Tuesday, 20 March 2012

But Who the Hell are YOU!?

When I follow or connect with someone on twitter, I want to look at their bio so I can see more about them.

I've seen some really funny ones out there, and I wish my brain worked that far out of the box, but it doesn't. In some ways I'm glad, because by saying something like 'flying pink unicorns across the rainbow' or 'I'm just me' doesn't help me know whether I want to connect with you, or whether I can trust you.

With the rise in 'trolling' and the potential for meeting an unsavoury character through social media, we're all more and more aware of security. I know a fair few people who have had to protect their accounts because of people 'stalking' them through twitter. I myself have considered it because of somebody jumping on all the conversations I have with people and trying to 'steal' any business connections.

I refuse to however, as an aside, I fully believe in Karma, and by behaving in a devious way will only come back on you. And as I have said before, you have to be accessible, and protecting my account won't allow that.

Anyway, what I'm interested in is the 160 characters you've got to tell the world who you are and what you do. It's not easy to get your message across, and I change mine quite regularly. Social Media is all about engaging and listening, and your bio is one of the things that should be the first port of call for engagement. So here you go, this is how I formulate my bio:

I think about these 3 things, and try and write with them in mind.

1. This is my business,
2. This is my personality,
3. This is my interest outside work

My bio currently says:

I specialise in Social Media for small businesses. I'm a single mum of a 4 year old, an addict in recovery, and Ops for #4N Chepstow

I hope it gives people a flavour of me as well as my business, it should say I'm responsible, but I'm also human, and like you probably have, I've faced some hurdles along the way.

Try writing your new bio today, and send me a tweet so I can have a look!!!

Thanks for reading,

Helen xx

Monday, 19 March 2012

Shall I give you a good Klout?

I started using twitter about 2 and a half years ago. I never really got the purpose of Klout. In fact, I hated it really. I felt it was judgemental and pointless. I mean, how can it really work?

Then I started Adore Social Media, and got myself trained as a Hootsuite professional. Then I saw what Klout can do. You can use it to save streams and filter who you want to listen to talking about the keyword you've chosen.

For example, I chose 'social media' and saved it in a hoot suite search. I can then filter this stream, so I can only see people with a Klout score over 50 (e.g.) who are talking about it.

The Klout score measures their influence, not their ability. And therein lies the problem. What if you're just starting out in your chosen field, and you're really really good at it, but not that many people are talking to you, or listening to you yet? Your Klout score goes up the more you influence people with higher scores, so it can take a while to build it.

The problem is, I can't ignore it, I have to partake, because other people lend so much weight to it. So I have to make sure I'm talking about social media etc to keep it up and I have to make sure I engage enough, to keep it up. Fortunately, I do all that naturally, so I don't need to think about it at all, but what if I didn't? It's so damn elitist, separating people into groups or classes yet again. Maybe that's just human nature; to pigeon hole everyone, and find out where they fit?

So, I've not really thought about it to much, if you're engaged and using social media the way you should, it will go up anyway, but my thought on the subject is, who cares about a number? Why should we worry what it is? Just talk to each other as is the point of social media, and you will soon work out who is and isn't worth talking to!

If we all stop caring about Klout, maybe those that put so much weight on it will be able to let it go. Although there is something kind of addictive in getting it higher and higher, and I've got to admit, I was a little bit pleased when I checked and it was 61.



Sunday, 18 March 2012

A picture says 140 Characters

So. Your picture. Is it really you? Would I recognise you if I saw you in the street? Let's be honest, we're all vain, we all want to look our absolute best possible, but if it looks nothing like you, then the first impression you make meeting someone in real life will be 'oh. They don't look like their photo' rather than 'awesome, I've been looking forward to meeting you'.

I spoke yesterday about names. I said that you needed to embrace the fact that you are a small business, and that you have the ability to give a better customer service than a big companies. That you shouldn't hide behind the 'wall' of your brand.

That means, basically, use your own photo, not your logo. Be YOU, not a logo, allow people to feel they are connecting with you, not your company. Leave the logo on your website, where it belongs! Ask Michelle Dalley of Creating Media what happened when she changed her photo from a logo into a photo of herself. You can find her on twitter @creatingmedia or @missdalley.

So. Rules for your photo to think about when taking it, or if possible having it taken (mine was done by the fabulous Maz Hawes of Light and Day Photography or @lightndayphoto on twitter.

1. Most photos are viewed on a handheld device. I was following someone for 2 years before I clicked on her photo. What I thought was a flower was actually her in a dress. Because it was so full length it didn't shrink well to fit the avatar space.

2. Make sure it's just you in the photo. If there's more than one of you, how is anyone supposed to know which is you?

3. Don't use 'sexy' photos. This is meant to be representing your business. I don't want to see you in a sexy pose, I won't take you seriously. Those awful pictures taken from above giving hideous come hither eyes into the camera are such a turn off. They're AWFUL and not professional. I want to do business with you, not go to bed with you!

4. Smile! I hate my smile, I hate my smile even more in photos, I was cajoled and teased into smiling for Maz, and actually in the end, because they were natural smiles and laughs, I am happy with them. It's welcoming for people flicking through, and immediately gives off a warmth.

5. What's in the background? Where are you? If you have a tree coming out of your head, or a rail running through it, it's going to look weird. If you're in a bar or somewhere distinguishably casual, again it doesn't say 'professional'.

It may well be social media, as I keep saying, but if you are representing your business as well as yourself, you need to think carefully about what image you are portraying, and as we are such visual creatures, you need to make sure the first thing we see isn't of you and your friends doing sexy pouts into the camera in a bar. Or worse, a logo!

Happy tweeting, sorry for being so bossy! xxxx

Saturday, 17 March 2012

What's In A Name?

A rose by any other name may well still smell as sweet, but when it comes to your Twitter account, it's important to make sure your name is relevant and describes you well.

When I approach clients about their twitter accounts, the first thing we discuss is name. What are you telling your client from your twitter name? Usually people see your twitter name from a retweet or mention, so you need to make sure it's right.

Wherever possible, you should use your real name. If it's already taken, or like mine it's too long, you need to find something appropriate, so here are a few things to think about when you're choosing.

1. If you're running a small business, people buy from you partly because they want to support small businesses and they like the personal touch. Therefore, your twitter name should reflect you and be personal. So, my twitter name is @AdoreSocialM but I have also got my full name on my profile page, so people know it's me they are talking to.

2. If you look at my handle, I use capital letters to differentiate between the 3 words. Incidentally, I couldn't have @adoresocialmedia because it's one character too long. When I don't use capital letters it takes longer for your brain to break up the words, and therefore understand what I do. It's up to you which you use, so don't worry about it too much,

3. Look at it from every angle. Who Represents becomes whorepresents if you don't employ the capital letter rule! (btw, this was used by one company as their web address, awkward!)

4. Try to avoid using underscores. They make it difficult to spell out verbally when talking to people. Well, that's what one person says. I'm not convinced, I am a bit of a grammar fiend, so I quite like the aesthetic of the space. I don't like one at the end, but in the middle and only using one is fine.

So there you go, that's all I can think of at the moment. The main thing to think about is making yourself accessible. If you brand your account as the face of the company like Marks and Spencer's might do, you put up a wall, and make yourself inaccessible. Embrace the fact you're a small business and you have the ability to give your customers one to one attention, that you are accessible. That after all is the beauty of being small!

Give me a call if you've got anymore questions! 07907 824728

Helen x

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

How very dare you!

Over the last few weeks, I've been trying to build my twitter followers on my new account for this business. People who say to me quality over quantity have a point, but I argue that you don't know who anyone knows, and the more people you are talking to, the more people are talking about you.

Anyway, in order to build connections, I've been following people I believe are relevant to my business, and have increased my followers to nearly 1500 in the space of 4 weeks.

The reason I'm telling you all this is because I was stunned, absolutely shocked how many people are using auto DM's, and my absolute biggest bugbear of all time, TrueTwit. If you're using that, then you truly are a twit!

You see, the thing about Auto DM's and TrueTwit are, they're rude. Imagine if you went to a face to face networking event, and you went and introduced yourself:

You: 'Hello, I'm Helen from Adore Social Media'.

You would walk away wouldn't you? You would be offfended and turned off, and make your excuses and leave straight away wouldn't you?

That's what an auto DM does. It makes people feel undervalued, and just there to be sold at. It's the call centre equivalent of 'your call is important to us, please hold the line.' You know it's not that important, you know they don't really care how long you've been waiting, and how frustrated does that make you feel?

As for TrueTwit, well. Imagine this scenario:

You: 'Hello, I'm Helen from Adore Social Media'
Them: Or rather their assistant: 'Hi, I'm sorry, but so and so can't talk to you until we've done a full CRB check on you. Please fill out this form and wait there whilst we determine whether you are a threat or not.'

Yet again you would run a mile!

So, please please please don't use them! AutoDM = AutoUnfollow in my book, I want to speak to you, I want to get to know you, and then maybe I'll have a look at what you actually do, and then I might even buy some stuff! As for TrueTwit, if you can't work out whether I'm a bot or not, you need my services!! ;-)

Happy Tweeting all! xxx