I’ve been pondering recently about the merits of Pinterest and Instagram and I’ll put my hand up when I say that I actually think businesses would probably benefit from being on both and if I had to advise a client on choosing one only I’d probably not be able to give a clearly defined answer. Not right away anyway, not like I can with Facebook and Twitter.
Both are visual ways of showing who you are, your style and what your brand is about. You can run competitions using both platforms and use to great advantage as an ecommerce retailer. So what’s the differences?
Okay so I’ve probably not made a decision between the 2 any easier but hopefully you’ve got a better understanding about how these platforms can work for you.
Which do you prefer?
I had some April Fool’s Day fun today, yes some of my friends on Facebook really did think it was for real! Thanks to Hugh Briss for introducing me to LemmeTweetThatForYou!
Last week, I gave you a rundown of the forthcoming changes to Facebook’s newsfeed, this week I’m going to explain what this will mean to Facebook Page owners.
Essentially the new newsfeed is going to be VERY visual:
Furthermore, the new design will be showcasing content shared in abundance in your network and with a choice of feeds you could become almost invisible.
These are just some of the changes you will see. Behind the scenes, you as a Facebook page owner, are going to have to construct your posts very carefully; maintaining your Facebook page to ensure maximum engagement and visibility will require you to think differently and work smartly.
My recommendations are to:
There’s more you can do but this should be enough food for thought for now.
This is the banner (with button to try) you should be watching for over the next few weeks when you log into Facebook (in addition to a single timeline and Graph Search!)
Last week on 7th March, Facebook announced what is potentially the biggest change to their newsfeed yet. Big in terms of size and experience and big in terms of changes to the way you post and use your Facebook business page.
I’ve always said to the clients I do workshops with that people are naturally attracted to visuals, just look at the success of Pinterest. Now, with nearly 50% of content on Facebook being visual they have decided to capitalise on this. There are 3 main changes to the newsfeed:
The last point is simple to cover, finally Facebook will appear the same on the web, tablet and mobile - yay!
The first two points are far more detailed and actually intertwined to some extent but essentially your forthcoming Facebook newsfeed will be enlarged in size and enhanced in terms of the visual content that will be displayed. This means that everything from your cover photo (which moving forward will be displayed on the new fan’s newsfeed), status updates, to the links you post will need to be carefully constructed. Images of the your friends who like a post or a page will be clear to see and videos will be far more pronounced.
The choice of feeds will allow Facebook users to filter their content and it could mean a potential reduction in visibility for Facebook business page users if you don’t work ‘smart. The feeds are:
Music is certainly a new area for Facebook to be moving into and with a choice of feeds to monitor your friends activity you will be waving goodbye to the ticker (something I personally love and which I think gives pages greater potential for visibility).
Josh Constine from TechCruch who was at Facebook’s HQ for the ‘big reveal’ describes the new newsfeed as ‘immersive’ and ‘addictive’.
Well that’s a rundown of the changes as they are at present, I’ll be blogging about how you as a Facebook business page user are going to have to restructure and redesign your content strategy to get the most for your page from this change very soon.
I’ve only been and gone and got published! That’s right you’ll find 2 entries by little ol’ moi in ‘100 Little Words on Parenthood’, a compilation of parenting gems, humour and advice put skillfully together by Charlie Plunkett.
What the heck has this got to do with social media I hear you asking. Well if it wasn’t for Twitter I would never have ‘met’ Charlie and would never have been included in a book (which as an ex-English teacher has always been a bit of an aspiration).
Here’s what Charlie herself has to say about the power of social media:
I started using Twitter nearly a year ago and once I had got my head around condensing everything I wanted to say into just 140 characters I started building a following of lovely people. I had been using Facebook for longer but for more personal things like family photos. When I started working on 100 Little Words on Parenthood, which I might add was inspired by twitter, I put out a tweet for assistance and was blown away by the response. Several fabulous parenting bloggers and authors I already knew and respected instantly tweeted back that they would love to contribute and I also used the discover section and hashtag to find more people to approach. After making the initial connection through twitter I then sent out emails with all of the details of the book and it went from there. I still now can hardly believe the power of social media, I have contributors from all over the world whose paths I would have never crossed with otherwise. When I look at a persons profile I can instantly tell what they do and many twitter profiles mention if they are a parent and then with links to their site or blog it really made my task so simple. Years ago this type of compilation book would have been so difficult to pull together and yet within a few months I had 100 people 96% of whom were discovered on twitter. I have gained some amazing friends through this book and am so glad I decided to to take the plunge and sign up for an account all those months ago.
So there you have it! I think Charlie summed up brilliantly just how amazing social media can be.
You can buy Charlie’s book on Amazon (Kindle and paperback editions).
The ever constant changing world of Social Media means that each week there’s a new app, tool or platform coming out. It’s rare that I’ll jump immediately on the ‘bandwagon’ this being partly due to the volume of these tools/apps but mainly because I like to see how they work, if they’re of value to the SMEs I like to support and to read the various reviews before committing myself.
Currently I’ve got my eye on 2 Twitter developments:
Vine - this is a mobile service that lets you capture and share short (6 seconds max) looping videos with sound (which is turned off by default on Twitter). My initial reaction was that 6 seconds could never be enough to be effective BUT I’ve seen a few clever videos. Unfortunately the Vine app quickly became subject to an outbreak of porn which hit the headlines. This aside I’ve been tweeting from one of my client accounts I manage about who is using it as I’ve got an idea I’d love to trial but it won’t work if there are insufficient users. To date out of the 2000 followers no one has responded that they are using the app and believe me when I say I’ve tweeted more than once about it! Does this speak volumes? Will Vine take off? So far I’m reserving judgement on this one, I’m not convinced it will.
A Twitter Filter - developments appear to be afoot to give tweets value - being either none, low, medium or high in value; in other words a type of ranking which could determine where they fall in the feed. The medium ranking tweets are likely to be the equivalent of your ‘Top Tweets’ stream and the ‘high’ are yet to be categorised. So far there haven’t been any suggestions as to how exactly a tweet will be ranked but speculation suggests that the bigger brands will fall under the high value category while smaller businesses could struggle with value and visibility. The latter, if true, is most worrying particularly for fledging twitter business users. The value based filters started working on 20 February and I’ll be watching developments closely on this one.
I sat down the other week (rare moment as a mum of 2!) to collate all the apps and tools I’ve used in the last 9 months working as a Social Media Consultant. I counted 33 in total, quite staggering indeed and as I strive to assist SME’s, most without the big Social Media budgets of the big brands, they’re all FREE tools too!
Here’s my top 3 for the moment:
Facebook Cover Image Tool
I discovered this within the last few weeks. Facebook recently changed their Facebook cover photo guidelines, introducing yet anothercaveat to their list of what is not acceptable. This one relates to the amount of text that is permissible on your cover photo and yes many Facebook business owners and social media consultants discussed how on earth this can be checked - count the number of pixels, make a rough guess? Thanks to Scalable Social Media they’ve taken the guessing away and developed a nifty little tool where you upload your cover photo, drag the boxes over the text and calculate. Admittedly this does not emulate the grid-based method Facebook intends to use and should only be used as an estimate but it at least gives you something more tangible than ‘it looks like 20%’!
Binkd’s free Twitter Contest Tool
Having carried out the common ‘RT to be in with a chance to win’ type Twitter competitions I was intrigued to see how the Binkd tool could be of benefit to me. So the setup is a little more in-depth than merely constructing a tweet to get RT’d but don’t let this put you off. I kept to the basic options and was presented with a link to tweet, a tweet I could construct which had to be tweeted by all entrants to endorse their entry into the competition which includes twitter handle and link to the competition (see photo below); furthermore Binkd tells you who hasn’t tweeted this so if you wish you can discount them from the competition, a page where I could upload photos and text about the product that could be won and a full list of all entrants. In addition to this Binkd generates the winner and the only thing I could fault is that it didn’t have the option (unless I just couldn’t see it) to tweet the winner, that I had to do manually. I’ll definitely be using this again.
I can’t emphasise enough the importance of using lists in Twitter, especially for businesses who need to listen effectively to utilise the most of their time they spend on Twitter. More often than not making lists is something that you think about further down the line when you’re following several hundred accounts. Twitlistmanager is essentially a tool that can help you if you suddenly find you need to curate a list but don’t want to have to manually go through each account you are following to see whether they need assigning to a list and if so which one. In a nutshell Twitlistmanager logs into your Twitter account (with your authorisation) and fetches the people you follow, any lists you’ve already created, and puts it all on one page. You can create new lists if you want to, and simply check the boxes to add or remove people to your lists. It really is far less time consuming than going through every person you’re following.
Picture this if you will, you have a recipe, not necessarily your all time favourite (you’d remember it right?) but tried and tested, easy, scrummy and one you want to make.
That was me last week except I couldn’t find the recipe. The first thing I did was to Google it hoping the fact that it was a Weightwatchers recipe would mean it would be easily located but no, it was not to be. Naturally, as an advocate of social media the next thing I did was to tweet about it.
Less than 20 minutes later, a WeightWatchers leader tweeted to say she didn’t have the book but had re-tweeted for me (clearly some proactive social media listening going on there) and this was almost immediately followed by:
Yup, you’ve guessed it, that was the right recipe book and the lovely Linda Venon emailed me the recipe and here it is, I can highly recommend it. ;-)
This time last year I was a mum of 2, working 1 day a week at aitch:creative, a fabulous local graphic design company and muttering to myself and the husband (when he listened) about needing to find a job that had child friendly hours.
Fast forward a month later and the husband ranting about my social media addiction and his passing comment about making money from it and the idea for Social Pip was born!
After some fabulous training with Jenni Wardle of Digital Skills Network and I was set to go.
I’m not going to bore you with the ‘ins and outs’ of my year but will finish by saying a year later I am still a mum of 2 but instead of working 1 day a week, I now work 7 days a week at Social Pip and so far all my business has come through word-of-mouth recommendation.
I would especially like to thank my wonderful husband, who despite his hatred of social media, has given his endless support all year. A big thank you to Kerry Haynes of Inspire Me Media for being her number one choice for anything social media related; to Jenni Wardle for her continued support throughout the year; to all the clients I have trained in 2012 and to Billion Dollar Brows and MamaBabyBliss for choosing me to be their social media voice and finally to all my friends who said I COULD do it - you were right.
Happy New Year to you all.