Posts Tagged ‘Social Media training’

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

Power Social Media – Digital Influencer Programme

June 21, 2016

Power You - Advanced Social Media ProgrammeAfter years and years of delivering social media courses for business I have realised that most of these are just scratching the surface and for the seriously ambitious individual, something much more is needed.

For this reason I have developed a “Power You” programme, which is geared specifically towards ambitious individuals who want to realise their full potential by building a powerful, digital brand for themselves.

Power You” is for those who want to become Digital Influencer’s in their field of expertise.

In today’s fast-paced world where subject matter experts seemingly emerge overnight via social media, it’s critical that everyone leverages their own point of distinction.

Be so good that they can’t ignore you – Steve Martin

Be so good they can't ignore you - Steve Martin

With my programme, as well as learning extensive social media skills you will learn how to build a powerful network and be recognised as an Influencer by your peers and target audience.

Peer to peer interaction (this is not a classroom!) with a small group of like minded individuals is a strong dimension of the “Power You” programme, which will help you to establish and build your own powerful brand online and make you stand out as a thought-leader.

On this programme you will capitalise your personal awareness, highlight your knowledge, passion, values and expertise, and accelerate your career and business success.

This extensive programme will run over three months, will include 10 group evening training sessions, peer to peer reviews as well as one to one sessions.

The first “Power You” programme is commencing in Dublin on the 14th July and will be limited to a small group.

For full details click here and download the “Power You” brochure.

Thank you for reading!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

If you need more information about the programme please feel free to contact me:
Email: greg@fuzion.ie
Phone: (086) 8311156

Power You Mailchimp footer

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

 

16 Instagram Tips for your business

May 23, 2016

Instagram Tips fro business

Many of us are now using the very popular (Facebook owned – wait for all the adverts!!) Instagram photo and more recently video driven social media platform personally but using it for business can be a different story.

We love seeing great pictures and videos posted by our social media friends but seeing them posted by a business is quite a different dynamic.

A good starting point is why would someone want to follow your account – think about it!

The other thing to bear in mind when using Instagram (this applies to all of the social media platforms) is to think of the mood or mindset of the users. Yep, the typical Instagram user is probably chilling out so don’t be trying too hard with “big” messages or aggressive selling.

We have put together some simple tips to help you to get the most from Instagram, which we hope you will find useful – if you have others please let us know.

  1. Make sure your account name relates to your business/brand and is easily linked to your business i.e. the company name (this is a basic one that many get wrong!)
  2. Use a simple yet clearly identifiable profile pic (remember this appears as the tiniest of thumbnails on mobile devices)
  3. Use Instagram to showcase your products and services in a visual way that will draw customers in.
  4. Set a clear goal i.e. brand awareness, website traffic, increase sales etc. and keep these goals in mind for every post (caution – don’t be too sales orientated. It will chase people away!)
  5. Focus on your USP and what makes you stand out – What you post should draw people in and keep them wanting more.
  6. Use the text to explain what people will get from following you (include your web address)
  7. Incorporate hashtags to make it easier for people who are interested in your area to find you.
  8. Make your posts identifiable where possible – keep strong brand consistency across posts.
  9. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through, it enables people to see the “real” authentic brand and therefore relate to it more.
  10. Before posting anything think about who you are trying to target. Will this post be of interest to them?
  11. Bear in mind at all times that whatever you post represents the brand
  12. Tag people and other accounts when relevant, as it allows you to reach a broader audience.
  13. Connect to your Facebook and Twitter accounts to let your existing friends know you’re on Instagram.
  14. Follow people and other accounts that are relevant to your brand i.e. customers, businesses, celebrities etc. Use relevant hashtags when searching to find accounts you should follow.
  15. Actively engage with the accounts you are following – Join in relevant conversations and in turn increase you’re following.
  16. Use hashtags tactically to join conversations and increase your following

Edel Cox - FuzionEdel Cox is a PR Account Manager with Fuzion

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

 

 

 

Six simple Facebook tips for your business

April 13, 2016

acceleration

We’re hearing lots about how Instagram and Snapchat are taking over as the social media platforms of choice… but I don’t think we can disregard Facebook (2.6 million people in Ireland are active on Facebook) just yet.

It’s been around for quite a while now, has a huge following, and people understand it!

If you’re a business, I think it’s vital to have a Facebook presence, but it’s also so important that you use it correctly so you’re not wasting your own time and resources. Whether your goal is to boost sales, engage with current and prospective customers, or simply build awareness of your brand—having a strategy in mind will help you to use Facebook more effectively.

Facebook is a great place to share updates about your business, but don’t get carried away.

People don’t want or need in-depth information on everything your business is about. I manage a number of Facebook pages for different types of clients, and based on my own personal experience, I’ve put together six simple tips that I think could help businesses maximise the benefit of this popular platform

1.    Type of Posts

Aim for a mix of post types – photos, videos, text, competitions, polls, links to relevant blogs/ articles etc. Keep things lively and interesting!

I’d suggest you post photos and videos to your timeline most frequently. Why am I suggesting this? Simple… it’s because they’re proven to be the most engaging types of content on Facebook.

Also, posts relating your business to community activities or events in your area are always a hit with “local” Facebook users, so don’t forget these. When you reach a milestone like 1,000 (or even a few hundred) “likes” on your page for example, why not shout about this?

This makes your fans feel they’re part of a growing community. 

2.    Post Consistently

How often should I post on Facebook?” is a question I’m often asked – this is like asking “how long is a piece of string?” It depends (sorry!).

Make sure you are generating regular content on your page, and don’t go long periods without posting. I recommend you are consistent in the quality and types of posts that you create so your audience knows what kind of messages to expect from you.

With so many businesses, people aren’t there late in the evening or at the weekend to post, but these are times when the general public spend a lot of time on Facebook, so make use of the scheduling feature. Take some time before you leave work each day or on a Friday to create posts, and schedule these to reach your fans at various times at night or over the weekend. The same applies to times like Christmas, where posting to Facebook might be the last thing on your mind (mmmm, turkey!) . 

Note: Be sure to check the Insights (statistics) for your page, which will tell you the times of the day that your fans are likely to be online most and plan your posts accordingly.

3.    Monitor and respond to comments on your page and focus on engagement

Don’t ignore the interactions your fans have with your page – I’m talking about comments here. You can monitor and respond to comments via the ‘Notifications’ tab at the top of your page. It’s not essential to respond to every comment, but I do recommend keeping an eye on what people are saying, and definitely responding if they ask you a specific question.

Responding to comments will also allow you to build up a rapport with your Facebook fans, showing them there’s a real person behind the page, who cares about what they have to say!

If you want people to interact more with you then ask questions and set up polls that invite a response. At the end of a post, remember to invite fans to comment, like or share, and perhaps be in with a chance win a prize (people LOVE winning stuff!) .

When people do respond, keep that conversation going.

Like4.    Regular/recognisable features

Try including a regular weekly or monthly feature, such as a “Wine of the week”, sharing your recommendations and expertise with your fans. Let fans know this is an ongoing feature, so they’ll come back next time as well. Why not give them the opportunity to share your post and be in with a chance of winning a bottle of that wine?

5.    Don’t sell, sell, sell!

Facebook is all about the personal experience, so trying to simply sell something to your fans won’t work… so much so that they may decide they don’t want to be your “friend” anymore.

Posts should be informal and fun, and even informative. If you are promoting something make the fans of the page feel they are getting a special deal by actually giving them a special deal.

6.       Boost your posts

The point of running a Facebook page is to get more exposure, and hopefully more customers for your business. Many people hate the idea of spending money on Facebook advertising but I am sorry to break the bad news – unless you allocate some spend (even a little bit) your page won’t go too far!

It’s just the way that Facebook works now – many of your posts will not reach your fans. The more the people that like, comment or share a post, the wider reach it will actually have.

In order to maximise the reach yourself I suggest using the “Boost” option for Facebook posts. This allows you to target “People who like your Page”, “People who like your Page and their friends” or “People you choose through targeting”. The latter allows you to actually target specific demographics which is really handy.

You can boost posts from as little as €1.00 per day, and it will tell you how many people you can expect your post to reach – so you see what “bang for your buck” that you’re actually getting. If you delve into the advertising features on Facebook you can also target users within a radius of your chosen location, which can also be very handy.

7.    Bonus Tip!…Live Video

Because you have read this far you deserve a bonus tip. Facebook have now added a ‘live video’ feature which enables you to deliver live footage as it happens. This is a really exciting feature and as you record the fans of the page can interact, asking questions and making comments. One of the great things about this feature is that Facebook love it and as a result when you are using the feature your page tends to be favoured and it gets great visibility, unlike many of your posts.

So there you have it, six simple and effective tips (plus a bonus tip of course) to bear in mind when it comes to your business’ Facebook page.

Happy posting!

Alison O’Brien

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

Social Media – Fear of the unknown

November 30, 2014

Fear of the unknown

When we first meet with a new client one of the reviews we always do is a social media review. Clients who have embraced social media are reaping the benefits and have very little fear however other clients still have a fear of social media and as a result have stayed away and are afraid to take the plunge…in these cases it is very much a fear of the unknown.

When I launch into my “speech” about the huge benefits a person, a business and a brand can get from social media, some clients respond to me with, “that’s great but what happens when it all goes wrong, like when a customer complains on social media for all to see?”, a concern I think a lot of people have about setting up their social media accounts.

Nowadays a consumer’s first response when it comes to complaining about something is generally to go online as this is instant and usually a very effective way of getting a brands attention. This is one of the most significant changes in consumer behaviour over the past few years and is unavoidable from a brands point of view.

If a customer is going to complain about your service or product online, they are going to do it regardless of whether or not you have a social media page, they will vent their frustration through their own social media accounts and before you know it all their online friends and followers are jumping on the bandwagon.

Hear no evil, see no evil

If you do not have a social media presence you are likely to be blissfully unaware that a complaint has been made or that irreversible damage is being done to your reputation.

If however you are on social media you more than likely would have been ‘tagged’ in the complaint post and been made aware that someone is talking about you, your business or your brand. Alternatively you can do your own regular searches through your social media accounts to see if someone has mentioned you – Twitter search is fantastic for this.

Now, you will have the chance to respond and extinguish the situation before it builds momentum and attracts a crowd of ‘haters’.

Complaints and negative feedback can be precious gifts if you listen carefully to what is being said and learn from them.

So it’s very simple, social media can be your best asset if you manage it well and through our social media training we educate people, brands and businesses on how to best utilise and manage their social media. By being afraid and avoiding social media, you are not protecting yourself instead you are allowing people to talk and complain behind your back.

What’s even worse is that by abstaining you are leaving behind the terrific opportunity to showcase your own talents and expertise and letting that to one of your competitors.

So don’t fear the unknown…embrace it!

Edel Cox - FuzionEdel Cox is a PR and Social Media Consultant with Fuzion

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

15 Incredible social media tricks to send your campaigns into orbit!

September 7, 2014

Orbit

The whole team are busy working on a plan for a ‘hot prospect‘ that we would love to win.

We brainstorm together. first ensuring we all understand the brief, and then we agree the key objectives and what we need to achieve by the plan. We then assign the different parts of the plan to the different team members who are best suited for each element and we go to work.

Often I will work out the social media strategy and the plan for the ‘new client‘ and when all our different parts are done we reconvene and review the collective plan making sure all parts work together – Fuzion!

I went off and worked on a plan that I felt would work for this new client who were targeting a stylish, cool and savvy social media audience.

My crew pulled me aside and told me my they thought my plan was boring – “the client have big expectations from you around social media and we need to ‘wow’ them. What you have put together is boring and won’t achieve that wow“. Ouch ..that was harsh!

Now here is the dilemma ….everyone wants the big trick, the big wow, the magic moment that sends their plan into orbit but I find 100% of the time that you will never ever get near the possibility of this happening unless you first get the basics right. In particular with this target audience I also felt they would see any tricks and gimmicks as trying too hard.

Unfortunately the big trick is actually doing the boring basics right and being diligent enough to do this consistently day in day out, including those days when you are up the walls and your social media posts seem trivial and a waste of precious time. Because I believe this I find it hard to pop out tricks and gimmicks in a genuine plan.

I guess I wrote a social media plan for this prospect that was designed to succeed, which probably did read as very boring and ‘trickless‘ but unfortunately that’s what I believed was needed.

In a way there were huge ‘tricks’ in the plan even if they appear boring:

  1. Get your objectives and key messages right and stick to them
  2. Concentrate on the main social media platforms and until you have these up and running properly forget about the others
  3. Make sure all the key imagery used is strong and supports these objectives
  4. Have a clear follower strategy
  5. Post regularly and at times when you know your target audience are watching – that isn’t once a day!
  6. Make sure that the posts are well balanced covering all of your key messages
  7. Stop selling, be helpful, craft your posts so that your unique personality shines through
  8. Use great and natural photos that show the best, authentic version of the organisation and not something plucked out of a corporate brochure
  9. Apply some advertising budget to carefully push your message out to the target audience
  10. Don’t always talk about yourself and start interacting with others
  11. Listen to your target audience and get the ball rolling with your followers
  12. Write blog posts that really show your unique personality and not just facts
  13. Train your internal team so they can look after your social media (always the best option)
  14. Organise your team so that social media activity is always looked after
  15. Keep doing it!

Reluctantly I agreed to a ‘wow’ social media brainstorm with the team and we did add a few quirky ideas, gimmicks and tricks because if we want to ‘wow’ them we have to give them what they expect but I did make sure the real ‘tricks’ were still in the plan.

When they master the real ‘big tricks’ those ‘wow moments’ will occur naturally and then they will be ready to fly into orbit!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

 

 

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


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