Category Archives: Marketing

September 3, 2011

Tweet ideas

Looking through the stats on my blog I’ve noticed that a lot of folks are searching for inspiration to help them come up with good ideas to post on Twitter.

Previously I’d written about a post on Ari Herzog’s blog by Mark Havenner in which Mark describes his C.R.A.S.H formula when he’s stuck for tweet ideas.

Comment. Reply. Ask. Share. Help. This is an excellent formula.

I’d also like to share my tweeting philosophy with you in the hope it will help those of you looking for inspiration on Twitter.

Your number one goal when posting to Twitter should be to add value.

In fact I think Jason Falls put it best when he said, ‘Share good shit.’ Anytime you post to Twitter, ask yourself, ‘Is this something others will want to know? Is it of value to them? Am I sharing knowledge?’

One of the most popular types of tweet are those that contain links.

Dan Zarella recently posted an interesting infographic showing how to get more retweets on Twitter. I think you’ll find his information useful when considering what to post to Twitter. Dan describes himself as a social media scientist so you’re probably wise to heed his advice.

Dan recommends we tweet links, stop talking about ourselves, say new things and tweet about Twitter.

So head on over to your Twitter account and tweet away!

August 12, 2011

Google+ and the proliferation of social networks

Maybe you’ve heard about Google+, maybe you haven’t.

It’s yet another new social network, this time run by, you guessed it, Google.

There’s been a fair bit of buzz around Google+. It’s being touted as the fastest growing social network with over 25 million users already.

Right now, I’m struggling to understand why I should use it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely site. Lots of people I know are using it. It has some cool features such as ‘circles’ which let you group people together and view their updates as a stand-alone stream.

The problem for me is that I’ve yet to find a real use for it.

I probably felt the same way about Twitter and Facebook once upon a time.

I’m stuck between wanting to be present in a new online space, such as Google+, and making sure that I don’t just repeat the same updates, share the same links and follow the same people as I do on Facebook and Twitter.

I certainly feel pressure to be there. I don’t want to appear closed to new technologies and ideas. I don’t want to get left behind. I don’t want to seem ‘old school’ because I’m not keeping up with the times.

I guess that’s what happens when you work in digital media: this invisible force makes you feel as though you have to be everwhere at once or you’re not cool.

Reflecting on my own use of social networks I certainly see a pattern.

I go through phases of heavy and light use. Sometimes I can’t bear to log in to Twitter or Facebook. Other times I can’t get enough of them.

Oddly I never tire of blogging or reading blogs.

And so perhaps, one day soon, I’ll feel compelled to spend time on Google+. Right now, I don’t. I pop in every now and then to see what people are up to but rarely have a desire to post my own updates. I’ve no idea what I want to say and I’ve no idea what people want to hear.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and I should just trust that everything will fall into place when the time is right.

Maybe it’s too early to tell how Google+ will play out.

Are you on Google+? If so, how are you using the space? What role do you think this new social network will have in our digital world?

June 30, 2011

Fabulous free social media ebook

I would have posted this yesterday had I not been so pissed off about my key snapping off in my bike lock and having to walk home in +30°C … and melting.

You may well have read about the Social Media ProBook (a free ebook) by now – I’ve read at least five posts today from high profile bloggers endorsing this resource.

Thanks – as always – to the ever-insightful Adam Singer of The Future Buzz for bringing this to my attention.

Adam is also one of the people featured in the book.

In fact, Adam took the words right out of my mouth when he wrote: ‘Eloqua [creators of this free ebook] … solicited insightful content on social media with something useful for all digital professionals. Reading through the contributions (including Jeremiah Owyang, Steve Rubel, Sarah Evans, among others) it’s clear this is a must-read.’

Oh yes.

I download a lot of free ebooks and most of them are – to use the technical term – crap.

The Social Media ProBook actually has substance. And contributions from very cool people. And stuff worth reading.

For my Canadian readers: you have the day off work tomorrow. This would make perfect reading in your air-conditioned home/office.

Please read Adam Singer’s blog post which has an excellent digital marketing Q&A and links to the ebook.

May 14, 2011

TV ads with social icons

I have a personal gripe.

I keep seeing Facebook and Twitter icons on TV – usually on ads – and it’s driving me mad.

Why bother? If I care that much about your show/product then I’ll find your social accounts using this little tool I know called Google.

Putting those tiny icons on the screen doesn’t help me one bit.

It’s like putting a globe symbol in place of a website address.

Either put the whole URL to your Twitter and Facebook accounts or don’t bother at all.

It doesn’t make you social media cool just because you’ve got little pictures on the TV screen. It just makes me think you’re stupid.

April 22, 2011

My social media wish list

* I wish Twitter told me why someone is following me and how they found me.

* I wish real-estate agents, builders and other ad hoc businesses would realise that having a Twitter/Facebook account isn’t enough of a reason to make me follow them or pay attention to anything they say or do.

* I wish more people/businesses realised that relationship building, conversations and actual engagement with individuals is what helps create an effective social media strategy.

* I wish there was a better word for ‘strategy.’

* I wish I could detect, in-person, anyone connected to me on Facebook or Twitter. There are too many people I have never met in person. And sometimes I’m shy.

* I wish Facebook made it mandatory to include a personal message anytime you friend someone forcing you to say how you know them.

* I wish Twitter limited Follow Friday to one recommendation only and a proper reason had to be included for why we should follow another Twitter user.

* I wish I could choose exactly who shows up in my news feed on Facebook. I don’t want to build friend lists, I don’t want ‘recent news.’ I want to choose who appears there.

* I wish Facebook had never introduced ‘poking.’

* I wish everyone knew how to take great photos, use Photoshop and name their files correctly.

* I wish I could help the zillions of bloggers who have really bad blogs, can’t spell and have no idea how to make their YouTube video embeds the correct size. Which leads to …

* I wish there were many more hours in the day giving me enough time to do this and sleep.

April 8, 2011

How to find time for social media

I was reading about a new tool the other day called Buffer which lets you load up your tweets for the day and automate when they appear.

‘This looks cool. I should check it out,’ I thought to myself.

Somehow I never did because I reminded myself that social media tools aren’t about automation and scheduling – sure plenty of people do it but it feels kind of inauthentic to me.

Just like slot machines, people are always trying to outwit the game – tweet between these times; always make it look like you’re on Twitter; tweet at least three times a day; don’t tweet at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.


Tweet when you damn well want and if you don’t have anything to say for a week, then don’t use Twitter.

I get super irritated by all this scheduling, planning and strategizing. Things really aren’t that difficult. If you have something to say then go online and say it. If you don’t then, read a book.

Absolutely: monitor your social media accounts and respond to folks who are talking to you but I honestly don’t believe in ‘faking’ your online presence. Oh, I’m sure there are folks I follow who do it and I have no idea but it’s not something I would recommend.

The same thing applies to having someone else do your tweeting. It happens but I don’t agree with it.

Use social media tools when you do have the time. Don’t get caught up in the idea that you have to have a 24/7 perfect presence online. Just be normal. Just be human. Please.