Who Is Your Social Tribe?

Social Tribe

If you don’t understand who your social tribe is online, then your content efforts risk to fall on deaf ears. They are your cheerleaders, your focus groups all leading to your customers and sales! Grab a pen, a blank sheet of paper and brainstorm who you think your community is.

Who are your ‘Allies’?

These are your friends and family or even employees and suppliers. Firstly, never be shy to ask your inner circle for a leg up to get that community started. They should be happy to support you! Employees, sub-contractors, collaborators and suppliers are already a part of your business community. Cultivate two-way social support by reading their posts and following their profiles too.

Who are your ‘Peers’?

For small business, your industry colleagues are vital for growing your community. Gone are the days where competitors ‘play cards close to their chests’. Obviously, I don’t mean sharing sensitive business information but not being so afraid to collaboration and communicate about industry challenges and changes. Industry peers can support and inspire each other, especially online. Hunt them out, chat and bring them into your world.

Who are your ‘Advocates’?

Do you engage your most loyal customers? It’s a mistake many businesses make, by passing those in the fervent quest for new customers. But your existing loyal customers are advocates for your brand and their voices should be amplified. Have a strategy on how to reward them either with social reciprocation (mentions, follow Friday) or even discounts for shares. Modern online businesses offer kick-backs for digital recommendation,  make the tech work for you!

Who are your ‘Customers’?

All these help build a picture of your customer profile, the demographic most likely to make a purchase. Using the insights social media platforms make available to you (free of charge), find out when they’re online, which of your posts they’ve engaged with the most and what other companies they follow and engage with (easier on Twitter and Instagram, than Facebook).

Do you now have a picture of who your social media tribe is? 

Spending 30 minutes to 1 hour figuring out the above, will definitely trigger a few lightbulb moments for you what you want to say to your customers on social media.

light bulb moment

 

Get Image Smart

When I first started building my digital and social media world, the one tip I could have used back then was to get image smart i.e. organise my images properly. Because when you find yourself *having* to do it, it’s a labourious and painful task.

Starting your website and social media image library is a tip that is in all my training courses. We know that visual images and video clips connect with users in a more memorable and emotional way, making the message more impactful.

So we all need to think visually when trying to convey certain aspects of our business. That does not necessarily mean becoming a great photographer but it does mean becoming a visual editor. We are probably doing this subconsciously already.

But we probably aren’t doing is making sure these images are organised on and off line. Here’s my simply checklist of things you should be doing with all your images:

  1. First check you have the rights to use them more than once. Stealing photos is unethical and will come back to bite you. There are tools such as TinEye where photographers can find who is using them and ask you to take them down.
  2. If you commissioned professional photography for your business either a) ask for versions optimised to appear correctly on social platforms, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram OR b) do it yourself using a tool such as Canva.
  3. Store images in folders, organising them in a logical system which is easy to pull out when posting on social. If you’re using Google Drive online, this may be tricky to add photos when in a social media app. It’s easier to store images as files on your computer but ensure you back them up.
  4. Always label images when you upload to a website or blog, helping you find them if you want to add to another post. Although it’s advisable to add new images to each post, as busy people, it won’t be completely devastating to reuse an image. Just ensure there’s a good time lag in between instances.
  5. Add alt tags and title tags, a key SEO optimisation step for your website. Read more from Yoast about why you should be doing this. There should be fields in the uploader form in which to put these tags. Especially if you’re using WordPress.
  6. Try to source or create images which are ‘evergreen’ i.e. ensure text or image is not time bound. This gives you more flexibility to use images in your library again.

If you have anything else to add, please feel free in the comments below. I’m sure I haven’t exhausted all the steps we should be taking to keep on top of this image hungry world!

Want to learn more? Sign up to my newsletter to be first to get my dates for webinars and downloadable, affordable courses.

Take Part In An Instagram Challenge and WIN!

giveaway

Global Entrepreneurship Week kicks off on Monday and I’m proud to be supporting The Mumpreneurs Networking Club’s Pop Up Mumpreneurs Events, which celebrates the success and sheer awesomeness of mums who bring their entrepreneurial smarts to the global economy. And I’m giving the opportunity for one Instagram networker the opportunity to win 2 hours of training or strategy planning with me.

You don’t have to be uber social media savvy to enter either. Here’s what you need:

  1. Install Instagram on your phone, launch your profile
  2. Take a photo and post it on Instagram
  3. Add a caption and tag #GEWMums @welovemnc
  4. And good luck! You’re entered.

If you need a helping hand, download my quick and easy Instagram start up guide by registering here.

Pop Up Mumpreneurs 2016

There’s 28 brilliant events online and off which you are still able to join. Be inspired, learn new things and make new contacts in this positive, warm and supportive network. As Hilary Clinton said in her concession speech:

Twitter hour theme-3

On Wednesday 16th November at 8pm join us for an #MNCHour PARTY on Twitter! We want you to share an image of a defining moment from your business journey. AND we’ve set ourselves the challenge to have the most images shared by participants EVER since we launched the chat hour in April this year. For details on how to join and how to make the most of a Twitter chat or party, visit the event page.

The Mumpreneur Side Effect

Last week, journalists Eva Wiseman tried to dismiss many mum business as a side effect or poor maternity rights. Here’s my response over on BrightonMums.com about this awesome side effect and all the brilliant women business owners I have worked with – who just happen to be mums.

Giveaway terms: Closing date is midnight 18th November, 2016.

Sign up to receive my 7 steps plus be sent the Instagram quick and easy guide including a 7 day action plan.

 

 

Social Media Blackout Checklist For Summer

social media blackout

What I’m about to say goes against all the social community building rules I live by. But I believe a social media blackout is good for the soul and your on-going creativity as a business owner, marketeer or digital specialist.

Social media has integrated flawlessly into our lives. We check our Facebook feed a few minutes after waking, we build our promotional strategies around strategic digital communities. It’s here to stay. But the constant buzz of our phones and chatter on our feed has also created a new emotional state in many of us. One which I believe needs calming and rebooting to retain some perspective.

Digital media provides communities which connect like-minded individuals. Socially we feel less lonely, finding others globally, who share our ideas. It has helped us learn and understand our identities further.

But I strongly believe, this should not prevail at the expense of human contact. We are social beings and the chemistry which sparks off significant relationships cannot be replaced on-line. How many of us have explored on-line dating, chatted to a seemingly compatible individual only to to find, in person, the chemistry is not there?

Which is why we need two things. An off-line private persona and friendships. Moments that can only be relived in the brain. Memories which keep our grey cells thriving.

Secondly we need social media blackouts. I posted an interesting article on my Facebook page about Andy Murray deleting the Twitter app from his phone during Wimbledon. Sadly, this was to shut out the trolls, the price of being a top social media celebrity. But we could all take a leaf out of his book. He needs a clear mind, internalised and focused thoughts to achieve his goal. This is a personal strategy he’s developed which quite clearly WORKED!

We all need our own social media blackout strategy. Here’s a checklist for you modelled after my personal strategy:

  1. Decide how long the social media black out is feasible for? My view is 3 days is the minimum you should explore.
  2. Book time in your diary to write and schedule all content. For Facebook use their scheduler, for other platforms explore Buffer, Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. 
  3. Ensure all customers know your working pattern. Or engage in cover for the period, throw some money at it e.g. employ casual call handlers or a virtual PA to handle mails and social media messages.
  4. Tell all your friends how you can be contacted. Consider what will work best to really switch off your brain. Will you be able to switch the phone off completely? Or maybe limit contact to phone, text or Whatsapp?
  5. Delete social media apps from your phone or turn off notifications and badging. But ensure you’re safe, don’t block off all contact leaving yourself in vulnerable situations.
  6. Plan some off-line projects to occupy your mind; journals, drawing, colouring books, knitting, crafting, sport, photography…the list is endless. Engaging in these could refresh your creative process for your business and marketing ideas.
  7. Take deep breaths and do nothing. Once you’ve gotten over the first day of jitters without reaching for the phone or tablet, try spending a couple of hours doing nothing.

Tell me how you got in with your social media blackout. Did it work? Do you feel refreshed?

This is just one of the tips from my social media summer simmer. Available to start as a course in your own time between now and 10th August.

social media training course

 

Set your summer social media to ‘simmer’

social media

Summer can typically be a time for low engagement on social media. And while I believe it’s vital to ‘switch off’ for a short while to step away from the constant flow of chat and narrative, you shouldn’t leave your customers high and dry – they may go elsewhere! Get ready to set your social media to ‘simmer’ to keep that community thriving and heading back in your direction when they’re ready.

For a special price of £30 I’m offering a 4 week ‘light touch’ e-learning programme via e-mail to keep your skills and inspiration bubbling away. Each day you’ll receive a valuable tip, exercise or tutorial.

The best thing is they can easily be parked during your downtime and picked up again other days. PLUS you’ll receive a booklet at the end with all the exercises and membership to a closed support group on Facebook.

Summer is also a great time to experiment, doing more of what you LOVE and having fun with social media. Especially with visual media!

SO…what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

7 steps images-2

 

Enrollment to the programme will be available from 19th July – 10th August.

Spellcheck For Content Success

Are you wondering why your social media posts aren’t getting the engagement you think they deserve? It could be as simple as checking spelling, grammar and syntax.

The internet is rife with poor use of written language. It doesn’t particularly matter when it’s our mates posting hurriedly from their phone with a few typos but when a business posts messages riddled with errors it has a different impact.

2016-04-25 18.52.24-1As a business, you’re engaging with people using social media to influence them into buying your product or use your service. Therefore the reader is only likely to react, comment or share your post if they feel what you are saying is of value or interest.

In order to do that, a business needs to stand out with their messaging. But there’s little use in having amazing campaign creative or beautiful images if the accompanying commentary is poorly written.  Here’s why:

1. It looks unprofessional. Why would someone invest their hard-earned cash on your service or product when you can’t spell or post live without correcting finger slips on the keyboard. On Facebook there’s no excuse, you can go back and edit. On Twitter you can delete the message and repost. But even then you could be penalised by their algorithm for posting duplicate content.

2. It’s a waste of time for the reader. While skimming their feed, people are unlikely to stop and spend time trying to decipher a misplaced apostrophe or misspelled word. They’ll skip reading and move on to something which pulls them in more fluidly.

3. It looks like you don’t care. If can’t make the effort to make sure your messages read well, then it could come across as not caring about your customers. So why would they bother with you?

4. It’s not shareable content. People are highly unlikely to share posts with poor grammar with their followers as it equally looks bad for them.

It’s all avoidable. When mentoring clients, we work together to find a process for producing content which works for them. Planning ahead is key: pre-write posts for the week or month then check them after you’ve finished the content and check again before pressing ‘publish’.

I believe EVERY business can produce engaging flawless content. Sign up to my newsletter for details of forthcoming training courses and content workshops.

How To Get The Most From Twitter Chat Hours

There’s nothing more than I love than joining a Twitter chat hour. They are fabulous for meeting new followers, promoting your business plus sharing tips and experiences with peers. But there is an unspoken etiquette, so here’s my tips for getting the most out of the hour:

twitter-iconSay hello! This is ‘social’ media, so be social. Start the hour off as you would any gathering by greeting the group and asking how everyone’s week has been or how they are feeling.

Tag the organiser early on. It’s good manners to greet the organiser or moderator of the chat. Usually local hours e.g. #MNCHour is run by @mumpreneursclub so include the latter in your introduction or greeting tweet.

Use the hashtag in every message. The tags allow people to follow the conversation but also some organisers gather tweets at the end using publishing platforms such as Storify.

Introduce yourself. Tell people how your business helps people. Try to keep this to one tweet.

Don’t schedule a message to spam the chat hour. The point of the chat hour is to converse. If you’re using a scheduler, you’re most likely not ‘there’ and it will show. However, it can be useful to schedule an early tweet to remind yourself you were going to join. But make sure it’s the ‘hello everyone, how are you’ style of message.

Follow those who taking part. Try and follow everyone unless they are largely irrelevant to your networking. It’s good manners and forms good connections for future networking  with Twitter.

Stick to the format. If the moderator has questions planned, do your best to answer those. Don’t go too far off piste or randomly promote yourself in the middle of the session.

Be patient. Some people take a bit of time to reply, there’s a bit of a delay while reading feeds and monitoring the conversation. Don’t jump in too quickly with questions before people have had a chance to respond.

Try not to be too salesy. By all means be clear about your business and what you offer but don’t lay it on too thick. One or two tweets promoting yourself then spending time chatting. If the conversation naturally revolves around your expertise then obviously run with it.

Make a list. Create a Twitter list for those who took part or subscribe to the organiser’s list.

Watch your spelling and grammar. The odd typo would be forgiven during a hasty Twitter interchange but try to avoid altogether if you can. It looks unprofessional and most of all, could detract from the meaning of your message.

Prepare a few images or 30 second vids to share. Multimedia flies on Twitter, so have a few to hand ready for your networking. It increases the impact of your message long after the hour has ended.

Be transparent about Twitter chat clashes. There’s nothing wrong in two-timing your chat hours but perhaps declare at the start, so people know if there’s a delay to a question they’ve directly asked you.

Have fun! As well the opportunity to network, crack a few light jokes and be positive. And it should go without saying to be respectful and don’t swear. If you’re not sure about how a message you’re writing will be received, then don’t post.

Do you have any other tips for people taking part in a Twitter chat hour? Post a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

All Aboard For A Blogathon Challenge With A Difference

Bloggers are being invited to take part in a unique Blogathon challenge this May on a double decker bus! The Mumpreneur’s Networking Club will be bringing the Natwest business bus to Guildford, Kingston-upon-Thames, Brighton and Portsmouth asking bloggers to compete in a challenge to raise awareness of the benefits of running your own business.

MNC are inviting aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs along to the bus to talk to professionals within their network about local support helping to inspire, share practical skills and drive forward their ideas.

Bloggers will be challenged to get the topic of ‘parentprenership’ buzzing on social media by writing a topical blog post live from the bus then completing a host of social media challenges within 2 hours. The winner will receive one year’s free membership to The Mumpreneurs Networking plus other goodies from partners and sponsors.

“Parent bloggers have a wealth of experience not only with technology but also juggling work and family life, as many pro-bloggers are self-employed. We want to come together as a collective and hopefully prompt those thinking about taking the plunge into self-employed life to take action,” says Blogathon co-host and MNC partner Claire Jones-Hughes from ClaritaCo Media.

The Mumpreneurs Networking Club is a business-networking group whose members are entrepreneurial women, men and parents and is celebrating nearly 20,000 visits to its events . Their mission is to connect, inspire and engage mumpreneurs everywhere.

The Mumpreneur economy (businesses run by mothers with children under 18) generated 7.2 bn for the economy in 2014. A report from the think tank Development Economics commissioned by Ebay , evaluated the contribution of Mumpreneurs and found that the sector is growing at an unprecedented rate The report states that Mumpreneurs will generate 9.5bn for the UK and support an extra 13,000 employees and taking the total jobs created by Mumpreneurs to 217,600 by 2025, using data generated from the Office for National Statistics. The Mumpreneurs Networking Club have hit the road to spread the word about how turning a passion into a business can bring a whole host of flexible working benefits to family life.

MNC Director Sara Guiel says, “women from all professions who have discovered that the corporate world can be an uncomfortable fit with family are turning their passions into businesses. For many this is about a flexible work life balance but for an increasing number this is about establishing a business on their terms that contributes financially not just to the family coffers but to the greater U.K. economy as they grow from soletrader to a viable and credible SME.”

The tour, supported by Natwest and Start-up Britain, kicks off on 16th May in Guildford stopping at Kingston-Upon-Thames on 17th May, Brighton on 25th May terminating in Portsmouth. Visit their Facebook event to save the date and get the latest news on the day’s activities.

Bloggers in the local area interested in taking part should contact: hello@claritaco.co.uk or sign up here:

http://bit.ly/busblogsignup

Screenshot 2016-03-07 16.12.13

Stephen Fry Quits Twitter: Has The Platform Become Stagnant?

News reports yesterday say Stephen Fry has deactivated his Twitter account, claiming it has become ‘stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous’. The decision came after a joke he made at the BAFTAs about his friend and costume designer, Jenny Beavan coming to the award ceremony dressed as a ‘bag lady’. It seems he is less than impressed with the stream of commentary on the social media platform which followed his remarks.

Fry was one of Twitter’s earliest celebrity adopters, cultivating a ‘follow back’ approach to his profile which in turn helped boost its credibility. After all, he is not just any celebrity, he’s a national treasure, a wit, an academic. But it seems the humourless haters and trolls have gotten to him. Which is a desperate shame.

It’s at this point I hope Twitter somehow intervenes and speaks up for their community. The issue many celebrities and large brands face with Twitter is the two-way communication and unlike Facebook the inability to hide critical comments. If someone tags a profile, you are linked. Reputation management has taken a whole new direction with PR experts still grappling with social media and understanding the voices which drive the trends.

With traditional forms of media, these major voices in our society weren’t used to dealing with direct comments from the general public. And in such volume. It’s very true that dealing with a large amount of followers on Twitter comes with it’s own set of problems. I happen to think Fry’s joke was misguided and the term ‘bag lady’ in this current economic climate is an inappropriate choice of words. Maybe the backlash to his comments feels disproportionate and with social media, there will be a number of ‘hanger-ons’ to the message, RT-ing and using hashtags just to get noticed.

This is why it’s disappointing to see Mr Fry give up so quickly. His very public action to storm off the platform gives more weight to those who drive those over-the-top self-righteous rampages. There is decent and measured debate to be had on Twitter, the kind which informs and raises awareness of issues and causes.

In my view, Twitter is not becoming stagnant, just tricker for those with major accounts to navigate. They need to figure out vocal trends in social media and strategies to manage them. I’m not dismissing the very real problem of the haters, trolls and abusers on this platform. But headlines like these only feed the trolls. And the golden rule of social media is never feed the trolls.

Ask me about Twitter strategy and building a healthy, thriving community which leads fruitful discussion on-line, around your business. hello@claritaco.co.uk

Introducing Social Media Mentoring

I’ve got something exciting to share with you for 2016. I’ve got a neat little package of social media self-help waiting for you to open…

While spending some time networking with small business and freelancers, the most common thing I hear in response to my occupation is how people would like to do ‘more’ or get ‘better’ at using social media. And I can help.

Often small businesses don’t have the budget to employ round-the-clock social media management. But it should be an essential part of their marketing tool-kit. This is where my 2016 social media mentoring and training programme will come in.

This digital world is where I belong. I’m always exploring new technology, content trends and tools for clients. I use experience gained working on previous and current projects with brands, large organisations and charities to put together strategies which produce results and grow your communities and audience reach.

I have combined this knowledge into a programme for small business and freelancers. Visit my latest offers page to find a subscription to suit your budget.

Sign up to my mailing list (I don’t spam, not my style) to find out how you can book.