Five Social Media Trends To Watch In 2016

A recent article in Fast Company saw Hootsuite’s CEO, Ryan Holmes, predict five Social Media trends for 2016. The first two predictions look at how larger corporates are starting to engage more fully with social media outside of their social media teams. The way that corporates are slowly coming on board with internal social networking, and the advancements that stand behind that shift; and how they’re starting to encourage their staff to share their updates. Given an eightfold increase in engagement from staff-shared updates, compared to those shared in the company name, that would seem a sensible move. The third prediction looks at messaging apps, and how with improved analytics businesses could start to use them for marketing purposes. The fourth examines increases in Digital Marketing, and the increased sophistication that means people notice fewer ads in their feed, because the ads look more like status updates from friends and family. That coupled with the increased precision of targeting software and the simplification of the whole process, means that social advertising is likely to increase dramatically as more smaller businesses get on board. The last prediction concerns social video. The barriers to using video are eroding as streaming services such as Periscope, Meerkat, and Blab gain popularity, and the trend for shorter videos increases. It’s not my favourite medium, but I’d be an idiot to ignore it all together. You can read the article by clicking on this link!  Article by Ryan Holmes, CEO Hootsuite, and published in Fast Company on 9th December...

Is This The Best Time To Be In Business?

If you look back with envy at the entrepreneurs of the 1950s and 1960s and wish you had the opportunities they had, then take a look around at where you are.  The landscape may look different, but this is also such a time. Here are the things that I know: the rules of business engagement have changed; the smallest businesses are the ones who’re best at taking advantage of these changes; engaging with people online is the quickest and easiest way to grow your business; engaging online gives people a good sense of you without you having to meet them face to face; you can be as awesome online as you are in real life. The rules of business engagement have changed.  People no longer want to be broadcast to.  They’re suspicious of people who come into their lives unannounced, and they want to get to know people before they part with their hard-earned cash.  They value convenience.  And the way they want to do business and consume information has changed.  More times than not, they choose to do business with companies who get that, and make it easy for them. Some businesses still haven’t woken up to these facts, and are spending ever more amounts of time, effort, and money doing the things that’ve worked until now, except that now they’re doing them louder, more frequently and with increasing fervour.  Others have heard the news, but don’t believe it’s a game-changer, so are paying lip-service with a LinkedIn Company Page, a Twitter account that rarely gets used, and a blog feed that gets updated on an ad-hoc basis with the company news bulletin. The businesses that are winning, and...

How To Work Solo Even If You’re A Sociable Person

When I left the world that was corporate banking, the one thing I missed was the people.  I’m a people kind of a person and I really missed the company.  From a psychometric, MBTI, Social Styles point of view, I have a preference for extraversion; meaning that I get my energy predominantly from being outside and among people.  So quite how I expected solo working without some kind of people-fix to work for me I’m not sure. I know for sure that I really struggled with it in the beginning.  I found it hard to be productive, and was almost constantly distracted.  I threw myself into networking, which helped a bit, but so many of them were early morning events, which isn’t the time of day that I’m at my best. So I thought I’d try a shared office.  I found one in a great location at a great price, which was unfortunately occupied by a young sales team that insisted on playing commercial pop radio while they worked.  There are only so many times a day you can listen to a One Direction song and not want to shoot yourself in the head.  So I left. My next shared office was much better, and soon there were four of us in this lovely, airy, creative space and it worked really well.  There were other creative people to bounce ideas off of, and we all had similar challenges with customers and suppliers.  It was an ideal working environment.  Unfortunately, one person left, then another, and before I knew it I was paying what felt like a substantial sum of money each month...

Three Ways To Ensure You’re Always Writing From The Right Angle

When it comes to blogging it’s vital to write from the right angle.  When you write from your own perspective, it’s all too easy to dip into sales mode and start listing features and establishing your credibility.  While these are important, their place is in your Sales and About Pages, not your blog.  Each blog post is an opportunity to show, rather than tell your prospective and existing customers why they should choose, or keep choosing, you.  How dull would it be if I spent every blog post listing the features of Blog Club, or the reasons you should hire me to ghost write your blog posts?  Instead, I think about what would be interesting or useful for you and write about that.  Then, when you want more help to blog each week, you know how I work and what I’m like. The only perspective you should be considering when you’re writing for your blog is your ideal customer’s.  Even when you’re writing about yourself.  The number of vanity lines I’ve cut from blog posts because they wouldn’t remotely interest you!   So how do you make sure you’re always writing from your customers’ perspective?  Here are three ways that I use: One: Build up a picture of one ideal customer: their circumstances, frustrations, ideal solutions, how they use what you sell, likes, dislikes.  This makes it easier to step into their shoes before you write. Two: Pretend you’re talking to them when you’re writing.  You’re more likely to consider someone else when you’re talking to them.  This is a great way to keep your blog posts in your own voice too. Three:...

Story Power!

“If history were taught as stories, it’d never be forgotten” said Rudyard Kipling, which seemed a fitting opening statement for a talk entitled: ‘Stories Sell’.   As a stand-in for the scheduled speaker at my monthly networking event, I’d had little time to prepare, and I wasn’t convinced it was going to be the best talk I’d ever given. I knew there was no point in trying to memorise a script, so I decided to string some stories together, and use some of them to illustrate the point I was attempting to make: that stories sell better than facts.  I started with some stories about my love of stories, and then I chose three people from the audience who’ve used stories as part of their ‘two minutes’ at the networking event, and retold their stories.  All three stories were ones I’d heard them tell over a year ago, so I was able to illustrate the potency of storytelling. I ended the talk by taking the audience through the process for constructing a ‘Client Success Story’; if you don’t want to broadcast for the full time of a talk, throw in a practical exercise 🙂  And that was that.  Some questions, and the usual polite applause.  Followed by some lovely comments. I haven’t always found that my talks have had much in the way of longevity, so while I made sure that I could attend the next event, I didn’t expect there to be much follow up: a month is a long time in business, after all.  I couldn’t have been more wrong!  Someone told me the story of a colleague who’d been...

What Does Marketing Mean To You?

I’m not sure how comfortable I feel about the way some people seem to view marketing.  Don’t get me wrong, I want people to buy what I sell, I just don’t like the idea of shoving it in their faces, or pretending I’m giving some great information for free, when I’m actually telling them nothing and then pitching them a $500 course.  Or telling them they only have five minutes left to get the last one, or that if they don’t buy right now, the price will double for no discernible reason.  Marketing has started to feel like something you do to people.  Synonymous with employing as many methods as possible to get a sale.  Whether that sale will actually help the person who’s bought it or not. I remember working in the Bank when they first decided that frontline staff would be tasked with selling.  Most people argued that they weren’t a salesperson, and at the time I didn’t get it.  But those old-hands knew what was key:  understanding what people needed and making sure they got exactly that.  Not looking at the products they had and figuring out how to make them buy more. Since that time, advances in technology have made it easier than ever to reach your target market.  The great news is that it’s also made it easier to understand them, give them what they need more cheaply, and in ways that are accessible to many rather than a few.  To build loyal and long-lasting relationships.  To give webinars, use Facebook Groups, deliver e-courses across the world.  Websites help you show the world who you help and why they need you.  We...