Monday June 21, 2010
Sally Brand – Sales and Marketing Manager shares her tips and techniques for using social media.
Social media, love it or loathe it you can’t escape it! The majority of people, and organisations for that matter, will be on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn (probably all three in some form or another!). Here at the Purple Palace we like to keep up with the times and find out about the latest HR and talent management trends to keep ourselves and our clients and contacts “in the know”. Twitter, in particular, is great for this as it’s such an instant source of information.
To keep us up-to-date, and as part of my personal development, I have attended various seminars over the past few months to boost my knowledge around social media... there is so much to learn! I attended a very useful seminar earlier in the year at The Business Design Centre in Islington, which was delivered by Base Creative http://www.basecreative.eu/. It was a really useful and cost-effective introduction to blogging. Furthermore, just last week I attended a Social Media session at The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce http://www.edinburghchamber.co.uk/.
Ok, so just because I have attended a couple of seminars on social media I’m not going to start pretending to be an expert. However I did pick some very useful tips and techniques, which may just help you - and your business - and save you some precious time finding the answers on the Web yourself. So here goes...
- Blogging is on the increase; it now makes up over a third of the net. As such it is a great opportunity to show off your knowledge and expertise. If you’re blogging for business it is a great way to inject some personality and individuality into your organsation’s offering. Furthermore, it’s a fantastic search engine optimisation tool.
- When blogging, ideally you should write in the first person as this creates higher impact. Also remember to keep your blog concise, ensure it has a clear message and that there is a call to action.
- Blogging is an enhanced method of communication. Why not use it to communicate with and impress your clients and contacts? If you’ve not written a blog before and fancy giving it try, have a look at WordPress (this one in particular has been recommended to me on numerous occasions) http://wordpress.com/
- Want to keep up to date with new social media websites, services and trends? Then keep your eye on Mashable http://mashable.com/about/
- Got an event you want to tell the world about? Then why not use Flickr http://www.flickr.com/ A “social media guru” has informed me that this is a great website for users to share and embed photographs and a good way to get your event some free PR.
- The same guru also told me that “Facebook Groups” are not so advantageous for companies and that “Fan Pages” are better.
- Twitter is a blogging website too! Although it is a “micro blog” which means the number of characters you can use per blog is limited (to 140 in Twitter’s case).
- If you are tweeting or posting a blog where space or characters are limited and want to include a long URL, you can shorten in by going to the following web address http://bit.ly/ and pasting in the address you want to shorten. It will then give you a new address to copy and paste out.
- When blogging and tweeting do not over-sell to your followers... people will just become frustrated and lose interest. Keep the 80:20 rule in mind (contribute something useful 80% of the time and sell just 20% of the time).
- Be honest when blogging and tweeting... if you lie or mislead your followers it is sure to backfire at some point (you might even attract some bad social media press!).
- Look at popular Tweeters, such as Stephen Fry and Dell, to get inspiration on how best to do it and see how they add value (that’s what it’s all about after all!).
- Social media monitoring tools: monitor key words and what’s being said about your organisation and brand using a client such as TweetDeck http://www.tweetdeck.com/. This is the one I use but I have also heard good things about http://hootsuite.com//
Social media can be a fantastic tool to help you raise brand awareness and communicate with your clients, and potential clients. However, whilst there are clear benefits to using social media, if people are not educated properly about the appropriate use of these sites and about the impact - and the consequences - that this use can have then this can be very damaging, not only for the individual but also for the organisation.
To help business owners, managers and team leaders deal with such issues we have designed a specialist learning bite session to help ensure that organisations have the necessary knowledge and tools in place to address such issues with confidence. If you would like some further information please click here to check this out or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally I’ve got to admit, we’ve developed the “Twitter-bug” and we are very keen to keep increasing our Twitter followers, as well as start following more exciting brands. If you’re not already following us why not check us out (learnpurple) and, vice versa, let us know if you’re on Twitter? Also if you have any top tips or quick wins when it comes to using social media then please do share them – comment below. Commenting on other peoples / companies blogs is another great way to increase your profile.