Thursday, July 17, 2014

Twitter changes! 5 Suggestions for adding picture posts to brighten Twitter up!

Ok, this is not about eyes. This post is about livening your Tweets up with images. You may have noticed that Twitter is displaying images and videos in Tweets to make the stream more like Tumblr and Facebook, with images streaming down where people attached them.

This change is aimed at making Twitter more visual. Tweets with images get retweeted and commented a lot more. This also helps Twitter compete with social media sites where there are a lot of images and video links.

There are a lot of new opportunities presented by this change. I am experimenting with adding pics to one in three of my Tweets. These, I hope, are relevant and interesting. The jury is out as to how they will be perceived by my followers, over 250,000 now on my different Twitter accounts, but I also believe this is an opportunity for compelling visual story telling about your offering. 

Thinking visually means we have to find good content that you own the rights to - I paid for the above image earlier this month at Videoblocks - and thinking about how to select images that relate to our posts. Some subjects will be easy to find images for. Others will not.

Here are some suggestions for adding images:

1. Take more pictures of what's around you, your office, your desk, your colleagues, your output, your city.

2. Make changes to images using Ifranview or at They are both free, but the program allows you to add layers easily.

3. Make friends or buy services from photographers and animators and artists. Value their work. This will be good thing for everyone who is visually minded.

4. Consider creating your own videos using the Vine app on your phone, for free animations or for edited videos. All these services are free.

5. Create visual story boards about your products or services. Take multiple pictures of the process you go through to create what you do. Then post the images.

This is a revolutionary change to Twitter. It will force us to make our Tweets more interesting. That's all good, in my opinion. If you have any other suggestions for adding visual content please comment below. Or simply let me know what you think about this change to your Twitter stream.

Thanks for following too. Please click the link above to get my occasional posts on social media developments.   

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

7 Alternative Rules of Innovation

1. Think coalitions, new working teams. Choose home workers, part time workers, others based on talent, drive and results.

2. Become resilient through local funding first, investment in people, support networks.

3. Your greatest innovators may not even work for you, they may be your customers, your suppliers or your support network.

4. If you are a dinosaur, learn to dance. Don't wait. Don't be afraid of looking stupid. Otherwise you'll end up on the sidelines while the rest are at a party.

5. Offer clear value. Make it obvious.

6. Invest in your education. Do courses. Do them online, offline or inline. But do them.

7. Listen to your talent. Top down decision making is stone age thinking. Experiment with ideas.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Twitter Session Length

How long do you think people spend on Twitter in a session, that is when they open Twitter and look at the list of Tweets in front of them?

I reckon it's less than 5 minutes each time. I spend about 3 minutes, but I do check Twitter maybe 10 times a day.

Please respond to these questions in the comments below to share your experience.

The questions are:

1. How long do you spend on a single session on Twitter, on average?

2. How many times a day do you check Twitter?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

3 Big Social Media Mistakes Many Businesses are Making

The social media industry is as new as the automobile industry was a hundred years ago. We don't have rules of the social-media road, a social-media tax or rear view social-media mirrors yet.

But they are all coming.

While we wait for them here are 3 big mistakes many business people are making in relation to social media.

1.  Ignoring it. All this means is that intrepid individuals will start doing it without permission. Do you even know how many of your staff are doing semi-official tweeting or blogging or Facebooking for you? Social media is coming and you can't stop it.

2. Not aligning your social media goals with the goals of your business. The goal of social media is not to get more followers. This is similar to people who think the business goal of having a car is the ability to drive around. Sure there are people who want to do that, but a business needs to align social media to its business goals.

3. Thinking it's just a marketing and PR thing. Human resources, purchasing, the canteen, investment analysts and R&D can all benefit from the research, communications and feedback service that social media is. Don't leave it all to marketeers. Every division can use social media.

It is likely that many business people, (the Ostriches) when confronted with the Tsunami of change that social media represents will simply opt for ignoring it in the hope that it will pass them by.

The are wrong. Better firms will achieve competitive advantage by using social media. This is already happening. And when the rest understand what they might lose they will follow. After the Ostriches are removed.

Monday, June 9, 2014

How to Learn Digital Marketing Online

I have been appointed Head of the College of Digital Marketing. Here's a short animation of our mission.

If you want to attend any of these courses - in person or online - and learn how to market yourself or your organisation with this software click here.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Proven Social Media Engagement Strategy

Engagement is about building relationships. It’s also about the quality of relationships you have.
The basics of engagement are responding to people, being real, being human, and not taking it all too seriously. If you think about engagement in any social situation, listening as well as talking, telling anecdotes, little secrets, having fun, those are the same things you can also do in social media to drive engagement there too. Social media is still a part of our world.
Social media is as complex as the world we inhabit. Whatever you like to do, whatever your business is, wherever you live, with almost no exceptions, there will be a specialist social media site catering for your interests.
If you don’t believe me look up your interests combined with your city or nearest town in Google or another big search engine. You will find a lot of sites.
Birds of a feather flock together, is a well known phrase. It leads all diamond merchants to a certain street in a certain city, all world class wrestlers to the Olympics and all followers of Game of Thrones to its fan sites.
It would seem obvious then, that if you are selling books, wrestlers outfits or Game of Thrones merchandise that you will stay in regular touch with and participate in the communities that are growing up around each niche interest.
We are all more likely to follow people who have the same interests as us. I like to follow other writers on LinkedIn and Goodreads.
You will find that others who are like you in their interest or beliefs will be more likely to follow you or be part of your community. And I’m not saying that you must stick exclusively to your own group. I do think we should all be open to mixing with people of widely different interest. All I am saying is that when you are looking for engagement it is a good idea to look among people who have similar interests.
Some people wonder how to increase their numbers on Twitter. Twitter is designed as a social network where you follow people and people follow you back. A percentage of the people you follow will always follow you back. If they don’t follow you back within a few days you are within your rights to unfollow them. If they don’t want to see your Tweets then it is reasonable that you stop seeing theirs.
If you are a celebrity or have a relationship with masses of people or you’re a big brand, you should get follows by simply letting people know what your Twitter name (handle) is. For the rest of us, following people and posting interesting Tweets are the main ways to increase your followers.
The number of people you follow each day depends on how much time you want to spend on Twitter and how many followers you have now. I recommend following small numbers each day (20-50), and unfollowing regularly people who don’t follow you back. You will be able to follow more people later on, as the number of people who follow you increases over the number you are following. I can follow 50 people in 30 seconds, so this is not time consuming stuff.
On Facebook it’s all about knowing people first, for personal profiles. People consider is bad form to try and friend them on Facebook if they don’t know you. This is the opposite to Twitter, where people who don’t know you are almost always happy for you to follow them. You can Like “pages” on Facebook however, as these are the public messages of the people or organisations who create them. Pages are not personal profiles. You can create your own “page” for any project, work, role or cause you want and detail the progress of the project through posts about that subject.
Great successes have been achieved on Facebook by people who create useful pages or groups where people can post their experiences with challenging life situations, diseases, and provide practical support services.
With Facebook and Twitter it’s all about what you give back to your community too. If you want to improve engagement you can, for instance, think about the classic social support services around what you do. Is there a way to build a community page or group on some aspect of this?
On LinkedIn and Google+ there are groups and hangouts you can participate in too. The more time you spend on all these sites the more you will get back from them.
The majority of my engagement is still on Twitter, where I get immediate worldwide feedback on a minute by minute basis to my posts.
Your social media engagement strategy will depend on your specific situation.
If you want to learn about the 5 Free Social Media services that work for writers and a lot of other people, click here.
If you want someone to manage your social media for you email me now: 
Thanks for coming by. Your comments are truly appreciated. But anonymous ones won't get posted.

To support this site - over 100 free posts so far on social media for you to explore - please buy one of my novels, The Istanbul Puzzle or The Jerusalem Puzzle or my guide to social media. And enjoy!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Building a Loyal Following

Here are three classic methods for building a loyal following, whether it be on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or wherever:

1. Provide something of value. Are you an expert? Can you share some of your expertise? Are you funny? Are you talented? Find something you can deliver. Find your purpose.

2. Build trust. Trust is built through reliability, honesty, respect. Do you treat your followers with respect? Are you honest and reliable in your responses?

3. Providing something new. The new-kid-on-the-block phenomena allows everyone with something to say to get some limelight. The challenge is to maintain the innovations. Keep delivering new things and your audience will be loyal and it will grow.

What do you think builds a loyal following?