Social Business Today - The First Place For Social Media For Your Business.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Looking Back At Social Media So Far In 2013

For those who run some form of online business, social media is probably a significant part of your overall marketing strategy. Understanding the current trends for social media 2013 can go a long way towards embracing those that work and avoiding those that are tanking.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Top Tips To Writing Engaging Social Media Posts

How To Write Interesting Posts for Social Media.

Social media has changed the way that we communicate, and it has changed this quickly.  It was not that long ago that the main way of communicating (other than having face to face conversations, although this is a dying method too) was to write letters to each other, using a post box, pens, ink, hands to write with and a lot of time in between, not to mention relying on a mail force that were not 100% reliable.

Nowadays we talk over much larger distances, and to much larger audiences.  In the past we would talk to people face-to-face that were around us, and for most of us that would rarely mean more than 5 people.  Letters would be written, and they too would only be read by one or a handful of people.  Now when we wrote on social media, our posts can be read by hundreds of people, from around the globe, instantaneously.

This is the main thing to remember – anyone, anywhere can read what we write on social media now.  It is no longer a private conversation only vaguely remembered in a few people’s minds, but a conversation for all to read, and that will never fade as a memory, but rather will be held on the Internet and saved on Facebook servers for the rest of time!

Bearing all this in mind, here are 10 things you can do to write more interesting posts:

1.     Social media is a conversation of sorts, but is also a publishing place.  We are all authors now.  Remember that you want to present yourself as a published author, as your posts will linger for eternity.

2.     You can have flippant conversations, but would you call someone and tell them that your local shop did not have your preferred flavor of toothpaste?  Only write what, at the bare minimum, you deem interesting enough to tell to a friend, using language.  People forget that social media is not your own brain, where thoughts do not need to be filtered into ‘interesting’ and ‘uninteresting’. 

3.     Your posts are public and anyone who is your friend, and your friends’ friend a lot of the time, will see them.  On some social media sites everyone can see your posts.  This means that parents, police, employers etc. can see your posts.  Try to represent yourself as you would like to be, do not get sucked into writing tripe for the sake of it, or writing deeply personal messages.

4.     Try to be funny/interesting/stimulating/intellectual.  Try to be interesting at the very least – would you read/engage with your post?  This is the most simple question you can ask yourself.  Many people forget to check that they are being interesting, and have very low engagement on their posts, and this can make them feel unpopular, as well as looking stupid to other people.

5.     When writing on controversial topics, such as religion, sexuality, politics or race, think about what you are writing carefully.  There is nothing wrong with having a point of view, in fact it is more interesting, but nothing comes across worse on social media as uninformed and ignorant points of view to do with delicate subjects.  Remember, if someone argues with you, it is okay to change your point of view for the right reasons, and this will make you look like an intelligent person, rather than an idiot.

6.     There is no nuance in print – if you are writing sarcastically or to poke fun, then make sure your words show that.  Without the tone of language, it can be very difficult to show exactly what you mean.

7.     Using interesting pictures to illustrate your point can increase how interesting your post is.  As they say ‘a picture tells a thousand words’, but it tells it in an instant.  Pictures can be very funny too, and increase engagement with your posts tenfold.

8.     Ask interesting questions in your posts, and you will see that people engage more with your posts and your wall may become a hot bed for interesting conversations and increase your popularity.

9.     Try to spell things correctly and use the correct grammar, it will give you more gravitas, and people will not be able to call you out for being stupid.

1.  Read your posts out to yourself before you post, this way you will hear what other people will hear in their head.  Sometimes when something is written down you cannot hear how silly it sounds, it is only when it is said out loud that the true meaning is revealed.


If you do these things you may find that you become far more popular online, as you start interesting conversations, are not offensive without reason, and always entertain and facilitate new thoughts.  Enjoy your new Likes!

(Don't forget to reply and leave a comment below!) - What do you think? Whats your favourite?

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Saturday, 31 August 2013

How Social Is Your Business?

There is little doubt that social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and the like have changed the way people see and view business.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Celebrities & Facebook - A Match Made In Heaven?


The dawn of Facebook and social media has meant we have authentic, direct and two way access to celebrities for the first time.  Our relationship with celebrities is no longer coloured by the filter of tabloid press, but we are in a privileged position of knowing what it is really that they think, do, and who they do it with (Shaquille O’Neal in Ronaldo’s case!).
Facebook has broken down barriers of gossip and fictitious stories and a new era of celebrity relationships is dawning.  This is positive for them, for us and for standards of truth globally.
Only recently our knowledge of celebrity life and culture was known through print publications such as Heat or The National Enquirer.  These papers are dedicated to revealing the celebrity lifestyle to the public, but the constant demand for column inches about the hot celebrity of the day was not without its complications.
The over-zealous pursuit of personal knowledge could lead to reporting inaccuracies, where a journalist may have had a deadline and a story that was not quite ratified, or maybe a close friend of the celebrity was keen to make some extra money and sold stories.  Neither of these things means that the real truth of a situation is likely to be revealed to the public.
Even if the real story was being reported, the filter of a reporter means that the story will necessarily be told from the point of view of someone who is not that celebrity.  We would be learning about Taylor Swift’s latest break up from someone who has never, ever met her.
So, traditional celebrity press has meant inaccurate reportage so that we do not really get to know the celebrities we admire and look up to as they are, but as the papers would like us to see them, and this usually involves more scandal than is the fact, as this sells more papers.
Which brings us onto another issue; celebrity papers and magazines means that celebrities are hounded by the paparazzi, which is cruel, dehumanizing and,ultimately, fatal.  Social Media is helping change this, no longer are paparazzi waiting outside clubs needed; now celebrities can Instagram pictures of themselves, in real time, while they are still in the club!
Social Media is not the first time that the walls between celebrity and the public have come down, and taken on the sensationalist press.  Reality TV arrived at the beginning of the second millennium with Big Brother in the UK, and quickly was seen to be a good vehicle for celebrities to show what their lives were really like, without the smoke and mirrors of a tabloid story.  Programmes like The OsbournesNewlyweds: Nick and Jessica and Hogan Knows Best all took us into the homes of our beloved celebrities and let them speak their truth for the first time.
While reality TV was the first step on the road to revolution in the way we have access to celebrities, it was not the final solution.  While it was more authentic than the public had been used to, it was still produced by a TV company, and still edited to get the biggest audience it could in the half hour time slot that it was allotted.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have done away with this, removing the last layers of fiction, editing or restrictions on our access to celebrities.  They have unlocked the doors to the closed mansions of our heroes, and we don’t need to climb them with long-lensed cameras anymore, but we get invited in as personal guests via the latest smartphone in their pockets.
Social media means that there are no temporal restrictions; we do not have to be in at 6:30 on a Friday night, with an expensive cable subscription so we can see the latest episode of The Kardashians; now we can get home from a long day in the office, make a cup of tea, load up Twitter and see what our favourite celebrities are doing at that very moment.  We can feel our lives in synchronisation with our heroes that previously we only knew through scandalous press.
Facebook and social channels have changed the world that we live in and given us access to the truth in the celebrity world as we have always had the truth in our own personal relationships; no filter, no restrictions, just real human stories, direct to the fans.




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Friday, 2 August 2013

Vine vs Instagram Video

With the release of Instagram Video, a new video player in the social media market is challenging Vine for its audience. To understand which format may be better, we start with breaking down what each one does.

What is Vine?

Vine is the pioneer of the short form video advertising, being released initially in January, 2013 and offers the following features;
-        6 Seconds of Video
-        Front-Facing Camera
-        Saves to Camera Roll
-        Shares to Facebook & Twitter
-        Autoplay and More

What is Instagram Video?

Debuting on June 20th, 2013, Instagram Video made a big impact on the web almost from the moment it went online. Backed by Facebook, Instagram Video has certainly made tremendous strides in not only capturing a significant part of the Vine customer base, but in building on its own base of customers as well.

Instagram Video offers the following features;
-        15 Seconds of Video
-        Image Stabilization
-        Editable Video Functionality
-        Easy Transition from Instagram Image
-        Filters
-        Imports Video
-        Front-Facing Camera
-        Shares to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Email and Foursquare
-        Autoplay & More

While Instagram Video can be seen as an extension of their highly successful photos, it also offers other helpful features as well.

Instagram Video vs. Vine
For comparison sake, neither program allows you to pull video from your camera roll as they insist on you shooting in the formats that they provide.
From the initial comparisons, it does seem that Instagram Video certainly has an edge. With few exceptions, Instagram Video has all the features of Vine and then some.

-        The 15 Second Instagram Video Clip vs. the 6 Second Vine Clip
15 seconds is certainly greater than 6 seconds, but that does not necessarily denote an edge for Instagram. If you can convey your message in 6 seconds, then both formats are equal. Still, the 15 second space offers more room to experiment.

-        Dropping the Last Clip

The ability to delete the last clip is quite powerful when putting together your work on Instagram Video, something that cannot be done on Vine. For ease of editing, the edge here goes to Instagram Video.

-        The Instagram Video Filters

The video filters are an extension of the photo filters used in Instagram. Vine has no such filters which is not necessarily a disadvantage. For the most part, filters may be unnecessary and even distracting from the impact of your video. However, Instagram Video offers the “Cinema” features which stabilizes the image. This can be quite powerful considering that the video is shot on a hand held mobile device. For the “Cinema” feature alone, Instagram Video enjoys the edge.

-        Sharing Your Video on Social Media

Here, Instagram Video has a distinctive edge because it accesses more social media sites. However, Vine has the full Twitter card support, unlike Instagram. Given how powerful such short videos are on Twitter, this may be a draw.

-        The Ability to Loop

The edge Vine enjoys is that the videos can be looped, repeating over and over again, unlike Vine. This gives Vine an edge as the video plays like a .gif file.

Who Wins the Battle Between Instagram Video and Vine?

The truth is that both formats have enough advantages that they will still be going strong for the foreseeable future. However, it must be said that Instagram Video enjoys more flexibility than its Vine counterpart, particularly when it comes to accessing more social media sites. Even those who really enjoy the Vine format may switch to Instagram Video just for accessing more social media networks.





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