Archive for the ‘Social Media training’ Category

Welcome to the Twitter Echo Chamber?

August 12, 2020

 

Pleasantville

BREAKING NEWS: Have Twitter officially gone crazy?

Twitter has just rolled out a new feature that will enable a user to limit who can reply to their tweet!

Have a peep at the bottom left corner of your Tweet window when you are tweeting and you will see a new message:

[Everyone Can Reply]

Click this and you will see two further options..

This is how Twitter has explained how this feature will work:

Here’s how it works.

Before you Tweet, choose who can reply with three options:

1) everyone (standard Twitter, and the default setting),

2) only people you follow,

or

3) only people you mention.

Tweets with the latter two settings will be labeled and the reply icon will be grayed out for people who can’t reply.

People who can’t reply will still be able to view, Retweet, Retweet with Comment, share, and like these Tweets.

This is a really interesting (very weird) development for the platform that can often generate lots of discussion, arguments and often abuse.

Effectively I can now tweet that “Greg is the greatest!” and I can do it is a way that no one can argue with me!!

 

The Rationale

I’m guessing Twitter want this because of the fear that many people have when using the platform because of the aggressive nature of many people using it unchecked, led by some very hateful horrible people such as the wonderful Donald Trump.

In truth they are petrified of expressing themselves on it, and maybe for good reason as reporting abuse doesn’t seem to stop anyone.

Twitter noted that users in their test pool have said “that they feel more comfortable tweeting, and more protected from spam and abuse, which has led to them tweeting longer, more in-depth thoughts, particularly on sensitive subjects

People who face abuse find these settings helpful – those who have submitted abuse reports are 3x more likely to use these settings.

The deeper rationale is most likely a commercial one – more active users will lead to more relevance and a better ability to market it to advertisers.

The Plus 

As mentioned already, it may encourage some people to tweet more, knowing that discussion feedback (good or bad) will be limited to their narrow chosen audience.

It might enable other users to start using the platform for certain posts more like Facebook whereby only friends can see their posts.

It could also be useful for organisations (public bodies) who want to push out updates and other information without getting a deluge of responses (good or bad).

Beyond that I am not seeing any other advantages.

The Minus

This will be a huge frustration for users of the platform, when they can see a tweet and want to interact with it and they cannot because of the setting – the openness of Twitter was part of the magic (even with some of the abusive users).

I think in many cases that might result in you unfollowing the account – I do recall at a social media training once a student saying “I only want people to hear what I say” – good luck with that perspective!!

This is my point, my opinion, my view but I only want a very select bunch to see it” …ah come on, this is surely creating a very warped world on Twitter for that person and for the collective.

Do we really need a very false, extra cosy “echo chamber” loaded with biased opinions and unchecked fake news with soft cushions everywhere, or would it be much better if instead of this strange solution to aggressive, abusive behaviour on the platform, that there was a more robust reporting system that did penalise serial abusers? (bye bye Donald!)?

Note: spotting the “Greg is the greatest” tweet I can easily undermine the soft cushions by tweeting something like:

Did you see what that idiot @GregCantyFuzion just said about himself in his self congratulating protected tweet, what a Wally!!”

Twitter is a place that gives us all an equal voice – unfortunately like so many other areas of society we often can’t control our worst urges, we can be nasty, we can be hateful, we can be abusive, we can be racist and we can be downright horrible!

The Echo Chamber isn’t the solution…what do you think?

(the image used at the top of this post was from the fantastic movie ‘Pleasantville’

 

The LinkedIn “headbutt”

August 11, 2020

LinkedIn Tips

It starts with the “connection request” from someone on LinkedIn – after a quick glance over the person’s profile I make a decision whether I will accept or not.

As I keep saying to people in our social media training courses these are not wedding proposals, so my own approach is to give the person the benefit of doubt, thank them for connecting and hopefully they will be another person in your ever extending network that you have had a positive interaction with.

Of course, some people will connect with you with the objective of selling us something – I have no issue with that really as in truth most of us want to make good connections, which hopefully could lead to more awareness and even a good business lead at some point.

I always say to people that in a world of social media there should be no need for “cold calling” and instead think of it as a place for “warm calling“.

Connect with someone relevant, try to have some positive interactions with them, build up some rapport and when and if the time is right gently introduce your services to them.

However, with many that idea just floats high above their heads and instead of taking the “warm calling” approach you get what I call the “headbutt“.

Boom…you didn’t see it coming, right into the forehead and you are left dazed – and you want to do business with me??

I connected with this guy just the other day (XXX is where his name was) and this is what I immediately got back, complete with getting my name wrong:

 Hi Grey

I’m XXX.

My client can bridge funds for your New or Ongoing Business. Do let me know when you receive this message for further procedures.

I am available. Thank you for your anticipated response.

Regards,

XXX

On what planet am I going to do business with this person?

Social media is brilliant for making valuable connections for you and your business – Use it to “warm call” and not to “headbutt”!

Greg

Greg Canty heads up the Digital Marketing team at Fuzion Communications and as part of our suite of digital services we offer social media training and social media consultancy, both face to face and online

 

 

Social Media and Punk Sanitiser in the time of Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Punk Santiser

For years, we have been encouraging small businesses to build a social media presence through our training sessions, client meetings and even networking events.

This is now that time where having that online presence can be really useful for your business. We’re being encouraged to socially distance, which all of our team are doing by working from home, but if you’re a retail or hospitality business who relies on face to face customer interactions these coming weeks are going to be hard to manage.

Here are a couple of simple tips that might help you:

Don’t Hide!

Up until now you might be afraid of saying the wrong thing, so you’ve been keeping your head down – now is the perfect time to make the most of your social media presence. Your audience want to hear from you so they can understand what’s happening with your business at this time.

Engage

Engage with your customer base by communicating your messages but also listening to their queries and empathising where possible. Let your customers know what your business and your team are going through and even share the positive things that you are witnessing in your community – we need hope! 

What you can say?

Spend a bit of time to figure out what the messages are that you want to share online, whether it’s that you can offer an online service, deliveries or a call & collect service.  Your audience at this time are looking for authenticity so don’t be afraid to share a message that might be personal, it will help humanise you and your business.

Tip: We always advise before jumping in that it is best to do an exercise with your team to decide what the key messages of the business are – your content should deliver on these key messages, which is a great way of keeping you on track.

Empathise

Before posting always try to put yourself in the mindset of the reader – people are in unusual circumstances, many of them are worried and try to take this into account when you post.

Is there a way you can help?

Your business may not feel like it’s relevant at the moment but is there anything else you can offer your followers or your community?

A fantastic example of this is many of the distilleries across Ireland and the UK who are now making much needed hand sanitiser to provide to the HSE and the NHS.

Is there any way we can help?

If you need a hand to get up and running let us know and we can get you trained up with a training session online.

For more social media advice keep an eye on our channels over the coming weeks, as I’m sure to have much more to say now that I’m trapped indoors!

Be safe..

Alma Brosnan Social Media Consultant, Fuzion CommunicationsAlma

Alma Brosnan is a social media consultant with Fuzion Communications who operate from offices in Dublin and Cork and sometimes from home!

The October 2019 Social Media Update – What happened?

November 5, 2019

October was a busy month for all our favourite social media platforms!

First up, Facebook!

Contrary to the belief that Facebook usage (including ourselves) has been declining, their Q3 update released showed that they are continuing to add users worldwide. However you will see that Europe and the U.S./Canada are quite static.

Facebook quarterly update 2019

Here are a couple of changes they’ve made this month:

They have removed the ability to schedule a post on desktop for some users unless you’re posting from the “Publishing Tools” page. This probably makes it easier for those of us that bulk schedule but it’s slightly annoying to lose it completely from a page post.

However, there is good news on the scheduling tools front!

Facebook is reportedly testing a new option within its post scheduling options which would enable Page admins to reach their audiences when they’re most active on the platform. It’ll be interesting to see if this comes in as it could be a very useful tool for marketers.

Was your business verified on Facebook via their grey tick?

From now on, all those grey ticks will be gone. Facebook have made this move because users were confused between those and the blue ticks, which are for public figures, media companies and brands.

Now my favourite…. Instagram!

Instagram (at least it feels like it to me when I’m updating my training presentation!) are always updating different things on the platform. Whether it’s Stories or different user tools, there’s always something new in the pipeline.

They’ve changed the whole layout of their Stories screen for users.

You were able to previously swipe along the bottom for the different tools such as Boomerang and Live, now there is a ‘Create’ option including different Story formats such as a GIF screen, templates to encourage engagement with your followers, and other options such as poll, quiz and countdown which were available previously as stickers.

They are also testing a new sticker as seen by Jane Manchun Wong, called ‘Invites‘ which allows users the chance to RSVP to the sticker once posted. If this comes to pass, it would be a great way to interact with followers working similarly to events on Facebook.

Instagram invites

Another interesting test coming soon will be Instagram sorting users ‘Following‘ lists into different categories including different topics.

Business accounts will fit under the different topics that they would have chosen in their Instagram settings. An interesting list to see will be the ‘least interacted with’ and ‘most shown in feed’, based on the user’s activity.

This could encourage users to unfollow some business accounts, so make sure your content stays engaging for your followers!

Messaging!

Instagram is finally introducing new features to their messaging to allow businesses to reply instantly to messages when they’re not available and also to set up an away message. This will be very useful to help communications with customers and ensure no-one is left waiting without an answer.

Instagram messaging

Finally…. LinkedIn are launching their own events feature!

It looks like it works similarly to Facebook Events, and it also gives you the option to invite specific people to an event. This will be great for anyone organising networking events, product launches or any other professional events.

That’s it until next month..thanks for stopping by!

Alma Brosnan Social Media Consultant, Fuzion CommunicationsAlma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Digital Marketing team providing Social Media Consultancy and Training services at Fuzion Communications from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Social Media Update – July 2019, What’s new?

August 1, 2019

In Fuzion every month I deliver an update to the team about social media and what the latest trends and changes are.

Here is my update for July:

Selfie in a Swimsuit!

Have we reached the peak age of influencers?

The newest trend in Siberia is taking their Instagram shots next to a toxic lake… because the colouring of it is such a great background!!

According to Buzzfeed News, “Some show up in swimsuits; one couple took wedding pictures there, and at least a handful have ventured into the dreamlike, but toxic, waters on paddle boards or pool floats.”

The water is not poisonous but the Siberian Generating Company have had to announce to the fans of this lake that getting their skin in contact with the lake could react in an allergic reaction.

How far would you go for that perfect selfie?

 

Facebook Top Fans

Facebook is now allowing business pages to target their “top fans” in organic posts.

By targeting your “top fans” it could give you another way to create more engagement with the people that react most and value your content.

This is a great way to build and foster a stronger connection with those fans by creating content solely for them, whether it’s thanking them for their support or a reward for their engagement.

 

Chat Stickers on Instagram 

In Instagram Stories news, they have now introduced a “chat sticker” which can be added to your images.

It lets users invite followers to join a group chat, but only the original poster can select who’s allowed in. It’ll be interesting to see how brands can use this tool, maybe as a focus group to test out new product ideas or even as a competition tool. Maybe they could create a quiz within the group for the followers who get there quick enough?

 

Facebook morphing into Instagram..see more

Facebook’s mobile view is now getting a lot more similar to Instagram!

Normally when you post on Facebook, the mobile view shows all the text that was in the post. However, from August 19th, all Facebook mobile posts will display three lines of text before cutting the rest off and prompting with the “see more” link.

As I say to clients when I’m doing Instagram training, make sure your message is in the first sentence before it gets lost!

TikTok

What the hell is TikToK.?

Who uses TikTok?

Apparently, everyone under 25! TikTok is a social media platform which allows users to upload and edit 15-second videos, with fun voice-overs or music (similar to Vine).

It is now booming with the younger generation and was the third most installed app worldwide in the first quarter of 2019.

It’s claimed it has 1.2 billion users globally, which makes it more popular than Instagram. How can businesses use this to their advantage? The best way, for now, seems to be partnering up with creators on the platform and using them to promote their products.

It looks like the influencer economy is here to stay!

Alma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Digital Marketing team providing Social Media Consultancy and Training services at Fuzion Communications from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Some Instagram changes for the better?

July 23, 2019

In my training sessions, I always start off by saying that Instagram is the platform where you show your best side.

From amazing pictures of products to great pictures of your team, it allows you to build your brand aesthetic and show your story.

Most personal users use it this way too.

They only put up their best pictures – pictures of themselves, their holidays, great nights out. Due to this behaviour, Instagram has become associated with many negative effects like bullying, self-esteem, anxiety, depression and body image.

Other social media platforms such as Facebook & Twitter are full of the plague of fake news and Instagram was the one positive place where this fake news epidemic hadn’t reached.

However due to the perfect image that Instagram is meant to present, it has been a breeding place for low self-esteem and bullying. Teenagers will take down their posts if they have less than a hundred likes, due to a fear of other people seeing and judging their likes, or lack of, and also because they’re conditioned now to base the effectiveness of their social media activity on likes.

None of them are just posting a picture to Instagram any more just because it’s a nice picture.

To combat this, Instagram has introduced a number of anti-bullying features including comment warnings and restrictions. The comment warning is meant to detect offensive content as it’s being typed and prompt the poster to reconsider before they post. The restriction setting allows users to identify their bullies without blocking them but giving the user the opportunity to review their comments before they go live.

This protects the user in that their bully thinks the content is live but it gives the user the ability to review it before the rest of their followers see it.

The other new feature, which isn’t technically an anti-bullying measure, but can be seen as one for those teenagers that are judged on their likes, is a new test that will hide the display of the number of likes on a post.

This is currently being tested on some users in Ireland after being previously tested in Canada.

Instagram have said, “We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get. You can still see your own likes by tapping on the list of people who’ve liked it, but your friends will not be able to see how many likes your post has received. We’re looking forward to learning more about how this change might benefit everyone’s experience on Instagram.”

It will be interesting to see how this change effects how Instagram works, from businesses judging their successes on post engagement to influencers building their whole career on the amount of likes they get.

The important part to note about this change is that users will still be able to see the amount of likes they are getting and will be able to continue to monitor their insights. It’s only that your audience will not be able to see how many others have liked your posts.

Whether this affects the amount of likes a post gets remains to be seen.

One tip I’ll leave you with, which I always give in my training sessions, is to create content that is valuable to your business and shows your story.

This is why we’re all using social media and if you stay true to yourself and your business, your customers will react positively.

Alma Brosnan Social Media Consultant, Fuzion CommunicationsAlma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Digital Marketing team providing Social Media Consultancy and Training services at Fuzion Communications from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Nightclubbing and the end of Google+

February 4, 2019

Google+ is dead

So…Google have thrown their hat at their social media platform, Google+, which they launched in June 2011.

In December 2018, we announced our decision to shut down Google+ for consumers in April 2019 due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations. We want to thank you for being part of Google+ and provide next steps, including how to download your photos and other content

It was clear that the search engine giant wanted a piece of the emerging social media action and they threw all of their expertise, intelligence, resources and weight behind their new platform.

They were able to leverage their colossal Gmail database and gently nudge users onto the platform.

The core idea was “circles” and you could create these unique circles and invite your contacts to join them and you had personal accounts and separate accounts for your business pages. We were all going to have incredibly engaging discussions in our circles, because isn’t that how the world works after all?

For a short while it did seem to have momentum, and every day you would receive a multitude of invitations to connect with other users – with the usual Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) we were all clicking, joining and posting and busy trying to figure out how we could leverage this new thing for our personal and business communications.

For starters it was never very “cool”, it never seemed to be enjoyable, it was clunky and it required effort and wasn’t really solving a problem that the other platforms couldn’t.

From a business point of view the advice was, you had to be on the platform to maximise your ranking on Google – that stick was definitely one worthy of paying attention to, but even that idea didn’t gain momentum.

In Fuzion, we have been providing social media courses since 2000 on the main platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more recently Instagram – not once in that time were we ever asked to run a course on Google+.

If ever asked by a client about the platform, I would advise them to get their activity on the others right first and then get around to Google+ …it never happened.

The conclusion might be that social media was too saturated at this point and Google+ was just too late, but this argument doesn’t hold up when you consider Instagram was launched in 2010 and Snapchat in 2011.

Why did Google+ not work out?

Saturday Night Fever

My Nightclub theory!

Facebook was the new nightclub when it was launched – the cool crew went there, because they were cool, they loved being the first to try out the new place but soon the non-cool crew followed suit and even worse, Aunty Joan and Uncle Bill turned up and tried their moves on the dance floor.

The cool gang moved to club ‘Twitter’ and they had this to themselves but…. guess who followed them there eventually?

Then Instagram was cool and it loved your photos but….guess who showed up, Aunty Joan and Uncle Bill!!

Snapchat was ultra cool and ultra young and the functionality was totally loose and wild and posts disappeared after a while…what??!!

Poor Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook who had just spent some of his fortune on Instagram to try to win the cool kids back, realised that the young gang had already moved to the zany Snapchat.

Instead of sulking about the waste of money, he gambled big and just ripped off (even if you could would you just become an unashamed  copycat?) all of the functionality of Snapchat and he bolted it onto Instagram. He did this just in time as Instagram still had a large number of users and before there were mass defections from the platform, it gave them a new, fresh reason for staying with it and after all they had lots of followers already, so it was easier than starting again.

Why not the Google+ nightclub?

So…in the middle of all these nightclubs opening why didn’t Google+ work? I’m sure many heads in Google are scratching about this one!

The people who try something new are the innovators, the leap froggers, they are curious and they explore, those with a thirst for a new experience, something that says something about who they are.

With Google+, they came through the door on opening night, they danced, they tried the cocktails and they even invited their friends but discovered really quickly that it wasn’t very different, they heard all of those tunes before, it wasn’t very cool and to be honest it was a little bit boring!

Will we ever see another social media platform? I definitely think so as there are always the innovators who are thirsty for something new.

Does a giant like Google have the people and culture to be able to produce an innovative social media platform that will be so radically different that people will flock to it?

Would they dare to try again?

Let’s see….

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Social Media Consultancy Services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Snapchat and Amazon connect for “snap” online shopping

October 1, 2018

Snapchat and Amazon

We all love to shop!!

It’s an industry that has grown online and is only getting bigger.

Now social media platforms are getting in on the action; Facebook were one of the first platforms to encourage shopping from the platform linking up with Shopify, Pinterest were next capitalising on the fact that their site inspired people to shop and introduced shopping ads and this year even Instagram introduced shoppable tags.

It’s the next frontier for social media sites and is a clever way to stay relevant when their audience’s attention spans are so short lived.

Imagine my surprise when Snapchat, the platform we all thought was on the way out, released an update saying they are now working with Amazon testing a new way to search for products using the Snapchat camera. This could really change how people shop online!

Snapchat Shopping

All you will have to do is point your camera at the product as if you’re taking a picture and then press & hold on the screen like you do when you use Snapchat filters. Once the product has been recognised by the app, a pop-up card with a link to the product page on Amazon will appear and then you follow that to purchase the item on Amazon.

So simple and a genius move by the two companies!!

Many people have said Snapchat is in decline but they’ve managed to hold on to their younger user base quite well. There may not be growth but they’re not losing users. If you look at the Ipsos MRBI Social Media Messaging Report from March 2018, you can see that even though only 31% of the Irish audience have Snapchat, 64% use it daily.

IPsos March 2018

Snapchat knowing that their demographic want everything instantaneously and by creating this link with Amazon who are king of snap purchasing decisions (anyone else bought something random from Amazon at 3am?!!), they could very well be guaranteeing their survival.

Looking forward to seeing how Facebook react to this!

Alma Brosnan - Fuzion CommunicationsAlma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Social Media Consultancy team at Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Cracking the “Social Media” Training Code

April 2, 2018

Social Media e-learning

Incredibly we have been running social media courses since May 2010!

This was the new thing, the new way to reach your customers and promote you and your business and it was free to use!!

I do think a big part of the reason it exploded at the time was because we were immersed in an awful recession and most people had virtually no funds to do anything, let alone promote their business.

So the simple advice was, grab the relevant platforms (at the time it was Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and use them to tell your story and engage with your target audience.

In the earliest training that we delivered, it was all about the functionality – step by step we would show all the participants how to do everything on each of the platforms.

As time went on we changed the emphasis on “why” first and then “how“.

This approach was designed to get people engaged with the simple idea that, if you knew what you could achieve with social media and you understood the special role it could play in your communications mix, then you were more likely to dive in and apply the learnings.

I think this approach worked much better but there was still a problem, and I put this down to what I call the “teeth brushing” aspect of social media.

When you leave the half day or full day social media course (or any training for that matter) it is up to you and you alone to implement the learnings and make room in your life for a new habit, a social media habit.

To be effective for you, it should be just like teeth brushing, you just do it automatically as part of your routine.

To this day, I still believe that using social media effectively can be one of the most powerful ways of promoting you and your business as well as a brilliant way to make valuable connections.

So why are people not grabbing the opportunity?

The big challenge for me is getting those who take my courses to squeeze all of the potential from the social media platforms, and for the training to go beyond the initial sessions and integrate into their daily routines.

To crack the “training code” we have invested in an e-learning platform, which has enabled us to create unique follow-on programmes that consist of a series of short, practical exercises on each of the social media platforms.

These exercises are delivered to the trainees over a period of time to ensure that they can really learn, through daily implementation away from the classroom and in their own work environment.

If you want to make sure that you and your team, really, really learn let us know!

Check out our Social Media Training services by clicking here.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, who offer Social Media Consultancy and Training  from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Some Twitter changes to curtail spam tweets and “Tweetdecking”

March 7, 2018

TweetdeckingIn a move to prevent the growth of spam and fake news, Twitter are making changes to their Tweetdeck platform.

To be clear: Twitter prohibits any attempt to use automation for the purposes of posting or disseminating spam, and such behaviour may result in enforcement actionYoel Roth, manager of trust and safety at Twitter, wrote in a blog post.

Note – this is ironic as Tweetdeck is their own application that facilitates this behaviour!!

For those of you who are scratching your heads now asking what is Tweetdeck and how it helps spread fake news/spam let me break it down for you:

Tweetdeck is a platform mainly used by digital professionals to monitor and post from Twitter accounts. For those of us who work in social media management, it’s a very useful tool where we can monitor what’s going on with all of our clients and post from their accounts, including the ability to schedule posts into the future.

However, in the last couple of years a new practice has emerged known as “tweetdecking” whereby users are tweeting content across many accounts added to their Tweetdeck in exchange for payment.

Have you ever noticed several famous accounts tweet the exact same thing at the same time? That’s tweetdecking!

Basically, what these accounts are doing is using multiple accounts to cause their tweets to go viral.

It can be something simple like a company trying to spread their offers, a celebrity trying to go viral or something more sinister when it’s someone creating fake news and spreading it.

If you see a tweet that has a huge number of likes and retweets and it’s appeared in your feed more than a couple of times, are you more likely to believe it?

With these new changes Tweetdeck users will no longer be able to bulk tweet, retweet, like or follow using several accounts at the same time.

These changes will also affect third party applications such as Hootsuite where you can do similar actions.

So, in a way it’s good news as it prevents users being able to spam others with fake news and nonsense tweets….

However, for those of us that use Tweetdeck and have those times where it’s relevant to post or retweet from two accounts, we’ll just have to do it separately and take an extra five minutes (we don’t have!!) switching between accounts.

Check out our latest Fuzion Win Happy Podcast where Greg Canty and Alma Brosnan discuss these changes and also the features of Tweetdeck and Hootsuite that may be useful to heavy social media users:

“Tweetdecking and other social media developments”

Fuzion Win Happy Podcast - Social Media Series

Alma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Social Media Consultancy team at Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

 


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