Show your ID before signing up for Instagram?

Instagram has started asking new subscribers for their date of birth. Users who indicate they are under the age of 13, as per Instagram’s terms of service.

The move is part of a number of measures that they say are designed to make the popular picture-sharing site safer for younger people.

We all know that this will not stop under 13’s signing up. My own experience of my nieces and nephews on Facebook shows how quickly they work out how to get around this. The re is no requirement to send through an official age verification – yet.

Other features such as plans to target messages to educate young people around account controls and privacy settings are a good idea.

At the same time, they will be adding controls to messaging privacy for all users, helping them control who can message them and who can be added to groups.

So will one day Instagram and others be asking for ID before you can set up an account? The British government’s delays in setting up age-verification for adult sites have shown this is by no means an easy thing.

The one thing I know is that if our enterprising youngsters want to get around any verification requirements – they will.

Has Brexit killed your online friendships?

An unexpected outcome from the EU referendum has been Frienxit.

Frienxit is the sudden rise of ‘unfriending’ ‘unfollowing’ ‘muting’ or even ‘blocking’ people on social media sites, after people respond to alternative views.

During the EU referendum debate, millions have taken to social networks to share their views like never before – but it seems not everyone wants to hear them.

And now prior to the outcome on Britain possibly exiting the EU – many are exiting their digital relationships. It comes as people discover that their online friends, maybe are not the sort of people they’d like to spend time with – even if it’s only virtual time.

But why now? Well when many of us first ventured onto social media there was great enthusiasm to connect with people we know. These are people we may not have stayed friends with in the real world.

This has also been a very different debate from normal elections. People are not hiding behind party banners but ‘coming out of the closet’ on some of their more extreme political views.

Maybe because of fear of the online abuse we have seen politicians face, many are choosing to Frienxit these relationships as an easier option to tackling these views head on.

Initial responses to my Twitter poll shows a majority say they are not backing Frienxit, but a lot have. But the most important question of all (other than the
EUref result) – have you been Frienxited?

How content marketing can help you sell more

This infographic lays out some of the ways content marketing can help your business.

Sites that use content marketing via blogs get more pages indexed on search engines. This means potential customers are more likely to find their site.

Word of mouth plays a big part in how people decide where to buy. Many of these conversations are taking place on social media. To build a following you need interesting content which is a top 3 reason people give for why they follow.

Once you build your following 6 in 10 social users are more likely to recommend you.

Put simply: Content = following = sales

content marketing

Is the company website about to die?

Your customers don’t want to come to your website. Yes, I know in creating it you have spent huge amounts of time, money, sweat and tears. But in an online world dominated by social media and apps, there are far more exciting places to be.

Another huge problem you face is a lot of people don’t trust company websites. They look at your content and think ‘well you would say that’. Especially if you make bold claims that you don’t substantiate.

Whilst the company website is not dead, yet, it is not enough. I would even question if it is your first priority. Your customers often look first to social media to help them choose what to buy, and who to buy from. Go to your customer, don’t wait for them to come to you.

skull-34133_960_720

And it’s only going to get tougher. With the growth of mobile and apps, customers want easier and simpler ways to get what they want. And they don’t want to trawl through your website to find it.

In short. Your company website is just one small part of your online real estate. It will shrink in importance and you need to now – before it’s too late – focus on your social presence. And if you haven’t already, work out how you can help meet your customer’s needs on mobile phones with an app.

The need for corporate websites will continue to reduce. I would argue for some there is little or no need now. New companies will choose not to create company websites and exist only on social and in apps. Benefiting by focusing their energy where their customers are, where their customers trust. Where their customers want to be.

Stop making excuses – the real reason you are not on social media

The most frequent reason I am given on why professionals do not use social media is ‘I don’t have time’.

By contrast despite incredibly busy live the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Stephen FryEllen DeGeneres, Lady GaGa, Katy Perry, Scott Monty from Ford, Ralph Lauren, many senior politicians including President Obama and other notable ‘busy’ people can find time to fill 140 characters or more and post to social profiles.

Social networks

Admitidly some have assistants that help them, tmany of the names I have chosen directly post regularly themselves and have identified the benefits that social media can bring. So how can they find time when you cannot? Why have they made it a priority? Why do they think it is a worthwhile part of their daily routine – whilst you do not?

Some of the other reasons I am given include…

– People won’t be interested in what I had for breakfast
– Can’t see the point
– It’s just a fad (do not hear this as much anymore)
– I’m a very private person
– I am worried I might say something wrong
– I might be attacked

People may not be interested in what you had for breakfast, though the occasional post that shows you are a real rounded human being can do no harm. Social networks are not just about one thing and people are interested by a wide variety of things. The great thing about social media is the audience decides if it is interested or not, and you will soon see what engages people – so do not pre-judge what they will or won’t like..

Social media is now an extension of how we interact as human beings both in private and in the work place. If you do not see the point then you are effectively saying you are not interested in those who use social media both within your current circle of influence, and beyond through the ripple effect and wider realm of influence social media provides.

I totally understand people being cautious. However often people who tell me ‘they might say something wrong’ are professionals at the top of their game, who fully know understand what they can and cannot say as either a politician or business person in the public domain. After all they filter what they say everyday. A brief Google search will bring back nightmare examples of people doing stupid things on social media – but they are exactly that – stupid – and you should trust yourself to be able to make the right decisions about what you post. The fact you are concerned means you are less likely to post something you shouldn’t, and if you can’t be trusted it’s not just social media you should be worried about.

Yes you might be attacked. But does it really matter? I remember when I first posted some tech tip videos there were several nasty comments include one saying that I had funny eyebrows. Would have prefered that he had said something about the video to help me improve my presenting style, and was interesting he himself had an unique style of hair growth above his eyes – but it did not really matter and was nothing more than name calling in the playground. There are tools you can use to mute out some of the unconstructive comments, however the biggest challenge I have found is to get people to engage at all. Maybe they are not saying anything as they are worried too.

The biggest barrier to your effective use of social media is you and sometimes something as simple as your first post. If you are worried you may something wrong then say nothing at all and share something you find interesting which comes from someone else. Over time as you get to understand the community that you will become part of you will learn the unspoken rules which are mostly common sense.

Social media offers so many opportunities. I have learnt however for those who have multiple reasons for not taking part, and as you answer these concerns come up with even more, until they are willing to try it nothing I can say will change their mind. But until that time please admit the real reason you are not on social media – is you.

Your Facebook updates are a lie

I remember being on holiday, sitting in the sun with a lovely chilled glass of wine, when I saw a friends update with a picture of him having fun at a party. For a moment I felt gutted, wished I was home in rainy Britain and able to be at the party too. When I returned from holiday I asked how the it was, and contray to the image painted by the photo was told the party was rubbish and really boring.

LiarNow whenever I look at Facebook updates I remind myself of this. More important than ever to do this as people are getting even better at creating this illusion of a world where every moment is fun filled and and amazing. Moments of time are carefully crafted and staged to give the best image.

With studies linking use of social media sites with depression we all need to put other peoples digital updates into context, realise these are effectively personal press releases designed to show us as they want to be seen.

In one survey they found 20% confessed to not being trueful about their holiday activities or jobs. 25% of Facebook users said they had falsfied some of the account information.

I don’t think social media is making us more dishonest, it is just recording and sharing these lies to a much wider audience.

This short film is a brillant portrayal of a very modern problem.

Why are so many getting social media marketing wrong?

This comic succinctly captures what is so wrong with so many organisations social media activity.

You need to spend less time talking about yourself on social networks and work harder for the attention you desire by providing real value to the communities you wish to connect with.

Competitions and ‘viral videos’ will drive short term relationships where providing regular useful content can help build a valuable relationship. When you do talk about your products or services you need to start with how this will benefit your followers not how brilliant you are for bringing it to them.

Slip back into old ways and no matter how much trust you have built up – you could quickly find yourself dumped as your followers will quickly go elsewhere.

5-types-of-social-media-strategies

Cartoon via Marketoonist

How to write the perfect tweet

The helpful guys at Twitter have issued some guidelines and stats to help you get the most out of your tweets. Whilst the focus is on promoting mobile apps these lessons will apply whatever you are tweeting.

 

Time to switch off the caps lock…Tweet best practices

Be specific about discounts…
Tweet best practices

Be specific about your prices…TweetBestPracticesSeatGeek

Use “you” or “your”…Tweet best practices

Give a call to action… Now…Tweet best practices

How visual content drives social media growth

Imagery is so important in social media. I have done a number of tests of posting the same content in similar situations with and without images. Everytime those posts with images far exceed those without in all levels of engagement. This infographic goes further in attempting to explain why your followers relate more to posts with images.

Social media images

STOP: Time to rethink social media at work


Social media is now part of the mainstream. Rather than seeing it as a threat you need to see it as an opportunity. If you have not already realised it, it is time to do things differently.

In your business you may see your people using social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and think they are wasting their time.

STOP. RETHINK.

Social mediaRather than a waste of time social media can be a huge opprotunity to turn all your people into evangalists for your organisation. You need to stop focussing on the possible negatives and look for how your people could use their social connections to promote what you do.

People trust people on social media. Yes, you have your corporate account, but the relationshiop with individuals is very different and can help build a digital relationship thatmore easily converts beyond the virtual world.

To help your organisation make the most of your people on social media you need to:

  • Encourage your people to connect via social channels with current and potential customers
  • Give them guidance on how to make the most of social media
    • Create a do list not a don’t list
    • Encourage them by highlighting the best of what they do
    • Elevate your social media champions – sharing their good work to encourage others
  • Make social media presence a requirement
    • Targets for followers and engagement
    • Social media score card to follow their growth

If you are still in denial about the benefits of social media. Want more evidence, pick through every follower, question every social media post… you are wasting not only your time but that of your people.

By the time you catch up your competion will be way ahead and in a social media world that evolves at an amazing pace you will be left years behind.

Rather than worrying if social media is the right thing to do – you should worry about your ability to catch up. It’s time to do things differently and be ahead of the game rather than years behind.

 

 

 

Importance of images in a social media age

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average attention span of a human being has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013–one second less than the attention span of a goldfish.

So now more than ever the likelihood of someone sitting through your 15 minute video on how fantatstic your product is – is less than ever.

This means you need to be more creative in how you get your messages across. Using imagery is a quick and effective way to capture attention and convey information. This infographic from Widen shows why images are so important, especially in the social media age, and how you can use visual storytelling in your marketing.

Visual storytelling

Top 50 UK marketing and advertising Klout influencers on social media

Brand Republic

Brand Republic asked Klout to run the numbers on social media influencers in the UK’s marketing and advertising industry.

Klout looked at activity on social accounts (including content posted and reacted to, as well as follower and following accounts, among other things) on 21 July 2015 for the prior 90 days. They focussed on expertise in the following 15 topics: advertising; branding; communications; content marketing; digital media; email marketing; influencer marketing; internet marketing; marketing; mobile advertising; native advertising; online advertising; search advertising; social marketing and social media.

Whilst reading through the list on reaching #20 I spotted my @wellbelove account. 🙂

The article highlights that my feed spends more time share other peoples content. Of course. Being an informer rather than a meformer is key to being succesful on social media. With me you are not getting a sales pitch but a direct link to what I discover helping me, and you, ahead of the curb.

You can find the rest of the #Top 50 and more information in the Brand Republic article.  And thanks to Brand Republic and Klout for including me.