Archive for the ‘Twitter’ Category

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

 

 

 

Listening and doing nothing

October 11, 2017

Donald Trump - Twitter

Right now, we are living in an ever increasingly strange era.

A bright orange barely human is in charge of the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, and seemingly quite anxious to have a go at using it.

His counterpart in the East – with equally baffling hair – is egging him on and approximately 7 billion people are at the mercy of their moods. This will go down as the dumbest period of human life on earth, or at very least, as the dumbest period of untethered “leadership” in the developed world. 

On a somewhat lighter (but connected) note, both Twitter and Instagram have made some small but significant changes to their platforms recently, in an attempt to improve users’ experiences making them easier and faster to use. 

As users of social media for the past ten or so years, we should be ok with ongoing updates where features that we know and love are “updated” (i.e. removed or positioned elsewhere on the platform, in an non-linear manner – yes, I’m looking at you Facebook for all the things that you’ve done to the time-line. #smt). 

As recently as June 2017, Grace Kim, Twitter’s head of research and design said “…with lots of feedback and ideas from you, we’re refreshing our product… We listened closely and kept what you love. And for the things you didn’t, we took a new approach to fix and make better,”. 

But its quite apparent that these companies are not listening to their users. 

In this turbulent time, where people carrying swastika flags, can declare themselves NOT nazis, (note – we are deliberately not giving these words the respect of Uppercase first letter) and use Twitter to publish messages of hate and violence, where threats of sexual violence can be made against people for “offences” such as not shaving their legs, or wanting to be referred to as she/her or he/his, where people can be called offensive terms by the president (he doesn’t a capital “P” either!) of the USA for taking a knee protest, neither changing profile pictures to circles nor increasing the character limit to #280 was not on anyone’s agenda. 

Mike Monteiro has been an outspoken member of the Twitter community asking for DT’s removal for repeatedly touting the terms of service of Twitter, writing on Medium he says “DT has been violating Twitter’s “rules” for years. Calling out individuals, entire ethnic groups, dog whistling his violent white supremacist base, taking on a Gold Star family, a US judge of Mexican heritage, retweeting a gif of Hillary Clinton being attacked, going after journalists. This is hardly acceptable behaviour for a regular human being, much less a US President. Twitter has, rightfully albeit slowly, banned other users for similar behaviour. 

Monteiro intelligently and correctly has spent considerable amount of time and effort engaging with @Jack and @Biz (Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO & Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter) highlighting the many instances of misuse of their platform by extremists (I’m including DT in that description…) and what should be done with them, according to their own Terms of Service.

By the levels of engagement between them, they clearly see what he’s saying, but they aren’t listening or are deliberately choosing not to do anything having listened. If they were, there would be less hoo-haa about #280 (which, lets face it, just makes Twitter a rubbish Facebook) and more about ensuring that users behaviour on Twitter was appropriate, respectful and not warmongering. 

In a similar manner, Instagram recently updated its app, allowing users greater functionality (to use multiple images in a single post, landscape and portrait modes, and, errr,  stickers, similar to Snapchat – you know those annoying floral headdresses and bunny rabbit noses? Yeah, those!!).

Some of the updates have been great – threaded comments, the previously mentioned multiple images per post, and Instagram Stories, but there is one simple thing that users have been crying out for, and that is a chronological order of posts. 

Clearly Instagram, much like Twitter, is a commercial endeavour, not some sort of altruistic venture, and its algorithm is built so that the advertising (which thankfully has become less invasive in recent months) is aimed at the correct target audiences, but forcing users into a system that they have clearly expressed as not being something that they want, is a sign that a company is clearly not listening to its user base. 

Perhaps the numbers won’t fall, perhaps we have all become immune to asking for something from a service, and never getting it, but surely that’s a strange set of behaviours to adhere to!

What does any of this to do with design?

Well, everything we do in Fuzion Communications is a reaction to a briefing from our clients.

They tell us what they need and what they want, and we take it from there. Design is a heavy mix of solution providing, communications and creativity, and as designers a huge part of our process is listening to our clients to provide them with creative work, that satisfies their brief. 

Ultimately, our design comes from listening.  

Phew…that’s off my chest!

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj - FuzionJonathan

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj leads the Graphic Design Department in Fuzion with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland 

 

10 Years of Hashtags – The Magic is in The Message

August 23, 2017

Hasttags Explained

I see the confused look on their faces and Hashtags are often just one step too far!

What is all this hashtag business?” I get asked.

At times it does feel like we are talking another language…

At my social media courses I think it is the one thing that definitely seems to bother people the most. It is a step too far: On Twitter they understand followers, they get following and know that tweets must be less than 140 characters but the mere mention of Hashtags and it seems to add that Tipping Point of confusion that never fails to get a few moans and groans of exasperation. Too much!

So what the hell are these nasty things and how and when might you use them?

In very simple terms a Hashtag is a means of adding a “tag” or label to a post (tweet) on Twitter by using the “#” symbol followed by a continuous set of characters. This is normally a word or a few words joined together.

For example if I prepared a tweet about a new shop opening in town I might tweet “Great to see a new shop opening on Grafton Street #Positivity

When you do this on Twitter it automatically changes the colour of this text, making it stand out and it also adds some “link” functionality to that word(s). If you click on this “link” Twitter will display a list of all the tweets where this hashtag was used.

In a way it gathers them together, which is really handy if it brings the reader to a bunch of tweets about a topic they were very interested in.

While Twitter will track popular topics and show you the keywords that are used most frequently in posts (trending) it will also track the most frequently used hashtags. If everyone who is talking about a popular topic uses a particular hashtag to label these posts it not only gathers them together but it also helps to get the topic trending.

Hashtag ExplainedSo when might I use a hashtag?

For me the single biggest advantage to the use of a hashtag is the simple colour change to that keyword. The text appearing in a different colour draws the readers attention to it and when used properly it can help to communicate the subject matter of that post. The link functionality as discussed earlier is an added bonus.

You can use your own hashtags (there is no ownership of them) or decide to join in on conversations about topics where a particular hashtag is being used already and use it in your posts – this can give you and your tweet visibility if this topic has stirred up a lot of interest.

For me a hashtag can be used in a powerful way to signify a Key Message of yours or a significant  “Breadcrumb” (click that link for my blog about key messages) that you wish to leave behind about you and your business for the reader.

You might use a hashtag to label posts about:

  • An event or concert #LondonFoodFest or #EP14 (Electric Picnic 2014)
  • Elections #LE14 (Local Elections 2014)
  • A place #Dublin
  • A cause #LGBTRights
  • A sentiment #LoveCork
  • An outlook #Positivity
  • A philosophy #WinHappy
  • A show #Murnaghan
  • Your team #LFC #YNWA
  • Publicising job opportunities #Jobs or #JobFairy

You can use the hashtags in very many ways to suit the occasion and to draw extra attention to the point you want to make or a particular keyword(s) in your post.

Murnaghan

You will find the more progressive TV shows will encourage the viewer to tweet about a topic being discussed and will suggest a hashtag to use – in a way the viewer is asked to “join the discussion“.

Hashtags are also appearing in adverts for brands, where they are often used to help create an association for the consumer between a sentiment and the product or service #LoveLife.

For me hashtags are used best when you decide on a “family” of these, which should be used consistently for you and your business.

Having decided on your key messages you might devise a range of hashtags that might best be used to communicate these little breadcrumbs about you and your business.

For example a restaurant in Dublin who prides themselves on using local artisan suppliers, who have an extensive menu with good gluten free and vegetarian options, who stock a range of craft beers and is very proud of the city and who offer free treats on a Tuesday, might regularly tweet using hashtags such as:

#SourceLocal #Artisan  #GlutenFree  #VegMenus  #CraftBeers  #LoveDublin  #TreatTuesday (hopefully not all at the same time!)

When you are posting you are best keeping your hashtags as short as possible, memorable and try to use them just one at a time in tweets. Used consistently and in the right context you would be surprised how quickly a place gets known for these things.

For example when I tweet I use hashtags a lot to draw attention to particular things in my posts and the ones I use most frequently are #Positivity (when talking about good news or job announcements) #WinHappy (when talking about Fuzion – this is a core philosophy) #FuzionFriday (when talking about our Friday lunch with the team) #FuzionPlaylist (when I mention the music playing in the office).

It amazes me when people play these back to me (“I’d love to join ye for FuzionFriday some day”) in the context that I intended and I then realise that I have managed to convey our key messages effectively by using this simple Twitter device.

I do fully understand people’s frustration with all of this new media and it’s quirks and idiosyncrasies but most of it is built to be easy to use ….once you know how!

You may prefer not to use hashtags at all (sometimes there may be no need) but if you want to get that special message across then start using this new language…

 #HashtagHeaven

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications

Fuzion Communications offer Social Media Consultancy and Training from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The best tweets come first – Simply not the best!

May 28, 2016

Simply the best

Now that was a little sneaky as Twitter rolled in a little “helpful” new feature that shows the ‘best‘ tweets first in your timeline.

The big issue is that we never knew about this change happening and most of you still don’t – the good news is that you can do something about it.

What exactly is a ‘best’ tweet?

Good question! – Well a machine, a computer programme with ‘god knows what criteria‘ is now generating an algorithm which is determining what these ‘best‘ tweets are and it is these that appear first in your feed.

This is a real pity as Twitter have now in their eternal wisdom decided that they should sacrifice the purity of their platform and copy what Facebook have done a long time ago – someone there must think this is good for users.

Unfortunately most of your posts on Facebook will never be seen by your followers and this change by Twitter will have the same effect.

For me the big issue with Twitter doing this is that you really don’t want to respond to a tweet that isn’t totally fresh – speed has been part of the magic of this great platform.

As I mentioned earlier you can shut this ‘show best tweets first‘ feature ‘off by doing the following:

PC/Laptop

  • Click on your ‘settings‘ tab (you will find this under your thumbnail on the top right corner)
  • In the ‘account‘ menu scroll down to the ‘content‘ section and go to the ‘show me the best Tweets first‘ option
  • Unclick this and you are in business!

best tweets first featureMobile device

  • Go to your ‘home‘ page by clicking on the ‘Me‘ button
  • Click on the little ‘wheel‘ symbol next to your thumbnail
  • Click on ‘settings‘ and then click on the ‘timeline‘ option
  • Unclick the ‘show me the best Tweets first‘ button (if you can’t see this option it means you have an old version of the APP and need to update)

I can’t see any good reason for leaving the ‘show me best Tweets first‘ feature on as I don’t trust it so I advise that you do the same. Let me know if you think otherwise.

Happy tweeting!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Is the old dog learning new tricks?

November 3, 2014

Teaching an old Dog new tricks

Recently a girl on work experience asked me about how I got into PR, what I studied, and how I’ve seen things change in the industry.

It reminded of one particular class in college in 2006 with John Gallagher, our Course Director for the MA in PR at DIT. John was chatting to us about these things called ‘blogs’ – not one of us, out of a class of 40, knew what a blog was, and it was only when one of my ‘brave’ class mates piped up and asked the question, that we were enlightened!

This got me thinking, and I doubt John has been asked that question since… things have changed so quickly in the 8 years I’ve been involved in the PR industry with the advent of social media and advancing technology.

When I joined Fuzion in 2007, Facebook was just rearing its head, Twitter had barely been heard of in Ireland – and as for Pinterest and Instagram, well they were more commonly known as ‘Post-Its’ and ‘Polaroids’! Now me, I’m ‘old-school’ when it comes to PR, I love to pick up a newspaper or magazine, and see a physical press clipping for my clients, but I can’t deny that social media and technology have certainly been a big help in my job, particularly when it comes to event planning and management.

In the ‘olden days’ hours would be spent drawing up invitation lists, and gathering people’s postal addresses, and stuffing envelopes with snazzy invites that so much time had been taken designing and printing. While now, I simply walk down the office to the guys in our design department, brief them on what I want the invitation to look like, and voila…. A file arrives in my inbox that I can simply upload to a system like Mailchimp along with my database of invitees and their email addresses (very little need for postal addresses anymore), I click send, and off it goes into cyber space, arriving in inboxes of everyone I want to reach within mere moments… simples!

But that’s not all, I can analyse exactly who’s opened the invite, how many times they’ve viewed it, if they’ve clicked hyperlinks to bring them to social media pages for the event; the list goes on. If I really want a particular person at the event, but they haven’t opened the invite for some reason, at least I know, and I can make sure to get in touch with them.

As well as sending invitations by email, I also have the opportunity to share details of the event on the various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Never has it been so easy to communicate with target audiences. To ensure I’m reaching them, I can allocate a small advertising spend targeting a certain demographic if necessary; as well as interacting with them and sharing updates and news about the upcoming event.

Managing a guest list is so easy now. I either receive RSVPs directly into my inbox and manage the guest list from there, or I can set up a registration page using an online ticketing service like Eventbrite, where all registrations are tracked and I know how many tickets are remaining for example. This saves hours of phone calls, making this sort of event preparation and management so time efficient for us and cost efficient for our clients.

As I already said, I’m ‘old-school’ so I won’t dismiss the more ‘traditional’ methods, and will certainly make that call or post that letter if required; and I’ll almost always recommend that we issue a press release with a great PR photo to help promote an event.

For me, it’s a combination of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ that go a long way to making a great event come together.

Alison O’Brien

Alison O’Brien is a Senior Account Director with Fuzion PR, Marketing & Design which has offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Hashtags and Breadcrumbs

June 6, 2014

Hasttags Explained

I see the confused look on their faces and Hashtags are often just one step too far!

What is all this hashtag business?” I get asked.

At times it does feel like we are talking another language…

At my social media courses I think it is the one thing that definitely seems to bother people the most. It is a step too far: On Twitter they understand followers, they get following and know that tweets must be less than 140 characters but the mere mention of Hashtags and it seems to add that Tipping Point of confusion that never fails to get a few moans and groans of exasperation. Too much!

So what the hell are these nasty things and how and when might you use them?

In very simple terms a Hashtag is a means of adding a “tag” or label to a post (tweet) on Twitter by using the “#” symbol followed by a continuous set of characters. This is normally a word or a few words joined together.

For example if I prepared a tweet about a new shop opening in town I might tweet “Great to see a new shop opening on Grafton Street #Positivity

When you do this on Twitter it automatically changes the colour of this text, making it stand out and it also adds some “link” functionality to that word(s). If you click on this “link” Twitter will display a list of all the tweets where this hashtag was used.

In a way it gathers them together, which is really handy if it brings the reader to a bunch of tweets about a topic they were very interested in.

While Twitter will track popular topics and show you the keywords that are used most frequently in posts (trending) it will also track the most frequently used hashtags. If everyone who is talking about a popular topic uses a particular hashtag to label these posts it not only gathers them together but it also helps to get the topic trending.

Hashtag ExplainedSo when might I use a hashtag?

For me the single biggest advantage to the use of a hashtag is the simple colour change to that keyword. The text appearing in a different colour draws the readers attention to it and when used properly it can help to communicate the subject matter of that post. The link functionality as discussed earlier is an added bonus.

You can use your own hashtags (there is no ownership of them) or decide to join in on conversations about topics where a particular hashtag is being used already and use it in your posts – this can give you and your tweet visibility if this topic has stirred up a lot of interest.

For me a hashtag can be used in a powerful way to signify a Key Message of yours or a significant  “Breadcrumb” that you wish to leave behind about you and your business for the reader.

You might use a hashtag to label posts about:

  • An event or concert #LondonFoodFest or #EP14 (Electric Picnic 2014)
  • Elections #LE14 (Local Elections 2014)
  • A place #Dublin
  • A cause #LGBTRights
  • A sentiment #LoveCork
  • An outlook #Positivity
  • A philosophy #WinHappy
  • A show #Murnaghan
  • Your team #LFC #YNWA
  • Recommending followers on a Friday #FF
  • Publicising job opportunities #Jobs or #JobFairy

You can use the hashtags in very many ways to suit the occasion and to draw extra attention to the point you want to make or a particular keyword(s) in your post.

Murnaghan

You will find the more progressive TV shows will encourage the viewer to tweet about a topic being discussed and will suggest a hashtag to use – in a way the viewer is asked to “join the discussion“.

Hashtags are also appearing in adverts for brands, where they are often used to help create an association for the consumer between a sentiment and the product or service #LoveLife.

For me hashtags are used best when you decide on a “family” of these, which should be used consistently for you and your business.

Having decided on your key messages you might devise a range of hashtags that might best be used to communicate these little breadcrumbs about you and your business.

For example a restaurant in Dublin who prides themselves on using local artisan suppliers, who have an extensive menu with good gluten free and vegetarian options, who stock a range of craft beers and is very proud of the city and who offer free treats on a Tuesday, might regularly tweet using hashtags such as:

#SourceLocal #Artisan  #GlutenFree  #VegMenus  #CraftBeers  #LoveDublin  #TreatTuesday (hopefully not all at the same time!)

When you are posting you are best keeping your hashtags as short as possible, memorable and try to use them just one at a time in tweets. Used consistently and in the right context you would be surprised how quickly a place gets known for these things.

For example when I tweet I use hashtags a lot to draw attention to particular things in my posts and the ones I use most frequently are #Positivity (when talking about good news or job announcements) #WinHappy (when talking about Fuzion – this is a core philosophy) #FuzionFriday (when talking about our Friday lunch with the team) #FuzionPlaylist (when I mention the music playing in the office).

It amazes me when people play these back to me (“I’d love to join ye for FuzionFriday some day”) in the context that I intended and I then realise that I have managed to convey our key messages effectively by using this simple Twitter device.

I do fully understand people’s frustration with all of this new media and it’s quirks and idiosyncrasies but most of it is built to be easy to use ….once you know how!

You may prefer not to use hashtags at all (sometimes there may be no need) but if you want to get that special message across then start using this new language…

 #HashtagHeaven

Note: Hashtags are now also being used on other social media platforms but they are a very significant feature when used on Twitter.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

The Mechanic’s Car and Using Your Voice!

August 29, 2013

The Mechanic's Car

It’s my own fault.  I threw down the gauntlet to our Fuzion team to put our keyboards where our mouths are and get blogging!  And I volunteered to be the first one on our new rota that Ann-Marie is going to manage!

We have seen it work so well for our business, attracting attention to Fuzion and what we believe in and the activity definitely makes us stand out from the crowd.  Seth Godin and his Cow would be glowing with purple pride I like to think!!

Everyone knows we talk about social media a lot at Fuzion and that we truly believe in the value of these new tools to promote our businesses – as well as that we can back it up with solid numbers on our various social media pages; we have regular and varied activity and we have one of the most prolific social media bloggers in the country working with us @gregcantyfuzion.

Unlike some of our competitors, the fact that we can back it up has won us solid business, it has helped us thrive and attract great clients and great people working with us.

Most of us in the team though, bar Greg (and poor @JLM_cork – who has about a million tweets and not really a corresponding number of followers – sorry JLM we’ll have to remedy that!!) don’t do enough with the tools that are right at our finger tips.  I think it’s a case of the mechanics car – last one to get fixed.

The Mechanics Car!

Hands up I am the worst offender.  I have 1,391 followers on twitter and for the life of me I honestly don’t know why they follow me, as I don’t connect with them as often as I should.  I honestly believe that most follow me because Greg mentions me on tweets so much that his followers think that I must have something interesting to say!  (I don’t but I’m working on it!!!)

Don’t get me started on LinkedIn – I have a million invites waiting to accept – so many I think Greg would divorce me if he realised just how neglectful I was of the platform!!!   And in my shame I think this is about my 4th blog (although my 3rd was on the global Lean-In blog that was reprinted in regional and national papers and I got a radio interview out of it!!)

I’m trying to engage more with the various platforms as I know it wins us business, new contacts and even some good friends – and I want more of all of these!!!

I want to engage more, I need to write more blogs, manage our on-line reputation and not leave it up to @gregcantyfuzion and @JLM_cork to fly the Fuzion flag.

I think one of the things that puts me off a little is that I’m not as brave as @gregcantyfuzion and I think sometimes with social media you need to be.  He really puts it out there.  He is honest, open and shows very much what we as a business stand for – and in his own personal blog what he stands for (and sometimes won’t stand for!!).  I am being honest myself when I say that I couldn’t be that honest!!!

Use Your Voice

The odd time Greg’s blogs and tweets get a negative reaction from some people.  But if he is going to be that prolific – sometimes he is going to have people disagreeing with him.  Greg welcomes that – he never writes something that he hasn’t researched and is prepared to back up his opinions and enjoys creating debate around something that he has a strong opinion about.

He also gets himself in to trouble the odd time, but he is happy to fight the fight, as he never writes something just for the sake of it and relishes the debate/battle.

Of course I am proud of him, but some of the blogs I wouldn’t publish – but you know what.. unless I flag the Fuzion flag more on-line, Greg’s is the only Fuzion voice that will be heard.  So I shouldn’t really complain!!

Greg Canty Fuzion

tweet @gregcantyfuzion if this reminds you of anyone!!!

Person to Person

We keep on saying to our clients – “Your clients don’t want to deal with brands they want to deal with people”. Social media gives us a really unique opportunity to engage with our clients person to person.  So we should all be using it more!  And that’s not just for business owners – the whole team should take ownership and use every opportunity they can to use their voice to promote the business that they work for – everyone can be a winner.

Now I just need to knuckle down and get my voice heard out there more and I hope that this encourages more people out there who are lurking, reading the blogs, to get their fingers to keyboards and get blogging, tweeting and for god sake start accepting all those LinkedIn connections.

You can start by commenting on this blog if you like it – or comment even if you don’t – I swear all comments are welcome – and that’s the truth – honestly 😉 xx

Deirdre Waldron is a partner of Fuzion

Barack Obama and his lesson in Social Media

August 13, 2013

Barack Obama and Michelle

I probably show too many slides when I give my social media courses.

I always try to communicate my points with visuals using as few words as possible. At all times I will try to avoid slides with lots of text – I get bored with them so I’m sure anyone reading will do likewise.

My usual courses run over either two or three sessions and I normally try to leave it at least a week between sessions so that students and clients can practice in between sessions and get the most from the training programme.

The big challenge is when I am asked to cut the course into one session – this is really tricky as I have to do a huge “cull” of my material to come in at the required time and still cover the ground sufficiently.

I hate losing slides as all the material is designed to make a specific point, so inevitably valuable material gets lost.

There is one slide above all in my presentations that is precious and if I had a situation whereby I had the time to show only one this would be it.

I love this particular image because for me it sums up the magic of social media and teaches a huge lesson in how to use it.

I was asked to make a presentation to Dublin Chamber about the use of Twitter for business and it happened to coincide with the results of the last US election. Due to other commitments the night before I had to travel from Cork early in the morning to get to Dublin for the 7:30am presentation.

Like the rest of world I was intrigued about the result so the first thing I did when I woke was to check twitter on my smart phone and this is the tweet I saw.

This Barack Obama tweet was the most retweeted of all time – even at 4:19 am our time, it had been retweeted 475,000 times.

Why do you think I love using this tweet so much?

  1. It demonstrates how Twitter is now the first port of call for breaking news
  2. It demonstrates the shift from Facebook to Twitter – During his first Presidential campaign he was not using Twitter, it was all about Facebook.
  3. This medium was how he chose to communicate to the outside world that he had accepted he had won the presidential race
  4. The message is really simple and concise (often the best way to use social media)
  5. The picture he chose to accompany the tweet demonstrates the biggest social media tip of all, much better than I could ever explain it

The Picture!

Four More Years

Why is this picture so powerful?

Cleverly he didn’t show a picture of himself in a suit with all of his team – he chose a picture of himself, eyes closed, without a jacket, with his sleeves rolled up hugging his wife in a loving embrace.

The President knows instinctively that showing himself as human, as a family man, even slightly vulnerable is the way to connect with the majority of people and this is a winning formula.

A great way to win on social media is by allowing yourself to be human, personal and even vulnerable at times.

People are intrigued by people and even if you are running the most boring business in the world you can bring it alive on-line by interacting and showing people who you are, what you are all about and giving them a chance to get to know you.

Social media provides you with that opportunity – grab it!

Greg Canty is a parter of Fuzion

Fuzion provide Social Media Consultancy and Training in Ireland from offices in Cork and Dublin 

Celebrity Twitter Etiquette/Power

July 15, 2013

Lucinda Creighton

@LCreighton “well done for standing by your principles – we need more of that and not less in govt. You will be back” 

I don’t know Lucinda Creighton, I don’t have full knowledge of her arguments but I do admire that she stood by her principles on an important, high profile piece of legislation. She didn’t fall in with her political party on a crucial vote and as a result she had to resign.

I sent the above tweet (you can do this once you have her twitter ID, which is easily found by doing a simple search on twitter) just to acknowledge the stand she took – I gave her a public compliment.

A tweet goes a long way ….. or in some cases just an acknowledgement goes an even longer way.

With twitter, when it comes to individual users I guess there are two broadly different types of users:

  • Celebrities and personalties (I would include some politicians in this category) who naturally attract a larger following than they would follow themselves
  • You and me!

You and me are the mere mortals who pick away, follow people and organisations we are interested in and if we want to build a following we need to publish interesting content, we need to be polite, engage in twitter conversations and generally apply a degree of etiquette with our activity.

This might include acknowledging people who have followed you, following people back, thanking people for positive posts and replying to people who have mentioned you in a post.

As part of your “nice guy/gal” routine you might retweet worthy posts and when someone retweets something for you then you thank them.

The actions here tend to be quite reciprocal – if you are good to someone then you tend to get the favour returned (there are always exceptions!)

Celebrity Factor

Stephen FryWhen there is some “celebrity” factor with a twitter user these normal rules do not apply.

This kicks in when this person is popular because of the role they hold (singer, actor, sportsperson, media person or even a politician) – more people will naturally follow them by nature of their “celebrity” factor and as a result popularity (size of following) does not depend on them behaving in the reciprocal way that applies to the rest of us.

A celebrity (using our broad definition) can effectively build a large follower base on twitter without following, interacting or acknowledging anyone.

However there are clever celebrities online (I’m suspecting this reflects their personality) who really get it.

They understand the huge power that they have at their disposal and they know how to utilise it – the good ones will do this naturally with no agenda and as a result they will excel and achieve something most of  the other “celebrities” will waste and over the long run actually do themselves possible reputational damage.

If a celebrity has a huge number of followers who are posting incessantly it is very difficult for them to engage but with smaller numbers of followers they can accelerate their popularity and like-ability by doing a few simple things:

  • Reply to positive posts – “thank you for the kind words” or even “thank you for all the kind words of support I received tonight” . The acknowledgment can be done directly to the individual (this is the best) or a general one – “Guess who came back to me on my post?” you can imagine the person saying to pals when their favourite celebrity replied to them
  • Favourite positive posts – simply click that “favourite” button to acknowledge that the post meant a lot
  • Retweet the positive post – hit that RT button and in a sweep highlight the positive post and deliver a huge acknowledgement to the person who posted it
  • Follow the person –  this is the ultimate compliment to the person who posted positive things

By doing a few simple things the “celebrity” could accelerate their popularity and positive reputation and very easily win a loyal fan for life (most will not do this, which presents an even bigger opportunity for those who do)

Rachel AllenI have noticed online that a few celebrities in particular are quite good.

Rachel Allen @rachelallen1 has been good to come back on a compliment. Brian Kennedy @kennedysinger came back on a positive post after a gig as well as Mundy @mundyirl, Mark Geary @MG212 (better on Facebook) and Richie Egan (Jape)  @richiejape.

All of these by being respectful and clever are high in my estimation.

I have noticed a few that have been quite poor including the fabulous musician Gemma Hayes @gemma_hayes and the Newstalk breakfast team Chris Donoghue @chrisdonoghue and Norah Casey @norahcasey (this is strange as they always make a big deal of their twitter presence).

I listen to their show every morning and instead of giving themselves the opportunity of building their brand loyalty they are undermining it by ignoring listeners who tweet them. I’m sure if they realised the negative effect and the opportunity missed by not being more proactive they would be more responsive.

Lucinda Creighton had a busy day today and we can excuse her but she does have the power to considerably enhance her reputation by replying to the many people who said positive things about her and those who wished her well.

Celebrities …it’s up to you!

You and me….we have no excuse – we have to do the hard work.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Design firm in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin – We provide Social Media Consultancy and Training services.


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