Ladies that Tweet

What an amazing event oozing an atmosphere and energy that consumed the room with positivity and creativity. From Daisy’s insight into how to think about the practical elements of your social media strategy and engaging your internal stakeholders to Molly’s passionate insights into how social media is about conversation, feeling and engagement not just content and consumption.

And it all begins with finding out .. Who are you? If you are going to engage on social media, like stepping onto a stage you need to know who your character is, we all have different personas for different aspects of our life, are you talking as an individual, a lifestyle, an employee, are you the voice of your organisation and your brand? What are your values, your beliefs, your ethics, what façade do you want to display today? Daisy spoke about ‘tone of voice’ and where you position yourself amongst the topics of discussion you may find yourself in. What you want to say and how are you going to say it, how might that be heard by others, where does your passion lie, after all passion is what makes for the most engaging conversations.

An ironic conversation with Molly after her presentation led us to discuss why people engage and what makes people remember other people, my reply was simply that at networking events its always the people you find yourself talking to about your passions that resonate with us, be it work, your pets, your family, locations, that’s the people I will most easily recall.

We found ourselves then deep in conversation about our shared passion of horses, and of course we find ourselves chatting for half an hour about our horses versus the 10 minutes on social media. It’s true, I will remember Molly and her inspirational talk, very much so, but I will probably remember the detail of her faithful friend Bertie and the feelings we so clearly shared for far longer, this stirred a deeper feeling and connection in me that no conversation on social media platform I fear ever will!

Before I find myself consumed by my passion for horses I will share a couple of the many insights that echoed in my mind during and following the event…

“Think and create rather than react and consume”.. its is only when we truly start to step back from the noise and listen to ourselves, allow ourselves to process all the data we have consumed, reformatting it into our own pattern that we move from feeling creative to actually creating something of our own.  Empowering us to contribute something new and exciting to our lives and that of those listening to us.

Social media is about conversation and content – if content is king, then conversation is queen.  A connection is a feeling as well as a logical physical being, you don’t have to agree with someone to have great rapport with them, I may think (in my own opinion) their content is utter rubbish but I love their passion and therefore I am more than willing to listen and challenge my opinions and discuss this with them .. not that, I might add there was and such conversation that evening, in fact it was one of the most agreeable evenings I can recall!

The key is that the conversation is authentic and if I believe in the person, if not the content then I will still share this engagement. How many times do you find yourself ranting about something that sparks your feelings into a reaction vs talking about something positive and agreeable? You don’t have to agree to engage, in fact you don’t have to have an opinion at all, you could be the facilitator and build a reputation on this, take Daisy’s example of @bbcqt a highly successful twitter profile that has no opinion at all.

Molly tells us to be disruptive, challenge the status quo, create something that your audience can talk about, video or photograph that they can pick up and share in their own way. Let your audience decide how to communicate it, give them the statement and let them make their own assumptions, decisions and do with it as they please, forget the platform, think about the message.

Afterall, it’s not the number of followers you have its how many are listening and engaging with you and sharing with their ‘crowd’..  And what a crowd it was 90 gorgeous ladies, chatting across a broad spectrum of topics, consuming jelly tots by the bowl and warming ourselves with stew and relaxing over cocktails.

Finally, may I add how refreshing and inspirational it was to see a panel of young, professional talented women on the stage and in the room, we need more of this not just in Cornwall but accross the world.  The intuition that women provide to the business arena holds so much value, yes logic has its place but female intuition, now that’s worth listening to!

Thanks to all the lovely ladies for an exclusive evening at Eden, I look forward to seeing you all in the ‘real world’ again soon and being part of the conversations this event sparks online.

www.ladiesthattweet.co.uk

@clemihardie @mollyflatt @ShelleyFletcher @jojo_wood @daisygriffith

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Blogging – where to host your business blog

A question commonly asked: Should I host my blog on or off my website?  Please do comment with your thoughts so we might discuss this topic further!  Here are my initial thoughts on the considerations for where a blog should be hosted.. there are many more I am sure.. utimately it depends on each individual blog, what do you feel are the key decision breakers?

The majority of web advisers will suggest that your blog should be resident on your website, this enables your visitors to see further information and for you to promote your credibility to them.

Blogging on your site provides the search engines with relevant content and so can enhance your search engine rankings if you embed key words and phrases appropriately, links to your blog will also increase the potential ranking of your webpage on the engines, be aware that extra pages and content can also have a dilluting effect on your website in terms of optimisaton.

However I believe there are a few reasons you might consider a separate blog or a blogging platform..

Do you want to have your blog immediately available to a particular new market you are targeting?  Blogging on a platform such as wordpress can get you listed on google in minutes, provides a free diy solution, a friendy collaborative network and new market opportunities.

You can still create links between your blog and site, despite the loss of optimisation under your specific domain.  In practice there is nothing stopping you (other than time perhaps) to having a number of blogs on diverse topics, on or off your website.. as long as it’s not duplicating content exactly, as duplication can dilute rankings.

Are you are trialling blogging for your business?  If you are trying out blogging then this may be perceived as a half hearted attempt by your website visitors.  My advice would be to have a strategy for your blog and to create content and articles in advance so that you have a number of blogs to post and build upon when you start to publish.  If you dont have time to write your own blog, look at how you can comment on other blogs and engage with your marketplace.

Are you are writing about something that is not related to your business?  If you are going to write about your hobby, family, dog or a special interest that you have that has no relevance to your business then keep it separate

It may be a good idea to blog externally about something other than your business so that you can listen, follow and experiment with blogging techniques without risk to your business

Are you writing something that is contraversial or doesnt complement your companies culture and ethos.  Your blog should appeal to your website visitors, or to a specific market sector that your business is looking to reach.  If it doesnt then think about hosting it separately, this could be on a blogging platform or an alternative domain name.  There is nothing to stop you linking from your website and vice versa, as long as its relevant and complimentary

Contraversial ideas or information that you can personally write about but your company cannot (perhaps due to trading standards) should be kept on a entirely separate blog to your business and your individual involvement in the business.  Dont get your business into trouble by writing about something on your blog that you didn’t ought to be saying!

What are your thoughts on blogging on a business website, let me know by commenting below

Belinda

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Using Social Media for Small Business Promotion

Thinking about how to utilise social media in your business?   The definition of social media for the purpose of this blog ‘anywhere your customer can engage online with you or the marketplace’

Follow Your Market – do your customers use a particular social platform over others, are there platforms specifically aimed at your business sector or that operate within your market sector.  As a small business you need choose your route to market carefully as your time is limited

Be Committed but Not Addicted – build your social media strategy into your day to day schedule, but don’t let it detract from your core business activities!  Ensure any staff you choose to join your social media campaigns have the right attitude about your business and provide them with training and usage policies to help them manage their responsibilities and character online

Set up a Content Building Strategy – start building your content and identify sources of content prior to starting your public social media campaigns.  What are your plans for the next 12 months, how does it fit with your current marketing mix – trends, events, promotions, new products, news… aim to provide your market with something unique, for examples promotions only available to your facebook fans’ as a thank you for their loyalty, don’t gloat or get into ‘smug mode’ online or simply promote direct sales.  Small businesses often struggle to keep on top of marketing given their employees often diverse responsiblities, think smart and utilise materials on multiple levels.

Get Others to Do the Talking for You – engage with your existing customers and use their feedback to promote your business.   If negative feedback appears use it to show your excellent customer service, most customers will happily ‘tweet’ how great your response was after their initial negative rant.  Everybody makes mistakes, its how you respond that can turn this negative into a positive engagement for your business.  Again if your customers are doing the talking your business can get on with core activities, its a great technique to add customers to the marketing dept of your small business

Set Realistic Performance Indicators – set targets, set objectives and monitor and review them regularly against your market place and competitors.  Don’t over commit yourself and listen to the marketplace to identify your best opportunities and potential risks.    Your aim may be to increase repeat business, improve brand awareness or reach a new market, how are your going to measure your success.

Optimise your Social Content – ensure you use your ‘key phrases’ within your posts to optimise their visibility online, include active keywords like ‘latest’ or your location to encourage niche rankings and remember to include your calls to action by way of links back to your business site, contact details and a facility to enable responses from your audience.

Ideas for Social Networking your small Business

Blog – do you have a chunk of knowledge or a strong view on a particular topic that you would like to share with you customers, suppliers or associated businesses.  Set up a blog on your website for improved SEO or link in with a blogging platform like www.wordpress.com or www.blogger.com or some of the niche blogging platforms available, engage with others blogging on the same or similar topics.

Social Networkswww.Facebook.com Fan Page – do you have a liked brand or an ethos within your business that others share, could you use this to engage with your potential and existing markets.  B2B’s set up www.linkedin.com Company & Staff Profiles as a point of contact, utilise the Linkedin Groups and discussions to engage with your network.  www.twitter.com, www.scribd.com www.myspace.com .. there are hundreds!  Use online tools such as www.hootsuite.com to monitor activity

Article Marketing – Press Releases and Editorials the like that you find in your glossy magazines are readily available online, most press businesses now have an online version which often includes content that didn’t make the cut to the printed version, plus there are numerous networks, groups, forums, portals where you can post and share your article.

Sales Platforms and Portals – due to their feedback/review systems these platforms allow customers to provide content against products and services, making them social and a great audience for your small business!! Remember, ‘anywhere your marketplace can engage online’  Many comparison sites offer review facilities, as well as other directory websites and applications

Using Social Media for Small Business promotion

Belinda Waldock
Ebusiness Advisor and Coach
http://uk.linkedin.com/in/belindawaldock
me@belindaw.co.uk

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