5 Social Media Tips For Absolute Beginners

5 Social Media Tips For Absolute Beginners

When it comes to creating content for the internet, there isn’t much point unless you have somewhere to put it. So, once you’ve uploaded to your website, what’s next?

Social media is still the fastest growing and most effective way of sharing that wonderful content you’ve created with the world. Each month 845 million people use Facebook. 115 million use Twitter, 12 million use Pinterest and 2 billion visits YouTube every day. 2 new members join LinkedIn every second. In fact, 600 million more people are on social media than own a toothbrush (ew)! Social media is undoubtedly one of the most powerful phenomena out there, and it’s just waiting for you to harness its potential to spread your content far and wide. If you’re not on social media yet, by the end of this post you will be!

Decide What Platforms To Use

The first and most important thing you need to do is decide which platform you want to use. There are hundreds of different social media platforms out there, from Twitter to Tumblr and LinkedIn to Snapchat, so there is no way you can be on all of them. So start small. Pick one, or two to begin with and grow your following – you can always expand to new ones later. Thankfully, deciding which platform to use is the easy bit – just take a look at where your customers are. For example, if you are targeting small solicitors, you are unlikely to find them on Facebook, but you might find them on twitter or LinkedIn. If you’re looking to promote to cupcake makers, visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are the way to go. Spend some time looking at what networks your target audience is using, and then get yourself set up there.

social-media-sharing bookOptimise Your Profile

Once you’ve figured out where you need to be, you need to create a profile. While you’re doing this, bear in mind that your social media profiles all help Google figure out who you are, so optimisation is key. If you have a list of keywords you used on your website, try and use them in any text you write. Make sure your images are sized properly and tagged with those keywords (if the platform will let you). Have your website, other social links and address listed if you can. Any suggestions the individual social network makes in terms of profile setup should be followed, as this will help your account be found. Try to pick a handle or account name that matches your business name as closely as possible, and brand every inch of it. Being found is key on social media, so make it easy for people.

Find And Follow Influencers

When you’re first starting on social media it can be slow going to build up a following. A good way to start is by finding and following influencers in your field. I don’t mean following Stephen Fry because Twitter told you to. I mean finding people high up in your industry who share interesting, thought provoking things. Share and comment on their posts, get involved in conversations with others in the community and build up a network of people from each end of the spectrum, from influencers to other businesses like you. Being visible to an influencer can be a big boost, especially if you are providing interesting and relevant content. A single share from them could mean big business for you!

Use Scheduling Tools

I’m not going to lie, keeping up with social media can be a nightmare! If you’re not careful, you could spend all day sucked into the Twitterverse and not actually get any work done. To make this easier, try out some social media management and scheduling tools like Hootsuite, Buffer or IFTT to pre-schedule your regular posts, leaving you free to go about your work without worrying that your social media is dormant. You can then set aside certain times to be more ‘actively involved’ and achieve a great work-social balance.

Keep A Balance Between Following And Followers

An important thing when starting up with social media is keeping a good balance between followers and following. You should always try to keep those numbers as close as possible, for example having 100 followers and following 130 people. When someone looks at your profile, this sort of information is very visible, and if the level is out of whack this can make people think twice about following you. So if you’re following 200 people but only have 10 following you, it gives a bad impression. It will take some time, but it’s better to grow the network slowly instead of rushing and looking desperate.

The most important thing to remember about social media is that it’s not an overnight fix – it’s a slow process that takes time to build up and really get going. If you expect to have thousands of followers and be raking in the business by the end of week 1, you are going to be very disappointed. Instead make sure you take the time to set it up properly and treat it like a marathon, not a sprint. For more information or advice on how to share your content on social media, get in touch with us today!

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Is Social Media Changing The Way We Think?

Is Social Media Changing The Way We Think?

We are now undoubtedly residing in the digital age, and social media is one of the main platforms for conversation. We have accounts for ourselves, for our businesses, our hobbies and even accounts for our pets, all in the name of having conversations online. But has this dominance of social media started changing the way we think? Let’s examine some of the key influence points…

It’s Changed The Way We Talk

 Have you ever said the word ‘LOL’ out loud? Did the word ‘Selfie’ even exist 5 years ago? Maybe abbreviated sentences or cut out syllables to make things quicker to say? Text speak and social media go together like green eggs and ham, and it’s not surprising that it’s started to seep into our everyday language. Whether it’s shortening words and sentences or simple adding new words to our vocabulary, there is no denying social media is having a marked impact on the evolution of our language.

Our Friendships Will Never Be The Same

In the good old days if you wanted to talk to your friends, you picked up the phone or walked over to their house. You waited to talk to them at school, at work or down the pub on Friday night. Whichever method you chose, there was a personal connection involved, and this included the audio and visual clues to good conversation that go along with it. Now we message our friends online, relying on little symbols called ‘emoji’s’ to show our emotions. Almost everyone reading this will have, at some point in their life, misunderstood the meaning of a text because there were no physical clues to help them out. A playful insult with a smile and wink in person can start a raging argument over text, because there is no indicator that this is a joke. We have also changed the way we value friendships. If we have 300 friends on Facebook, we count that as having loads of friends, despite the fact that we haven’t seen or spoken to some of them in years. Our friendships are now being measured more and more by the interaction we have on social media, and not by the real life encounters.

Anyone Can be An Expert

Thanks to the Internet and social media, anyone with a keyboard can voice an opinion and expect it to be heard and worshiped by the online world. Blogging sites are popping up like rabbits, letting everyone have a voice. We think this is fantastic – as it raises the profile of brilliant people who would never have a voice otherwise. On the other hand, it has created a mire of fraudsters, bloggers of questionable character and downright idiots, all of whom can sound convincing. On the flip side of that coin, it has made us very good at sniffing out bullshitters and understanding when something is fact and when it is opinion, or just a downright lie.

Vanity Prevails

Think back even a few years ago. Would you keep a photo album full of your own photos? Hundreds of pictures of yourself pouting and posing, trying to get the perfect shot? No, of course not! But in the age of social media this is what we find – and it is reinforced with ‘likes’ and ‘followers’. Networks like Instagram were developed to allow us to post pictures of ourselves, our food and our cats all over the Internet, and while this can be a bonding exercise for some, it is pure vanity to others.

Romantic Relationships Have Morphed

In the past, if you wanted to go on a date your would ask a friend to set you up, go to a singles bar or perhaps dip your toe into speed dating. But with the Internet came the invention of online dating, and the world was forever changed. We’re not saying online dating is a new thing – it’s as old as the Internet, but social media has rapidly changes the way we (particularly the young ones) are viewing relationships. Tinder is one of the biggest culprits here – it created the dating-hook-up hybrid and opened up the doors for ‘cool’ online dating for youths. Profiles on online dating sites went through the roof, and it’s not surprising that we can see changes in the way we view relationships. Often now, dating is just for passing fancies and quick flings, not for settling down and finding ‘the one’. It’s easy to forget that in a culture of instant gratification like social media, relationships are broken as easily as they’re forged.

Now we aren’t the people to be bashing social media – we think it’s great! It opens up new avenues for business, helps you find lots loved ones, reconnect with old friends and has inspired communities to band together in the interest of a common goal. But it has undeniably changed the way we think and act, and this has a knock on effect in the way we form relationships in our personal and business lives, as well as the way we communicate with each other. So next time you go to say ‘LOL’, stop and think – would I have said this 10 years ago?

The 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media

The 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media

Anyone who has ever been read bits from the bible (or anyone who has ever watched Seven to be honest) will know of the 7 deadly sins. These are supposed to be the origin of all other sins, so these 7 behaviours are some of the worst you can commit. But little known to humanity a second set of 7 deadly sins was created during the dawn of the Internet age, when social media became a viral phenomenon and inexcusable behaviours were rife. These 7 deadly sins of social media should be avoided at all costs, if you wish to be successful on social media.


Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media - WrathWrath

No one likes to be criticised, and our gut response when someone says something negative about us on the Internet often goes 1 of 2 ways – we either get angry and retaliate, or we delete the offending comment. Neither of these responses means good news for your brand image, and you will fall into the sin of wrath. It’s important to remember rule 1 of the Internet. What you put on the Internet stays on the Internet for a very long time, so if you respond negatively to a comment, it won’t go away. This can sometimes be a good thing though. If someone logs a complaint with your company over social media, you can use it to respond in a quick and friendly manner. Show off your customer service skills and you might just gain more customers for it. Remember, don’t just ignore what is happening, or respond to hastily, engage in a positive way.


7 Deadly Sins of Social Media - Greed

Greed

A lot of businesses start out on social media out of purely selfish reasons. This is not bad thing! Social media is the ideal platform to promote yourself, engage directly with potential customers and even gain some new business. But the trick is to take on a ‘givers gain’ attitude. Too often we see businesses that are greedy on social media, wanting lots of followers without followings, wanting people to promote them without doing it in return, the list goes on. Social media is a two way street, and if you give a little you can gain a lot. So if your customers are spreading the word about you, thank them by returning the favour, or with a special discount or promotion.


Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media - Greed

Sloth

There is nothing worse than a lazy social account. If it’s now July and your last post was in May, something has gone horribly wrong for you. Social media is a very instant world, and frequent updating is essential to keep up the momentum and keep your business growing. If you don’t post often enough you risk customers thinking you have gone out of business, losing the opportunity to drive sales and interact with your customers along the way. Be ready to respond to messages in a timely manner and don’t leave people hanging there. After all no one likes awkward silences.


Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media - Pride

Pride

Everyone has that really annoying Facebook friend who posts 20 selfies a day and is constantly raving about their life. Here’s a bit of a reality check for you: if you are posting nothing but highly branded, promotional or sales based content all the time, that is you, and nobody likes that guy. Instead, intersperse your message with other humorous of informative content to give your followers some value and break up the monotony.


Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media - Lust

Lust

Ahh social media lust. Defined as the desire to be on every single social network possible at the same time with the same message. We’ll let you in on a secret – it’s just not possible, and what’s more you shouldn’t really be trying. Each social network has it’s own personality, and it’s important to tailor your approach and your content to that. Social media is all about being on the right platform at the right time with the right message, for example, Instagram loves photos, Facebook likes videos and Twitter likes visuals, information and hashtags.


7 Deadly Sins of Social Media - EnvyEnvy

Envy is a natural human emotion, and something everyone feels from time to time. Sometimes, we even want to piggyback their success, in the vain hope that we too will become successful. Envy at another’s success on social media can be slightly frustrating, but that does not mean you should attempt to ape their behaviour and hope for the same results. The most common examples we see are of ‘Twitter envy’, and usually involve users hashtagging #literally #every #word and using highly irrelevant but popular hashtags to pull themselves onto the pedestal. Now we’re not grinding on chatting #hashtags, but only when they are relevant to you and your readers! When you feel the social envy creeping up, turn your thoughts to your own content plan and how you can improve it.


7 Deadly Sins of Social Media - Gluttony

Gluttony

And finally, the deadly sin that will earn you a crowd of irritated customers and a lot of unfollows. Gluttons are the opposite of Sloths, and instead of not posting enough they are bombarding their chosen networks with hundreds of messages a day. This passes from the realm of ‘informative updates’ (as they so often try and convince themselves) and straight into spam territory. The sad part is, even if you have interesting thins to say they are pushed down so fast by all your other updates that they will never be found. To save you from accidental gluttony, this is our recommended social media dosage:

Twitter: No more than once per hour

Facebook: No more than twice a day

LinkedIn & Google+: no more than twice a day