop somewhere, why not put it to good use?

My day to day browser is Edge, I open it and it immediately comes up with Twitter, LI, WordPress etc – the sites I use most frequently. But I also have IE set up with my most tried and tested sources of inspiration, up to date news and therefore content. At the click of a button you have a tailor made spring of bang up to date info and inspiration at your fingertips!

ie

 

Trello – Whenever you have an idea but for one reason or another can’t/ dont’ want to post it right then and there … add it to a content bank.

I absolutely love Trello for this job – it is free, very visual, you can have lots of different boards for all manner of things and as a fan of the tactile I love being able to drag and drop everything! You can also invite people to join boards which is fab for someone who works largely in remote partnership.

Simply put, the app is brilliant for someone who is a natural organiser and spends her life organising other people!

Trello.JPG

Whenever you have an idea, add it to the a board. When you use an idea you can archive it or if you are seriously organised you can reshuffle ideas into archive lists of content that worked well and not so well. Perfect for when you want to start recycling.

——–

Social Media can be a valuable content marketing asset for your business, but being organised is important to maximising success and minimising it taking over your life.

And if you know the benefits but don’t have the time to do it yourself, then you can just give me a call 🙂

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Finding Your Tribe On Social Media

I have been a bit remiss about doing any blogs on social media so far, and I think it is because there is simply so much to say it is impossible to know where to start!

I love social media – the impact it can have for small businesses, the way it can set the really great businesses apart from the crowd and the really great people from all over the world you can meet without having to find your passport and spend lots of money.

But having just been doing some Twitter management the decision on where to start with this huge subject has been made for me by a very, very common problem that frankly drives me up the wall!

Social Media is about having conversations – real conversations with real people.

Too many people see it as a numbers game, but you definitely loose out by seeing it this way.

Followers are important whatever platform you are on, but please don’t be the kind of person who follows others and then unfollows them as soon as you have the +1 you want – it is soooooo infuriating.

(and a quick FYI … if someone who has huge numbers of followers, is not following many and is not a celeb or influencer follows you be a little wary 🙂 )

The fact is that when it comes to social media, it’s not the numbers but the meaning behind them that counts. If social media is about building relationships, then it’s the authenticity of those relationships that will truly determine their ROI.

1. Be Real. Use social media to promote the exchange of real ideas, and participate in the conversation in an authentic way. As Seth Godin once said, networking is always important when it’s real, and it’s always a useless distraction when it’s fake.

2. Find Your Niche. Sure, having a million followers is great. But what percentage of that group really represents your target customer? It’s your core audience that is most worth engaging via social media – and they respect authentiticity and want to see the real you!

3. Create Brand Ambassadors. Once you’ve found your niche, develop it! The reality is, you don’t need to convince everyone about your brand; rather, you need to find a few people who are likely to convince others for you. To get them to do this, make sure you’re worth talking about! Take an “under-promise and over-deliver” approach to your offering, and to the service around your offering. Go out of your way to make your customers happy.

Social media has quickly become the face of your business to your consumers, so it’s important for companies to think of it like customer service on steroids. Take the opportunity to show everyone what it’s like to interact and do business with you. Don’t worry about the numbers—worry about making your numbers count!

And if someone unfollows you the minute you follow them back … consider if that is the kind of business you would consider being/ following/ using/ recommending in the future.

I know I wouldn’t and it isn’t a way I would ever dream of treating my own clients.

Pinterest – A Database Of Intentions

My contention is that Pinterest is one of the four ways that people find things on the Internet. The default, of course, is Googling (or—fine, Microsoft—Binging). For real-time searches, there is Twitter. For people or entities, there’s Facebook. But if what you want to find are things, objects, then Pinterest is the way to go.

I don’t expect it will come as a surprise to anyone that I know or who has read any of my previous blogs that I am a big fan of the visual.

One of my favourite sources of creative inspiration is Pinterest. Many people call it a time vacuum, and perhaps it is, but a very pleasant and relaxing one.

For someone who is always looking for some creative inspiration I know no better way to while away half an hour of productive time priming my creative muscles at the same time as taking a much needed break from the realities and business of life.

So, my page is focussed around my interests. A snapshot …

  • A board for Quotes (well I am a bit of a motivation Junkie)
  • Aboard for truly great pictures (and I do mean on the REALLY great ones that grab you and forcibly pull you in)
  • A board for all things black and white (classic beauty)
  • A board for textures (this is a very wide ranging one, nothing to broaden the mind more to the beauties of our world and great fodder for powerpoint presentation backgrounds)

And then, of course, the Purpology board. All things purple, and if you have looked at my website you might have realised it is my very favourite colour!

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And you can find the most amazing amount of content, whatever your interests and likes.

Marketing, Cooking, Small Business, Fashion, Infographics, Blogging, Gardening, Allotments, Frogs, Insects, Photography, Stamps, Reading, Celebrities, Gossip, Hairstyles, Skincare, Nail Art, Shopping, Music, Musicians …. the list goes on and on and ON!

To my mind it is a wonderful digital scrapbook, a collection of everything you love and a quirky long term record of your personality and growth.

And lots of people all over the world agree

Pinterest

I love that it is a very slick and beautiful looking site, and with the ability to pin my favourite images to each of my boards my own page is a feast of my favourites

Pinterest.JPG

So whatever your interest is, there is something on Pinterest that would appeal you.

And if you want to swing by my page, I would be delighted to see you 🙂

 

SlideShare – A Document Library Like No Other

SlideShare is a great resource and way to share content but most of the people that I mention it to have no idea what it is!

Rather contentiously I am a fan of PowerPoint, and I can hear the ‘Really??’ before it even pops into your head. Done properly PPT can be a hugely powerful tool, whether you are trying to get a group of people interested and invested in your business/ idea or simply want to put some professional and effective sales and marketing material without it costing you the earth. Done badly ‘Death by Bullet Point’ is painful to sit through, and I am speaking from personal experience.

I expect there will be plenty on PowerPoint and presentation tips in the weeks/ months to come but for now back to SlideShare.

A Research Tool

I search slideshare for topics I’m interested in or need to know about and the presentations I find are so helpful to me I do download them and study how someone else did what I want to do.

The list of featured topics is expansive: from sales to self improvement, small business to leadership and marketing to social media. There really isn’t much you can’t find out about, from the people who really know about it and without the SEO interference that searching for stuff on the internet brings.

Inspiration

If you are putting together a presentation do you do any prep or simply wade in? I always visit SlideShare first and have a random wander through the aisles picking up random books as it were.

The mind is a wonderful thing and comes up with associations and ideas in a way it is sometimes difficult to fathom … before long you will have come up with a unique idea on the overall form and structure or a funky way to present the information, and those are the two things that will really grab your audience.

Our Other Office SlideShare